WEDNESDAY, Sep. 24, 2008 - Lynn Lempel (Frequent Jacques Brel song subject / Jim Beam quaffs / One of the "dumbest dumb animals")

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: GEORGE BURNS quotation re: the HUMMINGBIRD and why it is one of the "dumbest dumb animals": "IT'S REALLY TIME HE / LEARNED THE WORDS"

Not a quote puzzle fan, but this one cleaned up nicely, and was very easy to tease out. I adore the long Downs in this puzzle - SIR GALAHAD (29D: "Le Morte d'Arthur" figure) and HOLY TERROR make a nice yin/yang. Lancelot's nauseatingly perfect child meets [Imp plus], which is a phrase I'm going to use All The Time now to describe any disgustingly ill-behaved brat. "Imp plus." "I'm sorry, what did you say about my child?" "Dimples. He has cute dimples." Traction was quick to arrive in this puzzle, as 6A: Battle to remember, with "the" (Alamo) and 11A: "And _____!" ("how!") were both gimmes, giving me (and possibly you) the first letters to eight consecutive Downs - can't ask for more than that.

I already told you all the theme answers, so, what else?

There are a couple of nice juxtapositions in the puzzle - words that create compelling phrases simply by virtue of grid proximity. ORIOLE BUMMERS (5D: Orange-and-black fliers + 4D: Lousy breaks) are a way of describing those days on which the Red Sox come to Baltimore (I know, I was there, it was a bloodbath - but at least you guys have Michael Stipe ... wait, what's his name? Michael Bean? Michael ... Phelps! How soon we (I) forget). I especially like SAMOA SAM at 20- and 21-Across (Polynesian land + Walton who founded Wal-Mart). I imagine that Wal-Mart has purchased the entire country and turned it into a distribution center / SAM Walton's personal kingdom. If only artist Emily Cureton were still doing her daily xword drawings, maybe she could give me a nice pic of SAM in a lava-lava. Or, failing that, a MARMOT ROBOT (9D: Rockies rodent + 25A: Unpaid factory worker).

Speaking of Emily, who just last week decided to call a halt to her daily NYT crossword drawing project - I'll be publishing a substantial interview with her this Friday, in which she talks art, crosswords, and future plans. So look for it. She gives a good interview. You won't be disappointed.




FORE! (45A: Driver's warning)

  • 1A: Empty-head sort (bimbo) - a great word that you don't hear much anymore. Can't we have a non-sexist culture and still retain the rights to "BIMBO?" (and "DAME" and "GAMS" and "BROAD" ... please?)
  • 14A: Frequent Jacques Brel subject (amour) - "sujet" might have been more appropriate. Brel's name sounds like a mouthwash, but is actually probably closer to a shampoo ("Prell") than to any other personal hygiene product.


  • 16A: Work by Gray or Spenser (ode) - Spenser wrote an ODE? Wow, I missed that. Saw Gray's name and wanted "elegy."
  • 22A: Some Jim Beam quaffs (rye) - how many different types of Jim Beam are there? I learned the word "rye" (non-bread form) from "American Pie." Here's Don McLean on "IMUS in the Morning" (2D):


  • 34A: Corn locale (toe) - IOWA wouldn't fit.
  • 41A: Award for Best Novel won three times by Dick Francis (Edgar) - gimme. "Hey, he's the horses guy." True. His novels were on the bookshelves of many different family members in the 1970s and 80s. Very distinctive design.
  • 50A: Tropical vine (Liana) - Hey, LIANA, you're in the puzzle (Rob, go tell her). Here is another LIANA:
["Her Color Was No Barrier - To Men"]

  • 56A: Goddess of home and family (Vesta) - I teach in Vestal.
  • 67A: Wilderness walks (treks) - the clue doesn't quite suggest the arduousness that the answer implies.
  • 68A: Conical home (tepee) - Good clue! :)
  • 6D: Taiwanese-born director Lee (Ang) - maybe my favorite mainstream, big budget-type director. His range is mind-blowing.
  • 12D: Jon's comics canine (Odie) - I really like "Garfield minus Garfield," But there are no Odie strips there. I went back several months, and nothing. Anyway, I recommend the blog - great evidence of how quickly one can go from concept to blog to book deal with Ballantine inside of 8 months (see also recent publication of the the blog-to-book project "Stuff White People Like," which just got a Rave review in The Atlantic).
  • 22D: Home of the Galleria Borghese (Roma) - four letters? Italiany sounding? No problem.
  • 26D: Something to drool over? (bib) - first off, there's been a lot of drool in the puzzle lately. Second, ODIE drools, so that's a nice tie-in to 12D.
  • 38D: "Fantastic Mr. Fox" author (Dahl) - know this only because I have a youngish daughter. Never read this when I was a kid.
  • 43D: Protein-producing substance (RNA) - have learned to associate "protein" with RNA.
  • 60D: Clock setting at 0 degrees longitude: Abbr. (GMT) - Greenwich Mean Time. Which reminds me - I really need a new watch. Or watches. My Krusty the Clown watch is a little bulky / bright teal to wear with most outfits.
  • 52D: Bloodhound feature (jowl) - bloodhounds will forever make me think of "Best in Show"



Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

55 comments:

ArtLvr 9:15 AM  

I enjoyed the quip-theme, which struck me as both original and amusing... Also lots of the fill was quite good, like BUMMERS, SIRGALAHAD, HOLYTERROR and BIB [something to drool over], never mind that we had "saliva" yesterday. I'll leave it to others to giggle over BIMBO...

I still enjoy rereading a Dick Francis now and then. Good job, Lynn!

william e emba 9:23 AM  

I believe Spenser's Epithalamion counts as an ODE. For what it's worth, I even recall seeing SPENSER clued as author of Epithalamion some years back.

As a point of trivia, ODIE was not originally Jon Arbuckle's pet, but that of Jon's roommate Lyman, way back in the early years. Lyman sort of faded away, and ODIE just stayed behind.

Could HOLY TERROR have been clued "Imp, with 11 Across"? I'm not sure if the semantics of that includes the 11 Across clue's "and". But it's nice that it crosses on the H.

dk 9:24 AM  

Is JOAD the new Apu?

Had a smile on my face the whole time I was filling in those little squares (in ink). My only stumble was lip instead of BIB.

A lightning fast Wednesday (yes, yes, it is not all about speed).

Hi ho hi ho, its off to work I go.

hereinfranklin 9:30 AM  

Thank you for the Christopher Guest clip. Best in Show = One of my Best Movies Ever!

chefbea1 9:44 AM  

Fun puzzle but I have one quibble.. Since when is a hummingbird an animal?? A hummingbird is a bird. No

joho 9:48 AM  

@herinfranklin: I LOVE that movie. Christopher Guest is incredibly talented. It's hard to believe I cast him in one of the first commercials I ever wrote for Lipton Cup-of-Soup. He played a young newlywed. He did a great job even though the copy (mine) was pretty lame.

I loved this puzzle, too. For the fresh words already mentioned.

And for the reminder: Who is ready to take over on DAY ONE?

Great job, Lynn Lempel ... your name is new to me ... or maybe I just noticed because I'm paying attention to constuctor's names now.

Anonymous 10:00 AM  

@chefbea1

Ruling out vegetable and mineral, I'd have to go with *animal* ;-)

.../Glitch

hereinfranklin 10:03 AM  

joho--greetings from a fellow ad agency copywriter/tv producer (though never on a national scale.)

joho 10:03 AM  

I forgot to mention that I also loved going to the Westminster Dog Show, which "Best In Show" is based on ... anybody here go to the show?

Orange 10:05 AM  

Joho, Lynn Lempel hasn't had many NYT puzzles lately, but when she strode onto the scene a few years ago, she instantly became one of my favorite Monday/Tuesday constructors. Now she's keeping busy as one of the CrosSynergy collective, publishing one to two puzzles a month.

Glitch, I disagree. I saw my first citified hummingbirds just last week, and they were bright green. I think it's from the chlorophyll and they're flying plants.

mexicangirl 10:28 AM  

Thanks for the Don McLean clip, Rex!
And for the Chris Guest's.
Where do you find time to browse youtube everymorning??

Spencer 10:32 AM  

Jim Beam has 5 bourbons under the Jim Beam name, plus several under "boutique" names. As Jim Beam, there are
Jim Beam
Jim Beam Black
Jim Beam RYE
Jim Beam Choice
Jim Beam 7 Year

PhillySolver 10:38 AM  

I skipped 1A and ended up with ____INGBIRD and tried mock. Had GEORGE and wanted goble. Still had a little better than usual solving time and enjoyed the puzzle. I wanted to post the famous Dick Francis race in 1956 when he lost the Grand National at Aintree in the most unusual circumstance. Unfortunately, it was removed recently.

Today's NYT 'Dining In' section has a front page discussion of an old recipe gaining new favor, MAHSHI. Key ingredient...I really can't say it here.

ArtLvr 10:39 AM  

p.s. -- talk about Beam-ing, try the LA Times puz.

Shamik 10:39 AM  

I felt I was breezing through this puzzle and then checked my time against other Wednesdays. I was appalled to see it was one of my longest. Then realized I was comparing to my Tuesday times. Correctly, it was a quicky for Wednesday. What happened to me? I've become time absorbed! AAARGH!

Am I the only person who doesn't love Garfield?

Smiled a lot at this puzzle. Am reading Michener's "Texas" 'cause I picked it up at a flea market outside of Dallas a couple of weeks ago. And I just finished the ALAMO chapter. And since we spent the summer in Colorado, was very familiar with looking at the local MARMOTs.

Bad starts:

UNCUT for BARED
EYE for SEE

UltraViolet 11:01 AM  

Speaking of a non-sexist culture, I got hung up when I figured out the quote but filled in the reference to the hummingbird as IT not HE, then later realized IT didn't work. I didn't appreciate the gender-biased content, but enjoyed the puzzle overall.

archaeoprof 11:07 AM  

Rex, you and Maureen Dowd are on the same page. She uses the word "gams" in the opening sentence of her column in today's NYT.

Tony from Charm City 11:15 AM  

Would have finished this puzzle in an "easy" time if not for confidently entering MORGANLAFAY at 29D even though I was sure it was Le Fay. Once I figured it out, the rest of the W to SW fell into place.

I enjoyed most of the puzzle, except for NAMATH. 1969, the year of my birth, was not a good sports year for Charm City as all the major sports teams lost the championship to underdog teams in NY - Mets upset Orioles, Jets upset Colts, Knicks upset Bullets (current day Wizards began as the Baltimore Bullets). Not that I'm bitter or anything:)

Noam D. Elkies 11:20 AM  

Enjoyed the puzzle in general; about right for a Wednesday. @UV 11:01: it/he (at the end of 27A) briefly sidetracked me too; perhaps male and female hummingbirds actually differ here?

22D:ROMA -- not immedate (except to somebody who actually recognizes that Galleria) because it could also have been PISA.

Golf clues for 36A:PAR (nice) and 45A:FORE (chapeau ancien) but not 57D:TRAP?

The clue for 43D:RNA is right on two counts: RNA not only codes for protein but literally makes it because the ribosome is mostly RNA.

Looking forward to the EmJo interview,
--NDE

john in NC 11:33 AM  

Jim Beam RYE is my current beverage of choice on Friday eves...

Even though I should know if by now from xwords, I couldn't remember the surname from Grapes of Wrath and I thought a good bloodhound feature was its HOWL. And HOAD for the surname... sure, that sounds reasonable...

joho 11:46 AM  

@hereinfranklin: I left the business when I left NYC after a 12 year career as copywriter. I loved it and still miss the comradeship of all creative types ... and even good "suits." I wish you well!

@orange: thanks for the information on Lynn Lempel. Until your post I wasn't sure if Lynn was a man or a woman. I will definitely keep my eye out for more of her work.

Doc John 11:58 AM  

It was a typical Wednesday for me- no linear solving, just jumping around (pretty willy-nilly) until the puzzle was filled in. The last letter I placed was the first B in BIMBO. That whole NW area gave me all sorts of fits, mostly because I couldn't get "Touch me [in the morning]" out of my head. Finally the --US gave up its IMUS treasure and that was enough to finish up. I think BIMBO goes nicely with FOR SURE in the SE.

Toughest clue for me today was 25A[Unpaid factory worker] = ROBOT (just couldn't wrap my mind around that one).

I was also pleased to get DAHL and SIR GALAHAD, even though I was unfamiliar with both of the titles as clued. At least LABS wasn't clued doggy-style this time.

Fave clue/answer: 66A[Trip provider?] = LSD (Although, was the ? really necessary?)

fikink 12:38 PM  

Does anyone have trouble with the cluing of 30D, LEAPT?
A leap is not a step, large or small, and a step is not a leap, neither in running nor thinking. What TREK am I not making in my thinking? Is LEAP in this sense particular to ballet or dance?

chefbea1 12:41 PM  

@phillysolver I saw the recipe for mahshi in the times. I will have to try it. Just so happens I went to the farmer's market this morning an bought the key ingredient that you didn't want to mention.

@artlvr - i did the LA times puzzle and Beamed

jae 12:50 PM  

Fun puzzle. No real hang ups but it took me forever to come up with BIMBO and I had the B and M. I gave my bride the clue and the B and M and she got it in about 10 sec. so it must be a personal cognitive issue.

@joho & herein - Loved Best In Show (one of the few movies I have on DVD) as well as most of the rest of Guest's work (Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman ...).

Doug 1:21 PM  

@fikink on LEAPT. Works for me. I was climbing around Mt. Rainier last week and had to cross a glacier runoff through jumbled rocks and couldn't get a running start. I definitely took a GIANT STEP and LEAPT across the water from rock to rock. Stayed dry too!

Car wash item--I had SUD! Knew it would be wrong as even I winced while I typed.

Was in NYC recently and for the second time was shut out of the Guggenheim because I was late. Damn! When will they be done with all the work?

Four HOLY TERRORS in my house, with a 2-year old that has been admirably trained by the older three. Good to see ERIK in the grid after a long absence (but not as long as absence from a good TV show and a Teen Beat cover.)

foodie 1:36 PM  

Ah Rex, you made me so happy today. Jack Brel and American Pie, back to back! In my youth, I loved Jack Brel and knew every word to every song, especially "Amsterdam" (hi Mac!). American Pie, I first heard in New Orleans near the (now infamous) levee. The man who later became my husband explained to me all the hidden nuances and references of this wonderful song.

BAH near IMUS is a great juxtaposition, and I can certainly imagine him using the term BIMBO. I liked the way ORIOLE crossed HUMMINGBIRD, with AVIARY nearby... That whole top part of the puzzle was hovering and ready to take off.

Lovely puzzle and lovely commentary...Thank you Lynn Lempel and Rex.

rafaelthatmf 2:09 PM  

@shamik – watch out for Michner. He’s like heroin to me. I read Hawaii just to get some history before a trip to the island and now my book shelf sags under the tomes. A rather worthless aside – during an episode of Friends, Ross described himself during a sexual encounter with an intimidating woman as ‘the James Michner of dirty talk’. I thought it a somewhat highbrow reference from a relatively low brow series.

@ultra violet et al – like the female hummingbirds know the words? It never fails to aggravate me when I see fairly skilled writers use the cumbersome he/she when a simple ‘they’ solves the gender obscurity and adds - I don’t know - some kind of elegance.

I always spell oriole wrong. Isn’t there some kind of oriel window?

chefbea1 2:18 PM  

@rafaelthatmf yes oriel is a bay window

jeff in chicago 2:40 PM  

Fun. A challenge for me. Had to jump around a bit. A pleasant Wednesday. Took me a while to get ROBOT, and thus BIB, but think both are quite cleverly clued. HOLYTERROR is fantastic, IMO. Also BIMBO and JOWL. I grinned thoughout the puzzle.

@shamik (re: rafaelthatmf) - yes watch out for Michner. I lost my taste for him after his book on the shootings at Kent State, which is jusr riddled with errors. (I went there and was editor of the school newspaper.) Never read a word of his after that.

Rex: Loved the Bimbo Breads logo. I'm fascinated with oddly named products/companies. Who came up with NIPS for those cheese crackers? Otis Spunkmeyer cookies? Who names a shoe store after a fungus? (Athlete's Foot) I'm thinking of opening a woman's eyeglass store called Pink Eye.

jeff in chicago 2:45 PM  

Oh...also wanted to mention that David Bowie recorded a fine version of "Amsterdam" on the re-issue of his Pin-Ups album (called "Port of Amsterdam" on that album).

fikink 2:49 PM  

@doug, thanks, I am rethinking LEAPT.
...processing...
@jeff, in that vein, I have to share with you that when I was a very little girl I wanted to name my female kitty Rubella. Just thought it was a pretty name.

rafaelthatmf 3:27 PM  

@Jeff in Chicago: Stopped reading Michner for same reason after Poland. Picked it up again a couple of times and just keep finding flaws – like I said heroin. Not good for you but just can’t stop.

Mike the Wino 3:37 PM  

I, too, had MOCKINGBIRD for a while, and had GEORGE_U__S, so wanted LUCAS in lieu of BURNS, but it all came out doggy-style.........

*sorry*

Mike the Wino

Wade 3:45 PM  

"Hey, Don McLean, do that song! Right, 'what song?' You're some kidder, Don McLean."

I did this puzzle at about 5:00 a.m. in the mall, where I went because I couldn't sleep because I still got no power, and don't remember anything about it now.

Hummingbirds are creepy. They should be bugs. They're one of the few native animals I didn't eat as a kid. Clay Daily and I ate pretty much every kind of creature we could kill back when we were kids, though many of them were one-time experiments. We ate two armadillos, a huge rattlesnake, some ducklike thing Clay killed with a rock, freshwater mussels that lived on cowshit, several needlenose gar, and part of a raccoon, along with more traditional fare like squirrels, crawdads and frog legs. But we never ate hummingbird.

James Michener supported me very generously for three years of my post-grad academic life. I should probably have read at least some of his books. I still have one of my writing efforts with his notes on it. The only legible comment are the words "Watership Down!" scrawled in big letters in the margin of the first page. I never had any idea what he was talking about. The story bore about the same degree of resemblance to "Watership Down" as pretty much everything else that isn't "Watership Down."

fergus 5:05 PM  

Did the puzzle with constant distraction today and thought it was fairly insipid. But after reading all the commentary, my assessment has gone way up, straight to the high expectations I would have for Ms. Lempel. So distracted and heedless, I must admit to not even getting the theme phrase until coming here. My students were asking about the olden days of naked vegetarian hippiedom in the 70s, which gave me a chance to elaborate a bit on a wilder time. I was honest about the LSD question that came up, though. Just once, to quite astounding effect, that satisfied my curiosity probably for all time.

The thought of reading Spenser probably kept me from adding an English major. Like any of the classics though, there's generally a good reason to support such a designation. Just that I've never heard anyone rave about the "Faerie Queen."

Always been under the impression that RYE and Canadian whiskey were synonymous, and all Jim Beam was bourbon, which I think must be based on corn. The Clue saying 'some' must indicate that Jim makes some rye as well.

rafaelthatmf 5:16 PM  

No time but Jim Beam is American Rye whiskey (made from Rye mash which is fermented then distilled) and a Bourbon - used to have to come from Bourbon county but don't think so anymore. Canadian Whisky (different spelling) is made from a variety of whisky's blended together. Sorry for all the posts - 'specially this last one.

mac 5:42 PM  

As usual a lovely puzzle by Lynn Lempel. I was busy today, so I did it in starts, but there were some very good clues and words. Oddly enough, I misspelled time and ended up with "she" for the bird! We have the green ones in CT, and they are odd, nerveous little creatures, until they sit down on a branch, then they just look like tiny little birds. They don't sit down often enough!

I think ACM's theory about the return of words in crossword puzzles goes even further: I've been doing lots of puzzles lately, and some words and names show up in other ones within a few days as well!

I saw that pretty pink dish in the Times as well! The Indonesian meal was so good, I don't need dinner.

I can sing along with Jacques Brel, as well. Some of the songs he did in Flemish, most in French. I've got to look for the David Bowie version of Le Port d'Amsterdam. Thanks for the clip of Don McLean, Rex, I'll be listening to it when I'm alone and Hardball is over..... Also loved "Best in Show".

@foodie: loved your answer last night, makes me think even more.

Anonymous 5:53 PM  

@Orange

point well taken, green should define *vegetable*, like the cheese in the far reaches of my fridge, I will no longer confuse with an animal --- like a hummingbird ;)

@Foodie

American Pie does have a lot of meaning (intentionally not explained by Don Mc). one of the better analysis:

http://videos.komando.com/2008/09/07/what-does-american-pie-mean/

@jeff in chicago

Stepping back in my *wayback machine* I believe one of the first (and IMHO best) recordings of [The port of} Amsterdam is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3sknSggyUY

But, to all, I'm old and remember when I first saw the Beatles, at Shea Stadium,in their first US tour --- and I was the chaperone!

.../Glitch

(Go Jim Beam whatever u r)

SethG 6:06 PM  

I'd never heard that George Burns quote. Apparently, the internet hasn't either.

I call unfair on the 1A/1D crossing--could have been just as easily been an H.

Spent a long time with naked instead of BARED, and at least half my solving time was HOLY TERROR. And, speaking of, that Brel song is TERRible (but for some reason reminds me of The Jam.).

miriam b 6:38 PM  

"Best in Show"! One of the all-time greats. Remember the chap who felt sorry for the dog he'd had to leave behind at home? He decided to cheer it up, so he phoned the dog and sang it its favorite: The lugubrious final verse of "Barbara Allen".

Who but Guest could conceive of this, and of a man with two left feet, and of a couple who met after exchanging glances from two Starbuck's located across the street from each other?

I had a tough time with GEORGEBURNS. I kept thinking, "Robbie Burns would never have said anything llike that." In fact, did George actually say that? Could be apocryphal.

When I lived in Albuquerque, I saw bugs which closely resembled hummingbirds in size and coloration. They flew in the same rapid erratic pattern. That place is rife with strange fauna.

fergus 6:41 PM  

Mac -- I was amused in noticing that you didn't have fits with your starts. I wonder if Ulrich considered that absence as well?

mac 7:03 PM  

@fergus: you're right, that was an omission. I actually erased a different expression somewhat like it, but I must have been in a hurry. You think Ulrich will create a name for this phenomenon?

foodie 7:42 PM  

I never knew there were translations of Amsterdam into English. Thank you @Jeff in Chicago and Glitch! The Rod McKuen song is lovely but the lyrics are quite different from Brel's. The Bowie lyrics are closer to the French. Between the lyrics and the singing style, Brel's rendition sounds a lot grittier. Here it is with English subtitles

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6rvMZnWKZc&feature

and @glitch, I really liked the American Pie explanation video. My husband did pretty well, but still did not catch some of it. One that surprised me is Waylon Jennings' connection to Buddy Holly. Thanks for the continuing education, y'all!

Michael 7:48 PM  

I saw the name "lynn Lempel" and thought -- "what's she doing on a Wednesday?" And in fact I thought this was of Tuesday difficulty.

Still, I like the puzzle a lot even if I did stumble a second over both the sex and animalness (animality?, animalhood?) of "hummingbird."

joho 7:48 PM  

@wade: is Clay Daily a German Shepherd, too? Certainly sounds like it.

fergus 8:40 PM  

I do like an altered idiom. To have starts without fits is fresh and engaging. No penalty box for you.

dk 8:57 PM  

Hummingbirds are better than TV. We have a few feeders at our place in Maine and they dive bomb and attack one another, showing no mercy. We have tried to figure out who the alpha bird is... but they all look the same to me.

On the past and LSD, etc. One group session in the early 80's found me with a bunch-0-teens who felt lost and out of touch. They looked at me and said what was it like in the sixties when it seemed like you all were brothers and sisters. My response was I had the great notion for a period of time and Woodstock was like a touch of super glue (to the great notion of one world), but alas it drifted away as everything became a little more violent, a little more depraved. I suggested they watch Peter Pan and pay close attention to Wendy.

Night all.

Bill from NJ 9:12 PM  

I guess a word like BIMBO is so sexually-charged that, no matter how it is presented, there will always be someone laying in the weeds who will take offense.

So yes, Rex, there are a whole category of words that are wholly lost.

Today, unlike yesterday, the theme redeemed the fill as the puzzle was chock-a-blok full of abbreviations but they did not offend like yesterday.

I think it has been a while since we have seen a quote with the author identified in the body of the puzzle

fergus 9:25 PM  

I am well enough schooled in Economic theory, to be hesitant to contradict the president's Financial Markets message. His speech came right out of a standard textbook, yet there are fine points still to discuss among MIT guys, Wall Street, and the Washington folks I don't know.

literarychica 9:50 PM  

what I wouldn't do to have the cover of that novel, Rex. Any chance you have it in your paperback collection? :-)

mac 11:30 PM  

@fergus: you are so kind. I will try this again!

andrea carla michaels 12:49 AM  

My 96-yr-old grandmother used to always play Jacques Brel for me, and it's the only album I took back home with me after my grandfather died. To this day if I say something is cute, she looks up at me and sings "Cute, cute, cute in a stupid ass way"

I had JOEL for JOWL and came here for how a bloodhound and JOEL were related and thought it was some obscure Billy Joel reference!

Never took LSD but am back in Mpls for a sort of highschool reunion and was just looking at a yearbook from 1971 and having major trippy flashbacks!

@bill from nj
Patrick B and I are collaborating on a puzzle and I made him take out MANTRAP...much worse for me than BIMBO!

The word "The" seemed to be missing from the quote and I agree not an animal...plus the quote seemed REALLY old-fashioned to me. You could almost hear the "ba-dum bump"
Fan of Lynn Lempel (the true queen of Mondays), but shocked folks liked this puzzle as much as they did!

Gary Phonebook 1:15 AM  

When I test-solved this a few weeks back, the clue for 6D was "-le prefix," which I found to be a little obtuse. Yes, Ang Lee's Taiwaneseness and directorness have been getting a lot of exposure in the puzzle lately, but it's only Wednesday, right?

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

I actually had HIMBO for BIMBO (and HAH for BAH) until I looked the whole crossword over at the end. (A himbo is an "attractive but vacuous man.") I think it's a great word -- but it doesn't seem to have cracked the Times puzzle yet.

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