Signature scent introduced in 1968 / FRI 6-24-22 / Historian Schomberg of the Harlem Renaissance / Kind of architectural movement with the philosophy of living with less / Place to slurp ramen / Marsupium, by another name / Group photo pose during a rush / Literally skewer

Friday, June 24, 2022

Constructor: Sophia Maymudes and Margaret Seikel

Relative difficulty: Challenging (possibly, I dunno; felt way harder than most Fridays, to me, but all puzzles have been so easy lately that maybe this was just Medium)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: ARTURO Schomberg (30A: Historian Schomberg of the Harlem Renaissance) —
Arturo Alfonso Schomburg (January 24, 1874 – June 10, 1938), was a historian writer, collector, and activist. Schomburg was a Puerto Rican of African and German descent. He moved to the United States in 1891, where he researched and raised awareness of the contributions that Afro-Latin Americans and African Americans have made to society. He was an important intellectual figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Over the years, he collected literature, art, slave narratives, and other materials of African history, which were purchased to become the basis of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, named in his honor, at the New York Public Library (NYPL) branch in Harlem. (wikipedia)
• • •

I am in no condition to write clearly or fairly about this puzzle, as my morning has been a complete disaster. The cat has complicated new meds which just arrived yesterday, and there are glass bottles, and cheap syringes that I can't read or wield easily, and viscous liquids, and just a whole lot of fussiness involved. "Shoot the liquid into your cat's cheek," like LOL am I supposed to grow a third hand? Anyway, it was weirdly traumatic all around. So traumatic that I just abandoned all cat-feeding plans and went straight into my office to solve and write. There, I discovered ... non-operative internet! The indicator lights all looked good, but ... nothing. So I rebooted the modem and that worked ... for a while! Long enough for me to download and solve the puzzle. But then it faded out again. Then the modem rebooted itself (!?). And now I seem to be typing in some spirit world between connectivity and disconnectivity. I keep hitting "Update" so that I can be sure this post is getting through, if only incrementally. If you are somehow reading this early in the morning and it seems, uh, unfinished, it probably is! [Update: it's finished now] Anyway, I couldn't have been in a worse mood / headspace when I solved this puzzle, so I don't have a lot of good vibes to spread. I don't know if it was genuinely harder than usual because of names and concepts I didn't know, or if I was just so distracted by all the morning frustration that I couldn't think straight. The grid looks fine, but the cluing was out of my wheelhouse, a lot, and there wasn't much that gave me genuine joy. Maybe LOVER'S QUARREL (16D: Cause of a breakup), which is a nice phrase that also looks kind of like LOVER SQUIRREL, which is providing me with an amusing visual.
SORORITY SQUAT (34A: Group photo pose during a rush) is original and will be very entertaining to someone, but my general feelings about campus Greek like are ... not ... too positive ... so that answer doesn't hold the charm for me that it might for others. But again, my particularly terrible morning is probably coloring a lot of my solving experience today.

I don't care about royal weddings At All, so the TIARA clue meant nothing to me (17A: Meghan Markle's "something borrowed"). I had KANGAROO but absolutely no idea what was supposed to follow at 14D: Marsupium, by another name—it was so weird that I started doubting KANGAROO. That clue is so weird. Other marsupials have marsupia (marsupiums?) but surely those are not called KANGAROO POUCHes. Surely koalas and opossums don't have KANGAROO POUCHes. You would call a *kangaroo*'s marsupium a KANGAROO POUCH, but that's not a term for the "marsupium" generally. Very confusing. Also confusing: getting -OOD- at 15A: Place to slurp ramen and writing in FOOD COURT (it fit!). Probably the worst hole I fell into. To me, [Not alcoholic] = VIRGIN (yeah, not a great term, but that's the term I know). Never even thought that SOFT might mean "not alcoholic," which means I never questioned where the term "SOFT drink" might come from. That was rough. IVLINE was rough (you "run an IV," if medical shows are to be believed—the IVLINE formality threw me). That clue on ESTEE was hard (27D: Signature scent introduced in 1968), but I eventually defaulted to ESTEE because of crossword experience. When in doubt... ESTEE! Didn't know she had a "signature scent." No idea about Drake's label (doesn't make the answer OVO—classic Latin crosswordese—any better, frankly). I had no idea TINY HOUSE was a "movement," LOL. Was just reading about LLOSA yesterday, for reasons I can't remember (59A: Author Mario Vargas ___). His politics came up, somehow. He once ran for president of Peru (1990)! He seems to be pretty accommodating of right-wing authoritarianism lately (see "Peru" and "Chile" here), but admittedly, South American politics are not my area of expertise. I don't think I've ever read LLOSA, which is shameful. Reading shame! I have so much of it. OK, now that I have internet and my wife and I have figured out how to administer the cat's meds non-traumatically, I have to go sit quietly somewhere with my coffee. Again, my apologies to all concerned for being temperamentally out of sorts this morning (yes, more than usual!). See you tomorrow!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Gary Jugert 6:04 AM  

Let's use our short time on this delightful planet today to explore one single concept: SORORITY SQUAT. Holy Moses sweet baby Jabberwocky. What on God's green Earth?

Here's how this one went down in New York City:


Editors: No theme? Well, sounds kinda dull, but that means we'll get zippy cluing, fascinating word play, bedeviling social issues, and an all around higher caliber of answers, right?

Constructors: Well, no, but we went with SORORITY SQUAT as our marquee answer.

Editors: OHO! So delightfully not-a-thing. You do understand you'll be forever remembered as the SORORITY SQUAT pioneers?

Constructors: Why yes, we've begun calling ourselves SORORITY SQUAT 1 and SORORITY SQUAT 2.

Editors: Wonderful, you're really taking the New York Times crossword to another zenith.


Less sloggy than most Fridays, but no real joy in Mudville either. Just words. Of course they might have posted directions to discover a buried treasure and I would have missed out as I fretted over SORORITY SQUAT.

So many boos:

It's FREAK-ish how blech answers like IV LINE, SHISH, SEPTA, and PC USER mixed with too many junk answers like ALE, SIS, ANTES, GO APE, IDE, APU, OVO, ETES, COO, ASHY and AHUM led to the inevitable conclusion ... SNOT.

Rough names for me: Learned about ARTURO, ELISE, EUGENE and FANNIE. At least I knew LLOSA and TED LASSO.



The clue for STINGER.

BIG SUR and BURRATA make a lovely couple.

And VROOM is always welcome.


CAR TALK included TRANS AM and HUMVEE. They're not a yellow light or a K-TURN, but they might be a workable distraction for the fellahs. What was your teenage dream car?

1 Unusual sight in Hamburger Alley.
2 Rich cheese of the rich.
3 Specter haunting the hamster wheel.
4 Drive a Trans Am fast in Oregon.
5 Montevideo's moped mama.


Brian A in SLC 6:10 AM  

Yea, it skewed challenging to me. BURRATA/ELISE/LLOSA stack crossed with TEDLASSO. And wth is a sorority squat?

Maplot 6:18 AM  

Sorry to hear about your difficulties Rex. Hang in there!

Anonymous 6:28 AM  

It felt difficult but my solve time was on the shorter side for me. Helped there were a few things I just knew (LLOSA) or inferred immediately (TIARA). I had KANGAROOMOUSE for a long time before figuring that one out. Oh well.

Harry 6:30 AM  

Must be what it's like to read an unfinished novel ;). One word of advice: don't "shoot", dribble the liquid into the cat's pouch. (The cat will react adversely to the pressure of shooting the liquid out of the syringe.) FWIW, in my experience, pilling cats (tablets) is a lot easier, where that's an option.

Georgia 6:59 AM  

Hmmm. Not challenging for the less stressed. Until now, wasn't familiar with Sorority Squat but gleanable from the Q cross.

kitshef 7:08 AM  

Things I had never heard of before today:
TINY HOUSE (really wanted TIdY HOUSE but EUGEdE seemed unlikely)
TALLS (in the sense used)
ARTURO Schomberg
Renee ELISE Goldsberry
SOFT (in the sense used)
FANNIE Lou Hamer

That’s record-for-a-Saturday territory. In other words, this was waay outside my wheelhouse.

But I got there in the end, as the unknows were crossed fairly, so kudos to the constructors.

SouthsideJohnny 7:26 AM  

FANNIE, ELISE, LLOSA, TEDLASSO, EUGENE, BESO, APU, SEPTA, ARTURO, OVO, HUMVEE, ESTEE . . . None of which was in my (admittedly tiny) trivia wheelhouse. Not sure what the PPP count is today, but what there was seemed definitely Friday-difficult to me.

There was some genuine good cluing so I imagine this could be a smooth solve for some. I would suggest that VROOM would be a racing sound even if said only once though. ANTES/blinds just sailed right over my head - I’m guessing a poker clue ?

Unknown 7:31 AM  

The SE corner had too many proper names.

Lewis 7:35 AM  

I love it when there is much that I don’t know in a puzzle and I SOLVE IT ANYWAY! Overcoming unknowns certainly perks up my brain and gives me stuff to learn. It also makes me appreciate the art of constructors and editors, who know that certain answers will be obscure to many, and who adjust the level of the surrounding clues to ensure solvation salvation. That IS an art, make no mistake about it.

I liked seeing those five double-O’s, echoing yesterday’s oxygen theme.

I loved the layers of the clue [Meghan Markle’s “something borrowed”]. First, I recalled Meghan herself, then the phrase from which “something borrowed” came, which suggested “wedding”, which prompted “royal wedding”, and, as natural as can be, out popped TIARA.

AHUM? Ahem.

I can still hear that infectious laugh from CAR TALK. I never didn’t smile when listening to that show.

Freshness bursting at the seams in this grid, vibrancy in clue and answer, combined with discovery. I feel like I’m being sent into my day via slingshot – and that’s a great feeling. Thank you so much, SM and MS!

Son Volt 7:36 AM  

Where did my Friday go - the pithy wordplay and punchy colloquialisms? Other than a few nice entries - LOVERS QUARREL, TEAR INTO - this was trivia on steroids. Knew most of them and crosses were fair on others so it went quick but not exactly enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong - it’s a well crafted grid - just more about things you know rather than words.

I did like the Wolfe/Kerouac connection and KANGAROO POUCH - and I sure miss CAR TALK and the 455 in my brother’s white ‘72 TRANS AM. But ESTEE - her friends ELISE and ARTURO and SEPTA and NOODLE BAR and TIARA and whatever else can go suck it. I need Nancy’s wall for most of this.

the great one riffing on BIG SUR

There’s a place in the world for puzzles like this - just not a beautiful Friday morning.

Phillyrad1999 7:38 AM  

The timer on the app says it was easier than most Fridays for me but it felt like a brutal slog. Thank you for a whole boat load of names I never heard of - maybe its just me. And I have nothing against Meghan Markle - but you cannot measure with existing technology how little I care about royal weddings or royal anything for that matter. The Ted Lasso clue made me smile and was one of the few redeeming qualities about today’s puzzle.

SORRORITY SQUAT - Puhleeeaasseee!!!

Mike G 7:41 AM  

Challenging, but mainly because it seemed that every time I needed a friendly cross it was blocked by PPP that was completely outside my wheelhouse. Clues weren't much help for SARAN, FANNIE, ARTURO, SEPTA, ELISE, LLOSA, ISHTAR, or ESTEE. TED LASSO I managed to get but only because versions of it have been used in the puzzle before.

Challenging is nice but obscure is not. I probably would have hated this one if it wasn't for some of the nice acrosses (PROVOLONE, TRANS AM, BURRATA, AREA CODES, and TINY HOUSE).

Laura 7:45 AM  

Thank you for turning your genuine morning trauma into an amusing riff.

Much of the puzzle was amusing and fresh, but so many names I've never heard of! Mr. Google helped more than one answer. At least one name was worth learning, though. Llosa sounds like quite a guy.

I was ready for a laugh...sorry, Rex, that it was at your expense. Hope my cat stays health, and Lord preserve my internet!

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

Agree, hard. Lots of proper names, real and fictional.

pabloinnh 7:50 AM  

Hand up for everything everyone said already, especially concerning SORORITYSQUAT. I mean, really.

X in Spanish leads nicely to DIEZ, which fit, but then a Wuthering Heights setting would have to be a CZAR or something, so that didn't last very long.

PROVOLONE was the only cheese that made sense but it seems like the only cheesesteaks I had in Philly were topped with Cheez Whiz. Maybe I was in the wrong part of town.

Nice crunchy Friday, SM and MS. Some Misdirects and Many Smiles and I like the fact that you are palindromic. Thanks for all the fun.

Joaquin 8:06 AM  

A SORORITY SQUAT is not just a type of pose for a photo. It is also a practice exercise in case any of the sisters need to "go" in the woods. And it might come in handy if one's TINY HOUSE was really, really tiny.

My opinion: CAR TALK was the most entertaining radio show ever. Just seeing it in today's puzzle lifts my spirits. And ... "Don't drive like my brother."

Twangster 8:06 AM  

I was locked into KANGAROO PLANT, so I ended up having to google a few things to sort out that corner.

Anonymous 8:32 AM  

Had Kangaroo court before pouch

JD 8:40 AM  

Moved back to my hometown this past spring to a place culturally night and day from where I’ve lived for the past 40 years. In a place not my own that feels strange. Like this puzzle.

Sorority Squat. Why would a bunch of sorority women be in a hurry to take a picture so often that it needs a name? Are all of them squatting?

Ramen Bar. I’ve ordered it, they served it, I slurped it. No bar.

Talls. NBA-height husband wore Tees but they weren’t size Tall.

Ted Lasso. Need to find a way to see this without having to subscribe to another thing.

Shish. Head slap, now I see it. Skewered.

Did know Tiny House though, learned through YouTube. Very thoughtful use of space.

Overall, I cheer on this puzzle duo. Had to use the check function but no look ups. Learned a lot. Going to look into Arturo Schomberg.

Anonymous 8:42 AM  

Fraternity stand?

EricStratton 8:47 AM  

This one took me almost 45 minutes. An eternity and probably 10 times long than OFL. And hey, no need to take pot shots at the Greeks. I was a Theta Chi back in the day (over 40 years ago) and we were a pretty good bunch. Taught me more useful things (how to get along with others from different backgrounds, how to recruit, how to have fun but understand the boundaries that should be observed, that sort of thing). Having said that, it was probably different at a small Baptist school in the South than at SUNY Binghamton. But being a Greek was a great experience for me and, I'm guessing, for lots of others.

Conrad 8:47 AM  

Hand up for @Rex fOODcourt before NOODLEBAR. I got past that easily enough, but I nearly DNF’d at ToLLS/BURRoTA, thinking ToLLS may be marked with a T on a map or GPS. I need to study up on my Italian cheeses.

Unknown 9:00 AM  

I don't know about you curmudgeons, but SORORITYSQUAT is the high point of my morning so far.

I think the SE corner highlights that when there are a bunch of proper names all squeezed into the same corner, the difficulty factor goes way up. So I found this puzzle to be pretty easy for a Friday, until I got down to that corner and had to guess my way through it.
This puz had relatively few proper nouns, but their fiendish placement made it a real challenge.

Georgia 9:02 AM  

Click and Clack were the best!

Anonymous 9:04 AM  

@Joaquin I miss CAR TALK to this day, and thanks for "Don't drive like my brothuh." That profound New England accent...

Without the problems plaguging Rex, I too felt out of sorts with the slant of this puzzle. Example: Since when do tee shirts come in TALL sizes? They don't. XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, etc.

I'd never heard the term SORORITY SQUAT until today. And wish I hadn't. That is one ugly mental image.

Anonymous 9:16 AM  

On the easy side for me; a bit over 10 minutes.
Thought it was LHOSA not LLOSA (must have been thinking of LHASA).
Also had SORORITYSQUAD until I realized the down clue was TEDLASSO.
Was sure SORORITYSQUAT must be wrong,

Anonymous 9:38 AM  

Agree with Eric. For small town girl at UCONN, years ago, the intro to persons and institutions which become life long friends and connections. Never heard of that squat stud!

Anonymous 9:39 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rube 9:40 AM  

You are right. Maybe ohio is the home of aviation but for sure, Philadelphia is the home of cheesesteaks, and there are exctly 2 cheese type choices. Cheese wiz or Velveeta. Maybe they make em with provolone in the south of italy

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

What on Earth is wrong with the term virgin?

Anonymous 9:44 AM  

starting 1a off with some bible quote is not a good way to begin a puzzle

Anonymous 9:45 AM  

Just wanted to chime in and say that SORORITY SQUAT is not something the constructors just made up. It might not be familiar to anyone other than millennials, but it is very much A Thing.

Now, whether a crossword answer that’s just familiar for a single generation is acceptable is a question I can’t answer. (But we must remember that millennials are no longer college kids, but people in their 30s and 40s with kids and mortgages and whatever else makes you old enough for your slang to be valid crossword fare.)

I will depart from my soapbox now; thank you for your time.

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

Will some from 'Our Fair City' report on the window in Harvard Square? Used to say (sp?) Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.

Liveprof 9:46 AM  

Man cannot live by provolone.

Nancy 9:47 AM  

I didn't throw this against my wall until very late in the solving, or rather non-solving, process. But throw it, I did. SPLAT!!! Or should I say SQUAT?

That damnable SE corner!!!

What is a SORORITY SQUAT? What is BESO and why does it = X? (I had PESO, which makes no damn sense either.) What TV character loves the smell of a locker room? (It sure didn't help that I had ENE instead of IDE for the chemical suffix.) I thought I knew all the Italian cheeses which, btw, all seem to begin with a "P" not a "B". As mine did here (pESO instead of BESO). Also I had ETHEL for the "Hamilton" person's middle name (we're really supposed to know that??!!); and LAP for "gobble up", giving me SNIP for the "impertinent sort".

Oh, and what are TALLS? A clothing size? I had TATAS for the "T"s, which I assumed to be the kind of text-speak shorthand often seen here.

Don't ask. Meanwhile, I can't spend another moment on this because I have a painter/plasterer I need to call.

RooMonster 9:51 AM  

Hey All !
Had SORORITY SQUAd, which led to dEtLASSO (as in detective, thinking it was some cop drama thing, also because of TV abbr. in the clue), as ITE is an actual answer for 45A. Thought I knew my chesses, but BURRATA was a new one on me. Had pESO for BESO (figuring X as a symbol for a monetary unit), no idea what BESO is. And TALLS?? Explain please, so I feel further like an imbecile. So a big ole DNF

SORORITY SQUAT has my inner 15 year old snickering. I'm sure that's been a porno title at one time.

HUMmer-HUMVEE. It started as a military vehicle, initials are HMMV, which stands for High Mobility Multi-purpose Vehicle. Pronounced like HUMVEE, but us lazy speakers changed it to HUMMER, and when they came out with the civilian version, called it thusly.

Wanted something about tire rubber for the Ohio clue for AVIATION. GOODYEAR fit. 😁

TINY HOUSE clue seems off. Get rid of movement, maybe? Didn't know it was a movement, just thought it was basically a fad.


Two ROO's today. KANGAROO, VROOM. My ROO is actually for ROOSTER, which a friend changed to RooMonster. And that's my entire history. Har.

yd -15 (egad), should'ves (only) 5

Two F's

gdaddywinz 9:53 AM  

Natickville in the SE.

Zed 9:53 AM  

@Everyone - Go to Google and search for SORORITY SQUAT and click on “images.” You will recognize the SORORITY SQUAT immediately. The only thing surprising is that I just learned this thing has a term for it, but it is an absolutely perfect term for this behavior/pose. And it’s clearly a SORORITY thing. If it’s a fraternity picture nobody is squatting. Nor are we going to find it in many wedding albums.

PPP - 24 out of 70 for 34%. I did not include “Brazilian’s place” in my count but that’s a close shave. Anyway, this is high in PPP so maybe save the TIARA, DUO, AVIATION, MOOR, and OVO clues for a different puzzle and get the puzzle to the more typical and less divisive 27% PPP (that’s Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns).

Why does a clue like “Marsupium, by another name” trick people into rants like Rex’? The clue is not saying that all marsupiums are KANGAROO POUCHes. “An example of a marsupium” might be more precise, but do we really want such dull and simplifying clues?

@Albatross Shell really late yesterday- Fair.

BTW - Lots of outhouse stuff for me too and it still was a normal/average Friday solve. OVO was tough and I had HUMmEr before HUMVEE, LhaSA before LLOSA, and Aleve before ADVIL, so it was PPP that gave me problems but nothing insurmountable or unusually high in precious nanosecond wasting. Given that I thought the puzzle fair and fun and my only request would be to eliminate the unnecessary PPP clues.

Liveprof 10:09 AM  

One of my favorite Car Talk exchanges:

The caller described problems he is having with a real old junk heap of a car.

Ray: With a car like that, you must be a student.

Tom: Or worse -- a professor!

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

Thought this was too easy for a Friday. Ran right through it. Surprised to see Rex have it as challenging.

Beezer 10:18 AM  

The fact that I was done with this puzzle in 20 minutes is deceiving because I actually thought it was unbelievably easy EXCEPT for the entire SE quadrant. In the upper half of the puzzle my only misstep was IVdrip before IVLINE. Even though I sussed out LOVERSQUARREL early I was hampered by things like BURRATA (new cheese to me), not knowing SEPTA, but most importantly the fact that I confidently plopped in LORCA rather than LLOSA. I’m familiar with both but mix them up for some reason. Anyhoo, (@Zed, if I bastardize a word I go “all in”) I threw up my hands and cheated to correct my LORCA/LLOSA screw up which enabled me to figure out everything else. Man, I can be SO stubborn when I think I’m right on an answer.

@JD…good luck on finding another way to watch TEDLASSO. Others might disagree but it is the one APPLE+ offering that makes it worthwhile to subscribe. You could do what I do and watch all the episodes, then cancel. Yeah, that’s a pain but it is worth it to me. Also. You have to watch a few episodes before you pronounce judgment on it because it takes time to realize Ted isn’t a buffoon.

RDuke 10:20 AM  

Look in any men’s clothing catalog and you’ll see options for shirt sizes like “XL tall”. It just means they’ve added a little extra length all around.

BESO means kiss, which can be symbolized by an X (think “hugs and kisses” OOXXOOXX).

Perry 10:20 AM  

You're right. That was unusually difficult for a Friday. Lots of proper names and and obscure slangy terms.

What the...? 10:23 AM  

T shirts absolutely do come in talls. I have to buy them for my sons. Beso is the Spanish word for “kiss”.

Carola 10:24 AM  

A two-part difficulty rating from me: top half = easy-medium; bottom half = tough. For the entertainment rating: top to bottom fun to figure out, from seeing KANGAROO POUCH and LOVERS' QUARREL come into focus to unraveling tricky clues to smiling at CRITTERS and VROOM.

Help from previous puzzles: APU. Do-over: guessing the chemical suffix was ?Ne. No idea: SORORITY SQUAT, EUGENE, ELISA. Hardest for me to parse: ?CUSER. Lucky to know one example in the category of Mesopotamian goddesses: ISHTAR.

burtonkd 10:27 AM  

ARThur Schomburg is the name of the museum in Harlem

LLOSA under ELISE crossing a TV character was rough. Middle name of a Broadway actress, really?? SORORITYSQUAd prevented me from TEDLASSO, which I do know and enjoyed (especially season 1).

BURRATA is on the menu of a Spanish restaurant I frequent, so that took a while to come into view.

Jeep successor clue seems slightly off. Civilian versions not made by same company and I would think they are both in use in the military. Humvee more a cousin than progeny.

I've seen exhibits of houses made from shipping containers, or single rooms built to contain everything one needs. I think an RV would count on square footage, but not in spirit of the TINYHOUSE movement.

@Nancy and Roo - BESO is a kiss. X=kiss, O=hug. Fun clue (if you get it), horrible if not...

Diane Joan 10:30 AM  

My brother joined a fraternity and it didn’t turn out well for his college grades. So my parents sent me to an all women’s college (in the same university oddly enough) that prohibited sororities. Hence I’ve never heard of a “sorority squat”!?! However the crosses were fine and I was able figure it out. Thanks to my dear parents I never had to witness nor be a part of that ritual!

I’m sorry your cat is under the weather Rex. I can’t even give the family dog a pill, never mind a shot!

Anonymous 10:32 AM  

Beso is the Spanish word for kiss which is often represented as an X in English.

GILL I. 10:37 AM  

I was enjoying the puzzle until I didn't. I felt I needed a nap or two...maybe get stimulated. I did and I didn't.
Did anyone else think TED TALK at 49A? I was giddy with joy when LOVERS QUARREL at 16D called me by name, but that meant that TED had to take a powder. He did (eventually)
There seemed to be an awful lot of names. I didn't know FANNIE Hamer and if I had, I would've told her (politely) that she might change her name. I don't know this TED LLASSO dude nor why he enjoys smelling lockers. I lived outside of Philadelphia and I've eaten lots of cheesesteaks and they all had yellow cheddar on them. My first cheat was SEPTA, which needs a tank. I always biked or rode a rickety train.
My second cheat was ELISE. You see, I had to look up these two name because I just couldn't seem to understand my surroundings. (sigh)...
But I did finish and was pleased as a cow after being milked. I even got SORORITY SQUAT!
Now tell me this: is AHUM really a word?

burtonkd 10:38 AM  

@Zed: inre "close shave" - good one, "dad":)

Didn't know SQUAT, but I can totally visualize the photo.

VROOM is rather triggering, bc NYC is full of jerks who have their car altered to be extra loud and drive around at 3am revving at every light or stop sign. See also, illegal dirtbikers in huge packs running reds and going on sidewalks - urban fraternities, perhaps?

Sorry about the cat troubles, Rex. Hang in there, like the poster says...

Linda R 10:57 AM  

Rex: Instructions someone sent me on giving medicine to a cat...

How to give a cat a pill:

1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered ornaments from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9. Check the label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink beer to take taste away. Apply band-aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Drink another beer then get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Drink large tumbler of whisky to take away pain. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus jab. Throw Tee shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Ring fire brigade to retrieve the bloody cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.

13. Tie the little ^%@)_+*^!$@()% front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed, pry cat's mouth open with small spanner.

Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour a pint of water down throat to wash pill down.

14. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call at furniture shop on way home to order new table. Arrange for RSPCA to collect cat and ring local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

How to give a dog a pill:

1. Wrap pill in bacon and toss it in the air.

Peter P 11:05 AM  

Maybe it's because I'm a photographer, but SORORITY SQUAT is definitely a thing. When I get a semi-causual group photo going and need some folks to squeeze in a little bit more, I ask for a sorority squat and everyone knows what I'm talking about. (I'm Gen X, photographing typically groups of Millennials or Gen Zs). I first heard this term maybe around 15 years ago. I am not affiliated with the Greek system in any way.

Anyhow, that answer made me smile, partly because it was a gimme, and partly because of the nice surprise to see it in the New York Times Crossword.

This finished on the easy side of a Friday for me. Enjoyable puzzle.

bocamp 11:08 AM  

Thx, Sophia & Margaret; what a refreshing challenge for a Fri. puz! :)

Very tough.

A work in progress. I think I've got it except for the BURR_TA / L_OSA / T__L / E_ISE crosses. Maybe something will twig during the course of the day.

Nowhere near the constructors' wavelength on this.

Love the chance to learn some new stuff, e.g., NOODLE BAR, PROVOLONE, ARTURO, SHISH, SEPTA, CAR TALK, 'Brazilian' SPA, EUGENE Gant, 'Marsupium', ISHTAR, FANNIE 'Lou Hamer'.

Liking this adventure very much! :)
yd 0 (final word) / 35

Peace πŸ™ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Beezer 11:09 AM  

@Zed, thanks for the tip to Google SORORITYSQUAT but it made me a little sad. So much emphasis on well, I’d say “appearance” but maybe it’s “emphasis on emphasizing.” The search also led me to “the skinny arm” pose. Good grief! I think this stems from digital photography, that is, you can take a hundred photos and delete most of them until you get the perfect pose. I’m sure I was just as vain and shallow back in the day but the cost of film and developing precluded too much preoccupation with this type of thing. I’m very thankful for that because “one size, fits all” poses really don’t exist.

mathgent 11:13 AM  

Philly cheesesteak made with Velveeta. Cheap meat made with cheap cheese. No thanks.

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

Felt easy for a Friday - but then again, I’m a millennial woman like the constructors :) I know there are members of this community who get incensed by this sentiment, but it really does feel obvious when a puzzle has been created by someone who’s not a middle aged white dude.

Whatsername 11:15 AM  

Had lots of fun with this. Some wonderful entries, SORORITY SQUAT being my favorite, and great clues as in TRANS AM, SPA, AREA CODES. A few propers I had to look up but nothing painful. Just in general a pretty fantastic Friday. Thank you ladies, job well done.

Never been to a NOODLE BAR but if slurping is allowed, it sounds like a place I’d like. And anyone who knows me knows I love CRITTERS and have a house full of them.

Settling in for a long hot weekend and unfortunately doing so with Covid after testing positive yesterday. So far it’s like a bad cold thanks to two vaccines and a booster. Hoping for the best. They say it will eventually become endemic, basically meaning everybody will have had it at some point in time. And if I, who’s lived like a hermit for the last two years and still wearing my N-95 mask in public can still get it, I guess it’s just about unavoidable.

Peter P 11:17 AM  

@Rube re: Philly Steaks - No, that's not true. Provolone is offered at most cheesesteak places. Pat's gives you the option of provolone, white American, or Whiz. Jim's also offers all three. Geno's, too. Tony Luke's. Dallesandro's. etc. I can't even think of one that offers Velveeta.

While Whiz is perhaps best known, provolone may possibly be even more popular among the locals. Whenever I've been recc'ed a cheesesteak place in Philly by a local, it's always been with the caveat to order it with provolone.

Paranoid Aykroyd 11:22 AM  

If you went to college in the previous decade you absolutely know the SORORITY SQUAT. I was delighted to see it, although it actually kind of feels like it might already be dated. Like it missed its NYTXW window entirely.

Unknown 11:23 AM  

@Linda R - hilarious, thanks for taking the time to enlighten us.

Hack mechanic 11:28 AM  

Highly recommend "Dream of the Celt" to anyone who hasn't read any Llosa. That such a complex story of English and Irish history be written by a Peruvian is completely astonishing , no wonder he got the Nobel for literature. That answer was also about as far as I got in the SE corner!

Anonymous 11:30 AM  

I gave up. Went with SORORITY SQUAd and was thinking the locker room potential sniffer was a woman, so I was never gonna see TED LASSO. And chemical suffix is a jealous on steroids.

As for the marsupium, I was looking for a species; seriously considered PerCH and even PeaCH before I figured out BIG SUR.



Anonymous 11:30 AM  

Did good except for some in SE.
Have no idea what SORORITY SQUAT is or why I got it. Anyway I’m having lots of fun imagining it.

Anonymous 11:34 AM  

I grew up outside Philadelphia, so SEPTA was a breeze for me, but there is no way that should be in any puzzle outside of Saturday. (It stands for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.) I think people have heard of BART who've never lived in San Francisco. SEPTA isn't like that.

SORORITY SQUAT is one of those things that has a name but is kind of niche and kind of doesn't need a name. It certainly doesn't need to be immortalized in an NYT crossword IMO. I feel like I lost some brain cells filling that one in.

D’Qwellner 11:43 AM  

I will give you that wiz and velveeta are common. But for four years in college at Penn, my go to 2AM drunk cheesesteak joint was Geno’s and my order was always “mushroom, provolone, wid”. That’s it - say no more. PS: if you don’t know what WID is, then no wonder you have trouble getting around the wiz/velveeta conundrum. Cheers!

D’Qwellner 11:44 AM  

Besos y abrazos. Hugs and kisses. XOXO

jae 11:48 AM  

Medium. I solved this one while rewatching the first few episodes of TED LASSO episodes with some very old friends who are here for a couple of days. So....delightful puzzle, liked it a bunch!

SORORITY SQUAT, ARTURO, FANNIE, ELISE, EUGENE, and OVO were WOEs. Plus I couldn’t decide between IV tube and drip because the crosses were giving me nothing...hence medium.

Tom T 11:49 AM  

Breezed thru the first three quarters of this in what seemed destined to be record Friday time, only to arrive at that SE corner that others have noted. To say it slowed me down would be ... quite the understatement. Didn't know LLOSA or ELISE.

The bigger problem came with my inability to "Say cheese" with the girls in their SQUAT. I had quickly typed in PROVeLONE as I raced thru the top of the grid. That should have been easily noticed because of the LOVERS QUARREL cross--except I couldn't get anything going in the SE and I had LeVER, which convinced me for way too long that the Reason for a breakup had something to do with LeVERage. Yikes.

Anyway, I finally realized BESO was a kiss (XoXoXo) which gave me the second cheese and I ended the long battle with the thrill of victory.

Not a fan of AHUM. Abuzz, maybe, like that queen bee, but not AHUM.

Don't want to know who won - just tell me, how many did the Dr. have ? 11:49 AM  

A truly authentic Philly (from Pat's for example) uses fresh bread, RIB EYE steak, and the choice of cheeses are Provolone, American or Kraft Cheese Whiz. Interesting to see some opine with such certainty on a topic about which they are obviously factually-challenged (that happens here on a daily basis though).

Anonymous 11:54 AM  

Peter P.,
You're right about Velveeta but on thin ice regarding provolone being more popular. I lived a block of the Italian market for years; whiz with was the standard at Pat's and Geno's. By a large margin. I recommended Dalessandro's to Joe Dipinto a while back, but I'm wondering whether I did him right. The steak is first-rate but the fact that they don't serve fries has always niggled. My last bit of apostasy: the best cheesesteak in the Delaware Valley is in New jersey. Cherry hill of all places. Chick's is better than all the places mentioned so far, and better than Steve Oliveri's Prince of Steaks, or Campos or even Angelo's ( the best steak in Philly proper--at the top of teh Italian Market)

bocamp 12:01 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sgreennyc 12:09 PM  

Rex’s increasingly subjective and inane observations have become so tiresome that I will now just read the comments, which are far more interesting and constructive.

Gary Jugert 12:09 PM  

OK, so, I did as @Zed suggested and asked Uncle G to show me what SORORITY SQUAT is visually, knowing full well the perils one faces when typing any sorority-related term into the internet especially when followed by "images" and yup its a thing. So I just asked my former-sorority-president wife (she's not what you imagine on hearing that term) if she knew what a SORORITY SQUAT is and she said "no," so I stood up and demonstrated gushing a (we're the privileged elite) smile, and she said, "Oh yeah, I know that. We always did that."

bocamp 12:11 PM  


πŸ™ for kitty. :)


Finally twigged that 'T for tees' might indicate TALL t-shirts, so the SE fell into place nicely. :)
td pg -2 (w/ 15 pts to go)

Peace πŸ™ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Gary Jugert 12:16 PM  

@Whatsername Hope you improve quickly. I tested positive for 14 days, but only had major cold symptoms for the first three. The vaccines did their job. Now if the sinking fatigue would go away....

sixtyni yogini 12:18 PM  

Aaaah the energy in the air this morning! I Cats and all else, I get it, Rex. Some of us can add SCOTUS decision to the list of disasters today. ( And I wrote off Handmaid’s Tale as fantasy torture porn … sigh)

As for the 🧩. IMHO easy except for all the first, middle, and last names of people. One in each corne.. Fannie, Eugene, Ted, and Arturo. Even with crosses - mostly no idea 🀷‍♀️

Otherwise, some interesting answers, phrases.
May all be well.

Masked and Anonymous 12:20 PM  

U can not imagine M&A's utter amazement, when he saw that SORORITYSQUAT was a debut entry. Not somethin I was familiar with, but it sure conjures up a variety of strange images. Seed entry?

Other no-knows: BURRATA (also a debut). FANNIE. ELISE. ARTURO. LLOSA. ISHTAR. EUGENE. Needless to say, lost a spare precious nanosecond here and there, gettin to know all them nice folks and cheeses.

faves: CRITTERS [almost includin the ultra-rare LOVER SQUIRREL!]. TIARA clue. PROVOLONE (spellin challenge). TRANSAM clue. STINGER clue. SHISH. KANGAROOPOUCH.
best Ow de Speration: IVLINE.

staff weeject pick: A fairly respectable groupin of 12, today. Will go with APU.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Mlles. Maymudes & Seikel darlins. AHUM-dinger of themeless stuff, SENORAs.

Masked & Anonym007Us


Beezer 12:29 PM  

@Linda R….Hilarious!! And true! I will say that my dog is an expert at somehow eating the bacon or other goodie yet somehow working the pill over to the side. So, my technique is to crush up the pill and sprinkle it over a dollop of canned white chicken! Hey! That might work for a kitty too! But, did @Rex say he was giving his kitty a shot? Lordy!

@Nancy, you know I’m figuring that your paint and plaster project results from some hard newspaper wallops, right? 🀣

Peter P 12:31 PM  

@Anonymous 11:54 -- I did not say provolone WAS more popular -- I did specifically say "may possibly be even more popular with the locals." I haven't conducted a formal survey. The point of the statement was that it is popular in Philly, as a counterpoint to the poster that said that perhaps they put provolone on cheesesteaks in Italy, as if provolone on cheesesteaks in Philadelphia was unheard of. We can agree that Velveeta is odd.

At any rate, this 2008 Philadephia Inquirer poll actually did find provolone #1,with 1079 votes to American's 991, after Cheez Whiz was eliminated in the first poll.

Decisive? Scientific? Not really. But at the very least shows that provolone is quite popular with the locals, and one need not take a trip to Italy to get it on a sandwich.

Whatsername 12:34 PM  

@Linda (10:57) I’ve seen several versions of that but yours is a good one. And by the way I read it with an 8 pound tuxedo curled up on my lap, the same tuxedo who had just knocked over a full glass of pineapple juice sitting on the coffee table. πŸ™„ And I wasn’t even trying to give her a pill. 🀣

GILL I. 12:46 PM  

@mathgent 11:13...There are a ton of places in and around Philly that make some bodacious cheesesteak sandwiches.
I use to go to Tony Lukes many moons ago and theirs was my favorite: Italian roll, Ribeye steak, fried onions and you could ask for any kind of cheese you wanted EXCEPT Swiss. I don't like Cheese Wiz or whatever it's called, so I get mine with American. It's really all about the bread and the steak!
OK...speaking of cheese: BURRATA is really quite delicious. It's made with mozzarella and cream. I use it on a sweet potato soup or with on a rye bruschetta with some finely sliced yellow and red Constellation small tomatoes. It's delicious!
Your food for thought?

Anonymous 1:06 PM  

I am definitely getting the sense that some people upset about this clue are operating under the assumption that if *they* don't know about it, then it can't possibly be a well-defined or ubiquitous concept. It was honestly the first entry I filled, and (having gone to a college without Greek life at all, where I overlapped with one of today's constructors) I can pretty confidently say that having a sorority affiliation is not necessary to think this.

Suzy 1:08 PM  

@ Linda 10:47-- thank you for your suggestions! Anyone who has tried to dose a cat will
Laugh, but know that every word rings true! I've been bemoaning just about the worst news
the morning headlines could bring, and you gave me a much-needed belly laugh!

Thanks ro the constructors of today's puzzle-- it was definitely challenging, but well-clued and
I learned a new term which hope never to hear again!

Anonymous 1:10 PM  


I know. I'm telling you that whiz is more popular.
Don't bother thanking me for hipping you to Chick's.

Anonymous 1:21 PM  

Swiss is indeed verboten. When he was running for President John Kerry made the unforgiveable mistake of ordering his steak with Swiss. deservedly, he was the object of much derision. Just an awful job by his staff.
Compare his prep with Mick Jagger's--yeah THAT Mick Jagger. At a recent concert in Philly he explained that he was almost late to the show because He "had stopped at Wawa for a hoagie.... Charlie (Watts) wanted to go to Sheetz."
As you can imagine the crowd went wild. Not only had he name checked a beloved institution-- Wawa--but simultaneously gently put down its competition--Sheetz--which many in and around Philly look down on as an interloper. That the Stones are better informed than a Presidential candidate doesn't tell you everything there is about American politics, but it tells you all you need to know.


Don't care for Tony Luke's rolls, which as you rightly note, are critical. For my money the best roll in the Delaware Valley is the one teh White House uses. They come from a bakery across the street form the shop--Formica Bakery. If anyone wants to say The White House has the best Cheesesteak-- especially their cheesesteak hoagie--I won't argue it.

GILL I. 2:06 PM  

@Whatsername 11:15...good gravy, girl. You STILL got Covid? I still wear my mask everywhere and, like you, have had my two shots and boosters. I'm not scared of getting it but if I gave it to my husband, it would probably mean a trip to the hospital......Hope you get well soon.

@Anony 1:21 EEK. John Kerry asked for Swiss? I can actually forgive him and I would ask him over to my house for a "Cubano" slathered with the best slow cooked pork south of Havana. After all...he really is known for being an anti war activist and that cooks well with me.

Anonymous 2:27 PM  

Not sure I'd call the guy who swanned around in striped trousers As Sec of State an anti war activist, but in Philly Kerry's, Swiss cheese order isn't just well known, it's been enshrined in the most notable moments in cheesesteak history.

Teedmn 2:27 PM  

I'm surprised people haven't run into the TINY HOUSE movement. It was all over the news for a while and has been suggested as a solution for homelessness. My nephew was fascinated with the idea, so of course when he got married and bought a house, it was two stories with a finished basement.

On the other hand, I know doodley-squat about SORORITY SQUAT. I had SQUAd in place first but I know just enough about TV shows to recognize TED LASSO's name.

I mixed up EUGENE Gant briefly with Elmer Gantry (who didn't fit) and I wanted the maid of honor to be the BFF.

Thanks, Sophia and Margaret!

Anonymous 2:35 PM  

My last comment ( word of honor) on cheesesteaks The Philadelphia magazine article notes a Penn basketball game and Fran Dunphy's response regarding free cheesesteaks.
I love Fran Dunphy but he was dead wrong. A free steak, especially one from Abner's ( they were the establishment with the 100 point promotion) is lawys welcome. Even more so when you're a student with barely two nickels to rub together. Also, to my knowledge, Abners was (is) the only place in Philly that served waffle cut fries with their steaks.

Hoorah for the Red and the Blue

Jersey Shore Rocks 2:39 PM  

@1:21 The White House in Atlantic City? What a story/institution that place is and has been for probably 75+ years now. The bread, cold cuts, olive oil and basically every other ingredient they use is of the highest quality. Convenient to grab a drink at the nearby saloon on the corner as well.

@2:06 It may be a little too strong to characterize John Kerry has an anti war activist. He bravely demonstrated against and voiced is staunch objection to the U.S. presence in Vietnam. When he was running for president he gave no indication that as commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces he would hesitate to use military force if in his judgement it was warranted. It would be interesting to hear how he would describe himself in that regard sometime.

Anonymous 2:59 PM  

Don’t drive like MY brother!

Anonymous 3:34 PM  

@Linda I'm still laughingπŸ˜†
Thanks for the memories!!!!

lodsf 3:45 PM  

Can anyone clue me in re. 26A - “Alternative to blinds “ - ANTES? Still don’t get that one.

Here in the stratospheric-real estate priced California Bay Area the TINY HOUSE movement is definitely a thing. One sees coverage on it in various newspapers, periodicals (think “Sunset” magazine), local news shows, etc. on a regular basis. Got that one off OUS. (Rest of the puzzle not so easy!)

Nancy 3:47 PM  

Beezer -- Yup.

Anonymous 3:49 PM  


Anonymous 4:03 PM  

@iodsf they are both poker terms for different types of bets.

bocamp 4:15 PM  

@lodsf (3:45 PM)

"Antes are similar to the blinds in that they are forced bets placed before the start of each hand. Antes are more common in tournament poker, but some cash games have antes in play, too." ((pokernews)
Peace πŸ™ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

johnk 4:16 PM  

Fairly Friday easy until the SE. I had LOVERS TRIANGLE, so...
And to bottom it out, I've never heard of TED LASSO or Renee ELISE.
When I was a collitch idiot, I would have loved to see a SORORITY SQUAT, but Antioch had no greekness. Just as well.

JD 4:16 PM  

@Linda R Where have you been all this time! Hilarious.

@Beezer, Thanks. Eventually I'll break. It's inevitable.

Anonymous 4:28 PM  


poker (Texas hold'em at least) terms. ante is the initial bet. blinds are how the antes change.

GILL I. 4:40 PM  

@Linda R....Another good gravy.....Funniest post in a long while. Pull up a chair and join us. We need your sense of humor....

Anonymous 4:51 PM  

This is late to the conversation but I just wanted to add that “provolone” would not be an acceptable topping for a true Philadelphia cheesesteak . As best I recall, it is “whiz” (as in cheese whiz)

Anonymous 5:16 PM  

@Mouse 4:51PM, you may want to take a peek at the 11:49AM post on the topic.

Anoa Bob 5:50 PM  

Another vote here for CAR TALK being a great call-in radio show. I listened to it regularly. The brothers were spontaneously witty, zany even, but never took themselves too seriously. Plus they had legitimate expertise and gave good advice to the majority of their callers. But they even had a regular segment called "Stump the Chump" where a previous caller would call back and say that their advice had been wrong! Always got some good laughs out of those.

I once made a puzzle with CAR TALK as the reveal. The reveal clue had "Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers" in it. The themers had common CAR parts used in non CAR part ways. No one picked it up. Sigh.

One of the goals in my stretching routine to be able to do a primal SQUAT, one where you sit down on you calves and heels while staying flat footed (haven't got there yet), so my disbelief at seeing SORORITY SQUAT changed into an unflattering image of a group of sorority sisters all doing primal SQUATs.

Anonymous 6:07 PM  

Shockingly solved easily who could imagine

Anonymous 6:22 PM  

OVO is meant to look like an owl -- with two beady eyes and one sharp beak

Anonymous 7:21 PM  

Agreed! It’s a commonly said phrase and one of the first clues I got on this puzzle!

CDilly52 8:22 PM  

Oh @Tex! So sorry about the kitty!! Cats and meds are always challenging and that third hand would indeed be helpful. Whenever I have to medicate my cat Pip, I am way more traumatized than she. Once it’s over and the “tuna treat” takes the bad taste away, she’s fine and I am practically in tears. I can say with certainty that a product called Tiki Sticks Wet Treats by Tiki Cat really help. They are gravy consistency thin envelopes of grain free protein that are like kitty crack. I can even mix some meds with tuna or scallop flavors and she knows its not quite right but will eat it anyway. When it had to be nasty ned and then treat the resistance is of less magnitude and duration.

This puzzle was painful. AHUM by far the worst of the “A+Verb” crosswordese pieces of crap ever. That plus the rest if the names and awful clues . . . just no thank you. One really decent clue: alternative to blinds. Halfway decent clue: successor to Jeeps. This is the first thoroughly unenjoyable solve in as long as I can remember. Apologues for my crankiness.

lodsf 9:04 PM  


Kimberly 9:30 PM  

“Go ape” was 1950s teen speak and the only place it’s been in use since is in crossword puzzles. And yet it’s clued as if it’s a normal phrase in common usage. It’s time for it to go away or get clued as 70 year old slang.

LateSolver 9:43 PM  

Once again, a Friday filled with PPP and foreign words/places. Author actor setting, the name of public transport for a city I don't go to? The MIDDLE f$%*ing name of a Broadway actor! - I couldn't guess their first OR last name, let alone their freaking MIDDLE name! Heck, I have to think twice about my own kids' middle names, let alone an actor in a play!! Heavy PPP days I get so weary so fast that I give up after the third or fourth actor/author/book trivia and just read the solution for education (and irritation).

LateSolver 9:57 PM  

And anyone that would know the Philadelphia mass transit name would also know that a cheesesteak topping is Cheez Whiz and not PROVOLONE

Zed 10:24 PM  

I’ve never had a Philly Cheesesteak in Philly, so can’t speak to what is authentic. However, everywhere I have had something called a “philly cheesesteak” the cheese is almost always provolone, occasionally some other option is offered. I don’t think I’ve ever had one with any sort of cheese sauce or seen the option on the menu. The place I had lunch today uses mozzarella. I’ve never noticed that one anywhere before. My personal favorite isn’t called a Philly Cheesesteak, but a Mac Daddy; steak, grilled green pepper and onions, provolone, and bacon.

@Beezer - Sad? Not a reaction I expected.

@Kimberly - It looks like GO APE is used more now than in 1950.

Otter 12:49 AM  

This was a Slumdog Millionaire type of puzzle for me. Fastest Friday I’ve ever had, and I doubt I’ll get a faster one anytime soon. Many of the clues played to my generation and my location (millennial who grew up in a Philly suburb). Another bunch of clues were for things that I had very specific random memories of. There was also a ton of PPP I didn’t know, but I didn’t run into issues with them because of all the crosses I was able to get. My slowest part was going back and forth between IVLINE or IVtubE.
All in all, a huge success of a Friday for me. I’ll be riding that high for a while.

Photomatte 9:57 AM  

Great puzzle. The constructors must be from Philly: they didn't say "Philly cheesesteak" for the food item known as a cheesesteak. Are there any other kinds? That's like saying "Let's go get some Japanese sushi." Speaking of Nihinyoori (Japanese food), I lived in Tokyo a long time and never heard of a NOODLE BAR. Noodle shop, yes. Ramen shop, yes. Noodle bar? No. Oh, one other shoutout to Philly for the SEPTA clue. I rode SEPTA every day going to school. I can still recall the smell ... πŸ˜€

Anonymous 2:23 PM  

Grateful for Fannie Lou Hamer!

Anonymous 9:59 PM  

wholeheartedly agree! i loved binking sorority squat immediately. absolutely delightful. these old coots in the comments need to get with the times, or at least do a cursory google search before they fire up the complain machine.

thefogman 11:23 AM  

Challenging. Medium if you got TEDLASSO, but I didn’t until the very end via the crosses which were all really tough to get in that corner. Not everyone has Apple TV so the editorial decision to make TEDLASSO the spine where so many Naticky words crossed was a bad one. BESO (because of the cutesy cluing), BURRATA, ELISE LLOSA, HUMVEE and what’s a SORORITYSQUAT? I had SORORITYSQUAd for ages until the light clicked on for TEDLASSO. All I can say is EEK! No MOOR PPP please!

Burma Shave 12:13 PM  


she ACTS like a FREAK,
IDE TALK of a mouse


rondo 12:21 PM  

A SORORITYSQUAT sounds like it could have something to do INPART with FANNIE. VROOM VROOM, rev up that TRANSAM. Ms. TATE, there’s a TEAT in the corners.
Two consecutive wordle birdies. FREAK out, GOAPE.

Diana, LIW 2:34 PM  

CARTALK! Oh I do miss that show - I can hear the laughter now.

Never heard of a SORORITYSQUAT. Wanted a D. (did everyone else?)

And BURRATA cheese - gonna go get some.

Loved TRANSAM as an answer for that clue.

Now remember, don't drive like my brother.

Diana, LIW

Anonymous 4:23 PM  

They have come in tall sizes, since like forever! Almost all my tee shirts are either XLT or 2XLT. And it's right on the label, plus I'm wearing one right now!

spacecraft 7:47 PM  

DNF. You had me at BURRATA.

spacecraft 7:50 PM  

I'm not even gonna talk about SORORITYSQUAT. A most disturbing visual.

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