Unused parts of cell phone plan /MON 9-12-11/ Question that's classic pickup line / Person who uses five finger discount / Apple devices with earbuds

Monday, September 12, 2011

Constructor: Keith Talon

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (*for a Monday*)

THEME: "GOOD / DOG!" (57D: With 65-Across, comment that might be heard after the start of 17-, 28-, 45- or 59-Across) — theme answers begin with ROLL OVER, SIT (DOWN), COME (HERE), and STAY, respectively

  • ROLL OVER MINUTES (17A: Unused parts of a cell phone plan)
  • SIT-DOWN DINNER (28A: Formal meal at a table)
  • COME HERE OFTEN? (45A: Question that's a classic pickup line)
  • STAY OF EXECUTION (59A: Death row inmate's hope)

Word of the Day: VITIATE (27D: Impair the quality of) —
tr.v., -at·ed, -at·ing, -ates.
  1. To reduce the value or impair the quality of.
  2. To corrupt morally; debase.
  3. To make ineffective; invalidate. See synonyms at corrupt.

[Latin vitiāre, vitiāt-, from vitium, fault.]

• • •

Cool theme answers make this a delightful Monday puzzle. ATROPHY (24D: Wither) and VITIATE (27D: Impair the quality of), despite their negative vibes, really class up the grid, while also toughening it up a bit. And I doubt anyone was prepared for the return of Rebecca DE MORNAY, whose name I haven't seen since the late '80s (you may remember her from such famous movies as "Risky Business"). As for the theme, the only issue I have is that it's not clear what's meant by "start of" in the theme revealer. I assume you tell your dog "SIT," but "SIT DOWN" is at least remotely possible. Same goes for "COME" (normal command) and "COME HERE" (which essentially means the same thing, though the extra word makes it less-than-ideal for dog communication, I'd think). My dogs can do three of today's commands quite well. I've never understood why anyone would want their dogs to "ROLL OVER" ... although I guess there's no real use for "SHAKE," either, and both my dogs can do that. The top line, PAW + FLOOD + I GIVE was eerily relevant to me today, as I took a trunkful of pet supplies up to the Humane Society's emergency, make-shift shelter (their regular space was under FLOOD water for days). (1A: One of the "hands" in the command "shake hands" [really? "hands???" who adds the "hands" to the command? that's confusing and silly]) + 4A: Result of a burst dike + 9A: "O.K., O.K. ... tell me!")

I have never heard of FLO & Eddie (4D: Pop music's ___ & Eddie). They're from "pop music," you say? It seems they were the founding members of The Turtles, but it also seems that as FLO & Eddie they charted ... never. So I don't see how they are from "pop music" (by those names) in any but the most attenuated ways. They seem to have done a lot of backing vocals for famous pop acts, but that hardly makes them crossworthy (here's their wikipedia page). FLO Rida and FLO the waitress are still the only acceptable FLOs, as far as I'm concerned.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


mel 12:24 AM  

Stow it, Flo!

Tobias Duncan 12:28 AM  

Loved the puzzle.Got Demornay right off the bat since one my coffee shop pals has been dating her this year(actually I think she may have recently broken his heart a little...sort of). My little town is an odd place.
Rex is too polite to mention the Sex sub-theme but I am not!Holy cow! PORNO crossing NONO crossing COMEHEREOFTEN ? Huba huba!
I like that encore is in there as well, but frankly I would never ask for one from a porn film. I have seen my fair share and let me tell you they are universally awful.Honestly they never seem to hold my attention for more than about ten minutes or so.

syndy 12:29 AM  

Yes VITIATE is a lovely word,but is it a MONDAY word? I never saw the clue until after I finished but it did stick out!oh you can use it on a wednesday a thursday a friday or sturday is fine but never on a monday a monday a monday 'cus thats our day to shine!Aside from that liked the puzzle a lot.

CoffeeLvr 12:29 AM  

Oh, Rex, are those your dogs? And a cat, how great! Thanks for sharing.

My dog also can't do ROLL OVER. Given what's happened to my 401K, I'm not so good at it either.

She recognizes a lot of words besides the few basic commands, though. A couple are in the grid: NO, NO! & WALK.

I know all the dog lovers will be charmed today; the rest of you will have to give an objective review of the grid. I liked it a lot, and only got slowed up with OTRa and GAeL.

MaryBR 12:34 AM  

Liked this puzzle a lot! That's all. (PS, not a dog person).

atrophy carla michaels 12:42 AM  

This was the first puzzle in yesterday's Alameda tournament
(I wrote it up on Sunday's blog if anyone wants to go back and slog thru that!)
and it was a spiffy way to start the tournament. The theme super helped getting the answers...

By the time I hit STAY, I could just write in OFEXECUTION which I would have had to wrack my brain without the first word.

Freaked out when I didn't understand 1A. By the time PAW emerged, I was ok...but initially couldn't parse it and thought it was about boxers before a bout!
So I thought the PAW was in "he's a South Paw"

But the theme answers super fresh for such a straightforward (good ) theme. ROLLOVERMINUTES!!!!
I've been trying to get ROLLOVERBEETHOVEN (17!) in a puzzle forever (And @chef Bea, it contains the word BEET!)

SITDOWNDINNER was lovely and COMEHEREOFTEN sexy, as @Tobias points out, and STAY OF EXECUTION lovely in a grid, interesting politically. GOOD boy, Keith!

What I balked at is the same thing @Rex liked in terms of classy-ing things up...but I think VITIATE is crazy-hard for a Monday, as well as trying to remember or spell Rebecca DEMORNAY's name any day of the week...
and really I think PORNO is creepy to have in a Monday puzzle, but that's just my Monday morning prudishness showing. Such an ugly word, so demeaning of women, (insert my usual rant here, that even I'm wearying of!)

I also think ATROPHY is hard on a Monday, tho I loved the ATROPHY WIFE that was in a few weeks ago.
Oh wait, it was ATROPHY CASE, boring.

I would have had trouble with the Italian spelling of OTELLO...and wouldn't know GLUTEN if my friend Michael Z weren't on a GLUTEN-free diet he is always raving about. He's lost like 30 pounds and has a ton more energy. So yay no-GLUTEN whatever that is!

So yes, yes, to mostly what @Rex said, esp the medium-challenging rating.
I'd say ELAYNE and PSI and SERIF were tough too. Not too tough, but tough.

Nice nice puzzle!
Major points for starting out with the word PAW and having GOOD/DOG cross so elegantly in the bottom corner...and NONO, which is sort of dog-like command.

And congrats again to Jordan Chodorow for winning the BAC Fill!

pk 12:58 AM  

@MaryBR....I AM a dog person, and I liked it, too. Although it took about 7 minutes to do, which is certainly not an average Monday.

Really liked Roll Over Minutes and Sit Down Dinner! Come Here Often was a little cheesy, and I can't really believe 37A Porno made it into the puzzle. I'm not offended, but I still can't believe it made its way in!

One of my dogs is a CCI release dog who knows about 40 commands and is a perfect angel. I could take him to tea with the Queen. The other one is a 15 year old Jack Russell female. Nuf said about her. She doesn't do any tricks.
@ Rex...didn't realize that you were flooded...hope you and yours are safe and dry, if there is anything any of us can do, just shout it out.

CoolPapaD 1:01 AM  

Wow - first mistake on a Monday in ages.
From chemistry, I knew that alkenes, alkynes, and alkanes existed, but couldn't figure out which suffix best crossed SER_F, a word I've never heard of. Turns out that none were correct! I am humbled, but enjoyed this too much to let it bother me.

pk 1:01 AM  

P.S. Everything ACME said.

santafefran 1:07 AM  

Not to OBSESS but @syndy--I was singing along to your "Never on a Monday" ditty and agree about VITIATE. It is a great word and the second meaning: "to corrupt morally" fits right in with the PORNO theme that @Tobias pointed out.

Our four Shelties are too busy barking to ROLL OVER.

They give this puzzle 4 PAW up!

foodie 1:09 AM  

yeah, cool puzzle! took a break from working on a huge project with a looming deadline and did it, and it was a great diversion. I loved the "COME HERE OFTEN" bit... and the whole modernish vibe (LATTEs and ROLLOVER MINUTES) mixed with a little touch of Retro... Even PORNO (and I agree, it doesn't bear thinking about) has become PORN,no?

Sadly, the part I was most familiar with was GLUTEN, since puzzle husband has to eat GLUTEN-free. And I'm here to tell you, it's doable but incompatible with foodiness...

@Andrea, LOL re ATROPHY wife...

santafefran 1:09 AM  

Make that 4 pawS up!

byedism--a belief rooted in farewells

acme 2:27 AM  

My sister just adopted a gorgeous little Sheltie today (Libi), how synchronicitous! How do I put you guys together? Might you drop me a note at my gmail (with dot between andreacarla and michaels)?

Captcha: Dectince
too hungover to even spell it right

lit.doc 2:30 AM  

Yeah, super fun Monday puzzle. Kudos to Keith Talon. The solve felt easy but the clock said medium, and I really can't account for the disparity.

As soon as 17A came together, I scanned the rest of the clues for the reveal (hey, it's Monday). Immediately filled in 28A and 45A correctly, with some finger counting, but then slammed GOVERNOR'S PARDON into 59A. Easily fixed once I got to the downs down there, but tick tick ticks as tick tick does...

@ACME, VITIATE and ATROPHY ought to be in a college-level vocabulary, IMO, so no cavil here re Monday. But I agree entirely with your "crazy-hard for a Monday" comment when it comes to what seems like Crosswordese 101 second-semester stuff, e.g. Latin infinitives (ESSE) and chemical suffixes (INES). And FWIW, for OTELLO, don't think "Italian spelling", think "Verdi opera vs. Shakespeare play".

Glimmerglass 7:29 AM  

Don't forget Flo Max. She used to sing with Lawrence Welk.

joho 7:56 AM  

As a huge dog lover I was tickled by the theme which was executed beautifully.

Thanks, Keith, for a wonderful Monday puzzle!

BTW, my dog likes to roll around on his back, legs in air ... all I have to do is push him over and he's completed that trick ... unknowingly!

M07S 8:06 AM  

@syndy...Thanks for the ear worm. I've even got Melina Mercouri singing it to me.

David 8:25 AM  

My first exposure to Flo and Eddie, aka The Turtles, was from the obscure Frank Zappa movie 200 Motels, which I saw at Wesleyan as an undergrad in a Rock and Roll music course (yup). I'm surprised that So Happy Together never charted, it's the one song I know of theirs, and it's a good one.

I was at least a minute slower today than a normal Monday - tough and fun puzzle overall. I forgot all about Rebecca DEMORNAY and started filling in Rebecca Gearheart (it didn't fit). Also threw in OTRA for OTRO, so I was very slow in getting off the ground at the puzzle top.

jackj 8:28 AM  

Three WOOFS and two GRRS.

The WOOFS go to GLUTEN, ATROPHY and VITIATE. Sure, they're a bit tough for a Monday but we're talking about NY Times puzzles which can claim the world's most able solvers so, no problem if they make one work a bit.

The GRRS go to the supermarket puzzle book entries of NOTON for "Off" and UTAH for "Salt Lake City's state"; embarrassing for a Times puzzle of any day.

M07S 8:34 AM  

This was a very good Monday puzzle. Not the usual bore. As for the theme, I've got two cats. They KNOW many commands but they refuse to DO any of them.

efrex 8:37 AM  

Like everyone else, enjoyed the top-notch theme answers and reveal, but I'm surprised that the fill hasn't gotten more grumbling. Crosswordese (OAST) crossing a proper name on a Monday? Multiple fill plurals (UNS, INES, PSIS, AARONS, ALOES, VEES)? Definitely took the overall experience down a couple of notches. Not saying that I could do any better, but still...

jberg 9:02 AM  

I feel so dumb, I can't think of another FLO joke. But I loved the puzzle (we don't have a dog now only because we think our cat is too old and too neurotic to adjust); I also thought it was a breeze, despite my not knowing a few of the answers - they all popped in easily from the crosses. And UTAH was such a big gimme it surely makes up for VITIATE. (Orem state, or Bryce Canyon state, or something. Provo state would be a better clue for 'anarchy,' though.)

John V 9:03 AM  

Like @Rex, 'cept I know Flo and Eddie -- hands up for the unfair advantage for the older solvers. Rebecca WHO? -- got from the crosses.

Rate this an 11 miler, Riverside to Larchmont. Pretty typical/easy Monday, notwithstanding ATROPHY and VITIATE (I have an affinity for V words :)

hazel 9:05 AM  

a "delightful Monday puzzle" indeed. perfect description. my dogs know their names, the word TREAT, the command NO PAWS and the potentially overused phrase GOODGIRL(S) - but they are!! They were both rescues and are the best non-human things to have ever come into my life. We don't really have any commands (except NO PAWS - one gets very handsy when she's excited - well there's also NOJUMPING now that I think of it). Otherwise, they always seem to do just what I want them to. I love anything that makes me think of them. QED I loved this puzzle - the snappy, fresh fill was a bonus. Favorite Monday puzzle in recent memory.

@jackj - good one on the woofs and the grrs. i really liked your Beat "poem" on Acid day last week too.

jesser 9:06 AM  

This one was fun, but I'd have clued 59a: "What not to expect from Rick Perry."

Cool pet pics, Rex. I added a blue and gold macaw to my zoo yesterday. That brings me to five dogs, a cat, a macaw, a parrot, two parakeets, a desert tortoise, a red-eared slider turtle and 8 Koi fish. (Is Koi fish redundant? I don't care.) All rescues, except the parakeets and the Koi.

No writeovers today. I'm a GOOD DOG. And if you wanna hear the greatest song out there about a GOOD DOG, check out Brett Dennen's 'Comeback Kid (That's My DOG)' here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyhchCgkNJA

Happy Monday, all!

Ruth 9:07 AM  

Wouldn't you say Flo the Progressive Insurance lady is crossworthy?

Martin 9:08 AM  

Sorry, but Progressive Flo is the only FLO to clue. Women seem to actually like her, and men love to hate her. She's a damn meme.

Teresa in Detroit 9:13 AM  

Really enjoyed this one. I was a big Flo and Eddie fan back when. Their song, "Feel Older Now" -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XufAjO5Bx7Q -- on you tube was a bit of a hit here in Detroit. Sounds pretty dated today :)

dk 9:17 AM  

Flo and Eddie were mainstays of Frank Zappa's band. Their send up of Susie Creamcheese bordered on PORONO.

Can't wait to use VITIATE (new word for me) in a sentence.

Muse of the weekend was on how difficult puzzle construction must be. Trying not to reuse the same fill, create a theme and your efforts critiqued for all the world to see.

And on that note, nice original fill mixed with our old friends like OAST and ALOE.

*** (3 Stars) not a dogger but well done.

dk 9:19 AM  

whoops remove the our from my last sentance.

quilter1 9:24 AM  

Cute theme, fun and easy. I liked the "big" words. I like good vocabularies.

So her name is Flo? Didn't know that.

No pets now, but love cats and golden retrievers were always the dog of choice in my family. Lovely daughter just adopted a kitten who appeared at her door in AZ thirsty, hungry and unclaimed. The 14 y/o Maine coon seems accepting.

chefbea 9:24 AM  

Am not a dog lover..but did like the puzzle. Knew from rollover that it was going to be dog commands.

mac 10:30 AM  

Wonderful meaty Monday!

Even though they may not be appropriate for this day of the week, I like vitiate and atrophy. I hesitated with "obsess", don't think I would use "on" with it. And yes, Progressive Flo is great.

@Rex: I guess your cat also likes to play with the plastic ring that comes off bottles! We used to have those floating around the kitchen, too.

mac 10:31 AM  

P.S. your cocoa dog looks so big!

Two Ponies 10:38 AM  

Big dog lover here as my avatar Dylan will tell you.
Loved the high end vocabulary today and the reveal crossing itself.
@ Rex, Bravo for helping with the pet situation. I read the articles on Petco. Heartless.

slypett 10:41 AM  

Yeah, nice puzzle, but I'm here to brag about Daisy. In addition to sit, stay, come, food, treat, she understands which way?, okay, car, door, elevator, this way, be friendly, go get it, have you read Ulysses?, and she pees on cue.

scopu: the familiar name or University of Skopje

archaeoprof 10:58 AM  

Enjoyed this one a lot!

I don't know whether I get ROLLOVERMINUTES on my cell plan. Just pay the bill every month.

But I rather like Progressive FLO.

Sparky 11:04 AM  

Caught on with ROLLOVER and SIT so others, including GOOD DOG, sort of waltzed in. PAW and WALK themeish too. Yes, @Rex, FLOOD made me sad.

Rant to come: I don't quite get this Not On A Monday thing. For instance, I learned the word SERIF sometime in the 1950s when I worked at an ad agency. I don't not know it on Monday and then know it on Friday. The thing that makes Fridays and Saturdays so hard is the tricky cluing and the lack of theme to latch on to. I realize I am probably the thickest head on the blog but that doesn't change from day to day. It's the clues, not the words. Huff and puff; I'm out of breath.

Really disliked UNS. COE and To A Nightingale appeared just this week. "Gimme yer paw."

@Lewis: I bought the Muppet Christmas with John Denver album. Love it. Thanks.

Sparky 11:08 AM  

@slypett. lol. Has she read Dr. Zhivago?

Mel Ott 11:26 AM  

Liked the puzzle a lot. My son the dog rescuer would have loved it.

He belongs to one of those Dog Rescue groups. He (together with his own dog and cat) provides a foster home for dogs that would otherwise be put down and through some training, needed medical care, and TLC gets them ready for permanent adoption. He's had abused dogs, abandoned dogs, dogs that have been runover by cars, three-legged dogs, dogs with multiple broken bones. All have eventually been placed in good homes.

He would have been outraged by the situation described by Rex.

Jim Pratt 11:44 AM  

My dog knows about 100 commands. Her favorites are "I'm hungry, feed me now", "I'm bored, play catch with me", and my personal favorite, "Let's pretend I really have to go out but I don't, I just want to go out, so hurry up you lazy bastard".

Lewis 12:15 PM  

@sparky -- so glad you like that album! It's become part of the fabric of our Christmas.

@Jim Pratt -- one of my dog's favorite commands is, "I'm ready to get up so it's time for you to get up."

I learned about William Inge after the puzzle -- who had a very popular and interesting body of work...

Flo of Flo and Eddie 12:37 PM  

Seriously, I'm the wrong Flo? Well, I might just have to be movin to Montana Soon

Nighthawk 12:42 PM  

@Jim Pratt--hilarious. My 11 yo black lab knows many of those same commands. One of my favorites is her wtf look, when she quickly cocks her head to one side and stares. Her equivalent of the Bronx wave

supeetr: in civilized society, we don't rob him to pay Paul anymore.

JaxInL.A. 12:54 PM  

Did anyone else have the odd experience of getting a Stan Newman puzzle for today's NYT on the iPad? It was a pretty good grid. I completed about 3/4 of it and kept saying to myself "this is a Monday?" Had to do something else and when I came back to it the app quit, so I tapped on "Today's Puzzle" again and got a completely different (and correct for the day) puzzle.

Liked the doggy puzzle today. We've got a dog-like cat who comes when you call, seeks out human company, and loves to play chase. Go figure. I serve on the board of a small local animal rescue group, and we had a mobile adoption event this weekend. Hate to see the sad situation with animals in Binghamton.

slypett 2:02 PM  

Sparky: I'll have to ask her.

slypett 2:04 PM  

Sparky: Completely in sympathy with your rant. There are no "hard" words, only soft heads.

CoffeeLvr 2:06 PM  

@Jim Pratt, so true, so funny. My dog just "tricked" me into letting her out while I was reading these comments.

jackj 2:11 PM  

@hazel- Thank you for your kind words.

Bob Kerfuffle 2:27 PM  

Was zipping through this puzz, thought I was completely in tune with the theme, so I started entering DOG TAG at 39 A, "What a soldier wears that has a serial no." Granted, the "no." signals an abbreviation, but I still think my answer fits the clue better than ID TAG, even if my answer doesn't fit.

And I will admit to being a tiny bit disappointed that DOG couldn't have been fit into 68 A to be symmetrical with PAW at 1A.

Still, a nice Monday.

DrBob 2:45 PM  

Don't forget Progressive insurance's Flo. I remembered Flo and Eddie as soon as I saw the clue, but I'm probably a lot older than you are.

retired_chemist 3:15 PM  

Nice one. Not much I could add to what everybody said.

Just heard this morning about a dog of our breeding, whom we gave to Patriot Paws to be trained as an assistance dog for a disabled veteran.

His latest "trick" is to sort laundry. He is up to 85 separate pieces now. He then puts them in the washer, one sorted pile at a time.

sanfranman59 4:45 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 6:42, 6:51, 0.98, 47%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:46, 3:40, 1.03, 65%, Medium-Challenging

joho 5:17 PM  

Well, MY dog can say "I love you" in seven different languages, his most impressive being Spanish with a Castilian accent. He picked that up when learning the fandango from his friend, Carmen.

Stan 6:21 PM  

Exemplary in showing that an "easy" theme can be really good (as Andrea often argues).

Loved all the dog-comments today.

Anonymous 6:25 PM  

a) Who the hell has 85 distinct pieces of clothing? Pants/Shirts/Underwear/Socks. That's four. What are the next 81?
b) Is the dog smart enough to not put bleach in with the whites?
c) I bet he overstuffs the load. Stupid dogs, always trying to cram that last pair of pants in

stix2metunesmiffin 6:47 PM  

I'm with Bob Kerfuffle on the Dog Tags. I thought that's what they were?!

Anyhoo, undoubtedly the best part of my Monday, especially since I'm getting a new Tibetan Terrier in a month!

Leah Brooks 7:05 PM  

According to howardkaylan.com, Happy Together (by the Turtles) knocked Penny Lane out of the #1 spot on the charts.

JenCT 8:13 PM  

Didn't know GAOL; had PHIS before PSIS and ASES before INES; also spelled MAJI instead of MAGI.

Only got VITIATE from crosses.

My 110-lb. German Shepherd has a talent for always being perpendicular to the direction that I'm trying to walk...

JenCT 8:27 PM  

@quilter1: Just saw your comment from a couple days ago - I can email you a picture if you like.

Anonymous 8:44 PM  

This was my favorite blog roll ever! Thanks for the chuckles!

Sfingi 9:22 PM  

Puzzle was easy, so it must be a Monday. It then follows, everything in it is Mondayish.

Z 9:35 PM  

@joho - the Corgi just can't get that Castilian lisp down. The Shiba Inu, on the other hand, refuses to learn any foreign languages, figuring the whole world should speak his language.

andrea carla mondays 12:53 AM  

@sparky, @slypett
In answer to your rant yesterday, there IS such a thing as day-of-the-week appropriateness.
When you write a Monday puzzle, EVERY word in the grid is supposed to be "knowable" to the majority of the solvers, which means you can't have the capital of Guam, or some baseball player from the 20s, or an obscure mountain near Fiji or a TV star from the '40s or a French word you think everyone will have seen or heard at some point...the list goes on and on and on.

Of course the difference on a Friday is the cluing, but the words in the grid are allowed to be harder or more obscure as well, which is why it's so darn hard to make a Monday.

I have had dozens of puzzles returned bec there are three or four words that Will deems as too difficult or obscure for a Monday, so such a rule exists BIG TIME.

It is obviously also somewhat subjective or exceptions are made left and right if the theme is easyish and clever and befitting of a Monday save a word or two here and there.
So THAT's what I meant about VITIATE, etc. and what I mean when I say something isn't Monday-esque.
(I'm actually speaking from experience!)
Seriously, try and make a nice easy bouncy Monday and have the word SOUPCON or even BILLYCONN and see how fast it comes back for revision, if not rejected out-of-hand!
I hope that is clearer and a proper response to your rant? I'm not complaining per se, I am simply pointing out the outliers and trying to familiarize folks with the process in hopes they will take a stab at making one and can avoid rookie/pro mistakes!

slypett 8:54 AM  

andrea: Have you ever thought of becoming a dominatrix? That was one hell of a spanking.

Is dominatrix a Monday word?


Is this the third day in a row for "epson" or "epsom?" I think so, and pretty sure that I had the last letter incorrectly each time!


Sorry...moving this comment to Tuesday's blog.

Anonymous 1:40 PM  

FWIW - Lew Alcindor wore Pro-keds. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wore Adidas.

Pet Sitting Mckinney 3:42 AM  

Love this blog, keep up the great work wish you all the best...

Pet Sitting Mckinney

Anonymous 11:22 AM  

Being a dog lover, I loved this puzzle. The theme came together very well. I have raised German Shepherds for years, and they are beautiful, smart dogs.

Dirigonzo 4:39 PM  

From syndiland, my Cocker Spaniel (not pictured) also knows, "Buddy, get off the cat!" The Labs know lots of commands but show no inclination to actually obey any of them unless, of course, there is food involved.

RPDTNYTCWP 10/17/2006:

Solving time: 7:01

- "Ugh, Rex realized at about 1 A.M. last night that he has the beginnings of an annoying head cold, currently residing in the right side of his throat. Rex not happy - like his printer, Rex is in Power Save mode. But the Puzzle must go on." Early Rex showed the same dedication that we know and love in Modern-day Rex.
- "Here's an answer our overseas solvers are more apt to get quickly than we North Americans are. I had never heard of this car, perhaps because the Lancia is available Only In Europe." I'll bet he didn't foresee the international following that would develop here.
- "But, since it's got Ms. Andress in it, you can bet I'm going to Google it right now. Hello!" After which he posted a pic of the very alluring Ms. Andress; there seems to be a theme developing here.
- "36D: Alternative to Rover (Rex)

Rex likes this, as his name sits at the dead center of the puzzle, where it belongs. He does not, however, like the implication that his name is especially canine. Rex likes dogs, but is not to be confused with one." I love the synchronicity of this with today's puzzle.
- There were three comments, none of which elicited a response from Rex (but he was sick, after all).

Anonymous 5:23 AM  

Spacecraft here. This Monday grid wasn't "arf" bad.
I think people just observe their dogs rolling over--which they do when their backs itch--and it looks cute, so they want the pet to do it on cue. I'm always reminded of the Chuck Berry classic
"Roll Over Beethoven."
What an amusing west! Come here and sit down; we'll watch some epic porno. The angel on your right shoulder says "NONO! SCRAM!" Ah, but the devil on your left cries "ENCORE!" And I'm not even counting the double entendre of "come."
Just the partial of (La)BREA to mar an otherwise pleasing job. WTG.

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