Crowdsourced Q&A site / FRI 10-15-21 / Composer Anton who used the 12-tone technique / Main component in the Chinese street food jianbing / Classic neo-grotesque typeface / Candy cooked until it reaches the hard-crack stage / Children's classic originally written in German / Zippy resort rental

Friday, October 15, 2021

Constructor: Ashton Anderson

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: jianbing (23D: Main component in the Chi8nese street food jianbing => CREPE) —

Jianbing (simplified Chinese煎饼traditional Chinese煎餅pinyinjiānbǐnglit. 'fried pancake') is a traditional Chinese street food similar to crepes. It is a type of bing generally eaten for breakfast and hailed as "one of China's most popular street breakfasts." The main ingredients of jianbing are a batter of wheat and grain flour, eggs and sauces. It can be topped with different fillings and sauces such as baocui (薄脆, thin and crispy fried cracker), ham, chopped or diced mustard picklesscallions and corianderchili sauce or hoisin sauce depending on personal preference. It is often folded several times before serving.

Jianbing has seen internationalization in recent years and can be found in cities such as LondonDubaiNew York CityPortland, OregonSeattleChicagoSan FranciscoToronto, and Sydney, sometimes with modifications to cater to local tastes. (wikipedia)

• • •

This was decent, but surprisingly, even aggressively quaint. I'm talking most specifically about "SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE!" and "EXSQUEEZE ME?," both things your dad would say, or that you would say only cutesily or ironically. Last person I heard say "EXSQUEEZE ME?" was probably Mike Myers in ... one of the Mike Myers films. Feels like "Wayne's World," but who knows? Anyway, it's thirty years now. There's also the old-timey phrase "KODAK moment" (no one under 40 is going to have any idea what a "KODAK moment" is; I'm not even sure they'll know KODAK at all) (55A: Kind of moment worth recording). And then FLAM, which no non-'50s gangster has said since the '50s themselves. FLAM is only ever acceptable as the surname of FLIM—or of my 5th grade teacher (best elementary school teacher I had by far). Even SLY DOG feels like an ironic and/or bygone expression of non-serious usage. It sounds like one EXGI razzing another EXGI about his sexual escapades (or "sexcapades"). "You SLY DOG, you!" Speaking of EXGI, Nov. 11 is for honoring veterans. Or VETS, if you like. That's why it's called "Veterans Day." It's not called EXGI Day. So your clue is invalid. No, tell your lawyer to sit down, objection overruled, invalid. Case dismissed. An "S" is a double-curve on its own. S-SHAPE feels redundant *for that clue* (31D: Double curve). AGGRO is a UK expression, isn't it? (I got it easily, but never really hear that term here) (6D: Belligerent, slangily). Seems like you could've put a bunch of oath/exclamation-like words before "I HOPE NOT" and passed it off as valid, but "GOD" is probably at the top of the list, so that's fine. You play MIND GAMEs. Plural. Rarely just the one (11D: Psychological trick). When you are out of marijuana, you GOT 0 POT. I like that answer, even if it requires misreading on my part for me to like it.

How is there a name for "ALIEN RACE" when we have never discovered an ALIEN RACE. I assume "xenomorph" was some kind of biological terminology, so that one was hard, even after I got ALIEN. Hardest area for me was probably CREPE WEBERN. I don't live in a big city and none of the Chinese food places here offer jianbing (that I know of), so I was slightly startled to find a French (?) word as the answer there. And WEBERN I've heard of, but could not come up with at all. Between *Anton* Chekhov and Max *Weber* I just don't have room for an Anton WEBERN in my brain (20D: Composer Anton who used the 12-tone technique). And today that dude was blocking the entrance (one of them) to the NW corner, so not knowing him was costlier than not knowing other things. Those other things? I had PART ONE before PAGE ONE (12D: It's just the beginning of the story) (often stories actually start on something like page 3 but whatever). I had ETCHED before EROTIC (3D: Like shunga woodblock prints). I had SCAM and SHAM before the aforementioned FLAM (48D: Bit of deception). TEPEE (?) before AERIE (44D: Home with a view). And maybe MORANI before MORONI (2D: Angel said to have visited Joseph Smith). MORONI visited Smith. MORANI was the angel who appeared to Rick Moranis and told him to take the role in "Little Shop of Horrors." I always get them confused. 

[I stole this WEBERN-related text exchange from Twitter]

All in all, this was not an unpleasant solve, even if it really wasn't exciting to me personally. I actually liked SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE! (in inverse proportion to how much I was put off by the cutesy "EXSQUEEZE ME?"), and "BIG SURPRISE" and HOT START were winners too. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 5:48 AM  

Medium-Challenging to me, mostly because of the NW, specifically that my "Throw on the couch" at 1D was a pillow. There's no such thing as a "throw afghan."

Kevin 6:06 AM  

XENOMORPH is the name of the race of monsters in the Alien film franchise, not a biological term for an alien race.

Frantic Sloth 6:16 AM  

FLAM? Is that part of flim FLAM?
FLAMmed if I know.

I love it when I start a puzzle and have no idea how I'm going to start, let alone finish it.
And then, little by little, things start to become clear in a twisted sort of way (because I don't think like this dude at all) and before I know it, TADA!

It ain't easy GROWING UP DINGY (hard "g" there) and (BIG SURPRISE) MORON I, not getting a HOT START, haven't made much progress.
So you'll have to EXSQUEEZE ME.

Well, that was tortured.

I hear the siren song of the SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE and I must obey.



@JD 937am I don't lick floors. I lick bus windows.

@Z 1136am Not the cape...the tights made more sense.

@TTrimble 833pm There you are! Feels like ages since I enjoyed a good head spin from one if your mathy posts... Glad you're lurking in the meanwhile, but hurry back full time, please.

Anonymous 6:18 AM  

We under 40s know what Kodak is. :) We were developing film ironically in the 2010s and unironically as late as the mid-2000s.

MMM 6:57 AM  

I'm sure you were being facetious, but this 34 year old got Kodak no issue.
My biggest issue was EXGI. I'm still fuming about that one. I'm a newish solver, only really getting into crosswords this year, and I am very slow to delete an incorrect word (in this case VETS). So I spent way too much time working around those letters and getting nowhere.
And thanks to "Book of Mormon" for teaching me about Moroni. Though, that show's interpretation was probably a bit different than the actual text it's based off...

Anonymous 7:03 AM  

PIEHOLE always sounds crass but it's better than CORNHOLE. This was an OK Friday puzz but less refined than some.

kitshef 7:18 AM  

I complain a lot about colloquially equivalent phrases in puzzles, generally because the phrases are not really equivalent, or because they are phrases no one ever says. Credit where credit is due, though; today’s work for me.

For a long time, I thought we were going to have puzzle without a plural in it. When I finally hit ITEMS, 90% of the way through, it was a disappointment.

Lewis 7:25 AM  

@rex -- Your MORANI bit... hah!

This offering got my mind sufficiently churning to make it happy while throwing in bonuses along the way – a mashed potatoes-and-gravy puzzle.

Plenty of SLY DOG cluing to get the juices flowing; one clue in particular, [What breaks as it first comes out], gave me a glorious ping when the answer hit me. Then there were words I love, NICHE, PANG, PAEAN, BONAFIDE, to enrich the journey.

I liked the DINGY WADDED GOO stack, liked the Scrabbly feel (just a V shy of a pangram), was impressed with the eight NYT puzzle debut answers, especially BIG SURPRISE, GROWING UP, HOT START, and MIND GAME. I liked AMEN next to MASS, and learned what PESTO means in Italian. I had to look up shunga woodblock prints, and oh… those!

So, eventually, I downed the mashed potatoes and gravy with a TADA and AMEN, sated, and grateful for its flavor. A-plus, AA, and thank you!

Patrick K 7:36 AM  

“Certain service” at 5A made me think of tASS, not MASS. Like a news service, not a church one.

So I decided there must be a rapper named Tina-J instead of MINAJ.


Joaquin 7:51 AM  

I set a new personal record today. Sadly, it’s for the most write-overs ever.
Oh well - ya win a few, ya lose a few, (and some get rained out).

Lobster11 7:54 AM  

Mostly fun despite never having heard EXSQUEEZEME or HOTSTART and finding AERIE, INRE, and ENO all tucked into one corner. That's one crusty pile of crosswordese right there.

Georgia 7:54 AM  

To a crossword old timer, the singular "honoree" told me it couldn't be a plural "vets" answer. That said, it stunk.

D.T. Rump 7:57 AM  

Easiest Friday for me in recent memory.

Perhaps because people are always telling me to shut my piehole, to which I invariably respond, "Exsqueeseme?"

amyyanni 7:57 AM  

Sayhey, same sentiment as @MMM as to EXGI. Crossing the x with EXSQUEEZE ME, something I never heard of, created a very real Natick for me. Still, an otherwise amusing Friday offering.
Am going to need a nap to navigate this evening's game.

TJS 8:03 AM  

@Frantic, I was going to ask when you gave up using "exsqueeze me" but I guess you haven't.

bocamp 8:14 AM  

Thx Ashton, for this excellent Fri. puz!

Easy-med-hard dnf.

Hard, only cos I couldn't see spitball as anything but baseball related. Wanted 'loaded', but no way that would work. Ended up with 'LADDED', forgetting that I wanted 'laded', as if that would be equivalent to 'loaded'. Seemed plausible that 'Anton' could be LEBERN. :(

I'm sure I fired my share of 'spitballs' in elementary school, via straws and/or flicking them off the desktop.

I promise to shoot no more WADDED 'spitballs', ever! :)

The rest of puzzle went without a hitch … well there was the FOXESIGHT. Changed ExOTIC to EROTIC and Bob was my uncle.

All said and done, a very fun and enjoyable adventure.

@Barbara S. (5:57 PM yd)

Too funny, I was trying to think of the word that wasn't accepted. Then I scrolled down and saw @JC66's (7:16 PM yd) post with the word I was trying to think of. lol

@okanaganer (7:55 PM yd)

Thx for the 'Ngram' link; very interesting!

@TTrimble (8:33 PM yd) 👍 0 yd

Good to see you.! I trust your research projects are going well. Would love to eventually see your 'wordclouds'. I need something like that to maximize my effort.

yd pg -13 (not doing so well with the time limit, but sure am enjoying the freed up hours. (currently going thru the NYT archived cryptic xwords; done with '97, into '98)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

puzzlehoarder 8:26 AM  

I should comment using the computer as opposed to my phone. I came here when there were no comments and when I was almost done with my comment I looked away from the phone for a moment and when I looked back it was all gone and there were 8 comments. No idea how that happened and all that tapping out my comment is gone in the ether.

At least now with comments I can see I wasn't the only one to find this a little challenging for a Friday.

EXSQUEEZEME sounds like baby talk and was my least favorite part of that great middle stack. The constructor's ability to run a great grid spanner like SHUTYOURPIEHOLE through it made the whole puzzle shine.

Someone remarked on the crudeness of the grid spanner. It never crossed my mind as I have a pretty high crude threshold. My first thought on reading the 4D clue was WIND? In the SE when I had the BEN___ of 39D I wondered if those balls could be spelled BEN-WAH and how would you apply them to your joint? Asking for a friend.

Anyway I finished in the NW with almost a clean grid. I looked over it and spotted CUORA. It was an easy fix as I must have seen QUORA in a previous puzzle. That's one of the advantages of paper solving. You can spot your own mistakes with no electronic reminder.

I didn't finish reading the Wednesday comments until yesterday. A belated thank you to @Barbara S, Nancy, kitshef, whatsername, bocamp, Newboy and JD for their good wishes for my knee. @Barbara S. that was a great limerick and my wife was much amused. @Nancy I loved the caps and the exclamation marks.

yd pg(both)-6

@okananger you're a word finding beast!

Wellmet 8:32 AM  

Finally. A career fast time on a bona fide Friday. Everything just fell into place. Very enjoyable puzzle. What will Saturday bring?

mathgent 8:33 AM  

I needed a cheat to get the NW, MORONI. So, tough. And not much sparkle, but enough to hold my interest.

Don't recall ever having seen James JOYCE in the puzzle before. I tried to read Ulysses once. Barbara, should I try again?

I hadn't seen EXSQUEEZEME before. I tried to get Steve Martin's "Excuuuse, me" to work.

BTW, who says EXSQUEEZEME? It doesn't sound like something cool people say.

Those who complain about EXGI need to review Joaquin's Dictum.

Joe R. 8:41 AM  

Having never heard of John B Goodenough, my first thought was to think he was the American counterpart to Boris Badenov, and my second thought was that maybe he was a modern take on Johnny B Goode. I was delighted to find that he was a real person in a serious profession winning a friggin’ NOBEL Prize.

Pete 8:49 AM  

I'm pretty sure any Air Force Veteran would object to being called an EXGI. Ditto Marine, Navy or Coast Guard Veteran. A retired infantry Sergeant is an EXGI.

EXSQUEEZEME occupies some NICHE of time, space, and social grouping into which I've never poked my nose. EXCUUUUUSEME seemed much more likely to me, in that I've actually heard it said.

For some reason, I abhor SHUTYOURPIEHOLE. For whatever reason, I can't think of anything more offensive to say. I have no problems cussing, but I'd sooner drag out the C-word than say SHUTYOURPIEHOLE.

I don't know why I draw the line regarding respecting people's belief in invisible magical men with the Mormons, but I do. I guess I value moral beliefs passed down through millennia, but not ones based on some 19th century dude (and convicted con man) who found golden tablets only he could see, and which disappeared after he read them. I'm sure the Mormons will attest that overall (you know, besides the racism and misogyny) they aspire to what all religions aspire, but nah, I don't want to have to know your assistant invisible magic folk.

Zed 8:52 AM  

First things first. I despise the Giants. I love Max Scherzer. That was not a swing.

SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE after yesterday’s theme after the paper’s willingness to print Gruden’s exact quote (WSJ - Gruden used an expletive; NYT - Gruden called Goodell a “faggot” - Gruden resigned an hour after the second was printed, had kept his job for three days after the first was printed and was allowed to make stupid excuses) - I like the new, earthier NYT. Curses Aweigh, it’s swear like a pirate week.

AGGRO may be a Britishism, but it’s definitely something I’ve heard. Maybe just a hint less aggressive than “aggressive.” Like, “Why you being so AGGRO, bro? We came here to have fun.”

EROTIC Nicki MINAJ reminded me of a funny thing going around on Twitter. MINAJ once managed to set off controversy with Anaconda much like Cardi B set off controversy with WAP. People have remembered that some second wave feminists started an organization called WAP, Women Against Pornography. The contrast has been the source of ironic amusement. I’m definitely more in agreement with the Cardi B/Nicki Minaj “We like sex and we get to set the terms” brand of feminism and always want to say to the “sex is patriarchal” crowd, “hey! look at your allies.” If ending up on the same side of an issue as every misogynist in our society isn’t a clue that your logic is flawed, I don’t know what is.

EXSQUEEZE ME made me laugh solely because it would irk @TJS. And look! It did. 😂🤣😂

This puzzle felt more like an independent puzzle than a usual NYTX. That’s a compliment. 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

Son Volt 8:53 AM  

Liked it for the most part. There’s always some hiccups in a low word count grid like this - so we get ENO, ETA, ARI, ANI etc which brings it down. Liked the GO TO POT/BONAFIDE stack. Cool beans including Woolf, JONI and JOYCE in the same puzzle.

Enjoyable Friday solve.

Zed 8:59 AM  

Oh yeah - EX GI. Yeah yeah, my eyebrows arched, too. But the answer is fine. November 11 is Veterans Day, we honor Veterans. What type of Veterans? All types, including among others, EX GIs. Anybody out there think we should stop honoring EX GIs, not let them in the parade? Of course not. The problem is not the clue. The problem is you were fooled. Plain and simple fact, an EX GI is honored on Veterans Day. Quod Erat Demonstrandum

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

You know you’re getting old when you breeze through the puzzle in record time, only to learn that Rex found it quaint and old-fashioned.

thfenn 9:03 AM  

Tough Friday, for me, but that'll mean it was relatively easy for many here. Didn't occur to me that this one played old, but maybe that's true (LOL, and someone here's already sorted me out for saying I think that's fine, so I'll just agree it did - though I can see already that KODAK didn't need to be included as evidence).

GOTOPOT mirroring BENGAY as a joint application was fun. Wanted PrefacE and genEsis before PAGEONE, appropriately enough next to MINDGAME. Enjoyed the clue for NEWS. FORESIGHT's an important leadership skill? BIGSURPRISE. I mean sure, leaders need to have some, but I don't think the first (second, third, or fourth) word out of anyone's mouth when trying to describe a good leader is 'foresight', so that took awhile, even if 'vision' is a gimme. Plus you can have a lot of foresight and be a lousy leader.

Thought EXSQUEEZEME was pretty bad - definitely haven't heard it used as a cutesy pardon me. Quite the opposite, still feeling squeezed by my EX during some nasty divorce proceedings a few years back. Happily I quickly discarded that and can't stop singing the Who's Squeeze Box (but who would want to, such a fun song). Only got that one from the downs, and that was slow going as I had vets for EXGI, askme for QUORA, gRain for CREPE (thinking ingredient not component), WEBner for WEBERN, and I couldn't get passed Canaan for the promised land so thought maybe someone had mixed things up a bit and went with EDEN (LOL, shortly after thinking Genesis nearby might work. WHATAMESS. Unfortunately also went with DDD first for my 500 letters.

It's a beautiful Friday here, visions of a Red Sox - Dodgers World Series abound, and I did a Friday in half an hour. All good.

RnRGhost57 9:03 AM  

@Zuzzerzeedo, I don’t much like either the Giants or the Dodgers, but you’re right—that wasn’t a swing.

Oh, the puzzle and Rex’s commentary? ARID puzzle and Rex, as always, a SLY DOG.

Unknown 9:11 AM  

Morani. LOL

GILL I. 9:15 AM  

EXSQUEEZEME while I kiss the sky. Where to start? Stare at words like Xenomorphs, an anaerobe and some street food called jianbing that never passed these lips?
Did anyone else have MAID service? Of course not. Everyone one of you went to church and prayed to MORONI at MASS while MINAJ sang a nasally Pinkprint.
I managed to get the whole NE section after pulling out my hair. Then I managed to get the NW done. The middle section looked like a beached whale. Dead....
I cheated....Yes I did. I HAD to look up MORONI WEBERN and QUORA. They never ever went to a bar and even if they had, I wouldn't serve them.
So what did you do? you ask. I got up, I had another little Pinot with my friend and my husband, went to bed, came back in the wee hours and managed to finish....with just 3 cheats. So....all of you can just SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE when you start crowing about how easy this was.
And yes.....It it's not Chekhov, then Anton can eat my PESTO.
My NAKED KODAK runneth over.

JD 9:18 AM  

Well I think what's not recognized here is that Ashton Anderson has broken up sentences straight out of Joyce's Ulysses, "Amen isn't he dreadful that Mass of Dingy Wadded, Toffee eating Englishman, a Paean to his Alien Race? Just tell him to Shut His Pie Hole."

It's true, I swear. Those Irish sure have a way with words. If I can get past the 15 footnotes per sentence I might even finish that book someday.

I loved this puzzle, thinking finally(!) my wavelength, only to come here and find that my wavelength is old. Big Surprise there. Exsqueeze me and Shut Your Piehole went right in. Oh the lovely, delightfully crass incongruency of the latter. Farmer Hoggett yells to his plump, apple-cheeked, aproned, cherry-pie-baking wife, "Where's my BenGay woman!" and She yells back "Shut Your Pie Hole Hoggett, it's on your nightstand."

God I Hope Not and No Way In Hell have the same number of letters. That was a hiccup. Mass, Wadded Minaj, & Aggro* collectively were a major choke for a while, what with my mind stuck on baseball and wanting Banned with nothing suggesting it could work. _ebern didn't help. Great puzzle.

*Representing priests, bullies, rappers, and corporate farming.

Anonymous 9:33 AM  

I don’t know about saying “it is I“ but I do know that writing “Quod Erat Demonstrandum” is pompous.

Florida friend 9:34 AM  

Throw (noun) is similar to an afghan. When sitting on the couch, you can cover your legs with either an afghan or a throw.

thfenn 9:35 AM  

Regarding last night, I think what we agree on is that the 1B umpire erred in calling it a swing. As several Dodgers have noted, it was a swing, if only because the 1B umpire said so. It's too bad he remains the only arbiter of such.

TJS 9:43 AM  

@whatever, Actually wasn't irked, just thought I'd mess with the frantic one a little. Oddly enough, I had the same experience as Frantic with this one. Nothing across the top, then got rolling and knocked it off in what my lap top says was 22 minutes. Gotta be one of my quickest Fridays, though I don't keep track. Course I am an old timer so Rex is probably right about my wheelhouse kicking in.

No dog in the fight, but that was not a swing, agreed.

RooMonster 9:44 AM  

Hey All !

Tough NW corner for me. Couldn't get HeadSTART out of, well, my head, but wouldn't fit. Wanted wave for NEWS first, sisi for AMEN. Didn't know MORONI. Those who believe that whole Joseph Smith ridiculousness are MORONs.

I liked the slanginess of this puz. I say SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE all the time! And EXSQUEEZEME is just neat to middle age men who refuse GROWING UP. 😁

Alt clue for 35D - Shop at the legal marijuana place?

Nice FriPuz. Easy until that NW corner.


Three F's

Hartley70 9:48 AM  

I detest EXSQUEEZEME. I’ve never heard it before and hope I never do again or I’d be tempted to step on your insole. “Pardon me” is slightly old fashioned. This gobbledygook is inane.
The CREPE/WEBERN cross was really tough. I had SLYfOx before SLYDOG and that slowed the NE down a bit. I come down on the rude side for PIEHOLE. I’m not sure why it sounds worse than “trap”, but it does. Still it was an average Friday time and I totally enjoyed the vernacular answers.

bocamp 9:53 AM  

Thx Ashton, for this excellent Fri. puz!

Easy-med-hard dnf.

Hard, only cos I couldn't see spitball as anything but baseball related. Wanted 'loaded', but no way that would work. Ended up with 'LADDED', forgetting that I wanted 'laded', as if that would be equivalent to 'loaded'. Seemed plausible that 'Anton' could be LEBERN. :(

I'm sure I fired my share of 'spitballs' in elementary school, via straws and/or flicking them off the desktop.

I promise to shoot no more WADDED 'spitballs', ever! :)

The rest of puzzle went without a hitch … well there was the FOXESIGHT. Changed ExOTIC to EROTIC and Bob was my uncle.

All said and done, a very fun and enjoyable adventure.

@Barbara S. (5:57 PM yd)

Probably the same word I thot should have been accepted.

@TTrimble (8:33 PM yd) 👍 0 yd

Good to see you.! I trust your research projects are going well. Would love to eventually see your 'wordclouds'.

yd pg -13 / td pg -1

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Carola 9:54 AM  

Medium, in terms of both difficulty and enjoyment, my aversion to SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE (hi, @Pete 8:49) balanced by smiles for MIND GAME, SLY DOG and WORKING IT.

GROWING UP in a small town settled by Norwegian immigrants that had 4 Lutheran churches and one Catholic one (a nod here to AMEN + MASS) had led me to believe that Lutherans were by far the majority denomination in the U.S. So it was a BIG SURPRISE when I got to college and had my eyes opened to the many others, including - thanks to a dorm-mate from Salt Lake City - Mormonism and its Angel MORONI.

Do-overs: Drear before DINGY; me, too, for PArt ONE. New to me: EXSQUEEZE ME.

@#$&*()’l 9:55 AM  

@Z- Don’t let the bastards get you down. Your pomposity is your most endearing quality. Own it.

@#$&*()’ 9:58 AM  

Or should I have written “ Illegitimi non carborundum”

Oknazevad 10:02 AM  

"Xenomorph" literally means "alien shape", and was used as a technical term in the the second film. Fans picked up on it and turned it into the name of the species, which is actually unnamed in the films.

Whatsername 10:02 AM  

Not too tough other than frustration with the middle stack* which was rooted firmly IN RE the answer at 27D. Hello? The singular Nov. 11 honoree is the USMC. Or the United States Vet. I never earned that distinction but I have the utmost regard for all those who did. While the term EX GI does not especially sound disrespectful, it doesn’t really seem like an expression bestowing honor either IMHO.

I tried to make TOFFEE once but had to throw it out. Word of advice: don’t use a plastic spoon to stir while it’s cooking.

Another memorable NFL moment today. Remember the HEIDI Bowl? Back in 1968 when NBC cut away from the end of the Raiders-Jets GAME to show a rerun of the children’s classic. Oakland came back to score 2 touchdowns in the final minute for the win and half the country was instead watching Heidi stroll thru the alpine scenery. Fans were so incensed that the ensuing uproar resulted in changes to the NFL’s contractual televising standards from that point on.

*Didn’t know EXSQUEEZEME. Does that mean I need to watch more Mike Myers movies? GOD I HOPE NOT.

albatross shell 10:02 AM  

Same reaction to EXGI as the rest of you until I realized I was wrong. An EXGI is most certainly a Veteran's Day honoree. No way to deny it. @Rex- no way to argue otherwise. Former 11/11 honoree: ask @bocamp. All Veterans Day nonorees: Vets.

BONAFIDE always reminds me of O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

Is MORONI boni?

KODAK BENGAY pair off nicely.

@Lewis nails the good stuff. I noticed some puzzles were looking like they might be plural-less lately. But I include verbs with an added S too. TAMPS symmetrically opposite ITEMS.

Reading the across and down lines in this puzzle is somewhat amusing which I usually enjoy. And I am not usually the prude, but I have never liked the PIEHOLE usage. More crass than obscenities.

I have a folded AFGHAN over the back of the couch I am sitting on now. I don't if that makes it a throw. It is a convenience.

Maybe it's the laughfest yesterday but this one did not appeal. NEWS was my first answer. The SW was my break through. I guessed JOYCE and ENO with nothing. Looked up WEBERN and xenomorph. Never noticed the word in any of the movies. Finished off in the NE.

Richardf8 10:11 AM  

Easy Friday for me but I considered this one of the more vomit worthy grids I’ve seen in a while. [classic neo-grotesque typeface] was the deal breaker for me. I said to myself “this better not be Arial.” It was Arial, a ripoff of the ITG Helvetica typeface. It isn’t “Classic” anything. Just some flim FLAM BS to help Microsoft avoid a lawsuit from ITG for trademark infringement. This left me in no mood for “Exsqueeze me” for the utterance of which I would eject a houseguest. EXGI was just the icing on the cake by this point.

JD 10:16 AM  

@mathgent, I decided last year to use Covid time to read Ulysses. Downloaded two different versions on the Kindle and got nowhere. Google "The Joyce Project : Ulysses : Home. Then set the goal of reading for about a half an hour a day for the rest of your life. The footnotes are where you'll find the depth of the thing. It helps to be Catholic and to have an IPad.

@GILL I., Har, I think he was saying Exsqueeze me while I kiss this guy. My LDS neighbor took me to church with her one Sunday where I learned about Moroni. They were very warm and inviting. I learned about anaerobic treatment systems from working with wastewater treatment engineers (I won't elaborate). Quora turned up from some search I did, and then harangued me through email til I shut them down. It's actually a great site.

That's why I loved this puzzle. I know almost nothing about so many things.

@Z, I think the problem with Ex GI is that it's not really in the language. Google shows a bunch of sites with crossword answers and one (admittedly great) work of art called Ex GIs.

Oknazevad 10:19 AM  

I wouldn't call "EXSQUEEZE ME" cutesy, despite the clueing. It was very much mid-80s sarcasm. Unless it was a five year old. As for xenomorph, it's a neologism from Greek roots coined by James Cameron for the second film, which he wrote and directed. In the film it's actually used as a fancy term for "alien", not as the specific species' name, but for licensing and trademark reasons it's been used as such. It is a pretty cool word.

Bruce R 10:20 AM  

John Goodenough was the oldest person to get one. Five letters, second letter O. Please tell me I'm not the only one that considered BONER.

Unknown 10:25 AM  

I've only been reading Rex's daily recaps for a couple weeks. "Not unpleasant solve" is the highest praise I've seen yet!

This was a 12-minute solve for me, a man in my early 30s. KODAK moment was definitely a throwback. I got EXQUEEZEME from the QUORA cross.

I had MIND HACK before MIND GAME and PART ONE before PAGE ONE. XENOMORPH I knew because of the Alien movies.

A decent mix of old-oriented clues and new-oriented clues. For a puzzle that tries to be accessible to people across multiple generations, this one I think struck a fine balance.

Nancy 10:26 AM  

So what's that mini-blanket-like thingie that you throw on the couch? I don't have one, but my brother and sister-in-law do, and I use it all the time when I'm there. If I hadn't had a Senior Moment and found myself unable to come up with AFGHAN, I would have started this puzzle in the top left corner as God intended.

Instead, not being able to come up with a single cross to confirm either SISI or AMEN at 1A, I plunged all the way down into the SW -- coming up with ELKS to KODAK for my toehold. Eventually, NICHE at 25A brought me back to the NW and gave me AFGHAN and MORONI.

I found the puzzle challenging, interesting and rewarding and worked pretty hard to solve it. Nice provocative clues for GROWING UP, HOT START, FORESIGHT and PAGE ONE.

What was the BIG SURPRISE for me in this puzzle? Definitely EXSQUEEZE ME -- something I've never heard said and never seen written either. I thought the "cutesy" way to say "I beg your pardon" was -- let me put this phonetically -- exCUUZZZAAY-moi. But what do I know?

Crunchy and fun.

jae 10:28 AM  

Top half tough, bottom half easyish, so medium. I got nowhere on my first pass through the NW (I started with sisi where AMEN was supposed to go) so I worked the east side down to the SE where HOLE appeared and gave me 7d which opened up the grid.

WEBERN was a WOE. For reasons unknown to me I’m on QUORA’s email list. I should probably unsubscribe but every once in a while something interesting shows up.

Very smooth, plenty of sparkle, liked it a bunch!

Frantic Sloth 10:32 AM  

@TTrimble If you're still checking in, I didn't mean for my previous comment to sound so suggestive. "Lurking in the meanwhile" smacks of "[your word here]ing in the altogether" through no fault of its own.

@TJS, I imagine EXSQUEEZE ME is a go-to phrase with people who like to say "working hard or hardly working?" and "see you next year!" on December 31st every freakin' time. It would be understandable to confuse me with patrons of the Highbrow Wordplay Jokes 'Я' Us store, but I beg of you, don't. 🤣

Didn't watch the game and no dog, but wholly agree that was not a swing. Furthermore, to have your success stolen by a bonehead call is soul-crushing. Not a way to end a playoff game. cf. Galarraga vs. Joyce. If only instant replay were around then...sorry, @Z.

Trey 10:38 AM  

The WADDED WEBERN cross almost got me. Still not sure how a spitball is WADDED, unless the clue is not about baseball pitching (little light just turns on in my head)

Constantly mourning the death of the language 10:39 AM  

EXSQUEEZEME is so STOOPUD. It's not a pun or any other kind of wordplay, or an abbrev., just MORONIC.

American Liberal Elite 10:42 AM  

Had DAWN for NEWS, which was validated by the W in GROWING UP. So - slow start.

Newboy 10:43 AM  

EXSQUEEZEME for joining the anti-rapper crusade! Not liking a Friday is a BIG SURPRISE, but am I becoming AGGRO here—GOD I HOPE NOT. Maybe I’m just embarrassed to admit to having JOYCE be my final fill, an author I love and taught to generations of reluctant undergrad learners. Truly not a KODAK moment when I WADDED my aging iPad for tossing against the famous Rexblog wall.

Nonetheless, thanks Ashton for your 13th acceptance; I had an artist friend who always said, “It’s better to make things than not make things!” Of course, Harold also advised, “ Transcend the Bullshit!” One hopes that as you continue GROWING UP, you attain both 🤨

thfenn 10:43 AM  

@GILL 9:15 smiles, I went straight to MAID service, hence my DDD problem...

Trey 10:50 AM  

Too funny

thfenn 10:53 AM  

@whatsername The HEIDI Bowl! Stunned that escaped me, great catch.

misterarthur 10:58 AM  

"Flam" is a two-beat drum stroke.

bocamp 11:02 AM  

Thx Ashton, for this excellent Fri. puz!

Easy-med-hard dnf.

Hard, only cos I couldn't see spitball as anything but baseball related. Wanted 'loaded', but no way that would work. Ended up with 'LADDED', forgetting that I wanted 'laded', as if that would be equivalent to 'loaded'. Seemed plausible that 'Anton' could be LEBERN. :(

I'm sure I fired my share of 'spitballs' in elementary school, via straws and/or flicking them off the desktop.

I promise to shoot no more WADDED 'spitballs', ever! :)

The rest of puzzle went without a hitch … well there was the FOXESIGHT. Changed ExOTIC to EROTIC and Bob was my uncle.

All said and done, a very fun and enjoyable adventure.

yd pg -13 / td pg -1

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Stephen Minehart 11:07 AM  

I think people are hard-wired to complain about their pet peeves when encountered, and to forget them entirely when absent. With that in mind, I'd like to say, at least for me, there was the right amount of PPP for a Friday, with a bare minimum of crosswordese. Nicki MINAJ is so famous that even the Rap-haters can't grumble too much. Likewise JONI Mitchell and James JOYCE. I didn't know WEBERN, but hey it's a Friday and that's why we have crosses. ANI and ARI and ENO were clued easy, so no foul there.

I'm inspired to try my own homemade version of jianbing this weekend, but will probably need Pillsbury cinnamon rolls soon hand as a backup for the kids.

JD 11:12 AM  

Took Flam as a bit of deception to be half of Flim Flam.

GILL I. 11:21 AM  

@JD 10:16. Of course you're right. I prefer kissing the ski...Speaking of:
My favorite Mondegreen is from Queen: "I sometimes wish I'd never been boiled in oil."

Joseph Michael 11:25 AM  

Surprised to see on how young the constructor looks. From KODAK moment to SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE to GO TO POT, this felt like the work of someone from a different era.

Enjoyed the solve, except for the cross of WEBERN (ugh) and EXSQUEEZE ME (double ugh). Had DAWN before NEWS, SLY FOX before SLY DOG, and PILLOW before AFGHAN, and had no idea what for the longest time what that enthusiastic assent at 1A could possibly be. So Ashton really had me WORKING IT to complete the puzzle.

Never heard of John B. Goodenough, but what a fantastic name. He deserves the NOBEL just for that.

Anonymous 11:27 AM  

Can someone explain '500 letters?' being STP I don't get it.

Anonymous 11:39 AM  

@Anon 12:27 - The INDY 500 has lots of STP banners

jb129 11:43 AM  


EX-GI was just insulting.

This puzzle was just AWFUL ( I think I made myself clear).

I will avoid this constructor like I avoid puzzles by AES (you figure it out).

Sad Friday.

Richardf8 11:56 AM  

STP is a proud sponsor of the Indy 500.

True baseball fan 11:57 AM  

So, the consensus is "It was not a swing!". Well, maybe it was. You had all the hindsight of multiple replays from different angles, plus slomo. The replays and slomo often distort the reality of what the umpire sees. If you're better go do it. Even if the ump was wrong, so what! Calls used to be part of the game and bad ones balanced out. Now everybody needs the instant gratification of high tech. Challenges? Designated hitters? Wild cards? Don't get me started.

upstate George 12:03 PM  

Bak in England, where I grew up, "aggro" was a noun form short for "aggression", or "aggravation". It was never an adjective or adverb. Is this cultural appropriation gone crazy?

Pit Stop 12:09 PM  

STP markets a motor oil additive and sponsors auto racing. The 500 comes from 500 mile races, the best known being the Indianapolis 500.

Douglas 12:11 PM  

@Anonymous 11:27am. STP is a fuel additive commonly used in or maybe just advertised by racing cars. Indy 500.

beverly c 12:42 PM  

Hi All, first time posting. I get so much pleasure from reading all of you. When I needed an explanation I found it in the comments, and so much more. Thanks to you all for the laughs and sharing your stories.

Re - baseball. It occurred to me it's a game of bad calls - not just the umpire's but the batters decisions, the pitchers, runners… A shame it was the game ending call though. Quite a let down.

As for today, I'm just happy when I can solve a Friday on my own with a reasonable amount of struggle - Yay!
Unknown 10:25 Thanks for your take that the puzzle was balanced - I don't want to think It's out-dated being semi-literate.
EXSQUEEEZME was familiar but I had no idea how to spell it. I started out with the Steve Martin version but a row of uuu ? Re PIEHOLE: too crude for me.

Barbara S. 12:42 PM  

I had a much better time with today’s puzzle than yesterday’s, although I had to work for it. Reading through the across clues in my first foray, I got nothing until ANI, which is ridiculous because I’m close to being a Star Wars ignoramus. I wondered about JOYCE for the “heaventree” quotation but lacked the courage to fill him in. I never know whether “sticky stuff” is GOO or tar. Is there some way the NYTXW telegraphs this that I’m not picking up on? Three-letter Pluto answers are hard with no crosses, as “god,” “dog,” and ORB are all reasonable. I’ve never heard of EXSQUEEZE ME. I either love it or hate it and can’t decide which. Very happy to see JONI, a favorite of mine.

I put in cArol for PAEAN, which seemed right at first, confirmed by the A in QUORA. I guess, though, “carol” would always be clued in relation to Christmas. Like others, I thought maybe “dawn” “breaks as it first comes out,” but NEWS is a better answer. Never heard of jiambing or Anton WEBERN, so needed help from crosses there. Silly me, I kept willing some version of “prolog” or “prologue” to have 7 letters, but that’s not even a great answer for “the beginning of the story.” Both SLY DOG and LOOTED were pleasant surprises.

Having JOYCE and Woolf in the same puzzle reminds me of the time we had Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keeffe together. Here’s Woolf’s opinion of Joyce, but dammit I couldn’t find his views of her work.

@TTrimble (last night) Thanks, and it’s so good to hear from you again! BTW, there are a few people in my extra-blog life who call me Babs – such a hilarious nickname.

@Nancy (last night) I’m sure the Milne poetry is still in print and purchasable, or do you mean that you wish you still had the editions you read in childhood?

@mathgent (8:33, this a.m.) Full disclosure, I got only halfway through Ulysses, although I have read Molly Bloom’s soliloquy. Some parts of the book I liked very much but, man, other parts are difficult. And I’ve always meant to get back to it and here we are. Maybe @JD’s (10:16) “Joyce Project” would help, at least for the toughest bits. Good luck (in Irish).

yd pg-6, then quit. Haven’t started today’s.

mathgent 12:44 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

Kevin (6:06)
Whatsername (10:02)
JD (6:06)
Bruce R (10:20)

Zed 12:44 PM  

@Anon9:33 - Agreed. Does it help at all that I did the pompous bit intentionally? No? Well EXSQUEEZE ME!

@JD - Oh, I agree. EX GI is not really in the language much and my eyebrows arched so hard they hurt. But the clue is fine despite Rex’s and others’ protestations. If the contention had read as “not in the language much” I’d be in full agreement. But no, Rex went with “invalid” and someone has gone so far as “insulting.” They just misunderstood how the clue works.

@Bruce R - I didn’t consider that, but now I wish I had.

@jae - No idea on WEBERN and without verification and I was not at all sure that Pluto qualifies as an ORB (my first guess was dog), so that B was the last letter in and I ran the entire alphabet to make sure Pluto wasn’t an ORc or ORg or ORt. Decided I was done and googled WEBERN with fingers crossed that I didn’t DNF. I haven’t looked up Pluto see if it is round enough to be called an ORB.

@Frantic Sloth 10:32 - JOYCE was a class act post gaffe. In sports errors happen. Players make them. Coaches and managers make them. Umpires and refs make them. If I were a Giants fan I’d be crying in my beer. But from the distance of Tiger fandom I realize that they still made 26 other outs and so, as frustrating as it is to end the game on an umpire error, they still had every opportunity to win the game.
@True Baseball Fan - I agree, I’m just maybe a little less AGGRO about it. 😁

@Trey 10:38 - At least the light went on before you hit the publish button.

@Stephen Minehart - I link to lots of music. The videos usually have total views in the 5 figure range. Occasionally I will post one that has over 100,000 views. That MINAJ video? Over 1,000,000,000 views (that’s right, billion). I enjoy the pearl clutching reactions more than the music, but yeah. She’s huge.

Masked and Anonymous 12:49 PM  

yep. Agree with @RP, on the "medium" difficulty rating.
nope. Disagree with @RP, on the EXGI clue. Pretty sure an EXGI is a kind of Vet honored on Vet's Day, since I is one.
Also … schlock flick factoid: Xenomorph was used to reference the nasty space critters, in "Aliens".

Jaws of Themelessness, right where they oughta be, in our FriPuz. Like.

staff weeject picks: ANI & ARI. Well, hey -- there were only 10 candidates, and most of em were pretty darned-socks-legit.

EXSQUEEZEME is a debut entry. BIGSURPRISE, too boot. They were also a coupla my fave sparklers in today's fillins litter. The puz vocab as a whole had just an oh-so-slight primo tinge of raised-by-wolves-ism. Made it extra fun, for a themeless at our house.

Thanx, Mr. Anderson dude. Good job. Just a V short of a U-know-what.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Anonymous 12:53 PM  

Zion National Park, which is very much worth the visit, though try to avoid peak season, has a Mt. MORONI, which is named after the angel.

One way to know the name without ever going to an LDS service or reading the Book of Mormon.

I wrote in Dvorak, thinking, hmm, I didn't know he did 12-tone music, but eventually the lack of progress prompted me to get rid of that. Anyway, I see from Google that he's Antonin. But WEBERN rang some kind of a vague bell after getting a few letters.

Frantic Sloth 1:08 PM  

@Z 1244pm Oh, I know that Joyce has a stellar rep, is well-liked, and was beside himself afterward. Also, can't imagine most pitchers would have taken it that well! I felt bad for both of them. They were both class acts at the time and in the aftermath.
Yeah on the rest of the game stuff, but the endings are what stick with you - unless there's some egregious error during the game.

egsforbreakfast 1:18 PM  

From the Urban Dictionary:

exsqueeze me
A substitute for "excuse me" originating from Wayne's World 1 and 2. In the movies, Wayne will follow with "A baking powder?" in substitute of "beg your pardon."
Exsqueeze me? A baking powder?

The only thing more pretentious than IT IS I, is when it’s followed up with MOR ON I.

Nice puzzle, Ashton Anderson.

bocamp 1:25 PM  

Have lost three posts to cyberspace today. :(

Anyhoo, enjoyed today's puz, in spite of a dnf at WEBERN / WADDED.

yd pg -13 / td pg -1

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Chip Hilton 1:26 PM  

Defeated by the MORONI/ANI crossing. Otherwise found this quite tough. Never hear of EXSQUEEZEME and spent quite some time figuring it out.

Awful way for a great game to end. If it happened in the fifth inning, it would be forgotten. Giants and Bums deserved a thrilling ending. Something like a deep shot to right center that Betts ran down on the track. Oh, well. Umping is an imperfect profession based on split-second decisions. Go, . . . nobody. I can’t stand any of the four remaining teams.

camilof 1:28 PM  

John B. Goodenough? Should be John Was More Than Goodenough.

Exsqueeze me, I'll see myself out.

Douglas 1:35 PM  

EXGI, while maybe not a great answer, is a correct answer. Done. End of story. Mike drop. I’m not listening. La la la la la la la la la.

chance2travel 1:56 PM  

Medium Hard for me on the MPRS (Marcus Puzzle Rating System)

("After 2 full passes, I'm forced to stop and stare at an answer and brainstorm possible synonyms and/or calculate probabilities for letter combinations")

Looking at you NW corner. No HOT START here; tried ok! ok! for 1A, but ripped it out pretty fast.

My first correct answer was 9D TADA, which didn't feel as good as the answer sounds. At least it got me the NE with ARIAL, ARID, TAMPS etc.

Things I learned but will likely forget
- Shunga (which makes me think of Jenga)
- Jianbing

The 13yo in me can't stop snickering at that angel name.

Hated EXGI; agree with Rex that the only answer here is vet or vets.

Anoa Bob 1:57 PM  

This solve definitely did not get off to a HOT START. Had to HEAD INTO the SE corner for the first toe hold and then solve backupleftwards to the NW corner. Good workout.

The grid is admirably restrained in using plurals of convenience (POC) to boost letter counts and make it easier to fill the grid. It can be done but requires a conscious effort because the autofill programs and wordlists make no distinction in that regard. @kitshef 7:18 since POC is a crossword puzzle rather than a grammatical term, I would say the first one was 9A TAMPS. The essence of a POC is letter count inflation whether it is with a noun or a verb,

Another phrase from the "KODAK moment" era is "Flashbulb memory". I bet every EXGI has a few of those, especially if they were in combat.

George C. Scott starred in a film titled Flim FLAM Man.

I still have several of JONI Mitchell's vinyl LPs. I think she is an enormously talented song writer, singer and musician. Some of her lyrics read like free verse poetry and you wonder how in the world she can make a song out of that but she always does and so beautifully so. Check out her extensive song list at Joni Mitchell dot com.

My favorite pizza is made with PESTO sauce and feta cheese and topped with okra.

Kirsti 2:08 PM  

As a Brit, I’ve only ever used AGGRO as a noun, never as an adjective. So…. “Give it some aggro” yes. Short for aggression. But “I’m feeling aggro”? Never. So no idea how that made it as the definition.

Also, I had to comment with this wonderful Cheryl Wheeler song, which I started singing as soon as I figured out 7D.

jberg 2:16 PM  

I’m kinda embarrassed to admit that I knew WEBERN with no crosses; it just falls into my particular niche. QUORQ, though— I was trying excuuuuse… so I really needed that cross. I finally decided a Q might go with the U, and dodged the DNF.

Don’t want to seem pompous, so I’ll add that I was 60 before I learned to tell the difference between WEBERN and Carl Maria von Weber.

Unknown 2:21 PM  

ExGI here. Proud to be honored along with other vets on Nov.11.

Any last out of important series should be reviewable.

Great puzzle, Ashton.

burtonkd 2:25 PM  

Hands up for MAID service, a PAEAN to my touring musician days where I went in search of the NYTimes print edition, since that was all there was, in small towns across our fair land.

Commentariat in fine form today: I loved figuring out ALIENRACE - thanks SAT prep courses - then coming here to learn of its history in the ALIEN franchise.

Barbara S. - Brilliant limericks the other day. I was thinking about Lewis' philosophical musings about tone, and surmising that we are probably the only ones that don't know what our own tone is. Somehow, you nailed what I think I'm doing here in 4 short lines:) I was surprised, but thrilled to be included since I've been a bit quiet here lately.

On 12 tone composers: Schoenberg the inventor. Berg and WEBERN his students. Berg figured out how to use the system to create expressionistic works. Webern's were more austere miniatures, with a pointillist beauty about them. Here are 5 Orchestral Pieces in 6 minutes: We used to say there's a whole symphony in there - just add water.

Anonymous 2:37 PM  

definitely not a swing. but at speed, from the baseline, one could see the slightest SLIGHTEST crack(excelleration) of the wrist reverssing. either way.. with the fear in that poor man's eyes and the fact that he had never had a hit in his career against that pitcher.. i felt the 'bad' call was a form of compassion . i bet the batter sits pleased today knowing his inevitable failure lays hidden due to his firstbase ump's error.

pabloinnh 2:39 PM  

No internet for two days as we were visiting an old and dear friend up here in Maine, very happy to get back in on the fun, which reminds me--many thanks to Barbara S. for inclusion in her brilliant and hilarious epic. Memorable indeed, even with my memory.

As for today, I'm in the "never seen it" crowd for EXSQUEEZEME, and also with the Steve Martin fans in trying various iterations of EXCUUUUUSEME, kept trying even after I got the Q from QUORA, still no luck, and solving on a laptop instead of paper informed me that I was unsuccessful, to which I eventually said, so what?

WEBERN I recognized but could not come up with. We sang a Stravinsky twelve-tone piece when I was in college. Four parts, had to go into different rooms to learn the music. Not on my Top Ten list.

MORONI I knew right away. If you would like a deeper understanding of the LDS church, you could do worse than find Mark Twain's reactions to his readings of parts of The Book of Mormon. No vicious attacks, he's just deconstructing actual text, with predictable results.

Nice chewy Friday, AA. Astutely Assembled. Wish I had had my printer and my pencil with the good eraser.

Also, the Cora/Astros reunion should be wicked interesting. Go Sawx, you overachievers.

DigitalDan 3:14 PM  

@Pete: I also find the term Piehole infuriating. I am not sure why.

As an (perhaps the) Evolutionary Big-Bangist, I draw the line to exclude many more (all?) of the ancient desert story beliefs that now appear to be causing more problems than they are solving in the world. Moroni is kind of comic relief from all that, if the truth be told.

Masked and Anonymous 3:14 PM  

M&A is toyin with the notion that, in the future, he might refer to primo raised-by-wolves-soundin longball answers as "exsqueezeit". Sooo … dibs.

M&A Copywrite Desk

nyc_lo 3:24 PM  

Apart from trying to turn “Law and Order’s” Chris MELONI into a Mormon angel, I had a lot of fun with this one. Admittedly, I’m a borderline Boomer who’s an unabashed fan of dad jokes, so I had two LOL moments with SHUTYOURPIEHOLE and EXSQUEEZEME. A fine, fun Friday start to my weekend.

Larry 3:35 PM  

Lost me at Kodak moment. Puhleez

albatross shell 5:15 PM  

Twain also has fun with the Christian Scientists after he fell down a cliff and was taken to the founder ( I think it was) of the religion. Almost as good as his trip out west with his unabridged dictionary and stopping at Lake Tahoe, letting his bonfire get out of control and merrily admiring the view as the flames spread from ridge to ridge.

FLAM. You nailed the clue.

EX-GI. Explain the insult. And remember some folks call Rex a snowflake. Not in the language but everyone knows what it means.

Heidi Bowl. Me and my brothers went crazy when Heidi came on. Never forgave her for that.

I remember the greatest game ever played. First overtime game in history. My parents had us roll the TV into the living room so they could watch it too. A very rare moment. Most of the players thought the game was over. The game that made the NFL a national TV sport for better or worse.

Post of the day was about other Joyce phrases being in the puzzle. Unless it's the other bit of FLiM.

A 5:16 PM  

Here’s a 2017 NYT article on Goodenough. His work on lithium-ion batteries enabled us to have mobile phones, cordless tools, and electric cars. And, one of Goodenough’s NOBEL co-awardees, Michael Stanley Whittingham, is a prof at Binghamton. Goodenough still works at the University of Texas at Austin. More than Good enough to be Rex’s word of the day, if you ask me. ba dum chng

This was one of those start-slow-keep-plugging-whoosh-it’s-done days. Seriously, my first answer was ANI. Ended up with only one writeover - coolJ. I’m still rap-challenged.

Knew a tuba player who would say EXSQUEEZE ME. I think he got it from his middle school band students.

Actually, this puzzle felt adolescent for a while, with your WADDED PIEHOLE EXSQUEEZE MINAJ WORKING IT EROTIC NAKED ALIEN RACE. But after GROWING UP we had JOYCE, HEIDI, ELKS, BEN GAY, FLAM and PAGE ONE (think Paul Harvey). All ages welcome.

Wonder if Rex’s teacher was Mr., Mrs., Ms. or Miss FLAM?

Grateful that I knew not only ANI and ARI, but Anton WEBERN and QUORA.

I did not know until today that Webern was killed by an American Army soldier during the Allied occupation of Austria. According to Wiki, “This incident occurred when, three-quarters of an hour before a curfew was to have gone into effect, he stepped outside the house so as not to disturb his sleeping grandchildren, to enjoy a few draws on a cigar given to him that evening by his son-in-law. The soldier responsible for his death…..was overcome by remorse and died of alcoholism in 1955.”

I find Webern’s music mesmerizing - but to most of us, it’s not just a foreign language, it’s ALIEN. On first exposure, it may seem random, yet it’s anything but. Some of it is even palindromic, @Lewis! There’s also lyricism, expressiveness and humor - you just have to set aside your expectations of what the instruments OUGHT TO be doing, and where the notes SHOULD lead. Here’s a 2:38” piece that is actually cute. Concerto for Nine Instruments

Smith 5:18 PM  

Hand up for finding SHUTYOURPIEHOLE ruder than other variants. But knew it off the U, weird.

Overall easy, AFGHAN and MORONI made it clear 1A was AMEN.

Writeovers (or whatever, on phone) PreludE before PAGEONE, WEBber before WEBERN because the only name I associate with 12 tone is Schonberg and not too sure about that.

Minor headscratch: jianbing ingredient got from crosses and thinking CREPE as in a plant 🤔 which I was pretty sure was not edible.

jbh 5:21 PM  

Mindy Kaling used EXSQUEEZE ME more than once in The Mindy Project - that's how I knew it.

First had DREAR for 18A, PREFACE for 12D so changed 24A from GOO to TAR and then back to GOO.

Had EDEN FOR 33D before ZION.

Thought this was a fine old puzzle.

Thank you, Ashton!

Joe Dipinto 5:54 PM  

Friday trivia:
The music for the central dance segment of West Side Story's "Cool" is a fugue built on a 12-tone row.

Srsly. I wouldn't flam you guys.

Anonymous 7:21 PM  

SW to NE diagonal came easy for me, but the NW and SE corners took some work, in part because i didn't trust my first instinct with AFGHAN.

Never heard of "Ambient 1: ..." but have worked enough CWs to know that any 3 letter musician is Brian Eno. I have no idea what he ever did except provide cheap CW fill. I am also surprised that ETA isn't the most used CW answer.

Demi Lovato just said a couple days ago that 'ALIEN' is derogatory to xenomorphs. It's bad enough people now take offense personally to everything, but now we take offense on behalf of extraterrestrials - whether or not they even exist.

Wanderlust 7:26 PM  

Solved very late today due to a killer workday, so unlikely anyone will read this. But I had a mistake that led to a DNF that no one else seems to have had. I confidently wrote in EXCQUEEZEME for the answer that seems to be the most hated after EXGI and maybe SHUTYOURPIEHOLE.

In case you didn’t notice it, that’s a C instead of an S. The first three letters of excuse are EXC so that seemed reasonable. And CSHAPE is just as valid as SSHAPE for “double curve.” So when I got the dreaded “so close” message, I scoured the grid and saw no mistakes. Ugh. Came here to find my mistake.

Other than that, this was mostly fine. Not the best Friday but…

albatross shell 7:27 PM  

I saw the Flim-Flam Man in NYC soon after it opened. Sue Lyon and Slim Pickens and Harry Morgan. Michael Sarrazin was Scott's trainee in the flim-flamery. Sarrazin was in the Jane Fonda movie They Shoot Horses Don't They. He delivers the title line. A movie that doesn't get shown much. Neither does the Flim-Flam, probably for different reasons. It has its moments though. The cast is better than the movie. I saw it because it was playing with Bonnie and Clyde. Hell of a year for movies and music.

Eniale 7:28 PM  

First time I heard WEBERN I decided never to hear him again - of course that didn't stick, but I still can't find beauty there.


Nancy 8:07 PM  

@Barbara S -- In answer to your question: I wish I had the original Milne books of verse from my childhood. For sentimental value, of course: I've ended up saving old books that are far less meaningful to me than those books were. And also maybe for investment value; I'm so old that, for all I know, what I owned back then were First Editions:)

It makes me truly happy to see the plethora of people here today who have tried really hard to read Joyce but have long since given up. Good decision. Because it's not your fault. It's Joyce's.

Writers are communicators -- or should at least try to be. It is not their job to confuse, to obfuscate, to baffle and to perplex. If their prose ends up being that dense, that convoluted, that arcane, and that, well, peculiar, they have failed to do their job. It's not your job to do their job for them.

It was when I realized how deeply I felt this way that I decided I'd better not major in English if I knew what was good for me. I doubt there would have been a single professor at a single college or university who would have found my point of view valid. But I do believe that there are many over-praised writers who take/took pleasure in being deliberately and painfully abstruse. Now that they're no longer being force-fed to me, I avoid them like the plague.

CDilly52 8:58 PM  

A fine Friday with a couple really tough spots. Thankfully my former life as a musician gave me A ton Webern who I imagine was tough for some.

Next, I have to confess to failing to read the clue for the jianbing incorrectly. I was so dang excited to k ow what the dish is from a wonderful. Reflux series about street food of the world that I read “ingredient” instead of component, and was trying to make eggs work or CREam, to mix with the eggs and flour as ingredients needed to construct the , component of the dish, the CREPE. Ugh!!!

Next, EXSQUEEZE ME left me cold. I agree with OFL that it is very Mike Myers, but my real issue is that in nobody’s world, in this or an ALIEN RACE would I spell it as our constructor did today. So I wasted some head scratching time in a couple places not because I didn’t know something but because I had issues with our constructor, and I was careless in my reading. Totally my fault.

We had JONI Mitchell, some Cirginia Woolf, homage to some good old fashioned TOFFEE (which is a specialty of mine along with the secret family recipe for nut brittle (peanut, almond, pistachio, cashew -my personal favorite) all of which will go into production with the advent of the holiday season.

Beautiful fall day here today. I spent the day outside in the crisp air loving fall.

Charlie 10:12 PM  

Exsqueezeme gave me a lot of trouble, 🙄

Euclid 10:21 PM  

just to irritate the Webern/12-tone deniers, you'd best look up the 'logic' behind the standard tuning the 88 string guitar made by Steinway et al. it ain't pretty. and more that sausage making.

Zed 10:37 PM  

That’s quite a guitar, @Euclid. 🤣😂🤣
I don’t think anybody “denied” WEBERN, but a bunch of us didn’t know him. At most a couple of people don’t like his work. Maybe that’s who you’re referring to?

Pete 11:21 PM  

@Euclid - 12 tone music is simply music which uses all 12 tones of the scale in equal proportion, using the standard tuning. As to how the standard tuning was developed, there's no sausage making. For the longest time there was no standard tuning, and a clavier had to be retuned for each different piece of music. Bach didn't think this the best practice, so he went a way and found a tuning capable of many different voices, voices that should be enough to satisfy all musicians. He composed a series of tunes, one for each possible key, and published the Well Tempered Clavier and, with minor changes, have been using the same tuning (temper) ever since. I'd hardly call a genius making a great contribution to music "making sausage" It's been used by even the 12 tone adherents, they simply don't play in standard keys.

stephanie 11:23 PM  

writeup was kind of funny today. one thing i always do when i uncover an answer i'm unfamiliar with is google it, and maybe learn something. i guess rex can't be bothered, or he wouldn't have written that ridiculous bit about xenomorphs. also, kodak moment and kodak in general are well known by those under 40. ray j had a hit single ("sexy can i") in 2008 that spent three months in the billboard top 10 with the lyric "it's a kodak moment let me go and get my camera." i know, 2008 is practically ancient history, but i heard it on the radio two weeks ago. anyhow, just one example of it persisting in pop culture. (see also outkast and shaking it like a polaroid picture! which you shouldn't do actually, because the chemicals can leach up into the image and ruin it.)

wrote in "exsqueeze me" with no crosses and giggled, certain i'd have to delete it later but thankful for the memory of Dumb Shit We Used To Say. then slowly but surely i realized it was actually gonna stick! indie before niche, dog before orb, and prelude before page one which held me up for a bit. sashaying before working it, but all writeovers came in good time. overall very satisfying!

and for anyone who's still unsure what an afghan is, in our house it was a very specific type of blanket which can best be illustrated by saying "the one on the back of the couch in roseanne." everyone had one back in the day!

Pete 11:24 PM  

@Euclid - I forgot to mention - an 88 key piano has 230 strings, making that an even more massive guitar.

DG in the World 11:37 PM  

My experience exactly.

Randy Miller 10:43 PM  

I’m 32 and KODAK disposable cameras were very much a thing for most of my childhood. Went through a lot of them at camps, school trips, and family vacations.

Loved the JOYCE clue, one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books. EXSQUEEZE ME was an answer I got pretty fast but wasn’t sure how to spell. Pretty sure it’s spoken by Mike Myers to Rob Lowe’s character in Wayne’s World.

spacecraft 10:47 AM  

I thought it was going to be a Steve Martin-ism: "Well EXCUUUUSE ME!" and was looking forward to how all those luv'ly U's would be Used. @M&A would've fainted with joy. What it turned out to be seemed like a bad dad joke (i.e., even bad for dad jokes). But at least it was interesting.

I can see @BS licking his lips over some of this content: EROTIC, NAKED and WORKINGIT. Let's see...

DOD HEIDI said "Please me;
It won't take a lot to appease me!
Just get NAKED and WORKIT--
You can even twerk it."
Then she said to her EXSQUEEZEME!

Or some such. A fun solve, not too easy but doable. Medium is about right. Birdie.

thefogman 11:09 AM  

Loved this one. Well crafted with plenty of aha! moments.

rondo 12:14 PM  

Like a few others I had daWn breaking before NEWS and Pluto was a dog before ORB. Not a BIGSURPRISE those held me up for a while.

JONI Mitchell, of course.

It’s been SAID the DAIS is in the corners.

Those 2 small inkfests while WORKINGIT. . .

Anonymous 2:25 PM  

Vague and pisser infested, zero fun to be had in this one.

AnonymousBS 4:43 PM  

@Euclid - 12 tone music is simply music which uses all 12 tones of the scale in equal proportion, using the standard tuning.PIE EYED PANG As to how the standard tuning was developed, there's no sausage making.HEIDI was NAKED, BONAFIDE HOT, For the longest time there was no standard tuning, and a clavier had to be retuned for each different piece of music. an EROTIC way to ENTICE.Bach didn't think this the best practice, so he went a way and found a tuning capable of many different voices, voices that should be enough to satisfy all musicians. A GAY MINDGAME? GODIHOPENOT.He composed a series of tunes, one for each possible key, and published the Well Tempered Clavier and, with minor changes, have been using the same tuning (temper) ever since.This NEWS is a BIGSURPRISE. I'd hardly call a genius making a great contribution to music "making sausage". --- JONI MORONI It's been used by even the 12 tone adherents, they simply don't play in standard keys.

Burma Shave 5:05 PM  


an EROTIC way to ENTICE.


Diana, LIW 5:36 PM  

'Scuse me but I couldn't figure out how to EXSQUEEZEME, and that messed up the middle. Pardon my GOOf.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Myanmar 6:46 PM  

I thought OFL told the mods to leave Syndiland alone. Several attempts have failed. This is as bad as the beginning of moderation. I assure you all I have tried. Is 'naked' a bad word?

BS2 10:56 PM  

Apparently I've been cancelled.

leftcoaster 12:45 AM  

Me too.

rondo 7:36 AM  

And what about @spacey?

Burma Shave 8:18 AM  


an EROTIC way to ENTICE.


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