So much for the hallucinating Columbia kid. When we received a report yesterday that the mysterious maple syrup smell had returned to Manhattan, and when that first report emanated from Amsterdam and 114th, we hypothesized that some undergrad was merely overcome with finals stress and imaging happy breakfasts of yore. Commenters, however, quickly seconded the tipster's emotion, and we realized he was probably not hallucinating. And now the mainstream media confirms his — and all those emailers' — sanity.
Now, however, there's a new mystery. Everyone quoted in that Times piece agrees there was a pancakey aroma yesterday. And no one's blaming anyone for lying or cheating. So we have no idea what would lead to the idea that "New Yorkers smell a rat."
Maybe it just refers to the copy editor who wrote the hed.