MONDAY, Feb. 23, 2009 - A Arbesfeld (Stretchable holder / "_____ 18" (Leon Uris novel) / Hoverers over sports stadiums)

Monday, February 23, 2009


Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: BAND to BUND - five theme answers end with BAND, BEND, BIND, BOND, BUND, respectively

Word of the Day: CUMMERBUND - A broad sash, especially one that is pleated lengthwise and worn as an article of formal dress, as with a dinner jacket. (answers.com)

Rather than talk about this puzzle's theme, I'll just refer you to the last time this puzzle was published - Monday, April 30, 2007. Not this puzzle exactly, but same idea. Same vowel shift. Only one theme answer overlap, though, in RUBBER BAND (17A: Stretchable holder). Not much to say beyond this. It was a Monday puzzle.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Stretchable holder (rubber band)
  • 23A: Loony (around the bend)
  • 35A: Strong family connections, idiomatically (the ties that bind)
  • 47A: Tax-free investment (municipal bond)
  • 57A: Tux go-with (cummerbund) - turns out I don't know how to spell this word; thought it was CUMBERBUND (from "cumbersome"?)

It was a good day to be a crime fiction fan, though NOIR is only appropriate if you're talking about the movie adaptation of "The Maltese Falcon" (21A: Genre for "The Maltese Falcon"). "Hard-boiled" is closer to accurate for the novel. And even then, no one called film "NOIR" in 1941. Weird to think of "The Maltese Falcon" as being a genre that had yet to be invented / defined. Just found out yesterday that Joe Gores has written a prequel to "The Maltese Falcon" called "Spade and Archer." Really want to read it, though I really want to read Lots of things, so who knows when / if that will happen. Oh, and the best answer of the day: HIRED GUNS (32D: Armed thugs). The only way it could have been better is if it had been HIRED GOONS.

Bullets:

  • 29A: Endings with mountain and election (eers) - biggest 'ouch' of the puzzle. Plural suffix! Almost makes STER look pretty (63A: Suffix with poll or pun)
  • 52A: "_____ 18" (Leon Uris novel) ("Mila") - big fat ?????? Maybe this was crosswordese back in the day. A day I was absent from crosswording class.
  • 1D: 50-acre homestead, maybe (farm) - I thought this was going to be something Way more technical / specific.
  • 3D: Internet guru (web master) - man I wanted it to be me. I fit!
  • 13D: Modern-day birthday greeting (e-card) - one of my most hated of e-answers. EMAG is still the champ. ETAIL is closing fast.
  • 10D: OK! magazine topics (celebs) - We had this word just this past weekend. Many CELEBS on display last night at the Oscars. I saw none of the nominated movies. Except "Kung Fu Panda." True story.
  • 28D: Wry comic Mort (Sahl) - last night's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was presented to non-wry comic Jerry Lewis (whom I adore)


  • 44D: Hoverers over sports stadiums (blimps) - the reason I changed CUMBERBUND to CUMMERBUND
  • 46D: One guffawing (roarer) - uh, OK. I wonder if you could've picked up the guffaw at 43A: "That's a good one!" (ha ha) in some kind of cross-referential clue without making the cluing terribly awkward.
  • 55D: Hot-weather quenchers (ades) - I like this about as much as I like E-CARD, and like CELEBS, we saw ADE just this past weekend as well. I wish there was hot weather to quench. This morning. Just snow. More snow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS I wrote a Tournament-related post last night for all those who are attending or considering attending this weekend's tournament in Brooklyn. See it here.

72 comments:

Crosscan 7:56 AM  

Same. Only slowdown was entering CUMBERBUND. Typical Monday.

We have MMM here. 16 letters have had the triple treatment (AAA, BBB, etc.) Only D, G, J, L, N, Q, T, U, V and Y are left out. Could make a puzzle out of this.

CroSSScan

Greene 8:02 AM  

@Rex: I was reminded of your admonition to proof the puzzle when I noticed I had gotten an erroneous L in the grid this morning giving me LILA instead of MILA for 52A. I don't know the Uris work, so it sounded reasonable enough. I never bothered to check the cross though, so I ended up with ALMAN for the capital of Jordon! Nice going.

I know it's been said a lot around here lately, but it really is not all about speed. Sooner I get that through my gourd, the sooner I'll stop messing up easy Monday puzzles. Sheesh.

Amy Reynaldo 8:21 AM  

Turns out that BAND, BEND (an alternate meaning of it, a homonym), BIND, BOND, and CUMMERBUND's last syllable are all etymologically related.

I saw all three of the Animated Feature nominees, along with many of the action pictures with nominations for sound or visuals (Iron Man, Dark Knight, Hellboy 2). Oh, and Tropic Thunder on DVD a couple days ago. But none of the heavy-hitters. Did I miss anything? Nah. I choose to believe the critical reviews of Benjamin Button and Slumdog.

Chorister 8:35 AM  

Back when I was growing up, and my growing up was all about farms even if we didn't technically live on one, all farm related areas were in 40 acre multiples. So the 50 acre farm is a wtf for me.

Mila still doesn't look right, but I really don't know Uris outside of crosswords and the crosses wouldn't have it any other way.

Learned cummerbund wasn't cumberbund eons ago but don't remember why. Probably one of my mom's pet peeves, like saying ec-scape for escape.

I'm a simple girl and take delight in many things, but I'm really starting to not like change-a-vowel puzzles. Anyway, this was OK for Monday.

JannieB 8:40 AM  

Fastest Monday ever - started in the NW and never stopped. Agree with the same wince-inducing suffixes, otherwise -- it's a nice Monday puzzle!

dk 8:42 AM  

I like the vowels (from A in band to U in bund) marching like ANTS down the grid.

My only gripe is with all the phobias in the world why do we always pick on ACRO.

My best monday time as I well was well under 3 min. Slowed by 20 secs. thinking it was Cumberund. I gotta get out more.

I watched part of the Oscars and asked lovely wife: Who are these people? I did not know many of the presenters. Again, gotta get out more.

I do have to say that my crush on Glodie Hawn is still alive and well.

@greene, at the risk of sounding like Yoda: When you let go of speed faster will you go.

May the force be with you.

dk 8:44 AM  

sorry one to many wells, off to the slopes. Alas no TBAR and the rope tow is now a belt one stands on.

mac 8:57 AM  

Cumberbund.
A decent Monday puzzle, with some cute words like chaw, peter and snip and snap.
I'm not sure if I should do as many puzzles as possible this week in preparation for the tournament, or do a little meditation or yoga....
I was happiest about Sean Penn winning the best actor Oscar, but was surprised Leo DeCaprio wasn't even nominated for his part in "Revolutionary Road", my favorite film of the bunch.

joho 9:00 AM  

@dk: I suffer from ARACHNOphobia ... I wonder it that's been in the grid???

Thought this a typical Monday ... I look forward to tomorrow.

What I'm really excited about is how everybody does at the tournament.

retired_chemist 9:14 AM  

Five theme answers (61 letters) in a 15X15 is pretty impressive, although I agree the theme is MEH. Went across as fast as I could, then down ditto. Had XENO for the 31A phobia in expectation it wouldn't last. It didn't. This left me with P_RO_ for 22D, and filled it in with the needed ET. Got to thinking whether my fellow Texan Ross pEroT was/is an ET. Not sure even now.....

Never heard of MILA 18 (52A) but the crosses made it easy.

All in all a nice Monday puzzle.

PlantieBea 9:16 AM  

Like others, I never heard of cummerbund, although the online dictionary has cumberbund as the variant of cummerbun. The etymology from the online MW dictionary:
Hindi & Urdu kamarband, from Persian, from kamar waist + band band
Where'd that b in cumberbun come from?

Joe 9:16 AM  

I'm tired of seeing ELHI. No one has ever used this word.

PlantieBea 9:17 AM  

Whoops, typos, so add d's to those cummer/cumber buns :-)

Wade 9:22 AM  

The reason I know "Mila 18," and maybe the only thing it's remembered for, is that it's the reason Joseph Heller changed the title of his novel from "Catch 18" to . . . well, you know.

I also have seen only Kung Fu Panda, and only parts of that. Somebody loaned it to my kids last week, and now my 4-year-old daughter is Kung Fu crazy.

Can't make the tournament because of my agoraphobia (fear of Al Gore, who is likely to show up almost anywhere.)

Unlike Jerry Lewis and Mickey Rourke, I'm considered sort an idiot in France. [Another golden oldie.]

retired_chemist 9:28 AM  

@ Joe - I agree. Mostly I think those in the biz say "K through 12."

CUMBERBUND? Cucumber and cumbersome are words we all probably use a lot more often than cummerbund. So I can see the trap.

Ulrich 9:48 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve in Boston 9:54 AM  

I must be more familiar with CUMMERBUNDs because of my high school choir days. Sparkly gold and blue lame cummerbunds....

(That's supposed to be the fabric "lah-MAY", but if you want to read it simply as "lame" instead, you would not be wrong.)

Ulrich 10:02 AM  

The other day, I had to accept grudgingly that Klatsch lost its s when it migrated to English. So today, I was ready to pounce on Kummerbund ("sash of sorrow") changing its opening k to c and thus no longer expressing grief. But boy, was I wrong: The German version derives from the English version, which in turn derives from Hindi "kamerband", which simply means "hip ribbon". At last, that's what my German sources tell me.

And I always thought a Kummerbund was an expression of regret about an expanding waistline!

HudsonHawk 10:15 AM  

OK with the puzzle, but it would have been so much better if THE TIES THAT BIND had been clued as a Bruce Springsteen song. Too obscure for a Monday, I guess.

I did like SNIP, SNAP, SLAP.

Anonymous 10:17 AM  

Also learnt it was CUMMERBUND not CUMBER since there was no way to change BLIMPS and I knew MILA 18 cold. Everyone calling himself a literist ought to know that one.

Thought rather EASY - wonder if REX can elaborate on the MEDIUMMONDAYCALL.

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

"Literist?" What the hell is that?

william e emba 10:28 AM  

Am I in the minority here? Once I got the B-ND theme, I jumped down and filled in CUMMERBUND without any crosses. As to how I knew the word, right down to the -MM-, I have no idea. I've never worn one, or even been in a situation where the option came up for discussion. Perhaps James BOND or Bruce Wayne wore one at some point in my reading?

Edward Lear had a poem "The Cummerbund". Jasper Fforde The Big Over Easy had a running joke about the late Humpty Dumpty--was he wearing a cravat or cummerbund? (Lewis Carroll only had a cravat versus belt joke.) But I knew CUMMERBUND long before I knew of either.

I thought MILA 18 was standard crosswordese. The only Leon Uris novel I've read is QB VII, but most of his other titles ring a bell.

The NYT dead tree edition has become noticeably thinner this past year. I don't know if this is a quirk of fewer physical sections, loss of advertising, and/or just less paper reporting. One surprising puzzle effect: twice in a row (last Saturday, now today), the puzzle was on the last page of the Arts section, which is usually a full page ad. I haven't seen the puzzle on the last page in years, and now twice?

Anonymous 10:28 AM  

Love the Jerry Lewis clip, although I notice, as a former ink-stained wretch (newspaper reporter), that he's pushing the shift lever from the wrong side. It's on the left on those old things called typewriters for you kids in the group.
- Tom in Pittsburgh

mac 10:34 AM  

@william e emba: I also happened to think the newspaper was very light when I picked it up at my front door this morning. In my version the puzzle is on page 7 of the 10-page arts section. The last page has the tv listings.

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

@Anon 10:22 I'm a literist, and I've got the tickets, sentences to community service cleaning up roadsides up and down the east coast to prove it.

fikink 10:47 AM  

@Chorister, I had the same reaction to the 50-acre FARM. As I previously noted when PLAT had appeared on puzzles, farmland of which I am aware here is bought and sold usually in 40-acre parcels; hence, such expressions as "the back 40" or "the lower 40." (This might be different in Detroit.)
I don't understand the medium rating either. Once I had BAND and BEND, I thought BIND, BOND, BUND were givens.
@ulrich - the sorrow of the expanding waistline, LOL, kind of like the veil of tears.

Two Ponies 10:50 AM  

I liked that the vowel changes followed their order in the alphabet. Agree that it was Med. for a Monday puzzle. Hoping for a better week than last week. Good luck to all going to the tournament.

Anonymous 10:51 AM  

Anon 10:44, I think I saw you the other day in your orange vest picking up trash near Mila 18.

mexgirl 11:07 AM  

I also know cummerbunds from singing in a choir and seeing all the men dressed in their tuxes for our recitals. Other than adding color to an otherwise boring penguin suit, the said cummerbund is a pretty useless piece of clothing if there ever was one.
As a nice encounter for me in today's puzzle, both my mom and sister are named Mila :-)

steve l 11:12 AM  

@joe--I agree about ELHI. I understand what it's supposed to mean, and some suppliers (like book publishers) do use it, but in over 30 years in education, I've never heard it used by an actual human being. K through 12 is used a lot, usually written K-12. I just chuckle whenever it comes up, and dutifully fill it in.

Anne 11:17 AM  

A MacGuffin is a term for an object or idea that creates conflict and drives a story. The classic example is the Maltese Falson and I think I read that the term was coined by Hitchcock. In any case, it is one of my favorite movies.

And until today I would have sworn that it was cumberband.

@Evil Doug - Thanks for the info about Dayton and the kind words. I'll let you know when we go. To be specific, he was an electronic warfare officer, and I'm just glad he made it back, many of his buddies didn't.

Ulrich 11:19 AM  

@fikink: Ah yes, the famous veil of tears--a sash of sorrow really comes into its own when flooded under a veil of tears.

Anne 11:21 AM  

I should have checked my comment, I suppose. I meant Falcon and cumberbund, of course. Geez.

jubjub 11:36 AM  

Hmm, I had CHeW for CHAW, AhMAN for AMMAN. Not a good start to the week for me, two mistakes on a Monday :).

Seemed like there were a lot of plurals in today's puzzle.

I am full of complaints, aren't I?

evil doug 11:40 AM  

The ties that bind me are hunks of string cheese.

Evil

Jim in Chicago 11:41 AM  

@Crosscan,

Here are some options for the missing triple-letter answers courtesy of Google:

DDD - defined daily doses - a pharmaceutical term
GGG - code for East Texas Regional Airport
JJJ - J. Jonah Jameson (minor Marvel Comic Character)
LLL - acronym for Lutheran Layman's League
NNN - acronym for National Numeracy Network (seems nicely crosswordish)
QQQ - traded fund allow investors to invest in all the Nasdac stocks.
TTT - "Third Tier Toilet" slang for bad colleges for idiots.
UUU - name of a band
VVV - VVV-Venlo is a Dutch football club
YYY - Yeah Yeah Yeahs, another band.

So - the puzzle you have in mind is theoretically possible.

twangster 12:44 PM  

For what it's worth, Warren Zevon's "Mr. Bad Example" has a funny reference to cummerbunds:

I started as an alter boy, working at the church
Learning all my holy moves, doing some research
Which led me to a cash box, labeled "Children's Fund"
I'd leave the change, and tuck the bills inside my cummerbund

chefbea 1:05 PM  

Loved the Jerry Lewis clip.

Puzzle was pretty easy although after I got rubber band and ties that bind I was sorta looking for paper clip and other things that hold things together.

Wonder if I will get many e-cards for my birthday this week

PlantieBea 1:20 PM  

@twangster:

Funny, and certainly a good example of an "alter" boy :-)

These days, altar servers are not allowed near the collection money. Nor do they wear cummerbunds of any sort.

Parshutr 1:46 PM  

I actually READ Mila 18...typical Uris, hardly a literary epic, but then neither was Exodus.
When I was a kid, I used to pronounce the word bomber sounding the second b, instead of like comb (rhymes with home). Who knew? But never heard or thought of misspelling cummerbund.

edith b 1:59 PM  

Leon Uris is a favorite author of mine. I am a fan of WWII movies and one of them, Battle Cry, led me to the author who is probably best known for Exodus.

Mila 18 is the story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and Uris, being a Jew himself, put a lot into it. Probably explains Exodus and QBVII too.

I agree that the theme is a trifle bland but it seems like these days it is necessary for the vowels to march down the page in order to be acceptable. The times they are evolving.

easylob 2:27 PM  

@Jim in Chicago

UUU -- is that the band formerly known as U-2?

Noam D. Elkies 2:59 PM  

A nice puzzle for Downs-only solving; I didn't even mind the imbalance of having one of the five B?ND endings not be a separate word, because it's the last one and so functioned as a punchline. Starting from 23A (...BEND) and 35A (...BIND), I guessed that the 10-letter Across entries might also be part of the theme, and thus that it would be AEIOU; confirmed with 17A (...BAND); realized that BUND is not a word (pace Ulrich); then "huh?" became "aha -- CUMMERbund!☺"

Thanks to Amy Reynaldo for the etymological connection. This reminds me: the -mb- misspelling may be by association with "cumbersome", though that seems to be a false cognate.

NDE

P.S. @joho -- ARACHNO, feh. I wanna see TRISKAIDEKA in the grid. ;-)

Anonymous 3:00 PM  

Mila is a great Uris novel, and the Mila 18 is the street address in the Warsaw Ghetto where the guns are cached.

Noam D. Elkies 3:23 PM  

Oops -- I wrote "I wanna see TRISKAIDEKA in the grid", but of course should have written "as a mathematician, ..."

I also forgot: thanks, Rex, for the Jerry Lewis clip. I heard Leroy Anderson's Typewriter many times as a kid because it was (and for all I know still is) the theme song for a radio news show in Israel -- indeed the Wikipage for "Typewriter" says it's "been used as the theme for numerous radio programs"; but I don't think I've ever seen the J.Lew version.

NDE

Crosscan 3:24 PM  

I have HOMERPHOBIA - fear of being turned into a Simpsons character.

Anonymous 3:39 PM  

Kinda agree about it being a bland theme, but its a simple Monday so I am okay with it.

Actually, maybe I can make my own theme (following the guidance from Sunday) - BLAND, BLEND, BLIND, BLOND, BLUND..ER? There you go!

Now I just need to get the best entries together and wait for my byline in the newspaper!

JohnG

Jimmy D 3:54 PM  

I love it when I can un-learn words I have always been saying wrong! CuMMerbund...who'd've thunk. I've always added a B.

Sherbet is another word I only recently learned to say correctly.

Nice smooth Monday puzzle. Nothing earth shattering. It must have been hard coming up with a -BUND word for the chain.

I can't stand ECARDS...the word or the actual product. How little thought goes into sending one of those! In the same amount of time, one could write an actual heartfelt email of their own. And not subject the recipient to that annoying electronic music!

chefwen 3:58 PM  

Only mistake I made today was filling in MILO 18 instead of MILA which was pretty lame on my part because I have read the book, granted, it was many moons ago, but really!

Jim in Chicago 5:17 PM  

@Easylob

I have no idea whether U2 became U3 or if this is an entirely different band. I could look it up, but I'd rather be reading Rex!

allan 6:05 PM  

Agree it was an easy puzzle. It must have been bland, because here it is 5:30 PM, and only 50 posts.

So let's liven it up a little. Mila 18 happens to be one of my favorite novels. I first read it about 30 years ago, maybe even longer than that. If it were made into a film today, I am sure that it would be accompanied by the description, "Based on real facts". As it was pointed out earlier, the novel is about the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.

The novel was the first time my eyes were opened to the fact that we of the Jewish persuasion actually did something other than march into the gas chambers.

And please, if we are going to be PC on this site, stop referring to us as Jews. We are Jewish. Leon Uris is Jewish. Calling me a Jew is like calling an African-American a... Well you get the picture.

I am sure there will be some of my landsmen who will disagree with that statement, but deep down, I think we all get our backs up when referred to that way. That's just the way it is.

Please forgive me in advance if I seem a little harsh here. I get very emotional about this. I have been exposed to way too much anti-semitism in my lifetime.

humorlesstwit 6:42 PM  

@Allan - I'm 53, and never heard anyone make your point. Thanks for speaking up.

Badir 7:06 PM  

I thought it was pretty funny that, even though MILA 18 hasn't been an answer in the NYT since I started solving a few years ago (at least, not it the puzzles I've done), and I didn't feel like I'd ever seen it before, it was in a clue for today's CrosSynergy puzzle! If only I'd done that one first....

Catherine K 7:36 PM  

@Allan: Thank you for clearing up the Jew/Jewish question. I have always felt uncomfortable hearing someone referred to as a Jew, thinking it sounded rude, but because it was technically accurate, I wasn't sure. Now I know!

I don't like the word ROARER (46D): too hard to pronounce. Just like the movie mentioned in a couple of episodes of 30 Rock: The Rural Juror.

Must-see Oscar movies IMHO are The Reader and Milk.

steve l 7:57 PM  

@Catherine K--As a Jew and proud of it, don't listen to Allan. He doesn't speak for us all. It has been said that if you put two Jews in a room, you will have three opinions.

Whether or not being called a Jew is offensive depends on the way it is said and the way it is used. If it's in a factual and unprovocative way, it's fine. If it's blaming us for everything from measles to the weather, not so much.

My son Joseph, a senior in college and the former head of his Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, sometimes goes by the nickname Joe the Jew.

Adam Sandler, himself a Jew, uses the word in his Chanukah song.

My rabbi refers to us as Jews and to any Jewish individual, whether specific or in the abstract, as a Jew. That's good enough for me.

The definition for who is entitled to citizenship in Israel is generally posited: Who is a Jew? In fact, if you Google "Who is Jewish," most of the hits you'll get actually contain the text "Who is a Jew" instead.

In brief, I am a Jew.

Adrian 8:38 PM  

I know this is off-crossword-topic, but it is about words that make some people cross - so maybe it's ok.
For all the religions I can think of, there is a noun and an adjective form.
A christian is christian, a muslim is muslim, and none of these are (necessarily) abusive.
I can see an argument being made that using a religious noun to describe someone diminishes the whole person, but the alternative is horrible circuitous pc-ness like 'a person of the jewish faith'.
I agree with Catherine K - somehow 'Jew' makes me uncomfortable too; perhaps because it's the form that gets used by bigots.
So, is there a noun form that everyone accepts?

Glitch 8:49 PM  

excuse me, but must interject.

If this is a xword puzzle blog,
and the puzzle doesn't generate enough interest on a particular day, I don't feel it's proper to branch out on a tangent just because you're bored here.

I read this blog because of it's puzzle related subject matter. I assume [hope] others do too.

If you want to "bait the bear", please do so in relation to the puzzle, not because you want to generate controversy and up the post counts.

The "bait the bear" concept is difficult (I know from experience), but let's keep to both the letter and spirit of this blog --- Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle.

.../Glitch

andrea carla michaels 8:49 PM  

JAW, JEW, JIW, JOW, JUW

You see?!!! It's harder than it looks!
I actually loved the puzzle (tho didn't love that the theme had been used just two years ago, I thought it was a new one!)

It's SUPER hard to come up with five lively entries AND in alphabetical order and lengths matching...
I know I've said this before (I think when I explained my PACK PECK PICK puzzle... (Also did one with HACK, HECK, HICK...etc)

It's SO much harder than it seems to come up with them (evidence the BLAND, BLOND ref above, fine till you hit BLUND.)

I love Alan Arbesfeld puzzles and always wish I had come up with whatever he had come up with!

Sorry this puzzle isn't getting more love and lots of those dismissive "Oh well, what can you say about a Monday?"-type comments!

Just thought I'd pipe in to say I enjoyed it...
PAPE, PEPE, PIPE, POPE, PUPE...

see, it's Hard!

HARD, HERD, HIRD, HORD, HURD...

Seriously, try it! I can't Stop!

STAP STEP STIP STOP SCHTUP

steve l 9:03 PM  

@Adrian--I was almost going to write a second post relating to exactly what you said, but I figured, I'd already talked enough. You're right, in a sense, that there are not separate adjective and noun forms of other religions, and therein lies the potential for problems with Jew and Jewish. These problems often derive from the noun form, Jew, being used as an adjective, such as Jew culture, Jew food. That is offensive, if for no other reason than it seems positioned to offend. But to say that someone is a Jew is not an offense.

Glitch--Leon Uris, author of Mila 18, which was in the crossword, was a Jew, and often wrote on Jewish themes. Jewishly, I might add.

acme 9:05 PM  

gotta go with Glitch on this one, stevel. It was just brought up to stir things up!

STAVE STEVE STIVE STOVE STUVE...
oy! so close!

Anonymous 9:22 PM  

ACME

Did you bait the bears?
mate
mete
mite
mote
mute

last
lest
list
lost
lust

/mee

steve l 9:24 PM  

I will bow out here, and abide by the three-and-out rule. I've said all there is to say (I think!) on the topic.

I'll bite, what's STIVE or STUVE?

mac 9:34 PM  

@Andrea:
mare mere mire more mure

bag beg big bog bug

Dane Dene (Canadian tribe) dine done dune

Now I will probably not sleep tonight....

andrea carla 9:38 PM  

@mee
I stayed up all last night trying to do the L*ST word one...and because of the word LAST I had it as the LAST word...got everything to balance, match, etc. but got stuck on LEST. Needed a nine-letter word to proceed it and it was going to be only part of a word at best (eg SIMPLEST), just couldn't manage!

I did my BAST BEST BIST BOST BUST.

@Stevel
Exactly!

andrea carla 9:41 PM  

@mac
that's my whole point...it's not JUST finding a list of five that works, you then need to use them in colorful 11-15 letter long phrases...IN THE SAME POSITION (either at the beginning or end)
AND the A entry must match in length the U entry, and the E with the O and the I must be 13 or 15...

IT"S SUPER HARD AND ALAN (THE JEW?) DID A FABULOUS JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ok. eighty three and out.

Margaret 9:50 PM  

Very busy day so I only just got to the puzzle -- and the blog. One comment: ELHI is most certainly used in the textbook publishing industry. It may be a specialized term but no more so than STET -- which is also frequently used in same said industry.

chefbea 10:14 PM  

track
treck
trick
trock
truck

this is fun

g'nite

fergus 10:17 PM  

The Merchant of Venice, revisited. By the comments.

To AA, the constructor, who I hope found some relish in seeing the byline in the paper, I found this a pretty good Monday puzzle. Acme may have become distracted at this point, but I'll still defer to her finer judgment for whatever play with words we may find.

mac 10:26 PM  

@Acme: you are right. As usual there is so much more to the construction than the just-solvers see.....

PhillySolver 10:55 PM  

ACME,
You mean a phrase like: we do not moLEST?

In Greek Mythology, Elysium is sometimes referred to the "Isles of the bLEST" which is a 15.
http://homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/IslesBlest.html

Partials?
The New Testament records in Hebrews,"Judge not LEST you be judged."
and from Shakespeare..."Mind your speech a little LEST you should mar your fortunes."
and I could go on, like this one with nine letters before the lest... Nicolas Malebranche, "Do not fear LEST you should meditate too much upon Him and speak of Him in an unworthy way, providing you are led by faith"

Good luck!

allan 12:04 AM  

I really want to thank those of you who showed the compassion and understanding regarding my point. I know I started my post with "let's liven things up", which was an attempt to keep my comments on the lighter side. I failed at that, because once I get started on this topic, I get very emotional. Here's an example of why

Anonymous 3:41 AM  

I really enjoyed this theme and I wasn't doing puzzles two years ago so it is new to me.

I can't believe it's not cumBerbund! (I also said sherbeRt for a long time.)

I like how rubber band and cummerbund are ties that bind. I like around the bend because I am... I like municipal bond because... hmm. I dunno.

I definitely thought this was livelier than the average Monday. ACROphobia might be boring, but not if you happen to suffer from it!

@allan, that's a pretty chilling clip.
I am Jewish and half Canadian - does that put me in the majority here?

-sillygoose

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