Magnus Carlsen achieved one of 2882 / FRI 6-28-24 / What Anne Brontë and Anaïs Nin have in common / MGM co-founder Marcus / National advocacy grp. for L.G.B.T.Q. issues / "Frankly," in texting shorthand / New York Post gossip section named for its locatio (2024)

Constructor: Enrique Henestroza Anguiano

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (on the slow side, for me, for a Friday)

Magnus Carlsen achieved one of 2882 / FRI 6-28-24 / What Anne Brontë and Anaïs Nin have in common / MGM co-founder Marcus / National advocacy grp. for L.G.B.T.Q. issues / "Frankly," in texting shorthand / New York Post gossip section named for its location / Mythical creature likely inspired by Madagascar's elephant bird / Letter derived from Phoenician's "heth" (1)

THEME: none

Word of the Day: PFLAG(27D: National advocacy grp. for L.G.B.T.Q. issues) —

PFLAGis the United States' largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating forlesbian,gay,bisexual,transgender, andqueer(LGBTQ+) people and those who love them. PFLAG National is the national organization, which provides support to the PFLAG network of local chapters.PFLAG has nearly 400 chapters across the United States, with more than 350,000 members and supporters.

PFLAG(pronounced/ˈpflæɡ/PEE-flag) is no longer an acronym, but the actual name of the organization. Prior to 2014, the acronym stood forParents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays(later broadened toParents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). Until removal of the hyphen in 1993 the name was officially styled as P-FLAG.In 2014 the membership of the organization voted to officially change the name to PFLAG to reflect the decades of fully inclusive work it had been doing in the LGBTQ+ community. (wikipedia)

• • •

Magnus Carlsen achieved one of 2882 / FRI 6-28-24 / What Anne Brontë and Anaïs Nin have in common / MGM co-founder Marcus / National advocacy grp. for L.G.B.T.Q. issues / "Frankly," in texting shorthand / New York Post gossip section named for its location / Mythical creature likely inspired by Madagascar's elephant bird / Letter derived from Phoenician's "heth" (2)

Couldn't ever really find the groove with this one. Whatever that means. Maybe I didn't find my groove. The puzzle and I didn't groove. Something wasn't groovy. The NW set the tone. I kinda shrugged at the longer stuff but felt bombarded by short stuff that felt olden or clunky. The whole CPLUS PRU LOEW ULNA area was wearisome. And then there was the stuff I just don't care about at all, the stuff that is never gonna be my thing. No poker today (eternally not my thing), but there isKENKEN (no interest) and chess terminology (I've seen ELO clued this boring non-musical way a bunch—pretty sure I've had the chess meaning of ELO as my Word of the Day before—and I still couldn't tell you what any of the letters stand for) (ah, that's because the letters don't stand for anything; it's a rating system named after a guy named Arped ELO) (I'm already forgetting this fact as I type this sentence). It's hard to think of a bigger waste of marquee space than TELEPRESENCE (26A: Virtual participation in a remote event). Just a horrid word on its face. I guess it's original, but I can't say I'm happy to see it. NOT SO NICE, that answer (unlike NOT SO NICE, which is, in fact, pretty nice).The grid just felt more bony than meaty overall. I mean, literally bony. ULNA andSACRA, really? I know "sacrum" well, from years of yoga, but SACRA is a word I never see in the plural outside crosswords. INIT NONA HTTP ... they hold the puzzle together, but they're not exactly answers I WANNA SEE (though WANNA SEE? is another answer I actually like up top). This one just never got off the ground. Or I never did. For whatever reason, my Friday Fun Feelings just sat there, largely unactivated.



The bottom half didn't liven things up much more than the top half did, though there's something intriguing and provocative about the THREESOME / IBUPROFEN juxtaposition, and "WHAT A TREAT!" is, in fact, a bit of a treat. But it's really (really) hard to get excited about DIAERESES (38A: What Anne Brontë and Anaïs Nin have in common). That three-vowel run ("IAE") had me certain something was wrong, though nothing was wrong. I was lucky enough to know PFLAG. If you didn't, I can see that section getting really thorny indeed. I think I've been spelling "diaresis" ("dieresis"?) wrong my whole life. Well, to the extent that I've been spelling it at all, which is ... unlikely. You're not supposed to call that double-dot mark in "Brontë" or "Anaïs" an "umlaut" because on a technical level it is not an umlaut despite looking exactly like an umlaut. It's function is to signal a new, discrete syllable. Basically it tells you "Brontë" has two syllables not one (i.e. "BRON-tay," not "BRONT") and "Anaïs" has three and not two (i.e. "ah-nah-ees" (or "uh-NAY-iss"), not "An ACE"). It's a hard word to love, TBH. Speaking of TBH ("to be honest"), really hope everyone is up on there textspeak, because that "T" cross for TBH seems potentially rough (seems reasonable for people to imagine that there's an "MLB on CBS"). I don't know how you'd rationalize CBH as an answer to that clue (33A: "Frankly," in texting shorthand), but I often have no rationalization of the things I put in the grid. I mean, ELO, for instance. See above. Hey, is CBH the cannabis stuff ... nope, that's CBD (short for "cannabidiol," the active ingredient in cannabis). You can add cannabis to chess, poker, KENKEN, and other things I am clearly no expert on (and not particularly interested in).

Magnus Carlsen achieved one of 2882 / FRI 6-28-24 / What Anne Brontë and Anaïs Nin have in common / MGM co-founder Marcus / National advocacy grp. for L.G.B.T.Q. issues / "Frankly," in texting shorthand / New York Post gossip section named for its location / Mythical creature likely inspired by Madagascar's elephant bird / Letter derived from Phoenician's "heth" (3)

Dupes aplenty today, NOT SO NICE and IT'S NOT FAR. NOS and NO-NONSENSE and NONA and NANO (I know those last two aren't proper "nos" but the alliteration is hard to stop once you start). Today I learned a new NONA. I put a NONA Hendryx song on the blog the other day when the puzzle *didn't* use her as a clue (it opted instead for the geometrical prefix NONA-, as in "nonagon"). NONA Gaye's discography seems pretty thin, but she did some pretty high-profile acting there for a while. She was in Ali as well as the Matrix sequels. She also collaborated with (and dated!) Prince. I mistakenly thought that NONA Hendryx was the daughter of Jimi Hendrix (she was born "Hendrix") but they're basically the same age. "Distant cousins," according to her. Anyway, connections to music royalty all around.



Puzzle notes:

  • 42A: No small part (SPEAKING ROLE)— hey look, another "No" to add to the list of "NOS" and "NOTs" we've already got going. I wrote in STARRING ROLE here. I don't really understand the clue on this one—many SPEAKING ROLEs are in fact Very small parts.
  • 4D: Top choices (T-SHIRTS)— big misdirect in the clue, but even so, I should've known the answer wouldn't start "TOP" (which I literally wrote in the grid for a bit, what the hell?!). I was thinking "hmmm, like TOP PICKS, something like that?" when I should've been thinking "That can't be right! 'Top' is in the clue, you idiot!"
  • 7D: MGM co-founder Marcus (LOEW)— wrote this in as LOEB. As in "Leopold and." Or, you know, the LOEB Classical Library (red for Latin, green for Greek):

Magnus Carlsen achieved one of 2882 / FRI 6-28-24 / What Anne Brontë and Anaïs Nin have in common / MGM co-founder Marcus / National advocacy grp. for L.G.B.T.Q. issues / "Frankly," in texting shorthand / New York Post gossip section named for its location / Mythical creature likely inspired by Madagascar's elephant bird / Letter derived from Phoenician's "heth" (4)

  • 60A: Like the flavor of much mezcal (SMOKY)— mezcal is one of my favorite base spirits for co*cktails and I still managed to fumble this one a bit. Had the -MO-Y and like "... EMORY?" Tik TOK to the rescue with the "K" (TOK, among the uglier entries of the day)
  • 37D: New York Post gossip section named for its location (PAGE SIX)— the things I don't care about just Keep Coming. I'm aware that the Post exists, but can't imagine reading it. And a "gossip section"? I'd sooner solve a KENKEN (which, believe me, is Saying Something)
  • 46D: Greek goddess of peace (IRENE) — so many great IRENEs in the world, why would you go this route? I was like "Is it IRENE? IRENA? IRINA?" Ugh.

Magnus Carlsen achieved one of 2882 / FRI 6-28-24 / What Anne Brontë and Anaïs Nin have in common / MGM co-founder Marcus / National advocacy grp. for L.G.B.T.Q. issues / "Frankly," in texting shorthand / New York Post gossip section named for its location / Mythical creature likely inspired by Madagascar's elephant bird / Letter derived from Phoenician's "heth" (5)

  • 39D: Mythical creature likely inspired by Madagascar's elephant bird (ROC)— I know this exclusively from some version of "Sinbad the Sailor," I think. Hey, do you remember the sitcom "ROC"? Early '90s? Fox? Starring the great Charles Dutton? Is that streaming? I remember really liking it. Gonna see if I can't track that show down...


See you next time.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

Magnus Carlsen achieved one of 2882 / FRI 6-28-24 / What Anne Brontë and Anaïs Nin have in common / MGM co-founder Marcus / National advocacy grp. for L.G.B.T.Q. issues / "Frankly," in texting shorthand / New York Post gossip section named for its locatio (2024)

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