Easternmost point of Silk Road / FRI 9-4-20 / prima painting technique / Brightest star in Lyra / Land east of eastern desert / Expensive beer chaser / Wedding dress that's often red

Friday, September 4, 2020

Constructor: Brian Thomas

Relative difficulty: Challenging (slowest Friday in a long time, though ... again, I'm solving at 5am, just out of bed, so that could be it?)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day:
JEANNETTE RANKIN (34A: Congresswoman who said "I want to be remembered as the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote") —

Jeannette Pickering Rankin (June 11, 1880 – May 18, 1973) was an American politician and women's rights advocate, and the first woman to hold federal office in the United States. She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican from Montana in 1916, and again in 1940.

Each of Rankin's Congressional terms coincided with initiation of U.S. military intervention in the two World Wars. A lifelong pacifist, she was one of 50 House members who opposed the declaration of war on Germany in 1917. In 1941, she was the only member of Congress to vote against the declaration of war on Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

suffragist during the Progressive Era, Rankin organized and lobbied for legislation enfranchising women in several states including Montana, New York, and North Dakota. While in Congress, she introduced legislation that eventually became the 19th Constitutional Amendment, granting unrestricted voting rights to women nationwide. She championed a multitude of diverse women's rights and civil rights causes throughout a career that spanned more than six decades. To date, Rankin remains the only woman ever elected to Congress from Montana. (wikipedia)

• • •

West half of my grid has hardly any green ink on it at all, whereas the east is predominantly green ink (green ink being what I use to mark up all the problem areas), and the SE alone took me probably half my time, which was very high for me (8-9 min. maybe? I often shut the puzzle without writing it down). So mostly what I remember about the puzzle was struggle. Sadly, didn't have very many moments where I thought "cool!" or "good one!" It seemed solid enough, but a little blah. The center answer is undoubtedly interesting and original, but I didn't have that "aha" joy because I just couldn't retrieve her name, so her last name in particular (which was at one entryway to the SE corner) just blocked me. Same with [Athlete in the N.B.A.'s Southwest Div.] (MAV). I know all the NBA teams, but the idea that I have them sorted in my head by division, ugh, no. I'm I figured MAV but didn't really know. Something team-specific would be nice. Anyway, staying in the SE: 
  • didn't know if it was IN A ROUT or IN A ROMP (26D: Going away)
  • no idea, at all, forever, what word followed COOL (8D: Hipsters) (honestly, "cats" is the only really acceptable "COOL" follower); 
  • just stared at super-vague 43A: Tears and esp. 45D: Lift (SPREES and STEAL, respectively); 
  • needed every cross to get SNOB and still barely understand it (43D: Expensive beer chaser?) (that clue is torturous—I think it wants "chaser" to mean both "follower" (i.e. of the word "beer," in a familiar phrase) and a word for someone who "chases" i.e. "seeks" beer that is expensive??? I get that you think that's clever, but clues don't work that way—it's completely convoluted); 
  • who the f*** is DAN + Shay? (47A: ___ + Shay, Grammy-winning country duo); 
  • had STOP SHORT and then (much more certainly) STOPS COLD before much later realizing it was STOPS DEAD (a phrase you just wouldn't use unless followed by "in his tracks" or some other phrase, whereas STOPS COLD, mwah, les mots justes!)
The long Acrosses were also hard to see, though I would've seen them sooner without all the trouble around them. Oh, I left out the worst one—a math joke :( question-mark :( :( clue for ON AVERAGE (33D: In a mean way?), which I figured was a prepositional phrase, which I was parsing as ON A ___. And again, that answer ran *right* through allllll the SE mess I just described.

Cluing was too much like a riddle book. [She took a seat to stand]. [It is avoided while playing it]. Sigh. I don't enjoy riddles when I'm doing crosswords. Or ever. ROSA PARKS was easy enough, and I got TAG pretty easily from crosses, but it's the principle of the thing. When a clue's sense of "fun" is way off from mine, it really affects puzzle enjoyment. Is JOE BOXER still a brand? I got that one easily, but as I did, I thought about how I hadn't thought about that brand name in ages. I think it's the name of an '80s band, too ... oh, well, yes, almost:

Didn't really know XIAN (51A: Easternmost point of the Silk Road), so minor struggle there. Stupidly misread the clue on "DUNE" and thought it wanted an *author* name (28A: First winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, 1965)—just stopped reading the clue at "Nebula Award." To me REPOST signifies a single post, which has absolutely no relationship to a meme (which, if it's a meme, then almost by definition you've seen it a lot, and probably in many different forms, in which case REPOST *really* doesn't work). BRIT was hard (10A: Adele or Ed Sheeran); wanted IDOL or STAR, which obviously is intentional on the part of the clue, ugh. Really hard to imagine someone exclaiming "I'VE DONE IT!" unless it's the 19th century. "I did it!" you'd say. Does ANO (year) not have a tilde in Portuguese? I guess that's one way to get around the year/asshole problem in Spanish, but unfortunately all it does is direct my attention directly toward the year/asshole problem in Spanish, so much so that I am writing this sentence. DIET POP sounds absurd (25A: Drink that may contain aspartame). "Pop" is fine and "soda" is fine, but with DIET, my ears only want SODA. And BLART ... sigh, I knew that one, but wow, not even a reference to the movie title in the clue (10D: Movie mall cop). I can't believe that movie (there were probably sequels, weren't there?) is going to leave a crossword legacy. Just didn't find very much to enjoy today. Grid is not terrible, just very much (especially in the cluing) not for me.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. ah yes, it seems many many (many) people were confused by how [Going away] could mean IN A ROMP. In sports, if you win something "going away" you win it easily, i.e. IN A ROMP (or A ROUT, or, weirdly, A WALK). 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 6:17 AM  

I think the “beer chaser” clue is supposed to be a play on the use of beer as a chaser when drinking. People may take a shot of liquor then quickly “chase” it with a swig of beer to make it more palatable. It’s a phrase I’ve heard, but not since college

Harryp 6:57 AM  

It is too bad that few people would know Jeannette Rankin for what she was proudest of, I needed every cross to get her name, unlike Pavlov who is known for his cruelty to dogs in the name of science. This puzzle had many fits and starts, SNOB and BLART being two of the hardest fill, but it is a memorable Friday. Thank you Brian Thomas for this brain twister of a puzzle

Keith D 6:58 AM  

Rex, why do you have to nitpick the puzzle simply because you didn’t breeze through it? SNOB - expensive beer chaser. You’d praise that clue if you had a faster time, as well as a bunch of the others that you didn’t like. Is consistency in your criticism too much to ask for?

Lewis 6:59 AM  

It was unusual to see so many full names in one grid – the IVAN to go with PAVLOV, along with ROSA, JEANNETTE, and even JOE. And the puzzle gave me the eye worm of a COOL DUDE in his JOE BOXERs smoking an ECIG (with flies somewhere in the background), that I’m trying to shake.

I learned about Ms. Rankin, and wow -- I recommend that everyone who hasn’t, do the same. I also learned about “love locks” that people attach to bridges and other structures. Somehow my wife and I have managed to still be married after 36 years without ever having performed that ritual.

Vague and crafty clues kept things pokey. The resistance wasn’t harsh, like I was going the wrong way through a wind tunnel, but more like a calm-down step-it-back, putter around, smell-the-roses-and-enjoy-the-little-things kind of slowdown. Sip. It turned out to be a fine experience and a reminder to go through my days similarly. Thank you for that, and for this most lovely puzzle, Brian!

Anonymous 7:01 AM  

Very weak center with Dan and Shay, and vague clues for snob, on a romp and sprees, all of which left a bad taste.

ChuckD 7:03 AM  

Found this to be pretty easy for a Friday - although agree with Rex that the cluing overall was off. Not sure the marquee center should be an obscure congresswoman - not downplaying her historical contribution but I don’t think she’s well known to most solvers. I liked the ON AVERAGE clue and the CREAM SODA/CENTER ICE crossing. No one says IN A ROMP or we’re going to a RESORT AREA on vacation. Hipsters are not COOL DUDES and I didn’t know Pavlov’s first name.

REM is not DIET POP - they are the real deal.

kitshef 7:10 AM  

See, it’s not that hard to put ANO in your puzzle without setting off a tilde explosion.

Hall of Infamy bad clue for ELS.

Pavlov’s dogs chase the CAT that chases the RATS that chase the BEETLES. I’m not sure who the ORCAS are chasing.

nevercared 7:17 AM  

Just full of awful cluing and matchingly terrible solutions. Hated this from start to end.
There's a BIG difference between challenging and willfully obtuse.

Garbage construction like this just makes me not want to continue, but I'm not letting this turd of a crossword break my solve streak in the NYT app.

ultramet 7:29 AM  

It’s amazing how one person’s fortune is another person’s misery in the crossword solving world. I found this puzzle easy and the Proper Names clues quite witty. Also, all of the Proper Names cited in this puzzle, with the exception of Joe Boxer, accomplished tremendous things that have had a huge beneficial impact on our society today. I have no problem with this, as their names should be remembered in perpetuity. I really liked this puzzle.

David Fabish 7:35 AM  

I actually enjoy the riddles, and I think they're appropriate for a Friday puzzle. It took me a while to get ONAVERAGE, but when I did, it made me chuckle. TAG came right away, and as soon as I had BLART (which I got immediately on reading the clue), I had BRIT.

I had never heard of JEANETTERANKIN, so that was tough, but I'm glad I learned something from that one. The SE gave me trouble, but it eventually fell.

As a side note, there is serious doubt about whether I A PAVLOV ever actually used a bell in his research... 😁

Anonymous 7:35 AM  

Portuguese speaker here. I can confirm that there’s no tilde on “ano”.

Pamela 7:51 AM  

Love locks on bridges are a thing. Couples write their names on the lock, and throw the key into the water. It’s supposed to make the love unbreakable, or something. In Venice, there are so many love locks, especially on the Rialto Bridge, that every so often the officials have them cut off.

That was about the only thing I enjoyed about this puzzle, especially after yesterday’s delight. Never heard of XIAN, in spite of my fascination with the Silk Road. I’m with Rex today on the obscurity level- names, team, references, phrases... Challenging, but almost no fun.

On the other hand...

****SB ALERT*****

Piece of cake today. I’m Queen for a day, in what seemed like a minute and a half but must have been 10 or so.

Is he rewarding us for COPE-ing? Or rather, his lapse in COPE-ing?

Amie Devero 7:59 AM  

What does IN A ROMP mean? And how does it relate to "Going Away"?
I got it through crosses, but I have no idea what it is.

Z 8:09 AM  

Adele and Ed Sheeran just scream for the answer to be “alto.” I haven’t been this disappointed since discovering Rye has a marina.

Same nanosecond waster area as Rex but for different reasons. I saw through the mean clue immediately, but STOPS colD, or sO, and ShREdS “confirmed” by dukeS caused a major inky mess in that SE corner. It was fairly obvious that shREdS wasn’t working with MAV (so having ON AVERAGE was a boon), so I went back to EARLS (yep, the old double rewrite where my first thought was correct) and I worked from east to fix to finish. My only other writeover was orchestra piT before ACT. That makes this 75% easy peasy and 25% challenging, so easy-challenging is my rating.

@Lewis’s JOE BOXER is smoking an ECIG in one corner while Paul BLART, Mall Cop, is having an OREO in the other, washing it down with a CREAM SODA. I can feel my teeth rotting just thinking of it.

Z 8:12 AM  

@Amie Devero - Both are from sports, to win “going away” and to win IN A ROMP both mean to win by a large margin. “Going away” might be from racing, where the winner’s margin is increasing as they cross the finish line, but don’t quote me on that.

derek_knitter 8:15 AM  

Can someone more clever than I explain 39D? Why are those letters typed with the right ring finger? They aren’t anywhere near each other on the keyboard

DeeJay 8:32 AM  

Another excellent, tough puzzle decried by Rex because he didn't breeze through it. With a grid-spanning suffragist who I'd never heard of before.

This is not "nit-picking," it's picking.

MissScarlet 8:34 AM  

How are letters typed with the right ring finger ELS? I don’t understand this at all.

JD 8:35 AM  

Gimme a big kiss on the Rims and I'll Repost this. Kidding. I've probably seen the Repost meme no times and Rims are those things on cars. However, Pavlov had come up in conversation about an hour before I tackled the puzzle and I had trouble with that too, so brain calcification and a Luddite streak weren't the only problems here.

But I like @Lewis's take on the thing (always) and I won't bemoan my tribulations in the NW and SW corners except for Joe %*$ Boxer.

My high school after school snack was Hershey Kisses washed down with Tab (carbonated battery acid). Drank a lot of Diet Pop in that SW corner of PA.

And who the f*** is DAN + Shay? I think they're a Grammy-winning country duo. Kidding! I didn't know either.

It was a great puzzle. A tough but fair brain workout and I learned new things. @ultramet's comment is spot on.

Sir Hillary 8:37 AM  

Not too memorable, but still pretty good. Names and trivia are never issues for me, but I agree with those who feel this puzzle had a lot of them.

What I don't agree with is "obscure/vague clue = crap clue". It's Friday. folks!

ONAVERAGE clue was my favorite by a mile, and @Rex's disparagement of it is absurd. Not sure we need both GAL and TEASPOON to be clued as such though.


@Z -- If you have time, I would be interested in your PPP calculation for today. And your take on whether people in Michigan say DIETPOP. :)

Larry 8:41 AM  

@derek_knitter: It's the letter "L", in plural form.

32D STOPped me COLD in the SE for 5 minutes. Never heard of 47A either, which didn't help in that corner.

agarlock 8:49 AM  

L = right ring finger home key; you're looking for a plural ("letters typed..."), and phonetically, multiple L's = "ELS."

Gleek4Life 8:50 AM  

L is typed with right ring finger. Third letter on right home row. “Els” phonetically. 🤷🏽‍♀️

ChuckD 8:52 AM  

@derek_knitter - the plural L. Really bad clue.

KnittyContessa 8:53 AM  

Thanks @Z i had absolutely no idea what I'M A ROMP meant. That R was the last to fall and I was surprised I guessed correctly.

@derek_knitter ELS is the letter L

barbara 9:02 AM  

ELS spells out the plural of the letter L, which is typed with the right ring finger.

albatross shell 9:05 AM  

Hand up for sussing TAG in seconds and chuckling at ONAVERAGE.

SNOB works fine for me as clued. One who seeks only expensive beers. The fact that it could follow the word BEER was just an extra amusement.

I found this far easier than yesterday where so many of the crosses on the theme answers I did not know it made the reversing element a total nightmare.

It helped today that I had just read an article on women's voting rights that mentioned Ms. RANKIN. I did mismember her first name as Jennifer but the length and a couple crosses straightened that out. And I googled DAN and XIAN.
Also just watched the Mall Cop movie a month or two ago. A bit funnier than my fairly low expectations.

Puzzle made me think. Took a long time but just a couple google aids.

We won going away, we won INAROMP both sound natural to me.

RANKIN, PAVLOV, the only OREO I like, my second favorite SODA POP. DIET yuck though. A nice math joke. Lots to love in the grid. Very short on crosswordese.

Friday fun and funny.

ColoradoCog 9:07 AM  

There is nothing at all wrong with “Expensive beer chaser?” as a Friday clue for SNOB. Totally fair.

I agree that this was challenging overall, even for a Friday. I also had a hard time in the SE.

Bernie 9:18 AM  

I really enjoyed this puzzle, and had one of my best Friday times ever. Learned that Dune was written as early as 1965, and I had no idea who Jeannette Rankin was.

Nancy 9:21 AM  

A Saturday-level Friday. I have a kind of love/hate feeling for it. I love almost everything that isn't based on PPP and I even love some of the PPP and how it's clued, like IVAN PAVLOV. ROSA PARKS is easier. Both are more important for an educated person to know than BLART (who????) and the two ONE PARENT sitcom families. And I sort of vaguely knew Adele was a BRIT, but who's Ed Sheeran? Some of what's clued with PPP didn't need to be and I always feel it's better to avoid it when you can.

As a woman, I know nothing about JOE BOXER. The father of boxer shorts? I'm wondering if he's related to either Joe Camel or Joe Sixpack.

A lock on a bridge symbolizes LOVE? Really? I thought it has something to do with adjusting water levels like the Panama Canal.

I was proud of myself for getting CAT BURGLAR with no crosses, but then I'm a big fan of "To Catch a Thief".

"Theater section" is a terrific clue for ACT. I originally wanted piT.

A crunchy puzzle with a few clues I would have liked to be different.

Anonymous 9:23 AM  

Rex is so insecure when he has a hard time. Love how he always blames it on something like he just woke up or whatever LOL It's ok Rex if it took you a little longer to solve

Anonymous 9:26 AM  

Rex's insecurities really show when he has a hard time. He always has some excuse when he feels like he didn't do it fast enough (often that he woke up early) and doesn't show his time. It's ok Rex lmao

Sixthstone 9:26 AM  

I agree with Rex on this one--just not that much fun. Cluing was obtuse and several answers are not quite on point (diet pop, on a romp, stops dead). It kind of left me with the feeling you get after hearing a bad joke. The jokester says, "Don't you get it?" and you say, "I get it. It's just not funny." Even so, I solved it in less than average time. On to the weekend!

Blue Stater 9:36 AM  

I heartily agree with OFL; this was the worst in quite a while. An unremitting, pointless, unrewarding struggle from beginning to end. Time to retire, WS. I take that back. *Past* time to retire.

Philly Cinephile 9:42 AM  

In all of my 53 years on this planet, I have never -- NEVER! -- heard anyone say "in a romp."

Anonymous 9:49 AM  

I don’t see why he needs to make excuses whenever he has a (relatively) slow time. It’s going to happen and he’s probably still faster than most people.

Eric 9:56 AM  

I read it to mean someone who seeks out expensive beers - I know a few beer SNOBs.

RooMonster 9:59 AM  

Hey All !
I'm in the "Liked it" camp. Couple of toughies that had me staring and running up the timer. DUNE I may have gotten if the ole brain could've gotten off needing an author. Had to Goog that as I was STOPS DEAD in my solve. DOTTY not helping. I can kind of see it now, but dang. Plus the DAN/SNOB cross had me flummoxed. Thanks to all who explained the Beer SNOB. What a clue. IN A ROMP another wha? clue, thanks to @Z and others for explaining it like I'm a 5 year old.

Had ON AVERAGE, giving me _AV for 40A, and knowing (maybe?) that there's only MAV and CAV in BBALL, and Cleveland isn't in the Southwest. Still had trouble with DUNE/INAROMP.

Overall a pretty good themeless. Lots of neat clues that Rex thought weren't neat. But I did! 😀


Anonymous 10:02 AM  


I think you mean tortuous for the beer chaser clue.
And Z, i already see you champing at the bit to correct me and defend Rex. Please note Rex's use of convoluted. Convoluted as in coiled, complicated. Which his what tortuous means-- full of twists and turns or bends.
Torturous is another word. Yes. I know. some dictionaries--Random House for example, will have a definition that makes it a synonym for tortuous way down where the desperate dwell. I say Rex goofed. We all do. Only wish he'd admit error once in a while.

Anon 6:17. It is most definitely a play on the shot and a beer tradition. Nothing better than a boiler maker. I'm willing to entertain both definitions on that one. Some believe the shot has to be IN the beer to be a true boiler maker. Others are more liberal (and wrong) believe it can mean a shot followed by a beer. Of course those folks don't get how a boiler works so...

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

Philly film lover,

Gah!!!! Don't defile the Commonwealth. Winning in a romp is very common.

here's a link to a headline where its used for our fair state. ( firts page of a google search no less)


Carola 10:17 AM  

Medium here. Finding little traction up top following immediate discouragement at being confronted with a meme-related clue right off the bat, I decided to go low, where I discovered the CAT BURGLAR skulking, and gradually scaled my way up from there, with NOT SO FAST about summing things up. It definitely helped to know JEANETTE RANKIN's name, but I got it from pattern recognition rather then from knowing about her politics and achievements, so was hoping she'd be the Word of the Day. I appreciated the grid's salute to her and ROSA PARKS.

Really liked: IN A ROMP. Needed an alphabet run: S?OB. Slowed down by "inn" for SPA, thus missing PAVLOV's crucial P. No idea: BLART.

Anonymous 10:29 AM  

Expensive beer chaser seen in another puzzle BEER SNOB a person who prefers pricey craft beers and imports

Frantic Sloth 10:31 AM  

I wish I could say that I was disappointed with this one so much because yesterday was such a tough {ACT} theater section to follow.

That sentence contains only one of several examples found in this puzzle of ick posing (ineptly) as clever.

JEANNETTE RANKIN deserves better.

Swing and a miss.

Just read @Rex. Yep. Pretty much.


Eric 10:33 AM  

Loved ON AVERAGE, I put it down immediately without crosses. Just something about that clue fit my brain perfectly.

As far as REPOST goes, maybe Rex just isn’t quite hep to the youth culture. Maybe it’s too specific to reddit, but as “the front page of the internet” I think it’s fair game.

When people post the same meme or image too many times in an effort to gain internet points on that site, people complain about REPOSTing. It’s incredible common lingo and absolutely makes sense and is appropriate as clued.

Teedmn 10:40 AM  

Yes, I have heard "Going away" in terms of winning big, but it sure didn't come to mind when filling in 26D. Because I was guessing totally on JEANNETTE's last name and had no idea of 40A (have I mentioned how much I hate basketball?), I was very leery of IN A ROMP as clued but I finally gave in as, whaddya gonna do?

DIET POP, definitely how we say it here in Minnesota. Though I read "aspartame" in the clue and thought "acetaminophen" and was looking for something like Theraflu. It wasn't until I had D_E_POP that I reread that!

Is there an unusual number of Vees today? IVAN PAVLOV and LOVE and ON AVERAGE. Seems like a lot.

My big write over is due to mis-entering the 20A answer into 22A. GALLON instead of GAL but that final N of gallon interfered with my guess of VEGA, 15D, which I was using to confirm my guess of PAVLOV. Getting rid of GALLON made everything work, though I still needed the crosses on PAVLOV's first name. IVAN didn't ring a bell.

Nice Friday puzzle, thanks Brian Thomas!

deg0ey 10:41 AM  

It’s definitely sportswriter slang, but here’s a semi-recent example https://www.si.com/nfl/talkoffame/nfl/it-s-junior-in-a-big-way-zz4zl3jzLUi-rMYW5TM8og

guybo 10:43 AM  

Honestly, one of my fastest Fridays ever. 10 minutes faster than my online average. Maybe it just flowed for me?

AW 10:45 AM  

Why is a (56A) CAT BURGLAR a "High-level criminal"? Sure a cat can climb a tree, but do cats on the whole hang out at high levels? None that I know...

Anonymous 10:45 AM  

Jeanette Rankin needs neither all caps or mindless adulation. She was was morally wrong not to cast her vote to go to war against the Axis powers. Germany and Japan were evil regimes that needed to be defeated. There is good reason that the philosophical and theological concept of The Good War exists.

Ethan Taliesin 10:53 AM  

Would have been easier if I hadn't misspelled MUESLI ....twice!

Ernonymous 10:58 AM  

I DNFed at ACT and TVG. I had ACA and AVG as in the show is rated to be average, ha! I thought maybe ACA was a part of a theatre seating that I never heard of.
The other problem was INAROMP it seemed wrong and I'm sure it was Jeanette PANKIN, from the Sister Suffragette song in Mary Poppins. While solving I was singing"Cast off the Shackles of yesterday!.. Take heart for Mrs. PANKIN has been clapped in irons again." Oops, that was Mrs. PANKHURST.I'm wondering if anyone else here got Mary Poppinsed and confused Pankin for Pankhurst? No, just me? Bullocks!

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

Cary Grant and other 'urbane' actors, mostly until the 60s (Robert Wagner being somewhat later), played sophisticated stealers of valuables, typically jewels, from fancy hotels (mostly in Europe) and occasionally mansions. CAT because they slip in silently. whether any exist(ed) in real life, I've no idea.

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

-- Carl Sandburg

which came first, I've no idea.

Z 10:58 AM  

@Sir Hillary - The PPP isn’t technically excessive, just 21 of 70 for 30%. I say “technically“ because we have a grid spanner, IVAN PAVLOV, and ROSA PARKS. That’s a lot of grid real estate for just three answers, so it does feel a little higher. I also felt like the puzzle was a little trivia heavy which also made it feel a little PPP heavier when I was solving.
As for DIET POP, POP is definitely said in the mitten, but people who order DIET POP will usually specify. DIET Pepsi, DIET Coke, DIET 7-Up. In the generic I think DIET POP would usually just be POP. But I should add that we aren’t big POP drinkers and we don’t really associate with a lot of DIET POP drinkers, so somebody else may have a more definitive take on this.

@JD - OMG! Gimme a big kiss on the Rims and I'll Repost this, suggests a whole different thing these days.

@Colorado Cog - Yep. Rex is more of a cocktail and wine drinker so I guess his not getting this immediately is understandable, but it was automatic here.

@Anon10:02 - Huh? The clue was neither very convoluted or torturous, but I think Rex meant tortuous when he called it “tortuous” and convoluted when he called it “convoluted.” Most importantly, he “still barely understand(s) it.” The “chaser” in the clue is a misdirection suggesting “beer and a chaser” as opposed to how it’s used in the clue, “someone who chases after expensive beer.” So just a simple misdirection, nothing especially tortuous or convoluted once you see how it works.

🖐🏽 for thinking the ELS clue was gawdawful. I get that you don’t want to use elevated trains clue for the eleventy-eleventh time but this clue is just trying to hard.

Anonymous 11:02 AM  

well... this is misappropriation of SNOB. one who chases after 'high quality' items isn't necessarily a SNOB. in fact, those with the money of course, chase after quality because they appreciate quality and can afford it. a SNOB puts on airs of quality, but is in reality a thug. we have one at 1600.

Z 11:05 AM  

@Anon10:45 - capitalizing entries in a puzzle is a convention here. And there is no such thing as a “good war.” I think you are referencing the concept of a “just war.”

oisk17 11:13 AM  

Note to @Nancy - enjoyed and correctly completed your last puzzle. This puzzle, enjoyed a bit less. Hate the clue for "Brit." Was sure I had a DNF until I looked at the answers and saw that Blart was correct. Under "knowledge is a dangerous thing"....I knew that the largest order was coleoptera, but that didn't fit. Diptera, perhaps? (flies). Wasn't until I had 4 letters that I realized that the scientific name was not what was required! (coleoptera means "sheath-winged" a reference to the way the wings of beetles are hidden when they are not flying) Diet pop? I guess outside NY some people call it that...

Ellen S 11:20 AM  

I loved it. JEANNETTE RANKIN went in right away, I just am never sure how many N’s and T’s in her first name. But the length of the clue saved me there. In addition to being a suffragist and the lone vote against WWII, back in 1916, in her very first vote in Congress she voted against US entry into WWI. She wasn’t the only one to vote against it, but it did guarantee she was a one term Representative. So then a quarter century later she comes back just in time to vote against entry into WWII. Anybody see a pattern there? I don’t remember if it was in between or after her second term that she worked as a field organizer for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. I don’t know where... maybe that’s what she was doing in Spokane ... now I can’t find who posted the question about that. But whoever you are: I I know someone who knows a lot about Jeannette, wrote a one woman play about her. DM or PM me or whatever you call it and I’ll put you in touch.

Finding ROSA PARKS in there, too just made it extra special, and non politically, I liked the riddly clues.

I liked the whole puzzle, all the parts @Rex hated, I enjoyed, except I agree with him about DAN + Shay.

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

re Jeanette Rankin: , she was the only member of Congress to vote against the declaration of war on Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor. - talk about the wrong side of history !

ow a paper cut 11:26 AM  

Not my favorite of the week but better than no puzzle : )

Mark 11:27 AM  

LOVE LOCKS are terrible eyesores, basically vandalism by tourists. The Pont des Arts in Paris had to have its beautiful wrought iron railings replaced with a kind of see-thru "railing" because one section of wrought iron railing collapsed from the weight of the locks. Now the glass railing gets tagged and the love-vandals find any post, nook, cranny to continue their defacement. Awful. The pollution of the Seine by tossed keys wil last much longer that many of these lovers' relationships.

GILL I. 11:28 AM  

Ay chihuahua....what an oof fest. Even though I do pretty well on Jeopardy, I'm really not that good on pop quizzes. Evidently there's a lot of things I don't know....starting with any POP. I will also say that I'm not afraid to admit that I did not know JEANNETTE RANKIN. I guess I should've known her since we've been celebrating (?) the suffrage struggle and the 19th Amendment and all, but all I could think of was Battling Bella Abzug.
I'll start by asking: Who in the world would measure TEASPOONs to fit in an Olympic pool. Who does that? If your undies aren't Tidy Whities, I don't know this JOE BOXER DUDE. DIET POP sounds awful (I had Snapple) and so does CREAM SODA. I'm still not convinced about that SNOB expensive beer chaser and I hope IN A ROMP goes away to XIAN. Was I the only idiota who had TSE TSE for 41A? Did someone actually count all of the BEETLE species? Who comes up with these little gems....
Anyway, I got about 95.3% of this right by throwing darts and crossing fingers. Oooooh....make that 95.2%. I just saw a DNF. I have that mall cop as BCART and that lock thing as COVE. I feel deflated.

mathgent 11:31 AM  

Very good. Fourteen red plus signs in the margins, above my Friday average (10.9). I learned a few things: ALLA prima, JEANNETTERANKINS accomplishments, LOVE locks, XIAN, the prevalence of BEETLES. And it felt good to be able to solve it clean.

I don’t like the clue for SNOB. I’m guessing that it was the work of Will’s crew.

Like Nancy, I’ve seen To Catch a Thief multiple times and filled in CATBURGLAR immediately. I watched TCAT again just a few weeks ago. It’s always a treat to see Cary Grant and Grace Kelly but the movie itself isn’t very good.

Thanks to Lewis for explaining what LOVE locks are. We were at Pier 39 recently and saw a couple of dozen padlocks attached to the fence by the rafts where the sea lions gather. Now I know what they are. Couples write their names on them, snap them onto the fence, and throw the key into the bay.

MeasureUp 11:36 AM  

Sports terms. “They won in a romp” and “they won going away” both refer to lopsided victories, like the Clips’ win over the Nuggets last night.

JD 11:36 AM  

Anon@10:58, Wow, I always thought that was T.S. Eliot. Think I confounded it with Prufrock:

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes ...
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening ...
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap

@Z, Oh ugh! Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then. See @Frantic's "ick posing (ineptly) as clever." Sniff (pause) ... as well as unlikely.

BTW @Frantic, That one goes into my Book of Useful Phrases and Sentences.

jb129 11:42 AM  

I wanted Snapple so badly -although I knew it wasn't right.

57stratocaster 11:44 AM  

Not fun. F*ck "on a romp." Who says that?

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

y'all do realize that American Bidnezz was on the side of Germany and Japan leading up to (and some believe, during; see - German/American Bund) WWII; see C. Lindbergh, H. Ford.

most Americans wanting nothing to do with 'the European War', and those that did preferred Germany.

Unknown 11:51 AM  

41 across: I thought beetles were insects.

What? 11:52 AM  

A rare agreement with Rex on this one. Too many obscurities and lots of bad cluing. Fridays Is supposed to be difficult but adding difficulty by bad cluing is not the way to go about it.

Noble Nobel 11:53 AM  

I was certain the Nobel-winning bell ringer was going to be Salvatore Quasimodo! He won in 1959. Couldn't get it to fit however. Too many names in this puzzle and "Diet Pop" was de trop.

Anonymous 12:01 PM  


TSE was my favorite poet while in school. lost interest in the genre afterwards. Prufrock, just from memory, was a big deal.

TSE, while identified with England (and took citizenship there) was just an ex-pat American.

another oddity, which the wiki gave me, serendipity between TSE and Rankin: Ezra Pound got Prufrock into print, yet Pound was an avowed Fascist sympathizer and opposed WWII. not even 6-degrees of separation.

FrostMo 12:15 PM  

Really enjoyed it. Close to a Friday record. COOLDUDES was the only really cringey answer, IMO. Honestly felt like a pretty young puzzle. I am surprised Rex didn’t like it.

RPCV Cameroon 12:24 PM  

Xian is where the Terra cotta warriors are located.

LorrieJJ 12:25 PM  

Had "cat burgler" so couldn't figure out what "steel" had to do with "lift" ... duh!
FYI, in Canada, it's diet pop", not "soda".

jae 12:36 PM  

Mostly easy-medium but I ran into problems in the center. I recognized JEANETTE but only after I got most of the crosses, which took a while. DOTTY, IN A ROMP, and ON AVERAGE did not come easily....so mediumish? (I also got tricked by ELS as I was looking for 3 separate letters).

Smooth with just a hint of sparkle, liked it.

Harryp 12:40 PM  

Responders to this blog should read about exactly what Pavlov did in his experiments besides using a bell. Electric shocks, flooding the dog's kennels to make them think they were drowning, removing the dogs esophagus so that no matter how much it ate, the food didn't get to it's stomach, etc. He tried to keep them alive for experimental purposes, but continued experiments weakened and killed them. All in the name of science. Please do not glorify him.

Harryp 12:47 PM  

Should be readers of....

Anonymous 12:58 PM  

a crossword having a clue about the mavericks without mentioning dirk or luka is just unacceptable

JD 1:11 PM  

@Anon 12:09, Yah. Eliot got me in college and then I obsessed on him again this year when I combined Covid with my insomnia.

... time counted by anxious worried women lying awake, calculating the future,
Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
and piece together the past and the future,
Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception

bocamp 1:11 PM  

@ Brian Thomas – Thanks for the enjoyable puz, Brian! 😊

Easy Friday for the most part.

47A: ___ + Shay unknown to me; ""beer snob"" made more sense than "beer slob", hence "Dan + Shay". Had to infer that "chaser" referred to one who chases after expensive beer and/or a word that made sense chasing/following "beer", rather than one who chases hard liquor with beer.

Just watched a movie with "love locks" in it, but puzzled over "blart"; wanted "b part" for "movie mall cop", but "pove" just didn't cut it.

Always hoping to see more civility here and everywhere: chill on Love Is the Only Thing - Aretha Franklin

Peace 🕊

bocamp 1:33 PM  

"love locks"

Peace & Love 🕊 💞

Dave S 1:35 PM  

Wow, riddles and puns for clues are about 80% of why I like crosswords-didn't realize there was a camp out there that didn't. And so I really liked the clues for tag and on average. Shot myself in the foot early on by writing in "spin" class instead of "step", but mostly things went along smoothly. "Cool dudes" made me grimace, as did "diet pop", but that's only because we say things right here on the east coast. Perhaps I'll actually remember the congresswoman's name and the easternmost point of the Silk Road. Doubtful, but for a few minutes on Friday I can feel smarter (I guess that's the other 20%)

Z 1:36 PM  

@JD - Apologies. But now you know. My spit take was immediately followed by “I bet she doesn’t know.”

@Anon11:02 - The clue is “expensive” not “high quality.” A “beer snob” could be one who mistakes price for quality. So I have no problem with the clue even though I tend to think of “beer snob” as anyone who disdains macrobrews regardless of their quality.

Standing in opposition to an overwhelming majority is not “the wrong side of history.” Rather, it is a demonstration of strength, courage, and actual patriotism. Dissent is patriotic. There’s a reason Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble was added to the constitution.

jberg 1:38 PM  

I loved this puzzle, loved it even more because it had tough, tricky clues. I was totally blocked in the NW, trying to think of a Nobel laureate whose name had bell, or ring, or carillon, or something like that in it-- went out to walk the dog, came back 45 minutes later and saw IVAN PAVLOV right away. Even harder was 22A -- I had the BIA and tried zamBIA and serBIA (implausibly) before I finally saw that ARABIA would be a "land," as clued.

OTOH, JEANNETTE RANKIN got about 6 pages in my first book, so she was a gimme (although, like @Ellen S., I would have called her Jeanette if that had fit). And I daringly wrote in ON AVERAGE from the N, and was delighted when it worked out.

@Unknown -- yes, of course BEETLES are insects, but I'm not sure I get your point. Are you under the impression that insects are not animals?

RESORT AREA does seem a little like green paint to me; aside from that, a truly great puzzle.

600 1:46 PM  

I guess it's time to confess that, while I read this blog every day, I usually comment only when I can't figure out a reference--and someone always helps me, so thank you! Today I'm breaking my rule to say how much I enjoyed JEANNETTE RANKIN. I knew her story, but not her name, and the addition to the story that I learned here--that she remains the only woman elected to Congress from Montana--was worth the price of admission.

I found the puzzle challenging but doable--except for the cross of BLART and LOVE. I guessed the "L" right only because nothing else made sense. I've since googled and discovered both a movie and a custom (really? Would you call it a custom?) I've never heard of. LOVE LOCKS? Who knew?

JD 1:48 PM  

@Z, It was a crack up! Wait til the kids hear this one.

Ben 1:53 PM  

I love how Rex never posts his time when he struggles with a puzzle

Anonymous 1:53 PM  

What piffle. Rankin WAS on the wrong side of history. Just as you're on the wrong side of this argument. Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany were cancerous regimes, wretched and evil. Each was an offense and threat to humanity- obscenities which needed to be extinguished. Not going to war would have been an abdication of responsibility and abject cowardice. Rankin was wrong; error has no rights. The first amendment is a non starter. a genuine non sequitur.

Anonymous 2:08 PM  

Also, Rankin was so courageous that she didn't run for reelection after her pusillanimous vote.
I wonder why? I mean isn't having the courage of one's convictions part of character. It seems when the chips were down, on the stump, in public, she had no special courage. I say it takes no bravery at all to cast a vote in The House.
No, She was no heroine. She was sadly mistaken. Luckily the great state of Montana was not further burdened by hep poor judgment after 1942.

She won in 16 thanks to her big brother who was big deal in Montana politics. He had dough, connections and savvy. He won the election for his heroic sister.
She ddnt have the guts to run for her seat in 18 after state politics had change the district, so she tried for the U.S. Senate. She lost in the primary. But that didn't stop her. No sir!!! She ran on The National Party ticket and... finished third.

She revved up again in 940. And again her brother wellington rode to the rescue. Yep. With his brains and money she was able to defeat a virulent anti-Semite in the primary. The general election, If I recall correctly was afterthought (as it so often is in safe-seat districts).

Yep. Jeanatte rankin is brave.

pabloinnh 2:09 PM  


I like riddles (and puns) in clues. They're fun.

I'll spend $15 on a 12-pack of local IPA's instead of $15 on a 30-pack of "lite" anything. If that makes me a beer snob, I'm a beer snob.

Any CATBURGLAR that tries to mess with my cats is in big trouble, because they're going to..wait...I'm being told.... Never mind.

Fun enough Friday with a little crunch. OK by me.

Flinque 2:33 PM  


Anonymous 2:48 PM  


I read somewhere, lost in the mists of time, that beer reps, who travelled widely, would, if they didn't fear getting caught, partake of whatever the local brew was. of course, I know I read that some decades ago, back when most SMSAs had at least one brewery. for a while, most places got their beer de-hydrated from the big 3 or 4, and the 'local facility' just watered it down and filled it with CO2 to spec. guaranteed that Bud was the same bland bucket of spit everywhere. beer is just liquid bread; ageing just makes it stale.

Andy S 3:08 PM  

Me being Of AVERAGE intelligence will now always think of Jeannette RaFkin as the woman who gave me my first DNF in weeks.

bertoray 3:15 PM  

Fun Friday. Had some snags like Rex mentioned, but reacted quite differently.

David 3:34 PM  

My experience was about the opposite of Rex'.

I'm not a sports guy so after getting On a romp on crosses I just sat staring at it. As usual, the answer is here. At least when I got Mav I knew what the reference was to.

Never heard of Joe Boxer and had all but the X; thank you Xian.

Weird things: "one parent" family, I've always heard and used "single parent family"; Resort Area? What's that?

I loved the clue for teaspoon and it made me change 10A from Alto to Brit. It didn't need an analog for 20A though. That threw me as I presumed the oz. measurement must surely be weight. I suppose that was purposeful...

The point of Jeannette Rankin's presence is the 19th amendment. As Alex Ross says, "the rest is noise." I liked having her here along with Rosa Parks (really too easy) and Ivan Pavlov. She was a pacifist, Evita was a Nazi-lover. Go figure.

I was also slowed by thinking 28A would be an author. I say "I've done it." I had no idea I've been living in the 19th century. Same with "stops dead." I've already forgotten who Dan's partner is.

Yes to To Catch a Thief and the cross with steal.

Quicker than my usual Friday time, just in my wheelhouse, and only a few nits. I liked it, thanks.

Anonymous 3:41 PM  

In "touch typing" the letter L hand position is right ring finger. Clue says "letters" so ELS, plural.

CDilly52 4:00 PM  

What @Eric said 9:56 AM. AND IMO, an excellent Friday/Saturday clue. I did say “good one!” To Self when the fog finally cleared.

Unknown 4:08 PM  

Anonymous 1:53 & 2:08 - Anyone who posts anonymously has no concept of bravery. You give the rest of us Anonymice a bad name. Please go away and don't cone back. Your only purpose in life seems to trolling @Z. He at least comes across as intelligent. You just come across as mean-spirited.

CDilly52 4:12 PM  

@Lewis 6:59 AM. JOE B, the COOL DUDE, smoking his ECIG, with the flies and he’s holding onto the leash of his Joe Camel curled up at his feet.

CDilly52 4:16 PM  

A rigs do, @Anon, 7:55 AM

pabloinnh 4:17 PM  

@Anon-I like your "aged beer" analogy. Something I've never gotten into. So many good local microbreweries here in NE, and once you get used to something with some real flavor, other stuff is almost undrinkable.

I have a similar problem with premium ice cream, but I don't have a couple of ice creams every day.

Runs with Scissors 4:19 PM  

This was a downright funpuz.


Speaking of cool, hipsters are most emphatically NOT COOL DUDES. Sorry. They're not. They ride fixies while wearing socks with their sandals, and their topknots are coming unraveled. I think they drink DIET POP.

I have heard soda, POP, soda pop, and near beer used as soft drink terms here in the Greater (tongue firmly in cheek there) L.A. area. Near beer is kinda like diet anything...why would you?

I remember reading about IVAN PAVLOV. He didn't torture the little barkmeisters, he trained them to salivate at the ring of a bell. Something all dog possessors should do. Train them not to bark, because the rest of us don't want to hear it.

I would RAISE CAIN when I was younger. Yes, I'VE DONE IT. Not so much any more.

Seeing DUNE in the grid with the appropriate clue made me smile. Frank Herbert wrote a great novel. The follow-on stuff, and the two so-called movies, not so much.


South of the Tehachapis

Chip Hilton 4:31 PM  

I didn’t read all the comments because @Keith D early on said exactly what needed to be said. If Rex doesn’t get it, it’s wrong. How ridiculous. I loved the clue for ONAVERAGE, along with several others. In my opinion, this was a fine, Friday appropriate puzzle. Thanks for the challenge, Brian Thomas.

Doxma33 5:02 PM  

Yep on everything you said. And I happen to be old.

Anonymous 5:02 PM  

The vote against the war was neither brave nor cowardly. It was symbolic. She was making a statement knowing full well that the declaration would pass.

Runs with Scissors 5:42 PM  

@kitshef 7:10 A.M. - The ORCAS are chasing the penguins. The dinner bell has been rung.

For the beer curious, look at it this way: It's either an expensive-beer chaser, which would refer to a snob (much like the wine version, who has no idea other than it's expensive and, ergo, must be good), or it's an expensive beer-chaser, which would be an awesome whiskey. If you're into that sorta thing.

JEANNETTE RANKIN - good on her. Never heard of her before. There's only so much I can read; that tidbit never came up.

REPOST - do people actually do that? Why? I am not a Twit, nor a Fakebooker, nor any other "social" media (ain't THAT an oxymoron). This is about as social media as I get.

I have subscribed to the electronic NY Times...holy cow, no wonder you people think the world is ending. Good (insert favored deity), do you not get out of NYC? Ever??? There's a whole world out there...and an entire country you've apparently not experienced.

Good day.

Anoa Bob 5:43 PM  

Like this one a lot. Plenty of clues and answers hit the sweet spot. I'm a retired psychology teacher so IVAN PAVLOV was instantly gettable. Contrary to popular belief, he used a metronome rather than a bell to condition salivation in response to a sound. One of the courses I taught was Statistics so I appreciated the clue "In a mean way?" for ON AVERAGE. And the clue "Largest order of animals on earth with over 350,000 species" made me think of what the biologist J.B.S. Haldane said when asked what his study of nature had revealed about the mind of the God. He replied that it showed that "God has an inordinate fondness for BEETLES".

Eniale 6:29 PM  

ELL - building term for home addition built at right angles to original house. Presumably because it's shaped like the letter EL. So why not spell the keyboard letter ELL that way?

Nancy 7:03 PM  

Love your [5:43] comment, @Anoa Bob. That Haldane quote is priceless.

JC66 7:40 PM  


You're right, except the clue asks for a plural (and mentions a finger).

@Anoa Bob

What @Nancy said...great post.

Unknown 7:59 PM  

What a toughie! Like Saturday tough. And not to beat a dead horse, but Rex makes excuses, and won't post his time . . . . so I guess it was super tough for him as well. I had DRUGDEALER for a high-level criminal, which I thought was clever, but obviously did me no good in the SE corner . . . . Onto the rest of the evening! :)

Z 8:43 PM  

@pabloinnh and @anon - Well yeah, aged pilsner is otherwise known as stale beer. But there’s more to beer than just pilsners. To be fair, a can of pilsner will take a long time to go flat, since beer’s two enemies (sunlight and oxygen) have no access. Personally, I am most likely to be caught drinking something heavily hopped, so freshness matters (irony - hops were introduced because hops preserve beer - but hops lose their floral characteristics so heavily hopped beer shouldn’t be stored too long if you want all the flavors) but I’ve had tasty aged brews. Using used oak whisky barrels makes the beer very interesting, sometimes too interesting for me. I have a friend who really enjoys aged stouts. Some of them seem as thick as a milkshake to me (not to be confused with a Milkshake Stout). Not every beer is for me, but I do like all the options and creativity out there.

@Dave S - I’m with you. I’ve never figured out where the line between clever word play and riddle is. I’ve seen lots of clever wordplay that doesn’t involve riddles, but every good riddle seems to involve wordplay to me.

@Unknown 4:08 - Just “comes across” as intelligent. I’m wounded. 🧐😂😂😂

Anonymous 8:43 PM  

I did not like expensive beer chaser as a clue. I'm a bit of a beer snob, but I don't "chase" expensive beer. Good beer is readily available and doesn't need to be chased.
I found most of the puzzle to be pretty smooth and easy for Friday, but that clue stumbled me bad.

ChuckD 9:43 PM  

@Z and @pabloinnh - it’s all about the alcohol content. You’re right Z that hoppy beers should typically be drunk fresh and young. @pablo - I love your Smuttynose IPA up there. Strong ales like barley wine and imperials are 10-15% and tend to mellow with age. One of the great American beers is Bell’s Expedition from Michigan - I think I still have a bottle from 2012 and probably still delicious.

Christopher Jones 10:09 PM  

Rex is so pompous(it’s one of the reasons I love this blog: he absolutely nitpicks 99% of all the NYT puzzles, does them in record time too) but it’s his blog so he can say what he wants. I agree with most of what he has to say most of the time but other times I just shake my head and laugh. More power to him, it’s just a puzzle for God’s sake. I have to ask however: for as much as picks on the NYT for any number of reasons, has HE ever constructed a crossword and if he has where might we find this creation??

Deb Sweeney 10:12 PM  

Ugh sports, never heard of EITHER "won in a romp" or "won going away." Thanks for explaining.

Monty Boy 11:45 PM  

I liked the one a lot. Finished under average time (my gauge for Easy/Meduim/Challenging), so easy-medium.

If you paid attention in Montana History class in 8th grade, you would know Jeannette Rankin. Like her or not, she is a historical figure in Montana.

If you WERE paying attention you would also know why the Montana State footballers have 3-7-77 and 406 on their gear. I'll let you look it up.

Rex’s Blog 12:00 AM  

@ Unknown -

“...SE alone took me probably half my time, which was very high for me (8-9 min. maybe? I often shut the puzzle without writing it down)...”

You might try reading the entire blog.

albatross shell 12:19 AM  

Just to put some perspective on some of the negative comments on Rankin.
Her stance was a moral or ethical one in both cases. In both cases she campaigned on keeping our boys out of war. In WWI she also commented that she would not vote for sending anyone to a war that she was not allowed to fight in.
She knew that the first vote would hurt her and the second vote would end her career in elected office.

In 1968 she was leading women's .arches against the Vietnam War.
She won her first election as an at-large representative. The state changed to two districts by her next election and her district was heavily democratic that no republica was likely to win. She lost in the Republican Senate primary by 1700 votes in a 4 way race with 46,000 votes cast. She ran as a third party candidate and got 26,000. Nothing cowardly or timid or dishonest about any of it. Wrong side of history? I guess. But a lasting devotion to pacifism. She stood by her principles and promises at the cost of her seat and comfort. She needed police protection to leave Congress. She was labeled Jappette Rankin.

She was the first woman to hold elected office.

Anonymous 1:57 AM  

He has done a bunch under the name michael sharp fyi

Matt 11:32 AM  

I love riddle clues, when they're clever. Just sayin'.

Had a terrible time getting started on this but Jeannette Rankin was an instant fill in for me and then I worked out.

Thank god there was only one pop culture clue, though. Ok three if you count "Full House" clues.

bocamp 1:44 PM  

Reading all the comments on Jeannette Rankin and doing some online research leads me to conclude that she was a person of conviction and courage. She always did what was "right" according to her sense of moral correctness, given the times in which she lived.

Peace 🕊

william levine 4:08 PM  

Chaser also means it follows the term itself as in a BEER SNOB

Anonymous 8:56 PM  

Firfst time EVER that I found a puzzle easy that Rex found challenging. Usually I sweat for an hour to get it done just to find it rated “easy” here.

Anonymous 10:43 PM  

Doing this puzzle in the syndicated online version and the clue for 39D is "Letters typed with the right pinkie", with the answer ELS. I was expecting this egregious error to be a major topic of conversation in the comments here, and am shocked to see that apparently when this puzzle was originally released six weeks ago it had a correct clue that referred to the "right ring finger".

Anonymous 12:05 AM  

This seemed easy-ish for a Friday (or I'm getting crossword brain) but just so many antediluvian clues with reasonable crosses.

I'm doing the syndicated online so 39D says "right pinkie" which is uh... P. Almost just threw the puzzle in the trash at that point but apparently that was fixed elsewhere or was broken later?

Never heard of a love lock or Joe Boxer or "on a romp". No body calls hipsters "cool dudes". The one clue I really liked was On Average. So on average this was a loser for me.

thefogman 10:54 AM  

Terrible clueing for 26D INAROMP. I’m not even going to try to offer an alternative. That’s the editor’s job. There are plenty of other flaws, which again the editor could and should have corrected. Time for a change.

Burma Shave 11:52 AM  


“I’VEDONEIT before, NOTSOFAST,” that GAL said,
“LOVE me ONE time more, INAROMP ‘til we’re DEAD.”


spacecraft 11:59 AM  

A little mini-theme here, with ROSAPARKS (many-time DOD and hon. mention today) and JEANNETTERANKIN, today's honoree. Scanning comments, I was disturbed to see some critics of her career. In one case, the term "The Good War" was used. I want you to think about that expression for a moment. The good war. If that doesn't look like an oxymoron to you, then you've got a problem. I give you a quote from the late great Isaac Asimov:

Violence is the last resort of the incompetent. [Foundation]

On to the puzzle. With more softball clues, this could've been almost kid-easy, but as it is, fully earned its Friday slot. One thing I have never heard of is that "lock on a bridge" thing. Crosses gave me LOVE, but I was scratching my head.

Weird how many of us thought of the Hitchcock film with CATBURGLAR. Shows how lastingly popular his movies are. This, of course, was the time when Grace Kelly met the prince, and the rest is history.

I liked it, enjoyed doing it, fought through the clues and...IVEDONEIT! Birdie.

Waxy in Montreal 1:43 PM  

NOTSOFAST today but kudos to constructor Brian Thomas for this perfect Friday diversion. LOVEd it! At first, other than BRIT, CENTERICE, REM and ROSAPARKS was totally A(T)SEA but STEP-by-STEP the solution appeared. Only quibble - BLART - huh?

leftcoaster 3:27 PM  

Maybe there's some consolation in sharing Rex’s problems with this one.

JEANNETTE RANKIN is a strong middle entry; she is right up there with Alice Paul, Lucretia Mott, and the other women’s rights pioneers.

Toughest entries were XIAN (wanted Siam), DUNE (was thinking authors), and LOVE (“lock on a bridge"?). MILEAGE LOG eluded me. EVITA’s “Oh What a Circus” clue left a blank.

Glad to come out of this ON AVERAGE, C+/ B-.

rondo 4:45 PM  

This puz probably started out as something else with the PARKS and RANKIN answers, but turning it into a themeless is fine.
It's most definitely DIETPOP in MN, and you'd really have to search out a CREAMSODA.
Only write-over was Spin class before STEP. The solve was NOTSOFAST, but dang clean. Really quite easy for a Fri-puz.

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