LA Times Crossword 23 Aug 19, Friday

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Constructed by: Jeffrey Wechsler
Edited by: Rich Norris

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): P-Puzzle

Themed answers are common two-word phrases, but with a letter P added at the front:

  • 17A Gratitude for a well-played role? : PART APPRECIATION (P + art appreciation)
  • 27A Crackin’, peelin’ and fadin’? : PAINT MISBEHAVIN’ (P + Ain’t Misbehavin’)
  • 45A Couples therapist? : PAIR CONDITIONER (P + air conditioner)
  • 55A Extreme example of layering for cold weather? : PANTS IN ONE’S PANTS (P + ants in one’s pants)

Bill’s time: 10m 42s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

5 ’90s trade pact : NAFTA

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is between Canada, Mexico and the United States. When NAFTA came into force in 1994, it set up the largest free trade zone in the world.

14 Heart : CRUX

“Crux” is the Latin word for “cross”. The term came into English meaning “a central difficulty” in the early 1700s.

15 “… __ player, / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage”: Macbeth : A POOR

There is a famous soliloquy in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” that is spoken by the title character. It is usually referred to as “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow”, from the second sentence:

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
— To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

16 Lake near Carson City : TAHOE

Lake Tahoe (often referred to simply as “Tahoe”) is up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and is located right on the border between California and Nevada. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the country, and the largest lake in general, behind the five Great Lakes. It’s also the second deepest lake, with only the beautiful Crater Lake in Oregon being deeper. Given its location, there are tall casinos that sit right on the shore on the Nevada side of the state line where gambling is legal.

Carson City, Nevada was named for the Carson River. The river was named for Kit Carson, the scout who accompanied the team of European Americans who first arrived in the area in 1843. Carson City was designated state capital in 1864.

20 Papal messenger : LEGATE

A papal legate is a representative of the pope, usually to a foreign nation. The term “legate” comes from the Latin “legatus”, which was the name of a high-ranking officer in the Roman army.

A papal legate is a representative of the pope, usually to a foreign nation. The term “legate” comes from the Latin “legatus”, which was the name of a high-ranking officer in the Roman army.

21 On the other side of: Abbr. : ACR

Across (acr.)

22 Enzyme suffix : -ASE

The names of enzymes usually include the suffix “-ase”. Enzymes are basically catalysts, chemicals that act to increase the rate of a particular chemical reaction. For example, starches will break down into sugars over time, especially under the right conditions. However, in the presence of the enzyme amylase (found in saliva) this production of sugar happens very, very quickly.

23 Unscrupulous : AMORAL

A scruple is a moral consideration that inhibits certain actions. The term “scruple” comes from the Latin “scrupulus”, which has the same meaning, but is also the word for a small stone. The Latin word was first used in the figurative sense by Cicero to describe a source of uneasiness, most likely drawing on the notion of a pebble in one’s shoe.

25 Youthful maiden of myth : NYMPHET

In Greek and Roman mythology, nymphs were divine female spirits associated with a particular location or landform in nature.

27 Crackin’, peelin’ and fadin’? : PAINT MISBEHAVIN’ (P + Ain’t Misbehavin’)

“Ain’t Misbehavin’” is a song written in 1929 by Fats Waller and Harry Brooks, with lyrics by Andy Razaf. Waller was the first to record the song, quickly followed by six other artists that same year. The song also provided the title for a successful stage musical that premiered in 1978.

32 Newton honorific : SIR

English polymath Sir Isaac Newton was responsible for so many discoveries in science and philosophy, and is regarded as key to the scientific revolution that led to the birth of what we now call “modern science”. While most of Newton’s discoveries were undisputed, his introduction of the mathematical discipline of calculus was challenged by German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz. It seems that Newton and Leibniz discovered calculus simultaneously, but each claimed that other stile his work. That dispute persisted well past the death of both parties.

33 LGBT History Mo. : OCT

LGBT History Month has been celebrated annually since 1994. The month of October was chosen so that it coincided with the already-existing National Coming Out Day, which is observed annually on October 11th.

34 ’60s campus gp. : SDS

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an activist group in the sixties. The SDS organized the largest student strike in the history of the United States on 26 April 1968, with about a million students staying away from class that day. The “Students for a Democratic Society” name was revived in 2006 with the foundation of a new US-based student organization with left wing beliefs. Today’s SDS was founded by a pair of high school students from Greenwich Village, New York.

40 Asian language : LAO

Lao, the language of Laos, does not use spaces between words (or periods!), although this is apparently changing. Spaces are used between sentences and clauses.

42 Hammer site : EAR

The middle ear is the portion of the ear immediately behind the eardrum. The middle ear contains three small bones called the ossicles, the three smallest bones in the human body. The ossicles’ job is to transmit sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. The shape of the bones gives rise to their names: the hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes).

43 Kofi Annan’s birthplace : GHANA

The country name “Ghana” translates as “warrior king” in the local language. The British established a colony they called Gold Coast in 1874, later to become Ghana, as part of the scramble by Europeans to settle as much of Africa as they could. One of Ghana’s most famous sons is Kofi Annan, the diplomat who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007.

Kofi Annan was a diplomat from Ghana who served as General Secretary of the UN for ten years until the beginning of 2007. Annan was born into an aristocratic family, and had a twin sister named Efua Atta. Efua and Kofi shared the middle name “Atta”, which means “twin” in the Akan language of Ghana. Annan attended the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1971-72, and graduated with a Master of Science degree.

49 Like Macbeth in “Macbeth” : TITULAR

There is a superstition in the theatrical world that uttering the name “Macbeth” in a theater will bring disaster of some sort. To avoid this, the euphemism “the Scottish Play” is used instead.

51 Jeff Lynne rock gp. : ELO

Jeff Lynne is a singer-songwriter who is best known as the leader of the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). Lynne went on to form the Traveling Wilburys supergroup, along with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty.

52 HP product : INK

“Inkjet” is a very accurate and descriptive name for the type of printer. Printing is accomplished by shooting extremely fine jets of ink onto the page.

61 Poetry Muse : ERATO

In Greek mythology, Erato was the Muse of lyric poetry. She is often depicted with a wreath of myrtle and roses, and playing a lyre.

62 Fruit with fuzz : KIWI

What we call kiwifruit today (and sometimes just “kiwi”) used to be called a Chinese gooseberry. Marketing folks in the fifties decided to call it a “melonette”, and then New Zealand producers adopted the name “kiwifruit”.

63 First name in Latin bands : DESI

Desi Arnaz has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One was placed to mark his contribution motion pictures, and the other for his work in television.

65 Venerable college that owns a river island : ETON

The town of Eton in Berkshire, England is home to the world-famous Eton College. The original settlement of Eton was located on an island surrounded by the River Thames, and the name “Eton” means “settlement on an island. A stream on one side of the island silted up almost 200 years ago, but it was cleared in 2019 so that Eton qualifies as an island once again.

Down

1 Angel dust, briefly : PCP

Phencyclidine is a recreational drug usually referred to on the street as “PCP” or “angel dust”.

2 Investment option, briefly : IRA

Individual retirement account (IRA)

4 Nonresident doctors : EXTERNS

In the field of medicine, an extern is usually a visiting physician who is not a member of the regular staff of a hospital.

5 Controversial combat material : NAPALM

Napalm is an incendiary compound used in weapons that is made from petroleum mixed with a thickening agent. Napalm was developed in a secret program at Harvard during WWII. It was initially used in incendiary bombs and flamethrowers. The thickening agent in napalm causes the burning material to stick to skin causing severe burns. Because of this, the UN declared the use of napalm in civilian areas a war crime in 1980.

6 Cal. entry : APPT

Appointment (appt.)

7 Golf alert : FORE!

No one seems to know for sure where the golfing term “fore!” comes from. It has been used at least as far back as 1881, and since then has been called out to warn other golfers that a wayward ball might be heading their way. My favorite possibility for its origin is that it is a contraction of the Gaelic warning cry “Faugh a Ballagh!” (clear the way!) which is still called out in the sport of road bowling. Road bowling is an Irish game where players bowl balls along roads between villages, trying to reach the end of the course in as few bowls as possible, just like in golf!

9 Understood by few : ARCANE

Something that is arcane is something that is understood by only a few, something that might be described as mysterious.

10 Seuss title top : HAT

“The Cat in the Hat” is a 1957 book penned by Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Geisel). Written to teach young children how to read, Geisel stated in 1983, “It is the book I’m proudest of because it had something to do with the death of the “Dick and Jane” primers.”

11 “Aloha __”: Hawaiian “Good evening” that sounds like a repeated fish : AHIAHI

Yellowfin and bigeye tuna are usually marketed as “ahi”, the Hawaiian name. They are both big fish, with yellowfish tuna often weighing over 300 pounds, and bigeye tuna getting up to 400 pounds.

13 Principle : TENET

A tenet is an article of faith, something that is held to be true. “Tenet” is Latin for “he holds”.

16 Lighting area? : TARMAC

The terms “tarmac” and “macadam” are short for “tarmacadam”. In the 1800s, Scotsman John Loudon McAdam developed a style of road known as “macadam”. Macadam had a top-layer of crushed stone and gravel laid over larger stones. The macadam also had a convex cross-section so that water tended to drain to the sides. In 1901, a significant improvement was made by English engineer Edgar Purnell Hooley who introduced tar into the macadam, improving the resistance to water damage and practically eliminating dust. The “tar-penetration macadam” is the basis of what we now call tarmac.

18 Patterned mineral : AGATE

Agate is a micro-crystalline form of quartz (and so is related to sand/silica). Some agate samples have deposited layers that give a striped appearance, and these are called “banded agate”.

19 Lidocaine brand endorsed by Shaq : ICY HOT

Icy Hot is a topical heat rub that is used to relieve muscular discomfort and pain from arthritis and rheumatism. The active ingredient doesn’t provide any heat or cold, but it does stimulate nerve receptors in the skin causing the user to experience a cool sensation followed by warmth.

Retired basketball player Shaquille O’Neal now appears regularly as an analyst on the NBA TV show “Inside the NBA”. Shaq has quite a career in the entertainment world. His first rap album, called “Shaq Diesel”, went platinum. He also starred in two of his own reality shows: “Shaq’s Big Challenge” and “Shaq Vs.”

23 Car loan nos. : APRS

Annual percentage rate (APR)

26 Mil. rank : PVT

The lowest military rank of soldier is often called “private” (pvt.). The term comes from the Middle Ages when “private soldiers” were hired or conscripted by noblemen to form a private army. The more generic usage of “private” started in the 1700s.

28 Comcast, e.g.: Abbr. : ISP

Internet service provider (ISP)

Comcast is the largest cable company in the United States. Comcast was founded in 1963 as American Cable systems. The company provides many of its services under the brand name “Xfinity”.

36 Ocean State sch. : URI

The University of Rhode Island (URI) was chartered as an agricultural school back in 1888. Rhody the Ram was chosen as the school’s mascot in 1923, a nod to URI’s agricultural past. As a result, the school’s sports teams are known as the Rams. URI’s main campus is located in the village of Kingston.

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, and is the second most densely populated. (after New Jersey). Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, largely because about 14% of the state’s area is made up of ocean bays and inlets. Exactly how Rhode Island got its name is a little unclear. What is known is that way back in 1524, long before the Pilgrims came to New England, the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano likened an island in the area to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. There were subsequent references to “Rhode Island” in English publications, before the colonists arrived.

37 Like some homemade sweaters : HAND-KNIT

Until the early 1880s, the word “sweater” applied to clothing worn specifically for weight reduction by “sweating”.

38 Rare blood type, briefly : A-NEG

Here is an approximate distribution of blood types across the US population:

  • O-positive: 38 percent
  • O-negative: 7 percent
  • A-positive: 34 percent
  • A-negative: 6 percent
  • B-positive: 9 percent
  • B-negative: 2 percent
  • AB-positive: 3 percent
  • AB-negative: 1 percent

40 Lucy of “Elementary” : LIU

Lucy Liu is an actress from Queens, New York. Liu’s big break came when she was chosen to play the Ling Woo character in “Ally McBeal”. I liked her in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels” but as I am no fan of Quentin Tarantino, I did not enjoy the movie “Kill Bill”. I am having fun watching one of Liu’s more recent projects, in which she plays Jane Watson, one of the two lead characters in the TV crime drama “Elementary”.

If you’ve seen the American television show “Elementary”, you will know that it is an adaptation of the classic tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that are set in the present day. “Elementary” is similar in look and feel to the excellent BBC series “Sherlock”, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a modern-day Holmes. We can pick up “Sherlock” in some parts of the country as part of “Masterpiece Mystery” on PBS.

41 Bygone HBO series about a sports agent : ARLISS

“Arli$$” is an HBO sitcom about sports agent Arliss Michaels, played by Robert Wuhl. Nearly every episode of the show features a guest appearance by some real personality from the world of sports. The most frequent guest to make an appearance is broadcaster Bob Costas (5 times) and fellow sportscaster Van Earl Wright (4 times).

43 Generate : GIN UP

“To gin up” is slang meaning “to enliven, excite”. The term probably derives from the older “to ginger up”. Gingering up was the rather nasty practice of putting ginger up inside a horse to make it lively and move with a high tail.

44 Southern cornmeal fare : HOECAKE

Johnnycake (also “hoecake”) is a flatbread made from cornmeal that is associated with the Atlantic coast. There are claims that johnnycake originated in Rhode Island.

45 “Ecce homo” speaker : PILATE

Pontius Pilate was the judge at the trial of Jesus Christ and the man who authorized his crucifixion. Over the years, many scholars have suggested that Pilate was a mythical character. However, a block of limestone was found in 1961 in the modern-day city of Caesarea in Israel, and in the block was an inscription that included the name of Pontius Pilate, citing him as Prefect of Judea.

According to the Gospel of John, when Pilate presented a scourged and beaten Jesus to the crowd he used the words “Ecce homo”, Latin for “Behold the man”.

47 Scottish archipelago : ORKNEY

Orkney (also called “The Orkney Islands”) is a group of about 70 islands in the very north of Scotland. When locals who inhabit the archipelago refer to the Mainland, they aren’t talking about Scotland that is just ten miles away. Instead, the Mainland in Orkney is the name of the largest of all the islands.

48 Ancient statuary fragments : TORSOS

“Torso” (plural “torsi”) is an Italian word meaning the “trunk of a statue”, and is a term that we imported into English.

53 Cinch : SNAP

The term “cinch” was absorbed into American English from Spanish in the mid-1800s, when it was used to mean a “saddle-girth”. “Cincha” is the Spanish for “girdle”. In the late 1800s, “cinch” came to mean a ‘sure thing”, in the sense that a saddle-girth can provide a “sure hold”.

54 Parisian bean? : TETE

In French, the “tête” (head) is the top of “le corps” (the body).

56 “That’s quite enough” : TMI

Too much information (TMI)

58 What a V-sign probably means in a restaurant : TWO

One has to be careful making that V-sign depending where you are in the world. Where I came from, the V-for-victory (or peace) sign has to be made with the palm facing outwards. If the sign is made with the palm facing inwards, it can be interpreted as a very obscene gesture.

59 Envy, say : SIN

The cardinal sins of Christian ethics are also known as the seven deadly sins. The seven sins are:

  • Wrath
  • Greed
  • Sloth
  • Pride
  • Lust
  • Envy
  • Gluttony

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Irrigation need : PIPE
5 ’90s trade pact : NAFTA
10 “Go no further!” : HALT!
14 Heart : CRUX
15 “… __ player, / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage”: Macbeth : A POOR
16 Lake near Carson City : TAHOE
17 Gratitude for a well-played role? : PART APPRECIATION (P + art appreciation)
20 Papal messenger : LEGATE
21 On the other side of: Abbr. : ACR
22 Enzyme suffix : -ASE
23 Unscrupulous : AMORAL
25 Youthful maiden of myth : NYMPHET
27 Crackin’, peelin’ and fadin’? : PAINT MISBEHAVIN’ (P + Ain’t Misbehavin’)
31 Clean, as greens : RINSE
32 Newton honorific : SIR
33 LGBT History Mo. : OCT
34 ’60s campus gp. : SDS
35 Start growing : SPROUT
37 Hem partner : HAW
40 Asian language : LAO
42 Hammer site : EAR
43 Kofi Annan’s birthplace : GHANA
45 Couples therapist? : PAIR CONDITIONER (P + air conditioner)
49 Like Macbeth in “Macbeth” : TITULAR
50 Jumpy : ON EDGE
51 Jeff Lynne rock gp. : ELO
52 HP product : INK
53 Hit : STRUCK
55 Extreme example of layering for cold weather? : PANTS IN ONE’S PANTS (P + ants in one’s pants)
60 Discrete things : ITEMS
61 Poetry Muse : ERATO
62 Fruit with fuzz : KIWI
63 First name in Latin bands : DESI
64 “Holy cow!” : YIPES!
65 Venerable college that owns a river island : ETON

Down

1 Angel dust, briefly : PCP
2 Investment option, briefly : IRA
3 Misappropriates : PURLOINS
4 Nonresident doctors : EXTERNS
5 Controversial combat material : NAPALM
6 Cal. entry : APPT
7 Golf alert : FORE!
8 Golf club part : TOE
9 Understood by few : ARCANE
10 Seuss title top : HAT
11 “Aloha __”: Hawaiian “Good evening” that sounds like a repeated fish : AHIAHI
12 Ease : LOOSEN
13 Principle : TENET
16 Lighting area? : TARMAC
18 Patterned mineral : AGATE
19 Lidocaine brand endorsed by Shaq : ICY HOT
23 Car loan nos. : APRS
24 Hotel employee : MAID
26 Mil. rank : PVT
28 Comcast, e.g.: Abbr. : ISP
29 Warning sound : SIREN
30 Wide-ranging : BROAD
35 “You’re not the only one!” : SO CAN I!
36 Ocean State sch. : URI
37 Like some homemade sweaters : HAND-KNIT
38 Rare blood type, briefly : A-NEG
39 Word with hard or soft : -WARE
40 Lucy of “Elementary” : LIU
41 Bygone HBO series about a sports agent : ARLISS
43 Generate : GIN UP
44 Southern cornmeal fare : HOECAKE
45 “Ecce homo” speaker : PILATE
46 Makes up (for) : ATONES
47 Scottish archipelago : ORKNEY
48 Ancient statuary fragments : TORSOS
49 Unenthusiastic : TEPID
53 Cinch : SNAP
54 Parisian bean? : TETE
56 “That’s quite enough” : TMI
57 “Do it, __ will!” : OR I
58 What a V-sign probably means in a restaurant : TWO
59 Envy, say : SIN

20 thoughts on “LA Times Crossword 23 Aug 19, Friday”

  1. I don’t understand how LIGHTING AREA can result in TARMAC…. in spite of your explanation. Please ENLIGHTEN me.

    YOUR PUZZLE IS A GO-WITH-BREAKFAST NECESSITY… especially when the result of my era’s-old school days is once again called forth to fill in the blanks ….of my mind also: i.e., “Use it or lose it!”.

    1. If you ask Dr. Google to “define light”, one of the definitions that comes up is “to fall and settle or land on (a surface)”, as in “a feather just lighted on the ground”. So, an airplane can “light” on the tarmac. A rather unusual usage, I would say … 😳.

  2. LAT: 13:58, no errors. Newsday: 10:45, no errors. WSJ: 18:58, no errors, got the meta (as part of a large crowd, I suspect). New Yorker: 13:50, no errors; surprisingly easy, considering the number of references in the clues to things I didn’t know. Croce later.

    Still working (slowly) on Dean Olsher’s cryptic. Mind-bending … 😳.

    1. Tim Croce’s latest: 44:23, no errors. Some exceptionally clever misdirection in a couple of the clues on this one but, overall, a little easier than usual, I thought.

  3. Was a challenging puzzle for me; happy to end up with no errors.
    Came up with my own variation on the theme-
    Clue: Young dog with owners?
    Answer: PUPWITHPEOPLE
    Re Bill’s 32A notes: “Polymath”? Too clever!
    Re 9D: I always thought “arcane” was a descriptive for the path of the sun! Now I suppose someone is going to say they either understand that, or that they don’t.
    Clue: Friday greeting.
    Answer: HAPPYWEEKEND

  4. After an hour and 15 min I gave up….first LAT puzzle that I DNF in a long time….if I had walked away for about an hour maybe but I lost patience with this one

  5. 23:10 with several missteps along the way. Never heard of a HOE CAKE. Otherwise, I leaned on the theme more than usual.

    I’ve lived a peerless life of exemplary behavior, therefore I’ve never heard of the word AMORAL …. 🙂

    It’s the end of a crazy week – really the end of a crazy month since I returned from Punta Cana. Things are finally going to get back to normal for me…I think. I wonder if there is a way to blow off some steam in Las Vegas on a weekend??

    Best –

    1. Jeff, we DNF today. Too hard and too cute. We had a 98% weekly average
      going in, blew it today. Something like my last round at the course in my
      hometown, where I had my first job as an assistant pro: 33 – 41 ! My partner
      made the comment that I had taken a pill and I guess I did. Lost $6.00.
      I had made 8 birdies and shot 67 there in an earlier round with no bet.
      I have never liked to bet. Shot 36 on 9 holes here this past Tuesday, then rained out.

      And so it goes, first your money and then your clothes.

      Kudos to all for your continued impressive work.

  6. LAT: 32:28, no errors. Typical garbage across the board. WSJ: 18:15, no errors. No idea on the meta – and if I don’t get it there won’t be a large number that will. Newsday: 20:06, 2 errors. An entry that made absolutely no sense crossing two proper names. New Yorker: 11:43, 1 error on a Natick (40A-40D). Yesterday’s BEQ: 14:26, no errors.

    Still pretty sore from my experience yesterday, but think I’m going to mend. Probably won’t mess with crossword puzzles too much in the near future, especially since the above grated at me, and I’m to the Stumper part of the Newsday book I got (after a week). Always the problem: To find good challenging puzzles that aren’t filled with gibberish or trickery, but something possible.

    1. Indeed. Our coterie of editors seem to find it impossible to resist words-that-really-aren’t, horrible puns and words in any other language but English. And wouldn’t it be a hoot if they could get refrain from all religious references, whether Christian, Jewish, Islamic, or whatever, too? I guess that’d be asking too much, huh? (roll eyes)

  7. I was almost positive that I was going to DNF the LAT’s grid today, but after I got to work I got the problems sorted out, starting with my answer of A pos. for rare blood type and after I got neg. inserted the other answers started to reveal themselves to my brain.

    I’ll blame it all on our whirlwind drive to and from Vegas. We left at 6 am on Tuesday and drove back, departing at 8:20 AM on Thursday for LA. About 4 hours going and 3:50 minutes coming back. Set the cruise control on 80 and the car both steers and brakes itself so that all I had to do was keep an eye out for unexpected idiocy. We stayed in the Nobu Hotel inside of Caesars Palace. What a great little boutique hotel. Got upgraded to a suite and really had a great stay. I think we’ve found the place for us from now on.

    On to the WSJ next.

    1. I’m happy for you that you can partake in the best things in life.
      But before you go bragging about the rich life you lead, perhaps you’d consider those of us less fortunate.
      This is a crossword site. So why are you bragging about your privileges? WTF does that have to do with crosswords? What is your point? To make those of us who are less fortunate feel lousy because we don’t have what you have?
      You rich people make me sick. I hate rich people.

      1. I would not call a quick two day visit to Las Vegas, from LA, to be a particularly rich excursion, and by car to wit.

        When people share some small part of their personal life here, they are doing it to add a little local color and make themselves more real to others. There is certainly no intent to flaunt.

        Yes this is a crossword site and the vast majority of what is discussed is just that: crosswords. But to limit it to that alone would be a terrible constraint on all of us that have been here for quite a while and enjoy hearing about what is going on in other’s lives.

        Please relax.

  8. Mostly easy Friday for me; took about 40 minutes with one “square” stupid error: the same as Allen’s above. When I look at the clue again, it said explicitly “…like a repeated fish”, which should have elicited AHIAHI and given me ASE…so stupid.

    Liked the puzzle pretty well. I had most except the SW and took about 10 minutes there. I did look to see this was a Wechsler Friday, so I knew things would be strange, but ultimately fair.

  9. Aloha AHI AHI!! 🦆

    (I know that it’s already morning for y’all but I don’t know how to say good morning in Hawaiian)

    Couldn’t get CRUX– I had CORE instead– so I looked it up. Smooth sailing otherwise, for a Friday Wechsler. I do enjoy his puzzles and they always challenge me. 🤔 Theme helped a bit; I got TEPID cuz I knew there would be a P there.

    Re. TORSOS: Presumably we see TORSOS among statuary collections because they survive better than heads and limbs — or was it common in ancient times to sculpt only TORSOS? Regardless, Jerry Seinfeld has a joke: “There must be a museum somewhere with a bunch of heads and limbs….”😁

    Be well~~🚋⚾️

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