Gymnastics rings feat with arms fully extended / FRI 10-9-20 / throwing faddish sport / Prez with same initials as NYC landmark / Tribe that traditionally spoke Chiwere

Friday, October 9, 2020

Constructor: Sam Buchbinder

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (5:49)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: ARMATA di Mare (Italian fashion label) (41A) —

• • •

Found this one solid, if a bit drab. Attempts at currency and hipness and slanginess occasionally felt forced (who has *ever* responded to a door knock with "WHO DAT?"??) (is AXE-throwing genuinely faddish? Was it ever?), and the longer fill could've been a lot snazzier, but the puzzle holds up OK, for the most part. Sadly, the part that didn't hold up, for me, was the part where I finished up, so I was left at the end with a pretty bad aftertaste. I'm talking about the SW corner, which is a heap of cobbled-together abbrs. (GWBUSH) and awkwardly written-out numbers (U.S. TEN) and singulars that should never be singular (MOB ... TIE? Just one?) and whatever you wanna call "AH, I SEE." Yipes and yeesh to all that. There was no other concentrated winciness, though, that I could see. ARMATA di Mare was a total "????" and of course I wrote in ARMANI there at first, but I'm gonna assume that that "fashion label" is *massive* and that I just don't know it because I don't really follow fashion labels (actually, I don't have to assume that last part because it's definitely true). CALICOES looks super-dumb with the "E" in the plural, but I guess those are the pluralizing rules ... I think I just don't like fabrics in the plural (cats in the plural, however, would've been just fine). I just didn't have the usual number of "cool!" moments while solving this one. In fact, I don't think I had a single one. Sorry, I mean, "I believe that I had NARY A ONE." Feel the quaintness!

Why are there OLIVE PITS in your Greek salad? Are most Greek salads made with unpitted olives?? Or is the idea that the pits are "left over" in the course of *making* the salad? And what is with the clue on ATE? Why!? The NYTXW relies so heavily on "groaner joke" humor in general, in so many of its themed puzzles, does it really have to steer *into* the "groaner joke" here for a simple word like ATE? Also, the "joke" ... is terrible, even from a "groaner" perspective, because ATE is a homophone of EIGHT so I assumed initially there was some actual time-of-day joke happening ("ATE a clock" / 8 o'clock???). But no, the ATE joke is the "consuming" part ... it's so bad, on so many levels. Hardest thing for me to get today was HANGS—it is a very reasonable (if highly slangy) synonym for "Chills," but wow I needed every cross. I think that's it for me today. Please enjoy the splendor of autumn!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:07 AM  

Some of today’s clues brought back memories of my wife’s navigating on our road trips before the advent of GPS - misdirection, but lots of extra fun.

jae 12:13 AM  

Mostly easy with just a bit of trouble in the NE (I too @Rex needed every cross for HANGS). The one thing I knew for sure in the NE was LEVAR because I’m rewatching Community and saw the LEVAR Burton earlier this week. Solid with a hint of sparkle, liked it.

Anonymous 12:18 AM  

So space stations are "homes" now? I don't think so. Sam's original clue was more accurate.

Roth 12:21 AM  

Well, Rex, if your Greek salad has olives without pits, you're missing something. The ones with pits have much better flavor. It's like the difference between milk chocolate and dark chocolate.

Patrick O'Connor 12:31 AM  

Alas, AXE throwing is definitely a fad, or was one BC (Before Covid): two friends of mine in different cities spent an afternoon doing it in bar-like spaces set up for this purpose, about two years ago.

Adam12 12:38 AM  

I’m so MAD/SAD vs. ARMATA/ARSATA. Not fair on a middle aged man.

Frantic Sloth 12:40 AM  

Mostly agree with Rex on the overall assessment of this one. Some of his nits don't resonate though.

Didn't know ARMATA, but don't care - got it with crosses.

Everyone knows it's CALICOPODES, but CALICOS is acceptable. CALICOES might be correct, but with its aura of Dan Quayleness, not at all pleasant to look at.

My Greek salads have been known to have olives with or without pits, so kind of a silly bit to nitpick pits. How many pits would a nitpick nit if a nitpick could nit pits?

A MOBTIE is what is used to fasten cement overshoes to some rat bastard's feet. I have a family recipe.

๐Ÿง ๐Ÿง ๐Ÿง 

Ellen Leinwand 12:44 AM  

I did the crossword at a restaurant this evening that serves complimentary pitted olives. Incidentally, the restaurant was in St. Paul, and I did not know that there is something called US TEN that runs through this city, and needed every cross for that clue. I do not eat olives very often, so, not wanting to commit a faux pas, I googled "how to eat pitted olives" on my phone at around 8:57pm while stalling a few minutes and waiting for the crossword to become available at 9. Google took me to an article on that read, "A proper Greek salad typically contains a pitted olive component," and I thought, huh, that's strange, I've had many Greek salads in may day but none of the ever contained pitted olives. And now here we are.

Pamela 12:52 AM  

I didn’t find it so easy tonight. Lots of crosses needed here, but at least I made it through this one- unlike yesterday. At first I had anchovies for the salad reject- but then realized that this one was Greek, not Caesar. And I love anchovies! In restaurants where they actually ask, my answer is so enthusiastic I usually get extra. And speaking of OLIVEs, I love them too, and can’t remember the last time I got PITS in any dish that included them, if ever.

LeveL before LOYAL, skIpS before FLITS, Paris before SEINE, and of course ARMAni for the fashion brand. Oh, and poP before AMP- I thought that was pretty cool, parent-type boomer at a POP concert. Heh. Nope.

ONIONDIP- I remember, must be 40 or 50 years ago you found it at every party. Everyone made it the same way- packaged dried onion soup mix and either sour cream or yogurt. It took a while to soften up, so you had to remember to make it early. We were so young then, and felt so clever and grown up! I’m sure I haven’t seen it for at least 30 years, could be a lot more.

When I solved on paper with a pen, I never put down wild guesses. I kept everything in my head until I was pretty sure I was right. Now, on line, I just pop them in, and out, and in...

bocamp 12:59 AM  

Thank you @Sam for this "out of the world" offering. It was a delightful journey! I did get somewhat "spaced out" with the "tech" stocks, as I had "aero" in mind. Once I got the air out of my head and sorted out the mess I'd made in that section, it was smooth sailing for the rest of the trip. :)

Had "nods at" for 28A, which led to the "aero" blunder. :(

The only other hitch was "Arsata" crossing "Im so sad", and though I'd not heard of the fashion label, the "s" just didn't resonate. Quickly saw "mad" in lieu of "sad" and Bob was my uncle. Love emoticons/emojis, but I wasn't familiar with this one. Should have analyzed what was going on above the eyes that was more than just sadness. :(

All-in-all, a relatively easy-medium solve.

"Chiwere" language

Have been a fan of "Lavar" Burton since watching "Roots" back in the '70s.

Peace Paix
Wapána Pace Paz ๐Ÿ•Š

Will Sisco 1:18 AM  

Set my Friday record by over seven minutes. Axe throwing is definitely a big fad where I’m at, or at least was a couple years ago

Will Sisco 1:18 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
okanaganer 1:25 AM  

Rex sure knows how to suck the fun out of things. I thought MOB TIE was great; the singular doesn't spoil it for me. I really wanted to put CHARON in there.

MANO A MANO is one of those foreignisms that many people get wrong. "I wanna talk to you, mano a mano!" You want to talk to me hand to hand?

I am very poor at deciphering emoticons, so 27 down was a real scavenger hunt for me. Looking at IMSO--- it just had to be I'M SORRY. (A bit of a stretch... maybe "sorry" in the mean, angry way, like "I'm sorry, but you're stupid".) Then looking at IMSO-AD, just had to be I'M SO SAD. Wait, that's still not right? Sad in... an angry way? Yeesh.

Harryp 1:40 AM  

I also thought this was an easy Friday. I have heard of Armani but needed all the crosses for ARMATA. Yesterday we had Obama today it was Dubya. Is this some sort of election countdown? I already mailed in my vote yesterday, so hopefully it gets there, although individual votes are degraded by the system.

chefwen 2:57 AM  

Thought I was in for a speedy Friday until I arrived at the SW corner. Had Paree in at 63A which helped me not a whit. All filled in except that dang corner. Handed it over to puzzle partner who filled in WHO DAT and AGNES. Still couldn’t finish. Don’t know my NYC landmarks, haven’t been there in eons. Finally gave up and cheated on 43D. Changed my Paree to SEINE, put back BIB which I had previously taken out, done.

Anonymous 4:23 AM  

A proper Greek salad always has olives with pits. Pitted, in Greece, is just for the tourists. And they should know better too.
And yes, onion dip recalls 60s parties, can you still buy that dried onion mix? Not sure...

Diver 6:26 AM  

EconMajor and HD Screens - two abbreviated answers without abbreviated clues. Other than that I have no issues with this one.

ChuckD 6:27 AM  

Smooth sailing thru this one - liked it a lot. Agree with Rex that the SW corner was rough - that’s where if finished up also. ON TOP OF THE WORLD x SPACE STATIONS is fantastic. Learned ARMATA and AGNES. I don’t like the punny clues for ACNE we see in these puzzles and HD SCREENS must be there to fill in letters.

Overall an enjoyable solve.

Anonymous 6:30 AM  

Rex, that is my absolute favorite cover of “Top of the World” (I own the album, even). Thanks for posting!

OffTheGrid 6:55 AM  

A slog with wonky clues and just not fun. It happens.

Lewis 6:58 AM  

It’s been a high-energy week, not only in the news, but in crossworld as well, where Monday through Thursday we had slam-bang fantastic themes. And on top of this, my second grandchild came into the world on Tuesday (with a great name, Ari, and the cutest face, and … okay, I’ll shut up).

With all this living on the edge, my inner Libra was hungering for a little steadiness, some balance, some bedrock to take root in, and – ta da! – enter today’s puzzle. Solid. Smooth. No tearing-of-hair resistance or too-easy-for-Friday disappointment. Nothing over the moon. Just right. The perfect counterpoint to bring me back to earth by bathing in a high-quality journey through the squares. To return me to chill.

Thank you, S.B., for this. Your timing was terrific.

Geezer 7:04 AM  

Even if this puzzle had been a mostly good one (it wasn't), the emoji clue would have ruined it.

kitshef 7:11 AM  

I miss Karen Carpenter.

Several WoEs today … ARMATA, clue for 1D, AGNES, MAE. More typical for a Saturday.

STREAK ARRESTS - very '70s.

ChuckD 7:32 AM  

Congrats @Lewis - they are a joy.

Z 7:43 AM  


Everyone who immediately thought CALICOPODES wins free admittance to the Rye Marina. @Ms. Sloth will be first in line.

Okay early posters, you are really confusing me. Do “PITted OLIVES” still have the pits or have the pits been removed? It really seems like half of you think the PITS are still there and the other half think the PITS have been removed. Anyway, since Detroit has a Coney Island for every 17 residents OLIVE PITS was automatic. And (apologies @Chefbea) in my case, also the beets. Oh, and also the stem from the pepperoncini. And, if I may add another nit about WNC cuisine, can we just say no to the sliced black olives? That’s not a Greek Salad.

Any one read that ARMATA di mare ad copy and snort? I mean, sure, I know a few men like that, but “Men?”

@okanaganer - Idioms don’t usually make sense. Consider that “face to face” doesn’t mean kissing, HANGS doesn’t involve ropes when it means “chill” which doesn’t involve ice or sweaters. I think I shared the “Concha Cal” tale just a day or two ago (“concha” is a Mexican pastry, but in other Latin American countries it is vulgar slang, so the NC senate candidate’s campaign mailer took on a whole different meaning after his extracurricular activities came to light). Anyway, I agree that many English speakers don’t know the literal translation of MANO ร€ MANO, but I wouldn’t say the were necessarily getting the idiomatic meaning wrong. As is often the case Merriam-Webster has an interesting note.

I’ve seen newspaper articles in Detroit and Asheville about new AXE bars, that’s enough to constitute a “fad” as far as I’m concerned. I think I may have seen a moment of some AXE throwing championship on ESPN, too, but I might be making that up.

Decent enough Friday.

JHC 8:09 AM  

I object to the clue on 54A. GODOT is not a "Beckett title character". He's not a character at all. That is literally the point of the play.

JB 8:10 AM  

Axe throwing is faddish. There are in fact ax throwing bars in Gowanus, Brooklyn! (What could go wrong)

Nancy 8:15 AM  

Enjoyable to solve...and yet without anything in it that especially blew me away. A weird clock joke that I've never heard before. Which is a good thing, I'd say, since it's a pretty feeble joke. Perhaps you say WHO DAT when answering a door, but I don't. I did learn that a TSP is 1/768 of a gallon, which is interesting, sort of. Unfortunately I won't remember it.

The hardest section for me in this fairly easy Friday was the SW. The clue for GAME (43A) is quite clever, actually. I was thinking along the lines of MOVE. But GAME was the beginning and end of any clue admiring on my part. A pleasant, interesting puzzle, but with no real sparkle or personality.

Anonymous 8:27 AM  

Something called a "gaming bistro" opened here in the last month or so (surprising during a pandemic). I had no idea what that was, since gaming is usually a euphemism for gambling, which isn't legal here. After looking at their website, it's a scaled-down Dave & Buster's type of place, and one of their offerings is axe throwing.

mathgent 8:35 AM  

All filled in rather briskly except for the SW. I had TENDS for “Minds” at. 65A. It fit with AHISEE and END. I knew USTEN from previous crosswords and WHODAT and BIB seemed right, but that was it. I called in The Closer. She thought that 43A was CAME. That was wrong but it gave us the M for MOBTIES, proving that TENDS was wrong. And it unraveled. Another example of how putting in a wrong answer often helps.

Is MOBTIES a thing? I haven’t heard “He’s got mob ties.“ I have heard “He’s mobbed up.”

Fine puzzle. A little short on sparkle but crunchy enough. 14 long entries is good.

The Kalamata olives I put in our Greek Salad have their pits removed. @Roth (12:21) says that they taste better with pits in. I’ll check that out.

Daniel Jalkut 8:36 AM  

I thought the "WHO DAT" was more of a throwback than an attempt to be current. The only person I can think of who regularly said it was a child of the 1940s. Wikipedia claims its origins date back to 1852.

KnittyContessa 8:37 AM  

My first pass left me with a very white grid. It all fell in pretty quickly after that though. I really wanted feta in my salad. Armani before ARMATA. I really liked the long clues. All in all a fine Friday.

Nancy 8:38 AM  

@Pamela -- I love anchovies, too. Alas, they are almost never served in a Caesar Salad anymore because so many people obviously don't like them. My feeling about people like that: So order a Greek Salad or a Cobb Salad instead, but don't ruin Caesar Salads for us anchovy-loving people.

And like you, Pamela, I remember ONION DIP being served at every party. Why I, non-cook that I am, could even make it myself. But the better dip that I made (much less salty, for one thing) was the lazy person's Clam Dip: A can of clams, sour cream, garlic powder (and lots of it), and Worcestershire Sauce. If I were making it today, I'd make it with minced garlic, which they didn't have back then, rather than garlic powder.

And finally: a word about pitted olives vs olives with pits. Let me throw this one out at y'all: Let's say you're having dinner with the man you're hoping will become the love of your life. As your eyes meet and flutter at each other, you're simultaneously removing olive pits from your mouth and arranging them as unobtrusively as possible on your plate. Only they're not unobtrusive at all, merely disgusting. Would you trade them right then and there for some pitted olives, even if you were sacrificing some flavor? I know I would.

Hungry Mother 8:46 AM  

I stubbornly was sAD instead of MAD and now I’m the latter. DNF because I’m an idiot.

RooMonster 8:57 AM  

Hey All !
Since Sam Buchbinder constructed this puz, do we all need an *SB* warning? ๐Ÿ˜

@Frantuc 12:40
LOLOL!!! Great post!

Decent themeless IMHO. Typical solve for me on a FriPuz, as I was stuck in every section for a bit, but managed to get the ole brain to come around and get answers. Crossed my fingers when putting last letter in, as there were still a couple of spots I wasn't completely sure on, and got the Happy Music! Twixt not getting my one-letter DNFs lately, and QBs in the SBs, I'm beginning to think my mind isn't as shot as I thought. Har.

Writeovers too numerous to remember. But it all worked out in the wash. I'm ON TOP OF THE WORLD, ma!

One F

Andrew Heinegg 9:03 AM  

One of the Kafkaesque aspects of the pandemic is the loss of the 'sense' of the day of the week. This puzzle made me think it must be Tuesday or Wednesday.

I am shocked (not) that Rex is not a foodie. Otherwise, he wouldn't have written about the pits/Greek salad business. Many forms of food are fixed up so that there is no work for the person eating them (and so the seller of the food doesn't get sued by someone choking on it). Olives are way better both flavor and texture wise if the pits are left in until just before eating. Likewise, cleaning crabs like Dungeness or Stone crabs is a bit of a chore. But, if you insist on just buying the meat of the crab, you are not going to get nearly as good a flavor. Life is full of choices.

Joe Dipinto 9:04 AM  

I think you misheard me. Or do I have to repeat it 80 more times?

@Rex: Olives that have had the pits removed are pitted – not unpitted, not depitted, not expitted. If you are in England, they are stoned.

I like this puzzle because it reminded of my calico cat Bongo, who still shows up in my dreams occasionally after 20 years. I don't get any wow factor from the rest of it, it's just okay. More warm? Who ever says that? "Come over by the fireplace, honey, it's more warm here. In a way."

Quarantine continues to go well.

Crimson Devil 9:12 AM  

Amen m-a-m.
Reminds that there are three stages to a man’s life: young buck, middle age...and You’re lookin good !

Pete 9:17 AM  

Oh @okanaganer, you're being so ableist. People who speak using ASL certainly talk mano a mano.

All Greek salads worth of the name contain ripe olives, which, of necessity, have their pits. You can't pit ripe olives without creating olive mush.

@JHC - So I should take that I played Godot in the '78 production at BAM off my resume'? Sorry, no can do. I've gotten way too much action of of that one.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  


I cannot agree with your assessment of mano a mano. And frankly, neither does the link you provide. They categorize the man to man usage as flatly erroneous. And they further say that the error is not sufficiently pervasive to permit the usage.
As for most idioms not making sense, well, that's nonsense.
The idioms Websters notes do make sense. For example, toe to toe meaning to battle has a a very sensible etymology. Fighters once stood with their toe(s) up against a line drawn in the dirt, each facing the other. Hence toe to toe. It's in fact quite literal and hence sensible.
Cheek to cheek comes from dancing or canoodling. again, not just sensible but literal. I could go on. But As Churchill once said when in the loo and a gent he didn't much care for came calling, declined, saying "I can only take one Sh*T at a time."

pabloinnh 9:18 AM  

I was plugging along and feeling smart until I hit the SW, where TENDS for HEEDS slammed on the brakes, mostly because I couldn't think of a prez whose name ended in BUST. Presidents who are in fact a bust was a gimme. but that didn't work. Finally got it straightened out and felt satisfied, if less smart.

Axe throwing is definitely a thing, although even here in NH I've only seen it on tv and not in the wild.

You have to make ONIONDIP with Lipton's dried onion soup dip. Had some at a Super Bowl party a while back, when someone had the urge to go retro.

Ate o'clock? Weak. Better:
Q: What time is it when you have to go to the dentist?
A: 2:30.

Thanks for the fun, SB. Nice crunchy Friday.

Golfballman 9:20 AM  

US ten goes from Jacksonville to San Diego, so who is the genius that clued it in Minn. Will? Major screw up.

lukiegrifpa 9:24 AM  

Bush 43 at 43 Down. Kinda cool.

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

One thing I have to hate about "political correctness" is how much it suffuses my own thinking, even as I pretend to disdain it.

To wit, I gave a small gasp, or maybe I just silently tut-tutted, when I saw IRON CROSS, which is often identified as a hate symbol, even as I then reproached myself for being one of those woke scolds who place every utterance on a weighing scale for possible offense. For chrissake self, I said, is IRON CROSS not a known gymnastics move involving holding oneself in a rigid CROSS formation? Is IRON not an apt description of the strength involved? Shut the F up, I told myself. Even Rex and Amy haven't gone this far.

For a moment, silence that I knew couldn't last.

"But militias..." my hated self began, before a breathless rant about normalizing evil or some such nonsense.

Z 9:42 AM  

@Daniel Jalkut - WHO DAT was big again a decade ago, which is more current than most NYTX pop trivia.

@JHC - True enough, but the “character who never appears” is a common enough device that I think the clue is okay. Wikipedia lists examples from Shakespeare to Bojack Horseman.

@Lewis - Great news. Hoping mom and child are doing well.

@Golfballman - You’re thinking of I-10, not US TEN.

@Anon9:17 - MANO A MANO idiomatically doesn’t mean “hand to hand” as much as it usually refers to a conflict between two people.* So, again, the literal sense doesn’t typically apply. Some people misuse MANO A MANO as a substitute for an entirely different idiom, but just because someone doesn’t know the literal translation doesn’t necessarily mean they are misusing the idiom. Likewise two of your three examples don’t make literal sense. Two football teams going “toe to toe” are not actually toe to toe. The man at the door is not actually shit. As for “cheek to cheek,” not an idiom as defined by Merriam-Webster: an expression in the usage of a language that is peculiar to itself either in having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements (such as up in the air for "undecided") or in its grammatically atypical use of words (such as give way)
*direct quote from my previous link

Lewis 9:46 AM  

@z -- They are!

Whatsername 9:46 AM  

TORE INTO this and breezed through the top half on a record STREAK, then boom! Hit that long center cross and the lower half was like dragging a TANK. It was mostly the Propers that got me which weren’t that tough, but I struggled enough with the downs that I just couldn’t see them. Very satisfying though and finishing felt like an accomplishment.

* Nerd Alert - Book Recommendation *
Just finished “Disloyal,” Michael Cohen‘s memoir about his years as Donald Trump’s attorney/fixer/surrogate huckster. If you are an admirer of the current occupant of the WH, you may want to pass but for those with otherwise inquiring minds, it’s a real eye-opener. Sometimes tell-all books which are a rehashing of well publicized current events can be tiresome, but I found this one engaging and well written.

Anonymous 9:49 AM  

Whoa! How does one find the original clues? I’ve been asking this for many puzzles. Please elucidate.

Anonymous 9:51 AM  

Star Trek the Next Generation.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

Yes. Onion soup mix on every supermarket shelf.

Anonymous 10:11 AM  

Would be interested in knowing how you "played" Godot, a character who never appears.

Michiganman 10:26 AM  

Going west, US-10 begins in Bay City MI at the base of Saginaw Bay which separates the "thumb" from the rest of the "mitt". It crosses the state and is interrupted by Lake Michigan. A car ferry is available to cross to Wisconsin. The Google map I looked at shows 10 going through Minneapolis and ending at Fargo ND. Now aren't you happy to know that?

Cristi 10:27 AM  

Where was Rex on WHO DAT? The Saints chant originated in 19th minstrel shows and was further popularUsed with jazz bands in the ‘20s and ‘ ugly history...cultural appropriation at its worst...white people talking Black for all the wrong reasons.

Z 10:28 AM  

@Anon 9:49 - Occasionally a constructor will mention clue changes over at Other than knowing the constructor and asking them directly I don’t know of any other way to see the original clues.

Grown-Up Autistic Kid 10:28 AM  

US TEN was too much a reach? How about US ONE?
Look at a Map

American Interstates and Federal Highways are Even# E-W Odd# N-S
E-W Interstates are in the 90's North, Fed Hwys are 90's down south
N-S Interstates are in the 90's East, Fed Hwys are 90's down south
I-5CA I-95 ME to FL (US 99, US 1)
I-10 CA-FL, I-90 NY-WA (US 90, US 10)
Very simple, cool clue today

JC66 10:29 AM  


Mazel Tov on the new grandchild!

If they'd waited until today, we'd be sharing the same BD.

Z 10:31 AM  

@Anon10:11 - It’s a joke.

@JC66 - Does that mean you’re @JC67 now? Happy Completion of another solar orbit. Also, John Lennon would have been 80 today and Sean Lennon is 45 today.

egsforbreakfast 10:36 AM  

LOOK MANO A MA NO HANDS, I cried gleefully until I threw A HISSEE in the SW. Eventually finished, but definitely got hung up by Paris being true but wrong. BTW, Joe DiPinto, I thinking warmer is meant to mean NEARER in the sense that you tell a child “You’re getting warmer” or”You’re getting colder” as she looks for hidden kid loot.

I acknowledge most of Rex’s nits other than AXE throwing, which my daughter’s crowd was into until COVID, but wasn’t bothered by them and generally thought it was a good puzzle.

Nancy 10:38 AM  

Quick! I need a show of hands. (This has nothing to do with today's puzzle). How many of you saw the fly at the VP debate? Because I'm really, really upset. I didn't see the fly. I had no idea what fly the media was yammering about.

So I just went to YouTube to look for it. I typed in "Debate f" and "Debate fly" immediately appeared. And there it was. Big as life. Perched on Pence's head. Highly visible, contrasted against his white hair. But I didn't see it.

This is bad, people. I have told you, often, how unobservant I am -- but this is ridiculous. That was a very big fly! And I never once saw it!

So I really need to know. How many of you saw the fly? And how many didn't. For the sake of my sanity I need to know that at least SOME of you didn't. Thanking you all in advance for your time and trouble in answering this pesky question.

jberg 10:38 AM  

I guessed right on the Italian fashion label crossing the unfamiliar emoticon. I almost went with SAD/ARsATA, though.

Also, is GODOT really a character?

Speaking of dads, the puzz is developing new ones—clueing with “Chiwere,” and clueing small units as ridiculous fractions of much larger units. One of those was enough!

GILL I. 10:46 AM  

So @Frantic starts me off with my first morning nitpicky nit laugh and life gets better.
I had only a few pauses with this puppy. The usual elephants in the room; LEVAR and ARSATA. I've never seen anyone hosting Reading Rainbow and my fashion designer knowledge has gone by the wayside. Even with Babar staring at me with a menacing dare, I managed to get LEVAR. ARSATA sat empty for a while until the downs came to the rescue. No Google on a Friday is like eating Kalamata olives without pits. Speaking of.....I just made some olive bread two days ago. Thank the olive gods for finding some poor sucker who has to do de-pitting chores Can you imagine biting into your non pitted olive bread while staring into the eyes of Omar Sharif? @Nancy could have a good laugh...Speaking of...@Pamela I also love anchovies. They really can do no wrong. I suppose they look menacing right out of the tin but those little salty babies are delicious. Have you ever had Scotch Woodcock?
Q: What time does the duck wake up?
A: At the quack of time.
One last thing.....Can you imagine some poor schmuck taking a little TSP and figuring out that it takes 1/768's of them to fill a gallon? Some people have a lot of time on their hands. I want to be an olive pit remover when I grow up.

Carola 10:47 AM  

WHO DAT? GODOT? Nope, still not there. Medium for me, with just the right number of "NO IDEA" clues to provide a satisfying Friday solve. I enjoyed the CALICOES, MOB TIE (@Frantic Sloth, thanks for the laugh!), and IRON CROSS; DEICER, of all things, brought a sigh of nostalgia...memories of the olden days (like last year) when I could safely travel and winter meant flying to someplace warm and waiting in line on the tarmac to get deiced and then ESCAPE.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 10:55 AM  

They opened an axe-throwing club in Fall River MA, home of Lizzie Borden, a couple of years ago. I believe it made the national news. I have not visited.

Yes, you can still buy packets of soup mix to add to sour cream for dip. Knorr's Vegetable is the best. They also sell lots of kinds of flavored potato chips, I assume you could just use plain sour cream as a dip for those. And the latest thing on the shelves is flavored triscuit wafers. Avocado lime and such. For people who wish they had the energy to make proper canapes but don't.

Oh the puzzle. I somehow thought fRutTA di Mare would be the Italian fashion, otherwise I finished it.

Law Schuelke 10:55 AM  

I also live in Saint Paul and was unaware we had a US TEN.

JC66 11:02 AM  


No, I'm 81 today. I created my Google account 15 years ago (and I like people to think I was born in 1966 ๐Ÿ˜‚).


Hand up for seeing the fly.

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

so many entries and no one (I don't see) knows that AXE throwing has been a fad since Johnny Carson had one thrown between his legs, live-ish, by (I think it was) Ed Ames???

Pamela 11:05 AM  

@Lewis- Congrats on the brand new Ari! Happy to hear that mother and child are well- and that he has a cute face.

@Nancy- Love the clam dip recipe- Wow, both Gaelic powder and Worcestershire sauce- haute cuisine for those times!

@pabloinnh- Of course it had to be Lipton’s soup mix- how could I forget?

As for the olives, I must admit to being lazy. I usually buy pitted. In addition to all their other uses, I sometimes leave them on the kitchen counter to snack on while I’m cooking or cleaning up. If somehow I mistakenly end up with the ones with pits, they sit in my fridge for a really, really long time.

Whatsername 11:08 AM  

@JC66: Sending wishes for a very happy birthday and many more.

@Lewis: Congratulations on the new grandbaby. There’s a reason they’re called bundles of joy. We have one on the way next March, the first for mom and dad who are ON TOP OF THE WORLD.

@Pamela (12:52) Loved that onion dip, the haute cuisine of the day, usually accompanied by something in a fondue pot. @Nancy‘s clam dip sounds pretty good too I must say. Oh and speaking of recipes, @Frantic (12:40), I might need yours too. ;-)

Hack mechanic 11:12 AM  

Same here. Had able at 43a & paris at 63a. Erased cause wanted whodat, gwbush went in & voila!

Anonymous 11:13 AM  

ah Mr. Memory is over stressed on steroids. wiki says Carson wasn't that brave, it was just a board with a line drawing of a 'cowboy'. Ames hit him in the nuts. oops.

bocamp 11:13 AM  

@Z - thx for the link to Webster's "Usage Notes" re: "mano a mano"

In football, "mano a mano" is both figurative and literal, especially with "man" (man-to-man) defenses in the secondary. Too much leeway in the literal "mano a mano" (hands on) dept. imo :(

@Joe Dipinto 9:04 AM - thx for the "Cream" song; especially like the opening riff. "I'm so glad" "I'm 'not' so mad", and I may repeat that 80 times or so today. :)

US 10 vs I-10 *(very few Google returns for "us hwy ten" or "us route ten" with "ten" spelled out)

"U.S. Route 10 or U.S. Highway 10 (US 10)

"U.S. Route 10 or U.S. Highway 10 (US 10) is an east–west United States highway located in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions of the United States. Unlike most U.S. routes with "0" as the last digit of its route number, US 10 is not a cross-country highway. US 10 was one of the original long-haul highways, running from Detroit, Michigan, to Seattle, Washington, but then lost much of its length when new Interstate Highways were built on top of its right-of-way. In 2010, its length was 565 miles (909 km)."

"Interstate 10 (I-10)"

"Interstate 10 (I-10) is the southernmost cross-country highway in the American Interstate Highway System. I-10 is the fourth-longest Interstate in the United States at 2,460.34 miles (3,959.53 km), following I-90, I-80, and I-40. This freeway is part of the originally planned network that was laid out in 1956, and its last section was completed in 1990.

I-10 stretches from the Pacific Ocean at State Route 1 (SR 1, Pacific Coast Highway) in Santa Monica, California, to I-95 in Jacksonville, Florida."

@Anonymous 9:25 AM - Apt "self-reflection". It resonates. "Tut-tutted", I've seen that somewhere very recently. ๐Ÿ˜‰

"Iron cross": Lord Of The Still Rings - Yuri Van Gelder

Peace Paix Wapána Pace Paz ๐Ÿ•Š

pmdm 11:15 AM  

Nancy: I saw it. Immediately. My wife saw it, but not immediately. It was there for so long a time that I wondered to myself why no one told him to brush it off.

The puzzle started out a slow but steady solve until I hit a wall. Read the rest of the paper, came back to the puzzle, and realized 43D was BWBUSH, and the remainder of the solution fell into place. Enjoyable solve for my.

Some of the debates Z engages with Anon strike me as throwbacks to Monty Python: yet another pointless argument (said John Cleese). I don't mean to sound critical, because I do enjoy reading the tit for tat. Now let's see, if you remove a pit from an olive ...

I expected a lot of comments ranting about the racism associated with WHO DAT. Maybe they are yet to come, although at least one person commented about it above. Interesting that it did not set Mr. Sharp off into a rage (which, given my own reaction, I felt was justified). If you were to press me and ask is it really racist, perhaps I would reply NO IDEA.

Deb Sweeney 11:19 AM  

Kinda sad when you live in the Twin Cities and need every cross for US TEN . . . I mean, I believe the map but I have never in 25 years driven "Rte 10" through St. Paul. . . in the north suburbs or outstate, sure, good alt route to get up north, but it doubles with much larger interstate highways in St. Paul itself.

Hack mechanic 11:21 AM  

Yes & who saw the hilarious Biden ad with him holding a flyswatter & the byline "donate now & make this campaign fly"?
Got such a good laugh I did just that.

Pamela 11:23 AM  

@Nancy- Same experience you had. Missed it, saw it on a replay, big black blot on a sea of white. And what were they saying about his eye leaking?

@Gill I- I just looked up the recipe for Scotch Woodcock- it looks delicious! I’ve never heard of it, but now I’ll have to try it!

Speaking (again) of anchovies, there’s a marinated version that is sublime, and quite different from the ones in jars or cans. In the market, I find them in small packages in the cooler near smoked salmon and pรขtรฉs.

TTrimble 11:27 AM  

I used to do that too! Do the paper puzzle with a felt tip pen, and make *damned sure* I wasn't making any mistakes, by doing about 3/4 of it in my head before putting a single word down. This was some years back, and I wasn't doing it every day. Of course this way of solving is much slower, but it was kind of satisfying in its way. (And I wasn't timing myself.) Nowadays it's all online with a clock running, and I'm a total slob in my approach. Acrostics: exactly the same deal.

I got off to a slow start on today's. Started last night but after more bourbon than is good for my puzzling ability, so had to pick it up again this morning, where things fell into place without too much pain. Really nice to open it up and almost immediately plunk down ON TOP OF THE WORLD. I see a lot of people complaining about the SW, but it didn't bother me much. It seems to me so much of this business is amateur applied psychology, so that an answer like "WHO DAT" -- criticize it however you will -- is fairly predictable. In the heat of the moment I don't worry about it.

Nor do I go through the agonies that Anonymous described over IRON CROSS. That went in right away, and on to the next thing. I suppose I'm one of the lucky ones: context is everything, and "iron cross" in the context of gymnastics doesn't bother me a whit, and doesn't cause me to be distracted by thoughts of fascist states and such. The same goes for all those things that bother Rex, like NRA or Paula Deen. For the most part I just regard these letter-strings as tokens in the game.

(From what I've read, this type of thing is a lightning rod in the Scrabble World: how much censorship to apply to the OSPD?)

@Frantic Sloth,
You are a RIOT (to use one of yesterday's answers)! Laughed out loud at "How many pits would a nitpick nit if a nitpick could nit pits?"

What? 11:28 AM  

Got it all except for GAME. Still don’t understand it.

What is AH I SEE except a partial phrase, something forbidden (if over 5 letters) in the Times’ instructions to constructers. Just another example of the intellectual dishonesty of the Shortz group.

TJS 11:43 AM  

Another day where the comments are much more enjoyable than the puzzle. Thank you all, even you @Z. Maybe not you anchovy lovers though.

Newboy 11:45 AM  

I’m tripping with @Joaquin from now on. Saw the fly. Had to watch BBC clip of Harris to really hear the important words the fly distracted me from! Talk about dirty tricks......maybe these debates(?) need GPS. Oh, and Enjoyed the puzzle especially the misdirection clues.

Frantic Sloth 11:48 AM  

@Lewis Congrats, Grandad! Ari is a great name. Pictures? ๐Ÿ˜‰

@Z 743am What do hotdogs have to do with Greek salads? My understanding has always been that PITted OLIVES have no pits and OLIVES with PITS are...wait for it...OLIVES with PITS. But, I'm not so sure that's a universal position.

Those sliced black things claiming OLIVEhood are an abomination and a blight on the salad landscape.

Proclamation: People who say "MANO y MANO" when they mean "MANO A MANO" need a spank down.

@Joe D 904am I thought those OLIVES in England were ONACID. Or were they ON a COD?

@pabloinnh 918am The dentist joke. I think I might have heard it before and still I guffawed. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

@lukiegrifpa 924am Nice catch!

@JC66 1029am And Happy Birthday to you! (trying to sneak it by us with grandbaby camouflage like that - tsk!) ๐Ÿ˜‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‚๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿป๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ

@Nancy 1038am Mrs. Sloth never noticed it, but she was multi-tasking and not watching 100% of the time. Perhaps your viewing experience was similar? (We record debates, she watches, and lets me know if there's anything I need to see because I just can't bear it.)

@Greater Fall River 1055am An axe-throwing club in Fall River, MA?? How meta. LOL!!

@Whatsername 1108am I'm sorry, but I seem to have misplaced that recipe. I know a guy, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰

mmorgan 11:58 AM  

Didn’t know ARMATA and MAD did sound much better than MAD, but the emoji face looked much more sad than mad to me. Oh well.

Otherwise I liked the puzzle a lot, especially the groaner joke.

jb129 12:14 PM  

An easier than usual Friday - I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks, Sam.

Neil Cochrane 12:17 PM  

I don’t know about everyday. Today’s nytimes blog has this one.

jb129 12:19 PM  

I didn't see the fly either - must've been all the hairspray he uses on his hair (well at least he has some & it isn't dyed.

albatross shell 12:28 PM  

Math to the rescue:
3 tsp = 1 tbsp
2 tbsp = 1 oz
128 oz = 1 gal.
3×2×128 = 768

I was crosswording while listening but myK immediately alerted me. Also if a man cannot let you enjoy unpitted olives, he should not be the f#%$@&# man of your life. Or just do not eat them. Just my opinion.

I AM SO MAD I have to ask if anchovies come on my Caesar Salad and never order one if the answer is no. If you have anchovies at home try them on any normal salad. Whole chopped or mashed. Greek antipasto salads often have unpitted olives. Yes, they are a thing.

But I did have IMSOsAD until the music did not play. Then, oh thats what the V on the forehead is for.

MANOAMANO in common American usage is a one on one confrontation whether verbal or physical or in any other competition, in my experience. Right or wrong.

Nice to know Pence has one black friend.

Anonymous 12:34 PM  


for myself, I was expecting Jeff Goldblum to teleport from one of his apartments and morph with the critter.

JC66 12:42 PM  


I hate to tell you this but 2:30 started out as the punchline for a racist (anti-Oriental) joke.

pmdm 12:47 PM  

Albatross shell: I shy away from posting this type of comment, but your observation about Pence's friendship gave me such a hearty laugh I have to acknowledge your comment.

What?: When you are game for something, you are up for doing it. When up put yourself down for something, you sign up for doing it which means you are game to do it. I too was puzzled about the clue, at least until I figured it out. The way the clue was worded was more misleading to me than not. Par for the course on a Friday or Saturday.

Masked and Anonymous 12:50 PM  


Had NOIDEA on: ARMATA. LEVAR. MAE. Otherwise, the nanoseconds were spared much unnecessary stress.

staff weeject pick: SSE. Directs U to one of the two primo weeject stacks -- in the NNW & SSE.

ATE had a neat, raised-by-wolves clue. Also, startin the whole rodeo off with a ?-mark clue at 1-A was a nice feisty touch.

Thanx for the smooth ride, Mr. Buchbinder.

Masked & Anonymo1U


albatross shell 1:04 PM  

If I had thought of that I would have gone with Al Hedison even though I really like Jeff and had to look up Al's name. But if we are talking Trump pod people I might go with Don and Jeff over Kevin (McCarthy). Hey I never noticed that before. Wasn't the movie suppose to be about McCarthyism? Mmm. Pence is a bit robotic and unemotional, isn`t he. Oh well, his side thinks crazy stuff about us too.

Whatsername 1:11 PM  

@Nancy: The Biden campaign started selling “Truth over Flies” fly swatters immediately following the debate. They sold out overnight.

old timer 1:14 PM  

First things first: I did not see the fly. My wife laughed at that, because at our wedding, there was a fly buzzing around my face as we were standing before the priest. I did see that fly, but could not figure out what to do about it. I rather think dear old Mike Pence was in the same fix. (I always have disliked the man, but I appreciated him being a human being, and a stark contrast to you-know-who, at the first debate).

DNF today. Arsata for ARMATA. I am bad at emojis and sad seemed logical. Arsata. ARMATA, let's call the whole thing off. GAME was my final correct entry. I wanted the initials to be ESB, of course -- what in blazes is the GWB? Been to NYC many a time and that one does not ring a bell.

The IRON CROSS was a German military award, wasn't it? My best friend's Jewish grandfather was proud of his, awarded in WWI, when many Jews were proud to fight for their Kaiser. He moved to New York after that war, and despite the rise of Hitler, was still proud of his CROSS. Wiki says it was awarded to 30,000 Jews.

I liked thinking about USTEN. Those old highways ran straight through the middle of the big cities. Smaller cities too -- the heart of Santa Rosa's downtown had Hwy 101 running right past the old courthouse. US 66 ran right through the center of Pasadena, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica.

Greek salads generally have kalamata olives in them, and yes, the olive tastes better if the pit has been left in.

rjkennedy98 1:21 PM  

I can answer Rex's question: Axe throwing definitely is a fad. When I lived in Minnesota there was even an axe throwing brewery, which I always thought was pretty hilarious (and also dangerous).

Teedmn 1:26 PM  

I'M SO sAD that I messed up 27D. I missed the forehead crease on the emoji and just noticed the down-turned mouth. ARMATA-ARsATA, whatevs.

And I so bought into the idea of the underworld which is served by the River Styx that I ran the alphabet twice for 43A, trying to make sense of the _OBTIE. First with Go_E in place and again after I changed 44D to AH, with GA_E. @Nancy says she admires the clue for 43A, but I'm not getting GAME up or GAME down for something at all. Imagine shrugging emoji here.

That version Rex linked to of ON THE TOP OF THE WORLD is one of my favorites. Shonen Knife, with their cute accents, make it such a treat. I own that Carpenters tribute CD.

@Nancy, I turned the debate off before the fly appeared. I was tired of yelling at Pence to just shut up, follow the rules, and let someone else talk. But I've heard some really clever explanations of the fly...

Frantic Sloth 1:57 PM  

Just in case 46 people haven't already explained this...

GWB = George Washington Bridge. It's a common term in NYC, especially as it relates to traffic reports. Whether it should be considered a "landmark" is debatable.

DeeDee 2:03 PM  

Ugh, I had to cheat with Google on the Italian fashion brand. For my crosses, first I had I´M SOrry, then I´M SO SAD and I couldn´t find my error when the puzzle was finished. I´ve never seen that emoji in my life!

Unknown 2:07 PM  

Re: WHODAT? I'm about the least PC person here. I cringe when I hear that phrase. Like, why would someone deliberately want to speak as if they had little sense of proper grammar? Perhaps it's part of Ebonics, but from day 1 I've always felt that was an excuse for just not speaking proper English. Don't worry, I'm not voting for Trump.

Had PARIS for a while, which slowed me down in the SW, but SEINE is even better.

And to the poster (albatross 12:29) who joked about Pence having at least one black friend, dude, that meme is like so 48 hours old, it's actually embarrassing that you're trying to pass it off as your own. I think the proper punishment would be to ban you from posting here for the next 48 hours.

GILL I. 2:11 PM  

@albatross; Gee, thanks. I'm still picturing Jimmy Neutron with a little TSP counting until he reaches 1/768

@Nancy...Since I'm on a roll...just for you:

A small fly asks his mother:
"Mom, can I go to the circus?"
"Yes, honey, but be very careful when people applaud!"

albatross shell 2:27 PM  

@Z 743am
Hard to believe that most regulars did not think of CALICOpodeS. Do I get a free drink for thinking of OLIVEPITopodes?

Lewis 2:32 PM  

@JC66 -- Happy birthday! And may there be happy surprises in store for you in the coming year.

@chuckd, @z, @jc66, @pamela, @frantic, @whatsername -- Thank you for your kind words!

albatross shell 2:41 PM  

Whitey Ford died.

And hey barkeep, what's keepin' you, keep pourin' drinks
For all these palookas, hey, you know what I thinks
That we toast to the old days and DiMaggio too
And old Drysdale and Mantle, Whitey Ford and to you

TTrimble 2:59 PM  

I submit that someone who doesn't speak African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) might say WHO DAT? in an ironical way, or in a cringe-y affectation of speaking AAVE [which typically I find pretty annoying -- the affectation, I mean].

Suddenly I flash to the scene in Airplane! when Barbara Billingsley (better known as June Cleaver) steps in, "I speak Jive."

GILL I. 3:17 PM  

Happy, happy's to @Lewis and @JC66.

JC66 3:59 PM  

Thanks all for you best wishes.

Joe Dipinto 4:05 PM  

The GWB's biggest claim to fame recently was as the centerpiece of the notorious Bridgegate Scandal, wherein aides of Gov. Chris Christie of NJ orchestrated the closing of some its entrance lanes – "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" was the famous email smoking gun – supposedly as payback for the Ft. Lee mayor's failure to support Christie's gubernatorial campaign. Bridgegate was considered to have harmed Christie's further political aspirations.

bocamp 4:07 PM  

@Lewis - Mazel Tov to you, Ari and the family ๐Ÿ™

@JC66 - Happy 81st ๐ŸŽ‚ ๐ŸŽ‰

Black pitted olives every evening with my veggie platter; kalamata olives in my Greek salad, not pitted, please!

@TTrimble 11:27 AM - Hands up for puzzling w/pen and spending a reasonable amount of time before entering anything. I timed myself in terms of hours or even days in some cases. I also forced myself to work only from crosses to words I had already entered. There was much satisfaction in that method, but, alas, that's gone by the wayside; have been recording my times and dnfs over the past few years in order to measure relative progress in overall proficiency.

**** SB ALERT ****

Major struggle to even become a wanna-bee :(

Peace Paix Wapána Pace Paz ๐Ÿ•Š

pabloinnh 4:35 PM  

Hey @JC66-Thanks for the joke info. I'm pleading absolute ignorance, as I only heard this ten years ago or so and thought it was funny. Didn't grow up with minorities of any description and didn't have much occasion to make fun of folks, probably a good thing. Also happy happy! My singing out partner just turned 81 last week. He's still working in my former high school, teaching online music classes, and lining up stuff for half the musicians in the area, with no signs of slowing down. Hope you're in similar form.

@old timer-And I thought I was the only guy with a fly on his nose at his wedding. I took a similar approach. Nice to find some company on this one.

David Frum in The Atlantic described THE FLY as another problem Pence pretended to ignore. Yep.

Anonymous 4:51 PM  

Everywhere US 10 is in St. Paul it is also the same road as a better known highway, US 61, I94, and I35E.

Mr. Benson 4:53 PM  

Everybody’s favorite Vermont jam band is right there in the puzzle and still can’t get in a clue... sad. They had the name before the Internet scam did, you know.

Richardf8 5:11 PM  

Me too. It’s not something we think about because it’s piggybacked onto roads we have other names for. It comes into the city along with 61, then runs east on 94 to 35E North to 694 and then wanders off into Anoka county.

I thought this was a terrible answer to a terrible clue in a terrible quadrant where the constructor was grasping at straws for very little payoff. I hated WHO DAT too.

Which restaurant were you at?

Crimson Devil 5:20 PM  

And Yogi too.

RooMonster 6:45 PM  

Yes, yes, this is an
**SB Post**
(I know, I know...)

Normally, I don't go to to look at the Total Word Count, I like to see if I can just get as many words as I can. What I do is, once I get to Genius, I take that number and divide it by .7, which gets you close enough to the final score to judge how far away you are.
Today, however, after getting loads of words, I'm 25 points or so away from Q. So I looked at the word count. I'm at -3. Hmm, gonna shoot for those last 3, but my eyes are starting to bug out staring at the computer screen!

Good luck to all Bee-ers!

RooMonster Beer (Bee-er) Guy

Anonymous 6:50 PM  

When I lived near Seattle in the 1970s, US 10 still existed in WA, though now it has been replaced by I-90.

Many of the US routes have suffered greatly at the hands of the Interstate replacements, especially the round number ones.

bocamp 7:24 PM  

**** SB ALERT ****

-10 ๐Ÿคž

Peace Paix Wapána Pace Paz ๐Ÿ•Š

Pamela 7:26 PM  

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

@ bocamp- I’m in the same boat. At G, but still -12 after yet another tussle. I may be done for today.

chefwen 7:38 PM  

@Lewis, congratulations
@JC66, Happy Birthday

Pitting olives is easy with the right tool. I always buy pit in and use my handy, dandy olive pitter to remove, gotta protect the teeth.

jae 7:52 PM  

****SB Alert****
-9 and it took a while to get there

TTrimble 8:06 PM  

---[SB Alert]---

You are a Monster! A beast. A legend.

I'm at -8 myself, but have slowed down. I knew pretty quickly today that it was going to be a slog-fest, and I'm kind of happy to have gotten this far. I don't yet have the longest word; would like to get there at least.

Interesting algorithm you have for estimating the number of words away after hitting Genius.

Some of today's words are quite nice, I find: not extremely commonplace, but useful in some cases.

albatross shell 8:25 PM  

@Mr. Benson 453pm

Crossword info says 3 jammin', 7 scammin'.

Date Grid Clue

Fri Oct 9, 2020 40A Look for people to scam online (2) Sam Buchbinder

Sun Jun 17, 2018 35D Do email scamming Amanda Chung, Karl Ni and Erik Agard

Sun Dec 3, 2017 45A Band with the 1989 platinum debut album "Junta" David Steinberg

Sun Mar 20, 2016 58D Band with a Ben & Jerry's flavor named for it Joel Fagliano

Thu Dec 6, 2012 49D Do some online skulduggery Jill Denny and Jeff Chen

Thu Sep 6, 2012 44D Pursue some e-mail chicanery Ben Pall

Thu Jul 9, 2009 63A Attempt some Internet fraud Ashish Vengsarkar

Thu Aug 24, 2006 45D Scam, modern-style Gary Steinmehl
Mon Mar 13, 2006

1D Look for people to scam online (2) Bernice Gordon

Sun Jan 12, 2003 110A Popular "jam band" Patrick Berry

bocamp 8:38 PM  

**** SB ALERT ****

-7 ๐Ÿคž

Peace Paix Wapána Pace Paz ๐Ÿ•Š

Lewis 9:24 PM  

@gilli, @bocamp, @chefwen -- Thank you for those kind words!

Birchbark 9:37 PM  

@Law Schuelke (10:55), @Ellen Leinwand (12:44) re @US TEN in St. Paul -- @Anonymous (4:51) is correct, it shares the same pavement with I-94 et al. Next time you're on I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul, you'll see the signs for both US TEN and I-94. It was a little unnerving the first time I noticed it, but now I've come to accept it.

ATE joke haters: please be sensitive to those who thought it was funny.

Blackhat 9:37 PM  

9 names, 4 foreign words....

Greg 9:41 PM  

AHISEE, IMSOSAD. Blecch. Not to mention the "stick a pronoun where you need it" answers. NODSTO, TOREINTO, STEEPSIN. Whole lot of meh for a Friday. OLIVEPITS and IRONCROSS were my faves.

Monty Boy 10:39 PM  

I liked this one a lot, except for the SW and fashion designer. U.S. 10 also goes through Montana, about a block from our house in Laurel. It still exists in small stretches, usually marked as old U.S. 10. I-90 wiped out most of it.

@albatross 12:28 - LMAO after reading you last line.

Me 12:59 AM  

Anyone else see a huge missed opportunity on 40a??!! How about “Mike, Trey, Jon and Paige” as the clue?

Anonymous 2:33 AM  

Can't tell if you're asking if GODOT is a character because you've never heard of Waiting For Godot, or you're very knowledgeable about it and making fun of the fact that the character never actually appears in the story. Brain teaser you are

pdplot 1:20 PM  

Seinfeld killed dips for all time because of double dipping. especially now. How would you like to see a guy cough and then dip his celery stick into the bowl twice or more?
Arsata. I'm so sad. Otherwise a pretty good puzzle and way easier than Thursdays.

Teedmn 10:52 PM  

@burma shave, wow, 6 years, that's a feat worthy of note. Congratulations and thanks for the real time alert from “yesterday”.

bapbam 10:37 AM  

Why DISH for trade gossip?

bapbam 10:38 AM  

Why DISH 55 down?

thefogman 10:45 AM  

Pretty good except for 1A which did not indicate an abbreviation. For 27A I had Ihateit before IMangry and then finally IMSOMAD. I also had MOBdon before MOBTIE and arK before WOK. Didn’t like the cluing for 36A. With better editing this one could have been one of the GRATES. Alas, it is not. And the NYTXW’s STREAK of mediocrity continues...

fakt chekker 10:56 AM  

DISH on (someone or something) slang To gossip about someone or something. Those popular girls are always DISHing on someone in our class.

Burma Shave 11:51 AM  


I’ve NOIDEA WHODAT with ROSY cheeks,


BS2 11:53 AM  




less than 3 months until 6 years

spacecraft 12:30 PM  

Closest I've ever come to giving up without doing it. After finally getting WOK I had it narrowed down to--guess what? Oh yeah: the NW!

Shame on me for not getting ACNE sooner, but the bigger holdup was a simple misread of a clue--which I repeated many times. In 15a I kept reading "flight" instead of "fight." Over and over I made this mistake, and just couldn't make sense of it. The 1-down clue was, of course, zero help for me, even after I had ___BAND. I eventually worked it out when I finally saw the word "fight," but was on the point of giving up several times. So, it shouldn't have been that hard. It just was. Birdie.

BS2 (revised) 12:45 PM  




oh poop

Diana, LIW 6:30 PM  

Two lookups and three corrections. So DNF for me, but a close one for a Friday. Hey - I can admit defeat.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Diana, LIW 6:32 PM  

Hey @BS - is @Teed right? Is it 6 YEARS!!!???

Lady Di

BS3 8:31 PM  

@D, LIW - < 3 months to go. The actual anniversary for us syndi-cats will be in Feb 2021, for the syndicated Jan 5 puz, if memory serves. So the 2100 consecutive days mark has been passed. Still no word on a book deal.

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