Monday, August 4, 2008

Relative difficulty: What, are you kidding me? It's Monday! No sweat!

Hi, everybody. Angela (or "PuzzleGirl," as I understand you call her) asked me to fill in for her tonight. I'm her husband, Jeff (or "PuzzleHusband," as I understand I may be known. Christ, you people are weird.) Anyway, there seems to be something wrong with our new dog and she feels it's best if she stays overnight with him at the vet's. I wasn't aware that there were in-patient veterinary hospitals with accommodations for owners, but that's Angela's department. Sorry, I mean "PuzzleGirl's" department. Good grief. (I wish we'd never gotten that damn dog. He's some kind of Shepherd mix we got through a rescue program in Texas. Thinks he owns the place. All he ever does is whine and lick his testicles. I know, I know: Because he can. Also, there's some red-headed kid who recently showed up, and anytime he comes into the room the studio audience hoots and applauds at the wry zingers he throws my way. Irritating, to say the least. This marriage may have officially jumped the shark.)

Anyhoo, I don't usually do these things--crossword puzzles, I mean--but she tells me Mondays are easy so I figure it shouldn't take long. Plus she says this kid Oliver Hill who made the puzzle is like 12 years old. What could he possibly put in this puzzle that a smart guy like me can't figure out?

It started a little rough for me when BEER didn't fit at 1A, SMIDGE didn't fit at 4A, and 7A was in some foreign language. I thought this was an American puzzle. Sheesh.

I finally got my break with ICE AXES (18A: Mountain climbers' tools). I've been known to climb a mountain or two in my time and those bad boys can sure come in handy. I was a little surprised to see the answer was two words though. I guess that's allowed?

Here's the other stuff that was easy for me:

  • 33A: Hip-hop greetings (YOS). I might look like the whitest guy in America, but I'm all about the hip-hop yo.
  • 39A: Award won by Roger Clemens seven times (CY YOUNG). Still thinking about the beer from 1A. Ya know, Clemens, his former trainer McNamee, steroid injections, disposing of hypodermic needles in a beer can.... Allegedly!
  • 6D: Subatomic particle made of three quarks (BARYON). When I was a kid I invented a word for the little crumbs under the toaster: "subatomic toasticles." But back to the puzzle. This clue is a little too generic. Any strongly interacting subatomic particle composed of quarks with spin an integral multiple of the reduced Planck's constant is a baryon, not just the ones with three quarks. And many, notably T. Nakano et al., S. Stepanyan et al., and J. Barth et al., have claimed photoproductive evidence for the existence of pentaquarkal baryons. I think this needs to be more specific, especially if you want beginning solvers like me to be able to solve the puzzle on a Monday.
[REX sez: the only proper response to this whole BARYON business is: "WTF IS A BARYON!?!?!" There is no way on god's green earth BARYON should be in a Monday puzzle. The whole NW was pitiful ...]
  • 7D: Young of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (NEIL). Quick! Top five Crosby, Stills, Nash, and/or Young songs: (1) Southern Cross, (2) Suite Judy Blue Eyes, (3) Love the One You're With, (4) the Teach Your Children Well song, (5) Needle and the Damage Done.
  • 14D: Quarterback Namath (JOE). Broadway Joe.
  • 20D: The Sex Pistols' genre (PUNK).

  • 38D: Rock's _____ Fighters (FOO). Important fact: it's not THE Foo Fighters. It's just Foo Fighters.
  • 47D: Gov. Schwarzenegger (ARNOLD). I could go off on a rant here but PuzzleGirl made me promise not to talk politics. Or "Terminator" movies.
And, yeah. That's pretty much it. Music, sports, and a couple famous people. I had a little trouble with ...

The rest of the puzzle:
  • 10A: T.L.C. giver (MOM). I thought this had something to do with Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. And speaking of moms, I know I don't have to tell you how excited we all are around here about BabySeth, due any minute now. [Note from Seth: Jeff, the baby was born Saturday, and it's not my baby. Remember I explained that to you, about how I have two friends staying--] Yesiree, we just can't wait to hear how Seth takes to fatherhood.
  • 48A: Moments, in brief (SECS). Moments? Not me! All night long, baby! (Oh, you mean S-E-C-S.)
  • 17A: One offering kudos (HONORER). That's not a word. [Rex: I concur]
  • 19A: Books for jotting down appointments (WEEKLY PLANNERS). Two words again. Huh. When I had some of the letters done (crosses I think you call them?) I thought this was going to end with CALENDAR.
  • 21A: Lendee's note (IOU). Lendee? That's not a word either. [Rex: Again, you are correct, sir]
  • 22A: Pretentious (ARTY). Arty! Now there's a good name for a boy, Seth. When you and Mrs. Seth get ready to start picking names-- [Jeff, it's not my baby. I'll have no say in choosing the name.]
  • 23A: Hospital imaging devices (CAT SCANNERS). Didn't I already have ... oh, no, that was WEEKLY PLANNERS.
  • 31A: Author Wharton (EDITH). Yo, Edith Wharton rulez! You know, many of her novels are characterized by a subtle use of dramatic irony. Having grown up in upper-class pre-World War I society, Wharton became one of its most astute critics. In such works as The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence she employed both humor and profound empathy to describe the lives of New York's upper-class and the vanishing of their world in the early years of the 20th century.
  • 44A: Miniature hooter (OWLET). How would I know? I'm married to PuzzleGirl. If ya know what I'm sayin'.
  • 45A: Burping and slurping in public (POOR MANNERS). Sez you.
  • 53A: Places for antiwar slogans (PROTEST BANNERS). More rhyming. Weird.
  • 66A: Florida island (KEY). That's what that means??
  • 4D: Dagger (DIRK). Isn't that Mark Wahlberg's character in "Boogie Nights"? So it's okay for them to give you the last name of a fictional character and expect you to come up with the first name? That doesn't seem fair. [Rex: Aargh, this is that damned NW I was talking about; DIRK indeed ... it's standard xword fare, but not Monday, and certainly not anywhere near BARYON for god's sake]
  • 25D: Marshal _____, Yugoslavian hero (TITO). Of all the Yugoslavian heroes out there, Marshal Tito is my favorite.
  • 34D: Lollapalooza (ONER). Again with the made-up words. Plus, I thought Lollapalooza was a big concert. [Rex: I am going to create a list of 10 (at least) most hated xword words, and this one is going to be (surprise) number ONE(R)]
  • 48D: Command to Fido (SPEAK). "Leave" also fits. So does "Scram." Couldn't make "You're ruining my life and wrecking my marriage, you worthless mutt!" fit.
  • 56D: French bean? (TETE). Heh heh. You said "tete."
So I thought I was done. I called PuzzleGirl to let her know it was a piece of cake and she asked me what the theme was. Wait, what? There's a theme? Yeah, she tells me, there are usually three or four long answers that are related somehow. So that's what all the rhyming was about! Seriously? That's all you need for a theme? Some words that rhyme? No wonder kids can make these things now. So here's your explanation of the theme.

Theme: A bunch of words that rhyme. [Rex: Putting the theme answers at the end! Way to mix things up!]

Theme answers:
  • 19A: Books for jotting down appointments (WEEKLY PLANNERS)
  • 23A: Hospital imaging devices (CAT SCANNERS)
  • 45A: Burping and slurping in public (POOR MANNERS)
  • 53A: Places for antiwar slogans (PROTEST BANNERS)
Whoa! This just in. The baby's name is Thor Anderson Bowen (Bowen? That's not Seth's last name. Well, these modern couples do things differently, I guess.) He weighs 8lbs, 5oz, and is 19.25 inches long. Congratulations, Seth and Mrs. Seth and Baby Thor! [Jeff, it's Odin, not Thor. And for the last time: IT'S NOT MY BABY. I have friends staying with me. Two friends. A couple. They're married! I officiated the freakin' wedding! And now they have a baby! So congratulate THEM not me! (Oh never mind....)]

[Rex: As far as this blog is concerned, the boy will hereafter be known as LOKI]

Seth will be here tomorrow, unless he's too busy changing diapers or something.

Peace Out, PuzzleHusband


Barry 9:26 AM  

Morning, all!

Easy Monday puzzle, but I agree 100% with Rex about BARYON. I mean, I got it easily enough via the crosses, but the moment I saw it I also went, "WTF is this doing in a Monday puzzle?"

Ah well, no harm, no foul...

jean 9:31 AM  

For those of us who read science fiction, baryon was pretty easy. Maybe not Monday easy, but not too difficult, either.


Orange 9:44 AM  

Congratulations to Wade and Angela on the birth of their son, Loki. (Do I have that right?) Speaking of that, I hear placenta tastes like beets.

Orange 9:45 AM  

(Well done, Jeff! I'll bet your kids roll their eyes at you and Angela a lot.)

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

i agree - a couple of surprises for a Monday. Nice going puzzle husband! the multiple word thing always makes the newbies nervous...

Wade 9:51 AM  


HudsonHawk 9:56 AM  

When somebody blogs "LOL", I usually doubt that he/she really did laugh out loud. PuzzleHusband did a great job of pinch hitting and the humor came right down to my level. So LOL, and I really did.

Pretty slow puzzle for me, and I predict a record number of comments for a Monday. I also wasn't crazy about the NW, and the SE wasn't much better.

Crosscan 9:58 AM  

It is a holiday in Canada today. With different names. Here in BC it is BC Day. In Ontario it isn't called BC Day. Or Ontario day. The offical name is the First Monday in August When We Don't Have to Work Day.

But that must be wrong as well because today can't be Monday. Monday is Monday puzzle day and this isn't a Monday puzzle. Just ask the happy couple, Dirk and Baryon, neither of whom are ever seen on Mondays. I'd prefer LOKI.

i think it is POOR MANNERS to throw off our WEEKLY PLANNERS and I will say it on PROTEST BANNERS to all the CAT SCANNERS out there. See? Even that didn't work in the end. Bring back Monday!

One other thing. I seem to be hearing voices in the blog writeup.

Hey, its a day off. I'm going back to bed. Maybe tomorrow will be Monday.

male chicken 9:59 AM  

I do not have the foggiest idea what lollapalooza or oner mean, but somehow can't bring myself to care.

male chicken 10:06 AM  

oh, if mac turns up, thank you for welcoming me a couple of weeks back. It made me feel nice. I didn't thank you then because i'm in bed once the cool kids are up and read the comments again when you're all partied out.

ArtLvr 10:10 AM  

Quick and easy Monday puzzle, despite some weird-awkward-awful fill. It was made easier by the rhyme-scheme-theme. I didn't even care for the 2D OW OW, until I decided it might pass as O, WOW.

Barring that and BARYON, which may rhyme with 30D, SPY ON (?), there were a few good ones -- like 27D: CHUMP Change and and 50D CORKY for taste like some bad wine.

I would have preferred a different Clue for 38D FOO, next to ROO. Better if it had been "___ Dog", one of a pair of seated sculptures of traditional Asian temple guardians, because I have one of those... the male, with heavy mane and an orb under one paw. (The female would have a cub.) They are also called Fu Lions, being mythical creatures anyway. As it was, who GNU? Overall, an OK Monday debut, though!

Many thanks to PuzzleHusband for the excellent pinch-hitting, even with new takes on SECS, etc. And congrats to the new parents and roomie!


Bill from NJ 10:21 AM  

If BEETS, you mean those foul-smelling red round slices in some kind of red liquid you find in cans, then, yes, they can't possibly taste worse than placenta would taste if one were inclined to actually eat placenta.

I apologize to all the various foodies (who I consider my cyber-pals on this blog) who sing the praises of those awful red things but I have endured all the beet talk that I can take. You will hear nothing further from me on this subject. Again, I apologize.

And another thing, I don't care how many pine nuts or feta cheese or relish you may wish to slather on the those things . . . Sorry.

With the exception of BARYON, this was a typical Monday puzzle. I particularly liked the YY combination in CYYOUNG.

Jane Doh 10:48 AM  

Excellent pinch-hitting, PuzzleHusband.

Found this a bit of a slog for a Monday. Theme was good. Grid was odd and not so elegant, with NE and SW corners isolated and only one way in/out, so many (43) black squares and 22 three-letter words. Free pass.

Ugh-ly words = HONORER, ONER, TSO
Non-Monday/ugh-ly words = BARYON, EROSIVE

NEIL "Young" in clue and CY YOUNG in the answers ....

Loved CHUMP change. IWO JIMA, CY YOUNG, NET SURF, GO ALONG also nice encounters.


Ren 10:50 AM  

So the theme was really just a bunch of two-word phrases that end in "-anners"? I kept trying to find some connections between these things, but I guess its just the rhyming thing. I have to say, I think thats a really weak theme.

Bill, I know you don't want to get into a discussion about beets, but I will simply say that if all you've ever had are the canned variety, then I understand why you think they're vile. Fresh beets are actually good though. Think of the difference between canned green beans (slimy, salty, mushy, and generally disgusting), and fresh green beans, which can actually be considered to be food. The same principle applies to beets (as to most vegetables...).

Joon 10:51 AM  

hee hee. BARYON. (by the way, artlvr, it doesn't particularly rhyme with SPYON. it's pronounced something like, "does bonds bat this inning? oh, there's barry on deck.") this is actually a word i knew prior to becoming a physicist, simply because as a kid i was fascinated with fundamental particles. there was a big poster of the standard model in my ... middle school? anyway, yeah. BARYON woot. rock on, oliver.

joho 10:53 AM  

@bill from nj: I, too, like the YY in CYYOUNG but I didn't like the OWOW. Ouch! should be the answer. This is better than OWIE, though.

Thought the puzzle was easy but definitely not a typical Monday puzzle. I've never heard of BARYON. Now I'm wondering if Tuesday will be a Wednesday?

Omnie 10:58 AM  

Excellent write-up! This is how I thought three month ago with all these silly words. ONER or HONORER or Lendee. Whatever!

BARYON was easy for me because I'm a physics major at university so baryon is a word that I know and love. Although I did have _A___ON for a long time and couldn't figure it out but getting WEEKLYPLANNER quickly resolved that.

Let's see DIRK reminds me of the fabulous Dirk Gently Holisitic Detective Agency series and OWOW is just forced. I had OUCH for a bit but IWOJIMA didn't fit. Oh well, I'll let it roll. I also enjoyed 15A because I know the word but can never remember EROSIVE. I'm terrible at alcohol-related clues since I don't drink but manage to the beat the answers out. Also NETSURF? That sounds way too forced for me because I've never heard the term that way, surfing the net is what I've always gotten. Still cute theme and I enjoyed it.


all this holiday means for me is that the library is closed :(

Margaret 11:25 AM  

I didn't like this puzzle from the moment I realized that BARYON (wtf??) was right next to AMELIA which was clued as "Earhart who was the first aviatrix to fly solo across the Atlantic." Is there any other Earhart in Crossworld?? There are 11 completely unnecessary words in that clue -- even for a Monday. Did he just want to use the word Aviatrix so badly that he put it in the clue?? In any event, giving way more information than necessary in a random clue or two does not bring the overall level down to a Monday.

The more I think about it, though, I think the Amelia/Baryon pairing is probably just a reflection of his ridiculously young age; for him, Amelia is obscure but Baryon is common from science fiction books. But, then, that's what an editor is for...

I also disliked ROO next to FOO, and NOM next to MOM. I also take issue with NETSURF. Who says this?? You say SURF THE NET but I've never heard anyone use NETSURF as either noun or verb.

I also disliked EROSIVE on a Monday, especially when it crosses an obscure Yemeni capital.

But kudos to the PuzzledHusband (and all the Fillers-In) for good analysis and great humor!

miriam b 11:44 AM  

Jeff, you're a ONER.

@sethg: I thought bigamy was illegal.

Shamik 11:50 AM  

@hudsonhawk: I agree! This write-up did make me laugh out loud...between PuzzleHusband, Seth & was a hoot!

Typical Moday for me, except BARYON...WTF???? There, Rex, someone else said it.

Had MRISCANNERS before CAT... And I always like ARNOLD in a puzzle since that's the name of our female cat...named after the pig on "Green Acres" because she eats everything. Major pig.

Finally, my own husband gave me a face when he saw me laughing out loud. He thinks it's rather compulsive to do this daily. But he did have to ask if PuzzleGirl has a spouse, shouldn't he be named: PUZZBAND?

Did you groan? I know. I have to live with him.

Anonymous 12:01 PM  

Just wanted to let you know the syndicated puzzle link is off by 1 week.

Anonymous 12:03 PM  

Wow, this was like walking into your own house and finding a wild party going on with lots of familiar people doing weird things, and a few new people doing and saying even weirder things, and then saying "WTF" and GOING ALONG and LOL'ing right through the comments section.
The puzzle wasn't so great, but this was a memorable Rex (even though Rex was only tossing in a few well-tiemd zingers) and baby-related follow-up. Good job everyone.
- Tom in Pittsburgh

jae 12:15 PM  

Great write up! I wonder if Jeff had some help?? Odd Mon. I had OUCH and GOAHEAD but no other problems. Never heard of BARYON but I haven't really followed science fiction since the 60s. This did seem light on the crosswordese though.

dk 12:24 PM  

I want a rule the my lovely wife's old boy friend's name (DIRK) cannot be used in puzzles.

Puzzlehusband your treatise on subatomic particles is just the kind of illumination one needs on a Monday morning.

I thought we learned "sup" was the greeting now its YOS. As a WASP I object to .... well everything.

@seth it so great that you are taking in @wade's love child and naming him Thor Loki Olaf is so well... puzzling.

Oliver, we know you are really 60 something and prone to burping and other POORMANNERS. Your only boner was ONER IMHO. So great job.

@bill d, you need to learn to face your fears. Your reaction to round red root vegetables is... I see our time is up for this week we will cover this next time.

last comment (I promse)

@Puzzlehusband I am not certain you are qualified to make the diagnosis of weird. I might also suggest that spending the night at the vets is one of the oldest ruses in the book. Listen to the song about the bulldog that does not bark when @wade comes around.

I think I have done just about enough for today.


Loki ( aka, contriver of all fraud)

jeff in chicago 12:28 PM  

OK. I promised a spelling tip for "ophthalmologist," so here goes...

Sorry. I got nothing. You either memorize "ophthal" and slap a "mologist" after it or you don't. Life's a bitch sometimes.

As for today's puzzle: Way easy. One of those that allows you to fill in tons of letters without even reading the clues. Not my fave. Agree with the criticisms of ONER, OWOW, BARYON.

Anyone see Crosby, Stills and Nash on the Colbert Report last week? Colbert interviewed them while sitting on a chair covered in a full-body image of NEIL. Colbert then sang with CS&N in a rendition of, as our guest blogger called it, "the 'Teach Your Children Well' song," which, by the way, is titled "Teach Your Children." Good TV.

Good write-up, too, Jeff. (I never say bad things about fellow Jeffs.)

And, finally...

mmmmm.....sweet sleeping tubers

Crosscan 12:32 PM  

Yes, let's here it for the Jeffs!

Jeff in Victoria

HudsonHawk 12:32 PM  

One other quibble: As a wine lover, I've never heard anyone describe a wine as corky. The term is "corked", and the taste and aroma are closer to wet cardboard. If you want to clue it, how about _____ St. Clair of "Waiting for Guffman"?

mac 12:39 PM  

Haven't received my NYT yet, must be arriving late in my Vancouver hotel, but I just want to let

@noam know that fussy is Michelle;

and @fussy: I'm enjoying your book immensely! Funny how the two -holed torus is compared to a pretzel by noam, and to a donut by you/Lila.

andrea carla michaels 1:01 PM  

ow ow...netsurf?
love when the writeup is exactly
18x more enjoyable than the puzzle itself!

But ya gotta love CYYOUNG and it puts two YOs next to each other in the grid, which you can hate (on) or think of as a yo-yo!

And getting EARACHE into the puzzle is no mean feat.

oh! We can just RHYME for the theme?
(So maybe that's why he had NOM/MOM
FOO/ROO/GNU/ABU? ALthough as semi-queen of the three letter entries, I must say that most three letter words rhyme with SOMETHING.

Am I the only one who put in MOET instead of the never-heard-of-(for-me) MOEN?

andrea carla michaels 1:03 PM  

ps I hope PuzzDog is ok

Arby 1:08 PM  

I personally had a lot of trouble with this puzzle, and agree it is probably super-monday in terms of difficulty. Then, lately Wednesdays have been extra-wednesday while I have been finding Thursdays to be decidedly sub-thursday.

I did not "lol", but certainly uttered an interior "HA!" when I read Male Chicken's comment concerning lollapalooza and oner. Exactly my feelings: I know I should care, but am somehow incapable.

When I was studying physics, they were still teaching equations to describe the orbit of the universe around the earth, and the best ways to execute heretics. No mention of Baryons, quarks, or subatomic toasticles.

miriam b 1:13 PM  

About PuzzDog: Any reason PuzzleGirl is not having him neutered? This is really a good idea, assuming you don't plan for the dog to sire puppies.

I quote from Veterinary Medicine:

Dogs have a natural instinct to protect their home and loved ones. They are also much more inclined to stay home and happy when neutered. It is true that unneutered dogs are often more aggressive and territorial (urine marking, fighting), but these traits should not be confused with loyalty and protection of their home and family.

Just sayin'.

SethG 1:19 PM  

Andrea, honey, sweetie, we've been over this. MOET is champagne, MOEN is faucets, and MOES and MOESHA are from tv shows.

Oops, gotta go, time to pad the edges of my coffee table and lock the liquor cabinet!

Noam D. Elkies 1:32 PM  

Hilarious commentary, Puzzband!

As it happens I do recognize 6D:BARYON, though I agree that it no more belongs in a Monday puzzle than does NABES. My first thought was HADRON -- the obvious misspelling of which must be what joon is alluding to with "hee hee. BARYON." ;-) But that's not Monday fare either.

As for the theme entries, at least they have the virtue of being split 2-2 between the agents PLANNER, SCANNER and the base words MANNER, BANNER. Though I suppose one could give alternative clues for those using the -ER as an agent ending, as in "Police states, say?" for PROTEST BANNERS.

I suppose everybody here has heard the groaner about "Lab test" and "cat scan"; perhaps one or both of them is what your pet needs during its veterinary overnight stay...


Dan Shanley 1:32 PM  

Oh wow!!! You guys are a totally comedy team!!! You had my husband and I rolling on the floor...If there is a niche for crossword humor on the road you guys should go on tour!
Thanks for the humor and crossword support!

dk 1:36 PM  

whoops as always happens when I try to be cute.

That instead of the in the first instance (old boyfriend rant)

It should be @bill from nj not @bill d. However to quote the bard "a sweet sleeping tuber by any name would taste as sweet."

@arby, bullies as we learned in psychology school have subatomic toasticles.

Andrea et. al moan is what you do when you try to install MOEN.

Speedy recovery puzzledog, I have a step dog who is a rescue dog and I kinda get the unconditional love jones (hip saying from back in the day).

@miriam b, there is never a good time of day to bring up neutering, talk about your POORMANNERS, Although, after I got fixed I stopped peeing on the couch but I still chase the postal person cause she is so cute.

marnie 1:48 PM  

Move over Rex (kidding!) -- but first there were the 10 stitches on my toe i had to get a few days ago (collision with some flagstone) and then -- I couldn't even finish a Monday puzzle! Bummer. But Jeff -- you totally rocked ... even the little thing about TWO WORD ANSWER? .. and of course, about Seth (not) being a father .. and the "love" of your dog! As far as I am concerned, you are HIRED! Loved the write-up. It cheered me up in a way that the stupid puzzle today did NOT -- and what the heck is that theme anyway?? Vent vent vent...

QBParis 1:48 PM  

I agree with you about the NW corner... don't you think Dirk Dagger would make a good porn name?

Just saw CSN in Boston, no NEIL though....

Great write-up, Puzzlehusband! :-)

MargaretR 2:51 PM  

I'll forgive BARYON (and try to remember it for when it comes back) because I wrote in FOO Fighters immediately, having learned it from the puzzle. I have no idea what they are, though.

And a word about Yo, not just for rappers. This wonderful all-purpose word was born in Philadelphia and is widely used here by most everyone. One theory is that it comes from the Sicilian dialect "guaglione" (youth) which meant something like "hey, kid!" when shouted from a stoop or on the docks in South Philly. Makes sense to me, though I'm sure there are other arguments on its origin. Maybe this discussion could replace the one about the vegetable that shall not be named???

jubjub 3:03 PM  

I'm also too cool to care what ONER means, but please, tell me anyways? I'm guessing Lollapalooza must refer to something other than the concert?

I'm sure joon can give us more info on the baryon controversy, but, according to Wikipedia:

"Traditionally, baryons were believed to be composed of only three quarks (triquarks) ... Recently, physicists have reported the existence of pentaquarks – "exotic" baryons made of four quarks and one antiquark – but their existence is not generally accepted within the particle physics community."

Orange 3:25 PM  

A ONER is a lulu, or as my Mac's on-screen dictionary says, Informal archaic chiefly British. A remarkable person or thing. Gotta love archaic Britishisms!

Doug 3:28 PM  

"Good Noon" as I was up at the crack of eleven to celebrate BC Day in style.

Och, I see the root vegetble equivalent of the Scottish Play reared it's head again. The Tinned Root? The Maligned 5-A-Day? The Purple Food That Isn't Jello? I love how a vegetable generates as much reaction as the New Yorker Obama cover.

I must say the puzzle didn't have the normal NYT ring to it, but maybe that's a good thing once in a while. Kind of like guest bloggers on this site, or a palette-cleansing sorbet between meals.

Two Ponies 3:31 PM  

I see my hatred of Oner seems to universal.
@ jubjub I think the word may be something derived from "one of a kind" perhaps?
Way to go Puzzlehusband. Superb fresh and very entertaining write-up , just as we like our puzzles.

Rex Parker 4:08 PM  

My interlinear comments have been slightly rewritten, for what reason I don't know. I'm changing them back now.


Joon 4:17 PM  

jubjub, i don't know that there's a baryon "controversy." i've heard of pentaquarks, but to me (admittedly i'm not exactly an expert) it sounds like people saw a baryon (three quarks) and a meson (a quark-antiquark pair) standing next to each other. that's nice and all, but i don't think it's a big new thing. at any rate, the onus is on the pro-pentaquark folks to provide compelling, reproducible evidence for their existence, rather than on the rest of us to provide such evidence for their non-existence.

as for the crossword, let's temporarily set aside the issue of whether BARYON should show up in a monday grid. does the clue [Subatomic particle made of three quarks] denote a BARYON? yes, indisputably so--even if you "believe" that there are also exotic baryons like pentaquarks.

returning to the bigger issue: MESON has been in the puzzle many times, and PION and KAON (the two most common mesons) have made token appearances as well. why not BARYONs and LEPTONs? after all, they, and not mesons, are what make up atoms (protons and neutrons are baryons; electrons are leptons) and therefore 100% of ordinary matter. i don't think the average educated american is actually more likely to know what MESON means; it's just shorter and has friendlier letters. if you learn to love all particles, though, they will love you right back. i'm not sure about a monday, but it's about time BARYON had its debut.

Michael 4:32 PM  

The write up was hilarious! Sorry I never met you all (the puzzles) when we lived in the same town...

I thought this was an odd and difficult Monday (baryon!) and was surprised when I made several false starts in the nw (ale instead of nog and ama instead of nih though ama didn't seem right even when I put it in.) Still, when I finished at a time of about 1.8 Orange, I figured this must be Monday. (My Fridays and Saturday times are way more than 1.8 Orange. 4 Orange is a remarkable time for me on those days.)

fergus 4:39 PM  

Well done PH. And I liked the puzzle, too. I think it's sort of a guy thing, but the more some silliness gets repeated the funnier it gets. The ladies roll their eyes or leave the room. Or maybe not?

Bosons and Leptons, Charm and Strange: these all come back to me, but not BARYON. I know BARYONYX as a (probably) more modern dinosaur discovery. Heavy stuff from the Greek.

Poor Cats Protest Weekly. Hmmm.

Wade 4:49 PM  

Beats me, Rex. And I don't know who wrote that veterinary entry MiriamB posted, but it sure wasn't a dog.

chefbea1 4:59 PM  

Hi everyone.. I'm back. Had a great time in Newport and various ports in connecticut. Ate lots of lobster but nary a red round vegetable.

Enjoyed the write up puzzleband.

Havent quite finnished sunday's puzzle. Almost done and really dont understand the theme. I'll see what you all had to say about it

Ed 5:23 PM  

No more PuzzleHusband PLEASE!Trying to sound "kool" but way off the mark.
Miss Rex he's cool without trying.

jannieb 5:35 PM  

If you haven't already considered a Blog-entry hall of fame, today's write-up has to be worthy of such an honor. I'm still laughing!

Which is good because the puzzle was no big whoop for a Monday. OwOw is only marginally better than the dreaded "owie", as for baryon and corky, "ditto" to the earlier comments. The theme and grid were uninspired.

Hope Puzzdog is fine - he's probably just getting even for being left behind while you were all cavorting around Costa Rica!

Austin 5:47 PM  

Nobody has mentioned yet that Dirk's last name in Boogie Nights is Diggler and not Dagger?

crackup 5:58 PM  

Puzzle Husband way to pinch hit, and wait till the dog's vet bills come in.
Oner just doesn't sound right, but I was glad to get that info on baryon since I hadn't a clue what it was.
Sorry but fresh roasted beets are good.
Seth congrats on psuedo fatherhood.

Doc John 6:21 PM  

Great write-up, PH! I loved the interjections from Rex and Seth, too.

I agree with what all the other commenters had to say, too. Very strange for a Monday. I was afraid that I was going to have mistakes, too- [Little bit] could have been "tad" too. But somehow I dragged BARYON out of the recesses of my mind and that was that.

And since I had 4A blank, the rest of the top, with NOG, NOM and MOM, was looking like a word ladder.

For Bill in NJ: If, when I was a kid, someone had said to me, "When you're in your forties, you'll say, 'Mmm, beets!'," I'd have shot them. But it's true; I really like them (not the canned ones, though). When I was a kid, my grandpa would eat borscht (put that word in a puzzle) and I thought it was the grossest thing ever. I haven't gotten the nerve to try that yet.

Another way of cluing CORKY: "'Life Goes On' kid."

Random comment of the day: Matthew McConaughey may be a hunk but he's no DIRK Pitt! I'll take Richard Jordan any day. (And Steve Zahn is definitely no Al Giordino!)

andrea carla michaels 6:59 PM  

Can't remember if I mentioned this last time TITO came up (hey, Puzzband, how come TETE gets a heh heh, but not TITO?!)
but it's part of my favorite Venn Diagram cartoon...I think from the New Yorker.
It shows two circles with the first labeled "Yugoslavian dictators" and the other
"The Jackson Five",
with the overlapping subset: "Tito"
Heh Heh.

Hey, how does everyone know how young Oliver Hill is, anyway? Because he has both Neil Young and Cy Young in the puzzle?
Bec his name anagrams into
(wouldn't that make him old?)

Leon 7:01 PM  

Great puzzle Mr. Hill.

Fine write-up PH.

@Joon - Thanks for the baryon post.

Murray Gell-Mann won the Nobel Prize in 1969 in part for his fundamental contributions to our knowledge of mesons and baryons and their interactions. He also named Quarks from a line in Finnegans Wake “Three Quarks for Muster Mark.” Gell-Mann states in “The Quark and the Jaguar” that it probably meant three quarts for Mister Mark and that the number three fitted the way Quarks occur in nature.

Anyone who sees five Quarks at a time probably had five quarts not three.

dk 7:16 PM

I'm just sayin

mac 7:21 PM  

Greetings from amazing, beautiful Vancouver. Just when we arrived yesterday, a huge Gay Pride Parade started just around the corner - what a hoot! @Crosscan, you are lucky and smart to live in such a beautiful city.

We ordered the NYT of course, which wasn't delivered this morning, but on our travels from Stanley Park to Canada Place we spotted one on a rack and got it, just in case.
The puzzle was quick and easy, and even though I don't know baryon, take a look at all the crosses! I never even had to look at the 6D clue.Loved Cy Young, the theme was ok, and even ow ow is more likely what I would say when bitten or pinched than the horrible "owie". I think "corky" is perfectly fine, explains exactly what the wine tastes like when you hand it back to the sommelier. Lulu and oner are completely crosswordese, whether I like them or not, they just practically fill themselves in.

@male chicken, you are very welcome!

@omnie: Yesterday, in a wonderful oyster restaurant called Forte, I read something Frank Sinatra supposedly said: "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they get up in the morning, that's as good as they are going to feel all day..."

@sethg: are we going to see pictures of little Loki?

And, of course, @Jeff, I enjoyed your debut enormously, but @Angela, poor thing, I am afraid your husband has a split personality!

Thanks, all you writers.

P.S. Welcome home chefbea.

jeff in chicago 7:59 PM  

@dk: the Dr. John album that "How Come Your Dog..." is on -- "Goin' Back to New Orleans" -- is fantastic from start to finish.

Crosscan 9:33 PM  

@mac: I am glad you are enjoying what we call "the Best Place on Earth".

Omnie 9:53 PM  

@mac good to see you are enjoying Vancouver! I don't know how easy it is to the NYT (we get the Sunday paper as part of our deal with the Globe and Mail) so best of luck finding it.

As for drinking, I guess it's true but it's never been my thing. Maybe I'll start one day but I'm in no rush.

Also have you planned to go up Grouse Mountain? Given the lovely weather lately, it might be worth a trip up the mountain for the view.

Rex Parker 10:50 PM  

OK, this is the last time I'll be checking in until I'm safely home in wherever it is that I live. If anyone is up at 6am on Wednesday and lives near the Philadelphia airport, you are hereby invited to meet me and my family there and take us out to IHOP. We will need it. We fly US Air, I think. Do they still exist?

Surrogate writers for two more days (T, W) then I'm back on the job.

Thanks to PG (and PH) and Seth and Wade for filling in so ably.

Bye for now.


PhillySolver 11:01 PM  


I am seriously demented and would love to meet you. Tell me the flight number and I'll be there. I think we have an IHOP so you are in business. USAIR is in business today. Wednesday is another issue.

I send you an email with my phone number.

dk 11:58 PM  

@jeff, I have that cd and love Dr. J. I see him when ever I can.

@joho, where are you?

@rex safe travels.

@puzz-fam, how is the dog.

@seth, aka big daddy, get the cat off the...

to all, good night

Susan 5:05 AM  

That was awesome PuzzleHusband. I laughed my ass off. Thank you so much! I especially enjoyed the interjections from Rex. It was like watching the two guys on the balcony of The Muppet Show. What were their names? Waldorf, maybe? and the other one? eh, that's what Google is for.

@acm, I think you are probably talking about a Jessica Hagy Venn diagram. Her work makes me crack up and should be enjoyed by all:

I think the Freaknomics section of the NYT also has her index cards.

Thanks again PuzzleHusband! And thanks to Orange, as well, who had me spewing my drink when I read her first comment. maybe this will start a whole new thread of placenta recipes instead of beet ones.

Anonymous 10:01 PM  

I didn't get around to reading the column until today (Wednesday), but can Puzzlehusband make some guest appearances? That was hilarious!

Rick 10:25 AM  

I believe Will said at this year's ACPT that Oliver Hill was 17. So he's probably 18 by now. I personally will never forgive him for putting OLID in the Sunday puzzle of said tournament and crossing it with a name I'd never heard of. But I'm not bitter. No.

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