Old 2017 double-platinum debut album for SZA / FRI 5-14-21 / Forester and Old Overholt offerings / Snacks known as student fodder and scroggin in Germany and New Zealand / US city that's home to the largest Basque population outside of Spain

Friday, May 14, 2021

Constructor: Yacob Yonas

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: "CRIP Camp" (2D: "___ Camp," 2020 Oscar-nominated documentary) —

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution is a 2020 American documentary film directed, written and co-produced by Nicole Newnham and James LeBrechtBarack and Michelle Obama serve as executive producers under their Higher Ground Productions banner.

Crip Camp had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, 2020, where it won the Audience Award. It was released on March 25, 2020, by Netflix and received acclaim from critics. It has received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature. // 

Crip Camp starts in 1971 at Camp Jened, a summer camp in New York described as a "loose, free-spirited camp designed for teens with disabilities". Starring Larry Allison, Judith Heumann, James LeBrecht, Denise Sherer Jacobson, and Stephen Hofmann, the film focuses on those campers who turned themselves into activists for the disability rights movement and follows their fight for accessibility legislation. (wikipedia)
• • •

Pretty strong grid today. No real oohs or aahs, and the grid design ... I dunno, seemed like I was dealing with a lot of short stuff. Felt choppy, chopped up, in a way that made it feel kind of formless—like I was never really in any section, because the sections weren't, I don't know, discrete enough. It was a bit like solving my way through a blob. I know I complain about highly segmented grids sometimes because I don't like corners that are almost completely cut off, but apparently there is another extreme, and this is it. The long answers don't have the effect of creating an open feeling because they're kind of sliding all over the place. What this meant, in practical terms, is that I never really had that great feeling of a corner's opening up, or of several adjacent long answers coming together at once. The grid just felt formless, somehow. And though there were good longer answers all over, they were all just good, not Wow, so it had more of a workmanlike feel to it overall. I think AU CONTRAIRE abutting NOT UP TO SNUFF was my favorite part of the solve, although RAISE A GLASS alongside BEER GARDEN is pretty good too. In those places, I got a little bit of that cool 'Whoosh!" feeling I like to experience when a Friday really throws down and the grid opens up. Everywhere else, I felt like I was hacking away dutifully; the longer answers, when they came, were absolutely solid, but my reaction tended more toward "I SEE" than "oh, cool." 

I'm fairly certain my mood was also dampened by the mere mention of Bitcoin, not to mention the unpleasant E-answer it was used to clue (EMONEY) (23A: Ethereum or Bitcoin, for example). I can't believe I live in a (cross)world where I have to accept ECASH *and* EMONEY. EMONEY should've been clued [How rocker Eddie Money signs his checks]. The whole world of EMONEY (if that's what you insist on calling it) reeks of bro-commerce and scamminess. Just yuck. My mood was probably even more dampened by my own failure to get sufficient traction in the NW, where I opened the puzzle. Never pleasant to start out flailing. And then, on the other end of the flailing, there just wasn't enough of a payoff to make the bad feeling go away. And I was so proud of knowing "CRIP Camp"! That's what you get for pride, buster! I went CRIP, SPY, and then ... CATY. With a "T" (3D: Women's rights pioneer Elizabeth ___ Stanton). I know her name so well, how am I still conflating her spelling and CATE Blanchett's spelling this late in the game? I know Stanton's middle name is spelled unusually, but apparently I can't remember the exact nature of the unusualness. That one-letter error probably hurt me most up there. But APPS for ATMS didn't help (1D: You can bank on them), nor did FIGHT (the actual word people use) for MELEE (srsly?) (15D: Hockey game highlight, for some). Vague clues on AXED (7D: Cut) and SLEDS (20A: Winter Olympics equipment) made those invisible as well. Had to abandon the area and start over somewhere around (ugh) EMONEY. That NE area went more smoothly, and I went clockwise around the grid from there, coming back up to the NW via the bottom of ALL SYSTEMS GO, which allowed me to work things out up there. The plural on TRAIL MIXES is awk. Also, I really wanted a brand of snack, or something that I could imagine literally *any* "student" eating (since "student" is in the (ungainly) clue) (14A: Snacks known as "student fodder" and "scroggin" in Germany and New Zealand, respectively). MIDDLE SEAT is good, but of course I thought the "flier" of the clue was the pilot (17A: What few fliers desire), so wah wah, thanks for playing, better luck next time. 

No idea who MARLO is (still haven't watched "The Wire") (42A: Drug kingpin on "The Wire"), so I went with CARLO. Then things briefly got very dicey down there when I went with St. YVES instead of St. IVES at 51A: St. ___, locale in an English nursery rhyme). Ended up with C-Y- at 42D: One of eight in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and had to repeatedly sing the song to myself to make sure that the only possible answer was eight MAIDs (a-milkin'). Otherwise, the puzzle was very doable, with only BITE MARKS for TIRE MARKS really slowing me down at all (35A: Leftovers from a doughnut, say). In case you didn't know, a "doughnut" is a term to describe driving in a circle while burning rubber, which leaves TIRE MARKS in a circular, or "doughnut," shape. I don't think anything else needs explaining. Cheers.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


DeeJay 6:19 AM  

A delightful solve, I liked the nooks and crannies as I was able to gain traction due to the large number of short entries.

Lewis 6:38 AM  

From start to finish, this gave pleasure on so many fronts. As I walk away from it, I’m wowed by how perfectly pitched it was for Friday in resistance, in providing cracks of light to overcome that resistance, in cluing wit, and in its trove of joy-giving answers.

So many of those answers! ALL SYSTEMS GO, AU CONTRAIRE, GROTTO, (Bel) PAESE, TEASER ADS, NOT UP TO SNUFF, and even HAGGIS. Those first two, by the way, are NYT debut answers.

[Leftovers, from a doughnut, say], for me, was the star clue, but the fuzziness of the clues in general was just right in that it got my brain eager to crack them open, and bursting with glee when it did.

Even my aberrant word-nerd fixation got satisfied when I discovered the lovely PuzzPair© of FORT SUMTER and A BASE.

The answer RATE is in the top row, which, to me, is appropriate, because I rate this puzzle very high. Thank you for creating this gem, Yacob!

Texas Momma 6:58 AM  

Went with BEIRGARTEN (I realize now that I had my German for BEER wrong) which left me with cheese BELPAISE and actor ALTA. Both seemed possible to me so I never found the errors. DNF for today.

Trockmn 6:59 AM  

Prototype Friday solve. The type of puzzle that will get me up at the most ridiculous hour for the next three months in hopes that it repeats.

Frantic Sloth 7:24 AM  

*sigh* Lookie-loo. 🙄 Why?

Took me a while to get started (falling asleep during the solve should have clued me in that I wasn't ready to "think"), but after a night's sleep the wavelength elves finally got to work.

Ultimately, this was somewhat challenging in places, but zippy in others, so a good time was had by all of the brain cells. (People have told me that I must have some, all evidence to the contrary.)

Plus, entries like, well, every stinkin' one of the longs were fresh and clever and had me utter a "whoa - that's new" here and a "what a sparkly gem" there. And a SEATURTLE!! How adorbs is that?

Rest of the fill? Dude ACE(d)IT.

Other thoughts:

Have never eaten HAGGIS, but from what I've heard "delicacy" isn't the first, middle, or last word that comes to mind.
But what do I know?

Not sure how one uses BRUTEFORCE to crack a code, but let me drink some Muscle Milk and work on it.

I can't help thinking that EMONEY or "non-fungibles" isn't just a canard born out of some sort of "revenge of the nerds" type deal. Do I dismiss it as gobbledegook because I didn't just fall off a turnip truck or do so at my financial peril?
Whatever. I'll most likely die wondering. And not caring.

@Z from yesterday. Joel Silver. Who knew? Alas, the Sloth knows squadoosh about any "Twitter game" and is okay with that. Can't say I've ever seen that Domino's commercial and wonder if it's shampoo ad agencies' attempt at an "in" for targeting you.

LENs x I no longer care 🤷‍♀️

Anonymous 7:37 AM  

Isn't a doughnut a term used for a "small" spare tire?


kitshef 7:42 AM  

If Nancy didn’t like Monday’s offering as it was too easy, she’s really going to hate this. I don’t track it, but this had to be the fastest Friday ever. My only overwrites are alES before RYES and STRESSeRS before STRESSORS.

There is a lot of nice fill here (around the occasional CTRL and MARLO). It just needed much, much tougher clueing.

Haven't thought about bel PAESE for years. Thirty years ago that was a fairly common party cheese. Now, it feels like brie has taken over the world.

Frantic Sloth 7:44 AM  

Weird. Rex sees a lot of "short stuff" while I was struck by how many longs there were. Or maybe it just seemed like a lot because I liked them all? Either way, I didn't get the choppiness he experienced. However, "bro-commerce and scamminess" needs to be developed into...something. Song, movie, manifesto - something.

Else, put me in the @Lewis camp today.

@Jim 737am Yes, I've heard (and used) that. Automotive pastry is a limited vocabulary I guess...

Wundrin' 7:44 AM  

What is a TEA SERAD?

Hungry Mother 7:46 AM  

I had AUCONTRAIRE and said to my wife, “WTF is this?” Then I saw it. BTW, my wife was a French teacher.

Conrad 7:53 AM  

I made every mistake that @Rex made and -- since I'm SO creative -- a few of my own: Desperately wanted the Charleston site to be FORT SUMpTER, BOorS before BORES at 39A and ABASh before ABASE at 25A. Actually, it was the incorrect ABASh that disabused me of fight for the hockey highlight at 15D. But the long answers were lovely, gettable and saved my hindquarters.

Conrad 7:54 AM  

@Anon 7:37: Yes, the tiny tire was my thought, right up until I read @Rex. I figured maybe they leave more TIRE MARKS than regular tires.

Hoboken Mike 8:12 AM  

True enough that a donut is a small spare tire but enough of them will give you a large one.

kitshef 8:13 AM  

@Wundrin' 7:44 - I think you meant TEASE RADS

The Assman 8:15 AM  

It's also a seat cushion if you have the 'roids.

pabloinnh 8:17 AM  

Did I think ALLYSYSTEMESGO right away? Well yes, yes I did, but did I write it in? I did not. When I finally wound up back in the NW, there it was. Oh.

Actually started with RAISEAGLASS, because it fit. Traction was gained and off I went. Looking over clues randomly revealed a lot of pop culture that I was unfamiliar with, sinking feeling, but eventually things cleared up and the crosses kicked in and the sun came out and the birds sang and I was done. A very satisfying solve that felt almost like a Saturday. Appropriate crunch factor much appreciated.

I'm with @Frantic in not thinking of HAGGIS as a delicacy, nor do I think of it as savory (tasty), although I know "savory" is used to denote "not sweet".

And someday I'll remember where ACCRA is, but today was not that day.

You were almost YY for me, but not Sr. Yonas. Well done you. Thanks for all the fun.

Z 8:21 AM  

Ugh. What a bitter aftertaste. Didn’t have a toe-hold in the NW, so the solve was the entire east side, then the SW, then finished in the NW where my last word in was CRIP. Just an ugly place to finish. I’m sorry, but using an award-winning documentary to justify putting CRIP in your puzzle is not just BS, it is flat out bull shit. Why would you want such ugliness in your grid? It’s like thinking “you know what the Mona Lisa is missing? A zit.” Going with five-letter crossowordese at 1A isn’t a real good idea, anyway, but then to use it to get an ugly pejorative into the puzzle. WTF are you thinking?

The rest of the puzzle was pretty good. I’m pretty much with Rex on the entire Eword phenomenon. It is always suboptimal fill. EMONEY does cross some decent long downs, so it’s forgivable, but ewords are always at least a minor sin. I also felt a twinge at the MELEE clue, but because it is too true. Maybe it will change now that ESPN will be airing NHL games, but it feels like the only time you see hockey “highlights” is when there is a MELEE. Which is sad, because it really is an amazing game lessened by its tolerance of fighting.

Rex wrote still haven't watched "The Wire". I could have sworn he was a huge The Wire fan. It’s high on my list of overhyped/overrated shows, so his mere mentioning of it made me cringe because I assume we will now be burdened with fanboys telling us ad nauseam how everyone just has to watch it because itsthebestshowever. Blrrgh.

Snowstorms. Church parking lots. No such thing as “anti-lock brakes.” Ah, those were the days. TBF, we never “burned rubber” so never left TIRE MARKS.

@Frantic Sloth - The other “big name that surprises people” is Bill Nye, who also played Ultimate in college.

mmorgan 8:21 AM  

I wanted CRYPTO for 23A and was disappointed when it turned out to be EMONEY. CRYPTO would have been much cooler. Otherwise I thought the puzzle was great and had a bunch of lively and fresh answers.

bocamp 8:28 AM  
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marykathleen 8:29 AM  

In regard to Elizabeth CADY Stanton, she was born Elizabeth Cady. It's her maiden name.

Anonymous 8:30 AM  

My best time on a Friday by far! Loved the downs and the clues rarely tricked me. Good puzzle!

Tony 8:39 AM  

Cady is Elizabeth Cady Simpson's father's surname, not an unusual spelling like "Cate".

Rube 8:42 AM  

So this was pretty good but just too easy.
Maybe being maskless and dining al fresco at my diner gave my brain a boost.
Crypto ccy is not emoney because regular money can be used on line just as easily. Perhaps a distinction without a difference. My first thought there was frenzy which has 2 of 6 correct letters.

But what about BOISE? How interesting is that fact. Boise is located in the heart of America's anarchist/separatist movement...precisely what the Basques are for Spain. Could there be a connection?

Barbara S. 8:53 AM  

I had a great time solving this. I thought it was an exemplary Friday and I was a model solver! (Except – thud back to earth – it probably was if anything a bit too easy for a Friday and I did make a few errors along the way.) I don’t really understand Rex’s complaint of choppiness; it wasn’t as wide open as some Friday grids, which eliminated grid-spanning or near-grid-spanning acrosses, but I thought the plentiful sparkling downs made up for it.

RAISED A GLASS accompanied BEER GARDEN and it also crossed HAGGIS, which sounds to me like Hogmanay (Scottish New Year’s). ALL SYSTEMS GO, NOT UP TO SNUFF and especially the lovely AU CONTRAIRE tickled me pink. I looked up “doughnut” in relation to TIRE MARKS and I found references to spare tires, but they were all spelled “donut”, so maybe Rex is right. Like @Frantic, I wasn’t sure about BRUTE FORCE and code-cracking but my husband said it has something to do with a computer program that methodically plods through all possible solutions instead of a more sophisticated AI approach that would be able to focus in on the solution more quickly. Judging from the last two puzzles, LEN’s day seems to have passed and TED has taken over. Always love to see those Spelling Bee words. Today it was MELEE.

This is an excerpt from The Inferno by DANTE ALIGHIERI, born May 14, 1265.
(Translated by John Ciardi)

“Then turning to those spirits once again,
I said: ‘Francesca, what you suffer here
melts me to tears of pity and of pain.

But tell me: in the time of your sweet sighs
by what appearances found love the way
to lure you to his perilous paradise?’

And she: ‘The double grief of a lost bliss
is to recall its happy hour in pain.
Your Guide and Teacher knows the truth of this.

But if there is indeed a soul in Hell
to ask of the beginning of our love
out of his pity, I will weep and tell:

On a day for dalliance we read the rhyme
of Lancelot, how love had mastered him.
We were alone with innocence and dim time.

Pause after pause that high old story drew
our eyes together while we blushed and paled;
but it was one soft passage overthrew

our caution and our hearts. For when we read
how her fond smile was kissed by such a lover,
he who is one with me alive and dead

breathed on my lips the tremor of his kiss.
That book, and he who wrote it, was a pander.
That day we read no further.’ As she said this,

the other spirit, who stood by her, wept
so piteously, I felt my senses reel
and faint away with anguish. I was swept

by such a swoon as death is, and I fell,
as a corpse might fall, to the dead floor of Hell.”
(From The Divine Comedy: Inferno, Canto V, Circle 2: The Carnal)

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

Would have preferred Biergarden over beergarden

Ann Howell 9:02 AM  

Really loved this! The first solid answer I put down was MIDDLE SEAT and that felt great (unlike on a plane, when it really sucks). Loved The Wire, so that was a gimme. AU CONTRAIRE was a thing of beauty, as were BEER GARDEN and RAISE A GLASS. The only snag for me was tracking down a typo after I'd finished the fill - I'd put in FORT SUMNER instead of SUMTER. But just a great, solid, joyful Friday! And I learned that Boise has the largest Basque population outside Spain, which was a fascinating little tidbit :)

Unknown 9:09 AM  

Good puzzle but I'm still confused about ERN. An eagle? What? Why?

pmdm 9:09 AM  

If the PPP was in your wheelhouse, I would guess you found this puzzle quite easy. Not being in mine, I neither found this puzzle easy not liked it. To me, it seemed more of a trivia puzzle than a crossword puzzle, and the trivia not in my wheelhouse. I would repeat how Z began his critique and amplify.

TJS 9:10 AM  

a port,home of,Michael of,Old and Old, Eth. or Bit.,Bel,GMAT,a Kennedy,The Wire,Comedian,actor who,historic site,St._locale,US city,album,Govt,org,Elizabeth_,documentary.

But the longs saved it.

Keith D 9:14 AM  

Well played, The Assman. Well played.

Carola 9:15 AM  

I'm with @kitshef 7:43 - this one flew by in a trice, from ACCRA x ATMS to FORT SUMTER x TRUE. Thanks to @Rex and others who've pointed out the nice grid correspondences; I also liked the GROTTO and SEA TURTLE pair.

Help from previous puzzles: CERA, GEEK as clued; help from speaking German: knowing that Studentenfutter is TRAILMIX; do-over: PAyee; no idea: MARLO, CTRL.

Hartley70 9:20 AM  

BOISE, really? What fun! This was a lovely Friday

evil doug 9:25 AM  

For Tracy from Wednesday:

My favorite ELO song is Living Thing. Rosie Langley is the featured violinist on most of their live concert videos:
You're too young to know Ronny and the Daytonas, right? But what a great era of car songs - - and cars. My first car was a poor man's GTO, a used beater LeMans. The radiator started leaking before I even got it to school my sophomore year.
Love Tiki Bars. Reminds me of Hawaii.
'Who knew' department: Mahi Mahi? Vacuum oven? Flat cap? Do you actually know all these things, or do you have to look 'em up? If the former, then I am all the more impressed with your breadth of knowledge, Tracy. I'm betting with your multitude of flora you knew 'pansy'...(I didn't).
Not a big onion fan, but Vidalias seem more mild. In Boston this week we went to a burger joint near Harvard - - Mr. Bartley's (I'd seen it on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives) - - mainly for its loaves of fried onion rings. Ridiculously tasty. Great burgers, too (reminds me - - loved the 'pocketful of rye'/'loaf' wordplay).
When I was in grade school I reeeealy wanted a flat top like jocks always had. Tried like crazy with Butch Wax (came in a stick like deodorant) but my head just wasn't right for it. So I always smile when I come across 'pomade'. 'Rammer' makes me smile, too, but it might be for X rated implications.... 👹
'Negatory'! Love that. Recalls those semi drivers talking to each other on their CBs. "Looks like we got us a convoy".... "10-4, good buddy...."
Which brings me to your cute trick plugging an actual digit in there. Nice!

Nancy 9:27 AM  

This was like two different puzzles in solving difficulty for me. The entire West was filled in effortlessly -- with the one marquee answer, ALL SYSTEMS GO, made very easy by a lot of gettable crosses. And then when I had ALL SYSTEMS GO, the (for me) baffling answer TIRE MARKS came in too.

I guess a "doughnut" is some sort of dumb, dangerous, show-offy thing that some idiot does in a car? Wouldn't know, don't care. But at that point, having wrapped up the West, I was hoping for more of a challenge.

Be careful what you wish for, Nancy. Went East -- where everything was challenging. And colorful. Needed lots of crosses to get AU CONTRAIRE; STEROTYPE (great clue that doesn't give it away) and NOT UP TO SNUFF. Didn't know "GEEKS out" which seems to me like a very unattractive way to characterize gaining a lot of knowledge about a subject. I come from an era where no one would have wanted to be thought of as a GEEK or a NERD, and if you happened to be one, you'd keep your mouth shut about it.

I wanted LAY UP, not TIP IN, for the easy two-pointer. Never thought of TIP IN. When you're my height, a TIP IN is beyond the realm of physical possibility -- so why would I think of it?

An early creampuff of a puzzle that got much harder and that I enjoyed.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

ah, to miss the scatology: answer - SKID MARKS clue - you guessed it

Son Volt 9:31 AM  

Liked this one for the most part. ALL SYSTEMS GO and STEREOTYPE were my favorites. RYES again - although I only know Old Forester for the bottled in bond bourbon. Can’t you order a short or small LATTE? SW corner was tough for me since I’ve never seen The West Wing and was only able to sit thru the first two episodes of The Wire before it became unwatchable. The crosses helped me back into that section.

Visited family in Charleston in August of ‘74 and did the tour of FORT SUMTER. It was pretty cool but the highlight that day was hearing the breaking news that Nixon had just resigned.

Enjoyable Friday solve.

bswein99 9:37 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle but there was one clue that was completely off. There may be someone out there who thinks "studies" are "dens," but as I stood in my husband's study this morning helping him with a computer problem, I was struck by the fact that his study is the opposite of a den--no TV, no LA-Z-Boy. Just a desk, laptop, bookshelves--you know, like a study, not a den. It would be as if the clue were "kitchens" and the answer was "bathrooms."

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

my college prep English says the proper answer for 39A is BOOR. I stand by that.

Andrea 9:45 AM  

That would be Biergarten , then 😊

TTrimble 9:54 AM  

Pretty darn fast Friday.

Of course, CRIP could have been clued as a gang member instead (speaking of The Wire and MARLO). Hadn't heard of the documentary, but now I'm curious. Curiouser and curiouser.

I'm not sure why NOT UP TO SNUFF wasn't easy to see at first. I was thinking of some off-brand version of "enough", like maybe NOT good eNUFF or something. AU CONTRAIRE took a while to emerge from the mist as well.

The HAGGIS I've had was quite tasty, and "savory" would be a perfectly appropriate descriptor.

The weather is getting warmer, and today would be a fine day to RAISE A GLASS in a BEER GARDEN (Biergarten). Happy Friday, fellow XW solvers!

SB: am I dreaming, or was Malacca taken off the list? I could have sworn that I've seen it before (and it wouldn't be the first time that Ezersky has removed a word, which irks me much more than adding a formerly unaccepted word). Still pg -2 for yd. Currently pg -9 for today.

jberg 10:03 AM  

Unlike Rex, a) I loved all the long downs, and b) ACCRA was an absolute gimme. 15 years ago or so, Rex remarked that he was in the process of memorizing the world capitals. Apparently he never completed it. But ACCRA is memorable due to Ghana's being the first sub-Saharan African former colony to win independence, with Kwame Nkrumah, etc. Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive!

I've never been to Oktoberfest, and wanted BEER halls, but fortunately that didn't fit.

I had the BO, so 39A was easy enough; but I question the clue. Online sources say there are 16,000+ Basques in BOISE; Bayonne in the French part of the Basque, has a population of 51,000. I couldn't find an ethnic breakdown, but it seems like more than 1/3 of them must be Basque. I could be wrong, though.

In this easy puzzle, I missed the beautifully roundabout clue for EST at 9D, so bad it's good.

Anonymous 10:06 AM  

@evil doug:

Have you been around long enough to remember when Harvard Square had not one, not even one, national branded store front? Last time I was there, all the local businesses were gone, and the Square was little more than Shoppers World. MAGA.

Whatsername 10:10 AM  

A nice straightforward Friday that I enjoyed solving. Appreciate the long downs which add a little extra crunch. A minor irritation: 39A IMHO should be the BOOR version of that word. I’m aware there sources which say the BORE spelling fits that clue and maybe I’m just in a Rexish sort of let’s make an issue over nothing mood this morning, but that always annoys me. Could also be I’m grumpy because I had to remake my GARDEN after the rabbits ate half my plants. In any case, I beg forgiveness and extend my appreciation to Yacob for a fine Friday construction.

@Anonymous (9:02) “Would have preferred Biergarden over beergarden.” Wouldn’t that be Biergarten?

@Unknown (9:09) Add ERN to the end of the word west and you get westERN.

Aelurus 10:22 AM  
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Frantic Sloth 10:32 AM  
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mathgent 10:34 AM  

Very nice. A little short on crunch but Friday-level sparkle. Above average number of long entries and below average number of threes.

I'm a little unsure about how much I liked it. We're spending a week in Las Vegas and our hotel has closed off access to its computer and printer and I can't find a print version of the NYT nearby. So I've been solving online. I like it but I miss putting red plus signs in the margins for things I like.

We knew that Vegas hadn't fully opened up yet but we wanted to trade 60 degrees in San Francisco for mid 80s here. It turned out to be mid 90s but it's not bad. The surprise was that with so many restaurants still closed, including all the buffets, we have to wait in line to eat at our favorite places.

Doc John 10:35 AM  
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jae 10:38 AM  

Easy. Being a fan of “The West Wing” and “The Wire” helped. OTOH the SZA album was a WOE. Very smooth with sparkly long downs, liked it a bunch.

GILL I. 10:42 AM  

Ay caramba....This one had me flitting and flying all over creation. I just stared at RID and thought I shall RID the scrambled brain and go to bed. I did.
Wake up in the morning and decided CRIP, CERA and MELEE will be my new attorneys firm name. They are ambulance chasers and I needed them to track down where I could find a PAYER or two. I guess the TIP IN was getting MIDDLE SEAT up in that NORTH section. I did let out a little HAGGIS burp because it opened a little door......
This one was a get up from my cozy seat and walk around with coffee in hand. AHA so 1D is ATMS? TRAIL MIXES is called scroggin? Is that when I say "I'll be a monkeys uncle?" Moving right along....
Little by little a door opened but I shut it a few times. Like others, I had a TaP IN here and a BooRs there. When I finally saw that it has to be AUCONTRAIRE, the little squeak of a mouse did a bit of a BRUTE FORCE explosion. I love getting the long ones...I did....I did the BOISE PARTY dance with LEIS and all.
We've had the HAGGIS discussion before but it's fun to talk about. I'm betting if you didn't know what was in it, you might like it. No need to haul out any bagpipes but it's fun to eat it for Burns Night along with your favorite whisky. Just a fun aside....at one time the US banned imported HAGGIS from the UK because we had a ban on sheep lung...Imagine that? No one is really sure if the Scottish invented it or not. Some say it has Scandinavian origins (doesn't surprise me...they eat anything) or maybe the Ancient Romans produced this since they loved blood and guts.
Nice work-out Yacob.....My MOO CHO runneth over.

thfenn 10:43 AM  

I still thrill at solving a Friday, and to actually do so relatively easily and have fun, as opposed to, say, with BRUTEFORCE, marked a great start to the day. Missed seeing that trail mix could be plural, so didn't get that until the downs fell into place. Wanted sEASonend before TEASERADS, like, you know, who shot JR?. Tire marks under Ted made me wince a little. Thought RYES was well placed with those long alcohol related downs - tho my goto normal there is Rittenhouse. Like @Nancy, flew thru the west, labored in the east, but a Friday solve in under 30 pumped up nicely for the daily zoom meetings grind. TGIF.

Lewis 10:43 AM  

E.D.? E.D.??????? Hello, so good to see you! Hang around, will you please?????

JD 10:46 AM  

I See no dreck here, just fresh, fun material. I like any Friday I can do and in this case, uniquely, I was carried by the long downs.

Typical troubles with with Abash, Biergarten. I don't think I've ever heard anyone pronounce the L in Halve, but I hang out with heathens. A nasally, snooty delivery of, "Could you please have the chef Halve this" would be fun to say.

I like the idea of Brute Force in opening jars. Severe pounding on the lid with the handle of a butter knife. Take that you bastard.

From what I hear, Lutefisk is a great side dish with Haggis.

Yay! @Evil Doug with picture ID. The blog needs more Evil Doug.

andy 10:47 AM  

"Crip Camp" was a wonderful movie. So uplifting and inspirational! It's also a documentary about the disability rights movement in the 70s. I highly recommend it. (Plus I went to high school with the director. Very nice guy.)

Newboy 10:48 AM  

sEEKS before GEEKS was a toe stobber today, but easily fixed. Interesting to see the Idaho capitol city basqueing in this glorious grid. This week seemed easier than expected almost every day. Still enjoying the solve, but thinking it’s time to check other venues?

Aelurus 10:53 AM  
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Sallie (FullTime-Life) 10:54 AM  

I’m in shock but as happy as can be.... Finished this beautiful puzzle with no cheats, definitely not a given for me on Friday. Just knew that the first thing Rex would say was “too easy for a Friday” . So many smiles, ....In Lewis’s camp today for sure.

JD 10:56 AM  

@Nancy, Done in snow-packed empty parking lot late at night a donut can be quite exiting. Really, I'm surprised it never became an Olympic sport (ya had to grow up in the country).

Canon Chasuble 10:56 AM  

Left over from my childhood:

As I was going to St Ives
I met a man with seven wives.
Every wife had seven sacks,
Every sack had seven cats,
Every cat had seven kits.
Kits, cats, sacks, wives,
How many were going to St Ives?

The answer, of course, is only one.

Haggis is made with, among other things, the lungs of sheep, and so is not
allowed to be sold in the U.S. Haggis can be described in many ways,
but "savory" and "delicacy" are not two of them.

That said, it was an enjoyable Friday puzzle.

Aelurus 11:04 AM  

Though, now that I've watched the accidental video, it's excellent. Note to self: triple-check those links!

PhysGraf 11:18 AM  

Suggested for 2D: "Blood Enemy"

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

back before the Tree Huggers made the 350+ CI, dual Holley 4 barrel smog makers impossible (well, Holley still sells 'em, but to who I can't guess), you would take your pony or muscle car out for a spin. laying down a patch or a few donuts was required. if you watch NASCAR (I'm more F1) on the teeVee, the winna rips off what tread is left on the tyres in the middle of the main straight. car disappears, for a tad, in a veil of smoke.

Anonymous 11:24 AM  

go threw your favorite search device, and type in 'mad cow haggis' and you'll see why. whether there's a fixed causation....

Malsdemare 11:29 AM  

I am very proud of myself. I finished this in way under my usual time and that’s after abandoning the entire north after total amnesia. I loved AU CONTRAIRE, and SKID MARKS. Reminded me of my brand new husband doin’ donuts in a parking lot in his shiny new GTO, drunk as a skunk after partying hard at a friend’s wedding. I look back at those times and can’t believe our luck at surviving. Wanted TEASERS, which didn’t fit, obviously, then tried TrAilers, same problem and was quite pleased when enough crosses gave me TEASER ADS. I agree it should be Biergarten but maybe two foreign words is over the top. Hand up for fight before MELEE, layup before TIPIN. Great fun!

I winced at CRIP, which made me think that having offensive words show up in benign contexts might be a good idea—we have a visceral reaction, reminding us that we need to be cognizant of our language. A beloved friend has just expressed a preference for “they/them,” and that’s made me hyper-aware of my language in general. So CRIP reminds me to be sensitive to others and gives me another movie for my treadmill workouts.

Lovely puzzle.

Anonymous 11:39 AM  


bocamp 11:39 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 11:42 AM  

Anonymous 11:21,
You can't be much of an F-1 fan. Those boys do donuts all the time. As for Holley carbs, you cant be serious there either. They are all over the street. Their 4160 is truly tasty. You're right about one thing. Two four-barrels are better than one.

Chip Tait 11:43 AM  

TEASER AD, the kind that just gives the viewer a glimpse...

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

Super easy for a Friday

Anonymous 11:56 AM  

BRUTE FORCE? Please explain.

JC66 11:59 AM  

@Lewis, @JD

I'm afraid, if history repeats, @evil doug won't be back soon. I think he only commented because @Tracy was the constructer.

I hope I'm wrong.

OffTheGrid 12:00 PM  

The noun boor refers to a rude or ill-mannered person. As a noun, bore refers to a hole made by boring, the hollow part of a tube, or someone or something that is dull and tiresome.

Either BORES or boors would fit the 39A clue. However, BORES is the CORRECT answer in this puzzle.

Anonymous 12:07 PM  

sadly its.. not eastern.. but.. wait for it . western

Anonymous 12:12 PM  

@evil doug Mr. Bartley's got me through law school over 50 years ago. I was particularly partial to the Hawaiian burger.

A 12:14 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 12:16 PM  

Hi all. I'm a mother of one, a progressive voter, a dog rescue and women's shelter volunteer, a daily NYT solver, and an American Crossword Puzzle Tournament attendee (2011).

And I'm no longer going to be reading this blog since the Sunday debacle. Here's why.

Rex never acknowledged that the constructor intended this to be a LABOR Day puzzle and it was changed by the editors -- he just kept pounding home the idea that it's inappropriate for Mother's Day. Which it is, but that is 100% not the constructor's fault. Now that person is immortalized as writing a trashy, sexist, gender essentialist, squicky puzzle for Mother's Day, which he did not do. He wrote it for Labor Day. Squicky it may still be (no, contractions do not "hurt so good!"), if that's your opinion (I enjoyed it even with that). But it is not a Mother's Day puzzle.

Rex also says that what moms really want for Mother's Day is a female constructor. I'm a mom and I would be thrilled with a woman constructor on Mother's Day, but again, this puzzle constructor did not intend for his work to be published on Mother's Day.

The snark about this, and lack of any kind of acknowledgement that Rex misfired with his critiques, has led me to stop supporting this website with my critiques. No one here knows me and as far as I know the only comment I've made here is to say I love the user Nancy's comments, so I won't be missed, and I'm sure my page views won't be either. But I wanted to let this readership know why one user won't be back. I wish you all well.

jb129 12:18 PM  

Flew through it until I got stuck on Brute Force & Au Contraire. A fun Friday!

Anonymous 12:22 PM  

You can't be much of an F-1 fan.

Not the first 3 at the finish. they are mandated to drive to pit lane, line up behind their position sign, get weighed, then do a presser.

as to the Holleys, what's the last motor out there that's carbureted?

"Last car with a carburetor: 1994 Isuzu Pickup"
here: https://driving.ca/features/feature-story/these-10-car-features-took-absolutely-forever-to-die

"The last year for a carbureted Corvette was 1981. "
here: https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums/engine-mods/2327485-what-year-did-fuel-injection-start-in-vettes.html

so, whose using Holley 4 barrels today? just relics.

bocamp 12:28 PM  
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RooMonster 12:29 PM  

It's not you, it's me. 😁
Just Google HAGGIS, and revel in all its glory.

Wait, was that an @evil doug sighting? Holy HAGGIS!

From Pennsylvania originally, I've done my fair share of donuts in the snow. Give me a rear wheel drive car over front wheel drive anytime in the snow. Oh, and panicking people who hit the brakes in the snow, and slide until they hit something.... wrong! If you take your foot off the brake, the wheels unlock, giving you back your traction. Then you feather/pump the brakes little by little, and you'll be able to safely stop. Remember this for next winter. Don't Panic!

RooMonster Infinity Guy

Anoa Bob 12:30 PM  
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Anonymous 12:32 PM  

I through away my search device.

RooMonster 12:37 PM  

@Anon 12:22
Plenty, plenty of cars out there still with carberators. Mustn't be an old car fan. I have a super nice 76 Lincoln with a carb.
Just sayin'.

Oh, and Dang if I forgot the Hitchhikers drive, it should've been
RooMonster Improbability Guy last time. ☺️


BEE-ER 12:41 PM  

@Bee people-what does pg mean in BEE-speak? Thanks.

Joe Bleaux 12:41 PM  

BRUTE FORCE ... code cracker. Huh? Please help.

What? 12:45 PM  

As usual on a Friday (or Saturday), I start not knowing much but end up finishing (exception below). How do I do this I wonder? I actually think I know but pretend otherwise, to preserve a sense of awe about workings of the human brain. Isn’t that why we enjoy puzzles?
The exception. I had EMONEY but my handwriting is pitiful and so I read EMONTY and thus ST _ R TO TYPE. STAR, STIR, either one sounded ok, what do I know about judging, fairly or not.
How could I write E and see T? Well, I’m recovering from cataract surgery a couple of weeks ago but the problem was in my writing, not seeing so thats kind of irrelevant. The bigger question also may be irrelevant but here goes anyway. How do we convert little scribbles to coordinated muscle contractions producing sound waves? I’m in awe.

JC66 12:53 PM  

@Anon 11:56, @Joe Bleaux

Re: BRUTE FORCE. See @Barbara S's 8:53 comment for an explanation.

ZGR 12:57 PM  

Boise Basques? Who knew!

What? 1:00 PM  

I’m not a wordsmith alas but the translation of Dante’s poem preserving the rhymes is puzzling on two fronts. One, why preserve them? Isn’t it enough to preserve the rhythms (although that too would seem to be quite difficult). And two, how did the translator do that? It reminds me of the rhymes in “Les Miserables”, translated from French to English, that moved the story along. A special talent, I guess. What is lost I wonder by the constrictions?

Anonymous 1:12 PM  

anon 12:22,
Oh dear, where to begin? How about the fact that I commuted to work using a vehicle with a carburetor and no hint of fuel injection. And before you scream relic, it was manufactured in 2018. What's more plenty of engines used in production vehicles use carburetors rather than fuel injection. They happen to be motorcycles but it was you who employed the term "motor" not I.
As for cars no longer using carbs, yeah. I know. No need for the tutorial on carburetors in modern autodom. Nor a lesson in fuel injection. I was aboard a Kawi Z 100 G back when tank slappers were still a thing you could count on from Kaqwi. Laissez les bon temps rouler my ass.

Also, I was Karting at Watkins Glenn in 1970. Back when Ferrari used to take over one of the local gas stations and use it as their garage. I have a picture of us in an MG 1100 next to the last iteration of the Ferrari 312 F-1 car stopped at a red light with a mechanic doing what they called an "Italian tune-up". Please, please refrain from telling me about wither carburetors or F1. ( Google any decent F! drive r and donuts. You'll get a lot of videos. Hell, I think Hamilton just did an exhibition race against a bike and did some donuts)

Last, re-read my initial post. I used the term street, as in Holleys are all over the street. I could've used road. After all, that's the more common term for general automotive discourse. You know for example -that driver had to be drunk he was all over the road. Or how did Subaru become so popular? They're all over the roads."
I used street advisedly. Because Hollies are used in street racing. Street racing is a term. It has a subtext and a clear implication. It's for boy racers in modern Japanese tuners and old guys with big American Iron and, yes, Most definitely carburetors . That you didn't pick up on it makes me wonder about your bon fides.
Wanna talk about Weber Carbs? We can. I have a couple feeding my Sptfire. Yeah I know, they're supposed to have Strombergs. What can I say? That's the kludge I bought. You should see the wiring. Point is, I have 6 vehicles currently. Half of them have of crabs.

And, you'll scarcely credit this, but one of our interns a couple of seasons ago was a member of the family that still makes Dell'Orto Orto carburetors. That doesn't mean anything at all to the discussion of course, but I say i have had more brusehs with carburetors in a company cafeteria than you've had in your entire life.

Anonymous 1:13 PM  

BRUTE FORCE suggests torture. Hope it's something else.

Teedmn 1:13 PM  

My grid looks like a bloody (black ink) MELEE took place at 15D. I put down "fight" at first, the reason I hate watching professional hockey but an attribute for some. MIDDLE SEAT morphed that into dEkEs. TRAIL MIXES eventually nixed that but wow, what a contretemps.

I'm glad Rex eventually caught his contrariness in complaining about not having a certain amount of blocked-off-ness. I was rolling my eyes pretty seriously right about then.

I was utterly charmed by this puzzle. I found it nearly Weintraub easy but it didn't feel that way while solving.

MARLO is a mean guy, maybe my least favorite character in "The Wire". Everyone should watch that series - I don't like procedurals at all and I watched every episode of all 5 seasons, some of it twice. It's dated now, technology-wise, but most of us can relate to what phones and computers were like in the early aughts.

Yacob Yonas, nice job! I hope you're working on your Sunday puzzle for the cycle.

bocamp 1:23 PM  
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Anonymous 1:29 PM  

Got so exercised about carburetion I forgot about the donuts link.
Anon dude who uses motor in lieu of engine.
After the final race of the season last year in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton and Bottas did synchronized donut to celebrate Mercedes's championship.
Look it up.
And yeah, they were both on the podium.....

zephyr 1:34 PM  

Quite nice. But “As I was going to St. Ives...” is not a nursery rhyme! It is a riddle.

Frantic Sloth 1:48 PM  

@JD 1056am Doughnutting: the official sport of IA. (Not Iowa, although the Venn diagram...never mind). I kid the Iowans. 😉

@bocamp 1139am You're welcome! It's nice to give you a little suttin' suttin' for a change. 😘

@Anonymous 1216pm Sorry to see you go even if I don't know who you are. We can always benefit from thoughtful, intelligent, and empathetic contributors like you.

@Roo 1229am Who are you - George Costanza? Thanks! (I think) Will do.

Forgot to mention...@Z 821am Personally, I can think of no one whose persona screams "Jock!" more than Bill Nye.

Frantic Sloth 1:54 PM  

***HAGGIS warning!***

Whatever you do, don't - DO NOT - Google and look at "images" of HAGGIS. It's too late for me - I'm off my feed for the foreseeable future, but save yourselves!
@Roo Fair warning: Rings Fibonacci has your name.

bocamp 2:09 PM  
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Masked and Anonymous 2:12 PM  
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DigitalDan 2:42 PM  

Is there a word for a word that obviously means something, but in fact is not used to describe that something? Attaching E in front of almost any real-world object or service brought to the online world is a standard crossword scheme for getting out of trouble. I have never seen any cryptocurrency referred to as EMONEY, for example. EMAIL is an (unfortunate) exception. Apple decided to buck the tide and use I, of course; imaginative.

Aelurus 2:54 PM  

@bocamp 1:23 pm - **SB** I was wondering about that. Yesterday I had passed pg and needed 4 more words to QB (by checking word count on nytbee.com). Fell asleep, so I think my notation would be yd pg -4, is that right?

Jess Wundrin' 2:58 PM  

@Anon 12:16 - How, exactly, do you know that the constructor intended this Sunday's puzzle to be a Labor Day puzzle? Also, how exactly do you expect @Rex to know that?

Joe Dipinto 3:09 PM  
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Anonymous 3:15 PM  

so, OK. FIA changed the rules a few years ago (only the winna), but I've been addicted to the (commercial free!!) ESPN feed for a very long time, and I've not seen one donut in memory. straight to parc ferme, as they call the winna's circle, that I can recall. season ending, may be.

as to motor/engine. no one, absolutely no one, in NASCAR calls that chunk of iron behind the fake headlights anything but MOTOR. in F1 it's neither; it's a Power Unit, because of all the energy harvesting doodads hanging off the car.

Bax'N'Nex 3:17 PM  

You are just the best, Lewis.

Rube 3:34 PM  

BRUTE FORCE is a term of art for a method of solving puzzles or breaking codes or similar. Imagine you are doing a puzzle and you are stuck on a 7 letter answer and you are sure of 5 of the letters. In exasperation, you can go thru all 52 possible two letter combinations one by one under the assumption you will recognize the right result when you come upon it. That would e a brute force approach.

Blue Stater 3:42 PM  

I thought this one was quite good, probably because I finished it, an unusual Friday event for me in recent years. No gimmicks, no stretchers. It really can be done. More like this, please.

JD 3:45 PM  

Anon @ 1:12 pm, Please get a name. That was interesting.

@Frantic, I was a Donuting passenger. But the driver must be leading an IA chapter somewhere now.

Anonymous 3:50 PM  

Anonymous 3:15,
Oh my, you should've taken the loss. First, everyone in F-1 and reporting about F-1 calls the internal combustion machine which delivers almost all the power to the wheels the engine. In fact, all the cars are described with a two-part nomenclature: the chassis builder and the engine builder. That's why they describe, say the Red Bull/Honda as The Red Bull ( Chassis) Honda ( engine) or the Alpine/Renault ( Chassis) Renault (engine.) Some manufacturers even sell their engines. They're called...engine suppliers. I haven't looked, but I'll wager anything you want that say Wikipedia lists the teams this way. There will be no mention of a power unit.
Nothing is hanging off an F1 car by the way. They are the most sophisticated automobiles in the world. The apex of technology. Their manufacturing tolerances make NASA blush. If you are glibly referring to the KERS system ( Kinetic Energy Recovery System) as some doodad, well, I don't think I can help you much. Or that anyone can. You know that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred, right? You know heat is energy, right? You know the brakes on an F1 car throw off tremendous heat. KERS simply sends it along the powertrain. That's not what a power unit is however. No one considers it, because it is indeed NOT, part of the power plant. As for the phrase power unit. I have never in more than 5 decades of watching, reading and attending F1 races, ever even heard the phrase power unit.
But I do feel a kinship with anyone who loves F1. So, if you have Netflix, watch "Drive To Survive". Maybe the best thing in Sports TV going right now. It's a series detailing what F1 is like. It is superb. the episodes are taught, entertaining and informative. It's quite an achievement. The first season was so good, so well received, that the heavy hitters who wouldn't participate in the first season ( Mercedes and Ferrari) are all over season two. It is up for a sports Emmy. Best edited series maybe? There are so many categories these days.

bocamp 3:50 PM  
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Barbara S. 3:55 PM  

@What? (1:00 PM)
Dante’s original has a triple rhyme scheme within the three-line stanzas. John Ciardi, the translator of this edition, spills a lot of ink defending his choice to eliminate one of the rhymes. Here he is in the "Translator’s Note":

"…I have foregone the use of Dante’s triple rhyme scheme because it seemed clear that one rendering into English might save the rhyme or save the tone of the language, but not both. It requires approximately 1500 triple rhymes to render The Inferno and even granted that many of these combinations can be used and re-used, English has no such resources of rhyme. Inevitably the language must be inverted, distorted, padded, and made unspeakable in order to force the line to come out on the third all-consuming rhyme. In Italian, where it is only a slight exaggeration to say that everything rhymes with everything else or a variant form of it, the rhyme is no problem: in English it is disaster.

"At the same time some rhyme is necessary, I think, to approximate Dante’s way of going, and the three-line stanzas seem absolutely indispensable because the fact that Dante’s thought tends to conclude at the end of each tercet (granted a very large number of run-on tercets) clearly determines the 'pace' of the writing…"

I'm glad you asked this question. I found what Ciardi had to say fascinating. I hope you do, too.

JonP 4:00 PM  

I thought the clue on TIRE MARKS was top-notch. Made the whole puzzle for me.

Anonymous 4:19 PM  

Jess Wundrin'...

It was in the comments to the Sunday post. Sourced to the constructor on some social media or other.

Z 4:23 PM  
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TTrimble 4:24 PM  

For what conceivable interest this may have, I've packed in yesterday's: while researching Malacca I saw the two words I missed. So, no open tabs save for today's (now at pg -6).

Malacca totally deserves to be in the accepted list. I'll never understand Ezersky and his, frankly, bizarre choices.

There seems to be a Formula One discussion afoot? Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for his recent 100th pole position. That man is just phenomenal.

kitshef 4:46 PM  

@Rube - with two missing letters, there would be 676 possible combinations using the BRUTE FORCE method.

kitshef 4:57 PM  

@TTRimble - that in a nutshell is why I gave up the Bee in frustration. EVERY DAY there were perfectly good words being rejected. [well, 3-4 times a week, anyway] And other, much more obscure words accepted. I got no pleasure playing the game of "what will they accept today?"

Unknown 5:03 PM  

Solved this 10 min faster than my usual, so I'm going to rank this one as "easy."
Who knew about BOISE? The stuff we learn

To Z @ 8:21 "I assume we will now be burdened with fanboys telling us ad nauseam how everyone just has to watch it because itsthebestshowever. Blrrgh." - - - --
I'm going to Blrrgh right back at you. I loved The Wire; used to get sad as each episode came to an end. *You* may not have liked it, for whatever reasons, but we're all entitled to our tastes. No need to put down everyone else as a "fanboy."

PS. For those of you on this blog who haven't seen The Wire, give it a try. It's real and it's gritty. The season about public education made me cry. Heartbreaking.

Barbara S. 5:16 PM  

@Z (4:23 PM)
Wow, that John Ciardi has some breadth of interests! Dare I call him a Renaissance Man?

Son Volt 5:39 PM  

@anon 1:12p - I can relate to your carb discussion. A few years back I changed out the stock Stroms on my TR6 with flat side Mikunis. No change in performance really but definitely easier to keep on the road. Carbs are still a big business.

Whatsername 6:55 PM  

@Anonymous (12:16) Appreciate the background on the Sunday puzzle. However, the fact that it was intended to be published for Labor Day doesn’t change my feelings. IMO it would be just as distasteful in September as it was in May. But I do understand what you’re saying. Sorry you have to go.

@Anonymous (3:15) I don’t intend to join in the general debate, but I felt a need to weigh in on your statement about stock car racing motors. I’ve been a NASCAR fan for over 40 years, which is the same amount of time I’ve been hearing drivers, owners, crew members, and pretty much everyone else refer to that chunk of metal as an engine.

MyName 7:19 PM  

Today was the very first time when Google tried to convince me that this is a deceptive site. Initially I didn't agree with that and proceeded right in, but now I have to agree that it was right. Any place where they try to convince you that fights are not integral part of hockey and that one on one fight is the same as team on team melee is deceptive indeed.

Bob Mills 8:42 AM  

I had "WONKS" fior 27-Down at first. Is "GEEKS OUT" really an expression? Otherwise a very good puzzle. Glad I solved it.

Joe 8:09 PM  

My older son has a friend who worked for Google. He hated it. Eventually he quit his job, and went to work for Jack Dorsey. He has invested heavily in Bitcoin, to the point of taking his salary in Bitcoin. He recently purchased house in San Francisco for $2 million. Now he wants to move to Texas, and rent out his house in San Francisco. His net worth is around $60 million. He is under 40 years of age. That’s why I love America! Oh, one last thing: his Bitcoin investment is in a Roth IRA… he won’t pay squat to the government, when he cashes in!!

ASW-20 8:44 AM  

Or a song popularised by Doris Day?

spacecraft 10:23 AM  

Couple of AUCONTRAIRE moments for me in this one:

1. "Shame" is a much better clue for ABASh than for ABASE. Hence my single-letter writeover (hand up for thinking "fight" before MELEE).

2. I have heard HAGGIS described in many colorful ways, but "delicacy" is definitely NOT one of them. The use of that word in the clue is a huge misdirect. It gets a pass only because the crosses make the answer evident.

I don't get what OFC is so on about the grid. Seems a fairly open 70-worder to me. Yet with all that fuss, he never mentions the four cheater squares, usually rant fodder. Go figure. Luckily such trivia doesn't bother me. This had plenty of great longer answers, including the smashing tandem of BEERGARDEN/RAISEAGLASS. DOD is the incomparable MARLO Thomas, honorable mention to Margaret CHO.

On Day 2 of the Open, I was looking for a golf reference--wait, I found it! In match play, if each player receives the same score they HALVE the hole--or the match. That deserves a birdie.

P.S. On the St. IVES thing, I would certainly be traveling faster than a man with 7 wives et al, so let's assume I overtook him; in that case the correct answer would be 2802: 2800 wives, sacks and animals, plus the man and me.

Burma Shave 11:16 AM  


to RATE a TEASER ORE a ho.


thefogman 11:26 AM  

Naticks wrecked it for me. ACCRA-CRIP and FORTSUMTER-CTRL were unacceptably unfair Got one but died when I guessed T instead of the C in ACCRA-CRIP. Boo!

Diana, LIW 12:29 PM  

Did I mess up this Friday? AUCONTRAIRE!

I used the Will Smith "fill in your best guess" method, which sometimes was wrong but brought me to the correct answer anyway. Gotta love it. I guess he knows what he's talking about. Commentators and blog kings to the contrary.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Diana, LIW 5:13 PM  

Will Smith? Who the heck is Will Smith? I meant Shortz. Too excited about getting a Friday so smoothly.


Lady Di
(must remember to edit)

leftcoaster 5:32 PM  

Won’t say I finished this without error, but didn’t do badly either.

Liked the puzzle for its overall vitality, especially TIREMARKS as “leftovers from a doughnut”.

Other leftovers were MOT for “zinger”, Fed for FBI, PAESE for its spelling, and “single" PAYER for its good intentions.

Nice work by YY.

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