End of a three-word US president name / FRI 3-5-21 / Goddess who serves as a major character in 2019's Hadestown / Where Hamlet overhears Claudius confessing to fratricide / Home country of NBA phenom Luka Doncic / Duck Hunt console for short

Friday, March 5, 2021

Constructor: Sridhar Bhagavathula

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: FAKE BOOK (3D: Resource for music performers) —
a book that contains the melody lines of popular copyrighted songs without accompanying harmonies and that is published without the permission of the copyright owners (merriam-webster.com)
• • •

Loved this one. A Friday bullseye. Light on the groans, heavy on the delightfulness. I should say that this one was so "Easy" for me in part because I knew *all* the names, and I super-duper knew the biggest name in the grid: the marquee, dead-center guest of honor, AKIRA KUROSAWA. By "super-duper knew" I mean I don't just know his name, or his most famous movies ("Rashomon," "Ran," "Yojimbo," "Seven Samurai"), but I know (and own) a lot of his earlier work, including his first major films, made in the immediate post-war era in Japan: movies like "Drunken Angel" and today's clue movie, "Stray Dog," which is one of my favorite Japanese noirs, and consequently one of my favorite movies of all time. Today's write-up is basically a PSA for the films of AKIRA KUROSAWA. I was just wondering aloud the other day (Twittering aloud is more accurate) why the great film director Yasujiro OZU was not in crosswords much, much more often ... or at all. Anyone who has ever studied film even casually, or who has browsed the Criterion Collection, will have heard his name over and over. And his last name has So Much grid potential. And yet ... nothing. Tumbleweeds. This is a grievous oversight and one of you all needs to fix it immediately, thank you. But back to Kurosawa—see "Stray Dog." He films on location in Japan in the immediate aftermath of the war. It's really eye-opening and moving. 

The only slowish part for me was in and around SLOVENIA, which is slightly weird, because I threw SLOVENIA down very quickly (off the SLO-). But when I couldn't get either PSA or CANAAN (I may even have written ISRAEL in for that last one), I started second-guessing SLOVENIA, thinking ... maybe SLOVAKIA? Also, wanted ALB at 31D: Northern neighbor of [SLOVENIA], and even after getting AU-, I just couldn't process what the last letter could be (this is not the first time that I've had grid trouble caused by the rather simple abbr. for Austria). But then between VIPER, PAT, and PERSEPHONE (all pretty easy), the whole section came together, and nothing else bothered me much after that. Truthfully, the whole mess caused maybe 20 seconds of delay, but comparatively, it was a sticky patch. The only time I really went "ugh" during the whole solve was when the puzzle crossed a fill-in-the-blank quip (ugh) (32A: RID) with Another Fill-In-The-Blank-Quip (9D: ECONOMISTS) ... and one of those quips was the third (!) Shakespeare clue of the day! (see also the clues on VIPER and CHAPEL) We get it, you took a class once, mix it up! But that's it for distasteful moments. Oh, that and SCUM :( Otherwise, I bounced around this grid with something like a grin on my face, which is exactly what's supposed to happen on Friday. No one WIPES OUT! Everything is ROSY!

Five things:
  • 36D: Directly opposite point (ANTIPODE) — Got this quickly (off the ANT-). You normally see this word in the plural, and I know it well, as it is a (northern hemisphere) word for where my wife is originally from. It refers to AUS ... hey, wait, didn't we establish in some earlier puzzle that the abbr. for "Austria" is AUT!?!?! I feel quite sure of this ... Aha! Yes! I knew it! From late January, when the puzzle clued AUS as the abbr. for Australia:

But today we're just supposed to accept that AUS is the abbr. for Austria. Just switching them around, willy-nilly, are we? I call foul. Pick a three-letter abbr. and stick with it. Anyway, where was I? Oh, right ANTIPODEs—a northern hemisphere word for AUStralia and New Zealand (where my wife was born)  

  • 46A: Choreographer Twyla (THARP) — she once attended Pomona College (my alma mater), so I've known her name for decades. Speaking of Pomona, yesterday I learned, very randomly (i.e. by letting YouTube autoplay me from one movie into another) that the opening of "The Kid with the 200 IQ," a 1983 TV movie starring Gary Coleman, was filmed on the Pomona campus. I looked up and thought, "well, that's Pearsons ... that's Harwood ... that's Marston Quad ... Big Bridges ... wow, they're just taking shots of every damn building." I stopped watching after the opening shots so this is all I have to say about "The Kid with the 200 IQ."
  • 19A: End of a three-word U.S. president name (BUREN) — oh right, this answer. No idea what the clue was even trying to get at. Needed most of the crosses, possibly all of them. BUREN without the VAN is ... not great. Like NIRO without the DE. 
  • 15A: Era that began in the late 1950s (SPACE AGE) — great answer. Unfortunately for me, I came at it from the back end, getting AGE, which was not much help. There should be a word for that—when you get a substantial part of an answer, but it's a stand-alone word and seemingly infinite things could go with it. Luckily, in this case, it didn't take me too long to guess SPACE.
  • 52D: Some beverage suffixes (-ADES) — the plural suffix is a low form of grid life, maybe even the lowest, and yet if it's easy, and everything else in the grid glows, you can make quick work of it and no one is really going to care. Ugly stuff should be a. rare b. as inconspicuous as possible. Check and check.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 6:44 AM  

@LMS is going to enjoy this puzzle a lot, what with ANTIPODE and EPISODES, the latter of which, of course, is properly pronounced ep-i-SOH-dees.

Lewis 6:51 AM  

Where do I begin with this COLOSSUS of delight? With things I learned such as the larger-than-life-statue definition of that word or the meaning of “sigmatism”? With OFF KEY crossing EARS? With all the one-syllable answers that can act as verbs (PAT, RID, VEIL, EAT, LISP, OPT, SIN, LOSE, NOD)? With the gorgeous schwa-ending triumvirate of FLAGELLA, IGUANA, KUROSAWA? With STEERS, to follow this week's MOOED (Tuesday), COW (Thursday), and YEAR OF THE OX puzzle which included BULL and CATTLE (Wednesday)?

No, I will begin and end with the sparkling, nay, scintillating wordplay fest that festooned this journey, that cluing for OFF KEY, PSA, EPISODES, EAT, STENCIL, and what elicited a colossal smile, [Plant that may yield oil] for REFINERY. The hits just kept coming.

No, nothing PSEUDO about my enjoyment of this, Sridhar. Be back, please, and don’t take your time. This was a blast, and thank you!

Blackhat 6:56 AM  

Rex says super easy and delightful.
However, IMHO, PPP is filling in the puzzle, not solving. Rex filled in the answers today, he didn't "solve" anything.

Center of puz today. 13 letter foreign name, with 6 of the crosses PPP and 7 abutting letters also being PPP.
I wadded it up and tossed it in the trash.
Not saying it's a bad or unfair puzzle...but not for me.
Enough is enough.
I will never understand people's enjoyment in this style of puzzle.

bocamp 7:03 AM  

Thank you @Sridhar, for this excellent, challenging Fri. puz. Lots of chewiness. :)

Med. solve with a dnf.

Great start in the NW; hit and miss the rest of the way. Had an "a" instead of "e" at 29A/26D. Felt a twinge of spidey-sense at the time, but didn't make a mental note to give it more thot before filling in the final cell. Whack-a-vowel might have might have set it right. Will never know, tho. :(

1957, IGY (International Geophysical Year): Russia launched Sputnik in Oct., and the SPACE race was on. I did a report on IGY for science class that year, – one of my better efforts – and got a B from one of the toughest (but best) teachers I ever had, Mr. Barber.

Three Bells ~ The Browns

There's a village hidden deep in the valley
Among the pine trees half forlorn
And there on a Sunny morning
Little Jimmy Brown was born

All the CHAPEL bells were ringing
In the little valley town
And the song that they were singing
Was for baby Jimmy Brown

yd pg -2

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all ๐Ÿ•Š

amyyanni 7:06 AM  

Agree with Rex, even to coming at Space Age from the back end. Twyla Tharp was a fun entry, love dance so that was a gimme. Felt like a Friday, just right, as Goldilocks pronounced.

Telvo 7:11 AM  

And by Easy, of course, you mean Challenging. I was pretty proud of myself for finally nailing this one until you set me straight. And here I was, thinking a Persephone/AkiraKurosawa cross was really tough. Thanks for setting me straight, Rex!

Anonymous 7:15 AM  

Yes, the things one learns while filling out the NYTXW. So THAT'S why Kurosawa is so revered as a director -- thanks for the YouTube link.

Anonymous 7:32 AM  

Wonky clues

Too many long answers were PPP

Overall, too much PPP

A few goodies but not a fun solve for me

kitshef 7:32 AM  

Only one WoE today, FAKEBOOK, and I have to say that sounded really unlikely. Crossing a very odd clue for GELS and three consecutive proper nouns made it even tougher. But really that section was the only slowdown today.

Quite liked this one. Not a single clue that irritated me, which is rare. And a few that I quite appreciated like the ones for ECONOMISTS, REFINERY and PSEUDO.

Heather Heying wrote a wonderful book about Madagascar called ANTIPODE.

pabloinnh 7:39 AM  

Great puzzle, and not just because it gives me a chance to quote Dorothy Parker--"If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised.".

Music stuff was fun for me, OFFKEY, FAKEBOOK (I have several). I knew AKIRAKUROWSAWA but never spell his name correctly because of the random vowel placement. Reminded myself of how to spell COLOSSUS and discovered that OPIATES has the same number of letters as SCREENS.

I'm with OFL on the VanBUREN nit, but otherwise, this was just a joyride through Funtown, for which many thanks, SB, and please accept your coveted Fridazo award and your place on the Friday All Star Team.

Now on to the other SB.

oceanjeremy 7:47 AM  

Rex’s criticism of AUS for Austria is spot on! The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) lists the three-letter Alpha code for Austria as AUT. Puzzle wrong. Rex right.

I, too, was caught by the A/B of SLOVakIA and SLOVENIA, meaning I had SLOV__IA there for a good chunk of my solve.

I also don’t care much for Fill-In-The-Blank-Quips, but even without having much Shakespeare memorized (and having never read Henry IV, Part II despite owning a paperback copy of it) I filled in RID with no crosses. It was one of the gimmes for me.

In fact there were almost *too* many gimmes for a Friday: OPT, HAT, CPR, DEBT, JLO, LIS, EARS (!), YRS, NES, IGUANA, DJS, GAL, CPR, and the aforementioned RID. First clues I got, all without crosses.

With those in place the rest of the grid filled itself in rather quickly. Which meant I didn’t mind arriving at the second Fill-In-The-Blank-Quip, and when it turned out to be ECONOMISTS it gave me a chuckle. So no gripes there for me today!

Had a fun fake answer for 54 across, before I had any crosses, putting “Pilots, e.g.” as AVIATORS before saying to myself, “This is Friday. The clue won’t be that straightforward.” Having just watched a pilot episode with my fiancรฉe, I had it on the brain. So I immediately replaced it with EPISODES.

I then second-guessed *that* because I wanted ITAS for “Some beverage suffixes.” A nostalgia for my trashier younger years when I would treat a hangover with an 8% ABV 25oz Straw-Ber-Rita (or Mango-Rita, or any of those oversweet sugary poisons). I stopped when I discovered a) they have 600 calories per can and b) 25 ounces at 8% ABV will quickly replace your hangover with drunkenness, effectively just pushing the hangover into the evening or even the next day.

I digress.

I saw that ITAS didn’t cross with EPISODES *or* AVIATORS, and with an audible “Aha” filled in ADES.

All in all I found it a pleasant Friday, if a bit easier than a typical Friday. A fine puzzle, if you ask me.

Joaquin 7:56 AM  

The only FAKE BOOKs I’m familiar with are those submitted by Mazars USA on behalf of their client “The Former Guy”.

Anonymous 8:26 AM  

Nice review today, I knew less names but a good not quick solve. What I want in a Friday.

Hartley70 8:32 AM  

TWYLA is in and LAR is out. How random is that in Rexland? Other than that nit, I agree that this was a really enjoyable Friday made better by the elusive FAKEBOOK.

Z 8:39 AM  

SPACE AGE was my first answer, worked down the east coast, got to a singular ANTIPODE and had ANTIPODOPODES echoing through my head the rest of the solve. That’s just not fair, picking on me like that.

FLAGELLA CHAPEL... that whole cult has alway struck me as religious emo. Or, I guess, S&M made holy.

COCOON now always reminds me of The Wilford Brimley Line, which I limped across nearly a decade ago.

My patrilineal side is going to be upset that I needed 4 letters in place before sussing out Martin Van BUREN. Yes, I did intone “If you ain’t Dutch you ain’t much” as I wrote in the B. Such solemnities are required of all Holland High School graduates.

I got AKIRA KUROSAWA off the SAWA and wondered why the editors thought Ran or Rashomon or even The Seven Samurai were too obvious for a Friday. Stray Dog, despite Rex’s adoration, seems like a deep cut to me.

I liked this a lot. Off to do an actual PPP count.

Birchbark 8:43 AM  

Now and then I'd see this little deer scrawning its way in the meadow during the worst of our recent three-week sub-zero spell. He's back by the bird feeder now as the snow is melting -- nice to see him on the other side.

AKIRA KUROSAWA -- Worth mentioning, and my favorite of the three Kurosawa films I've seen, is "Throne of Blood," his version of "MacBeth." The Lady MacBeth character in particular is as powerful as I've seen her portrayed.

Falstaff's "RID": I watched Henry IV, Pt. II last night, so felt good to see it here. In some ways it's a replay of Part I, but more serious, the humor has a corruption that the first lacks. And Hal takes himself seriously. I recently stumbled onto a great fine arts streaming app called Marquee TV -- reasonably priced, and all sorts of quality opera, theatre, ballet, modern dance, symphony performances, etc.

"We get it, you took a class once," says @Rex of Shakespeare references. Now and then I wonder whether there's college credit in heaven for everything since. Study for its own sake goes where it wants. Like clicking on links -- only with books, rivers, forests, meadow, things to cook, things to fix, etc.

Mary Ellen S. 8:43 AM  

First time long time. Was driving down the highway yesterday with my 16 year old daughter and “ Stayin’ Alive” came on the radio (Sirius XM 70s channel) . She told me she learned this song during CPR class and they revive people to the beat of the song. I had never heard that before. Weird. Favorite movie of all time is Ikiru by Kurosawa. It’s a beautiful and touching movie.

algiardello 8:52 AM  

I didn’t know Kurosawa or much of the other PPP (or FLAGELLA or FAKEBOOK or ... you get the idea), but figuring them out - solving - was a delight.

albatross shell 8:59 AM  

Wait, is that Kurosawa SETTLING into that bean bag chair? OVINE to completes the week's stock theme. Maybe HAMlet too?

Did not know what a FAKEBOOK was. Now I do. Maybe more popular as a Facebook parody these days.

Do not get SCREENS as a sources of drug addiction. Maybe method of detecting drugs or finding drug users. It took me forever to give up on SCRiptS which really are sources of drug addictions. Please explain to this dullard. Oops, addicted to phone TV and computer screens. I'm more addicted to window screens and Addicted to Love or Spuds, the videos.

I appreciate the named people except BUREN who took a long time to see. As did CANAAN STENCIL SPACEAGE.

COLOSSUS had my favorite clue. Also liked the ones for ECONOMISTS
SPACEAGE CHAPEL LISP RELIC COCOON REFINERY (had me thinking olive tree and Wesson bush).

I thought ANTIPODE WAS the plural of anti.

Damn good week of puzzles.
Have a good weekend.

Z 9:02 AM  

PPP Analysis
Pop culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns as a percentage of the puzzle. Over 33% always gets the wheelhouse/outhouse effect, i.e. easy for some, nearly impossible for others.

This puzzle falls right in the gray zone at 31%. I’m pretty confident that at 33% we always have solvers who struggle because of the PPP, but at 30-33% it’s not quite as definitive. However, throw in a 13 letter foreign film director name as your marquee answer and I’m not surprised to already see comments crying foul about the PPP. One mitigating factor is that 3 of the 22 PPP answers are only PPP because of Shakespeare clues and I feel like the ECONOMIST quip is also PPP on a technicality. If we didn’t count those four we would be at a very NYTX typical 25%. I feel the pain of those thrown by AKIRA KUROSAWA, but this is far from the most egregious of high PPP puzzles, more just hovering in the slightly high but not excessive category.

The List

HAT (monopoly clue)
RID (Shakespeare)

VIPER (Shakespeare)
GAL Gadot
CHAPEL (Shakespeare)

RooMonster 9:04 AM  

Hey All !
What a cruel name to give to LISpers, Sigmatism. Try saying that whilst LISPing.

Is FAKEBOOK the next Facebook? Har.

Had a two-letter DNF thanks to AKIRA. Spelled his last name as KiRiSAWA, even changing the correct AUS to AiS to get there. Dang. No idea what country could be AiS, or what ERiTIC is, but KiRi sounded more correcter than KURO. At least ERiTIC sounds sorta like a word. But AiS? Aistria? Har.

Writeovers, flySOvEr-EPISODES, opiateS-SCREENS, ANTIPOlE-ANTIPODE, sAyyes-RATIFY, and Really wanted FAKEBOOb for 2D, cause God knows, most of these women anymore have FAKE BOObS (especially in the entertainment world.)

Tough in spots, SW and NE my two biggest bugbears. NE kinda tough, as FAKEBOOK is a new one for me. Rex rates it Easy. Har!

Three F's

Sir Hillary 9:06 AM  

Great puzzle, but also very easy for me. I can never figure out for sure if the latter is what makes me think the former.

I had no idea about "Stayin' Alive" and CPR and actually came here thinking I would comment on the clue's poor taste. Thanks to @Mary Ellen S. for setting me straight.

Super-personal reaction to one clue: When I was 9 and would go to Little League practice, as I passed by the older kids' field, a family friend (he was 12) would give me the "hey there" NOD from afar. At 3rd grade parent-teacher conference night that year, I walked into the school with my folks and found myself face-to-face with two female classmates who were inseparable and (to my unformed, and uninformed, mind) slightly odd. They both said "hi" to me aloud, and, embarrassed by the attention, I gave them the "hey there" NOD. When we got home, I got a very stern and unexpected talking-to from my parents on manners. To this day, it remains a formative lesson, even though I don't always heed it. So a NOD is not a universal "hey there" equivalent. I am always amazed at how crosswords can elicit completely unanticipated reactions in me.

Z 9:13 AM  

@Albie - As in computer, smartphone, tablet, and tv SCREENS. A couple of days ago I saw a woman walking with her eyes on her smartphone and her ear buds in walk in front of a large pick-up truck. Thankfully it was at a stop sign so he was already slowing down. Darwin Award loser, but she seemed intent to keep trying to win.

albatross shell 9:15 AM  

Rex wanting OZU in more puzzles.

albatross shell 9:23 AM  

Thanks but late.
Read the whole paragraph. Came to me as I was writing. Left it in for those as slow as me.

The Vez 9:38 AM  

Great puzzle. Slovakia instead of Slovenia held me up.

Nancy 9:42 AM  

This is a beauty -- filled with wonderful words like FLAGELLA, PLANAR, STENCIL and ANTIPODE. Names, too: poor crossword-y JLO has to share space with such chewy monikers as PERSEPHONE and AKIRA KUROSAWA.

The wonderful Shaw quote made me laugh out loud once it came in; I didn't know it ahead of time.

Using "pilots e.g." as a clue for EPISODES shows real SLYNESS; the clue for KNELT is highly imaginative; loved the clue for STENCIL; ditto OFF-KEY; ditto SCREENS (Oh, yes, indeed, how true, how true!).

I was so taken with 56D that I found myself singing "Staying Alive" while I was doing make-believe CPR. (I can't do real CPR because I've never been trained.) The song's beat was inspiring and I think I might actually have saved your life because of it. :)

This was rather hard for me in the NW. FAKE BOOK as clued was a great big "Huh?". Now that I look at what it means, it sounds completely disreputable -- a great big SIN. Not nice to appropriate other people's intellectual property. How would you like it if it were done to you?

And I wanted paLS with rather than GELS with for "gets along". Luckily I didn't write it in.

I learned something interesting with almost every clue/answer. Absolutely no junk. Clean as a whistle. Loved it.

oceanjeremy 9:43 AM  

From Wikipedia:

“ Internet addiction disorder (IAD), also known as problematic internet use or pathological internet use, is generally defined as problematic, compulsive use of the internet, that results in significant impairment in an individual's function in various life domains over a prolonged period of time. Young people are at particular risk of developing internet addiction disorder.”

There is a recommendation that parents not allow their children too much “screen time” at early ages (smartphones, tablets, etc).

I remember a puzzle recently cluing SCREENTIME as “Subject of parental control.” Think it may have been one from the archives.

Aunt Hattie 9:45 AM  

I agree with Lewis. So glad Rex did not trash it!!
And REFINERY had the best clue all week!

Anonymous 9:45 AM  

What the #%*# does “PPP” stand for?

Frantic Sloth 9:55 AM  

I gotta say...these new constructors lately have been a real shot in the arm to the NYTXW and my enjoyment level.

And what we have here is yet another fresh, imaginative gem in Mr. Bhagavathula's debut. A professional musician (classical flutist), he brings a word I've never heard before: FAKEBOOK. Crosses were fair, but also crunchy - love when that happens!

The grid as a whole is virtually dreck-free. There's probably some (it being the law and all. Hi, @Roo!) but it hid itself well from my smiling eyes.

The clue/quote for ECONOMISTS was just *mwah*! ๐Ÿ’‹๐ŸคŒ

๐Ÿง ๐Ÿง ๐Ÿง 

OffTheGrid 9:56 AM  

Nothing is more anarchistic than the use of abbreviations in the NYTX. It will always be thus. No point in complaining.

Barbara S. 10:16 AM  

Like Rex and some others, I had a smooth solve today. I started in the NE, popped in STENCIL right off, worked through some of those downs and the remaining NE acrosses and I was launched (groany pun on SPACE AGE). I, too, found some of the major bits of PPP gimmes, such as BUREN, AKIRA KUROSAWA, THARP, ERIC, VIDAL, GAL. I finished in the SE, which was the most resistant area: LISP, PSEUDO, LOSE and ANTIPODE were hard to see at first but they all fell pretty quickly. That arcane fact about the katydid’s EARS must have been in a previous puzzle: it went in even before I had a chance to think. I learned the word FLAGELLA from the SB a mere two ago – timing is everything. I liked EROTIC and RELIC beside one another. Something to become in old age?

This is a passage by LESLIE MARMON SILKO, born Mar. 5, 1948.

“Late at night, when she and Ferro had waited on the ridge or had ridden on horseback into the steep canyons to wait for a drop, she had watched the meteor showers. They would begin shortly after midnight and continue until two A. M. On those nights it seemed as if the sky had overtaken the earth and was closing over it, so that the volcanic rocks and soil themselves reflected light like the surface of the moon. At those moments she could not think of any other place on the earth that she would rather be. She thought about the old ones and Yoeme and how they watched the sky relentlessly, translating sudden bursts of light into lengthy messages concerning the future and the past.”
(From Almanac of the Dead)

puzzlehoarder 10:19 AM  

I had a very disappointing FLAGELLI/IKIRA dnf. My best explanation for this is that I solved the Thursday puzzle last night just before this puzzle and I still had that baseball player's name on my mind. At least I got a clean grid on that one.

What makes today's dnf especially egregious is that FLAGELLA was on a very recent SB list. I noted it in my Scrabble dictionary which clearly shows it as plural but I've used that letter 'I' ending on so many SB lists that it's become reflexive. Today's list is a perfect example.

My only other issues besides the dnf were changing SLOVAKIA to SLOVENIA and being slow at recognizing BUREN.

GHarris 10:23 AM  

Somehow this one was right in my wheelhouse despite all the PPP. Once I switched from scientists to economists I was home free. I found this constructor reminiscent of Patrick Berry, one of my all time favorites. Rex asks what to call coming to an answer from the rear. May I suggest ass backwards. That was also the way I entered the space age.

Z 10:24 AM  

Ahem! Somebody we know has a puzzle out today. WaPo makes you wait through an ad before giving you the puzzle links.

jae 10:27 AM  

Easy-medium. The SW and spelling AKIRA KUROSAWA absorbed more than a few nanoseconds. Solid Fri. with some delightfully tricky cluing, liked it. Another fine debut!

Z 10:30 AM  

@9:45 - 9:02. With a bonus explanation of wheelhouse and outhouse.

Steve M 10:34 AM  

Well not ez for me but loved it

Joe Dipinto 10:38 AM  

The most widely-used jazz fake book, The Real Book, has been sold legally by Hal Leonard Publications since 2004. All song rights are cleared and the copyright holders receive royalties.


Flute Thing

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

gotta agree on REFINERY, since I had rapeseed and wouldn't let go.

my Pappy had the habit of pronouncing pisswaydough, which I grew up with as meaning ersatz (another Xword word), which is one step from false. let's go see... the on-line dictionary has 'false' as a second or third meaning, so I guess I'm right.

sixtyni yogini 10:47 AM  

Loved it! (And then read Rex did too!)
Many very clever clues. Mind stretching.

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

Re 9A ECONOMISTS unable to reach a conclusion. I some time ago posted here a remark on capitalism, that the NY Times and just about everyone else in journalism and academia regarded capitalism as a product of intelligent design. I complained that capitalism is never defined, and no one attempts to describe its origins.

Someone here answered me in a notice that I did not read until the next day, and I chose not to respond in the next day’s posts. My critic stated that capitalism was like a proverbial elephant being examined by four blind people, each of whom would touch a different part of the elephant and hence describe the elephant in four different ways. I guess we were supposed to be left with a feeling of skepticism about the possibility of defining capitalism. One problem with this “skepticism” is that capitalism, unlike the elephant, was created by human beings. (Elephants adapt to humans but really aren’t our product.) A second objection is that this problem of our conception of reality not corresponding to reality itself was described much better in an analogy ingrained in Western Civilization, Plato’s allegory of the cave. Here in the cave we see approximations of the real world that are perforce false, like the blind people describing the elephant. But unlike G. B. Shaw, or my critic, instead of throwing his hands in the air and stating that all is hopeless, Plato showed how those who had seen the real world, or the entire elephant, could explain to the others what the real elephant was that they were examining.

Versions of Plato’s allegory show up everywhere. Even St. Paul, who spoke of us “looking through a glass darkly” (I Corinthians 13) was not skeptical about what was on the other side–he simply believe we would not grasp it fully in our lifetimes.

That capitalism has a history that can be explored and studied seems to elude most American academics and certainly eludes the NY Times, which, like its “woke” culture, wants to subsume all economic issues under categories such as race. Karl Marx was more of an economist than an historian, and he did not attempt to describe carefully the origins of capitalism. His few general remarks follow a sort of traditional narrative of transition from feudalism to an urban culture and then to a modern sort of international capitalism. Other Marxists I think are more accurate in describing the emergence of capitalism out of an agrarian culture of 17th-century England (this I find more convincing–I like very much Christopher Hill’s *Reformation to Industrial Revolution*, 1967–and where the strong urban cultures of Italy and the Low Countries “failed” to make a transition to capitalism). But all of this should be explored, and not reduced the sort of drivel offered by the NY Times and Fox News.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Whatsername 11:00 AM  

I wouldn’t say I disliked this but it was not that easy for me because I had no idea on the famous director or his movie. IGUANA admit that’s a failing on my part, I’m sure. But in fairness, six Propers on the crosses (not counting AUS) just exacerbated my frustration. But hey, others loved it so congratulations to Sridhar on the debut.

@Lewis: Congrats also to you on your Washington Post publication today! I’ll be printing that out later for a nice bonus round Friday. And thanks @Z (10:24) for the WaPo link.

GILL I. 11:02 AM  

LOVED LOVED LOVED this. Love guesses everywhere...spelling, memory, many huh's and aha's leaping like a frog in my little head. Ooooh...how do I spell AKIRA? My spelling is a COLOSSUS calamity of vowel retention.
Did I say how much I loved this? Just call me Jane.
OK...so my big question is PSA for 37A. I had to look that one up (waaaah) and it's short for Prostrate specific antigen. Is that right? At first I had PSE because I couldn't remember how to spell CANAeN and PSE yielded Puget Sound Energy. What am I missing? Did I end up in Australia instead of the intended Austria? We need @evil Doug to pop in here and tell the NYTX that any pilot worth his wings (or his license) that if you want to fly to Austria, you better clue it as AUT. Wow.
I didn't find this easy peasy sit on your kneesies, but it held my interest from OFF KEY all the way to RESTED.
My FLAGELLA runneth over. Please come back every Friday, Sridhar. AND...I love your name!

mmorgan 11:03 AM  

I didn't know that Slovenia was so close to Australia.

CDilly52 11:06 AM  

I have meetings all day but could not pass up an opportunity to acknowledge a five day streak of thoroughly enjoyable and to-the-day appropriate puzzles!! The clever clues in this one were just wonderful! Two faves among so may others were “Pilots” for EPISODES and “plant . . . “ for REFINERY. Brilliant. Fabulous Friday. How the weekend bodes as well. @Lewis-you said it all.

mathgent 11:08 AM  

Just as Nancy said, clean as a whistle. And plenty of crunch and sparkle besides.

Seeing CPR reminds me that it saved my brother's life. He had a cardiac arrest while playing tennis five years ago. A player on a nearby court ran over and pumped his chest until the ambulance arrived.

I haven't seen any Kurosawa and I love movies. I started Seven Samurai once. Rex recommended a few but I'd appreciate some others. The one based on Macbeth sounds promising.

Even after filling it in, I couldn't remember what PSA stands for. PSA is a test for prostate cancer and there used to be an airline in California with that name. Major brain freeze. Public service announcement has been in the puzzle often.

@pabloinnh (7:39). Thanks for reminding me of the Dorothy Parker line.

COLOSSUS! Great word.

tkincher 11:11 AM  

As a Cal Poly Pomona grad, I always found it somewhat confusing that Pomona College was in Claremont.

Thanks to the band Yo La Tengo for teaching me what a FAKEBOOK is!

mmorgan 11:14 AM  

Interesting that FAKEBOOK was unknown to so many -- just an observation, not a judgment, we all have our personal wheelhouses. I couldn't live without my dog-eared FAKEBOOK(s).

Anonymous 11:20 AM  

there's no doubt what capitalism means to the econ cabal, of which I am a member by dint of an advanced degree in same: it is the private ownership of the physical means of production. that is all. the related notion of industrial/capitalist production is in contrast to previous means through history.

capitalism merely states that private ownership of the means of (industrial) production is inherently superior to common ownership of same. (oddly, many adherents to this idea take the exact opposite position with regard to pre-(non-)industrial production such as farming, hewing to the Jeffersonian view of the USofA as a nation of 'yeoman farmers'; never mind that real farming in today's real world is heavily industrialized and increasingly concentrated like everything else.) in both cases, the few decide what and how things will be made: either CEOs in nice offices, or government ministers in nice offices. in the former case, the fruits of profit go to the few, while in the latter case they can (but, in the Putin/Trump style, not so much) accrue to the whole. it's a simple choice.

and, the cherry on top: it is not the case that private capital management is less incompetent or corrupt than public management. in fact, if you read up economic history, virtually all economic collapses have been driven by either incompetent or corrupt (often both) private management.

anyone who buys the notion of inherent superiority of private ownership of means of production should read up 19th century USofA economic history: mostly recession and depression and increasing concentration of economic power. Robert Gordon's recent tome is pretty complete:

newbie 11:23 AM  

I figured that Rex would say it was easy because I nailed it! Second Friday in a row! It was hard but I worked my way through and, all in all, it was a fun journey through the maze of words in my mind. Very satisfying.

Surprised to learn that some hadn’t heard about the beat connection between “Stayin’ Alive” and CPR - much was made of it in the media a few years ago when someone discovered it. It’s an important bit of trivia to know. Wait - that would make it not trivial! I always wonder, however, if you don’t have the actual recording on hand, wouldn’t it matter how fast or slow you sang it? I worry about things like that. Anyway, “Stayin’ Alive” and the Heimlich Maneuver can make anyone a lifesaver. ๐Ÿ•บ

Northwest Runner 11:37 AM  

If you don’t follow basketball, you’ll definitely need crosses for Slovenia. But given our other choice for a well known Slovenian, I think this was a good choice. Also AUS for Austria is just plain wrong.

newbie 11:39 AM  

@Gil 11:02 am - in case you missed in in the middle of mathgent’s comments, PSA stands for PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.

That’s OUR Lewis? Cool! Congratulations! I’ll try it. And thanks, @Z!

jb129 11:48 AM  

A true Friday puzzle - made me want to keep on & solve when I didn't think I would. Thank you!

RooMonster 11:51 AM  

@Anonymous 9:45
See @Z 9:02

Bit of trivia (which I think I've put here before)
There is no word in English that starts with SR.

So neat name Sridhar. Even has a Har. ๐Ÿ˜†

@albatross 9:15

Glad to see my constant bombardment/complaining of dreck has sunk into someone! Now, if only more people would realize that, there'd be less complaining about it. Well, maybe... People love to complain!

RooMonster Complaining About Complainers Guy

Joaquin 11:52 AM  

Thank you @Z for the link.

And congrats @Lewis for a sensational puzzle. The "aha" after completing it made the struggle a pleasure! A very cool puzzle with some terrific cluing.

Masked and Anonymous 11:53 AM  

FAKEBOOK and PERSEPHONE were my big voyages into the unknown, today. As others have sorta noted, M&A woulda known FACE BOOK and PURSE PHONE, tho. But OTOH … then I wouldn'ta known TACERS & SLOVUNIA.

Super smoooth puzgrid fillins. This Sridhar dude has got game. And, anybody whose name ends with har is automatically in M&A's plus column. Only slight bouquet of Ow de Speration was that there BUREN entry [where I wanted BIDEN, at first]. BUREN turned out to be a neat ahar moment, tho -- soooo … ok.

Enjoyed seein the entire name of the KUROSAWAmeister splatzed into the grid. A primo debut entry from a primo debut constructioneer. BTW, Sridhar: Don't even think about hidin yer own full name in a puzgrid, the way some constructioneers have. [Well, maybe unless you hide it on a SunPuz diagonal, or somesuch …]

fave sparklin ODEs: ANTIPODE & EPISODES. Not quite an OD of ODES, fortunately.
staff weeject pick: YRS. Plural abbreve meat. honrable mention to ODE.

Thanx for a thoroughly enjoyable solvequest, Mr. Bhagavathula dude. And congratz on a boffo premiere, as Akira might say [no? … yeah, didn't think so].

Masked & Anonymo4Us

p.s. Wow … a total Debut Constructioneers Week, here?


bocamp 11:54 AM  

@Mary Ellen S. 8:43 AM

Thx for the heads-up re: "Ikiru"; got it cued up on Kanopy. Watched it many years ago; time for a rewatch. :)

@Z 10:24 AM

Thx for @Lewis' WaPo puzzle link. :)

pg - 7

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all ๐Ÿ•Š

Anonymous 12:18 PM  

A TV "spot" giving advice is a Public Service Announcement. A PSA could be about having your PSA level checked.

Barbara S. 12:20 PM  

Your puzzle – fiendish (in all the best ways) and clever! I really enjoyed it. What a banner XW Friday.


A lovely thing happened yesterday: a blog participant sent me a quotation that she had come across and liked very much, and asked if I would be interested in using it on the author’s birthdate. She sent the author’s name, the quotation, the work from which it was taken, and even the author’s DOB. I was delighted and will use it when the time comes and I’ll give her credit for finding it. If anyone else would like to submit something, please contact me using the email address in my profile.

Z 12:21 PM  

@Poggius - Created by human beings? I cannot overstate my vehement disagreement. That’s like saying gravity was created by human beings? Like gravity, we have developed techniques to control the elements of capitalism that hold us down, but we didn’t create it any more than we created socialism. Both systems of resource allocation existed before we developed the language to describe them just like gravity existed before the apple smacked Newton in the head.
BTW - I’m pretty sure that was my elephant, and I meant it mostly as an expression of frustration that people throw the term around with the most minimal understanding of what it is. It’s not that we cannot understand how resource allocation works, it’s that we don’t.
@11:20 - inherently superior to common ownership - I realize you were probably just eliding over the specifics, but capitalism says no such thing. People who claim to believe in capitalism like to claim it is superior, often while getting disproportionate support from the government. Capitalism and socialism are just descriptions of how resources can be allocated. Thinking one is superior to the other is a religious position, not an economic one.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled crossword discussion.

JC66 12:22 PM  


Great puzzle. Thanks.

Unknown 12:46 PM  


How could such a gentle soul create such evil?

jberg 12:51 PM  

So if a group of bowlers decided to do a fundraiser for a school, they could publicize it with a PBA PTA PSA.

Excellent puzzle.

@Roo— sriracha isn’t English yet but it’s getting there.

Tale Told By An Idiot 12:57 PM  

Another very satisfying puzzle from a first-timer! (Well, first in the NYT. ) I think 4 of the 5 puzzles this week have been NYT debuts.

Has anyone else noticed that since Rex stopped posting his times his reviews seem more positive? Maybe solving for speed is not the ideal way to enjoy a crossword puzzle?? Maybe because there is no time to enjoy the aha moments when you focus on the nanosecond lost when an answer does not pop instantly into your head or, god forbid, from your head to your fingers to the squares.

chance2travel 12:58 PM  

There were two things about Rex's writeup today that consistently lift my spirits.

1. When he makes the same error I do. Yep, having visited Albania last year, I tossed in Alb off the A simply because Slovenia reminded me of the region.

2. When he huffs at a crosswordese clue/answer that I didn't even realize was in the puzzle because I got all the crosses and never read the clue. Today I bounced around the SW and wound up with HAVOC, EPISODES, REFINERY, SLYNESS and never even saw the clue for 52D (Some beverages suffixes - ADES). Every time this happens I start to wonder if I solved a different puzzle.

EdFromHackensack 1:01 PM  

I Googled the directors name, so I guess that was a major cheat giving that it was 13 letters. But on Fridays I allow a Google or two. Enjoyed it and liked “pitched poorly” - was thinking walkEd. And "Plant that may yield oil” was a bit of a curveball.

Masked and Anonymous 1:11 PM  

@RP: Nice blog write-up, btw. I see that maybe yer staff weeject pick was: AUS. Glad U liked this fine FriPuz. Looks like easier solvequest for U than for m&e, tho. FAKEBOOK/PLANAR/SLOVENIA & BURENslowed things up, at our house.
Nice crop of debuts this week, huh?

Cool STENCIL clue, btw.

@Lewis: Thanx for a fun themed FriPuz, over there at LATimes/WaPost-ville. Good job.


Teedmn 1:15 PM  

I found this interesting and a tad on the tough side compared to recent Fridays. It didn't help that two topics of study in which I have lacunae crossed - directors and geography. The last letter I filled in was the U of AUS. If I had thought a bit harder, I may have balked at that - the company I work for ships world-wide and the postal/UPS codes for Austria and Australia are AUT and AUS respectively, as others have pointed out. But I had A_S which certainly couldn't be Azerbaijan.

VEIL VICES with SIN over in the corner (was it EROTIC thoughts?)

I used my handy memory trick today for entomologist: Insect and entomologist have more letters than word and etymologist. So COCOON was easy with the C in place.

Sridhar Bhagavathula, congrats on your NYT debut and thanks for the great Friday puzzle.

Anonymous 1:20 PM  

re: capitalist pigs. if you read, calmly, the post, it was not *I* who make the claim of superiority of private ownership. much of the post is devoted to debunking that very notion. 'capitalism', both in common parlance and many if not most economists, is the word given to be opposite of socialism. that's why, in a few places in the post, 'industrial' is used to make the point that 'capital' as one of the three classic inputs to production: land, labour, and capital; a tripartite division that predates the widespread notion of 'capital'; the evolution from a mule and a wooden plow to Ford's River Rouge plant.

herein the quotes from Adam Smith: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Smith#The_Wealth_of_Nations notably, most civilians, and more economists than necessary, don't view 'capital' as important to 18th century production. it wasn't until the industrial revolution was well under way and natural monopoly of some/many of the new goods thus resulting were seen as a problem. thus socialism was born; in contrast to capitalism. the issue was/is simply who gets to enjoy the fruits of the shift from labor intensive to capital intensive production. capital intensive production seeks profit by shedding labor, pure and simple. the problem is, while a goal maximizing effort in the micro- world, it is a collapse maximizing effort in the macro- world.

the problem for capital intensive production: the cost of said capital must be paid no matter the level of output, so maximizing output of WidgetX is a necessary requirement. but if there are many possible producers of WidgetX, they'll have to flood the market with WidgetX driving down the market clearing price, thus none of them earning a profit. so, one or a few (monopoly, oligopoly) subsumes production. as concentration of production for the many WidgetX continues, the economy exists on a razor's edge: the monopolist sheds labor, and thus wages, and thus real demand for all WidgetX, and thus the monopolist's profit. socialism seeks to avoid that problem by accruing to the whole the profit from *some* WidgetX, generally those WidgetX widely considered to be foundational to society. Gucci luggage is not such, nor Rolex watches. redundant labor continues to consume, at least some of the many WidgetX, via redistribution. of course, those who worship at the altar of private capital object to sustaining demand through redistribution, yet they never propose an alternative. well, except Social Darwinism, whether explicit or implicit.

the Texas electric grid is just an au courant example of private failure, with society bearing the costs, of course.

Anonymous 1:23 PM  

Capitalism is nothing like gravity. One is a force of nature. The other an entirely man-made construct.
Z has had many bad takes over the years. This may be his worst.

old timer 1:52 PM  

"Well, that took a while!" was my comment when I finished the solve. (I always make some comment when I fill in the last square.) I knew FAKEBOOK right off, as does anyone who likes chatting with musicians at the end of a set. Pretty much the first question a non-musician asks when he sees it on the music stand or piano. Interesting to learn about the RealBook.

AUS came slowly. AUT (from the Fr. Autriche) is the license plate code for AUStria, but AUS is the abbreviation you may see on a map of Europe published in English. Perfectly legit. You'll see its neighbor Switz. too, instead of the French SUI(sse).

I really wanted the plural FLAGELLAe, which didn't fit. Isn't a single FLAGELLA wrong, when the clue called for a plural? I also wondered about "doesn't make it down the wave". In my experience, surfers who don't WIPE OUT exit the wave to the rear, so they can paddle out for the next Big One. They don't want to go all the way down unless they think it is time to go home, or maybe time for a doobie with their friends on shore.

Congrats to @Lewis. Goodonya!

Whatsername 2:02 PM  

@Lewis: BAM! Loved it! WHY? It was TOPS!

kitshef 2:12 PM  

@Z - thanks for the announcement about Lewis's puzzle.

@Lewis - thanks for the puzzle. I stopped doing WaPo puzzles a while ago as they were so dull, but it appears things have turned around there.

@old timer - singular 'flagellum'; plural 'flagella' or 'flagellums' or 'flagellae'.

Hungry Mother 2:16 PM  

FLAGELLi or FLAGELLA, that was the question. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the middle name as Rex did. I sorta knew it, but that’s not good enough.

pabloinnh 2:53 PM  

@Z-Thanks for the link.

And as for you, @Lewis, (performs multiple salaams), we are not worthy. Wow.

Elon Musk University 3:01 PM  

Think that’s an LA Times puzzle. They must have an agreement with Bezos.

Grouch 3:19 PM  

Apparently the recent moderator declaration that comments will have to be related to the day's puzzle was insincere.

Joe Dipinto 4:14 PM  

@grouch 3:19 – INSINCERE can be anagrammed into CERISE INN.

Anonymous 4:20 PM  

Yes, Z, the elephant analogy was yours. I didn't put your name on it because I wasn't sure I was reproducing it accurately.
Anonymous (1:23 p.m.) is correct, that equating capitalism with gravity as "forces of nature" is just plain stupid. What I complain about is that too many people, liberals as well as conservatives, treat capitalism as a product of intelligent design (a "force of nature" or the deists' nature's god). Even the booming economy, such as that of the Italian Renaissance, was not capitalistic--start throwing around the maxims of early capitalism, such as those of Benjamin Franklin, e.g. "a penny saved is a penny earned," or "neither a borrower nor a lender be"--throw those around in Renaissance Florence and you would be judged insane. Of one thing we can be certain: in the Middle Ages there was feudalism, and in the 18th century there was capitalism, and *something* must have happened.

Others in earlier posts are correct that neither capitalism nor socialism is inherently better suited to human nature. While Elizabeth Warren and Z may regard capitalism as a form of intelligent design, Bernie Sanders and AOC seem to regard socialism as a form of more intelligent design (I am sort of guessing, since I haven't read their work extensively). Marx is utterly explicit in opposing this form of socialism, in whole sections of his *Capital*, and Engels even wrote a book summarizing the theme, *Socialism: Utopian and Scientific*. That is, for Marx socialism is not inherently better suited to "human nature." Marx doesn't make much sense outside the context of Western Civilization, and perhaps as our "woke" socialists and universities destroy education and Western Civilization, one of its main components, they will not have to worry about any form of socialism opposing their silly moralistic variety.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Tom R 4:24 PM  

19A had me going for a while. What do they mean by a 3 word name? Initially wanted George "Herbert Walker Bush" but faced with that blank square at the end I had to recalibrate. Still doesn't make much sense to me. Pretty much all Presidents had a middle name (except Harry Truman - the S didn't stand for anything and properly used should not be with a period). Clue seems pretty non-specific to me.

Nancy 4:59 PM  

I'm not quite sure what in the puzzle today prompted the back-and-forth between @Poggius and @Z about which economic system -- capitalism or socialism -- "is better suited to human nature?"

It depends on what your opinion of human nature is, doesn't it?

Here's what I learned in my Political Philosophy course in college (loved, loved, loved that course!):

This is Hobbes's cynical and pessimistic view of human nature: Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."

This is Rousseau's optimistic view: "Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains."

The philosophy of one of them led to an economic system predicated on human greed and self-interest. The philosophy of the other led to an economic system predicated on fellowship and sharing. Or at least that's the idea, even when it doesn't work out so well.

Guess which is which :)

Tom T 5:02 PM  

One of those days when I found myself on the wavelength of the constructor, resulting in one of my fastest Friday puzzles. Lots of fun and enjoyable clues and answers!

Many the time as a child, I sat next to my dad on the bench of his Hammond organ, singing song after song (In the Cool, Cool Cool of the Evening; It Might as Well Be Spring, Me and My Shadow, I'll Be Loving You--Always) from his fat green fakebook. Sweet memories ...

newbie 5:20 PM  

@Lewis - Thank you for the challenge and the treat. Hercule, CT city where I used to work, turtle covering...lots of favorites. Hope to be seeing your work again soon. It was a real stretch for me but a very enjoyable one.

JC66 5:23 PM  


@Poggius started it by commenting on 9D at 10:53AM.

What? 5:53 PM  

Is Melania Trump from Slovenia? Yes! Is anything Trump so horrible we can’t put it in a crossword? Ok then, not complaining.

Lewis 6:12 PM  

@joaquin, @barbara s, @JC66, @M&A, @oldtimer, @whatsername, @kitshef, @pabloinnh, @newbie -- Thank you all for your kind words!

Anonymous 6:20 PM  

Yes, Melania is Slovenian. The idea that an obscure bball player would have been used as a clue instead of Dr. Jill Biden or Michelle Obama , under similar circumstances, is unfathomable. That’s the world we live in thanks to M. Sharp and the rest of the haters.

Bruce Fieggen 6:45 PM  

The entomologist determined that katydid’s ears were on their legs by cutting the legs off one set and leaving a control set whole. After they had settled down he snuck up on them and shouted. Only those who heard his shout jumped away.

A 6:49 PM  

I felt a twinge of guilt at being so happy to see FAKE BOOK, knowing so many solvers likely had never heard of it.

@Nancy, in case you missed it, @Joe Dipinto pointed out that since 2004, a FAKE BOOK known as The Real Book has been sold legally by publisher Hal Leonard, with appropriate royalties paid. They’ve expanded, and publish a lot of different fake books for jazz, blues, rock and country. Interestingly, I read (on jazz educator Jamey Aebersold’s website) that there were other legal fake books published beginning in the ’60s.

@kitschef, @joaquin, @Albatross, @Roo, @Frantic, @M&A - The fun part about FAKE BOOK is the word FAKE has nothing to do with the BOOK being illegitimate. It refers to a performer “faking” the piece without having the full score. FAKE BOOKs only have “lead sheets” that have the melody line and chord names (and lyrics). Guitar fake books may have guitar tablature, as well.

@Z, thanks for the @Lewis puz link - looking forward to it!
@Birchbark, thanks for the Marquee TV alert!
@Barbara, thanks - I didn’t know of Silko. That passage made me feel like I was actually there.

I did have a great time solving this, and it was extra puzzling for a while since I am uneducated about KUROSAWA. Needed lotsa help from crosses, and some intuiting of Japanese syllables.

$0.02 alert: AUStria finally got the abbreviation it deserves. Australia should’ve gotten AUT, based on pronunciation alone.

@Roo, they should have asked you before naming sigmatism! And LISP was almost in the puzzle twice, as LIS and PTA are only separated by one square.

STEERS again!

Hand up for RapesEed before REFINERY. Nice misdirect!

I also went with the bland untrue, before the psycho PSEUDO.

Hope the pols RATIFY something soon, and hope they include the Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act to assist multi-employer pensions that so many musicians need to stay solvent.

Fun times. Bravo, SB!

bocamp 7:01 PM  


Sorry I'm late to the party; just finished your very delightful and most enjoyable puzzle. :)

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all ๐Ÿ•Š

Joe Dipinto 7:34 PM  

@Anon 6:30 – Luka Donฤiฤ‡ is not nearly as obscure a presence on the basketball court as Melania Trump was in the White House.

Z 8:36 PM  

What @Lewis hasn’t confessed to is struggling to solve his own puzzle. I dooked 23A and @Lewis confessed to stumping himself there as well The difference was he misunderstood the first word in the clue and I misunderstood the second.

@Tale - Has anyone else noticed that since Rex stopped posting his times his reviews seem more positive? Not really.

@Elon Musk U - It is the LATX, which can also be found in the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Free Press, the WaPo, and probably other places, too. I don’t know what hurdles one has to jump at those other sites. WaPo makes you sit through an ad.

@Poggius - I don’t know how you got “intelligent design” from what I wrote. Just because I believe in gravity doesn’t necessarily mean I believe in god. In fact, I’ve never an atheist who didn’t believe in gravity.

Lewis 8:57 PM  

@bocamp -- Thank you for those kind words!

What @Z said is true. I did the puzzle for the first time in a long time this morning and was fooled by my own clue on that answer!

Nancy 9:03 PM  

@A and @Joe D -- I'm completely familiar with what lead sheets are: melodic line and chords only. It's what I was given to play when I took piano lessons. I was never asked to master reading the left hand notations. (As you might guess, I did not become Horowitz.)

Is FAKE BOOK just a different term for the same thing?

I'm also not sure why playing just the melody and the chords is "faking it". Musicians who do that may not be the greatest or most sophisticated performers, and they almost certainly won't end up at Carnegie Hall, but what they're doing seems "real" enough. Not faking and not cheating. If it pleases the audience and/or if the audience can't tell the difference, where's the harm?

Joe Dipinto 10:55 PM  

@Nancy – A fakebook is in essence a collection of lead sheets.

The Merriam-Webster definition Rex posted is misleading, as if by definition a fakebook *must* comprise works used without permission. The earliest ones were, I assume, because it would be a hassle to secure rights from myriad different publishers, who probably wouldn't have granted them anyway. So musicians just started piecing them together on their own. Later on in the last century, when almost no one was buying sheet music anymore, it became apparent that fakebooks served a useful purpose for musicians both professional and amateur, so publishers were happy to start licensing their songs for inclusion. As @A pointed out, there are all sorts of fakebooks legally available now.

Maybe "faking it" isn't exactly accurate, but the point is there is no arrangement provided, so how you want to play the song is up to you. All you are getting is a skeleton to work with.

Bob Mills 7:53 AM  

Had "SLOVAKIA" instead of "SLOVENIA" for 29-Across. That was a killer. Good puzzle, except I don't think AKIRA KuroSAWA" is important enough to be at the heart of a puzzle.

Richard 8:26 AM  

@Barbara S. from yesterday: prescient quote from Laguna Pueblo writer Leslie Marmon Silko, as Deb Haaland (R., NM), a kinswoman, is about to be confirmed as U.S. Secretary of the Interior (unless a sufficient number of Neanderthals -- Hey, Joe! -- decide that the planet isn't worth saving. BTW, Deb is my Congresswoman.

JennyO 3:23 PM  

Loved the video on Kurosawa. Makes me want to watch ALL of his films now, with an eye for movement.

thefogman 11:22 AM  

Pretty good one. Much easier if you know how to spell AKIRAKUROSAWA. I’ll bet you AKIRAKUROSAWA himself has trouble spelling his own name. Wreaked a bit of HAVOC for me.

spacecraft 11:56 AM  

This went surprisingly easy at the Space station. Clues were Fridayish, and some required sideways thinking, but that's what we signed up for. Always had trouble with the spelling of A.K. (not even gonna TRY our constructor!), but knew the name generally. My mom took me to see Rashomon when I was a kid; it made an indelible impression on me.

Toughest crossing for me was FAKEBOOK/GELS. Never heard of the former, and the latter was clued really weirdly. I accepted ADES because the clue was careful to mention "suffix." Not much else to carp about. Dueling DOD's JLO and GAL vie for the sash. We're still deciding.

A successful debut, much like Justin Rose's opening 65. Which included an EAGLE.

Burma Shave 2:28 PM  


Let’s give a NOD to JLO, the GAL
with VICES both EROTIC and tame.
Will that SCUM ARod, her PSEUDO-pal
make the CHAPEL, SETTLING why he CAME?


Diana, LIW 2:34 PM  

Yeah well...I don't know that director. Had to look him up. Pllggghhhh.

Otherwise a pretty good Friday for me - didn't know that word for LISP either.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 3:29 PM  

I had the beginning and end of AK___WA; was pretty sure of AKIRA ( previous puzzles), but the remainder was all crosses. Kinda wanted an I in PERSEPHONE but didn’t quite go there.

The four corners tell me I’m SOLD on JLO as yeah baby. How about some EROTIC CPR?

This week, first time in YRS, up to our EARS in STEERS. Good puz.

leftcoaster 5:13 PM  

Clever, not easy, but rewarding enough to get most of it. NW as usual was the bear.

Good clues for REFINERY (plant that may yield oil) and SCREENS (sources of a modern addiction).

Also liked COLOSSUS for Statue of Liberty.

Diana, LIW 10:52 AM  

And...I agree with @Lefty re REFINERY and SCREENS - lots of outside the box thinking required.

Lady Di

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