Toxic protein prepared on Breaking Bad / FRI 5-21-21 / 2007 film with tagline the last man on earth is not alone / Victim of a 20th-century environmental tragedy / Where the Ring is destroyed in Lord of the Rings / Name on vintage red white and blue cap / Prognosis that a problem has only just begun

Friday, May 21, 2021

Constructor: Sam Ezersky

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: POOH-BAH (15D: Muckety-muck) —
1. pompous ostentatious official, especially one who, holding many offices,fulfills none of them.
2. A person who holds high office. (  
Grand Poobah is a satirical term derived from the name of the haughty character Pooh-Bah in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado (1885). In this comic opera, Pooh-Bah holds numerous exalted offices, including "First Lord of the Treasury, Lord Chief Justice, Commander-in-Chief, Lord High Admiral ... Archbishop ... Lord Mayor" and "Lord High Everything Else". The name has come to be used as a mocking title for someone self-important or locally high-ranking and who either exhibits an inflated self-regard or who has limited authority while taking impressive titles.The American writer William Safire wrote that "everyone assumes [the name] Pooh-Bah merely comes from [W. S. Gilbert] combining the two negative exclamations Pooh! plus Bah!, typical put-downs from a typical bureaucrat." (wikipedia)
• • •

The NW was where I started, and it was by far the hardest part of the puzzle. Vague clues, multiple possibilities, no real progress. This put me in a baddish mood, but I figured hey, it's Friday, things'll loosen up in other parts of the grid. And while things did, in fact, get easier when I left that section, they did not exactly get better. That is to say, I was happy I was making grid progress, but it was the progress that was making me happy, not the grid, which is oddly bland and also has some absolutely wasted long answers. Your long answers are really your big guns in a late-week puzzle; they are the flash and the sizzle, they are what you want people to remember. But today the answer I liked best in the whole entire grid was... DEFIB. No joke, I really like that little 5-letter word, and I feel like I rarely see it. In fact, not sure I've ever seen it. It's got some spunk, that one. But the long stuff? Fine, adequate, but mostly blah blah blah, and then there's ITALIAN MEAL, which, you know, can be delicious irl, but the MEAL part just makes me squirm with its odd general non-specificity. I'd buy ITALIAN DINNER a thousand times before I'd buy ITALIAN MEAL. "Italian dinner" outgoogles "ITALIAN MEAL" by a long shot, and also, the very first hit I get when googling "ITALIAN MEAL" is this

I mean, THAI MEAL? CHINESE MEAL? You see how those don't sound *quite* right, right? They're perfectly understandable, they just don't have stand-alone power. I got ITALIAN and then ... no idea. Couldn't guess it. What cool word is coming!? Drum roll: MEAL. It's such a thud. Not as bad a thud as ONE EGG, but a thud nonetheless (11D: Brownie mix add-in, often). Thuddier, thuddiest, in fact, was WORSE TO COME, for which I can't even imagine a scenario (23D: Prognosis that a problem has only just begun). Can't imagine the phrase being uttered. Not plausibly. It's a phrase that makes sense, if you said it, folks would know what you mean, but WORSE TO COME just sits there ... even the clue can't think of a context. "Prognosis" sounds medical, but is a doctor going to use that exact phrase? It just doesn't land. It doesn't snap. It just wilts and dies. And nothing else in the grid is trying too hard to make up for it.

INACAST is like most INA's that aren't INASEC or INABIT or INAWAY—those all make good, stand-alone phrases, but INACAST is like INACAR or INADRAWER. Actually, there are a bunch of INA phrases I would accept. INADAZE. INASNIT. INAHEARTBEAT. But not INACAST. I don't quite get (and this is not the puzzle's fault) why it's POOH-BAH in the dictionary but when you add "Grand" to the front and use it facetiously it's POOBAH. It's a word derived from a character in The Mikado, which is one of those looks-racist musicals that I have not yet been willing to explore. Anyway, I thought it was one-H "poobah," so that caused a pause. Best wrong answer of the day by far came when I had -STHIGH at the back end of 23A: Like water at the shallow end of a pool and wrote in LEAST HIGH. "That's terrible!" I thought. Indeed. Also, that's wrong (it's WAIST-HIGH). Had BRO before BUD (49D: Homie). Groaned at the corny clue on LOIN (50A: "Sir" might be found at the start of it). One more ugsome entry for the day: SUABLE (37D: Fit to be tried). Wanted SANE—the clue would be a good one for SANE. Then I wanted STABLE, which really seemed promising. But SUABLE, what an awful bit of legalese. These kinds of letdowns just happened over and over today. Again, most of the grid holds up fine, but it doesn't do much but lie there. APITY. Alright, I'M OUT. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Jeff 6:47 AM  

Will Shortz also not helping dispel well founded rumors of his racism with how uncomfortably close 32D got to needing him to trot out his favorite excuse: “It’s a valid dictionary term...”

Lewis 6:51 AM  

When I see Sam E
And you may agree
At some point there
I’ll tear at my hair
For all the resistance
But with persistence
I’ll crack his puns
I’ll stick to my guns
And soon my fit
Will lessen, his wit
Will awe and amuse
Those clues! Those clues!
And at the end
My knee will bend
As I bow with thanks
To one high in the ranks
Of constructor lore
Whose gems I adore
They’re a joy to me
And you may agree

Joaquin 7:01 AM  

Being a SoCal guy, I spent a lot of my misspent youth in a pool. And we always referred to the shallow end as being WAISTdeep, not WAISTHIGH.

Also fitting the allotted spaces for 23A: "Kidspotty".

Hungry Mother 7:17 AM  

Not so bad today. Slight stumble with eSCETIC until I proofread the grid.

Bobby Grizzard 7:18 AM  

I'm pretty sure the clue to ÉSTO is somewhere between bad and wrong, as ÉSTO is genderless, while the clue seems to strongly evoke the masculine ÉSTE, but I am not a native speaker or even an expert, so I would love a comment from someone who is. Considering NEW ME is a great answer and BUM seems... well not like a good answer, but....... I was grumpy about this one.

Guest 7:20 AM  

I agree that SUABLE is a lousy word. It's not even "legalese." It's laypersonese.

vtspeedy 7:20 AM  

Lots of things are waist high, like prairie grasses, but not the wAter in the shallow end of a pool, which is always waist deep. Phooey.

DeeJay 7:23 AM  

Very very funny review, Rex. Thank you.

Anonymous 7:24 AM  

You must be tired from all the effort it took to be offended.

kitshef 7:28 AM  

A very solid, professional piece of worth. I especially liked MYTH right above LEGEND.

Clue for SUABLE was a bad idea. I always say, if you have to resort to bad fill, don’t call attention to it with the clue.

Never knew CTRL-P was a thing. CTRL-C, -F and -V I think are the only ones I ever use.

Jcap 7:31 AM  

"...well founded rumors of his racism". Source, link, evidence?

amyyanni 7:33 AM  

Another solver in the waist deep end. Floundered all over on this one.

Judge Parker 7:35 AM  

It's a word derived from a character in Hamilton, which is one of those looks-racist musicals that I have not yet been willing to explore.

It's a word derived from a character in The Wiz, which is one of those looks-racist musicals that I have not yet been willing to explore.

It's a word derived from a character in South Pacific, which is one of those looks-racist musicals that I have not yet been willing to explore.

It's a word derived from a character in Aida, which is one of those looks-racist musicals that I have not yet been willing to explore.

It's a word derived from a character in The Book of Mormon, which is one of those looks-racist musicals that I have not yet been willing to explore.

Speaking of Parker & Stone, here’s a little something from South Park.

bocamp 7:42 AM  

Thx Sam for this crunchy Fri. puz! Always enjoy your creations, including the daily SB. :)

Med solve.

Got started with MARATHONER and jumped around a fair bit after that. Again, fair crosses come to the rescue, esp down in SoCal & Texas.

O Tannenbaum ~ Andrea Bocelli

O Tannenbaum,
O Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter.
Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum
O Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter.

O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree,
How loyal are your leaves/needles.
You're green not only in the summertime,
No, also in winter when it snows.
O Christmas tree
O Christmas tree
How loyal are your leaves/needles.

yd 0

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Randy Marsh 7:50 AM  

Naggers, of course.

pabloinnh 7:55 AM  

@Bobby Grizzard-ESTO (no accent) is correct. When you're asking what is this? you're referring to an unidentified something or other, so you don't know the gender. After it's identified you can use este or esta (accent on the first e) to refer to it. See also Eso es! from yesterday.

This one was really gnarly and I had a hard time getting a toehold anywhere. Thank goodness for PUZO in the SE and MARATHONER in the NE which eventually opened things up. If you have the M, LIONTAMER fits nicely for STRONGMAN. I'm guessing they're both "old circus acts" at this point.

Great Friday, SE. Thought we had a Friday Stumper here for a while, but everything was Suitably Exacting. Thanks for all the fun.

Conrad 8:00 AM  

@Bobby Grizzard: I'm not a native Spanish speaker nor an expert, but I am a struggling Spanish student and esto/este is one of the reasons I'm struggling. Esto is a pronoun, and is the correct word in ¿Qué es esto? = What's this? or Quiero esto = I want this. Este is a masculine adjective and would be used in a sentence like Quiero este cepillo = I want this brush. The feminine adjective is esta (Quiero esta cosa = I want this thing). Confusing things (meaning me) even more, there's está, the third person singular form of the verb To Be (Él está por allá = He is over there). Bottom line: ESTO is correct for 46D. I hope this helps.

Conrad 8:04 AM  

@kitshef: Ctrl-P is "Print." Very useful.

Paul 8:06 AM  

I think the entry ONEEGG deserves a defense. The egg addition to the brownie mix is token, something emphasized by there being just one. The brownie mix can easily be formulated so that it doesn’t need an egg but they found it sold much better if you had to add an egg to it. That psychological tidbit is part of the trivia.

Z 8:17 AM  

I like the central stack fairytale THEMES. The NW was actually pretty easy, here. The disappearing ARAL SEA was a gimme and that certainly helped with that corner. I’m definitely closer to @Lewis than Rex today. It did take me a long time to solve, but I have in-laws knocking about so I have no idea how hard the puzzle actually was.

I’ve had a beard more less continuously since 1980 and BEARD COMB might as well be a NORSE MYTH. I keep it fairly short, letting it grow long enough to need to be COMBed would destroy the whole “keep the morning rituals short” raison d’être of having a BEARD.

A PITY reminded me of David Bowie.

Frantic Sloth 8:43 AM  

Can't quite put my finger on why exactly, but this one rankled.
Was it the clueing? Was it the answers?
They're both just "off" enough to leave me feeling all squirrelly.

Rex came close. Others (so far) less so.

Maybe I saw the byline and immediately seized up because I have absolutely nothing in common with how this guy thinks.

I hope someone else can nail it, but for me, it's like nailing jelly to the wall.

The one clear reaction I had was SUABLE. Fugly word. Ick clue. Get out.


Jeff 8:50 AM  

Shouldn't 31D have some indication that it's an abbreviation? On my first pass, I wrote in GYNT for 30D, but then MORDOR for 31D, and figuring they both can't be right, took out GYNT, only to put it in again later as MORDOR had later problems.

Liked everything else but SUABLE.

Keith D 8:51 AM  

Lol. Really wish Rex and certain others on here would stop with the constant virtue signalling. So tiresome. Let’s agree that we are all highly “woke” NYT readers and enjoy these puzzles. And... “evidence” for Will Shortz racism? Isuggest you not hold your breath on that one...

Barbara S. 8:54 AM  

I didn’t find this as difficult as yesterday, and I liked it. I agree, however, with complaints about WAIST HIGH and ITALIAN MEAL And I thought instead of ONE EGG, there was going to be some delicious type of nut. I had a brief existential crisis over whether it was LEGO bricks or LEGO blocks. Found out that bricks is right and also that LEGO comes from the Danish leg godt, which means “play well”. The three central acrosses are pithy, vivid and mesh seamlessly: STRONG MAN, NORSE MYTH and I AM LEGEND.

Channeling my mother, I thought that TEA TOWELS are not accessories but essential to the process of drying dishes. And, good grief, the puzzle made me realize that my husband has been living in a state of desperate deprivation all his adult life and I, as his chief support with a mandate to look out for his well-being, have done nothing to correct it. He has a beard but no BEARD COMBS! How have I let this happen? Never fear, his birthday is coming up.

BERTH STORY: When I was seven my family moved across the country following my father’s change of job. He went first and my mother, sister and I followed when school let out for the summer. My mother hated flying, so we took the train, a three-day trip that was the adventure of a lifetime, at least of my life up to that point. Before we left my mother made all the arrangements and she kept talking about BERTHS, a word with which I was unfamiliar. Finally one day I asked her “What’s a berth?” Unfortunately for all concerned, my mother understood “birth”. She took a deep breath, girded her loins, and decided it was time for The Talk. I don’t know how much detail she plumbed for a seven-year-old, but the explanation was long and intricate enough. According to my sister, who witnessed this exchange (and who, at 15, already knew everything there was to know), after my mother’s exposition was finally over, I sat for a minute then said, “A BERTH on a train.” I guess both of them absolutely dissolved in laughter, while I continued to sit there stolidly, wondering if I was ever going to get an explanation that made any sense.

And speaking of childhood, today’s quotation is from the work of MIRIAM TOEWS (pronounced "taves"), born May 21, 1964.

“We drove down Corydon Avenue towards my mother's apartment. How are you doing, she asked me? Fine, fine, I said. I wanted to tell her that I felt I was dying from rage and that I felt guilty about everything and that when I was a kid I woke up every morning singing, that I couldn't wait to leap out of bed and rush out of the house into the magical kingdom that was my world, that dust made visible in sunbeams gave me real authentic joy, that my sparkly golden banana-seated bike with the very high sissy bar took my breath away, the majesty of it, that it was mine, that there was no freer soul in the world than me at age nine, and that now I wake up every morning reminding myself that control is an illusion, taking deep breaths and counting to ten trying to ward off panic attacks and hoping that my own hands hadn't managed to strangle me while I slept.”
(From All My Puny Sorrows)

RooMonster 9:05 AM  

Hey All !
Tough FriPuz. Stuck with East side pretty much unfilled. Cheated for ITIALINMEAL and MOB. Sheesh. Finally was able to suss out the rest.

Really wanted walnut for ONEEGG. Ugh. Tried so hard to avoid my one-letter DNF, but to no avail. Had GeNT, now able to see NORSEMeTH should be MYTH. Dang.

MADCAP puz. I AM not LEGEND. 😁

One F

ironst8 9:15 AM  

A challenging Friday for me, and my own personal theme seemed to be "answers where one half is correct but the other half is wrong." Had waist deep before WAIST HIGH, new me before NEW DO, reunite before REGROUP, esta before ESTO, stable instead of SUABLE, not to mention all of the half answers that took me forever to complete: ...up, ...legend, ...roll, oh...., uni..., aloe..., Mt..., etc. Bit by bit the grid opened up and revealed itself, and I can pat myself on the back for having gutted this one through. Just the right level of difficulty and a nice way to end the workweek.

Unknown 9:25 AM  

@ Jeff 6:47 really? You must be pretty woke to be offended by that one.

I found this puzzle to be much tougher, and not as much fun, as yesterday. The NE corner was my bete noire. I've never seen a brownie recipe that didn't contain an egg or two, so referring to ONEEGG as an "optional" mix-in seems a little unfair. I suppose if someone had an egg allergy you might look for some sort of workaround, but otherwise, no. So I put down WALNUT and yeah, paid the price.

And having not heard of or read the book, I was thinking the CIA, or the NSA . . . . For the MOB, that could have been very nicely paired with Mario PUZO, although perhaps that would have made it too easy. Maybe the book is way more popular than I am aware of?

Frantic Sloth 9:31 AM  

Hand way up for WAISTdeep. WAISTHIGH describes Ed Grimley's pants.

@Barbara S 854am I wonder what compelled you to sit still through that dissertation. Were you curious or polite...or both? In any case, your recounting of the scene was hilarious.
And that quote! Geez Louise!

kitshef 9:34 AM  

@Roo Monster - maybe those Viking berserkers were fueled by your NORSE METH.

Anyone else have ____THIGH for the pool water and try to hammer in "up to THIGH" or "near THIGH" or something equally desperate?

Karl Grouch 9:35 AM  

When I attended Waist High, oral sea was archfrequent.

Oggi, Italian veal is the best.

The marath owner didn't make it, another one bytes the dust.

That's a total apity, let's pray for him in unisom.

As pen my botanics teacher, "One is either a strongman or a unagi roll".

Norse to come: there's no worse myth than that those waggers of tea towels exist.

Did you know that ZZ Top members share their combs?
One legg at a time guys and in the privacy of your bogs, please.

Clamming up, I'm out.

(Excellent clue for Peer Gynt, by the way).

Michelle Turner 9:36 AM  

No cheats! Way to go on Aral Sea - a real disaster that bears remembering.

Carola 9:39 AM  

It was tough for me to get traction on this one, and I'm all for the challenge of filling a grid. Still, similar to @Rex, I wished there'd been a few more SCRAPPY MADCAPS to balance the zing-wanting ITALIAN MEAL, ALOE GEL, BEARD COMBS, and WAISTHIGH BOGS. By the time I got to the bottom row, I was more worn out than invigorated so went with the crossword staple "NEW me" (hi, @Bobby Grizzard 7:18), unable to summon the will to ponder alternatives.

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

56A SPEW, "Go on and on bitterly"--I really thought it should be STEW, which would make 34D, "get back together," the sort-of clever REGROUT.

Son Volt 9:45 AM  

This played more like a Saturday for me. Clueing was tricky - I liked it. Love the center stack sub theme - although the drab WORSE TO COME cross brought it down a notch. Hand up for WAIST deep in lieu of HIGH. A higher hand up for having never used a BEARD COMB in the last 40 years.

Looking at a quaking aspen right now - heart shaped leaf is pushing it.

Tough, crunchy Friday - highly enjoyable.

Sir Hillary 9:48 AM  

Come on, gang, the THEME'S right there in the central stack:
Rex Parker (SAY) -- The MAN, the MYTH, the LEGEND.

And my money's on @Jeff 6:47am being satirical.

I love me an UNAGIROLL.

BEARDCOMBS looks disconcertingly similar to breadcrumbs. I imagine the former can be useful in ridding one's chin of the latter.

Sgreennyc 9:52 AM  

Re Jeff and Will Shortz’s alleged racism. I never even thought what you’re obviously thinking until you brought it up. Some people can find racism everywhere, even on Jeopardy. Unfortunately, there’s enough hate in the world without silly people finding it where it doesn’t exist and was never intended.

Diane Joan 9:55 AM  

@Jeff I also had Mordor at first instead of Mt Doom. I guess it's time for me to rewatch Lord of the Rings!
I thought Italian Meal would have an Italian word in there since the clues were all in Italian for the courses. Otherwise I enjoyed the puzzle! Have a great weekend!

Z 9:59 AM  

Hmmmm - Is there any difference between WAIST deep and WAIST HIGH? Well, on a June day at Lake Michigan you definitely want to run into the water until it is deep enough to dive in. You get that nanosecond shock of invigorating cold and then your body thermometer adapts and it feels fine. I’ve never understood the waders, suffering through the shivers gradually working up their bodies, prolonging the discomfort. Just masochistic behavior. Take the plunge and enjoy the lake. At some point after diving in you stand up where the water is up to your WAIST and wave to your friends or family on the shore. Is that water “deep?” Is it “HIGH?” I don’t know for sure, but it is always 4:20 when you’re on a Lake Michigan beach.

Whatsername 10:00 AM  


Doing this crossword by Sam E. reminded me why I stopped doing the Spelling Bee. The frustration level completely BOGS down the solving pleasure.

Anonymous 10:01 AM  

Somebody help me with 13A. ARCH???

Anonymous 10:01 AM  

Beard comb?!!! beard comb?!!! How on earth did that pass the breakfast test?
I mean the very idea is grotesque. What man of any standing after, say Appomattox, has had a beard? They're repulsive. Most men do grow a beard and worse, a mustache when they're young. I think we think it's manly. But of course that's the mind of a teen at work. Nearly everyone who goes any place in life ditches the facial hair. Fast. But even the few cranks and poor souls who think a bear works, don't let them grow long enough to need a comb. Just typing that term gives me the heebie jeebies.

NoobB 10:03 AM  

I am still somewhat discouraged when I can't get a foothold somewhere in the far north, as here. Have at least learned to persevere even though it sometimes feels like I am reading a book backward. While I almost always agree with the clueing (sir might be found at the start) and phrasing (ItalianMeal)complaints, my love almost never concurs: "Italian Meal--well, that's the same as Italian dinner . . ." Argh. So thank you for being here pointing out the cringing nature of some of the clues and answers.

JohnK 10:03 AM  


George 10:04 AM  


"MT DOOM" is the first time I can remember where there's no indication of abbreviation in a clue that calls for an abbreviated answer.

northwest was very, very challenging for me. sit-and-stare challenging. most disheartening was this -- there is exactly one in-road into that corner, and i finally figure out that its PEPSICOLA.... and it did nothing for me!

burtonkd 10:07 AM  

@anon 9:41 - I like SpEW better also, as going on and on seems more active than stewing silently.

Also NEWme is better than NEWDO, since the "correct" answer is so hair specific, whereas a makeover makes a whole new you. I guess I should have studied more Spanish to get the correct ending for ESTE. Remembering the Homie the Clown character from In Living Color, I declare BUM to be the correct answer.

WAISTdeep had to be correct, but so did BERTHS.

Wanted StABLE for fit to be tried, as in sane.

Great Friday; I had only a handful of answers on my first pass, and thought this would be the Friday the does me in, but they all led to something and the grid came together. Not a clue that made me groan, or think that wasn't fair.

NORSE MeTH - the drug of the Gods, branded as WOTAN. Scene 1 of Reingold is now a hot drug lab instead of a gold mining operation.

I got eulogize so burrowed that I couldn't see elegize forever.

mathgent 10:08 AM  

Nice verse, Lewis.

Excellent puzzle. It had all the fundamentals: sparkle, crunch, few threes.

Everything but joy. Maybe the flaws the Rex cited.


Nancy 10:09 AM  

What are ODD CAPS? What 4-letter "schooner feature" begins with an O? What 4-letter "tongue in cheek" synonym begins with a D? You try to find one! I wanted ODD-something-or-other for the "eccentrics" and I couldn't get past my idee fixe for, like, forever. And to think -- the schooner feature was just a boring old MAST. I didn't straighten it all out until much later.

I got the 4D wordplay immediately, but thought of CHORUS, not THEMES. CHORUS didn't work. Not with ODD CAPS and not even with MADCAPS. Sigh.

I went elsewhere. I'm SCRAPPY. Though not ASCETIC. I hoped there wouldn't be WORSE TO COME. And there wasn't -- though I did struggle with all those un-Nancy-ish film answers referenced in the puzzle: MT DOOM (so unimaginative, so completely on-the-nose, whatever awful thing happened there) and I AM LEGEND, whoever LEGEND is.

When I say SAY, I am not proposing a "crazy idea". Just saying.

Do any of you know what terrible thing happened in the ARAL SEA? Beats me.

A really fun puzzle that gave me a tough and terrific time. I'll even forgive it MT DOOM, I AM LEGEND and SAY.

JD 10:10 AM  

Having been called a Nagger more than a few times by a husband who thought a lawn should be Waist High before it's mowed, I really do scoff at the charges of racism against this word. It's sexist, you sexist batards. Men are never called Naggers.

@Frantic nailed the clue for Waist High. That, or Waisthigh being a proposed measurement for women's slacks so that we can actually find some that fit. Men get inseam and waist, we get some random number. But the clue would be too long. (Girthquake, har!)

Had a biggg Italian Meal on Wednesday evening and tried Menu at first but saw the light.

NW was hard but circled around and crushed it.

A Friday I can love.

JOHN X 10:10 AM  

So today’s puzzle was pretty good for a Friday. My first recon pass across & down produced almost nothing, but then I got a beach-head in the SE and advanced inland from there. Fortunately none of the answers hurt my feelings.

Yesterday’s puzzle had COPSE in it, which most people seemed to think should have been “corpse.” Here’s the most famous COPSE in America (which means the most famous in the world); I took this photo yesterday. Of the 10,000 corpses of man and beast that littered this area on July 5th 1863, some had lain in the broiling sun for three days followed by torrential rain on the 4th, so they were blackened, bloated, oozing, and gave off an incredible stench. However, for the photographers of the day, they made outstanding subjects because they stayed perfectly still.

sixtyni yogini 10:11 AM  

Ditto —what Rex said.
(But did love “unagiroll” bc it was in 🏠 of wheels)

Karl Grouch 10:24 AM  

@Barbara S, thank you for the quote, this one and the rest, too.
You choose them wisely and they're always interesting, keep them coming please, they're an asset for this blog.

Bobby Grizzard 10:32 AM  

It sure seems like the want a pronoun meaning "this one," but where the thing in question is masculine. That would be éste.

GILL I. 10:32 AM  

I'm thinking I might join @Frantic and bring some peanut butter.
Why can't I stop staring at TEAT OWELS? Why does my ITALIAN MEAL need a little limoncello? Why is SU ABLE? Why can't I spell ELEGIZE? Why didn't Deere HUM? OH GEE it's not GOD?
I actually finished this one and I should be dancing in the street. But man o man, I had to work hard. That's not always bad but I want a little dessert at the end of my LOIN. All I seemed to get was a PUZO SPEW. I see @Bobby G got some answers to his 46D question. It is a bad clue. I'm a native speaker and when you say "El de aqui" you're referring to someone who is a native. ESTO means this. @pablito is correct with his espanol you teach referencing but damn it, don't get cutesy with my language.
@Barbara S. Dang, had me laughing. I can't imagine what went through your head as you climbed into your berth.......WHELPS along the way?

JD 10:34 AM  

@JohnX, Ya had to go and get all Ken Burns on me. I've seen that tragic photo more than once. It makes me want to cry.

Stoner 10:38 AM  

ONEEGG? How lame. I was trying to think of a 6 letter word for weed.

jae 10:38 AM  

Medium-tough. My thoughts while solving this one were similar to @Rex’s. Sam at Xwordinfo pointed out the mini-THEME...MAN, MYTH, LEGEND...which I’m not sure I get...John Wick, an album by El Duce, a song by Juice World, a book by Orcutt, some sort of catch phrase...???

Hand up for WAISTdeep.

Mostly liked it.

Steve M 10:41 AM  

Watch Topsy Turvy wonderful film about Gilbert and Sullivan’s history
Anyway I found this really really tough NW stymied me

Anonymous 10:48 AM  

If you have a beard that is long enough to need to be combed, your beard is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long. Yuck and bleah.

Unknown 10:48 AM  

To STEW is to FUME in silence, not ever to “go on and on”

I could RANT or RAIL on, but no sense in that lol

Marc 10:50 AM  

Èsto is appropriate. It's genderless since you don't know what what the subject of the question is

bocamp 10:54 AM  

Having originally had NEW ME, BUM just didn't sit right. Having forgotten much of the Spanish I once knew from college, I was at sea on that one. BUD showed up to bail me out. :)

Had me a hippie BEARD back in the day. Don't recall ever COMBing it, tho.

@Z (9:59 AM)

Your Lake Michigan dip piqued my curiosity. Question: do the Great Lakes have tides?; do they ever have waves that are surfable? Answer: apparently they do.

td 0

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Nancy 10:56 AM  

@JD -- Your ARCH comment about your husband and the WAIST HIGH grass made me laugh out loud. And, yes, NAGGERS is sexist -- name one guy who's ever been called a NAGGER.

I also didn't know if it would be ITALIAN MEAL or MENU, so I wrote in ME and waited.

Pools vary in their shallowness at the shallow end. Very briefly, I was actually thinking WRIST HIGH. Those really shallow ones are awful. If you want a pool for kiddies, then build a dedicated kiddie pool.

What a funny story, @Barbara S! I also loved your literary quote today -- makes me want to read that author. A very interesting take on childhood.

PhysGraf 10:56 AM  

That's absolutely what I had and was my only "error". I don't count the errors when my answer is better.

Birchbark 10:57 AM  


"That night we ate just about every non-grocery-store cut of every animal I served. The MEAL ran to fifteen courses: from one of Jim's favorites, our Babbo-made testa, with my dad's fincchiona and culatello, to lamb's tongue vinaigrette, tripe in the style of Parma, and both beef cheek and calf's brains raviolis; from light love letters of goose liver, crispy sweetbreads dusted in fennel pollen and finished with duck bacon and membrillo vinaigrette, on to squab with barlotto, quail with salsify, and duck with brovada; finishing with a whole series of desserts. Jim relished the unabashed frivolity of this meal; he would talk about 'tripe,' sure enough there it came, and a tale of hunting would beget the birds shot in the story. We drank '82 and '85 Barolos, both in magnum, then a double mag of Le Pergola Torte then back to the north for some Gaja Barbaresco with which we ate a couple robiolas and a mountain gorgonzola with housemade black truffle honey."

-- Mario Batali, from the Introduction to Jim Harrison's collection of food and wine essays, "A Really Big Lunch" (2016).

MarthaCatherine 11:04 AM  

@Anonymous (10:48 am): especially if you are a woman...

Unknown 11:04 AM  

as italian i can assure that's a meal, non a dinner. we have full meals for lunch. also. are missing cheese, side, dessert and coffee

Pete 11:05 AM  

This one was a huge downer for me last night. I had actually had a pleasant evening, a rarity. When I walked one of my dogs we wandered through a copse of Black Locust trees in full bloom, and they were both magnificently beautiful and the smell was both mild, all-encompassing and lovely. I called my wife and told her to come and bring the other dog an for once in our lives together she did as I suggested without 'discussing' it. We had a very nice half hour there. Later that evening I was trying to decide how to describe the scent, and all I could come up with was that it smelled like a beautiful woman you're dancing with who's not wearing perfume, but as you lean into each other, really lean in, you catch her scent. I was trying to decide who that woman was, and later switched the TV channel to find To Have and to Have Not was on, and decided that the woman was Lauren Bacall at that place and time in her life.

Then I did this joyless, lifeless puzzle, where the only highlight for m was TEATOWELS, thought I prefer @Gill's take. At least that reminded me of my not crazy Grandmother, who taught us all to keep a TEATOWEL under the cushion of every seat in the house. That way, when someone spills something, you don't have to go running to look for something to mop it up with. This was perhaps the best piece of advice I've ever received.

Joe Dipinto 11:05 AM  

Meal, dinner—who cares? Let's eat!



The next morning.

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

! It's likely that with all of the practice it's effortless at this point. It's as easy as breathing, or libel disguised as complaint.

Mary McCarty 11:22 AM  

Guess I’m the only one who wanted “ doABLE” for “fit to be tried”; MEnu instead of MEAL (unlike @Nancy, I was sure of my answer and didn’t wait to see...); WaRningsign for 23 down, which I think is better than WORSETOCOME, which really needs “There’s..” in front.

Anonymous 11:24 AM  

Good luck with that - he's just playing to the playground audience - he wants to belong.

Mr. Benson 11:32 AM  

With the -BLE in place, liABLE seemed so obvious at 37D that it took some time for me to admit it wasn’t wrong. But 37A with the terminal G really couldn’t have been anything other than “SING,” so I was thinking “is SUABLE really a word?”

I ended with the app telling me I had a mistake, and I never could uncover it — I was so confident with NEWme at 55A, which would have been a much better answer. In retrospect, BUM doesn’t make a ton of sense at 49D, but at least it’s a word (and who knows what kind of slang kids today are using), and that random Spanish word EST_ could have ended with any vowel as far as I knew. So I finally tapped “check puzzle,” which I almost never do, and technically I guess that’s a DNF for me.

Mr. Benson 11:35 AM  

Reeeeeeeally gotta stretch the mind to buy the premise that a word that’s one letter away from a racist word is itself racist.

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

That's deeply creepy. Bacall was 19 when To have and have not premiered. She could have only been younger during its production. But yeah, go ahead sniff away.

Anonymous 11:46 AM  

An Italian dinner probably wouldn't consist of three formal courses and a digestivo. An Italian lunch would be more likely to do so. Italian meal works fine unless you're just mad about something and looking to take it out on a crossword.

What? 11:51 AM  

Finished. Yesterday bombed. The human brain is unthinkable. Who cares. 🤪

Bitter 11:56 AM  

C-mon, anonymous! You don't get offended when people say duck, luck, or truck?

Bitter 11:59 AM  

It wasn't until I read this post that I even understood what they were going for. I kept reading it as "Swah-bull" and was certain I had something wrong.

Whatsername 11:59 AM  

Most things are relative. If you’re 6’4” the shallow end of the pool might be more like THIGH HIGH. And if you perceive some sort of covert racism in the answer to 32D, you should probably spend some time thinking about why.

@Pete (11:05) I too have been noticing the beauty of the locusts blooming and soaking up that sweet wonderful smell. To me it is the scent of my childhood where the house I grew up in was surrounded by them. And many thanks to your grandmother for the TEA TOWEL theory. What a brilliant idea!

Bitter 12:04 PM  

I've only ever seen it used as an adverb: Archly.

Bitter 12:06 PM  

I'm left wondering if you're trying to be facetious, or if you haven't been in public in the last decade. I personally don't like beards, but they are definitely in fashion and beard combs are a very hipster thing to have.

Newboy 12:06 PM  

Not real happy with 50a clue or the EMT to DEFIB handoff either, but aside from that I really liked Sam’s grid today. UNAGI always leaves a bad taste—like dirt—in my mouth, but daughter-in-law loves them, so that’s a matter of taste; just how I ROLL I guess?

Linda R 12:06 PM  

@Bobby Grizzard 7:18 AM - Re "esto," see the comment by @pabloinnh 7:55 AM.

JD 12:08 PM  

@Joe D, I loved the assumed fatalism, the Italian what the hell did you expect, of this scene. Looked it up, it's streaming on Amazon. Now I know what I'm doing tonight. Grazie.

@Nancy, Right!

@Gill, Teat Owel, how did I not go there!

Frantic Sloth 12:11 PM  

@JD 1010am Is there anything more infuriating than misogynistic bread? 😉 (I know - typo. But those sometimes lead to the best things. Perhaps not in this case though. 🤷‍♀️)

@J-Dip 1105am Loved Big Night and that food! Now I wanna watch it again.

@Z 959am You can drop all the breadcrumbs you want, I'm not getting into that argument again. 😉 The scenario does sound sublime, though.

A 12:17 PM  

Rex said it: “the long stuff? Fine, adequate, but mostly blah blah blah.” BEARD COMBS, ok, if you SAY so. Except MARATHONER - I had fun imagining alternative pronunciations.

It was interesting to see the MAN MYTH LEGEND stack, with the “circus” clue for STRONGMAN. I SEE NOW some say the phrase may have been used to introduce P. T. Barnum.

But that bit of whimsy is offset by too many “defensible” words and clues, like SUABLE, MADCAPS, and “Land sakes alive”/OH GEE. I use a dish rack OR a TEA TOWEL - the latter are not “Dish rack accessories.”

My reaction to “Prognosis that a problem has only just begun” was much more optimistic. I was thinking “found it early” or “nipped in the bud.” WORSE TO COME? Time for a new doctor.

I did like CLAM UP. And I shall, after sharing music from today’s birthday honoree, trumpeter extraordinaire Maurice André. If there isn’t a book called “Maurice André, the Man, the Myth, the Legend,” there should be:



La Strada: Main Theme

Masked and Anonymous 12:23 PM  

Sneaky-themed FriPuz. Like.

yep. WAISTDEEP before WAISTHIGH. Waisted several precious nanoseconds, there.
And, yep. SUABLE & ONEEGG … har.
INACAST seems ok. As in: "Her right leg is in a cast." QED.

staff weeject pick: Of a modest number of choices, I'll take HGT. HeiGhT/HIGH near-miss-crosser is nice and somethin.

fave moments of sparkle: MAN-MYTH-LEGEND theme. DEFIB. POOHBAH. ELEGIZE. PEPSICOLA.
Six ?-marker clues. Feisty/scrappy.

Thanx for the challenge, Mr. E-Z dude. Sooo … is the theme revealer GYNT or PUZO …?

Masked & Anonymo4Us


old timer 12:27 PM  

Not on my wavelength at all. Eventually cried "I'M OUT" and looked things up. Even then, I ended up with NEW me, which people actually look for in a makeover, and not NEW DO, which is no more than a new hairstyle -- and most people who go to a stylist use the full "hairdo", not just DO. Indeed, it is probably racist to use "DO" by itself, since to the extent it is used, it is used by Black folks.

OFL is just hilarious, refusing to see The Mikado because it is racist. It is simply funny, and has some great songs in it. The Japanese were intriguingly different, but not thought of as inferiors. When Westerners discoveered Japan, their invariable reaction was that the Japanese, though their customs were unusual, were a vary superior group of people, compared to all other East Asians, a feeling definitely shared by the Japanese POO-BAHS themselves.

I have had a full beard since 1970. No BEARD COMBS for me -- a hairbrush suffices, and I used to trim it with scissors until I started using barbers again. COMBS are for people who want to get all artistic, and ease their facial hair into fantastic shapes, with liberal use of product. And really, most who like to do such things limit their artistry to the mustache, a la Hercule Poirot.

As was pointed out previously, the kind of ITALIAN MEAL described in the puzzle is far more likely to be eaten in the middle of the day. After such a meal, a light supper is all that's needed, often featuring minestrone or other soup. A little vino is not out of place then, either.

Wright-Young 12:30 PM  

Oh, if you haven't been to Lake Michigan, you should go! Nothing like it. Try NW lower Michigan.(And no, no tides to speak of.) :)

Frantic Sloth 12:33 PM  

@NoobB 1003am Your love probably has the right attitude for extracting enjoyment (on a regular basis) from these crosswords; however, what fun is that when there can be nits to pick? You may be a "noob", but it seems to me you're getting the feel for subpar nonsense already. Good on ya!

@Whatsername 1000am You're even closer than Rex - maybe Beecause of the frustration factor.

@GILL 1032am I got the jelly, you're bringing the peanut butter and @JD can bring her sexist batard. 😉

Rick Walker 12:38 PM  

Seriously. The world you live in is wildly self blind and immortal. Only those that are deluded are so self righteous and ridiculous about words offending idiots.

Anonymous 12:47 PM  

Don't saddle the legal profession with "suable". It is not "legalese". It's just gibberish.

ZGR 12:49 PM  

Agreed, and I had that written in. “High” to me implies rising, like floodwaters that are already waist high.

bookmark 1:09 PM  

@BarbaraS. Miriam Toews has an interesting life story, as I'm sure you know. I recently read her novel Women Talking, based on the true events of a Mennonite community in Bolivia. A remarkable book on so many levels. I highly recommend it.

I look forward to your daily quotes.

JD 1:12 PM  

@Frantic, It wasn't a typo! Seriously, it wasn't. It'd take genuine anger to get all the way to the B word, and I cracked myself up when I typed it. How to be your own breast friend. (Loralie lives)

Frantic Sloth 1:12 PM  

@A 1217pm Thank your for the music links. Just beautifully moving and silky smooth. I'm certainly no expert, but I do know what charms my ear.

@JD, @GILL And maybe we can tame that little loaf with a BREAD COMB.

Oops! That's my ride! I'm out.

bocamp 1:13 PM  

@A (12:17 PM)

Hooray for Maurice André; what a talent! I vote for Granada, but all are worthy. Thx for the links. :)

Wright-Young (12:30 PM) 👍

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Kyle Eschewing Politics 1:21 PM  

I enjoyed this one, though maybe (very) slightly less than the typical Friday. That could be on me though, since I was off my game. Got "NORSEM_T_" and couldn't see Norse myth. That's bad. (and I had never heard of Peer Gynt and so didn't think to run a Y through as an option.)

Also got waylaid by having WAISTdeep (which seems to be more of a thing, though waisthigh is fair) which made the NE ungettable until I fixed that.

Not a fan of WORSE TO COME, but some compromises have to be made. Unlike Rex, I actually liked one egg (though some of the mixes call for two) since it's explicitly what the boxes tell you to use. I believe that sets it above a "Type of omelette" clue which could be any number below, say, 30. (I love omelettes.)

Lots of people jumped on the first commenter for his allegations of racism, so I don't feel the need to pile on. I'll just say I believe that doing the crossword should (as much as possible) be a politics free zone. By that, I don't mean anything that could be interpreted politically should be avoided by constructors and editors; I mean solvers shouldn't bring their politics to the puzzle. Rex bitching about the NRA being included (even when it's clued as the National Recovery Act/Administration) sets a bad example. If you're ok with seeing the ACLU or AOC clued but not FoxNews or the Koch brothers, that's a you problem, not a constructor/Shortz problem.

James K. Lowden 1:43 PM  

Yup, rising: The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye.

Frank 2:05 PM  

C’mon Jeff. It’s ridiculously unfair to support a claim of racism on the basis of of a word he DID NOT use. Your mindset is suspect if you morph ‘nagger’ into a racial epithet.

KnittyContessa 2:22 PM  

Since the keys parts of the clue for ITALIANMEAL were in Italian I thought the answer would have Italiano in it. That slowed me done.
Why isn't the clue for MT DOOM abbreviated? Crossing it with NORSEMYTH didn't help me.
A TEA TOWEL is not an accessory for a dish rack.
This puzzle just annoyed me.

Today is Put on Purple Day to increase Lupus awareness. It's not too late to put your purple on!

Joe Dipinto 2:25 PM  

@Kyle Eschewing Politics → that's a you problem

How dare you make fun of Italian accented-English. I take umbrage. I'm giving your digestivos to someone else.

Eniale 2:47 PM  

Amazing what a different solving experience I had today; got SW first, then NW and SW without any trouble; totally defeated in NE. I was working on the idea of "quarters" meaning some sort of special digs, but didn't think of MANSION; all I got were MARATHONER and WAISTHIGH (though I dithered about -DEEP for a while). Anyway there's hope for the future, as it was all gettable instead of offering me my PPP bugbears.

@bocamp, I follow your SB progress throughout the day, as normally I don't get to this blog till late pm West Coast time. I'm impressed at how good you are and how you stay with it; I give it about an hour and then say OWTH. Today I'm pg-6 and going to give it one more try.

Leo Minosa 2:59 PM  

Perhaps Jeff should be more careful about offending some women. The term “32D” can be triggering.

Teedmn 3:17 PM  

I think this is a fine Friday puzzle. It went faster than it felt with a few missteps along the way.

DAMP or DAnk? CTRL or CntL? Pal or BUD? I wanted the one-h POOBAH until it didn’t stretch far enough.

At one point, all I had in the NW was DARE and CLAMUP, making 2D __AL___. I envisioned a sad, oil-begrimed “seAL pup”, perhaps a victim of the Exxon Valdez spill so when the ARAL SEA bed emerged, I was taken aback.

Thanks, Sam Ezersky!

jberg 3:31 PM  

"Brownie mix ad-in, often?" How could that be anything but marijuana? When neither that, not CBS, nor any other slang term I could think of would fit, i just left it blank, my mind completely unable to think of any other possibility.

@Z, you're a tougher man than I -- but you knew that. I grew up along the shores of Lake Michigan (Door County WI) and we wouldn't think of swimming in it until August. Until then, we bathed in the warm waters of Green Bay. No tides, though -- if you think about it, tides work in the ocean because the oceans go all around the earth -- the water to make the tide higher comes from the places where it is lower. The Great Lakes are all under the moon at the same time -- so the poor moon has to lift all that water straight up; it can't do so for any distance.

I can see all Rex's points, and some zippy long answers would have increased my enjoyment -- but I enjoy the struggle more than he does, and this puzzle had plenty of that.

We grew up drying dishes with "dish towels." I always think of TEA TOWELs as something more decorative, that you draped over your tea set so it wouldn't get dusty; but I guess they are functionally the same.

UNISOM, though? Really (does a search) -- oh, OK.

Anoa Bob 3:37 PM  

My first thought for 1A "Schooner feature" was MAST but I hesitated putting it in because I thought that was too easy for a Friday. So I was thinking it's going to be something to do with a large beer drinking device. I SEE NOW that it was a devious reverse misdirection because it did turn out to be MAST.

I just read about the results of a study reported in a medical journal that was summarized with the starkly chilling words "Consuming sugary drinks increases the risk of bowel cancer." That's what came to mind when the now known carcinogen PEPSI COLA appeared in the grid. I think about that when I see those huge trailer truck loads of sugary drinks lumbering around town delivering their deadly load to eagerly awaiting consumers.

I always thought ESTO (46D) was the masculine form of "that" with "esta" being the feminine form and "este" being the neuter form. Apparently google translator does too. The bigger question, though, is why does any language need three different words for "that"?

Stoner @10:34 maybe an opportunity was missed to kick those brownies up another notch with some 49D BUD.

Speaking of 29A STRONGMAN, today's Yahoo news feed reports that former "Incredible Hulk" Lou Ferrigno just got cochlear implants and has already gone from around 15-20% to 65% validity in speech perception and hopes to reach 85%. He speaks very eloquently about it here.

Michelle Turner 3:59 PM  

For those who aren’t familiar with the Aral Sea . . .

Formerly the fourth largest lake in the world with an area of 68,000 km2 (26,300 sq mi), the Aral Sea began shrinking in the 1960s after the rivers that fed it were diverted by Soviet irrigation projects. By 1997, it had declined to 10% of its original size, splitting into four lakes: the North Aral Sea, the eastern and western basins of the once far larger South Aral Sea, and the smaller intermediate Barsakelmes Lake.[5]
By 2009, the southeastern lake had disappeared and the southwestern lake had retreated to a thin strip at the western edge of the former southern sea. In subsequent years occasional water flows have led to the southeastern lake sometimes being replenished to a small degree.[6] Satellite images by NASA in August 2014 revealed that for the first time in modern history the eastern basin of the Aral Sea had completely dried up.[7] The eastern basin is now called the Aralkum Desert. (Wiki)

The pictures of the Aral Sea in 1989 and 2014 are heartbreaking.

Barbara S. 4:05 PM  

@Lewis (6:51)
Love the Ode to Sam E.!

@Frantic Sloth (9:31)
It's a good question and I wish I knew the answer. Maybe I was astonished into silence or, what I prefer to think, maybe seeing my mother warm so enthusiastically to her subject, I figured it would be cruel to stop her.

@Karl Grouch (10:24)
Thank you -- it's my great pleasure.

@bookmark (1:09 PM)
I know about her Mennonite background and the tragedies in her family. I'm interested in your recommendation of her latest. I've shied away from it because of the difficult subject matter but if anyone can handle the difficult well, Toews can.

bocamp 4:07 PM  

@Eniale (2:47 PM)

Thx for the kind words, and 🤞 for finding your -6. :)

SB Stuff Alert:

In case anyone is interested: (updated SB study lists) → Apple Numbers / pdf

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

bigsteve46 4:08 PM  

RE: Nacy 10:09

"The shrinking of the Aral Sea has been called "one of the planet's worst environmental disasters". The region's once-prosperous fishing industry has been devastated, bringing unemployment and economic hardship." Wikipedia

Its rather amazing/depressing to see pictures: a lake once bigger than Lake Michigan, now essentially dried up - by the hand of man, of course.

Anonymous 4:29 PM  

@Anoa Bob:
the now known carcinogen PEPSI COLA

really?? hopes springs eternal.


there was a time when I knew dudes who'd use a full bushy one to stash joints. don't know whether it fooled the narcs, but was the only option when all you have on is a tee shirt.

Men are never called Naggers.

I can't be sure, but I think Oscar made just that complaint about Felix. one might argue...

What man of any standing after, say Appomattox, has had a beard? They're repulsive.

form follows function: Ted Cruz

RooMonster 4:44 PM  

I have just a regular comb for my goatee, not some Upper Class, fancy-schmancy Beard Comb. Deprived, I am. Need to hit the Haberdashery. 🤪

All you *yuck, facial hair* peeps, I have a goatee because every time I shave my chin, I seem to cut the hell out of it.

Scrap the skin on my chinny chin chin.

RooMonster Clean Beard Guy

JD 5:19 PM  

@Anon4:29, You're right, never say never.

pabloinnh 5:45 PM  

@Anoa Bob--Ahem.

Google translator is just wrong here. Neither este nor esta nor esto means "that", they all mean "this".

Este is the masculine singular, Esta is the feminine singular, and esto is for something unidentified of just a general term, like "This is great!".

You put an accent on the first syllable of "este" or "esta" to make it a pronoun ("This one").

Same holds true for plurals, except the plural of "este" is "estos",--"these".

The ese/esa/eso family follows the same rules, and they all mean "that"/"those".

I get lost in the math discussions on the blog all the time, but this stuff makes sense to me.

Aelurus 6:00 PM  

Enjoyed this puzzle a lot but did not finish at the bottom. When I thought I was done there was no happy music, and even though my first thought was “What? How is BUM a homie?” when I saw what my crosses had filled in for 49D, I did not relinquish NEWme and eventually used check grid. Ah, NEWDO. Though I never think a “new do” is even close to a makeover. (hi, @bocamp 10:54 am)

Had WAISTdeep before WAISTHIGH. Also spent lots of time in a pool when I was a kid (hi, @Joaquin 7:01 am).

Jeff Chen on xwordinfo notes the “standout” mini theme in the center, which I also missed – the MAN, the MYTH, the LEGEND.

@Lewis 6:51 am – Lovely poetic review!

@Barbara S. 8:54 am – Loved the quote today describing a child’s-eye view of the world. Maybe because lately in the early mornings when I step outside and smell the just summery breeze and the new growth on trees and especially maybe a whiff of ocean I vividly remember my seven-year-old self standing in the street across from my house in the early morning with my metal Peanuts lunchbox waiting for the van with the whale on its side to take me to my first day of a one-week summer day camp. I was a bit unsure and excited and eager for this new experience. It was at the beach and we made small popsicle-stick boxes to hold our treasures, splashed in the sea, had lunch, then finished with potholders woven together on square metal frames. It’s the particular scent of the mornings and the slant of the light that brings this memory back.

@Joe Dipinto – That “Roundabout” song is still floating into my head thankyouverymuch. No, really – I forgot to thank you for the Peanuts gang singing it on Monday. :)

@Z 9:59 am – I think @Frantic 9:31 am might have nailed the difference between WAISTdeep and WAISTHIGH, and then some. Not a pretty sight, though (I Googled).

@A 12:17 pm – Oh, yeah - how is “Land sakes alive!” like OHGEE? Seems antithetical to me. CLAMUP was my favorite; got it off the A and U. Today’s musical selections are wonderful, thanks!

Charles Emerson Winchester III 6:23 PM  

Once again, OFL and I live in different universes. In mine, Italian/Thai/Chinese/Indian MEAL are standard usage, “dinner” in the context would come across as slightly vulgar or pretentious. But it seems he has the Hoi Polloi on his side per Google.
Likewise, WORSE TO COME is definitely a phrase I have both heard and used.

It’s actually one of the interesting things about doing the crossword and reading Rex and then all your contributions: language, both vocabulary and usage, really is a kaleidoscope. It’s a miracle we can communicate with one another on a day to day basis.

Z 6:30 PM  

I’m not quite sure how my excuse to get 4:20 into the puzzle resulted in @bocamp launching a tides of Lake Michigan discussion, but I do think I may need to disagree from a legal angle. There is an oft litigated issue about public shoreline access. Feel free to flip a finger at any property owner who puts a “no trespassing” sign on the beach. Anywhere up to the mean high-water mark is public property and no landowner can legally prevent you from being there. The “mean high-water mark” has sometimes been called in legal documents as the “high tide mark.” While a scientist might scoff, a judge would not.

@jberg - Thanks for the props, but there is a huge difference between Door County and Ottawa County. Water temp at Ottawa Beach on Memorial Day will generally be in the 66° to 70° range by midday, very swimmable, and not all the different from what you might find in August. OTOH, the more comparable Traverse City is a place where I would eschew swimming until later because even getting to 60° might be a stretch on Memorial Day.

Anonymous 7:10 PM  

There are no tides in the Great Lakes. Even the Spring Tide, the biggest of the year, results in a change of less than 5 centimeters.
There are water level changes of course, but they're almost entirely owing to rain or run off from other water sources.
Z is full of it. NOAA has the scoop.

Anonymous 7:16 PM  

No court has recognized high tide mark as legally synonymous with high water mark as it pertains to Lake Michigan.

Cc’d 8:19 PM  

Thank you. Loved the quotation.

Anoa Bob 8:47 PM  

pabloinnh @5:54, gracias for the correction. My tourist level Spanish needs all the help it can get! The whole this-that-these-those masculine-feminine-unidentified complex can be confusing for an old Tennessee country boy transplanted to Tex-Mex Land. Lucky for me there's only one word for beer and I'm having one now, a Carta Blanca Cerveza muy deliciosa.

Z 9:05 PM  

@Anon - Just curious, why do you call “the Spring Tide” “the Spring Tide?” And did you notice how tides get described when discussing whether or not Lake Michigan has tides? There’s a reason scientific resources like the one @bocamp linked to use clarifying terms like “true tides” (using a dictionary before you post would have helped you there). It is also important to realize that we are dealing with Common Law precepts that predate terms like “ordinary high water mark.” At some point courts had to equate the common law idea of “high tide” to the more specific “ordinary high water mark.” Without checking because heck if I remember the name of the case, I’m guessing it was the late 19th century US Supreme Court (1890’s maybe?) decision that brought the concept into US jurisprudence. Or maybe that was just the one that the Lake Huron decision was based on and there were other cases before that one. Heck, I’m pretty sure the last kerfuffle in Michigan had a Michigan Supreme Court Judge go with “mean” instead of “ordinary.” So, again, a scientist, say, someone at NOAA, might scoff at the idea of Lake Michigan having “tides,” but a judge would not. Of course, you acknowledged that by using the term “Spring Tide” for Lake Michigan’s spring tides so I am, as ever, puzzled why you said anything. But thanks. It’s always fun to wax unpoetic on the vagaries of language.

@Anoa Bob - 👍🏽👍🏽 - Oskar Blues Can-O-Bliss here. Seems like the folks at Oskar Blues have a “it’s always 4:20 in Brevard” vibe going on with that name.

Anonymous 9:09 PM  

You’re obfuscating. Contrary to your assertion, the courts have never used the term tide or tides for any rulings regarding beach or water access at or to Lake Michigan. Every judge would scof. at using tides when referring to the Great Lakes. That’s precisely why they don’t use tide but rather high water mark.

The Odor 9:36 PM  

Did anyone else start with “FULLOFPEE” for 23 across?

CDilly52 10:46 PM  

Yikes! The very name Sam Ezersky let’s me know to put on more coffee and possibly open a bottle of wine. All true today. Just not a lot of time to report. Very crunchy and challenging Friday fir me!

Hosebagman 2:50 PM  

How is “Arch” tongue-in-cheek???

Barbara A. 5:55 PM  

Barbara S: By fabulous coincidence I too remember my 3-day train trip NY-California when I was 7 as the adventure of my life. I remember waking each morning and looking out my berth's(!)window and seeing Chicago, Albuquerque and then the 3rd morning California, with palm trees!! I'd never seen palm trees before. Also by coincidence, my name is Barbara

Madhosh Madan 10:12 AM  

@Eniale (2:47 PM)

Thx for the kind words, and 🤞 for finding your -6. :)

SB Stuff Alert:

office com setup

In case anyone is interested: (updated SB study lists) → Apple Numbers / pdf

Burma Shave 11:51 AM  


but I DARE SAY also dumb.
I’MOUT to make her DAMP and happy,


thefogman 11:52 AM  

DNF. I had NEWme - BUm - ESTe at 56A, 49D and 46D. I did pause at BUm. But street lingo is hard to keep up with and Spanish is not my forte so NEWme looked pretty good. OK. IMOUT of here.

thefogman 12:23 PM  

@Hosebagman 2:50 PM
From the OED:
Arch: Pronunciation /ɑːtʃ/ ADJECTIVE
Deliberately or affectedly playful and teasing.
‘a somewhat arch tone of voice’

spacecraft 1:02 PM  

DNF, same area. Clue for 46d was 100% meaningless to me, so no hint there. Had Bro 1n 49d for a long time, couldn't dislodge it, then finally had to make sense of 55a so tried NEWme. I suppose "bum" could be slang...NEWDO never occurred. I think this area is rather unfair.

leftcoaster 5:28 PM  

Maybe Saturday will be a bit more forgiving? Probably not.

rondo 7:36 PM  

I too had issues in the SE but the inkfest worked it all out correctly.
Vacation for 2 weeks so I may or may not be posting.
Chicago Sun-Times is full of puzzles.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP