Renowned football club founded in 1899 / FRI 5-28-21 / Jazz trumpeter Jones / Bob Canadian ambassador to the U.N. / Resort with no snowboarders policy / Fabric made from cellulose / Space between ribs of insect wing / Heavenly dessert with lemony filling / Gay rights pioneer Marsha P Johnson for one

Friday, May 28, 2021

Constructor: Andrew J. Ries

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: Marsha P. Johnson (27A: Gay rights pioneer Marsha P. Johnson, for one: TRANS ICON) —
Marsha P. Johnson
 (August 24, 1945 – July 6, 1992), born and also known as Malcolm Michaels Jr., was an American gay liberation activist and self-identified drag queen. Known as an outspoken advocate for gay rights, Johnson was one of the prominent figures in the  Stonewall uprising of 1969. Johnson was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and co-founded the radical activist group Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.), alongside close friend Sylvia RiveraJohnson was also a popular figure in New York City's gay and art scene, modeling for Andy Warhol, and performing onstage with the drag performance troupe Hot PeachesJohnson was known as the "mayor of Christopher Street" due to being a welcoming presence in the streets of Greenwich Village. From 1987 through 1992, Johnson was an AIDS activist with ACT UP. [...] Johnson initially used the moniker "Black Marsha" but later decided on the drag queen name "Marsha P. Johnson", getting Johnson from the restaurant Howard Johnson's on 42nd Street, stating that the P stood for "pay it no mind" and used the phrase sarcastically when questioned about gender, saying "it stands for pay it no mind". Johnson said the phrase once to a judge, who was amused by it, leading to Johnson's release. Johnson variably identified as gay, as a transvestite, and as a queen (referring to drag queen). According to Susan Stryker, a professor of human gender and sexuality studies at the University of Arizona, Johnson's gender expression could perhaps most accurately be called gender non-conforming; Johnson never self-identified with the term transgender, but the term was also not in broad use while Johnson was alive. (wikipedia)
• • •

Daughter is in town for just a few days so ... the write-ups might be a little light today and tomorrow. Sorry about that. As for the puzzle: TRANS ICON was cool, but the rest of it didn't do much of anything for me. I guess "WEIRD, HUH?" has a quirky, colloquial vibe that's kinda nice, but stuff like SCROLL SAW leaves me cold and HONOR ROLLS is absurd in the plural and THAD and REFI and ALTA and RIPA and ELENA and AREOLA and SMEE are all threatening to take the whole train to Crosswordese Town. Plus, TORT REFORM and DICK CHENEY, man, talk about bringing the room down. Yuck. TEASER AD is really just long crosswordese. I dunno, there just wasn't much delight to be had here for me. Worse, the puzzle really really thought it was being delightful, with almost a dozen "?" clues elbowing and nudge-nudging you and begging you to laugh at their cleverness. I only just now figured out how to make sense out of the DICK CHENEY clue. I forgot that there was a movie called "Vice" that was about him. It may surprise you to learn that I spend as little of my life thinking about DICK CHENEY as possible. 

Blank ROOM and Blank TIME in the SE made that section a little tougher than the others, and also, ultimately, blander, or more of a letdown. EAST ROOM? FREE TIME? OK, those are things, but it's Friday and I'm looking for a good time. I actually might've liked FREE TIME if it hadn't been burdened with yet another cutesy wink of a "?" clue (62A: What's not working?). Isn't a BEER BAR just a "bar." (1A: Building with many drafts). I have heard of cocktail bars but not BEER BARs. I also have heard of Angel food cake but not ANGEL PIE (14A: "Heavenly" dessert with a lemony filling). Again, I'm sure these things exist, I just don't care about them, so there's just nothing to warm the blood here. KARACHI is cool, keep that. But a single TEA LEAF? That's almost as dumb as the plural HONOR ROLLS it sits beside. Lastly, the clue on RAE is truly awful (43A: Bob ___, Canadian ambassador to the U.N.). Maybe it's some Canadian in-joke (since ALBERTA's in here, I figure maybe...). But I know you don't know Bob RAE, because I know you don't know any ambassadors to the U.N. Even ours (it's Linda Thomas-Greenfield, by the way). You can love Canada all you want, but you've already subjected us to RAE (again w/ the crosswordese), you don't have to pretend you invented some new crossworthy RAE. It's Issa, Charlotte, that explorer guy ... RAE Dawn Chong, maybe. I dunno. I just know this Bob guy ain't it. I had ELLEN before ESSIE (19A: Woman's name that sounds like two letters of the alphabet) and thus ABEL before ENOS (2D: 905-year-old in Genesis), but otherwise no other mistakes or big struggles. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:19 AM  

Top and bottom thirds easy, middle tougher. risES before COMES didn’t help and TRANS ICON did not come easily.

Some fun cluing and a pretty smooth grid, liked it a bit more than @Rex did.

Joaquin 12:22 AM  

Dang it! I should have gotten a Ring doorbell for my wheelhouse; had I done so, I might have some idea where it went.

Remember Bob and Ray? Now they're Canada's UN Ambassador.

okanaganer 1:17 AM  

As a Canadian I was shocked to see Bob RAE here. Sure in a Canadian crossword, why not. (He used to be the premier of Ontario, a big deal.) But the NYTXW?

But thanks Rex for the Gordon Lightfoot song. But when I think of ALBERTA (the province) in music it's always the much covered, achingly lovely Ian & Sylvia song Four Strong Winds: "Think I'll go out, to Alberta, weather's good there in the fall. I got some friends that I can go a workin' for."

The woman's name that sounds like two letters: first KATIE, then ELSIE. Finished the puzzle with no happy pencil, so finally changed ELSIE to ELLIE.

Unknown 2:46 AM  

I am going to every forum I can to complain about the use of "sea". I get some old people call the ocean the sea but as far as geography, and the ethos of the movie. We are talking about the ocean. Ocean. NOT sea. OCEAN

chefwen 3:02 AM  

Medium tough for me. Wanted to cheat, but puzz partner wouldn’t let me and we did finish sans help.

I have never met anyone named ESSIE, but I do know an EffIE, didn’t work.

Also started off with BrEwery at 1A, guess what, that didn’t work either. Bad start, happy ending.

Back in my steel selling days (eons ago) I had a customer named Coffee, his favorite saying was “how’d you like to a a roll in the hay (bed) with coffee. Yuk Yuk! Couldn’t stand the guy, but he was a customer so I had to giggle.

Fun Friday.

Ann Howell 3:32 AM  

This was an upside-down puzzle for me - got the bottom third, then the middle and finally the top. This could have been a much less annoying puzzle if it didn't start with the ridiculous BEER BAR, a term no one uses. ANGEL PIE also odd, but perhaps it is a thing. Rest of it was solid enough and especially liked the nod to Marsha P. Johnson!

jae 4:10 AM  

@chefwen - ESSIE Davis is Phryne Fisher in “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries". It’s delightful and according to google is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rob Hagiwara 4:53 AM  

No complaint about AC MILAN? I got it from crosses and it still took me a minute to parse it.

Anonymous 5:02 AM  

Why is Clash of the titans EGOS?

Anonymous 5:44 AM  

When I tried BEER BAR and ANGEL PIE -- and they worked, I quit because I don't want to encourage such ridiculousness.

Conrad 5:46 AM  

Challenging for me. The unknown BEER BAR and ANGEL PIE made the NW very difficult. Thinking 950-year-old noah before the sprightly 905-year-old ENOS. For the record, all the alternatives posted here are better than ESSIE.

Stimpson 6:22 AM  

Didn't enjoy this one much. It was oddly sloggy, but I'm not sure why.

Both Rex and Jeff called out BEER BAR as not a thing. I have to disagree. BEER BARs are a niche that serve a lot of craft brews (and usually only craft brews) but do not brew their own (hence, not a brew pub). There used to be a place in Dallas that had something like 100 beers on tap - with the requisite "tour of beers" awards. There is also the more upscale Ginger Man in Dallas, Austin, and NYC. Their website describes themselves as a BEER BAR.

amyyanni 7:10 AM  

Stumbled around a lot of the time. Appreciate it as Friday quality, just not on my wavelength. ACMILAN is really new to me.

Mary from Nashville 7:12 AM  

Cool puzzle. Favorite answers were Tort Reform and Dick Cheney. Thanks !

BarbieBarbie 7:13 AM  

Well, and a BEERBAR or any BAR is generally not a building.
Some of the clues were outside my wheelhouse, so I own that difficulty, but some of them were just bad. Also, starting off with BEERBAR and then putting the two-letter name with twenty different possible answers so close was a messy decision. Edit Fail.
Love, Estee

StevieO 7:14 AM  

Really Rex? Abel for the 905-year-old guy. He's famous for getting killed by his older brother!! (I know it's not covered in Classic Comics, but that shouldn't have been your first guess.)

DeeJay 7:15 AM  

How about a woman's name that sounds like three letters of the alphabet?

Five letters.

Hint: my elder daughter's name (I know, terrible hint)

Paul 7:28 AM  

Ditto except you meant ESSIE, or did I miss the joke?

I think I just heard two UN ambassador names for the first time. I hope they start to seem more relevant soon.

Lobster11 7:28 AM  

DICKCHENEY doesn't pass the Breakfast Test. Enjoyed the puzzle otherwise, but now my day is ruined.

kitshef 7:36 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
DeeJay 7:37 AM  

Not true re beer bar. It's a real thing. Brewport in Bridgeport CT has 24 beers on tap and exactly three wines. They make awesome pizza btw and if you need dinner while driving through CT on I-95, it is at exit 27.

Z 7:39 AM  

I’m from Michigan so I didn’t know Gordon Lightfoot had more than one song. πŸ˜‰

BEER BAR‽ Wine BAR, cocktail BAR, taco BAR, sure. But like Rex said, a BEER BAR is just a BAR. If there’s an adjective the adjective is letting you know the BAR isn’t a BEER BAR. What a WEIRD HUH for 1A. And I mostly agree with Rex on the rest. Nothing like TORT REFORM (imo - a REFORM always supported by corporations and insurance companies because they don’t like being held accountable. It’s sort of like the Mob pushing for RICO reforms) to get one looking forward to a great day. Then there’s the tool I’m sure every woodworker has, the Vice President who probably belongs in jail, the GnP/GDP guess, and a PIE I’ve never heard of (oh wait, wasn’t ANGEL PIE on NPR for 30 years?). Having said all that, I still liked this puzzle a little more than Rex, even though I think we usually get better from Andrew Ries.

@JC66 late - No, but I do have to remember that they bother others far far more than they bother me. I’d say my usual reaction is closer to bemusement than to amusement, sort of a morbid curiosity of how they so easily start at point A and on their way to point B always seem to end up at Point gamma. I do wonder how they came upon this blog since, as others have pointed out, they never once comment on the puzzle.

Glen Laker 7:40 AM  

Dick Cheney and Sara Lee would be good names for trans icons.

OffTheGrid 7:45 AM  

In case you missed it, @Rex wrote, "...the puzzle really really thought it was being delightful, with almost a dozen "?" clues elbowing and nudge-nudging you and begging you to laugh at their cleverness."


"I actually might've liked FREE TIME if it hadn't been burdened with yet another cutesy wink of a "?" clue."

Truer words have never been written and I am ELATEd that he called out this hideous cluing gimmick which is so prevalent in puzzles.

ss 7:47 AM  

Another ALBERTA song to add to the playlist is Doc Watson's beautiful "Alberta" -

kitshef 7:50 AM  

Tough puzzle for me. Never heard of ANGEL PIE, SCROLL SAW, and some of the short names.

Now that I've got all the countries and their capitals down, I guess I have to start memorizing all the UN ambassadors.

taproom before BEER BAR, which worked with Adam at 2D and EmmIE at 19A, which worked with RESIGNS at 4D. So ... some untangling to do in that section.

Betty Crocker 7:55 AM  

14A needed "e.g." at the end. ANGEL PIES can have a variety of fillings.

Z 7:59 AM  

@StevieO - I went with Cain initially. In Rex’s defense, those added details in clues are often ignored and the clue gets translated into “four letter name from the old testament.” I did the same thing with Bob RAE, “three letter crosswordese that they were sick of cluing the same old way.”
Which reminds me, I was always fascinated by how Tolkien took the long-lived men of old myth (does the Bible mention any women living that long?) and used it in the history of Middle-Earth.

Re: BEER BAR - Yeah yeah, I’m sure you can lawyer a defense for it, it’s not “wrong.” And that BARs focused on craft brews might want to emphasize that they are a BEER BAR makes senses. But “tap room” is a far more common descriptor around here and I still think BARs have BEER unless they are specifically a different kind of BAR like a wine BAR.

@Anon5:02 - Because someone identified as a “titan” is probably someone with a big EGO. Think Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Just to be clear, I got this after filling it in, so a bit of a stretch in my humble opinion.

JJK 8:03 AM  

I believe a leaner gets two points. Didn’t enjoy this puzzle at all, clues were really tough for me. Never heard of ANGELPIE and certainly didn’t know Bob RAE.

Jeff Keller 8:12 AM  

Second Friday NYT in a row that was super tough for me, more difficulty than I typically have with Saturday puzzles.

Son Volt 8:15 AM  

50-50 on this one. Liked EDITOR IN CHIEF, EAST ROOM and ETCHES among others. But DICK CHENEY, HONOR ROLLS and TEASER AD so prominent?

Lots of unknowns here but the crosses were fair. Neutral on BEER BAR - I’m sure there are some out there named as such. Didn’t know ANGEL PIE. Thought 24d should have been lisp.

@okanaganer 1:17a - Banff is my jam - absolutely love the place. Ian has a bunch of other ALBERTA themed songs. My favorite though is the Byrds cover of the great Wolf Carter song Blue Canadian Rockies - on the banks of Lake Louise.

Agree with @Z - I tend to expect more from this constructor.

Z 8:19 AM  

@JJK - Wikipedia agrees with you.

Michiganman 8:21 AM  

@Z, Loved your Gordon Lightfoot line.

Nancy 8:23 AM  

I loved wrestling with this crunchy, interesting puzzle -- where I got completely hung up in the middle of the West because I had only the "H" of THAD and wrote in CHET. Because I'd only glanced at the clue, I was thinking of Chet Baker and I'd never heard of Thad Jones. And that really screwed me up in that entire section.

Thank heavens for HERS. What else could "I'm ____, she's mine" be? Not knowing the song, I thought to myself: "Don't complicate it, Nancy." The American Songbook is known for sophisticated song titles like "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered". Pop songs mostly have titles that any 6-year-old will understand. But even HERS did not help me cope with CHET at 27D and with EVE at 37A for "early p.m." I may have also thought of SIX for early p.m., but I certainly never thought of AFT. My fault, because everything after noon is a p.m., but, still, I was thinking of evenings.

What a great tricky clue for DICK CHENEY, which I couldn't see because my answer began with the "T" from CHET. More great clues for HONOR ROLLS; BALSA; SARA LEE and ART CRITICS. Loved this puzzle, which provided just the right amount of "suffering".

Anonymous 8:24 AM  

Let the horseshoe rules wars begin!!

Joaquin 8:25 AM  

@JJK (8:03) - You are right about horseshoe scoring (and the clue is wrong). A ringer scores three points, a LEANER is worth two, and closest is worth one point (Remember: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades).

feinstee 8:26 AM  

How is Bud's Place (32A) ... EAR?

bocamp 8:27 AM  

Thx Andrew; a fine, challenging Fri. puz! :)

Tough solve.

Second hard one in a row for moi.

Nothing at all in the NW; KARACHI was a gimme, so spread out from there.

Way, way off Andrew's wavelength on this one, but as always, welcomed the challenge. Was ultimately successful, ending up back in the NW, which was the toughest part of the puz for me.

The Magnificent THAD Jones

yd pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

SouthsideJohnny 8:29 AM  

I understand that they need to make the puzzles more difficult on Friday. One way to do it would be to make the clues a little less straightforward and perhaps require a touch more wordplay (this would be the preferable method, in my opinion). However, the Times also has the unfortunate habit of making a puzzle more difficult through a combination of made up terms and esoteric phrases (BEER BAR, ANGEL PIE, SCROLL SAW) and/or just nonsensical clues (like “Clash of the titans?” for EGOS - sorry, Mr. Shortz, you can lawyer that all you want - the clue stinks and you published it).

I’m sure the bakers in the crowd can push back that ANGEL PIE is probably a real thing, and the carpenters will point out that a SCROLL SAW is also something that actually exists, however I would argue that when you come right out of the gate (1A) with BEER BAR, the rest of your grid really, really should be squeaky clean.

Lewis 8:36 AM  

My wife was on page five-hundred-and-something of a 600+ page novel when she said, “I don’t ever want this book to end!” (It was “The Most Fun We Ever Had,” by Claire Lombardo.) When I was midway through this puzzle, I felt exactly the same.

It was giving me a battle royal while simultaneously entertaining me – two qualities I adore in puzzles. It was as if somehow Andrew got into my head for a moment, saw exactly what I like, and made this puzzle just for me.

The entire West gave me fits, calling me to draw on deep resources; meanwhile, the cluing was responsible for “Oh!” after “Oh!”, those explosive moments of finally figuring one out. The cluing was also getting my laugh going, clues like [Cat’s ‘sup?] and [Ones who might use oils in a pan?]. The solve included a “Gosh, I might not complete this” moment, followed by an impassioned, “Oh yes I will!”

And oh yes I did, but like my wife and her novel, I didn’t want it to end. I got the next best thing, though – a dazzling and luscious puzzle that lasted longer than usual. Thank you greatly, Andrew! This, for me, was prime time.

Z 8:40 AM  

@feinstee - As in EARbuds, that is, those headphone things that fit snugly into ones ear canals to more efficiently damage one’s EAR drums.

Kentana 9:04 AM  

I still don’t get the art critics clue

Barbara S. 9:05 AM  

This puzzle ate me up, spat me out and flushed me down the toilet. AARGH! The lower half was fine and when I ran into the RAE and ALBERTA clues, both gimmes for this Canadian, I was feeling downright smug. (I liked the appearance of both ALBERTA and its one-time abbreviation, ALTA.) Then I settled down to solve the top half and…I don’t know. The constructor’s wavelength and mine were on different planets. Epic DNF. I’ll spare you the specifics, although it might be therapeutic to drag you through every sordid detail. Let’s switch to the positive. I liked EDITOR IN CHIEF, LOOSE END, KARACHI, WEIRD HUH and any mention of TAI CHI.

Today’s quotation is by MURIEL BARBERY, born May 28, 1969.

“If you dread tomorrow it's because you don't know how to build the present, and when you don't know how to build the present, you tell yourself you can deal with it tomorrow, and it's a lost cause anyway because tomorrow always ends up being today don't you see ... We have to live with the certainty that we'll get old and that it won't look nice or be good or feel happy. And tell ourselves that it's now that matters: to build something now at any price using all our strength. Always remember that there's a retirement home waiting somewhere and so we have to surpass ourselves every day, make every day undying. Climb our own personal Everest and do it in such a way that every step is a little bit of eternity. That's what the future is for: to build the present with real plans made by living people.”
(From The Elegance of the Hedgehog)

pabloinnh 9:06 AM  

This one played Saturday-tough for me. Almost crashed and burned in DOOK CITY, as TEASERAD and TORTEREFORM both failed to present themselves as two word answers. But there they were, finally, duh.

ARSENAL fits nicely for ACMILAN, and you may notice that they both begin with the same letter, but this will not aid in your solve either.

Thought the clue for ARTCRITICS was a long way to go for an iffy payoff. A tormented, if not a tortured, clue.

My most disappointing wrong answer was ANGELPIE, something of which I had not heard. I had the A from BALE and wrote in AMOS, giving me an M, which led me to AMBROSIA. When our choral group here was searching for a name, we were briefly "Ambrosia". The name I suggested brilliant, but somehow not accepted, was "The OK Chorale".

Chewy Friday, AJR. Almost Just Right, but some too-clever cluing. Thanks for the struggle anyway, which I enjoyed.

Anonymous 9:06 AM  

Maybe this weekend I will go to a BEER BAR and then to a .

Ray Yuen 9:13 AM  

As a Canadian, I see Bob Rae and it's an auto-fill. Now you see how I feel every time I get a senator/college team/county clue. No fun, is it?

Can we please make these puzzles more worldly?

Anonymous 9:14 AM  

Sorry, Rex and others, a beer bar is definitely a thing.

jberg 9:22 AM  

At the time I was growing up in Wisconsin, 18-year-olds could be sold beer, but not wine or hard liquor; we could not be present in a bar that sold anything else unless accompanied by a parent. So there were indeed BEER BARs, also known as "18-year-old bars." They were very popular.

OTOH, I didn't put it in until forced to do so, because to me a BAR is not a "building." Maybe that's because I live in Boston now, where most bars are contained in larger buildings. So with that at 1A, and the incomprehensible ANGEL PIE right below it, this was very slow going.

I also hesitated to put in AC MILAN, because AC means 'Associazione Calcio," i.e. 'football club.' But I guess foreign translations are acceptable.

I worked all that out, figured it was TAI CHI and not TAoism, realized that there really is a resort named ALTA, and that it wasn't the Rose or Blue ROOM. But I failed because I misremembered the trumpeter as cHAD JONES, failed to figure out what kind of ICON Marcia P. Johnson was, decided to come back later, and then forgot to do that.

mmorgan 9:22 AM  

As usual, I liked it a lot and had fun, but I was baffled by what looked like either TEASE RAD or TEA SERAD for what felt like a long time.

CS 9:24 AM  

This is a classic example of how to make people suffer.. This was a saturday puzzle and not fun. Ugh, for all the reasons stated (obscure crosswordese and nothing to smile at)

hoping to find some puzzle happiness over the long weekend!


Anonymous 9:26 AM  

Before I go to the BEERBAR today I need to visit the haircut barber shop. Then I will eat at a food restaurant and later on retire to my sleeping bed. Tomorrow the wake up alarm clock will start a new day.

Nancy 9:28 AM  

@Barbara S -- Well, I suppose the younger people on the blog won't find today's quotation at all depressing. But at my age, all I can say is "Yikes!"

Sgreennyc 9:30 AM  

Rex’s critiques are so subjective that they are essentially useless.

Anonymous 9:37 AM  

NW was last to fall, so the whole thing was crunchy, given the common NW to SE row-by-agonizing-row solving method.

There is no BEER BAR, it's a BrEw pub.

ANGEL PIE must be a lemon merangue with a top crust instead. Never seen or heard of it.

TAI-CHI isn't really about yin and yang. If fact, it's all yin. Karate, et al, are all yang. Yoga strives for both.

Unknown 9:41 AM  

In my youth in Wisconsin, there were countless beer bars. It was legal for 18 year olds to drink in them as they served no liquor. And they were labeled "beer bars"

And I was in mot of them.

Hungry Mother 9:41 AM  

It seemed hopeless as I set out, but, before long, things fell into place. It ended up being relatively easy for this point in the puzzle week.

Diane Joan 9:47 AM  

It was the mid-1970s. We were under pressure to get out our high school paper. The opposing team had made a basket but our reporter only got her first name. It was Sara______. All we could think of to fill the blank was Lee! It's long overdue but on behalf of the editorial staff (clearly not post masters) I apologize to that athlete. I'll take a bit of humble, no I mean Angel Pie. I understand why there are daily corrections to news media articles!

JD 9:48 AM  

I guess I think of AC Milan as Associazione Calcio Milan so that held me up. Not! Arsenal from Nick Hornby's book Fever Pitch. Young Colin Firth in the movie. I swoon.

Angel Pie? Torte Reform? Eggs, sugar, fruit, add more sugar as necessary to induce catatonic state. Sara Lee probably makes a frozen version. Hers probably isn't as good. Weird, Huh?

What @bocamp said about way, way off wavelength. Ended in the NE corner and it was just plain ugly. Random letter throwing.

Liked Scroll Saw though. I'm impressed by power tools and people who know how to use them.

@Barbara S., Thank you for today's quote. I needed that advice.

@Z, Feeding the troll is kinda like throwing food out the window to a rabid dog. You're safe, but people who unknowingly wander into the yard aren't. I see the appeal, but I read your stuff and would request the alert **TROLL DISCUSSION**

Tina 9:49 AM  

Can anyone explain the answer for 90s groups? Honor roll designation for graduation?

janet 9:53 AM  

@Jeff Keller Me too.
I could not get on the wavelength of the clues

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

@Kentana 28 D are using the word "pan" to mean an unfavorable opinion by a critic. So in this case, the critics probably complained about the artist's use of oil paint. I personally thought it was a clever clue, question mark and all!

Z 9:57 AM  

@Kentana - When an ART CRITIC pans an oil painting we are supposed to think of it as “using an oil painting in a review that pans the art work.” As @pabloinnh said, a pretty big stretch for a not strong play on words.

Regarding the TAI CHI clue, I have no idea but Wikipedia is pretty clearly in agreement with the clue.

Interesting that people in big cities were misdirected by the “building” part of the BEER BAR clue.

@pabloinnh - If only you hadn’t insisted that the conductor go by Wyatt Earp they might have agreed.

Frantic Sloth 10:02 AM  

I dunno. I really wanted to like this one.
And I did like some things like TORTREFORM, TRANSICON (more for the clue and Marsha P. than the word), even WEIRDHUH and SARALEE (because I'm somebody).

WEIRDHUH looks a bit odd, but it's a thing. I know I've heard it and said it, so...okay.
What's a BEERBAR? Is that a thing? Seems like either a made-up word or some hipster doofus coinage. In any case, I can't help being all judgy about it.

The long downs were...there. Nothing exciting, remarkable, or...breathing about them. Basically dead to me.

Overall, I found the clueing too clever by three quarters (too much for half) and while I appreciated the challenge, it just wasn't any fun.

Didn't like the RAE/KARACHI crossing because I'm just not smart enough to know such things.

However, my biggest nit gnat was ESSIE because I immediately plopped in E(L)SIE (small "L" looks too much like a capital "i" and why doesn't somebody fix that?? But, you know, digression.) and just as immediately, forgot about it. Therefore, not seeing ENOS or getting to wonder who the hell was ENO(L)?

So, basically a DNF by others' standards, but for me, not. Because...just not.

I'm probably an outlier/otherworlder on this, but that's like home to me. So there.


Z 10:03 AM  

@Tina - The group that gets 90’s and better on everything get grades of A, making the school’s HONOR ROLL.

@JD - πŸ‘πŸ½

@pabloinnh - Now I’m thinking Z’s Placebo and Tentacle needs a Sunday Morning Service just so we can have the OK Chorale perform.

Unknown 10:06 AM  

BEERBAR ? I actually had BARRACK at first, thinking of a room full of DRAFTEES . . .
And AMBROSIA in place of ANGELPIE, which I've never heard of. And I've eaten a lot of dessert in my life.
And ELLEN for the woman's name . . . .

Needless to say, I found this to be as tough a Friday as I've seen in a very long time.
I did like HONORROLL for 90s group, but that was the sole spot of joy for me.
I don't mind tough - I actually enjoy it for a Friday, but the cluing/answers just felt off for me on this one.
And THEO the trumpet player,and the Canadian diplomat? Both a little too esoteric for me.

Steve M 10:09 AM  

Arsenal without an e will get you nowhere πŸ˜‰

Pete 10:09 AM  

@Nancy - No, the younger folks will just love the idea that younger folks have the experience and gravitas to tell the older folks how to live. Your life's not living if every day as if you're climbing Everest - bad on you? No, fuck you.

An ANGLEPIE is a Pavlova that someone's MEEMAW made up a cutsie name so their little Moon-Pie would eat it even though it was odd. I shouldn't be required to know the last part of that sentence. Clue might as well have been "just find a word/word combo that are a desert and a reference to heaven that fit the crosses". Way fun for me.

Wordplay is fun if it takes you the long way around to somewhere you want to be, not if it takes you the long way around to somewhere you had no desire to be. ANGLEPIE / BEERBAR / EASTROOM / HONORROLLS are not hot-spot destinations.

kitshef 10:12 AM  

@Ray Yuen 9:13 - Senator/college team/county clue are irritating for US Americans, too.

jrstocker 10:12 AM  

There is certainly such a thing as bar that only serves beer, but I've never heard the phrase BEERBAR. Around here they're called taprooms.

RooMonster 10:20 AM  

Hey All !
Standing bewildered over here in the Tough Puz camp. Dang, had to resort to Check Puzzle feature to ferret out the wrongness. Haven't had to do that in quite some time. Felt like a TORTRE FORM. Har.

Might be shocking to some, but not a Charlie Brown fan, so actually had to look up the title of the TV special. I do like Snoopy, but that cartoon is rather repetitive inanity. IMO. ☺️

Only way to finish today for me was use of the Check feature. That's how it goes sometimes. WEIRD, HUH?

If you rib someone cooly, is it TEASE RAD?
If you look at pics of cute puppies, do you SCROLLS AW?

Growing up, I'd always heard the SARA LEE slogan, but never saw it actually written out, so I thought it was "Nobody does it like SARA LEE." Which makes grammatical sense.

Clean fill, nice toughness for those who look for that, so a good puz on those merits. Just should've been run tomorrow.

Almost wanted EGOT for EGOS. 😁

Two F's

Perry 10:26 AM  

36D (Cat's 'sup) was the only enjoyable clue in the whole damnable xword. Otherwise, it was just a collection of obscure, unknowable, and (mostly) uninteresting trivia. Unless you happen to be an entomologist, I guaran-damn-tee that you have *never* encountered the word AREOLA used in the context of 16A. I am all for Friday being difficult, but this was just stupid.

Anonymous 10:26 AM  

My first answer for 1A was "Bee Hive", which is a type of building with many holes which could potentially cause a draft. Anyone else have a similar thought process?

Barbara S. 10:26 AM  

@Nancy, @JD, @Pete
I took it as a timely reminder that can benefit everybody.

Whatsername 10:35 AM  

Tough one for sure. Immediately set off on the wrong track with BREWERY and ELLEN which was an EPIC fail. Never realized there are so many women’s names that sound like two letters combined. TRANS ICON was a mystery but gettable with some reasonable downs. Great clues for HONOR ROLLS, FREE TIME and TEASER AD.

I know next to nothing about HORSESHOES but I’ve made many an ANGEL PIE. “Heavenly”doesn’t begin describe to describe how scrumptious they are. A popular Easter tradition at my house.

GILL I. 10:43 AM  

This gets my good gravy WEIRD HUH award. If your name isn't RU PAUL, I don't know you TRANSICON. If your BEER BAR doesn't include a good Talisker, you can take my SCROLL SAW along with ESSIE and eat my grits.
This was some strange Friday puzzle. Cutesy winks my fondillo. It was hard and not fun. DICK and RAE and ESSIE walked into the HERS HES bar. No ANGEL PIE on the menu. What a surprise.
The only thing I know about Dick Cheney is that his daughter, Mary, is gay. I think I read that her sister had a hissy fit when she found out, but at least daddy stood by her. This....after Bush wanted to ban gay marriages. Can you imagine their discussions in the White House?
I usually enjoy a god AJR puzzle....this one had eleven too many ? for my taste.
Oh...and isn't an AREOLA that thing around your teat? Now you're giving me the ribs of an insect wing?
My EAR runneth over.

GILL I. 10:44 AM  

Oh...and @Nancy from late last night: Didn't you know that beans are the magical fruit that make you toot?

Horseshoe pro 10:49 AM  

Joaquin 8:25 - Sorry, the clue is correct. In sanctioned horseshoe tournament and league play, "leaners" count 1 point.

mathgent 10:51 AM  

For a while I would completely skip Rex's nonsense. Now, I scan it as fast as I can looking for something solid. Today it paid off. I found an explanation of the nice clue for DICKCHENEY.

As has been pointed out above, too many clues that are trying too hard. For EGOS and ARTCRITIC, for example.

Lewis, "Calling me to draw on deep resources." Very nice.

Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee. A good double negative. It's not a double negative, but it reminds me of this line from the sing Alfie. "If only fools are kind, Alfie, then I guess that it is wise to be cruel."

"What's the matter? You've been in a lousy mood all day." "Yeah, sorry. Dick Cheney was in the crossword puzzle this morning."

Frantic Sloth 10:55 AM  

OR What Rex said. He pretty much said it all for me and now I'm frightened, Auntie Em.

Also, it seems as if there are women's names that sound like two letters of the alphabet a-plenty, but ESSIE is probably the last one that would occur to me. Without some "already-letters" anyway.

Had BrEwery at 1A, too (Hi, @chefwen!) because even though it didn't quite work as's still better than BEERBAR.

@Anonymous 544am 🀣🀣 Wish I'd thought of that!

For the record, I liked TORTREFORM as an entry, not a concept, law, or dessert-mangling*. Basically, I share @Z's739am opinion on the driving forces behind that whole canard.
@Z 739am 🀣🀣🀣 ANGEL PIE and her lisping whispers were indeed on NPR for 30 years, but then isn't everyone?

*Yes. I know it's "torte", so please don't bother.

@pabloinnh 906am Saw TEASE RAD for the longest time and imagined just the worst things about it. πŸ˜‚

@Anonymous 926am 🀣🀣 Good comment said.

@JD 948am Good alert suggestion for @Z, but as for me...well, warnings, alerts, or other cautionary devices seldom work and more often have the opposite effect. See: Spoiler Alert. πŸ™„

Anonymous 10:56 AM  

tough and beer bar is terrible fill.

Johnny Vagabond 10:56 AM  

A leaner is worth two in horseshoes

bocamp 10:57 AM  

Early Morning Rain ~ Gordon Lightfoot

@okanaganer (1:17 AM)

Thx for Ian & Sylvia's Four Strong Winds; one of my fave groups and songs! :)

@Stimpson (6:22 AM)

Thx for the BEER BAR explanation; makes sense now. :)

@ss (7:47 AM)

Love Doc Watson and love Alberta, CA; Thx for the link! :)

@Son Volt (8:15 AM)

Thx for the shout-out to Nova Scotia's Wilf Carter (Montana Slim) and for the outstanding cover of 'Blue Canadian Rockies' by the Byrds. :)

@Barbara S. (9:05 AM)

Thx for the Barbery quote and amen to 'building the present'! πŸ‘

@pabloinnh (9:06 AM)

Hands up for 'Saturday-tough! πŸ™Œ

td pg -18

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all ~ πŸ•Š

Carola 11:14 AM  

An enjoyably toughish Friday, thanks to some opaque cluing. First in for me, with a smile, was ANGEL PIE - a truly ethereal confection of a meringue crust, lemon filling, whipped cream on top: crispy and creamy, sweet and tart, and an old-school Midwestern dessert staple. I also liked the single TEA LEAF, whose crucial positioning perhaps altered a fortune.
Do-overs: There certainly are a lot of 2-syllable Alphabet Girls. Mine started out as Ellie. Had wAsHed before BATHED.

@okanaganer 1:17 - Four Strong Winds! Oh my gosh did that take me back!.... to hootenanny days, where we all sang so ardently - thank you for the nostalgia jolt and for the Canadian connection.
@chefwen 3:02 - Your Coffee guy sounds like a real treat. Good grief.

WokeUpThisMorning 11:31 AM  

(32A): "I'm hers, she's mine" is a cisgendered, binary, heterosexist lyric. I'M OFFENDED!

susan 11:32 AM  

Just a note: potters use clay, not soil.

WokeUpThisMorning 11:34 AM  

(56D): Captain Hook was an ableist cartoon stereotype. I'M OFFENDED!

Chris 11:38 AM  

@unknown (2:46) Sebastian says hey: "Darling it's better down where it's wetter under the sea."

floatingboy 11:40 AM  

I really, really wanted '"Vice" principal' to be DONJOHNSON.

WokeUpThisMorning 11:42 AM  

(19A): "Woman's name" is a cisgendered, binary term. I'M OFFENDED!

WokeUpThisMorning 11:50 AM  

(15D): "Master" is a cisgendered, binary term based on hierarchical patriarchal relationships; I'M OFFENDED!

WokeUpThisMorning 11:56 AM  

(40A): DICK CHENEY is a conservative white male politician whose politics I disagree with. I'M OFFENDED!

WokeUpThisMorning 12:01 PM  

(19A): "Woman's name" is a binary, cisgendered term. I'M OFFENDED!

Son Volt 12:01 PM  

@bocamp 10:57a - thanks for the info - always thought Hank Snow was the only Nova Scotian in country music. Don’t remember how I got it but I still have a copy of Wilf’s Christmas in Canada - probably from the mid 60s. Good, simple music.

egsforbreakfast 12:01 PM  

I loved this puzzle except a few things like BEERBAR and ANGELPIE. But what really has me smiling today is how Javier Baez. Created two runs by intentionally getting caught in a rundown between home and first. If you haven’t seen it, just Google the name.

JD 12:09 PM  

@Barbara, I think the quote words the message very well that I've been trying to pass onto the "kids," who are in their 20s. The conversation started out, "Be good the future you."

@Frantic, Har, I always had that reaction to signs that said, "Please do not touch..."

Whatsername 12:11 PM  

@Z (7:39) “They” seldom bother me but often provide a good dose of comic relief. I do enjoy reading your rebuttals though so I kind of like the idea of a *Troll Alert* to make sure I don’t miss any of them.

@jberg (9:22) Wisconsin was where I learned to love BEER and had my first taste of ANGEL PIE. During the years I lived in the Madison area, a group of us had season tickets to the Badger games. The tailgates started early with lunch at Vilas Park and ended with potluck at someone’s house. One of the ladies was a master with the meringue and her angel pies were always the standing order for dessert.

@Pete (10:09) You make an interesting point about the pressure to keep climbing Mount Everest. Not everyone wants to go there. When I announced I was retiring from my job, I was not prepared for the number of “younger folks” (because those are your coworkers at that point) who demanded to know my plans for the future. And it was often spoken with the implication that establishing some arbitrary set of goals to accomplish was a requirement on my part. It got to where I began to feel uneasy about the fact that I had not done so. But hard as it may be to believe, I’ve actually enjoyed every single minute of every single day since then without a care in the world as to whether or not I ever make it any further up that mountain. I’m perfectly happy with the view from where I am.

Dr.A 12:12 PM  

I had a hard time with the middle. I'm not a "football" fan or a soccer fan so that AC Milan took me way too long, with Gentler which I doesn't seem like the opposite of hard at all, so that stank. Anyhoo, I love your humor. Keep it coming.

JD 12:40 PM  

@Barbara S., Oops! I meant be good TO the future you.

George 12:42 PM  

I also thought this was hard and not fun. Not much to add, echo much much much of the commentary here. Started with brewery, but erased it because it didn't fit with ambrosia, which was OBVIOUSLY right.

Something else that happened to me: i thought a protester's cry was "Resign!!!" -- does a protestor really cry "Resist!"?? Are they crying this out to one another? Anyway, this made the NW even more miserable.

Was able to figure out that the woman's name ended with an "ee" sound, but could not crack the Northwest.

Figured that the "letter sound" that produced that would be, most likely: C, D, E, or T

Here's my list! Ceecee, Edie, Edy, DeeDee, Effie, Gigi, Katy, Katie, Elsie, Ellie, Emmy, Emma, Essie.

Notice how Essie is last? Yeah. Exactly.

Also -- this exercise made me wonder if anyone has ever clued Whitey Ford this way. Perish the thought.


old timer 1:03 PM  

Memo to OFL, and to so many commentators: Just because you've never heard of it does not mean it's not real.

I found the puzzle very tough, but that is right for a Friday. Fridays are very often harder to solve than Saturdays. Nothing came easy, but when I got, for instance, EDITOR IN CHIEF, I had something to be proud of. Same with HONOR ROLL, but that was easier to guess. It did help that many years ago, we did a major house remodel: New study for my books, new bedroom for two of our daughters, new kitchen. Our chief carpenter could actually cut roof beams by eye, using a chain saw, but he also was a dab hand with a SCROLL SAW, a term I had never heard before.

BEER BARS are not really a thing where I live, though our best pub, the Toad in the Hole, really is one. In better times, they are famous for their English pub grub -- bangers, shepherd's pie, all that. Sadly, the recent unpleasantness has made it impossible for them to stock the English draft ales that were my main reason for going there. Better times a'coming, I hope.

Gordon Lightfoot has written dozens of songs worth hearing once, like ALBERTA Bound, and a few songs that will live forever. Still, for me, the best writer in the Canadian folk tradition will always be Stan Rogers. I am more amazed at how many humorists got their start in Canada.

BTW, a tap room is typically where a brewer shows off their wares. Some have a guest tap or two, some only feature the brewer's products. A BEER BAR features a wide selection of (often local) beers.

nyc_lo 1:07 PM  

I think I said “Ugh, really?” at least three times solving this one. Not the kind of Friday puzzle one is looking for.

What? 1:07 PM  

As usual with NYT themeless’ (themelesses?), I start knowing almost nothing and then finish. Something about strange neural connections.
I agree that many fills are ugly but I got them. Weird huh.

Master Melvin 1:12 PM  

If I'm not mistaken, it was the development of the SCROLL SAW in the late 19th century, that enabled the wonderful gingerbread designs applied to Victorian houses of the period. There are nice examples in places like Cape May, NJ & Oak Bluffs, MA (Martha's Vineyard).

bocamp 1:15 PM  

@Son Volt (12:01 PM) yw 😊

And, thx for Wilf's "Christmas in Canada"; will check it out. Update: Apple Music didn't have it, but good ol' YouTube came thru. πŸŽ„

td pg -5

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all ~ πŸ•Š

Chris 1:16 PM  

@susan 11:32: Think gardeners, not artists.

Bruce R 1:17 PM  

I'm surprised how many people are not familiar with the notion of a BEER BAR. I swim in those waters so I use the term quite a bit. It is a bar that features a large selection of interesting beers. Not every bar is a beer bar, even if they serve beer.

Anonymous 1:18 PM  

depending on where you live, your SOIL is clay. but, yeah, clay is the more accurate answer.

Ellen S 1:19 PM  

@okanaganer, @Carola, I was also a great Ian and Sylvia fan back in the last millennium. Decades later, “A Mighty Wind” became my favorite of all the Christopher Guest mockumentaries. I suppose Mitch and Mickey might have been based on some other duo, but you sure couldn’t tell from how they sounded.

As for the rest of the puzzle, it was hard but I thought I liked it until I read Jeff Chen’s review, and Rex’s, and all the blog comments. I don’t count it against a puzzle if I never heard of the fill items. I think I’ve led a sheltered life, so I just accept that there is such a thing as a BEER BAR (and yes there is, based on the comments), and likewise ANGEL PIE (I don’t waste my dessert calories on things that aren’t chocolate, so there are a lot of confections I never heard of), and THAD Jones. I have heard of that former V.P. but don’t need to be reminded.

Never mind Everest — my big ambition is to get the dog walked before the sidewalks start melting.

SpyGuy 1:20 PM  

Had the beginning A and the penultimate A in 38A first, and lo and behold, ARSENAL fits in there perfect at that point. Took me FOREVER to unsee that, I was so sure it was right.

Pete 1:21 PM  

@Z - You made sense of that sentence? Wow. Years of reading student's essays looking for something, anything, for which to give them credit paid off. Not handsomely, as my gratitude is worthless, but it did pay off. I started getting pissed off that that trope way, way back when I read Thomas's "Do not go..." Nothing like a 20-something telling a 60 or 70-something whether he's ready to die or not, and how to do it. And that excitement is better than being of service, or pleasure is better than kindness. You're 20 something, stop trying to extrapolate your experiences and wisdom beyond your years. Just enjoy being 20-something. Then when you're 30-something you can remember your 20's, and behave as a 30-something should. And so on.

@Wokeupthismorning - Next morning, don't. For all our sakes.

chance2travel 1:22 PM  

So what's the deal on 3D "Clash of the titans?" EGOS? Is it as simply as saying titans refers to powerful people and they have EGOS and those EGOS often clash with each other?

Seems like clash would be a singular noun synonymous with a conflict, whereas EGOS is a plural noon and the subject of what is clashing.


Malsdemare 1:24 PM  

Puzzle killed me, no fun at all. I knew 39d had to be risESUP or COMESUP, but neither R nor C made sense with TRANSI-ON. Even after filling in the C (after cheating) I didn't see TRANS ICON. Pretty dense today. I'll blame it on reviewing ad nauseum Irish baptism records from the 19th century.

@Nancy 9:28. Amen to that. I wanted to go back to bed and cry. @Barbara, I almost always adore your excerpts; but today's was just depressing, kind of matching the dreary, rainy day we're having here in Central Illinois.

@Lewis, thanks for the book referral. Always a thrill to have a new book in the library queue.

kitshef 1:30 PM  

@susan 11:32 - I took the 'potters' to be people potting plants.

Lion 1:32 PM  

I totally agree.

Aelurus 2:07 PM  

Hard-won puzzle for me, not GENTLER at all! Loved it, quite a thought workout.

19A - ellie before ESSIE (and like @ Rex had Abel before ENOS)
63A - desist! (because that’s what protesters say to protestees) before RESIST
36D - mrow? before MEOW?, mrow being super specific for ’sup? and the LATTER being a very general cat comment, in my experience

Devilish clues for:
26D EAR - as I don’t wear buds, preferring those so-comfy Bose noise-canceling headphones that were a spontaneous and appreciated birthday gift one year while we were in SeaTac before boarding

Clever and/or fun answers:
64A SARA LEE - best double-negative ad ever (once had a 3-line sign on my office door when it was closed under tight deadline: DO NOT / not / KNOCK)

Unknown PPP: THAD, ALTA, RAE, AC MILAN (though the puz seemed light on PPP).

Thanks, Andrew, for an enjoyable solve!

@Lewis 8:36 am – Yep, thought the same, that I might not finish, and was happily surprised when I did.

@Barbara S. 9:05 am – Thank you for the well-said Muriel Barbery quote; agree with your 10:26 am reply, and @JD 12:40 pm.

@bocamp 10:57 – Always liked that Gordon Lightfoot song.

Graham 2:07 PM  

can’t wait to go to the beer bar after work to get some beer

Pete 2:13 PM  

@Whatshername - My apologies, I read your comment to @Z, then somehow thought you were. Obviously, another reason I shouldn't be climbing Mt Everest in now that I'm in my dotage. I wouldn't know where I was.

Doctor John 2:20 PM  

Leaner--one point

ghostoflectricity 2:25 PM  

Feh, Rex. Your objections to Bob Rae ring hollow: you were all in on ESSIE Davis several weeks ago (never heard of her; five-letter answers for Davis: Bette, Ossie, Geena, one of which shares all letters but one with ESSIE), even as it occurred in the same sector as never-heard-of DBA ("doing business as"), an acronym in use by perhaps three people on the planet (if that) and creating an infuriating NE-corner natick on a Friday.

I got this puzzle today with no naticks, so feh on you and your RAE objection.

Jwaan 2:31 PM  

Did anyone ever figure out a way to make the clue for EGOS work? Anyone?

I can't improve on the explanation chance2travel gave, and that it's just a bad clue.

Anonymous 2:46 PM  


seems clear enough. a 'clash' is between two or more titans, and the reason for the clash is bruised 'EGOS'. been a meme in the capitalist class for decades before 'meme' was a meme.

LenFuego 2:58 PM  

BEERBAR has been criticized to death already, and rightly so ... but I'm gonna pile on with another criticism I have not yet seen.

There should absolutely be a question mark at the end of the clue, like so: "Building with many drafts?" Drafts in the clue is clearly a misdirection -- the meaning expected there would be "air currents", or maybe "blueprints," but definitely not "beers on tap". When a clue is trying to be clever in its word use in that way, it ALWAYS gets a question mark.

And a personal complaint: For the record, this is 2021 ... if it is not so overbittered with hops that it makes your eyes water, you cannot find it anywhere ... so the more apt name these days would be an IPABAR or HOPSBAR.

Anonymous 3:03 PM  

3D, the EGO titan clash thing, is reason enough for WS to be gone!

Whatsername 3:05 PM  

@Pete (2:13) Well that explains it. I actually went looking for the comment which triggered your 1:21 response. 🀣 So I could say the same for myself in my dotage. But I must say if I’m going to be mistaken for someone, I’ll take it being @Z as a compliment.

Rique Beleza 3:27 PM  

Ear Buds...

pabloinnh 3:48 PM  

@old timer-

Stan Rogers is The Man. Memorable tunes, even better lyrics. As far as I know, he never wrote a bad song, and songs like "Lies" and "The Field Behind the Plow" and "Mary Ellen Carter" always choke me up enough to make singing them a challenge. We lost him far too soon.

LeeB 3:53 PM  

BEERBAR?? I had BREWPUB not wonder I finished that corner last.

Anonymous 4:13 PM  

I thought Stan the MAN was Stan Musial.

Grouch 4:15 PM  

The use of "?" at the end of clues needs to be banned. If you can't consider different meanings of words without having your hand held, maybe Xwords aren't for you.

Barbara S. 4:16 PM  

@Malsdemare (1:24 PM)

Anonymous 4:30 PM  

I forgot about Vice, too and it was a pretty good movie, imho. Bale really transformed into Darth Cheney, and Sam Rockwell and Steve Carrell were both excellent.

Nancy 4:30 PM  

Re the quotation. It's that damned second sentence.! You can "be good to yourself" and live fully in the Now and "carpe" every single "diem" -- but that truly depressing second sentence tells you that, in the end, it's not gonna make a damned bit of difference.

Time to crawl back under the covers -- maybe next to @Mals :)

Anonymous 4:45 PM  

@ghostofelectricity 2:25PM

. . . it occurred in the same sector as never-heard-of DBA ("doing business as"), an acronym in use by perhaps three people on the planet (if that) . . .

DBA (“doing business as”) is in fact an incredibly common term that is in use all around you. I have two DBAs and am processing a third. DBA registering services are provided at most locations that do notary, legal, or accounting work.

What your comment really meant was that the Friday NYTX might be a bit much for you. Try People magazine.

bocamp 4:48 PM  

@Aelurus (2:07 PM) πŸ‘

@old timer (1:03 PM) / @pabloinnh (3:48 PM)

Thx the for Stan Rogers shout-out! :)

Stan Rogers: Wow!! Hadn't heard of him. Outstanding voice, guitar, lyrics and arrangements! The Very Best Of Stan Rogers (Entire Album)

"Rogers was noted for his rich, baritone voice and his traditional-sounding songs which were frequently inspired by Canadian history and the daily lives of working people, especially those from the fishing villages of the Maritime provinces and, later, the farms of the Canadian prairies and Great Lakes." (Wikipedia)

pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all ~ πŸ•Š

Barbara S. 5:09 PM  

@Pete, @Whatsername, @Ellen S.
I take it that "our own personal Everest" can be as steep or as gently sloped as we make it. For most people after retirement it's nothing like it used to be. But I think that creating some worthwhile challenge, however modest, at every stage of life does tend to enhance our experience on this earth. But you don't have to become a mountain-climber. Take up the flute or grow roses, if you'd rather.

@Nancy (4:30 PM)
A SECOND HUG TO YOU!! But the thing is that the truth of that second sentence might push you right out from under those covers and into the swim of life, because you can, and it feels good to breathe that air and move those limbs and be active, interested and involved. And because we know we're not here forever.

@bocamp, @pabloinnh, @old timer, et al.
I'm loving the discussion of Ian and Sylvia, Gordon Lightfoot, and Stan Rogers. Truly, the soundtrack of my life. Among Canadian artists, I'd add Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Cockburn and Buffy Sainte-Marie. I saw most of them in concert in their primes -- fantastic memories. And listened to and sang to their records by the hour throughout my early life. Still do when the spirit moves me!

Lindsay 5:11 PM  

BREWERY right out of the gate. Nope.

Anonymous 5:15 PM  

Elsie - LC. I had Essie, Elsie and finally got to Ellie

Alex M 5:25 PM  

Canadian Millenial here, I didn't know Bob RAE right off the bat but my mom did and she says Rex and I should both look into him ASAP because he is a very admirable man and has done a lot for social justice, fyi.

Anoa Bob 5:39 PM  

I have to join those who thought that this puzzle was a little light on fill quality and that it tried to compensate for that by being to tricky and devious in the cluing. Although there were some nice touches here and there, my solve was mostly a struggle without a lot of payoff for the effort.

The plural of convenience (POC), which has been somewhat dormant here of late, makes a couple of appearances that caught my eye. I always notice and think it's a major demerit for a puzzle when a marquee entry in a themeless (or a theme entry in a themed puzzle) needs to boost its letter count in order to fill its slot. That happens twice today when neither HONOR ROLL nor ART CRITIC are up to the task. POC to the rescue. Also there's an ultra helpful two for one POC, where a Down and an Across share a final S, at the ends of RESIGN and HER.

I also join the Doc Watson fans. Got to see him and son Merle in concert at a very small venue, The Back Door I think it was called, at San Diego State in the early 70's. There were only 20 or so of us there---few west coast people had heard of him---and we were almost within arm's reach of them. It was wonderful! He was a tremendous talent. His music just flowed out of him with great energy. Merle was no slouch either!

And I always thought TAI CHI was yin and KARA CHI was yang.

Barbara S. 5:48 PM  

@Nancy (4:30 PM)
Forgot to say -- I disagree that "it's not gonna make a damn bit of difference." It's going to make ALL the difference between having lived fully, usefully, delightedly and with few regrets, and realizing you just let it all slip away because you weren't paying attention or you were paralyzed by what was to come.

Anonymous 5:50 PM  

Apart from the EGOS disaster, which seems just to have been a wrong clue (at least, nobody in the 130 comments so far has managed to make sense of it), another serious problem with this puzzle is that the word ROLL was used in the 1D clue and the HONORROLL answer. Puzzles shouldn't reuse clue words in answers.

Very disturbing. To have two sloppy clues in a single puzzle is very unusual for the Times.

Dave S 5:59 PM  

A lot of fun clues. Well, they were fun once I got them, which took a long, long time. Had Elsie before Essie and now I'm wondering if there are any women's names that don't sound like two letters. Liked the "model's makeup" and 90's groups clues especially, once I figured out what direction they were going in (the opposite one from where I was headed.) Sorry Rex didn't like it more, but everybody doesn't like something.

Anonymous 6:30 PM  

@Z Your explanation that "Clash of the titans?" means EGOS because titans have big egos doesn't make any sense. Among other things, "clash" is singular; EGOS plural. Even besides, that isn't how cluing works. It's not a free-association game, rather, the answer should be substitutable for the clue.

Photomatte 6:36 PM  

BEERBAR? Really? Nobody has ever said that word, or even those two words together, in a single utterance. BREWPUB is the obvious - and correct - answer here and the down answers would've been all the better had BREWPUB been correctly inserted.

Citizen Dain 6:37 PM  

Nobody in Genesis lives a shorter life than ABEL, ironically.

bocamp 7:02 PM  

@Barbara S. (5:09 PM) (5:48 PM)

πŸ‘'s up for all the positive vibes!

Have been teeing up my Leonard Cohen playlist after hitting the sack. Puts me in pre-sleep mode. :)

Love Joni Mitchell. Only vaguely knew Bruce Cockburn and Buffy Sainte Marie. Listening to them now: Going To The Country ~ Bruce Cockburn / Universal Soldier ~ Buffy Sainte Marie. Bruce evokes a bit of Donovan and John Denver.

@Anoa Bob (5:39 PM)

What a treat to have been at that Watsons performance! :)

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all ~ πŸ•Š

GILL I. 7:30 PM  

@Barbara S. Just stepping in here after my morning climb up Mt. Everest to say how much I enjoy your posts.

UNPC 7:39 PM  

The women on this blog rule!

Z 7:40 PM  

@Pete 2:13 - Thank you! I was having a “whatdidIsay” moment there for a few moments.
@Whatsername 3:05 - πŸ€—

@Grouch 4:15 - You’re convincing me more and more.

@Barbara S - Just what this blog needs! A heaping dose of existential angst. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
How does that old summation go…? Oh yeah:
"To do, is to be." - Socrates
"To be, is to do." - Sartre
"Do-be-do-be-do." - Sinatra

@6:30 - Everyone is waiting with bated breath for your explanation of that clue/answer combination.

Barbara S. 8:11 PM  

@bocamp and @Gill I. ❤

Glad to oblige any time!

jonkotaco 8:46 PM  

All of this. It was a DNF for me bc of the NW. What is Essie even short for?

jonkotaco 8:49 PM  

It's weird to refer to it as a "building" if you live in NYC. Beer bars are a thing but I can't think of a single beer bar in NYC that occupies a whole building. It's always mixed use. Calling it a "building" feels intentionally misleading.

jonkotaco 8:50 PM  

I guess because "titans" presumably have big egos. Awful cluing in a whole region of terrible clues.

Z 8:58 PM  

@egsforbreakfast - Went looking for Baez and found this. Oh, yeah, here’s the Javier Baez highlight, although it’s really more of a Will Craig lowlight.

Whatsername 9:16 PM  

@BarbaraS (5:09) Funny you should mention that. I actually have considered taking up the flute. After serious consideration though, I believe I may stick with the keyboard as I’m afraid I don’t have the lung capacity for a wind instrument. I’ve tried my hand at roses and didn’t take to it but I grow enough tomatoes to supply half the neighborhood. Not much of a hill to climb but yes, I understand what you’re saying.

Matt 10:09 PM  

BEER BARs are indeed a thing; a bar that sells only beer and usually has a lot of them and a little semi-snooty connoisseur vibe. The model is backformed from Wine Bar. There's a lovely one in short walking distance of my in-laws' home that's been my salvation and refuge for many a year of strained family gatherings, and it calls itself a BEER BAR right in its name. (There's another one closer to me that changed its name from Suchandsuch Beer Bar to Suchandsuch Brew Pub to try to capitalize on the panache of the small craft brewery cadre, but it does not brew its own beer.)

As for the rest of the puzzle, I share the mehs, and I was particularly dismayed at the unknowable trivia of the Canadian UN ambassador, because what, Charlotte and Norma RAE are no longer cluable? And the utterly pointless AFT clued for "Early p.m." nobody abbreviates afternoon Aft. Nobody. I sat there a long time hoping it was some famous Prime Minister or it was a geography joke around the prime meridian, but no such luck.

Matt 10:12 PM  

The clue references gardeners potting plants: I found it acceptable because there's a few gardening terms that use POTTER, although POTTING is more typical.

Peter P 10:17 PM  

@Photomatte Little bit late here into the comments section, but the term "beer bar" is one that I and my friends use to describe a bar that specializes in craft beers. We've been using it for at least fifteen years. A "brew pub" is different than a "beer bar" in that a brew pub has taps that feature beers they brew themselves. For example, here in Chicago, Goose Island Brewery is a brew pub, but Map Room is a beer bar. You can type "beer bar" in Yelp or google and see many instances of the phrase being used in the wild. Just because you haven't heard it doesn't mean it's not a thing. Every week there's something in the NYTimes crossword I've never heard of, and I almost always find it's a word or phrase that has simply eluded me. I mean, heck, typing in "beer bars Chicago" I get results of articles entitled: "The best Beer Bars In Chicago: You could use a drink" (Thrillist), "The 5 Best Beer Bars in Chicago" (Hop Culture), and an Amazon link to a book entitled "Beer Lover's Chicago: Best Breweries, Brewpubs and Beer Bars (Beer Lovers Series)." They are all slightly different concepts.

That said, this puzzle completely stymied me and I only get about 75% through before an Internet outage and trying to finish it just now, I threw in the towel. Had Arsenal for ACMILAN. Didn't know ANGELPIE (though I was on the right track with angel foodcake), never heard of ESSIE (had a confident ElSIE). Just couldn't get on the same wavelength. And ALTA, RAE, TAoism before TAICHI, no clue on EGOS. Just too many mistakes for me to want to spend time unraveling.

Unknown 10:52 PM  

Immediately had Brewpub, followed by the heavenly food of the gods Ambrosia, bad start.

Arsenal instead of AC Milan who actually started in 1886, I guess I'm ahead of my time.

Did final get everything after redoing the NW with merengue... lemony, but not godly... Pretty sure angel pie aint a thing. Maybe the devils advocate can prove me wrong.

Johnny Vagabond 11:08 PM  

Nope. 2

Westword 9:40 AM  

Unpleasant. Voluntary dnf.

Brooklyn Roasting 5:26 PM  

The Gingerman truly is the quintessential beer bar. And the book by JP Dunleavy deserves a mention in passing. It’s an irreverent gas.

I forget the connection between the owner of the ginger man, Bob Precious, and the book, but there was one.

CDilly52 8:43 PM  

@okanaganer et al: I had just about every four letter conglomeration of letter names including all mentioned above plus Edie, Emmy, and Elsie. Sheesh!

CDilly52 8:45 PM  

@Conrad: first of all, I just didn’t have time to do this until after midnight on Saturday so am late to the party but I feel that some clues were just so weak as to be almost “fouls.”

Sian 9:51 PM  

Started by hating it (aft clue), ended up really enjoying it. Mr. Ries, thank you for a fun solve

Cc’d 8:19 PM  

We are now supposed to know the ages of biblical characters? I do well to remember most of their names.

thefogman 11:04 AM  

Tough one. Now I have a headache on top of my pre-exhisting headache. I had letTeRcarrIEr before EDITORINCHIEF. Rex is right about the over-abundance of crosswordese. I only got the pun for 40A after reading the review. That clue should have been PITCHed.

spacecraft 11:06 AM  

Well, of course no human ever lived 905 "years," as we now measure them. Perhaps the Scripture writers meant "months." I myself have lived 972 of those, and counting. But this is just one of the NW troubles, as many have already said. There may actually be BEERBARs as referring to craft beers and such, but to me the expression is slathered all over with green paint. C'mon, man, you go to the bar for a beer. ANGELPIE sounds like a pet name for your significant other. And yeah, the clue for EGOS is poor at best.

Things were a little less muddled outside that WEIRD, HUH? NW corner, but not much. I did enjoy the clue for HEIST, a chuckle there. I don't understand OFC's complaint re the EASTROOM; it's a specific locale, and a famous one. Most of his other gripes probably CAMEUP from the DICKCHENEY entry. I wouldn't let a guy like that influence my mood so negatively. I have an ex-president for that.

DOD is Kelly RIPA. If I have one complaint outside the NW, it'd be the double-CHI endings of KARACHI/TAICHI. Say CHIs! Not that bad. Birdie.

Anonymous 12:22 PM  

An old WI cheesehead would remember beer bars as those serving 18 year olds and restricted to beer only. Alas, they left in the '60s, never to return.

Diana, LIW 1:12 PM  

Green paint, ???s up the you-know-what, and just odd answers abound. At least, for me.

I did like the clue for EDITORINCHIEF. Best part of the puz IMHO.

Diana, LIW

Burma Shave 1:53 PM  




rondo 2:04 PM  

There used to be a rather notorious BEERBAR in Johannesburg, WI. Nowadays BARs are just BARs, in WI anyway.
Puz, meh. Always annoying Kelly RIPA earns yeah baby.

leftcoaster 4:40 PM  

Knew I was in trouble from the start with a few wrong entries and no foothold.

In the NW corner, BEERBAR didn’t register. Then these additional mistakes in quick succession:

--Had Noah instead of ENOS
--Had emerges instead of COMESUP
--Had nurse ("...face covering") instead of HEIST
--Had Rose ROOM instead of EASTROOM

Also not registering, in the SE corner, was SARALEE, and her unstated but “famous slogan” and “double negative”. Wha...?

At that point I resigned.

rondo 7:26 PM  

Nobody doesn't like SARALEE.

thefogman 7:59 PM  

@Lefty “Nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee.”

Waxy in Montreal 8:09 PM  

Y'know I began this one so smugly with RAE and ALBERTA as gimmes, eh? Thereafter, a real slog.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP