MONDAY, Feb. 2, 2009 - D.J. Gulczynski (Game console introduced in 2006 / Female golfer who played in pro men's tournament age 14)

Monday, February 2, 2009


Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: "WE" homophones - four theme answers end in a word that sounds like "WE" (and in one case is, in fact, "WE")

Word of the Day: Snick and SNEE - combat with knives (here's more than you ever thought you'd want to know about SNEE)

Feels like we're seeing this theme type with increasing frequency. Just had the "BORN" homophone puzzle, and now it's the "WE." It's a fine, consistent theme, but when did it become legal to have these non-theme answers that are not only longer than, but in fact dwarf half of your theme answers. MARIONETTE (17A: Pinocchio, notably) and SURE ENOUGH (59A: "You're absolutely right!") are nearly as long as the longer theme answers, and are a full three letters longer than the shorter theme answers. Makes the whole puzzle seem malformed. At the very least it's inelegant. And I like MARIONETTE and SURE ENOUGH as answers - they just shouldn't be upstaging the theme answers, particularly not to the degree we see here. I thought "non-theme answers shall not exceed theme answers in length" was a kind of rule. It seems I'm mistaken. Oh, and you're missing a "WEE," though to be fair, that's not a word you're likely to find at the end of a familiar phrase.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Game console introduced in 2006 (Nintendo Wii)
  • 38A: Parisian's "But of course!" ("Mais oui!") - this is weird, because a Parisian's "But of course!" is, of course, "But of course!" - only a Parisian, or someone with a French accent, would ever utter that phrase.
  • 40A: Query from one who's ready to go ("Shall we?")
  • 54A: Female golfer who played in a pro men's tournament at age 14 (Michelle Wie)
I'd like never to see SNEE before Wednesday (53A: Snick and _____)

Two possessive names??? I winced a Little at AESOP'S (47A: "_____ Fables"), but gave it a pass. Then I got to TED'S (68A: "Bill & _____ Excellent Adventure") and I had to blow the whistle. Excessive apostrophication. 10 yards. Repeat 3rd down.



I'm also going to have to throw the yellow flag for Painful Pluralizing. AMENS squeaks by (6D: Cries from the congregation), but SMOGS does Not (48D: Urban pollutions). That's a flagrant foul right there. I have lived in serious, visible, hurt-your-lungs pollution, and it is all one, indivisible SMOG.

PROBATE (29D: Will validation) and DOCKAGE (21D: Fee for a freighter) are snoozers. Something dry and bureaucratic about them. Professional argot does not always make for the best crossword fill. It's also hard to get good fill when you force yourself into these long banks of three-letter answers, such as we see in the NW and SE. The NW is pretty ably handled, but the SE is Abbr, Abbr, Abbr, and GOO (62D: Melted tar, e.g.). It's like the world's most repulsive law firm.

I should add, re: DOCKAGE, that it was the hardest answer for me to get today, both because I can't remember when I've ever heard the term, and also because I kept reading the clue (and rereading it) as [Fee for a firefighter].

Things I loved - The CRAB RECIPE in the Oregon part of the puzzle is nice (22A: Maryland seafood specialty + 28A: Betty Crocker offering). BATTIER (7D: More eccentric) is a wonderful word, though the clue hardly does it justice. The freshest and sassiest answer in the puzzle, for my money, has to be COP-OUT (10D: Lame excuse). It's a fantastic, BRASH (43A: Impertinent) phrase that really stands out against its dull surroundings.

Bullets:

  • I've got just one bullet today - a special bullet for a special (i.e. monstrous, relentless, hellish) lady - ENYA (57D: "Only Time" singer, 2001). The bullet, sadly, will not kill her, as she is clearly among the evil dead, destined to tear apart the flesh of crossword solvers for all eternity. So maybe I should turn the bullet on the damned New-AGER (65A: New _____ (57-Down, for one)) who is buying her music and thus keeping her "alive." I'm telling you, even with a SEVERED head (44D: Detached), this one will keep coming at you. Never forget ...




Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. Happy Groundhog's Day, and, more importantly, Happy Birthday to my dad!

64 comments:

the redanman 9:09 AM  

This was the easiest Monday for me ever, I went once through each set of clues and filled, a first for me. Either it was an easy puzzle, my fund of knowledge dove-tailed perfectly into this puzzle or this place is really helping me. (still fairly new on here)

I can't speed solve because I try too hard and choke but it was way less than 10 minutes. I do best on paper.

I really think one's particular fund of knowledge/ areas of interest makes a huge contribution to ease of solving.

Cheers

korova 9:12 AM  

I love it when a puzzle makes me see a word in a new way. Despite years of following the career of Shane Battier, I never once thought of his last name as a comparative adjective (7 Down). (It's pronounced with a Frenchified last syllable.)

dsf 9:28 AM  

I agree -- puzzle was a breeze. Theme was "weak" -- I forgot to even look for the theme last night, but now I see there was one after all.

Orange 9:29 AM  

THISLITTLEPIGGYCRIEDWEEWEEWEE ends with with WEE, but it's 29 letters long, not 15.

joho 9:31 AM  

And the little piggy went wee wee wee all the way to the bank!

Now I'll have Enya in my head all day ... shame on you, Rex. Although I will admit I had forgotten how lifelike Legolas' pointy ears are.

The puzzle was Monday easy, my favorite theme answer was WII.

I do agree with Rex that there's something weird about having other really long non-theme answers ... makes the puzzle feel out of whack.

joho 9:32 AM  

@orange! We're on the same wavelength!

hazel 9:45 AM  

I liked this puzzle - even though I agree with Rex that SMOGS is definitely not a word. Also, I don’t think maids actually wear APRONs anymore. I thought the puzzle was very global with the CIAO, ICH, MAISOUI, TROIS, and even CREME.

The theme seemed a bit of a mishmash, but I still thought the puzzle was fun, and the fill was pretty interesting.

I don't understand the rationale for having a rule that constrains answer length according to whether or not its part of the theme. Is it because that's the way its always been? Some other reason? Personally, I like a little OLIO in the morning. I don't like ENYA though, even though I have learned her value.

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

Rex is being just a bit snarky today...rules for construction about length of fill? PUHLEEZE!

Parshutr 9:54 AM  

As tired as some are of ENYA, so bored am I with MICHELLEWIE.
But the puzzle felt just right in difficulty. I guess that means that I like it "Medium".

Anne 10:12 AM  

I immediately saw that nice/sweet crossed Nintendo WII which made me think of Cartmann (South Park) who says nice/sweet a lot. One episode concerned his impatience with the WII's arrival. He ends up sleeping for 500 years and wakes up to find no one is familiar with the WII. Very nice.

Years ago my husband used to say "mais oui" to someone as part of a private joke so I'm familiar with it and noticed that mais oui (almost pronounced may we) is next to shall we on the line.

And I guess I agree the puzzle was medium, although I didn't have any problem with it. I'm starting to get a feel for these ratings. And I thought the theme was funny and a little different.

Two Ponies 10:33 AM  

Agree that smogs is not a word.
Having the theme answers pop up in unexpected places made it a more-fun-than-usual Monday.
Thanks for the Orlando Bloom clip. I am embarrassed to admit it but that young man makes this old lady swoon like a teenager (not a new-ager).

treedweller 10:34 AM  

At first glance, I overlooked the date on the Nintendo clue. I begrudgingly entered "Nintendo NES" while grumbling about ATM machines, PIN numbers and such. Then I tried to find the last three crosses and realized my mistake.

I don't know much about the "rules" of constructing, but I agree it was jarring to see those extra-long answers that were not part of the theme. I spent several seconds trying to see how MARIONETTE fit in before giving up.

@SMOGS
I knew this rant was coming, and tend to agree with it. But, as someone who catches flack from fellow Scrabble/Boggle players because of a penchant for adding -ER to every conceivable verb and -S to every noun, I will say that the SMOG in, say, LA may be different than the SMOG in, say, NYC. Only an expert in SMOGS (smogologist?) knows for sure . . .

Rex Parker 10:40 AM  

[ahem]

From the "Basic Rules" page at cruciverb.com (the definitive crossword construction site on the Web):

6. Long theme entries must be symmetrically placed. If there is a major theme entry three rows down from the top of the grid, for instance, then there must be another theme entry in the same position three rows up from the bottom. Also, as a general rule, no nontheme entry should be longer than any theme entry.

rp

FMCGMCCLLC 11:13 AM  

I am so happy, Rex said medium and it was one of my best fills.

To me it was a New Orleans puzzle,my favorite place, cajun,creme,trois,dockage, and just maids in aprons. Mais Oui.

Loved it!

archaeoprof 11:18 AM  

@Rex: add my voice to the chorus of AMENS on your write-up today!

the redanman 11:33 AM  

To follow up, I never even had to think of the "theme" today as the puzzle filled ridiculously (making me too delirious to post useful comments) easily, but looking at the "theme, I, too was confused how MARIONETTE and SUREENOUGH had anything to do with WIIOUIWEWIE.

That would have been really mis-directed had the puzzle not been so easy for my SS today; so I do understand where Rex is in a twitter about the form.

edith b 11:52 AM  

What a mish-mosh, particularly in the far SE. I don't understand how this puzzle passed muster.

It was certainly pegged at a Monday level and had a couple of sharp entries but, as they say on Law & Order, its prejudicial nature exceeds its probative value.

Where's Andrea or Lynn Lempel when we need them?

fikink 12:00 PM  

Dyno-mite write-up today, Rex: the MAIS OUI yams, "painful pluralizing" and "flagrant foul," a repulsive law firm, and the bullet for ENYA. I almost didn't do the puzzle this morning and, SURE ENOUGH, I enjoyed the blog more than the puzzle.

Anne 12:03 PM  

I'm back to say Happy Groundhog Day to everyone. I watched Groundhog Day with Bill Murray again last night - it's one of my favorite movies and is really holding up well as the years pass. I even went to Pauxsatauney (that spelling is approximate) Pennyslvania while traveling thorugh the area and there really is a Gobbler's Knob although it is situated much farther out of town than is shown in the movie.

Anonymous 12:08 PM  

I didn't even look for a theme but enjoyed the puzzle b/c of CRAB being a Marylander and all.

RE: the excessive possessive "s"--in Birmingham, England they've voted to drop the apostrophe all together! http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2009/01/30/europe/EU-Britain-No-Apostrophe.php

PlantieBea 12:08 PM  

Thanks for the Snee explanation. I immediately thought Snick and Snick--must have Car Talk in my brain. And, I'm sure I'll be hearing Enya and the elves all day now.

The long non-theme answers looked out of place to me, too. I tried to rationalize that Sure Enough could be another Oui, aussi, but I couldn't make any we out of marionette--not even wee.

Definitely don't like smogs.

Orange 12:09 PM  

Hey, I wasn't all the way through the comments so I was just about to post the same thing Rex just did for Anonymous. Those "Basic Rules" of crossword construction? Written by Will Shortz. So he's willing to bend the rule at times, but he sure as heck is familiar with this as a general rule.

Ulrich 12:18 PM  

Mais oui, the shorter theme answers can be excused b/c they occupy the entire center horizontal, thus forming one very long theme entry, in my book at least. Rules are there to be handled creatively, i.e. not always followed literally, again in my book.

I'm glad nobody has brought up the urban legend about JFK making a mistake when he uttered that phrase yet--good b/c he didn't.

Rex still seems to have the football bug, which I can understand as yesterday's game was one of the most suspenseful Superbowls I've seen in a while. Plus, the Stillers won, which still pleases me even if I no longer live between the three rivers.

Greene 12:22 PM  

Count me among those who found this puzzle oddly constructed. It was easy enough to fill in and I think it was my fastest Monday time ever. I thought I understood the homophone theme well enough, but when I was finished I kept looking at MARIONETTE and SURE ENOUGH and thinking: I don't get it.

Thank you Rex for providing some clarification of the construction rules. Being a casual solver, I've never read those construction guidelines, but once you do enough puzzles, you start to get a gut-feeling when something just isn't right in the grid.

It wasn't that long ago that I had to come to this blog to learn what the hell snick and SNEE meant. Now it's just part of my crossword vocabulary and doesn't even raise an eyebrow on Monday.

Shamik 12:27 PM  

Phooey on the Steelers' win. So far up and so far down in the last 5 minutes of the game. And I learned this morning that hangovers have a definite effect on my solving speed. So, the puzzle becomes a medium-challenging for me. Or should I say for We as in the Royal We?

Only mis-start was SPICY for CAJUN. Just was slow. Still am slow. And ate too much, too. Time for a mid-morning nap.

Doug 12:54 PM  

I like the serendipity of finding Clarence Clemons in the Bill and Ted video, as he was in fine form during halftime last night with Springsteen.

Canadian History for Dummies informed me that CAJUN is the morphed version of "Acadian", the name for French Canadians expelled by the Brits in 1785 for not swearing allegiance to Britain. They found their French brethren down in Louisiana, along with local veggies like OKRA for GUMBO and shrimp for POBOYs, thus kicking off a crossword feast that we enjoy to this day.

Whenever I see MAIS OUI I automatically think BEH OUI, which is how Peter Mayle describes the Provence pronounciation in A Year In Provence. What a book, and I need some rosé and a baguette Right Now.

My kids just bought the AC/DC disc for the WII Rockband. Need I say how loud the house is?

Bob Kerfuffle 1:04 PM  

@Rex - for that last homophone, how about BIDEAWEE, the pet adoption center? Or is that a local NYC thing? (Which would be alright for the NY Times.)

Only one write-over, 33A had ERRED instead of ERROR for "Dropped fly ball, e.g.", clearly a problem of 37D, TENSE.

I can see the reasoning, but 41 D, Outcome of a 10 - 17 game, LOSS, surely calls for a major HUH? at least.

Andy 1:12 PM  

I think SMOGS would have been better as a verb, as in getting your car smogged. Maybe, "Checks a car's cleanliness in L.A."

I think the two longest answers kinda fit into the theme if you think of them as mispronunciations of WE, as they both have a REE sound. Ma-REE-onet, and su-REE-nuff.

But I guess that's really stretching to be nice.

Cheryl 1:20 PM  

My favourite word today was ACRID. I like that the sound of the word in a way evokes its meaning. Like the noise you'd make in your throat if you inhaled some acrid fumes.

I was in such a hurry to finish the puzzle and read the blog that I didn't notice the theme and therefore wasn't put off by the length of the non-theme answers. That said, longer non-theme answers are less distracting if they are vertical (assuming the theme answers are all horizontal).

I'll take Ulrich's view that MAISOUI/SHALLWE across the middle can count as one long theme area.

fikink 1:22 PM  

@bobkerfuffle, I thought "bide-a-wee" was also a legit expression for "stay awhile."
I think I've seen it in puzzles.

jeff in chicago 1:34 PM  

Easy, breezy Monday. I can't complain about the short theme answers since I'm working on a puzzle that decidedly bends that rule.

Happy birthday to your dad, Rex. It's my little sister's birthday, too. (Young girls LOVE being called "little groundhogs" on their birthday. NOT!) We grew up near Cleveland, so we're legally barred from rooting for the Steelers. (I did anyway.)

Springsteen rocked. Loved it when he slid across the stage on his knees and crashed into the camera. He really looked like he was having a good time.

mac 2:07 PM  

Simple Monday puzzle, where I tried looking for a theme midway and thought it might have something to do with girls' names, but not. Even though it's too long, "sure enough" is a great answer, and I like marionette as well, didn't even know that it was used in English, with puppet more common.

Have to go to see if my laptop has recovered, it's fighting me when I try to get on the internet... It's like having a sick pet!

allan 2:11 PM  

I agree with those who found this puzzle easy, even for a Monday. My only misstep was misspelling Michelle's surname as wei. But I quickly corrected it when filling in the 47 down.

I couldn't agree more with Rex about smogs. It really took my breaths away.

Nintendowii was my favorite answer. I also liked maisoui, because those french just have that certain oh, I don't know what.

@Ullrich: Are the Stillers the one's who make that whiskey in Rye?

bye for now

chefbea 2:19 PM  

Easy monday puzzle and I too tried to fit marionette into the theme.

Was in St. louis this weekend for a funeral. Did Sat and sunday puzzles but no time to get to a computer to read the blog etc. Thus my super bowl party was cancelled and was not able to make the "red" brownies.

Time to put on my apron, and find the recipe for creme brule

Ulrich 2:30 PM  

@Allan: Before they made it in Rye, they made it in the surrounding valleys and launched their Whiskey Rebellion when George Washington got it into his head to put a tax on the proceeds. It appears to be one of the industries that has left town since--too bad b/c the SMOGS it produced were more in the head than in the air.

hazel 2:54 PM  

@Ulrich - Well said! I like your rationale for bending the rules.

Also, anyone interested in the JFK doughnut business should check out the Wordplay website which goes into detail about the hoohah surrounding it. I was a misguided believer in the myth until today.

Glitch 2:59 PM  

Didn't bother me that some fill was longer than theme answers.

My first activity always is solving the puzzle.

Themes noted if they become apparent, used if helpful.

Having solved, rate the puzzle.

Only then, step back and admire (or de-mire?) construction.

Least concern is "THE RULES" ==insert dramatic sound effect here==.

Extra points to those who break them intelligently.

Construction rules are for constructors, puzzles are for solvers.

.../Glitch --- the puzzle solver

PS: (From Yesterday) I run Sunday's thru my desktop printer/copier and solve on the plain paper output. Can also enlarge, if needed. I realize not everyone has one tho.

Shin Kokin Wakashu 2:59 PM  

As strange as SMOGS looks, I have seen genuine uses of it on google news and google books.

It seems to denote multiple distinct periods of bad smog in an area, for example:
"Such powers were introduced in response to the smogs of the 1950s and 60s"
"Charles Dickens called them a “London particular” and Edward I passed a law in 1272 trying to ban them. These were London’s notorious peasouper smogs, a foul concoction of coal smoke and fog that, in the worst episode of pollution in December 1952, killed an estimated 12,000 people."
"Smogs of this type are now largely restricted to parts of the..."
"Smogs were commonplace in major industrial cities in Britain"

Perhaps it's somewhat British or old-fashioned in use?

George NYC 3:07 PM  

Does UHF exist anymore? Just asking...

Bill Butler 3:10 PM  

I agree that the "mais oui" clue is a little weird. Every Frenchman I know would translate that simply as that as "But yes!". The phrase "mais bien sur" is quite common, and translates directly to "but of course".

But maybe I am being picky :-)

Bill Butler 3:10 PM  

I agree that the "mais oui" clue is a little weird. Every Frenchman I know would translate that simply as that as "But yes!". The phrase "mais bien sur" is quite common, and translates directly to "but of course".

But maybe I am being picky :-)

Doug 3:14 PM  

@shin: SMOGS seems acceptable now, thanks for those examples. A comparative and more commonly used noun would be "wind" as in "strong winds", "winds of change" or "winds of war".

I think the pushback is because of frequency of usage of the word, as well as the clue, which could have been "Urban pollution events," "Results of industrialization," or "London peasoupers".

SethG 3:17 PM  

Muy bien, sir! Er, bien sûr? Something like that.

Chris Snee is an all-pro guard, San Dimas High School football rules!, and I'm still wearing my Steelers jersey.

Z.J. Mugildny 3:22 PM  

I have no problem with some non-theme answers being longer than some of the theme ones. Of course I would say this, because I made this puzzle. I could have put a black square where the N in MARIONETTE is (and the second E in SUREENOUGH), but then I would have violated the 78 word rule. Which is a worse offense? I think the latter.

If you want both low word count and non-theme entries shorter than theme entries then you pretty much have to have all long theme entries (no 7 letter theme-ers) which seems way too restrictive to me.

On another note, I originally had Whee-lo (a toy from the '50s) and Wee Man (from MTV's Jackass) in the puzzle as well, but Will asked me to cut them because they were "front we"s, which didn't fit with the others (although they were symmetric with each other), and because they weren't really Monday suitable. In retrospect I agree with Will, like usual.

George NYC 3:29 PM  

I got a Whee-lo as a "prank" Christmas present this year. Apparently, they're still out there. Maybe Wednesday level..

ronathan 3:35 PM  

Very short puzzle for me today, and I think a new personal record for a Monday! I worked from the top down, so when I saw MARIONETTE followed closely by NINTENDO WII, I just assumed that today's puzzle was theme-less. I didn't catch it until I read Rex's blog today. I didn't even notice it after filling in MICHELLE WIE's name, since I mistakenly though her last name was pronounced like "WAY", not "WE".

I agree wholeheartedly with Rex's comments about theme answers being shorter than non-theme fill. But what also bugs me is when a puzzle has beautiful (and relatively uncommon) fill like DOCKAGE, ACRID, CREME, PROBATE, COP OUT, EWERS, COHORT, MARIONETTE, and AESOPS, and then combine it with such trite, overused fill as UZI, AMA, OREO, UHF, EST, LITE, ERROR, LSAT,etc. Even the clues for these answers seem recycled.

Cheers,
Ronathan

PhillySolver 3:36 PM  

ZJMPuzzle construction seems a complicated business and more of an art than an exact science. Enjoyed the puzzle and appreciate your comments.

/former Webelos

allan 3:46 PM  

@shin: If Dickens used the word, then who am I to quibble?

@George: I was wondering the same thing myself. Now get back to work! :o)

@z.j.: Thanks for the insight. It's always great to hear from you constructors. Now you and Rex can take it outside and settle it like "Stillers" (see Ulrich 12:18).

bye for now

Shin Kokin Wakashu 3:56 PM  

The word was long after Dickens time; he was describing something that was later called "smog", I think.

Glitch 4:15 PM  

@George in NYC

Yes,George, there is a UHF --- it lives ....

Seriously, there are many UHF stations, WLIW (ch 21) in your area for example.

Cable and digital displays have made the VHF/UHF difference transparent, but it's still there, notably over-the-air.

.../Glitch

Over-the-air still has

Karen 4:16 PM  

I tried to put in DRAYAGE fees instead of dockage. It's just a cooler word.

'UHF' always reminds me of Weird Al Yankovic and the Wheel! of! Fish! A very silly movie from a very silly man.

I had enough mis-starts that I agree with the medium rating.

George NYC 4:36 PM  

Thanks Glitch. I remember those goofy little circular antennae that never seemed to grab the signal veruy well...

Anonymous 5:28 PM  

Thank heaven crosswords can ignore your rules! Pity your students.

santafefran 5:45 PM  

Loved the puzzle. Found it very easy and mais oui, missed the theme until coming here. Being a solver and not a constructor, I had no problem with the length of non-theme answers.

The marionette clue is timely in Santa Fe since the New Mexico Museum of Art has just opened a new exhibit: "Pulling Strings, the Marionettes and Art of Gustave Baumann" which runs through May 10 with performances every first Sunday.

Baumann is renowned for his woodblock art, but he carved some 70 marionettes which he and his wife used to entertain their children and friends from 1931-1959. They have just been painstakingly restored and are a joy to behold. Come on down and be sure to let me know when you come!

Bill from NJ 6:23 PM  

I don't know what it is about February2 but at the company where I used to work, we had 4 employees all born on Feb 2, with 2 men born the same year in the same hospital.

My youngest brother also shares that birthday. I've never seen anything like it.

acme 8:03 PM  

@Ulrich
Mein dear freund Ulrich, and I quote "Rules are there to be handled creatively, i.e. not always followed literally"
WHAT?! Oh my god, is that why they made you leave Germany?!!
:)
Ich bin ein twinkie

@edith
Thank you! I'm here when you need me! Just wish Will did! I may be being boycotted bec a) I've been pushy and demanding about asking to moderate the blogger panel and b) I spend so much time on this blog, I no longer have time to construct puzzles, I kid you not!

@Greene, et al
TOTALLY bugs me to have longer entries than themes, but at least usually they are vertical
(my least favorite answer today, the last one: HOR. That was HOR-rible.)
That said, I super liked this puzzle what with the four Weeeees.
They are all so different, unlike that "born" one that just kept adding one letter.

But homophones rule! And they come in pink.

@Orange and Joho
I thought about the this little piggy thing too, but always thought it was "WHee Whee Whee all the way home". Like "Wheeeee" on a rollercoaster, instead of "wee" like wee-wee.

@doug
Oddly, last night I made it to the last 10 minutes of a Superbowl party and when the game ended, the host made us each play (or whatever the verb is) on the giant WII.

Never seen one...but since I think you should do almost everything at least once (careful, dk!)
I tried that "soccer ball coming at your head" game, but I ducked each time and got the worst score EVER!
Not being a team player, to say the least, it seemed totally counter-intuitive to try and hit anything with my HEAD for godsakes! That's all I have going for me!

Ulrich 8:33 PM  

@Meine liebe Freundin Andrea: Well, I left Germany for a totally romantic reason--to quote the Bible from memory and freely translating from German: "A man leaves father (stepfather in my case) and mother and follows his woman (ex-Parker-House-hostess in my case)." It's as good a reason as any, I think, and better than many, to emigrate, no?

sillygoose 8:50 PM  

I really enjoyed this puzzle.

When I saw that the two long answers on the top and bottom weren't a part of the theme I laughed, possibly out loud, and wondered if the constructor wasn't having a little joke on us, sending us on a "we" hunt. (Were you thinking of us Z.J.?)

Maybe I was just laughing in anticipation of Rex's write-up.

Smogs seems OK because you've got your ozone, and your particulate matter in multiple sizes, and emissions and dust and whatever else goes into it. That reminds me, I need to get my car smogged this month.

Let me second Greene in saying that I didn't know what snick and snee was until recently, and now I just put it into the grid and don't hesitate over it.

Thanks blog!

Anonymous 9:11 PM  

FIRST!!!!!!!!!!

steve l 9:17 PM  

Let's put an end to SNICK AND SNEE for once and for all. No one says it, it's not even remotely in the language, and you have a perfectly good all-star football player's name to use when you want SNEE as your answer. When I was teaching my daughter how to get started with puzzles, she asked me what that was, and I told her, it's something you just learn.

mac 11:41 PM  

@Andrea: you just outdid yourself with this comment! About the soccer ball: only if you are sure it is a (leather) ball do you move into its direction as it is coming to you, it hurts less.

Nice to hear from the constructor, but Whee-lo would have been a Saturday+ for me!

mike 12:28 AM  

I tell you what, as I was solving the puzzle initially, I thought the themed answers would have something to do with the Mario Bros. due to marionette and Nintendo Wii. Kind of screwy.

Ryne 4:14 PM  

i got 'marionette'... then 'nintendowii' and thought "cool. a videogame related crossword...". :(

Anonymous 4:04 PM  

5wl...

winky willy wee?

- - Trebor

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