Big Name in Home Security Systems

A fun Friday by Zhouqin Burnikel.

Comments: 73

  1. A fun and mostly smooth solve. My ins? ALOMAR and MOSHE and OPERA HOUSES and G I JANE. ORE-IDA and SPILT. I kind of solved from East to West, gradually filling in across the puzzle. I vaguely thought EULER was older than that, and didn't realize that GERANIUMs have five petals--I'll have to look more closely! A pleasant puzzle.

  2. I love the simple fact that 5-tuple structures are always organic. Not all flowers are 5-parted, though many are - but everything parted into 5s is a living thing!

  3. 5. A Fibonacci number.

  4. Not everything, David. This was true until Dan Schechtman discovered quasi-crystals with pentagonal symmetry and was awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery in 2011.

  5. enjoyable puzzle. especially liked the Wagner OPERA HOUSE clue and Siegfried who is a TENOR. had a GREAT time in April in Berlin at Wagner's Ring cycle of four operas including Siegfried!

  6. I think this is Ms. Burnikel's smoothest puzzle to date. A good ear for idiom combined with a deftly skewed perspective. A civilized introduction to the weekend.

  7. I seemed to have had good RAPPORT with the constructor. Plenty of ins, and not much trouble with misdirection. I wasted some time when I WENT BANANAS before BERSERK.

  8. Terrific. Thanks!

  9. TOO BAD this went by so fast. Am I getting smarter? (Doubtful.) ADT has stopped bothering me but every day I get at least one SPAM phone call offering me a hearing aid. What?? And usually there's an actual person calling, and the puzzle gives me an idea - from now on I'll WHISPER "I can hear fine" a couple times before screaming it! (And then feel I have to apologize to the person who has that lousy job.) Liked the clue for TSK TSK. Fun puzzle.

  10. My experience with ADT is that they charge you for the sign rental. Full stop.

  11. Thanks, Suzy, for SPAM. I had SCAM and though I admitted that RACPORT didn't make sense to me, who can possibly know the names of all these various ports on computers? Anyway, that brought me the rewarding music. Deb, you are so right about looking for the few answers one knows on a Friday. Many of us are daunted by Fridays both from experience and hearsay. Our brains are amazing though, saving little letter connections and popping up with full words. Definitely worth persevering!

  12. Fun puzzle. Easy for a Friday, but if SIPS is the opposite of DOWNS, then 3 is the opposite of 10.

  13. That was one of my last “gets!” I was sipping my wine, instead of downing it, the way I really wanted to after this hard week.

  14. I love it when I’m on the same wavelength as the constructor! About half the time of my usual Friday slog. Thanks for making me feel smart!

  15. Just back from the OPER(ett)A HOUSE (actually, East Chapel Hill High School), after conducting the opening NIGHT of my score of Thespis, or The Gods Grown Old (and boy, are my arms tired!) I don't think I'M ALONE in saying a GREAT time was had by all. Anyway, I didn't hear anyone WHISPER "TSK! TSK!" Actually, this was the preview performance, well padded with friends and family, so the audience was pretty much automatically on our side. The REAL test comes tomorrow, when a more general audience shows up. I think every ACTOR in our company is ready to handle the challenge like a PRO. So far so good. Only three more shots, then it'll be off the boards and into the books come Sunday evening. And, oh yes, I enjoyed the puzzle. And I enjoyed Deb's write-up on how to burglarize a crossword puzzle.

  16. Congratulations, Alan, and here's to a very enjoyable weekend for you!

  17. Bravo! Looking forward to Saturday's performance.

  18. I wish I could be there, Alan. Break both legs, both arms, your back, your head, and ... all else.

  19. Nice puzzle. Loved clue for SIPS. It took me a while to get a toehold. But slowly picked away at it. I'll confess I did look at a map of Iraq. I had ERBIL when I needed MOSUL. Only lookup this month. Challenging, but made it!

  20. Nice smooth solve--one of my fastest Fridays. Question for the experts: The clue for 55A has an abbreviation--Lat. That made me think the answer had to be an abbreviation as well. But COR is the whole Latin word. Is it not a hard-and-fast rule that an abbreviation in the clue signals an abbreviation in the answer?

  21. From Will Shortz, THE expert: "Abbreviated answers are normally signaled in some way, either by the tag “Abbr.” or by an abbreviated word in the clue THAT ISN'T USUALLY ABBREVIATED." https://wordplay.blogs.nytimes.com/ask-will/abbr/ "Latin" is usually abbreviated to "Lat." in relevant contexts, such as in dictionary entries discussing etymology. This means "Lat." here is not a reliable abbreviation signal, only an evocation of a listing in a lexicon.

  22. Ah. I see. Thanks!

  23. The explanation is reasonable, but it brings to mind an old complaint: "That ain't wrong, but it ain't right". I would rather see a clue like "Caesar's heart" or "Latin heart". Today's clue just irks nitpickers like me.

  24. This went much faster than I expected for a Friday puzzle! Tried ACTOR at 28a and was pleasantly surprised when it was correct. Other ins were ADT, MOSHE, and GIJANE. Had an interesting set of four sequential letters filled in for 3d for a while thanks to the crosses at 33 and 38a. I was reminded of the particularly sensitive swear filter on an old MMORPG I used to play that did not recognize spaces between words. O.O

  25. Took me a second, LJ, but LOL!

  26. re: sensitive swear filter - isn't that to prevent people from skirting swear filters simply by adding spaces between letters of a swear word? I wonder if Will ever watches out for the embedded swear words like these - I'll bet he does and didn't reckon this one was obvious or egregious?

  27. Solved a lot of the long entries by getting one half, then the other (___DATA, ___WATCH, ___SCRIPT, etc) Only bit of trouble tonight was the ANA / ILLINI crossing at the very end.

  28. Anon, I can add WENT and PILOT to your list of halves.

  29. Anonymatt, may I complement you? I had DIGITAL___ and MARKET___ (as well as AMERICAN___), but I supplement you with SCRIPT well before PILOT.

  30. Sorry if this is not the place to get help, but don't know where to go. Hoping someone more nerdy than I can tell me what to try. I spend several months in NJ every year, where I have a PC, Windows 10. always updated Firefox browser. I'm a pen and paper kind of girl, and print the puzzle out every night using AcrossLite. Got back here last week, and AL isn't working, though it worked fine when I left last time. No problems in other home. Rebooted several times, reinstalled AL, cleaned temp files, nothing has changed. Can print the newspaper version just fine, but it doesn't allow me to conserve ink. Any ideas?

  31. How is AL not working? What happens when you do what?

  32. Why not print from the PDF? You kust hit the printer icon and it appears. (I use W 7 pro, latest Foxfire.)

  33. If it's possible, choose a draft quality option in the print menu as a way to save ink while you're working on the AL issue.

  34. Phew! I hit a snag early on by filling in 7A as ankhah (don't ask). My first firm footing in the grid was GEESE, followed by KAPOW. MOSHE and GIJANE were gimmes, as were OPERAHOUSES And MARKETWATCH. Even with all that, though, this was not a quick solve for me. I ended up skipping around a lot. I never fully warmed to the thing, I'm afraid. I did think that 38A was an interesting clue/fill pairing, though. I lived in Italy and ate plenty of frozen treats while there, but did not encounter TORTONI. That fill was a bit obscure. Two things that made me scratch my head: I don't get ADHOC for "not standing" and I don't consider DAMASK to be reversible fabric. It's woven in a way that reveals the design in both sides, but one of those is obviously the "wrong" side. It looks like IMALONE in my hesitancy over today's offering. It's probably the smoke getting to me, as California continues to burn.

  35. AD HOC for "not standing" means an ad hoc committee, a one-off, as opposed to a recurring committee which would be called a standing committee.

  36. "I lived in Italy and ate plenty of frozen treats while there, but did not encounter TORTONI." I don't doubt that. Try *Little* Italy.

  37. P for P, I get what you're saying about DAMASK, but I checked and it is considered to be reversible: "Damask (/ˈdæməsk/; Arabic: دمشق‎‎) is a reversible figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibres, with a pattern formed by weaving. Damasks are woven with one warp yarn and one weft yarn, usually with the pattern in warp-faced satin weave and the ground in weft-faced or sateen weave." (wikipedia)

  38. A fine, highly enjoyable puzzle, which -- not surprisingly -- more proficient solvers are rating as easy for Friday. Thank you, Ms. Burnikel. I breezed through it at Wednesday speed, appreciating the interesting entries and clever cluing, until I ran into trouble in the SW corner. There I needed one lookup, the last three letters of MARKET WATCH, and had to run through the alphabet for the R of OREIDA. Deb’s post gives a good example of “one solver’s gimme is another’s unknown”. The presumed gimmes that she mentions were unknown to me, except for MOSHE and OYL (I remembered Olive, Castor’s more prominent sister.)

  39. Correction: brother, not sister.

  40. Scrap the "correction" that I just posted if I did not manage to cancel it. To clarify: Olive is Popeye's girlfriend and Castor is her brother. My apologies.

  41. I consider myself proficient and this one took some crunching for me. It's a metaphor I have spouted in this blog before, but some days the clues melt like gently falling snow on the warm windshield of my mind, other days they bounce off like sleet. Today was the latter for me. I struggled, and as with any good eventually solved problem, I feel elated for the experience.

  42. Clean as can be and smile-producing clues for TIE, TIPS and SIPS. My MOSeL tied things up briefly, but otherwise, it seemed like I'd get an answer, and suddenly the whole swath around it was filled in. I like MARKET WATCH near TIPS, and BAR TAB near SIPS. No leaps, stretches or fireworks. Just a good ol' fashioned high-quality puzzler that put my mind into the perfect frame to face the day. Thanks, CC!

  43. Very enjoyable solve and I finished it (well, almost) with no help. Can't remember the last time I successfully completed a Friday on my own. The 'almost' is because Deb inadvertently gave away an answer; I will have to remember not to go to that 'other' site before doing the puzzle. A few gimmes early on, most already mentioned; beyond that this was a series of 'just enough crosses to guess the answer' moments. Notable in that was when I had just a couple of across answers in the NW and down along the west side. For 3d I had K, W and T and nothing else. I filled in CONDO and now I'm looking at OC at the end of 51a and ADHOC dawns on me. So then I'm looking at T_H at the end of 3d. What letter can go between T and H? Ahh, that has to be a C. And then the whole thing dawned on me and that entire section opened up. Also had a nice memory 'aha' moment for 5d. I've read a lot of history about various czars - Nicholas and Alexandra and others. I was actually looking at another part of the puzzle when that factoid suddenly crept into my brain. Just a lot of fun everywhere. Nice job, C.C., and thanks.

  44. Enjoyable solve. When I first saw the big blocks of white, I thought, uh-oh, this is going to be a tough one. However, I think the difficulty level was more a Wednesday than a Friday puzzle. Or maybe I just had a good day.

  45. Thank you, CC, for the football-weather 15A, reminding Hen and me of those glorious fall weekends in Urbana. Go, Illini! Oskewawa! Wonderful puzzle.

  46. Class of '76! The football team was so bad, we threw rolls of toilet paper when they got a first down. But the halftime show by the Marching ILLINI was always the highlight of the afternoon, especially their "Block I" formation.

  47. So is that where Trump got the idea to throw paper towels to people trying to survive a flood?

  48. This was a Friday puzzle for me and I had to resort to doing a check before being able to finish in the Southwest. It's always surprising to me how quickly the correct letters come to mind once the incorrect ones are highlighted. My usual reaction is that I could have figured things out if only I had been more patient. Oh well -"woulda, shoulda, coulda". I do always enjoy a puzzle by CC.

  49. Sigh, A psychologist who misspells BERSERK. And, a DOJ employee whose small Swiss Army KNIFE is no doubt in the possession of a TSA employee. Here in the mighty Midwest GEESE are harbingers of spring and winter. To paraphrase a C&W tune: "While I hate to see you go, I love to watch you fly away." Nice work Ce Ce

  50. My " in" the Marching Illini ! Fun to see OPERAHOUSES along with TENOR .Good puzzle . Almost didn't get TACH on the dash till I realized the southwest corner was full of HOTAIR !

  51. We played 'The Fighting ILLINI' during football games in HS; (I was in the Marching Band.) I didn't realize the Univ band had its own moniker. It was one of the more interesting college fight songs.

  52. Adding to the praise for a smooth Friday puzzle full of excellent entries. I managed to avoid any little black triangles, but did have to look up a few names, all those mentioned by Deb except MOSHE. I did guess at OYL, only knew about Olive. I do like long answers on the themeless days, and CC chose some fun ones. She is so good.

  53. I just checked out the comments on yesterday's homophome puzzle - they're up to 172. Talk about a conversation piece.

  54. Just a few short of a brazillion.

  55. I guess we're not homophonophobic.

  56. This was fun and just hard enough to feel I'd earned it when I completed in a reasonable amount of time. Had YARD for "Dash part" for a while -- as often happens, I missed the auto clue. (That "Manhattan" in my address is my excuse. Cars = cabs, and anyway, I take the subway!) I was pleased at the little tricky part at 30A -- "Worst of times" -- for which I was going to write in LOWS but upon checking the acrosses read 31D "Lowly navy person." Hmm...not the same word, but I held off for confirmation. Looking forward to solving tomorrow's on the bus on the way up to the country for the weekend!

  57. I have opened a BAR TAB or two at Wimberie's in Summit. 26d reminded me of their Friday night happy hour that used to offer comped shrimp in the rough served buffet style over a mountain of crushed ice atop 2' x 4' baking trays. http://www.summithistoricalsociety.org/historian/2016/3/31/the-van-cise-... The 11 square was last to fall with a lucky guess of the letter 'A'...RIS came only after I bounced it off the crosses as did CRUS. I also needed to jettison 'leg lifts' when crosses led me to the intended exercise. That all happened after Roberto ALOMAR along with the other baseball gimme, RBIS, let me in this neat Friday puzzle...PATROL was cunningly clued, the mis-direction leading me down a percussion pathway...A July '62 release, this is Ben E. King singing "TOO BAD." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsPy36pIZjA

  58. Bru, when you say 'Summit', I think Trost's, a bakery that could put anyone in a salivating haze of delectatory indecision. Nothing was comped, but worth the drive from Westfield *any* day of the week.

  59. Felt slightly easier than the usual Friday; no writeovers. Wonderful write-up from Deb today, an eloquent expression of the best reasons to keep on trying.

  60. I join the chorus praising CC's latest. If it's OREIDA, it's all-righta!

  61. Sort of a circular solve today, starting in the SW with GIJANE, over to the SE (RIS, CASK, OPERAHOUSES), then up to the NE and finally over to the NW. Lazily threw in SUPPORT @40A before the crosses showed me the error of my ways. The two triple descending stacks were most impressive. Nicely done, C.C. And terrific essay today, Deb. UK new wave group the Icicle Works broke into the US Top 40 in 1984 with the insistent, guitar-driven single "WHISPER To a Scream (Birds Fly)." They had a couple more hits on their home turf, but were a one-hit wonder in the states. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVQCpI4GbKQ

  62. I like the harder, late-week puzzles better than the earlier week ones. Sure, they're a challenge, but they keep me and my brain occupied for quite awhile. So, thanks for this and for the morale booster.

  63. One of the easiest Friday puzzles ever. Or maybe it was the Prevagen. (ya, right)

  64. Wow, MUCH easier than yesterday's puzzle, and (as per usual with CC Burnikel) impressive construction--three triple columns! Looking forward to tomorrow!

  65. Got off to a tragic start because TheSimpsons fit perfectly under long-running Fox sitcom, so that corner was the last one to come to me. Thanks for nothing, AMERICAN DAD!

  66. Yet another terrific puzzle from Zhouquin Burnikel. Lots of great clues and interesting entries like DAMASK, TSKTSK, (WENT) BERSERK, WHISPER, FLOTSAM, GERANIUM. Very tight puzzle, tough and a pleasure to solve. SPOOL may be obsolescent as a holder of _a film_, but perhaps it's not obsolescent as a holder of _film_ per se — the celluloid material that old movies are stored on. Sorry, just had to say that. Had not known that an animated comedy (like AMERICAN DAD) is considered a sitcom. Then again I was astonished to learn the original series on Amazon, Netflx, Hulu, etc. are called "television" by NYT writers. I am always the last to know! (EULER was an "early pioneer in graph theory," where "graph" means a bunch of dots called nodes, some pairs of which are connected by lines called edges. He discovered that in order for a graph to be traceable with a pencil without lifting the pencil from the paper, there must be exactly two nodes with an odd number of edges emanating from them. He did groundbreaking work in many areas of science and mathematics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonhard_Euler. For instance he found that if a polyhedron is drawn on a sphere and has V vertices, E edges, and F faces, then V-E+F is always equal to 2.)

  67. Fun puzzle, but still waiting for some puzzlemaster to include RADON in compensation for being left out of the noble gas lineup on 10-10.

  68. RADON was detected in the puzzle just last month (9/3).

  69. I'm very late again; rough day. Nonetheless, good puzzle, and I had fun. Didn't know "AMERICAN DAD," but, while I've never watched it, did know "MARKET WATCH." Loved the vertical three-stack in SE. 1D was tough. I kept wanting to do something with DATA POINTS, but it didn't fit, and the DATA part kept coming up at the end. Eventually ... BRUNCH before BAR TAB. Re (pron. "ray") 28A: I don't understand the part of the clue that says "in two senses." What's the second one? Help someone?

  70. They often stay in a trailer while on site, and then they appear in a promo trailer.

  71. Really, dogless? I'm sure you're right about what ACTORs do while waiting to film/tape the promo, but I find it hard to stretch that to the clue. But I sure don't have a better suggestion. Thanks!

  72. I'm just putting in a vote of two thumbs up for Deb's post tonight. Wonderful encouragement for solvers who need a little push past the initial blank grid and "what?" stage. Well written indeed. The puzzle was fine - fell too quickly for a Friday for me but that's the pattern recently. I had "brunch" before "bar tab" but both work for me. I have a little quibble about GOP "leaning" to the right, should be "careening" or possibly something else equally strong and distressing... eek

  73. Hand up for BRUNCH.