San Francisco-based candy brand / FRI 8-27-21 / Chef Lewis who wrote The Taste of Country Cooking / Product whose name comes from the French for without caffeine / Bread whose name derives from the Sanskrit for bread / Unit of measure in a tongue twister / Greek goddess who could turn water into wine / Choreographer who posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014

Friday, August 27, 2021

Constructor: Robyn Weintraub

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: EDNA Lewis (19A: Chef Lewis who wrote "The Taste of Country Cooking") —

Edna Lewis (April 13, 1916 – February 13, 2006) was a renowned American chef, teacher, and author who helped refine the American view of Southern cooking. She championed the use of fresh, in season ingredients and characterized Southern food as fried chicken (pan-, not deep-fried), pork, and fresh vegetables – most especially greens. She wrote and co-wrote four books which covered Southern cooking and life in a small community of freed slaves and their descendants.

• • •

The longer answers here (gorgeous as always from Ms. Weintraub) end up overcoming what feels like a tidal wave of short fill that inundates the grid. There are only six 3's, but there are roughly [starts counting, gives up, takes a guess] six thousand 4's, and a small wheelbarrowful of 5's, so that for too much of this solve I felt like I was hacking through undergrowth. It's got kind of a boring shape, more like a generic early-week themed grid, and the result is a lot of short answers. Now it's definitely got a themeless answer count (this one's 70—typically, themelesses have to have 72 or fewer entries), which means we still get a sizable number of longer answers—the flashy stuff that generally makes the Friday (and if we're lucky, the Saturday) worth doing. But for some reason this particular 70-answer grid looks and (often) feels more like an early-week grid, which in this case means it's chock full o' the short stuff. Now, the short stuff isn't particularly bad. As usual with this constructor, the grid is very nicely polished. I just felt like I was kind of slogging through a FEN of 4's and 5's to get to the good stuff. And yet I still say: worth it. Because the good stuff is truly vibrant, and the colloquial phrases in particular are original and refreshing ("OH IS THAT SO...?"; "BEFORE I FORGET..."; "ANSWER ME!"). You've also got CAKE TOPPERS and SEX TAPES and RED HERRINGs flying around the grid (propelled by TELEKINESIS, no doubt; everyone knows SEE'S candy gives you TELEKINESIS).

Never thought I'd say this, but Horsefeathers McGee is right
(1A: What takes a licking and keeps on sticking)

I was slower than I ought to have been today because of two perfect yet somehow wrong long answers. First, I wrote in CLEAR NIGHT before CLEAR SKIES (17A: Stargazer's need). I was sad to see my answer go, as it felt more evocative and poetic to me. Also, more directly related to gazing at stars (you do that at night, generally, right?). Then I wrote in ROSE GARDEN instead of ROSE BUSHES (27D: View from the Oval Office), and in that case I definitely think my answer was better. It's literally the ROSE GARDEN that you look out on from the Oval Office, isn't it? I've never been ... but ... I thought that's what it was called. Yes, here ... google seems to think that's right:

Now I can't argue, those roses do come in bush form, but especially if you are cluing it as a "view" (which implies a kind of aesthetic totality), I think the answer has to be ROSE GARDEN. "Bushes" was a hard landing, a very rough return to earth. 

The only other struggle I had was the NE corner, where the TOAD clue meant nothing to me and OENO, same (I know OENO as a very very crosswordesey prefix, not a goddess ... I have read a ton of Greek mythology and yet seem to have missed her entirely). Then I also did not know EDNA and calling GRIT a [Sandpaper specification] just seemed bizarre to me ... is there non-GRIT sandpaper? Does it come in Low-GRIT form? Sandpaper Lite? If you'd said "property" instead of "specification," well then now we're in business. I follow you. But "specification" just threw me. And so I spent most of my stuck-time stuck in a patch of 4's. A bit of unpleasantness. But all in all, this was fun.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 5:54 AM  

I didn't have any of the issues that @Rex did. This was just a lovely puzzle by one of the top constructors. Well done!

snabby 6:02 AM  

Grit's legit. You buy 220 grit (very fine) down to 60 (coarse).

But yeah, Rose bushes? I spent a long time positive about garden.

DeeJay 6:04 AM  

So, Rex, not a DIYer, huh? The higher the grit number, the finer the sandpaper.

Michael Page 6:11 AM  

GRIT is the number that specifies how coarse or fine a sheet of sandpaper is.

Coarse grits are typically in the 40- to 50-grit range. Medium sandpaper, ranging from 60- to 100-grit, accommodates some final shaping. Primary sanding of rough wood and the removal of planning marks on wood is often best done with medium-grit sandpaper. Fine sandpapers range from 120- to 220-grit.

Jon Alexander 6:15 AM  

@Rex…Yup grit is a unit of measurement for sandpaper. Coarser sandpaper has a lower number grit and finer a higher number, so “specification” is a fine term for the clue.

This puzzle was totally in my wheel house and I finished in less than half my average Friday time. Great longer answers.

konnofromtokyo 6:16 AM  

how are sex tapes "hookups"? the tapes are the results of hookups (for a camera).

Shirley F 6:26 AM  

Surely the sly misleading of ROSE BUSHES instead of rose garden is one of those things that makes it fun and sometimes challenging to do a crossword?

Is this the first appearance of SEE'S Candy? In any event now I'm yearning for it. When I'm trying to lose weight. Every California household has a box of See's set out for the holidays. I'm in the Hudson Valley now but my friend's birthday is in three weeks....the start of baseball post season...holidays, no?

When i moved to the Bay Area from my small Sierra town in 1971, i crashed with a friend who lived three blocks from the See's factory in South San Francisco. Aroma of chocolate 24/7.

In the 1990s before everyone began buying and shipping online, there was a long line at the post office in Lafayette, CA the week before Christmas, ten of us mailing boxes to friends and family. We began chatting and it turned out that six of the ten were sending See's back east.

Andrea 6:37 AM  

The classic song they refer to from The Sound of Music (be that do-re-mi) starts “Let’s start at the very beginning…” not DOE.

OffTheGrid 6:42 AM  

A couple of comments on @Rex. GRIT is definitely a spec. for sandpaper. It's sort of the whole point. You have to have the right coarseness for the job. STAMP-I haven't licked one in a while but STAMP was my immediate go-to for 1A. I had CLEARnight first, too, but CLEARSKIES is just as good (in addition to being correct). I thought ROSEgardEn but already had BEFOREIFORGET so I just hung on until BUSHES became apparent. At 30 minutes this was a faster Friday for me. Several of the long answers came easily and helped with some of the shorter stuff I didn't know. I enjoyed this one a lot.

chance2travel 6:47 AM  

Buongiorno to you Rex and all of Crossworld, from gorgeous Firenze, Italia!

This puzzle definitely played easy for me in that delightful way that gets you in the flow, without going so fast that you miss what happened.

Regarding GRIT, my understanding is that sandpaper comes in different GRIT values. At one end of the GRIT scale is the very coarse stuff to do rough sanding (is that an oxymoron?) and the finer end of the scale for the final polishing. My buddy even named his woodworking biz "55 Gritworks"

Oh! I can answer the STAMP question! Last August in a brief window of travel openness before the 3rd wave of Covid, I eked out a trip to Albania and North Macedonia. One of my rituals is to buy postcards and write them from a cafe with a view while having a nice wine. North Macedonia is still using the kind of stamps that require you to lick them. But I agree, it's kinda weird, "hey friend, I was thinking about you and wanted to send you some of my DNA while humble bragging about my vacation."

I'll second the disappointment that ROSE garden was not the answer to 27D.

I like how the clue on OENO brought in the wine connection, that definitely upped y confidence when I was staring at O-NO (before getting REDHERRING).

Speaking of wines, there are shops here in Florence that will fill a fresh wine bottle for you straight from the barrel. Rosso di Montalcino, Vernaccia di San Gimigniano, etc - about 20 different types of wine, and all of them are under $5 for the bottle. Obviously not meant for aging, but so so good.

Final note - shout out for 35A COSI! (though it requires an accent on the I). It's a word that is used *all the time* here. Anytime you order from a cafe or restaurant, they will ask "Basta COSI?" which I interpret as "(is it enough) just so"?

Buonagiornata a tutti! Ciao ed a domani!!

Lewis 6:58 AM  

Give me pop in a puzzle and I will leave it happy, and, IMO, Robyn is the Queen of Pop. I was thinking yesterday that we’re about due for a Robyn, that it’s about time for one to come bob bob bobyn along, and thus I entered this puzzle filled with smiles.

And once again for a Robyn, I left it with the same. In between was a mad happy dash. A dash indeed, as this filled in faster than Wednesday’s or Thursday’s for me, but so what? Who can complain about a stretch of joy, however long or short? There were A TON of answers with zip: MARGIN OF ERROR, BEFORE I FORGET, *BELTS OUT, *OH IS THAT SO, ROSEBUSHES, TELEKINESIS, TEETER, *CAKE TOPPERS, RED HERRING (the starred ones are NYT debuts).

I also relished the food-related answers: LEEK, ROTI, MEAT, CAKE, BITE, BAKE and wannabes TORTe, and GRITs.

Bringers of joy are a treasure at any time, but especially these days. Robyn, that’s what you do and what you are, IMHO. Thank you for that, and thank you for this!

T. Sands 7:10 AM  

Occasionally I wonder why Rex just doesn't do a little fact-checking before jumping to a conclusion that a constructor's clue or answer is somehow off or inaccurate.

Case-in-Point: GRIT.

It would have taken Rex just a few seconds to check out his assumption, see that his assumption was wrong, and avoid the completely incorrect suggestion that Robyn (or Will) was off the mark.

Zwhatever 7:14 AM  

Please Please Please We need more GRIT explications. (TBF - the explanations were probably all in the queue together, so people probably didn’t realize the repetition was happening)
Also, it wasn’t “GRIT” that threw Rex, it was his forgetting “specification” as in “spec.” If you'd said "property" instead of "specification," well then now we're in business. Yo, Rex! a “specification” is a “property.” (And a reminder that we have all been there)

I have to agree with Rex that, for Weintraub, this is a bit subpar (which, if you don’t know, still leaves it in the top, oh, 25% of quality puzzles). And it is the shorter fill that brings this down. AILEY ATON OENO is matched by LEEK ROTI ESTER, symmetrical Ese is still Ese. These answers are the glue that hold together some pretty good long downs, so I still thought the solve was very good. But when you set the bar high for yourselves this is what happens, unreasonably high expectations.

Hand up for having to writeover “garden.” Yeah Yeah, a ROSE garden is made up of ROSE BUSHES, but some of us are still trying to forget that a BUSH was ever in the White House. At least the entry prompted Rex to post Elvis Costello singing the George Jones song. I have always had a special fondness for great break-up songs and this one is a dandy:

And a lip print on a half filled cup of coffee
That you poured and didn't drink
But at least you thought you wanted it
And that's so much more than I can say for me

Damn that’s just so perfect. The tactile visual that evokes the fight immediately moving into the pain of the break-up all within a scene of a mess that needs to be cleaned up… just like the emotional mess that needs to be cleaned up. Just a perfectly wrought song.

kitshef 7:22 AM  

A fairly typical Weintraub – easy but fun, and mostly clean. Don’t know what happened up in that NE corner there, with the awful TOAD clue and the unknown EDNA.

Hand up for Rex’s ROSE garden and CLEAR night.

Anonymoose 7:26 AM  

I hate to be political (no I don't). @Z mentions Bush the Pres. It is at George W.'s feet where the blame must be laid for the 20 year debacle of the U.S. military misadventure in Afghanistan, including the tragic finale we are experiencing. I respect Joe Biden for doing the right thing.

BarbieBarbie 7:31 AM  

Saying a BOSON is a kind of elementary particle is like saying a female is a kind of human. I’ve asked the universe before why Shortz doesn’t run the science clues past the science editor, but I actually don’t care that much.

Always a treat to solve a Weintraub puzzle; great way to start a Friday. I always wonder whether she has an exceptionally high success rate on getting her own clues published. Her puzzles just seem to have a real personality.

I laughed at the Mandate clue- made me think of all the times I’ve seen “ukase” in puzzles and all the zero times I’ve seen it elsewhere. I was glad there were only 4 letters in the answer.

thfenn 7:33 AM  

I think we've adequately sorted out OFL on GRIT this AM. In addition to wanting both a CLEARnight and a ROSEgarden, I went straight with Swooshes for my Little League uniform logos, thinking "of course Nike makes all those", but both RUBENS and ROTI challenged those last two pretty quickly. Roses, starry skies, my own little fen, even Rex's "hacking thru undergrowth" all perfectly describe the summer I've enjoyed in Maine this year, which sadly is drawing to a close. DC looms, LOL, where SEXTAPES and REDHERRINGS seem more the order of the day. Loved this Friday puzzle, and having finished a Friday at all, let alone one this much fun, leaves me wanting to belt out some happy music.

P. Wood 7:36 AM  

@Andrea 6:30am

Though you are technically correct, a legitimate argument can be made for the clue as written.

It is common in musicals for songs to have an introductory verse - which serves as the transition between dialogue and song. It is sung or chanted with its own simple, but suggestive, melody, but is not necessarily considered part of the body of the song; it is, in fact, considered "disposable" when the song stands alone in performance or on cover recordings (i.e., not within the musical itself).

"Let's start at the very beginning..." are, indeed, the first words of this introductory transitional verse. But the body of the song itself begins with "Doe, a deer."

So I think the point can, legitimately, be argued either way.

Zwhatever 7:47 AM  

I also seem to think Weintraub has multiple personalities? Fix the typo? Nah, too much work.

amyyanni 8:01 AM  

Of course I read the first clue as ticking, not Sticking, so had to clean up Timex (STAMP). Just means it gave me extra time with a Ms. Weintraub Special. Fantastic start to Friday. Hope to explore a new hiking spot today. Also hope Jill restores the beleaguered Rose Garden.

pabloinnh 8:09 AM  

So you were mislead, eh?

I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a ROSEGARDEN.

Always like me some RW and this one was no exception. Brain freeze on PYRAMID, for some reason, and I had a heck of a time with CODA leading to ANSWERME, as that weird WERME ending wasn't suggesting anything that might be an actual word, or words. The same thing almost happened with CAKETOPPERS, a great answer that brought a smile, finally.

Never heard of the SF candy company up here in the wilds of NH, but now I'm hoping they scatter some goodies on the floor of TD Garden in Boston an we can see if the C's seize See's. Sorry.

Great fun as usual, RW, for which thanks. Just what I want on a Friday. Righteous Wordplay indeed.

BarbieBarbie 8:13 AM  

I also stumbled on DOE, mainly because I confidently wrote in THE. (hills are aliiiiive…)
But also because, in my head, the song phrases are puns which spell the note-words correctly (DO a deer, RE a drop of golden sun, MI a name I call myself, etc).
I forget the term for note-words. Starts with SOL I think.

Anonymous 8:17 AM  

If you're sanding the bottom of a sailboat - - a racing sailboat - - then 220 grit is pretty coarse. Mine just got sanded to 800 and I have another boat sanded to 1200. I even saw one sanded to 1500 and it looked like a car body it was so slick and shiny. So yeah, GRIT is a sandpaper specification.

Rube 8:25 AM  

Agree with Rex on ROSEGARDEN but I have a problem with 8d. The name of the song is Do Re Mi and the descriptors of each note are meant as mnemonics. This is just wrong cluing.
Otherwise a pleasant but not overly challenging Friday for me

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

@Z. and what typo would that be?

Son Volt 8:31 AM  

Wonderful puzzle - but agree that some of the short gluey stuff is uncharacteristic of her best offerings. Hand up for ROSE garden first - but I have no issue with the misdirect. Love CLEAR SKIES, RED HERRING and especially MARGIN OF ERROR - all top notch longs. The SANKA trivia was news to me.

@Z - written by Jerry Chesnut who also wrote Looking at the World Through a Windshield covered by the great one. I’m not a huge fan of the Almost Blue record but Roses and How Much I’ve Lied were well done. That’s John McFee who’s played steel on lot of classics in the video.

Enjoyable Friday solve.

albatross shell 8:33 AM  

A lightly cloaked SPOILER ALERT for a earlier in the week puzzle. Also a hint of spoiler alert for an old previously discussed Christie short story.

Brief moments of confusion on what could be seen from the Oval Office. A rose garden bureau or bushes. And the NE corner was for me much like Rex described. Bailed out by getting the long downs.

Favorite cross was MARGIN OF ERROR and RED HERRING. Speaking of the latter:
@Nancy. I read Witness for the Prosecution this week. You are right. It is a remarkably good short story. The ending is better than the movie not so much because of an extra twist so much as because of the short sweet direct to the heart twist in the story compared to the drawn out more contrived bad people have to get punished ending of the movie. This week some how made me think of teeter totter pitter patter topper.

My there should be a name for it answer today was SANKA. No idea of the French in the clue, but when it fills in you are positive it is correct.

A Friday without a google always feels good.

Sandpaper ALERT.
I hope someone will explain to Rex what true grit is.

I look forward to @TTrimble's black square report.

The Joker 8:37 AM  

I thought a BOSON was a guy on on a boat.

Unknown 8:45 AM  

Came here specifically to say this. A million ways to clue DOE and they go with the most wrong one. That's not how you spell it and that's not how the song starts.

I did love the puzzle overall, though

RMK 8:47 AM  

Solfege or solfeggio

Diane Joan 8:50 AM  

Robyn, thank you for the nice Friday puzzle. I wasn't thrilled to see "WASHED" as the answer to "over the hill, with up" on my 66th birthday though. Otherwise, a fun solve to start my day!

Nancy 8:59 AM  

Another lively well-clued themeless from one of my favorite constructors -- though I did find this one slightly easier than the usual Robyn Weintraub offering.

As a mystery buff, I loved the clue/answer RED HERRING. And an adorable clue for SEX TAPES.

PECK is also clued in the most delicious way: I ran through my favorite tongue twisters -- first eliminating "she sells sea shells" because it had no unit of measurement.

BEFORE I FORGET is a phrase I need to use all the time. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I'm a bit too late.

So SANKA means "without caffeine", does it. What a truly awful creation. Here's the first and last word on SANKA from Cole Porter:

I'd even give up coffee for Sanka!
Even Sanka, Bianca, for you!

SPONSORS is what you find on Little League uniforms? Who woulda thunk? Guess it's never too early to turn the young children of today into the aspiring and acquisitive capitalists of tomorrow.

A colorful and smooth puzzle -- without a trace of gritty sandpaper in it.

Anonymous 9:06 AM  

Yesterday and today I can’t see the far right hand column of the answer puzzle. It seems to be cut off when embedded as a n image into the text. The last letter of all the far right words is missing. I am using my iPad for Rex's website. I hope that can be remedied. Thanks!

MarthaCatherine 9:06 AM  

65,000th hand up for ROSEgardEn.

On Thursday-through-Saturday puzzles I seldom trust myself when a long answer comes too easily. Moi? get a 10-letter answer without even worrying at it? Doesn't happen.

And yet today, I didn't even pause. Oval Office View ---> Rose Garden. Easy-peasy. But bushes work. Nice deflection.

As I read Rex's review, I thought, ouch. There's going to be a big ol' tie between comments about rose bushes and GRIT (which, miraculously, I plunked down without too much thought).

TTrimble 9:10 AM  

Easy puzzle, smooth solve. I believe my time for today's was a few seconds better than for Tuesday's, which feels really bizarre. Agreed that the longer answers are quite nice; I especially like CAKE TOPPERS and TELEKINESIS. Although, @Joaquin's Dictum aside, I have to object that TELEKINESIS isn't a brain power because in fact it doesn't exist. Or at least it's never been proved to exist. Or if you think you have that power, contact the James Randi Educational Foundation and win a million dollars (I assume the offer is still there even though he's dead).

Funny to see GRIT appear after @Gill I.'s invocation yesterday of Flo the waitress saying "Kiss my GRITs!". Also amusing to see MARGIN again after the trouble it gave me yesterday.

Hand up for not knowing the etymology of SANKA. I assume I'm not alone in that.

ROSE BUSHES is completely fine. One shouldn't be able to do a Friday entirely on automatic pilot -- BUSHES instead of "garden" is testing that you're alert. Sly cluing for PECK.

Put "naan" before ROTI.

BEFORE I FORGET -- I think it would be better to say "elementary particles" than "fundamental particles". Bit of a nit there, perhaps. Incidentally, I can't remember ever seeing "fermions" in the NYTXW -- seemingly it's always BOSONS.

I've spent the last 45 minutes or so looking for a good video of liquid helium experiments, when it undergoes a phase transition to a superfluid with zero viscosity. This is one of the better ones I've found. In this state, superfluid helium acts like a single BOSON writ large and thus radically different to the behavior of any matter we're used to seeing. Quoting from one article, "In superfluid helium, the individual atoms that made up the substance can no longer be identified as separate entities - they've become quantum entangled with one another, and now share an existence."

yd 0
td pg -1

JD 9:11 AM  

At this early hour, everything to say has pretty much been said. I gush internally, I second on the nits.

I can only offer Homer Simpson, roaming in the hills, is startled by a rustling in the bushes as a fawn emerges and says, "Doh, a deer."

At that moment an ecstatic cartoon Julie Andrews, arms spread wide, runs smack into him. Cue the wacky theme music.

@pabloinnh, you already win for comment of the day.

TTrimble 9:15 AM  

@albatross shell
Assuming I haven't made a mistake, 34 black squares in today's. Out of 225 squares total. Not bad!

Unknown 9:16 AM  

Such a lovely's as if our talented constructor provided her controversy, respost, and mea culpa in one go. Great fun!

G. Weissman 9:23 AM  

Here is an arguably stupid question: Why is it that for five days of the week puzzle themes receive so much attention, and whether or not a puzzle is taken to succeed depends primarily on how it’s theme is conceived and realized, and then on Friday and Saturday puzzles that are themeless are not found as wanting for the very reason that they lack themes? I get that these puzzles are harder to solve, but they are also, I’d think, far easier to design, as well as far less interesting because there is no there there, no larger organizing principle to solve in its own right. How is a puzzle designed without a theme not like a game of tennis played without a net? Yes, my opponent’s serves are much harder to return when they don’t need to make it over a net into my service box, but does that make those serves “harder” in a good way? Or the whole game more challenging and fun? My analogy is flawed because the absence of a net makes my returns easier too, whereas the absence of a theme only makes things easier for the constructor. Does anyone else fail to experience the pleasure of solving puzzles that don’t play by the rules of themed puzzles?

bocamp 9:31 AM  

Thx Robyn; smooth as silk, this puz wuz! :)

Easy solve.

Moved north to south with no holdups along the way.

On Robyn's wavelength all the way for this one.

Had carelessly misspelled SPONSORS with an 'E', but 'EH, IS THAT SO' didn't make the cut (maybe in a Canadian xword) lol. Thankfully, made the correction before filling in the final cell.

Enjoy an easy, laid-back adventure from time-to-time. This was one of those times. :)

Was the 'sponsorship committee' for our Little League. One of the most gratifying positions I've had the pleasure of holding.
yd 0

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Joe Dipinto 9:32 AM  

To the tune of Lynn Anderson:

Get off your tushes
We're gonna plant a bed of rose bushes
The margin of erring
Might only be another red herring
Cause the first word isn't "doe"
Well oh, is that so?
Here's a hoe-oe-oe-oe-oe
Get off your tushes
We're gonna plant a bed of rose bushes

GILL I. 9:32 AM  

OTIS and OTTO walk into a bar with TOAD and TORT...PECK and PALM aren't far behind. BILL BELTS OUT "Where are the SEX TAPES?" and we all lived happily every after.
Speaking of fun Friday...we get my favorite Robyn and last night a visit from la Leapster. We all need to jete for joy.
I had the same (yawn) night/garden mistake. I had no problem with GRIT (although I wish it had a "true" in front of it)...and the only problem I had with this yummy lishious puzzle was at 46A. I had the BO....and then thought bosom? Some sort of odor? boobys? Are my breasts a fundamental particle? I dno't know what BOSONS are. Didn't they do some sailing in the high seas? I like to learn new things ut I will forget this one the minute I stop typing.
@chance2travel....Ooooh, lucky you. I remember being a poor student in Spain but always being able to buy a liter of vino Tinto for 20 pesetas. Happy times......

Peter P 9:36 AM  

@Rube and others -- "Do" in the "doe, a deer, a female deer" is spelled as "doe" in all the printed sheet music I could find. I also found the book/libretto from the musical, from the Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatre Library, and it is transcribed as "doe, a deer, a female deer," in that, as well.

The better argument against that clue for "doe" is that the song starts with the word "let's" not "doe." Most of the sheet music I looked through starts with that; the original broadway cast recording of the song starts with that -- I find it hard to throw away this intro as the start of the song. But an argument can be made for it. Does "Anything Goes" start with "Times have changed" or "In olden days"? I could see arguments both ways on that one, too.

Nancy 9:37 AM  

And I thought I was the only one to make that mistake! Guess my glasses were askew as I read the clue as ticking!

Anonymous 9:38 AM  

Easy and fun. The long answers fell into place without much resistance. Very satisfying. I guess Rex has never sanded anything??

MetroGnome 9:43 AM  

I call "PPP Foul" on the NE.

RooMonster 9:48 AM  

Hey All !
Had ScAN, giving me SEXTAcES for 20A. Har. Just missing an I for SEXTAciES. (Simple things amuse me.)

Started off as a toughie, but then turned into a rather smooth solve. Got down to the last unfilled square, CO_A/_OE, and had a head scratcher moment. Ran the alphabet twice, nothing seemed to make sense. Finally thought of DOE, a deer... and threw in the D, and got the Happy Music! I RULE! Still don't know CODA as clued.

Laughed at Rex's "six-thousand fours".

Had TELEKINEtIc first. penS-SACS, couple others I can't remember.

Did RUBENS like Corned Beef?

Four F's

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

I disagree with Z's defense of OFL. Rex gives himself away when he asks, smugly, is there a lite Sandpaper? The answer, of course, is yes. Yes, there are most certainly lite sandpapers. Someone spoke of 1500 grit sandpaper., that's pretty fine, but nowhere near the finest. Hell, even Amazon sells 5,000 grit. Once again, rex's profound ignorance of anything related to tools, mechanical object etc leaves him looking silly.
Also, counterintuitively perhaps, for the glossiest of glossy finishes--I'm talking for museum-quality or magazine shoots etc, the final step in polishing is actually using an incredibly fine steel wool. Anyway, Rex doesn't know sandpaper from a sandpiper which is fine. But since he doesn't, maybe he should skip the sneering and go to hardware store.

(I'm going to pre-emptively answer Z's any-minute-now rejoinder. No Z, I don't expect anyone to know everything. I do however expect someone who doesn't know anything about a subject to refrain from commenting on it.)

mathgent 9:52 AM  

In our family, we exchange boxes of See's candy on all celebrations. There was a See's candy store a couple of blocks away when I was growing up. There were lots of them in San Francisco then, only five now, but still dozens in the Bay Area. One of the first things my mother taught me was that you are to take the chocolate and its paper holder out of the box at the same time. Very tacky to leave an empty brown paper cup in the box.

See's headquarters is in South San Francisco, a city of 60,000 or so, south of San Francisco. The two cities don't even touch. See's has its factory there.

Very smooth professional job by Robin Weintraub. The New Yorker runs many of her puzzles. I wonder if they rejected this one.

JD 9:52 AM  

@TTrimble, Watched the video. I suppose I assumed water as having zero viscosity. Another brain tweak. Thanks.

One of my puzzle nits was Telekinesis.

Anonymous 9:55 AM  

@chance2travel I enjoyed your post. It's Buon giorno and buona giornata though, 2 words. Have fun in Italy. Buon divertimento!

TheMadDruid 9:56 AM  

But it is “doe, a deer…”. So this works.

Nancy 10:01 AM  

A musical introductory verse QUIZ!!!

(Thanks to P. Wood at 7:36 for pointing out that they're both ubiquitous and often disposable -- although as a student of the musical theater, I think they should never be disposable. In fact, I judge the integrity and chops of any singer by whether they include the verse or whether they don't. Frank Sinatra and Barbara Cook, for two examples, have never omitted a verse in any song.)

How many theater songs can you identify by the first lines of the introductory verse?

1. When I think of Tom, I think about a night..."
2. Can't we two go walking together...
3. Oh, my mother was frightened by a shotgun they say...
4. When I was a young man courting the girls...
5. Born on the opposite sides of the sea...
6. I touch your hand and my arms grow strong...
7. On the day I was born, said my father, said he...
8. When I take you out tonight with me...
9. He's a fool and don't I know it...
10. I hear a bird. A Londonderry bird...
11. Sleep, sleep, I couldn't sleep tonight...
12. There's an old man called the Mississippi...

Start with these. I may be back with more later, but right now I'm having some Senior Moments and need to jog my memory.

Patricia Hughes 10:02 AM  

The Rose garden is now a couple of rose bushes. Sadly appropriate answer.

Zwhatever 10:03 AM  

@anon - "yourselves" instead of "yourself"

@G. Weissman - I think your question is perfectly legit. Theme and Unthemed puzzles are different creatures. Without the unifying principle of a theme it is easier to construct, which is why the (mostly) unstated principle is that an unthemed puzzle should have fewer and longer entries. This also means those longer answers have to be interesting in and of themselves, not always an easy task. Themed puzzles have to have more short fill because the theme answers constrain options. From a solving perspective, there's no reason I can think of that an easy puzzle can't be unthemed, or an themed puzzle can't be Saturday difficult. The "Friday and Saturday puzzles are unthemed" is more convention than requirement as far as I can tell. The New Yorker Friday puzzle is usually a Tuesday/Wednesday level of difficulty while never having a theme. I don't know of any outlet regularly doing a Saturday level themed puzzle, although the AVCX occasionally will have a meta puzzle that is that level of hard.

Jim 10:12 AM  

And one can ask for "220 grit" or "60 grit" at the hardware store and be understood.

Joe Dipinto 10:17 AM  

It seems pretty unlikely that many would cover "Do Re Mi" outside of a production of TSOM. But if they did, it would probably be as some kind of cabaret or musical theater-related presentation anyway. And they would almost certainly include the opening verse, which sets up the point of the song in a very explicit manner.

A group of schoolchildren doing it might exclude the verse, sure. But to word the clue that way when it could have said "First word of a chorus from TSOM" strikes me as typical who-cares attitude from the puzzle.

jae 10:17 AM  

Easy...and it would have been easier if I, like pretty much every one else, hadn’t gone with garden before BUSHES. Sparkly, liked it, and Jeff gave it POW.

Michelle Turner 10:18 AM  

I think it’s interesting that RED HERRING is diagonally opposed to ROSE GARDEN. Coincidence? I think not.

Michelle Turner 10:18 AM  


Anonymous 10:23 AM  

"Let's start at the very beginning..."

That's how the song starts. "Doe" is not the first word.

Newboy 10:26 AM  

Just nice! Thanks Robyn.

Joe Dipinto 10:29 AM  

@Nancy – those are hard. #7 is "Look To The Rainbow" from "Finian's Rainbow". I feel like I know #4 and #9, but I can't place them yet. I will take an educated guess that #11 is "I Could Have Danced All Night" from MFL.

I won't google anything. Yet.

Nancy 10:31 AM  

Introductory verse QUIZ continued:

13. I expect everyone of my crowd to make fun...
14. Only you/You're the only thing I'll see/Forever...
15. It ain't so much a question of not knowing what to do...
16. Some people live on a lonely island...
17. March went out like a lion...
18. There's just a few more hours/That's all the time you've got...

Joe Dipinto 10:41 AM  

#14 – "Tonight (Balcony Scene)" from WSS.

fiddleneck 10:41 AM  

Isn’t the Rose Garden, that is, wasn’t the Rose Garden on the east side of the White House? And Doesn’t the Oval Office face south?

bigsteve46 10:42 AM  

Ah, I love this website! a dozen quibbles over the grit on sandpaper. Kind of puts my minor grievances in perspective. One of the commenters mentioned something relating to sailing. Many years ago, I used to drink at the bar in the Yale Club in Manhattan (no, I didn't go to Yale but it also open to "brothers" of the DEKE fraternity at any college - Syracuse, in my case) Anyway, the regulars at the Yale Club bar while generally not the most scintillating conversationalists, were mostly bearable - except for the sailboat guys! They were the most boring bunch of stiffs I have ever met in my life. As soon as a guy mentioned his skiff or his schooner, I edged toward the other end of the bar: politely, of course. We were Yale/DEKE men*, after all: with the motto: "For God, for country and for Yale!" (Hilariously punned by Walt Kelly in a Pogo comic strip as, "For God, for country - and forget it!")

* And yes, this was long enough ago, that it was men only.

Nancy 10:49 AM  

Not just #4 and #9, Joe. I'll bet you know just about all of them -- even though you perhaps can't pinpoint them right now. I wouldn't make that same bet about too many other people here, but in your case, Joe -- I'm pretty sure. I might also place that bet on P. Wood, whoever s/he is because s/he was the first one here to point out the existence of the introductory verse.

I have high hopes as well for @pabloinnh. @A and @burtonkd may be too into classical music to know theater songs all that well. @Mathgent will probably know anything that Sinatra has sung. And @Gill will know anything she can dance the fandango to :)

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

1. Hello, Young Lovers
2. The Heather on the Hill
3. You Can't Get a Man with a Gun
4. September Song
5. Most will say Some Enchanted Evening, but it's really only in the reprise, sung by Nellie. The first time we hear the song, in Scene 1, there's no intro.
6. Younger Than Springtime
7. Look to the Rainbow
8. Surrey With The Fringe on Top
9. Bewitched
10. How Are Things in Gloccamorra?
11. I Could Have Danced All Night (except it starts with "Bed, bed, I couldn't go to bed". Your lyric comes after this.)
12. Old Man River

I spend a lot of my day listening to the On Broadway channel on Sirius XM while working around the house!

pmdm 10:55 AM  

As usual, this constructor's puzzle tended to challenge me. But, with the help of some reference lookup, I managed to complete the puzzle while enjoying it. Different than the PB experience, but satisfying. Yes, I'm smiling.

BarbieBarbie: Crossword clues can be technically correct, but they can also be correct if they are ground in "common usage" or something like that. If you insist on technical correctness, it would be best to have a science editor, a music critic, or whatever first check out the puzzle. But (sadly to me) common [incorrect] usage gets a pass from a lot of puzzle editors. One can be unhappy with such a system. but if you go the the flow you can learn how to "interpret" the clues.

Now, on to controversy. Some songs have an intro that is never repeated a second time. Some songs have an "intro" that becomes repeated more than once, often before a refrain. In the first instance, it might be justifiable to say the song started with the refrain. Regardless, I searched the web for scores of the song. Insterestingly, many of the scores begin with the chorus, in which case "DOE" is the first word. Based upon my research, "DOE technically the first word of the refrain but not of the lyrics. And the first word of the song? As I [angrily] just said ...

Anonymous 10:55 AM  

13. A Wonderful Guy
14. Tonight
15. I'm Just a Girl Who Cain't Say No
16. Bali Hai
17. June is Busting Out All Over
18. Get Me to the Church On Time

Whatsername 11:00 AM  

IF there’s anyone who can do a Friday better than Ms. Weintraub, IMHO they must not have been born yet. Brava! Just superb as always.

Brilliant clue for CAKE TOPPERS, so simple but made me think about it. You rarely find a STAMP that needs to be licked these days but maybe if you buy them by the roll. I’m sure I was not the only one who had a Rose Garden outside the Oval Office. I wonder if those BUSHES are listed in the Washington GUIDE BOOKS.

BEFORE I FORGET, I’ll have a cup of SANKA and a slice of ROTI with my LEEK soup please. OH, IS THAT SO?

Nancy 11:00 AM  

So far -- three for three, Joe.

TJS 11:02 AM  

A thirteen minute Friday? Including a coffee refill? Jeez Louise. A very nice Wednesday totally miscast. I'm seriously worrying about where the NYT puzzle is trending.

Barbara S. 11:08 AM  

Nice puzzle. Not particularly fast for me, and I got seriously hung up in the NE and North center. I had CO__ for 6A and AT__ for 15A and it took me a long time to see those answers (CODA and A TON). I thought the clue for CODA was particularly devilish: “Bars that close.” (@Roo: the concluding bars in a piece of music.) I was also clueless about GRIT, OENO and EDNA in the NE. My most interesting problem, though, was 24A. I read the clue as “Rock on the stage.” Early morning eye fuzziness or else I need new glasses. So, I was wracking my brain: Hudson, The, Chris, Kid? Hudson has the right number of letters, but I was sure of the crosswordesey AER Lingus, so it couldn’t be him. Another little stumble was “MARGIN setting” immediately below my performing Rock. Oh dear. But it all came out right in the end.

Daniel in the Lions’ Den by RUBENS

I always think this version of the subject suggests that Daniel is lecturing the lions…on the quality of mercy, perhaps? It’s by a lesser Victorian painter, Briton Rivière, who was known for animal subjects.

Finally, I’ve always been fond of this Bernini with the lion licking ever so gently the praying Daniel’s foot.

My orange tabby, Spike, is lying beside me as I link to these works, looking very lion-like himself.

CDilly52 11:09 AM  

Ace is the place with helpful hardware purveyors who will tell you which GRIT is appropriate for the sandi g task at hand. This beautiful Robyn W. offering this morning was chock full of clever clues, a few pitfalls but not any teapot rough places for me. I didn’t need the really heavy GRIT to have smooth sailing most of the way through.

The only place that really tripped me up was ROSE gardEn instead of ROSE BUSHES, and thinking that I simply had to be right slowed me down in that last little quadrant. I fell only briefly for CLEAR night because the oh-so-clever CAKE TOPPERS solved the problem and gave me a quality chuckle.

I don’t object to the plethora of shorter fill when the clues are clever and the fill includes so little standard fare. In fact, I think ORBS is the single answer that falls into the “crosswordese” realm. All the other short fill, even common words, were so cleverly clues that the e tire solve was pleasurable.

Of course it was, it’s a Robyn Weintraub puzzle. Oh happy Friday!

Joe Dipinto 11:14 AM  

@Nancy – well it looks like Anon 10:55 has it covered. I should definitely have remembered "Bewitched", maybe not "September Song". I really wouldn't have gotten any of the others.

Carola 11:16 AM  

Like some others, my take was "easier but no less lovely than the usual Robyn Weintraub Friday" - not sure who else would pair CAKE TOPPERS with TELEKINESIS.

@Nancy - @Anonymous beat me to it, but I did know #1: "Hello, Young Lovers" from The King and I; #15 "I Cain't Say No" from Oklahoma, from LPs of original cast recordings that my husband contributed to our marital property 50 some years ago (they, and the marriage, are still going strong). But your lest shows me how little I know of musical theater!

Matt G. 11:17 AM  

This puzzle needed a SIMPSON REFERENCE

Anonymous 11:19 AM  

@ The Joker; the ship’s officer is a bosun, not boson.

Doc John 11:24 AM  

Hey, go easy on her! She never promised you a rose garden.

And speaking of which, is it even a rose garden anymore, now that what's-her-face has turned her destructive hand to it?

Whatsername 11:30 AM  

@Diane Joan (8:50) Happy birthday! At 66, you’re just arriving in what I have found to be the best part of life. Enjoy!

Joseph Michael 11:36 AM  

“That reminds me” fits perfectly into 41A and thus screwed me up big time until I finally realized it was BEFORE I FORGET.

Super puzzle. Especially loved RED HERRING.

Thanks, Robyn. You’re the best.

Unknown 11:37 AM  

Yep, this felt more like an early week grid which went surprisingly fast. Record time for a Friday!

What? 11:38 AM  

Re GRIT. Serves you right for reading Rex.

Anonymous 11:40 AM  

Classic example of relatively common knowledge being uncommon to Rex and therefore "bizarre ".

What? 11:42 AM  

Robyn has a peculiar brain, in a good way. I wonder what she would do if there were no crosswords.

pabloinnh 11:45 AM  

@Nancy-I appreciate the idea that I would know lots of these, perhaps through singing them, but I maybe knew a couple. My Broadway knowledge is in some cases deep but never has been broad.

People who know all these without looking anything up make me gasp in amazement. Wow and whew.

Nancy 11:49 AM  

You're terrific, Anonymous, 10:52/10:55! Correct on all of them -- including "Bed, bed..." And very, very fast.

Why on earth would you want to stay anonymous, Anonymous? Reveal yourself and make lots of new friends! I assure you that, if you do so, there is nothin' can harm you. Why, we could all pool our resources by joining forces from now on. Don't wait for Some Other Time. Get yourself a nom de blog and an avatar.

jberg 11:50 AM  

@Nancy -- I know 4, 8, 12, 15, and 18 -- but I don't know what show #4 is from.

Has anybody explained the sandpaper thing yet?

I fell for ROSE gardEn, but noticed just in time that it could be CLEAR SKIES, immediately confirmed by CAKE TOPPERS. Pretty easy puzzle, because of the beautiful long answers -- tricky clues, but once you spotted the misdirects, they were obvious. Nevertheless, a lot of fun, partly because the 4s and 5s were also cleverly clued. And it was thrilling to parse SAN KA to see how it got its name!

Almost naticked at OENO/TOAD -- there could have been a monster named ThAD in those muchrooms, and Greek goddesses often end in A or E (I'd never heard of this one). But the O seemed just slightly more plausible.

@TTrimble, you do spend your days in interesting ways!

Masked and Anonymous 11:51 AM  

Pretty darn good FriPuz, for a solvequest sans ka-themers.
All-tho M&A does hafta agree with @RP … it really needed a few more weeject-length entries. The Jaws of Themelessness are almost always helpful, in achievin such SPAN-variety.

staff weeject pick: DOE. Mainly becuz of its first-song-word controversy. M&A wanted HOW [are U gonna solve a problem like Maria ...]. Or THE [hills are alive …], of course. YOU [are 16 goin on 17 ...] also might work, I reckon.

Cool CAKETOPPERS clue. And primo CODA clue. Ditto for SANKA. [Recent runtpuz SANKA clue: {Joe that's almost a north star??}. Solvers snarled suitably about it.]

Stupendous stockadeful of sparkly stuff today, includin: PYRAMID. ANSWERM&E. GOESTOOFAR. REDHERRING. OHISTHATSO. etc. etc.

Thanx for the themeless fun, Ms. Weintraub darlin. U AER really good at this.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

TJS 11:52 AM  

@Nancy, thanks for the quiz. I was going to comment that most of the familiar songs of the 40's and fifties, and probably earlier, had lead-ins that have lost their familiarity over the years. At family sing-alongs years ago, I had one uncle who new all of these preludes and had us all guessing what song he was introducing. Of all your entries, I could only come up with three or four, but am familiar with about 90 % of the verses. Thinking of Sinatra leading into "I've Got A Crush On You" right now.

JD 11:53 AM  

@Matt G.! Har! When I wrote my post this morning I thought 'how has this not come up before.' It was even bleaker than my imagined scenario.

old timer 11:53 AM  

Love the lyrics, folks! And you know, "Old Man River" was the only one that leapt to mind instantly. My last entry was TOAD, and of course I immediately started to sing to myself:

TOAD away, TOAD away, TOAD away, TOAD away-ay
Where do you go when you're TOAD away?

Its title: "By Order of P.D."

Hands up for ROSE garden before BUSHES. And for naan before ROTI. I got BELTS OUT immediately, and immediately thought of Ethel Merman, who couldn't get a man with a gun. She was the standout star of another musical, well worth listening to, "Call Me Madam", which we had as a set of 45's when I was little.

Growing up in LA, SEES was the ordinary special occasion or gift candy. I loved all the ones with no nuts. But the usual holiday candy was a box of Whitman's Sampler. Due to my nut aversion, I really liked that you could identify each candy in the box. But yeah, SEES was (and still is) the best candy in California, if not the nation.

TJS 11:59 AM  

BTW, @Anon, 9:50, could not disagree with you more. Although, I frequently comment negatively on OFL's statements, it is because he puts himself out there, warts and all, that makes his daily take worth reading. That, and the always brilliant commentariat, of course.

What? 11:59 AM  

He’s Shortz.

Crimson Devil 12:06 PM  

Smiled upon seeing creator, and not disappointed. Bravo.

Anonymous 12:07 PM  

hands up from all who, as humble self, just couldn't rid oneself of the ROSEgarden earworm for ROSEBUSHES.

GRIT is the specification that distinguishes sandpaper. and honing stones. and Right Wingnut tabloids.

mathgent 12:07 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

snabby (6:02)
Shirley F (6:26)
chance2travel (6:47)
Nancy (8:59), (10:02), (10:31)

Joe Dipinto 12:11 PM  

pool our resources by joining forces from now on

@Nancy - I linked to a version of this for Tuesday's puzzle. Funny, you might say. :-)

Maria V.T. 12:11 PM  

Please tell me that I was not the ONLY person who put in THE (hills are alive) for 8d when I only had the E because The Sound of Music IS a classic song from The Sound of Music! Hey, I’m in the DOE is right camp if you start with lyrics after the introduction. And, I’m not upset about it but I thought for sure someone might have mentioned this by now.

JC66 12:19 PM  

@Anon 11:19

Have you wondered why s/he calls herself The Joker?

jb129 12:23 PM  

I had Rose Garden for so long & wouldn't give it up until I finally saw it wasn't working.

Also got stuck on "Oh is that so" instead of AH which I also wouldn't give up.

But it's a "Robyn Puzzle on a Friday!" so I stopped being stubborn & I really enjoyed it.

Nancy 12:25 PM  

@jberg -- "Knickerbocker Holiday". A show that almost nobody saw, certainly not me (it may actually have been before my time) and is remembered mainly, if not solely, because of that wonderful, incandescent song.

"September Song" is a prime example (Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered is another) of a great lyric being either cleaned up or prettied up (here it's the latter) so that it could be played on the radio of that era. I had always heard the lyric: "When the Autumn weather/Turns the leaves to flame/I haven't got time/For the waiting game." And then my brother burned me a CD taken from the show and this is what that lyric really is:

"And I have lost one tooth/And I walk a little lame/And I haven't got time/For the waiting game."

Wow! Now there's a lyric that packs a huge gut punch. Well why not -- it's by Maxwell Anderson who was an important playwright and a legitimate poet.

Unknown 12:30 PM  

My last entry was the T in 23A. I had P which made sense to me, you flip a map over just as often as a mat. And cakepoppers made sense to me. Maybe a new dad on top of wedding cakes?

Legume 12:31 PM  

The Higgs BOSON is, for the moment (until the physics community changes its mind), The God Particle. AKA, the root, so to speak, of all other particles.

"It is named after physicist Peter Higgs, who in 1964 along with five other scientists proposed the Higgs mechanism to explain why some particles have mass. (Particles acquire mass in several ways, but a full explanation for all particles had been extremely difficult.) This mechanism required that a spinless particle known as a boson should exist with properties as described by the Higgs Mechanism theory. This particle was called the Higgs boson. "
-- the wiki

Aelurus 12:31 PM  

Great clue/answer: 6A, CODA. Also its cross 6D, CAKETOPPERS.

Had ALE_ for 3D and SE_TA_ES for 20A, and, not knowing those in Modern Family, I was still absolutely sure the first blank had to be a C, this being a NYT puzz. Now, what could the answer be? As I got 18D, SPANS, I realized I was so wrong and filled in the X. Then the P. I wonder if someone at the NYT responded with 10D, GOESTOOFAR. I guess I’ve been away from its xwords too long but it's nice to see a new edginess in the Gray Lady.

Thank you, Robyn, for another wonderful workable solve!

Anonymous 12:33 PM  

Can't we argue that ROSEgarden was, in fact, a RED HERRING? Just throwing it out there. Seems like a great clue IMHO.

rphawn 12:34 PM  

Neither did I.

jberg 12:48 PM  

@Nancy, according to Wikipedia, the original lyrics were written to fit Walter Huston's character in the show -- he played someone with a peg leg. I'd heard the title of the show, but no idea what it was about!

CuppaJoe 12:48 PM  

Yes, Horsefeathers McGee is right. I had S T A - P (for takes a licking and keeps on sticking) before I figured out “stamp” and laughed as I’m eccentric enough to have a collection of old stamps I use on postcards. Old stamps always get more feedback than image or message.

BarbieBarbie 1:00 PM  

Yes, @legume, the Higgs Boson is a boson, but it's not the only boson. But as I said thie first time-- I don't actually care. It handicaps me because I don't always think broadly enough to find the answer when the science clues are kind of off, but that just means I get an extra Aha moment after a few crosses. We STEMers are used to being socially marginalized.

Funny sailing jokes! But FYI all, almost equally funny is the way it's actually pronounced-- more reminiscent of a clown than a sailor. (I used to write WEEKA WEEKA! in my physics class notes)

rjkennedy98 1:01 PM  

This was definitely on the easy side for a Friday. IMHO I thought it was much easier than yesterday's Thursday. That didn't detract from my enjoyment at all, as I this was a great low-PPP puzzle. My favorite fill was ANSWER ME! which is my gf's go to statement when I'm distracted. Like everyone else I had to erase ROSE GARDEN. I had also considered THE instead of DOE, but figured that would be a crossword crime of a clue, although Julie Andrews does put an the emphasis on THE during the opening song. Anyways else think its kind of sad that even in Little League they put SPONSORS on uniforms?

Teedmn 1:13 PM  

Everyone thinks this was an easy Weintraub oeuvre, but I found it harder than I usually find her puzzles. Perhaps it's because I misled myself at 25A. It was empty except for the RRO so I decided something +/- would have to do with an aRROw. I didn't put the A into the grid but that W ironically held up RED HERRING for a long time until I made my way to the left side of the puzzle and saw the MARGIN of my ERROR.

I had B_SHES at 27D and _L_______IES at 17A so I didn't fall for the night or the garden. However, a bit of ceremonial attire was briefly a mASk and the Sanskrit bread was briefly piTa, d'oh.

Robyn, tnanks for the lovely, as always, Friday themeless.

@Hartley70, I laughed at your Bat Appreciation month comment yesterday.

And I can't believe I missed @Leapfinger's visit yesterday. You are missed very much!

A 1:27 PM  

“First word in a classic song…..” would be the best clue ever for “The” (Hills are Alive), except “The” was in the clue. Tickled my ulnar nerve. But then I was already in a good mood from all the sparkle in Robyn’s grid. Great start to the day.

My first thought for the Oval office view was BLM Plaza, ‘cept I couldn’t remember Plaza so I didn’t try to make it fit. I have no idea if it’s actually within sight of the OO. Loved the BUSH garden misdirect.

Quasi food theme with BAKE, LEEK, BITE, CAKE TOPPERS, Chef EDNA, MEAT, R(e)UBENS, TORT(e), PALM, PECK, and WASHED GRIT(s). But SANKA to finish? OENO, IMHO!

@Carola, thank you so much for the link to the images of Saturn yesterday! Just spend about 15 minutes with my mouth open in astonishment.

Zwhatever 1:32 PM  

I can’t believe @Nancy didn't think I would pass her quiz. Deeply Deeply offended.*

@Anon9:50 - I defended Rex? I double checked and what I actually wrote was people were (and continue to be) wrong about what Rex got wrong. It’s pretty clear that he knows sandpaper is graded by GRIT when he writes, is there non-GRIT sandpaper? (implying the answer is “no”) He specifically says it is “specification” that confused him and then offered “property” as a better alternative. Which it isn’t since it is basically synonymous with “specification” as Rex wants to use it. In short, Rex was wrong and about eleventy thousand commenters are showing a severe lack of reading comprehension skills. Not really. What it looks like to me is that in a zealous attempt to shame Rex people aren’t reading closely.

@BarbieBarbie and @pmdm - What? The clue is fine not only in a non-jargon sense, it is also technically accurate. I’ll quote Wikipedia because it’s convenient, BOSONs make up one of two classes of elementary particles, the other being fermions. {emphasis added}. To use @BarbieBarbie’s example, you seem to be saying that since all humans are not females females are not human. Of course, a non-technical clue for a word with a contrary technical definition is also fine, but that’s not the case here (for example, nobody is screaming about how “bars” is used in the clue for CODA even though I can’t get a beer at a CODA).

*Isn't their a musical about a marina somewhere in New York where a swooning bosun loses his BOSONs. The showstopper is “Never the Boatswain Shall Meet” or something. See, I’m a musical theater expert.

Anonymous 1:44 PM  

please explain Rex's Sandpaper lite comment?
I say it's because he doesn't know there are different grades? That is coarse and fine which by extension can be fairly be designated heavy and light.
Again, as you nearly always do, you have out the most critical part of Rex's comment, the part that people are calling him out on.

Anonymous 1:45 PM  

in fact re-reading Rex i say its pretty clear he DOESNT know sandpaper is designated by grit. his review only proves that he knows grit is an element of sandpaper. The logical inference from his comments are Rex has no idea about grades of sandpaper.

Anonymous 1:47 PM  

It sis precisely because Rex doesn't know that sandpaper comes in different grits that he want to call grit a property and not a designation, ie. grits.

bocamp 1:50 PM  

@Anon (11:19)

I was once jested by the The Joker, and I bit, too. 🙃

@Maria V.T. (12:11 PM)

I wanted 'THE' for the same reason, but looking at 15A Scores, I surmised that the 'H' wasn't going to work.

@rjkennedy98 (1:01 PM)

We put the SPONSOR'S names on the hats. I think I know where you're coming from, but for us, the added income helped keep the cost of player registration fees down, at the same time as showing support for the sponsors.

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

oldactor 2:02 PM  

Am I the only one who didn't have ROSEGARDEN? It's only because I had BUSHES first. Just lucky!

JC66 2:03 PM  


So, if local businesses didn't provide uniforms and equipment to the Little League teams in their area, who would?

GILL I. 2:14 PM  

@Nancy....I could probably dance the fandango to "I have lost one tooth" but the tango would trip me up in "I haven't got time for the waiting game."

PhysGraf 2:22 PM  

I don't mind being tricked ala the ROSEBUSHES clue. Though a more fun clue for 27D would have been, "What Charlie Babbitt definitely inherited from his father in Rain Man".

Barbara S. 2:30 PM  

I loved your quiz, even though I'm so late coming to it. I would have got a grand total of five: "Hello, Young Lovers," "September Song," "I Could Have Danced All Night," "Old Man River" and "Tonight."

A couple of introductory verses I like begin:

"There's a bright golden haze on the meadow..."
"You wait little girl on an empty stage/For Fate to turn the light on..."

Not much of a challenge. One of my favorite songs from a musical is "Try to Remember," but I don't think it has an introductory verse. And a song that always sets me to bawling and grabbing for tissues is "Somewhere" from West Side Story, but its intro doesn't strike me as particularly noteworthy. I love to sing any and all the songs that have been mentioned. (Luckily for my husband he's out all day!)

KnittyContessa 3:20 PM  

@Nancy Love love love your quiz! I am extremely disappointed in myself for only knowing one for absolute certain. (Bali Hai. Others I knew the play but couldn't remember the song) I must brush up my Shakespeare, etal.

Stephen Minehart 3:24 PM  

So the GRIT of sandpaper signifies...just kidding...

@ G. Weissman (9:23 AM)- I prefer the themeless puzzles to 95% of the themers. Saturday's are sometimes (often?) too hard for me to really love doing, but Friday's are my fave. I don't think themes are an integral part of Crosswords, to me it's more akin to poetry. Shakespeare wrote a lot of great sonnets, but there's a lot of great poetry that doesn't fit in that 14-line rhyme scheme. The process of crunching a theme into a puzzle seems to obstruct the snappy, fresh current answers that appear much more commonly in Friday's puzzles (like today's).

Shawn 3:30 PM  

I loved the ROSE BUSHES/GARDEN misdirect!
It felt like a purposely taken opportunity after noticing the letter count. There are infinite other ways to clue that if you weren’t trying to give solvers that moment of correction

Nancy 3:41 PM  

@Barbara S -- Very well-chosen verses. There are many musical theater buffs who would argue that "There's a bright golden haze on the meadow" is simply the best opening lyric line ever written for a musical. In fact, I'd be one of them. If I didn't include it in my quiz today, it's perhaps it's because I thought it would be too easy. That's one verse that is never omitted when the song is performed.

Hammerstein based the lyric entirely on the stage directions of "Green Grow the Lilacs" [see below]-- the play upon which "Oklahoma" was based. How he incorporated them and then transformed them into something completely magical is a Master Class in the lyricist's craft. Here are the stage directions:

It is a radiant summer morning several years ago, the kind of morning which, enveloping the shapes of earth – men, cattle in a meadow, blades of the young corn, streams – makes them seem to exist now for the first time, their images giving off a visible golden emanation that is partly true and partly a trick of imagination focusing to keep alive a loveliness that may pass away.

Oh, and I didn't know you sang, Barbara. Some of us Rexites are planning to form a singing group. Or maybe even a troupe.

Joe Bleaux 3:43 PM  

Rosy recollections from Uncle Google …

First Lady Melania Trump commissioned an August 2020 renovation of the garden … A new limestone walk, 36 inches (91 cm) wide to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, was laid around the borders of the garden. The crabapple trees, added during the Kennedy redesign, were relocated elsewhere on the White House grounds as the newer trees were failing to thrive.

The renovation was controversial, with many observers describing it as "sterile, bland, and devoid of any joy". Please residential historian Michael Beschloss opined that the renovation was an "evisceration" of the Rose Garden, and that "decades of American history [was] made to disappear."

واجهات حجر هاشمي 4:21 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
واجهات حجر هاشمي 4:22 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 4:24 PM  

I want to see TTrimble and Barbie Barbie duke it out over BOSON.

Hartley70 4:41 PM  

Well isn’t @Nancy’s quiz a hoot! I love to remember the lead-ins to those gorgeous classic songs. I’ll sit down and go over the list at leisure.

@Teedman, you can laugh but it made me shiver! October is now my least fav month of the year and I may spend it under the covers in case the little creatures find out they’re being celebrated.

How swell to return when @Leapy appears. It’s like seeing a rainbow.

Garden before BUSHES, of course. No need to say more. Thanks for the BOSON explanations all you STEM people. Fascinating stuff and I’ll like interjecting it in casual conversation. That corner and old EDNA held me up today, but I was happy to see TOAD. There’s been an explosion of them this past week all around the house. They are so much nicer than bats. The long answers were a delight and more than made up for the grumbles about BUSHES and BOSONS on my part.

TTrimble 4:55 PM  

First day back in the classroom. WOOT!

Re BOSON: the "most famous" type of boson is not the Higgs boson but rather the photon (a quantum of electromagnetic radiation), i.e., particles of "light". I put "light" in quotes because I mean not just light within the spectrum of visible light, but all up and down the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves (the least energetic photons) to gamma rays and beyond. It's all "light" from the physicist's perspective.

The Higgs boson, which was predicted by the standard model, made a big splash when it was finally detected, and it seems by this point to be very well confirmed experimentally, so I'm not sure that @Legume's snark is well deserved in this particular case. (Although it could be deserved in other cases -- physicists are known to chase fads.)

In general, bosons are carriers of force, whether it be electromagnetic, or nuclear, or whatever. It's speculated that there is a boson or quantum particle for gravitational force, called a graviton, which would be massless like a photon but carry a different "spin". But this has not been detected, and a quantum theory of gravity is not only extremely difficult mathematically, but we're very, very far away from being able to test such theories experimentally. String theory is one such theory, but it's actually quite controversial. (The most wonderful thing about string theory may be the new mathematics it has given rise to. I wish I understood this stuff.)

I actually think @BarbieBarbie's quip, "Saying a BOSON is a kind of elementary particle is like saying a female is a kind of human", is not only funny but completely apt -- that's exactly what it sounds like. You couldn't say that "a female is a kind of human" is wrong exactly, and you could point to a Wikipedia article to prove it isn't wrong, but it sounds a little off to native speakers is the point.

Unfortunately, it's really, really hard explaining what is behind the difference between bosons and fermions to laypeople, other than in a handwavy way. An example of a fermion is the electron. That two fermions cannot occupy the same state (Pauli exclusion principle) is really at the bottom of an awful lot of fundamental chemistry.

Actually, I spend an excessive amount of time farting around. Not in the slumming around sense (as I do here), but in the completely nugatory sense. I spend a hideous amount of time watching dumb TV shows and YouTube videos.

Aunt Hattie 5:00 PM  

Old Actor--no, you are not the only one--I had bushes first so didn't get why everyone was so upset. aldo had TIMEX because I did not bother to read the whole clue, knowing what it would say. HA!

PuzzledPeter 5:16 PM  

Coinkeydentally, just as I read this column and the tweet from Horsefeathers McGee, I was eating a beef and cheddar Aram sandwich.

Mighty suspicious. Rex is influencing what I have for lunch? Uh-oh.....

pmdm 5:18 PM  

Z: To be more explicit, my comment referred to Barbie's desire about the science editor and nothing to do with elementary particles (which had not been discovered yet or were quite unknown when I went to high school). I simply meant to point out that clues need not be technically correct (in my opinion perhaps they should) and was not weighing in on the correctness of the clue. I morphed into the musical clue because I have been tricked a number of times by clues that were musically technically incorrect, but that is my problem which I can live with.

Anonymous 5:24 PM  

BTW, the song The Sound of Music begins with "My day in the hills has come to an end..." and not "The hills are alive..."

Nancy 5:32 PM  

I certainly haven't dedicated a single nanosecond of my life to "appreciating" bats. What a ridiculous idea! But if they've brought our beloved @Hartley back to us -- even while making the poor dear shiver and quake -- then they've performed an enormous service and they deserve to be "appreciated" for it. Thank you for that and all you do, bats.

G. Weissman 5:47 PM  

Z @ 10:03 AM: Thank you for your thoughtful and helpful reply to my query.

Son Volt 5:48 PM  

@TTrimble 4:55p - yes and to make the explanation more complex we can now introduce the anyon and also how a boson can transform into a fermion.

Anoa Bob 6:22 PM  

Well dang! My thunder has been stolen. Repeatedly. I did this puzzle around 2:00 AM this morning after a late night of poker. I make wood and inlayed crushed stone items and uses all sorts of abrasives in the process, including sand paper up to 7,000 GRIT, so I thought I would be the one to explain all about sandpaper GRIT. But I only got to stop by the comment board just now and saw the avalanche of previous GRIT comments, so yep, wrong again buffalo breath. (The Anoa is a buffalo, you know.)

Actually I think I have something worthwhile to add. Sand paper used to be just that, paper covered with an adhesive and sprinkled with sand. It's still called sand paper but nowadays it is mostly aluminum oxide bonded to sheets of cloth. It is much superior to the old stuff. So there.

In response to G. Weissman @9:23 AM, I first tried my hand at constructing around 2008 and have had some success but only with themed puzzles. I've never even tried to construct a themeless. I leave that to the professionals. I agree with a recent comment that a themeless puzzle is easier to start but harder to finish compared to a themed one.

The main issue I think, as @Z mentions, is black square count. In general, the lower the number of black squares, the more difficult it becomes to complete the grid with quality fill. I believe the optimum number for a themeless is 30-32, leaning more toward 30. That still makes it a real challenge to complete the grid but without resorting to ugly fill. That's why I was surprised that today's grid has 34. And that's why we see more short stuff than typical in a themeless.

Something else jumped out at me in this grid. For those of yous working toward your POC (plural of convenience) Merit Badge, what do the following have in common?

SEX TAPE, ORB, BOSON, SEE, SAC, ROSE BUSH, GUIDE BOOK, SPONSOR, CAKE TOPPER, SOOTHE, and GO TOO FAR. [Jeopardy! jingle plays] Yeah, they all needed a letter count boost from the letter S, or in one case ES, to fill their slots. POCs, like high blacks square counts, make it easier to fill the grid. This lowers the degree of difficulty of constructing a puzzle and results in a lower overall quality of that puzzle, if you ask me.

Barbara S. 6:30 PM  

@Nancy (3:41 PM)
I didn't know any of that about "Oklahoma" -- fascinating. And if we're establishing a Rexite singing troupe, I'm so there.

And to all who would dis bats, remember they eat enormous quantities of insects, mosquitoes among them. There's a big treed backyard here and I love to watch the bats swooping and wheeling in the gathering dusk as they catch prey on the wing. They fly so differently from birds. The fact is the bat population here (and probably lots of places in North America) is much decreased due a fungal disease -- white nose syndrome -- that is killing brown bats by the score. The deaths of these bats is disturbing (whether you like them or not) because it creates yet another imbalance in the natural system.

kitshef 7:16 PM  

One of the great experiences of my life was standing on a beach near Chamela, Mexico, in the early evening. Thousands of bats roost on the offshore islands in the day, and in they evening they come over to the mainland to feed. They fly at head height or thereabouts, and while they will avoid you they wait until darn late to turn, so you get these hordes of bats flying right at you head only to swerve around you at seemingly the last moment. I have had other wonderful bat experiences, but that was the very best.

Unknown 7:36 PM  

This was playing really easy for me except the NW, where I didnt know AILEY or ALEX, and didnt get the link between hookup for camera and sex tape

Joe Dipinto 7:57 PM  

When they used to have evening concerts in Prospect Park you could see bats whizzing around above the assembled multitudes on the grass. They were far enough up not to intrude on anyone. But there were quite a lot of them.

sasses 8:14 PM  

Wonderful day for crosswords with Robyn Weintraub in the New York Times and Patrick Berry in the New Yorker!

Nancy 8:18 PM  

@kitshef (7:16) -- That sounds like such fun!

GILL I. 8:36 PM  

To all of you amigo(a)s singing the praises of bats...Hah. You never read @Hartley 70's story of finding one beneath her umbrella while she was struggling to open it. Imagine!!!!!

Legume 8:49 PM  

I'm not sure that @Legume's snark is well deserved in this particular case. (Although it could be deserved in other cases -- physicists are known to chase fads.)

didn't intend to imply that changed minds means chasing fads, rather that as high energy physics has gotten to yet higher energies, instantaneous 'particles' continue to appear. I believe it's the case that experimental discoveries have driven the structure of the Standard Model as well as the converse.

here is an example:

"Muons keep on misbehaving. An experiment in the United States has confirmed an earlier finding that the particles — massive, unstable cousins of the electron — are more magnetic than researchers originally expected. If the results hold up, they could ultimately force major changes in theoretical physics and reveal the existence of completely new fundamental particles."

"But although the gap between the theoretical and experimental results has grown in statistical significance, it is still not an unambiguous proof of the existence of new particles. “Those who were sceptical will probably stay sceptical,” Isidori says. “At this point, the ball is in the theorists’ court,” he adds."

"If the discrepancy does turn out to be real, then the standard model will have to be updated to include new particles."

and, no, I'm not a high energy physicist. when I was at Clarkson (when it was just a College, with a single English instructor and no biology department) the physics guys were at the top of the heap, much to annoyance of the math guys.

JC66 8:55 PM  

My kids still talk about the time (1980) I took them to a Yankee game for BAT day.

stephanie 11:49 PM  

well, today's was a much needed refreshment after thursday which was so god awful that two hours in i couldn't even get half way through it before i fell asleep (timer is at 12+ hours lol). not only did i not finish, but didn't care about finishing, something has happened to me exactly zero times previously.

and so, moving on, with rex i also had CLEARNIGHT before CLEARSKIES - and i was so proud of it too, writing it in with no crosses, that when the crosses confirmed the first half i was sure i had guessed correctly, but alas. skies sounds better anyhow, so it's all good. again with rex i also really wanted ROSEGARDEN but i refused to give up IMHO. also had BOG before FEN which caused some hiccups down there but nothing major.

unlike rex, i don't understand his confusion on GRIT - sandpaper does in fact come in many different grits and there is in fact "sandpaper lite" i.e. smoother variants. thought that was common knowledge but perhaps not, apparently. (and i've never even used sandpaper except maybe in woodshop in high school but truly i can't remember.)

anyway, this puzzle had the bonus of pushing some fond memories to the surface for me. for one, my great grandmother used to sing me a little song, it went: "i love you, a bushel and a peck. a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck..." and that was long before i learned that peter had to pick a peck of pickled peppers. for two, although i've never seen the sound of music (for some reason i just can't stand musicals of any kind) i knew that do/re/mi song by heart as a little kid. i made up a whole routine to it and everything, crawling on all fours to be a "do[e], a deer" and so on. (speaking of "so", i still can't believe it's actually "sol." but i guess there's no such thing as solling, and certainly not with a needle pulling thread.) anyway, back then my gramma was video taping everything with her huge suitcase sized video camera, so i'm sure there is an aging vhs tape containing this footage somewhere in existence.

A 1:50 AM  

@Nancy, your quiz was a great idea! My mom was a vocalist and loved musicals, so I grew up listening to Camelot, My Fair Lady, The King and I, Carousel (I was actually in our little theater production as a kid), and of course, The Sound of Music. I knew 5, 6, 11, 12, 14 (you had me singing this one all day), 16, 17, and 18. I have one for you, and it’s a favorite of mine:
“When you’re awake the things you things you think come from the dreams you dream….” *answer below

@Z, your comment that AILEY “brings this down” struck me as odd, but I’m glad you made it because it prompted me to watch vids of the AA Company. Amazing stuff - definitely brought me anywhere but down.

* Where or When

stephanie 2:00 AM  

ps, anybody else never tire of cartalk on npr with click and clack, the tappet brothers? still love the bit at the end where they thank all their staff, especially their statistician. MARGE INNOVERA.

well it's happened again, i've wasted another perfectly good hour reading rex's blog. :)

Kurt 11:12 AM  

At stamp shows, dealers sell old uncanceled sheets of US stamps at face value (USPS stamps never "expire"), and hobbyists buy them for a variety of reasons, but some people buy them for franking letters (they still write letters as well). So we lick a lot of stamps.

GTownInfo 6:22 PM  

It's up to $30 per pound. Bought some yesterday.

Unknown 9:07 AM  

Grit is indeed a sandpaperspec. It refers to the amount of sand per square inch.80 grit,120 grit etc...

Burma Shave 12:24 PM  


himself in SEXTAPES with a HOE?


rondo 12:35 PM  

Another hand up for ROSEgardEn, so inkfest there. Otherwise not that tough.
Lotsa GRIT talk on the blog. OFL must be the most un-handy man. He has professed ignorance about such things before. Red Green — 'If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.'

I saw the Alvin AILEY troupe once. Great stuff.
Also great stuff in this puz, both the long and SHORT of it.

rondo 12:40 PM  

And I guess my birthday was already 5 weeks ago. Where does the time go?

Diana, LIW 2:49 PM  

@Rondo - don't know where the time goes! BUT...I do know where my erasers go - they get used on puzzles like this. As I look outside at the ROSEBUSHES.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoaster 4:20 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thefogman 6:54 PM  

Hand up for dEli before MEAT. There plenty of clever misdirects in this one. Almost wrote timex before STAMP. Unlike Rex, I thought the deceptive cluing made the puzzle more interesting. The constructor was saying “Not so fast” to the more obvious answers like ROSEgarden.Yes, that could be a drag to speed solvers. I like to savour my puzzles. Besides, Fridays should be challenging. I liked this one ATON. Sometimes Rex GOESTOOFAR in his criticism, but at least he admits he had “fun”.

spacecraft 7:27 PM  

"...But I got the ROSEBUSHES. I definitely got the ROSEBUSHES. Everything else went to--what did he call it--the trust fund, but I got the ROSEBUSHES!"

Ah, the possibility of perfection! I almost got stuck by those thorns! A CLEAR--what? Why, night, of course! Boy did I fall headlong into that one! CLEARSKIES still only work AT NIGHT if you're stargazing! This was a major mislead, bordering on the unfair, and it very nearly upended me today. There was never a question in my mind but that it was CLEAR night. I just couldn't get anything to work in that area, so I abandoned it and went "around by Funston's." as we used to say locally. Only when I had all but two letters of CAKETOPPERS did the light shine, and I was able to finish. So, medium/uber-challenging, I guess.

Great stuff in the longer fill, as usual for Ms. W. As she has provided no one to wear the DOD SASH, I'll give it to her. Birdie, featuring a miraculous recovery shot from the deep woods.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP