White Cloud competitor / FRI 8-4-17 / Historic restructuring / Sour fermented milk drink / Labor market short on long-term work / 3 year old in 2015 sports news / Autocrat known as Liberator

Friday, August 4, 2017

Constructor: Damon Gulczynski

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: none 

Word of the Day: TSAR ALEXANDER II (48A: Autocrat known as "the Liberator") —
Alexander II (Russian: Алекса́ндр II Никола́евич, tr. Aleksandr II Nikolaevich; IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ftɐˈroj nʲɪkɐˈlajɪvʲɪtɕ]; 29 April [O.S. 17 April] 1818 in Moscow – 13 March [O.S. 1 March] 1881 in Saint Petersburg) was the Emperor of Russia from 2 March 1855 until his assassination on 13 March 1881. He was also the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Finland. // Alexander's most significant reform as emperor was emancipation of Russia's serfs in 1861, for which he is known as Alexander the Liberator (Russian: Алекса́ндр Освободи́тель, tr. Aleksandr Osvoboditel; IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɐsvəbɐˈdʲitʲɪlʲ]). The tsar was responsible for other reforms, including reorganizing the judicial system, setting up elected local judges, abolishing corporal punishment, promoting local self-government through the zemstvo system, imposing universal military service, ending some privileges of the nobility, and promoting university education. // In foreign policy, Alexander sold Alaska to the United States in 1867, fearing the remote colony would fall into British hands if there were another war. He sought peace, moved away from bellicose France when Napoleon III fell in 1871, and in 1872 joined with Germany and Austria in the League of the Three Emperors that stabilized the European situation. Despite his otherwise pacifist foreign policy, he fought a brief war with Turkey in 1877–78, pursued further expansion into Siberia and the Caucasus, and conquered Turkestan. Although disappointed by the results of the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Alexander abided by that agreement. Among his greatest domestic challenges was an uprising in Poland in 1863, to which he responded by stripping that land of its separate constitution and incorporating it directly into Russia. (wikipedia)
• • •

This started out so bad, but then got good and even very good, then briefly went stupid, then very good again. So good overall, I think. You just never want to have a NW corner like this one. BSS x/w BIGA (!?!). So, so ugly. Or maybe you do want to start that horribly, so that the bounce up to your stack of long answers feels incredible. I HAD NO IDEA over GIG ECONOMY really pulls the puzzle out of the muck, and the plane mostly stays airborne from there (I'm just gonna veer among several metaphors today, so just try to hang on). Long answers stay mostly interesting, short fill stays mostly under control. DC AREA is always bad, esp. when you say some specific entity is *based* there. NIH is headquartered in Bethesda, MD. It's a well-known, specific place. Also, [___ number] is a godawful clue for CELL. God. Awful. CALL number seemed so so so much better. Fill-in-the-blanks generally suck, but they should at least be spot-on. CELL number is just too vague. [___ phone], better. [___ block], better. Hell, [T-___], better. LOPER is of course absurd, and TSAR ALEXANDER II is King of Ridiculousness. Putting the TSAR up front takes the answer into super-stilted, awkward, horrible territory. He's just Alexander II. Stop the madness. I don't know what wordlist you've purchased, but constructors, please, delete TSAR ALEXANDER II immediately. Thanks.

But I've spent too long on the bad. The good is real good. I had forgotten about PERESTROIKA (32A: Historic "restructuring"). I had not forgotten about the SAY HEY KID, but loved seeing him here. PLAYMAKER is a nice sports colloquialism (though if you're not into sports, I'm guessing "nice sports colloquialism" is oxymoronic). RONNY Chieng is funny; glad he got the RONNY clue. I think the high point of this puzzle is EXOPLANETS / SEXPISTOLS. Again, a delightful stack of long answers makes the short fill groan a bit on the corner, but this time I hardly noticed. I had fun and I came in under 6 minutes. I'll take that.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


George Barany 12:50 AM  

@Damon Gulczynski has a distinctive style that I always look forward to, even when his puzzles include proper nouns and trivia about which I HAD NO IDEA. Today's puzzle had a marquee entry at 19-Across which immediately brought to mind Horsefeathers, a "ripped-from-the-sports-headlines" puzzle constructed with @Charles Flaster and @Brent Hartzell a little over two years ago. Back to @Damon's puzzle, there is an interesting spelling issue which is a bit challenging to work out, especially given the tough and/or ambiguous cluing in the northeast corner (@Rex's review explains some of this).

GIG ECONOMY (17-Across) has been in the news a lot recently (think Uber, Lyft, and AIRBNB, among others), whereas PERESTROIKA (32-Across) was a watershed political/economic movement associated with @Mikhail Gorbachev some three decades ago, as the Soviet Union was approaching its collapse -- both of these are interesting and welcome debut words for the New York Times puzzle. As @Rex's "Word-of-the-Day" highlights, the Tsar of 48-Across goes back a further century (PRE-Gorbachev) in Russian history, and his political/economic reforms were answered by numerous assassination plots, the last (obviously) of which was successful. So interesting mini-theme.

Favorite clues, "Love letters" for XOXO (52-Down), the CHAPLIN quote (37-Across), and the tricky examples for VERB (57-Across). Plus, it's always great to be reminded of all-time baseball greats from most of the 50's through the mid-70's: @Hank Aaron and @Willie Mays (8-Down). Finally, the Chinese tennis champion LI NA (5-Down) has Periodic Table alkali element two-letter abbreviations for both her first and last names (thanks to @Alex Vratsanos who first pointed this out to me).

Mark 1:01 AM  

I thought it was a great puzzle, even with Big A and BS's. But not an easy one. So many nice long words and intriguing definitions.

Robin 1:11 AM  

Agreed on the CELL clueing. Yuck.

Had the K and the I and so much wanted to enter KumIs rather than KEFIR. But the E and O gave me ELIOT and that led to ELO, so so much for KumIs.

Not sure that I like the clueing for GRAB, but it can be used as a noun, so I guess that's fair.

The long ones were all good. Just to be contrary I did want t try TSARALEksandRII, but saw fast that that wasn't going to work.

Finished in 3/4 my average Friday time.

Mark 1:13 AM  

And Big A is a good answer, not a made up or forced nickname at all

Horace S. Patoot 2:17 AM  

I didn't like this puzzle a bit, largely because it favored New Yorkers (which is fair, I suppose, but not reason for me to like it). I do not understand Rex's objection to TSAR ALEXANDER II at all. Are we not supposed to say King George, Queen Elizabeth, Pope Francis, or President Trump? (Please say "yes" on the last one) Is there only one Alexander now?

Julie Kohl 2:32 AM  

I nominate George Barany to fill-in for Rex, when he is on vacation. His write-up was wonderful!

jae 2:59 AM  

Easy-medium for me too. rub before IRK was my biggest problem. HEY, the good far out weighs the iffy here, I mean EXO PLANETS, SEX PISTOLS....liked it a lot!

Thomaso808 4:44 AM  

Agree there is really good stuff here.

Amazing that PERESTROIKA is a debut and EXOPLANETS is not.

Two parallel 5-letter NY art / dance institutions was a challenge, so I hope no one complains about the sports reference PLAYMAKER that crossed them and helped a lot.

Loved the CHAPLIN quote and guessed the answer without crosses just by thinking about it a little. Benny Hill didn't fit.

I posted a WOOLLY Bully comment yesterday that referred to Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, so the spelling was fresh on my mind for AMERICANPHARaoH. Wrong! Fortunately, RENO was a gimme so no harm, no foul. Jeff Chen noted the odd spelling but no mention by Rex.

BIGA was a WOE but G seemed the best guess, and led to GIGECONOMY, which was new for me and good to learn about.

Really liked the puzzle.

Loren Muse Smith 4:45 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 4:47 AM  

Enjoyable write-up by Rex. Favorite part: “But I've spent too long on the bad.”

I had a dnf precisely because of 1A/1D. Didn’t matter whether it was BSS or “M.S.’s.”* And I didn’t know GIG ECONOMY. (Thanks, @George, for the explanation.) I listed the letters that would fit there and didn’t even consider a G. (pig economy, big economy, fig economy, cig economy, jig economy, dig economy, mig economy, rig economy…) GIG makes the most sense, though it’s a pleasant distraction to imagine what the other economies would indicate.

Very nice that GIG ECONOMY has AIR BNB as an example.

@Robin- I really liked GRAB clued as a noun. Several times I’ve told Mr. Johnson, my next-door-teacher-neighbor, to sit tight because I was going to go make a mini banana loaf GRAB during my planning when I knew the copy room would be empty.

It’s hard not to go straight to the gutter when I hear the term SEX PISTOLS. Right? In the short story “Good Country People” by Flannery O'Connor, there’s a guy named Manley Pointer. Hah. (Spoiler alert - in the end, he turns out to be a real dick.)

Before LATE EDITION, I wanted some kind of “devotion” – but maybe that’s a morning thing.

So if Connie Chung married RONNY Chieng, she’d be Connie Chung Chieng.

@George - I loved the tricky clue for VERB. But I dunno – can chicken alone ever be a verb? It’s actually chicken out right?

I wanted to crow that I had won the contest, but I chickened at the last minute.
My plan was to badger my boss for a raise yesterday, but, again, I just chickened.

These feel weird to me without the out.

Damon – this was way harder for me than others are reporting, but I agree with Rex that the good was real good what with the “delightful stacks” and all.

*Did I do that plural right? I found this online, for anyone who is interested:

Here’s the relevant portion of The Times’s stylebook entry:

Use apostrophes for plurals of abbreviations that have capital letters and periods: M.D.’s, C.P.A.’s. Also use apostrophes for plurals formed from single letters: He received A’s and B’s on his report card. Mind your p’s and q’s.

But do not use apostrophes for plurals of abbreviations without periods, or for plurals formed from figures: TVs, PCs, DVDs; 1990s, 747s, size 7s.

Forsythia 4:54 AM  

Tough but finished. Felt good to be able to suss out all the proper names despite not knowing the NY and sports clues. Lots of toughies. Put in AgassI for ARMANI thinking tennis which messed things up a bit. Didn't like the puzzle...until I finished without a google and then I was quite happy with it. Hard work but enough fair crosses. Thanks Damon.

Lewis 6:15 AM  
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Lewis 6:17 AM  

One of those where I was tempted to cheat, but held off and a word came, and some other words from that, then tempted to cheat again, but another word came. And piece by piece the puzzle filled in. I love when that happens. Thank you, Damon!

The puzzle wonderfully wandered from subject to subject -- economics, astronomy, sports, arts, grammar, history -- which didn't surprise me, after I noticed the constructor's given name backward.

puzzlehoarder 6:19 AM  

Other than sweating over a couple of letters in the NW corner this was an easy puzzle. The congrats came instantly so I picked the right ones. The fill in the SE corner was especially bad. It's interesting g how a tnemeless puzzle can resemble a themed one when a constructor uses so much glue to stack good entries like EXOPLANETS and SEXPISTOLS. Compared to those two ALEXANDERII just looks like fill that happens to be a name. By slight coincidence we will be staying in an AIRBNB in Manhattan later this month to move our youngest into her dorm. While it wasn't what she chose PRATT was one of the schools she looked at.

kitshef 7:09 AM  

Wow. KEFIR/ELIOT/RONNY crossing ELO/FINN is simply brutal. That section plus the SW corner were major slowdowns in an otherwise very fast solve.

Last night saw Garbage (fantastic) and Blondie (uneven) at Wolf Trap. Part of the issue with Blondie was the older the song, the more they changed things/improvised. The concert-going contract is we’ll listen to stuff from the new album, and in return we expect to hear the classics the way we remember them. Garbage did so to perfection. Blondie broke the contract.

Birchbark 7:21 AM  

Liked TSAR ALEXANDER II, but think it could have been clued "He moved away from bellicose France" per the Wikipedia entry.

Gazetteer and atlas came into play in the northeast, so learned a little about the Pyramid Lake region. It is "known for its sandstone and tufa scenery, its cutthroat trout, and the endangered cui-ui fish."

kitshef 7:26 AM  

@Loren Muse Smith - for me the key to that NW was undergraduate degrees. I think of BSS as undergraduate, MSS as graduate degrees.

Hungry Mother 7:26 AM  

Typical slog for me toward the week's end. I got through it a baby step at a time. IHADNOIDEA that I would finish it, but I did.

QuasiMojo 7:42 AM  

This guy's puzzles usually rub me the wrong way but today I felt like I was being massaged, even if a bit rough, a deep tissue massage. Of course you can say Tsar Alexander II and should. Rex's quibbles today seem absurd to the max. I liked the mix of old and new. The BIG A is a fun way to start. I loved CELL number. It gave the puzzle some humor. I wonder how many people here misspelled "Pharoah" correctly as "Pharaoh." I also liked the unusual use of THANKLESS for ingrates. It didn't hurt that I remembered seeing "La Cantatrice Chauve" (Ionesco) in Paris at the Théatre de La Huchette many years ago. All in all a clever, well-thought out and surprisingly engaging puzzle. A good Friday.

Glimmerglass 7:44 AM  

Hard puzzle for me. BIG A went in right away, but I sweated over GIG ECONOMY. I finnally settled for the second G because of SAGE (even though a sage doesn't have to be learned). GIG made no sense. Thanks to George B. for explaing it. Love the clue for [the] SAY HEY KID.

Sir Hillary 8:22 AM  

I really enjoyed this. The whole puzzle somehow feels uplifting, happy almost. Maybe it's because PERESTROIKA, AMERICANPHAROAH, the SAYHEYKID, Charlie CHAPLIN and the SEXPISTOLS have all made me smile at some point.

This allows me to overlook the not-so-happy picture of a GIGECONOMY TEMP doing THANKLESS DATAENTRY.

I might have gone with RIGA and either RSS or RWS (Some NHL positions) in the NW, but that's not much of an improvement, if any.

I know who LINA is, but hesitated to write her in without a cross, because I've seen her name rendered as Na Li a few times. Thank you, AMERICANPHAROAH.

Which leads me to...How nice to be able to write the "word" PHAROAH with the intuitive OA spelling, correct for the horse but wrong for every other usage.

Anaheim Stadium, home of the Angels, used to be known as the BIGA, due to the large halo-topped A that served as the original leftfield scoreboard. That structure now sits in the parking lot and is used as a marquee.

Speaking of baseball stadiums...Every summer, including just last week, my job takes me to the Bay Area. I stay in a hotel near the SF Ferry Terminal and always take early morning jogs up and down the Embarcadero. When I pass AT&T Park (which I will forever refer to as PacBell) I marvel at the wonderful statue of the SAYHEYKID in front of the main entrance. It's Willie following through on a full swing. What a player.

@kitshef - Saw Donald Fagen last night. He fulfilled the contract. In spades.

Two Ponies 8:31 AM  

You can have your Norton burnt if you like
but I prefer mine poached.

Joe Welling 8:32 AM  

Lots of good stuff in this puzzle, but I have a quibble: why can't "turkey" be a verb? I'm pretty sure I've heard bowlers use it as a verb.

And I supposed "chicken" is a verb if you count the verb-particle "chicken out"--but I can't think of how "chicken" alone is used as a verb.

Cat Stew 8:40 AM  

For a guy who works for a comedy channel
that man in the video clip sure has no sense
of humor.

John 8:46 AM  

It's only slightly NYC (and greater NE biased) with Big A and Pratt. but that's it. Besides, Big A emerges from the crosses without too much trouble: it's either BAs or BSs, and the longer NW crosses easily solve that choice for any non-New Yorkers. Same for Pratt. So what's all the fuss about? Thought this puzzle was great: solving perestroika, exoplanets, American Pharaoh, and gig economy each provided the crossword frisson I'm addicted to. Lot's of fun.

mathgent 9:11 AM  

Tough for me, but very enjoyable. Eighteen red plusses in the margins, above average for a Friday.

I didn't get TSARNICHOLASII until the end. The only ruler I connect with Liberator is Simon Bolivar, but I suppose that he wasn't an autocrat.

Happy to see Li Na in the puzzle. I had forgotten that she won two Grand Slams. She was an admirable champion.

@LMS: Thanks for the quote on the use of the apostrophe.

For people who follow horse racing, Aquduct is commonly referred to as The Big A.

Happy to have learned what EXOPLANETS are.

Uber and Lyft are in the paper almost every day here, so GIGECONOMY is familiar.

I haven't seen White Cloud in the stores out here.

Bruce Levy 9:12 AM  

How about Say Hey Kid (Willie Mays) for 8 Down!!!!!

SouthsideJohnny 9:14 AM  

This was a tough puzzle, but fair ( well, maybe PRATT and AILEY in the same section is a little unfair). It is intersting how much less nonsense and out and out "dumb stuff" appears on Fridays and Saturdays without the constraints imposed by the theme requirements on M-Th. It's time to eliminate the theme requirements and make themes optional, except perhaps for Sunday. Of course, this won't happen until there is a changing of the guard at the Old Gray Lady. Oh, Rex, btw - there is plenty to carp about without having to get nonsensical yourself - yes, Tsar Alexander II is perfectly exceptable.

Mohair Sam 9:26 AM  
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Tita A 9:42 AM  

A bottom-up solve for me...went from easyish to medium-hard to impossible at the top third. and a DNF thanks to PLAYMAtEs. (Even tHough I love RONNY Chieng. That is a great clip, Rex.)

You either know 19A or you don't. I know enough about horse racing to know that 3-year-old in sports is a horse, but certainly not which won when.
Happily, dropping the P in front of that H made the right synapses fire to dredge up the name.

CHArLot, Held me up for a while, but remembering Willie Mays, who had a house in our neighborhood, fixed that.

All in all, a fine Friday.
Thank you Mr. G.

DJG 9:44 AM  

A few thoughts:

1. My original puzzle had RIGA/RSS for the first entries.

2. I'm calling BS(S) on Rex's TSAR ALEXANDER II complaint. You can absolutely find him referenced with title in historical literature online.

3. Prompted by a tweet from Rex from a days ago, I wrote a blog post on constructor pay. Read here -- scrabbledamon.blogspot.com -- if you are so inclined.

Nancy 9:45 AM  

My big guess was the S at the cross of BSS and SHIM. I didn't know SHIM meant level. I guessed right and I finished. I also had cONNY Chieng for the Daily Show correspondent, mixing RONNY Chieng up with CONNIE CHUNG, I guess. So it took me like forever to get PLAYMAKER with that C at the end of the word. I also had PEST before PAIN at 59A, but that mistake was easy to see immediately.

I found this a very, very hard puzzle and had to work my way up from the bottom. I didn't see the SAY HEY KID until really late in the game. To me, Mays was a NY Giant and will always be a NY Giant and I forgot he ever played with Hammerin' Hank Aaron. (Who, btw, wasn't a NY Giant.)

I thought that only feet pronated (as mine unfortunately do) and I know that ULNA is some sort of arm muscle, so I resisted writing in ULNA until I absolutely had to. And I have no idea why a LATE EDITION would be considered "quaint." Nonetheless, I thought this was a terrific themeless, and I had to work like hell to solve it.

Mohair Sam 9:48 AM  
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GHarris 9:49 AM  

Totally flummoxed at first. Tentatively put in a word here and there. Slowly it began to open up and suddenly Le Deluge. Finished completely and accurately without a cheat or misstep. What joy, what pride. A feeling that I had finally reached the pinnacle of my puzzle solving adventures. Then I came here to crow only to learn most found it easy at worst, medium at best.Rats. I'm left with the feeling that if I can solve so successfully it can't be that hard.

Mohair Sam 9:55 AM  

Yes, I agree with @Rex on two levels. First - the amazing stacks and longs in this puzzle made it a big time winner, overcoming a couple of iffy clues. And secondly, as LMS pointed out, his comment “But I've spent too long on the bad.” got a huge chuckle here.

Plopped in gimme AMERICANPHAROAH, crossed SAYHEYKID, crossed PERESTROIKA - thought I'd be done in a Friday record. But nope, all the PPP put the brakes on us for a while - so it played medium here. I'd heard the term GIG ECONOMY but learned today what it referred to (complete with an example no less), thanks NYT puzz. I usually hate XOXO type fill, but it was well worth it for the bottom stack I thought. Anybody else notice how many possible letters there are on TV show ratings? The puzzle contains KEFIR from time to time, and the clue for it always makes me kinda ill.

@Rex - The BIGA is a world famous race track probably known better as The BIGA than by its proper name "Aqueduct". I'll always love the place because I got introduced to Cab Calloway there about 30 years ago. Talked for 20 seconds about his music and most of the afternoon about the ponies - just a neat guy, and a day I haven't forgotten.

Fair mix of generations on the PPP by the way. Now nobody can complain, or everybody can complain.

Yes @Loren - when I was a kid on Long Island the verb to chicken existed without the out, maybe street talk, but nobody in my gang used the "out" - it would have been beyond uncool.

Nice one Damon G. - Thanks.

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

Kind surprised no one's mentioned American Pharoah's weird spelling.
I remember reading about it--as I recall various parties point he finger at each other-- but God help me, I couldn't recall exactly what the error was. And like @Nancy, I kept thinking feet for pronate.
Anyway, too much yapping.
Great puzzle Mr. Gulczynski. Thank you.

PS. Rex, you turd. The Big A is indeed a famous track as many have already pointed out. Crossing it with the horse made it even better.

Z 10:03 AM  

Challenging here, as in it took me longer than most Saturdays. Agreed that the the start in the NW is inauspicious but then quickly redeemed by some fine long answers. Double side eye at including esey TSAR and a RRN to make ALEXANDER into a grid spanner. But I'm with the general consensus so far, the good far far outweighs the ughly.

Hand up for being tripped up by the cluing for GRAB. I also stuck with Nova Scotia's famous Grand île National Historic site until the bitter end, suggesting that iComfort was a dElTA brand (internet connected faucets, anyone?) Took out my Canadian error and UPPED and SERTA suddenly made sense. D'Oh.

As always, @Muse causes me to wonder. Today I wonder, not for the first time, how prescriptivists wrap their heads around the fact that there are multiple style manuals and they don't agree on what is correct. If I consult one it's going to be either Strunk and White or APA. Never the Time's, whose decisions regarding style I often find to be poor bordering on wrong.

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

Oops. Sorry Sir Hillary.
I see you did cover the spelling.

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

The Time's?!!
Bwahaha. Forget style. You need remedial English.

Stanley Hudson 10:10 AM  

This was a great themeless. Thanks Damon G, and appreciate you dropping by this site.

WTF is the problem with "Tsar"?

Nancy 10:12 AM  

Of course!!! Mays and Aaron didn't play together on the same team. They played together in All Star games. I think I may have noticed while I was solving, but not while I was commenting, obviously.

@mathgent -- LI NA actually held me up, and I'm truly embarrassed about it. She was a DOOK for me -- a LINA. And I couldn't think of any tennis player named LINA. I didn't get her until I had GIG ECONOMY. (Which I guessed at, having never heard the term.) Sir Hillary -- you're right. I've heard her referred to as Na Li also, more than a few times. I think that most of the TV tennis commentators haven't the faintest idea what to call her.

Chicken without the Out also bothered me as a VERB. So I found Mohair's 9:55 comment very interesting.

Malsdemare 10:16 AM  

Good grief! I must be getting dumber. I don't know NY and so the PRATT and AILEY really needed crosses, as did SAYHEYKID. I ended up googling for PRE, RONNY, CHIENG; my popular culture chops are non existent, as is, apparently, my knowledge of geography. I had to Google for Pyramid Lake's location, but once I had Nevada, I knew it was RENO. I'll chime is with TSARALEXANDERII as perfectly fair. I thought it was a terrific puzzle even if I had to cheat.

@Nancy, if you hold your arm out straight with your thumb up, the ULNA is the Upper bone. I'm going to use that fact as an opening for a puppy story. Our latest Malamute puppy, Bucky, was born with a vestigial front leg. It appeared to be the humerus with the paw attached. A week ago, the vet removed the leg at the shoulder. Turns out he didn't have a humerus at all, but ulna and radius, with paw, unattached at the shoulder. And if you want a case of surgery envy, he was racing through the house in two days. He was more stressed by the loss of his testicles than the annoying useless appendage.

Two Ponies 10:17 AM  

Cluing Pratt as an art school meant nothing to me.
If it had been clued as an airplane engine manufacturing
company I might have gotten it but only if Whitney had
been given as a hint. Just as obscure to some perhaps
as a place in Brooklyn was to me.

Hartley70 10:18 AM  
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Oldflappyfrommississappy 10:20 AM  

@TwoPonies, who gives a sh*t?

Hartley70 10:20 AM  

I had to go to sleep last night with the little SW corner unfinished except for TSAR at the top. When I awakened it was perfectly obvious. It's one of life's little mysteries.

I, too, expected Simon Bolivar, @mathgent. The S and the H gave me SAYHEYKID, although I had no idea who he was or why he was called that. I felt like I was pulling that, AMERICANPHAROAH, EXO, GIG, PLAYMAKER and PERESTROIKA out of the ether.

AILEY was my happy place.

This was not an easy Friday for me, but most satisfying by this morning.

Malsdemare 10:21 AM  

I'm posting again just so y'all can see how the puppy is growing.

Maruchka 10:31 AM  

Meh-ness to sorta OK-ISH, here. Agree with @Lewis that the field was chockfull of - everything? Guess I like more integrated segues..

Ah, Hank Aaron. All-time favorite, all-around. Henry in motion was dreamy. And his autobiography is "I HAD a HAMMER"! Did he ever.

SAY HEY, @Tita - Cool! Seem to remember a small-ISH kerfuffle when the Mays's bid into that neighborhood (which shall not be named by me). It was very stupid of them all. Spent many afternoons at Candlestick. Brr. But that team was SO exciting - who cared?

Bob Mills 10:37 AM  

I finished it, but shouldn't have. Did anyone else notice that "PHARAOH" is misspelled? I knew RENO and ULNA, so it had to be "PHAROAH," except that's not the way you spell it. Did the owner of the horse deliberately misspelled the name?

Robert A. Simon 10:38 AM  

Despite the fact that I used up my CELL phone data plan Googling the stuff I didn't know, I thought this was a terrific puzzle. The BIGA answer reminded me of a great NY Daily News headline...decades ago, Aqueduct race track (or the Brinks truck carrying its money) was robbed, the details (still unsolved!) of which would've made a great heist movie. The News wrote: BIG A HIT. COPS SECOND BY A NOSE.

jb129 10:42 AM  

You gotta be kidding me with "EASY" Medium

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

Agree! I always look for his responses...such a gentleman.

Joseph Michael 10:47 AM  

Had to consult Dr. Google more than once for the PAIN I experienced while solving this difficult themeless.

However, no pain. no gain. The puzzle paid off with some terrific entries, such as PERESTROIKA, AMERICAN PHAROAH, SAY HEY KID, SEX PISTOLS, and more.

The clue for 57A was a nice try, but I agree with the objections to describing "chicken" as a VERB. It can be part of a verb phrase, as in "chicken out," but unlike "fish" doesn't stand up on its own as an action word.

Had a few write-overs, such as "pest" before PAIN, "alert" before ERECT, and "so so" before BLAH.

Loved the clue for FIN which misled me to think about musical instruments and for ETC which led me to think about cars. Also liked the clues for XOXO, CHAPLIN, and TALENT.

Thanks, Damon for a challenging but fun morning. The UPs and downs were quite DERIDE.

evil doug 10:50 AM  

Two Ponies: "Pratt and Whitney: Dependable Engines" was the slogan--although I had one quit on my 757 one night and had to divert single-engine to Casper, WY. Luckily, that second engine *was* dependable....

ColoradoCog 10:53 AM  

This was a good puzzle.

At about the 80%-of-my-normal-Friday mark, I stared at a grid only 10% filled in, mostly with guesses. ANNA Gunn was the only thing I was really sure of. I thought I was going to eat a DNF for the first time in a long time. And then things exploded. I finished only a little over my average.

For me, this describes the perfect puzzle experience. "This is impossible" turns into "Wow, I did it." It never really was impossible. The cracks are all there, waiting to be exploited, but well hidden, and once those are exploited the rest of the puzzle breaks open easily. I prefer this experience over the opposite, where you easily knock out 80% of the grid and then hit a wall, and the last 20% is typically filled with NATICKs and WOEs.

I do agree with @Rex that the NW was a bit weak. @DJG, very interesting to see you pipe up that BIGA/BSS was originally RIGA/RSS. My original draft of this comment (which I wrote before you posted, but it got trashed when Google made me sign in again) offered that as an improved version. How was RSS clued? I proposed "How one might subscribe".

Paul Rippey 11:08 AM  

My family lived in a remote town in Eastern Burkina Faso for two years in the 1980's. We've all forgotten most of the smattering of the local Gourmanché language that we picked up, but we remember the word for child: BIGA. The local biga's were fascinated by our two blond biga's, who were about a foot taller than local kids of the same age, which taught me something about nutrition. Anyway, my wife and I smiled at 1D, both seeing "bee-ga" before we saw "big a".

AW 11:12 AM  

I get puzzle envy when I read that Rex finished this in under 6 minutes. Six minutes! I can't even write that fast!

This would have been a DNF for me without the "reveal word" function for 1D (BIG A—never heard of it) and 60A (SEXPISTOLS—heard of them but know nothing about them).

I agree with previous commenters that 57A is flawed because "chicken" as a VERB requires "out." 38A (FIN) made me chuckled as I was thinking "fret? string? bridge? but only three letters?"—completely overlooking the other bass. Ditto 52D (XOXO): very clever. Got 54D (REOs) from the crosses. No idea what they are. Had to resort to Google for RONNY Chieng (who?) and AMERICAN PHAROAH (because I was thinking about a child prodigy signed at a very young age to a major soccer club—can't remember the name).

All in all, though, a nice challenge.

jberg 11:13 AM  

This one was slow for me, because a) I knew AMERICAN PHAROAH misspelled his name (but to paraphrase Dr. Johnson, the remarkable thing was that a horse could spell at all, not that his spelling was perfect), but I couldn't remember which spelling was right and which was wrong. Plus I didn't know who pronation was, and I thought there might be a city named Alta. I finally saw BLAH, which gave me DRUB, and it all fell into place.

b) Despite my love for Damon Runyan, I couldn't remmeber BIG A. So when I got the GA I thought, "What, 'toGA? but that's upstate, and the clue says NYC!" so I left it blank. Of course, if I'd put in the B I would have had it -- but for some reason I'd decided that to level was to trIM, so I thought we were dealing with some kind of weird deg. there. And I thought ofhIring hall before GIG ECONOMY, whcih made me hesitate on SAGE.

So this was tough for me, but really enjoyable because of all the great long answers. Loved it!

@DJG, great puzzle, and great blog essay on constructor pay -- a very thoughtful take on the latter.

@Loren, that Times stylebook is Fake News! Keep it simple, no apostrophes in plurals.

Here's Amanda Palmer's take on Sid Vicious of the SEX PISTOLS, among other things.

Nancy 11:19 AM  

To DJG (9:44) -- At @mathgent's off-blog suggestion, I read your blog post link about higher pay for constructors. Since neither of us are on Twitter -- good decision, Damon! -- I'll respond to you here: I absolutely agree with you; the NYT pay for constructors is a bad joke. The problem is that all you people love the process of puzzle-making too much. I would never be exploited like that, but that's because I would find the sheer difficulty and tedium of constructing puzzles about as much fun as walking over hot coals. If I loved doing it...well, then, like you, I would want exposure in the hottest, most widely read outlet. The Times knows that, and they take full advantage.

Have you ever thought of trying to get Will's job should he ever leave the Times? It would satisfy some of your creativity chops and I bet it pays plenty.

Brook Slee 11:26 AM  

Mr. Barany is the main reason I continue to read Rex's blog.

jberg 11:30 AM  

@Loren -- love the pIG ECCONOMY. @BigPictureAg_, who writes the eponymous blog, recently wrote that on the farm where she grew up, there was no such thing as compost -- all the scraps went straight to the pigyard. (I can't find the actual post, so that's not a direct quotation). That's the pig economy!

RooMonster 11:30 AM  

Hey All !
The whole center section was Natick Alley. SCLERA, oof. Had DATAiNput, sedarIs mucking up the already muckity stuff. What a THANKLESS AREA. Reveal Word and Check Puz aplenty. Other writeovers, rEaL-CELL, Pest-PAIN, ebony-UNLIT, tINECONOMY-GIG, rub-IRK.

Is TURKEY a verb in the dance Turkey Trot, or is the whole dance the noun? @LMS?

So, not the easiest puz, I HAD NO IDEA about some answers, ISSO funky, not BLAH, at least. Lots of initials. BIGA, NCIS, ETC, ELI, URL, TVPG, XOXO, REOS, SLO, OD ON(?)


GILL I. 12:03 PM  

Loved this difficult puzzle. I mean I got SAY HEY KID just off the SA. Wow. Then knew it was AMERICAN PHAROAH spelled wrong. Wow. By the way, the misspelling came about because of a naming contest sponsored (I think) by the Jockey Club. A lady entered that name and mentioned that she had checked the spelling before she submitted it but probably transposed the letters by mistake. She won and no one blinked an eye. The Jockey Club OK'ed it because no other horse was registered with that name!!!!!
GaG ECONOMY made perfect sense to me as in "see no evil, speak no evil." so....DNF but DNC because I kept getting the other long ones off a letter or two. CHAPLIN off the THANKLESS H, AIRBNB off the IRK which gave me TSAR and finishing ALEXANDERII off of my favorite - I use it all the time - XOXO.
Hand up for CALL. I know exactly where Pyramid lake is so why couldn't I see RENO? BLAH.
PRATT and AILEY two VERY fine institutions. Thank you very much...you gave me PERESTROIKA.
I'm glad I know my toilet paper because you, SCOTT, were my last entry.

old timer 12:09 PM  

Excellent column by OFL except for his boo-boo about the BIG A. Probably both of us are angry we did not get it right away, but he gets to complain to a larger audience. BIGA I knew, and got, when I guessed GIGECONOMY. But you know, that economy does not really include AIRBNB because the owners of the places rented to such tourists don't work for wages but hope for profits. The exception would be the maids, if maids are hired to do the work often done by the owners, but housecleaning has been done by independent contractors forever -- the same persons you might have come to your house every week or two to clean your home also can clean your AIRBNB rental, and of course they fill their workweek by working for many others.

I was glad too see the SAYHEYKID make an appearance. I hope he went to last night's Giants game. Even the pitcher (Ty Blach) got a homer. Willie has a statue outside AT&T Park, and a seat in the owners' box is available to him whenever he wants. Beisbol was bery bery good to him, I think -- a big house in Atherton, money in the bank, and for many years he was an honored member of one of SF's best private golf and athletic clubs.

Ken R 12:11 PM  

I thought it was a great puzzle also. Nice start to the weekend. One sticky area was the NE corner as 16. ___number?? Really? and have never seen Breaking Bad. Notice that "Pharoah" was spelled incorrectly for the triple crown 3 year old. Other than that Kefir came out of my keester and had no idea what a gigeconomy was. Let's hope Saturday is as entertaining !! Finally provided a tad resistance

FPBear 12:22 PM  

Amy did this in 5:08. Beyond my comprehension. Easy medium makes no sense to me. I honestly (no Google)finished all Fridays this year and I got about half of this bastard, even with Pratt and Ailey as gimmes.

Master Melvin 12:29 PM  

@Sir Hillary:

I'm a walker, not a jogger, but that walk along the Embarcadero is one of my favorite urban walks in the country (headed by the Brooklyn Bridge and Audubon Park in New Orleans).

Take a close look at that statue of Willy Mays. To me he looks more like the really young 20-year old who arrived in the Polo Grounds than the relatively grizzled 28-year old who moved to San Francisco. Still my all time favorite.

Natick Runner 12:44 PM  

Oof. Stared at a mostly empty grid for longer than it took Rex to finish. Finally started to gain some traction after a few passes and well into double digits. Then the floodgates opened and I finished in 20.

Thought for sure I was a goner with the two NYC establishments in the heart of the puzzle. Thankfully, fair crosses saved the day (needed them all).

LI NA, AMERICAN PHAROAH and PERESTROIKA were pulled from the depths (and didn't notice the misspelling).

A stiff challenge with a rewarding payoff. Thanks @DJG. Cool to see you chime in, too!

Joe Bleaux 12:45 PM  

Damon Gulczynski's puzzle was beyond Friday tough for me. I made a little headway in the NW,, but couldn't ride AMERICAN PHAROAH into the stretch. I ended up gettin' whupped like a Hillary campaign worker in Possum Shaft, W. Va. (BTW, my "verb test" is to run it in future perfect tense, and "By this time tomorrow, I shall have chickened for a full day" doesn't pass it.) Happy weekend, all.

Carola 12:56 PM  

A SLO-medium for me. First in: ISH, then a gradual unfurling from top to bottom.
Loved seeing PERESTROIKA. Thanks to those who pointed out the race track, economy, and Russian correspondences. So nice to have that extra layer of grid pleasure.

Masked and Anonymous 1:12 PM  

Fun FriPuz … Solvequest was really cruisin along at first, until M&A convinced self that the Breaking Bad gal was SARA Gunn. Oh man. The precious nanoseconds in stare-mode started to spew off like steam from a tea kettle.
I coulda been a contender …

There were a few glory moments. Got IHADNOIDEA and SAYHEYKID offa very little grid info. Splatzed down THANKLESS offa absolutely nothin but a wing and a prayer and a clue.

Flat out luv-ed the VERB clue. Altho, I figure that almost any noun can be co-opted as a verb. Example of a feather: "Well yum! Turkey up my sandwich, too, dude!"

staff weeject pick: BSS. har. Can think of better clue possibilities, based on what M&A's college BS degree was ERECT-ed from.

Mystery Word of the Day: KAFIR. Tell M&A that its clue was actually = {The ___ School (Manhattan dance institution)} … go ahead. U'd sure fool the tutu offa m&e.

Thanx, Mr. G. U do good work.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

Revenge of the Hu:

kitshef 1:19 PM  

@DJG - good luck with the writer's block. My father, who wrote, said it always goes away - but only after you have concluded for certain it will never go away.

And thank you for today's puzzle - it occurs to me that my original comment may have given the impression I did not like the puzzle. I fact, I loved it - and those tricky corners are a major part of the reason. I this context, 'brutal' was a compliment.

Masked and Anonymous 1:23 PM  

KEFIR, not KAFIR. Mis-remembered/spelled Mystery Word … well, there's yer Surprise Tutu-Wedgie of the Day.

In atonement, pretend that there ornery runtpuz weren't ever posted in msg#1. [Trust yer mystery blog commenter wearin the mask on this, for once.]


Teedmn 1:37 PM  

I had an ice cream headache after finishing this puzzle - I loved the solve in that masochistic way we can scarf down the cold dessert too fast. 22:02 is a "classic" solve to me for a Friday. But I have a pretty clean grid. Only ERECT went in and came out again to add some UNLIT portions plus where I put tiny TS vs CZ in the SW to see which way the TSAR went.

I had so many hail mary ahas while doing this. Back in 2015, after AMERICAN PHAROAH won, I read about the misspelling of the name and thought, "Huh, that's the way I would have spelled it." Thanks to that, I now know how to correctly spell PHARaoH and I knew 19A.

32A's PE_EST____A was my first aha. That K gave me the SAYHEYKID off of S__HE___ at 8D. That gave me EA at the end of 13A and __AD_O__EA became I HAD NO IDEA. Running the alphabet for _IGECONOMY gave me GIG, yeah!

I still was at sea in the far SW but TVPG finally cleared up the czar controversy. I did have to say "chicken?" a couple of times before I saw its use as a VERB.

Great workout, DJG, thanks.

JC66 2:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC66 2:03 PM  


Thanks for dropping by. Thought the puzzle was tough, but excellent. Enjoyed reading your post on constructor pay. No easy answers.

@Joe Welling

In bowling parlance, a turkey is 3 strikes in a row. Not a verb.


You may remember that many daily newspapers used to have morning, afternoon and LATE EDITIONS. It's been a while since that's been the case, so "quaint" works for me.

mathgent 2:08 PM  

Some thoughts after reading @DJG (8:44)'s illuminating comment about the puzzle on his website.

NYT makes about 8 million from online subscriptions alone. That's about 200,000 paying about $40 a year. I'm guessing that they make more than that from selling the puzzle to over 300 other newspapers.

The NYT corporation earns about 450 million a year and only recently has gotten out of the red by a narrow margin. It's hard to see how paying constructors more would make business sense.

I'm wondering if NYT can even sustain the 8 million in online subscriptions. I would guess that the word is getting out that the WSJ puzzle has as good or better quality and is free.

John V 2:29 PM  

Not Easy. Rediculously hard.

Kate 2:50 PM  

This puzzle was not in my wheelhouse, plus the bad fill. But you made my morning by reminding me of that great Daily Show segment with Ronny Chieng :-)

Evan Jordan 2:55 PM  

DRUB? That's a word? Yucko. I know D.C. AREA pops up frequently but I just couldn't see it without the D in DRUB.
DNF over the last measly square. The rest was challenging but fun overlooking some junky fill. Great long answers.

Tita A 3:11 PM  

@Maruchka..."Mantle is better than Mays" - Mays is better than Mantle" were the playground rejoinders in our neighborhood, and the biggest kerfuffle (Hi @Bob K) I was aware of as a mere tyke.

I wouldn't be at all surprised that there was more than a little resistance, though there were several diverse families there. The ambassador of Ghana always gave the most extravagant treats for Halloween.
I'm pretty sure it was a case of Money Talks in all cases, and the cachet of a prominent celebrity.
As kids, we of course were prouder than punch.

@Gill - GaGECONOMY is what I think of about Laffer and his cronies' economic theories.

Tita A 3:18 PM  

@r.alph, @M&A - got Paolo Bacilieri's puzzle book yesterday- talk about FUN!

Thanks so much - I've started in, delighted by his incredibly detailed NYC scenes.

Now off to get another Runt fix.

Nancy 3:33 PM  

@Malsdemare (10:16) -- What a wonderful, kind hearted puppy rescuer you are! First you rescue Tripod, a malamute with only three legs. Then you rescue Bucky, a malamute puppy born with one leg too many. Obviously you have a deep affection for animals in distress. Either adoption makes a lovely story. Taken together, they are just enchanting. Am I making a bad joke by saying that if they are different sexes, you should breed them and see what happens? Oh, wait -- I think you said that Bucky was fretting over the loss of his testicles. Too late now! Probably wouldn't have worked anyway. (Especially if Tripod is a male; I don't remember.) And, btw, your photo of Bucky is adorable.

Malsdemare 3:38 PM  

@Nancy. Oops, I was confusing. Bucky IS the tripod puppy. He's named for a Captain America super hero (and trust me here; I had to solicit names. I know nothing of super heroes, but this puppy is one). Buck was born with three and a half legs, and it was the half that was removed. Sorry I wasn't clearer.

William Coddington 3:59 PM  

THE Big A is Angel Stadium in Anaheim, just down the road. I believe west coasters should receive a 5 minute time bonus due to the ubiquitous east coast bias in many NYT puzzles.
Or, I could just stick with the LA times and feel "less than". Please neither pooh-pooh or deride my heartfelt comments.

Frayed Knot 4:11 PM  

Knowing instantly that ALEXANDER II was known as the 'Tsar Liberator' was a big help
When combined with PERESTROIKA I thought maybe we were doing a Russia theme but no to be.

Never heard of GIGECONOMY

OISK 4:51 PM  

Little fun for me. Too many guesses, although they all turned out correct... GIG economy and SHIM ? Never heard of GIG economy (thought maybe it referred to roaming rock bands) but had a vague recollection of "shim." Got it. Never watched Breaking Bad, but somehow got the NE when I guessed that "DC" would come before area. Not that I like that clue. " Giant Stadium is in it." -- NY area. Not good, AFAIAC.

_____ number is a simply awful clue for "cell." How about "Golgi body location."? Or would that answer be "cell area..." I don't know what the sex pistols are, but once I got the X from "Alexander," ( a GOOD clue...) which eventually gave me sex, - pistols just seemed right. I am sure I have heard of them.

But the worst was the mid-east, where problems are often unsolvable... As someone wrote earlier "Wow. KEFIR/ELIOT/RONNY crossing ELO/FINN is simply brutal. " Yes indeed, although "Eliot" was not a problem for me. K_FIR and R_NNY crossed by _L_. Of course, the rock group could be any three letters. Ronny is more common than Renny ( I don't watch the Daily Show), so I tried the "O". ELO and Kefir looked slightly better than ALO and Kafir. Surprised to have gotten through this!

The NY Post publishes puzzles that are apparently the same as those in the LA TIMES. Last Friday's completely defeated me, as "claymation" crossed "Mayne" ( Kenny...) at the "Y". That was not my only problem. I seldom have ANY problems with that puzzle.

Anonymous 5:06 PM  

This puzzle confirms what I've been thinking for the past year- Damon Gulczynski is totally my favorite constructor. I'm neither from the east coast nor a sports fan, but found the puzzle today to be a super enjoyable solve after initially thinking it was impossible. Like a few others here, I started at the bottom and went up. @Robin 1:11am, I thought seizure was an interesting clue for GRAB, as in land grab.

RAD2626 6:12 PM  

Terrific puzzle all the way around. Great stacks, great long answers, fine level of difficulty, and several words hard for the spelling impaired, including the horse of course.

Would not call the puzzle NY-centric except perhaps for the Big A, now busy as a casino as well. In the mid-60's my now wife of 47 years and I would drive down on Saturday from Connecticut to Aqueduct with $20 for betting and $10 for expenses. If we won, we would head over to Yonkers or Roosevelt at night for our own version of the daily double. If we lost, we dipped into the expense pool to bet some more, skipped dinner and ran the tolls coming home. Great memories.

Joe Dipinto 6:13 PM  

It seems to me that the misspelling of "pharaoh" as "pharoah" is pretty common -- although I could swear I remembered that the "Wooly Bully" band Sam The Sham and the Ph____s spelled it incorrectly too, but apparently that wasn't the case.

As a Brooklynite I filled in Pratt right away, while suspecting it would be an absurdly obscure clue for the general readership. I should think that contemporary film star Chris Pratt is available to appear in puzzle clues.

old timer 6:29 PM  

I don't think many morning newspapers had a LATEEDITION back in the day when there were afternoon papers. What they had (or at least the SF Chronicle used to have) was a "bulldog" edition available at 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. the night before. Used to buy it often the summer I had a job that ended at 10.

However, afternoon papers sometimes had a LATEEDITION with the stock market results. My stepfather sometimes went out to buy one in LA.

Space Is Deep 6:57 PM  

On the easy side for me, any time I can finish a Friday puzzle before going to work makes for a good start to the day.

Anonymous 7:56 PM  

You're my kinda guy!!!!

Joe Welling 1:22 PM  

@ JC66--I understand that "turkey" is usually a noun, but the clue implied that unlike "chicken" and "fish" it cannot be used as a verb. Many nouns are routinely "verbbed." Again, I'm sure I've heard it used as a verb in bowling--"I turkeyed last night."

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Lora Omo Odion 4:11 AM  

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I've gotten back with my ex husband, you can also fix your broken relationship & get your ex-lover back fast. I'm Lora Omo from United States. my husband left me for another woman and I was left in the dark. It happened so fast and I had no say in the situation at all. He just dumped me after 3 years without no explanation. I became very worried and needed help. So i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested Dr Trust can help get ex back fast, restore broken relationships and stop a divorce. I contact Dr. Trust through his website and he cast a love spell to help us get back together. Shortly after he did the spell, my husband started testing me again and felt horrible for what he just put me through. He said that I was the most important person in his life and he knows that now. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. Thank you Dr Trust for saving my broken Marriage and brought my husband back to me!".. I and my family are living together happily again. Dr. Trust is the best online spell caster that is powerful and genuine. If you have any problem contact him and i guarantee you that he will help you. I highly recommends Dr. Trust to anyone in need of help.

Ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com Or Ultimatespellcast@gmail.com

WhatApp or call him +2348156885231

Website: http://ultimatespellcast.com/index.html

Sarah Daniels 12:44 PM  


I have been married for 10 years with 2 kids. I met my husband when I was just 14 years old in high school. We have been through thick and thin as well as many of life's major milestones through the years that we have been together. I still see that 17 year old hottie when I look at him all these years. We have had ups and downs, shouting matches, make up sex, and disagreements. But as we have approached midlife- something has changed in him.After being in relationship with him for years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I pleaded with him, I made promises but he refused.
I explained my problem to someone i met on the internet and she suggested that I should rather contact a spiritualist, Dr Adewale the great spirutualist and that he could help me cast a spell that will bring my husband back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to give contact him, I e-mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before seven days, that my Ex will return to me after seven days, he made sacrifices and cast a spell and surprisingly in the seventh day, it was around 5pm,My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that has happened,and that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again with our 2kids he abandoned with me. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only geniune and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem.i advice strongly anyone with similar problems in his/her relationship or something different should without hesitation contact the geniune and powerful spiritualist through his Email: dradewalethegreatspiritualist@gmail.com

lisa davis 4:56 PM  

I never believed i would be healed someday.This disease started circulate all over my body and i have been taking treatment from my doctor, few weeks ago i came on to search the internet if i could get any information concerning the prevention of this disease, on my search i saw a testimony of someone who has been healed from (HARPS and other from ALS) by this Man DR.OKABEN and she also gave the email address of this man and advise we should contact him for any sickness that he would be of help, so i wrote to dr.okabenherbalspell@gmail.com telling him about my (Hepatitis B and Skin Tag) he told me not to worry that i was going to be cured!! hmm i never believed it, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man few weeks later i started experiencing changes all over me, so i went to my Doctor for test again, when the result came out, behold i was totally free from the Hepatitis B as the Doctor OKABEN assured me, So friends my advise is if you have such disease or virus like HSV, HPV, HBV,MNA, ALS Cancer or any other at all you can email DR.OKABEN Name: DR. OKABEN Email: dr.okabenherbalspell@gmail.com Tell: call +2349029519146 Whatsapp: +2349029519146

Cathy Luis 6:32 AM  

My names is Cathy i want to testify about the great spell caster called Priest Ade my husband and i have been married or 5 years now we don't have a child and the doctor told us i can't give birth because my womb have been damaged due to wrong drugs prescription this got me so worried and my husband was not happy so he decided to get married to another girl and divorce me i was so sad i told my friend about it she told me about a powerful spell caster she gave me his email address well i never believe in it that much though i just decided to give him a try and he told me it will take 24hrs to get my husband back to me and i will get pregnant i doubted him the 3rd day my husband came back to me and was crying he said he didn't want the divorce anymore 3 weeks after the doctor confirmed that i was pregnant he can also help you Email him at ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

Maria Woods 5:32 PM  

My name is Maria Woods, 39years old, from California, USA. i want to say a BIG THANK YOU to Dr Mighty One(SPELL CASTER) and also testify about his great spell powers .for helping me bring my husband back to me. After 9 years in marriage with my hubby with 3kids, my husband started going out with other ladies and showed me cold love, on several occasions he threatens to divorce me if i dare question him about his affair with other Ladies.
I was totally devastated and confused an old friend of mine told me a spell caster that helped her online, called Dr Mighty One who also helps several people with their relationship, marriage, health, financial problems with his great spell, at first i doubted him if such thing ever exists but i decided to give it a try, i contacted him through his number, he told me not to be depressed that everything will be fine, i was relieved, he helped me cast a return spell, within 48 hours my husband came back knocking and started apologizing, i still love him very much, and i forgave him and watched him carefully, now he is faithful to me and he his with me for good and for real.
contact this great spell caster for your relationship or marriage and all kinds of problem you find difficult to resolve physically and he will put a solution to it. thanks to the internet which seems to have made everything more easy for me to get his contact details.
I recommend anyone who is in my old situation to try it without doubts.
Contact Dr Mighty One now.
i promise you will share testimonies just like me.
His email; drmightyonespelltempleonline@gmail.com
His website; www.drmightyonespelltemple.com

His number; +1 (302) 990 2225

jane jeff 1:07 PM  

I want to use this great opportunity to thank Dr. Akereco for helping me to get my boyfriend back after 1 year of breakup. My boyfriend breakup with me because he see another girl at his working place and told me he is no longer interested in me and live me pain and heart break.I seek for help on the internet and i saw so many good talk about this great spell caster Dr. Akereco of drakerecospellcaster@gmail.com and i contacted him also and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell for me which i use to get back my boyfriend within the period of 3 days and i am so grateful to him for the good work he did for me,that is why i also want to let everyone who is in need of help out there to also seek help from him so he can help.His email
drakerecospellcaster@gmail.com Whats-app number+2349064026626 or for USA call +1 (650) 334-3969 you can contact for any kind of help and he will help you. Jane from Switzerland

Cathy Luis 12:39 AM  

My names is Cathy i want to testify about the great spell caster called Priest Ade my husband and i have been married or 5 years now we don't have a child and the doctor told us i can't give birth because my womb have been damaged due to wrong drugs prescription this got me so worried and my husband was not happy so he decided to get married to another girl and divorce me i was so sad i told my friend about it she told me about a powerful spell caster she gave me his email address well i never believe in it that much though i just decided to give him a try and he told me it will take 24hrs to get my husband back to me and i will get pregnant i doubted him the 3rd day my husband came back to me and was crying he said he didn't want the divorce anymore 3 weeks after the doctor confirmed that i was pregnant he can also help you Email him at ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

Robert Jessica 7:53 AM  

I want to share my great experience to the whole world about how i got my husband back after we departed for 5 months i never taught that i could have him back in my life until i met this great man named Orbo Kosie who showed me true powers of spell, Me and my husband Broke up 5 months ago ever since i have not been my self i have not seen who is as good as Louis, so ever since i have been thinking about him, so i had to tell my friend about how i feel for Louis that i wish if i could have him back to my arms, so my friend told me that she was reading a love review on the internet when she saw how somebody commented on how she got her lover back with the help of a spell caster, A man named Orbo Kosie with his email: orbokosie@gmail.com So that was how i told her to show me the site were she read the reviews so that was how she showed me and i saw so many reviews about this great man how he helped a lot of people without wasting any time. Immediately i collected his contact and emailed him and told him what i want, he told me not to worry that he will come back to me, so that was how i waited to see what will happen, so surprisingly i got a call from Louis. it was like a dream, but later realized that it was reality, Louis was crying and pleading on the phone that he missed me a lot that i should come back to his life, i was like is this real? until he came to my house and went on his knees pleading to me that i should forgive him, so that was how we got united again with the help of Orbo Kosie, and now we are happily married, thanks be unto Orbo Kosie for what he has done for me, if you need his help you can contact him through his email: orbokosie@gmail.com

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