MONDAY, Oct. 29, 2007 - Fred Piscop

Monday, October 29, 2007

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Splitting -ATION words - words ending in "ATION" are clued as if they are in fact two words ... just look below, you'll see ...

How am I supposed to get up for a Monday puzzle write-up when I am in full-blown world Series ELATION? So much to say ... overflowing with joy ... I'll try to stick to the puzzle. But I have to say two things.

1. I have never loved a baseball team so much. With the exception of Gagne, I love this whole team. Top to bottom. Even J.D. Drew. I want to adopt Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia; I'm a little young to be their dad, but I don't care.

2. Finally the Red Sox and the Yankees have something they can openly agree about: A-Rod is a total #$@#! He is what I've said he is forever and ever, and now Yankees fans are finally, blessedly, released from the onus of having to pretend that they like the guy. [In case you don't know, A-Rod announced he was opting out of his contract with the Yankees and timed the announcement so that it would compete for media attention with news of Boston's Victory - and, here we are, six weeks later, and the Yanks took him back: enjoy your death trap, ladies!]. God bless Peter Gammons, who said the following, ON AIR, about A-Rod:

What's unfortunate here is the total disrespect for the game of baseball. This is the World Series. Dustin Pedroia and John Lester are doing something Alex Rodriguez has never done - playing in a World Series game - and to want the attention on this day is kind of a sad commentary. And it might be a little bit of a 'buyer beware,' because, again, he's never played in a World Series game - maybe there's a reason.
It's going to be hard to find a reason to hate the Yankees as much now, with A-Rod gone. I'm sure I'll think of something. That said, I'm glad NY got rid of its Curse. Develop your admittedly badass youngsters, New York! Press "Reset" and bring on 2008!

I'm listening to a Victory 2004 mix I made three years ago (to the day). I can't believe I have to teach in a couple hours. Can't I declare a holiday?

Back to the puzzle!

Did not like this theme - I had a hard time figuring out what the hell the theme even was.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Allotment of heredity units? (gene ration)
  • 10D: TV channel for golfers? (fore station)
  • 25D: Pasta-and-potato-loving country? (carbo nation)
  • 56A: Preacher's sky-high feeling? (rev elation) - that's the one I got last and the one I puzzled over the most
More shilling for evil corporations at 1A - today, it's the cigarette industry: 1A: Started a cigarette (lit up). See also the heretofore unheard-of-by-me PANATELA (29A: Slender cigar). It's also spelled with two "L"s sometimes, FYI. A couple of cool Pacific Rim answers in TONGA (3D: Kingdom east of Fiji) and TOJO (35D: Japanese P.M. during W.W. II). A couple of off-beat pop culture answers in IRENE (2D: Jim Carrey comedy "Me, Myself & _____") and OVER (52D: 1964 Dave Clark Five song "Glad All _____"). And only a couple of answers that caused me any significant annoyance:
  • 54A: Lacto-____-vegetarian (ovo) - I don't eat meat. That said, how pretentious and complicated do you have to make your dietary moniker? Just go VEGAN, if only to simplify matters grammatically. I don't need to know everything you will/won't do/don't eat. Seriously.
  • 65A: Sticky problem (poser) - I have always hated this word, in that no one says it anymore except in a kind of quaint, ironic way. To my generation (whatever that is) a POSER is a pretentious ass, perhaps someone who would call himself a "lacto-OVO-vegetarian."

I gotta return to the real world now. Seriously considering wearing my Jim Rice 1975-era jersey today ... maybe a little much. For Halloween, though, I am totally going as Jim Rice - minus the blackface that would be required for any hope of actual similitude.

See you tomorrow,

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Eric 10:10 AM  

First comment? Really?

Anyhow, wouldn't a pretentious ass be a poseur? Or is that extra u for just additional pretense.

Congrats to your Sox. My Brewers don't need a third baseman or a shortstop or a pretentious ass, so we have no room for A-Rod.

Rex Parker 10:21 AM  

Only a poser would spell "poseur" that way, yes.

Sorry about your Brewers, Eric. They look good for next year, though.


rick 10:33 AM  

I really like this puzzle but it did take two answers to get the theme. Loved REV ELATION.

One of the best Monday's that I ever remember doing.

I'm from Detroit, I'd love to see Arod here.

Le Master 10:44 AM  

This was my fastest Monday ever. Filled my last letter in at just under six minutes.(I know that's nothing to you veterans, but I'm young and relatively new to the crossword scene, so I'm kind of proud of myself.)

I got stuck in the SE on the "O" in "POSER," I just couldn't make sense of the clue for some reason, then it finally hit me.

Beata 10:45 AM  

Although I'm a yankee fan, I don't hate Red Sox, so I was rooting for them... sorry to see Arod leave...

dk 11:40 AM  

Had a discussion with my lovely wife this morning over the use of shall and will. Her view is only posers/poseurs use shall.

Speaking of poseurs: Heard about A-Rod (snicker).

I should like to see (I know dear only posers use should)Carrie Nation if the run this theme again.

wendy 12:01 PM  

The only word I liked today was BLOTTO! The rest was kind of LAME-O. Esp. OVO. Today was kind of an O day, I now realize, with OREO and PIANO too. And SRO.

Congrats on the Series, Rex, truly. Your boys are the best, hands down. And you know what it costs me to say that. ;) I will look forward to following them in the years to come.

Anonymous 12:05 PM  

The fact that the dictionary recognizes that some people (mis)spell "panatela" by adding a second "l" doesn't make it right.
It's a Cuban term. Cubans speak Spanish. In Cuban Spanish the "ll" would be pronounced "y" as in "you". But in fact the Cubans pronounce the "l" as in "love". So it should ALWAYS be spelled "panatela".

Sandy 12:14 PM  

Rex in blackface! Oh, so many kinds of wrong.

"O" ending words make me think of Australia where they shorten all sorts of words with "o" endings: smoko, servo, this arvo.... Did it all start with dingo? I'm sure clever Aussie constructor has already used that as a theme.

BT 12:31 PM  

Considering how the Sox dispatched the Indians and the Rockies, I wish the bugs would not have EATEN Joba Chamberlin that night in Cleveland. Then there would probably have been a Yankee/Sox series.

Joba and Hughes are indeed looking VERY good. The dead wood gets cleared this winter... and even next season should be better in Yankee-ville.

Alan 12:34 PM  

How can Rex call a Monday puzzle medium? What was hard about this puzzle?

BT 12:43 PM  

As always, puzzles are relative to the "normal" for the day. So for a Monday puzzle (which is always easier than Friday, of course) this was judged by Rex to be a "medium" Monday puzzle.

Harley 12:51 PM  

Congratulations on the Series win. And let us speak of it no more forever. Oh, okay. Congratulations. And boy are you right about A-Rod. That weight has been lifted. Let the Joe Crede Era begin! (Gulp.)

As for blame and timing, I'd happily point a finger at Boros as well. This is just his kind of move.

Orange 12:53 PM  

Hey, bt—the Red Sox will never play the Yankees in the World Series. At least not while they're both in the American League and the World Series is designed to pit the Al against the NL. (Look at me! Sounding as if I care about baseball!)

dk, note that this theme is real words split into fake phrases—Carrie Nation would be a real phrase that doesn't merge to make a real world, and that's a whole nother ball game.

rick 1:46 PM  

CARRIENATION is not a word on its own, like the others, at least as far as I can see.

rick 1:47 PM  

Opps, Orange already answered this.

Victor in Rochester 2:15 PM  

Enjoyed the puzzle lots, and found the buried words in the themes quite clever. Found it ordinarily difficult for a Monday.

Anonymous 3:17 PM  

A-Rod is headed to Boston, Manny is headed to Detroit, and the World Series is headed back to the Bronx!

Annielee 3:21 PM  

Nice easy puzzle. A record time for me today, relatively speaking. It must have been all the leftover adrenalin from watching the Series.
Oh, I love those boys. There is joy in Boston today!

jae 3:23 PM  

I also liked this puzzle. Granted the theme was a bit obscure (especially REV ELATION) but that was part of the fun. It was nice to have something to figure out on a Monday.

Glad to see the Soxs win. My wife's Ipswich relatives are big fans.

krepitch 3:23 PM  

I watched Pedroia play here at ASU and knew he'd be great in the majors, so I was very happy to see you guys win the Series. :)

This is my first post, so just thought I'd say thanks for doing what you do. I always read the commentary...which is especially useful on the days when I can't finish on my own. :)

Eugene 4:13 PM  

This is the first time I've commented here. I agree that this was the easiest Saturday puzzle; I rarely finish it in one sitting. And I also filled in TOPBANANA as the last item, and also never heard RONDURE before. I don't think anyone's mentioned what I thought was one of the best clues; 29A.

Eugene 4:14 PM  

oops - that saved comment was erroneously sent.

Eugene 4:17 PM  

I meant to comment about SEAHORSE, which I thought was not technically a fish, but I see it is, so forget I was herer.

BT 5:30 PM  

Hey Orange -

You'll notice I didn't say "World Series". I said "series". Most likely the AL Championship series, but a divisional series (1st round of playoffs) is possible, too.

And as would have been the case this year, whoever would have won a Yankee/Sox series would have gone on to win the World Series.

Same type of things will probably happen with Pats/Colts in the NFL this year. The "Super Bowl" will be played 2 weeks before the super bowl.

Preview this weekend, of course...

Fergus 6:12 PM  

bt -- no two teams in the same Division can play each other in the first round, by the way. That's the rule from when the wild card came into being.

Does POSER as a Sticky problem come from a difficult question being posed?

We've got lightning and thunder along the Pacific Coast this afternoon. Very exciting, and quite rare.

Karen 6:20 PM  

I was feeling some Rev elation this weekend, watching the NE soccer team hold off the (evil) NY/NJ team in the first round of the playoffs. Honestly, naming a team after a beverage? Just Not Right.

How about a CAR NATION clue next time around. Maybe not enough letters.

Rikki 6:42 PM  

Can't stop smiling today. I grew up in Boston, got my first apartment across the street from Fenway. Now I'm in California, and don't get television, so I listen to the games on the radio like we did when so many of the games were blacked out and cable tv was somebody's dream. I talked with my dad in Boston for the last three innings of the game last night, as I did for each of the series games. He's 84 and he turns down his sound and does the play-by-play and the color for me. It's hilarious and his joy when the Sox won surpasses even my own. This is my favorite Sox team since '67 and I can't remember better baseball by a whole team. Lowell was worth every penny and they should forget about A-Rod and pay Lowell $40 mil for another three years. I want to have Ellsbury, Beckett, Pedroia, and Lester's babies, but I'm old enought to be their mother.

Plus, I liked the puzzle. It was a top-to-bottom fill for me, and I was able to do it quickly. I liked a lot of the words: tanlines, panatela, reactor, majoredin, livesalie, seahorse, stoneage.

And the ation was perfect for the sensation of the Rex Sox Nation in elation. Now it's the Pat's turn!


that's how I read it... poser=sticky problem=tough question

The thunder and lightning haven't hit the central coast yet, but it's plenty cloudy.

rick 7:24 PM  

Detroit just got Rentera from Atlanta. If there are any Brave fans here you just traded away a present for a bright future.

Jair Jurggens is a lock for greatness as is Hernandez. The Tigers are going for it right now. 2008 should be great.


Don't want to turn this into a ball blog (but you did).

I still loved this puzzle!

My 19,567th favorite clue was Ashe because I see it every-other-day.

Orange 8:41 PM  

Over at the NYT Today's Puzzle forum, Janie suggested a couple more possible theme entries: CONVOCATION (Stealing, perhaps?) and INCARNATION (Place where everyone drives a Hummer or a Lexus?). Brian came up with PROVOCATION (particle attracted to the cathode in a Utah electrolysis experiment). And Jerry said that if everyone were a successful Mary Kay rep, we'd be a PINKCARNATION. The con's vocation was my favorite of these—in fact, I like that better than FORE STATION.

Pope Georgeringo 9:12 PM  

New to this forum and I am enjoying this type of review of the puzzle and indirectly my (lack of) solving skills.

While the NYTimes Crossword puzzle is the only part of that paper not infused with an upper west side view of the world; Rex seems to re-inject that perspective in his blog. Which is fine. However, how are answers like AOL somehow evil? How are corporations evil except to those who labor in the public sector? To call "lit -up" a corporate shill puzzles me.

But none the less, keep up the good work Rex.

PuzzleGirl 9:54 PM  

Hi, I'm back. Did you miss me? I was a WEEK behind. Not sure how that happened. Don't really have anything to say about today's puzzle except I liked it. I honestly haven't been able to stop laughing since I followed last week's link to Dorkfest. My people!!

BT 11:22 PM  

Pope - I'm with you. I can't read the NY Times anymore. Thankfully there's an online version of the puzzle.

Amazingly, I think they did figure out their FAR slant was turning off more than a few readers, and they've attempted to even things out. But they did so much damage to my brain (and the country) that I can't read the paper, however well written it may be.

billnutt 12:05 AM  

First of all, this Mets fan adds his voice of congratulations to all the Boston rooters. (However, the part of me that just likes to watch baseball would have preferred at least five games in the series, but what can you do?)

I got a kick out of this theme, and I love some of the suggestions made here, especially CARNATION (the U.S., actually) and CONVOCATION (imprisoned burglar's calling).

REVELATION was my favorite, first because it took me a minute or so to "get" it, and second because the combined word actually relates to the "preacher" in the clue.

Strange clueing for "ENG," or am I the only one to think that? Would have preferred "Chang's twin."

My Dog is Chelsea 2:03 AM  

WTF? This theme is absurd. I didn't get it until I read your blog, well after I finished the puzzle. I just figured there was no theme: "generation" could arguably be a group of heredity units (I mean, it would be a stretch, but it's a crossword—you never know). And "revelation"—sure, preachers go sky-high when they get a revelation from God, right? Forestation relates to golf in that one must deforest a plot of land to build a golf course. And carbonation—well, soda is sugar and therefore carbohydrates, and there's the nation thing, and—OK, so actually, CARBO NATION was the only one of all four that I actually understood was SUPPOSED to be two words. But the rest I rationalized (somewhat irrationally) as being one word. Meh. Did Not Like.

Fergus 2:18 AM  

bt, what do you mean by FAR?

Rikki, the lightning I saw was looking south over Monterey Bay from Natural Bridges. Most unusual, then quite a bit more rumbling in Santa Cruz for an hour or so.

Rikki 4:37 AM  


Never got down here to Avila Beach. Just a few drops of rain.

jlsnyc 9:07 AM  

a day late and a dollar.....

thx, orange and billnut, for the shout out.




jlsnyc 9:08 AM  

um -- billnutt....


billnutt 7:35 PM  

jlsync, I don't know if you'll read this, but no worries about losing the second "t" in my name. Happens a lot, even by people who should know better.

When you have a name like "Nutt," you have to have a hard shell...

Bill Nutt

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