Comments: 116

  1. I very much enjoyed the puZZle (!)

    The ninth variation in Elgar's Enigma Variations is called "NIMROD". Here it is conducted by Sir Colin Davis.
    https://youtu.be/aqvOVGCt5lw

  2. Though I listen to my cd of Enigma Variations, I haven't looked at the variation names in years. Thank you for both the music and the name.

  3. very good puzzle. liked the self-referential nature of ZZ TOP with the puzzle's first row of ZZ words! Also liked to see the Norse mythology RAGNAROK -- immersing myself lately in the Wagner version in the Ring operas

  4. I would never have heard of RAGNAROK were it not for the recent comic-book movie and would have had BLOB instead of GLOB, so I guess comic-book movies are good for something. ;-)

  5. Cute, quick puzzle made for my best Friday time yet. Whoop whoop.

    Very interesting reading TC’s deconstruction of his construction. Whatever the case may be, I seem to jibe with his style and put up good times as a result. So thanks for that, Trenton, and keep up the good work.

    On another note, SEXPOTS doesn’t bother me half as much as some of the other questionable things I’ve seen in the past few months. Nonetheless, though I don’t often join in I appreciate the discussions that arise from contentious items. After all, aren’t we all here for the mental stimulation?

    And to have fun, usually. :)

  6. Naticked at 1D & 24A, and it didn't help that I don't know what a fraction of a krona is called (I do now). Luckily I decided to stick with ORE when I ran the alphabet at the 24 square. There were other things I didn't know, like ZOETROPE and KENDO. Thought it was Geoffrey BEANE. Finished without cheating (which includes no AIDE from Alexa) so I consider it a good puZZle.

  7. I was familiar with ZOETROPE from the movie studio founded by Coppola and Lucas, without knowing what a ZOETROPE was.

  8. HOW GOES IT? Fun Friday.

    Had to remember that ZACK is always ZACH, that ASA is now ISO, and that in most places a loft is an attic which might have a DORMER added (unlike an urban loft which would not).

    Deb, I think Vamps and SEXPOTS are women, but even if we go gender neutral, I don't think 42D would be clued as Hotties so close to 37D having the HOTS. (Different XGAMES.)

    I hope we can SKIP the reply problems today, if not END them forever, if you KETCH my drift.

    (ZOOMS OUT)

  9. Razzle-dazzle. All the Zs made up for the missing Q. A bit on the easy side for a Friday, but entertaining.

  10. Interesting puzzle. Was very tired from a work dinner and falling asleep while doing the puzzle - minutes gone by while eyes closed and head nodded. In the end, much faster than usual. So it was relatively easy for a friday as I came in at 1/3 AHEAD OF my average.

    Those Z's made for very interesting entries. I too, loved the ZOOMS OUT and ZEROES IN. Also liked the other duo - POP DIVA and under that WHIZ KID.

    I HAVE NOT heard of dirt pie before. But now I know. I thought everyone knew RAGNAROK. I have no problem with SEXPOTS either. In fact, shouldn't it be natural to have the HOTS for them?

    I inadvertently put ZEROED IN instead of ZEROES IN. So that made 31 across I DO, which would've made a mini-theme with 23D VOW and 35D SETS A DATE. It would have worked pretty easily.

    ODIE doing sudoku? Maybe for his next trick, he KEN DO KenKen.

  11. I hadn't made the association, but maybe it was those Z's that made me nod off while doing the puzzle.

    And also LOL @Deb for AA BOTTOM.

  12. AA BOTTOM was in the constructor notes, not Deb’s blog entry.

  13. That was a tough puzzle for me, but it was my own fault. I was so stuck on eating PASTA at that trattoria, even after noticing the double-Zs in both of the other top-row entries, it never occurred to me that there was another 5-letter dish I might find there that also had a double-Z. Sheesh! And to make it worse, I knew Galifianakis had that "Between Two Ferns" show, but had never paid enough attention to him to learn his first name. After finally Googling for that, only then did I order the right Italian meal.

    Also had to research for Ragnarok, though I recognized it when found, and will hopefully remember next time. Until I had that cross, though, I was stuck with a Blob at 17A.

    I did know Aziz Ansari, being a fan of both Parks and Recreation and Master of None.

  14. Getting FIZZ for effervescence led to me getting the revealer ZZ TOP. So although I had PASTA, I was pretty sure I had to change it to PIZZA (and RAZZ at 1A). Maybe it was just a fluke that ZZ TOP popped into mind which helped me solve the puzzle.

  15. PASTA here, too. Didn’t have the other ZZ words yet though.

  16. Aristotle was wrong. Medicare is the best provision for old age.

  17. Wow! This is apparently a reply to RiA but not the reply that I posted earlier and boy am I confused.

    The Tappan ZEE Bridge has now been officially renamed the Mario Cuomo Bridge, at the strong behest of Mario's son and current governor Andrew Cuomo. I admired Mario Cuomo, plus he was our governor, and I think he deserves to have stuff named after him. I'm very sorry, however, to take the good name of the Tappan ZEE away when there are so many other options.

    Don't get me started on whatever we are now calling the Ed Koch/Queensboro/59th Street Bridge.

  18. MOL:

    a) Thanks for trying to answer.

    b) I cannot find anything that has to do with what you're talking about. Maybe it's something to do with the app, or some other thing that is closd to people who just subscribe to the XWPs and WP.

  19. My C-i-C, although I'm dubious about where or if it will show up:

    I've heard of ZZ TOP and know about the beards, but that's it. Haven't a clue what they've sung or whatever they do. So not doing well there.

    Almost a Natick until I thought of AJAX, which gave me the unknown Yahtzee row SIXES.

    And, of course, reading my fellow WPers' problems with the Hot Mess that is the comment section.

    I continue to encourage everyone to continue to complain. It may be a nuisance to do, but I think it's a good idea to be annoying to the people who are still laughing at us.

  20. Video games do impart useful life skills.

    All of us "God of War" enthusiasts are very familiar with RAGNAROK.

  21. Marvel fans, too!

  22. I enjoyed the puzzle, but...
    Inuit is the name of a people. The Inuit speak several languages, the most prominent being Inuktitut.

  23. Do you know if "kayak" is a word found in all languages of the Inuit Language group?

  24. Pizza comes in slices!

  25. Sorry! You didn't order the large misdirection?

  26. and Elke

    Our snaZZy friend IZZy would have loved this puZZle......

  27. Improvement continues. A better Friday then Thursday. Definitely do better when I go through the clues a couple of times, get what I can and then let the subconscious work for awhile. Hurrah for ROO And RAGNAROK. But I did think PIZZA came in slices.

  28. The Muller Monthly Music Meta did this exact theme earlier this year.

  29. Feeling on top of the world - well, at least till I get back to work - as I finished this puzzle over a solitary lunch today. Phew, what a ride. A Friday NYT too.

    It’s amazing isn’t it what can be dredged out of the recesses of one’s mind when you churn it enough. I had no clue I knew of a rock band called ZZ TOP, which helped me get the top row, or that there was a Ms Pelosi who has written a biography. Had also not heard of Mr G with a first name ZACH, but what else could it be once you saw the PIZZA PIECE. Thankfully that also fixed OBEAH for me, another thing I learned today.

    Managed to suss quite a few of the other unknowns from the crosses, and that made this a good puzzle for me. Had jAbNAROK till the end, convinced it sounded Nordic enough, and also as bLOB fit the bill quite well. However the absolute refusal of the app to pipe the happy music forced me to reconsider this, as all the other full seemed rock solid. Eventually it all came together, and I’m in a FIZZy mood all right! Thanks to all the team that put this together!

  30. Your not knowing of Ms PELOSI astonished me until I saw that you’re Indian. She couldn’t be less obscure to an American (or more specifically a USer).

  31. RAGNAROK was new to me so I had bLOB before GLOB. Beyond that, I can't KvETCH about this puzzle.

  32. Me too. Took me a long while to see the error in my ways. Finally got the happy music.

  33. Which word has more of a shock
    Apocalypse or Ragnarok?

    I liked the mini-theme ZZ
    The puzzle itself skewed toward EZ

  34. Tough choice. Apocalypso vs RagnaRok'n'Roll...

  35. Solved like a Tuesday, but a fun puzzle nonetheless.

  36. PIECE of pizza? That’s just wrong, and a lazy clue.

  37. Good point. It’s slice. Nobody says PIECE. A Friday clue for PIECE could be “Chess handicap” or “What one’s packing”, maybe.

  38. I grew up in a little town with a lot of Italians - my friend's parents were mostly 1st or 2nd generation immigrants - and 'piece' was much more common than 'slice.'

    For one thing, almost all of the pizzas, both the home-made ones and the ones in the local Italian restaurants, were square. I can't remember the first time I encountered a round pizza.

    The fact that you never said it doesn't make it wrong.

  39. I would say piece of pizza and I would never call a whole pizza a pie. Are these regional or perhaps ethnic usages?

  40. Whew!
    After my humiliating experience with the puzzle yesterday, I redeemed myself by solving this one with relative ease.
    II have to agree with Other Dave - who calls it a PIECE of pizza. You order a slice.

  41. The roomie bounced in her seat with a rare early morning grin when we got to the theme clue - ZZTOP is her childhood favorite rock band. She only needed 1A and 5A to twig on it.

    This was a fun and breezy Friday - matched my record time, with clear cluing and clever reveals. DELANO made me scowl appreciatively, while SEXPOT just got a sigh.

    PS: Non-New Yorkers call it a PIECE. I've been out in the sticks (read: not NYC) so long that it's slipped into my vernacular enough that I use it interchangeably now, without thinking. I hang my head in shame.

  42. Thanks for outing yourself (out of New York, that is) with the P.S., Adeline. Those objecting to PIECE please take note. All please consider that in a true trattoria PIZZA is not ordered by either the slice or the piece.

  43. When I hear of ZZTOP, it reminds me of an incident on an old episode of the Canadian high school quizz show “Reach For the Top”. I don’t recall the question, but the answer was ZZ Top. None of the kids knew the answer so, after the buzzer, the moderator gave it to them, pronouncing it Zed Zed Top. You cannot get more Canadian than that.

  44. I wonder if he would have said "Tappan ZED Bridge", too.

  45. Call the sheriff! I want 1d locked up for blatant and wanton violation of the Renegade Word Act of 2018. It really does not matter to me what brand of mythology these puzzles dole out, I must lean heavily on crosses and uneducated guesswork to arrive at reasonable conclusions. There was no other way for me to suss 1d...The 'X' in 50d marked the spot and resulted in my arriving at the Sophocles fella...15a was another brain bender but to a lesser extent. Also in the SE, the 3-headed note monster (maj. min. shrp.) demanded reliance on cross support. The 'J' set the tone for 46d...I say slice when ordering PIZZA. PIECE doesn't quite cut it. Similarly, yesterday's 'lay rubber' felt like a linguistic stretch (get it?). I rarely 'burned rubber' but would, once in a blue moon, lay a patch or two (peel out) on the 1/4 mile. Tires cost and I was an el cheapo back then; still am...The liberal sprinkling of Zs opened my eyes to Philly Dog Todd Rundgren's band The Nazz. "Hello It's Me" is a beaut of a ballad, ranking high on my top 30 ballads. In early '69 "Hello" never made it to the top of the pops, peaking at 71 on Billboard's Top 100 Singles chart and fell off the grid before spring.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dwSOoQXgQU

    ZEE Ya Later,

    Bru

  46. EZ math ZZTOP style:

    3 chords + 2 beards + 1 beat = $$$$$$$$$

  47. So - one of the composition majors at our music school entitled a little piece "Sly Scissor Eddie". The title was opaque to most, but instantly recognized by those who sat and waited for the announcement at the local pizzeria, when the PA let us know that we could come buy fresh slices at the counter...

    Although I won't complain about "pieces of pizza" - I have to agree it's a bit off.

  48. I would have preferred VAMPS being clued differently, perhaps as improvises musically.

    I doubt PIECE would have been clued as a pizza unit if PIZZA weren't already in the puzzle. And while I agree that a person almost always orders a slice and not a piece, I can see myself holding the pizza box and asking if anyone wants a piece. Just vamping here.

    Nice puZZle! Spang in my wheelhouse!

  49. I had POPstar before POPDIVA. P!nk will be in my workout playlist this morning now. So What — She’s still a Rock Star.

    PIECE is what I’ve always called a slice just like soda or pop is usually called coke in some southern cultures. I guess I like the bit of alliteration in PIECE of PIZZA. It was a fun PuZZle.

  50. It's Friday the 13th. But for us cruciverbalists, the important part is that it's Friday. And Friday means toughness (usually) and misdirection.

    Everyone is moaning about how a unit of pizza is a SLICE, not a PIECE. "When I order pizza, I order a slice, not a piece."

    Well, as I said, Friday is about misdirection. Have you ever heard anyone say "Gimme another piece" or "This piece is cold"? I have. Not too often; usually, it's "SLICE." But occasionally you do hear it, so it's "in the language," and there's nothing wrong with it.

    The clue doesn't ask for the most usual term for a segment of a pizza pie (please don't tell me that collocation is redundant!). It merely asks for a five-letter word for a unit of pizza. And it is expected that you will write SLICE in first. And then you'll look to see that there's no such thing as the Tappan ZEI Bridge (or even the Tappan ZEE Bridge these days, if you want to be technical; the new bridge is officially the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, so maybe that clue needs a "one-time" added to it). Or that there's no Egyptian symbol called the IBLS (typing the L in lower case as is the custom makes no sense here).

    And then you'd look for a different word for the pizza unit. And PIECE would be easy to discern. End of story. Welcome to Friday.

  51. Too bad the constructor wasn't able to work in the Italian word for piece - PEZZO.

  52. A fun puzzle indeed to start the day! Helps us get rid of the morning ZZZZZs!

  53. This is my second try-the first would not even submit. POPSTAR before DIVA; BLOB before GLOB; PASTA before PIZZA; ASA before ISO. Thought Mr. Galifanakis was JAKE. So lots of little things to clear up on the way, but I did manage to finish with a gold star. Somehow I knew ZOETROPE but not what it meant

  54. I also had ASA. Showing my age....

  55. Didn't catch the ZZ's across the top until the theme reveal, so that was a nice "Aha!" moment. OBEAH was brand new to me. And you can call it a slice or a PIECE, just bring it to me hot and with pepperoni and sausage.

  56. Obeah was new to you? Or was it Deb's link that whiplashed from Obeah to Egypt, to the prayer summoning the Devil Dog and the Harris Papyrus? [Now in the British Museum - aren't they all ;)] An interesting rabbit hole to fall down. More meaningless knowledge to support me in my OLD AGE.

  57. I started with PASTA instead of PIZZA, and changing BLOB to GLOB was the last fix to end a minute below my average; but this was another enjoyable and interesting puzzle. I"m definitly in the SLICE camp when it comes to PIZZA, but there's such a thing as cruciverbalist license (like the poetic kind,) right? Thanks, Trenton Charles, for a good start to the weekend.

  58. Excellent start! After all, what's pasta is prologue.

  59. NEBBISH seemed a better answer to me than NIMRODS for 20a and I held on to that for too long. RAGNAROK was totally new to me, so that was one of quite a few things I learned today.

    I'm inclined to agree with Aristotle about education but would insist that curiosity be included.

  60. Didn't like the clue for 18-Across. PIZZA is always sold by the slice or pie. Does anyone here know of a restaurant that sells PIZZA by the PIECE??

  61. Weird Comment replications continue. I left a short note for Julian (below) and came back here to write a Comment in Chief, and the previous note was magically inserted. Why?
    Plus, if you leave a tiny Reply and then try to Comment, you are blocked because you 'recently submitted a comment.' Yeah, I know. What's your objection?
    Why, o why, o why (did I ever leave Ohio?)?

    Oh, the puzzle. That was pretty fun Zipping around all abuZZ... but I was hoping for something in the line of black cats, ladders, salt thrown over my shoulder, and so forth.

    Yesterday's Wee Bee eschewed PIMA (cotton type) and PRIMIPARA (if you were/are one, you would know.) Today's Wee Bee was relatively simple and over too soon.
    The Big Bee has at least 3 pangrams! but it also was over too soon. I guess I will visit BEQ for my fix.

    All y'all stay safe; the heat is pretty epic. My garden produce is cooked before I harvest it....

  62. Comment weirdness continues. I left a brief note replying to Julian (below) but when I opened this box for a Comment in Chief, it reproduced the previous post. Then it wouldn't let me post because I had 'recently submitted a comment.'
    The Comment Police are getting pretty badge-heavy.

    Yesterday's Wee Bee would not allow PIMA (a cotton fiber) and PRIMIPARA (if you were/are one, you know what this means.) Today's Big Bee has at least 3 pangrams; a little too easy. The Wee Bee was also too soon over. I guess BEQ will help me out with a Fix.

    Oh, the puzzle.
    Love the ZZs, but had been hoping for some black cats, ladders, and various ominous signs... Had Charlie the Cat all ready for his big day, but No. So he's sleeping again.

    All y'all take care in the heat. My garden produce is cooked before I pick it!

  63. Comment weirdness continues. I left a brief note replying to Julian (below) but when I opened this box for a Comment in Chief, it reproduced the previous post. Then it wouldn't let me post because I had 'recently submitted a comment.'
    The Comment Police are getting pretty badge-heavy.

    Yesterday's Wee Bee would not allow PIMA (a cotton fiber) and PRIMIPARA (if you were/are one, you know what this means.) Today's Big Bee has at least 3 pangrams; a little too easy. The Wee Bee was also too soon over. I guess BEQ will help me out with a Fix.

    Oh, the puzzle.
    Love the ZZs, but had been hoping for some black cats, ladders, and various ominous signs... Had Charlie the Cat all ready for his big day, but No. So he's sleeping again.

    All y'all take care in the heat. My garden produce is cooked before I pick it!

  64. Being a born and bred New Yorker, I am used to the term "slice" referring to a serving of pizza, never PIECE. When someone suggests having a "slice", it is understood that the reference is to pizza. No one would ever say, let's go for a PIECE. That being said, the vernacular in New York is quite different than other areas of the country. Case in point, our hero sandwich is a hoagie or submarine in nearby areas.
    Fun puzzle and loved the many Zs. ZZ TOP was always a fun act to watch. Somewhat of a paradox, however, that Frank Beard, the drummer, was the one out of the trio without a long beard.

  65. Did anyone else notice that the left-right symmetry makes the puzzle look a bit like a face with a long beard?

  66. Good catch, William! I didn't see that until you mentioned it.

  67. It might be a regionalism, Julian. Someone else here grew up in a place where they called it a piece of pizza.

  68. Where I grew up (Utah), we said “piece” not “slice.” It was funny to me that “piece o’ pizza” almost sounded like “pizza pizza.”

  69. Easy peasy Friday after a very tough Thursday . Often have a SLICE of PIZZA with a glass of red wine to finish off the week . As a former New Yorker and an Italian PIECE only means a mafioso gun to me :) TGIF

  70. All those ZZZZZZZ certainly snaZZZZZed this one up. Most enjoyable EZZZZZZ Friday.

    Thank you, Trenton!

  71. VAMPS threw me way off. Vamp to me meant a chord progression repeated for a while while musicians improvise over it. And I'd never heard the term SEXPOT before. Other than that it was a pretty smooth fill. Oh and ZOETROPE, never heard of that either. I do love me some ZZ Top though! (Another reason why I thought vamp would have something to do with music).

  72. Time for Theda Bara to make an entrance....

  73. I kept getting a 'come back later message,' but clearly it was saving and posting. The Comments are more messed up than I thought! My apologies, everyone!

  74. Each episode of the Sonny and Cher TV show almost always had Cher belting out a themed song about vamps. The sexpot angle was obvious.

  75. GENIUS in 14 words/104 points today – only 1 pangram though, so I guess I could have done better. Estimate 142-148 points and 30-35 words for QB status.

  76. I liked this puzzle very much and especially liked 1D because Thor of the Marvel Universe! That's my favorite of the movies.

  77. Chungclan

    There are 29 words and 147 points for QB status. There was only one pangram but several "near-pangrams". There was only 1 word I considered obscure and entered "hopefully". There were only 9 4-letter words, which may be a record low percentage, but I have not been keeping records.

    NC

  78. Chungclan

    There are 29 words and 147 points for QB status. There was only one pangram but several "near-pangrams". There was only 1 word I considered obscure and entered "hopefully". There were only 9 4-letter words, which may be a record low percentage, but I have not been keeping records.

    NC

  79. AA BOTTOM

    Battery compartment?

  80. NIMROD, as any citizen of Watersmeet, MI (whose teams sport the nickname) will tell you, was a term of respect long before it became a term of derision; it designates a "Mighty Hunter" (Gen. 10:8-10)

  81. According to some internet trivia I skimmed over recently, it became popular as a derision due to a Bugs Bunny cartoon and lots of kids not versed in scripture. Bugs called Elmer Fudd one, so it had to have a negative connotation. As with all internet trivia, this fact should be taken with a grain of salt.

  82. According to some internet trivia I skimmed over recently, it became popular as a derision due to a Bugs Bunny cartoon and lots of kids not versed in scripture. Bugs called Elmer Fudd one, so it had to have a negative connotation. As with all internet trivia, this fact should be taken with a grain of salt.

  83. And the title of one of Elgar’s “Emigma Variations.”

  84. Andrew and Chungclan

    In replying to myself, I seem to have somehow deleted your replies. Apologies!

    Andrew, I see you have reposted yours. Thanks for the tip on how to find the GENIUS score for the day, and hence the QB target.

    There is of course no way to predict precisely how many words you will need to achieve QB once you have reached GENIUS level. Today and yesterday offer extreme examples: the average score-per-word today was a whopping 5.1 (31% were 4-letter words; 24%≥7-letter); while yesterday it was a paltry 3.6 (50% were 4-letter words; only 10% ≥7-letter).

    So if you do a "natural" run to QB, and then check the word-length distribution, you should be able to make a decent estimate of the word total.

  85. I’m not up on my Norse mythology so before I got RAGNAROK, I had DIMRODS for 20A, which seemed an OK answer for “inept sorts.” LOL

    Although yesterday’s puzzle was difficult, by the end I was so excited by the beauty and simplicity of the answer and for the first time since I’ve been doing the Crossword I began to see how a theme is clued and works. So much so that I printed the solution and then drew lines illustrating the theme and the 4 words that responded to it. Perhaps a little anal, but I am a visual learner and the puzzle with the lines colored in implanted the ingenuity of the puzzle in my tiny brain.

  86. Enjoyed the puzzle but would take issue with the clue for ZOETROPE - which is not really an image projector at all but rather, say, "a early device for simulating animation." But you already knew that didn't you?

  87. Here's an excerpt from a dual language exercise in the current issue of Italy Magazine:

    Ciao. Sì, vorrei un pezzo piccolo di questa con il salame

    Hello, I’d like a small piece of pizza with salami

    We New Yorkers find it hard to understand why some people can't tawk right.

  88. Strange, because "questa" really means "this one". There is no mention of pizza in the original Italian sentence.

    (Salame trap?)

  89. I enjoyed this a lot, Mr. Charlson -- Thank You!

    I wondered what happened to the double Z' s after the top row, but I didn't get it until the reveal...

    I like a themed Friday, and this was satisfying even though it was awfully easy for a Friday. They maybe SHOULD have run this on a Thursday, but I'm not going to complain.

    This gave me a new personal best time for a Friday, and It's about what my average is for a Wednesday!

  90. ...which would seem suggest that this rather easy themed puzzle with no gimmicks should have been a Wednesday.

  91. Welcome to the cult.

    There is no escape for you now....

  92. Welcome to the cult.

    There is no escape for you now...

  93. Comments ARE all messed up!

    This was my reply to Barbara Metzinger!

    And double posted to the wrong spot, to boot!

  94. Regarding disappearing replies: The system only allows 3 direct replies to the original comment (unless they changed it in the last two days, which is not beyond the realm of possibility).

    If there are already 3 direct replies to the original comment (and of course there's no way to know if the replies you see were direct replies or 'replies to a reply') and you make another reply to the original comment, then one of those 3 will disappear. And if there were any replies to the reply that disappeared, those will also disappear.

    The best thing to do is to just always reply to the very last reply; it's the safest course.

    Of course there are other issues with the comments and replies and this probably won't help those, but at least it's a step in a direction.

  95. It was PIECE where I grew up, and no one in Southwestern Michigan sold anything but whole pizzas, and they didn't call them pies.

    I never heard of a SLICE of pizza until I moved to places where they sold pizza by the slice.

    My father moved to Michigan from Arkansas in 1952 at 15 years of age, and had never heard of pizza before then...

  96. I never knew they sold pizza by the slice till Popeye Doyle ate one huddled in a doorway while staking out the badguys supping extravagantly in a fine restaurant across the street. French Connection. Gene Hackman. Great scene. Couldn't find it one you tube. Plenty of the car chase and picking feet in Pokipskie (sp) though. Funny what one remembers.

  97. It was PIECE where I grew

  98. I would have thought RAGNAROK to be fairly common knowledge...

    How does one do the crossword without a basic familiarity with Norse mythology?!

    ;-)

  99. Posted a reply early this morning, but got busy and never got back.

    The puzzle. This was one of those days when after a first run through all the clues, I was thinking "I'm never going to get this; maybe I just won't try." Then I sat back and decided to just take my time, not worry about completing it and try to enjoy the process. So I would take a guess at an answer, see if anything worked with the crosses and so forth and so on. And.. I didn't quite get it all without help, but I came close. And most of all had a good time doing it.

    Liked the mini-theme; I had PIZZA early on from ZEE and ZACH, but it was only after I finally remembered ZENO (I was a philosophy major), that the band finally dawned on me. That helped a ton in both of the top corners, because I had almost nothing there at that point.

    Nice puzzle. Oh, was a little surprised at the number of people who has PASTA before PIZZA. I would have thought that Tappan ZEE was an absolute gimme for almost everybody; but on the other hand, I don't know why I know that.

  100. The 'new' Spelling Bee is a little one-day puzzle, like a day-lily, and it allows words of only 4 letters.
    The 'real' Spelling Bee is a Variety puzzle that lasts all week, more or less, and requires a minimum 5-letter word. It also has a less enfeebled word list compared to the Wee Bee (my name.) That would make the Variety puzzle the Big Bee.

  101. "I would have thought that Tappan ZEE was an absolute gimme for almost everybody"

    Really?? Only for New Yorkers, I would say! I knew it only because I visited a friend in Tarrytown long ago.

  102. (The first time I clicked "Reply," a window with my previous reply popped up!)

    Congrats on your PR, PC!

  103. Those of us who lived in the Durham area in the 1970s will remember Congressman Nick Galifianakis. Some of his campaign buttons read GALIFI and some of them read ANAKIS.

    According to Wikipedia,
    "Since 1997, a nephew of his, also named Nick Galifianakis, has been drawing the satirical cartoons that accompany the advice column "Tell Me About It" in the Washington Post tri-weekly. The column is written by the younger Nick's ex-wife, Carolyn Hax.

    He is also the uncle of comedian Zach Galifianakis."

  104. Its a shame about Nimrod. He used to be a mighty hunter until Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd came along.

  105. Easier puzzle than expected for a Friday, but (as others have noted) welcome after that awful Thursday we just had. All those zzzs ..... zzzzzz .... woops!

    47D reminds me of this awful joke: a kid is taking an American history test and gets this question: "What does RFD stand for?"

    His answer: Ranlkin Felano Doosevelt

  106. (Hope this shows up in the right spot!)

    My "original" comment ended up a a reply to Patrick Cassidy. Sigh ...

  107. Based on the (apparent absence of specific) content in your comment, Ron, I doubt anyone would know where you intended it to show up. Also, it starts a new thread, rather than replying on one, so the question of whether it shows up in the right spot seems moot.

  108. Interesting detail concerning comment anomalies:

    I have the NYT iPhone app, and also use the NYT website on my Mac laptop.

    Earlier I submitted a reply to Nice Cuppa which never appeared. I re-submitted it and it did appear and Steve L replied. This shows up normally on the NYT website. On the iPhone app however, my comment shows up six times, with Steve's reply interspersed a total of 10 times.

    FWIW I would recommend using the website when possible to access wordplay and comments.

  109. Regarding the comments about comments getting a bit haywire today, it IS Friday the 13th.

  110. Nitwits before NIMRODS.

    That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

    Much easier than yesterday’s puzzle. TGIF!

  111. This was tough for me. At least four or more word combinations just didn't click. Just about in the middle. I had to take a break, have lunch at Balthazar, and then it came more easily. I'm starting to think it's very unkind to ever post that a puzzle is easy. I'll try not ever to do that, if it ever happens to me.

  112. Regarding Spelling Bee: ARAB and ARABIC "not in word list"?!?!

  113. Proper nouns.