Might Include Poetry, but Not Pros

Oct 27, 2022 · 233 comments
Maggie (North Carolina)
Very late to comment as I’ve been busy, but have to say what a delight this puzzle was. It took me a few runs at it during the day, but each time I broke through another section. Had to look up the meaning of a few worlds such as “chalcedony” but managed to puzzle this out to a fine conclusion. Thanks for the wonderful experience!
Gary McMahon (Portland, OR)
I can’t go on and feel mean and low because I did not know any taxonomists. Had to have the puzzle revealed.
Norman Ramsey (Malden, Mass.)
Thanks for ROOKIE MISTAKE. On my first pass that was just about all I got, but it was enough to seed the entire solution eventually.
Crevecoeur (PA US)
Well it took an hour, but it got done. Ohms law? Sheesh. I agree with the croissant comment. I had that in there for a while. Fave clue was “late show?”
Apom (Singapore)
Frankly I never dreamt of ever solving a Friday without googling and I finally did so today! Happy with my first Friday time at 56:56. I was stuck with DANCEANTHEMS for a while and IDIG/TOGO (thinking it was IDID/TODO).
Ann Robinson (Bx)
Going to chime in, though I usually just lurk. I really enjoyed this puzzle, and am proud of my 39:37 time for a Friday without googling anything! SE corner took quite a while, though. Somehow I had a really hard time with those answers that seem really easy in retrospect (SIT! d’oh!). I had a happy early guess with DISCOANTHEMS, though. Yes, I had to guess from the crosses at several answers (e.g., ALDO, TOFF), and I still don’t know what Chalcedony is but I had fun!
Richard F Sorrentino (NJ)
"Toffee Nose" is actually the term I have heard referring to posh Brits, especially their accent, which distinguishes them from the Cockneys, the Scousers, the Geordies and all the rest. So when I saw that "toff" was the answer for 48A, I made that immediate association, and nothing to do with "tuft". As for its derivation, I can only guess that it has something to do with the sort of sweet that one can eat only at the risk of damaging expensive dental work. The "nose" part of the term seems perhaps to be a reference to how one's nose may turn up when using terms such as "one" as an indefinite pronoun, something which we avoid in the States.
RS (U.K.)
Great puzzle. I was zipping through that in record time before getting stuck in the bottom left corner. The crossing of TOGO, SOSO, and I DIG seriously slowed me down.
Kay (Chicago)
Quick note, the Courteney Cox clue is wrong. It should have the word nomination in the clue. Matthew Perry was nominated for different projects but has never won, for example.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Kay, That was noted here this morning (with some humor in the thread).
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
P.S. In case you don't want to scroll down, here's a link to the first EMMY thread: https://nyti.ms/3gQ1qOI#permid=121180408
Sian (Toronto)
Great fun puzzle - thank you so much, Mr. Nediger!! One quibble - I think TROIS is more likely to be in the wee hours of the night... it's QUINZE that comes around après midi...
Adam (California)
About a 20-minute solve, perfect for a Friday. I suspected OAKY immediately for 31-D and had a nice little chuckle when the O and A fell into place. Enough help from the crossing clues made for good enough educated guesses on MUDRA and ALDO eliminating the need to do any “research”, which I definitely appreciate.
Mae (NYC)
Had to look up chalcedony but what a great word, right?
Shari Coats (Nevada City, CA)
A very enjoyable challenge. I was pleased to get some of the phrases on my own, like ROOKIE MISTAKE, I CANT LOOK, BLOW A FUSE. I also knew MUDRA, thanks to yoga classes. When I had finished most of the grid, I went to Deb for just a few hints, and that did the trick. I was happy to learn something (from at least one fellow commenter) about an author I didn’t know, Aldo Leopold.
Sean (San diego)
Great puzzle, thanks to the constructor!
Retired, with cat (Milwaukee WI)
Excellent puzzle!
Isabeau (CA, US)
I has a grumpy. TOOLbox/kit/set is a fill that I never remember the kealoa status of until too late. Disagree with 33A: veterans can so make ROOKIEMISTAKEs! I wanted 32A to involve croissant -- cinnamon toast isn't all that flaky! -- and with some of the downs (trois, oaky, adherent) it worked to do ____crOissAnT. Even when Linnaeus and corridor forced CINN-, I was trying to make it some kind of hybrid... Pro tip for remembering grey/gray: Americans use grAy and Englishians use grEy. (In general.) BIGOT LIFEHACKS: stop being a bigot!
Pax Ahimsa Gethen (San Francisco, California)
@Isabeau "Englishians" gave me a chuckle. I recently participated in a longish Facebook discussion explaining the differences between British/English, Great Britain, United Kingdom, etc. As a US-American, I'm easily confused :-)
Pax Ahimsa Gethen (San Francisco, California)
Enjoyable, and nearly a Friday best for me. Upper right corner was the trickiest and last to be filled in. Enjoyed watching the Python sketch as well!
RoseAnn Mulford (Livingston)
So enjoyed the puzzle. Finished it with no peeking!
dvdmgsr (State College, PA)
Enjoyable Friday puzzle. I breezed along through it but then got stuck in the SE corner. I came up with __NOW for 41D, and then had _KNOW, but I mindless had locked in that NOW was an adverb and entered OKNOW. I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out what _O_ goes with house and baby. It didn’t help that the 41D clue for SCENE was so damned clever. I was thinking it had to be some kind of geometry/trig thing I had forgotten.
Leapfinger (Durham NC)
Anyone else have a brief skirmish with CINNAMON KOAST? Can I have a show of HANS? I ask only because I took to this sprightly little Friday like a DUCK TAPEs to water I was all set to DO WEL but ADMIT that I nodded off last NIGHT so the clock reads (OH GOD, I CAN'T LOOK) 2:06:02 ... which is a really BIG O.T., even for a weekend. Not too many tooth crackers, just some hiccups with TOOLkit and ADDTO/ANNEX/AFFIX. Who would ever expect to have MUDRA sling in there, but apparently thar was something EID workout with crosses. Always enjoyed LINNAEUS even more since discovering him to be a Swede, and my mind's ear can still hear Sofia Scicolone Loren saying "ALDO! ALDO!!" oh so memorably in whichever movie I've forgotten. Appreciated the nod to Walt Kelly with the hint of the OAKY fen OAKY Swamp/ As for TOFF (and if there's a TOFF, can't we assume a TOFFee?), it's an old friend to anyhoo ever read of Jeeves and Bertie Wooster. In more recent years, I discovered that PG Wodehouse wrote dropdead hilarious stories about the stately game of golf; highly recommended whether a duffer or no. Will Nediger ever ADMIT why he put 33D in the gtid? I suspect natural modesty, so we can't say there's no RUBBISH in the grid. If TRUCE be told, that won't stop us. There's no RUBBISH in this grid.
Johan Svensson (Utah)
As a native Swede, I’ve only ever known taxonomy Carl’s surname as “Von Linné” so that entry made no sense until I googled.
John (Chicago)
Guys Guys Guys! ...come to my Halloween party!
Walter (Virginia)
Fine. Meh. Whatever. At least a couple obnoxiously assertive clues, e.g. untraceable social media accounts; something a veteran won't make....
Andrew Regan (Denver CO)
Okay, so maybe this is whiney, but, a possible solution for 40A/41D is sAt/Ackow: per m-w.com acknow. (ækˈnəʊ). vb (tr). to recognizeto acknowledge, admit, confess. Thoughts?
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Andrew, Neither AKNOW (from SAT) nor ACKOW (from ???) is spelled "acknow" (the archaic M-W word).
Linda Jo (Brunswick, GA)
@Andrew Regan I don't think 'aknow' would qualify as a conversational equivalent for "Right!", as the quotation marks hint. I just can't imagine someone naturally saying "Aknow".
Selective Walrus (Canada)
Tough but fair! Got this all by myself and I loved that challenge.
Mark Stanley (Oakland, CA)
Puzzle logistics aside, James Brown is "The Godfather of SOUL"
Susan K (Newark, OH)
@Mark Stanley Absolutely!!!
Ned S (Iowa City, IA)
And yet there is no denying he played FUNK music.
dvdmgsr (State College, PA)
The Godfather of SOUL and the father of FUNK? I’d bet even George Clinton and Bootsy would go with that assessment.
Brady (slc)
Nice puzzle. Even without Deb's saying so, one might have guessed that Mr. Nediger is a pro--he's definitely not working on AMATEURNIGHT. As a bonus, the puzzle was nearly devoid of pop culture RUBBISH. Bravo!
Brady (slc)
Nice puzzle. Even without Deb's saying so, one might have guessed that Mr. Nediger is a pro--he's definitely not working on AMATEURNIGHT. As a bonus, the puzzle was nearly devoid of pop culture RUBBISH. Bravo!
Great Lakes (US)
@Brady You can say that again.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Great Lakes Woah! The multiple posting ratites are at it again!
Leapfinger (Durham NC)
@Eric Hougland Please Sir, could we have some Moa?
Brady (slc)
Nice puzzle. Even without Deb's saying so, one might have guessed that Mr. Nediger is a pro--he's definitely not working on AMATEURNIGHT. As a bonus, the puzzle was nearly devoid of pop culture RUBBISH. Bravo!
Brady (slc)
Nice puzzle. Even without Deb's saying so, one might have guessed that Mr. Nediger is a pro--he's definitely not working on AMATEURNIGHT. As a bonus, the puzzle was nearly devoid of pop culture RUBBISH. Bravo!
Brady (slc)
Nice puzzle. Even without Deb's saying so, one might have guessed that Mr. Nediger is a pro--he's definitely not working on AMATEURNIGHT. As a bonus, the puzzle was nearly devoid of pop culture RUBBISH. Bravo!
Brady (slc)
Nice puzzle. Even without Deb's saying so, one might have guessed that Mr. Nediger is a pro--he's definitely not working on AMATEURNIGHT. As a bonus, the puzzle was nearly devoid of pop culture RUBBISH. Bravo!
Jim Murray (Castlegar BC Canada)
A great Friday puzzle, well done, Will Nediger. A good mix of clues, and most importantly a good use of words that I thought I knew but had to ponder on synonyms for.
A C (NYC)
30-down is incorrect. Courtney Cox is the only cast member of Friends who has never received an Emmy *nomination.* only Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow have won Emmys.
A C (NYC)
And that’s true with respect to their entire careers, not just Friends (the clue is not Friends-specific).
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
A C, You're late: the EMMYs aired 8 hours ago. https://nyti.ms/3gQ1qOI#permid=121180408
Anna (Bellingham, WA)
Great Friday workout!
David Connell (Weston CT)
All said, all done. A fine puzzle. The genius of the Chinese writing system is that it can be read by anybody in their own dialect, though the communist simplified system did ugly it up a “grate deel.” So dialects are speech-oriented and do not alter the written forms. The girl from tinnissee who played the frinch hoorn in my college classes - didn’t alter the written language. In Shanghai we said Sha-ya! for what elsewhere was pronounced xie-xie, but it’s important, on a global scale, that they were _written_ the same way. I know mudra from the phenomenal series of Inspector Shan Tao Yun novels by Eliot Pattison. They are all like good Thursday puzzles: they yield their riches to the persistent curious: they do not spoon-feed.
Alexandra (Los Angeles,CA)
Though I haven’t studied Mandarin (offered at our local college) yet, I was able to rely on my knowledge of Japanese Kanji (borrowed from the Chinese) to get this one! I’m not so well versed in the kanji yet (only at the start of my Japanese learning), but it’s so exciting to recognize some familiar symbols when looking at something from China and get a tiny sense of what it means (e.g. numbers, symbols for time and some food related things!)
Steve L (Chestnut Ridge, NY)
@Alexandra I relied on ADMIT, TRUCE and SEDAN to get 22A.
dvdmgsr (State College, PA)
As did I. Well, those clues plus EARN and AMATEURNIGHT.
Jim (Nc)
Seemed like it was going to be a tough one when I had a slow start last night, so I left it to finish this morning. Ended up being 52% faster than average.
Leapfinger (Durham NC)
@Jim -- So you didn't fall asleep with the clock running...
Jim (Nc)
@Leapfinger That has happened, but not in a long time.
Jim in Forest Hills (Forest Hills NY)
BURNER ACCOUNT had me scratching my head. BURNER PHONE I guess is the more common usage. Some day some one will fit ANONYMOUS BROWSER into a puzzle somewhere
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Jim in Forest Hills BURNER ACCOUNT was new to me, too. But it made sense.
Great Lakes (US)
@Jim in Forest Hills How about TOR?
Jim in Forest Hills (Forest Hills NY)
@Great Lakes OK but TOR is an anonymous ROUTER. Not the same thing
APNerd (MA)
It's odd how people are celebrating James Brown here...theft and assault convictions, domestic violence arrests, at least one rape accusation...perhaps not someone to be celebrated, regardless of his contribution to music history?
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
APNerd, I celebrate his music, I do not judge his personal life.
Bruce (Atlanta)
It has always struck me that in our culture we have sort of a "bottom line" mentality when we judge people... he was a good man, she was evil, etc. What really made me start to think about this was the scene in "The Godfather" when Vito Corleone dies. He is literally teaching his grandson how to spread poison. He puts two pieces of orange peel in his mouth to make himself look like a monster and chases him playfully... and collapses and dies. We're left thinking "so... was he a monster... or was he a doting grandfather who was a pillar of strength who loved his family?" The answer is: both. So we have Thomas Jefferson, who was brilliant, who was in many ways the architect of the constitution... and also a slave owner. We have Bill Cosby, who in his own way was nearly as influential as Martin Luther King in advancing the rights of Black Americans... and also a sex offender. And so it goes. People are complex. Summing them up with a single adjective is never enough.
Great Lakes (US)
@Bruce I'm sure Hitler had some redeeming qualities, but I don't care. I don't care about Cosby, either. "Sex offender" doesn't quite encompass his actions.
Nandor (Madison, WI)
No AMATEURNIGHT construction today. This is the work of a experienced hand. It was challenging, rich and mind-expanding. I was especially pleased to see Aldo Leopold make an appearance. The shack where he and his family spent time is only 45 minutes north of where I write. There he developed his belief in and call for a "land ethic" between people and nature. I heartily recommend "A Sand County Almanac" by Leopold to all. And thanks, Will Nediger, for a masterful Friday.
Paige (Seattle)
@Nandor I’ve been reading Sand County Almanac for the first time. It’s very soothing.
Shari Coats (Nevada City, CA)
@Nandor Thanks for the recommendation. I will check out Aldo Leopold’s work. He is new to me. One of the things I love about being part of this community is all the great ideas for books, music, movies, etc.
Joe Felice (Las Vegas)
If TOFF is new to you, look up the famous 1937 British photograph "Toffs and Toughs", which is considered illustrative of the stark class system among children.
Linda Jo (Brunswick, GA)
I FUNK every Friday. ( 4 to7 pm every Friday, the Funky Friday show on WXPN. Stream it from xpn.org ) And the rest of the puzzle all was in my wheelhouse, too, old and new. Even MUDRA.
RozzieGrandma (Roslindale MA)
Clearly I need to learn more about cars or at least think of them more. KIA CADENZA..piece of music? new rock group? but my only look-up.
Pax Ahimsa Gethen (San Francisco, California)
@RozzieGrandma I know very little about cars (don't even have a driver's license), but I'd heard of Kia and guessed SEDAN from that word appearing in a recent crossword.
Mean Old Lady (Now in Mississippi)
Great to see this byline again! And I must say, any puzzle with the clue 'Codswallop' puts me over the moon. So much to love, despite the Disney character and Hindu gesture. At our house, it's BLOW A GASKET--I've never heard this with FUSE unless someone has actually managed an outage due to a blown one. I tried ANNEX before the more-glue-gun-ish AFFIX. Which ADHERENT do you prefer, Will? DHubby never met a glue he didn't like... DUCT TAPE! CINNAMON TOAST! LIFE HACKS! This puzzle has everything except WD-40 (the sine qua non of DIY-life. I swear that DHubby tried it on the kids!) BTW, if you don't get Vietnamese (or Indonesian) CINNAMON, you are missing out! Over and Out.
Leapfinger (Durham NC)
@MOL -- WD-40? IIRC, among the Greeks, I thought it was supposed to be Windex. I've watched some of those LIFEHACK videos on YouTube with my lower jaw resting comfortably on my knees, rAPT
Marshall Walthew (Ardmore)
@Mia I’m glad you enjoyed the Manhattan. The Carpano Antica is lovely on its own over ice as an aperitif and makes a great Negroni too: 1oz of your favorite gin, 1oz Campari, 1oz Carpano Antica, stir with ice and garnish with an orange wheel. Cheers
Nancy (NYC)
So you all knew MUDRA right off the BAT, yes? A show of hands, please. I had FUN written in, of course. But then there was the pop music category clue and I've heard of PUNK, but not FUNK. So I changed FUN to PUN -- which "tomfoolery" really isn't, of course. Stupid me. I live in NYC but, geography not being my strong suit, I never can exactly place either SOHO or NOHO. I simply write in OHO and wait. LIFE HACKS is one of those terms I've never used, much less connected with any particular activity, but it's in the ether and I got it off of just the IFE. "Buttery" to me is avocado TOAST not CINNAMON TOAST, which is kind of grainy. And for a while I thought it was going to be something ON TOAST. The triple stack -- especially ROOKIE MISTAKE and BURNER ACCOUNT -- is fabulous. I needed to cheat on Carl LIN----- by typing him into Google. But since I already had the LIN, it was only a little cheat. At least that's what I'm telling my guilt-ridden self. I found this hard, engrossing, extremely well-clued, and with very interesting and colorful fill. An excellent Friday challenge. Kudos to my sometime collaborator Will for his (as always) expertly crafted puzzle.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Nancy Do an image search on MUDRA. You’ll probably recognize the hand gestures. I have encountered that word before, but I couldn’t remember it. Maybe now I will.
Mean Old Lady (Now in Mississippi)
@Nancy I forgot to mention Carolus LINNAEUS....In 9th grade I discovered how much of a genius he was: one could identify precisely (including supra- and sub-) from just structural clues (bones, exoskeletons, etc) where a particular sample belonged in the order of things. Monumental!
David Connell (Weston CT)
@Nancy - hard for you to believe, but mudra was a first pass fill for me. We all live in the worlds we choose to live in, after all.
ad absurdum (chicago)
Fun and fresh! I was briefly confused because I never thought of "I Am Woman" as a disco anthem. Oops. Silly brain. TEN was easy because of simple crosses.
jb (rochester, ny)
@ad absurdum The clue references "I'm Every Woman", not "I am Woman"
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Oh my...
Cynthia (Belfast, Maine)
This puzzle was a crunchy treat for me. Loved the long entries-- my favorite, DUCT TAPE. Great clues for DREAM, GREY, DOWEL, TEN, ANON, GUYS, BROTHS, SIT, CORRIDOR. Had nOObIE before ROOKIE. Lookup for meaning of Codswallop. Was pleased to know MUDRA right away. TIL HANS (tried Juan there), and HRT. I am wondering again about the issue, brought up by Deb today, of having to get answers with the help of crosses, as in today's TEN. Is that a problem? I skip all over the grid when I solve, and make free use of crosses. Thank you, Will Nediger, for an elegant, enticing, enjoyable puzzle!
Nancy (Sandown, NH)
@Cynthia I often use crosses to solve - I thought that was the point of CROSSword. In this puzzle alone I didn't know ALDO, MUDRA, LINNAEUS, TEN, TOFF, or ELENA and would never have been able to complete successfully without the crosses. Now I just have to memorize those words so the next time I see them, I can just fill them in without waiting for them to be revealed by the crosses.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Nancy I enjoy crossword puzzles much more when I need a few crosses to get some of the answers.
JBW (Winston-Salem, NC)
Great Friday puzzle. Not much fell for me on the first pass. I got a toehold in the SE corner and worked my way up from there. That’s my definition of a gratifying Friday puzzle – a big “uh-oh” followed by dogged sweat equity. And if it has me humming disco anthems for the rest of the day, so much the better.
Rob Richards (Olympia, WA, USA)
Is “Tricksy” from 9 Down a Britishism? I’ve never heard that used before. “Tricky” I would have gotten.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Rob, I don't use it myself, but M-W doesn't consider the word (as used in the puzzle) chiefly British. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tricksy
Jeb Jones (NY)
@Rob Richards I associate that word with Gollum from Tolkien’s books.
Bob T. (NYC)
@Rob Richards I consider it to be a particular kind of tricky, and a word that I've often heard used to describe a Thursday puzzle. From oxford languages: adjective (of a person) playful or mischievous. clever in an ingenious or deceptive way. "a typically tricksy beginning to his latest venture" according to the ngram viewer it's been on the rise since 1980, but was much more popular in the mid 1800s. I assume the % will render this link unusable, but... https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=tricksy&year_start=1800&year_end=2019&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ctricksy%3B%2Cc0
Steve (Rhode Island)
Great puzzle. NW corner finally solved after I finally realized 5D was not openmicNIGHT.
MalcMan (Ohio)
Quebec uses a 24 hour clock so 26D is incorrect.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
MalcMan, I don't believe it is forbidden in Quebec to say "three o'clock" in the afternoon.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
P.S. There was an interesting discussion of TROIS earlier in the comments.
Matt Veenman (Vancouver)
Since the new language laws it’s just forbidden to write it, in a commercial space at least.
David (New York)
I'm not sure I understand the complaint about 22A. Certainly, if the solver doesn't know the answer, they need to work the crosses, but isn't that exactly how a crossword is supposed to work? Having four three-letter words with almost no letter overlap (the letter of two and ten being the sole exception) makes this a pretty easy one. Thus, it seems more than a little Eurocentric to single out this clue based on a need to know how 10 is written in Chinese characters (including Korean Hanja and Japanese Kanji) when another answer is "TROIS"! Less than 4% of the global population speaks French, while close to 25% speaks an East Asian language.
Nancy (Sandown, NH)
@David I couldn't agree more! I didn't know MUDRA either (along with 5 others) , but I was able to complete the puzzle with the help of the crosses. On a somewhat related note, I have very little knowledge of organized sports or movies, but that just makes me pay more attention to what's in the ether. I wouldn't think to complain about those entries. Well, I may curse to myself, but that's about it.
APNerd (MA)
@David That's why jigsaw puzzles come disassembled, right?
Marshall Walthew (Ardmore)
This puzzle gets an A just on the basis of using codswallop as a clue. For the third day in a row I’ve been slowed down by some typos which took way too long to hunt down. So it goes. I was happy to see the hardest working man in show business, The Godfather of soul, and one of the movers and shakers of funk, James Brown, make an appearance. I never saw James Brown perform in person, but clips of his performances are electric. I was also pleased to see Aldo Leopold make an appearance. He was an ecological pioneer and his Sand County Almanac remains a classic in the genre. Highly recommended.
Mia (PNW)
@Marshall Walthew Ooh, I’m looking forward to getting acquainted with Sand County Almanac. After all, I picked up a bottle of Carpano Antica on Sunday and we treated ourselves to some lovely Manhattans using your recipe. Definitely not codswallop! Thanks for the tip.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Marshall Walthew Thanks for reminding me of James Brown’s many honorific nicknames. Now I feel less foolish for having put “soul’ before FUNK.
Marshall Walthew (Ardmore)
@Eric Hougland I started with soul too.
Jim (Ottawa, ON)
My office was having internet issues this morning, which allowed me to complete the already-loaded Friday puzzle (guilt free). But when the network came back up, and I switched back to the games page, there was no golden star! The puzzle timer had stopped, and I hadn't resorted to a reveal square or word, so I knew I earned it. Reloaded pages, no change. Rebooted the computer, reloaded the page again...nada! My streak was in danger...currently over 450. Oh no! So I took a drastic step, and reset the puzzle. But I took a screen capture of my solved version first. I re-entered the answers and bingo, problem (and puzzle) solved! And I now have a personal Friday best of 1:43. :-) (Which could have been a bit better if my typing was up to speed!)
Cynthia (Belfast, Maine)
@Jim Years ago I did much the same thing on a Monday puzzle (for a different reason), and now will never match my Monday PB, which is somewhere over 8:00 minutes-- I am a slow typer.
Margaret (Michigan)
Any mention of Aldo Leopold makes me happy. Fun puzzle.
John Kreese (Indiana)
I’m baffled by ALIT. I’ve never heard or read that in any context for which “Came down” would be an appropriate clue. Can someone illuminate me?
Marshall Walthew (Ardmore)
@John Kreese It’s a form of the past tense of alight. As in the bird alit on a branch on my dogwood tree.
AlexF (NC)
The bird came down and ALIT on the tree branch.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
John, You may have heard or read its sibling "alighted." https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alit
Kate (Massachusetts)
Wow, that was fun. I loved that I got three of the long entries on sight (I CAN’T LOOK, ROOKIE MISTAKE, LIFE HACKS)—and it certainly helped with the solve… A question for the pros (including @Deb Amlen, of course): LIFE HACKS is listed among the debut entries, but I’ve been doing a lot of archived puzzles lately and would swear that I’ve run into it recently? Amirite? 😅
Rich in Atlanta (Austell, Georgia)
@Kate This is the debut for LIFEHACKS, but LIFEHACK in the singular has appeared in 5 previous puzzles. ..
Kate (Massachusetts)
@Rich in Atlanta Thank you for the confirmation!
Regine (Stamford)
@Kate same! Those, plus DISCOANTHEM. I couldn't believe it, especially as I got those before any of the other answers!
Lewis (Asheville, NC)
This kept pushing my happy button. Some easyish competence-affirming areas, other places with bite to satisfy my brain’s work ethic, and a parade of lovely clues and stellar answers. Every corner I turned there were better-than-average answers, such as I CAN’T LOOK, LINNAEUS, BLOW A FUSE, and MUDRA, and then came the exceptional boosts from stellar answers: ROOKIE MISTAKE / LIFE HACKS, AMATEUR NIGHT / DISCO ANTHEMS. These were augmented by riddle clues like [It’s raised by a wedge] for HEEL, and [It goes door to door] for CORRIDOR, that made me work, then get, then celebrate. Then there were the quirky perks. I CAN’T LOOK crossing OH GOD. The sweet PuzzPair© of DUCT TAPE and ADHERENT. The echo strings of IFFY / EMMY / ROOKIE / ANY, and ALDO / NOHO / SOHO. What an entertaining outing! Will N. has had 44 puzzles in the NYT and many more elsewhere, but not a hint of staleness throughout his oeuvre. You are a pro, sir, a Crosslandia boon. You don’t settle; your puzzles feel fresh. Like today’s, they leave me with a happy buzz. Thank you!
Lewis (Asheville, NC)
Correction: That SOHO in my post should be SOSO.
Biff Salmon (Los Angeles)
Played really tough for me, thought I was going to fail. Some chunks started to fall, and eventually got it. Great Friday puzzle.
John (Jersey Coast)
Well my TIL is that HERO is not just a regionalism for what everyone knows is a hoagie but instead a branded low-carb sandwich vessel. What a world. Smooth solve once I made peaCE with TRUCE in the NW. Well done Will and thanks.
Jeb Jones (NY)
@John 😂. I grew up in NJ, which seems to be the epicenter of the sandwich name controversy. Sub(marine sandwich) seems to be the most common across the country, but in NJ one is right in or adjacent to pockets of “hero”, “hoagie”, and even “grinder” - though not close to the “po’ boy” of our Creole cousins. When I was growing up, we would go to the Blimpie Base for our “subs” (honestly can’t remember what we called them. We might have just called them “blimpies”). I feel like “blimp” could be another name for that kind of sandwich, based on the shape (like a sub). I wonder why that never caught on. Seems like it should have (especially in NJ). Maybe it would have been too confusing to get a blimp and an order of zeppole for dessert. (Note: TIL that my assumption that zeppole was based on Zeppelin because of its shape was completely wrong!! -turns out there is no connection)
Marshall Walthew (Ardmore)
@John Hoagie all the way.
David Connell (Weston CT)
@Marshall Walthew - grinders are always hot. always. hoagies are never hot. never. heros are always eaten by New Yawkers. Always. No Philadelphian ever ate a hero. Just doesn’t happen…
Joaquin (SoCal)
CODSWALLOP is delicious; tunaswallop, otoh, is kinda bland.
skeptical1 (Massachusetts)
To Joaquin OTOH It's new to me since I'm not a Texter, and I wonder if it would be a useful filler for constructors. I don't think it's ever appeared?
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
I would have expected CODSWALLOP to have first appeared in a play in the 1600's, but no... First Known Use of codswallop 1959, in the meaning defined above History and Etymology for codswallop origin unknown https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/codswallop
Isabeau (CA, US)
@skeptical1 Codswallop isn't a texter-ism. It's far too long!
El (USA)
A linguistic theory behind Chinese dialects is that, prior to telephones and easy methods of travel, distant places within the same country would communicate by writing but not directly by speech. So Chinese dialects share the same grammar and written characters, but for groups that were socially isolated from each other, their spoken languages would evolve independently. This viewpoint is supported by the fact that there are more dialects in Southeast China, which is mountainous and where travel between groups would be more limited.
dk (Now in Mississippi)
Home hack seemed so right. Till it was not. Soul for FUNK. Sigh, I miss the end of year Parliament show at Tipitinas. ko got the EMMY for BROTHS. And then there were none. Thank you Will.... again.
Andrew (Ottawa)
While the word TWO (48D) can commonly refer to the time of day in English, the word TROIS (26D) on its own would never be understood to refer to the time of day in French. (One would always say TROIS heures.) For that reason I was somewhat reluctant to enter it at first. Not a nit - just an observation. Otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, and found it just the right degree of resistance for a Friday. (OHMS law?)
Bill (Detroit)
@Andrew for a bit I wondered whether the twenty-four hour clock was common use in Quebec, and whether something like "Treize" or "Quinze" was asked for.
Andrew (Ottawa)
@Bill Yes. One is just as likely to hear "quinze heures" as to hear "TROIS heures".
Esmerelda (Montreal)
@Bill Yes, normally you would hear 15h for 3 pm. When I first moved to Québec I missed a few appointments because of the 24 hour clock. After 38 years here I still have to think about it, and then translate into am/pm if I want to remember the time correctly.
skeptical1 (Massachusetts)
I had to look stuff up. I love it when that happens. I learned words that I should have known MUDRA (I am familiar with the gestures themselves but never knew the word for them as a group) I dredged words automatically out of a cobwebby memory LENNAEUS I manufactured entries that fit but I never heard or saw before DISCOANTHEM I was awed by Mr. Rupert's erudition and wit. A learning experience like this is very rewarding.
Rich in Atlanta (Austell, Georgia)
I'm commonly bringing up the rear among solvers, and so never surprised to find that others found a puzzle much easier than it was for me. But... just stunned today to see that almost everyone else found this unusually easy. I think this was the longest I've ever spent on any puzzle (about twice my average time) and was quite surprised to finish successfully. Just sheer luck with making my best guess on a few squares at the end. No complaints - that's just me. I had a couple of interesting answer history searches in mind this morning but I've completely forgotten them now. Might post them later if they come back to me. ..
Jeb Jones (NY)
@Rich in Atlanta I got hung up in the bottom middle and bottom right. After well over my average time, I had to go to wordplay to finish. Part of the problem was that I had filled in ADD TO for 39 down, and without LIFE HACKS, nothing else was falling for me. Not my wavelength I guess.
Chuck H. (Pittsburgh)
@Rich in Atlanta Like Jeb, I was waylaid by ADD TO instead of ANNEX. I looked up chalcedony and deduced ONYX, but that led me to change ADD TO to AFFIX. All that fiddling around brought me in over my average Friday time. I too was mildly surprised to finish successfully.
Grant (Delaware)
I strained my brain trying to remember how to spell Leeuwenhoek, then again trying to make it fit in the allotted squares. Oh, it's LINNAEUS, never mind. I've no idea how I remembered MUDRA, nor how I knew it. Mmmm, CINNAMON TOAST! My mom has a shaker in her spice rack with cinnamon and sugar just for that purpose. Talk about LIFEHACKS! My favorite clue was, "It goes door to door," not for a salesman or a pollster, but a CORRIDOR. I'm surprised that HRT was a debut - the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team has been around since the '80s.
Chuck H. (Pittsburgh)
@Grant I'm reasonably sure we also had a container of cinnamon and sugar back in the day. My mother baked most of our sandwich bread, and the CINNAMON TOAST made from it was especially good.
Linda Jo (Brunswick, GA)
@Grant You can still buy it, premixed in a shaker jar, in the spice aisle of the supermarket. It's called, by order of ingredients, Sugar Cinnamon.
Jack McCullough (Montpelier, Vermont)
This was a fun one. About half my Friday (and Thursday) average, and close to a Friday best. Had a bit of a challenge with 14A, starting out with sand before I got to HEEL at the very end. One quibble, which might be the converse of the veiled capital. Isn't OHM'S Law a proper noun? Was the constructor having a bit of FUN with us by using a lower case L? Oh, and Deb, nice job correcting "acronym" to "initialism" in your notes. Thanks for a good start to a Friday.
Kate (Massachusetts)
@Jack McCullough I edit a lot of manuscripts with scientific laws in them, and our rule of thumb is to capitalize the proper name only (unless it’s in a title, of course).
Helen Wright (Dorset UK)
A slow start, which eventually led to lots of aha moments. First pass got me very little, but then I hit on DISCO ANTHEMS (go Donna Summer) and LIFE HACKS. I loved the clue for that one. The rest fell slowly but satisfyingly surely. As I replied to @Rupert R, my understanding of TOFF differs from Deb’s, but as long as we all get there. Can never have enough of Monty Python. I remember watching the twit sketch on tv with my little brother, who was about 6 at the time. He laughed so hard he peed himself and was dragged off to the bathroom in disgrace. Happy days. Sadly he left us far too soon aged 39 from leukaemia.
Heidi Aycock (NC)
First, I enjoyed this puzzle. Lots I needed to wrestle with, in a good way. (Wrestling is what makes a puzzle good for me.) Second, how do I find a comment I want to return to later in the day? Is there a way to sort or tag or search? I find some of the comments interesting enough that I’d like to see how others respond.
Jim (Nc)
@Heidi Aycock On a PC, Ctrl-F will produce a search prompt where you can enter a search term. To insure that your search includes all threads, you must page from top to bottom of the comments before searching.
Bob T. (NYC)
@Heidi Aycock I read the column in the Chrome browser, and I often search in the comments using ctrl-F; just pick a relatively unique word in the comment, like the OP's name. It's a tool I use when I don't have time to read all the comments, but don't want to repeat something which has already been said; I'll search comments for the answer/word in question, and if my comment is repetition I'll just add a "ditto" or similar.
Jeb Jones (NY)
@Heidi Aycock yeah, it’s not great. Others have described about the best you can do. As pointed out, unless you first scroll/page through all comments first, your search will only access a subset of comments. Also, your search won’t access any replies that come after the first 3 replies to a given comment (since those will be hidden until you click on “view all replies”)
Paul S (New York, NY)
The answer for 30D is wrong. Cox was the only one of the six never nominated for an Emmy. Each of the three men was nominated at least once but never won. Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow each won once.
MDNY (Huntington, NY)
@Paul S You're right. A poorly worded clue. But I entered EMMY as the answer anyway.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Paul, For want of a nod, the clue was lost.
MDNY (Huntington, NY)
@Barry Ancona You nailed it!
Mark Cousins (Visiting HK)
@Deb Written Chinese has only two major variants, Traditional (used in Hong Kong and Taiwan and their diaspora) and Simplified, used pretty much everywhere else Chinese writing is needed. Both render the numbers 0-10 using the same symbols: 零 一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 九 十. (Japanese Kanji uses the same symbols.) So, although there are many spoken dialects, Chinese for the most part can understand each other’s writing, regardless of the spoken variant. (Users of Simplified may have some trouble with some Traditional characters, but many/most are common to both.)
Grant (Delaware)
@Mark Cousins Fun fact: Taiwan's National Day is October 10th, marking the start of the uprising that toppled the Qing Dynasty. So that is 十十, and most auspicious. On the other hand, the ROC was established on January 1st, or 一一, which is meh, by comparison.
Rupert R (Gryon, CH)
… and re the NOHO v SOHO controversy. Maybe you guys should just adopt my UK approach to New York district geography: 1. If it’s four letters, fill in _OHO, and wait for the crossings. 2. If it’s not NOHO, it’s SOHO. 3. And vice versa. (I still slightly rebel at SOHO being clued as located anywhere other than central London, mind you)!
Mark Cousins (Visiting HK)
Having lived in Hong Kong for 7 years, I can report that it too has a NoHo and SoHo, delineated by Hollywood Road.
Patrick J (Sydney Aus.)
@Rupert R Another KiaLoa
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
Patrick, KeaLoa. Kia is something else.
Tasha (Bay Area)
I really enjoyed this puzzle, but I was stuck for a while on 40A. I knew it wasn't SOT, but I was so sure that 41D was OK NOW that i just couldn't see I KNOW...
Larry (Durham)
I had images of a "sot baby" drooling its mother's milk :-/
Rupert R (Gryon, CH)
Great to see all the love for MPFC already appearing in the column and the comments today. I suspect that (some at least) US solvers will be less familiar with The Cambridge Footlights, where so many of the Python generation of British comedians got their start. Here are two extracts from Beyond the Fringe, the Cambridge undergraduate show which went to Edinburgh in 1964. Covers both the ‘stiff upper lip’ and the ‘one-legged man’ tropes referenced by other commenters. If you loved Python, you’ll love these: https://youtu.be/Y5YW4qKOAVM https://youtu.be/lbnkY1tBvMU
Rupert R (Gryon, CH)
@Rupert R BTW, ‘twas not ever such, but if the word TOFF is used these days in the UK (which it really isn’t, much) it is usually a pejorative, for exaggeratedly aristocratic snootiness and self-importance. This is not the same as the more classless stereotype of the ‘stiff upper lip’ (exaggerated stoicism), albeit it’s quite possible for the same person to display both.
Helen Wright (Dorset UK)
@Rupert Yes, I was going to comment that my understanding of the term is a shortening of ‘toffee nosed’, implying someone with their nose in the air and a sneering attitude to anyone/thing deemed unworthy of notice.
Grant (Delaware)
@Rupert R "We would have dreamed of lining in a CORRIDOR!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue7wM0QC5LE
Rupert R (Gryon, CH)
As an Englishman ‘born, bred and fled’, I really wanted the answer to 17A “Like overcast skies, in England” to be: NORMAL.
Elyse (Florida)
@Rupert R My first round through, I wrote “norm”.
Helen Wright (Dorset UK)
@Rupert He he Me too. This October has been particularly grey and wet. Amazing leaf colours though. Shame most of them have fallen in my garden.
Jeb Jones (NY)
@Elyse same
Rupert R (Gryon, CH)
Ah, so many little things to comment on today (positively!) First up, the puzzle itself. Such a clean, no junk grid. Very enjoyable. Also, just one sole name I didn’t know, which was pleasant (and I was happy to read up about ALDO afterwards). Separate comments follow on various other minutiae.
Bob Claster (Los Angeles CA)
I may be wrong, but I have always assumed that the condescending British term for upper class twits, TOFF, was short for "toffee-nosed." The explanation of the derivation coming from the obsolete term for gold tassels is something that the OED qualifies with a "Perhaps." I suspect it comes more from the delicious golden sweetmeat than the gold tassels, but we'll probably never know. Python fans know the term from its use in the classic "Argument Clinic" sketch, in which the full phrase is "You vacuous toffee-nosed malodorous pervert!"
Bob T. (NYC)
@Bob Claster I too went looking for the etymology of toffee-nosed, and based on the same source. At least according to the grammarist, they are related, although TOFF came first: Toffee-nosed is an English and Australian term, derived from the Victorian slang, toff, used by the lower classes to describe the upper classes. The word toff is a corruption of the term tuft, which was a gold tassel worn on an Oxford cap by the sons of those peers who had a vote in the House of Lords.
Robert (Vancouver Canada)
and/or Elke It would be a ROOKIE MISTAKE and readily cause for one TO BLOW A FUSE TO GO and be AT SEA without a lifetime supply of the ultimate LIFEHACKS called DUCT TAPE. CINNAMON TOAST, or Chocolate Croissants, or rRaisin Bread are SO SO substitutes. Puzzle has a fresh feel . I give it more than TROIS out of TEN.
Matt G. (Woodinville, WA)
Really quite good! A difficulty level only just a smidge easy for a Friday puzzle, but no cheating on the clues, no filler, and lots of cleverness. I had to start in the NE and work my way clockwise. For some bizarre reason, I got stuck on the "U" in TRUCE (the cross being MUDRA, a word I didn't know) and had to mentally project all of the vowels in there to finish the puzzle off.
replay (KC)
FUN puzzle! ONYX is a gemstone and interestingy enough, GEM is hidden in the puzzle twice along with ORES—all diagonally. I ADMIT I like this SLY puzzle. IDIG
Riley (Joiple)
Easy and fun. A few great clues made up for lil stinkers elsewhere.
Michael R (Arlington, MA)
For some reason the long entries in the center are usually easier for me to get than the fill. I guess they scan more easily when my eyes graze. Thanks for a very enjoyable Friday!
Michael Fishbein (Los Angeles, CA)
The number ten is written the same in all dialects of Chinese, as well as in Japanese (unless, as is more common nowadays, one writes 10). The Chinese characters are ideographs, not phonetic representations. The character for ten is 十. The Mandarin reading is shí; the Japanese reading is jū. The situation is similar in languages that use Arabic numerals: 10 can be read as "ten," or as "dix," or as "zehn," etc.
me (USA)
@Michael Fishbein More generally, the various dialects of Chinese differ in pronunciation, but not writing. Thus, various Chinese may not be able to understand each others' speech, but can their writing. I'm sure you already know that.
Cindy (Seattle)
Here’s a recipe for an elegant 32A from local treasure, Molly Wizenberg. http://orangette.net/2010/05/her-recipe-box/
Whoa Nellie (Out West)
ICANTLOOK! (It's APT TOGO IFFY on me) Beowulf, the trainee chef at the Waffle House, is about to BLOWAFUSE.  Usually, his thegns made a SCENE over even the most MINOR of his BROTHS and STEWS, but so far, all efforts to microwave a stag have been RUBBISH. He mutters about the lack of a spit for roasting. "AMATEURNIGHT!" he growls, "It's one ROOKIEMISTAKE after another." He uses the tip of Nagling to AFFIX a few sausage links to the griddle, (a LIFEHACK as it was SOSO on dragons), and slices a hlaf for CINNAMONTOAST. Order completed, he places it in front of Wiglaf, who waits patiently. "ADMIT it!" Beowulf demands. "IKNOW you could but DREAM of a feast like this at Heorot." Wiglaf takes a bite, burps loudly and replies, "To be ONYX, I've had better." THUS wounded, Beowulf is stood next to the dumpster behind the Waffle House, taking a  long pull of honey mead...Through the windows, he sees more of his Geats ALIT at the counter, seeking a HERO. "OHGOD!" Beowulf whispers, "ANON SIT more customers!"
replay (KC)
@Whoa Nellie "Umm" [perusing menu] "I'll have what Wiglaf is having." 😋
Whoa Nellie (Out West)
@replay Wiglaf...always the first to get a handful! 🤫
Becca (California)
I enjoyed the puzzle but was disappointed that "Carl who pioneered modern taxonomy" did not refer to Carl Woese.
john ezra (pittsburgh, pa)
Kinda like Mr. Mark (but never as quick), I was through this one quickly, enjoying LIFEHACKS and much else, but dawdled in the SW corner putting IDID as the answer for "Gotcha!" (as a kind of Bart Simpson response to some dupe's question) which gave me TODO as the fill for "Like some orders" (as in a boss sending out a memo with a list of to-dos for the staff) but there I go overthinking things. I dig it.
Mark DelGiudice (Boston)
Was confident 44D was referring to romance (ness), but enjoyed realizing it actually pertained to beef and pork (loin). Lot of great clues in this one.
ad absurdum (chicago)
@Mark DelGiudice Loin is kinda romantic. (Yes, I'm single.)
Steverw (Bothell, WA)
Easy for Friday, but fun!
V (NJ)
Disagree on both
Chuck H. (Pittsburgh)
@Steverw Easy: no. Fun: yes.
Kris (Palm Springs, CA)
Despite the pros part of the clue, I was so fully committed to OPEN MIC NIGHT that I couldn't get out of the NW. Done now. Appreciate the puzzle though. Thanks.
Paul (Sydney)
@Kris I had the same, but a few across answers ruled that out pretty quickly.
Jenny (Lethbridge)
Reading through the clues before I start the puzzle and had to look up "codswallop" . What a great word! I'm going to try to use it tomorrow. I'm not good enough to do the Thursday - Sunday puzzles on my own yet, so I peek at the answers. I still get a sense of satisfaction when the music plays. And each week I'm peeking less. Progress is not perfection...right?
Whoa Nellie (Out West)
@Jenny Never miss an opportunity! You've used it tonight! 😉
Z (St. Louis)
First ever Friday solve!!!! “Like the author of Beowulf” gave me the most trouble because I had some of the crosses wrong. Mudra is a new one to me, but glad to have gotten it!
Cindy (Seattle)
@Z Congratulations! Those places slowed me down, too.
Sarah Amberwood (Hudson Valley)
What lies west of "the Bowery" (rather than just Bowery St. where it begins north of Houston) is Soho, not Noho. Look at a map, NY Times crossword editors!
Great Lakes (US)
@Sarah Amberwood SOuth of HOuston NOrth of HOuston Or so I've heard...
Gregory M (Brooklyn)
@Sarah Amberwood part of The Bowery is above Houston so NoHo works. The answer doesn’t have to be the only answer, just one answer.
lee (bridgeport, ct)
@Sarah Amberwood Nope, Little Italy & Chinatown are between the Bowery and SoHo, while NoHo is adjacent to it on part of the western border. Here's a neighborhood map https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Manhattan_neighborhoods#/media/File:Manhattan_neighborhoods.png
George Kenney (Washington DC)
Very easy Friday but I liked it. Well done! 🙂
Great Lakes (US)
sOul... rOcK... FolK... FUNK... Poor James Brown. I know *exactly* who he is, but I think of him as one of a kind, and couldn't pin his style down. (I did feel pretty silly trying FolK.) Thanks for this engaging Friday grid, Will Nediger. Well done! Especially loved the clues for LIFE HACKS, BURNER ACCOUNT, and WIFI, as well as these gems: It's raised by a wedge HEEL Late show DREAM It goes door to door CORRIDOR Segment made of lines SCENE Cell authority, maybe BIOLOGIST
Bob T. (NYC)
@Great Lakes it's funny, I had the K and immediately thought "C'mon! He's not rock!" Eventually the penny dropped.
A.C. Greenbrier (Colorado)
"But I still believe that if you do not know how numbers are written in Chinese (the clue is nonspecific — I’m not sure if numbers are written the same way in all Chinese dialects), as in the three-letter slot at 22A, you will either have to guess between 'one,' 'two,' 'six' and 'ten,' or work the crossings." This clue was actually quite specific. Chinese dialects vary in vocabulary and pronunciation, but they share the same character set. The word for "ten" varies between Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, and so forth, but they'll all use the same Standard Chinese logograms (written characters that represent whole words). Japanese and Korean also make use of the same Chinese characters with the same meanings! Pretty neat, huh?
dutchiris (Berkeley, CA)
A super fun puzzle with clever fills that danced around the grid. No DUCT TAPE necessary, this one held together perfectly. A wizardly puzzle, Mr. Nediger, and a joy to work. Thank you!
Nick (Vancouver)
On my first run through, I felt like this puzzle might be a challenge. Yet the fills kept coming at a steady pace on each successive pass until complete. I rarely check my times, but thought this had a chance at being a personal best. Indeed, I finished in less than half my Friday average although, surprisingly, not close to my Friday record (which, shockingly, I don’t remember getting!).
Gina (Osaka)
Regarding TEN, it is written the same regardless of dialect! Chinese dialects tend to affect the spoken reading of words, not the written form. Another fun fact, the character holds the same meaning in Japanese. As for the puzzle as a whole, an unusually smooth Friday for me, aside from NOHO. DUCT TAPE also tripped me up for some reason, despite me remembering (too) well the craze around it about a decade ago. Thank you for a great puzzle, Mr. Nediger!
LBG (Mount Laurel, NJ)
This puzzle didn't offer much resistance -- though 6A was my last entry, haha.
replay (KC)
@LBG I got my OHMmeter out of my TOOLSET and started to measure across the puzzle but I BLEWAFUSE because I had left my leads in the ammeter holes. ROOKIEMISTAKE, I know. (techs can relate but the rest will be ATSEA)
Cindy (Seattle)
@replay You EARNed tech applause! Hope you weren’t solving on an expensive device that is now RUBBISH.
Whoa Nellie (Out West)
@LBG There's APT to be a SCENE here with more replies!
Brian (Baltimore)
James Brown put the FUN in FUNK...
Grant (Delaware)
@Brian I noticed that too!
Mike (Munster)
"I thought that oatmeal raisin was a chocolate chip!" "Cookie mistake." (This pun is crumby.)
dutchiris (Berkeley, CA)
@Mike Well, at least you won't have to eat crow.
Great Lakes (US)
@Mike I made a big mistake today. I used a burner account to visit the Oreo website, but when I clicked on "Accept All Cookies," I got *nothing*.
replay (KC)
@Mike I think it's grape that you're consumed with raisin awareness!
Sam Lyons (Sammamish, WA)
Absolutely brilliant, from the HEEL to the SCENE clue. The middle E of the latter, btw, was my last letter to fill in and I had to run the vowels before the aha! moment. I’d like to thank my high school biology textbook for my knowing LINNAEUS off the top of my head; random internet rabbit holes for MUDRA; shoe addiction for HEEL; general life’s passion for ANON; general occasionally choleric disposition for BLOW A FUSE; my slightly snobbish husband for OAKY (as well as [insert gasp of horror] “No, Sam, we are NOT fixing that with DUCT TAPE!”); and many, many others. This was, generally speaking, an ideal puzzle for those of us who are interested in pretty much everything, where anything arcane or obsolete gets extra points. Will Nediger, you sure do put together a mighty fine puzzle, sir. All wool and a yard wide.
Whoa Nellie (Out West)
@Sam Lyons Very nicely put. Just goes to show there's a fence post to scratch every itch.
ad absurdum (chicago)
@Sam Lyons "All wool and a yard wide". Never heard that and had to look it up. Thank you, I love it.
Embee (MN)
FUNK/FUN and not PUNK/PUN was so hard to spot when I finished and didn’t get the music. And of course, I KNOW James Brown wasn’t punk. I had myself convinced though since “tomfoolery, e.g.” fit so well with PUN and I had that solved first and didn’t have the imagination to second guess the first letter. And so it goes! So tricksy! Loved it.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Embee I’m trying to imagine what James Brown would have sounded like if he’d made a punk album.
LD (Back in CA)
@Eric Hougland Or looked like!
Andrew (Louisville)
Deb might be pleased to learn that for the upper class chap at 48A I had TWIT for a while - derived from personal experience as much as from the Monty Python sketch.
dutchiris (Berkeley, CA)
@Andrew "The upper class twit of the year" episode is one of my favorites. I'm starting to laugh just reading the words. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=monty+python+upper+class+twit+of+the+year
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@dutchiris I could probably recite a good deal of it from memory. “Father was a waste paper basket . . . .”
Whoa Nellie (Out West)
@Eric Hougland, How 'bout those British officer Toffs... AINSWORTH: What's, uh,-- what's all the trouble, then? PERKINS: Bitten, sir. During the night. AINSWORTH: Hmm. Whole leg gone, eh? PERKINS: Yes. AINSWORTH: How does it feel? PERKINS: Stings a bit. AINSWORTH: Mmm. Well, it would, wouldn't it? That's, uh,... quite a bite you've got there, you know. PERKINS: Yes, a... real beauty, isn't it? AINSWORTH: Any idea how it happened? PERKINS: None whatsoever. Complete mystery to me. Woke up just now, one sock too many.
Jon (Eugene)
That wasn't a personal best, but that was an unusually smooth Friday for me. It felt like I was sharing a bit of a brainwave with the designer since I was able to get a lot of the long spans right off the bat. This was a very nice Friday for me since I feel like I was struggling all week.
Dorothy (UK)
Ugh. I breeze through the tougher clues, then get hung up on the SIT/IKNOW cross, certain that OK was part of it. Great Friday puzzle - a challenge without being discouraging.
Lou Scheffer (Ashburn, VA)
@Dorothy I had SAT and thought perhaps AKNOW was some short form of "acknowledge" that I had never heard of.
Eric Hougland (Austin TX)
@Dorothy That crossing cost me five minutes or more. I’d originally left 40A vowelless, since either A or I would work. Then when I got to 41D, I put OK NOW, which kind of fit the clue. It was a hard error to spot.
Andrew (Sunnyvale)
@Dorothy The I in SIT was my last fill, from the solution. I had trouble figuring out which letter to change even when I *knew* there probably wasn’t such a thing as a SOT baby.
Andrew (Louisville)
Very rapid Friday - not a PB but close. Lots of gimmes to hang the answers on. Quicker than Wednesday and Thursday. I can expect Saturday's puzzle to be a $%^&.
Barry Ancona (New York NY)
User-friendly Friday. Perfectly fine puzzle, but I expected more bite -- or more of a fight -- from this constructor. (And so to bed)
Marshall Walthew (Ardmore)
@Barry Ancona A very Pepysian conclusion to your comment
Ken Dechman (Naples FL)
Seeing the byline: ”Oh. This is going to be a tough one. Maybe I’ll wait until morning.” But I plunged in anyway. Smooth and fun. Thanks for another great puzzle, Will!
Mr Mark (California)
Finished very quickly, except it took me a long time to realize I had to change SOHO to NOHO. Couldn't figure out what ASON meant, which should have been a giveaway. oh, well.
Jannicut (Connecticut)
I use “OHO” like the A in a kealoa - I fill it and wait for the cross to let me know where to go from there!
Michael Weiland (Gurnee, IL)
@Mr Mark Identical experience here. Thought sOHO and SOSO would have made kind of a nice counterpoint, and if the author of Beowulf was male he must have been AsON to someone. Plus Bowery (the street) exists both south and north of Houston Street, but maybe not "The Bowery" (community)?
Steve L (Chestnut Ridge, NY)
@Michael Weiland As a neighborhood, the Bowery runs both north and south of Houston St., with the majority south of it. https://tinyurl.com/mwpnd72m
Latest
See also