MONDAY, Apr. 14, 2008 - Christina Houlihan Kelly (CRIME BOSS KNOWN AS THE TEFLON DON)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: THWART - near synonyms for "thwart" used as last word in each theme answer

I was going to use PREVENT as the theme descriptor, but then I thought of THWART, and how can you not love that word? THWART! It's a perfectly serviceable, ordinary word and a disgusting sound effect all in one. "What's that thing on the witch's cheek? It's TH'WART!" And ... back to the puzzle - an original Monday theme, with my only problem being PICNIC HAMPER (33A: Outdoor meal deterrent?). I put my laundry in a HAMPER. My lunch? No. As any red-blooded American, and Yogi Bear, can tell you, the correct term is PICNIC BASKET (and "PICNIC" must have three syllables). Apparently the fancy schmancy term is HAMPER, but let's do a little Google comparison:

  • ["picnic hamper"] = 89,800 hits (so clearly, it's a thing ... not made up ... OK)
  • ["picnic basket"] = 1,200,000 hits (winner, by TKO(S) - 43D: Some boxing results - Basket!)

Again, I completely accept HAMPER as a valid entity, but that answer stands out like a very sore thumb against the far more in-the-language theme answers of

AUCTION BLOCK (20A: Bidding impediment?)
REALITY CHECK (44A: Truth obstruction?), and
ALUMINUM FOIL (58A: Metallic element's obstacle?)

I added to my own trouble in the HAMPER section of the puzzle by writing in I SAW where I MET was supposed to go (30D: "_____ a man with seven wives"). This meant that 39A: Book after Daniel (Hosea) looked like it ended in -AA, so I knew something was amiss, but I was flying around the grid to worry about it too much - I figured it would all come out in the wash, as it often does. Not too thrilled to see two suffixes in the puzzle - one should be the limit (he said, arbitrarily). -EER (65D: Suffix with musket) and -IST (30A: Suffix with vocal) really should platoon. Also - two gas brands? I guess ESSO (38A: Gas brand with the slogan "Put a tiger in your tank") gets jealous when any other brand tries to weasel its way into the grid and steal any of its glory, as AMOCO (5D: BP gas brand) attempted to do today.


  • 1A: Vampire's tooth (fang) - I caved in and bought "Sharp Teeth" yesterday. It's about werewolves (not vampires), and I love werewolves more than any other monster, and yet every werewolf story I read and nearly ever werewolf movie I see ssssssuuuuuuuuuucks. Pardon my French. Anyway, I heard this book reviewed on NPR, and then a reader recommended it, and then I saw the book has a cool design (I am big on books not looking soul-crushingly generic), so I bought it. It's in free verse. I'm going to love it or I'm going to vomit. We'll see.
  • 5A: Playing marble (agate) - Hey, look: a Marbles glossary. AGATE and TAW are especially useful for crossworders, but there's some other choice stuff in the glossary that you might see someday. Who knows?
  • 27A: Streisand film about a Jewish girl masquerading as a boy ("Yentl") - I wrote a long entry here, but it's been redacted. In its place, you get this: YIPE (23D: "Eek!").
  • 47D: Actor John of "Full House" (Stamos) - the epitome of 90s TV hotness, or so "Full House" would have us believe. STAMOS went on to be famous for being married to model/actress Rebecca Romijn, and of course "Full House" is most famous for spawning the careers of the Olsen Twins.
  • 51A: Lawn care brand (Ortho) - ORTHO AMOCO ESSO TORO (8D: Bullring bull). It's like a little commercial song, TORO being a brand of snowblower.70A: Nautilus captain (Nemo) - Crossword captain. He beats AHAB hands down.
  • 73A: Photo often taken after an accident (X-ray) - gruesome. Kind of a downer, like much of this puzzle: NAUSEA (49D: Pregnancy symptom, frequently), "No PETS allowed" (41D: No _____ allowed (sign)), UGLI (21D: Aptly named tropical fruit), etc.
  • 6D: Crime boss known as the Teflon Don (Gotti) - Do you think the inventors of Teflon foresaw their product becoming a moniker for inhuman indestructibility (see also Reagan, the Teflon President - Very interesting story about how Reagan got that name here).
  • 35D: Wrestling move (hold) - "Wrestling" now makes me think almost exclusively of Puzzlegirl (frequent commenter at this site), which is one of the weirdest word-association tics I've developed since starting this blog (I think it's 'cause she is the only adult I've ever heard express excitement for college wrestling. Go Hawkeyes?).
  • 48D: Dahl or Francis (Arlene) - ah, today, for once, we don't have to choose. I doubt we will ever see another crossworthy ARLENE ... unless that name goes retro and we start seeing a spate of trendy folks doing for ARLENE what recent trendy folks have done for ABIGAIL, i.e. bring it back from the dead by giving the name to their kids.
Lastly, I want to thank those of you who have donated to this site. Anyone who donates even the smallest amount will eventually receive a personalized, custom-made thank you cards (a certain artist just gave me permission to use one of her images ...), so look for those in the next month or so.

And look for a very entertaining first-ever READER MAIL section this Sunday.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


mark 9:02 AM  

Although I hate the clue because I've never heard this so-called "toast" before, doesn't "Here's mud in your eye!" sound like something a 19th century villain might say right before foiling Our Hero? "Here's mud in your eye!" [drops vat of mud on protagonist. twirls mustache]. Anyway, quite in keeping with the whole thwarting theme.

ArtLvr 9:16 AM  

Very easy... I didn't see NAUSEA or some of the others at all, because the crosses were so obvious! I didn't know STAMOS (is it ST AMOS?) or OTERI, but won't nitpick because they didn't cross.

I enjoyed the theme -- and didn't think of "basket" when writing in PICNIC HAMPER, having a very old one with leather straps falling off! Note that all the theme "thwartings" are verbs, even if nouns here, so basket wouldn't fit as well.


Orange 9:27 AM  

According to the Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager (a cool Java graphic thingamabob), ARLENE was a top-100 baby name in the 1930s. It managed to cling to the top 1,000 through 2005...but then dropped from the radar. No sign of a resurgence. (Una vanished in the 1940s, Theda in the '50s, Nita in the '70s; Uma, Uta, and Oona never cracked the top 1,000.)

Rex, I missed -EER, but had commented on -ASE.

dk 9:29 AM  

My mom taught us to play potsy and we always called the best playing marble an aggie not AGATE.

For some 70's cartoon fun rent/buy Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law. Harvey defends characters like Inch High Private Eye (an EEOC complaint as he was fired for his height) Yogi and Boo Boo, Scooby, etc.

Continuing on the animated theme, can we see plucky fish as a clue for NEMO.

@Mark here is a great toast: May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face.

Rex Parker 9:31 AM  

@Orange, I can't believe that I missed -ASE. Wow, three suffixes. That's ... worse than two. Yep.


Jim in NYC 9:34 AM  

Is anybody successfully using PuzzlePrint (automatic NYT downloading & printing software), which was publicized in this blog a few weeks ago? I've set it to download at 10:05pm EDT when the online puzzle is released online, but nothing happens. There's a manual download feature which works well, but it will only download "today's" puzzle, even if it's 11pm and "tomorrow's" puzzle has already been released. There are no setup instructions provided. Emailed suggestions from "Support" have not been useful.

PhillySolver 9:37 AM  

A very easy puzzle and a yet nicely held together by the theme. The linkage to our past has to be Amoco, the firm that developed TNT.

Terms like 'Here's mud in your eye' are hard to pin down, but the earliest reference is in the New Testament, when mud is put in the eyes of a blind man to let him see, which makes it a good toast at an engagement party. Also Biblically based, Hosea means Salvation and is considered a star among the so-called Minor Prophets of the Old Testament.

Two other Arlene's have been use in the NYT, Alda the photographer and Golonka from Mayberry, R.F.D.

Gotta get my taxes done soon and see what's left for Rex.

Rex Parker 9:38 AM  

Just for the record, any "publicity" that "PuzzlePrint" got in this blog did Not come from me. I've never heard of it and do not in any way endorse it (though it might be fabulous - I don't know).


Jim in NYC 9:40 AM  

Yes of course, Rex did not recommend PuzzlePrint. It was mentioned in a comment, not by Rex.
Sorry for lack of clarity.

Rex Parker 9:41 AM  


"What's Left For Rex?" - I only wish that were an actual line on people's tax forms. As it stands, it's more like a question one might ask after dinner re: the family pet.

Q: "What's left for Rex?"
A: "An ORT"


Zach M. 9:46 AM  

That picnic hamper clue sounded so foreign for me that I actually had an error that resulted in PICNYCHAMPER, resulting in me yelling at my puzzle, "Picny Champer? What the hell is a Picny Champer?!" I pictured someone in some kind of spandex outfit with gold medals around their neck for uncanny ability at...picny-ing. Finally realized the mistake about 20-30 seconds later, but still felt just as confused by the hamper thing.

Rex Parker 9:50 AM  

If the UGLI is UGLY, I wonder how UGLY the UGLY is. Pretty UGLY, I imagine.

You make your former teacher proud, Zach.


Anonymous 9:52 AM  


Note all 6 words in your 51A Ortho comment end in O,and NEO makes 7.

Coincidence? :)


Joon 9:53 AM  

for a monday puzzle, this puzzle had a great theme and poor fill. other than the three suffixes already mentioned, we were subjected to a prefix (NEO-), a gazillion short abbreviations (FAA, LTD, SYS, TKOS, UNIV, AMA and the execrable ELHI), four partial phrases (IN OR, AS I, I MET, UP AT), two foreign words which could only be clued with fill-in-the-blank (UNIS, COSI), and a mild dose of old-fashioned crosswordese in ONER (yuck!), ERIN go bragh, UGLI, and ESSO.

despite all that, i really liked it. i guess on a monday i'm generally zipping through the puzzle so fast that all i notice is the theme, and i loved today's theme. very lively and all four entries were well-chosen (i got no beef with PICNIC HAMPER). it's amazing how much the theme counts for, especially early in the week.

for all my complaining about the fill, i really liked seeing the Xs and Z in the grid, especially as there were two entries with X at the beginning. EXILE was pleasing also because we had good old napoleon on elba, without the answer being ELBA or EREI or some such.

RANKLE crossing YENTL is a nice crossing for a monday, two lively entries. and there was one clue that was a monday changeup, 72A: [Happening] for EVENT. i was definitely looking for a participle there at first.

Liz 10:45 AM  

An ugli fruit is a hybrid cross of a grapefruit and tangerine. The rind is very wrinkled but I don't find it unattractive.

Toro also makes lawnmowers. The first one I bought after becoming a homeowner was a self-propelled Toro which was a very good lawnmower.

Anonymous 10:51 AM  

Calling anyone a "Teflon" anything seems to be short for "The target of my ire annoyingly enjoys the approval of his own conscience."

I had an Aunt Arlene, born in the 1910s. I had other female relatives named Corene, Claudene, and Allene who who born in the 30's. None of the -ene names seems to be making a comeback.

miriam b 11:43 AM  

PICNICHAMPER made me think of The Wind in the Willows.

There's cold chicken inside it, replied the Rat briefly; "coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrenchrollscresssandwichespottedmeetgingerbeerlemonadesodawater.."

The quintessential picnic (for carnivores, anyway).

I loved the fact that this Monday puzzle had a clever theme despite being very easy.

miriam b 11:47 AM  

Elegant drawing today, Emily!

mac 11:49 AM  

Very easy but very nice with some interesting words and clues. I did most of it down only. Had to laugh when I saw "no pets allowed", made me think of the sign in a nail spa in NY that says: NO FOOD NO PETS.
I had no problem with picnic hamper, having lived in the UK twice, including before I came to the US.

ArtLvr 11:52 AM  

@ Orange -- Can't get any info on that Baby Name link on Cornelia. Help? It came down from my great-grandmother to my mother to me... So rare I soon can be llike "Cher", not needing a last name at all. Certainly my kids had no interest in passing it on down! However, in my mother's day there were four of them in her extended bridge club.....


ronathan 11:53 AM  

My biggest problems with this puzzle are the much maligned PICNIC HAMPER (I am totally in agreement with Rex on this one, right down to the Yogi Bear reference), plus 51A (SOTS) and 45D (ELHI). What the HELL is ELHI anyway? I have never seen that word, or abbreviation, or whatever, used by anyone, ever, in my entire life.

My problem with SOTS is really my own problem having to do with my esoteric knowledge of trivia (isn't it amazing, the random crap we store in our brains?). I strangely have heard the word "tippler" used in the context of pigeon breeding, since I once met a guy in NYC whose hobby was pigeon breeding on the roof of his building. He told me that a tippler is a certain breed of pigeon bred for stamina. I totally missed the intended definition of the crossword (i.e. a drunkard) and put down BIRD as my answer originally. Had never hear the word SOTS anyway, so I wouldn't have gotten it right away even if I hadn't had this tiny bit of useless knowledge in my head.

-ronathan :-)

PhillySolver 12:07 PM  

@ Ronathan

My checkered past catches up with me again. I was a Headmaster of an ELHI school and evaluated textbooks from a number of Elhi publishers. The term first appears in the late 1940's and you can find it most current dictionaries. My Spanish teacher always corrected me when I said it, " "that should be halo!' sir.

Anonymous 12:16 PM  


As to elhi (elemantary school-high school,Kindergarten -12 grade), I knew it immediately as it is quite frequently in the puzzle. I do however recall the first few times not understanding it and finally undestanding it but objecting to it as I had never heard or seen it before (other than NY Times crossword) and I attended an elhi for many years but never heard it referred to as such. Now, I see it and accept it as part of puzzledom's crosswordese.


Joon 12:19 PM  

ELHI is short for "elementary through high school"... except that nobody i know has ever said it, except in the context of a crossword puzzle. (that's why i singled it out as being execrable among the other unfortunate fill words today.) "K-12" is the (vastly) more usual designation, in my experience. google agrees with me: ELHI gets under 100,000 hits, and "K-12" gets about 20 million. it may just be that ELHI is a very dated term. i'm surprised to hear that first showed up in the late '40s, since that's about when i expected it to have last been used.

PhillySolver 12:39 PM  

Speaking of made up words...I track the latest attempts to get a word circulating and wanted to share these up and coming possibilities...

E-error: an online typo such as often made by PhillySolver
E-gaddery: state of dismay after reading your own e-error
e-gads - the feeling of embarrassment after sending an eMail with information not intended for, or suitable to the reader.
e-gaff - mistake of sending an e-mail to an unintended address
e-glitch - Using reply all when you meant reply to one guy so you can complain about the others.
e-gregious: An egregious e-error
e-gret: A regrettable e-error
e-grievous: A grievous e-error

E-humor: over using a technology-base joke and running it into the ground.

imsdave 1:44 PM  

@philly - funny as ever. I too, am waiting my support pending the completion of my taxes Rex. My adult children, as usual, have made out like bandits on their taxes, that I do for them out of the kindness of my heart. I should know the bad news for mine in an hour or two.

John Stamos should not be totally discounted just because of the silly TV show (which my then much younger daughter loved and forced me into unwilling viewings). I saw him in Cabaret on Broadway, with Hal Linden and Polly Bergen, and was very impressed with his acting chops.

Orange 1:58 PM  

Artlvr, Cornelia's peak was in the 1880s, and it dwindled steadily until it dropped from the top 1,000 after the 1960s. I used to live on a street called Cornelia; it was a block up from Roscoe. I thought those would make grand names for boy/girl twins. (Coincidentally, Roscoe followed a similar baby-name trajectory, but persisted for a few more years.)

Rex, oddly enough, has been a top-1,000 baby name since the 1890s, but peaked in the 1950s.

John Reid 2:06 PM  

I just thought some of you might be interested to know that Tyler Hinman (who has been the champion at the last 4 American Crossword Puzzle Tournaments) finished today's puzzle in 1:22.

It almost sounds physically impossible, doesn't it? His solving time actually puts him *more than 30 seconds ahead* of the second fastest finisher, and this is among a group of *almost 800 solvers*. He really does seem to be in a class of his own.

Truly, literally awesome.

ronathan 2:13 PM  


Completely agree. The term "K through 12" is much more familiar. It is the term you hear in everyday conversation, in the news, and even in political dialog between policy makers and teachers/teachers unions. I suppose that I technically did attend an ELHI myself (once upon a time), but again I do not remember hearing the word used in my entire public school career, nor have I heard it in the many years since.


thank you very much for making me snort coffee out of my nose b/c I was laughing so hard. :-p


BT 2:21 PM  


It has a check box that says "print asap". Don't know if it works, but it indicates it will print the puzzle as soon as NYT makes it available. (so that means at 10:01pm or whenever... 10:20pm if they are trying to aggravate Rex).

I print them in the morning, when "today" really is today, and it works about 90% of the time. From a programming standpoint, "today" is whatever the computer tells me is today's date. So the program parses the date provided by the computer and looks for a file with today's date.

Also, not sure if the program will run on a mac.

JC66 2:22 PM  


Great...I immediately emailed it to all my friends and relatives.

Ulrich 2:54 PM  

@john reid (in case you're not aware of this): Tyler participated in a discussion about speed we had here a few days ago, giving us fascinating glimpses into his MO, which seems to rely heavily on some eidetic ability that allows him to minimize the time he spends on reading clues, i.e. the time he not writing answers.

PuzzleGirl 2:58 PM  

Wow, you guys are on a roll today. You're cracking me up!

Rex, thank you for highlighting today the 2008 NCAA Division I National Wrestling Champion University of Iowa Hawkeyes, coached by four-time All-American, two-time National Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Tom Brands, and led to victory by four-time All-American and two-time National Champion Mark Perry, Jr., and up-and-coming first-time National Champion and 2008 Hodge Trophy winner Brent Metcalf. Go Hawks, indeed!

Finished today's puzzle in four flat, didn't see (or, more to the point, understand) the theme and didn't even see some of the clue/answer pairs. I know some of you speedsters talk about that occasionally, but I'm not sure it's ever happened to me before.

I think ORTHO AMOCO ESSO TORO is Latin for: putting two kinds of gas in the lawnmower is bull.

Looking forward to the rest of the day's comments. Zach and Phillysover have set a high standard for humor today!

chefbea1 4:28 PM  

@mac the nail salon that I go to occaisionally has a sign - no cell phones - which makes it very relaxing.

Bill from NJ 4:32 PM  

I remember seeing, years ago, the following simplified tax form:

A: How much did you make last year?

B: How much do you have left?

C: Send B.

Easy puzzle . . .

Had a small problem in the SE with UPTO and ACHE. I went right on by this without checking and it took a little time to straighten out

chefbea1 4:34 PM  

@phillysolver - I'm still laughing!! that was a riot

imsdave1 4:54 PM  

OK Rex, I'm in - taxes were awful, not that that's unusual, but they left me a crumb. FYI, imsdave, and imsdave1 are the same (work and home computers). Still looking forward to picking up a dinner for you this summer, providing we can agree on cuisine (egregious red meat eater here, but can live on seafood)

Karen 5:33 PM  

Werewolf stories...Aside from the vampire novels with weres as side characters (my favorite werewolf clan is in Blood Trail by Tanya Huff), there aren't that many good ones. I remember reading Wolf Moon by Charles de Lint a couple decades ago and enjoying it.

Bill D 5:46 PM  

Relieved to get back to a Monday after being worked over by the Friday and Saturday puzzles. I eventually finished both, but it took a while.

I wanted AGGIE for AGATE, but a quick check of the downs put me right. Originally had ELEM for the crossword favorite ELHI and SODS for SOTS. Also wanted BASKET for HAMPER, and since I use a "PEN" to fill the puzzle in "INK", it took me a few seconds to sort out the middle.

Back on Friday one of the answers was LSTs, and there was some dialog on this military abbreviation. I've summarized similar types of landing craft/amphibious vehicles in case they should appear in future grids:

AMTRAC - Amphibious Tractor
DUKW - code for 1942 amphibious all-wheel-drive 2½-ton truck
LCA - Landing Craft, Assault
LCI - Landing Craft, Infantry
LCM - Landing Craft, Mechanized
LCP - Landing Craft, Personnel
LCT - Landing Craft, Tank
LCVP - Landing Craft, Vehicle/Personnel
LSD - Landing Ship, Dock
LST - Landing Ship, Tank
LVT - Landing Vehicle, Tracked

As you can see there is some near-redundancy here; the first and last ones are all but interchangable, eg. They and the DUKW ("Duck") are amphibious vehicles - the Duck is a GMC 6x6 truck with a boat-like body. Some Coast Guard stations down on the Jersey shore had Ducks when I was a kid. At the Wisconsin Dells at least two tour operators are using refurbished Ducks for rides over the rivers and through the woods there. A number of US coastal cities, including Boston and Baltimore, have joined in on the fun. Where they are acquiring all these old Ducks, which haven't been manufactured since WW II, is beyond me. I doubt any were shipped home from the war zones, so all that are left must have been stateside.

All the rest are boats of varying sizes. The ubiquitous wooden LCVP, famous in D-Day movies, was built largely by Higgins of New Orleans. Not one survives, and the National D-Day Museum in that city had to have a replica built.

jae 6:28 PM  

Easy with a fun theme.

@bill in nj: I also made the UPTO error and failed to correct it (read look at the downs) until much later.

@ronothan: ELHI I too only know from crosswords and I still occasionally put in ELEM.

dk 7:45 PM  

@phillysolver - Thank you. e Pluribus or we are truly in this together.

scriberpat 8:04 PM  

Rex I checked my bank balance today and see you haven't cashed the check I sent as a gift to you for providing this magnificent website. Please cash it before you receive ten thousand dollars worth of gift checks because once you receive too much you'll have to pay taxes, no? is that the way it works? Perhaps you should stipulate whether you'd prefer to receive IHOP gift cards instead of checks. If everyone sent you a $50 IHOP card, would you get tired of IHOP?

Anonymous 8:18 PM  

Picnic hamper is perfectly acceptable in my part of the world, to the east of the big pond known as the Atlantic. It's usually made of wicker, with elastic straps to hold down the china plates and (real) glasses, and separate spaces for knives and forks, which are known as CUTLERY. Now that would be a good word for a crossword. Compilers, are you listening?

Rex Parker 9:13 PM  


Your thank-you card was the first one to hit the mail, earlier today.

All the best,

PS CUTLERY has been in puzzles a few times in the past decade, but not since 1999 in the NYT, which seems weird for a perfectly serviceable 7-letter word with reasonably common letters.

scriberpat 9:31 PM  

By the way, regarding yesterday's answer QUINCES to 90D preserves fruits:

The clue uses "preserves" as a verb. Quinces are fruit used along with the fruit being preserved. Something about the quinces helps to preserve the other fruit.

miriam b 10:28 PM  

@scriberpat: True, quinces are unusually high in pectin. But I still maintain that "preserves" is a noun here, and the clue means "fruit used for preserves". The clue might also have read "jelly fruit"; i. e., "fruit used for jelly". I wish the constructor would weigh in on this!

scriberpat 10:44 PM  

@Miriam -- first read of the clue I was perplexed. But one of my dictionaries defined quince as a fruit that preserves fruit.

Orange 11:44 PM  

Scriberpat, remember that the clue and answer need part-of-speech agreement. The answer, QUINCES, is a noun. Thus, the clue must be one, too. (Preserves fruit, as in "a fruit used in preserves.") What made that a tricky one is that "fruit" can be singular or plural, so if you didn't have all of QUINCES filled in but had the S at the end, you'd be pretty sure that the clue was a verb ending in S. But you'd be wrong, which makes the "aha" moment when the noun is unmasked all the sweeter. (This remark passes no judgment on the sweetness, or lack thereof, of quinces.

Orange 11:45 PM  

P.S. Last week at bar trivia, one of the questions asked what fruit was in the same category as apples an pears. It's quince, our pome friend!

Jim in NYC 12:16 AM  

Ulrich, if you're still reading this, on which date did Tyler discuss speed-solving in the comments?

Mark 1:03 AM  

Best clue ever: "47A: ____ Francisco"! Didn't take me more than five minutes to figure out the answer to that one.

Ulrich 9:27 AM  

@jim in nyc: If you see this: It's in last Tuesday's blog--worth going through b/c of the long discussion on speed.

undulatingorb 12:36 PM  

I too enjoy good book cover design. You should check out this site, if you haven't already:

Anonymous 6:27 PM  

Quick John Stamos story.

I lived in LA for a number of years. I was taking care of a neighbor's dog.
So it gave me a great chance to go to the dog park and hang out. No one works in LA.
I knew the familiar faces and their dog's name.

One day, I was talking to a one of the usuals. I hadn't seen one of our group in a while

"I haven't seen that white Lab for a couple of weeks." I said.

"Oh, you mean John." he said.

"But I don't the guy's name. I just know the dog's." I said.

"Ah yeah. That's John ... John Stamos." he said, with a little head tilt.

TimeTraveller 10:57 AM  

The daily puzzle is delayed six weeks in syndication, but the Sunday puzzle only one week. Therefore discussion of "yesterday's puzzle" in the Monday blog might well be preceeded by SPOILER ALERT. (... or not.)

Rex Parker 11:14 AM  

I think you're confused. If you are in syndication land, you'll already have done "yesterday's puzzle" ... five weeks ago. If someone on SUNDAY were to refer to "yesterday's puzzle," then yes, a "spoiler alert" might be in order.


cAlady 1:54 PM  

What about CORNELIA Otis Skinner-its been years, but I still remember her marvelous book about two young ladies on a trip to Europe-particularly the part where they discovered the hard way that bedbugs do exist. They had plans for some fancy do (opera/play) and had to buy and use fans as a way to hide their faces. Much better they way she tells it1

Waxy in Montreal 6:36 PM  

A dubious advantage of living in syndicationland... I would never have heard of Cheri Oteri back on April 14th when this puzzle appeared originally; however, in late April, unfortunately, her father was fatally stabbed. Given the resultant media coverage, I recognized 18A. immediately!

Also, who uses the term ONER to mean humdinger? In fact, does anyone actually still use the word humdinger?

retired_chemist 2:13 AM  

Oner means to me a unique event, while humdinger means something remarkable. I agree the clue is a bit off target.


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