Movie villain modeled after Ernst Stavro Blofeld / FRI 6-9-17 / Austin Powers car with portmanteau name / Household brand famous for its infomercials / Ginny's brother in Harry Potter books / Famous introduction that was never actually used / Brokerage famous for its spokesbaby

Friday, June 9, 2017

Constructor: Steve Overton

Relative difficulty: Medium


THEME: none 

Word of the Day: LUZON (27A: Where Manila is)
Luzon [...] is the largest and most populous island in the Philippines. it is ranked 15th largest in the world by land area. Located in the northern region of the archipelago, it is the economic and political center of the nation, being home to the country's capital city, Manila, as well as Quezon City, the country's most populous city. With a population of 53 million as of 2015, it is the fourth most populous island in the world (after Java, Honshu, and Great Britain), having about 53% of the country's total population. (wikipedia)
• • •

Between the casual sexism and the obsession with a 20-year-old movie franchise I never found funny, I was a hostile solver for most of this, which is too bad, as the constructor seems to have some skill, and that central Down is golden (15D: Not right, sarcastically => YOUR OTHER LEFT). I can't / won't take COEDS unless it is clued in relation to some old movie title or otherwise flagged as old-fashioned. The NYT crossword itself clued COEDS as [Female students, condescendingly] (emph. mine) just three years ago. Other recent clues have included the qualifiers "quaintly" and "in old lingo." But here, in 2017 ... no qualifiers. At five letters long, I confidently wrote in WOMEN. But then (fittingly / ironically) SHEILA proved the appropriate WOMEN wrong, and I knew it was COEDS. This moment happened pretty early in my solve (I had to abandon the NW when I got most of it but couldn't turn the corner), so ... yeah, my experience was colored by this. Negatively. SHEILA is another term I also find slightly condescending, and one I can only hear (in my head) in a man's voice. I wouldn't have reacted to SHEILA alone, but crossing COEDS, it somehow compounds the assumed male perspective. The ensuing "Austin Powers" answers (esp. SHAGUAR, ugh) do the same. DR. EVIL obviously has nothing to do with women, but doubling down on a movie with such juvenile humor and such an objectifying view of women ... yuck. COEDS got the ball rolling ... and then it just kept rolling.


UNODOS / TRES is ridiculous. Cluing MAR as a month, also ridiculous. Mostly, though, the grid is solid, with some notable strong parts. All the long central Downs hold up, as does WASH DOWN. Puzzle felt pretty easy, but ME TARZAN proved particularly stubborn. Trouble started with ENTER ___ for 14A: It'll give you a break. KEY was soooo anticlimactic. A break ... in your document? Pfffff, ok. I guess. Later, when I came back to this section, I just blanked on the Philippine island, as well as the [1972 top 10 hit that ran for 7+ minutes], so getting that section to finally come together took work. Clue on ME TARZAN was brutally vague (7D: Famous introduction that was never actually used). So that answer alone, and its environs, brought the overall difficulty for me back to normal.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. A historical note: COED hasn't been clued as a noun (meaning a female college student) since 2005.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

136 comments:

jae 12:13 AM  

Very easy Fri. for me. LAYLA and LUZON were gimmes. I had more problems with the LAT Thurs. puzzle. That said, this one had some nice stuff. Liked it.

Lars 12:45 AM  

Took some time to get through. On first pass had only a half dozen I was sure of. So, had to roll up my sleaves and work it through creatively at steady pace. Liked UNO DOS TRES because it was a mini-aha and fixed both SW and NE.

Ended with two slips at DuLCE crossing [Dad] BuD (when dad hangs out with you and your friends) and LUZaN crossing YOUR aT HER LEFT (at wrong side of your partner?). Sloppy.

Felt like a good gratifying solve, with no real highs nor lows.

George Barany 12:46 AM  

Thanks @Rex for your commentary about @Steve Overton's puzzle, particularly for calling out the COEDS answer, as well as your observations about MAR and UNODOS // TRES. I might add a little bit of DAS and DAT, not to mention HASTA and CARTE which further tested my recall of high school foreign language classes.

It was interesting to suss out YOUR OTHER LEFT, which was unfamiliar to me, and to somehow retrieve ME TARZAN (you Jane?) from the ashbins of pop culture. On the other hand, the less said about the "Austin Powers" franchise, which I've never sampled, the better. For the backstory to the classic song LAYLA, click here (and remember, @Eric CLAPTON appeared in yesterday's puzzle).

There is some politically timely stuff in the puzzle. Here in Minnesota, everyone's on edge about a certain ongoing trial in which DASHCAM footage is playing a key role. Congresswoman @MAXINE Waters has certainly gotten into the news a great deal, recently.

I liked the unexpected answer to "Mass number" which shifted my thinking about science to an aha moment about one of my favorite Schubert pieces. However, the clue for MIN was sufficiently nerdy to compensate. In my solving experience, OXICLEAN, ELANTRA, and ETRADE were inferable from the crosses, rather than from the clues. Cute clues for GOD and YODEL, but the BOD clue gets an EDGAR from me.

Mike in Mountain View 1:19 AM  

This themeless was amazingly free from the words that show up over and over again in crossword puzzles. I'm hoping someone will tell me that RAREST was the most common answer in this puzzle.

Thanks, Steve.

Gerry Kahle 1:47 AM  

In 1972 I was giving a bar owner grief about his jukebox selections and he said I could add one song. I chose Layla and he was not happy but stuck by his promise. Filled in LAYLA with no crosses.

Larry Gilstrap 1:49 AM  

I'm blaming the late hour for my continued befuddlement, but this Friday effort was a hit. That being said, the NE had me buffaloed; something about calculus. Thank goodness for ELANTRA, I know cars. CANT, is a terse refusal that begs clarification. I prefer it clued in a Chaucerian context. The cluing in general definitely was devious. TGIF!

When it comes to using a keyboard, I suck. My proficiency has improved since the keyboard has become ubiquitous. I took "It'll give you a break" as a life hack. What oft was thought ,but ne'er so well expressed. Still intellectualize every stroke. Sad!

More about me, I have always had a right/left problem. Even as a young man, negotiating a staircase was a challenge. The Pledge of Allegiance helped me in a pinch, but I've found it doesn't get better. In the late 90s I got into step aerobics, found a great teacher with a strong group, and became that guy. Mr. Step Aerobics in my gym. We were good, power moves, the whole deal. More than once did I hear her say YOUR OTHER LEFT in my direction. My wife uses the phrase when I drive. Even with that, I still love these women. I'm coachable.

Anonymous 3:15 AM  

thought it was easier (and less interesting, by far) than yesterday's puzzle. interesting that our resident scientist , dr. b, doesn't like a movie franchise without actually testing (i.e. seeing) it first. mike myers is a genius. and, canada is sooooo close to minnesota.

so rex doesn't like "coed." how does he feel about "distaff?" hate to break it to you, but in 1969 female students were called "coeds" and sports activities with men and women were called "coed."




chefwen 3:16 AM  

Found this one a tad bit easier than Thursday's puzzle, but not by much. So many unknowns. Once I changed went ON HOLIDAY to AWAY, life got a lot easier. Guess I have to accept DNF as I consulted Uncle Google a couple of times, mostly from impatience, hello DR. EVIL.

@Clark - Aloha, read your post late tonight, when are you and the gang coming back? The hiking trails are calling you. I miss your regular posts.

phil phil 3:54 AM  

Trouble started with ENTER ___ for 14A: It'll give you a break
Excellent clue sorry Rex missed the fun.

I have a great distaste for the 31d: Rain Forest menace =>ANACONDA cluing and it's pathetic human self righteousness ilk.

Humans would be better termed as amazon menace.

Shame on NYT Shortz and Overton.

Thomaso808 4:34 AM  

@George Barany, Google DAD BOD and you'll see it's a thing. I know because, sadly, I have one.

I must have said YOUROTHERLEFT to my kids a thousand times. Great entry! In Xwordinfo Steve Overton says he felt compelled because it had not yet been used in the NYT puzzle. His second NYT published puzzle. Good job!

evil doug 5:33 AM  

"... the less said about the "Austin Powers" franchise, which I've never sampled, the better."

Yeah, don't actually 'sample' the franchise before you make a judgment about it. It's a satire. Do you suffer equal umbrage when the real James Bond makes an appearance in the puzzle?

Back then, a coed was a coed, Michael, so the clue suffices. Surprised you didn't emphasize how long it took UVA to admit the fairer (gee, can I say that?) sex instead of zeroing in on a sideshow.

The sad thing is to see how the knee-jerk reactions of PC-obsessed people make them self-inflicted prisoners of their own minds, obliged to sift everything they see/read/hear through a colander that strains out so much good, vivid language and history. I'm glad I don't have your workload....

Anonymous 5:56 AM  

If you add Maxine Waters's IQ to Michael Sharp's sense of humor, you get -1.

Cassieopia 6:07 AM  

@larry - me too. I hear "your other left" so often it makes me cringe. It's worse in crisis situations (out for a walk, fast biker behind yells "on your left!" And instead of stepping out of the way I freeze, trying to figure out which way to move). I'm fantastic with maps and spatial relationships, but after 58 years on this planet, that whole right/left thing remains a profound mystery. I read once this defect is a sign of intelligence so I'm sticking with that.

FPBear 6:13 AM  

@Rexism - Stupid pseudo PC comments on gender by uptight blogger.

BarbieBarbie 6:43 AM  

@Cass, I am both a biker and a walker, and I HATE HATE HATE that the accepted thing to call is "on your left." It confuses everybody for a crucial split second, even though it's plain to the thinking part of the brain. The phrase should be something like "move right!" so people don't have to use much beyond their brain stem to process it before acting.
Hard one for me with many do-overs, beginning with ENTracte. Overthinking! Loved most of the answers, once I got them. My dad used to say YOUROTHERLEFT and we thought he was hilarious.
@Larry, cosines aren't calculus any more than numerals are. They're trig. Does anyone know the etymology of trigonometry? Anything to do with those right triangles?
@Rex, Evil already pointed out that Virginia in 1969 was an excellent place for a woman to be on campus if she wanted to be condescended to and/or called a COED. And, 48 years ago IS old.
That Austin Powers/Benny Hill/Jerry Lewis humor has never seemed more than about 15 seconds'-worth of funny to me, either, so no way a whole movie, but funny to most other people, so why not. We had 86 and 99 here not long ago. Now, those are funny spies.

Anonymous 7:00 AM  

@BarbieBarbie - tri (three) gon (angle) metry (measuring) - yep, right triangles inscribed in a unit circle are the basis of the trigonometric functions.

Anonymous 7:05 AM  

@Rex - did your puzzle have a different clue at 25D - mine has the phrase "in 1969, for the first time." Seems to be a clue - for people who can read.

Anonymous 7:10 AM  

You said 69. Heh heh.

kitshef 7:11 AM  

AVogAdro before AVEMARIA, which I must say is a brilliant misdirection.

ENTracte before ENTERKEY – also brilliant. So much so that at after I had the entire puzzle finished, I took out ENTERKEY pretty much in its entirety, figuring I had something dreadfully wrong in the NW. Then the penny dropped and I put it all back in.

The Southern California branch of the P.G. Wodehouse Society is called The PERFECTO-Zizzbaum Motion Picture Corporation.

kitshef 7:20 AM  

Oh, yeah. UNO DOS TRES was brilliant, too. Can't imagine what @Rex's objection is there.

Also @Rex's historical note directly contradicts his first paragraph:
"The NYT crossword itself clued COEDS as [Female students, condescendingly] ... just three years ago".
"COED hasn't been clued as a noun (meaning a female college student) since 2005".

BarbieBarbie 7:30 AM  

Wodehouse... Now THATS funny. There was a sound like a tyre bursting in a nest of cobras...

Lobster11 7:31 AM  

I'm giving a pass to COEDS because it is clued "...in 1969, for the first time." In 1969 it wasn't considered a derogatory/condescending term. And as far as I know, there is nothing derogatory/condescending about SHEILA; it's just the equivalent of "bloke" Down Under. Too bad for Rex that his fun was spoiled by his overly sensitive PC radar.

Dolgo 7:45 AM  

I liked it. It was challenging but doable, and perfect anti-inflammatory aid for me. Most of it came easily after thought, but I can't believe how long it took me to catch on to the " Mass number" clue! Duh!

Hungry Mother 7:47 AM  

Two letter shy today. Forgot about LUZON.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

You ever wonder sometimes if Rex is a spoof, ala This is Spinal Tap? No one can be this much of a stereotype.

Anonymous 8:11 AM  

YOUR OTHER LEFT
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M7CC-AAkjX8

Two Ponies 8:21 AM  

So much to curdle my coffee today.
There I was, sipping and solving, laughing at
"your other left" until I fell into that
swirling eddy of idiocy in the SE corner.
Too bad the House of Representatives is coed.

Anonymous 8:23 AM  

I didn't see sexism because of the Austin Powers pseudo-theme: those movies knowingly sent up the sexism of the Bond films. "Rex" needs to relax---switch to decaf?

Teedmn 8:36 AM  

A pretty smooth Friday here. While I was solving, I thought the clues were too straightforward for a Friday but looking back, I think I was just on Steve Overton's wavelength - I plopped YOUR OTHER LEFT in with no crosses at all and crossed my fingers that I was "right" - it's a phrase my husband introduced to me way back when and it is both *cute* and rather irritating :-). Though he's usually directing it at himself, as the more spatially-challenged one of us. (I'm left-handed so perhaps that gives me an advantage?)

I thought I was going to biff it at the very end, with the Austin Powers car crossing Spanish leaders at 47A but having _NODOS and re-reading "portmanteau" in the 34D clue made it all come together. I can't imagine a Jaguar would make a very good SHAG car but it is Austin Powers after all.

Thanks, SO, nice sophomore NYT puzzle.

Sir Hillary 8:36 AM  

@Rex's opening paragraph is so absurd, I can only assume he's just baiting us and chuckling when we bite. At least I hope so.

The less said about a movie franchise that I've never bothered to watch but which someone told me was puerile, the better. GOD, my kingdom for an eye-roll emoticon.

I liked this puzzle, although since I am a middle-aged WASP from relative privilege, your mileage may vary. Good Scrabbly mix, solid long entries (love, love, love AVEMARIA next to DIVINELY, as well as the ANACONDA WASHDOWN which I imagine to be small rodents) and a fun MIXER of old and new. Good clues for MARS and EDGAR.

On the other hand, UNODOS is truly dreadful. Also, the FEMININE TAILENDS stack suggests leering lechers, and METARZAN reeks of male dominance, whether or not it was used. For shame.

What I'm pondering: Is the MAXINE AGENDA YOUROTHERLEFT, or the same one?

Lewis 8:39 AM  

Solid puzzle, a good Friday, as it were, with some entertaining cluing (YOUR_OTHER_LEFT, ENTER_KEY, CORER) and answers (PERFECTO, STROPS, ME_TARZAN. I like AVE_MARIA right next to DIVINELY. And there is a Boggle-style POE, starting with the P in NIPS) to go with that EDGAR.

For the second day in a row, your alphadoppeltotter must report that this puzzle has a very highly unusually low double letter count -- two! -- the lowest in several years. And this is the first time that there have been two unusually high (more than 20) or low counts (less than five) twice in a row. This is also highly unimportant and trivial, I realize, but it's an obsession I've fallen into, and so while it may just be an ordinary day to you, your resident alphadopeltotter feels like he is AWAY_ON_HOLIDAY.

Hartley70 8:43 AM  

This Friday moved along at a good pace until I got stuck in the SW. I have studiously avoided Austin Powers because he's not amusing, although I know SHAG is linked with the franchise. UAR could have been anything to me. The crossing with UNODOS did me in, but I'm slapping my head in 1-2-3 time now.

Anonymous 8:50 AM  

Even after I saw it I didn't get unodos. Thanks for clearing it up.

QuasiMojo 8:51 AM  

People who complain about sexism in fairly innocuous terms such as "co-ed" often are the same people who sing the praises of sexist TV shows like "Mad Men" because they capture "the essence of the times" and such b.s. I'm not saying Rex is a fan of that overrated series, although I wouldn't be surprised, but for someone who collects vintage pulps or sleaze paperbacks (as they are sometimes called) to complain about a clue harking back to 1969 using the term "co-ed" really has to question why he collects them or why is he so strangely sensitive about them? Is he drawn to them as artifacts of past prejudice and bigotry? Or as titillating reminders of a lost era of tonedeafness and insensitivity?

Go back to writing your essays on the Aristotelian themes in Ross MacDonald's oeuvre, Rex. I've noticed in re-reading his novels lately (I've read 7 of them so far) he often uses the term "Negro" to describe some minor walk-on character. "A Negro opened the door," for example. Are we to write indignant columns about Ross MacDonald's alleged racism for using such terms? Or demand that the publisher stop publishing him? I'm pretty sure he uses the term "co-ed" too. Some of his overrated, tortured tales revolve around them and their pointy, busty doings. In fact his tales are so riddled with misogyny and "dead white writer" racial stereotyping that it's actually quite campy in hindsight.

It pains me to come here day after day and find the same ridiculous complaints about "sexism" and "racism" in the NYT puzzle. Why didn't you take umbrage at the "Me Tarzan" entry? That story, book, films and legend are rife with sexism and racism. Yes, we all want to end those troubling problems, and hope to eradicate them from the NYT if they should pop up, but please come up with some better examples and then maybe we'll make some real progress.

Vincent Lima 8:55 AM  

Smooth start with DASHCAM->DAS->DEPEND and ETRADE->EDGAR...

Could totally do without the TWO references to the same stupid movie franchise, quite apart from whether it's sexist or mocking Bond's sexism.

For a while, I was stuck with Mr. TARZAN, thinking Yeah, I guess they didn't introduce him as "Mr." -- until finally it clicked. (Kept wanting entr'acte for "It'll give you a break"!)

Second Rex's view, "UNODOS / TRES is ridiculous." And I liked YOUR OTHER LEFT.

Kim Scudera 9:00 AM  

Can't resist: ME TARZAN, YOU ROTHERLEFT.

SouthsideJohnny 9:03 AM  

What is a Dad BOD ?

puzzlehoarder 9:12 AM  

What a contrast to yesterday. When you get 1A on the first guess and drop the first five downs in just as quickly you know you're in for a cakewalk. It wasn't a total pushover. I still don't understand the ENTERKEY/break thing but it hardly amounted to a speed bump as "labs" were obviously dogs. This was a fun pop culture oriented puzzle. I love Austin Powers and our host in the words of Monty Python is a "stuck up sticky bit." He really is the DREVIL of PC lectures and if you read the comments he has his own little "mini me' here. However the personalities are what makes this blog fun.

RooMonster 9:20 AM  

Hey All !
Holy cow, the NW destroyed me. I spent more time staring at blank spaces than I did solving the rest of the puz. 3/4 easy, NW death nail. ME TARZAN was never gonna happen. Crossing LUZON didn't help, a WOE there. Did manage ANEMIA/STRIPS/sIPS up there, but ultimately ending up coming here to cheat for 7D. Then still couldn't get corner, so looked at 1A, then finally corner fell. Ouch. It's amazing how one section of a puz can bring about such utter brain lock.

Did like puz as a whole. Spelt SHieLA wrong at first, took a while to see COEDS, also having ___AReA at end of 11D thinking it was correct. I see nothing wrong with the word COED. It's a thing, everyone knows what it means, stop elevating things to insane PC levels. Jeez, nowadays you can't even say Men and Women, it's ridiculous.

Actually loved SHAGUAR. There is stuff in here for the women defenders, FEMININE, Natl. Women's History Month, so NO SWEAT. Relax, y'all.

Oh, and I live on ANACONDA St.! DAS, ist true! :-)

SLIME? OXICLEAN.
RooMonster
DarrinV

Don Draper 9:26 AM  

If only more Janes could find their Tarzans
the world would be a happier place.

Tita A 9:26 AM  

I love to much of the fill here to be verily mad at the fill I hated. (Yes, you know it's you I'm looking at, UNODOS TRES)

the OTHERLEFT and its counterpart are heard countless times a day around me. In English, the chances of me getting left and right right are less than 50/50.
Whether I'm the driver, the passenger/navigator, or giving directions over the phone. People who know me know to elaborate spoken directions with exaggerated hand gestures.
Neither can I rely on the verbal directions from my trusty gps...I need to check the screen to verify.

I know which way to go...it's just that the direction in my brain does not always match the one that comes out.
Even more strange is, that phenomena seems to be restricted to English. I believe my accuracy is close to 100% in Portuguese, French, or German.

People who don't know that about me can sometimes get terrified...they say "make a left up here"...
My blinker goes on (blinker direction ALWAYS matches direction I am actually going to turn...never what the spoken word was...unless of course I happened to get those two things to match up that time.)
There is a huge gasoline tanker barreling down the road in the opposite direction.
I'm not slowing down enough to make the complete stop, because I am planning on making the right, and can do so without stopping.

It's often my passenger making a hole in the carpet by stomping on their imaginary brake with both feet that clues me in...
"Oh...you meany my OTHERLEFT."

Thank you Mr. Overton.

Tita A 9:32 AM  

Also wanted madamimadam for the introduction. Great clue and answer.

More Whit 9:34 AM  

Crossing "it'll give you a break" with "lab grp" seemed a bit of a stretch to me...American Kennel Club houses far more breeds than just lab(radors) and there are many ways to create breaks in a document besides the enter key (space bar, line break, page break etc). With all the other fills in the NW corner it works out okay so it's not the mole hill I'll die on today, but it caused a fleeting irritated synapse to fire before passing into blessed oblivion. The puzzle was fun in parts - particularly liked the mass number clue...I was all over the map on that one, with (mass) hysteria...atomic weight (completely untenable here) ...and then a shout of laughter waking the neighbors whilst launching into that beautiful piece of music.

Anonymous 9:35 AM  

I was once that stage right was really left. Since then I have explained my wrong turns with that excuse.

Wm. C. 9:35 AM  

@EvilDoug-- your cousin made it into the puzzle today at 16A. Heh, heh ..

BTW, your comment about OFL's piece today was right on. Every post today carries the same sentiment. Wake up, @Rexy!

Ken R 9:36 AM  

I wholeheartedly agree with you Doug. When I read such petty critiques all I can think of is how soft this cupcake generation is. Yes they were coeds in 1969 and I wish this blog would take an extended holiday from politics, political correctness and whining. That being said it was an enjoyable puzzle. Yeah baby. I didn't know it was your turn !

Ken R 9:37 AM  

Lol or lower

Ken R 9:38 AM  

Amen Bear

Ken R 9:43 AM  

Dear Rex. You've been living in the liberal utopia of academia far too long. You need to yank that self righteous bug out of your arse and join the real world. This was a clean clever puzzle. I'd rate it easy with my only objection to the Maxine Waters clue.

Anonymous 9:43 AM  

Anyone else wonder why Rex doesn't transition to a woman? Sheesh.

Thanks for a terrific puzzle Mr. Overton and thank you Will. That's two winners in a row.

Passing Shot 9:48 AM  

Haven't swung through the comments yet, but I had the same cringe-y reaction to COEDS. Just... no. Also hated the first and only Austin Powers movie I saw, so DREVIL was easy, SHAGUAR (ugghh) not so much. am i before DAT and then DOtED before DOSED made the SW a real bear for me, while the entire east half of the puzzle was comparatively easy. Despite the boy-flavor of the puzzle, this was quite enjoyable overall.

Ellen S 10:02 AM  

I felt the same way as @Rex about this puzzle. I loved YOUROTHERLEFT, hear it often, but much of the rest just didn't feel clever, buttressed by too many proper nouns and foreign words and phrases.

"Coed" was commonly used in 1969, but that doesn't mean it wasn't derogatory and condescending. It was okay then to speak of women in a derogatory and condescending manner. In 1967 I had a job interview with a major railroad line (I was applying for a clerical job, not trying to be an engineer, god forbid) and the interviewer asked me if I planned to get married. I couldn't answer that question, I said, as I was not at the moment dating anyone I wanted to marry, but had no idea what the future would bring. But why, I wondered, did he ask it? And he told me (I am not making this up): "We don't like our female employees to be married because married women get divorced, and divorced women get drunk and come in to work late."

In 1971 or thereabouts I was at a party for employees and spouses of a large blue computer manufacturer. I had been an employee of that company until my daughter was born. They only allowed a 6-week leave of absence and I wanted more time with her (really only asked for another 6 weeks, but that was more than they would give) so I was unemployed, but my husband was still working for them, my ticket to this event. I was chatting with a second-level manager who told me he always gave larger raises to the male employees within his managerial sphere, because a raise is an investment, and women have babies and quit their jobs but men will stay. Statistically, even then, that was bullshit. Men and women typically stayed in jobs about the same amount of time, men quitting to leverage their way into better jobs with other companies, women, yes, we have babies, and come back to work, at lesser jobs because we are lesser people. Even in cradle-to-the-grave IBM there were people (usually those who urinate standing up) who would come to work there for a year so it could go on their resumes.

I've never watched an Austin Powers movie all the way through but seen enough clips to know I don't want to. Spoof of James Bond or not, they are dumb.

evil doug 10:07 AM  

But look how far you've come, baby!

Betty Danger 10:10 AM  

As a woman over 70, I would rather see Rex work on curbing his condescension toward old people than carping about other people's tone deafness about words like coed.

Nancy 10:15 AM  

YOUR OTHER LEFT???? What the hell does that mean?

DR EVIL crossing REN crossing that stupid car make? Give me a break.

HEFTS = Weighs? HEFTS is a verb now???? Or is WEIGHS a noun now? Give me another break.

And speaking of breaks, why will an ENTER KEY give you a "break"? It'll give you entry, but that's not a break or even a break-in. Is it?

And then there's UNODOS...TRES. It's not only foreign, it's weird.

I solved this with only one cheat -- LUZON. Mostly I just guessed wildly -- on everything from the stupid car to the evil doc to the peculiar expression. And I didn't know LAYLA either. Oh, and I forgot SHAGUAR. Huh???? There wasn't much about this puzzle that I liked.

PS. There's a duplicated sentence at the bottom of this post. It went down below the comment box and I can't retrieve it to delete it. Ignore it.


I solved this with only one cheat -- LUZON



Anonymous 10:16 AM  

That's a wrap! evil doug wins the internets today!!!!

Maruchka 10:25 AM  

Jeez, the snark quotient today is weird. I blame the POTUS factor. Who cares if COEDS is used? Not this gal. I don't mind referencing any words in any case, as long as they're not meant to be mean. And this wasn't.

I don't watch commercials and CANT remember pop culture for beans. LOL, @LarryG!. See, this is what I love about wordplay - people who bring their own textures and wit to it.

Stage LEFT is right. Stage right is LEFT. What's LEFT? WASH DOWN a drink at the ENTR'acte (hi @BarbieB and @kitshef). Be of good cheer, y'all.

mathgent 10:27 AM  

I thought that it was very hard. I gave it to The Closer early. She got a lot of good stuff including OXICLEAN and YOUROTHERLEFT. Then I was able to finish, but it still took a lot of sweat.

The cluing was very clever, to the point of being borderline unfair at times. That's what made it so hard.

I liked being reminded of Austin Powers. I miss Mike Myers. Brad Gilbert, when he was doing more tennis commentary, used to refer to Ivo Karlovic, the 6'11" Croatian with the dynamite serve, as Doctor Ivo.

I thought that the mathematical clue, "-1 for sine," would be a piece of cake but it wasn't. -1 is the sine of 180 degrees so I thought that it might have something to do with a horizontal line or a u-turn. -1 is also the minimum value of the cosine function, of course.



Nancy 10:38 AM  

@Cassieopia (6:07) -- Interesting that we're such polar opposites. Unlike you, I'm absolutely hopeless at both maps and spatial relationships, but, also unlike you, I do know my left from my right. However, I also would freeze if a biker yelled ON YOUR LEFT from behind me -- not because I don't know what my left is, but because I'm morbidly afraid of bikes, and don't want them on either my left or my right. When I walk in this city, I think of nothing else except bikes. I hug one side of the path or the other when I'm in the park, so that there's only one side I can be passed on. I hold what I'm carrying, usually the NYT, in my outside hand in order to gain a few more inches of protected space. If I change sides of the road, I also change hands. I call whatever I'm carrying my "LW" (lane widener). I never change sides of the road without looking behind me. Crossing the street, I stop at the edge of every stopped car and peer around it, to see if any bike is speeding through that narrow lane. If it is, I know it won't stop for the red light; it never does. This is the ultra-cautious, fearful way I am forced to live in a city where lawless, reckless bikers own the streets. It's the only reason I'm alive right now to tell my tale. On the other hand, it's no guarantee that I will still be alive tomorrow.

Mohair Sam 10:42 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mohair Sam 10:45 AM  

I was going to love this puzzle based on YOUR OTHER LEFT no matter how everything else fell out. But everything else fell out just fine. Medium challenging for us with toeholds at MAXINE, ETRADE and ELANTRA.

Miss those ETRADE ads, that kid was cool. Just didn't enjoy the Austin Powers flicks, they were parodies of parodies to me - a little too much. Only problem with LAYLA is spelling it, always.

@ Larry Gilstrap - So my second day of basic training about half a century ago we're learning basic drill commands. The drill instructor yells "LEFT face!" and some guy reliably turns right. The D.I. yells "YOUR OTHER LEFT, klutz!" Which I, a wise-ass outta Long Island, think is really funny. So I laugh out loud. On day two of basic I discover that sneering laughter is a far larger sin than left/right confusion. Larry - I paid forward for your pain, trust me.

COED? That's bad? Does anybody say that anymore? Maybe 50 years ago it was a slur meaning she couldn't get into one of those expensive all-girl colleges? I don't know. It's really hard to keep up, isn't it?

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

@Nancy
I feel for you. Far too many bikers are a menace. And it isn't just the urban idiot. you should come here to the `burbs. it's incredible. All these folks stuffed into lycra. The group riders are the worst. they blow through stop signs, ride two and three abreast and absolutely refuse to obey the traffic laws. Truly a scourge.

Dr. Schwinn 10:51 AM  

Watch out Nancy, I'm out to get you!
Bwa-hah-hah.

jberg 11:23 AM  

People ought to read what @Rex actually says before criticizing him. He didn't say that COEDS shouldn't be in the puzzle, just that the clue ought to indicate some awareness that it was a condescending term (and for those who think it wasn't -- then why isn't is used today? And why aren't men attending former women's colleges called coeds?)

As for Austin Powers -- I'm kind of astonished at the idea that one people should go see a movie when the publicity for it makes them think they won't like it, just to be "scientific." Come on folks, we go to movies for fun (unless we're professional movie critics). It's one thing to say "knowing what I do about you and your tastes, I think you'd actually like it" -- but that's different from saying I'm somehow wrong not to go see a movie I'm pretty sure I won't like.

But to get serious about the puzzle: is AVE MARIA really part of the mass? As a recorder player, I've played a lot of renaissance and baroque masses, and AVE MARIA is no part of them. The crosses made it clear enough, but still. But the only masses I've heard in church are at Christchurch Cathedral in Oxford, and I'm only there once a year, at most, and they may not be representative -- so maybe someone with more experience of these things can let me know if I'm wrong.

Anonymous 11:23 AM  

"some University of Mississippi undergrads in 1963 for the first time"

Answer: "jigs"

Don't take offense, remember the historical context; "jigs" was the term used by polite white people.

Todd Gak 11:24 AM  

Somewhat easy Friday for me (~40 mins) after a slow start with only the SE locked down.

Thought had some nice misdirects: Mystery prize and Korean compact had me thinking grab bag and some Asian agreement, respectively. Mass number too. SIPS instead of NIPS threw me for a bit in NW.

Re: COEDS ... perhaps it is time for a National Divorce. Honestly, it will be a rough go, but really...it's over. We're through. We'll all be happier eventually.

Maruchka 11:25 AM  

Spot on, @Nancy. I went to a DOT presentation on the "Brooklyn Gateway" - more lanes for bikes, but not much for pedestrians. While the bikers were applauding, a guy in front of me shouted 'I walked to get here and almost got run over by some biker. They don't think the rules are for them!' That's been my experience, alas.

Aketi 11:28 AM  

I liked ERROR crossing YOUR OTHER LEFT. I did hear that instruction today when I was gingerly and carefully practicing getting the trigonometry of my triangles in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lined up so I didn't put any strain on my injured knee. And I'm proud to say I managed to do it with no strain at all thanks to a great COED of the male gender.

I'm fine with reading what ELLEN S had to say on the FEMININE AGENDA of whether or not COED hints of sexism because it was thoughtful and Maruchka as well. I also applaud all the men who remained silent or at least were thoughtful on the topic. For the rest of the men who RANTED about it today while throwing in stereotypical insults, I just wonder why you think you are an expert on this topic?

For anyone who thinks it's fine to label women as "cupcakes" or "snowflakes" or "whiners" I'd be happy to invite you to the fight club I am in so I can practice trigonometry like this on you. I'll give SHEILA a pass, but having had a kiwi boyfriend I'd say it is about the same level as calling a woman a "broad". Not exactly endearing if you want to make a good impression.

I'll spare you the Trevor Noah link since no one today has been equating female reproductive organs with weakness, although a few have done so in the past. Suffice it to say that if you haven't given birth, you have no business making comments about how weak women are.

Anoa Bob 11:34 AM  

Today with FEMININE TAILENDS we get yet another nod to Sir Mix-a-Lot's classic "Baby Got Back". Oh, and who could forget its signature line "My ANACONDA don't want none unless you got buns hon"? PC? No. Funny as hell? Yes!

Is an E-MOTE a speck on the computer screen?

relicofthe60s 11:40 AM  

I am stunned that Rex called this medium difficulty and that some commenters thought it was tough. I found it "easy peasy."

GILL I. 11:47 AM  

What a way to ruin my enjoyment of this puzzle. I had to look up COEDS after reading @Rex to see if it is patronizing or pejorative or something more EVIL. I guess, depending on how you were brought up, it can go either way. I've used COED without blinking an eye. I also use the word Oriental. Uh oh, is that bad too?
I loved UNO DOS TRES...I wanted TRES AMIGOS but who DAT changed my mind.
I was flying through this Fri...so proud of myself...until I got to the middle. I knew LAYLA/LUZON (GOD, I hated that song and I wanted "Like a Rolling Stone" which I also hated) but could not see CARAT/EUROS. For some strange reason I wanted Mozart and Cervantes to be on the Spanish DUROS. A duro was about 5 pesetas before the EUROS came along.
My mom and my brother were south paws and neither could tell LEFT from right....you always had to point! @Tita your car story left me in stitches.
My husband would always ask me to stop shoving my feet through the bottom of the DASHboard...!
@Ellen S....I don't know one single female who hasn't had the same experience as you. I want to believe it's in the past. Like @evil implies...we've come a long way.
There is something about seeing LEFT MAXINE FEMININE that makes me want to buy OXICLEAN.
SHAGUAR is pretty neat. Never seen and Austin Powers film nor will I. Love those little babies doing the rumba for E TRADE.
I wonder if Steve speaks Spanish? PERFECTO....

Noam D. Elkies 11:47 AM  

I think jberg is right (as opposed to "other left"): 11D:AVE_MARIA is not a "Mass number", since a mass is ordinarily Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei [my old mnemonic: Keeps Good Christians Singing Along], and while "Virgo Maria" is mentioned, the Ave Maria text does not appear. A Requiem Mass has some other movements (notably DIES IRAE, as ✝worders know well), but still no Ave Maria. But AGNUS_DEI didn't work with the, um, crosses.

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

Aketi,
what makes you an expert?

Nate 12:02 PM  

There were some really good "ohhhhhhh I get it" moments in this puzzle, particularly ME TARZAN, YOUR OTHER LEFT, AVE MARIA, and ENTER KEY. That's good stuff, and exactly why I love doing a crossword puzzle.

I'm with Rex 100% on the COEDS issue. It's a dated term and, no matter what its original usage was, nowadays is considered derogatory. It carries an implied lesserness, and undeniably a sexualization of women students. It's a dumb word and nobody should bemoan its demise.

Here's the thing. Even if you don't have a problem with the term "coed", can we simply agree that contentious words really have no place in the most famous crossword puzzle in the world? We have a beautiful language full of wonderful, descriptive words. There's no reason to reach into the chum bucket of history to pick out an arguably offensive words when there are plenty of great ones just waiting to be picked.

Doug Smith 12:09 PM  

Sorry, Nate. I don't agree. Simply an implied otherness.

Anonymous 12:14 PM  

You need help, Michael.

newspaperguy 12:25 PM  

"I can't / won't take COEDS unless it is clued in relation to some old movie title or otherwise flagged as old-fashioned." The reference to 1969 wasn't a clue about the datedness of the word? Get some some help before it's too late, Michael. And reconsider whether you should be teaching. I get a kick out of your comments quite often but I think you have become a train wreck of a human being.

Anonymous 12:40 PM  

@Doug Smith "an implied otherness"

Other than what? "EDs"? The corollary of men is "women," of boys is "girls." COEDS may have been in common use in 1969 but it was offensive even then, and moreso now.

Masked and Anonymous 12:43 PM  

@RP: A historical note note: COEDS was last used as a noun in 2016. p.s. It also has Patrick Berry Usage Immunity, 2009.

Since I just mashed the ENTERKEY twice to get the above paragraph break, I assume that's what the 14-A clue was gettin at.

Medium-difficult sounds about right. Whenever M&A was about to get stuck and the nano-second meter needle was spinnin off its lugnut, suddenly a moo-cow gimme would come along to get the solvequest back on the highway. Never did see an Austin Powers flick, err-go had that goin agin m&e. Knew LUZON right away, tho. Got ME - TARZAN off the ME, sooo ... also helpful. LAYLA was also a gift. CARTE weren't too ornery, as collateral French damage goes, once I gave up on TABLE.

The symmetrical-like O+X … I - CLEAN was a typical Tarzan come-on quote, btw. Tarzan was nothin, if not unsubtle.

MIO MILS, that's desperate - Award Winner: UNODOS … TRES. har

staff weeject pick: DAS. Wanted LOS, at first guten yo. Honrable mention to DAT.

fave fillins: Y.O. LEFT. PERFECTO. NOSWEAT. ME-TARZAN. SLIME.

COEDS replacement fix:*
ACROSS.
25. React to the four straight flights of stairs, say
DOWN.
25. Students of the macabre and grotesque?

Thanx, Mr. Overton. Good #2.

Masked & AnonymoUUUs


*OK. OK. I know that was pretty desperate. M&A was just tryin to spare U from this solution…
ACROSS.
25. Fancy
28. Drier (than snot)
DOWN.
25. Primo Colorado store selection
28. Pancho Villa's Revenge, with "the"


**gruntz**

Anonymous 12:44 PM  

Remember when men were men?

AZPETE 12:45 PM  

Know a lot of Aussies and never once have I heard a reaction to Sheila like Rex's. As an American I didn't use it and rarely heard it, but when I did, I don't recall such a negative condescending reaction. C'mon, lighten up. It's a freaking puzzle.

Mohair Sam 1:02 PM  
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Mohair Sam 1:07 PM  

@Gill I - You think you've got a problem calling your fellow ladies COEDs? I've bragged forever that one of the things I like best about Lady M is that she's a bit of Tomboy. Lately Comcast has been running a series about women athletes overcoming that hideous "Tomboy" label. Like I said earlier, it's hard to keep up.

RooMonster 1:16 PM  

@M&A
I'm shocked you've never seen an Austin Powers movie. They are hilarious, and I believe fit your personally. Watch one (or more) today!

Also an almost-word ladder,MIO MIN REN RON BOD GOD.

RooMonster

mathgent 1:27 PM  

@jberg (11:23): The only times I hear AVEMARIA at mass is when it's a funeral mass. At most funeral masses but not all, so It's probably not part of the liturgy.

Malsdemare 1:29 PM  

I found this miserably hard. After 45 minutes I googled for ELANTRA, but that just didn't bring me any joy. So at an hour I finally let the software help me for DREVIL, whose I never knew and will now forget, and LUZON, which I know is tucked away somewhere among all those neurons but just wouldn't come out of hiding today. Also had to hit reveal for the last letter of UNODOS; that's stupidity on my part because I had TRES and UNO. Head slap!

I hated COEDS and I'm not easily offended. I thought a SHEILA was a farm animal though I don't recall which one (sheep?). I liked DASHCAM, PERFECTO, AVEMARIA, (I sort of sensed this was a Mass as in religious service but took forever to get away from parishioners, which was obviously not going to work), TAILENDS (I was SO far away from that meaning I'm embarrassed, wanted something like mothered or some such) and YOUR OTHER LEFT.

This puppy really expected you to be a world traveler. I've been to Europe several times and didn't realize Cervantes and Mozart were on the EUROS. Knew DAS (My German and French are sufficient for crosswords). Add DOLCE and the Spanish and this is pretty European.

Cleaned my clock, it did.

QuasiMojo 1:33 PM  

Perhaps I should wait until afternoon to post on here as I seem to be less grouchy after I've had lunch. I apologize for my long-winded rant early this morning. And I wish I'd made my points clearer. But I don't disagree with my main premise. That people need to lighten up about the use of some slang. What's offensive to some may not be offensive to others, and ultimately context is everything. And I won't give up my being able to listen to my favorite Rudy Vallee song, "Betty Co-Ed" just because some jerks in the 60s used the expression in a derogatory way.

@Nancy, I have the same problem with bikers here where I live (which shall remain nameless) as you do but I'm also dashing out of the way of kids on scooters, longboards, tourists on Segways, and hipsters on "hoverboards."

For a fun discussion of slang and its constantly evolving history, check out the review of a new book about the subject in the Wall Street Journal today. It mentions the slang naval term "Leper's Hankies" for pizza slices. That may offend some on many levels. But that is what slang does. It pricks you. While you're there, do the puzzle. It's smooth as silk and enjoyable, with nary an offending clue or answer, and no snarky subtext.

Dick Swart 1:34 PM  

"It's Dr. Evil, I didn't spend six years in Evil Medical School to be called 'mister', thank you very much".

What a relief after yesterday. An enjoyable puzzle ...

In Ft Hood Texas in the draftee repple-depple days of the '50's, "Your other left" was not sarcastic.

Space Is Deep 1:37 PM  

Much easier than than the Thursday puzzle, which took me about three times as long to finish. Austin Powers is funny. Period.

martyvanb 2:03 PM  

Rex, hang up your spurs and ride into the sunset. Either that or you need a long vacation to figure why you're still writing this blog. Your joy is gone. Everyday is yet another explanation of why you didn't like the puzzle. That must be exhausting! Honestly, man, I'm as about as liberal as they come but your PC bullshit is a stellar example of why many of our ideas won't ever take root with our more conservative neighbors. You can't get hung up on something as trivial - and this is literally trivial - as that. Get it together, man.

Joe Bleaux 2:08 PM  
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Cassieopia 2:13 PM  

As a lycra-clad biker myself, I feel I have to defend my sport to @Nancy and others, but alas, many of my compatriots *are* rude and thoughtless. Many of us know that we are smeared with a broad and not-very-flattering brush, so work hard to be extra courteous, polite, and smiley. The end result can be buggy teeth but hey, we try. So we are not ALL awful people...

@aketi, great post, and remind me to not get on your bad side. I lift, but that's nothing compared with your Brazilian ju-jitsu. Very, very impressive!

Unlike some posters today, I found Thursday's puzzle doable without Google, and this Friday puzzle impossible without a lot of cheating. And this from a gal who thought the Austin Powers series was hilarious. No accounting for ability or taste, it seems.

GeezerJackYale48 2:17 PM  

Thank you for your voice of reason. It is unfortunate that so many educators create or at least foster the cupcake generation's PC attitudes.

Anonymous 2:18 PM  

The University of Virginia had female students long before 1967. This is simply wrong.

GeezerJackYale48 2:24 PM  

Kudos. Funny stuff.

Anonymous 2:26 PM  

This is a serious question, not sarcasm. Can someone please explain why "co-ed" is derogatory?

GILL I. 2:28 PM  

@Mohair...Oh my! I was called a tomboy during my no shoes, shove the bully out of a tree, ride bareback and out run every boy my age (I was taller) days.
Didn't know it's now a no-no word. I kinda wore it as a badge of honor!
I truly did not know that the word COEDS is pejorative as well. I went on to some other public forums and most women agree it should not be used EVER...Wow!
I guess I've learned a thing or two today....:-(

Anonymous 2:32 PM  

Just because you don't know what a line-break is (or what e-ink is or what a bar tray is) doesn't make it a bad clue. It means there are things you don't know.

GeezerJackYale48 2:36 PM  

Interesting, Betty, I haven't really noticed the condescension toward oldies and I will be 89 next month-but I jump on him about the coed stuff. Wonder what that means? I am male, is that a reason? I dunno.

Evan Jordan 2:48 PM  

ENTERKEY: (physics) The inevitable disintegration of a turkey.

oldbizmark 2:56 PM  

found this one incredibly easy, keeping the trend going for the week. the only issue, and the reason i did not finish, was the LAYLA/LUZON/METARZAN. Never heard of LUZON and unfortunately had an error with SNARES instead of SNARLS. Also, really had no idea what was going on with Metarzan, even when I just saw the answer... Meta Zarn? What is a Meta Zarn? Ah. Smooth, enjoyable sailing otherwise. Enjoy a more challenging puzzle than this on a Friday, but hardly a complaint otherwise. Had I only heard of Luzon...

oldbizmark 2:59 PM  

meant, Metar Zan. oops.

KevCo 3:32 PM  

I could not for the life of me figure out who the "Tres Unodos" were for way too long. I thought they were some famous Spanish triumvirate that had eluded me. Facepalm.

42 adams 3:33 PM  

nice puzzle

Chip Hilton 4:43 PM  

I can't believe I just read each and every comment.

If COED drives you crazy, how do you feel about female cheerleaders bouncing around in their skimpy outfits? Will they ever be a thing of the past? While I hope not, I would think that would be a lot more disturbing to feminists than an out-dated word.

And, while I've heard, "On your left!" On biking and walking trails, YOUROTHERLEFT was new to me.

Good puzzle.

Joe Dipinto 4:49 PM  

@jberg 11:23 - I agree that the Ave Maria clue is wrong. It's not part of the Roman Catholic Mass, and from what I can tell it isn't included in other Christian masses either. It's just a musical setting of the Hail Mary - a hymn that may sung in church on occasion (it was sung at my friend's mother's funeral), but not a set part of any rite.

Aketi 4:50 PM  

@Mohair Sam and Gill I, I personally feel neutral about COED but understand how it can be considered derogatory and have no problems with anyone pointing that out. I too considered the label Tomboy to be a badge of honor. I had imagined that I was one when I was little because I climbed a lot of tree, never wore shoes in the summer and also rode bareback. But when my Dad passed away and my siblings and I were reviewing the old photo albums there were an awful lot of photos of me in frilly little dresses and even a pink sparkly leotard with the pink sparkly butterfly wings.

In any case Tomboy X is actually a brand of unisex sturdy comfortable yet trendy underwear that's great for playing sports where you are at risk of having you pants yanked off like in BrazilianJiu Jitsu. They actually made it a rule that you have to wear underwear when you compete because some of the Brazilians were going commando and ended up with unintended exposure on the mats.

@Casseiopia, think of the bugs on your teeth as supplemental protein. I'm impressed with bike riders (at least the nice ones) and lifting. I'm trying to work on the former which is part of my rehab and the latter because it's good for BJJ

@GeezerJack, I'm sorry that's you either have met a few teens that don't measure up to what you feel you and your cohorts were like when you were young or perhaps have developed an impression of what teens are like from the increasingly sensationalized news media. I have a teenage son who worked harder throughout his education than anyone I know from my own generation. The amount of testing they undergo is ridiculous. Kids these days rarely get recess or downtime. He is graduating high school with honors and an award for excellence in Physics and did this while holding down a job on weekends, holidays and full time over summer breaks. He also participated in and then became President of the Model UN, played first string on the La Crosse team, played piano and established and ran a teen board for a nonprofit sister city program for the last four years. I'm not sure how many teens you've been exposed to or where you live but the vast majority of my son's friends work equally hard. I think his generation is spectacular and will continue to be no matter how many derogatory labels are in appropriately applied to them. As for his teachers, I have nothing but praise for them. They too worked hard and did a good job despite working in an era that is exceedingly hostile towards teachers. I'd invite you to his graduation so you could see almost 800 kids who might help you see another side of youth these days but we've already given out our quota of tickets.

iamjess 5:00 PM  

DAD BOD??? Really? I thought that clue was even *more* offensive than COED.

Aside from that, this puzzle was outside of my wheelhouse. Great fill, but ended up being too much of a slog for me to fully enjoy.

I did fill in LAYLA right away. Because LAYLA.

Cass Garnet 5:01 PM  
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Cass Garnet 5:04 PM  

Agree with you as well. It's strange to me that this blogger insults other people (puzzle constructors, editors) daily, but then throws the proverbial water bottle on the ice at terms like "coeds" and "sheila."

Mohair Sam 5:26 PM  

@Aketi and @Gill I - Lady Mohair asks me to pass along that if you haven't whupped an older brother in a fist fight you haven't earned full tomboy creds. (this should be accomplished before his 85th birthday)

@COED attackers - Went to a couple of websites where cooler heads explained why the term originated, why it was once popular, and why and how it has become somewhat pejorative and condescending - especially in academia. It's not the Rexites who brought this on. I rarely if ever used the term before, I'll put it on my never list. You learn something every day in the Times puzzle. But man, it is so hard to keep up.

Geophany 5:43 PM  

Thanks for calling out coeds (that word has no reason to live) and sheila.

Anonymous 5:47 PM  

I have never used coeds. But I will make a point of doing so from now on.
My God! This sense of victimhood is not doing anyone any favors.

Anonymous 6:16 PM  

The term "coed" is fine.
Get over it!

Aketi 7:34 PM  

@Mohair Sam, I don't have an older brother, just a younger one. If he stills counts that means I have 27 years left to earn the Tomboy designation. If it was just plain old dirty fighting including fingernails and teeth I'm sure my little sister who is younger than my brother earned that designation 53 years ago.

Annette 7:41 PM  

Late to the discussion, since it took me so long to finish.

Since when is CARAT a unit of brilliance? I can find no definition for CARAT other than a measurement of mass of a gemstone.

Annette

CDilly52 7:45 PM  

Holy AVE MARIA this was nearly impossible! Cluing was brutal, occasionally very clever and DASHCAM (I of course threw Bob hope in there knowing it was wrong) was a highlight. I deal with countless Open Records requests for police-related documents and DASHCAM video and it never registered. When I finally got it, massive head smack!

Worked intermittently all day and just barely managed. No idea about the pop culture stuff, know nothing bout Austin Powers except that I found the trailers annoying. As for the other pop references, until I read today's analysis, I thought that whatever "it" was for the "villain" in 16 across was a "drevil" some sort of monster. Never heard of DR EVIL. And tried for the longest time to suss out what the Spanish noun "unodos" was because the NE was the last to fall this evening. TRES veces estupodo!

To all those who share my enjoyment of puzzles as a mechanism to learn new words and usage, this puzzle is a good example of one that cuts a wide swath, and I hope you enjoyed it as I did, despite the "crunchiness" (to borrow from o e of the group). Onward to Saturday; beware the dangerous Drevil!

jae 7:47 PM  

@Tita A - madamimadam was my first thought also

BarbieBarbie 7:58 PM  

The Collect is part of the Mass and often Schubert's Ave Maria is played or sung at that time. Or, during Communion. Or any other contemplative monent that is part of the Mass. (The ritual- not the words.)

(I never know how to punctuate a complete sentence, or completed fragment, that's completely inside parens following a completed sentence. Where does the period go, all?) (or question mark)

I was in school after the "coed" era and I think the term was only insulting then because it was so dated. Felt like you were being asked "hi Susie, where's Biff?" There weren't many women at the school I attended, and we were more likely to refer to other women in un-PC ways ("import") than to hear ourselves described negatively. Unless you had to repeat a year- making you a "retread." But that was the men too.

Because of the positioning (2nd), I thought UNODOS was a misdirect for AMIGOS, or the other way around. So I liked it.

mathgent 9:09 PM  

Thanks to those of you who noticed the error I made in an early post and didn't call me on it. I wrote that the sine of 180 degrees is -1. Actually, it's the cosine. The sine of 270 degrees is -1 (and it is a minimum).

Anonymous 9:38 PM  

Historical usage mostly. In colleges that began to allow women to study alongside men the men were students and the women were coeds (their presence made the school coeducational). The coed became a sexual trope and object of lust and was frequently brushed off as just a husband hunter rather than a student in her own right. No need to acknowledge the brain under the ponytail or allow the same opportunity as the real students, right?
Coed became a label that made it easy to undermine the standing of women seeking higher education.

Anonymous 9:47 PM  

Yes, coed has stymied wpmen across the decades. Yep, its been a real nightmare for the ponytail set.
You do know that women are the majority of college students. Have been for a while now. Whats more the gap between their numbers and the big bad bullly boys is growing.
Not sure how coed exactly undermined the gals, but hey, thanks for the gratuitius expalnation of the definition of coeducational.

Tom4 9:59 PM  

Austin Powers is weak stuff but my only beef here was with CARAT which has literally nothing to do with the brilliance of a diamond. Otherwise a fun puzzle. I enjoyed the little misdirections like "mañana preceder" and the difficult clues like "me tarzan."

Anonymous 9:59 PM  

coedvfefe

RooMonster 10:57 PM  

@mathgent 9:09
Har! You actually think anyone knew you made an error? :-P

Don't know about the others, but you give me too much credit.

Roo

Crane Poole 11:20 PM  

Okay, I've seen some of you fine folks get technical over cluing and now it's my turn.

I must point out the inaccurate clue for LAYLA (1972 top 10 hit that ran for 7+ minutes). That 7+ minute version appeared on the album which was released in 1970.

The top 10 hit in 1972 was an edited version that clocked in under three minutes.

Burma Shave 10:19 AM  

RAREST SINEW

MAXINE’s AURA’S purely FEMININE so,
down that DOLCE BOD NOSWEAT drips,
that COED’S TAILEND’S PERFECTO,
and thank GOD for DIVINELY placed NIPS.

--- EDGAR ELANTRA

rondo 12:46 PM  

So OFL put himself in a foul mood that MARred his solve time and it’s medium? Quite easy I thought. Do not CARAT all to get mixed up in his brand of pedantry. Do agree that MAR need not be an abbr. One ERROR at Was ist loS?

Austin Powers is both dumb and funny and I won’t, CANT, claim to be above watching parody. Some folks seem way too uptight. Laugh and smile a little from time to time.

Around these parts the most well-known SHEILA is yeah baby SHEILA E, known for performing with Prince. MAXeNE Andrews of the MN Andrews Sisters spells her name differently than Ms. Waters.

I thought this puz was nicely done. Rex, get off my side and move to YOUROTHERLEFT.

Diana,LIW 1:19 PM  

Haven't yet read all comments, but saw @Crane's - this from Wiki-you-know-who. I sure remember the song - from 1972:

The album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs opened to lacklustre sales as the album never actually reached the music charts in the United Kingdom, possibly in part because Clapton's name was found only on the back cover. In addition, the song's length proved prohibitive for radio airplay.[6] As a result an edited version of the song, trimmed to 2:43, was released as a single in March 1971 by Atco Records in the United States. The version peaked at #51 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. When "Layla" was re-released on the 1972 compilations The History of Eric Clapton and Duane Allman's An Anthology and then released the full 7:10 version as a single, it charted at number seven in the United Kingdom and reached position ten in the United States. With good sales figures, the Billboard magazine was able to rank the Rock single as the 60th best-selling song in 1972.[27]

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for that song to finish

spacecraft 1:50 PM  

Ah, The Age of Taking Offense. Tell me, folks, when someone says "COED" do you really believe they INTEND to offend? Of course not. Then WHY oh WHY do you insist on TAKING offense? Bah!

Mini-me as a mini-theme? I don't care, personally, for the Myers brand of humor, but that's just me. I acknowledge the form. As my dad often said, "De gustibus non disputandum est."

Medium, maybe leaning toward the easy side. I knew LUZON, so it wasn't all that far a leap to METARZAN. Gee, I'm glad Mr. Overton didn't include YOUJANE, or the Offendee Brigade would have even more to grouse about.

LAYLA is such a pretty name I'm going to make her my DOD. Ms. ALI spells her name differently, but will do if a more substantial reason is needed. YOUROTHERLEFT always reminds me of the Poe classic "The Gold Bug," in which the treasure hunt was sidetracked by a right-left confusion. A little difficulty in getting under way, but after getting up a head of steam: NOSWEAT. Fairly clean fill; birdie.

Diana,LIW 2:12 PM  

Google just ate my brilliant comments. Suffice to say, I lived in a coed dorm and went to a coed part of Rutgers when it was a "men's" college.

Seems to me there is anti-male stuff in this puz too - METARZAN? If your only tool is a hammer, all the world is a nail. And you'll fulfill your AGENDA.

I had "NOT SO SHERLOCK" - never heard YOUROTHERLEFT. Like it tho. And "am I?" vs. DAT.

Head slap at AVEMARIA - and I thought it was about Catholic mass, too.

And I hoped UNODOS TRES was the answer, but didn't put it in until I had word checked (dnf'd) the above. Did a M. Sharp puzzle in an anthology where one of the answers was ABCDE. True that.

Gonna go before I get eaten again.

Lady Di

rain forest 2:12 PM  

So, COEDS turns out to be controversial? Unless I'm irretrievably sexist, I just don't get it. I think it just means men and women. In 1988, I was with a group of colleagues at a conference and we were put up in a coed dormitory, ie, women and men. One morning I emerged from my shower to find a woman at the sink. Awkwardness, at least on my part, ensued. Certainly COED, though.

Count me as one who frequently mixes up left and right. So annoying.

I liked this puzzle a lot. I hated the Austin Powers movie which most of my friends found hilarious. Just dumb. Satire needs to be rather more subtle in my opinion.

Excellent cluing abounded today, but there were enough gimmes to get into a flow. Eg. First entries were EMOTE, NIPS, and DAS which helped hugely in the NW. Obvi, ME TARZAN and YOUR OTHER LEFT were DIVINELY conceived.

No complaints.

Anonymous 2:30 PM  

From Syndication Land

I had to laugh at myself after I finished this puzzle. For some reason I couldn't parse METARZAN. (The spell check is going nuts!) I thought maybe it was a product introduced and never used. Finally said it out loud a few times and had my aha moment!

Back in the 70's I lived in a coed dorm.

centralscrewtinizer 3:09 PM  

Those Spanish leaders led me astray. It seemed to only make sense to me as TRES yNODOS, while I wondered what the hell NODOS were in Spanish. Sheesh.
COEDS still gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, heh.

leftcoastTAM 6:16 PM  

AWAY much of the day, but not ON a HOLIDAY.

Interest in this one was soon buried in the NW coffin corner.

Then, to save time and learn something, looked up much of the rest of it as well.

Got a nice consolation chuckle from SHAGUAR.

Anonymous 7:13 PM  

It seems that academicians prefer outrage to civility.

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