Kid-lit pachyderm - TUESDAY, May 12 2009 - W and PK King (Rocker Rundgren / Etiquette guru Vanderbilt / No exit dramatist)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "DIS-" - prefix "DIS-" is added to beginnings of four common phrases, creating wacky phrases, which are then (surprise) not "?"-clued, as usual, but clued as odd quotations someone might say ... ? ... I think that's the idea

Word of the Day: ARUBA (16A: Tourist mecca off the coast of Venezuela) - Island (pop., 2005 est.: 97,400), Lesser Antilles, off northwestern Venezuela. Aruba is an internally self-governing part of The Netherlands. It has an area of 75 sq mi (193 sq km). Its capital is Oranjestad. The majority of the present-day population is a combination of mostly American Indian, Spanish, and Dutch ancestry. Dutch is the official language; Papiamento, a Creole language, is used for daily affairs. The principal religion is Roman Catholicism. The currency is the Aruban florin. (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia)

Maybe someone can explain why the clues are rendered as quotations, without the usual "?" to indicate the wackiness of the final answer. Is there some connection between the prefix "DIS-" and speaking? Is this just an Across Lite aberration, i.e. are paper-solvers seeing quotation mark-enclosed theme clues as well? At any rate, there's not much to say here. Add "DIS-", get new phrase, clue it. It's cute how the usage of the first word in the phrase changes when you add the "DIS-" prefix. Not sure what else to say. Every bit of non-theme fill in this puzzle is straight over the plate. The end.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: "Beat swords into plowshares" ("DISARM AND HAMMER")
  • 27A: "Ignore the red, white and blue" ("DISMISS AMERICA") - I would have thought "Red," "White" and "Blue" would be capitalized.
  • 45A: "Oust from practice, then interrogate" ("DISBAR AND GRILL")
  • 61A: "Scatter while fleeing" ("DISBAND ON THE RUN")
There are some valiant attempts to liven this puzzle up via the cluing. Love the fist BUMP (11D: Fist _____ (modern greeting)) and MOOSE clues (36A: Meat favored by Sarah Palin). I read the latter as [Meat flavored by Sarah Palin], which remarkably results in the same answer. I actually got slightly thrown by 1D: Bit of verbal trumpeting (ta da!) - I wanted something like "BLAT!" (see puzzle from a few days ago), but thought it might be something more fancy like SKAT. The only Vanderbilt I could remember was Gloria, so I actually needed a cross or two to get AMY (66A: Etiquette guru Vanderbilt). There's something oddly ominous about ARAMIS and ARMANI (18D: A Musketeer + 10D: Giorgio of fashion) facing off against the SARTRE SAMBAS (41D: "No Exit" dramatist + 46D: Rio dances) - they're in symmetrical, pillar-like positions ... my god, they're tied for the longest non-theme answers at 6 letters. No wonder the puzzle doesn't have much in the way of interesting fill. By the way - SARTRE SAMBAS? Not great party music.


  • 9D: Kid-lit pachyderm (Babar) - pictures of him still adorn the walls of my little girl's room, and I grew up with this guy, so no problem.
  • 35A: Marx Brothers-like (antic) - I think of this word more often as a noun, so I may have hesitated here slightly.
  • 40A: Chuck who sang "Maybelline" (Berry) - why not?

[I've posted this before ... but it's worth rewatching]

  • 33D: Blue Grotto's isle (Capri) - well I know it's an "isle," so I got it easily enough, but I'm not familiar with the Blue Grotto. "Blue Lagoon," yes. Grotto, no.
  • 50D: Miley Cyrus, to teens (idol) - my daughter's peers are all still into "Hannah Montana" - my daughter has little interest. She has recently discovered the 90s sitcom "Sabrina: The Teenage Witch" and is devouring the episodes at an alarming rate. I realize I am dooming my daughter to a pop culture frame of reference that is 10-15 years out of date (Sally Jesse Raphael jokes, for real), but not much I can do now. She's hooked. She was hooked inside two minutes.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

Angela's write-up of today's librarianesque LAT puzzle is here.


foodie 7:30 AM  

I found the cluing with quotes confusing, as well. It implied to me that the answer itself would be a bona fide expression. But the cluing for the rest of the puzzle was so easy (for me) that I worked around it and eventually tumbled to the trick.

I had not heard the expression "beat swords into plowshares" so looked it up and found it interesting. But that suggested that the other two clues should be sayings in their own right. But I don't believe they are, are they?

foodie 7:36 AM  

PS. Correction: I meant the other 3 (not 2) theme clues should also be known phrases.

I just check "Oust from practice then interrogate" and there are only 6 answers, all related to today's puzzle (this blog, Orange, etc...)

Greene 7:49 AM  

No Exit must rank right up there with R.U.R. as a play beloved by crossword constructors which is rarely, if ever, produced. I don't think I've ever seen a professional production of either work. I've seen a college production of No Exit which was underpowered and from which I did exit, but never R.U.R.. Anybody seen either of these plays?

Tru is used quite a bit in puzzles too, but at least that had a high-profile Broadway production (starring a wickidly funny Bobby Morse) and is still widely done in regional theatre.

dk 8:01 AM  

We had Amy Vanderbilt's Etiquette guide in our bathroom. As teens we would make up what would Amy do quizzes. The upshot is I am able to dine with the Queen, cover any type of invitation and related seating arrangement.

Finally saw Dinner: Impossible. Thank you Orange and Acme.

On the puzzle: What Rex said. ANTIC was the only bump in the road.

I also thought 17a could be the answer to the question: What baking soda? And you can guess what questions I would raise for 27a, 45a, ETAL

chefbea 8:33 AM  

Very easy Tuesday.

Don't understand Band on the run???

Kurt 8:35 AM  

I'm with dk. On early week puzzles, I ignore the theme clues and get the answers from the crosses and a little common sense. Then I try to guess the clues from the answers. It's fun when you nail one.

So today, I had the puzzle solved - it was pretty easy - and set about guessing the theme clues. I had:

17-A: Put down a baking soda company
27-A: Put down a pageant winner
45-A: Put down the local pub
61-A: Put down Wings

On balance, I like the actual clues much better. I'm not fond of "Ignore the Red, White & Blue". But I love the other three. Especially "Scatter while fleeing". Short, simple and accurate.

A Prince of a puzzle by the Kings. Thanks

mac 8:41 AM  

I completely agree with Foodie's comment; have to look up the meaning of that first clue later. Dismiss America was a little startling.

I had "Nils" instead of "Tod" for a bit, but I guess he is another

Fun puzzle.

mac 8:42 AM  

Correction: that is "Todd".

@Rex: I'm with your daughter, I like that teenage witch. Better language, as well.

SethG 8:53 AM  

I'm not sure how "Beat swords into plowshares" means DISARM AND HAMMER. Maybe it's just that the hammering doesn't require disarming. The clue tries to work both literally, with the hammering, and figuratively, the disarming. On the other hand, the other verb-verb theme clue, "Oust from practice, then interrogate" works literally, then literally.

Whatever, still my fastest Tuesday ever, but that confusion with the first one kept me from being faster than PuzzleGirl, with whom I hope to share a terrorist fist jab someday.

Doug 8:53 AM  

Back in 2006, Puzzlemaster Will offered up the following challenge on his Sunday morning show:

"Name a popular tourist spot in Europe. There are four letters in the first word and six letters in the second. Spoonerise it, and you'll get a new phrase meaning got drunk. What phrases are these?"

Answer: Blue Grotto = "Grew Blotto"

ArtLvr 9:00 AM  

Nearly as quick as yesterday's! Happy memories of the Blue Grotto even with of tiny craft of bead-vendors swarming around the tour boat...

The theme made little impression, one might say dis-missable? A subtheme as I went along was finding all the hidden ARMs, after seeing RAMSES (much more familiar than the Pharaoh of the other day, which I've already forgotten).

I would have preferred a Sweeney TODD clue to a Rocker Rundgren, but won't cavil at it. The ANTIC image of tiny MICE playing at the foot of the puzzle with King BABAR the elephant at the top was cute. Onward on upward, Kings Wayne and PK!


DanaJ 9:02 AM  

I liked BABAR and MOOSE, as well as PINA and STOLI. Have never heard of OATER, which I gather is a synonym for "Western"? As in "includes horses" (who eat oats)?

retired_chemist 9:05 AM  
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Anonymous 9:07 AM  

Can someone please explain why Four-baggers: abbr = hrs? Thank You.

retired_chemist 9:08 AM  

While this theme didn’t really DISgruntle me, I wasn’t exactly gruntled either. Meh. I had never heard of Band on the Run, though Wikipedia tells me Paul McCartney wrote it, sang it with Wings, and the Foo Fighters (Who? Really?) eventually covered it. My wife tells me I seem to have missed a lot in life.

I saw NO tricks – hence not so much fun. This was just a walk on a slightly slushy sidewalk, when one hoped for a romp with a dog in a grassy meadow.

The fill was easy – way too easy to make an interesting puzzle. The theme answers became clear after a few crosses. If I could type my time would have been very good. 37A - 44A AVE MARIA was easy without crosses despite my religious inertia. 39A “ring decisions” was IDOS first because I refused to believe that there was no trick answer anywhere. Next I saw 39A, it was TKOS, all from the crosses.

Even the ambiguous answers were simple either/or choices. I guessed right the first time @ 22A: APSE, not NAVE. Guessed wrong the first time @ 56D: ETTE, rapidly corrected to ENNE. MOOSE (36A: meat favored by Sarah Palin) was obvious. Just wait 5 years – that fact will be long forgotten. Presumably so will Ms. Palin. Ever the optimist….

retired_chemist 9:09 AM  

@ anon 9:07 - hrs = HRs - home runs.

Chorister 9:14 AM  

@DanaJ - I'm guessing you are fairly new to Xwords? Oater is standard Xword fodder, so you may never have heard of it before, but you will again.

Puzzle was okay and the theme answers mostly made me smile. I was with Kurt on the put downs theme idea. I'm way more comfortable with putting down Miss American than I am with dismissing America.

@Rex et al - I raised my kids in a time warp too. Son was Zorro one Halloween, long before the recent-ish movies. Only one treat hander outer "got it" and she was incredulous. Anyway, they turned out all right and have great taste in rock music!

Glitch 9:19 AM  

I find the comments on the theme cluing a bit more confusing than than the issues they are trying to raise ;)

Since none of the quoted clues (save 2D non-theme) were complete sayings, I took them all as if had "?" instead.

Also, construction concerns aside, each theme clue/answer pair is interchangable, nice.

As far as the "dis-ing", we've seen worse.

Maybe I need to overthink this one?


Brendan Emmett Quigley 9:40 AM  

Bravo Rex. One of my buddies pretty much only listens to out jazz like Albert Ayler and Sun Ra, so his daughters (aged 4 and 2) are getting bombarded with "Space is the Place" instead of the kiddie music.

As for the puzzle itself, I too did a double take going "where's the question mark?" after the first entry, but by then attention had switched to the downs. When I returned to the Acrosses the thing was pretty much done and I was thinking about another cup of coffee. The grid was missing all sorts of Scrabble-y letters, but then again nothing offensive in the fill either.

Doug 9:59 AM  

To anonymous: A four-bagger is very arcane baseball talk for a home run. Not used any more, and I imagine most major leaguers never heard of it. Nowadays, you go "downtown," or take the pitcher deep, hit a tater, or occasionally "dial 8," the old hotel phone code for long distance. The term "grand salami" for a grand slam is awful, and some sportscasters love it. I got stuck with SALSAS for SAMBAS but otherwise routine.

XMAN 10:01 AM  

The theme answers all worked for me. I don't time myself, but I intuit this was my fastest Tuesday ever, following my fastest Monday. Of course they were EASY puzzles, but nonetheless....

Ulrich 10:17 AM  

Easy-shmeasy:I did get stuck in the SE corner b/c I put in CUBE for the "sugar unit" (is a "lump" really a "unit"?) and subsequently ROCK for "stir up"--lost time trying to make this work and subsequently untangle myself from the mess I'd made.

On the other hand, I was reday for ARUBA after mac's scholium from a week or so ago, and I love Chuck Berry.

joho 10:23 AM  

I thought Pull a boner a very awkward clue.

I, like @Kurt & @Chorister picked up on the dissing theme, which being negative, I don't like so much. But, that might just be me today as others smiled and chuckled their way through.

Perhaps I need to get some of DK's PEYOTE and with it a whole new outlook.

roxanne 10:24 AM  

why is "adin" the answer for score after deuce....looked it up and the dictionary said it meant "effeminate". Now i am totally confused. Other wise an easy tuesday puzzle

Crosscan 10:27 AM  

How can anyone not know "Band on the Run"? You must be stuck inside these four walls. Just channel your INNER AMY.

DIS is ok.

jeff in chicago 10:30 AM  

Enjoyed this. Liked the theme. Always impressed when constructors find phrases of the same length that can be skewed the same way.

@Kurt: 17A could also be "Put down the chief of Occidental Petroleum." Armand Hammer as a name always intrigued me. Named after the symbol for the Socialist Labor Party. Who names their kid after the symbol of a political party? Here's my son, Donkey McDem. WTF?? Then a brand of baking soda gets the same name. Who was buying that Socialist product??? Like who names a shoe store after a foot fungus? (Athlete's Foot) But I digress...

Like "Mental midget" as a clue for MORON.

In other personal trivia: During the days of "Animal House" mania I went to a bar in Cleveland that was having a "toga night." Todd Rundgren (and Utopia) showed up and did a surprise set. Rockin' to Todd in my bed-sheet toga. That was fun.

Anonymous 10:34 AM  

@Roxanne - ADIN is a tennis term. When a game goes to deuce, after the next point it is scored either as ADIN or ADOUT, depending on whether the server won or lost the point, respectively.
They are useful with their high value count, so they appear frequently.

XMAN 10:36 AM  

@roxanne: AD IN is the point after deuce in tennis, meaning the server has the advantage. For more, see Tennis Score in Wikipedia.

Two Ponies 10:37 AM  

Very easy Tuesday, more like a Monday.
I think there were no ?'s after the theme clues because the answers were literal translations of the clues. No word play (also no zip).
Easy week so far. I hope tomorrow gives us more of a challenge and something interesting to talk about.

Two Ponies 10:40 AM  

@ jeff in chicago You crack me up. Thanks for the trivia. I also have been intrigued by that Hammer guy's name. I had no idea. Great rant.

retired_chemist 10:49 AM  

@ Crosscan - turns out I DID know at least something about BOTR - wife confirms that what I thought was "Man on the Run" all these years was BOTR. I blame it on marginal interest and so-so hearing. I think the technical term is "hard of listening."

Jim in Chicago 10:59 AM  

I liked the combination of "get some sun" and "naked as a jaybird" in the NW.

chefbea 11:05 AM  

@retired chemist I too thought the song was Man On The Run!!! Learn something new every day...that's what xword puzzles are for.

archaeoprof 11:08 AM  

I liked this puzzle. DIS + four off-the-beaten-path phrases. Good Tuesdays are hard to find, and this is one of the better ones lately.

BTW, wasn't there some tv talking head who called the Obamas' fist bump a "terrorist fist jab"?

jae 11:16 AM  

DIS was awful easy even for a Tues.

Band On The Run was mostly recorded in Lagos, Nigeria.

Mark 11:16 AM  

Argh. Would have been low 3's, but had to erase 4 times -- ROIL for RILE, TURN/TONE, ISLE/ASEA, plus a couple in the NW corner right off the bat.

@Greene -- I've seen "No Exit" twice, some years ago in NYC and a couple months ago at a nearby community theater. Not exactly uplifting, but compelling nonetheless. Only read "RUR", though.

@Mac -- Nils is LOFGREN, so you weren't far off.

@Jeff -- surprise set of Todd/Utopia? I'm green. Although, around that same time I had a similar experience with local boy George Thorogood (we grew up less than a mile apart).

Anne 11:37 AM  

I had a weird experience with this one, mainly due to word association. With Disarm and Hammer, I'm thinking communism. Then on to Dismiss America and I'm thinking WHAT? Then I see Palin and the Moose and I'm thinking yikes, should I mention her? And isn't Todd her husband? Then disbar and disband with their negative connotations. The whole thing was weird.

jeff in chicago 11:45 AM  

@Two Ponies: I want to open a women's eyeglass store called Pink Eye. (Thank you. I'l be here all week. Try the veal.)

@Mark: I also was present for a surprise Springsteen show in a bar once. What a night that was!! Saw Heart in a club before they hit the big time. These things were not infrequent in Cleveland, which is a major reason the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame is there.

HudsonHawk 11:52 AM  

"I Saw the Light" when TODD Rundgren showed up in the grid. Then there's a shout out to our own KarmaSARTRE. Throw in a Fletch reference, and it was a pretty good Tuesday:

"BABAR? Isn't that the name of a children's elephant book?"

"I don't know, I don't have any."


"No, elephant books."

Things That Matter With Mike And Nev 12:00 PM  
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Mike 12:01 PM  

Perfectly pleasant puzzle. As Rex said, there wasn't really any memorable fill, but the theme was just fine. I did have the odd experience of struggling for way longer than I should have with the theme with the first entry, but once I figured it out, I blazed through the rest without any difficulty. I probably answered the last three theme entries in the same amount of time that it took me to answer the first one. Nice throw in of TODD Rundgren; anyone who hasn't heard Something/Anything is missing out.

Also, back in my sordid youth, I actually directed a high school production of No Exit. Ah, memories...

Anonymous 12:03 PM  

The puzzle was just so so but all of you stand-up comics are a scream today.

chefbea 12:05 PM  

@hudsonhawk - yes Babar is the name of the pachyderm in question. A great series of children's books

Anonymous 1:05 PM  

Crosscan, Exactly. Band on the Run is arguably Paul McCartneys biggest song since the Beatles. Not to know it is tantamount to not knowing Nixon resigned from office.
Mark - Went to Univ of Del and met Thorogood after a show at the State Teater in Newark... real nice guy.

HudsonHawk 1:25 PM  

Mike, that sounds pretty sordid...

retired_chemist 1:29 PM  

@ anon 1:05 - Nixon resigned? When?

chefwen 1:32 PM  

Easy as Monday's, only white out I had was for LUMP over cube.

All the theme answers just reminded me of all the pidgin english you hear around here, I thought is was all rather amusing instead of dissing.

Paul 1:37 PM  

wish I had timed myself this morning- probably would have set a record- this felt like an easy Monday puzzle- got the theme answers quickly, lots of common answers (OATER, NEATO, TKOS).
The whole thing felt a bit flat to me, but it was nice to fly through it.

jae 1:37 PM  

Overheard in a record store (yes there use to be record stores) in the mid 80s. One young girl talking to a friend -- "Oh look, Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings."

Clark 1:55 PM  

@Ulrich -- A 'lump' really is a unit. "You take sugar with your coffee? One lump or two?" Think Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant.

uptown 2:37 PM  

Am I the only one who filled in DUMBO, instead of BABAR? Then again, was Dumbo ever a (real, not just Disney marketing) book?

I kinda liked how ASEA crossed with OCEAN.

For all those confused about "beat swords into plowshares", read chapter 2 of Isaiah, verse 4 in particular. This prophetic text (which Christians believe refers to Jesus Christ) envisions a time when nations will no longer wage ware against each other. Therefore they will HAMMER (beat) their ARMs (swords) into plowshares (

Noam D. Elkies 3:03 PM  

An OK Tuesday. "Band on the run" was news to me too, and (unlike Nixon's resignation) a thoroughly forgettable bit of news. No problem with the plowshares clue. I haven't heard of Christians trying to read Jesus into that particular prophecy from Isaiah (as Uptown just wrote), but there's plenty of other church-related clues here: 19D:HERESY, 22A:APSE, and the nicely paired 32/44A:AVE/MARIA. On the other hand, a "boner" clue (for 4D) next to 5D:RAMSES and crossing 4A:ERUPT? Good thing I didn't solve this one over breakfast...


Mark 3:10 PM  

@anonymous -- U of D here, too; miss the old State. The Thorogood set I saw was at the Deer Park.

Being a huge baseball fan, he had a sandlot built in Newark, which I'd occasionally ride by in case anyone was shagging flies. One time, I ended up playing second, went to take a relay throw from CF -- and realized it was George himself playing center! Definitely down-to-earth, for a rock star.

Charles Bogle 3:59 PM  

I'm w @archaeprof...thought this was a good Tuesday test. Guess I'm still so new that the substitution of " " for ? didn't throw me; I figured I'd visit here later and find out it was some kind of inside gimmick (a la rebus).

More important, and strictly personal, this was my first Tuesday completion w/out googling a single cultural reference...i.e., I actually got them (and correctly, tho' still don't know who, e.g., Todd is) by crossing. A nice sense of accomplishment

Had and have no idea if OATER is real word. Figure horses eat oats, etc

Loved the Chuck Berry clip, thanks!

Bob Kerfuffle 4:10 PM  

Just in case anyone was wondering about 14 A, Naked AS A jaybird . . .

mac 4:28 PM  

I just saw a lot of Babar books and paraphernalia at the Morgan Library gift shop. Did the Merl Reagle Sunday puzzle on the train back, and liked it.

@r_c: like your "hard of listening". I'm afraid that expression will be used a lot from now on in this house....

@anon 1.05: how about "Ebony and Ivory"?

I think the cube is more used in the US, the lump in GB. Often the lumps are not square or rectangular, but lumpy, and also not always white.

Lisa in Kingston 4:29 PM  

No nits to pick here, just another easy puzzle.
I once had an old Dell PC running Windows 95, and I named it Maybellene cuz it always misbehaved.
Hey Bob Kerfuffle, I enjoyed reading about the Mac chord last week.
Thanks for googling that for me! ;) ;)

Lisa in Kingston 4:36 PM  

@Bob K: Steller's Jay, must be interior. Our PNW Stellar's have no white.

PlantieBea 5:19 PM  

This was an okay puzzle, but I'm giggling here over the "Man on the Run"'s one of my husband's favorite oldies (the song not the title :-) I also still have my old Todd Rundgren records from junior high days.

Thanks for the definition of a 4-bagger; that's my word of the day.

PIX 6:08 PM  

Am I the only one who doesn,t understand why Aruba is the word of the day? A very common tourist destination that was in the news a lot because some tourist was found dead there, about 3 or 4 years ago. CNN made a big to-do about it and than droppeed the story when no suspect was found. For the record: it is very hot and very windy there...but still better than Binghamton if you want sun (but so is almost any place).

Glitch 6:22 PM  

@Charles B.


OATER is one of those words clued for a Western Movie that you need to put in your "experience pack".

Your assumption as to origin is correct, refers to movies-with-horses-and-cowpokes. Comes up fairly often.

Fine fodder fill.


PS: Three more post/days and your honeymoon is over --- your nubie status will have expired. Then, may god have mercy ... ;-)


foodie 7:37 PM  

I just want to say that I love having Bogle, Kerfuffle and Glitch on this commentary. I mean I really like what you all have to say, but I love how your names sound together. If you decide to start a law office, I'd be your first client.

PS. @Charles Bogle, congratulations on your accomplishment! It's nice to stop and savor. Many of us come here not only to complain and bemoan but also to gloat. What are friends for?

acme 7:45 PM  

i used to think that "Paul was in a band before Wings" overheard in record store , etc. was total urban myth/apochryphal (sp?)...
I mean, I never really heard of anyone who actually heard it first hand...

Yet two nights ago on the bus, two 13-14 yr old girls were discussing what they'd like to name future babies (Shades of young Palin)...and one said "Lucy Joy".
Then she started singing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and the other asked what that was and she exclaimed, "You don't know the Beatles? My dad would kill me" and the other calmly said, "I know who the Beatles are, I'm just not familiar with that song"

(sorry, not dead drop hysterical, or even mildly amusing...I ain't no Jeff in Chicago! But I'm just reporting the facts...)

@ bob Kerfuffle
Thanks for the link...Now I'm inspired to use NAKEDASAJAYBIRD in a's a 15!
(Unless one of the young 'uns beats me to it!)

Leon 7:51 PM  
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Leon 8:20 PM  

Thanks W & PK King.

Across from the United Nations is the Isaiah Quote and in the UN Garden is the Sword into Plowshares Sculpture, a gift from the then Soviet Union.

dk 8:35 PM  

err @joho, I got the buttons from @fif(oops better not say).

I am thinking I should open a saloon and call it....


@charlesb for a real OATER see an Audie Murphy film. And agree with @glitch by Thursday you will be workin without a net.

And @ACME... NAKEDASAJAYBIRD tryin for a TKO :)

Ulrich 8:36 PM  

@Leon: Thanks for bringing this gem (the sculpture:-) to our attention.

@Clark (early afternoon) and mac: Thx to you, too. I guess that any object that can be preceded by a number to indicate an amount can serve as a "unit", messy as it may look and imprecise as it may be.

Son of Pethuel 9:42 PM  


Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say "I am strong." — Joel 3:10

edith b 11:27 PM  

Except for the theme entries, this was a Monday puzzle. It didn't shock me that people who don't speak English natively would have a problem with this one as comparing two similar idioms to one another could present real trouble if they weren't familiar with either side of the equation.

Kathy D. 2:30 AM  

Enjoyed the puzzle, but don't have much to say on it.

Chuck Berry singing, "Maybelline," now that's another story.

Kathy D.

MarkTrevorSmith 3:15 AM  

Disarm and hammer is sheer genius, a suitable and precise pun.

Stan 10:20 AM  

Found the theme answers solid and consistent--each one works perfectly as a phrase with or without the (abitrary) theme element.

Plus, they were actually funny!

Good job, Kings!

Anonymous 12:36 PM  

Depending on who's doing the pulling and whose boner is being pulled, it may not be an error.

Becca6296 9:04 AM  

I am with Roxanne I was very confused by score after deuce I am here conducting research for me father who only after complete surrender will ask me to peek at Rex's blog. Thank you everybody!

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