Legendary 1920s-'30s Harlem nightspot / MON 7-18-11 / Comic actor shares name Washington suburb / Cutlass Super 88 bygone autodom / Promgoers car

Monday, July 18, 2011

Constructor: Kevin Donovan

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: FIVE CCS (25D: Small amount of blood serum ... or a title for this puzzle) — theme answers are two-word phrases or names where each word starts with "C"


Word of the Day: BEL Paese (7D: ___ Paese cheese) —

Bel Paese (Italian pronunciation: [bɛl paˈeːze]) is a semi-soft Italian cheese. It was invented in 1906 by Egidio Galbani who wanted to produce a mild and delicate cheese to sell mainly in Italy. The name Bel Paese comes from the title of a book written by Antonio Stoppani. It is Italian for "Beautiful Country".

Originally produced in Melzo, a small village near Milan in the Lombardy region, it is now made in both Italy and the United States. Bel Paese is a cow's milk cheese. It matures for six to eight weeks, and has a creamy and light milky aroma. The color is a pale, creamy yellow. It is made in small discs, and is very similar to the French Saint-Paulin cheese and to German Butterkäse.

It has a mild, buttery flavor for which it has been popularly eaten with fruity wines, such as dry red or white. It is favored by many as a snack or dessert cheese and melts easily for use on pizzas or in casseroles. It is often used as a substitute for mozzarella cheese.

Genuine bel paese cheese can be determined by the wrapping. It has an image of the Italian geologist and paleontologist Antonio Stoppani, whose geological treatise Il bel paese gave its name to the Galbani cheese; but while on the wrapping of the cheese made in Italy Stoppani's image comes with a map of Italy, cheese made in the United States has a map of the Americas. (wikipedia)

• • •

Hardly stopped at all as I moved through this one, and probably only looked at a clue without failing to answer it immediately a small handful of times. Grid was lively enough to keep from being a total bore, with interesting words like PUCE (27A: Dark purple) and STRAFE (23A: Attack from above) and SUCTION (53A: Modus operandi of a toilet plunger) and OBTUSE popping up here and there. Little corners were pretty dull, though, as little corners can be, and the theme feels phenomenally unambitious—you could make puzzle after puzzle after puzzle with this theme, but why? FIVE CCS isn't even a thing. Now 10CC ... that is very much a thing.


Theme answers:
  • 17A: Legendary 1920s-'30s Harlem nightspot (COTTON CLUB)
  • 11D: Comic actor who shares a name with a Washington suburb (CHEVY CHASE)
  • 29D: Capital of Nevada (CARSON CITY)
  • 39A: Popular Massachusetts vacation area (CAPE COD)
  • 61A: Pioneering French designer with her own fragrance (COCO CHANEL)
I like how the OLDS (59D: Cutlass or Super 88 of bygone autodom) and the SAAB and the prom-going LIMO (1A: Promgoers' car) have all parked neatly in the corners of this puzzle. I don't like how I can never remember how to spell SID Caesar's first name (30A: Caesar of 1950s TV). SYD seems plausible. I mean, I've seen "Y" in weirder places (see, for instance, BAYH) (67A: Evan or Birch of Indiana politics). I have heard of ASTRAL plane and (less often) ASTRAL projection (50A: Kind of plane or projection). Turns out they are both as imaginary and New Agey as I thought they were (though they are also ancient ... like druids and ankhs and other New Agey things). I wrote in ELBA for [German river to the North Sea] (ELBE). I want to say it's because I didn't read the clue properly, but in reality, I think I get the river and the island confused. I do, however, know my PASHAS from my DACHAS from my K$SHAS, which is something, albeit not much.


Congratulations to the Japanese Women's Soccer team. Great match, marred only by having to end in the most disappointing possible way: penalty kicks. They should have judges, like in boxing, and if no one has won after regulation and extra time, then it should go to the judges. Points for style and dominance and not flopping like an obnoxious loser. But I (really) digress.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

-----
[The following announcement will be up all week]

I'm coming to NYC for the Lollapuzzoola Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 6 (you should go—info here). But you know that. What you don't know (yet) is that I'm coming several days early to do some interviews for a crossword project I'm working on, and I'm hoping to interview some of You (New Yorkers) about your xword habit. I'm especially interested in talking to people who think they are unlikely solvers, or who solve in weird / interesting / iconic places, or who have good solving anecdotes, or who are famous / prominent in their fields, or any combo of the above. I'm also interested in ordinary everyday solvers. I'm not looking for fast or accomplished solvers. Just interesting solvers. If you live in NYC, this (probably) means you! If you are going to be in town on Aug. 4-5 and are willing to talk to me for a few minutes, drop me a line at rexparker at mac dot com. I'll be exceedingly grateful. I'll see what kind of response I get and set up a schedule from there. If I don't hear from you, I'll just have to wander the streets harassing anyone I see solving a crossword, even though this may result in my getting punched, or worse. So help me out. Thank you!

61 comments:

Joe the Plumber 12:06 AM  

Dear Mr Shortz,

I may be too stupid to understand the subtleties of economics, international trade or foreign policy, but at least I know that plungers work by pushing the shit down the toilet rather than sucking it back up.

Thank you for your time.

Gill I. P. 12:21 AM  

I really liked this puzzle. Perhaps because my newbie puzzle daughter and I had so much fun with it and I could reminisce(sp?)about the movies.
I remember seeing "Love Story" and bawling my eyes out at the end. Then I saw it again (for some reason) about 10 years later and thought whaaaat?
Also loved COCO CHANEL. My father gave me my first "adult" perfume - Chanel No. 5 when I was 13 soooo this was a good trip down memory lane
Congrats to Japan....What a game.

Anonymous 12:47 AM  

@Joe
the plunger is able to create a downward force due to suction. Suction refers to the seal between the plunger and the toilet bowl.
Deetour

Anonymous 1:00 AM  

Never thought my first post would be about toilets and plungers! @Gill ditto on Love Story. A thoroughly hokey movie watching it many years later... Fun smooth Monday overall.
Deetour

plunge bob 2:01 AM  

Joe I dont think you do know how plungers work.The suction seal created does not allow the poo in question to be shoved down more than a few inches after which it is pulled back up to where it started and then even a few inches in the other direction.The agitating motion breaks up the clog and allows it to dissipate. Without suction, all you would have is a floppy piece of rubber on a stick

Tobias Duncan 2:07 AM  

On Saturdays, I have to take several runs at the puzzle, turning the timer on and off.
If I leave the timer off on Saturday, when I open the puzzle on Monday I have no bloody timer! Uhggg. I think I had a decent time on this one but I will never know.

Across lite: Y U NO know its a new puzzle?????

chefwen 2:22 AM  

All this talk about clearing a toilet is making me a tad bit nauseated. Plumber boy sez it uses suction to clear the trap enabling a successful flushing experience.

Anyway, good Monday puzzle, flew through it but had to pause a few times to actually think. 10A was a new one for me MCAT, don't think I've seen that one before. Like Rex I always want to spell SID caesar with a Y, someday I will learn.

CoffeeLvr 3:16 AM  

Is Kevin Donovan trying to show us he is a Cool Cat? Good Monday.

Like you, @Tobias, my timer was off; thanks for giving me a hint as to how to prevent it.

I had GAbBer before GAS BAG; fortunately I once was in Carson City, so knew it wasn't Carbon. Pretty smooth otherwise; I always assume it is ALIa, although I know it can also be ALII.

@Rex, the most puzzling thing tonight is that I can't find a portrait or a map on the cheese label picture.

acme 3:27 AM  

if my nice little Monday puzzle got derailed into a discussion about GASBAGs and toilet plungers, I'd kill myself.

(Do not take that as a challenge, @evildoug)

Z 6:39 AM  

@Joe - Economics, international trade, and foreign policy all work pretty much the same way as plungers.

Z

Gill I. P. 6:50 AM  

I'm still up and laughing loudly about @plunge bob's and @acme's comments.

dk 7:18 AM  

Honestly, I do not understand why @plungebob is picking on the little seals. I mean how would you like it if someone referred to you as a floppy piece of rubber on a stick (oddly pornographic IMHO).

And, @Joe... can you see Russia from your...

Speaking of GASBAGs... I am registering a complaint. It is AN EON in my Skunk and White... just sayin.

** (2 Stars) The theme, well... sucked. Off to drop some kids off at the pool. Crap now I will be thinking about poop references all day. I just may come back and flush one of those stars.

Heat index of 117 today. The atmosphere here is like a warm wet wool blanket.

mac 8:06 AM  

Quick little Monday, with a couple of words standing out for me. Always thought puce was sort of a boiled liver color.

A limo, a Saab, an Olds and a Chevy in the NE.

David L 8:15 AM  

Chemistry was not my strongest subject, but ALKALI = 'soluble salt mixture' seems wrong to me. A salt is what you get when you react an alkali and an acid. Eg NaOH + HCl = NaCl + H20. Salt and alkali are two different things.

efrex 8:25 AM  

Theme was fine (bonus points for having both horizontal and vertical theme answers), and some nice fill (PUCE is dark purple, eh? Good to know - still don't know the difference between chartreuse and green, though, and hope I never do).

The North was a bit sticky for a Monday for me, with non-Monday clue for BEL, the crosswordese ELBE and the barely-known-to-me Ryan ONEAL. Otherwise, a very reasonable work by Mr. Donovan.

joho 8:41 AM  

Easy, breezy Monday. I liked FIVECCS crossing CAPECOD and explaining the five theme answers. I thought @Rex was going to pounce on the two "C's" in COCO as being one "C" two many.

I enjoyed this puzzle, thank you, Kevin!

jberg 8:49 AM  

@efrex The difference between green and chartreuse is that you can drink the latter, along with your BEL PAESE.

I did have a couple of writeovers: ONEiL and OCTo, and tried ALKAne before ALKALI -- but as someone said, the vertical theme answers were nice, as was the vertical revealer crossing the theme in the middle.

Still not sure PUCE is dark - there seems to be disagreement. Google turns up authoritative-sounding definitions as "a shade of pink," "dark grayish reddish brown," and "grayish crimson," inter alia. So I guess it's not wrong.

I think the "alia" above is accusative, while et ALII is nominative plural; but it's been 50 years since I actually knew that sort of thing for sure.

Glimmerglass 8:58 AM  

Plungers suck. How about a theme that features ten words with double Cs: accept, Mecca, flaccid, etc.

Joe the Plumber 9:14 AM  

Quite seriously, sunction is not involved in a plunger's activity. When you first put the plunger in, there is no pressure differential between the volumes above and below the plunger. Therefore, there is no suction to create a seal. The waterand the slight pressure you're applying create the seal . You then push down, creating pressure on the clog higher than the pressure above the clog, which should move the clog. If this doesn't clear the clog, you still do not have suction, you have high pressure on the lower portion of your system. That does not mean that you have suction on the upper portion of the system. Not that this matters, because 99.999% of the time you've broken the seal in on the plunger, and once again, you have no pressure differential.

The notion that the downard pressure creates suction is akin to having a ton of bricks fall on you and claiming that the ground has created suction on your body.

Brian 9:17 AM  

Smooth puzzle, for the most part. I had REMAKE for 22D but realized my mistake when that resulted in CAPECOK, which I was abashed to have to say out loud in a confused tone before saying, "Oh, capeCOD! Much better."

I do have a question about the theme, with which I'm fine for the most part. Rex mentioned it, too, but didn't elaborate. Is FIVECCS significant somehow? Is that a standard amount for a blood draw or something?

If there's significance to five ccs that would elevate my appreciation of the theme.

@coffeelvr, I too had "gabbers" before GASBAG.

It was a fun one for a Monday.

chefbea 9:21 AM  

Love all the toilet posts. Was literally LOL

Thought Cote d'Ivoire would be WOD. Didn't know what it was til just now as I typed it.

Love shrimp scampi and Chevy Chase!!

thursdaysd 9:33 AM  

That was mostly fun, except for REMAkE before REMADE and ALIa before ALII. @coffeelvr, I too had "GAbBer" but I changed it to GAbBAG, thinking CARbONCITY must be a non-literal financial capital...

BTW, ELY is officially a city, not a town. Was it here that I recently saw a discussion about town vs city? Anyway, Ely has a cathedral, the informal definition of a British city, and also has a royal charter.

jesser 9:46 AM  

Puzzle = fun
Comments = Priceless
jesser = happy on a Monday

Suction cup 10:08 AM  

@ Joe the plumber:

You are acting like I dont even exist...or am at least inaptly named.

jackj 10:12 AM  

A nice Monday puzzle, with a clever reveal, (FIVECCS). Guess we can figure where he got the sprightly theme.

It is unusual for early week puzzles to be able to use words for the first time in a Times puzzle but this one does, with the maiden appearance of SUCTION. (This is a tough crowd; it’s sad to see that some words are "dangerfields" and just get no respect).

An excellent early week puzzle, from an occasional constructor, who hopefully has rekindled his enthusiasm for constructing. Let’s hope so!

Matthew G. 10:20 AM  

If a plunger doesn't create suction, then why is there resistance when you pull it back from the hole at the bottom of the toilet, and why is there a "pop" when the resistance breaks? A plunger works by creating a vacuum when you press it in and then pull it back, and suction is defined as the flow of matter into a vacuum.

Furthermore, downward pressure can certainly create suction. That's how a suction cup -- such as you might find on a shower-wall hook -- works. And the bottom of a plunger is a suction cup.

As for the puzzle -- liked it, didn't mind the easy Monday theme. Wrecked my time, however, because I accidentally read the clue for 10D when I meant to look at the clue for 10A, and thought I need to find a four-letter word for something that hangs in cribs, and thus put EARS where MCAT was supposed to be. Yeah, oops.

JaxInL.A. 10:30 AM  

Nice Monday puzzle, and fun musical progression, Rex, from 10cc (haven't thought of them in a while) to PASHA to dacha to Ke$ha.  

Like @Gill I. Pollas, the grid gave me reason for a few nice memories.  I once sang in ELY Cathedral with a touring choir, and I could swear that I *saw* the notes floating up to heaven, through air colored by stained glass, reaching for the unique octagon 'lantern' that crowns the transept. 

I did not get back here yesterday after posting in the morning, so please let me add my good wishes to everyone else's, @quilter1, and hopes for your Mom's speedy recovery after her stroke. I know how frustrating the aphasia can be. Will u still travel west this summer to see your new granddaughter? 

And @Skua76, condolences on your Mom's passing a mere week ago.  

Thank heaven for puzzles, not only because they amuse us but because they also have the power to distract us in moments of grief and stress. So thanks today to Mr. Donovan as one of the many who keep us supplied. 

And the whole toilet thing... Hilarious.

Two Ponies 10:36 AM  

I'm with @joho. The theme was a little spoiled for me by the extra C in Coco Chanel.
I think Joe is right.

the redanman 10:46 AM  

22D REMADE was only awkwardness to an obvious "speed puzzle".

Joe the Plumber 10:48 AM  

When you haven't cleared the clog, the resistance when pulling a plunger back is due the the mechanical force required to deform the plunger from its compressed state back to its original state. When you have cleared the clog, the pressure on the low side of the plunger is back to one atmosphere, and you'll hear the pop. But, since you've already cleared the clog, the plunger isn't clearing the clog by suction, as it has already been cleared.

Seriously, has anyone's goal ever been to pull the clog back up into the toilet rather than pushing it down?

It was just a bad clue. Why not just get cute and clue PLUNGER as "Clog Clearer" and have a bonus CC?
What holds a suction cup to the shower wall is the atmospheric pressure from the outside. You're putting a cone agains a hard flat surface, creating a closed system. By pressing the cone flat, you're moving the air out of that closed system creating a partial vacuum. What holds the suction cup to the wall is the pressure differential from one atmosphere on the outside to a much lower pressure on the inside. This pressure causes the seal, and the friction due to the pressure keeps the suction cup from moving.


From Wikipedia: Suction is popularly thought of as an attractive effect, which is incorrect since vacuums do not innately attract matter. Dust being "sucked" into a vacuum cleaner is actually being pushed in by the higher pressure air on the outside of the cleaner.

Toilet clog 10:52 AM  

What Joe is describing is the interaction between me and your average dime store plunger from the fifties, you know they type with the pinkish terracotta suction cup.These old guys were past their prime during the Carter administration. Stiff from age and mistreatment these old coots could not create seal if their lives depended on it.They are rarely a threat to me but sometimes I throw them a bone, if they tickle me just right I might leave of my own accord.
Now these young silicone bucks you see at the big box stores these days, whole different modus operandi, these guys are all business.With them it is no longer the delicate dance my parents grew up with. Its a brutal few seconds of violent shaking that frankly I have no interest in sticking around for.I miss the old gentle back and forth...

JC66 10:58 AM  

My Across Lite timer didn't work either.

foulsh - too close to flush not to comment.

Matthew G. 11:17 AM  

Seriously, has anyone's goal ever been to pull the clog back up into the toilet rather than pushing it down?

Yes. In fact, this is the comparatively more important function of the plunger. Once sucked out, the clog is loosened. Your toilet is then easier to flush on the next attempt. That is not to say that pushing isn't a factor -- but they are not mutually exclusive as you suggest, and pushing alone would only make a clog worse.

As WikiHow explains, "[i]t is more the suction than the pressure, constantly disturbing the clog in both directions[,] that will gradually cause it to be loosened."

The clue was correct.

CoffeeLvr 11:45 AM  

OK, now I see the map of Italy. I Googled for images of Bel Paese, and seeing the map on others made it clear on the selection @Rex made. I also saw a label that also included the portrait. And a Western hemisphere version. At risk of being a GAS BAG, I will stop. Clearly, this bothered me all night.

Bob Kerfuffle 12:10 PM  

From the Failing Eyesight Department: After I finally got 56 A, ESKIMO, completely from crosses, I went back and saw that the clue was "Inuit", not "Intuit"!

Didn't want to get sucked into the prevailing debate, but must point out that more than once I have used a plunger to suck out a child's toy or other objects that have been dropped in a toilet and only partially flushed.

dk 12:17 PM  

Hey Joe, (Jimi Hendrix version please)

Let us return to the bricks. What sucks the bricks to the ground is gravity which we know sucks. The person is just in the wrong place at the wrong time, unless he or she happens to be a free radical.

Free the seals!

Joe, thank you for a great morning. I trust your sense of humor does not... no I just cannot. I mean at some point in time a joke runs its course. I bet Rex is posting to that effect as we speak.

Anonymous 12:26 PM  

Besides a basic solution, alkali is also a soluble mineral salt (Earth Science).

Who knew I would be laughing so hard a toilet plunger posts this Monday AM - made my day!

Anonymous 12:34 PM  

Alia is neuter plural. You use it for things.
Alii is for people.

syndy 12:42 PM  

Fun and Lively Monday!Eating scampi on old Cape Cope watching Bonanza on TV (the Cartwrights are going in to Carson City again)CYD CHARISSE is a girls name and HELLO of course a plunger uses SUCTION!thats what happens when the pressure below is greater than the pressure above!My timer was also off and I don't ever touch it!

joho 12:57 PM  

Yikes, this decent Monday puzzle got hijacked by a toilet plunger! Warning to all contructors: do not, I repeat, do not use said words in a clue ever again as comments will digress into a downward spiral of bathroom humor.

John V 1:07 PM  

So, how come no C.C. Sabathia? Huh?

crattyr: The result of too much suction.

Tincup2 1:37 PM  

After a good run last week rating Thur-Sat easier than Rex, this Monday I'd have to say was almost Challenging based on my time - which is always a quick look at the wristwatch before and after. So I bucked the trnd here.

Threw down a few wrong answers which had to be repaired, slowing things down, and the fill was was above average for a Monday in the literacy department, plunger not withstanding...

foodie 1:49 PM  

This is the most disgusting day on the blog since its inception :)

I'm with @andrea. Next time, may be SUCTION could be clued through vampires. Anne Rice could comment.

Very cool puzzle, although there are THREE C's in COCO CHANEL. It was the first thing that fell for me and it threw me off.

A very Geograpic puzzle too, CAPE COD, CHEVY CHASE, CARSON CITY, ASPEN, OHIO and MECCA!

I caught a reality TV episode with Ryan and Tatum O'NEAL. It actually felt more real than most of this genre. And in the end, I liked them better than I expected, and found myself wishing them luck.

PS. If some of you have said some of the same thing, my apologies. I usually read all the comments very carefully before commenting, but today... (see beginning of this post)

archaeoprof 1:50 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle: my failing eyesight did the same thing with that clue.

Sfingi 2:49 PM  

@Mac - agree with you on puce. My favorite color is digital camouflage in mauve/taupe/puce.

Fast puzzle' Didn't notice the theme.

@Anon1234 - Wow! I thought only the Pope and Johnny Carson spoke Latin.

What I think sucks, eco-wise, are disposable single-use plungers. Now I suppose the readers will run out and buy them.

@Toilet clog - you're just a slow-hand kinda guy.

@Efrex - O'Neal was that guy who hung out with Farrah Fawcett. His daughter won an Oscar at 10, the youngest ever. She had 3 kids with John McEnroe. They're all typically Hollywood-messed-up.

sanfranman59 4:13 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:13, 6:51, 0.91, 17%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:26, 3:40, 0.94, 26%, Easy-Medium

Joe 4:30 PM  

Enough about toilets.

The Astral Plane

According to the Ageless Wisdom, The Astral Plane is "the plane of emotions, including the polar opposites such as hope and fear, sentimental love and hate, happiness and suffering. The plane of illusion."

It's where your dreams live.
It's also where psychics get their information from, which is why their information can vary wildly: there is always a level of distortion involved.

Lojman 4:43 PM  

In my first job, I plunged many toilets. My boss taught me to set the suction, then pull back vigorously. Many clogs were cured in this way. Good clue.

In my current job, I freqently deal with blood samples. 5 cc (~1 tsp) is generally enough for a good collection of screening labs. Good clue, if somewhat undeserving of being a theme for a puzzle.

Lewis 6:35 PM  

Whassup? My timer was off also! Boy, this blog can take off on an issue, no?

Aaron 6:37 PM  

Perhaps the theme wasn't too ambitious, but shouldn't there be a couple of bonus points for having "mecca" in there?

Sparky 6:41 PM  

Did this at MD's office 9 a.m. Did not pass breakfast test in a mild way. Comments now not passing the I was about to cook dinner test. Maybe I'll just have a nice cup of tea.

Had pobahs before PASHAS. I belive the FIVECCS refers to the five answers but, alas, COCOCHANEL becomes a problem. Ah well, it's a nice Monday puzzle. @acme said it best. Thanks Kevin Donovan.

Anonymous 7:41 PM  

Re FIVECCS: Five two word answers, with each word starting with "C". There. Clue problem solved.

@dk: It's not A EON; "aeon" is an alternate spelling for "eon".

retired_chemist 8:26 PM  

Late to the party -

Easy, yes. Liked the theme - my elder daughter's childhood nickname was CeCe (her initials).

Did not like ALKALI's clue. It isn't a salt in ChemSpeak. Nor in GeologySpeak, at least among the geologists I know.

I will take the plunge and support the clue for 53A. I have more experience than I would have liked...

Thanks, Mr. Donovan.

dk 8:45 PM  

@anon at 7:41 pm. I feel like such a fool.

Martin 9:11 PM  

While correct, I agree the ALKALI clue is a bit suction-inducing but mainly because it's Monday. The domain of the clue is agronomy. It is practically the definition of "alkali" to a farmer. The salts are typically carbonates.

I'd have prefered to see a more straightforward clue today.

CoffeeLvr 9:37 PM  

@dk, you are certainly no fool, but I did assume you were joking in your first post.

JenCT 10:01 PM  

Just got to the puzzle now (busy day.)

I've never laughed so much at this blog as I did today - too funny!!! The very first post was hilarious.

Oh, and I enjoyed the puzzle.

sanfranman59 10:47 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:22, 6:51, 0.93, 24%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:20, 3:40, 0.91, 16%, Medium

Stan 12:05 AM  

Coming in late because we are on vacation on (drumroll, please...) CAPE COD.

Found this a nice, solid Monday with some Tuesdayish vocabulary and a snappy theme reveal.

Dirigonzo 6:44 PM  

From syndiland, my first instinct was to chime in on the plunger issue but that seems to have been exhaustively covered by the prime-timers (thanks @plumber joe et ALIA) so I guess the only unpicked nit left for me is the clue for 59d (OLDS) - it sems to me that on a Monday the abbreviation should have been signaled somehow. Or is that just me?

Other than that, a smooth Monday puzzle although I really wanted Dark purple (27a) to be winE. And I did not know (or care) that that "Arthur" had been remade.

Obama is vacationing on CAPECOD this week - I'm pretty sure he really needs it.

Anonymous 7:15 PM  

I don't care that the plunger issue has been exhaustively covered, I'd like to mention that just two weeks ago, after unsuccessfully attempting to plunge a bathtub clog downward, it occurred to me to try sucking it back up, which succeeded in SUCTIONing up enough human hair to make an oversized Elvis wig.

Appropriate video selection, Rex, because without Godley & Creme the band at that point had essentially become 5cc. Their previous album, How Dare You! is one of the most criminally underrated albums of all time. Still one of my favorites, it has in fact been in my CD changer for the past week or so.

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