Southern cornmeal dish / FRI 6-17-22 / 1987 Lionel Richie hit / Whose work may be all play / Comic who said I'm not addicted to cocaine I just like the way it smells / Popular poster

Friday, June 17, 2022

Constructor: Pao Roy

Relative difficulty: Easy (maybe Easy-Medium)

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: PALADINS (10D: Heroic knights) —

\The Paladins (or Twelve Peers) are twelve fictional knights of legend, the foremost members of Charlemagne's court in the 8th century. They first appear in the medieval (12th century) chanson de geste cycle of the Matter of France, where they play a similar role to the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian romance. In these romantic portrayals, the chivalric paladins represent Christianity against a Saracen (Muslim) invasion of Europe. The names of the paladins vary between sources, but there are always twelve of them (a number with Christian associations) led by Roland (spelled Orlando in later Italian sources). The paladins' most influential appearance is in The Song of Roland, written between 1050 and 1115, which narrates the heroic death of Roland at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass.

The legend is based on the historical Umayyad invasion of Gaul and subsequent conflict in the Marca Hispanica between the Frankish Empire and the Emirate of Córdoba. The term paladinis from Old French, deriving from the Latin comes palatinus (count palatine), a title given to close retainers.

The paladins remained a popular subject throughout medieval French literature. Literature of the Italian Renaissance (15th and 16th centuries) introduced more fantasy elements into the legend, which later became a popular subject for operas in the Baroque music of the 16th and 17th centuries. During the 19th and early 20th centuries the term was reused outside fiction for small numbers of close military confidants serving national leaders. Modern depictions of paladins are often an individual knight-errant holy warrior or combat healer, influenced by the paladin character class that appeared in Dungeons & Dragons in 1975. (wikipedia)

• • •

: I loved this one. ON A SIDE NOTE: I did not love ON A SIDE NOTE. The more I look at it, the more plausible it seems, sadly (for me), but as I was solving, that was the one answer I had the most trouble parsing. I was trying to parse it from its opening letters, and that's the problem: the opening letters feel extraneous. If I use that phrase, or hear that phrase, I feel like it just comes in the form, "SIDE NOTE ..." The "ON A" was ??? and then even after I had NOTE I didn't really get it. Mr. DEEDS to the rescue there, for sure (34D: Mr. of film). I have three frowny faces written in the margin of my puzzle next to ON A (!) SIDE NOTE. Most of the rest of the margins are filled with "good"s and asterisks and "!!!" and smiley faces. Oh, looks like I have an arrow pointing from the frowny faces to SOU ... but SOU (extremely old-school crosswordese) is extremely tolerable when it's not part of a crosswordese avalanche and is being used deliberately and strategically to hold larger, more interesting parts of the puzzle together (as it is here). Definitely got a good dose of that whoosh-whoosh feeling I look forward to on Fridays. I even got it from a "?" clue, as 27D: One with sound judgment? sent me plunging down the west side of the grid off of just the "AU-." And in the places where I did struggle (a bit), there was a payoff that made it worth it. I'm thinking primarily of the NE, where I threw "IT'S A DATE" over to the east side of the grid, filled a bunch of the 4-letter answers above it, and *still* couldn't make any of those long Downs work. Considered pulling "IT'S A DATE" because I wanted GALAHADS for PALADINS, couldn't figure out what word was supposed to follow DRAMA, and had no idea what was going on with -AKETA- at 12D. But I hung in there, realized the complicated-sounding "file type" was just PDF (10A: File type used in paper-to-digital archiving), and was rewarded for my patience with both PALADINS (ah, the figures from "The Matter of France" in medieval literature *and* the D&D character class, I know them both pretty well), and FAKE TATTOO, which is just fabulous. That is, the answer is solid, but that clue was fabulous, for sure (12D: "Mom" for a day, say). Really enjoyed this from start to finish, with very few bumps along the way.

Although ... can I really say I "enjoy" an answer like INFLUENCER. It's one of the worst ideas / concepts / phenomena I can think of in the social media era. It bespeaks an unwarranted and youth-cultish power, primarily in the service of brands (i.e. capitalism), so it both seems nefarious and makes me sad for the youths. Every generation has its idols, so there's nothing truly new here, but somehow that idolization feels ... I dunno, weaponized by contemporary social media platforms, which are newly and uniquely able to harness it (for cash and / or to spread disinformation). The whole INFLUENCER thing feels extremely bound up with consumerism ... but again, youth culture has always been that way. Anyway, I hate the idea of the INFLUENCER, but as a *crossword answer*, I do admit it feels current and lively. I like that it sits under POOL NOODLE. Hard to look cool when you're sitting under a POOL NOODLE. Are there POOL NOODLE INFLUENCERs? If there are, well, that is a YouTube channel I might check out.

Bicycle Wheel (1913)
[36A: Like some Marcel Duchamp works (DADAIST)]

Really loved PLOT TWIST, both at the answer and clue level (1A: It was all a dream, maybe)—very nice way to start the puzzle. I wanted the LOFT to be a GARRET but of course that didn't fit (2D: Artist's pad, maybe). Then I thought "sketch pad," which is probably what the clue wanted me to do. Other clues that flummoxed me included the wonderful [Team building?], which is transparent ... once you actually see the answer (ARENA). But before then ... well, I really should've noted the lack of a hyphen in the clue (or the space between the words: looks like the term meaning "building of teams" is frequently spelled as one word, "teambuilding"). Anyway, it's literally a building for a team. Surprised by literalness! I had "GET ME!?" before "GET IT?" (18A: "Catch my drift?"), due entirely to the "my" in the clue. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able drudge up "SELA" from Mr. Richie's really ridiculously extensive pop hit catalogue. I mentally penciled it in and then discovered yes, my memory was correct, that was the title of one of his songs. Is this better or worse than [Actress Ward]? Who can say? Loved the clue on BOUT (51A: Round and round and round?)—the cluing was remarkably on point today. Did not love the clue on Richard PRYOR, which is to say I would've loved a clue that didn't evoke his addiction. If you need your clue to be edgy, you know, he's got a lot about race, including a really great bit about the cops killing Black people with impunity ...  But at least this cocaine line is his own joke about himself, not the general public or hack comedians using him as a cheap punchline, and punching bag (as they did for years and years and years). And it's a good line. And I always like seeing his name. So even this answer didn't really bring me down. I'm going to PIPE DOWN now. Bye.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Teresa 6:19 AM  

Agree/disagree about PRYOR. There were lots better ways to clue it, but whether it's a good line or not for me is overshadowed by its reference to drug addiction, which I've never find the least bit funny. And I don't particularly want it in my crossword puzzle.

Adam12 6:20 AM  

No idea what PONE is, so DNF on the GETIT/GOTIT “KEA/LOA”.

kitshef 6:32 AM  

A lot of good cluing today.

Rex likes to talk about the 'whoosh' feeling on Friday, which is the opposite of what I want in a late-week puzzle. I want to sweat and stumble and come close to giving up but get there in the end. Today was not that, but it did have some teeth, thanks to the cleer cluing.

Kate 6:46 AM  

SPILLTHETEA? I was glad the crosses filled in on that one.

Anonymous 6:51 AM  

Superb cluing every which way. I've heard "as a side note," but never "on a side note." Generational thing? Not a complaint, just an observation.

It's been a great puzzle week.

Birchbark 7:00 AM  

Interesting write-up on PALADIN. I know PALADIN as the the gentleman-vigilante main character in "This Gun For Hire," one of the great old-time radio Westerns. Voiced by John Dehner, he definitely fits into the "individual knight-errant" category -- equally comfortable at an opera in San Francisco or in a three-against-one standoff 'mid the rolling tumbleweeds.

Lewis 7:10 AM  

This is a technical beauty. It’s highly polished – a 70-worder with hardly any glue. It had the stamp of a grid highly personalized, one in which the constructor tried many possibilities in every area until he landed on what he was convinced were the best ones, the ones that resonated with him most. That might have involved moving blocks, then trying many more possibilities. The stamp of a grid that wasn’t just dashed in; it probably took a great deal of time, a lot of walking away and coming back.

We are treated to the result, lively entries abounding. Look at that NW corner – PLOT TWIST, POOL NOODLE, and INFLUENCER. Wow! Then we find IT’S A DATE, PIPE DOWN, IN RARE FORM, FAKE TATTOO. Quality on top of quality.

I liked the two-letter opening abbr. column of ID CHIPS and ER NURSE, and the schwah-ful A-train of SELA / TATA / OPERA / ARENA / YOGA.

But mostly I liked the feeling that this puzzle was made with great care. It shined with that. I could viscerally feel it, as if I were walking through well-built and well-maintained humble-yet-gorgeous house. It added -- to the fun of the solve -- not only beauty, but also the feeling that I was being pampered. Thank you, Pao!

Son Volt 7:13 AM  

Odd looking grid with the black corners - but well filled and smooth. I’ve heard the term INFLUENCER - but don’t really understand the full concept. Never heard the term SPILL THE TEA.

STEAL AWAY is great - always reminds me of that Robbie Dupree song from the 70s. PLOT TWIST and AUDIOPHILE are cool.

No issue with the PRYOR clue - feels like something he would have included himself.

I don’t know about D&D - Richard Boone will always be PALADIN for me

Enjoyable Friday solve.

Anonymous 7:17 AM  

It’s used a lot in drag culture. Yea = truth. It means to tell the true story

Richard Boone 7:21 AM  

Have gun will travel, reads the card of a man
A knight without armor in a savage land
His fast gun hire, heeds the calling wind
A soldier of fortune, is a man called Pal-a-din
Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam
Paladin, Paladin, far, far from home
He travels on to where ever he must
A chess knight of silver is his badge of trust
There are campfire legends that the plainsmen sing
Of the man with the gun, of the man called Pal-a-din
Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam
Paladin, Paladin, far, far from home
Far from home, far from home

MaxxPuzz 7:21 AM  

Enjoyed this one a lot, even though I found it quite easy. No hiccups.
I was surprised at Rex's SIDE NOTE distress. My first instinct is to say 'ON' A SIDE NOTE. AS works OK as well, but ON sounds better. Either one, really. Just plain SIDE NOTE seems like texting shorthand, i.e. current and heard, but not the full expression. Generational influences all, most likely. I’m headed toward 70 soon enough.
A great day to all!

Ando 7:22 AM  

Ah, didn't get this right -- had BOUL (a curved handle) crossing with LATA (peace out!) instead of BOUT/TATA.

Conrad 7:22 AM  

I started off on a sad note. I read the 1A clue, "It was all a dream, maybe" and before checking the word length thought, "World peace?"

I'm not old enough to remember @Birchbark "This Gun for Hire," but I am old enough to remember the similar-sounding TV series "Have Gun Will Travel", where the main character was called Paladin.

Easy-Medium for me, with the biggest trouble spots in the SE. Looking over that section now, I can't figure what my hangup was, but nothing clicked the first time around.

Anonymous 7:29 AM  

Amy: liked it a bunch. Had both crunch and breeziness. Why does Paladin make me think of old TV westerns?

oceanjeremy 7:49 AM  

LOVED this puzzle, except for my DNF spot: I filled in “ROB” instead of “ROD” for 43A (clued as “Shaft”). I saw “Shaft” and, thinking with my “This is Friday cluing” brain, I thought “I’ve been shafted!” means “I’ve been robbed!” and plunked ROB right down with quite a bit of glee, considering it a very fresh and clever one-word clue.

Then when I got to the cross, “Mr. of film” seemed like it very plausibly could’ve been “DEEBS.” It’s a proper name — of a f#€£ing fictional character, for f#€£’s sake. DEEBS sounds like a more plausible surname than DEEDS.

This is why I hate trivia cluing, especially for a word that has so many real world definitions as DEEDS. A quick jaunt over to xwordinfo reveals a literal slew of alternative, crisp, tricky and just plain better ways to clue DEEDS: “Owners’ papers,” or “Exploits,” “Not just words,” “What thoughts may become,” “Title pages?” or “They have property lines.”

All of these are superior ways to clue the word DEEDS — and “Mr. of film” has been used as a clue before, meaning it’s no more original than these other earlier options, and yet all of them avoid the trivia ambiguation in a cross with ROD.

There’s my rant.

ON A SIDE NOTE (which, ON another SIDE NOTE, is a very common stand-alone phrase that’s just *mwah* perfect): as someone who did a lot of cocaine in my 20s, I have to say the nitpicking about the Pryor clue comes across as quite a bit of square pearl-clutching to me. From my perspective, science says that cocaine is mostly a mentally addictive substance (as opposed to alcohol or opiates), and the bulk of that mental addiction comes from its cachet status of being illegal. (That’s what the research says!) Most of the physical danger of cocaine comes from additives like fentanyl, which again is a harm caused by it being illegal. At the end of the day, cocaine is hilarious — and so was Richard PRYOR, which makes this clue/answer a more-than-welcome appearance in my puzzle.

Again, LOVED this puzzle. My one complaint seems outsized only in comparison to how much I loved the rest of it.

Kate 7:50 AM  

Adam 12: corn pone is the cheapest form of cornbread —no eggs or milk. But good!

Anonymous 7:53 AM  

@Birchbark, I never heard the radio show but certainly knew early TV’s “Have Gun, Will Travel,” whose main character, played by Richard Boone, was named Paladin. I’m probably not the only codger who’ll spend the rest of the day singing “Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? Paladin, Paladin, far, far from home . . .”

Laura 7:53 AM  

Fun puzzle with some great clues noted by Rex. But my Friday fun was cut short because it was too easy. Then, the fun continues with a cheery write up, so my mood is restored.

Loved the plot twist as I remembered shows which used it but couldn't make them fit. Then the aha.

Happy Friday.

Jking 8:05 AM  

Can someone explain 22-Down? "Art capable" = CANST. I don't understand what I'm looking at.

Anonymous 8:06 AM  

@Anonymous 7:29am: I had the same thing. Took quite a while of staring at BOUL, which I knew couldn't be right, to figure out that it was TATA instead of LATA, which is by far the better answer for "Peace!" in my opinion.

SouthsideJohnny 8:07 AM  

Was wondering what the heck OPERA SPACE was, but apparently SPACE OPERA is a genre (sub-genre) of perhaps science fiction relating to, well space. Seems like everything has a genre these days - the NYT appears to be particularly enamored with the music ones, so today is at least a bit of a change of pace.

A.W. Kardashian 8:30 AM  

Not a complaint, but this was almost Tuesday-easy for me. Like "zip right through" easy. Probably more a reflection of being totally on the same wave length as the constructor than anything about the puzzle itself.

But hoping that will be enough to fulfill my deepest and most compelling desire and ambition - to be a crossword INFLUENCER.

Kate 8:30 AM  


Kate 8:30 AM  

Michael Sharp 8:47 AM  

If thou art capable, thou canst

RooMonster 8:54 AM  

Hey All !
I was apparently IN RARE FORM today, as I finished with a good time, even though it started out rather tough. *Pats myself on the back*

Couple writeovers, had lATe for TATA, thinking of the "kids these days" expression of Late (short for Later, ala Goodbye,) = Peace out, ala "Peace!" *This* close. dont-WONT, aSTO-ISTO, thought about YeGg for YOGA a second, har.

Nice FriPuz, have a great day INFLUENCERing your world. TATA.

yd -14, should'ves 9 (bad day of SB-ing)

Three F's

Anonymous 8:54 AM  

Old English, if thou art capable of sthing thou canst do it

Rube 8:58 AM  

This was a terrific puzzle...fir a Wednesday

Georgia 9:00 AM  

YES, really great cluing today!

Birchbark 9:07 AM  

@Conrad (7:22) -- You're right -- it was in fact "Have Gun, Will Travel"! Sometimes the little grey cells get scrambled -- thanks for catching.

Barbara S. 9:15 AM  

Yup, I remember the Dallas It-Was-All-A-Dream revelation. It didn’t engulf the North American TV-viewing public the way Who-Shot-J.R. did, but it was shocking in its way. (And also seemed like a bit of a cheap trick to explain away a bunch of otherwise unresolvable plot developments.) My, my, Dallas did enjoy pushing the TV-drama envelope. POOL NOODLE is surely one of the greatest product names ever. And if you look up POOL NOODLE on Google, you find dozens of life hacks to make your existence so much easier and better – I bet you didn’t know that you can transform POOL NOODLEs into items as useful as keyboard wrist rests and fishing rod organizers!

Marcel Duchamp is an artist whose work defies easy categorization. In the early 1920s, he seemingly retired from art to devote himself to chess, but it was revealed after his death that he had been working in secret for two decades on a project that had consumed much of his creative energy. Octavio Paz’s book on Duchamp is an interesting read: a philosopher-poet discussing a philosopher-artist. And if you’re in the vicinity of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you can see most of his work there (and, very likely, blow your mind).

Here's what Duchamp had to say about DADAISm:
Dada was an extreme protest against the physical side of painting. It was a metaphysical attitude…a sort of nihilism to which I am very sympathetic. It was a way to get out of a state of mind – to avoid being influenced by one’s immediate environment, or by the past: to get away from clichés – to get free. The “blank” force of dada was very salutary. It told you “don’t forget you are not quite so ‘blank’ as you think you are.” Usually a painter confesses he has his landmarks. He goes from landmark to landmark. Actually he is a slave to landmarks – even to contemporary ones…Dada was very serviceable as a purgative. (From an interview conducted in 1946 and published in Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art.)

I’ve always liked the spiritual STEAL AWAY. Very soothing.

Loved IN RARE FORM, PALADINS, FAKE TATTOO (I sported a few in my foolish youth), PIPE DOWN (said to me many times by my mother), and another ALLEY CAT. I was completely taken in by the [Art capable]/CANST pairing. Agree with Rex about the awkwardness of ON A SIDE NOTE. I wanted “as A SIDE NOTE” although I think “as an aside” is more used. I thought DOLE meant distribute rather than measure. And I really wanted my shower SOAP to be on a rope rather than in a DISH, although I knew it couldn’t fit. Obviously, I could chat all day about aspects of this puzzle. Like Rex, I thought it was terrific (if maybe a tad too easy) and thoroughly enjoyed the solve. Thanks, Pao Roy.

Unknown 9:24 AM  

Fun, but easiest Friday in recent memory.

Carola 9:30 AM  

Satisfyingly difficult for me, so I got my desired Friday workout - and a puzzle that was so much fun to solve. Similar to @kitshef 6:32, I thought of @Rex and the "flow" he likes on a Friday: not me, I prefer the challenge of connecting, say, scattered EASTER EGGS, a LAKE, and a PIG, which was about all I had at first pass. It seemed to me there were way more long entries than usual, and I found all of that white real estate quite daunting. Delightful that it was occupied by a POOL NOODLE, FAKE TATTOO, PLOT TWIST, et. al. I wondered how often "On a side note,..." leads to SPILLing THE TEA.

Count me among the TV series "PALADIN" folks. I remember my adolescent, sheltered, small-town self feeling there was something excitingly and dangerously attractive about him, compared to the straight arrow Matt Dillion.

Do-overs: GET me, mete before DOLE, gaLAhadS before PALADINS. Wanted Mr. CHIPS ("Would they put two parallel CHIPS in a Friday puzzle?"), was glad to remember DEEDS.

Z 10:04 AM  

My only complaint is that it isn’t so much a PLOT TWIST as a cheap device used when the writing team decided they screwed up and their story is going nowhere.

I am team ON A SIDE NOTE. Or “as an aside.”

INFLUENCER always strikes me as the FAKE TATTOO of popularity. But then I see some of the numbers and just shake my fist at the youth and yell at them to get offa my lawn.

It has been a day or two since I read La Chanson de Roland. I don’t think I remember much beyond the title at this point. Yep, I just read the plot summary on the Wiki page and it rings only the tiniest of bells. I do think I got an A in that class so I knew more about it for at least a short while. Sadly, I remember more of the Song of Robbie DuPree than the Song of Roland. **Sigh**

The PRYOR joke made me chuckle. I get why it might hit a sour note for some, but I’ve always loved dark humor. Agree with Rex that it is the self-deprecating nature of the joke that made it okay to me, making fun of others for their struggles is a different matter (unless their “struggle” is criminal folly).

As for yesterday’s hit television show discussion… I never watched that show so didn’t have an opinion. I stopped on it last night and watched maybe 7 minutes. **Cringe** and **that makes no sense** and **why???????** were my main reactions before I decided I had had enough and hadn’t missed anything. Then I found Game 7 and the team I don’t loath won so I was happier.*

*The loathing goes back to the 1980’s. This group might be perfectly fine but I will always root for the C’s to lose. Always.

jcal 10:06 AM  

Fun puzzle and thank you. The only omission (as some people have noted) was wikipedia's - not the NYT. Palladin - and this was a "gimme" - was the lead character in a wonderful TV series, starring Richard Boone. Late 1950s, I think. And before that Have Gun Will Travel was a really delightful radio series, starting (if I recall) Richard Dehner. Much more material to me than a D & D character. - but I guess I am not the same as many as I know the song of Roland far better than Dungeons and Dragons. Happily I also know early TV so had fun with this - very good! - clue.

Unknown 10:14 AM  

Nothing about "spill the tea"?????

Has anyone, anywhere, said "spill the tea"?

I've never heard that as a phrase in my life.

Nancy 10:24 AM  

Once again, if you give me a clue at 1A that sparks my curiosity, I'm already a happy camper. And the completely unexpected PLOT TWIST answer to "it was all a dream, maybe" not only sparked my curiosity but also gave me a big "Aha!" when it came in. (That's done so often by bad writers, and it's the worst form of PLOT TWIST, don't you think? Agatha would never lower herself that way.)

"'Mom for a day'" sparked my curiosity, too. A babysitter? A day camp counselor? OMG, a FAKE TATTOO!!! How surprising and how original is that?!

"Art capable" puzzled me for, like, forever. It looked like CrafT was going to some in and I didn't get it. Oh, no, it's CANST!!! Nice trick, Pao Roy! Touche.

Lovely cluing in this one. Not terribly hard for a Friday but immensely engrossing and interesting throughout. Liked it a lot!

Rex Parker 10:26 AM  

"The phrase "spill the tea," used as an encouragement to gossip, has been used in everything from Harlequin romance novels to "RuPaul's Drag Race"..."

Georgia 10:29 AM  

Per Anonymous7:17 AM
"It’s used a lot in drag culture. Tea = truth. It means to tell the true story. "

RDuke 10:33 AM  

I feel like like “spill the tea” has appeared in the puzzle recently, maybe as a clue instead of an answer. Can anyone confirm?

pjd 10:35 AM  

My personal pet peeve is anytime a would-be straightforward word is arbitrarily clued as something else. There will always be proper nouns, contractions etc. to make the grid work, but don't add them where they're not necessary:

WONT (no apostrophe) is a word! No need to clue it as a more awkward contraction.

DEEDS is a plural word! No need to clue it as a random movie character.

Otherwise, fun puzzle.

bocamp 10:41 AM  

Thx, Pao; excellent Fri. workout! :)


Fairly smooth NW, down, around and up to the NE solve.

Just a bit of resistance with PALADINS.

Took some time post-solve to grok BOUT.

Good trip! :)
yd 0 (@okanaganer: that was my final word) / W: 3* / WH: 3 / Duo: 35 (wrong guess on last word)

Peace 🙏 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Gary Jugert 10:41 AM  

Themeless puzzles are boring. This puzzle has 14 long answers that are all great. Got stuck only twice. Pretty good for me on a Friday. I am delighted to see two alley cats in a row this week.

One EPIC Boo:
SENSATE... Sheesk.

1 Syrian keeping things afloat.
2 Body of water for scrubbing social media stars.
3 Disgraced director Stone's only friend.
4 Hockey players claiming it's not about the fisticuffs.
5 When the last windmill is slain.
6 Renaissance festival or ComiCon.


Anonymous 10:44 AM  

Surprisingly, the TV version of "Have Gun - Will Travel", with Richard Boone, came first, premiering in 1957.

The radio version, with John Dehner, debuted in 1958. Both were on CBS.

It was one of the last new non-anthology radio dramas to air during the last gasps of commercial network radio in the US. It is also one of the few radio programs based on a television property, as it was usually the other way around in the early days of TV.

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

JD on Phone w Internet Down

Let me gush. I loved this. And not just regular love, @Lewis joy love. Fun cluing for Arena, Easter Eggs, Canst, Audiophile, Drama Coach. Puzzled through so smoothly. No junk. I love this guy.

Methinks we've had something recently about gossip and Tea so Spilled went in easily. Like it.

Here's something we may see in the future - Product Drop. Ran across it twice in two days.

pabloinnh 10:52 AM  

Hand up for PALADIN=Have Gun Will Travel=Richard Boone.

Had the AU for "one with sound judgment" so confidently wrote in AUCTIONEER, which fit wonderfully but otherwise didn't make much sense. Pretty quickly saw it wouldn't work.

Here's my POOLNOODLE life hack-if you cut a slit lengthwise in a POOLNOODLE you can slip it over the edge of a roof rake and use it to clean snow off your solar panels. Maybe that will give me some sort of INFLUENCER cred.

ONASIDENOTE sounds right to me. Just plain SIDENOTE does not.

And welcome back SOU. How do you do?

Nice solid Friday, PR. No Personal Records here, I don't think, as I do these for fun and not for speed, and there was plenty of fun, for which thanks.

Pete 11:05 AM  

Jeez people, I'm a 66yo hermit with basically no friends, I only watch TV shows which have a regular rotation of ads for ED, Incontinence, Welfare Part C, Consumer Cellular, and Colonial Penn Guaranteed $9.95 Insurance products, and even I know SPILLTHETEA. Have for years. ON A SIDE NOTE, put the PIPE DOWN was my advice to Richard Pryor back in the day. I have AA/NA immunity in making addict jokes, so no hate please.

Joseph Michael 11:06 AM  

Another great puzzle after yesterday’s gem. Maybe I’m just happy because I could finish a Friday without a visit to Dr. Google, but I found this super engaging and especially loved POOL NOODLE and FAKE TATTOO.

Wanted PLOT POINT before PLOT TWIST, so that made the NW difficult at first, but eventually the downs helped me see the error of my ways.

There’s that ALLEY CAT again. He just wandered in and out of another puzzle recently. I hope he finds what he’s looking for.

Tom P 11:07 AM  

Agreed with Rex on just about everything, which was nice for a change. Thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle, and was happy that it allowed me to set a new personal best solving time for Friday. So I guess I have to rate it as easy and lots of fun.

Gary Jugert 11:09 AM  

@OFL You know YOU are an INFLUENCER, right?

Whatsername 11:15 AM  

This started off nice and just got better and better. A smooth flow with some edgy clues and snappy answers like POOL NOODLE and FAKE TATTOO. Overall, just a fun Friday frolic. Thank you, Mr. Roy!

I had Mr. TIBBS as my film Mr. and a DRAMA QUEEN working in my play. Didn’t know PALADIN but I remember an ancient TV show by that name. I also never heard of an OILED baking sheet. Most are either greased with shortening or sprayed.

This spring I had the shingles replaced on my roof and used the Zelle APP to provide the dimensions to the insurance company. Wow!! Definitely what you would call “smart“ technology. All I did was take pictures and the program calculated every measurement, angle and pitch precisely. Simply amazing.

Nancy 11:17 AM  

Yes, I go back to the days of "Have Gun, Will Travel" too, and, like @Carola, I liked PALADIN a lot better than the rather boring Matt Dillon of "Gunsmoke". But PALADIN was not my absolute fave. My absolute fave was Bret Maverick as played by the absolutely irresistible James Garner who I would have followed happily into the setting sun, of course, but also would have followed devotedly into a saloon or casino mobbed with hordes of gun-totin' bad guys.

Why didn't you ever put me to the test, Jim? I would have followed you anywhere. I really would have.

Also, I love Barbara S's post today. But for her, I never would have known that POOL NOODLE is a product name. I thought it was just a descriptor. Thanks to her, I've now been introduced to that lovely rendition of that lovely spiritual, STEAL AWAY, which I didn't know. I've never met a spiritual I didn't love, btw. And what an art guide, Barbara is. Her enthusiasm for and knowledge of every conceivable school of painting is palpable. I don't know that she'll turn me into a lover of DADA -- Duchamp's tortured explanation certainly doesn't -- but I do promise that I'll go to Google and take an extended peek at his work. No, it's not the full museum experience, but it will give me an idea of what he and Barbara are talking about.

Barbara -- if you lived in NYC, I'm sure you could get me into a lot more museums than I go to right now. Of course that's a very low bar:) I'm a lot better on spirituals.

Unknown 11:30 AM  

OK - so apparently "spill the tea" is a phrase used by some subcultures.

I'm 53, read a ton, watch a ton of tv, and watch most popular movies and have heard the phrase "spill the dirt" many, many times. I"m even forced to watch all the various versions of real housewives. I'm hardly far outside of popular culture.

I've never heard the phrase "spill the tea".

I believe those who say it's been used. But, I feel like it's been used by a very niche group and is not a common phrase used in the mainstream.

I guessed it through fill. But it's not something I'd ever come up with otherwise. You could ask me a million times for different phrases meaning "too gossip" and I'd never say "spill the tea".

"give me the skinny". "spill the beans". "give me the dirt". etc. But not "spill the tea".

Joe Dipinto 11:33 AM  

@pablo => And welcome back SOU. How do you do?

I GET IT. Now you're gonna die.

Beezer 11:52 AM  

I absolutely LOVED this puzzle! Everything that @Rex said EXCEPT I have absolutely no problem with ONASIDENOTE. So much brilliant clueing that I can’t take the time to list but PLOTTWIST is right up there (did anyone else put in NIGHTMARE at first?

I knew it was PALADINS from the P in PDF. If you other oldsters recall, Paladin’s “business card” not only said “Have gun, will travel” but also had the profile of a chess piece knight. To me it may have been the inspiration for the excellent tv show (the original) The Equalizer which ran from 1985 to 1989 and starred Edward Woodward. I think he was retired MI5 or whatnot and, like Liam Neeson in his “Taken” movie series, he had a “particular set of skills” which made him a formidable force (for good).

bertoray 11:55 AM  

Had and have no problem with ONASIDENOTE. I can see it used to clue BTW. Exceptional cluing today, thank you very much Pao Roy.
ONASIDENOTE, thinking of changing my username to Scrolling For LMS.

Tom T 12:00 PM  

The "?" clues were all very weirdly in the center of my wheelhouse today, making this one of the smoothest and fastest Friday puzzles for me.

Came down to the end, where I couldn't think of that last name for Mr. DEE_S and wanted shaft to be a misdirection clue, a verb instead of a noun (along the lines of "giving the shaft"). Then the light came on and I put in the D for ROD/DEEDS, and all done.

ON A SIDE NOTE: that D in ROD is also the D in a Hidden Diagonal Word (HDW): ROD--which you see by moving from that D towards the SE.

sixtyni yogini 12:11 PM  

Tough to follow yesterday’s 🧩.
Despite PALADIN. and maybe FAKETATTOO this one was MUNDANE.
Ie. Mundane clue for SOAPDISH could have made up for its mundane answer…
(Gossip about a midday TV show…. Cleanser container…)
I rest my case! 🤗

Anyway just not a good one after yesterday.
Easy. Fast. And a bit above okay. Just my HO. 🤷‍♀️

jae 12:14 PM  

Easy. No WOES and only a couple of “should have read the clue more carefully” erasures. Smooth with quite a bit of sparkle, liked it.

GILL I. 12:28 PM  

I'm an old cow hand...on the Rio Grand...oops, wrong song. I CANST always remember but I know my sister and I sang them all: PALADIN, PALADIN where do you roam?....We used to love singing these oldy moldy tv tunes. And lookie paid off!
Another fun puzzle day. OFL hiccuped ON A SIDE NOTE...I just let out a little sneeze. My allergies increased and no Kleenex to be found when I got to 12D. FAKE's something to blow my nose on: Is there such a thing as a FAKEmatoon? I thought to myself "well that's a cool word that I will use every day." But then I looked at 23A and wondered if ITS A DAME could mean "I'm there!"...Fun when you get wrong answers. Erase, erase...stare at it and think. I found some yellow Kleenex, blew hard and cleared the air. All's Well That Ends Well. And it did!
Cluing, like yesterday, was primo...well OILED and I used my NOODLE.
DADAIST: My two centavos: I love art....I'm a trained artist that could never make money. I wanted to live in an airy LOFT with art deco furniture, skylights with wood and brick all around to inspire me. Instead, I ended up on 98th and Broadway in a four story walk up I, (of course) lived on the 4th. It was a very old building and the water pipes would sing to me just as I would try to sleep in a very hot bed. I still managed to paint, though. I'd wandered the museums of New York to try to breath inspiration . I remember seeing Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase and staring at it for hours. I'm not sure what I felt. My head had twisted right and left and made no sense to me. wasn't for me. is it really Cubism in disguise? I just wanted to paint simple, uncomplicated, sweet pieces. I failed...People wanted to pay millions for something to display on their walls that nobody would ever understand.

Loved your puzzle Pau Roy. It makes me want to look for EASTER EGGS.

Z 12:30 PM  

@JD on Phone w Internet Down - If you scroll all the way to the bottom you should be able to click on “web version.” From there if you click on “Post a Comment” you can get to the dialogue box that actually lets you sign into your account.

@Gary Jugert 11:09 - Hey! No name calling! 🤣😂🤣

This is a debut for SPILL THE TEA as an answer in the NYTX, but it has been used twice to clue “do tell,” first on January 8, 2020 and then again on June 8, 2021. Those were a Wednesday and a Monday puzzle, so the editorial team clearly think it is common and in the language. I do believe there was “get offa my lawn” responses in the comments on those dates as well.

Prof Karl 12:31 PM  

No comment on SPILL THE TEA? My favorite answer in the puzzle and most current, too.

SharonAK 12:32 PM  

Rex's comments on "influencer" got me thinking of the non-fiction Book (social science I guess would be the genre) "The Tipping Point" where Influencers were discussed, and then of an amusing novel "So Yesterday" that I would like to recommend. It has a teenage protagonist and the author writes mainly Young adult fiction, but I think "So Yesterday" is more suited to adults - for
light reading.

Anonymous 12:56 PM  

“Team building” clue for ARENA was indeed fun, but strange to have a repeat (apart from the ‘?’) from last Sunday’s puzzle (85-Across).

Unknown 1:09 PM  

@ ZED 12:30

If SPILL THE TEA didn't show up in the NYTXW until 2020, that tells us it's a pretty recent phenomenon. I've actually never personally heard it or seen it outside this little precious niche group, but then again, I'm not a metrosexual. Which explains a lot.

LorrieJJ 1:14 PM  

Pone is cornbread ... delish w/ maple syrup!

Robert Lockwood Mills 1:44 PM  

Can someone explain why "THEM" is a NON-binary pronoun? "BINARY" means "Relating to two..." The word "THEM" obviously doesn't apply to one person, and could well mean "THOSE TWO."

Masked and Anonymous 1:46 PM  

Formidable but entertainin clues in this FriPuz. Shoot, any puz that starts up with {It was all a dream, maybe} is one U know is gonna try to put up a fight.

Liked the black squares in all four corners, also. Nice, different-lookin touch. Sorta like a garnish on the side with yer mornin cinnamon rolls, or somesuch.

staff weeject picks: HOU & SOU. HO for its humorousness, SO for its truthiness -- both for their U's.

Other faves: POOLNOODLE [had no idea, but sounds intriguin]. FAKETATTOO [with a really vague clue]. BOUT [with a really funny clue]. INRAREFORM. PALADINS [even with points off for the POC]. CANST. CURFEW.

Thanx for the themeless workout, Mr. Roy dude. Now ... off to the pantry to ID some CHIPS.

Masked & Anonymo4Us

p.s. @albatross shell, from yesterday's stuff: For that there EI answer, one has to roll in the neighborin letter R, to get REI as the complete answer. This maneuver's referred to as a runt-roll ©. And, as always, no refunds.


Anonymous 1:56 PM  

JD Internetless

@Zed, I've seen it but the phone's a Pixel. Will I be giving Google yet another way to stalk my every move? That's why I haven't done it yet.

Nancy 2:04 PM  

I was going to keep my mouth tightly shut, because @Barbara S is a pal of mine. But @GILL is also a pal of mine, and after her plaintive plea for artistic affirmation at 12:28 p.m., I offer her the following solace:

Today I went to look at some Duchamp online. I did like the Cubism stuff -- even though I failed to see any "content" in it. It just looked nice. I tend to find Cubist works pleasing to the eye, even from artists I don't otherwise like, such as Picasso.

But the other Duchamps? OMG! The man with a missing head -- with wires sticking out of his neck!!! The urinal!!! Please know, @GILL, that I would spend big $$$ NOT to have those abominations anywhere near my apartment or indeed anywhere near my line of vision. I've seen some of your representational paintings and they're lovely and well crafted. That you were languishing unknown and unrecognized in your walkup on 98th and Broadway seems like a huge miscarriage of artistic justice. But then I've always felt that "hot" artistic markets are more about shock value and novelty than about beauty or craftsmanship. That it's all about coming up with something that no other artist has ever done before. Without once asking the question: If no one else has done it before, maybe it really isn't worth doing in the first place? I'm thinking of that neck with the wires attached. (Sorry, Barbara, but our GILL needs a sympathetic shoulder right now.)

GILL I. 2:54 PM  

Ah, @Nancy...We do like the same items on our menu, don't we....Give me simple, but delicious. Give me eye candy that I will savor. I need to swallow with satisfaction and then remember it forever.
I'm so with you and in sync with "If no one else has done it before, maybe it really isn't worth doing in the first place?"....I love drawing - always have. I've never really thought about: Will this sell?" I give all of my stuff away. Somehow they get appreciated more?
By the way...just about anybody can throw a can of paint on the wall and call it art. Fun isn't it? I just don't want to have to eat it every day.

jberg 3:12 PM  

This puzzle had some nice challenges. I has FAKE_A____ and wanted "FAKE pArent," you know, your friend who pretends to be your mother to sign a note explaining your absence from school. I didn't fill it in, though, nor did I write in "DRAMAtizer" or ...queen, though I considered them both. And I had enough sense to wait for crosses before putting in either ya dig? or GET IT? Unfortunately that wise forbearance did not extend to 'mete,' which seemed to have enough letters in common with 'meter' to make it work better for Measure (out). It was all fun to puzzle out, though.

@Robert Lockwood Mills, I have suspect you're sending us up, but since you asked: 'non-binary' refers, among other things, to those who do not define themselves as either male or female. Such individuals often asked to have the singular they used in reference to them. If you get email from, or are go to Zoom meetings with anyone under 40 you will probably notice that some list their pronouns (e.g., he, him; she, her; they, them--or other combinations of the individual's choice) after their names.

They/them is also used by people who do identify as male or female, but prefer not to make too much of a point of that identification.

I too thought of the TV "Have Gun, Will Travel;" wasn't previously aware of the radio show. @Zed, I think you had to be a teenager to enjoy it. It was the general coolness rather than the plot. I agree with @Nancy, though, Maverick was way cooler.

Barbara S. 3:21 PM  

@Nancy (11:17). Thanks. And, hey, as artists’ statements go, I thought that one was pretty lucid. The thing about artists talking or writing about their work is: if they could communicate in words, they wouldn’t (have to) do the art. My supposed broad knowledge is only skin-deep in lots of areas, but as curator of a large image collection at a university, I worked with the whole sweep of the Western canon from the caves to conceptual. Which, as you can see, allows me to pose as an expert in everything! And, you’re right, in NYC we could roam the art treasures far and wide, and get into a lot of interesting discussions along the way. And listen to spirituals, too.

@Gill I (12:28 PM), @Nancy (2:04 PM)
No one ever need apologize to me about their reactions to art. Your responses are just as legitimate as the next person’s and always will be. I can only say that, for myself, with knowledge has come at least some understanding of what many modern and contemporary artists are exploring in their work. And with understanding has come, in some cases, enthusiasm. But the vast majority of works of art from 1900 on I would never want to share my living space. Whereas, from what I’ve seen of her work, I’d be delighted to hang a Gill I. But many, many avant-garde artists of the past century aren’t trying to hang stuff on your walls. They’re investigating issues – intellectual, philosophical and emotional – that lead to the creation of works that aren’t pretty, that aren’t aesthetically pleasing, that lead back to the thorniest questions around what is art and what are the limits of human creative expression. I feel the only way to get anywhere with works that are supposedly historically significant but leave you cold (or even downright hostile) is to take them in context – the ferment of ideas that surrounded the visual arts in a particular period, and the place of said works in the sequence of the artist’s whole oeuvre.

What little I know of the art market suggests to me that it’s sheer lunacy. In fact, in the present day, I’d say it’s pretty thoroughly corrupt, with power-brokers and taste-makers and who-you-know and what’s-hot-and-what’s-not all taking precedence over what’s good and what’s interesting. I don’t think an artist’s inability to break into that discreditable system says anything about the quality of their work. The art market has always been separate from the creative endeavor of honorable artists staying true to themselves and working away in their studios – whether we’re talking about Marcel Duchamp or Gill I. I would defend both Duchamp’s vision and Gill’s. And why there isn’t room for both of them – and many others – on the economic side of the art world is an injustice.

okanaganer 3:36 PM  

My favorite "It was all a dream" scene was in the finale of Newhart from 1990. Absolutely brilliant.

[Spelling Bee: yd pg-1 for the 5th day in a row!! Arrgh. Somehow I missed this 8er.]

Anonymous 3:43 PM  

Pool noodle hack is a good idea

GILL I. 3:43 PM  

@Barbara S....As usual you wax poetic. As in "to continue to pay attention, as poets do, and to continue to grow." Does that make sense?
I always believed that an artist of any kind...whether it be a musician, a poet, an author.. you name the talents, needs to fall into the "good luck" pot. If you are lucky and in the right place at the right time and get discovered and become famous, it's because it was your time. All it takes is the right bright star to fall on you.
Sad that so many artists didn't get "discovered" until after their death. Is that an omen?

Robert Lockwood Mills 3:44 PM  

To jberg: No, I was not "setting you up." How was I expected to know that the clue referred to sexual identity? If you asked 100 people what "non-binary" meant, I doubt that more than one or two would understand the meaning of that clue.

Anonymous 3:46 PM  

It relates to gender identity. If you google “non-binary pronouns” you’ll get a much better answer than I could give you!

anonymous 3:47 PM  

@Nancy--while others discuss Duchamp with you, I must respond to your devotion to Bret Maverick/James Garner. In my hick town Maverick was repeated at 11:00 pm the following Saturday night. It was the delight of my every other weekend to sit close to our b/w TV with the sound turned low as my parents slept and drool over Bret. Bart just didn't do it for me.

egsforbreakfast 4:40 PM  

@Nancy. You have no chance with Maverick. Luck is the lady that he loves the best……

burtonkd 4:50 PM  

@Barbara S: Terrific post and follow-ups! I remember the Mark Rothko quotes and would take any paper they are printed on and dent Nancy's wall. I rather enjoyed the Duchamp quote today. It put his work into context and displayed a sense of humor and exploration.
There was a 3 part podcast series about the art market on Freakonomics that was quite illuminating, if not surprising.

For 1A, I remember the final episode of the Bob Newhart show where he turned the whole multi-year series into a dream.

Camilita 4:56 PM  

I cannot believe Rex put up a photo of Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso up on the blog. I have so many awful memories of reading that in the original Italian while getting my M.A. I had well forgotten it all by now but it wasn't an easy-read. I wouldn't recommend it for your summer beach book.

Unknown 4:59 PM  

Great Puzzle, Roy Pao! Father and Son team here enjoyed it, 19 minutes, loved the POOLNOODLE/INFLUENCER and the one where we can say "IM IN RARE FORM, I think I'll STEAL AWAY some EASTER EGGS. Also liked DRAMACOACH next to FAKE TATTOO. Really enjoyed it! Great Puzzle, thanks! : ) --Rick

Joe Dipinto 5:16 PM  

@burtonkd — the "Bob Newhart" finale was a dig at the "Dallas" dream season. I thought it was brilliant.

Not to be outdone, The Onion later ran a news item with the headline:


pabloinnh 5:25 PM  

@anon 3:43

I assume you are referring to my POOLNOODLE hack.

I am claiming INFLUENCER status, which will last until @jJoeD can catch up with me.

Beezer 5:32 PM  

Poor POOLNOODLE. it has already gone the way of Kleenex. Unfortunately for the Pool Noodle product, people don’t care if it is the genuine and original Pool Noodle, they just go to a store and look for one of those long and possibly cylindrical foam things. It’s easy to say Puff’s tissues. Not so easy to say Bart’s long cylindrical floatation device…but hey, they don’t HAVE to say that for us to know what it means.

@Robert Lockwood Mills. I suspect that @jberg thought that because more than a FEW people know what non-binary means today. I’m 67 and don’t really like the term because it seems more appropriate to math than gender identification but IT IS WELL-known.

@Nancy, I was in a bit of a hurry today posting but I had meant to concur on the Brett Maverick over Paladin comparison. I was a wee babe when Paladin was actually on (and a semi-wee child when Maverick was on). Summation: I really didn’t understand ANY of those shows when they ran. My recollection is I was taken by the Paladin theme music and thought Brett (not Bart) Maverick was cute and charming. Of course everything put out back then has aspects of (sorry) political incorrectness (otherwise known as “the prejudice of the time), for instance Heyboy in Have Gun Will Travel. Thinking of THAT literally makes me internally wince.

@Nancy, Barbara S and Gill I, I THINK @Barbara S commented to you all to say that it’s ok to to NOT like or be offended, etc, with art. I totally agree! And I also agree that DuChamps’ works were meant to evocative, and not really meant to be purchased for aesthetic purposes. I saw @Rex’s example of DuChamp when in NYC last October. While that piece would be more “acceptable” in a “home” than DuChamp’s urinal, it kind of reminds us how art can transcend “decoration.” Anyhoo, (yeah, that is how I spell it) you guys all rocked the comments today.

Beezer 5:37 PM  

@egsforbreakfast 4:40pm. This cracked me up and @Nancy…it only cracked me up because I know it’s not an insult to you!

Z 5:56 PM  

@Robert Lockwood Smith - Where have you been? I am pretty sure I could walk into any grocery store with 100 miles of me and ask 100 people what “non-binary” meant and 99 of them would know. Especially during Pride Month. Hell, I’ve seen the topic discussed at length on ESPN of all places.

@okanaganer - That was the perfect use of the trite trope for comedic effect. Truly one of the best series enders ever.

Canon Chasuble 6:15 PM  

Paladin’s business card also had is first name. “Wire.”

Nancy 6:18 PM  

Yes, @Beezer -- @Egs' very droll (ON AN ASIDE NOTE) 4:40 comment cracks me up too. I just got out of the tub, so I haven't had a chance to say so until now. But I definitely did laugh when I saw it.

All women with any blood running through their veins at all know -- and knew even back when they were knee high to a grasshopper -- that Bret Maverick was The Sexiest Man Alive and that Bart Maverick (as played by the rather underwhelming Jack Kelly) was a great big Nothingburger.

BTW, is there any woman here who never watched Maverick and never saw the young James Garner? Don't judge him by "Rockford Files"; you've got to see him in Maverick to get the full devastating impact. I'll post a link if anyone requests one.

Robert Lockwood Mills 6:25 PM  

Please forgive me for not being current on the language of people "in the know." To be so out of touch is a real curse.

Michael 6:43 PM  

I am sure that if 100 random people were asked the meaning of nonbinary, the number who would know the gender identity answer would be greater than 1 (Robert) and less than 99 (Zed, are you serious?. But a lot closer to 1 than 99,

SFR 7:05 PM  

You can also fasten a pool noodle crosswise on your bike carrier to decrease the risk of being sideswiped by a passing vehicle

Anonymous 8:53 PM  

If you loved James Garner in Maverick, you might enjoy Robert Taylor in Longmire.

Beezer 9:06 PM  

@ Robert Lockwood Mills… many of us are “out of touch” today so no apology necessary. Today it takes a lot of work to be “up” on the lingo.

Anonymous 9:36 PM  

Is anyone else getting tired of drug culture clues/answers in practically every puzzle these days. Weed, pot, reefer, LSD, cocaine (today), not to mention all the regular alcohol references, etc. etc.

Maybe I'm just a prude, but we clearly have substance abuse issues in the country and I don't really find it entertaining in my crossword puzzles. I suppose they think they're being edgy or appealing to boomers, but it's just annoying.

Beezer 10:07 PM  

@Zed…kind of mean but I “know” you. Honestly, I really do think the term “non-binary” is not easily parsed by many peeps over the age of 65 because many folks don’t think of the binary as female/male. You cited to ESPN but can you honestly say you haven’t “tuned out” at times when ESPN “commentators” are making comments? I know the first time I saw/heard the term I thought, “what the heck”? I think many of us would agree that it takes a lot to be “in the know” these days, and I’m not talking about French, Spanish, or German common words that show up in the puzzle.

Beezer 10:18 PM  

Oof, @ Zed! I meant “it sounded a little mean but I know you aren’t mean.”

Z 10:29 PM  

@Beezer, @RLM, & @Michael - No, really, how has anyone managed not to have heard the term? The right wing is losing its grip over gender issues, the topic pops up in weird places like ESPN, I just saw last night a local TV news show do a piece on a non-binary someone or other (business owner maybe, I tuned it out). Not knowing the term is like not knowing who Biden or Nicole Kidman is (sorry- My oldest just sent me this). When I said 99 out of 100 I felt like I might be underestimating.
That being said, I’m sorry @RLM, I meant to convey incredulity not insult.

Beezer 10:33 PM  

@Zed, you are a good egg!

CDilly52 11:45 PM  

I am really late today. Recovering from some minor surgery and my days are all messed up. Today was a gen. A soarkly, glistening, colorful, shiny gem. Really easy except for the SE for me. That area wasn’t hard, just out up a bit mire resistance. The Theatre props? was a tad sticky until I paid attention yo the ?

I think that ON A SIDE NOTE may be geographical or generational (or both?) because it is common to to me. Very.

What a pure joy to solve-over far too soon. I just added Pao Roy to my favorites list.

albatross shell 11:45 PM  

Thanks for the explanation. I think runt rolls (run! trolls! If you are under a bridge ) have been explained before. I had completely forgotten what they were.

Round and round and round I went: gOlf, rOll BOUT.

I did well except having to cheat a bit to close off the NE. NW and South went smoothly. Puzzle was as fun as the discussion it inspired here.

Who has SOAP DISHES in a shower? In fact most people seem not to have bar soap in the bathroom at all. Bodywash in the shower, pump bottles at the sink, especially those under 45. Not me. I'm a bar soap man over 45.
But as a comic once said soap is a magical substance. My great aunt Tillie wipes her ass with it and a bit later I get in and wipe my face with it.

Good thing it's not morning.

Sami 8:42 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thefogman 10:47 AM  

I WONT lie. Tbis one was a fine Friday offering. That’s three good puzzles in a row. Give THEM credit. The NYTXW is in RAREFORM lately. Like a well-OILED machine. BOUT time. CANST they keep it up? ONASIDENOTE, I got Wordle in four. TATA for now…

spacecraft 11:10 AM  

I recall the great George Carlin, comparing himself to PRYOR:

Richard had a heart attack; I had a heart attack. Then Richard blew himself up. I said "Fuck that, I'm gonna have another heart attack!"

This one was kinda easy for a Friday. A couple of "I-see-what-you-did-there" clues, but relatively shallow bumps in the road. I do believe this is the first-ever bleedover for ALLEYCAT, though just the one today.

The inclusion of all-time primo DOD SELA, even when not clued as Ms. Ward, elevates this one to birdie. Also an unusually-shaped, wide-open grid. Nice work. Short name, long talent. Looking forward to more.

Another Wordle tap-in par.

Burma Shave 1:07 PM  




Diana, LIW 1:42 PM  

I hope next week my paper gets back to 2022.

Dina, LIW

rondo 2:39 PM  

This was a good puz, not RW smooth, but close IMO. Seemed short on PPP and long on long answers. Any SPILL over is the editors' fault (or intention).
Four seems to be the wordle score. I started with the least, gave it a hoist, then the vowels were out with a burst, had to tee it up again, and why.

Anonymous 4:27 PM  

@Mr. Mills 3:44 PM:
I know you'll never see this, but unfortunately, you are way out of the loop. I knew the clue referred to sexual identity, immediately. I wrote in the_, then checked the 9 down clue to see if I would need a y or m. I'm 71 years old. This is rapidly becoming common knowledge. I don't agree with the definition of the word "gender" as used here, but that is how it is used today.

thefogman 5:00 PM  

To D,LIW: Here’s a link to today’s syndicated NYTXW. Just copy and paste to your search bar then print it off….

Diana, LIW 5:52 PM  

Thanks @Foggy!!

Lady Di

thefogman 7:15 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 8:49 PM  

You are welcome!

Diana, LIW 9:17 PM  

Back in business, thanks to @Foggy. Only one "lookup" and I did this one up. Fun and very little PPP.

Also heard from my newspaper - they had a mixup in the puzzleworld, and will be back on track tomorrow.

all's well that ends well

Lady Di

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