When Two People Miss Each Other a Lot

Apr 08, 2021 · 246 comments
Anne (Philo)
@Doug QB thanks to Doug’s grid and first two letters and Annie Towne’s clues.
Liz (San Francisco)
Loved the puzzle. This was largely within my wheelhouse, and therefore more solvable. I agree with Deb about daft/nutso and would have thought the spelling would be “yo dawg”
AndyS (USA)
Wouldn't jai alai be more of a sport than a game? Would you call football, basketball or soccer a game (in the general sense, as opposed to a single match?
Troy (Indiana)
Maybe SETH was the star Curry when the puzzle was constructed in 2019. 😕
Alan Heminger (Hollister, CA)
@Troy I'm a Warrior's fan, but when Steph clearly didn't fit, I considered it a misdirect and went for his brother (who is a very good player, but not at Steph's level).
Leapfinger (Durham NC)
@Alan Heminger Seth vs Steph https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bdgB8SnEB4
BM (NY)
Can someone explain 24D? Not seeing any connection between "Shoebox spec" and "EEE".
PK71 (Wisconsin)
@BM EEE is a width of a shoe. Very wide foot.
David Connell (Weston CT)
@BM - it’s my shoe!! big fat wide feet.
David Connell (Weston CT)
@David Connell - 9-1/2 EEE How square are your feet??
Will (Connecticut)
Phone Tag? Nae nae! And I wanted it to be “phonesex” so much.
Arezu (Cambridge)
WHAT IS THE PANAGRAM?! 100 ! Days and I’ve never been this stuck. I even got barbacoa...
Leapfinger (Durham NC)
@Arezu -- Think!! The answer is probably hiding under your cerebellum...!
Betty (SoCal)
@Leapfinger Haha! Finally got it. Thanks.
Joe (Atlanta)
For your consideration: “Fake” is an inaccurate and unnecessarily loaded term for plant-based foods.
Newbie (Cali)
@Joe I did feel like that sentiment was kinda harsh. I'm surprised it didn't get more run. I mean when is 'fake' ever seen in a good light? Only instance that comes to mind is when you score a super authentic looking fake designer handbag. The reals costs $1500. Your fake costs $150. I know you are thinking, $150 for a fake?! But you got pay up for "high-quality" fake. Trust me.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Joe, For your consideration: since a leading purveyor calls itself Impossible Foods, I'd say "fake" is perfectly fine.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
P.S. It's "fake" because it's pretending to be meat. "Plant-based foods" that aren't pretending to be meat are not fake.
Tom (Virginia)
It’s Steph Curry, not Seth.
Andrew (MD)
@Tom Steph's brother Seth is also in the league, althogh 'star' may be a bit of a stretch in his case.
Philip T. (California)
@Andrew Quite a stretch. I'm betting that even Seth himself would have been surprised to see that the answer was four letters, not five.
Jim in Forest Hills (Forest Hills NY)
Stock holder was a rabbit hole for me. If the stock was a beef stock for soup the answer would be PAN. If the stock was an old fashioned men's necktie then the answer would be PIN. Trial and error got to victory and understanding in the end
Corey Mach (NY NY)
And if “stock” was referring to a chicken or veggie stock you cook with, the answer would be PAN.
Mu (Michigan)
@Jim in Forest Hills and if stock as in APPLE then I did try IRA too
Kate (Massachusetts)
It’s lucky I didn’t do this earlier, or I would’ve been insufferably smug for many more of my waking hours. 😉 This was right up my alley—even though I did not know much of the trivia—and a lot of fun! And yay, Bill Murray! I once came face-to-face with him at the gate of an airplane in San Diego (where he was, it was told, waiting for his unaccompanied minor son). Since then, I’ve spent way more time than I’m willing to admit thinking of which movie lines I could’ve delighted (more likely annoyed, of course) him with...
Dr W (New York NY)
That is an interesting photograph in today's column. The gent pictured has a pipe on the desk top in front of him -- which makes sense given those waxed moustache tips he sports. I would not expect the tips to survive if cigarettes were his choice of addiction.
dutchiris (Berkeley, CA)
@Dr W Alas, a 'stache is no cig deterrent. My husband ditched both, but the one never set fire to the other and he had to quit the hard way.
Bill (Detroit)
Started the puzzle first thing this morning before leaving on a road trip; loaded it on the ipad app so I could finish it one the road; stopped at a Burger King for lunch to celebrate; and only getting to the comments now. Jeepers creepers, Dawg, has anyone besides a cruciverbalist used the word PEEPER in the jocular, ocular sense in the last fifty years? (There's a refenece to the original song in one by Siouxie and the Banshees, I guess.) I used to work at a hotel which hosted the annual regional convention of AKA: the hotel would rent pink blazers for the banquet servers to wear, to replace their usual crimson ones.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Bill I too wondered about PEEPER. Makes me think of “Jeepers Creepers,” a song from 1938.
Leapfinger (Durham NC)
Gosh all get-up, @Eric Hougland!! I had no idea it came out that long ago. The TV show, Mr Peepers, is almost modern by comparison (1952), but I never saw the show, dittoed on the song.
George Cathcart (SC)
Not to be overly wonky, but Nassau is not actually in the Caribbean, which is bounded on the north by the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico). It’s a common mistake, but offensive to geographic purists. 😁
Eric (Houston)
Thank you! I was going to make the same comment, but you beat me to it.
David Connell (Weston CT)
@Eric - or else there’s their own geographic reality - y’know.
Olu (California)
@George Cathcart Who said it was in the Caribbean?
Sophia Leahy (Cambria, CA)
The link to WordPlay was not working, so I had to solve the Friday puzzle by myself. And I did! Whew! I will always feel like a beginner for Fridays and Saturdays so I am really pleased. Maybe the link should fail more often...
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Sophia Leahy Congratulations! Keep doing the Friday and Saturday puzzles. Before you know it, you'll hardly need WordPlay or any other help.
Brando (Chicago)
Thoroughly enjoyable solve. The longer answers were easy to fill with a few crosses which really moved the puzzle along. Excellent work! (Separately, can anyone help me understand 41A?)
Brando (Chicago)
Never mind, found my answer below. New to me!
Adam (NJ)
Did 38A's clue change? Last night I thought it was Caribbean capital and today it is World capital ESE of Miami. Am I wrong? If so, why the change?
Paige (MI)
@Adam Mine says Caribbean capital...
Adam (NJ)
@Paige I was working on it on a tablet before and then switched over to a desktop. So weird.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Adam The last time I looked, mine (iPad puzzle app) still said "Caribbean capital." If it changed anywhere, perhaps it was because some commenters noted accurately that the Bahamas are in the Atlantic Ocean (which prompted other commenters to note that the Bahamas are nonetheless considered "Caribbean" in some contexts).
Cannon (Seattle)
Reading the comments on the trickier puzzle days sometimes leaves me left a bit wanting as far as my own solving skills are concerned. That being said, today's puzzle really fit in my wheelhouse of trivia knowledge and I thank the constructor for it. Still, I was a bit surprised that YO, DOG came quickly, but HYPE UP took my brain forever to recognize. Thanks for a Friday puzzle for me; and to those who had a hard time, your Friday puzzle will come soon too sure as one and one make (ARE) two.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Cannon When I see an answer like HYPE UP that seems like it should have been easy (but wasn't), it's usually because the clue was somewhat opaque. Maybe that's what happened to you.
Jim in Forest Hills (Forest Hills NY)
@Cannon yes in my lexicon two and two IS four
Mark (West Hollywood, California)
In today’s syndicated NYT CW they have Overly glib : PAT. Could someone explain this to me. Thanks
Tyler D. (Lake Ariel, PA)
@Mark Googling it, I find: pat: simple and somewhat glib or unconvincing. "instead of enlightened minds I found prejudice and pat answers"
Randall Clark (houston, tx)
@Mark I can't read or hear the word glib without thinking of Tom Cruise. "Matt. Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt. You're glib."
Leapfinger (Durham NC)
@Randall Clark -- Are you saying the answer should be MAT instead of PAT? (LOLMATTS) Remind me where that quotation is from? Not sure I've seen it.
Jjar (Silver Spring, MD)
In the realm of lateral thinking, I had PAN as “stock holder” initially. You know, to add to your recipe to get it “to a turn” (a new one by me!)
Jamie (Vancouver)
@Jjar I had "can" in there for a while, as in soup stock
Roland (Ann Arbor)
Just a quibble, but the clue 41A. Precursor to a big flop? has a question mark it is inaccurate more so than misleading. A teraflop is a very large number of flops, not a very large sized flop. Big is pretty clearly referring to size or degree but not count, and these things should match.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Roland, A question mark in a late-in-the-week clue is a warning that grammar may be thrown from the train.
Walter (Virginia)
@Roland: A teraflop is a big number of flops.
Roland (Ann Arbor)
@Walter I agree. If the clue was Precursor to a big number of flops then it would have been fine. This would be like saying a kilometer is just the same as a really big meter. Grammar may be thrown out, but the rules of crossword puzzles hold that you match tense and number and in this case the sense of the word "big".
Leapfinger (Durham NC)
I thought TERA was MEGA as in MEGAflop, as in "We MEGAflopped in New Haven"
Leapfinger (Durham NC)
@Leapfinger Hold ON THERE! NUTSO fast!! Anyone think this FriPuzz was pretty FLAY QUAY? Not me! EYE BEAM when nothing FAKE MEeTS that SPECIAL SAUCE-iness. I wonder whether TERI Hatcher's memorable line was in reply to being asked 'WHAT ABOUT BOOB?' [Never mind, I've seen that Bill Murray/ Richard Dreyfuss movie, and enjoyed it... with clenched teeth] I just add that my sheets started out in a hotel ROOM, and my Ballyhoo was a HUBBUB [noun] until it was HYPED UP [verb]. I also use a POLAR BEAR PLUNGEr whenever a POLAR BEAR clogs my pipes. Thank you, Jamey Smith. Please tell if it's true when a Jedi gets a pet, it's usually a YODOG.
Mark (West Hollywood, California)
Could someone explain 36D...make as in math?? Thanks
lori (L.A.)
@Mark i think you mean 56D: one and one ARE two.
OpaKeith (State College, PA)
@Mark As two and two are four. or two and two make four.
Jonathan Leal (Bklyn)
Tera flop!? I was shocked when I got the happy music!
Jim in Forest Hills (Forest Hills NY)
@Jonathan Leal flops in this context are Floating Point Operations
kilaueabart (Oakland CA)
WAY too hard for me again. Had a lot filled with guesses but they stopped so I went to Autocheck and was treated by a pageful of red slashes. I had been fairly sure of HOE and HOUR at 5A/D, suspecting a rebus when I couldn't squeeze ORSO into 6D. Only surviving guesses were SRA, UNO, PEEPER, ANT, PEN, SWAN, AER, and WREN. Autocheck moved me along well, except for 35A LO_CATS, 59A _I_T and 62A _A_H. Needed to run the alphabet a lot for those. Hard to believe NUTSO is a word, or that I would not recognize the name of a 1991 hit film. Something weird in the Mini. Most Japanese writing uses hanzu/kanji, but that doesn't make the writing "kanji." Only the kanji are kanji.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@kilaueabart I’m not sure I understand your objection to the Mini’s KANJI. The clue seems to fit my dictionary’s definition of “kanji,” but I don’t know much about Japanese. Arigato.
lori (L.A.)
@kilaueabart kanji is considered the form of writing japan adopted from china.
kilaueabart (Oakland CA)
@lori No, that would be "kanbun." Kanji are simply the characters kanbun is written in. Regular Japanese (wabun) is written in a combination of kanji and kana, although kanji aren't necessary and some short writings might not have any.
DavidS (New Haven, CT)
Hands down my favorite Friday of my 236-day streak and year or so of a new pandemic pastime. Presidential trivia? Seinfeld trivia? Freud? What About Bob?! This one hit the mark for me. Thoroughly enjoyable, Mr. Smith.
Shari Coats (Nevada City CA)
I really enjoyed this puzzle, so thank you Jamey Smith. I felt like I was on your wavelength this morning, and much of the longer fill popped right into my head. SPECIAL SAUCE was the first, then POLAR BEAR PLUNGE. I thought of the movie WHAT ABOUT BOB right away on reading that clue, but it took me a couple of tries to get the exact wording. It was nice when those guesses were proved correct by the crosses.
Dr W (New York NY)
This one became a joint solve with Mrs W -- woo hoo. Better than 23A ... :-) Lower left corner last to fall, praise 47D. Succumbed to doing 4 lookups. Learned a lot about Staples Center.
PWS (Venice)
Pfft, yo dog, nae, nutso, eyebeam, blah, blah, blah. Sure learned a lot today. I actually felt like my “intelligence” was being insulted. Is this the future of the NYT crossword?
Dr W (New York NY)
@PWS Not to put too fine a distinction on this, it's actually the NOW of the NYT crosswords.
David Connell (Weston CT)
I’m going out on a limb, assuming that’s Venice, Florida? Just a random guess.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Love "intelligence" in quotes.
Robert (Raleigh, NC)
I had trouble with the lower right corner.The big problem was that I was certain 53 down (NBA star Curry) was “Stef”. I never heard of a Seth Curry. I never heard of a star NBA player named Seth Curry. Are you sure about that one?
Andrew (Louisville)
@Robert They are brothers.
Andy (Philly)
The thing is, Seth Curry (brother of Steph) isn’t a “star.” He’s a middle-of-the-pack NBA player. So I found the wording of that clue misleading in a way that goes beyond clever misdirection to less-clever inaccuracy.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Andy, Please. You should know better. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBvU7y5SOns
Rupert R (Gryon, Switzerland)
As to general solving challenges for a Brit today (beyond those already mentioned): - Never heard of a ‘polar bear plunge’, but this was broadly guessable with a few crossings (though I had to change ‘savor’ to ‘sapor’); - I don’t think ‘ballyhoo’ is ever used as a verb in the UK (rather than a noun) or with that shade of meaning; - A whole bunch of intersecting unknowns in the NE. Never heard ‘yo dogg’ (in ANY spelling); thought ‘nutty’ rather than ‘nutso’; and while my French sometimes clues me in on Spanish words, it didn’t help much today with ‘sur’ or ‘uno’, in those phrases. This section took a LONG time to unravel.
Dr W (New York NY)
@Rupert R You did well.
walrus (sf)
1A! some fun groupings (14D, 18D, 23D) and clueing, but 17D and the abundance of proper names was 28A. Deb’s column was—as usual—a highlight.
Burgess Shale (Florida)
38ACROSS: Caribbean capital This clue has two errors, does it not? The grid says the correct answer is Nassau. Nassau is the CAPITOL of The Bahamas, not the CAPITAL (unless someone wants to call the Bahamian dollar bill a "Nassau.") And, The Bahamas are located in the Atlantic Ocean, NOT the Caribbean Sea.
David Connell (Weston CT)
@Burgess Shale - somebody needs a dictionary, stat.
Burgess Shale (Florida)
@David Connell I stand (half-) corrected, sir. "Capital" is indeed the correct word for what Nassau is in The Bahamas, that lovely country in the Atlantic Ocean. I wonder what its capitol building is?
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Burgess, The Bahamas achieved independence from Britain July 10, 1973, and is now a fully self-governing member of the Commonwealth and a member of the United Nations, the Caribbean Community and the Organisation of American States.
John Dietsch (West Palm Beach)
I wouldn’t mind an Impossible Burger with special sauce! With real fries right out of the fryer!
Andy (Philly)
Devout carnivore here. My teenaged son has been making us Impossible cheeseburgers on his weekly cook-dinner nights and they are stunningly good. Enjoying this little moment in history where I get to enjoy every bite as a delicious surprise, before the inevitable discovery that they’re even worse for us than meat.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Andy, We already know they're even worse for us than meat; they're better for the cows. (Plant-based plants are better for all.)
AP (PA)
@Barry Ancona I don't think it's true that we already know plant-based meats are worse than animal meat. (Impossible, for instance, hasn't been around long enough for many studies to be conducted.) Do you have sources?
Brian Tilbury (Wilton Manors)
Nassau is not a Caribbean capital. The Bahamas are in the Atlantic Ocean not the Caribbean Sea.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Brian, The editors know the location of the Bahamas. Earlier commenters have explained "Caribbean."
Jim (Nc)
Still managed to bring this in under average time despite spending 80% of my time on 20% of the real estate. 45A, **ANDB**, was especially deceptive as I kept thinking of aisle positions or something of the like. Thought PHONESEX before PHONETAG; FAKEMEALS before FAKEMEATS.
Amy (Florida)
I’m so glad mine is not the only mind that went to PHONESEX first.
Dr W (New York NY)
@Amy & Jim I'm a member of this club too. (Doesn't mean I ever did that....)
Jonathan Leal (Bklyn)
Me too!
Rupert R (Gryon, Switzerland)
I enjoyed today’s puzzle, but was left mildly perplexed by two of the clues pertaining to famous women. First, Kamala Harris. Now, I take far more interest in US politics than the average non-American, but I did find myself wondering why on earth I would know the name of (that most American of institutions) her college sorority. A few days ago, it was the name of her step-child, for goodness sake. This stuff might be common knowledge to some of you folks, but it sure isn’t to me! Then, Teri Hatcher. I’m no expert on her career, but I did think her 30 years on-screen probably deserved to be clued for something a bit more substantial than what appeared to be a rather lame, mildly risqué one-liner about her body. Seems a little last-century, somehow. Anyway, that’s just me. Perspectives may vary.
Dr. OutreAmour (Montclair, NJ)
@Rupert R Teri Hatcher's appearance on "Seinfeld" is the only thing I know about her. So it worked for me.
David Connell (Weston CT)
@Rupert R - Alpha Kappa Alpha is the oldest and original college fraternity for and by African Americans. A mixed-race person like Kamala Harris taking it as her pledge is a statement that she owns her black heritage. It’s important four ways to Sunday.
Rupert R (Gryon, Switzerland)
@David Connell Thank you - that’s genuinely interesting. I would never have imagined that one’s choice to join a sorority could have such significance. In the UK, if US sororities and fraternities are mentioned at all (which is seldom) it’s normally in the context of dodgy hazing rituals. The general image of a fraternity is, I think, broadly that which is portrayed in ‘Animal House’.
Eli (Silver Spring, MD)
Fun puzzle - I've never heard the phrase TO A TURN before. I like TERI/TERA and LOLCATS/YODOG pairings.
Newbie (Cali)
I have never been as outraged at a puzzle clue than I am at this one. YODOG? What? It's YO DOGG. I am not going to even try to look this up, as whatever the 'internet' says, is wrong. It is DOGG and will always be DOGG. Get it together Will. Dude edits 10,000 puzzles, then decides to take the day off. And, of course, I am kidding. Kinda. But really, It's DOGG. It's not dawg, or dog. On a separate note, if I'm being honest... ...I felt this to be a rather trivial exercise. I hope that no real crossword enthusiast struggled with today's "puzzle". If you did, I think the mini "crossword" may be more suited to your abilities. Your friend, Char(Newb)ie
kkseattle (Seattle)
@Newbie Actually, YODAWG.
Brooklyn Margaret (NY)
@Newbie Regarding your last note: Someone said this, in exactly the same words, yesterday. I found it rude then, and it's rude today. Do you use two handles?
Anne (Indiana)
@Brooklyn Margaret I'm pretty sure that @Newbie was just kidding around--at least that's how I interpreted the repetition, and found it funny. If you're trying to be funny as well, my apologies for not catching it.
Mu (Michigan)
Can someone explain the Make, as in Math answer? Gonna be a gripey cat about the LOLCATS as well.
Elizabeth (Ojai, CA)
@Mu “one and one ARE two, two and two ARE four...” I was wanting it to be add, but then had vague memories of math fact chanting.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Mu I too wasn’t any more amused by LOLCATS than I am by cat videos in general. If that’s what people want to spend their time watching, fine. Just don’t make me look at them. (OK, every once in a while, it’s amusing to see a cougar behaving like a domestic kitten.)
Dr W (New York NY)
Reminds me of this oldie: a little kid is being explained the area of a circle by her father. After a few words establishing the terms needed, Dad says, "and so the area is pi r squared". The kid objects with "No, Daddy -- pies are round!".
David Connell (Weston CT)
People who blame Will Shortz - and people who love Ste Margaret Farrar - need to keep returning to one across in the first ever New York Times crossword puzzle... https://www.nytimes.com/crosswords/game/daily/1942/02/15
Frances (Western Mass)
@David Connell Absolutely. I love some of the puzzles from the Maleska era but there was some really clunky junk that went through then too. Will has really tightened up the puzzles and also made them much more relevant and lively. I have a few complaints about today’s puzzle but only because I think Fridays and Saturdays are usually better. I’ve never felt the need to do puzzles from the Farrar era- that’s a little too far. Of course, Mel Ott would be current.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
David, I've been doing puzzles from the '50s recently. I laugh when people complain about trivia, sports, pop culture, and strange letter combinations in today's puzzles.
Frances (Western Mass)
@David Connell Hey what gives? I can only see archived puzzles back to 1993 in the crossword page. Is there any way to load Pre-Shortz puzzles? I only ask because I’ve done every single puzzle from the archives except for a few years of Sundays.
Mean Old Lady (Now in Mississippi)
HEH --or, rather, HAH! I thought of PEEPER right away, but didn't want to enter it without a confirming crossing. Wm Henry Harrison ("I don't need an overcoat and hat") provided the help. Had forgotten that comedy WHAT ABOUT BOB, and it was fun to recall it. TERI Hatcher was one of the few entries I knew right away. X-men, Harold Who?, Presidente Nieto, Staples Center team, US Open champ--all challenging for me . Last into the grid: the gratifying GEISHA. Clever clue! Now my big question: is Charlie coming back for more?
Canajun Guy (Canada)
@Mean Old Lady "You won't find our faces on dollars or on cents / There's Taylor, there's Tyler, there's Fillmore and there's Hayes / There's William Henry Harrison. 'I died in thirty days!'" - The Simpsons tribute to the Mediocre Presidents
Johanna (Ohio)
E.H. Shaughnessy is still on hold: LOL Deb! Great to start this fun Friday off with a laugh! I don't eat Big Macs often. But seeing SECRET SAUCE has me thinking about it. I will never take the POLAR BEAR PLUNGE but I will go see a Bill Murray film at the drop of a hat. This puzzle has a lot to love in it, too much to mention all. So, thanks to Jamey Smith for a most entertaining end to the week!
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Johanna, That's SPECIAL, not secret, SAUCE in the grid (and on the Big Mac). And after Tuesday's ONION, I'm wondering if Will bought a franchise.
Johanna (Ohio)
@Barry Ancona You say SPECIAL I say secret, let's call the whole thing off!
Steve L (Chestnut Ridge, NY)
@Johanna Fun fact: McDonald's SPECIAL SAUCE is put onto the Big Mac buns with what is basically a caulking gun.
Frances (Western Mass)
This wasn’t totally satisfying and I’m not sure it’s the fault of the constructor. A bit too heavy on names and sounds and interjections. But what are those clues for the long acrosses, they’re so bald. They go right in and that’s all that real estate taken care of, and then you’re just niggling a few names you’re not sure of. Loved the clue for GEISHA though, and I love Carolina wrens.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Frances I didn’t find the clues for the long across answers “bald.” SPECIALSAUCE might’ve had other options (I refuse to sing the jingle lest it get stuck in my head). POLARBEARPLUNGE probably doesn’t mean much to most people who live in warmer places than New England. I spent my childhood in Vermont, but only heard about POLARBEARPUNGEs from Mad Magazine. I foun this to be slightly more challenging than most Friday puzzles.
Frances (Western Mass)
@Eric Hougland It’s not just the wheelhouse, it’s where you are in the river, I guess. That was just my reaction..
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Frances Very true. To clarify on POLARBEARPLUNGE: That answer was what my instincts immediately gave me. I think I may have had an incorrect cross that made POLARBEARPLUNGE look unworkable. Maybe if I had put it in, I would have at least beaten my Friday average (not that it really matters).
Think (Wisconsin)
Even when I haven’t done the xword, I’ll try to read the comments. Always lively, often times dramatic, sometimes cranky, and all about a game. From the comments I learn new things about words, people, music, puns, and more.
Allan (Ohio)
16 Across reminded me of this song from one of my favorite artists. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci-6Au1Gnrs
SPB (Virginia)
@Allan Love that linkage - he’s one of my favorites as well, and that song is a great one!
eLizard (USA)
@Allan Thank you for that link! Had never heard the song before and it's a great one for 2021!
Jim (Nc)
@Allan MIne, too. thanks for the link.
Dave C (Massachusetts)
Starting a puzzle with PFFT is pretty funny. And right there having FAKE MEATS was good. It seems that ISH might be making a comeback as a qualifier(?). That's a trendy word that I like and is useful. Finally, I enjoyed seeing WHAT ABOUT BOB, a pretty funny movie - maybe I'll watch it again. Great job, Jamey!
Chaz Aich (Endwell, NY)
The P of PFFT/PATE was my last entry even though I recall having seen “pfft” in puzzles before.
Wen (Brookline, MA)
@Chaz Aich - According to xwordinfo, nearly 10 times within the last couple of years. https://www.xwordinfo.com/Finder?word=PFFT What was interesting to me, though is how it's clued. Before the July 14, 2013 puzzle, it was mainly a sound effect to mainly mean deflate(d/ing). But the dismissive/scoff sense began to come into play. They are similar and related (deflate/dud vs. dismissive/scoff) but not quite the same. I think that comports with my own experience time-line wise. People started using it as scoff, particularly on the web or in texts and it picked up, particularly in popular web comics. Well, at least that's my impression of it. YMMV. m-w.com doesn't have pfft, but has psst. I think it's time for them to add it.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Wen The American Heritage Dictionary defines PFFT as an interjection used to express a sudden ending. I’m not sure that’s quite the same a scoff.
Anita (NYC)
A perfect puzzle to kick off the weekend! It’s wonderful how a simple word such as THOSE can lead to a lovely poem about the things parents do for their children every day which often go unappreciated. I miss my parents every single day. https://www.poetryoutloud.org/poem/those-winter-sundays/ Happy Friday!
David Connell (Weston CT)
@Anita - Take the time to listen to the end of this piece - it’s worth it! https://www.npr.org/2021/04/09/985344296/i-feel-like-im-an-olympian-youn-yuh-jung-on-her-historic-oscar-nomination
Anita (NYC)
@David Connell What a touching story David, thank you for sharing. I’m interested in seeing the film Minari. I learned about it a few weeks ago when 7-year old Alan Kim appeared as a clue in the puzzle.
David Connell (Weston CT)
@Anita - I likewise appreciated your link to the poem, which I would not have sought out otherwise. peace
SPB (Virginia)
This was exactly the kind of themeless puzzle I enjoy - jam-packed with terrific phrases (in this case with the added bonus of a couple of grid spanners), wonderful clueing ("Performer with a single fan?"/GEISHA was stellar) and an upbeat vibe that carried throughout the entire puzzle. I loved the vertical journey across the middle section from WHAT ABOUT BOB? to PSYCHES to GROUP THERAPY, as well as the placement of LOL CATS above "Little laugh"/HEH; SPECIAL SAUCE appearing just above was the perfect reference to my first exposure to the world of LOL CATS ("I can has cheezburger?" https://images.app.goo.gl/arJX9RFfBfojAfQh6). And while I'm on the subject of cheeseburgers, 2D/3D had me wondering " Can one FLAY FAKE MEATS?" Hand up for entering PHONE SEX before PHONE TAG - I guess I didn't initially TAKE THE HIGH ROAD - the clue was wonderful for either option, so it was a double delight! PEEPER seemed to mesh well with PHONE SEX for a time, although I was still happy when it turned out to be a better match with Cyclops' EYE BEAM. Virtually every clue/entry combo gave me a little pop of fun. Thank you, Jamey, for a themeless that was done TO A TURN!
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@SPB The clue for GEISHA is a nice one. I didn’t get the full impact because by the time I reached it, most of GEISHA was filled in. EYEBEAM brought back fond memories of a very funny comic strip by that name that originally ran in the student newspaper at UT Austin and then in the Austin Chronicle (the alternative weekly paper here). http://www.eyebeam.com/
SPB (Virginia)
@Eric Hougland The comic strip is totally new to me - it’s great! I’m still laughing over the very first one about “pulling focus” - that may need to go up on my bulletin board!
judy d (livingston nj)
SPECIAL Friday puzzle -- I DIG IT!
Oneiric (Rochester NY)
After plugging in other letters in a slow-rising panic before getting my little song reward with an R and ARE, which still befuddles me as a math term, I read on Wikipedia about the admirable scholarship and life of Harold UREY.
Andy (Philly)
“Two and two are four.” / “Two and two make four.” Just different ways of saying “equal to.”
Leapfinger (Durham NC)
@Oneiric I think if you delve into the Manhattan Project -- Leo Szilard, Edward Teller, Robert Oppenheimer -- you'll find fascinating stories littering the landscape.
John (Jersey Coast)
Again the NE is the stumper and required that extra cup of coffee. The long fill just fell into place but what a workout otherwise. TIL on Polyergus (Amazon ANT), thanks for the link @EdwardRice https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyergus
RJ (Green Brook NJ)
A dilly to be sure! Clueing very challenging (at least for my wheelhouse). Post workout satisfaction and contentment here.
Carolyn (Baltimore)
I was zipping along feeling like a crossword genius, then I got to the bottom half. The one answer I was certain about was Stef, which meant POLAR BEAR PLUNGE wasn’t an option. A fun mix for me.
Dave C (Massachusetts)
@Carolyn Right! I'm a very casual basketball fan, just enough to realize Seth was a possibility. I almost wrote Sean just now, who is apparently a hockey player! 😊
Sara (NH)
Help, please. I actually got my gold star using crosses, but I don't understand 11D - asana? I've tried parsing it - as an a? a sana? asana? Still can't figure it out. Thanks!
Viv (Jerusalem, Israel)
@Sara A Yoga position.
NH (TO)
@Sara An asana is a yoga pose. Om
James (Astoria, NY)
An asana is a yoga pose which you often hold for a while and get a good stretch.
Lewis (Asheville, NC)
I couldn’t believe it, because this never happens on Fridays (or Saturdays), but six of the long answers filled in with very few crosses – boom boom bam! – basically I built a skeleton that just needed to be fleshed out. Man, that was fun! I promise I'm not bragging here, I'm just agog that it happened. My favorite – and this is a rhyme that will go through my head all day – SPECIAL SAUCE with one cross! Along the way, I learned a new meaning for FLAY, I enjoyed LAL meeting LOL, but most impressive to me -- and this is the second time recently this has happened --were those eight NYT puzzle answer debuts that @deb referred to, all of which were outstanding and worthy of mention (with FAKE MEATS, HYPE UP, and WALTONS in addition to the five she mentioned). Wow! This is just where I want to be first thing in the morning – all hyped up in the best way, ready to roll. Thank you very much, Jamie!
Mean Old Lady (Now in Mississippi)
@Lewis I forgot to mention the WALTONS (I'm not sure the world's richest, actually)--who come in for a lot of criticism (for apparently, being rich), but who in fact hve contributed a lot to NW Arkansas and indeed to the state. PhysicsDaughter completed her physics-engineering PhD thanks to their endowed fellowship. I miss visiting Fayetteville, wth the WALTON Arts Center and the nearby Crystal Bridges Museum. Beautiful mountain setting.....
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Lewis It took zero crosses for me to get SPECIALSAUCE (probably thanks to recent BigMac sightings in the puzzle). Otherwise, it was a slower than usual Friday. Fun, but not fast.
SPB (Virginia)
@Mean Old Lady I was thinking of the Earl Hamner Jr. WALTONS (as in John Boy) for an embarrassingly long time - I thought it was a little idealistic to call them “The world’s wealthiest family”, but I thought it was rather charming!
Crazy Harry (Tempe, Az)
One week out from a spinal fusion and feeling delightfully miserable. Been up all night with a cross puzzle break in the middle. Wasn’t sure I could even complete this puzzle in my drug addled mode, but I guess the right combination of pain, insomnia and oxycodone did the trick. Really enjoyed solving this one. Loved the creative clues.
Cooofnj (New Jersey)
@Crazy Harry Best of luck on your rehab! It hurts now but you will get better. Listen to your Physical Therapist! In my experience they will save your (future) life.
Leapfinger (Durham NC)
@Crazy Harry -- Best of luck, that's a rough surgery and I admire your dedication!! As Co/nj indicates, REHAB will be Key!
Rich in Atlanta (Austell, Georgia)
I did so poorly on this one that I actually expected that some others might have struggled with it. Evidently not. I just couldn't get anywhere with this without some look-ups and even some reveals when that wasn't enough. Probably as poorly as I've ever done on a puzzle. That's not a comment on the puzzle - just on my solving skills. Thought there were a number of very nice answers in this one and enjoyed the 'aha' moments when i finally had enough crosses to get them.
Cooofnj (New Jersey)
@Rich in Atlanta I really struggled to get a toehold but was finally able to get in. I did end up having to look up an answer when I finished with errors. Caught most (fat fingers) but had no idea about the tennis player/sorority cross. Sometimes you are on the constructor’s wavelength and sometimes not. Chalk this one up to a wavelength mismatch and enjoy the rest of your day.
David Connell (Weston CT)
@Rich in Atlanta - it was a struggle for me, too - the upper right and lower left corners remained opaque for a long time.
coloradoz (Colorado)
@Rich in Atlanta You aren't alone. Came to the point that I couldn't finish, so started all the lookups
Doug (Seattle)
For 61A: Anyone else start with PAN (for beef or vegetable stock) instead of PEN (for livestock)?
Mean Old Lady (Now in Mississippi)
@Doug Hand up for PAN after POT [pout] but the math clue showed me the error of my ways....
Doug (Tokyo)
SPELLING BEE GRID M A B D I N R WORDS: 42, POINTS: 187, PANGRAMS: 1, BINGO First character frequency: A x 7 B x 3 D x 3 I x 3 M x 24 N x 1 R x 1 Word length frequency: 4L: 14 5L: 12 6L: 9 7L: 4 8L: 3 Grid: 4 5 6 7 8 Σ A: 1 3 2 1 - 7 B: 1 - 1 1 - 3 D: 2 1 - - - 3 I: 2 1 - - - 3 M: 8 6 5 2 3 24 N: - 1 - - - 1 R: - - 1 - - 1 Σ: 14 12 9 4 3 42 Two letter list: AD-2 AI-1 AM-1 AN-1 AR-2 BA-2 BR-1 DA-1 DR-2 IA-2 IM-1 MA-15 MI-9 NI-1 RA-1
Annie Towne (Wild Oregon Coast)
@Doug QBWG. Thanks, Doug. The last few.days I've noticed I have trouble getting started without the grid. My brain seems a bit foggy. I've also taken to going in alphabetical order, because that helps focus my mind. I must be more tired than I realize. I'll start on some hints.
Annie Towne (Wild Oregon Coast)
@Doug Clues and hints, Vol. I A His job is to make you want things you don't need Their job is red tape (short form) Her job is to clean the ship's weapons He's surrounded She is your force of female nature They are sailing in formation He's in mourning, so his is black B She'll pour you another He'll listen to your sad stories It's on the edge D This puts you down; waaay down This is some fluid in the avoirdupois system (I really like that word) This is where he'll upstage you I This foot is short, then long This is a bunch of them feet He'll tell you what the prophet said N They hang around the moon R This is your desert island home, until the rainy season starts To be continued...
Annie Towne (Wild Oregon Coast)
@Doug Hints and clues, Vol II M She is the head cat in this house He is in a padded cell She is unmarried That's a nasty wound He's the numero uno She has little ones He's a venomous one She has les petites That's a wee orange This is why he's in that padded cell This is some special bread That is a big xylophone This is where she's moored He's put lots of garlic in that sauce She teaches in that one-room schoolhouse This is where he opens his parachute This is Central Control for vision and hearing That's a long skirt That's the big vein in the leaf This is different from your brain That's a short skirt This is full of overpriced chocolate and undersized bottles This isn't much These aren't much, either The end.
Shelley (Stockholm)
Lord have mercy, bless your heart if you play minor league hockey in Texas. That must be a tiny but devoted fan base.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Shelley, It's only been a while that they've been playing "major league" hockey in Texas...
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Shelley Indeed. I started with NHL there because I figured they wouldn’t include a minor league . . . I know that Texas’s baseball and basketball have lots of fans, but we’re still mostly football country.
Steve L (Chestnut Ridge, NY)
@Eric Hougland I dunno; there was a disturbingly high number of people at the Rangers opener last week... I hear their new mascots are going to be three monkeys.
Mike (Munster)
"I want to trim my hair shorter. Any ideas?" "What about bob?" (This one was a cut above.)
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
(Emus are snipping replies) Mike. No TIEBACK for you? (PFFT)
Mean Old Lady (Now in Mississippi)
@Mike Love your daily offerings. Just a word of warniing: one day you may tire of your punderous undertaking, only to find that You. Can't. Stop.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Mike, No TIEBACK for you? (PFFT)
JRu (London)
LETTER BOXED F-Y (8) / Y-H (5) Nice Kids
Jen (İzmir)
@JRu, ditto for me at 3:20 am EDT
AB (Providence, RI)
@JRu Wow! I found a 13 letter solution, too; wonder if THAT'S a record? U-T (6), T-D (7) Couldn't palpate that throat gland.
Michael (Brooklyn)
Comedian Richard Lewis once said because of his fear of STD's he decided to only have phone sex. Unfortunately, he said, "I developed an ear infection."
Queenie (Henderson, NV)
How many people put in phone sex before phone tag? Come on, admit it.
Aram Gharapetian (Queens)
@Queenie i think the fact that it didn’t even cross my mind says something about me
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Queenie, Lots of people admitted having PHONEsex earlier in the comments (and then they went to sleep).
Dave C (Massachusetts)
@Queenie I'm on my phone for that right now(!) 🤪
kkseattle (Seattle)
Really, the first appearance of GROUP THERAPY? In the NYT puzzle? Stunning!
Chaz Aich (Endwell, NY)
That is astonishing, especially for a New York-based newspaper.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
First appearance for both words as the entry, but THERAPY has appeared seven times in the Shortz era (including clues "It could be a group effort" in 1998 and "Setting for many New Yorker cartoons" in 2016) ... and GROUP appeared in the Maleska and Weng eras with clues including "Kind of therapy" and "Type of therapy."
Dave C (Massachusetts)
@kkseattle Yes! I'm hoping for Trigger Point or Shock next! 😁
EJG (Los Angeles, CA)
I got it in crosses (miracle for me on Fridays) and I've googled but can't find/don't understand "Amazon ANT." Will someone please take pity on me and explain?
Edward Rice (Vienna, VA)
@EJG Small critters that are native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyergus Red ants with poor family skills. The name can be a misnomer.
RC (NC)
For 38A, I have bad news for the author and editor. Nassau is the capital of The Bahamas, an island archipelago nation in the Atlantic Ocean north of the Caribbean Sea; i.e., Nassau is not a Caribbean capital by any stretch of the imagination! I am very surprised that any educated person would not know that. Guess that one slipped by everybody.
Vallee (Mississauga, Canada)
@RC The Bahamas is a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state along with 12 other former British territories, Haiti and Suriname. So if the archipelago is not geographically located within the Caribbean Sea, it is politically a Caribbean nation.
Edward Rice (Vienna, VA)
@RC I agree, but we may still be wrong. And by tomorrow, who knows, St. Vincent may no longer be one, either! https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/08/americas/st-vincent-volcano-intl/index.html
Andy (Dallas)
@RC I’m with you, RC. The Caribbean Sea’s northern border runs along southern Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, etc. The clue hints at no subterfuge, and ought to be taken literally, CARICOM membership notwithstanding.
Gary (DC)
The whole bottom section was a Natick sprawl for me. Some tennis or golf figure crossed with some sorority? Random weapons engineer crossed with hackneyed slang? Random actress crossed with a meaningless alleged cooking phrase that I have never encountered in 10000 recipes and some random other sporting figure. I'm thinking of a two-word phrase...
Newbie (Cali)
@Gary [In my best Barry] If the clue says "U.S. Open tennis champion of 2018 and 2020," the answer is probably a tennis (not golf) figure. FORE!!
Richard (NYC)
@Newbie [in my best Deb] Newbie ... (all in good fun)
Deb Amlen (Wordplay, The Road Tour)
@Richard ... (LOL)
Joe T. (Brooklyn, NY)
For various reasons, I haven’t been doing the crossword everyday for about a month or so. I’ve managed to do it every day this week so far, and managed a Friday personal best time. Enjoyable, if not overly taxing puzzle. A few “of course” moments when crosses guided me in the right direction. The only uncertainty I had was SAPOR at 45D.... maybe I lost a little fluency in “Crosswordese”?
kkseattle (Seattle)
@Joe T. That was my last word, too, and I came in well under average. There were some pretty great clues, and some that were a bit of a slog, but came eventually, so . . . all's well that ends well?
Michael Poplawski (Victoria. British Columbia)
I hope SETH Curry hears about this puzzle, as it’s his brother Stephen who is the multiple-time MVP and Champion with the Warriors, and not the player who has usually come off the bench as a substitute for seven different NBA teams. He’ll surely be tickled to be the family star for a day!
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Michael Poplawski I don’t follow the NBA, but I know enough that I tried to cram Stephen into a too-small space — and then I remembered learning (probably from a previous puzzle) that Steph has a brother who is also in the NBA.
Gary (DC)
Wait, you mean SETH Curry refers to a person? I never would have had any reason to know that. I just assumed that it must refer to some kind of spicy stew, maybe one favoured in a Northern Bengali Arrondissement. I couldn't figure out whether it was meant to be made by Seth, for Seth, or of Seths, though. Maybe Seth could be an alternative spelling of Sikh, and it could actually refer to some kind typical Sikh dish. But of the clue actually refers to some sporting figure, then it all makes perfect sense, except for the question of who the heck thought this sporting figure was an appropriate thing to require in a crossword puzzle!?
Newbie (Cali)
@Michael Poplawski I did laugh at that. It the 'star' part that made me laugh. He is a respectable role player. But not a star. I actually put their dad, Dell, first. He was more of a 'star' than SETH.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
Nicely done, Mr. Smith. A bit slow for me, in part because I didn’t trust my instincts on POLARBEARPLUNGE (thanks, Mad Magazine!) or see the clue for PNEUMONIA until late. And though I have enjoyed Bill Murray since he was on SNL, it took me a long time to get the movie title. (I’ve never seen it.) I have to wonder, though, if PEEPER should have been clued as dated slang. I see it and think of Billie Holiday singing “Jeepers Creepers,” a song that came out in 1938. Do people still use PEEPER?
Crazy Harry (Tempe, Az)
@Eric Hougland you should definitely see the movie. It was fantastic.
Frances (Western Mass)
@Crazy Harry Bill Murray fan, I consider it uneven.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Crazy Harry Thanks. If it shows up on Netflix, I will give it a shot.
Embee (MN)
Excellent example of a well executed Friday. I wonder if the 21 months between writing a puzzle and being published (if this is indeed the norm for a thermal right now?) will inhibit constructors from using “current” language, for fear of looking outdated by the time it appears? Not that this particular puzzle is suffering for it, it’s fine, but just in the general sense. Deb or others in the know, is that a typical timeframe for timeless right now? Not that the NYT needs to be über-fresh, but there’s a risk of something landing wrong with language changing rapidly in some instances.
Embee (MN)
@Embee theme, not thermal. Themeless not timeless. Sheesh autocorrect.
Newbie (Cali)
@Embee I, as expected, got zero clue on the wait time between acceptance and print, but I feel like I recall reading a constructor note, where the puzzle was published within a couple weeks of being accepted. I feel bad for those puzzles that are tied to a specific date/event. You get 1 day a year to be run.
kkseattle (Seattle)
@Embee But just think, three or four years from now you'll be whizzing through the pandemic-related clues.
RichardZ (Los Angeles)
Re 12D (YO DOG) - the phrase "Yo dawg" (for getting your buddy's attention) seems more in the language to me. But I guess if your friend is of the canine variety, the given answer also works.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@RichardZ Neither phrase is in my language. “YO bro” slowed me down for a while.
NA (New Paltz, NY)
This was a fun puzzle, but one thing I notice in general, not just this one, is that there are an awful lot of sports references in them. Isn't this supposed to be a safe space for nerds? Why not more literary references?
Newbie (Cali)
@NA There weren't enough sports references in my opinion. Hey you got a clue about a poem title, presidential trivia, some botany / psychology / science. I would say it was pretty "fair and balanced."
Brian (Simi Valley CA)
Nerds can like sports. They contribute to new ideas of strategy and tactics, like the use of sabrmetrics and the money ball approach. Nerds figured out the expected value of a 3 point shot was greater than the expected value of a mid range jumper.
Ed (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
@NA I like sports and I like literature so I half agree with you. My only real complaint about this generally fun puzzle was special sauce, which was as boring and unappetizing on the page as the characterless condiment is on the burger.
Wen (Brookline, MA)
Am I the only one to put PHONE SEX as the answer to that question before finally begrudgingly changing it to PHONE TAG? Just me? Everyone else were tending to TAKE THE HIGH ROAD? With FAKE MEATS, SPECIAL SAUCE and ON THE REBOUND, this was one steamy puzzle. Well, it certainly ENHANCES the solving experience. Seems like it was GROUP THERAPY for a group of...two. Had ALL BEEF PATTY before SPECIAL SAUCE, which made crossing FAKE MEATS rather amusing. My last square was the R in ARE/UREY. Not sure I really understand the clue for ARE, and UREY was plain no-know. Seemed a bit WEAK for a Friday, but it was still plenty tough, a good puzzle.
Pezhead (Denver)
@Wen Not often I understand a clue that you don't, but I got the ARE clue: one and one MAKE two, one and one ARE two.
Wen (Brookline, MA)
@Pezhead - ah, yes. I was in denial about that. Didn't think it would be as direct as that. Thanks!
CRTH (NJ)
@Pezhead Or the Inchworm song! Two and two are four Four and four are eight Eight and eight are sixteen Sixteen and sixteen are thirty-two
Alan J (Durham, NC)
William Henry Harrison delivered the longest Inaugural Address in U.S. history, over 8,000 words, which took him two hours to read. (In dodgy weather.) There have been those who believed that delivering that speech led to the cold that developed into the PNEUMONIA that killed him. But he remained in good health for about three weeks, and then caught a chill from a walk in a chilly rain. Then a team of doctors may have maltreated him to death (some say). A study published in 2014 suggests that the White House water supply, which was downstream from a public sewage outlet, may have contributed to his illness. So he doesn't seem to have talked himself to death, as some thought. Instead he may have chilled/sipped/been maltreated to death, or some combination thereof. Whatever the cause, 31 days is all he had in office, the shortest tenure of any President.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Alan J I didn’t know that. Thanks. I wish, though, that I had seen the clue for 31D earlier on. I’d have immediately entered PNEUMONIA, which would have sped up my progress in that corner.
Rebecca B (Tacoma, WA)
@Alan J, wait, what? Do you mean to tell me that I actually could catch my death of cold by going outside with a wet head, as my father has told me all along?
Bananas (Safety Harbor, FL)
Are we sure that was an actual Friday class puzzle? I zipped right through it and tied my previous best time.
Newbie (Cali)
@Bananas So instead of being happy you tied your previous best, you 'blame' the puzzle for being too easy? Come on. Just enjoy your victory. Of course, you thought it was easy. That is why you tied your personal best!
Al in Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
@Bananas Just a [tad, bit, jot, sec] under average for me. Different strokes.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Bananas Congratulations on zipping through it. A few minutes longer than average for me, though I didn’t feel stuck anywhere, nor did I think it was particularly hard. A misspelling/misgendering (UNa for UNO) and a typo in OSAKA were responsible for some of that time.
Petsounds (Great Lakes)
I'm glad that Jamey Smith's original clue for SPECIALSAUCE was changed! That would have been a major trip-up! New to me: Amazon ANT, TERAflop (what TERI Hatcher definitely did NOT do in her "Seinfeld" appearance), Harold UREY. Got FAKEMEATS right away; I'm a fan. Enjoyed all the long answers, and the fill was spicy. Fun and satisfying!
Dave C (Massachusetts)
@Petsounds Pet Sounds... Would that be a Beach Boys reference?
eLizard (USA)
So pleased to be able to finish this with no lookups! I owe it all to the footholds at SPECIALSAUCE and GROUPTHERAPY.
Newbie (Cali)
@eLizard Big Macs have been making quite an appearance lately in the NYT puzzle. I think this is the third reference in about two weeks? Not complaining. I can't get enough of Mickey D's. I like that Impossible Foods was also in the puzzle, as Burger King sells the Impossible Whopper.
David Connell (Weston CT)
@Newbie - Like you, I find it hard to believe there are people who never had a Big Mac. Unlike you, I find it entirely credible that there are people who never had a _second_ Big Mac...
Frances (Western Mass)
@David Connell I must have had a Big Mac at some point but I have no memory of it. Don’t all their products taste like the paper wrapping?
Xwordsolver (Bay Area)
NW portended a tough one ... but the rest of the puzzle was easier. Glad to see Naomi get into the puzzle! Nice cluing ... looking ahead to Saturday!
Daniel Lemke (Houston, TX)
I read “What happens when two people miss each other a lot?” to indicate an unmet amorous feeling and answered how that might be met over the phone. I figured out that was wrong when YODOx didn’t make sense.
Al in Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
@Daniel Lemke I had that , too. ASANA fixed it for me. Great association. I also had PEEPat for 30a which led to "tuck" for "parent's bedtime activity".
polymath (British Columbia)
Yeah, being tucked in was my first thought for that.
polymath (British Columbia)
Again, the link is broken. This was really tough for me when I got to the upper left and its surroundings. Sheesh that took a long time! Forgot whatever I might've known about Impossible Foods: fake pears? fake meals? Could not think of "mart" for the gas station and was stuck on "port" for too long. And never heard of "Amazon ant". Is this an insect (I'd think there'd be a myriad of them in a rainforest), or something to do with the e-tailer? But I'm not complaining! This was very hard, but finally doable: When you have eliminated the impossible, what remains is the answer — Basil Rathbone. An excellent puzzle.
Jeanne (San Francisco)
As Bill Murray would say in “What About Bob”, “temporarily disconnected”.
Rebecca B (Tacoma, WA)
@polymath, surely you're joking. That phrase should be attributed to the redoubtable character who said it, or the author - one of my favorites - who wrote it for him, not one of the many actors who played the former, speaking the latter's words.
Rebecca B (Tacoma, WA)
@polymath, surely you're joking. That phrase should be attributed to the redoubtable character who said it, or the author - one of my favorites - who wrote it for him, not one of the many actors who played the former, speaking the latter's words. **And "what remains must be the truth."
Pat (Michigan)
I can't figure out where the "contact us" is so here are the links for someone who can make the change. This one works: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/08/crosswords/daily-puzzle-2021-04-9.html This one doesn't: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/08/crosswords/daily-puzzle-2021-04-09.html There's an extra 0 in the date of the one that doesn't work.
Brooklyn Margaret (NY)
@Pat For future reference: Contact Us is found at the bottom of the web page. If you're on your tablet or phone when you experience the problem, open the menu box and use Feedback. It does the same thing: prefills an email with the specifics of page and platform, addressed to the tech folk.
Steve L (Chestnut Ridge, NY)
Guess what doesn't work again? Give up? The link from the hub.
Michael Weiland (Gurnee, IL)
@Steve L @deb The URL is "04-9" where it should be "04-09" (missing the second "0").
Deb Amlen (Wordplay, The Road Tour)
@Steve L Guess what's fixed now?
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