Connections on Air France

Jun 30, 2020 · 134 comments
Chef Mark K (My kitchen, NYC)
Many times the technologically inferior MetroCard did not get me on the subway with or without puns.
walrus (sf)
deb’s pre-emptive attempt at shielding the creator and editor notwithstanding, 1a was a crappy clue and the puzzle didn’t improve. whilst i knew EVEL, KANYE, TAYE, & SNEAD, the collection felt like a pop culture puzzle not an nyt crossword.
Shari Coats (Nevada City, CA)
I was curious about the OAK DESK, and one of my favorite things about this puzzle was reading up on the history of that desk and and the other desks used by some presidents.
Rae (Mississippi)
The clueing was clever, and the theme was on point, especially these days.
Layla (MD)
Too many obscure proper nouns in this one for me.
Ananda (Ohio)
In the counter-culture the number 23 is the significant “conspiratorial” and “discordian” number. To link it to “LSD” (23 Down) is pure genius.
Deadline (New York City)
Enjoyed the puzzle, and was especially happy to see the rare use of down entries as themers. I've never quite understood why so many puzzles seem to restrict the themers to acrosses. Certainly never heard of Muddy Buddies. From Deb's description, I can only be glad of my ignorance. Had trouble coming up with Lorena OCHOA, although she's been in puzzles before. Somehow Lorena always triggers the name Bobbitt for me. Late to the puzzle today, so confess I only sorta skimmed the comments. Probably missed some really insightful thoughts. My block (near Times Square) has been blocked off for the past couple of weeks or more, and used almost entirely as a parking lot/staging area for the police (maybe one in 25 of whom are wearing masks as they gather in bunches). Today the street was reopened. For some reason it was full of Postal Service trucks. I don't get it. But my P.T. says I am doing well in regaining mobility in my arm/shoulder, and I think the pain seems to be diminishing.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Deadline, Last graf: excellent!
Johanna (Ohio)
@Deadline I am so happy to hear that you feeling better. Sending healing wishes.
Newbie (Cali)
@Deadline Let’s pretend I came up with a super clever way to incorporate Lorena Bobbitt and you being snippy in your post today...
SPB (Virginia)
Smooth fast solve for me, but I must thank Deb for the “trickle down economics” perspective which didn’t occur to me - I thought that amped up the theme immeasurably! And I loved the reference to Allan Sherman - he was WONDERFUL (and TIL he was the creator of “I’ve Got a Secret”) - now I’ve got to go dig out my copy of one of his LPs (I was always partial to “My Zelda”). I also have to say that I loved Deb’s comment about puns that they “and a Metro Card will get you on the subway” - I use the core of that expression often, although I’m afraid I still say “token” instead of “Metro Card” 😄 As it’s rather late in the day, I thought I’d wade into the “JPEG / PDF” dispute - in an effort to get an abundance of clutter under control, I’ve taken to using a scanner to scan in articles/pictures that capture my interest so I don’t have to manage the hard copies. The format options offered are JPEG and black and white or color PDF, so I’m quite used to considering them alternative options - I say it’s an absolutely fair clue! Thanks to Amanda and Ross for a multi-faceted puzzle!
Epsdoc (Edina, MN)
A really enjoyable puzzle on another “locked up“ day. I’m encouraged by the fact that Minnesota is finally calming down. Although I had a lot of favorites in this puzzle, I particularly enjoyed “Onomatopoeic  musical effect“. I have been a fan of the big band sound for a number of years and inherited this love from my father who’s favorite band was led by Clyde McCoy, the trumpet advocate of the Wah-Wah sound. I was a brass player for a number of years and appreciated the fact that mutes placed in the bell of a brass instrument could provide verbal sounds. Clyde McCoy could make the trumpet “speak”. Check him out on YouTube playing “Sugar Blues” 1931, dated but fun.
Anne McShane (Edina, MN)
@Epsdoc Waving at you from Morningside neighborhood!
TimmyVee (Hawai’i)
Fun puzzle! But I have to point out OAKDESK feels like a “Green Paint” kind of answer.
Deadline (New York City)
@TimmyVee That one kind of got to me too. I know about the Resolute Desk, but that sort of generic description seemed kinda lame.
Chaz Aich (Endwell, NY)
I really enjoyed this puzzle. I liked, for some reason, going vertical for the theme answers. I forgot ALLAN Sherman’s other career in TV; I associated him only with the novelty songs like “On Top of Spaghetti.” Personally, I was more a fan of Tom Lehrer’s musical satire (“Vatican Rag,” “New Math,” and “National Brotherhood Week”). ATTACKS (44D) made me think of another “Alan”, Alan Bennett who wrote the one-woman “talking head” play “A Lady of Letters” about a busy-body neighbor who is always venting her suspicion and contempt through such attack letters. It’s available on DVD with two other short plays by Bennett, “Patricia Routledge in Three Portraits.” Worth watching.
Olu (California)
I loved the placement of EVEL right next to KANYE because of West’s 2006 music video for his song Touch the Sky (link below) where he plays “Evel Kanyevel”, a 1970s daredevil attempting to jump over the Grand Canyon. It’s a great song that samples Curtis Mayfield’s Move on Up. The video is just as wonderful with hilarious cameos from Nia Long and Tracee Ellis Ross. I encourage you to check out the video!
Rae (Mississippi)
@OluI I miss 2006 Kanye
Ron (Austin, TX)
Two Naticks for me: NOURI/MARTA and SUVA/TAYE. My wife gave me the first and I simply guessed the second. (Thank you coders for allowing second/third/... chances. My string would be *much* shorter if I solved on paper!) Maybe this point has already been made, but I interpreted the revealer as hinting that each themer was of the form (social-media term) + (captial-related term). I can't believe no one has asked this: Ne plus ultra = ACME?? Anyone?
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Ron, I'd guess nobody asked because anyone who didn't get it looked in up in a dictionary. (Newbie will be amused that I have not posted a link to M-W.)
Alex (PA)
@Ron .. Wile E. Coyote’s ACME products were never the expected ne plus ultra for taking out Road Runner.
Michael (Milwaukee)
Looked up what? In particular I have no idea what Ne is in the clue. I haven’t found any help looking it up. Wish someone would have just answered this persons question.
Ali (Oregon)
This one was a blast! Wednesday is my favorite puzzle day and I loved the puns. "EASY A" slid by me until after the puzzle was done, I couldn't get the image of a race course out of my head until I'd finished reading the column. For those who are irked by the JPEG/PDF clue...that's precisely the choice my scanning software gives me every time I scan a document.
Dr W (New York NY)
Nice puzzle but teeming with quibbles this time. (Raining outside pretty heavily as I type.) In 20A, the fill means different things. For the barber shop it's a rotating cylinder. For the magnet it's a field line terminus. It's also people in central Europe. In 4D, the affliction is on the lid, not on the ocular part. In 33D, the time separation between birthdays is 364 days (except if a leap year is involved, of course). So the fill is not quite correct. There has to b a better way to clue that.
Deadline (New York City)
@Dr W All of your quibbles could equally be called misdirections. Take a deep breath. Then take another. Feel better. You're among friends.
Jrochest (Saskatchewan Canada)
Easy enough for me to get through without autocheck (with help from Google for the proper names, natch). Quick question -- there's a progression of easier to harder puzzles through the week. But is there a corresponding progression through the month? I notice that I'm more likely to get through the Wednesday or Thursday puzzles unaided in the first week of the month than in the last. Happy Canada Day, everyone!
Newbie (Cali)
@Jrochest Happy Canada day! Save me a slice of Saskatoon berry pie!
twoberry (Vero Beach, FL)
Ironically, Deb, IRONY was my first fill-in. Admittedly, I'd already thought of TIT and NYY.
Robert (Vancouver Canada)
and Elke Sorry, forgot to mention last night: in the land of the LOO(N)IE, there are today many red and white FLAG(s) waving, because it's Happy Canada Day ,eh?
Kate (Northeast)
Mixed feelings about today’s puzzle. A fair number of obscure clues for proper names/places, and only a handful of “clever” clues like for WIPERBLADES (I was certain it was WEATHERVANES but it’s not a rebus day!) I sometimes use the app, sometimes the site, and like that I can go back and forth... for crosswords and acrostics. However, I love Spelling Bee, but the app doesn’t allow for a keyboard (annoying) and doesn’t remember my Spelling Bee activities online (equally frustrating). Please fix, sync... or remove! Any chance other puzzles (Suduko & Vertex specifically) may be added to the app? But again, only if they sync & work with keyboards. I’m usually puzzling on my iPad, and with the new changes for Pencil, I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll finally be able to pencil in an electronic crossword puzzle!
Judy R (Patagonia, AZ)
I'll complain here since there's nowhere else. NYT has axed yet another game --SET -- form its stash of games. This after tossing out Ken Ken last week. Although I didn't play that one, I did enjoy SET and I will miss it. The link to another website isn't something I would bother with because it only includes one SET challenge, instead of four, and isn't worth the trouble, IMHO. Makes you wonder, doesn't it, what will be the next one to go?
Me (New York)
Interesting factlet: Poe signed his name as "Edgar A Poe," virtually never writing out his entire middle name. This came up in an Ellery Queen mystery I read many decades ago.
E.W. Swan (Little Rock, AR)
NOT a fan of the clue at 1A. .JPG is strictly an image format, so a more fitting answer might have been GIFS or PNGS. A PDF can be an image only, but can contain text, and is more scalable. A better clue might have hinted at a alternatives to .docx files. Also not a fan of the crossing of NOURI and MARTA. But the rest of the puzzle was fine.
Paul B (New Haven, Connecticut)
@E.W. Swan I liked the theme, but the fill and clues had me irritated in several places. As you say, JPG is strictly an image format. PDF is for documents (and those documents can be an image). The NOURI / MARTA cross was bad, but that's because NOURI itself was bad. Flashdance is almost 40 years old and this actor hasn't been in many prominent films besides that one. Even if you search for Nouri on IMDb, he's not the first hit. Very obscure reference. MARTA also crosses ALLAN, which crosses KANYE and SNEAD. The southwest corner was problematic too, with TAYE (which I knew) and SUVA (which I didn't). There are simply too many proper names crossing in the fill.
Kate (Northeast)
@E.W. Swan I don’t mind a few unusual proper names or places, like Nouri, Goa, Snead, Ochoa. I didn’t know them and couldn’t back them in, so I had to google, which I rarely have to do for a Wednesday puzzle. I liked the theme but thought that the puzzle was more obscure than tricky - not much fun. I struggled with the top mid/right - LOOIE (usually the nickname is LOO or LOU), CHEX (never heard of Muddy Buddies referred to as that), ARENAROCK caught me off-guard, since Benatar isn’t really known for her massive concerts (Springsteen or The Who or The Stones & Bon Jovi would have been a better clue). Similarly, TIT was okay, but OXEYE? Of over 68 different types of daisies? More than a bit obscure. I was pleased to see MARTA - given I worked in Atlanta for 14 months several years ago!
Wibec (Fresno Ca.)
@Paul B Michael Nouri starred in a soap opera before Flashdance. That's how I knew of him. Easy fill for me, and fond memory. I enjoy seeing him in small parts like the one in The Proposal.
archaeoprof (Danville, KY)
Smooth and steady solve, and a very clever theme! Yet I did not see that theme until the puzzle was all filled in. Vertical theme answers are harder (for me) to spot.
Johanna (Ohio)
This puzzle is original, different and as creative as I imagine both constructors to be. Who knew that WIPER BLADES would one day be one of my favorite answers?! Thank you, Amanda and Ross!
David Connell (Weston CT)
@Johanna - I loved how typing in "wiper blades" instantly brought me back to the age of six or seven, sitting in the back seat of a VW bus driven by my mother, as the wipers squeaked back and forth in the rain! For some reason, the words brought forth a memory that actually using the real thing in the real world never does.
Nancy (NYC)
Liked the theme. Found the puzzle quite hard in spots because... I can -- and have -- seen it 100 times in xwords and I still never remember TAYE Diggs' name. I thought it was TY-- and thus had SUVy at first for Fiji's largest city -- which I didn't know either. Also hesitated at the NOURI/MARTA cross. When you haven't ever been to Atlanta... But I guessed right on the R because I figured RT stands for Rapid Transit. Now, after the fact, I'm guessing that it's Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. Right? Two golfers today. So that's the sports fan's TIT-for-tat riposte to all those endless pop/rock/rap music clues. Oh, wait. Today we had KANYE and ARENA ROCK. Never mind. Some nice cluing for WIPER BLADES; LOOT; POLES; ETS; LSD; YEAR and EASY A. Liked this.
sctsnyder (Emmaus, PA)
Is anyone having any luck (or any trouble, for that matter) getting the KenKen puzzles to play at their new home? I can't start my day. Also, my crossword streak hit the six-month mark today. Of course, it's been the worst six months ever; maybe I should quit.
Captain Quahog (Planet Earth)
@sctsnyder The experience at the KenKen site is so awful that I won't bother going there again. I'm just resigned to KenKen no longer being part of my morning wake-up routine. Sad.
KT (Brooklyn)
@sctsnyder Evidently the Times provided an incorrect link to the offsite game. The KenKen support team sent me this working link I also feel weirdly adrift without KenKen on the Times site. I am afraid to come off as self-centered and pompous as some of the commenters in the crossword section can be sometimes, but the booting of KenKen and incorrect link situation really makes me feel a bit insulted!
David Connell (Weston CT)
I'm right with the Cap'n on this one - the new site is so bad! and KenKen was always the very first thing in my mornings, til now.
perrocaliente (Bar Harbor, Maine)
I was three quarters of the way done and everything I had filled in disappeared from my computer screen. ????
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
I give up, Hot Dog. What did you do next?
suejean (HARROGATE)
I liked the long vertical phrases, FOLLOW THE MONEY being very familiar to me right now as I rewatching all the Murdoch Mysteries and that is a very common bit of dialogue. Just right for a Wednesday puzzle and nice to read about all the things constructors are doing in these troubled times. Thanks, Amanda and Ross.
Lewis (Asheville, NC)
Tight money -- theme in which I can't think of another good answer. Easy money -- Hardly a hitch in the solve. Hard money -- A bit tougher cluing would have made the solve more complete, IMO. Dirty money -- JUNK, and I'll stop there. Found money -- French cross of ETS and a backward A TOI. New money -- Learned SUVA, NOURI and Muddy Buddies. Hush money -- WAHWAH (Hush little baby, don't you cry...). Soft money -- TAPON. Smart money -- Clever theme and construction. Funny money -- Carl Reiner. Quick and fun, you can take that to the bank, and thank you, Amanda and Ross.
Alex (PA)
GOA-RHEA-SUVA-TAYE! I like how my four stumblers today sound when put together... I may try this on our new puppy when she next misbehaves.
Grant (Delaware)
Almost forgot! I'm heading to the North Country this weekend, how do I do the NYTXWP on my phone, or even my Kindle? We have spotty cell service at our lake cabin, but fugghetabout wi-fi.
M (US)
@Grant There are apps, but I just do it on my phone in the browser. I imagine that would be even easier on a Kindle, with its bigger screen. If it comes up, note that the rebus option might show up differently than you're used to—on my keyboard it's a button with an ellipsis at the bottom left, but I believe it varies by platform. I think you should be OK if cell service drops, so long as you don't navigate away from the page—at least, it works fine on airplane mode and when I go in and out of service on long car rides—but I'm guessing you'll need to be/refresh online to register the win for your streak, if that's a concern.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Speaking of redistributing SOCIAL CAPITAL, I'd like to thank Ross for tweaking his help invitation to name "woman."
Grant (Delaware)
SHARING THE WEALTH didn't strike me as punny as the other themers; I was looking for some variation on MAKING A MINT. But hey, speaking of Fort Knox, "Goldfinger...WAH WAH WAH." And yes, I own a WAH WAH pedal.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Grant, The verbs in the three themers are social media verbs: you FOLLOW, POST, SHARE. "Making" doesn't make it.
judy d (livingston nj)
Not much to get TESTY about here! liked it -- TEASERS and all!
Rich in Atlanta (Clarkston, Georgia)
Enjoyable puzzle with a clever theme. For me this was two different solves. The bulk of it was Monday easy, and then there was a little section down the east side. I was completely unfamiliar with the term SOCIALCAPITAL, so had my doubts about the last part of that. And then I just had some unknowns (WAHWAH was notable) and wrong guesses in a few places and just didn't seem to be able to work it out. Finally took a break, reconsidered some of my guesses and it finally came together when I saw SHARETHEWEALTH. Averaged out to a Wednesday for me.
RAH (New York)
ALLAN Sherman's "Harvey and Sheila" is even better than "Camp Granada"
Steve L (Chestnut Ridge, NY)
@RAH Never heard that one before, but knew immediately what tune it was set to!
Jim (Nc)
Talk about IRONY. I thought I was on track for a really fast time. Who would have thought the answer to the clue "Hasty" would trip me up because I RUSHed to fill in my answer, and thus made a RASH decision. I had to run the alphabet on RHE*/GO* before I realized my mistake was elsewhere.
dk (Now In Mississippi)
WAHWAH, wept Tom, woefully. I remember CHEX as a part of something called Bridge Mix. Perhaps a precursor to Muddy Buddies. Solid Wednesday. Tho I agree with Gabe on the complex south west corner. Thanks Amanda and Ross
brutus (berkeley)
@dk A WAH-WAH pedal’s distant cousin, the whammy bar, deserves honorable mention, strummed Tom soulfully.
Jim (Nc)
@dk I remember Brach's made a product called "Bridge Mix", but it did not contain any chex. Must be a homegrown version that does.
brutus (berkeley)
The puzzle was a breeze until the shoe dropped in the Pooh corner. That’s where I REFUSEd to haul out the trash, going all negative on the twisty homonym. Deaf to the CACKLE of the hag and lacking the potion to break my spellbound paralysis, I caved to that kibitzing witch in the SW. Watching the solve eddying down the drain, I went to the aid of reveal button...Both Carl Reiner and Johnny Mandel, born in Bronx and Manhattan respectively, passed Monday. They collaborated in the 50’s on Your Show of Shows. This is The Bill Evans Trio circa ‘69 with “Emily.” Softly, Bru
Jim (Nc)
@brutus I know the name Johnny Mandel because he wrote the music to the "MASH" theme song (lyrics by Altman's nephew, I believe).
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Jim, Lyrics by Altman's 14-year-old son.
Jim (Nc)
@Barry Ancona Thanks.
TuleFogRambler (California)
Letter Boxed L-T (11), T-A (6) A young Nanook trudges across it Sorry - I tried 😂
EskieF (Toronto)
@TuleFogRambler Haha! How about: Airy snowy uplands?
AB (Providence, RI)
@TuleFogRambler @EskieF A LONG solution, but it was fun: W-G (9), G-R (13) Your parents could spin this to amuse your child.
Thomas (New York)
@TuleFogRambler I had the same solution, but up by one boxing heaviness class.
Jabe (USA)
SUVA crossing TAYE and EVEL made the southwest corner a tad unfriendly, no?
brutus (berkeley)
@Jabe Indubitably!
Jim (Nc)
@Jabe Maybe, but I thought many of the clues were boomer-friendly.
Steve H (Rapid City)
@Jim This boomer managed that corner just fine; the top center slowed me down... Made me TESTY, even.
Tammy (FR)
In other news, last week Air France retired the A380 from its fleet due to reduced travel demand resulting from the pandemic...
CAE (Berkeley)
OK Wednesday, but . . . nobody having trouble with a GIF ever thinks "I know, a PDF instead" and vice versa. Not technically impossible, but.
Pat (Maryland)
If you use a printer that also scans, the two options for scanning are JPEG and PDF.
Doug (Tokyo)
SPELLING BEE GRID A D K L M N R WORDS: 38, POINTS: 128, PANGRAMS: 1, BINGO First character frequency: A x 5 D x 7 K x 1 L x 7 M x 11 N x 3 R x 4 Word length frequency: 4L: 20 5L: 11 6L: 4 7L: 2 8L: 1 Grid: 4 5 6 7 8 Σ A: 1 3 1 - - 5 D: 5 2 - - - 7 K: - 1 - - - 1 L: 5 1 - - 1 7 M: 4 3 2 2 - 11 N: 3 - - - - 3 R: 2 1 1 - - 4 Σ: 20 11 4 2 1 38 Two letter list: AD-1 AL-1 AN-2 AR-1 DA-4 DR-3 KA-1 LA-6 LL-1 MA-11 NA-3 RA-4
Annie Towne (Oregon)
@Doug Do you ever look at the wheel of letters and there just isn't a single word there? Not one word. And you think, yesterday I knew some words. But not today. Today I don't know what this clump of letters is doing here. What does it want?
AudreyLM (Georgetown, ME)
@Doug When I saw A in the center I maybe groaned a little imagining a sea of 4 letter words, but it was actually a quick, pleasant, benign little bee. I needed the grid and two letter list, but no other hints. Unfortunately this means I have to get to work now, since I've already done the xword. Wait let me see if there's a new acrostic . . . ooh and I'll just do the vertex (which I find oddly soothing).
Dan (Redding, CT)
@Doug Thanks, as ever, for the grid. Here is a set which we have not seen in a long time, and some friendly old Bee words are back as a result. It didn't take too long to get to Genius, 15 words, 93 points (no 4L words) We've had a nice run of Friendly Bees. I'm bracing myself, any day now, for one of those "Killer Bees" : 60+ words and 300+ points. In the meantime, I'll enjoy what Sam E gives us. Happy Wednesday, and have a great July!
Robert (Vancouver Canada)
and Elke My mind was still on cloud nine from yesterday's wondrous RBG/ANNA puzzle when i had to come down to deal with that OAK DESK and think of its current tenant or LOOIE ( not "user"?).. Probably spends his SOCIAL CAPITAL to FOLLOW THE MONEY. Any evidence of willingness to SHARE THE WEALTH ? SOCIAL justice would lead to the opportunity for the need to POST BOND. Sorry, feeling a bit TESTY- maybe elastic on my mask too tight ? AAH - that's better; and puzzle was nice. Lotsa names-fortunately Erin Burnett is right now on CNN.
James Hamje (Philadrlphia, PA)
@Robert The IRONY is that the MANE is PRECUT.
Brucefi (MN)
With Pit and the Pendulum, there is only one answer, be it Poe, Edgar Allan Poe or in today’s EA POE (as the NYT again throws some appropriate mystery into an otherwise give away answer). My personal favorite story was “A Cask of Amontillado” and spent hours of my youth reading all his gems. Went so far as to do an interpretive reading of “The Raven” for a freshmen college English Lit class assignment - quite a pallid effort in comparison with all the great classic renditions. That was no EASYA.
Amy N (Syracuse)
@Brucefi Hands up if "The Tell-Tale Heart" was the first horror story you ever read!
archaeoprof (Danville, KY)
@Amy N: Hand up here for "The Tell-Tale Heart."
kilaueabart (Oakland CA)
Once again, stopped by a natick! Atlanta's MA_TA across Michael NOU_I. I tried an N, and a T, and then an R got the bells, but not a solve, of course, because it wouldn't work on paper. Lucky for me I am pleased with almost-solveds, so not a "solve" but a win anyway.
Greg (Reno, NV)
@kilaueabart That cross was ridiculous. There's no way that ever should have made it into a Saturday puzzle, let alone a Wednesday.
Newbie (Cali)
@kilaueabart Bart uses BART, but couldn’t guess MArTA? Rapid Transit...
I lived in the Bay Area for years, but no, MARapidTA didn't come immediately to mind. I enjoyed this puzzle, but it's always a letdown when I have to run through the alphabet on the very last square.
Newbie (Cali)
I got punked by this puzzle. NE corner. 16A. “Muddy buddies”. I had __E_. If that doesn’t scream “new clueing for OREO,” I don’t know what does. Come on, Oreos look muddy. Crosses didn’t help. 10D I’ll look it up, but is this French? German? Swahili? 13D flowers? Yikes. CYST does not pass the dessert test. I think most will find this an easier Wednesday? A blue star Wed for me,
Steve L (Chestnut Ridge, NY)
@Newbie I'm no newbie, and I plopped OREO in at first. Apparently, what the puzzle calls "muddy buddies" is also known as "puppy chow". Enough to never give it a try all by itself, in my humble opinion.
lawrence (dc)
That explanation (really, more of an excuse) for 1a is pretty shaky. That's like saying a .EXE is an 'alternative' to .TXT. Sure, they're both files, but they serve entirely different purposes. Would you say a t-shirt is an alternative to pants? After all, they're both articles of clothing... There are plenty of ways to clue PDFS without getting the technical details wrong, so I have no idea why the puzzle ran with such a questionable clue.
Puzzlemucker (NY)
@lawrence Seemed off to me, too, but I have clients who don’t have a scanner and therefore email me copies of documents by JPEG rather than PDF. So, I suppose in that sense (as an email attachment), a PDF is an alternative to a JPEG.
CB (Bloomington)
@lawrence PDFs can contain images and are frequently used interchangeably with TIFF or JPEG files in print production.
M (US)
@lawrence If you ever use a copy machine/scanner, the most common file options (or perhaps I should say "alternatives") are PDF, JPEG, and TIFF, so I found the clue perfectly cromulent. I've also had the reverse experience of @Puzzlemucker—I've sent image files as PDFs to family members who are, shall we say, a little less tech-savvy and reluctant to deal with a file format they don't recognize.
Jeremy (Chicago)
A PDF is NOT an alternative to a JPEG. A more accurate clue would have been “DOCX alternatives”.
JayTee (Kenosha, Wi)
@Jeremy I thought of PNG first, but I have seen photographs in PDF format even though I've mostly seen text or combinations of graphics and text, so PDF/(JPG/JPEG) works for me. Crossword clues don't have to be THAT accurate—just accurate enough to get the message across.
Newbie (Cali)
@Jeremy Sure. I entered GIF first, like everyone else. But PDF is an alternate file extension, thinking broadly. When will PNG get the crossword respect it deserves!
ecomaniac (Houston)
@Jeremy A PDF file is a container for associated files like images, text, audio, et al. A jpg can reside within a PDF, but not vice versa. So I agree, it's not an "alternative".
DLB (Wisconsin)
A fun puzzle today - I enjoyed the theme. WIPER BLADES gave me a chuckle. Since I’m not on Facebook (and have no intention to join) wasn’t sure of the group but enjoyed FOLLOW(ing) THE MONEY. Didn’t like EA POE - can’t ever remember seeing him referred to by that name? Being a golfer - well kinda .,, I enjoy chasing my ball in the golf cart - it was great to see SNEAD. Thanks for a puzzle that didn’t leave me TESTY.
kilaueabart (Oakland CA)
@DLB Probably means I'm low class or something but I liked E A POE just because I love easy answers that will give me a few crosses.
DLB (Wisconsin)
@kilaueabart I love easy answers as well - didn’t have to think twice about CHEX given the clue. Low class - no, not at all.
Newbie (Cali)
@DLB Don’t forget Lorena Ochoa, who was straight baby faced gangsta before she abruptly retired, at #1.
JayTee (Kenosha, Wi)
Finally back home after another trip to Virginia and Tennessee, where social distancing and concern for coronavirus seem to be almost non-existent for much of the general public (sigh). After having done the last few puzzles on my iPad, it was nice to once again have a real keyboard and a larger screen to work on the puzzle. This one was definitely worth the time expended. I felt rewarded after finishing in fairly good time and well under my average. Had to alter a few words as crosses came to mind, but enjoyed the TEASERS and misdirects, and noted that we also had a homophonic mate to the themers with CHEX.
JayTee (Kenosha, Wi)
…and regarding ALLAN Sherman, here is "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh":
Francine (Chicago)
Stay home from school sick days were the best because I was allowed to stack all the ALLAN Sherman LPs on the record player. Listened for for hours!
Steve L (Chestnut Ridge, NY)
@Francine "Listened for hours!" How appropriate! (Skip to 2:03 to save time.)
Shadow (PA)
Yay, no lookups. Fun theme which I actually got without trouble. Fave clue was for wiper blades. And TIL that Evel spells his name with two E’s. Hope that’s worth the brain storage space. What has happened to the circle icon at the top of the app? It used to allow reveals or checks, but now the only option is “clear puzzle?”
Puzzlemucker (NY)
Thrifty travelers might LIKE A PENSION. (Hi kids: a pension is . . .). Yesterday’s puzzle was a tough act to follow, but this theme was surprisingly lovable, given its mash-up of two somewhat unlovable subjects, money and social media. Also liked the reminder that even before social media people were capable of meanness — “Poison-pen letters”/ATTACKS. As a lawyer, especially before email, I have received a few of those (and that was just from my mother).
polymath (British Columbia)
A fun puzzle. Had a little trouble at the end, needing to resolve Nouri/Marta, Ochoa/rash, and Allan/Kanye. (Allan Sherman of Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah fame? Had no idea he produced I've Got a Secret.) Not sure I'd define "social capital" as a "network", but rather as the *good will you've accured* or *favors owed you* by folks you know. Again, it's the sort of thing where one of these things usually entails the other, but the point is: They're not the same thing ... as I see it; but Oxford and Collins dictionaries both define social capital as a network, much like the clue. I learned only this weekend that Ross Trudeau is the son of Garry of Doonesbury fame, after the Sunday Doonesbury consisted largely of a crossword based on Doonesbury characters' trivia, here: . Just my personal prejudice, but despite the jocular theme clue "Joins a Facebook Federal Reserve group?" I very much hope that everybody will instead join the crowd and quit Facebook permanently, after all the damage they have caused and continue to cause.
polymath (British Columbia)
I know I'm terminally fussy, but I object to clues like "Start of a trip, for short?" for LSD because ***virtually nobody calls it "lysergic acid diethylamide-25***. LSD is what it's ***called***. So it's not "for short" at all — that's the word for it.
TuleFogRambler (California)
@polymath For what it's worth, I read it as LSD starts the trip, not as an abbreviation.
Peter Jackel (British Columbia)
@TuleFogRambler I think, and I could easily be wrong, that polymath's point is that LSD starts the trip, not lysergic acid diethylamide-25 starts the trip. So the short form for the start of a trip would be L, short for LSD.
Sophia Leahy (Cambria California)
My streak is up to 197, miraculously. This one was HARD for me. Thank you for the challenge and the delightful clues and theme.
Ron (Austin, TX)
@Sophia Leahy I'm at 199. Wish me luck tomorrow!
Rob (Melbourne, Australia)
Very apt theme for Australia given that our new financial year starts today.
Chris (TX)
Had the start of a trip as the first Leg. Wrong kind of trip. Also - that clue about sold out theaters always gets me - I don’t know why I can never remember it. Theme was clever/cute - nice and gentle. A good lead in to the weekend.
Sophia Leahy (Cambria California)
@Chris Same. Along with several other mistakes (irate had to be right!), this puzzle ate my lunch. Terrible time. That's okay. Onward!
David Connell (Weston CT)
Just got back from and saw that Ross Trudeau has updated his profile photo. Lol.
David Connell (Weston CT)
@David Connell - oh, and I forgot to point out what only hit me the second time I read through the constructor notes... in listing all the ways to raise money for charities via crossword community networking, Amanda and Ross are literally spending their social capital.
Tom Downing (Alexandria VA)
And rebuilding it at the same time
Ann (Baltimore)
Interesting and funny theme! I liked it,although it was over pretty FAST for a Wednesday. I have no problem with E.A. Poe. I can't say for sure I've seen his name presented that way, but it doesn't look odd to me. I visit his grave here from time to time, like on his January birthday, or on Halloween. I loved the SHARing of THE WEALTH ideas. Very nice!
Betsy (Boston)
Poe and I share the same birthday - January 19. I didn’t know about the custom of visiting his grave on that day, but next time I am in Baltimore, I will make it a point to do!! He was from Boston, but Baltimore claimed him, where he died under mysterious circumstances.
Tyler D. (Lake Ariel, PA)
@Betsy I like that there are several cities that claim Poe: Boston, Baltimore, Charlottesville (UVA), NYC (the Bronx). Kinda like how both Boston and Philly claim Ben Franklin. In all cases, all cities have "a claim" over the life of the historical figure, it's just funny seeing it.
Betsy (Boston)
@Tyler D - so true!! I only recently realized the Baltimore Ravens were named for his famous poem - Nevermore!!
Captain Quahog (Planet Earth)
My father had an ALLAN Sherman album called My Son the Folk Singer. It was hilarious, although I'm not sure it would fly today. I found it in Apple Music a few months ago and streamed it. Still funny!
Al in Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
@Captain Quahog I still remember: ". . . tramping through the warehouse where the drapes of Roth are stored."
MDR (Florham Park, NJ)
Allan Sherman...died too young. "The Drapes of Roth" and "french-fried gabardine"...the man was brilliant. Speaking of images--PDFs and JPEGs are stationary images, GIFs are not alternatives. And 7d. That can be recycled in a puzzle with an espionage theme. The clue: communicates with a secret agent.
Margaret (Maine)
@Captain Quahog, I have distressingly found that something that made me cry with laughter years ago, upon listening again, only elicits a few chuckles. Ruined by familiarity? Some examples: The film Seducing Dr Lewis; Gerard Hoffnung reciting The Bricklayer; Spike Jones doing The Man on the Flying Trapeze; Hamish Imlach singing The 37 Bus. So maybe I’ll seek out some as-yet-unconsumed Allan Sherman for fresh laughs!
Boner (Ct)
Way too easy....
Annie Towne (Oregon)
I need to get back to yesterday's wordplay but don't know how!
Puzzlemucker (NY)
@Annie Towne Here it is: You can get there by clicking on the “Wednesday Puzzle” link at the start of Deb’s column (that takes you to Wordplay, where you can scroll down and find the one for Tuesday), or you can search for “NYT Wordplay” and the Wordplay site will come up.
Steve (Colorado)
Very clever theme answers. Enjoyed it!
See also