Things That May Be Settled

Debbie Ellerin opens our solving weekend.

Comments: 121

  1. Super fast Friday. Thursday was a Wednesday, Friday is a Thursday, it must be because of the day off this week.

  2. Agreed, a straightforward puzzle for a Friday. Or maybe just happened to be in my wheelhouse.

  3. @Mr. Mark It was more like a Tuesday to me. It's a well crafted and enjoyable, but way too simple for a Friday challenge.

  4. OK First the clue in the puzzle and then that clip from Leonard Cohen Well you just made my day! Thanks! And dare I add: Hallelujah!

  5. @BLB The "Live in London" DVD from which the clip was taken should be owned by anyone who is not just a fan of Leonard Cohen, but any lover of great songwriting and brilliant musicianship.

  6. Well, that was MUCH easier than the usual Friday puzzle. Not complaining.

  7. @DQ Agreed!

  8. @DQ Every time I think I'm getting smarter (or at least better at crossword puzzles) and come here and see people say the puzzle was easy.

  9. When I started out with ARABIA, BRASILIA, and LEONARD COHEN, I knew this one was going to be fun. I also liked I CAN'T EVEN and IS THAT A THING, although I don't generally like phrases like that--but I think those were the only two, so that made them stand out more. Nice!

  10. Of course, ABLE was I ere I saw ELBA. and the rest filled in rather quickly. Close to my best time.

  11. Hah. 13D "Laten" joins all the words I listed in the "louden" comments for the Thursday puzzle! Yay for English. I enjoyed Jan. (month of my birthstone garnet) crossing Ganesh (he of new beginnings). 59A gave me a chuckle. A friend from Australia told me this one: What do you call a deer that can't see at all? No Idea. What do you call a deer that hasn't any legs and can't see at all? Still No Idea. The third part of the joke is Rated R...it involves adding a gerund as the penultimate word...

  12. @David Connell Sorta like the joke about the difference between beer nuts and deer nuts. One's about $3.50 at the corner market, and the other's under a buck.

  13. @David Connell, Steve L On behalf of the deer in the audience, I’m going to have to ask you to leave now gentlemen, and please watch out for any charging antlers as you go.

  14. @David Connell You sure he wasn't saying "no eye deer"?

  15. Just had trouble in the SW, as I had OAT rather than HAY so couldn't see IMPISH or GANTRY...yes big fan of LEONARDCOHEN and GANESH

  16. Several comment ideas cropped up while I solved the puzzle, but some of them are old news, and some got scooped. The last time we had ROLF, I used the "rolling on the laugh flooring" remark, so no need to repeat that. I might have tried something humorous to do with OLD [music] SCORES, but Deb's covered that with the photo. NO IDEA reminded me of an episode of Monk (the one about jury duty), involving a rather repetitive not-that-funny bit that just goes on way too long. But it certainly lodged in the brain. So I'll just offer this YouTube clip with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly singing "TRUE LOVE" (from High Society). This is probably a repeat too, but it's a lovely little tune that is woven deeply into the fabric of persons of a certain age. https://youtu.be/WxRAMq5-l08

  17. @Alan J I used to enjoy the show Monk, but if I watch it now, I just find him *so irritating.*

  18. Is a data miner a "scientist"? Oh well . . . certainly not a philosopher.

  19. @CAE Possibly. But a data scientist is almost certainly a data miner. Which is how the clue reads too me.

  20. Feel like the clue for ISTHATATHING was such a missed opportunity. My entry: “Response to: ‘Crossword and wine night!’?”

  21. I think the correct term is "wail on," like a guitar. "Whale on," really?

  22. @Jim Apparently “whale on” is correct. This site says a singer can wail a song but a drummer can whale (thrash or beat soundly) on drums. https://brians.wsu.edu/2016/05/19/wail-whale/ Which explains some of my childhood angst. As a timid geek, I never had any business playing drums. But I rebelled when my sixth grade music teacher told me I couldn’t play my first choice, the trombone, because my arms were too short. I suspected her real reason was that she didn’t think girls should play the trombone (or other instruments typically played by boys back then) - she wanted me to play the violin - so, in one of my rare moments of steel, I felt compelled to fix her wagon and, on the spot, changed to the most boyish instrument I could think of, the drums. She wasn’t quick enough to come up with another excuse and I became the unlikely drummer.

  23. @Jim Oregon's Exploding Whale - 1995 KGO-TV Film & Interviews (25th anniversary report) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YK7gFTgA0FQ OK, I can’t resist passing this link along even though it is only related in that it is about a whale - actually a whale carcass that washed ashore. This month is the 49th anniversary of this legendary Pacific Northwest event. This particular version of the story, from the 25th anniversary, with its interview of a witness with great storytelling skills, is the best, IMO. We can all use a good laugh these days.

  24. This was the rare Friday or Saturday puzzle where everything seemed to fall into place with only a few hesitations. Now it's on to my bimonthly thrashing at the hands of the Cryptic Crossword. But hope springs eternal, so onward ...

  25. 1 Down today suggests cryptic crosswords may be making inroads in the daily puzzle.

  26. Well, when I get a Friday puzzle in less than 3/4 of an hour, that means it was too easy for Friday. Had Korea instead of SEOUL. AKA twice; I knew one was wrong. But enough of my guesses provided usable crosses, so was finally able to come up with the real stumpers such as LALALAND, ARABIA, LOTT, WHALE, LEONARDCOHEN, etc. Too easy for a Friday, but I for one like them too easy.

  27. Aches before harms before MAIMS hurt my total time but it still didn't run into HOURS.

  28. @ColoradoZ It pAInS me to report you missed one.

  29. Probably would have gotten through this a bit faster if I hadn't gotten distracted by the action on the football field on TV. Unfortunately, it wasn't game action, but someone acting ANGRILY, which is going to cost him some significant unpaid time off to ponder his actions. Managed to finish in a bit less than my average, even with the distraction. I had a little trouble, but had a few gimmes as well: ONION, BRASILIA, SAMOA, DION and a couple others. Had LAY UP before LAY IN before TIP IN.

  30. If Debbie had thrown in some anagrams, this almost could have been a Puns & Anagrams puzzle. Much of the cluing and fill had a light and playful quality throughout, from LA LA LAND to “Stain on Santa” to Ogden NASH. Yet, where there was light, there was also shadow, including EL CHAPO, OBEAH, RAT HOLE and a almost imperceptible nod toward the con-man times in which we live, [Elmer] GANTRY. And then there was LEONARD COHEN, marrying the light with the darkness. He was my man for many years, with that CD, “I’m Your Man,” carrying me through many hour-long car commutes over the years. My siblings and I gently sang along with his “Hallelujah” at my father’s hospital bedside a few years ago. LEONARD’s “Everybody Knows” has a light rhythm and slashing lyrics that rate as his best, imo. While the dice are clearly loaded, there’s still hope for us yet: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T4rf7bAApM4

  31. An early-morning, possibly later (LATENtly?) regretted, non-glue short puzzle poem (dare I call it POESY?): “Shorty” That’s what EL CHAPO means; LEONARD COHEN was shorter than he seemed. But not Mahershala ALI (how good was he in True Detective?): Six-two; LOVE can be short, but not when it’s TRUE.

  32. @Puzzlemucker Great version. My Cohen CDs are from the sixties and the 21st century. Interesting to hear his intermediate voice. Nevertheless: "Everybody knows the good guys lost." "Everybody knows the captain lied." "Everybody knows the that the Plague is coming. "Everybody knows that it's moving fast." Not much room for hope in there. (Although I guess his plague was H-I-V and ours will be Ebola, some weaponized lab virus, nuclear exchange, or climate catastrophe.) "And everybody knows."

  33. @Al in Pittsburgh I should have clarified that there’s not much hope to be found in the song’s lyrics, but I find hope in the song’s beauty (and it does have a little cuckoldish humor thrown in). Beyond the lyrics, I especially love the interplay between Cohen’s singing and the two women singing with him, who I think are Anjani Thomas and Elizabeth Coletti. I should have noted that Sharon Robinson co-wrote the song with him (I had forgotten that fact until I just looked up who sang back-up).

  34. SPELLING BEE GRID Nov 15 2019 P A C E N T X WORDS: 43, POINTS: 190, PANAGRAMS: 1 A x 6 C x 3 E x 5 N x 2 P x 23 T x 4 4L x 17 5L x 9 6L x 7 7L x 5 8L x 2 9L x 2 10L x 1 Note: I have indicated the Panagram letter with *** 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Tot A 1 2 1 - - 1 1 6 C 1 - 2 - - - - 3 E 1 1 2 - - 1 - 5 *** N 2 - - - - - - 2 P 10 5 1 5 2 - - 23 T 2 1 1 - - - - 4 Tot 17 9 7 5 2 2 1 43

  35. @Mari I can’t sleep so I’m doing this in bed at 5 am. I can’t believe the strange word that’s included which means liable to sin and sounds similar to a nut you use for making pie. I slogged through yesterday’s puzzle and had everything but hatha, but comments here led me to it before the deadline.

  36. @Kevin Davis My hints were eaten by the auto-editor, so I'll try again: The suffixes of ANT and ANCE are useful. Many words in common with yesterday's Bee including the one that uses the EE suffix. My last word to fall was an archaic one based on the Latin verb 'to sin'. A quick sleep, a posh snack, a soothing fix, an italian pork ingredient and a fencing sword appear.

  37. @Mari and @Kevin Davis - thank you for grid/hints. Wouldn't have found the obscure sin-related word without looking it up. Other than that, not too difficult a Bee today. @Kevin Davis - I couldn't sleep either, so it was fitting that the last word to fall was related to that topic. First two letter list: AC-3, AP-3 CA-3 EP-1, EX-4 NA-1, NE-1 PA-11, PE-12 TA-2, TE-2

  38. Layup then tipin before TAPIN slowed me down in the southwest.

  39. @BaldBrady I'm thinking you should have stuck with TIPIN.

  40. @Andrew @BildBridy had it with TAPIN and MA'AMS, and THAT IS A THING also.

  41. I wish he'd waited just a little longer so I could have fleshed this out a bit more, but I can't let the full name debut of one of my all-time heroes go by without posting this work-in-progress cover version of one of my all-time favorite songs. I couldn't hope to even come close to the somber, spartan sincerity of the original arrangement, so I gave it a twist: what if Leonard Cohen had been (brace yourselves)... into doom metal? Yes. Yes, I went there. Wailing guitar solo and all. https://soundcloud.com/robrechtv/famous-blue-raincoat-2019-work-in-progress/s-cWENq Also, I absolutely loved this puzzle. Or I should say "we", because lately I've managed to get my girlfriend into the daily crossword and we often solve it together now, which is the best thing ever. Today was number 250 in my/our streak!

  42. Oh, this was a fun puzzle. I loved breezing (for a Friday) through the NW to SE sash, then chipping, chipping, chipping into and finally through the NE, where LISLE, LATEN. and WHALE (as clued) were buried light years into my wheelhouse, and in the SW, where GANTRY and SCHMIDT joined them, and where I was sure of COARSER rather than CRASSER for [Less refined]. That last point led to a funny moment, where COARSER led to COOON (rather than CROON) for [Serenade, maybe], and, as with @HT yesterday, my inner child kept insisting that COO ON surely could be a synonym for the verb "serenade". "Couldn't it? Couldn't it?" I almost believed it. All in all, this bright-in-every-sense puzzle lit up my mood and joy of cracking conundrums. Thank you ever so much, Debbie!

  43. LETTER BOXED THREAD An odd, and unsatisfactory, solution today: O-E(10), E-M(7) The 2nd word, with 'ER' added, was not accepted, causing great difficulty!

  44. @Mari Better Solution: W - H (8), H - T (6) Extra spaces because the auto-edit ate my earlier post.

  45. @Mari The W -H process was developed in the UK

  46. @ColoradoZ late as usual but I had a different 14 letter solution. H-E (7) E-M (7)

  47. Someone needs to look up Onomatopoeia. Re: 22A Whale and Wail are two very different words and neither can take the place of the other. I like a good pun, which seems to have become a mainstay of the new puzzle makers. But this one is just plane wrong.

  48. @Nancy Oakes This is the way I use it when I would use it at all, which is not often. And onomatopoeia is the use of words that sound like the thing itself, like tintinabulation for the sound of bells. Do you mean homophones?

  49. @Frances Oops! I misspelt tintinnabulation.

  50. @Frances What kind of sound does a dog’s bell make? Rin Tin Tin tintinnabulation.

  51. "A few entries, like ... GANTRY (as clued) are tough, but the crosses seem reasonable..." Deb, Part of the GANTRY clue would have been more appropriate in the Times of London; in U.S. railroading, the U.K. signal gantry is a U.S. signal bridge.

  52. Steve, I know the word GANTRY. The reference in the park is to the vestigial supports for the float bridge. You can see such still in use at the Staten Island Ferry terminals (and most every other "heavy" ferry terminal; light ferries just use an adjustable gangway). These gantries do not support the clue's railroad signals.

  53. @Barry Ancona But "overhead structure" was enough. The EZPass readers on highways are also called gantries. I've been doing the Vox puzzles lately. They are generally much harder, and one of their hallmarks is excessive information in the clues. The key is to hone in on what's important and ignore the rest. Three such clues in today's Vox puzzle are (asterisks setting off the superfluous stuff): Number on your library book *whose last digit is determined by the previous twelve* Top secret DoD group *that would probably like to not be used in crossword puzzles* Last few drops *at the bottom of the keg, which by this time you don't mind drinking anyway* So I've been focusing on the critical information in the clues, and in this one, the "overhead structure" part is all you need.

  54. I nearly lost my streak on the GANTRY/SCHMIDT crossing. I had GANERY/SCHMIDE and wracked my brain to think of what else it could be. I suppose I have heard the word GANTRY, as it flickered dimly in my consciousness when I finally tried a T. But y'all, here's the embarrassing part. My last name is SCHMIDT.

  55. @Bess Would "Perennial all-star Mike" have been a better clue for you?

  56. An alternate title for today’s column could have been “About Schmidt.” One of the most fascia-nating anatomy books for the somaticly-interested is by the former head of anatomy at the ROLFing institute: Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers. The amazing and intrepid Felix Colgrave made a WHALE of an animated short that I just coincidentally saw last night: https://youtu.be/b26iN-j8RaQ

  57. I had a CREWCUT as a boy until high school, when I was allowed to let my hair grow longer. The dress code in my public high school in the late 60’s in rural Ohio, though, dictated a boy’s hair couldn’t go below his ears or reach his shirt collar, so “longer” was a bit relative. Would have been fun to see my older brother’s haircut, a “flat top”, in the puzzle as well.

  58. Absolutely loved OLDSCORES. What an evocative phrase! Nothing better than a good revenge story.

  59. Old score, new baton and a great photo...OBEAH? IS THAT A THING?...You could have (and did) fooled me with that variation of the voodoo arts. I had NO IDEA...Enjoying an in-interrupted SCROLL through the NW I wondered when the hammer was going to come down on my solve. It never did. I had a WHALE of a time other than the brief spell induced in the NE...50’s doo-wop for 2000 Alex. Speaking of OLD SCORES, the Canadian combo, The CREW CUT(S), covered “Sh Boom,” by Bronx’s The Chords In ‘57. This is the original ‘54 version. https://youtu.be/Nv8KAgBOjAI Not A Lay Up But A TIP IN, Bru

  60. One mistake today, at 60A, where instead of TRUE LOVE, I wrote in "TwUE wOVE." Gotta stop watching that movie...

  61. @archaeoprof "Mawwaige ...."

  62. @archaeoprof I tawt I taw Twue Wove, but it was a diffwent fiwm.

  63. @archaeoprof Stop watching that movie?? Inconceivable!

  64. My last workplace before now was infested, I tell you, with people saying I CAN'T EVEN, I CAN'T, I CAN'T with you, and all variations, all the time, like a tic or a bad habit. Also, they always said, "but actually," if someone said a true thing. Where I work now, everyone is always unpacking things and taking deeper dives. I just CAN'T. Loved the puzzle, especially LEONARD COHEN. I would say more, but the day LATENs and these donuts are not going to make themselves. But actually.

  65. @Ann Your penultimate sentence reminded me of my own verbal tic. I frequently remark that 'this/that chore won't do itself.' This morning's version, as I completed the xword: "That sourdough won't feed itself."

  66. @Megan Yum! Check out Motzi Bread at the waverly farmers market on Saturdays

  67. Submitted a comment over an hour ago that never showed up. NOIDEA why it would have been flagged. I think I'll just go with whatever suejean says today.

  68. Rich, Had just a reply that didn't show up (yet?). Will this?

  69. This did. Go figure. I'll try the other one again.

  70. @Rich in Atlanta I too submitted a post, and several replies, a couple of which that did not show up. Nothing offensive whatsoever. Lots of snow here. Maybe it's weather-related...

  71. I had a WHALE of a time!

  72. ONION was my first answer, though LARD and ALI were penciled in very quickly. After yesterday’s Francophilia I hesitated at “AU Naturel” and only relented after filling in the rest of the grid. JAN was my last entry, initially misspelling GANESH. Loved the familiar slang of IS THAT A THING and I CANT EVEN. Cheers

  73. I’ve just started doing the Spelling Bee and was told I had to subscribe to the Times crossword to continue. But I already subscribe. Can anyone explain and/or help? Thanks.

  74. @Nobis Miserere Are you logged in to your New York Times account? If you are and you are still having issues, please send an email to [email protected] and let Customer Care know. They should be able to help you.

  75. @ Deb Amien Thanks. I’ll give it a try.

  76. South Korean cuisine is SEOUL food. (I love geography puns. I want SAMOA.)

  77. @Mike Groan......................

  78. I guess if I was dangled on a gantry I wouldn't be humming a Leonard Cohen song, especially one covered by Celine Dion, but I might angrily launch into a jeremiad - a word key to last night's Final Jeopardy answer. So was anyone surprised that James whaled on Emma and Francois?

  79. @John Dietsch Not at all. I suspected when he lost to Emma, something happened that wasn't exactly kosher. Either they paid him off to let someone else win, or they cut off his signaling device. Or he himself just decided enough was enough. It just didn't seem like it was him that day. It may all come out years from now, or maybe I imagined it.

  80. The interesting thing was the mistaken answer "Ruth." This caught my attention for two reasons: 1) Ruth is one of the shortest books in the Bible, while the clue called for one of the longest, a big mistake, 2) Ruth is the obsolete English noun form from the obsolescent word "to rue" (A crossword favorite) - "Ruthless" is the only remnant of it: a person who has no regrets / no rue is "ruthless." In that sense - it fits half of the clue! But did he know it? I doubt it. As for Steve L's theory about the demise of James, I reject it entirely. He played by the same rules he played by all along, and he lost that day. So psyched to watch tonight!

  81. @Steve L You imagined it.

  82. A first-rate puzzle, just jam-packed with excellent entries, especially those going across.

  83. As a former bassoonist, I sat next to many oboe players, occasionally in orchestra pits. I really loved the clue "wind in a pit" but took surprisingly long to figure it out. For the "stew" clue, I had —RET but was reluctant to fill in FRET because I usually think of fret meaning worry and stew meaning to be angry about something. So I learned something. Liked the puzzle. Keep 'em comin'.

  84. @Robert Kern - oboe in a pit brought me back to the time when I was "principal shepherd dancer" in a production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" - but the director required me to go without glasses and that rendered me effectively blind. I very, very nearly took myself and several other shepherd dancers right off the stage, where we would have crashed down upon the solo oboist who plays such an important role in that opera. The tragedy was averted, but I will always remember the danger when I think of an "oboe in a pit." https://youtu.be/CnPauUzLid8?t=153

  85. @Robert Kern It stumped me for a long time too, and I'm an oboist! And I have played the Shepherd Dance in "Ahmal."

  86. @David Connell I've played Amahl before. Fortunately none of the dancers crashed into me. It could have broken my reed! Nice to see some other double reeders here, @Robert Kern and @Jeanne. 🎶😎

  87. Friday's crossword should be more difficult, not a puzzle one can complete in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee. Nonetheless, I was pleased to see LEONARD COHEN, one of the greats of his genre and generation. For some reason I was amused by LATEN especially after yesterday's crossword gave us LOUDEN. Great words, both of them.

  88. The GANTRY that comes to mind is the one next to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral... There were a lot of odd clues, IMHO, in this puzzle. Napoleon had escaped from his first island exile, but when he was ultimately defeated, he was sent to an island deemed more secure-- ELBA (and possibly penned the famous palindrome.) But he did not return to it. One GINS UP some excitement or interest (in, say, a candidacy or a plan) but the clue implies a usage that is a bit off base. The clue for 6D had me harking back to Trig and the textbook entitled _The Circular Function_ ....but the P- made me reconsider. Does anyone say LATEN? or CRASSER? or use LARD? (I never have.)

  89. @Mean Old Lady LARD (Spanish = manteca) is the key ingredient in making a good masa (English = dough) for tamales. When it dropped into place, I wondered whether it was a variant on LARDER --

  90. @MOL - wowsers, you were a lot less meaner OL when you were in Arkansas. Maybe the move should be rethunk? anent: Lard - I render my own, and you can't make fluffy biscuits without a hunk of lard in the mix. Laten - seriously? the sun latens in the west, the day latens into evening, the old moon latens toward the new, it's a real good word for what happens at magical times. Crasser - have you met POTUS? Crasser nor any cuss I ever met. Like a swamp critter. Elba / Able was about the word returning, not uncle Boney Parts. It's a play on a play on words. Maybe Mississippi is too hot and wet? Arkansas is a very pretty place to live...rocks and trees and hills and possums and all. Good for the spirits.

  91. @Mean Old Lady: Napoleon was first exiled to the island of Elba, from which he returned to the mainland. His second, final exile was to the remote island of St. Helena, far out in the Atlantic Ocean.

  92. Getting better all the time. But couldn’t recall that Dion won a Grammy. I roamed around, around, around . . .

  93. @Barry Ancona this clue is for Celine Dion, no?

  94. Yes, Joseph, it's Celine in the puzzle. I do hope you understand Mae and I knew that.

  95. I am re-submitting this comment which never appeared. Apologies if it appears twice: As Deb pointed out, a quasi-cryptic clue snuck (sic) its way into the puzzle this morning at 1D. I thought that 1A might have raised some reaction, given the opposition to unsavory characters sometimes expressed here. Jeopardy! watchers saw Alex Trebek get pretty choked up by one of the Final Jeopardy answers this week. I was equally choked up when I learned the news that Alex has donated 10 million dollars to the University of Ottawa, his Alma Mater and mine, (as well as my place of work). What a beautiful and generous human being. Other Canadians in the puzzle today left me feeling quite at home. LEONARD COHEN grew up in the same neighbourhood of Montreal as I did, and of course Celine DION hails from Montreal as well. For now at least my heart *will* go on. Hallelujah!

  96. Very enjoyable. Light clues, funny, surprising. DATAMINING: in my field, epidemiology, in the context of studies, DATAMINING is a bad thing, torturing the data to make it confess. Subgroup analysis until one showed a desired result. But with BIGDATA, rules are a different, because given the giant size of datasets, it is possible to generate interesting hypotheses, if methodology is appropriate ( eg ignores traditional p values ) and interpretation is cautious. I was in such a bind when I though the opposite of tan was pallid, because I did not want to change LEONARD COHEN. Thank you PALLOR! I would like to dedicate this to LEONARD COHEN ; ) SCOLL, LALALAND, SCROLL I CANT EVEN EXIST IS TRUE LOVE A THING? NO IDEA.

  97. dept of typo correction: SCROLL, LALALAND, SCROLL

  98. brought me to tears indeed.. great fill! thoroughly enjoyed this one

  99. I presume the appearance of the clue for HER, [___ Excellency (title for an ambassador)], on the day of Ambassador Yovanovitch's testimony is not a coincidence.

  100. Coincidence or not, cosmic justice!

  101. Good Friday. My kind of puzzle! I liked the long fill clues which were clever but not overly dependent on obscure trivia. Sure do not like 45D. Nobody says that, but I recognize it as crosswordese which I need to file in my already crowded brain attic.

  102. I was doubtful that WHALE (on) was correct, after decades of assuming the phrase was "wail on". But then again, I one of those who heard "coolant in my hair" instead of "cool wind" in the Eagles' Hotel California. (I stand by the "coolant" as an order of magnitude more poetic. My wife stands by "it's cool wind, you doofus".)

  103. @Stuart Best mondegreen ever. And you'll have the last laugh when your wife sees what that antifreeze does for your split ends.

  104. Many thanks to my husband, who contributed OLDSCORES and DETEST, and corrected my DadS to DONS (it helped that we were watching a mob-centric episode of Law & Order at the time). Other than SAD, every down clue in the NE corner eluded me, until I gave up my stubborn insistence on africa and changed it to ARABIA. I like this puzzle! On to Saturday!

  105. I see that two hours after comments reappear after the NYT-wide three-hour shutdown we can post again. I doubt it was Wordplay that blew the fuse, but just in case... Deb, we know you didn't do it!

  106. Solved in 6:48. My personal best for a Friday!

  107. I can't even - this was such a fun and educational puzzle. Thank you, Debbie Ellerin, for such a nice start to the weekend. I can't even - all this time, I thought Hallelujah was by KD Lang. And stocking fabric has an actual name. I can't even - the stuff you learn by doing crossword puzzles.

  108. I have a t-shirt with a picture of some screaming cartoon animal and a dialog bubble that says “I can’t even!”

  109. 13D Darken is something people actually say, LATEN not really. I for one would accept any number of well-clued OREOs and OSLOs and OBOEs over lame LATENS and such .

  110. Very enjoyable puzzle! I loved the clue for OBOE. Great misdirection! 🎶

  111. The only gantry I know is Elmer Gantry but other than that, nice puzzle.

  112. Great photo choice, @Deb!

  113. Incidentally I was just leafing through Alex Ross’ book The Rest Is Noise at Barnes & Noble yesterday which talked about Mahler (and Richard Strauss) in its first chapter. I listened to Mahler’s Fifth on the drive home.

  114. Really enjoyed this puzzle, so many great entries! For me, took longer than average, slowed down by mistaking Pablo EsCobar for ELCHAPO, CoArSER for CRASSER, and oAt for HAY. Loved SUSHIBAR, ICANTEVEN, ISTHATATHING, LALALAND and the cryptic style clue at 1D.

  115. GANESH, Remover of Obstacles, patron of XWPphiles https://images.app.goo.gl/vyyWsc8UqmboRdBQ9 GANTRY: MeToo, @Puzzlemucker https://images.app.goo.gl/V9r22dchbMW3gaRdA LEONARD_COHEN was breaking into the poetry/music scene in Montreal when I was coming of age, and I knew him/of him through my first great love (from age 13) who showed promise in the same scene, but who sadly fell to osteosarcoma in his early 20s. For years, my signature Leonard Cohen song was Suzanne, and even now I will sometimes want to hear another Royal Canadian handle Hallelujah. Still one of her best, don't Juno? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_NpxTWbovE Thanks for an enjoyable Friday, Debbie Ellerin, and for the Mahler's score, Deb.

  116. I’m an old (82 yrs) newcomer to the NYT crosswords. Have done all of the Monday thru Friday puzzles (since June—thanks to archives)and now am approaching Saturday puzzles with trepidation. This was an excellent exercise that keeps my neurons functioning. Particularly enjoyed “Is That A Thing” and the age appropriate “Spryest” and “Old Scores”. Thanks Deb.

  117. NY times if you insist on using Hindu Gods in your crossword puzzles, at least get your facts right. Ganesha (not Ganesh) is how it is said in Sanskrit. Ganesh is how it is called in Northern India. Southern India still uses the older pronunciation of Ganesha. Ganesha is the Lord of Success. Brahma is the Lord of Beginnings, Vishnu the Lord of Preservation and Shiva the Lord of Destruction (these three representing the Holy Trinity). Ganesha is prayed to at the beginning of any endeavor to ensure its success. Ganesha being the Lord of Success.