First and only president of the Republic of Hawaii / FRI 4-23-21 / Oni in Japanese folklore / Scrubland danger / GranTurismo maker / Oleta of soul / Finish to an oenophile

Friday, April 23, 2021

Constructor: Robyn Weintraub

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Oleta ADAMS (1D: Oleta of soul) —
Oleta Adams (born May 4, 1953) is an American singer and pianist. Adams found limited success during the early 1980s, before gaining fame via her contributions to Tears for Fears's international chart-topping album, The Seeds of Love (1989). Her albums Circle of One (1991) and Evolution (1993) were top 10 hits in the UK; the former yielded a Grammy-nominated cover of Brenda Russell's "Get Here", which was a top 5 hit in both the UK and the US. Adams has been nominated for four total Grammy Awards, as well as two Soul Train Music Awards. [...] In 1985, Adams was discovered by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, founders of the English band Tears for Fears, while she was performing in a hotel bar in Kansas City, Missouri, while they were on a US tour. Two years later, they contacted her to invite her to join their band as a singer and pianist on their next album, The Seeds of Love. In 1989, the album was released and the single "Woman in Chains", sung as a duet by Adams and Orzabal and with Phil Collins on drums, became her first hit. Adams embarked on a world tour with Tears For Fears in 1990, performing by herself as the supporting artist at the start of each show, and remaining onstage throughout the Tears For Fears set where she would provide piano and vocals.
• • •

Got my second shot today. My plan was to stay up until 10pm, solve and blog the puzzle as soon as it came out, and then do Nothing for roughly the next 36 hours. I didn't want to get up at 5am to solve (my normal weekday routine of late) because I figured any flu-like effects of the shots that I might have would start hitting me right about then, and it's hard enough writing clearly at 5am when I'm *not* achy and fatigued. Anyway, I came home, ate dinner, and of course promptly fell asleep (this likely had nothing to do with the shot). But then I woke up, mildly disoriented, with everyone (wife, cats) having gone to bed. So since I'm up, I figured I'd sneak my solving / blogging in tonight, as planned, despite having just-got-up-from-a-nap brain. The fact that I'm narrating the most mundane details of my evening to you gives you some idea of my headspace; there's no editor up there right now. So it was very nice to see Robyn Weintraub's name on the byline. Reassuring. And the puzzle turned out to be just what my sore arm and tired mind needed: easy enough to get through without terrible exertion, and entertaining enough (more than entertaining enough) to make the solving experience not just tolerable but truly enjoyable. 

If you're going to make a themeless puzzle, might I suggest one where the long answers shoot the solver out of the NW corner like a rocket? Such a thrill to put a corner together and then just come shooting out of that corner on the wings of answers like EARLY FROST and (especially) SLEEP-OVER PARTY. Zip, zoom! Follow that up with the zing! of HOT APPLE CIDER, and you've got yourself something close to an ideal opening experience:

Things did slow down after that, as "?" clues put up some speed bumps. FRONT ROW SEATS (27A: Ones best in show?) was hard for me to get, and without the word following FRONT, the middle of the grid got a little rough. Couldn't get from "bone" to BEEF at 34A: Bone to pick, had DIP for DIM (37A: Turn down), and while ARBITER occurred to me, my brain kept saying "ARBITERs don't dispute; something must be wrong." The clue says "involved in," not "engaged in," a dispute, and an ARBITER might act as a judge in a dispute, so ... fair. But putting all that together took effort. I *knew* 25D: It's measured in both feet and meters should be POEM, but I had DIP (not DIM), and just wouldn't let it go. This left me with P--P, for 25-Down, and neither PULP nor PUMP seemed like a thing measured in feet or meters. And thus I was, however briefly, in Stuckville.

Outside of that struggle in the center, there weren't many tough spots. FIBER was weirdly hard for me to get (51A: What meat and dairy both lack) (I think of meat as being fibrous, in its way ... so that was odd). Had NBC before CBS because lord I do not understand or care about corporate parent-company content-provider conglomerama drama (57D: Network with shows on Paramount+). Is Paramount+ yet another streaming service? I feel like it is. I cannot keep track of them. I guess Peacock, or whatever it's called, is the one affiliated with NBC. Sigh. Hate to spend any time thinking about random TV initialisms. But I was ultimately placated down there in the SSW by the poetic stack of "I DON'T CARE / TEDDY BEAR," and nothing else irked me after that. Just a lovely grid overall. OK, now I'm off to drink lots of water and watch Jean Arthur movies til I fall asleep (again). Happy Vaccination Day to me! Also Happy Shakespeare's birthday! Hope you are all staying healthy and making it a priority to get those shots in your collective arms. Take care.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 12:26 AM  

Ramparts, then hardhats, then parapets. Cool.

jae 12:29 AM  

Easy, smooth and solid, warm and fuzzy, liked it. It was Xwordinfo’s POW.

Only major write over was WHATS the matter before FOR DINNER.

Frantic Sloth 1:04 AM  

Dang. I was looking forward to the Rex & Rachel Solve Show since today is the 23rd and all. And with a Robyn Weintraub puzzle to boot? It would have been a hoot. But, I guess getting a Covid vaccine is considered more important than my entertainment. Harrumph.

Lemurs and EMUs and OTTERs - oh, my! I'm in a haunted forest of perfection looking for that elusive nit to pick: a Weintraub faux pas. Do they even exist? I'm beginning to doubt it.

I could go ahead and list everything I love about this puzzle, but I'll just say "well, look at it!" and I'm done.

Thanks for pepping up my droopy Fridee night, Ms. Weintraub, and please hurry back!


@TTrimble, @albie from yesterday - Groucho? Most definitely! πŸ˜‰

okanaganer 1:37 AM  

Wow, Rex, thanks for posting early. I am on the west coast and not a morning person so what a treat.

This was a great puzzle. I actually put in HOT APPLE CIDER with no crossing letters in place, it just felt right. The other long answers were so great: LIME WEDGE, BRUSH FIRE, EARLY FROST, FRONT ROW SEATS, I DON'T CARE, TEDDY BEAR, WHAT'S FOR DINNER? But it took some effort to get going; for 5 down I wanted something like SLEEPY MARATHON??.

And then 44A "Gran Turismo maker" was obviously PLYMOUTH.. well at least the T was correct. MASERATI, really?

In the southeast I had several answers penciled in, but the sound of a clarinet just had to be REEDY which changed everything. It's funny how sometimes, you just know from the clue, what the answer must be!

Two Quinceanera clues tonight!

Cristi 2:35 AM  

Medium+ for me thanks to a confident outburst of near misses: LIMEslice (later followed by mint sprig), grassFIRE, daddyBEAR (I know...), and PARiPETS (I know...). I recovered eventually, and then enjoyed wandering around the grid making sense of it. I swear I will read all the words in the clue and never let it rip in a haphazard, scattershot, throw caution to the wind way again. I am chastened, but from now on, call me methodical.

chefwen 3:13 AM  

Good for you getting that second shot out of the way. Had no problem with the first other than a sore arm, second was a totally different story, sore arm started immediately and the next morning I woke up with every muscle in my body aching, didn’t last long but felt kinda crappy all day, nothing serious, third day, back to normal. Husband had no side effects at all.

Loved the puzzle as I love all of Robyn’s puzzles. On the easy side for a Friday, for which I am thankful. Had it all finished except for the lower SW corner when I couldn’t come up with FIBER, kept thinking sugar, no, carbs, no. Handed it over to puzzle partner and TA-DAH it was done. He also figured the (OO) trick early on in yesterday’s puzzle. The guy’s getting good.

Loren Muse Smith 4:18 AM  

A Weintraub Friday! This one pushed back a bit, unlike what Rex experienced. Of course the gimme was AUDEN. I’m obsessed with the works of WB Yeats. Yeah. Right.

Terrific clue for EMU, Robyn. I also liked DRAWL crossing TWIT. Go ahead. Underestimate me, y’all.

@okanaganer - me, too, for getting HOT APPLE CIDER with no crosses!

MALTESE. Ok. Maybe there are one or two out there who are pleasant, but I’ve certainly never met a nice one. My Aunt Charlotte had two - Killer and Mr. Cool, both male, both sporting those ridiculous bows – and I don’t think I’ve ever met a meaner parapets. Give me a newfie any day.

I remember noticing back in the ‘70s that whenever I asked Mom WHAT’S FOR DINNER, she always answered with just the meat part. No mention of the green bean casserole topped with canned fried onions or the ring of Dole pineapple garnished with a dollop of mayo and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Wonder how the vegan mom answered. I dunno, maybe vegans hadn’t been invented yet. Nowadays what with all my family’s various gluten-free, keto, pescatarian leanings, my answer would have to be first Who’s asking?

“Hie” before TIE. Defensible. Both are a way to “make fast.” But off that H, I confidently filled in “whale” for the underwater breathing beast.

For some reason, I’m at once appalled and envious when my ice cream companion eschews the cone for a CUP. Appalled because, well, why? Envious because I want to exude decorum, too.

I’ve written about this before, but that’s never stopped me from repeating myself. (Heck, now that I’ve entered my dotage half the stuff that comes out of my mouth is a repeat.) My cocktail-waitressing days were the height of my snobbery. People always asked for a gin and tonic with a twist of lime, and I’d think You poor pathetic sonuvabitch, don’t you know it’s a WEDGE of LIME? Sheesh. The delight I felt back then in my obvious superiority helps me understand the sanctimony a pedant feels upon hearing someone “misuse” the verb lay. Hey – at least my disdain was private. I never publicly shamed Lime Twist Guy.

RIOT is timely. We’re all turning and turning in the widening gyre, n’est-ce pas?

Max 4:24 AM  

Holy heck, I was not only on this puzzles wavelength, I almost felt like it was a part of me. This went by smoother than any Friday ever has, and I finished in just under my average TUESDAY time. What a rush! Threw in LIMEW???? and quickly got IDID, OGRE, and TEEN, confirming it to be a WEDGE and not a wheel (I’m a bartender, and that one’s always a tossup). Typed in WHAT’S FOR DINNER? expecting it to be wrong... and then it wasn’t. That’s pretty much how the rest of the solve went. My first guess turned out to be right for pretty much every clue.

This puzzle was definitely welcome after the last few PPP bombs (couldn’t finish more than 75% of Wednesday’s). More like this please!

Conrad 5:49 AM  

I try to keep the long clues for last, STRIVE-ing to get as many answers as possible with only crosses. Sometimes that helps a lot, when the long clues misdirect. Today it made the puzzle super challenging. Once I started looking at the clues for the long answers things fell into place nicely. Great puzzle by one of my favorite constructors!

Will 5:56 AM  

I think my least favorite parts of this puzzle were those two long answer that Rex liked to get out of the top left corner. To me, a sleep over party is just a sleep over, and hot apple cider is just hot cider, so both phrases felt awkward.

vtspeedy 6:22 AM  

All the long crosses came so easily! Except I had FIRSTfrost which was so obviously correct I never recovered the northwest corner. The rest of the puzzle all fell into place, easy for a Friday but clean and pleasurable.

OffTheGrid 6:36 AM  

This one is a gem. @Loren. Love the avatar. You beat me to a PARAPET joke. Vegans weren't invented....maybe contrived. I always enjoy your takes.

HOTsPicECIDER. Overthought that one. I assumed APPLE without actually thinking it. Obvious answers can be treacherous.

Bone to pick/BEEF is awesome!

amyyanni 7:11 AM  

Thanks for explaining MALTESE, LMS. Think I was stuck on Maltese Falcon, a largish black statue. Got the NE, then the SW, and the rest fell into delightful order. Even though I have one, AMEX was the hardest answer. XES always stumps me; you'd think I would cotton on by now. Happy Friday. I am sending my retirement papers in to HR today.

Son Volt 7:27 AM  

Liked it for the most part - EARLY FROST and WHATS FOR DINNER sparkled. I DONT CARE for BRUSH FIREs and only know SLEEP OVERs - the PARTY is a little much.

Don’t like ginger much so keep your MULEs. I mix my Bombay rocks with a LIME twist - no WEDGE.

Enjoyable solve coming off a few real duds this week.

Del Monte 7:30 AM  

At first I wondered why anyone would know who the only President of Hawaii was having got DOLE from the crosses. I then thought that I guess it was inferable vis a vis the pineapple connection so I looked it up. Turns out the president and the “pineapple king” were cousins so I guess that works.

TTrimble 7:35 AM  

Little malapop (not "malaplop", kiddo!) over in the NW, putting in TRIO instead of TWIT. But this wasn't the bowling turkey, this was the jive turkey. (I guess? I don't speak jive.)

Really nice puzzle, but it was a slowish start for me. I wish I could just "shoot out" of the NW like Rex and declare it an Easy-Medium with smug satisfaction. No, I had to scan a while before finding POEM and PARAPETS, and finding my first real purchase over in the SE. That's okay -- I DON'T CARE -- in the end my time wasn't poor by my Friday standards.

My best to everyone, and Happy Friday!

JOHN X 7:52 AM  

This was a fun puzzle, but incredibly easy for a Friday. I finished it in around my Tuesday average.

I got my J&J vaccine on April 10. I don't know about all this blood clot talk. Sure, for seven days it burned when I urinated and it looked like maple syrup but there were no "blood clots." I declare it safe.

I have two cousins up in Canada who just got their first shots and have to wait until August to get their second one. Remember when we had that other president and Canadians were laughing at us? Who's laughing now, Canada?

My vaccination was the Cal State Los Angeles drive-thru and it was one of the best organized events of its size I've ever seen. There were many volunteer groups but the main efforts, registration and the vaccination, were performed by regular Army personnel (not California National Guard). They were very efficient. I think if they ran this site at full capacity 24/7, with four people to a car, they could vaccinate the entire population of Canada in two weeks.

From the entrance and up to the vaccination site I drove through a designated coned-off route across the campus and through two parking garages. It was like doing a lap at Monaco and it was awesome. Here's
sped-up dash cam footage of my vaccination.

bocamp 7:53 AM  

Thank you @Robyn, for another excellent Fri. puz; lots of snap, crackle and pop! :)

Easy+ and/or Med

I wasn't on the puzzle's wavelength, and altho my time was a few minutes under avg., it felt somewhat harder. Nevertheless, a very enjoyable experience. Lot's of sparkle and crunch.

Always love to see an OTTER in my grid!

The OTTER Song ~ Harvey Andrews

I'm an OTTER in the water swimmin' around
Hey down, bubble down, swimmin' around
I'm an otter in the water swimmin' around
Hey down, bubble down, swimmin' around

I'm lyin' on the river bank sunnin' around
Hey down, bubble down, sunnin' around
I'm lyin' on the river bank sunnin' around
Hey down, bubble down, sunnin' around

yd 0

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Kathy 7:55 AM  

In its quest to appeal to a broader demographic without losing its longtime base, the NYTXW editors need look no further than Robyn Weintraub for a model for survival. Ageless, short on PPP and slang, loaded with delicious cluing—more, please!

Carola 8:14 AM  

Much more "medium" than "easy" for me. In fact, I had a "Wait, I'm not going to be able to finish a Robyn Weintraub puzzle?" moment, when I got bogged down in the the DIM-DOLE-OPS area, not to mention a few other grid holes I'd been unable to fill. Once I let go of "spiced" (hi, @Offthegrid) and got APPLE CIDER, the rest fell into place. A bunch of the clues outfoxed me, which is a good thing (as long as I eventually understood them): the "grumbles" brought a smile and the "badly needed help" an appreciative groan at the ABETS fake-out: such a crossword staple and so hard for me to see.
I liked PARAPETS over FRONT ROW SEATS, which they could have been in the days of jousts.

@John X - Awesome video.

Sir Hillary 8:26 AM  

With its namesake having departed the NYT crossword for other pastures, Robyn Weintraub is the sole current resident of Patrickberryland, setting the themeless bar so high that I unfairly judge her puzzles against only her other puzzles, rather than against the broader set of themeless offerings. In the Weintraub-only universe, this is about 60th percentile; in the full themeless universe, it's 95th. Perspective is everything.

So much to like here, not least of which the fact that she has proven once again that it's possible to make a snappy grid full of fun long answers without needing short-junk glue to hold it together. When XES, AER, TIS and SRTA are the worst things in your grid, your grid is fantastic.

On this cold Northeast morning, I loved the evocation of a HOTAPPLECIDER during an EARLYFROST. I hope to soon experience the more summer-like LIMEWEDGE AFTERTASTE of a gin and tonic.

Nice Easter egg: WH sitting atop AUDEN.

Barbara S. 8:34 AM  

Very likable puzzle, but – alas! – over too soon. So much to like from the FROST, to the CIDER to the BEAR. I also enjoyed the clues for NO SIR (Decline in military activity) and RAT (Singer in the family?). Star’s place = SKY made me laugh out loud. One query: that grumbling clue (16D) -- was that about a stomach grumbling? Don't stomachs rumble?

I was glad to see the literary references: AUDEN/Yeats:
“Earth, receive an honoured guest:
William Yeats is laid to rest.”

And a shout-out through “Othello” to WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, whose birthday it is said to be on Apr. 23, 1564, although no one knows for sure. We do know he died on Apr. 23, though. How do you quote the most oft-quoted author in the history of authors? I decided to go for short snappers, some of which are very familiar, others less so.

All that glisters is not gold.
Banish plump Jack, and banish all the world.
Condemn the fault and not the actor of it?
Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must speak.
Eternity was in our lips and eyes.
Full fathom five thy father lies.
Grim-visag’d war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front.
He jests at scars, that never felt a wound.
I would my horse had the speed of your tongue.
Justice, most gracious duke! O! grant me justice.
Know thou first,/I loved the maid I married.
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
No profit grows where is no pleasure ta’en.
O time! thou must untangle this, not I.
Press not a falling man too far!
Reputation, reputation, reputation! O! I have lost my reputation.
Something wicked this way comes.
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand.
We were as twinned lambs that did frisk i’ the sun.
You, minion, are too saucy.

A. The Merchant of Venice
B. Henry IV, Part 1
C. Measure for Measure
D. As You Like It
E. Antony and Cleopatra
F. The Tempest
G. Richard III
H. Romeo and Juliet
I. Much Ado About Nothing
J. The Comedy of Errors
K. Coriolanus
L. All’s Well that Ends Well
M. Hamlet
N. The Taming of the Shrew
O. Twelfth Night
P. Henry VIII
R. Othello
S. Macbeth
T. Julius Caesar
U. Henry IV, Part 2
V. Titus Andronicus
W. The Winter’s Tale
Y. Two Gentlemen of Verona

jbh 8:38 AM  

Loved the puzzle.

Wrote down DETASSLING right off the bat for 3D till I realized I'd forgotten the second 'E'. FOWL at first instead of TWIT. WILD before AMEX.

Can somebody explain 52D? Simply that 'the right idea' is a saying...? It's conceivable that 'the right' anything can be a saying, imho, no?

Georgia 8:40 AM  

Congrats on your second vaccine. My yuckiness came in day 2, all gone by day 3. Getting together in homes with fully vaccinated friends with no masks is worth every second of that discomfort. A potluck small gathering feels like a holiday celebration.

Jay 8:41 AM  

What a joy to see Robyn Weintraub's name on a Friday puzzle. Add to this, is the delight of having solved it completely. No cheating and no mistakes. Yes Ma'am.
All the superlatives have already been appropriated by the other commenters.
All I'll say then is: "Than you Ms. Weintraub

Anonymous 8:50 AM  

I found this pretty easy. A little hesitation with 37D, where I had DO--and was sure this was going to be some obscure Hawaiian name no one except locals had heard of. So it's the same family, I assume, that can the pineapple etc. I had to guess on 19A, since I had no idea that Maltese were white.

I got my second Pf-- vaccine about a month ago, and it was a great relief to be done with it. My symptoms were not arm soreness but something like a very mild hangover. Usually, with a very mild hangover, you get out of bed, walk around a bit, drink some water, eat some breakfast, and the thing is done with. This stayed with me for about two days, not really diminishing, as far as I could tell.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Nancy 8:58 AM  

I just love the way Robyn clues. CAMERA; MALTESE; DRAWL; FRONT ROW SEATS; TEDDY BEAR; and especially WHAT'S FOR DINNER -- they're all quite wonderful. If I have a complaint, it's that I see no equivalency between a turkey and a TWIT (4D). In fact, I can't think of an instance where I'd call a person, rather than a thing, a turkey. He's a real turkey? What does that even mean? Never heard it -- though I bet at least one person out there probably has.

A warning about FRONT ROW SEATS. Off-Broadway or at a theater-in-the-round, they are the best -- they're wonderful. On Broadway, where the stage is raised (when you're my height and you're seated that close, the stage is situated high above your eyebrows), they're the absolute worst. You'll spend the entire evening looking a a lot of actors' feet (assuming you can even manage that) and you'll come home with an even stiffer and more arthritic neck than usual. Best seats? Fourth or fifth row orchestra.

Lovely puzzle as always Robyn. Very lively and enjoyable.

TJS 9:03 AM  

"I dont dare" instead of "I dont care", leaving me with a dnf for "DBS".

Didn't like the looks of this one at first glance, but a grind it out Friday is what I'm looking for and this one came through. Robyn is a true artist. Have a great weekend, y'all.

TheMadDruid 9:09 AM  

How did Mr. Dole escape the wrath of Rex?
I’m a big fan of Robyn Weintraub but for some reason this puzzle didn’t sparkle for me. Still some great cluing; especially for rat and twit.

Ξ© 9:15 AM  

Wowser. I had to count twice because I assumed I was wrong. But no, 12 of 72 for 17%. That’s what I’m talking about. This wasn’t Tuesday easy here, the NW was a bit of a mystery to me, but it was fun to actually solve a crossword puzzle after the last two day’s trivia exams. πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

My big hold up in the NW was toNE before SANE. I thought “toy” was a dog reference, but -EtE was getting me nowhere. Finally sussed out PARAPETS forcing me to fix SANE, and I finally finished.

Hand up for being slowed down by SLEEPOVER needing more.

Personally I prefer a Detroit Mule. It’s exactly the same as a Moscow Mule except made with Vernor’s. And that whole not trying to murder the political opposition thing.

@okanaganer - Plymouth did make a “Turismo” for a few years.

@John X - I saw on Twitter (so apply healthy levels of skepticism) that that other president’s adherents are getting into forging CDC vaccine cards. If that turns out to be accurate it will again be Canada’s turn to laugh at us.
My county is very efficient. Partnered with the local community college for the first dose with all the paperwork getting done. Then partnering with a local mega church to use their parking lot for a drive through second shot. Easy Peasy.

Following up on last night’s Uber discussion:
@TJS - I’ve never lived anywhere with a taxi monopoly. I do know that several cities heavily regulate the taxi industry, which Uber fights against to the harm of people who use taxi services.
@Gill I - Good for your friend. Gotta respect a person who wants to stay active. There’s a huge difference between the employees of a company and the company. Which is part of Uber’s con - “we give our drivers flexibility and a chance to make lots of money.”

bagelboy 9:19 AM  

had the HOT_P typed in HOTSPICED and left four empty squares. Got me thinking is HOT SPICED BEER a thing?

Nancy 9:20 AM  

What a coup today, @Barbara S!!! Finding a great Shakespeare line beginning with every letter of the alphabet in order -- that's incredible. And unless some scholar did it before you, it must have taken a lot, a lot of work on your part.

Of course, being me, I didn't notice the first letters of the lines until I went to the key below, and saw that it was sorted by letters of the alphabet, not numbers. Now why is that, I thought? Oh, yes, Aha!, I see!

There is a stanza from AUDEN's "In Memory of W.B Yeats" that's one of my favorites in all of poetry:

But in the importance and noise of to-morrow
When the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse, 25
And the poor have the sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed,
And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom,
A few thousand will think of this day
As one thinks of a day when one did something slightly unusual.

(Lines 3 and 4 are the ones that really get to me.)

albatross shell 9:26 AM  

From M-W
Turkey definition
A. something that is extremely or completely unsuccessful, especially a play or movie.
"the movie flopped—the second in a trio of turkeys"

B. a stupid or inept person.
"I felt like such a turkey spying on his house"

Suzy 9:33 AM  

The only thing better than a Robyn Weintraub Friday morning puzzle is (are?) the delightful musings of LMS— thank you!

@Will Shortz— I agree with @kathy!

Ξ© 9:40 AM  

@bagel boy - HOT sPiced beer. I think that is really just a variation on mulled beer. There’s also the other kind of “hot” beers, made with chiles, but that’s more “spicy hot” than “hot spiced.” So not all that wrong as wrong answer go.

Nancy 9:42 AM  

Where did that peculiar 25 cone from when I cut and pasted the AUDEN POEM????

OffTheGrid 9:46 AM  

@jbh. I'm glad you asked about 52D. I forgot about the clue because the answer went in off crosses and I didn't notice. Now I get it. I think your assessment is accurate. There could be other answers.

JD 9:48 AM  

Many puzzles of 2021 have left me with the feeling that it's time to move past the NYT. But then (cue Michael Corleon), "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"

So much puzzling fun, actual engaged thinking. Smooth with hints of pear and a good finish.

@Z, Har! Before I got to the end of the sentence on your Detroit Mule, I thought and "and you don't try to kill the governor."

@John X, Great video.

They call me Tim 9:55 AM  

Barbara S has shown us the brilliance of Shakespeare. But may I suggest the Enchanter can push a noun against a verb equal to the wit

"To the north there lies a cave, the cave of Caerbannog, where in carved in mystic runes upon the very living rock, the last words of Olfin Bedwee of Rheged. “Make plain the last resting place of the most Holy Grail.Follow only if you be men of valor, for the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived ! Bones of full 50 men lie strewn about its lair, so brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further ! For death awaits you all with nasty big pointy teeth"

mathgent 10:03 AM  

Very enjoyable. Goldilocks difficulty. But like TTrimble, it took me a while of get a foothold. My first time through, the only entry I was sure of was AER.

Barbara, what a treat! So many gems. "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none" -- that is pretty much my philosophy of life.

Another favorite: "Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak." It reminds me of the Cheers episode where Fraser says to Diane, "Do you ever have an unexpressed thought?"

I want to be around to pick up the pieces when somebody breaks your heart ... And that's when I'll discover that revenge is sweet as I sit there applauding from a FRONTROW seat. (Johnny Mercer)9

Mikey from El Prado 10:09 AM  

Yeah, this was a nice puzzle. Pretty easy, but still Friday-like fun. Well, Friday morning fun. Friday night fun is a different thing, and I think Rex would agree.

So my last entry, after going around clockwise was MALTESE. and for a while I could figure out what the hell kind of a white toy is that, thinking toy (yo-yo, slinky, etc.) then it suddenly dawned on me.... a toy dog! No second shot excuse for me. Mine was was two weeks ago, with no side effects. I hope it wasn’t a placebo.

Please everyone... get vaccinated. mRNA-based vaccine technology has been in development for 30 years. It’s safer than getting and spreading COVID.

jrstocker 10:11 AM  

I thought this was really, really good. That's it. Nothing more to add.

JD 10:15 AM  

@Barbara S., Thank you for the quotes. You forgot this little known bit from the Bard, "Do you not know I am man? When I hear, I just splain."

albatross shell 10:21 AM  

To include all the scrabbly letters

Question it, Horatio.

Zounds, sir, you are one of those that will not
serve God, if the devil bid you.

Joe R. 10:25 AM  

I am very disappointed not to see the vitriol that Rex heaps upon horrible people and organizations, with the inclusion of DOLE in this puzzle. He overthrew the native Hawaiian government, imprisoned the rightful ruler, Queen Lili'uokalani, and forced the annexation of Hawaii to the United States. He is certainly as worthy of disgust as many of the modern conservatives that Rex (rightly) despises.

albatross shell 10:30 AM  

@Nancy 942am
Line 25 of the complete poem.

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

lord I do not understand or care about corporate parent-company content-provider conglomerama drama

Y'all best get used to it. In short order, there'll be no new content either over-the-air or from cab/sat providers. The latter are doomed as the constituent channels in every 'package' contain nothing but old musty episodes from long, long ago in a place far away. And, y'all will need the priciest innterWebs connection to run all that streaming. Ain't capitalism grand?

RooMonster 10:43 AM  

Hey All !
Wanted "my body" for 2D, but too long!

Nice themeless. Started out with not much, let out a grunt, saying, "This is gonna be a long one!" but started getting answers little by little. Finished faster than it felt like. Nice answers, fun clues, and a Rex positive review! Holy moly! (Speaking of which, whatever happened to our @MolyShu?)

Wanted HOTchocolate first, but came up a square short. Then thought of HOTtotty. πŸ™‚ Last square was the D of DIM/DOLE. Ran the alphabet all the way through, couldn't come up with a meaning for 37A's "Turn Down." Hmm, says I, started running the alphabet again in my mind, slower, and got the lightbulb at the D. "Aha, DIM! Which would be DOLE for 36D!" Put it in, and Happy Music!

So a fun puz, nice solve, with F's!

Jeez Louise, you drove about 10 miles just to get to that vax! Were you the one who set all that up, just to mess with people? You can admit it, we're all friends here.
At least it gave some work for the cone manufacturer!

Five F's

Steve M 10:45 AM  

Thanks Robyn!

Barbara S. 10:45 AM  

Thanks to everyone who's enjoying the WS quotations. That list was compiled by me in haste -- it was a last-minute inspiration. The beady-eyed among you will notice that I have nothing for Q, X and Z. Any Bardophiles out there who know of good lines beginning with those letters, please chime in!

Anonymous 10:49 AM  

I guess my method is proved right for this kind of puzzle. But, then, I do pen on paper, so right overs only get one, at most two, shots. Run all the clues (I do Across then Down) getting the gimmes, then keep going around making sense with partials. Not one over right, which is an accomplishment.

3 FROs
3 FIs

no FUMs

Frantic Sloth 10:49 AM  

@LMS, @Barbara S You two are the Robyn Weintraub version of our commentariat, IMHO. (But, I'm right)

@JD 1015am 🀣🀣🀣 Brava! My favorite line from the unknown "problem play" The 'Splainin' to the Shrew.

Frantic Sloth 10:54 AM  


Night-solving next day puzzle + Covid Calendar Syndrome = ThursdayNight/FridayPuzzle = Friday night.

Perfectly logical, no? πŸ™„

Masked and Anonymous 10:59 AM  

Cool themeless solvequest. Did catch self tryin to come up with a theme mcguffin that maybe tied SEATS, CIDER, PARTY, and DINNER together somehow, tho. HARD CIDER and HARD SEATS works, at least.

@muse: Primo LEMON WEDGE pic. U should for sure do an illustrated runtpuz, someday.

staff weeject pick: EMU. Luv that raised-by-the-lemurs pair-o-pets clue.

fave sparklers: Almost every day-um thing. WHATSFORDINNER?

Thanx for the fun, Ms. Weintraub darln.

Masked & AnonymoUUs


Hungry Mother 11:08 AM  

Just my usual Friday slogfest. I rode my under-the-desk bike while I crawled through the grid. This morning, I watched the NASA launch from the beach about 20 miles away. It was awesome!

Newboy 11:11 AM  

The only thing better than a Weintraub Friday is the commentariat reaction. Thanks @JohnX for sharing that campus vaccination video; I did experience more nausea watching it than I experienced with either of my jabs. And I assume that @LMS will reimburse me for the cleaning bills I incurred from the coffee spew her parapets incited.

egsforbreakfast 11:15 AM  

IDONTCARE TEDDYBEAR sounds like a cold hearted put down from the valley-girlish head cheerleader. Robyn Weintraub puzzle = fun, fun, fun!

Anonymous 11:27 AM  

just noted: this was a Liberty Mutual product placement puzzle

the EMU
the wet TEDDY BEAR

are advert stars.

Teedmn 11:27 AM  

I join others who found this a tad more gnarly than the usual Weintraub Friday which is fine with me. The ? clue at 1A did not allow me to shoot of the NW a la Rex - I had to wiggle in with an EMU/LIME wedge.

I spent some time contemplating @Barbara S' rumbling vs. grumbling of 16D's clue. Most of the time, the grumbling at our house would come after the answer to WHAT'S FOR DINNER because Mom tended to cook to please Dad's meat and potatoes tastes (surprise, surprise). She would often ask, "What should I make for dinner," and then would grumble when my predictable answer was pizza, lasagna or tacos. But whatever was served, I knew it would be good.

I thought the clues for 1A, 25D and 33D were very clever. And one of my writeovers made me chuckle; 35A's "Not to" was toO but the wine aftertaste made me see the light.

Robyn, another great puzzle and a POW from Jeff Chen, thanks!

Peter P 11:39 AM  

@LMS 4:18 - Yeah, a LIMEWEDGE or lime slice is the traditional garnish for a gin and tonic, but a twist is a reasonable request. There are those "mixologists" who feel the lime is a bit overpowering, and even do without it altogether, substituting garnishes like cucumber, grapefruit, Meyer lemon, sometimes even with a mint leaf, too. I find that a bit too much: to me, lime is essential in a gin & tonic (it tastes wrong to me without the citrus kick and scent), but I can buy the argument that a twist is perhaps a more refined and balanced approach for somebody who really wants to taste their gin, while still preserving the original essence of the cocktail. So perhaps Lime Twist Guy was just muting that particular flavor in his request for a twist rather than the traditional garnish.

Barbara S. 11:40 AM  

@albatross shell (10:21)
I missed your post before I submitted my second asking for the more obscure letters. Thanks! I knew I must be overlooking scads of "Zounds" and even a few "Zeus"es, and somehow my money was on "Queen". I think the only hope for X is if some character lapses into a reverie or diatribe about Xerxes.

@Frantic (10:49)

Whatsername 11:48 AM  

A nice Friday which had enough bite to make me work at it but was pliable enough to let me feel good about a strong finish. A perfect balance really, so no surprise when I saw the constructor’s name. Another beauty from Ms. Weintraub.

I try to never answer anyone with I DONT CARE because it drives me up the wall when people say that to me. Never heard of a MOSCOW MULE. Sounds like one of Trump’s 2016 campaign cohorts. No collusion though.

The King’s Speech is a superb film about the life of King George VI aka ALBERT or “Bertie,” father of the reigning Queen. It won Best Picture and Best Actor for Colin Firth plus multiple other nominations. An excellent choice for viewing on this Academy Award weekend.

Diane Joan 11:56 AM  

Thank you Rex for getting your vaccination! I'm done as well. I was so glad to see the otters get some recognition for their breath holding acumen. They're going to need strong lungs to get through this pandemic as apparently it's been reported that they have tested positive for Covid-19, joining other animals.

Nancy from Chicago 12:08 PM  

I love Robyn Weintraub puzzles and this one didn't disappoint, although I felt less "on the same wavelength" with her than I normally do.

@Nancy, thanks for the good wishes yesterday! I'm happy to report that the shot went fine and aside from a sore arm (which won't be a problem for you :)), I've had no side effects so far (almost 23 hours now).

albatross shell 12:10 PM  

I did not know a Maltese was white or a toy dog, despite watching much of the National Dog Show a couple days ago. I put it together after getting _ ALTESE. My cleverness amazes me.

Took part in a virtual horse race?
Sterling wrote with ease?*

Love the clue mentality. Robyn's,
not mine.

A needless nit for those who care about such: EARLY FROST is not really a fall farming headache. You have to be fairly far south for Septmber 22 to be a surprising date to have a frost. But of course frost or freeze were the first things I thought of. Late summer headache would be a better clue.

Hate all these Rapper answers. Who the hell is IDI-D?

I imagine there must be some TWITs in WV, but the DRAWL is much subdued in my experience. But I am sure your grandpa played the simple country lawyer to perfection.

Did anybody explain the clue to IDEA yet?


Frantic Sloth 12:14 PM  

DARN IT! I just just made it in time to register for the ACPT, the deadline for which was noon today EDT. If not for RW's reminder on Wordplay, I would have missed it altogether. So, more than one reason to be grateful to her today! Whew!

@Whatsername 1148am Wholeheartedly agree with you on The King's Speech and will go a step further in declaring that Colin Firth can do no wrong.

@Dian Joan 1156am With you on the OTTER appreciation. Not only are they cute, cuddly, with strong lungs, they are courageous - especially in Canada.

Tale Told By An Idiot 12:19 PM  

Wonderful puzzle, Robyn Weintraub, and wonderful post Barbara S.

After I remembered that there is a reference to Xanthippe in “The Taming of the Shrew” I looked it up to see if her name began a line. Alas, no. In Act I, scene II, Petruchio says (in essence) that as long as he finds a wealthy woman to be his wife he does not care about her negative qualities. “Be she curst and shrewd as Socrates’ Xanthippe ....” (I remember the reference to Xanthippe because as a college senior I was “into” Plato and wrote a thesis on his dialogue “Phaedo”, about the last day of Socrates’ life.)
According to a website I found this morning, that is the only use of “X” to begin a word in the entire canon. I had never heard of the website before and cannot vouch for its accuracy. ( citing Schmidt, “Shakespeare Lexicon”, for which I cannot vouch either.)

Congratulations to all vaccinatees. I had a wonderful feeling of liberation after #2 and have actually gathered indoors, unmasked with others who are “safe”.

Unknown 12:20 PM  

Robyn for President!

And a pleasant review by rex? I need to buy a lottery ticket tonight! All is good.

jb129 12:44 PM  

Congrats Rex on getting your second shot!

I smiled all through Robyn's puzzle today until I got tripped up on "Teddy Bear".

Still smiling - I love your puzzles, Robyn!

Chris Wendell 12:48 PM  

Loved BEEF crossing with WHATSFORDINNER. perfect.

GILL I. 12:50 PM  

I did this puzzle last night after my WHATS FOR DINNER dilemma. A Robyn Friday....tasted just like my. Chocolate Poke Cake. Delicious.
I laughed at MAN CAVE because the best TV commercial now is that "She Shed" one. You know, the one that burns down and she yells "My she-shed is on fire." You had to have been there.
@Whatsername. I too won't answer to I DON'T CARE. If someone tells me "you pick" I'd sy "You bet your sweet bippy I will."
Hey, FRO isn't clued as a hairdo.

RooMonster 12:58 PM  

I used to be on a Monty Python message board, where my moniker was TWIT Of The Year. TOTY, for short.
Apropos, no? 😁

That's why I got a kick out of my second guess of HOTtoddy (earlier I wrote it as HOTtotty). It's the simple things in life.

RooMonster Simple TWIT Guy

Anonymous 1:05 PM  

Can someone please explain the RAT clue to me? I do not understand it!

Barbara S. 1:10 PM  

@Tale Told (12:19 PM)
Excellent X research. I wasn't aware of the Xanthippe reference in Shrew. And at least now we know that a quest for an initial X would be quixotic. (Too much?)

JC66 1:13 PM  

@Anon 1:05

If family = Mafia, singer = RAT.

longsufferingmetsfan 1:13 PM  

Super puzzle, a perfect Friday. Thanks, Robyn!

Whatsername 1:19 PM  

@okanaganer and @Z: I knew another manufacturer had a Turismo model at some point but couldn’t think which one. Thanks for saving me having to look it up.

@Frantic (12:14) “Colin Firth can do no wrong.” I agree and for that matter, neither can Geoffrey Rush or Helena Bonham Carter.

**Vaccine Discussion Alert**
@chefwen (3:13) Your description of your second reaction matched my experience exactly. My arm began to hurt before I even got my sweater back on and the next day I felt like I’d been run over by a bus. I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one.

Ξ© 1:29 PM  

It’s only authentic Mansplaining if it comes from the Mansplain region of France.

@Anon1:05 - If your family is the Mafia and you sing you are a RAT.

I think that’s the right IDEA.

old timer 1:45 PM  

I had a terrible, shameful DNF yesterday. Imagine my chagrin when I went through this puzzle and found no obvious starting point. Only at the bottom, where SRTA was a givem and AER, amd TEDDYBEAR was at least a good guess (and hey, what about all the parts of the country where quinceaneras are unknown? They are of course a big deal in Sonoma County and most of California).

But somehow, the puzzle very slowly got filled in, and I started grinning more and more at the clever clues. And furrowing my brow at things like shakshuka. I know PITA bread but shakshuka sounds Japanese rather than Middle Easterm.

I really like TRES, which means such different things in French and Spanish. And my real lifesaver here was AFTERTASTE. Back in 1968. I took a class in wines, conducted by a fellow law student. We sampled wines that would cost over ten grand today, but were reasonable then, when divided among 14 people, and I learned a lot that you would never learn visiting Napa or wherever.

LMS, nothing shocked me more than getting to know my brother-in-law from Charleston, WVA. He spoke with a very pronounced DRAWL. I dunno, maybe his family, Jewish and in the rag trade, laid it on a bit thick, to impress the customers, but it sounded authentic to me, and his Vermont-born wife picked it up too, though to a lesser extent.

Anonymous 1:55 PM  

If anyone cares..
Gran Turismo just means grand tourer. It's the GT you've seen for 70 years in literally scores of cars. Many not deserving the honor. Lancia is widely credited with its creation, applying it to their lovely two door Aurelia in the early 1950s.
GTO, another very famous name in automotive history, means gran turismo omologato. Grand touring homologated ( homologation is the certification in sports car racing that ensures the car is what it purports to be. In effect ensuring sufficient production numbers to prevent manufactures from entering specialty works cars in races there were for production cars)
I've lost track in this world of ours gone mad, and I'm sure you know will be along shortly to correct me if I'm wrong, but a Ferrari 250 GTO is the most expensive car in the world. I think, I think they go for more than $50 million if they have the right pedigree. ( and they all have some pedigree. Only 36 or 37 were ever produced)

Ξ© 2:21 PM  

@Anon1:55 - I never knew what the O of GTO meant (or if I did I long forgot it). Thanks. As for that Ferrari, Wikipedia says the current record is $70 million. That’s quite the return on the original investment even when taking into account inflation. Your post also reminded me that the Mustang was almost called a Torino. In Once in a Great City David Maraniss relates that Henry Ford II didn’t want an Italian name for their new car because he was afraid it would draw attention to the fact that he was cheating on his wife with his Italian mistress. Apparently no fear that “Mustang” might suggest bestiality. People tend to forget that the Mustang was the next big new nameplate after the Edsel face plant. Would “Torino” have had the same sort of impact? Again, thanks for the info. Interesting stuff.

bocamp 2:25 PM  

Just a tiny side-eye at SLEEPOVER PARTY, as 'sleepover' or 'slumber party' are more on my wavelength.

My son and his cousin (at ages 5 & 4) would sing this at a local restaurant, which had a small stage with an open mic ('82): TEDDY Bears Picnic ~ Anne Murray

@TTrimble (7:35 AM)

Thot TRIO at 4D for the same 'bowling' reason, but didn't 'plop'/'pop' it. I think I previously referred to this concept as a semi-pop, and @Frantic suggested 'half-a-pop' (as I recall). LOL

JOHN X (7:52 AM)

Thx for the vid; very efficient operation!

Barbara S. (8:34 AM)

Great list! Yes, my 'beady eyes' did notice, and I immediately thot 'Zounds'. And, "… that is the Question:" also came to mind, but is disqualified for obvious reasons.

My fave from Hamlet, and an alternative for 'F', (but also disqualified due to being a non-starter): "… for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so".

@Whatsername (11:48 AM) / @GILL I. (12:50 PM)

I agree: as a general rule, I don't care for, I DON'T CARE. πŸ˜‰

pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all OTTERsπŸ•Š

What? 2:36 PM  

Zounds! Must be from something.

Anonymous 3:14 PM  

Sir Hillary(8:26 a.m.) notes that WH is directly over the A in Auden, 21A. I'm amazed that people find these things.

This reminded me of story told me in Chicago in the early 1970s, when I had a number of friends at the University of Chicago Press. All presses have embarrassing screw-ups, and a favorite occurred about 1970 when Chicago was going to publish something by W. H. Auden, perhaps in an anthology. Out of the blue a phone call came to the press from a man who identified himself as "Wystan Auden," and he needed to speak to a certain senior editor. The woman taking the call was not unlearned but she had no idea to whom she was speaking. She did know that she was not supposed to put through unsolicited calls to a senior editor. So she put this Wystan fellow on hold as she inquired around the office as to what junior editor could take this call. After an inquiry or two she was informed that she had put W. H. Auden on hold!

By the way, nice puzzle, and nice to have Auden there--he's one of my favorite poets. If you have run out of things to read during lockdown, he's worth returning to.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

TTrimble 3:17 PM  

0 for today. WOOT

pabloinnh 3:59 PM  

Extra late to the party and had trouble getting into this one. I should have looked at the constructor's name which would have explained a lot. Not helped by the fact that we've had no internet for two days as it had to be reconnected after our move. Also not helped my sitting in a room full of assorted furniture and listening to a crew of painters making crew of painter conversation.

Anyway, eventually finished up in about twice my usual time and was, like most here, delighted. Great clue for TRES, and any puzzle with OTTERS is automatically on my faves list.

@bocamp--Thanks for the OTTER song. Here's my favorite:

The otters say, There's not much to it--
If it ain't fun, we just won't do it.

which I just made up. It may need filling out a little.

Thanks for all the fun, RW, you Rascally Woman.

bocamp 4:36 PM  

@TTrimble (3:17 PM) πŸ‘

@pabloinnh (3:59 PM) yw 😊

For us, we pretty much intuit --
Otherwise, we just won't do it


Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all people & OTTERs ✌🏽

JD 5:09 PM  

@Frantic, Ha! Tame that.

jberg 5:50 PM  

As I sit here in one of the dives of whatever street it was, I have to admit that this was harder for me than for many. I couldn't thing of anything for 5D, and by the time I got back to it I had that VE in the middle, so I figured it must be something about a raVE. I needed a lot of crosses to get over that.

More seriously, I unhesitantly put in WHATS the mattER for 16D, making if impossible to see the bone picking _EE_, or that faterh figure. Fortunately, I did have TIE, so OTTER could be nothing else.

Generally a great puzzle, despite my struggles.

@Nancy, it must be regional. I was born in Louisville, but my parents went back to Wisconsin when the war ended (I was 3), and I lived there for the next 18 years. No one ever said turkey meaning TWIT in that time; but since I moved to Massachusetts I hear it all the time. It's a little more like 'loser' than TWIT, but close enough.

@Loren, glad to see you know your Yeats!

I got my second shot back in February, hope everyone else does soon. Like the man says, "We must love one another or die."

albatross shell 6:51 PM  

@jberg 550pm
I thought LMS was saying she does not know her Yeats. I am not positive she was being truthful. Maybe I missed some subtlety of hers. Or maybe of yours?
Confused again. O well.

I trust you saw the answer to your question to me yesterday. I almost typed it correctly.
Semi-rye, NY.

Frantic Sloth 7:02 PM  

@bocamp 225pm I very well could have said something like that, but as with most things, I have no memory of it. Maybe you're thinking of "malapop" which was originated by ACME, I believe? General rule of thumb: if it's credit you're looking to assign, you can usually skip right on over me; if it's blame, that's another story (which I probably pulled out of my bum-de-bum-bum).

@Whatsername 119pm Agree on Geoffrey Rush and HBC. She has gotten much better with age, too!

sasses 7:47 PM  

Dole Foods burned all the pineapples on Kauai in order to build another resort and golf course. In the 1980's I think.

phenry 7:50 PM  

You can have a SLEEPOVER or a slumber PARTY. But you can’t have a SLEEPOVER PARTY.

sasses 7:54 PM  

So far. Problems have occurred for six women who had been on estrogen.

A 8:31 PM  

Finally a crossword puzzle! And a Weintraub too boot! Hated that I couldn’t get to it until late, but it has definitely brightened my day!

Agree with OFL about the difficulty - kind of like eating an ice cream CONE. Easy and fun to eat but a bit challenging to keep clean while doing it. This one was just dripping with cunning clues, as well as elevated entries like SKY, AERIE, MIR, AER, PARAPETS, and a high PRIEST.

A few cunning contenders for clue favs:
Bone to pick
It’s measured in both feet and meters
Query that might follow some grumbling
Singer in the family

@Loren, wow, impressive lime wedge! Maybe that’s what lime Zest Guy was afraid of? So glad I didn’t think of hIE, like you did, that is every bit as good as TIE.

Sir Hillary, nice catch re WH. Liked your Weintraub-only universe perspective!

@Barbara, you nailed it with your snappers (I’m calling them Willsnappers!) - and in alphabetical order, no less! What a treat. Many of them feel so timely. “O! grant me justice.”

@albatross, you found the Q and Z I was looking for - thanks! Now for X….. Ah, @Tale Told tells us no such are extant.

The earth has music for those who listen.

Not that REEDY

@Z, “ it was fun to actually solve a crossword puzzle after the last two day’s trivia exams.” I needed that, I DID!

@Teedmn, I thought WHAT’S FOR DINNER can either follow or precede grumbling.
after if the mom feels put upon and taken for granted.

@Frantic, L’Otters have to be brave in the face of illiteracy!

@GILL, are you serious about Chocolate Poke Cake? I have poke in my yard and don’t know what to do with it.

@pablo, welcome back - if you haven’t done Wednesday and Thursday, don’t bother, unless you’re in the mood for trivia. It was awful. Skip the puzzles and just read the commentary!

In honor of the absent @Lewis:
10 dopples:

Ms. Weintraub, thank you!!!

bocamp 8:40 PM  

@Frantic Sloth 7:02 PM

It was maybe five months ago, give or take; malapops came up in the general discussion and I mentioned that I often have semi-malapops (or some such) for thinking of an answer but not entering it, only to find it appearing elsewhere as an answer in the puz. You suggested half-a-pop, which I thot was bang on. Anyhoo, credit where credit is due, even tho the wordsmith is not remembering. Today's turkey TRIO (apparently only in @TTrimble and my minds) was a bonafide 'half-a-pop' on my part. I think he actually entered it, making it a full on malapop (tho he called it a little one; not quite sure why).

And, even tho not a regular contributor to the blog in ACME's day, I do recall her coining the term, 'malapop'.

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all people & OTTERs ✌🏽

RAD2626 8:56 PM  

Wonderful puzzle. Agree with every positive remark.

@LMS, so clever dissing Yeats then ending with the opening line of one of his masterpieces. Glad@jberg spotted it. And with a couplet that remains so apt:

The best lack all conviction,
While the worst are full of passionate intensity.

Crazy Jane and the Bishop indeed.

@sirhillary. Totally right. Robyn Weintraub’s cluing is so reminisce of PB1. You stare and stare and think and it comes out. A puzzle full of ahas and smiles.

Great Friday offering.

TTrimble 9:57 PM  

Yeah, I actually entered TRIO and then found TRIO again and decided the first was wrong. I'm not sure why I called it a "little" malapop either, but maybe it was to say that it didn't hang me up in any serious way: it was practically an orphan entry with few to no crossings.

albatross shell 10:12 PM  

Aha yes. Slouching I see.

Anonymous 11:59 PM  

I cannot for the life of me figure out why "High home" is AERIE.. but great puzzle otherwise.

A 1:02 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carole 10:52 AM  

Can anyone explain 52 Down???

kitshef 9:58 PM  

Too tough for me, as I finished with NIX/POEX/NOLE for DIM/POEM/DOLE. I had POEM in and took it out only very reluctantly, but after spending minutes running the alphabet thrice at that DIM/DOLE cross and still not cluing in, something had to give so I went with NIX.

Harbor compounding pharmacy 9:29 AM  

Got my second shot today. My plan was to stay up until 10pm, solve and blog the puzzle as soon as it came out, and then do Nothing for roughly the next 36 hours. I didn't want to get up at 5am to solve (my normal weekday routine of late) because I figured any flu-like effects of the shots.
Every day we receive calls from prospective patients inquiring about our compounding services for their Compounding Pharmacy . These patients have heard about us from a family member or a friend, or they have been referred by their doctor, or they have a prescription for a compound medication in their hand,

spacecraft 10:25 AM  

A lot of "that could be ANYthing" clues today, to STRIVE for Friday difficulty, but nailing a couple of the longballs kinda softened things up. Once I got that the "grumbling" of 16-down was my stomach, things went smoothly.

Sharp eyes to notice the WH over AUDEN. Wow. I bet Ms. W. may not have had that in mind, but surely saw it in the AFTERTASTE. And thought: "Cool!"

My solve just happened to end at square 9, with that X creating the horrid entry XES. One ugly zit on an otherwise beautiful grid face. Even AMEN/NES, with its rapper reference, would have been better. No wait, that's NAS. I get confused so easily. But isn't there some Nintendo thingy? Anything but XES. Knocks it down from eagle to birdie.

Burma Shave 11:09 AM  


Worst SLEEPOVERPARTY this SKY has seen.
WHAT’S the IDEA? This is SORT of obscene.
NOSIR, he’s still a PRIEST with a TEEN.


thefogman 11:11 AM  

A fine puzzle by a fine constructor. Thank you Robyn Weintraub.

rondo 11:39 AM  

I think it's all been said. Robyn OTTER get a prize.

thefogman 1:25 PM  

@Carole 10:52 am. I think 52D refers to the phrase “The right IDEA.”

Diana, LIW 2:40 PM  

Abundant triumph points today after a few errors along the way. I heard Will once say "just put in the answer you think of" and it helps you get to the right one. Today - that happened in spades, as my poker party turned into a SLEEPOVERPARTY.


Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoaster 4:22 PM  

I think this one by Ms. Weintraub was too good for me. Got most of it, but with a feeling of, I DON’T CARE enough to finish.

Some TWIT of a president many years back said something like, “STRIVE to endeavor”. But, actually, I think he said, “Endeavor to persevere.” Either way, sounds like the summons of a DIM leader.

I should have tried harder.

leftcoaster 6:39 PM  

Not a president, evidently, but some other ranking federal official from days past.

leftcoaster 9:45 PM  

The line evidently came from a character playing a federal official in a Clint Eastwood movie, “The Outlaw Josey Wales”. In the movie, the official spoke to a group of “civilized” Native Americans, urging them to “endeavor to persevere”. Anyway, that’s the story.

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