MONDAY, Jun. 15 2009 — Currier's partner in lithography / Le Dejeuner des Canotiers painter / Willow for wicker / Commercial prefix with Lodge

Monday, June 15, 2009



Constructor: John Dunn

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: PR MEN (38A: Promoters ... or a description of 17-, 23-, 46- and 57-Across) — theme answers are men whose initials are "P.R."

Word of the Day: OSIER (65A: Willow for wicker) — n.

    1. Any of several willows having long rodlike twigs used in basketry, especially the Eurasian Salix viminalis and S. purpurea.
    2. A twig of one of these trees.
  1. Any of various similar or related trees.

[Middle English, from Old English oser and Old French osier, both from Medieval Latin osera, osiera.]

I've got nothin' this morning. You know, I once had this idea for a puzzle — repurpose the crosswordy word CBERS (those who use a CB radio) as a theme, then have the theme answers be all people whose initials were "C.B." Charles Bronson, Carrie Bradshaw, whatever. But then I thought, "Nah, that's not clever at all." And then I did today's puzzle. The end. Here's a question — why does every single site I look at for RENOIR have his name as PIERRE-AUGUSTE? That's how his name exists in my head as well. Seems bad form at a minimum, and flat wrong at a maximum, to put him in the puzzle as simply PIERRE RENOIR. In fact, PIERRE RENOIR is a different guy entirely — PIERRE RENOIR was RENOIR's son, a stage actor, and the older brother of filmmaker Jean RENOIR. So many PR MEN in the world, you'd think you could find a sub here for PIERRE-Auguste.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: "Portnoy's Complaint" author (Philip Roth)
  • 23A: Founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network (Pat Robertson)
  • 46A: "Le Dejeuner des Canotiers" painter (Pierre Renoir)
  • 57A: He didn't really cry "The British are coming!" (virtually anybody, but here, Paul Revere)

I had one little slip-up on my way to the finish. Did the Downs in the NW without proper attention to the crosses. Clues like 3D: With 41-Down, seemingly will make me do that. Just wing it. So I had AS IF instead of AS IT. Then I spelled 4D: Be a wizard or an elf, say, in Dungeons & Dragons thusly: ROLL PLAY. You ROLL dice in D&D. That is my paltry defense. Then I looked up in the NW a bit later and saw that I had SIFL for 20A: Word after Web or camp (site). Otherwise, an ERROR-free (32D: Misplay, e.g.), EASY (37A: "Duck soup!") Monday.

Bullets:

  • 14A: "The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg" writer (Aesop) — had the AES- and without looking at the clue (!) wrote in AESIR. This is why I don't use pen.
  • 52A: Currier's partner in lithography (Ives) — Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt IVES, in case you ever wondered. There's also a Burl IVES and a composer, Charles IVES.



  • 62A: Three wishes granter (genie) — I'm just going to entertain myself this morning...



  • 22D: They're worn under blouses (bras) — crossing a hosiery clue (22A: Hosiery hue). Nice.
  • 29D: "Mum's the word!" ("It's a secret!") — this is probably just fine, but for some reason isn't striking me as a common exclamatory phrase. "It's a deal!" Yes. This one ... OK, maybe.
  • 28D: Mulching matter (peat) — alliteration!
  • 44D: Stock analysts study them (trends) — I had the "T" and threw down TRENDS as a first guess. Lucky.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

My L.A. Times puzzle write-up is here.

103 comments:

retired_chemist 8:50 AM  

OK Monday puzzle but not a treat. Not much to complain about either. I am not a fan of such themes. P______ R_________ just doesn’t do it for me. This was a bit better than some, because 38A PR MEN at the center of the puzzle was a neat, concise summary of the theme. However it was my next to last fill. I had no trouble with any of the theme names. Two I knew straightaway, and two I got after a few crosses.

Overwrites: 21A ERA -> EON, 22A TAUPE -> BEIGE (last fill, during recheck) and 56A NUTS -> DARN. Several other four-letter words, both scatological and non, would have fit the latter as well. Perhaps scatology was prompted by yesterday's puzzle. Might have had more but didn’t, viz.: NAPA for 16A, COKE or SODA or COLA for 2D, WALL for 39A, EVADE for 48A.

Meh.

PlantieBea 9:18 AM  

An easy Monday for me. The only write-over was EON where I had ERA. I liked seeing OSIER in the puzzle and as the word of the day. Otherwise, there's not much to talk about with this one--glad it had four themed answers, the punch line in the middle, and the IMAGE bonus.

hazel 9:26 AM  

I thought this puzzle just oozed Mondayness - in a good way, of course. I had PR Men with Phillip Roth, a rarity for me to get the first theme clue and know the theme right off the bat. Lots of Ps and Rs otherwise, and no clue fatigue at all for me - in other words, no words that i'm just completely sick of seeing.

I do think it might be time to start thinking about transitioning away from hosiery shades (ecru, taupe, and beige (a first for me). I just don’t see the kids wearing hosiery in the future. Seems a bit bygone. Catchy puzzle for me.

XMAN 9:26 AM  

Sorry I missed y'all yesterday: The puzzle didn't appear in the NYT Mag! I
was so mad, I just about fired up a letter--to whom? Well, there you have it, how can you know where the fault lies? Or the remedy.

Following on RP's note on the alliteration in 28d: The consonant rePEATs.

PIX 9:27 AM  

No complaints...agree with Medium for Monday rating.

PIX 9:30 AM  

@XMAN: ??? The puzzle was in my edition of the Times Mag...the Mag is smaller with different font but the puzzle was in the usual spot.

Ruth 9:33 AM  

It's BURL Ives. My grade school music teacher played his records for us a lot. "Big Rock Candy Mountain" was a fave. Just looked him up--his 2 middle names are ICLE IVANHOE. Wow! That ICLE might come in handy in a late-week puzzle some time. . .

XMAN 9:34 AM  

PIX: Some of the copies must have been misbound. The paper is printed in various places depending on region.
I get the New England edition. Some pages appear to be missing.

Charles Bogle 9:35 AM  

I agree w @Rex, @retired_chemist, @hazel: catchy, jut-the-right-kind-of-I-needed-that Monday puzzle

...a few nice twists: LAM--don't see it much; EASY (I always wondered what "Duck Soup!" meant); STENO (I'm the only one in my office who still dictates memos and briefs to my ass't who has great shorthand/ STENO skills; a dying art); NEHI (who else remembers?)

Still, some candidates for my personal list of -retire-these-old-chestnuts: ERIE; EON; ETA...but they're just right for early week puzzles

Did anyone else attempt the Wall St Journal weekend puzzle...ouch!

ArtLvr 9:40 AM  

I did the same as PlantieBea, Era first for EON. And i agree with Rex on the sticky omission of Renoir's full first name, PIERRE-Auguste. At least JEAN Stapleton wasn't a Jean-Luc something.

I'm very fond of Burl IVES, and he deserves to be in an Americana setting, yet the cluing with Currier is perhaps easier for a Monday (?).

∑;)

Karen from the Cape 9:52 AM  

PRMEN isn't very PC, is it? No corresponding term PR women. Would the proper term be PR people, or PRists? I remember when folks laughed at the term chairperson back at the start of all the PC talk, and now no one thinks twice about using it. Same with firefighter, police officer, and mail carrier.

I liked the randomness of ITS A SECRET and FINISH LINE.

Brendan Emmett Quigley 9:57 AM  

Nothing too special here. I agree with the "why these guys?" element. I feel if you're going this route, shove 5+ in a grid or something.

Belated thanks to all who liked my puzzle yesterday.

XMAN 9:58 AM  

@Karen From The Cape: Unless I'm mistaken, all officers in the U.S. armed forces are addressed as "sir," regardless of sexual distraction. "Put that in your Broadway pipe," as Jack Kerouac said.

Katherine S. 10:05 AM  

Yesterday's NYTimes magazine also had two different covers! Our neighbors who get NYT delivery had a different cover from ours which is delivered by an independent. Ours was gold with a dense cityscape and a hot pink "INFRASTUCTURE" in the center. Reminded me of the New Yorker cover a year or so back!

PuzzleGirl 10:12 AM  

Easy breezy. I also tried taupe for BEIGE and drat for DARN. I didn't fall for the era/EON trick — when I see that clue, I just enter the E and check the crosses.

@Charles Bogle: There's always that one guy who has a secretary that uses shorthand!

@Karen from the Cape: Good catch on the sexist language. I like "PR People." You're so right that we've come a long way. But seriously, how many of you still hear people use the term stewardess? Also workman's comp. Ack!

archaeoprof 10:16 AM  

Easy, breezy Monday puzzle.

@Rex: thanks for explaining OSIER. Never heard of it before.

@ACME: every Monday I look to see if it's one of yours. Please come back!

Campesite 10:16 AM  

I liked that the theme answers were anchored by PR Men (people), but did not like that the third down made me refer to another clue. Meh.
(I did like 20A-campSITE).

George NYC 10:26 AM  

Agree with Rex re Renoir. Pierre?

A day I don't think of Pat Robertson or PR men is a good day.

I don't think Whoopie or Billy will be hosting the Oscars again. They are erstwhile...

Elaine 10:26 AM  

Rex -- why medium? I found this easy, even for a Monday -- My only overwrite was ERA/EON. Agree about "Pierre Renoir," though -- not really his name...

Happy Monday, everyone!

Glitch 10:29 AM  

@KatherineS

The 2 covers are explained on pg 4 of the Mag --- perhaps this is also the source of @Xman's problem.

@Xman

"Maam" was used when women officers were a "novelty", thus eventually considered "demeaning" by some. Later in the era of PC, "Sir" became considerd "unisex", but not required. Go figure.

.../Glitch

Rex Parker 10:37 AM  

For those who solved yesterday's puzzle: you can see Brazilian soccer sensation KAKÁ on ESPN2 right now (Brazil v. Egypt). He already has one goal (as far as I can tell - I tuned in late).

rp

Crosscan 11:17 AM  

Well half the comments so far relate to yesterday's puzzle so that says it all about today's effort.

So I'll start things off: What's the chemical term for beets? How about in German?

Rex Parker 11:18 AM  

Seriously, Egypt v. Brazil. Right now. Fans are weeping ... it's intense.

rp

Ann 11:35 AM  

I didn't like yesterday's puzzle (sorry, BEQ) today's was very nice. "Shoving in" more PR names isn't necessary when the gimmick is good. Cute and literate Monday

PhillySolver 12:01 PM  

...and KAKA wins it...RP provides the reverse of the Sports Illustrated jinx.

The point on Renoir well taken. If your name is Jean-Marie you do not get called Jean. AAMOF, it would be an insult.

fikink 12:06 PM  

OSIER is old crossword and "Mums the word," used to be more often quipped. From "mummers," I assume?
Must be a generational thing.

NILES is, foremost, Frasier's brother and I don't think it would have hurt to clue him as such: If you know Niles, you know his relationship to Frasier.

Rex Parker 12:11 PM  

KAKA won it on a penalty kick in stoppage time (boo), but still cool. KAKA! Clearly BEQ gave him some mojo.

Still, close. I blinked and Egypt scored two goals in the 2nd half to tie it. Crazy.

PAT ROBERTSON and (a Wrong) PIERRE RENOIR are "literate?"

rp

chefbea 12:14 PM  

I"m back... Todi is beautiful as always. I had no trouble getting Sunday's puzzle - it was in the Saturday international tribune

easy puzzle today

time to go shopping

Doug 12:55 PM  

@Karen, not too PC if referring to both genders, but they're all males, so I vote "okay" for PRMEN.

I read Air Canada mag article on smoking food with PEAT--The new thing for TV chefs to Bam and Pow about? I just ran my dried cherry tree prunings through my chipper to make nice woodsmoke and now I have to build a bog in order to keep up with the Joneses. Okay...

andrea-auguste michaels 1:01 PM  

@Archaeoprof
Thank you! SO do I!!!
But as I've mentioned, mine have been rejected right and left...
as a matter of fact, I submitted one last year that I thought was super cute with people whose initials were PS and all my favorites (a singer, an actor, a writer) with the tag
PSILOVEYOU
and was told initials weren't enough of a theme, etc. :(
So I had puzzle envy when I sw this was published last night...
but then decided that PRMEN was more clever than mine, but now that I see how sexist it is, i'm now both jealous AND miffed, if I was capable of feelings those emotions that strongly!

(Just read Doug's comment when previewing mine for typos...and he's right, they are all men so that makes it much better)

And yes, when all the comments are on yesterday's puzzle and some soccer game, that's the consensus, but I have to say I didn't hate the puzzle...it's seemed quite solid in lots of ways. (
except the Renoir's being off...but I didn't know why, till I came here, I had just felt it.)

OSIER and SIMI seemed a pinch hard for a Monday...The only thing I remember about SIMI Valley from my days in LA was it was where the ROdney King trial was being held...and even that I may be remembering from this blog!

From a naming perspective, you would think the chamber of commerce would not want to be a HOMOPHONE for "seamy"!

One odd synchronicity:
NILES.
I just went to a 50th bday party in Niles yesterday, which I had never heard of...tiny little oddly charming place close to Fremont with a silent picture museum next to a biker bar! I felt like I was in "Rebel without a Cause" timewarp.

We were treated to a Charlie Chaplain film (he made about four right there!) and it was called "The Champion"

The whole time, the puzzler in me was thinking, "Neat, his first and last name start with CHA and so does the film! There has to be some sort of great trivia question in that...Cha Cha Cha!

OHMYGOD, that just reminds me I have to return the rental car NOW!
(I ordered a little compact and DOllar gave me a red Mustang! I was stylin' in Niles!

mac 1:13 PM  

This was a medium Monday for me too, with a couple of hesitations with long answers. I don't think I knew Renoir's first name(s) at all. I got the Pierre first and just stared....

Fine for a Monday, nothing special.

Bob Kerfuffle 1:18 PM  

Speaking of the 6/14 NYT Magazine and puzzles, I was shocked to see that BEQ's puzzle shared the page with two Ken-Ken. Only started breathing again when I saw the note that there was a cryptic puzzle on another page. I can't think of more than two occasions in the last twenty years when the magazine devoted more than one page to crosswords. Was this just because BEQ had an unusually large number of clues? Or was it an ominous intrusion by the all-numbers, no-words puzzle form?

Anonymous 1:31 PM  

Any puzzle that includes Edith Bunker is AOK in my book. Liked the theme... smooth enough for a Monday. @BobKerfuffle, speaking of the Ken-Ken in yesterdays magazine; did anyone try them? I got the 5X5 easy enough. But when I thought about using an Excel spreadsheet for the larger one I bagged it.

Daniel Myers 1:36 PM  

Doesn't anyone else have a problem with "AS IT WERE" = "SEEMINGLY"?!? Perhaps it's a Brit thing, but I only know it as meaning "so to speak", as in:

"She took him, as it were, under her wing."

Can someone come up with an example of AS IT WERE meaning SEEMINGLY?

XMAN 1:47 PM  

@Daniel B. Myers: A distinction without a difference, about the same as trying to diffrentiate dawn and sunup.

Daniel Myers 1:50 PM  

@XMAN---An example please.

"She took him, "seemingly", under her wing." ??????

XMAN 1:52 PM  

All right already! What I really mean is "Thanks for trying, but MY edition of the Mag had only ONE cover." Does that settle it? I had a defective copy of the NYT Magazine.

Daniel Myers 1:55 PM  

@XMAN - You've rather lost me, as it were.

XMAN 1:58 PM  

@Daniel B. Myers: Try substituting "apparently" for seemingly, also plug in "as it were." I think this indicates that seemingly is just not used in that kind of phrase. Probably no better reason than custom.

Daniel Myers 2:04 PM  

"He was, seemingly, a bright young man."

"He was, as it were, a bright young man."????

Does even make sense, I'm afraid.

Please provide an example in wich "AS IT WERE" = "SEEMINGLY" and I shall happily swim back to my rainy isle.

ArtLvr 2:08 PM  

Re KAKA -- Nice-looking guy, even if he didn't even smile on scoring the winning point! Note that we have some odd nicknames too, like Poopsie...

I do think the most embarrassing ever was a young boy whose parents were Danish, I think, visiting scientists for a year at NIH and speaking very good English -- they'd named their son Fokke.

∑;(

fikink 2:10 PM  

@Daniel, "as it were" and "seemingly" are not at all synonymous to my ear either.
JMO,
"Seemingly" implies, to me, a conclusion drawn by the senses, whereas "as it were" seems more tongue-in-cheek, more like "in a manner of speaking," a way to state something.
This is all to say, you are not alone in your assessment. :)

Clark 2:20 PM  

@Rex -- Thank you for IVES playing the Alcotts!

"As one walks down the broad-arched street, passing the white house of Emerson . . . he comes presently beneath the old elms overspreading the Alcott house. . . . And there sits the little old spinet-piano Sophia Thoreau gave to the Alcott childeren, on which Beth played the old Scotch airs, and played at the Fifth Symphony. . . . All around you, under the Concord sky, there still floats the influence of that human faith melody, transcendent and sentimental enough for the enthusiast or the cynic respectively, reflecting an innate hope--a common insterest in common things and common men--a tune the Concord bards are ever playing, while they pound away at the immensities with a Beethovenlike sublimity, and with, may we say, a vehemence and perseverance--for that part of greatness is not so difficult to emulate. . . . And so we won't try to reconcile the music sketch of the Alcotts with much besides the memory of that home under the elms--the Scotch songs and the family hymns that were sung at the end of each day--though there may be an attempt to catch something of that common sentiment . . . --a strength of hope that never gives way to despair--a conviction in the power of the common soul which, when all is said and done, may be as typical as any theme of Concord and its transcendentalists." -- Ives, Essays Before a Sonata.

retired_chemist 2:20 PM  

From the free online dictionary:
*****
as it were
In a manner of speaking; as if such were so.
*****
seem·ing[ly]
[adv.].
Apparent[ly]; ostensibl[y].
*****

IMO different. Not synonymous. The definitions are consistent with how I and I think most of us would use the terms.

Daniel Myers 2:21 PM  

@fikink, Many thanks for your (and your astute ear's) support. I think the difference lies in this:

AS IT WERE = "I'm speaking figuratively, of course."

whilst

SEEMINGLY = Apparently

Apparently, I shall be long in waiting for my example.

Stan 2:21 PM  

Stop, you're both right.

The 'were' in 'as it were' is a subjunctive (pretty much vestigial in English) signalling a condition contrary to fact. So, either 'metaphorically' or 'seemingly' fit the bill.

Stan 2:23 PM  

Ooops, fits the bill.

George NYC 2:24 PM  

...and "as it were" is almost always used to signal some sort of pun or small bit of humor. Don't get "seemingly" at all. The answer was all over the place, as it were. (It was split in two in the grid-get it! Harhar)

mexgirl 2:31 PM  

Other PRs:
Paco Rabbane, parfumier
Pilar Rioja, flamenco dancer
Paul Rudd, actor
.....this is fun!

Rex Parker 2:35 PM  

O man, the tedium.

Webster's 3rd Intl: as it were -

"as if it were so : in a manner of speaking"

Phrase is a shortened form of "as if it were so" (more confirmation of this at answers.com), which seems to fit "seemingly" just fine.

fikink 2:37 PM  

@STAN!!
The subjunctive vestigial in English?
Were I you, I would take that back!
Are you trying to marginalize me, a female? !

Daniel Myers 2:42 PM  

@REX---Give us that example, Rex. Otherwise, you're not off the hook, as it were.

An example! My kingdom for an example.

If I were king...

Rex Parker 3:17 PM  

Daniel,

Appropriate that you quote RIII, as you lose.

"We stand, as it were, on the shore, and see multitudes of our fellow beings struggling in the water, stretching forth their arms, sinking, drowning, and we are powerless to assist them." - Felix Adler.

"In symbols one observes an advantage in discovery which is greatest when they express the exact nature of a thing briefly and, as it were, picture it; then indeed the labor of thought is wonderfully diminished." - Leibniz

"My valour is certainly going! it is sneaking off! I feel it oozing out, as it were, at the palm of my hands!"
Sheridan, The Rivals. Act v. Sc. 3. (see, it's not *literally* oozing - it only *seems* as if it is)

"Seemingly" works fine as a substitute in every case. The magic world of Google can direct you to more "as it were" quotations.

"As it were" "as if it were" "so it would seem" "seemingly" - is it really that hard to imagine that the world of metaphorical speaking might involve "seeming?"

You're welcome and apology accepted.

rp

archaeoprof 3:22 PM  

@Andrea-auguste Michaels: what in the world can Will Shortz be thinking?

I'd settle for just one ACME Monday each month...

Will 3:38 PM  

I myself have never heard of Nehi

fergus 3:39 PM  

I'm guessing that the whole PR theme is sort of subtle dig at the four men. Each, in a way, could be said to have achieved greater acclaim through some publicity beyond his intrinsic merit.

In this regard:

Philip Roth is pretty obvious. While I've enjoyed a couple of his books, I also enjoyed Christopher Hitchins' skewering of Roth's latest in a recent Atlantic.

Pat Robertson was publicity incarnate, but I don't know how to comment on his intrinsic merit (or at least politely).

Renoir -- no quarrel with his greatness, but arguably overexposed. I don't think I ever knew the French title of that picture.

Paul Revere got more credit than he deserved for the memorable phrase, as pointed out.

Which supports the notion that that there's an editorial bias to this puzzle, assuming one has no great reverence for PR MEN.

Daniel Myers 3:51 PM  

Rex,

Dick III and I are en route back to perfidious Albion with the following quote ringing in our ears:

"By a lie a man throws away and, as it were, annihilates his dignity as a man” -Kant

Seems, sir, nay it is!

-Daniel

treedweller 4:29 PM  

PIERRERENIOR has, at its heart, an ERRER, which would itself be an error if it were meant to reflect the fact that it is an error. Of course, it isn't, but I still find it rather amusing. And, it crosses ERROR. And many of us had an error for awhile by entering "era".

I better stop now. I have, seemingly, gone off the deep end with this.

Glitch 4:35 PM  

@Xman

There were two different covers printed, but each "copy" of the paper (reader) contained only one.

Like "TV Guide" years ago with their two and four different covers the same week (collect them all!).

Missing the puzzle, you would not have seen the explaination as it was on the "same sheet" on the "other side" of the staple, as it were.

Your copy being defective is so stipulated.

.../Glitch

PS: @foodie --- re your note yesterday, pls send your email (mine's in my profile).

retired_chemist 4:36 PM  

I still think the clue is off, but it is easily gotten in a Monday puzzle regardless.

10 ternary and out. Not with a bang but a whimper.

chefwen 4:45 PM  

@Will - Nehi is what Radar always drank in the MASH series.

Puzzle was easy - only write overs were BEIGE for taupe and EMCEE over hosts when I saw the OR instead of AND.

JannieB 4:46 PM  

@Will - Nehi soda came in many flavors. I always remember Radar from M*A*S*H loving Grape Nehi - as it were.

Fair enough puzzle for a Monday, but I too am on the We Miss ACME bandwagon.

Jann 4:50 PM  

Big mistake in today's puzzle. The puzzle editor should check with his colleagues who write about art for the NYT. The artist's name is "Pierre-Auguste Renoir." Who fact-checks these puzzles? Glaring error.

treedweller 5:15 PM  

@Jann

Good catch. I'm surprised Rex didn't comment on that. Or at least 5 of the previous posters.

Charles Bogle 5:23 PM  

according to Janson, History of Art, PIERRE RENOIR was second cousin, once removed, of PIERRE AUGUSTE RENOIR, the true great early impressionist (I studied from the best, gang).

The story goes that Pierre was very jealous because he could barely paint stick figures, and his apples and pears looked like, well, one-dimensional rubber balls. in a fit of pique over his illustrious cousin P-A Renoir, Pierre stole a lustrous canvas, "Dejeuner..." from P-A's Parissienne atelier, signed his name, and made a flashy deal of "gifting" it to the Louvre which, seeing its greatness and thinking the talent must be genetic, gladly accepted it...

For his part, the true great P-A Renoir was too pre-occupied with getting his many young women (some really young)reclining in chairs just right for posterity to make a stink


This led to the mass confusion that lingers today among art history and crossword puzzle mavens alike-

miriam b 5:28 PM  

@acme: I'm in the business, as it were, of restoring antique wicker, so I know about OSIER. The gorgeously ornate Victorian pieces, however, are most often constructed of wood frames wrapped and ornamented with rattan core. The latter is "kinder" than osier (basketmaker's jargon for "easier to work with". Osier chairs are more plebeian. "Wicker" is an umbrella term for all kinds of woven fibre items - even the deplorable plastic things one sees with depressing frequency these days. Aren't you sorry you asked? No, wait - you didn't.

One of my daughters teaches in Simi Valley. In fact, she and her family used to live there until they moved to Moorpark, a place name which would probably be puzzle-worthy were it not for its extreme Naticity.

The puzzle waa yawn-inducing.

Ulrich 6:03 PM  

@Rex: I'm kicking myself for not looking at the blog earlier in the day (didn't feel the need to say anything), and so, I missed Brazil vs. Egypt, which apparently was quite exciting. But soccer fan should take note: ESPN2 shows Italy vs. the US tonight at 10!

BTW These matches are part of the Confederation Cup, a tournament with selected teams held a year before the World Cup in the country that will host the Cup (S. Africa next year), apparently to give the facilities a work-out.

joho 6:07 PM  

Well, I'm late today and happy about it because the blog was much more interesting than the puzzle and now I don't have to say anything about it, as it were.

The most fun was Rex's debut as Howard Cosell!

I agree with @archaeprof and @JannieB ... we need more ACME on Mondays! Is anybody listening?

Here's a cute story about being PC:
My neighbor was a firefighter for San Francisco when women were just moving into the same quarters with the men. One day as he was leaving work he said to their first woman live-in, "Goodbye, honey." She instantly glared at him and said, "Don't you ever call me that again!." He was thinking reprimands and oh @&#*# and said, "Then what should I call you?" She said, "How about dollface?"

XMAN 6:21 PM  

@ D. Myers & fikink: Will this settle it? The Free Dictionary gives "as if it were really so," "so to speak." That could be an arch "apparently" or "seemingly," n'est-ce pas?

Jann 7:05 PM  

@treedweller: I was agreeing with Rex and the others, not suggesting that I discovered it. Relax, lighten up.

retired_chemist 7:10 PM  

@ Charles Bogle - glad you're here. Adding info rather than debating arcane fine points (which many, me included, DO do sometimes) is always appreciated.

@ Miriam B - missed you for a while. Glad you're back.

George NYC 7:17 PM  

@bogle et al
Amazing info. The mind bogles, as it were.

Stan 7:23 PM  

@fikink: In the interest of peace, I take back 'vestigial' and any other calumnies against the subjunctive mood...

Rex Parker 7:33 PM  

Charles Bogle was kidding. At least that is my interpretation. Nothing online confirms anything he says re: PIERRE RENOIR. I need a specific citation (quotation, p. #, etc.) if I'm going to believe any of that.

This, in particular, makes no sense:

"This led to the mass confusion that lingers today among art history and crossword puzzle mavens alike-"

Confused about what? Everyone knows P-A RENOIR painted "Dejeuner." No one thinks his ... what did you call him? second cousin once removed? ... painted it.

If I google [pierre renoir second cousin once removed dejeuner] I get ... this blog.

Not buying it. Or maybe more accurately, not understanding it,

rp

miriam b 7:40 PM  

@retired_chemist: Nice of you to say that. I haven't actually been anywhere, but it's been sorta hectic hereabouts; nothing drastic. As John Lennon put it, life is what happens when you're making other plans - or words to that effect. My daughter's art career is burgeoning. I'm still trying to socialize a reluctant cat. And - I've launched a number of DIY home improvement projects; don't seem to know how to stop giving myself assignments. I took an online quiz recently and it looks as though I could have adult ADD. I'm too busy to care.

I will actually be away from 6/23 through 6/30. Unless I can wrest my grandchildren away from their computers, I will be incommunicada. (Note correct ending.)

analog carla michaels 7:51 PM  

@joho, jannieb
You are too sweet, dollface!
(I may appropriate that anecdote, or at least that attitude!)

ok, so no one accepts my Monday puzzles anymore...maybe I'll submit under a different name!
but if you are missing me, my scream made it on to the CBS news last night!
(Not to be confused with Munch's second cousin who painted the Norwegian masterpiece...this one is from being the poster child for Luddites everywhere, as it were)

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5086850n%3fsource=search_video

(I'd learn to embed, but then it would be too ironic! And as I'm still analog, I didn't see this aired!)

sanfranman59 7:55 PM  

Here today's numbers. The number in parentheses is the number of solvers. I'm also including last week's numbers for comparison.

Mon (all) 7:01 (924) last week: 6:55 (856)
Mon (Top 100) 3:44 last week: 3:43

This week's metrics are very similar to last Monday's, but there are a lot more solvers this week.

humorlesstwit 8:07 PM  

Hey, anyone want to resume the OXEN = Draft Bovine vs OXEN = Neutered Bovine debate? I got nothing to do tonight.

JannieB 8:43 PM  

If y'all aren't into talking about cattle, I'd really like to know how someone becomes a "removed" cousin....

Glitch 9:05 PM  

@Analog CM

Thanx for the link, I think I recognized the back of your head from the "Impossible" show.

In any case, you need to "go digital" asap --- CBS News can't afford to lose even one viewer!

.../Glitch

PS: Are you one of the folks that show up at the post office at 11:59pm on April 14th, tax return in hand? (You can plead the 5th).

Daniel Myers 9:11 PM  

@XMAN--Mais oui, I've dropped the whole issue after Rex's cherry-picked, as it were, examples. Sometimes, AS IT WERE does equal SEEMINGLY, but not very often.

@humorlesstwit--You know, OXEN was one of my favourite answers in a crossword eons ago. All because of the marvellous clue: "Low life."

mac 9:29 PM  

@andrea analog michaels: when you want to submit these puzzles under a different name, make sure it's masculine! Orange just wrote about the dismal numbers for female constructors yesterday!

fikink 9:29 PM  

@Xman, I think maybe the trouble lies in confusing The King's English with the vernacular, which, when you think about it, the puzzle does all the time. IMO, the colloquial use of "as it were" has a more humorous or ironic currency (as George attempted to note before Rex became impatient). And we are usually doing puzzles with an eye on what is "in the language," as it were.
Were we all attempting to say "as if it were really so" when we say "as it were," we could truncate it further and just say, "as if."
Would you agree with me that "As if" has taken on a whole other meaning, more in the nature of "in your dreams"?
"As it were" is often tossed off in kind and, as George suggested, with a wink.

@Stan, LOL! Thank you. The drama queen in me wants to speak in the subjunctive ceaselessly.

@Andrea, better a Luddite than a Lugnut!

(I know Rex is on his way to the phone now to report me to the ASPCA for beating a dead horse.)

Charles Bogle 9:54 PM  

@Rex,
ah, "show me the citations," you say

See, e.g., Kane Jeeves, Mahatma, "The Dueling Renoir Cousins," (Paris Review, April 1, 1956) (pp. 61-68); Faison, Stoddard and Johnson, "The Secrets of Le Dejeuner," (Clark Art Museum, Spring 1988), pp. 25-36); Renoir, Pierre-Auguste, "Reflections on My Lunatic and Thieving Second Cousin Once Removed," (personal diary, Bogle Family private collection); January 25, 1881 corr. from V. van Gogh to P Gauguin (wherein, inter alia, van Gogh recounts that Pierre confessed his misdeed to him over a number of rounds of absinthe)...

There, you Nosey Parker!

Glitch 9:57 PM  

@Daniel Myers

As you wrote earlier (and far into the exchange):

"An example! My kingdom for an example."

That's what you got, "cherry picked or not", so saying "you dropped" it is kinda sour grapes.

As the proverb begins "Be careful what you ask for ..."

Be a good sport, and if agreement is what you seek, that's what you should "ask for" ;)

(see: Hoist, own petard)

.../Glitch

fergus 10:02 PM  

JannieB, Just in case you're serious, the "removal" merely refers to a generational difference. My mother's second cousin, for example, is my second cousin, once removed. And the "second" bit refers to sibling relations above one's parents. Clear enough?

Rex Parker 10:05 PM  

Thanks, Charles. Still don't understand how "art history" and "crossword mavens" are confused? P-A RENOIR was the painter, wasn't he? You aren't suggesting that the puzzle was referring to the second cousin once removed ...are you?

Rex Parker 10:12 PM  

Oh, and you do fake citations very well. For those who aren't aware: "Charles Bogle" and (art authority?) "Mahatma Kane Jeeves" are pseudonyms of W.C. Fields.

mac 10:35 PM  

@Charles Bogle: very funny. You had us going for a while!

mac 10:37 PM  

@Fergus: why not call it a third cousin instead of second cousin once removed?

JannieB 10:46 PM  

@Fergus - thanks - I was curious - but was hoping the removal might have other connotations, LOL.

@Mac - I agree - third cousin sounds so much more inclusive!

edith b 10:49 PM  

Simple puzzle today with plenty of nits to pick. I enjoyed Fergus's comments about the PR group of guys as I have held much the same view of Philip Roth for quite some time.

Glad to see the emergence of a Fact-Checking Department. Bravo, Rex, for your dual victories!

retired_chemist 10:53 PM  

@ mac and JannieB -

First cousins have a common set of grandparents. You are the first cousin, once removed, of your first cousin's child. You are the first cousin, twice removed, of your first cousin's grandchild. And so forth.

Second cousins have a common set of great-grandparents. You are the second cousin, once removed, of your second cousin's child. You are the second cousin, twice removed, of your second cousin's grandchild. And so forth.

Third cousins.... well, you get the idea. My family is large enough that these things actually (sort of) mattered.

miriam b 11:05 PM  

First cousins are children of a parent's sibling, hence they have a set of grandparents in common. Second cousins are children of a parent's first cousin, and they have great-grandparents in common. Third cousins have great-great-grandparents in common, and so on.

I'm always drawing charts for folks to illustrate the fact that my first cousin is also my second cousin. His mother was my father's first cousin, and his father was my mother's brother, though of course they were not related to each other.

fergus 11:05 PM  

To be even more precise, first cousins have one pair of grandparents in common. And as R_C implied, second cousin once removed cannot be a third cousin -- unless of course there's some pretty close other intermarriage going on.

And maybe there was a Soprano's joke I failed to pick up on when cousin Tony Blundetto was removed from the scene?

XMAN 12:02 AM  

@fikink: You can't beat a dead horse--it always wins.

You have so confabulated the case that there is no disagreeing with you, even if I do seem to have won my point off of Dan Myers--with an able assist from RP.

But, honestly, I don't think so. The king's English, in xwordland, is so interfabulated with the vernacular that there may be no way to prevent them from, well, crossing.

XMAN 12:07 AM  

This was by far the funniest set of exchanges since I've been following this blog. Congratulations all!

George NYC 12:28 AM  

I have some cousins that I would like to remove, but I don't know who would be first or second. As it were.
This indeed has been fun.

Lisa in Kingston 1:04 AM  

@George NYC, I agree! Thanks for the laugh.
It's amazing how such a simple and easy puzzle creates such a debate.

Ulrich 1:07 AM  

@miriam b: Since I always have grand-grandparents in common with my first cousins, are they also my second cousins, and my third cousins, and so on?

Orange 1:35 AM  

Mark Twain was something like my sixth cousin, five times removed. So we share a set of really great grandparents. And Princess Diana was my eighth cousin, twice removed. As it were.

chefwen 2:02 AM  

Man yous guys stay up late. Fun reading today. Can't wait 'til tomorrow.

shrub5 9:34 PM  

@charles bogle: I remember NEHI -- buying it from a vending machine and prying the bottle cap off in the slot. Was it 5 cents? Late '50's - early 60's. I liked orange.

@puzzlegirl: State workers (CA) were encouraged over the years to use the term WorkERs Comp. Now it is in such widespread usage that it doesn't sound funny.

@doug: I like your beautiful avatar.

At five weeks out, no further comments on removed cousins, Kaka soccer, messed up NY Times magazine and the pseudo-Renoir scandal, as it were.

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