Helicopter traffic reporter on "The Simpsons" / FRI 10-22-21 / One-fourth of KISS / Vegetable also called ladies fingers / Digital color presentation

Friday, October 22, 2021

Constructor: Robyn Weintraub

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: AMY Heckerling (28A: Heckerling who directed "Look Who's Talking" and Clueless") —
Amy Heckerling
 (born May 7, 1954) is an American film director. An alumna of both New York Universityand the American Film Institute, she directed the commercially successful films Fast Times at Ridgemont HighNational Lampoon's European VacationLook Who's Talking, and Clueless. [...] Heckerling's first feature was Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), based on the non-fiction account of a year in the life of California high school students as observed by undercover Rolling Stone journalist Cameron Crowe. When Heckerling first signed on to do a feature for Universal, she read a lot of scripts, but it was Crowe's script for Fast Times at Ridgemont High that really stood out to her in its quality; she has remarked on. Although she loved the script, she felt that it bore the marks of excessive studio interference, so she read the novel, determined which parts were strongest, and sat down with Crowe to rework the script. The film helped launch the careers of numerous stars including Phoebe CatesJudge Reinhold, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. In addition, it marks early appearances by several actors who later became stars, including Nicolas Cage, then billing himself as Nicolas Coppola, Forest WhitakerEric Stoltz, and Anthony Edwards. Most notable, however, is the appearance of Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli, who was launched into stardom by his performance. Heckerling describes casting Penn, whom she first met while he was sitting on the floor outside of the casting office, as a feeling of being overwhelmed by his intensity, even though all he had done was look up at her. She knew that this was her Spicoli, even though they had seen other people who had read better for the role. Penn had to do it. Ally Sheedy, whom Heckerling loved, read for the role of Leigh's character Stacy Hamilton, but Heckerling decided that she wanted someone that seemed younger and more fragile. Heckerling was very discriminating about the film's soundtrack. Originally, the film was supposed to have music in it by bands like the Eagles.(wikipedia)
• • •

A characteristically lovely offering from Robyn Weintraub, whose last name my fingers really hate typing. I make typos 9 out of 10 times. Why? Sorry, Robyn. The puzzle is fine up top but really takes off after you take the EXPRESS TRAIN down to the middle of the grid, with its delicious stagger-stack of 13s, and then the truly original and surprising and cleverly clued EATING FOR TWO. The rest of the grid is solid and clean, but it's the meat of the grid, between and including the twin poles of EXPRESS TRAIN and EATING FOR TWO, that the puzzle really shines. There weren't many parts of this that I didn't like. Crossing ELLA and ELLEN feels ... a little close. Obviously they're different names, but they feel and sound awfully similar, so I'd probably separate those two. TAKES A SIP passes the EATS A SANDWICH test because  ... well, you'd say "take a sip!" but you probably wouldn't say "eat a sandwich!" And though this answer isn't in the imperative voice (it's 3rd person present indicative), I'll just allow that "S" ... it's fine. Stand-alone status: granted. I didn't understand why there were quotation marks around "walk" at 48A: "Walk" (GO ON STRIKE). Yes, it's slang, or figurative speech, but we use unquotation-marked figurative speech in clues all the time. Or you could add "so to speak" or some such qualifier to the clue. The quotation marks make it seem like it's particularly a vocal command, when ... it's just slang. The quotation marks point so firmly toward speech that I had the answer as "LET'S STRIKE!" for a bit, as that is a phrase that might come from a human's mouth. Also, I had the STRIKE part first and with "Walk" in the clue, I though some weird reverse-baseball thing was going on. My brain was briefly spinning through baseball slang, trying (and failing) to find a term for "Walk" that might involve the word "STRIKE" (and not the more expected "ball"). 

The only thing that seems really *wrong* with today's puzzle is the OUZO clue, specifically the pluralizing of "spirits" (50A: Spirits of Greece). I am sure that there is some technicality that "spirits" is getting away with here, where the plural word stands for the singular "liquor," but it's still an awful and weak form of misdirection. [Spirit of Greece] works perfectly, and you would definitely describe OUZO as a Greek spirit, singular. "Spirit" (singular) = "strong distilled liquor such as brandy, whiskey, gin, or rum," and that's what OUZO is, and unless I am supposed to imagine that OUZO is the plural of ... OUZO, then this clue is kind of garbage. I understand the urge to do some plural-seeming / singular-acting trickery, but this ain't it.

The strangest thing about solving this puzzle was how delighted I was by a 3x3 crossing. Apparently if you cross artists I love, then short fill all of a sudden becomes precious to me. I genuinely smiled remembering SYD Hoff and AMY Heckerling, creators of things I have enjoyed looking at over the years. John Hughes is the filmmaker most associated with the teen comedy, but I'd put Fast Times and Clueless up against anything he made, any day. And I grew up on and loved the Hughes movies (Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink)—exactly the right age / demographic for his films, dead-center Gen X. Speaking of (Gen X, that is), LOL I could not get that last part of the GENERATION clue (33A: What might be found between X and Z? => GENERATION GAP). I had GENERATION and thought "... OK, it's "Y" ... but ... nope. WHY? YYY? Gah." Then I got "G," then "A," and then sincerely I thought "they're not calling themselves GENERATION GAY now, are they!? That's pretty presumptuous." So congrats on the clue-writing there, folks. You got me. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. You change the dimensions of a photograph by CROPping it (46D: Take to another dimension?). 25D: Problem for a king (MATE) is (presumably) a chess clue. KISS = "Keep It Simple, STUPID"(37A: One-fourth of KISS). And lastly, here's ARNIE Pye with "Arnie in the Sky" (see, you think he'd go for "Pye in the Sky" ... but no) (1D: Helicopter traffic reporter on "The Simpsons"):

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Frantic Sloth 5:49 AM  

Either I'm really starting to tap into Robyn Weintraub's wavelength or this was ridiculously easy for the Fridee. Finished it in low-end Mondee time and still don't understand how.
Maybe I should party all day every day... 🍷🚬🎢😎

Whatever. IMHO, RW's worst is better than most others' best and I recognized the vibe at NAILPOLISH, so I knew it would at least be fun.
'Twas, but over waaaay too quickly!

That middle stack sure was purdy, though. All the long downs tickled me, too. Shocking. 😏

Hidden History of the day:

Back in the early aughts there was a GOON STRIKE led by Rings Fibonacci, president of the...um..."housepainters" union. Major grievances are still unknown to this day. In concurrent, unrelated news, the East River suddenly became devoid of cement-shoed rat bastards.


Anonymous 6:00 AM  

A fine Friday. I did give the side eye to 54A, though. Part of the answer can be used as an abbreviation of a clue word. Opinion/OP.

Unknown 6:05 AM  

A note on Ouzo, from Wikipedia: Ouzo (Greek: ού΢ο, IPA: [ˈuzo]) is a dry anise-flavored aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece. It is made from rectified spirits that have undergone a process of distillation and flavoring, "made from rectified spirits". Great puzzle!

Conrad 6:13 AM  

Didn't know or couldn't call up some of the names (AMY, ARNIE, ANN, ELLEN, SYD), but all were fairly crossed. When you have AM_ crossing S_D, what else could it be but Y? I couldn't imagine what would be cried while swinging a baton, so I ignored the answer. Bad move. Decided that mEAT was packed (as in the Meat Packing District), and needed a lack of happy music to get me to reevaluate. Other than that (which was totally on me), a typical smooth Robyn Weintraub puzzle.

Lewis 6:28 AM  

So, LET THAT gorgeous staggered stack in the middle SINK IN. Vintage Weintraub – colorful colloquial phrases, known to all, bunched together with no ugliness in the crosses. Enjoyable brilliance.

There’s hidden brilliance as well. Robyn slipped in five NYT debut answers: The so-lovely EATING FOR TWO and LET THAT SINK IN, and the why-haven’t-these-been-in-NYT-puzzles-before CASE DISMISSED, LEFT TOWN, and POKER CHIP.

This was on my wavelength and I flew through it (for a Friday), but there was so much sparkle it was a zingy zoom, like a magic carpet ride. How often do crosswords exhilarate?

Fun, fresh clues. Amazing factoid re the League of Nations. Cross of TAKE A SIP and SINK IN. Echoes in answers: OOZE/OUZO, LEAS/LEIS, EFT/AFT, LALA/DATA, OPEDS/OPENS, ELLA/ELLEN.

Just a joy, Robyn. As you do. Thank you for the lift you bring to crosswords, and for today’s sweet solve!

Anonymous 6:34 AM  

Second day in a row with a GOON dook. (GO ON)

I Liked OOZE/OUZO cross.

Sioux Falls 6:36 AM  

What a lovely Friday to wake up to Robyn Weintraub creations in both the NYT and The New Yorker.

smalltowndoc 6:50 AM  

I really enjoyed this puzzle. I also set my Friday record so maybe that influences my opinion. Regardless, a well-constructed, fun crossword.

king_yeti 6:58 AM  

smooth solve. good Friday puzzle. I liked SKAT in the same puzzle with ELLA

Richard Stanford 6:59 AM  

It could also be I - Sid is far more common than Syd, and Ami likely just as common as Syd.

Tom T 7:10 AM  

Went fast for a Friday, especially considering I was watching my Braves go up in smoke while solving. I was "puzzled" when I didn't get the happy music. Searched the grid ... thought, perhaps, it's AMi and SiD ... nope. Looked at the name of that ice skater, but oTO looked plausible, and I really liked my answer to the crossing down, oK NOW ("Say no more"). Finally dawned on me that oK NOW could (begrudgingly should) be I KNOW. Happy music.

Here's my clue for the hidden diagonal word for today: Little loaf. (The answer has 4 letters and appears in the top half of the puzz.)

kitshef 7:18 AM  

TUE, WED and FRI are also name for Norse deities, at least in English. In Spanish and French, all the Monday-Friday day names retain their celestial origins:

Lunes (Luna) Lundi
Martes (Mars) Mardi
Miercoles (Mercury) Mercredi
Jueves (Jupiter) Jeudi
Viernes (Venus) Vendredi

AMY crossing SYD should have been handled better.

And TAKES A SIP is very 'eat a sandwich'-y, but the rest worked for me.

Son Volt 7:27 AM  

Fun puzzle but not late week worthy - no pushback at all. Center stack was nice - except for the EFT, ANAT, AFT coming out of it. Although timely with Deere - didn’t like GO ON STRIKE or the singular CHIVE. A little presumptuous to assume that all duelers got as far as drawing.

Nice, clean puzzle and enjoyable solve but not her best and definitely not a Friday.

amyyanni 7:30 AM  

Only here to echo all the joyful reviews posted above. La la la, a Robyn Friday is such a delight. Smiles all around. [also cast a squinty eye at 54A, OPEDS where Opinion is in the clue.]

mmorgan 7:34 AM  

How does she make such consistently yummy puzzles? Thank you and more more more please!

Rocinante 7:56 AM  

I'm a big fan of Robyn's puzzles - and this did not disappoint.

"Opinions" in the clue for OPED raised an eyebrow though.

Zorba 8:01 AM  

Ouzo itself is not a single "spirit." Rather is composed of various spirits mixed with herbs. Therefore "spirits" is correct here.

CF 8:05 AM  

I always thought that OPEDS are called that not because they contain opinions, but because they are printed on the page opposite the editorial page (which would make "opinion" kosher in the clue.)

Anonymous 8:16 AM  

Op-Ed page is opposite the editorial page. Clue is fine.

bocamp 8:22 AM  

Thx Robyn; another great Fri. puz! :)


No prob with the top 1/3; somewhat tougher in the SW, with the SE being the trickiest.

Loved the clue for MATE; being a chess player, got it right off. ♚

A most enjoyable adventure!

@okanaganer πŸ‘ for 0 yd

But crack it you did! :)

@Eniale (7:05 PM yd)

I'm guessing you know the 10er, and likely won't miss it next time. 🀞

@Nancy (8:03 PM yd)

Yw; perfectly understandable. :)

yd 0 (got to pg -1 early, then had a few quick peeks later in the day, and twigged on the final word)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Unknown 8:24 AM  

@ Son Volt 7:47 I'm going to agree. I love her puzzles; and I liked the center stack; but I felt there were just too many proper names that were so out of my wheelhouse that that detracted from the overall solve.

Z 8:27 AM  

Ditto on the high quality and ease of this puzzle.

Right with Rex on SYD Hoff and AMY Heckerling. It’s still a natick at a vowel. SYD was pretty popular when the boys were young so an absolute gimme here, But I understand that it still might be whac-a-vowel for some.

“Spirits” is absolutely okay for OUZO, or whiskey or gin or whisky or schnapps. In fact, the Sless “spirit” sounds wrong to my ear. As if you would have a 1 Proof whisky lying about the house.

@anon6:00 am - the “OP” in “OP-EDS” means “OPposite” as in editorials on the OPposite page of the EDitorial page and often offering OPposing viewpoints.

@kitshef - Are you saying Asgard, reached by a rainbow bridge, isn’t celestial?

Anybody else arch an eyebrow at the body shaming at 1A/1D? Me neither.

Midori ITO was famous before Lance ITO, but has somehow totally replace the good judge as a crossword clue. I guess figure skaters are nicer to think about, so I’m fine with it, but still a little odd how Lance has been canceled.

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

There is no repetition at 54A. OPED is not shorthand for Opinion/Editorials. It stands for “opposite the editorial page” since in many publications, including NYT, editorials (and letters to the editor) are positioned on the right page with opinion essays on the left.

pjd 8:31 AM  

was going to gripe about the clue for OP-EDS inexplicably including the word "opinion" but turns out i've long mistakenly assumed that the OP- was short for "opinion" instead of its actual original meaning: "opposite" the editorial page ... the more you know

Anonymous 8:33 AM  

@Son Volt. Re: Participated in a gun duel/DREW. This could apply to an individual. There's no stipulation that it applies to all pistol duelers.

Anonymous 8:40 AM  

I stand by my 6:00 post and please note that I said "CAN be used as an abbreviation of a clue word". It can also mean "opposite" but that is not close enough for an RW Friday.

Z 8:46 AM  

PPP (that’s Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns) comes it at the high end of “fair” with 21 of 70 for 30% (33% being the “excessive” cut-off line). In that 21 I included THU, PLIΓ‰S, and LEFT TOWN. In other words, NYTX typical.

puzzlehoarder 8:53 AM  

The princess of pushover puzzles strikes again. That's PPP whos' percentage no one needs to wonder about. With RW it's always 100%. That entire stair stack and all of its downs were like an all you can eat smorgasbord of cafeteria food. Would it kill her to at least put in a few hardball late week level entries. She consistently puts out themeless puzzles that are geared down to the early week level.

My biggest problem with RW puzzles is how to get my printer to double them in size so I can fill them in with crayons the way they are MEANT to be done.

yd -1 (missed a spelling variant)

Z 8:54 AM  

@Anon6:00/8:40 - Except the OP in OP-EDS never means “opinion.” There’s an Editorial Page and there’s the Opposite Editorial Page, the play on words being that it is physically opposite the editorial page and provides opposite viewpoints. It is not an opinion editorial page, which would be repetitively redundant.

EdFromHackensack 9:05 AM  

I normally ask my son for Simpson related clues if I am stumped. But I got ARNIE from the crosses which is good because my son is still in bed. This was an easy Friday but I am not complaining at all. I would rather too easy than too difficult. I wanted to squeeze SIMMONS into the KISS clue. Wondered why the band’s name capitalized...

Rube 9:05 AM  

Agreed! Also. The phrase is "with child". There is no "one's". This is a case where precise cluing is necessary

pabloinnh 9:06 AM  

For all of you who flew through this, I would suggest two things:

First, enter ARTIE for ARNIE and get all the way to TAILPOLISH before recognizing your error.

Second, try CHOP for "take to another dimension", which you surely do when you CHOP something up, instead of CROP which for me at least was a nice misdirection.

That should slow you down nicely. You can also try it without reading glasses and spend a lot of time moving your printout closer to and farther away from your nose, which also works.

Didn't know AMY or SYD but the Y made sense, so OK.

Fridazo indeed, RW. Really Wonderful. Thanks for all the fun, and now on to the New Yorker.

BarbieBarbie 9:11 AM  

When I saw the OPED clue I chuckled. There’s zero doubt in my mind that RW was winking at discussions like ours, where the clue and its explanation are sure to proliferate like early-era ReplyAlls today. Har! Constructor Humor.

oceanjeremy 9:13 AM  

Major complaint here, because I DNF’d — it’s an unfair crossing, and no one can convince me it isn’t an unfair crossing.

That would be “ITO” crossing “IKNOW.”

I had “OTO” crossing “OKNOW” (OK, NOW). And really “Say no more” could mean “OK, NOW” just as easily as “I KNOW.” More easily in my opinion. “Ok, now” — in the same tone of voice as “Settle down, Beavis.” As in “Stop talking.”

“Say no more” for “I KNOW” is awful cluing. “Say no more” means “Leave it with me.” It means “You can stop worrying about what’s bothering you, I will take care of it.” It does NOT mean “I know.” And since it categorically does NOT mean “I know,” it might as easily mean “OK, now” which is a way of saying “You’ve said what you meant and we’re tired of hearing it, so please allow us all to invite you to shut the £#¢¥ up.” And “Shut the £#¢¥ up” literally means “Say no more.” So “Ok, now” is actually a far better answer for “Say no more.”

And for the cross? Midori Oto is just as likely a name as Midori Ito, if you don’t care about Olympic skating (and I don’t). Midori is a Japanese first name, and Oto is a Japanese surname. Obscure names are fair in Friday and Saturday puzzles so long as they are generally guessable, even if it requires that the solver have some knowledge of common names in other languages — which this solver happens to have. So all I can say is £#¢¥ this clue and the horse it rode in on.

Otherwise? I freaking loved this puzzle. “An absolute romp,” I might say if it were a rom com and I were a hack writer crapping out movie reviews. Just a total joy from start until (almost) finish.

jberg 9:19 AM  

That Y was tough, I reasoned like @Conrad on plausibility, but was nervous about it. Aside from that, the only weak spot was CHIVE, a word I have never before heard or seen. Even when you only want a little, you snip the top ends of a bunch. Maybe as an adjective, "would you like a chive bulb?" But no.

Still, it was very gettable once I had the V. I've never seen a clove flavored omelet, and would run away quickly if I did.

@Rex, thanks for explaining the CROP clue, I wasn't getting it.

Anonymous 9:23 AM  


Random Commenter "That oceanjeremy guy can certainly go off on a rant about things, talking as if one colloquial saying has one and only one possible, very well defined meaning meaning...."

Me: "Say no more. 'I got it at That oceanjeremy' "

Random Commenter " ... and a second colloquial saying has one and only one well defined mean... yeah, I guess we all know"

JD 9:24 AM  

Read the clue, think creatively, find the answer. Say aha and nod while you Let That Sink In.

There's a temptation to look back and say it was too easy for a Friday but Robyn Weintraub creates her own niche. Run any of her puzzles, any day and you get the same feeling. It's RobynDay.

Walked? for Go On Strike. She uses "?" the right way. Rex's suggestion of "so to speak" would knock the aha out of it (@Frantic, Rings Fibonacci, har).

The center stack will be covered here all day so I won't dwell. Equally fun was the elevation of the 3- and 4-letter words. Ami/Sid was only fixed after the happy song didn't happen. It Covers A Lot Of Ground for Soil … she managed to make dirt sparkle. Really Come Down for Pour. Great. Subj. For Class Cut-Up? even Anat looked good.

oceanjeremy, I agree with your use of Say No More but I use it more for "I get it."

thfenn 9:33 AM  

LOL, it's always a little deflating to celebrate completing a Friday, and a lovely one like today's, and find out here how eezypeezy it was, but still fun. Only CASEDISMISSED and HORSEMEN leapt out for me, but piecing together the other long downs and acrosses as the fill LETTHATSINKIN was pure joy. Went with SimPle before STUPID which held up the SW, but hey, we got to see another EFT! Was puzzled by "spirits" as well, so nice to get sorted out on that point here. Also puzzled by the quotes around "WALK" and definitely was searching for something baseball related, but fine in the end. My chimes rang with the "Y" for AMY crossing SYD - didn't know either and thought that was a little harsh for a PPP cross, but certainly "gettable". Lots of smiles from the cluing today, but it's still going to be awhile before I complain about a Friday being too easy.

Suzy 9:34 AM  

Thank you, Robyn! Such fun on a Friday morning bodes a good weekend!! Keep it up, Will!

Peter P 9:44 AM  

Enjoyable puzzle, wrong day of the week for me. While I'm not as crotchety as @puzzlehoarder's assessment, finishing this puzzle in record Friday time feels like grade inflation to me. I don't feel I earned it. It finished just above average Tuesday time for me, and well below average Wednesday.

That said, the puzzle itself I enjoyed, although I empathize with those on the AMY/SYD cross, as AMi/SiD would also have been reasonable. I got lucky on that one, as I didn't know either. The critique of "ITO/oTO" with "I KNOW/oK NOW" is one I hadn't considered, and seems reasonable to me. I happened to know Midori ITO, but if I didn't, I do almost prefer oK NOW for I KNOW as an answer to "Say no more."

That said, it's a wonderful, breezy fill. I don't pay attention to constructors when I do a puzzle, but from reading these comments, I've become aware of Robyn's puzzles (and she's probably the only constructor I could recognize by the feel of the puzzle. Actually, the only one I could name, and I've done nearly 1300 in the app [which is small potatoes to most of y'all].) My only criticism is that they often belong a couple days earlier in the week. I suppose it's possible that all her puzzles are simply in my wheelhouse but this puzzle was half my Friday average.

I do enjoy seeing SKAT in the puzzle. My favorite three-hander card game. I learned it out of a book with some friends about twenty years ago when we lived in Budapest and were looking for a card game to play in the cafes and bars when we didn't have a fourth for pitch, euchre, or hearts. I know some of those can be modified for three, but SKAT was made specifically for three and offered up fun variety of play for those who like point-trick taking games (there's trumps, bidding, and counting card points involved. Somewhat like bridge but there's no fixed partnerships. It's always one (bidder) vs two (defenders.)) Anyhow, definitely a game for card aficionados to explore. I believe it's the national card game of Germany. Oh, I miss those two and our hours-long games, beers, and conversations along the Danube.

bocamp 9:52 AM  


Thx for the Wiki re: AMY; fascinating!

Lots of CROPping on Pinterest for better portrait pics, rather than landscape (which don't perform as well).

Was addicted to Krinos cinnamon flavored OUZO candies. Dental hygienist convinced me to get un-addicted. lol

@pabloinnh (9:06 AM)


@puzzlehoarder (8:53 AM)

That variant almost did me in yd, altho, it was the longer of the two.

td 0

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Barbara S. 9:55 AM  

Zoomed through this one for a Friday personal best. Some clues/answers I thought were really too easy for a Friday. “Santa’s sleighful” stands out (although I love the word “sleighful” even though auto-corrupt does not). Loved the side-by-side positioning of NAIL POLISH and the “ladies’ fingers” clue/answer.

Good for Midori ITO – tiny, powerful: I remember her as a dynamo on the ice. And she’s still in crossword contention at 52 years of age. “She is the first woman to land a triple-triple jump combination and a triple Axel in competition,” says Wikipedia, adding that “She is widely recognized as one of the best figure skaters of all time.” So definitely crossworthy, at least for those with a sense of history (and a love of competitive skating).

And speaking of history – the CENTURION in the Ottawa Senators’ logo always makes me want to laugh and cry simultaneously.

I went to a Ridgemont High for the whole of secondary school, and yet I’ve never seen that movie. I’ve avoided it because I expect it’s full of amazingly dumb humor. What do you think? As a graduate, should I get over myself and watch it?


dbyd pg-3 (all easy; I shoulda been a contender)
yd 0
td pg-2 (still going, I hope)

RooMonster 9:58 AM  

Hey All !

Do conductors really yell HIT IT before they begin? I just thought they tapped their wand, then raised their arms before swinging. My unsophisticatedness always wonders why conductors are even needed. The players just play the notes they see, no?

Keep It Simple Stupid. The two 6 words follow the S__P__ pattern, which to me is neat. Easily amused, here.

Nice puz, Robyn. I would have liked 17D's clue to be more wacky, something like "Start of a comparison?"

If you are from Poland and you shine chrome ... is it POLISH POLISH?

Two F's

pmdm 10:06 AM  

I did not die but had a vacation in the Finger Lakes Region of NYS. Jest bought 10 cases of wine this time. Sorry to disappoint you.

A bit too much PPP for me to enjoy today. Still, I like her puzzles to those of other themeless constructors. Having completed the other puzzles published since I've been away, time to read the blogs. But no comments from me.

By the way, the NYT announced a while ago that the terms "Editorial Page" and Op-Ed Page" would no longer apply to the paper. That is apt, since opinion essays have been creeping onto the former Editorial Page for some time. Take note, Z (whatever). [So you've changed your name since I've read these comments.]

Steve M 10:20 AM  

A wonderful change after yesterday’s awful puzzle

Whatsername 10:20 AM  

A Friday that knows how to Friday by a constructor who knows how to construct. As I sailed through thinking “wow this is really smooth!” I glanced at the byline, stopped and said aloud “of course it is.” How could it be anything else when you see that name? Thank you Robyn and thanks for sticking to your dueling pistols on banning that five-letter card game word. I don’t want to see it in my happy place either.

I jotted down several excellent crossing pairs: ELLA/ELLEN, LEI/LEA, NAIL POLISH/ONE HAND, HEAT/EAT.

For some reason my EYES were doing weird things today. I couldn’t help but notice a laxative brand in the NW or the dreaded NIP hidden in the corner of 32A/33A. Looked at 48A and wondered what a GOON STRIKE was and then stared at 39D for the longest time thinking the IK in IK NOW was a variant spelling of ICK. I KNOW. How STUPID was that?

jae 10:21 AM  

Easy. Typical RW, easy and smooth with some sparkle. Liked it a bunch!

I thought I knew all the Simpson’s characters but ARNIE Pye was a WOE. Artie Ziff OTOH I know.

Barbara S. 10:31 AM  

Train/Railroad story inspired by 5D --

There’s a nature trail for walkers and cyclists, the entrance to which is only 100 yards down the county road from the house in which I’m currently living. It’s lined with a thinnish strip of bush on both sides that expands to a small pine forest at one end. You enter a straight path, with maybe a slight list to the left, the straightness explained by its following the right of way of the old Ottawa and New York Railway, once a Canadian arm of the New York Central Railroad system. The tracks and all related paraphernalia are long gone, although that doesn’t stop me from taking the odd peek into the undergrowth to see if I can find a moldering tie or the faded fragment of an old sign. Across the road from the trailhead sits the concrete abutment of the bridge that carried the tracks over the Nation River, but this is all the physical evidence that remains. I suspect that in its heyday the line was heavily used for travel between stations in the local area. But it astonishes me that in the early part of the twentieth century, people in the small villages in this part of eastern Ontario had direct rail access to New York City. Talk about your country mouse and your city mouse. I can just imagine the expectant travelers on the platform in our little town, pressed and dressed in their best, waiting to ride their dreams right to Grand Central Station. Today, to make that same journey, you’d have to drive to Cornwall, take the bus to Montreal and then, after a lengthy wait, board the train. In the 1940s and 50s the automobile and the ever-expanding road system killed the old Ottawa and New York Railway, but I like the way it lives on in faint echo along this leafy path.

RooMonster 10:33 AM  

Td 0!
Must be an eazy-Bee-zy day today.
Go me!

RooMonster Har Guy

Z 10:34 AM  

@pmdm - I’ve changed my nom de blog something like eleventy-three times in the past month or so and still everyone seems to know it’s me.
I don’t remember if it was here or some other puzzle, but the new name for the OPEDS was used as a clue for OPED recently.

@Roo late yesterday- I won the internet? Inconceivable!

Carola 10:35 AM  

A delicious nosh of a puzzle. The "never satisfied" part of me just wished it had been less truffle-soft and more Turkish-taffy-tough.

@puzzlehoarder 8:53 - Similar thought here, i.e., that it's too bad Wednesday puzzles have to be themed (according to NYTXW "rules," I guess). I thought this one would have been perfect in that slot.

bocamp 10:36 AM  

@Barbara S. (9:55 AM) πŸ‘ for 0 yd / 🀞 for td

Yes to 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'!

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

GILL I. 10:47 AM  

LETT, HAT, SIN and KIN walk into a bar followed by GEN, ERAT, ION and GAP. The bartender, GOON was on STRIKE but STUPID stepped in to help and serve up some OUZO.
What's not to EVER like about a Robyn Friday?
Well did you like this? you ask. My ETS, EFT and AFT runneth over. Of course I did.
I shall now take some time to read everybody who gets up a lot earlier than I do and hope my ONE HAND hasn't been upped by a POKER CHIP.

bocamp 11:05 AM  

@RooMonster (10:33 AM) πŸ‘ for 0 td

Yay you! :)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

egsforbreakfast 11:17 AM  

What a typically lovely puzzle from Robyn Weintraub. I don’t believe she selected which day it would run on.

In my youth I was known to occasionally OOZE after too much OUZO.

Thanks for the great time, Robyn. You’re the best. CASEDISMISSED.

Newboy 11:20 AM  

Done in by the Y oh Y instead of I for the Si/YD Natick of AMi/Y. Sure I’ve seen and enjoyed both of their works, but that was at least an EON ago. Hope those GOONs on STRIKE can settle peacefully. Kinda had a πŸ₯΅ moment with NAIL POLISH on the tips of my OKRA this morning, but otherwise a typical Robyn cutie to enjoy.

mathgent 11:21 AM  

I agree with most of this morning's commenters. A nice frothy way to spend a few minutes.

Joe Dipinto 11:24 AM  

Q: What did the nutritionist say to the newly pregnant supermodel?
A: "Remember, you're eating for one now."

@pmdm – Right, I think they're calling them "Guest Essays", or something equally silly. The whole Opinion vs. Opposite argument is silly: the header for the right page reads, with bolding as shown...


...and the Contents puts both pages under OPINION, but nooo, you can't possibly interpret the Op in Op-Ed to mean "opinion" because it started out meaning "opposite" dammit, I don't care if "opp." is the way you abbreviate "opposite" everywhere else. Yeesh. Let's just say it can mean whichever one you like. Or say it means "opus".

Haven't thought of this song in awhile.

Tom P 11:26 AM  

Every time I see Ms. Weintraub listed as the constructor, I know I'm in for a treat, and this one did not disappoint. Thanks, Robyn!

Unknown 11:36 AM  

After getting some traction I just flew though this puzzle till I hit that SE corner where I had some real problems.

I got STRIKE and with "Walk" in the clue, my mind immediately jumped to baseball (it is the ALCS and NLCS championships right now). Thinking it had to be diamond-related II cautiously wrote in NOT A STRIKE having the O in POUR, which was a big mistake. Many erasures later I completed with a DNF (SID,AMY instead of SYD,AMY), a ridiculous Natick in otherwise excellent puzzle.

jb129 11:36 AM  

Robyn I love your puzzles & always look forward to them - especially on Friday! xo

Joseph Michael 11:42 AM  

Add me to the chorus of those singing the praises of this puzzle and this constructor. Easier than the usual Friday, but enjoyable nevertheless.

Greatest achievement during the solve: getting GENERATION GAP from just the P. Funniest moment: imagining what happens during a GOON STRIKE. Most frustrating moment: coming here and discovering that it’s I KNOW, ITO and not OK NOW, OTO..

CHIVE is a fine herb. But when it comes to roasting potatoes, I use AMPLE amounts of olive oil, black pepper, and sage.

TTrimble 11:58 AM  

Yep, excellent puzzle, although I think my brow furrowed longer over the lower half longer than some of y'all's. I made the oKNOW/oTO mistake as well, and I think we can consider that a Natick. And said brow twitched over OP/ED as well, but OK, now, that may be a minor blemish.

One thing I learned from @kitshef (thank you!) is that I've been STUPIDly thinking all the while that vendredi meant "sales day" (vendre = "to sell") -- as if it were the traditional day of the week to buy baguettes and other sundries before the shops close up for the weekend. Now I KNOW that it comes from the Latin Veneris Dies (Day of Venus).

The English Friday is "day of Frigga/Freya". Frigg(a) is the Norse goddess of love and fertility, just as Venus is the Roman goddess of love. Happy love day, everyone!


(1) Tuesday = day of Tiu (Norse god of war); mardi = day of Mars (Roman god of war). (2) Thursday = day of Thor (Norse god of thunder); jeudi = day of Jove/Jupiter (Roman thunderbolt-hurler). (3) Wednesday = day of Wotan, but I don't KNOW how this replaces "day of Mercury" (mercredi).

The ordering of the days is interesting and based on orbital times from a geocentric point of view. But in a fairly complicated way, at least according to one theory:

"As we saw in the previous section, the planets have given the week days their names following this order:

Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Sun

Why this particular order?

One theory goes as follows: If you order the "planets" according to either their presumed distance from Earth (assuming the Earth to be the center of the universe) or their period of revolution around the Earth, you arrive at this order: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn

Now, assign (in reverse order) these planets to the hours of the day:

1=Saturn, 2=Jupiter, 3=Mars, 4=Sun, 5=Venus, 6=Mercury, 7=Moon, 8=Saturn, 9=Jupiter, etc., 23=Jupiter, 24=Mars

Then next day will then continue where the old day left off:

1=Sun, 2=Venus, etc., 23=Venus, 24=Mercury

And the next day will go

1=Moon, 2=Saturn, etc.

If you look at the planet assigned to the first hour of each day, you will note that the planets come in this order:

Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus

This is exactly the order of the associated week days.

Coincidence? Maybe."

(More could be said about the etymologies, but at the cost of making this post rather longer.)

yd 0 (finished this morning)
td 0

Masked and Anonymous 12:03 PM  

Very smooth solvequest, at our place. Didn't really know AMY/SYD, but guessed the Y without a large nanosecond drain.

Terrific fillins. How does Robyn do it? And she also did the New Yorker FriPuz themeless. day-um.

staff weeject pick: THU. A very slight nod to desperation, along with GES. But, shoot -- in runtpuz's, these would be some of the pick-of-the-litter entries, tho.

Lotsa clever clues [yo, @ NAILPOLISH & POKERCHIP], the Jaws of Themelessness, and GOONs goin on STRIKE. Hard stuff to beat.

Thanx for a great themeless express train ride, Ms. Weintraub darlin. LEIS/LEAS … har.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

cerebral warnin:

MetroGnome 12:08 PM  

I call PPP Foul at 28 Across/24 Down. If you aren't familiar with those names, either AMI/SID or AMY/SYD makes perfect sense.

What? 12:08 PM  

Robyn for President!

puzzlehoarder 12:15 PM  

@bocamp, the 5 pointer is what I missed.

mathgent 12:21 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

kitshef (7:18)
TTrimble (11:58)

Wanderlust 12:24 PM  

OPED stands for “opposite editorial” so doesn’t use the word “opinion.” It’s on the opposite side from the editorial page, and it’s where guest writers are published. Also, their opinion may be opposite those of the paper’s editorial writers. (Former newspaper guy here.)

sixtyni yogini 12:38 PM  


Wanderlust 12:56 PM  

Thanks to Rex for explaining KISS. I know Gene Simmons and Ace Frehly, and I thought, “One of the other two is nicknamed STUPID”?

Clue for IKNOW made me think of the classic sexual innuendo Monty Python skit: “Say no more, say no more. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!” Eric Idle at his best.

I think this is the first puzzle in which I guessed the constructor before knowing who it was. Clean, clever, classy. Must be Robyn Weintraub. And it was.

old timer 1:02 PM  

Nothing wrong with OUZO for the reasons given. Though I have to say I don't like the stuff. But DREW is just wrong. If you engage in a pistol duel, your second hands you a pistol, you walk the required ten paces, turn and shoot. Guns are already out, and need not be drawn. Indeed, it is very unlikely either participant is wearing a holster.

Should have been, "Participated in a gunfight", perhaps at the OK CORRAL.

I do think all of the days from Tuesday through Friday are named after Norse gods. Probably dates back to the conquest of England by the Danes. What I don't know is whether Tiw, Wodin, Thor, and Freia/Frigg are the equivalents of Mars, Mercury, Jove and Venus. Nor do I know if the Danes names the relevant planets after these GODs. Of course Sunday and Monday are named after Sun and Moon, but how in the world did English name Saturday after the Roman God Saturn, while using Norse GODs for the others?

I also believe that the Italian word for Wednesday, Mercoledi, is much prettier to say than mercredi or miercoles.

The puzzle was a bit too Easy for a Friday. But well crafted.

TJS 1:05 PM  

TGIF ? Not this time. Would be nice if you had to stop and think a few times on a Friday, but no...

kitshef 1:09 PM  

@Barbara S - Fast Times is one of my ten favorite movies. As is Almost Famous, so apparently Cameron Crowe resonates with me. It is the only high school movie I've ever seen that actually resembled high school as I experienced it.

@RooMonster - I'm with you on conductors, but then again I am also well known for having no musical ear whatsoever.

DigitalDan 1:16 PM  

I have never had a conductor say "HIT IT." The room would have emptied. Of course, in small ensembles or with music that does not change tempo, the conductor may be unnecessary. (Our orchestra likes to joke at kids's concerts by showing how confused a Sousa march gets if the conductor stops conducting, only to pick right up when he takes up again.)

The job of the conductor is to modify the tempo, either gradually or all at once, and to help keep track of where one is in the score when things get complicated. Further, to help control dynamics. Good ones also elicit emotion, smooth transitions, and transmit electrons from one place to another.

bocamp 1:19 PM  

@TTrimble (11:58 AM) πŸ‘ for 0's yd & td

Excellent extrapolation on the THU theme! Lots of food for thot. :)

@puzzlehoarder (12:15 PM)

Same here (altho I got it at the end of the day). Strange, cos it's the preferred variation at M-W. πŸ€”

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Chris Wendell 1:36 PM  

Loved the puzzle. Quick, fun solve. Except for the AMY/SYD cross. That Y could easily be an I and if you didn't know either of these folks (now I do!) it's a 50/50 guess. Don't love that. Otherwise, very happy.

Teedmn 1:39 PM  

Super easy Robyn Friday puzzle - possibly a personal record though while solving, I got stuck in a couple of places; north central, I didn't know ELLEN and was blank on a word L__T that meant "hold up". It only lasted a moment but..

And I was a day early at 10A for a bit, with WED, but the biblical quartet straightened that out nicely.

Anyone else want to pack mEAT before HEAT? I mean, what else are all of those meat-packing plants doing?

My mind took the same path as Rex's with GENERATION GA_.

Thanks, Robyn, this was a great puzzle to solve.

Brian 2:10 PM  

Wednesday easy

Aelurus 2:24 PM  

I just started this puzzle knowing I can’t finish till much later but had to sign in to say, I think I’ve seen the best misdirection in a clue this week, 16A, “Digital color presentation?”! Had a couple of letters on either end, was thinking computers and PowerPoints, and aha! Am still smiling. Can’t wait to resume solving later today and read everyone’s comments. Thank you, Robyn!

okanaganer 2:55 PM  

Yes Robyn is the best. I actually found a bit of resistance with this, which makes it better.

Had -ETTHATSIN-IN and for some reason put B at the start (thinking Got out of Dodge was BEAT something... is BEAT TOWN a thing?) So I wasted a lot of time trying to grok the comment BET THAT'S IN SIN! (IN TIN? IN WIN? IN PIN? IN KIN?)

[SB yd 0; got the variant and the goofy 10. So QB for 2 straight days yet again! Now on to td...]

okanaganer 2:57 PM  

Oh! I forgot to add, if you want to try Robyn's puzzle from the New Yorker, the Scraper plugin works there too.

Nancy 3:00 PM  

Even with no sleep and no breakfast (and Zombie-like to the nth degree, don't ask!), I zipped through the first half of the puzzle with no problem before leaving the house to stagger 1 1/2 miles through the park down to the sedation dentist at an ungodly hour. I did the 2nd half with no problem either -- this is after having had the sedation dentist's sedation, an onlay placed over my molar and coming home to finally put something in my stomach. This means that even though the puzzle is by one of my great faves, Robyn Weintraub, it couldn't have been very hard -- and certainly not for a Friday. But who wants very hard with no sleep on an empty stomach or after sedation? This was the perfect puzzle for me today.

Thoughts for the day: 1) HOW DOES ANYONE MANAGE TO FACE THE WORLD WITHOUT BREAKFAST AND COFFEE? 2) HOW CAN ANYONE FUNCTION AT ALL AT THE CRACK OF DAWN? It's all a complete mystery to me and always has been.

Eniale 3:42 PM  

I finished with two Google helps; couldn't remember a President starting P (knew them all in order in 1978 for citizenship interview!); couldn't remember Midori's last name. But otherwise I enjoyed it, and a finish is a finish even with help!

pg -3

CDilly52 3:55 PM  

My internet has been cutting out lately and driving me nuts. ATT naturally, sent a 12 year old out with instructions to tell the customer that the problem is inside the house. Hmmm, funny that, “my guy” (Double E degree and working on a Ph.D. in nano technologies with a lovely family to support) hooked up some fancy little gadgets for a week and I have charts and graphs and numbers (none of which I understand) on their way to several places in the ATT hierarchy that prove (as in with scientific evidence) that the stoppage occurs outside my home in the ATT fiber optic mess. So there.

Anyway, yesterday’s post disappeared so my admission that PARKOUR was a brand new word was not recorded for posterity. Nor was my astonishing Thursday speed (hack, hack, cough cough - choking on my tongue firmly in my cheek there).

Two late week easy yet delightful solves! Yesterday, I did not get to the fact that a theme existed until the last when I noticed the word TESTIFY that appeared as I finished the little SE corner. My eye followed it up north and noticed the word OATH on top of TESTIFY and lickety split (the “Old Timers” disease apparently being in remission) I thought to self, “Isn’t that clever its TESTIFY under OATH, are there others like this?” Oh clever Self, yes there were and we had a theme! The ehome puzzle whizzed by so quickly I might have
missed it altogether or at least until I came here.

And here we are on Friday with a Robyn Weintraub for our individual and collective enjoyment. Enjoy it I did! However, either I have been awarded a temporary login to Ms. W’s wavelength or a miracle has occurred because I flew through this one and had to go back and read all the clues to get my usual level of enjoyment from a RW oeuvre. Stellar, just stellar and for all the reasons mentioned thus far.

The outstanding and oh so “Weintraubian” clue of the day is Dining with one’s child? That ? by itself made me laugh out loud as I caught the “with” immediately (again with the unusual but thoroughly enjoyable wavelength access) meaning the diner is pregnant. That is pure genius. Made my day. Ms. Weintraub, you are a shining star in the crossword firmament and I thank you!

Perfectly enjoyable Friday.

Eniale 3:55 PM  

Calling Monty Python fans: Wasn't it "Hint hint, nudge, nudge"?

Anonymous 3:58 PM  

It's too easy!

It's too hard!

It's got too many threes!

It's got too much PPP!

It's on the wrong day!

One of it's answers ruined my solve! And my whole day!

It's got a wrong answer!

It's using the wrong meaning of ____!

It's got too many sports clues!

It's got too many car clues!

It skews too old!

It skews too young!

Jesus Christ! What a whiny bunch you are.

Barbara S. 4:17 PM  

Here's the script for the Monty Python Nudge, Nudge skit. "Say no more, say no more."

Brian 5:05 PM  

Learned something new today, thanks!

pabloinnh 5:31 PM  

@Barbara S.-Isn't memory funny? I always remember it as "nudge, nudge, wink, wink".

Well, at least "wink, wink" is in the script, even if it is only once.

Great stuff. Thanks so much for posting it.

DGD 5:50 PM  

The Scandinavian languages ( not Finnish), English and German are related but of course distinct languages. Each language had its own cognate of the God in question. In old English it was something like Woden, Germans changed the d to a t or Wotan and the Scandinavians kept the d but dropped the w, resulting in Odin.
So Wednesday is of English origin not borrowed,

okanaganer 6:05 PM  

I did Robyn's New Yorker puzzle, and the cluing was very flat and straightforward. I'll have to try some more to see if they vary...

[SB: td 0, QB for 3 days!]

Phaedrus 6:11 PM  

Has Phoebe Cates left the pool yet? Asking for a friend.

A 7:31 PM  

Had a lot to do this morning so was happy this didn’t take all day. Even happier at how much great stuff Robyn packed into the grid/clues. Favorite clue was “Digital color presentation” but so much good stuff. Most has been said, but

re: AMY/SYD vs AMi/SiD - it’s Robyn, not Robin,
re: I KNOW - if “Say no more” didn’t immediately elicit Monty Python (hey, more Y’s) you need to watch @Barabara’s link.

Had a little trouble with “_____ Explorer” - anybody else try uSs?

Another wry smile as I wrote over SimPle with STUPID.

@Anon 6:34, I noticed, and liked, the repeat of GOON. Thought we also had LASSES, or LASS recently.

@jberg, still laughing at your clove flavored omelet comment!

ON ONE HAND plays right into a work by our famous composer today - Franz Liszt, born October 22, 1811. He arranged his own Hungary’s GOD, a work originally for voice, chorus and piano, and which also exists for piano, two hands, for his friend Count Zichy, who lost his right arm.

The piece I’ve selected to share, though, is an astounding live performance of his La Campanella by pianist Valentina Lisitsa. It’s an encore, and the audience roars with delight when they recognize the first notes. I don’t listen to much solo piano, but the expressiveness and joy and technical mastery of Lisitsa is something very special.

burtonkd 7:54 PM  

On someone's reccomendation, I went over to the New Yorker. Weintraub's puzzle was supposed to be easy, so didn't have as much as zing as this, which was already too easy and over too fast for a Friday. That said, both very enjoyable!

While there, I noticed they have a murderer's row of constructors this week. Gorski, Berry and Weintraub. Editorial voice seems high quality, but more pleasantly relaxed than the Times.

Anonymous 8:00 PM  

SOOOO many names - my nemesis. The Heckerling/Hoff cross killed me Didn't know either. I watch movies, even those of Ms Heckerling, but rarely note the actors names, let alone those not starring in the film.
Didn't know SKAT as a card game.
Two days in a row for EFT!!!

albatross shell 8:02 PM  

A Roo crossing:LEFT-EFT. I think it was where he sold his soul to the F-devil.

Did you notice the importance of INEARNEST EYES looking up into the little fingers' OKRA green NAILPOLISH? Did they see the STUPID OPEDS?

I think some of you thought EFT ANAT AFT was the penalty for the good stuff. I thought it was part of the good stuff.

I was on the EmPRESS train before getting Xed out. And was with the mEAT packing local before I HITIT.

Hard enough for me as she said to this old man. And RW is fun enough for me.

stephanie 11:07 PM  

i dare rex to watch sixteen candles now and not cringe through the entire movie. kind of a wild thing to mention without any caveat, given his usual tone. the glaring racist caricature of one of the main characters is just the tip of the iceberg. never seen fast times, and one could certainly argue that in clueless (a beloved fave of mine too) coming home from college to fall in love with your 16 year old stepsister is also weird AF but...i don't know. 16 candles is just in a class of its own in terms of let's pretend this never happened, for me.

anyway, an enjoyable puzzle - when i typed in GENERATION GAP, that was the eureka moment that really got me to dig in and make some moves. failed on one square - had OK NOW instead of I KNOW, and OTO sounded as plausible as ITO since i didn't know the person referenced. i hated "ok now" from the moment i typed it in but for some dang reason i just couldn't see any other option. d'oh! some of the clues were trying too hard, like the clue for NAIL POLISH. EATING FOR TWO was a gimme for me - it was cute but i didn't think it was as clever as rex, but maybe that's because my sister as well as two friends all got pregnant and had babies during the past year so i've heard that phrase quite a lot recently XD

Charlie 12:55 AM  

I have never heard of anyone growing or using "chive" - I have only ever heard chives.

Alarico Adalbert 2:30 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thefogman 10:35 AM  

Loved it. Nobody doesn’t like Robyn Weintraub. DNF because I had an I instead of a Y at the SYD - AMY crossing.

spacecraft 11:14 AM  

That many people didn't recognize AMY Heckerling? Is there anyone left who HASN'T seen "Fast Times?" Probably several times--and please, the uncut version? Just for that, AMY's my DOD.

This is another gem from the mother lode. While I did wince at ELLA/ELLEN (as well as LEAS/LEIS, OOZE/OUZO and OPENS/OPEDS), that was small potatoes. These crosses CROP up unintentionally. The bulk of it shone, as usual.

No problem parsing the acronym for 37-across. Once at a bridge tournament my partner and I arrived at a table with a sweet elderly couple who immediately announced "We play KISS bridge." A pause to LETTHATSINKIN, then "Keep it simple, STUPID." They smiled ever so sweetly. Then they tore us a new one.

No puzzle with a POKERCHIP, plus the aforementioned brilliant director, should receive less than an eagle. CASEDISMISSED.

Diana, LIW 1:30 PM  

Well well...the first Robyn of the Christmas Season. Always a sign of good things to come.

Only a one-letter correction stood in my way of success.

Now, to the gym to wear off some turkey, and stuffing, and pie, and...

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Burma Shave 4:23 PM  


KNOW how to POLISH brasses:
Around TOWN RELAX with fells


leftcoaster 5:32 PM  

Felt pretty relaxed with this one ... until moving into the SE: GOONSTRIKE, SKAT, and OKNOW were stoppers.

Liked NAILPOLISH and OUZO while fiddling around with OTO, CHO, EWOK, and ANN.

Close enough for an aging warHORSE.

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