Friday, June 29, 2018

LAT 5:17 (Gareth) 


NYT 4:56 (Amy) 


David Steinberg’s New York Times crossword—Amy’s write-up

NY Times crossword solution, 6 29 18, no 0629

This puzzle’s got a pair of 16-letter triple-stacks. “BADA BING, BADA BOOM” and IMAGINARY FRIENDS are lively. The DUKE OF WELLINGTON is history. TALENT MANAGEMENT is solid, and CRISTIANO RONALDO is zippy (but he should spell his surname differently). Never really heard of MASTER CONTROLLER68a. [Overseer of all other systems], but sure.

Five more things:

  • I miss 36a: SLURPEES. Sure, I’m walking distance from a couple 7-Elevens, but that’s kind of a lot of sugar to pack into a slushie.
  • 26a. [___ leches cake], TRES. My family (not counting me) loves this cake.
  • 7d. [Where po’ boys are eaten], NAWLINS. Not sure how much the folks in New Orleans approve of that spelling. *waving hello to Team Fiend’s Laura in the Big Easy*
  • 9d. [Journalists’ credits], BYLINES. Here we give our thanks and pay our respects to the journalists who lost their lives in Maryland today, and extend our condolences to their colleagues and loved ones. (Here’s a link to Gabrielle Giffords’ group, Courage to Fight Gun Violence.)
  • 11d. [Tiny bit], DRIB. This is a terrible entry, isn’t it? The phrase is ” in dribs and drabs.” Some dictionaries list DRIB as a word unto itself, but do you hear people talking about a single drib of anything?

The CAPYBARA is a welcome visitor to the puzzle.

Four stars from me.

Morton J Mendelson’s LA Times crossword – Gareth’s summary

LA Times

This puzzle is one of those with missing directional words requiring you to mentally rearrange the answer for it to make sense. In this case, all the answers go down, and each has a missing UNDER, represented by the fact the two parts on either side are rearranged. TAKE(UNDER)ADVISEMENT becomes ADVISEMENTTAKE; similarly, we have BRING(UNDER)CONTROL, PUT(UNDER)SUSPICION and FEEL(UNDER)THEWEATHER.

Two remarks:

  • [Fitness stat.] for BMI is a truly clumsy clue.
  • [Pyramid, to Tut], TOMB. Nope, KV62 is definitely not a pyramid. That is an outright error.


This entry was posted in Daily Puzzles and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Friday, June 29, 2018

  1. Brian says:

    I <3 that top triple stack so much. It's beautiful.

  2. Harry R. says:

    n test and cast lots are iffy for me — aren’t they really known as a tests and draw lots?

    • Jim Peredo says:

      Not sure about the realities of N TEST vs A TEST, but both appear in crosswords with regularity.

      CAST LOTS appears to be mainly Biblical. For example, Roman soldiers CAST LOTS for Jesus’ garments.

  3. Jim Hale says:

    For some reason, Bada bing bada boom has always made me cringe. Never heard of the term distro even though I’ve used many versions of Linux and gnu tools. Gretna and nae nae were both unknown so that was a rough crossing.

    • Ethan says:

      In my work, DISTRO means “e-mail distribution list”, as in, “send this to the human resources distro.”

  4. Jim Hale says:

    As far as the tragedy in Maryland. This nutcase had been reported to authorities before in multiple cases just like in Parkland Florida and nothing was done. One woman that he had been harassing relentlessly was terrified until she bought a gun and kept it by her side when sleeping.

    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      It’s no secret that men who terrorize women have a pretty easy time getting guns and avoiding any sort of legal punishment. A great many American mass shooters do have histories of domestic violence.

      • Jenni Levy says:

        “A great many” = “almost all.” Keeping guns out of the hands of men who batter women would go a long way toward preventing mass shootings. I suggest that because I’m pretty sure that “changing the culture so we see women as actual people” is not going to happen.

      • David L says:

        This is relevant:

        Mass shootings occur more often in the US because — surprise! — we have zillions of guns. Americans are not, on the whole, angrier, crazier, more misogynistic, etc, than people in other countries. But they are heavily armed.

      • Jim Hale says:

        We disagree strongly on legal gun ownership. The fact that this woman could protect herself from this violent individual by purchasing a gun is proof positive of why it’s necessary.

        • Bencoe says:

          I am a huge fan of legal gun ownership. The vast majority of gun owners who kill someone either kill themselves or their own families. I consider this Darwinism at its finest.

          • Amy Reynaldo says:

            That’s a massively cruel stance to take, that it’s a net good for a family to be murdered by one violent member. All those women and children who suffer abuse, and are then killed—they don’t deserve better?

          • Amy Reynaldo says:

            Also, I encourage friends to donate to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.


            @Bencoe, being pro-domestic murder is the sort of thing that might get you banned from this site.

          • Howard B says:

            Either that was an appallingly harsh attempt at humor, or you have an astoundingly severe cruel streak.

            Without commenting on gun rights, just reread your statement. That’s pretty messed up. If you still stand behind that, kindly buy a one-way bus ticket to hell and leave the blog to the rest of us.

          • Lois says:

            I guess people have to be pretty careful of what they post online, and you should be too, but I get your humor. The puzzle ran days ago, so you probably won’t see my support. It’s true, we should care about the families, and in reality you probably care about the gun users too. Don’t leave the blog, even for a week! I like your posts.

        • Jenni Levy says:

          Jim: the evidence is clear that people who buy guns for protection are more likely to be killed or wounded by the gun than to successfully protect themselves. It would be clearer if the gun lobby hadn’t paid Congress to ban continuing research on the subject.

          Trained military and police can sometimes successfully defend themselves. Civilians are much less likely to. And the trained personnel can only do so sometimes. I remind you that there was a mass shooting at Fort Hood, where there were lots of people who had weapons and the training to use them. I remind you that there was an armed guard at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High school. More guns mean more death.

          • PJ Ward says:

            Very well said.

          • Chukkagirl says:

            At Fort Hood, the many people you point out were trained to use weapons, were in a designated gun free zone & PROHIBITED from having the guns that could have possibly saved their own lives and could have prevented needless bloodshed. I don’t want to get into this Second Amendment argument, but that needs to be pointed out.

            • Bencoe says:

              I’m an asshole. I am sorry about that. But life is tough and being soft won’t help us now.

            • Jim Peredo says:

              Being an asshole doesn’t mean you’re tough. It means you’re uncaring. Caring about others doesn’t mean you’re soft. It means you’re human. One can care about others while still being tough and not an asshole.

              In your case, regretting being an asshole is a good first step to recovery. Might I suggest taking a break from the internet because it seems to bring out the worst in you. If you ever stop being an asshole, you’d be welcomed back with open arms.

  5. Lise says:

    The capybara video was wonderful!

  6. Zulema says:

    I’m afraid the clue for 67A drew a question mark for me, not as in a pun. Madeira, whatever its name for its airport, is a part of Portugal, not Spain, as is the famous wine of the same name. Otherwise I had problems with DISTRO and NAENAE I could not resolve. The triple stacks were outstanding.

    • Lise says:

      In my pdf, the clue said Portugal.

      “The triple stacks were outstanding.” Agreed!

      • Amy Reynaldo says:

        Yes, my husband assumed any Cristiano Ronaldo eponym would be in Portugal. I wonder how the Spain error made it into the .puz file.

        • Steve Manion says:

          Maybe because he plays for REAL MADRID during the regular soccer season. Anyone watching the World Cup could not have made a mistake about his Portuguese heritage as he scored a hat trick in Portugal’s opening game and has been the subject of much commentary as to whether he or Messi is the current GOAT. Ironically, Messi missed a penalty shot in Argentina’s first game causing much criticism as he has rarely delivered in the World Cup, but in the third game, Messi scored a beautiful goal to help Argentina advance, while Ronaldo missed a penalty kick.
          On sports talk radio, Ronaldo is often referred to as “too good looking.”

          • Bencoe says:

            No such thing as the “current GOAT.”
            They aren’t the Greatest of All Time if it’s temporary.

  7. Jenni Levy says:

    Why it’s good to have a teenager: when you have only the terminal E, you can drop NAE NAE into the puzzle with confidence. I never heard of DISTRO but it made sense. Loved the triple stacks, and raised my eyebrows at Madeira.

  8. Greg says:

    Unlike some, I really enjoy triple stacks, particularly when (as here) they’re deftly done and the “down” clues aren’t compromised.

    My only tiny demurral: APR (46A) means “annual percentage rate.” It’s just a standard measure of the interest rate charged. It’s no more a “kind of financing” than “miles per hour“ is a kind of auto race.

    Also, my print version had Madeira Airport located in Spain in 67A.

    • David L says:

      Agree on APR — I didn’t notice it until later because I got it from the crossings without looking at the clue, but it makes no sense.

  9. LauraB says:

    In higher education, a DISTRO is a [College course in a specified discipline, meant to add breadth to the curriculum] — short for distribution requirement.

    The po’ boys in NAWLINS were excellent! As were the sazeracs, and hurricanes, and mint juleps, and softshell crab.

  10. Steve Manion says:

    I found the top tough and the bottom easy today.

    The NYT has an article on whether there is a limit to how old people can get. The article mentions the French lady who lived to be 122. One theory is 130, but others have said that if there is a limit, it has not been reached yet. I am always reminded of STRULDBURG, the classic site in Gulliver’s Travels where the citizens are immortal. The only problem is that they continue to age and in the book, they are considered legally dead at 80. Is there a better satirist than Swift?


  11. Gareth says:

    One of the easiest Fridays in memory… But BADABINGBADABOOM, CRISTIANORONALDO etc. were fabulous seeds!

  12. hibob says:

    Really enjoyed the WSJ today.

  13. Richard says:

    Actually, RONALDO is not CRISTIANO’s surname, but his middle name, given in honor of Ronald Reagan. In case you needed a reason to like his name less, Amy.

  14. Oscar says:

    How is “Just fine” SOSO or SO SO? I didn’t know DISTRO or TRES leches and SOSO didn’t add up to me.


    • Amy Reynaldo says:

      As in “well, it’s just/merely fine, it’s not any better than that.” As opposed to the usual sense of “just fine” meaning “perfectly adequate.”

      • Oscar says:

        That seems like a far-flung distinction which is why I’ve never come across it. What would make sense to me is if “Just fine” was put in quotation marks since that phrase can often be used as a nice/dishonest way of saying mediocre. That the clue was stuck between a French name and computerese makes it’s worse in my view. A good puzzle outside of this and the SCIPIO/CAPYBARA cross.

        Thanks for the quick reply, Amy.

        • Lois says:

          “Just fine” also tripped me up at first, but it’s intended as Friday trickery to be parsed for the puzzle, not as a normal phrase.

  15. Harry says:

    Big problem with today’s LAT is that there was no hint to the down answers. I didn’t get it until I finished the puzzle. Why was this?

    • Oscar says:

      The hint was the “literally” part of the clues. So BRING is literally under CONTROL. If you’ve never seen this type of gimmick before (it’s been done many times) it can throw you for a loop.

  16. Bencoe says:

    I think it is funny that you think you know me, Jim, and presume to lecture me.
    The internet does not bring out the worst in me. I am far worse than anything that the internet can possibly represent.

    • Lois says:

      As far as I can recall, I think you’re a doll! I think I’ll have to check your past posts.

      • Amy Reynaldo says:

        His past comments included encouraging people to be nasty to Team Fiend’s Matt Gaffney, so he’s been skating on thin ice this year. Suggesting that gun suicides and gun murders of the killer’s family members are “Darwinism at its finest” is incredibly tasteless and cruel, beyond the pale. It wasn’t remotely humorous to most of us.

        • Lois says:

          I thought that it was likely that the only person to read my comments would be you, Amy! I went back with some nervousness, but I was surprised at what you wrote just above. I must be remembering things wrong, because I thought Bencoe was a woman, many of whose ideas have been similar to mine over the years, but I did not check the past posts as I said I would. (And it doesn’t seem to be very easy to do anyway.) I certainly wouldn’t want someone to be nasty to the great Matt Gaffney, but I thought the gun comments were just darkly funny, and certainly anti-NRA. I understand your point of view, but I would hesitate before banning anyone from your site, and hope to presume on your graciousness a bit in order to see what Bencoe meant in a non-literal way. In any case, Bencoe kind of apologized above. As for Matt, there is one thing I don’t agree with him about: I don’t think people have to explain one-star ratings, as it all comes out in the wash. I rarely or never give them myself, but there are enough five-star reviews to compensate. I realize, not through my own experience though, that it can be devastating for a puzzle creator to see those.

          • Lois says:

            Well, I did find that the controversial commenter today is a super-solver named Ben, not that that has a bearing on my defending him thinking that I was defending “her.”

            • Bencoe says:

              I just want to express my exhilaration at the fact that someone thought some of my deepest feelings and ideas were absolutely feminine. I am flattered.

          • Bencoe says:

            Thank you Lois.
            So much.
            I never encouraged anyone to be cruel to Matt Gaffney. I originally got involved in a feud with him when he subbed for Rex Parker for a week a couple of years ago. He rated a new constructor a C minus and was incredibly harsh in his review. I called him out and cited numerous examples in his own puzzles that showed him to be just as guilty of the same offenses he accused the new constructor of.
            As far as gun ownership, I stand by my comments. If you invite death into your home, don’t be surprised or upset when someone dies.

            • Bencoe says:

              I am skating on thin ice, though. I’m sorry, Amy…for some reason I often visit your site when my mental illness is flaring up late at night, Yes. I have spent times in psych wards. Life is a multifaceted weirdness.

            • Amy Reynaldo says:

              I’m sorry you’ve been struggling of late (and when up late).

              I’m not surprised when family members end up dead because of a gun in the house, but I do see it as a tremendous tragedy when children are killed when playing with an unsecured gun, or when the Man of the House loses his shit and murders everyone (they don’t deserve to die).

            • Bencoe says:

              I never meant to say that children deserved to be gunned down. God forbid.
              I am so sorry if that is why people were upset at what I said.

  17. Bencoe says:

    I wasn’t being flippant, Amy.
    I actually have spent time in psych wards.
    Being mentally ill and incredibly intelligent at the same time is perhaps God and Life’s most
    terrible curse.
    I don’t mean that it excuses me from bad behavior. On the contrary, you would be right to ban me from your site.

Comments are closed.