Old baseball mascot with C on his cap / FRI 6-16-17 / French philosopher who wrote Reflections on Violence / Popular nail polish brand / School once headed by Mies van der rohe / Always one of kind sloganeer / Potent pot component for short

Friday, June 16, 2017

Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Medium (felt very hard at first, but in the end, my time was only just a tad north of normal)


THEME: none 

Word of the Day: EVA Green (30D: Green on the silver screen) —
Eva Gaëlle Green (French: [ɡʁin]; Swedish: [ˈɡɾeːn] born 6 July 1980) is a French actress and model. She started her career in theatre before making her film debut in 2003 in Bernardo Bertolucci's film The Dreamers. She achieved international recognition when she appeared as Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem in Ridley Scott's historical epic Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and portrayed Bond girl Vesper Lynd in the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006). In 2006, Green was awarded the BAFTA Rising Star Award. // Since 2006, Green has starred in independent films Cracks (2009), Womb (2010), and Perfect Sense (2011). She has also appeared in the television series Camelot (2011), and played Angelique Bouchard in Tim Burton's big-screen adaptation of Dark Shadows (2012). In 2014, she played Artemisia in the 300 sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), and Ava Lord in Frank Miller's and Robert Rodriguez's Sin City sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014). She also starred as Vanessa Ives in Showtime's horror drama Penny Dreadful (2014–16). Her performance in the series earned her a nomination for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards. In 2016, she played the titular character in Tim Burton's fantasy film Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. (wikipedia)
• • •

Brutal, brutal beginning, and then ... I dunno, guess things picked up, because I finished somewhere in the 7s, which is pretty normal. Oh, and daughter tried to talk to me mid-solve, and I *tried* to listen w/o telling her to buzz off, so ... even with that added level of difficulty, I still came in with a normal time. But to start, nothing, but nothing would work. Nothing. Tried ONIONS at 1A: Alternatives to olives (TWISTS) and it didn't get prettier from there. At least I had the cocktail part right. What's weird—we love our martinis and we *only* ever order them with TWISTS. So ... yeah, I think that counts as "ironic." Who is SOREL? I Do Not Know (6D: French philosopher who wrote "Reflections on Violence"). That hurt. Edward SOREL is a fantastic cartoonist; if you have to use SOREL, why not him? This French guy is Saturday, not Friday. But no matter. Had SATIRE instead of TRACTS (ugh, what a terrible, general, not-particularly-Swiftian answer) (1D: Swift writings). Is "center" really ever abbreviated CTR. in arena names? Yikes. AS AM I before SO DO I, 'cause... how would you know? (25A: "That makes two of us") And you can see, I'm not even out of the NW yet. As I say: brutal.


NE got me ATTN and THC, but zero thereafter. I somehow got a grip with TESH (how embarrassing) somehow, with the assumed "S" (at the end of 35A: Toaster components), I got SASHIMI at 37D: Dish often garnished with white radish. From there, I was able finally to get some traction (despite the mysterious, haven't-heard-the-name-since-childhood CHINET (43D: Big namein disposable tableware)), and after I got past the absurd MR. RED (MR. MET's weird cousin no one likes to talk about?) and the ugh-groan clue on FIRST (28D: Who's there) (took me many seconds of thinking to see how that was right), the puzzle all of a sudden opened up, and there wasn't much struggle thereafter. Weird how just a little momentum can send you barreling through a grid that 30 seconds earlier had been totally impenetrable. There ended up being many fine answers in this grid (incl. SOCIAL MEDIA and GENDER FLUID–which has been in the NYT before). My solve was just rough, and some of the cluing seemed rough (both as in "hard" and as in "yuck"). The BATTED clue is irking me no end (7A: Went for a run). I *assume* the context is baseball ... and no. You're trying to get on base. You're mostly trying not to make an out. Yes, you might "go for" (awk!) a "run," and I see what you're trying to do there with the misdirection, but the whole thing just ignores the actuality of baseball too much. The clue caused me actual pain. Not LEGIT, imho.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. I'm seeing people post re: their fast times, so my initial struggles could easily have been a personal anomaly.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

102 comments:

Pete 12:20 AM  

So, I kind of let it slip yesterday that my father had what is euphemistically a "drinking problem". Well, I too had a "drinking problem" in that I had a problem not drinking. I've had that well under control for many years now, but I'm still sensitive to the social opprobrium associated with it, and mortified that the NYTimes crossword puzzle continues to make light of it. Yes, I go to AA meetings and announce "Sot Here", but that is a very specific, therapeutic context. It's totally inappropriate to have this casually bantered about in the puzzle.

George Barany 12:36 AM  

Glad to see the byline of my prolific friend @Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel, and to read @Rex's review. My own solving experience confirms the initial misfire with SATIRE for 1-Down, but in my case, I never recovered enough to ever get through the northwest corner before resorting to the "check" and/or "reveal" functions. I did figure out the rest, other than not being quite sure how that rapper's name ends, which kept me from getting the first letter of disposable tableware. I had heard of Tom Green, though not EVA Green -- assume they use green screens for special effects -- but never really noticed because that portion worked out through crossings.

My favorite clue was "Who's there" for FIRST, so I appreciate @Rex's Abbott and Costello clip. Less enamored of NAPALM, which crosses the "not popular in our household" OPI. There is one 5-letter entry today, a New York Times debut, no less, that also appeared in a puzzle that @Chris Adams and I wrote for the just-concluded Minnesota Crossword Tournament ... which also had one of C.C.'s original puzzles, and several more by top-flight constructors. That's a roundabout way to say that some of you might still want to consider ordering the tournament puzzles ... and support a worthwhile cause (Saint Paul Public Library) in the process.

jae 1:13 AM  

Easy medium for me with the east side a tad tougher than the west. SOREL was a WOE and I had MR cub before RED. TWISTS was my first thought (confirmed by WARTHOGS and THEY) so I didn't have the NW problems @Rex did.

I agree that BATTED is a stretch, but this was just fine for a Fri., liked it a lot.

Forsythia 1:49 AM  

insomnia so I thought I would do the puzzle in the wee hours like many of you do! NOT a good idea. DNF needed the check feature to see where I was stuck. BOOTCAMP got me since I kept thinking dentist or carpentry drill. Clever.

But lots of toughies SOREL, MANN, MRRED, not knowing how to spell MALLORCA (Majorca?). I didn't want to give up satire! And tried RAmada before RANCHO. TEATAX was the first thing I was sure of!

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Larry Gilstrap 2:04 AM  

Rarely look at the grid fresh out of the printer, but my FIRST thought was Navajo rug. Then I jump in with Swift who is known for SATIRE, just like all you English majors out there. Oh, well! That definitely messed up my MARTINI and screwed up the NW.

I like baseball, but BATTED was clued oddly. "Who's there" was more LEGIT for FIRST, but where does I Don't Know play? I follow Todd Radom who knows his baseball logos and uniforms and tipped him on MR. MET a few weeks ago, and today we get MR. RED? America's pastime, in my mind anyway.

Ever hear "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by BAUHAUS? That track has the SECRET SAUCE, whatever that is. Assuming he is still dead. I'm still working on being a man; I can only imagine how confusing it must be to be GENDER FLUID. There, I said it.

I like and respect OFL, otherwise why would I waste my time posting? If I had a daughter and she attempted to interrupt my solving experience, I would turn off the damn clock and if she persisted, I would throw the iPad out the window. Yeah, I'm jealous.

chefwen 2:25 AM  

One of the tougher C.C. puzzles I have ever done and I have done many of them, but I managed to get through it. Always have to look for a baseball reference or two with C.C. so I wasn't fooled by them today.

Got off on the wrong foot ny slapping in essays at 1D, but could not think of an alternative to Olives that started with an e. Liquid Paper to the rescue. Spelled TUPAC with a K, was happy that I even remembered TUPA? portion.

I uttered 57A quite a few times with this.

Robin 2:44 AM  

Some kudos for this one since the pop culture clues were over a reasonable range but also recent. TUPAC from the 1990s up to the director of a 2015 (who I actually knew of because of stuff he directed years before). I express those kudos because of the recent whining around here about "old people", which is to say, people who effing mattered before 1970 (e.g., the leader of Japan during most of WW2). So yay TUPAC.

I found this on the easy side of medium. I figured ONIONS was not the answer for 1A because somehow I just knew WARTHOG was the answer for 2D With that W came TWISTS and I ran from there.

I have to agree that the cluing for 7A BATTED pretty muted s*cked. But I really liked a few others, notably SECRETSAUCE and BAUHAUS.

Loren Muse Smith 5:30 AM  

What terrific entries today. BIG IF, SO DO I, TEA TAX, SOCIAL MEDIA, ALL GONE, SAVE ME, OVER IT, SECRET SAUCE, MADE OUT, HEAT SENSOR, GENDER FLUID, BOOT CAMP, SO THERE, SLIP IN, DR, PEPPER, BOO AT - I love multi-word fill, even the much maligned “verb + prepositions” like BOO AT and SLIP IN. I don’t see what the big deal is there.

@chefwen – hand up for thinking “essays” first.

Liked SOCIAL MEDIA/LEGIT. Right. I read the story on FB, so it must be true.

Rex – me, too, for “onions” before TWISTS. Back when I was a cocktail waitress, everyone ordered stuff with a twist of lime but what they always meant was a wedge of lime. And thus started my Cocktail Pedantry Period. Someone would order a Bacardi and coke with a twist of lime and I would think you poor philistine it’s wedge of lime and you don’t even know it’s called a Cuba Libre and wouldn’t even know if we put in rot-gut rum instead of Bacardi anyway so there. I was eighteen and an insufferable drink snob.

And I have friends who say they can’t abide sushi because the thought of eating raw fish… Sigh. It’s SASHIMI, people. Haven’t we been over this? You can eat sushi for the rest of your life and never once eat raw fish. So the snobbery continues. And I totally get the irony here that I love McDonalds and have zero credibility.

I liked GENDER FLUID and THEY sharing the grid. I use the singular THEY here in Rexworld because I’ve made it clear that I know better and choose to break the ridiculous “rule.” So yesterday I was typing a little mini paper – a response for the discussion board for this lit class I’m taking and came to a stop when I wanted to use THEY instead of a singular pronoun. Wait. These people don’t know that I know better. Dr. Novosat doesn’t know that I know better. They’ll all think I’m dumb. Then I told myself that almost all of the other students are underclassman, mostly athletes, and not English majors. So they won’t care. But there is one guy with a law degree. He’ll think I’m dumb. But then I realized I’ve established myself as the class a-hole because I have more time and really agonize over what I say and even recently looked up the translated haiku we were assigned to see what the original Japanese was and whined that our translation ended with Splshhhh – onomatopoetic – but the original Japanese ended with just mizu no oto - no fun sound word. A spectacularly obnoxious move that removed all doubt as to my a-holeness. I swear, all these thoughts went through my head in that instant that I was considering which pronoun to use. Anyway, I went with THEY, and now everyone likes me better. If we ever go to lunch, I’ll order a soda water with a twist of lime.

A most excellent offering, CC!

Conrad 5:38 AM  

The first thing that entered my mind at 1A was an old joke: "Didja ever hear of a Dickens martini? No Olive or Twist." Thinking it impossible that anyone else would have heard of -- or remembered -- that but having no alternative, I wrote it in. I was amazed when it was confirmed by SCI, THEY and the partially misremembered SOREn. Loved the clue for FIRST

Muscato 6:03 AM  

A lovely, crisp Friday morning, and I'm a small enough person to take a little joy in apparently finding it far easier than our distinguished host - over 40% faster than my usual time. The only place I lost a little time was over the question of what a toaster needs - as I assumed it was something to equip someone about to give a speech, not an object with which to fix breakfast...

Johnny 6:09 AM  


I've said it before and I'll say it again: NAPALM is such a nice word. It's so warm and friendly. It should've been used as the trade name for a suntan lotion, or a comfortable cozy chair material, or even a chew toy that promotes healthy dog teeth.

"This dinner salad is delicious! What's your secret?"
"Why that's NAPALM™ brand food topping, in the EZ-POR™ bottle!"
"Honey, you've done it again!"

Did you know that NAPALM was invented at Harvard University? It's true! They worked with Standard Oil and DuPont to create a jellied gasoline incendiary munition, with Standard selling the petroleum, DuPont selling the synthetic rubber, and Harvard perfecting it and coming up with the idea of adding phosphorous to the mix to intentionally cause it to be extra ghastly. Who knew those eggheads could be so cruel?

Anyhoo, I think it's a sorry waste of an otherwise happy-sounding word.

BarbieBarbie 6:14 AM  

The thing that really impresses me is that @LMS can articulate that whole just-the-wat-we-really-think train of thought at 5:30 AM. Hats off.

I had the same solving experience as Rex, except for the 7 minute part, and change "daughter was talking" to "kept falling asleep." Also put ESSAYS in after SATIRE, and then re-thought my Swift interpretation and guessed maybe something about OP EDS, no, didn't fit...so actually a bit south of Rex, but then I did better than he did on TESH by spelling it TaSH the first time. So I was wrong, but feel good about myself. Wait, am I thinking Tesh or Yanni?

Medium solve for me in the end and the cluing was great. But was it really modern? The 90s were a quarter of a century ago.

Anonymous 6:45 AM  

nice puzzle. took awhile to open up. I had ET MOI for SO DO I for a while...

QuasiMojo 7:03 AM  

I've started a summer job so I have to get up really early to do the puzzle before I get to work. Maybe that's why my brain is sharper than usual. I raced through this baby in ten minutes which for me is very fast on a Friday. I had no problems with it but I didn't feel any frisson, or friction, any texture to it. It just seemed like a random bunch of words flung together, some more PEPPERy than others. I too thought ESSAYS first but I knew the olives had to be a martini reference. Once many martinis ago I took a class in advertising writing. I wrote a tag line for a print ad touting a brand of olives: "Hold the Martini!"

Two Ponies 7:06 AM  

Fun and fresh with just a few moldy oldies like "Who's on first?"
Not much of a test of one's intellect but a fun Friday. How can I not enjoy answers like Big If and Secret Sauce?
For awhile, since I started at the bottom, I thought we had a cook out in the making with Dr. Pepper, Chinet, Angus beef, secret sauce, and a grill(e).

When Tupac got shot in Vegas the irreverent joke was that he went from a Tupac to a Onepac.

Hungry Mother 7:19 AM  

I thought it was "Tupak" for a while. Then, I thought the gossip was spread by "them". Eventually, a tad south of my usual slow Friday time, I got it done. My love and I spent a lovely few days in MALLORCA back in 2003, at the end of a four month stay in Spain.

kitshef 7:20 AM  

Very neat. One of those puzzle where you can’t get anything, then slowly, slowly, you start to make progress, and then suddenly you’re done.

Fell right into ONiONS. Next in was ditto. First correct entry was CIA, so almost halfway through the acrosses before I got a word correct.

Of course, I hated SOT HERE and YES I CAN, but small price to pay for the tough cluing and some great words (BAUHAUS, SECRET SAUCE, GENDER FLUID, and yes, THUD.

Just as wildebeest is the same as gnu, ERMINE is the same as stoat (and also the same as short-tailed weasel). In the 1800s they were introduced to New Zealand, with the same awful results that such introductions so often yield (think mongoose in Hawaii, kudzu throughout the south).

In baseball, the whole point of the game is to try and score runs. Criticism of that clue is just wrong.

At trivia on Tuesday, we had the question “In the Abbott and Costello routine, what is the second baseman’s name?” We were torn between writing ‘what’ or ‘yes’.

Ryan 8:12 AM  

Going back to bed for another hour or so this morning was in retrospect a fabulous choice, because normally I DNF on Friday/Saturday, but today I finished in just under 15 minutes. I dunno what caused me to not start in the NW as is my habit, but doing so let me fly through the bottom half. Wondering if others found it easy as well, or if I just woke up on the right side of the bed...

evil doug 8:35 AM  

And now you can excrete GENDER FLUID in either rest room....

Huh. So hard landings go THUD. I always wondered, since I never made one....

Alcohol? Out. NAPALM? No frickin' way. BOOT CAMP, or any military terms? Reminds me of war, so they've gotta go. SOCIAL MEDIA? Trump has laid claim to that to bypass the Times and other liberal news sources, so forget *that*. TRACTS can be faith-based in nature, and I prefer a constitutional separation of religion and puzzles. I burned myself on a toaster once, so I resent HEAT SENSORS. The CIA? Well, we all know those spooks are sniffing around our private stuff, so get out! And you're gonna let that terrorist, YASIR, in my puzzle? I don't *think* so! TUPAC uses language I don't approve of. SMEARS reminds me of female sexual stuff, so not appropriate here. DR. PEPPER rots your teeth and stomach. MADE OUT is the gateway activity to teenage sex and unwanted pregnancies and abortions, which makes me sad....

Hartley70 8:48 AM  

I too started with "onions" and wanted "satire". I sniffed around the top half of the puzzle, getting nothing, so I forgot the grid, and ran down the list of clues until I found a gimme. I got to the bottom and hit a bunch that were grouped on the SE and SW, so I took off from there. The bottom half of this grid was much easier than the top.

I had UID and once I got GENDERFL and SECRETSAUCE, which I loved, I could scrabble up to my final entry, TRACT. I adore a Friday that seems impossible at first glance, but reveals itself with persistence.

Mary Perry 8:53 AM  

Bacardi and Coke with a twist of lime! Hahaha!

RAD2626 8:56 AM  

What a bonus Friday. C.C. in the NYT and Patrick Berry in the WSJ with a terrific puzzle although the easiest meta ever.

Nice puzzle. Trouble like others in the NW. Onions, essays, lots of bad guesses. Had all of the errors Rex listed and then some. So astonished/impressed he and others can go down all those detours and still have such phenomenal times. I am regularly 3-4x those times on Friday.

While they finally softened his look, the Mr. Red of the 90's was truly creepy. Looked like something out of Friday the 13th. The ball's stitching looked like scars. Maybe designed by Marge Scott. In fact maybe she had Schottzy play fetch with him and they were in fact scars.

Vincent Lima 8:57 AM  

Rex "tried ONIONS at 1A: Alternatives to olives (TWISTS)." I was a bit closer with LEMONS. That said, the left/west side of the puzzle fell quickly, but the other side no so much. It didn't help that I had JOGGED instead of BATTED and BARRACKS for BOOT CAMP. (At least it was the right reading of drill!)

@Larry Gilstrap's comment was sweet. It reminded me of when my two-day-old firstborn cried for more than 10 minutes and we were worried whether she'd be scarred for life. Sixteen wonderful years later, I don't mind telling her to buzz off for a couple of minutes from time to time!

Like @Loren Muse Smith, I'm taking online classes, and I hear you! It's so hard to calibrate one's participation in the discussion boards so one is engaged and perhaps helpful without being too much for others to bear!

Glenn Patton 8:58 AM  

Today's lesson: a cocktail made of gin and vermouth, garnished with cocktail onions, is a Gibson. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_(cocktail)

Bill Feeney 9:07 AM  

I've always appreciated @LMS in that she doesn't overthink things. So spontaneous. Whatever comes to mind, just do it. Just let the hims, hers, theys fly. Whatever. No sweat. It must be both exhilarating and exhausting to be Loren's mind!

DBlock 9:08 AM  

Once again when it's in your wheel house
Just flew by
Began with Yasir and never put my pencil down
But last week on the Tuesday with the long song titles I needed every down clue to finish in much longer than today

Sir Hillary 9:10 AM  

SOT HERE, one who prefers TWISTS to olives. SAVE ME!

Man oh man oh man, what a blast this was. GENDERFLUID crossing SECRETSAUCE with SLIPIN nearby (eww, but still)? ANGUS, RARE? BIGIF crossing CIA? Awesome clues for THEY, BOOTCAMP and FIRST? THC (now LEGIT in many states)? SASHA and her Mini-Me SASHIMI? In case you can't tell, if anyone out there likes this one, SODOI. ZAKACCB has become one of my favorite constructors.

I'm willing to overlook the few missteps: stilted clue for BATTED, BOOAT (you don't BOO AT something, you boo something) and OPI (really?).

Can I highlight more goodness? YESICAN! Has there ever been a greater musical juxtaposition than TUPAC over TESH? Is a RUSSO-SLAV someone who lives in the vicinity of the Black Sea?

Anyone go with DONoHUE without paying attention to the crossing clue and assume all was fine?

Stuffed Shamu toy in a department store...MALL ORCA?

@LMS -- Are Bacardi and rotgut not the same? :)

OK, I'll stop, as I'm clearly going off the DEP END.

Tim Aurthur 9:13 AM  

So our host's SOREL is a cartoonist. Amy Reynaldo's is a boot company. And mine is Julien Sorel, the hero of "Le Rouge et le Noir" and the prototype for every rebel ever played by James Dean, Sean Penn, or anyone else of that sort.

mathgent 9:18 AM  

I'm with @QuasiMojo (7:03). This puzzle was a dud for me. Little crunch, dull cluing, no sparkle. Only seven red plusses in the margins compared to an average of fifteen for Fridays. I've never enjoyed a puzzle by this constructor whose work appears everywhere. Most of us like her stuff so it must be me.

AW 9:22 AM  

Got the lower half in record time and then couldn't budge in the upper half. Don't drink, so was thinking in culinary terms for 1A ("alternative to olives" = capers?). For Swift, I was thinking politics, irony, (couldn't remember "satire")... Had to cheat and use the "reveal word" function to get traction in that corner. Never heard of SOREL, so cheated there, too. 7D Greet with disdain? No clue. 7A Went for a run. Even with TTED couldn't get it. And 29A GENDER FLUID? Never heard of it. So a typically impossible (in the sense that I have to cheat to finish) Friday for me.

Annette 9:26 AM  

@Rex your struggles were exactly what I experienced: brutal NW, write overs including onions to TWISTS, me too to SO DO I, essays to TRACTS. What a slog out of there, but everything else fell after GENDER FLUID.

Passing Shot 9:27 AM  

Hard for me. Today's cluing just seemed off in several places. Hated the clues for BATTED and ARTIER (why is this always clued affected?). Did like the nod to Abbot and Costello and liked seeing FAXED, BAUHAUS, and OVER IT. Decent puzzle, just not my cup of TEA.

Knee Jerk 9:33 AM  

Ah yes @ evil doug,
So many potential "triggers."
What a tiny bland puzzle it would be
without them.
Easily offended?
Get 59A!

Annette 9:35 AM  

Oh, and chives before TWISTS...

Grandpa John 9:38 AM  

We are looking after our granddaughter Olive today while her mom is giving birth to her new sister. So were most amused by 1 across clue.

Lars 9:39 AM  

Enjoyed it. Especially the longer entries and figuring out the redirects. Like many, had most trouble in the NW, with onIonS before TWISTS and then TweetS before TRACTS. Not knowing SOREL added to those problems. And missed the Spanish "spread" meaning till the very end. So, solved it south first, where growing up in Sweden gave MALLORCA quickly. Very common affordable vacation destination for Swedes.

Anonymous 9:45 AM  

I beat Rex, so that's a huge plus.

Really, though, that's the easiest Thursday-Friday run I have seen in a long time, if ever. Both within 50 seconds or so of records, and both roughly six minutes below normal. I'll take it heading into the weekend!

hankster65 9:48 AM  

After three minutes of total bafflement I was quite certain that my current solve streak would die an ugly death today. Slowly the south opened up and streak remains intact. An enjoyable 57 minutes. (You folks that do these in under 10 minutes astonish me.)

Anonymous 9:51 AM  

14A isn't SOT HERE as several commenters wrote, but is in fact "SO THERE!" Odd that people are reading it that way.

Maruchka 9:59 AM  

SE went in fast, everything else dragged. Satire for TRACTS here, too.

And more up the Irish - Happy Bloomsday! Wish I had a goodish quote, but Finnegan's riverrunning in me brain..

Fav of the day - (Who's on) FIRST. Take that, MR.RED.

What to put in the 'tini? Pickled okra. I'm not kidding. No slime at all. Talk o' Texas makes a good 'un.

jberg 10:04 AM  

I think OPI was the just revenge of all those who complain that the puzzles are too male-oriented. I needed all the crosses but fair enough.

@Loren, I defend the singular they by comparing it to the singular you, both developed to take invidious distinctions out of the language.

Nice puzzle

Anonymous 10:13 AM  

I so rarely complete a Friday that I was sure rex would find it easy. Had mr met for too long and batted was last to fall. This is second Friday I finished in last few weeks. Wahoo!

Unicorn Slayer 10:16 AM  

Pretty decent puzzle. About average time wise.

@LMS: Great post as usual. Never give in to the idiots Loren, especially when you know you are right. Tell them to stick their GENDER FLUIDITY where the sun don't shine. If they say, "These are MY pronouns.", tell them, This is MY finger.

Of course being the self-described living version of Melanie Wilkes, you could never actually do that, but you can still think it. The left hasn't perfected mind-control yet, but they're working on it. Here's some food for thought:

The state of New York now recognizes 32 specific gender identities for legal discrimination actions, and they're taking dead aim at Baskin-Robbins latest boast. If an individual brings suit against an employer based on a perceived violation in regard to his/her stated gender, or sincerely held belief about said gender, the employer can be fined $250,000 dollars. That's right folks, a cool quarter million. That's the maximum penalty, and it can only be imposed after a second offense, but seriously?

Picture the following scenario:

An individual walks into the offices of Tri-State Marine Salvage and states that he is there for his job interview. The conversation goes as follows:

Employer: "Good afternoon. My name is Roger Smith, lets talk."

Job Seeker: "Good afternoon, I'm Theodore Poll. I'm an ex-Navy SEAL and I have extensive experience in all facets of underwater operations, especially working with explosives."

Employer: "Yes, I've been going over your application. Its very impressive, but I'm a bit curious about one thing."

Job Seeker: "What would that be Sir?"

Employer: "Well, in the application block for gender, you put "other". It seems pretty obvious that you're a male. Could you explain that?"

Job Seeker: "Yes Roger. I was born with male genitalia, but ever since I was about six years old, I've felt that I was a frog trapped in man's body. I always hung out at the pond with the turtles and water snakes, and my favorite flower is a water lily. I joined the SEALS because of the amphibious environment in which they work."

Employer: "Hmmm? Well, I must say that's a rather unorthodox viewpoint, but we're very inclusive here at Tri-State and we'd like to give you a shot. Is there anything else we should know?"

Job Seeker: "Yes Roger. I must warn you up front that I am extremely sensitive about my chosen identity. When I was a SEAL, it was perfectly okay to call me a frogman. Now that I am a civilian, I will brook no sarcastic remarks or denigrating comments and gestures about being a frog, even if they are made in jest. No one can call me frogboy, froggie, or anything similar. My immediate boss must understand that he can never tell me to "hop to it" or refer to the fact that he is "hopping mad." If a fellow worker passes away, don't tell me that he has "croaked". Never mention a certain "staple" on the menu at French restaurants. If any of these things happen, you will find yourself in court, Is that understood?"

Employer: " I guess we can try to accommodate your request, but try an be reasonable about it, okay?"

Job Seeker: "Okay, but one more thing. I know my name is Theodore. I answer to Ted, but don't ever call me Tad. That's my son's name!

@Evil Doug: LMAO! Very "target rich environment" for certain types go off on.

Nancy 10:21 AM  

I'm going to surprise @mathgent today by saying that this is the FIRST Burnikel puzzle I've quite liked. Perhaps that's because, finally, she was given a Friday instead of a Monday. I think she rose to the occasion with some tricky clues for FIRST (my favorite), BATTED, and TIE; and some nice fill like BIG IF (my favorite), THUD, WARTHOG and GENDER FLUID. I do have a lot of problems with her plurals, though. AROMAS is plausible, but awkward and YARNS is really wrong in the sense it's used here. Yes, YARNS can be a plural, as in Hans Christian Anderson spun many YARNS, but I do think that the crocheter, asked what she has in her bag (45D), would say YARN, not YARNS, even if they're all different colors and thicknesses. Certainly, that's what I'd say. I also could have skipped the rapper and the tableware product -- but basically, I thought this was pretty clean and had some crunch -- though by Friday standards it wasn't all that hard. Still, I think this constructor deserves to be permanently taken out of her boring Monday assignments.

Harshmellow 10:29 AM  

At least you're a witty sot. Hopefully NYT will apologize for their hurtful puzzle. A little bourbon may help.

Nancy 10:34 AM  

Oh, I forgot my absolute favorite clue/answer, THEY (say) at 5D. It reminds me of my very wise father who tried to instill in me a suspicion of all rumors and rumor-mongering from an early age. They say, he would say. Who, exactly, are "they"? I've never forgotten his words and have remained suspicious of unidentified rumor-mongering throughout my life.

Leapfinger 10:38 AM  

People were reading it as NOT HERE when there was NO THERE there. There minds must have been off on hiatus.

But that's neither HERE nor THERE.

Mohair Sam 10:40 AM  

Very much in @Rex's camp today. This thing was a bear for us until suddenly it was a lark. And hand up with the group opening with the gimme "onions" only to erase that because of the gimme "satire". Sigh.

Delightful puzzle. Only complaint is that of a baseball purist (hi Rex) on 7a - I actually argued with Lady Mohair against BATTED until it filled. Every time I see or hear the word MALLORCA I hear Ringo's voice "A woman that I know just came from . . . . . ." - anybody else?

There must be more ways to clue TESH than any other four letter proper name. CHINET one of those things you've used but never named. Odd thought - most of the men and women I know who went through military BOOTCAMP remember it with a smile, I know I do.

@Rex - SOREL the cartoonist or SOREL the philosopher? It's a matter of your major - I think most of us needed the fill whichever.

@Loren - It's good you don't overthink things too much.

Nice one Ms. Burnikel. Thanks.

RooMonster 10:42 AM  

Hey All !
Also had the "tough at first then easy once you get going" experience here. Well, not easy-easy, as evidenced by the black writeover splotches. They were imsold-mES_CeN (BOOed and THEm not helping)-YRSICAN, BOOed-BOOAT, THEm-THEY, MRmET-MRRED (MR ED with a stutter?), bArak-SASHA (nice misdirect there), rHo-PHI.

So a LEGIT THUD. But managed 100% correct! RARE, on a FriPuz. And puz done by CC no less, the queen of Mondays. Was a BIG IF at first, wanted to BOO AT it, but I MADE OUT and SAVEdME with SLIPpedIN answers till I was ALLdONE. SO THERE, you WARTHOG faced buffoon (anyone get that reference?)

GRILLE TRACTS
RooMonster
DarrinV

pmdm 10:42 AM  

Evil Doug's ironic criticism of those who take offense at clues/entries make me laugh out loud. I don't promote insensitivity, but sometimes I do think some people need to move beyond and don't. Tough to draw the line separating the acceptable from the unacceptable. IDI? ADOLPH? I'm glad I don't edit crossword puzzles.

Anonymous 10:50 AM  

Stock Market fell. The sky is falling! Delusional Trumpsters? Where are the braggarts now?

boomer54 11:01 AM  


to kitchef ... and all... re 7a batted ...
as an athlete and coach for over 70 years ...
i respectfully suggest that one's ability to play ...
and to enjoy as a spectator ...any game ...
is to eschew the idea ... that ....the whole point ...of the game is ...
to score ... the team ...or ...individual ...which ...prevents ...
the opponent from scoring more ...wins ...it's always ...
the best strategy ... and produces the most rewarding emotion ...
because demands hard work ...

by the way ...the clue ...sucked ...

Lewis 11:07 AM  

@evil -- Well done!
@nancy -- I was thinking this was CC's first Fri/Sat puzzle, but it turns out she has previously done one of each, not to mention five Sundays.

Five days in a row now without a Rex tirade. I believe I'm losing my equilibrium.

This was a strong and solid puzzle. As many have pointed out, some very nice answers (BAUHAUS, SECRET_SAUCE, BIG_IF, LEGIT). What noticed even more were wordplayish clues (TWISTS, BATTED, RANCHO, BOOT_CAMP, TIE, FIRST). I have thought that cluing was CC's weakest area, and I've given her a pass, since, as I understand it, English is not her first language (although, now that I think about it, maybe it's because most of her puzzles have been early in the week). Anyway, today the cluing was right up there.

I liked "vulgarian" in the cluing right next to "Bulgarian" and I, with a sigh, noticed the cross of NAPALM and ALL_GONE.

This puzzle was a series of bafflements followed by ahas, ending with an overall feeling of SALVE. Thank you greatly, CC!

old timer 11:08 AM  

I try not to write things in until I'm sure, so while I wanted RANCHO and WARTHOG and THEY I waited till the end to solve the NW corner. The SW was way easier, and BOOR gave me BAUHAUS then SLAV so the SE became easy too. In the NE TEATAX and ATTN were obvious, making SOCIALMEDIA plausible. In the end, the puzzle was easy for a Friday, but it started slow.

Well constructed, with a minimum of dreck. I agree with OFL that SOREL is too obscure. So was OPI if you don't use nail polish.

GILL I. 11:10 AM  

@Pete...first comment...I had to re-read you twice and then couldn't stop laughing.
This was very enjoyable. I'm liking C.C. more and more. It was just right hard and just right easy. Had the exact same experience as @Rex. Did anyone else have Winfrey before DONAHUE? That messed me up sumpin bad. After figuring out RANCHO and INTRUDES, I was able to clean up my mess and go merrily on my way.
Loved the clue for SECRET SAUCE and can you get an ARTIER BOOTCAMP? YES I CAN.
@evil. Second big laugh after your friend @Pete.
Majorca is the British anglicized version of the Spanish MALLORCA. They're great at doing things like that...Habana/Havana etc. etc.
Nice Friday.

ARPickett 11:12 AM  

Peeking out of lurkdom. Also had a very fast time. Sort of strange for a Thursday

Stanley Hudson 11:28 AM  

This was a fine Friday puzzle by a talented constructor. @Rex, nice write up.

puzzlehoarder 11:30 AM  

After reading the comments I'm baffled as to why anyone would associate onions with olives. I'm not a drinker so my first guess for 1A was KHAKIS. SCI and RANCHO cleared that up. DONAHUE and SOREL were temporary road blocks so I restarted with THC and SOTHERE. I am amazed that anyone could read that as SOT HERE. People see things very differently. My time was terrible for such an easy puzzle. It was late and we'd had a long day. I kept falling asleep and almost put it off for the morning. After the half way point it became so easy I just stuck it out. This is a nice looking puzzle but it didn't pique my interest enough to overcome the late night fatigue. @larry gilstrap "the virginal brides file past his tomb" I bought that record too.

Oldflappyfrommississappy 11:31 AM  

@Unicorn Slayer, don't quit yer day job Sparky.

jb129 11:38 AM  

Got 1/4 of it (BATTED) was NOT one of them, but had to cheat - always do with Friday (It IS Friday, today, right??!) ZB puzzles

Anonymous 11:44 AM  

Hey Rex Clones - are we boycotting Skittles? Please advise. I'm nervous and scared.

Trombone Tom 12:01 PM  

Big fan of C.C.'s here and I was not disappointed today. I found this to be crunchy and spanning a wide range of eras. I didn't know SOREL or EVA Green but the crosses were fair. I, too, looked at essays and satire, but held off for TRACTS. Also tried SOamI before SODOI.

Can't understand why OFL has such a fiercely negative reaction to "Who's on FIRST?" It's classic! Comic books are ok, but Abbott and Costello are not?

I tried this last night and got little traction. In the morning light it opened right up. (He) persisted! Har!

daveyhead 12:02 PM  

"Went for a run" sounds like Mr. Burns talking about his nuclear plant baseball team.

Joseph Michael 12:26 PM  

As a former martini drinker, I would never pollute my drink with a TWIST, but it made for an easy entry into the puzzle.

Felt good to breeze through a Friday while still maneuvering a few tricky clues, such as those for BATTED, FIRST, and SASHA.

Loved SECRET SAUCE, GENDER FLUID, WARTHOG, and DR. PEPPER.

Got stuck for a moment on 38D after misreading the clue as "Salvation stimuli."

I was once told where I work that a new employee named Regina would be joining us.I asked when she would begin and was told by the office manager, "No. Not she. They. Gender fluid." That was my first introduction to the term and I have yet to figure out whether that was intended to be a new way to look at humanity or a new way to look at Regina. Either way THEY turned out to be a very nice person.




madsymo 12:38 PM  

Ale Asylum Brewery in Madison, WI recently released a delicious Imperial Belgian IPA called Napalm Bunny. (Its "smaller" cousin is Velveteen Rabbit.) I hope you can try one.

Rob 12:39 PM  

Decent enough puzzle. I'm skeptical of a couple of the answers. Is RANCHO really a thing? I had 10 years of Spanish and this is new to me.

I would really like the crosswording community to drop the pretense that ARTY and its variants are real words that human beings say out loud.

Masked and Anonymo6Us 12:59 PM  

On the road, but this here NM hotel has NYTs, so I'm in, today. Lit er up first with THC, but really got goin after splatzin in LEGIT + CIA + SOCIALMEDIA + SECRET5blanks. Smoooth yet somehow slightly feisty solvequest. Good crossword buildin job, by Ms. CC.

staff weeject pick: OPI. Learned somethin there, but still ain't about to polish any nails, before I hammer em in. Also learned about SOREL dude and Swift TRACTS and SASHIMI dishes. And don't get m&e started, on GENDERFLUIDs...

Cool clue: {Who's there} = FIRST. Mighta rated a ? clue. Also kinda liked {Went for a run} = BATTED. Its clue probably coulda rated a ", in a way" at the end, I'd grant. I mean shoot -- I'd think almost any batter's eventual goal would always be scorin runs. Sooo ... ok, in a way.

MRRED. har. Sorta sounds like a well- known, whinnied name, as in: "Hello-o, I-yi-m Mr-r Ed!". MR-R ED often went for a r-run, btw.

Anyhoo, fun vacationtime puz -- sooo ... thanx, CC.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


(no gruntz from the road, but a coupla good new ones over at yer www.runtpuz.blogspot.com friendly runtdrug dealer.)

Luke 1:14 PM  

I would have had a fast time, but I put in "ALL DONE" instead of "ALL GONE" and didn't see that LDA was not the correct airport code for about ten minutes.

Teedmn 1:31 PM  

Like @AW, I splatzed in "capers" at 1A and then mentally tried to find a cross that would work. Nada. So rather than plod along looking for a toehold, I searched for a "____ something" clue and found it at 55D where IVE went in and the solve was on. No writeovers other than 1A and under 14 minute so a rather easy Friday for me, but smooth.

@Lewis, the irony of the yoga master being thrown off balance by @Rex :-).

@Nancy, I agree with your YARNS knit (har). I have quite the collection of YARN[S] and might refer to them as skeins or brands or weights of YARN but never YARNS in the plural.

Let's hope everyone who landed with a THUD had some SALVE handy.

ANGUS over RARE, not something I'd find on my plate these days.

EVA Green - My husband and I just watched Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children two nights ago. Husband said, "Oh, that's, um, um" and I said "Eva Green", recognized from having watched most of the first season of "Penny Dreadful" (well-named, in my opinion) and also from my husband's love of "300" and its sequel. I had no idea she was French, figured she was English.

Thanks, CC, for another successful addition to your oeuvre.

Stuart Summit 1:40 PM  

I marvel at the emphasis on speed by many.My enjoyment of a good puzzle comes from savoring the options, being reminded of the flexibility of language, and am disappointed when I finish. Must everything be a competition?

Carola 1:51 PM  

This puzzle worked as a tonic, or SALVE, on a slow morning after a long, rough travel day yesterday. Nicely tough, but always providing a pathway to further progress and the pleasures of some tricky cluing.
Like some others, I got off on the wrong foot, but not with "satires," which I rejected after not being able to confrim any crosses, but with the colon-preceding "hTTp." Also believing that the Michigan wolverine was related to our Wisconsin badger pointed to a 7A that was going to consist only of consonants. Eraser time.
CIA crossing SECRET led me to think that we were talking about codes or other spook-related craft, so the SAUCE was a delightful surprise.

Ms. Burnikel, speaking of delightful - I'm accustomed to the delights of your early week puzzles and hope we'll see more late-week treats from you.

Malsdemare 2:33 PM  

This took forever, as in breakfast break, ice-on-knees break, lunch break, etc. But I got 'er done eventually in something well north of Rex's time.

I suppose everyone is deliberately using SOT HERE instead of SO THERE, but in case not, let me edumacate you. This correction comes courtesy of someone who wondered who DON AHUE is until I got to Sir Hillary's post. Serious head slap.

Lots to love about this puzzle, not the least being it has spared me all sorts of noisome chores, including writing a check to the IRS because I made a really stupid mistake in our 2015 taxes. Time to hire someone, says I.

Hand up for satire, but then I knew 1a had to be TWISTS, so TRACTS, despite a groan, fell easily. FIRST was one of the last to fall, and despite having daughters who performed the hilarious routine for a grade school talent show, stared at the answer for a good minute before getting the joke. Their grandfather insisted on reprisals every chance he got. Well done, CC!

I loved BIG IF, SOCIAL MEDIA (can I point out that according to Twitter, Trump has 32.4 million followers, hardly a small number, but pretty damn far from 100 million and I'm pretty sure some of them are people like me who just want to see what he's up to in the wee hours), GENDER FLUID, SECRET SAUCE, BAUHAUS, BOO AT (I've booed at my share of refs), and, for no good reason except I first had ANdES -- ANGUS.

Thanks, CC

GHarris 2:36 PM  

Had some of the same early mishaps that misled Rex e.g. Satire, as do I etc. but recovered. Still, needed Google to reveal Chinet, Dr Pepper and director Mann. Worked out the rest for myself and feel pretty good about it.

Anonymous 2:39 PM  

NYT will have less money to pay constructors after Sarah Palin takes them to the cleaners.

Anonymous 2:44 PM  

Fun one. But really hard start. THC and attn got me going. I could see so there and social media and things got easier. Still took a long time

Seth 2:47 PM  

Wow, no love for the BATTED clue! I loved it! Rex, I'd argue that, when you go up to bat, the ONLY thing you're trying to do is get a run. Sure, that run might be two or three steps away in your "Get a Run" to-do list, but that's the ultimate goal of batting. Sure, in the short term, you're trying to get on base, but your ultimate goal is to get a run. So, the clue is perfectly apt, and nice tricky wordplay.

Anonymous 3:28 PM  

Cant believe I'm saying this, but Rex is correct about the batter's aim. It is in fact to not make an out. And for you deep thinkers, chew on this before you flame me; the batter is on DEFENSE. Yes, defense. He is defending his outs. The first team to collect 27 outs wins. If you don't make an out baseball while batting, you will win.
This will be met with howls and derision, but think about it. The team with the ball in hand is on offense. That would be the pitcher. He's collecting outs. Batsman are defensing against that.

Not crazy about the clue, but, I'll give old Rex this one.

Anonymous 3:43 PM  

Lots of struggles for me but oddly not in the NW corner. BATTED is still kind of making me mad. I struggled and finished in the right half of the center, holding on to GENDERBENDS then GENDERFLIED for far too long. I ended with the "I" in FIRST and just stared at it too for a while not getting the reference. In fact it was the very reason I came to read the blog; just to figure out the clue' s meaning (that and BATTED.. I assumed that To Bat was an archaic synonym for To Run)

Anonymous 4:07 PM  

Dow up again today thank you very much DJT. What's in YOUR wallet?

Anonymous 4:40 PM  

"Hopefully" once was an adverb.

Aketi 5:53 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aketi 6:06 PM  


@Evil, when I saw GENDER FLUID I thought of you and knew exactly direction you would go with it. Sometimes, however, there is no either; sometimes there is just unisex. In NYC you are usually grateful if you can a bathroom of any kind when you are out and about. So I always keep track of the good ones and my favorite just happens to be a unisex bathroom, When I first walked in I thought I was merely in a communal room for hand washing. There was a bank square sinks in the center of the room with live plants framing them. I started looking fir an entrance to the WOMEN's room and finally noticed the individual peep proof stalls that initially just looked like walls. The hand dryers were so quiet you could barely hear THEM..

I have lots of relatives coming into NY City for my son's graduation, so I looked up a bunch bathrooms to select from when we take them on excursions during their stay, I could be wrong, but I think @Evil would like Raines Law Room in the weirdest category:

* best public
* ARTIEST bar and restaurant
* weirdest

Joe Dipinto 6:42 PM  

Why does everyone think the answer at 16d is BIG IF? It's clearly BI-GIF: a majorly uncertain, gender-fluid imaging format.

Aketi 7:05 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Space Is Deep 7:50 PM  

Easiest Friday ever? Did the entire puzzle eating lunch at work, maybe 15-20 minutes. Good feeling.

Anon 8:32 PM  

My drink used to be the Gibson So started with Onion also. But now almost always with a "Not too dry, with a Twist"

Anonymous 8:38 PM  

Chelsey Gentry-Tipton

Aketi 9:01 PM  

Aketi7:05 PM
As for HEAT SENSORS and toaster ovens, mine was epic. I wasn't wearing my glasses when I hit what I thought was the toast button and it was really the broil button. I wasn't so worried about the impressive fire that raged inside the toaster oven while I contemplated whether to waste a perfectly good fire extinguisher on toast or keep the glass door shut just let it burn, I was more worried about how much my brother the fire fighter would laugh. I chose watching it burn.

I liked BOOTCAMP over YES I CAN. Since I got YA SIR from the downs I just thought it was a continuation of the same theme,

I have a cat that doesn't meow, he MRRs. He MRRED tonight until I fed him.

Anonymous 9:04 PM  

@Anonymous 8:38 pm, Crystal Griner, your bias is showing.

Anonymous 9:24 PM  

@ evil
I recall that the Viet Nam Era Republic 105 Thunderchief was nicknamed the Thud.

Z 9:28 PM  

Didn't get to this until late today. After satire was too long and essays didn't work I thought maybe it was Taylor not Jonathon and tried lyrics. Nope. I ended up getting TRACTS one cross at a time. I thought I'd see at least one other Taylor reference in the comments. Nope again.

Fun puzzle.

@LMS - I read that penultimate paragraph of yours picturing the whole thought happening in anime slo mo. You look good with big eyes.

Anonymous 12:09 AM  

What's in your brain? Nothing.

thomas greisen 11:06 AM  

Wonderful puzzle. For me very hard with lots of misdirection.

Leapfinger 9:46 PM  

Didn't think I'd make it to the last period.

spacecraft 10:15 AM  

On the FIRST lookover, I thought, there's no way I can do this; I know NOTHING. Yet here I sit before the finished grid; no help and only a couple of writeovers: YESICAN! But someone tell me please, how does "Sign me up!" get to that?? I do not understand that clue at all. That baby was 100% crossed, for sure.

Finally found TEATAX/FAXED, and soon came up with my FIRST brutal clue: "Went for a run." BATTED, really? I had -TTED and ran the alphabet with every vowel...nothing. At length I saw what kind of "drill" was going on at 16-across, and that gave me ATTN. So, BOOAT, RAP that it is, at least makes sense, and the NE was done.

The fight through obscurity went on and on. There was no easy section. The above mentioned ink messes came in the SE, where my Europe fuzziness made my Bulgarian a Serb instead of a SLAV, and I misspelled TUPAk. My hip-hop knowledge can fit--comfortably--in a 1/8-teaspoon. I was saved by realizing that CHINET makes more sense than Khinet.

19-down recalls a scene from that wonderful movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High:"

"What's your SECRETSAUCE?"
"Ketchup and mayonnaise. What's yours?"
"Ketchup and mustard."
"Yeah, that figures."

A couple of really unfair clues, and plenty of TWISTS on the remainder, put this one in the full-bore challenging category. Triumph factor goes off the graph. There's no DOD contest: Rene RUSSO is simply too hot for the competition. But if we didn't have one, I'd be delighted to award it to our delightful constructress (constructrix?) Ms. Burnikel. Birdie.

thefogman 11:08 AM  

This puzzle had two sides - a certain challenge fluidity to it.. The east side was easy and the west side, not so much. I found 7D weak. You can boo somebody but does anyone BOOAT somebody? Maybe when they clue a puzzle that way... I finished in the same time it normally takes to solve a Wednesday puzzle, so this was a very easy Friday.

thefogman 11:15 AM  

PS - This puzzle was a bit of a letdown. I craved for a theme to emerge, but it was not to be. There's nothing really that bad about it but it lacked a certain zest. I guess we were spoiled by some of the better offerings earlier in the week.

Burma Shave 12:01 PM  

THEY ALLGONE OVERIT

SODOI FIRST tell him it’s BIG?IF SO,THERE’s no TWISTS nor stray doubt.
YASIR, I want that MANN to SLIPIN after we have MADEOUT.

--- SASHIMI “SASHA” SOREL

Diana,LIW 12:39 PM  

Slid to the bottom to get my toehold, as is my wont. Had the whole SE corner filled pretty quickly, and bit by bit the south fell. Then the NW.

But that darn NE had me in fits. Had written in "see here" for 14a (told ya) and thought it was an awful answer. Which it was. Because it was wrong. So I stared and stared and finally realized SOTHERE would be so much better, and everybody just jumped into place.

Still had a dnf with oRPoPPER - thought it was some kind of popcorn. And I like DRPEPPER - SO THERE. (Mr. Reo anyone???)

I loved the goofy clues and answers - who's there brought a smile. Had ANdeS before ANGUS for a tiny while. Don't we get beef from the Andes?

And our ARTy friend is back today.

There's a new movie about TUPAC that's been in the news lately, so even if you couldn't identify one song of his, his name is out there.

@Spacey - there seems to be a crossword tradition that a volunteer says, "YES I CAN" when signing up for a task. Don't know why, but I know I, less than a crossword three-year-old (but in jr. hi), have seen it a few times. And thanks for the Ridgemont recipe! Add a TWIST and your set.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 12:42 PM  

Well, a badger is also related to a wolverine, especially in Big Ten country, and it fit, before I could weasel out that ERMINE, and that was my only inkfest, but a big one. transGENDER woulda fit down there, but fortunately I held off, coulda been a real big mess. Don’t know what it says about me that the first correct answer in was THC.

Had to horse around a while to get MRRED.

AROMAS next to NAPALM is a sign of the impending apocalypse now.

My father liked jam on toast. I’VE got a remembrance of when Pap SMEARS jam all OVERIT.

ATTN: Gotta go with Bond girl yeah baby EVA Green. EVA was grandma’s name.

Kinda noticed that CC likes to SLIPIN those little two or three word phrases. There’s only one in this puz to BOOAT. You like her puzzles? SODOI.

rain forest 2:08 PM  

More or less "medium" for me. First entries were SCI and THEY which made TWISTS obvious and so it went. BATTED was a ? for awhile, and while true, ultimately, is a stretch.

I had a little trouble in the midwest where the Emmy winner was looking to be either DON AHUE, or DONA HUE, both obviously unknown and I was thinking soap opera. Utter headslap there.

I think if you're going for a run, you LEG IT. Also, I've learned to like sashimi, if prepared at a top-notch establishment.

As always with CC, the grid reeks of competence. And, btw, it is a themeless, so of course the entries aren't related, unless you note CIA crossing SECRET.

leftcoastTAM 2:38 PM  

Relatively easy Friday, welcome relief. Yesterday's was tougher, IMO.

Some slow-downs: Had satire before TRACTS, wanted scorn before BOOAT, thought YES I'm in would be better than YESICAN, and TUPAC/CHINET was a pause.

SECRETSAUCE is a new one on me, and got a small chuckle out of the old Abbot and Costello routine, who's on FIRST.

A solver-friendly puzzle by ZB.

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