Furry ally of Luke Skywalker / MON 10-15-12 / Faith founded in 19th century Persia / Villain who says O beware my lord of jealousy / Arrow shooter of Greek myth / Horrible comic strip character / Andrea ship in 1956 headlines / Jiggly dessert

Monday, October 15, 2012

Constructor: Tom Pepper

Relative difficulty: Medium



THEME: Neckwear — words ending in -TIES clued as if they were types of TIES

  • ROYALTIES (20A: Neckwear for princes?)
  • NINETIES (24A: Neckwear for a full baseball team?)
  • PROPERTIES (32A: Neckwear just right for the occasion?)
  • CASUALTIES (43A: Neckwear for informal occasions?)
  • BEAUTIES (51A: Neckwear for boyfriends?)
  • NOVELTIES (58A: Neckwear in a work of fiction?)

Word of the Day: Andrea DORIA (67A: Andrea ___ (ship in 1956 headlines)) —
SS Andrea Doria /ˈændriə ˈdɔəriə/. Pronounced an-dray-a dohr-ee-a[1] was anocean liner for the Italian Line (Società di navigazione Italia) home ported inGenoa, Italy, most famous for its sinking in 1956, when 52 people died (51 from immediate impact). [...] On 25 July 1956, while the Andrea Doria was approaching the coast ofNantucket, Massachusetts, bound for New York City, the eastboundMS Stockholm of the Swedish American Line collided with it in what became one of history's most infamous maritime disasters. Struck in the side, the top-heavy Andrea Doria immediately started to list severely to starboard, which left half of its lifeboats unusable. The consequent shortage of lifeboats might have resulted in significant loss of life, but the efficiency of the ship's technical design allowed it to stay afloat for over 11 hours after the ramming.[2] The good behavior of the crew, improvements in communications and the rapid response of other ships averted a disaster similar in scale to that of the Titanic in 1912. 1,660 passengers and crew were rescued and survived, while 46 people died as a consequence of the collision.[3] The evacuated luxury liner capsized and sank the following morning. This accident remains the worst maritime disasterto occur in United States waters since the sinking of the S.S. Eastland in 1915. (wikipedia)
• • •

Cute idea for a Monday puzzle. Having "TIES" be a giveaway (once you picked up the theme) seems like it should've made the puzzle too easy, but the mere fact of "?" clues slowed things down enough that the overall difficulty level was pretty normal. I felt like I was struggling (for a Monday) but ended up with a sub-3 time (in AcrossLite), which is slightly on the fast side for me, actually (though my times vary wildly depending on whether I'm solving on paper or on-line, esp. with early-week puzzles—I'm just much faster at typing, and correcting typos, than I am at writing, and erasing, with pencil). I had a few missteps, but most of those were due to my not reading the clues well / completely. Tried to get NINETIES without even reading the clue and went with NICETIES. Took one glance at the "Peter Piper" clue then looked at the answer and figured it must be PECK (half right). Went with THEM over THEY (3D: He and she). Took much longer than I should've (so ... seconds longer) to get JOHN (14A: Lav) and LOGO (2D: Target's target). I thought the UK honour (O.B.E.) was an O.D.B., which is funny if you know who O.D.B. is. Otherwise, stuff went in, for the most part, as fast as I could type.


Today (Sunday) was a beautiful day here in upstate New York. Also my wife's birthday. Went out to our favorite diner. Went for a walk in the woods with the dog. Got chinese food for dinner. And (coup de grâce) I baked a chocolate cake—my grandma's famous chocolate cake, which tastes like if Awesome and Wow had a baby. A tasty chocolate baby. Here it is.



I also had the great pleasure of watching (off and on—my heart can only take so much) the Tigers take two from the Yankees this weekend. Tigers have a fine pitcher named SMYLY, whose name I love. No regular vowels for that guy. No sir. I thought of his name just now while looking at SLYLY (70A: With cunning). Unlike a surprising number of my friends and acquaintances, I was *not* at New York Comicon this weekend, but I'm told "sexy EWOK" was a not unpopular costume (68A: Furry ally of Luke Skywalker). I don't know anything about BAHA'I except it's Persian and you spell it with an apostrophe and it's in the crossword a lot (51D: Faith founded in 19th-century Persia). I think I get it confused with B'NAI Brith, which is a Jewish community service org.  Take out the "AH," put in an "N," move the apostrophe, and they're essentially the same thing.

Must go sleep off this chocolate cake now.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

58 comments:

loren muse smith 12:37 AM  

I can’t sleep.

Happy birthday to your wife, Rex! Sounds like you did right by her.
Nice picture of your chocolate cake. I’m sure she appreciated that you made it for her.

This was so easy for me. I was surprised to see the “medium” rating.

I really get a kick out of themes that simply parse the word in a fresh way (TANKING,THUMBSCREW. . .), so I loved this! I’m at a loss to pick a favorite theme answer; they’re all terrific.
Really, really easy since I shamelessly filled in all the TIES.

Partly because of said TIES, lots of i final words: TARSI, TORI, RANI, ECOLI, OBI, BAHAI, and LAI.

LOO, JOHN, PEES, (TROTs). Potties talk.

SORRY/ERRED cross – cool.
BRA/TARTS/BEAUTIES – nice.

Does anyone actually *say* AVER?? “I AVER that an ERN swooped in, grabbed my ETUI (which had an OLIO of old sewing supplies), took to the skies and ALIT on a TOR. EGAD.” Someone who talked like that would likely get his TARSI kicked all the way up the ON RAMP for ITEN.

I guess pretty soon here, we’ll don out BOOTIES for Halloween.

Great job, Tom. Loved it.

chefwen 12:54 AM  

At first I thought we were going to have a puzzle of different ways to say bathroom. Not so.

Grabbed on to the TIES early after I abandoned my thought on the (as Loren said) potty talk, and did the same as she by filling in all the ties, made the puzzle super easy.

Husband got hung up on 57A AVERS and 52D EVERT crossing and ended up crumpling up his copy of the puzzle and tossing it across the lanai. I'm calling "sore loser". At least the Pack finally won and we had reason to celebrate.

@JFC there is still hope for me.

Andre Casualties Mos 1:28 AM  

Having too much fun letting the good times roll (with Ms Muse's husband no less!) down in Nawlins to write this week, but had to give a shout out to TOM PEPPER, King of Mondays!

That Crazi ends-in-i list LMS mentioned is fabulousi...and the three Js is nothing to JEERs at...

Hmmm on having "Andrea ____ " in the clues and ANDRE in the grid, but how else could you define DORIA...? And I guess I really can't complain about the double shout out!!!

syndy 3:13 AM  

Just sweet! my sister's husband's third step mother is BAHA'i but frankly we run we she tries to explain it.I also went for them and was leaning toward ROmAnties but fixed that.All this time I thought the Andrea DORIA went down on the great lakes, HUH!

The Anonymous Penguin 6:32 AM  

Super fast for me. It all fell in, boom, boom, boom. The only erasure I had was thinking the mattress company I wanted was SERTA, not SEALY. Liked the theme, even though it gave me a lot of gimme squares.

Z 6:48 AM  

I'm thinking those NINE TIES feel a little like nooses in NY this morning. The Yankee bats VEGETATE and they are complaining about the umps. To quote that great sage Bill Laimbeer, "Only losers complain about the refs." Go Tigers.

Spiffy Monday.

Milford 7:05 AM  

I love an easily done Monday that also has a clever theme. I was very amused by all the -TIES, but especially the clever placing of the CASUAL- and PROPER- TIES together in the middle. And I loved how completely different CASUALTIES is from CASUAL. The BEAUTIES is great because of the change in pronouncing BEAU.

OK, like @loren, I can't pick a favorite!

Two writeovers - THEm to THEY, and VEGEs out to VEGETATE, which we did a lot of this weekend in rainy Michigan. Sadly, we didn't have any awesome chocolate cake à la Rex, but my daughter and her friend made homemade pretzels. Heavenly.

Between the Tigers and the Lions, we are mentally exhausted here.

jberg 7:22 AM  

I'm with those who found it fast, fast, fast. Nice puzzle - only weakness, if it was one, is that the alternate meanings of the theme entries just sit there - there's nothing in the puzzle or clues to refer to them. I think it might work better if the other definitions were given, and then there was a revealer -- something about blessed ties that bind, maybe. But then you wouldn't have the joke definitions, which were fun in themselves.

I was in San Jose last spring. They don't much like that song, as they don't much like being a big city where all anyone knows about you is that you have to ask how to get there.

The Bard 7:23 AM  

Othello, Act III. Scene III.

Iago
O! beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O! what damned minutes tells he o’er
Who dotes, yet doubts; suspects, yet soundly loves!

John V 7:37 AM  

From LGA C41 (gate change) A perfect Monday. THEM for THEY like choco-dude. Good theme. Easy, good fill for a 78 word puzzle. Nice work, Tom

Geometricus 8:01 AM  

Tom Pepper, you da man (from Minnesota no less) who gave us the GOCOMMANDO puzzle last year. Today's has an exotic flavor, with a SIKH in one corner, a BAHA'I in another, all overseen by a RANI from above. Nice work!

Susan McConnell 8:38 AM  

@loren Thanks for reminding me of one of my all time favorite clues/answers: THUMBSCREW! Hahahaha!

I liked this one. In general I don't like it when the theme answers share a segment like -TIES, but this one had some clever twists that made up for the gimme.

joho 9:01 AM  

I absolutely love Tom Pepper's puzzles and this one is no exception. Fantastic fresh theme flawlessly executed.

I knew many would pick up on the "potty theme" aptly named by @Loren! After I got JOHN and LOO I chuckled out loud at PEES. I missed TROT, good one.

Marvelous Monday, Tom Pepper!

Belated Happy Birthday, Sandy! I am so impressed that your husband baked you a cake.


jackj 9:15 AM  

Tom Pepper sure has a good time creating his puzzles and most of us probably have an equally good time solving them!

In his debut a few months back it will be remembered that his maiden puzzle featured GO phrases with the lead entry being GOCOMMANDO, devilishly clued as “Leave the drawers in the drawer, say”.

Today, we get a puzzle that seems to break many of the normal rules of constructing by using the same word, TIES, six times, the same clue, “Lav”, two times and ditto for the twice clued “Scribbled”, plus, a mid-grid self reference to “Pepper(s)”, impishly giving us the pre-tween boy’s answer of PEES (tee hee) and finally, cutely including two answers OBI and OBE that sound exactly alike.

The theme answers were delightful with BEAUTIES especially lighting up my grid and then there was the fill; “Do nothing” for VEGETATE, (countered by “Have a life” for EXIST was stellar), as was SHIP OUT as an “Alternative to “shape up””.

The clue for SANJOSE was cleverly geared for Monday solvers through a sing-along clue, then, take a trip to Southern Asia with the resident RANI as your tour guide, add a dab of BAHAI and a hint of SIKH and the whole production sings, “It might be garam masala to you but it’s Tom Pepper to me!”.

Another beauty, Tom!

jae 9:41 AM  

Delightful! Me too for THEy. Easy-medium as I had to chase down an iPad finger fumble. Did my morning walk around the Yale campus today and saw a sign for Viola Question...Hi Caleb... On our way to Boston today.

Amy Khoudari 10:02 AM  

Please post Grandma's recipe

quilter1 10:04 AM  

Much fun. I rate it easy as I tore through.
The cake looks yummy. Good husband.

Sandy K 10:23 AM  

Easy- NOVELTIES-y fun Monday!

Can't pick a favorite either- it was all good! No CASUALTIES.

Come to think of it, @Rex was my favorite...love that you baked the cake, love that you showed us the cake, love how you described the cake! BEAUTIES!!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:26 AM  

@syndy - You wrote, "All this time I thought the Andrea DORIA went down on the great lakes."

I suspect you were thinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Two Ponies 10:42 AM  

Everyone has already covered the high points and I agree. Great start to the week.
Can't decide whether I like beauties. It's quite the outlier of the theme answers. Certainly not the gimmee that the others were. Thanks Tom, looking forward to more from you.

Anonymous 10:49 AM  

@Sandy K

No CASUALTIES except for the Andrea DORIA...SHIP OUT.

Ulrich 11:03 AM  

One of the nice ties in this puzzle is the link between the first theme answer, royalties, to the last, novel...

baja 11:44 AM  

Easy breezy and brings a smile- loved it

Pete 11:48 AM  

When I was a younger man, and meeting and getting to know women occupied a large part of my waking day, there were certain types I liked, certain ones I didn't. The ones I liked took a while to get to know, to understand, to become intimate with, but once that happened they were open, giving and exciting. Among the ones I didn't were the ones who once you learned their names, everything you wanted was yours for the taking.

This puzzle was a slut. Once you learned the first thing about it, you had everything.

Carola 11:53 AM  

Very cute and clever. I think BEAUTIES was my favorite. I tried to come up with some more...
"Denim neckwear?" - LEVITIES
"Neckwear for inmates?" - PENALTIES
"Non-loud neckwear" - SUBTLETIES

Thanks to @loren, @Geometricus, @jackj and @Ulrich for pointing out all the interconnections - makes it even more fun.

Masked and Anonymo3Us 12:08 PM  

Wow. Cool themers, especially BEAU(ties). Not unlike grandma's choco cake, made me want more: PENAL-, PIG'S-, PA'S-, at least. Whoa. Lots of PEES, in the olde want list. thUmbsUp, to the Pepper dude.

Lots of nostalgia wafting in on the M&A, from this one:
1. Once made banana bread for PuzEatingSpouse. To this day, when astonished people ask about it, she invariably says "Killed the neighbor's dog."
2. Wore a tie to work for a while. Didn't like. Kept gettin' caught in the wrecker winch. Then it had an accident involving a pet and became one of them there kit ties. har.
3. I know the way to 48-A. Part of a great exploration of the West. Passed thru the redwood forests on the way there. Beau-tie-full.

mac 12:10 PM  

Very nice Monday, easy-medium but smooth solve.

When my son was 5 he wanted to be a kangaroo at Halloween. I ended up finding an ewok costume pattern and making the head and tail out of wire and fabric.

That cake looks fantastic this year!

Lewis 12:15 PM  

On Wednesday (10/17) the "Answer Grids for "Cross" Words Contest week -- last year's Patrick Berry meta -- will have been on the puzzle page for an entire year. Who would have thought the well edited Times would allow that?

Today's puzzle was zippy, fun, and easy.

@Pete -- the only thing slutty about this puzzle to me was that it was easy.

Sfingi 12:29 PM  

Six ties and two toilets, and PEE.

Where was Mai Tais/ My Ties?

Another list with i: taxiing skiing shanghiing radii genii zombiism, and worse.

Sandy K 12:30 PM  

Since the Andrea Doria was brought to my attention, I googled and read the entire Wiki article- some fascinating info:

The "hero" ship was the Ile de France- the captain's actions were beyond brave.

All the mistakes that were made by both crews of Andrea Doria and the Stockholm.

Celebrities who were aboard Andrea Doria and survived- actress Ruth Roman, Betsy Drake who was Cary Grant's wife, the mayor of Philadelphia, Mike Stoller of Leiber & Stoller fame (bleedover from Sunday clue) and others.

That 2 sisters were sleeping side by side on Andrea Doria. One perished, the other miraculously survived by being propelled onto the Stockholm's deck.

And much more. I found this interesting because I remember my parents talking about seeing it happen on TV.

Masked and AlmostTooChattyamous 1:13 PM  

San Jose makes me think of Sanfranman'59, out there with all his solvetime stats. Amazin' work. Any old weenie can count U's, but that dude gets down and dirty with the number crunching. So, thUmbsUp, franman. As many have pointed out, U are appreciated.

Hi-yo out to Andrea darlin' in the Big Easy. Good to hear from U.

Is Tom Pepper, by any slim chance, a doc? That'd be downright freaky. Would like to work on a case with the likes of that. Would go good with choco cake. thUmbsUp for 31 havin' to publish the recipe, after teasing us all with that pic and Wowsome description. Just sayin'.

Bird 1:31 PM  

I liked this puzzle. Thank you Tom. The only problem, which is not really a problem, is that once you got the theme you could fill in the last four letters of each theme answer. Lots of fresh fill.

Corrected THEM to THEY and switched the E to I at 67A (I can never remember the proper spelling).

Dubious neckwear: UNCERTAIN TIES

How about those NY Giants!

Happy belated to Sandy! The cake looks delicious.

Tita 3:03 PM  

Ciao, caro Tom! What a delight to be sitting in the hotel lobby with enough Monday minutes to spare, to find a King of Mondays gem. Indeed i remember that going commando puzzle...he and it is made famous on my own blog.
Loren...everything you said.
Mr. Pepper...congratulations...you're batting 1000.
Oh...don't mean to imply that my blog made you famous, but your first puzzle has a prominent place in my there, and my heart, as does the ACPT pic of the King & Queen of Mondays arm-in-arm...

Sparky 3:05 PM  

Popped in THEy and RANe too fast so had write over with fixer ROYALTIES. Got it with NINETIES and like others filled in the other TIES. I liked the sound change TIES to tees that were TIES.

Happy birthday, Sandy. That is a wowsome cake.

There is a Baha'i temple in Teaneck, NJ.

Anonymous 3:15 PM  

I liked this puzzle--for once, after that clusterf#&k a week or two ago.

Had THEM as well. (Had NO idea what "ROMALTIES" were. Then, I got it.)

Hey, a lot of OBE winners have been ODBs.

BAHA'I is easy to remember if you commit to memory that Seals and Crofts (who?) and Alex "Moe Berg" Rocco are members of the faith.

And--chocolate cake. As Homer Simpson says, aaaarrgghhhhh.....

Tita 3:34 PM  

Oops - I guess I just can't type on anything but a full-size keyboard, and even that is sketchy.

Came back here to say that I logged in to my Outlook mail, and you know how it sorts by date, with headings saying Today, Yesterday, and Last Week? Well, it now has one email listed under Tomorrow... I'm afraid to open it...until tomorrow is actually here...oh wait - does Tomorrow ever come?

Dale Carnegie 4:11 PM  

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday:)

John in Philly 4:51 PM  

my fastest time ever for a NYT puzzle. Very good for the ego....

Anonymous 5:05 PM  

Found this one to be easy, not medium at all; and you should have known he & she answer was they; it would have been them only if the clue was him & her.

Joe The Juggler 5:11 PM  

I found it easy as well.

Cute theme.

I would quibble about "Have a life" for "EXIST". Rocks exist but do not have life. The deceptive clue can be nice, but it should be accurate.

sanfranman59 5:27 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

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

Mon 6:00, 6:47, 0.89, 6%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:41, 3:41, 1.00, 56%, Medium

I've now got 3 months of data since the NYT changed its policy and no longer automatically allows its print subscribers access to the "Premium Crosswords" page. It's pretty clear from the numbers that this change in policy has affected the data I report. There seems to be a new "normal". The average number of Monday solvers since the change in policy is 620. This compares to an average of 736 in the 13 weeks prior to the change in policy and 818 in the corresponding date range last year. More importantly, the median solve times for these time periods are 6:11, 6:54 and 6:47, respectively. This suggests that the roughly 200 solvers who no longer complete the Monday puzzle online were disproportionately slower solvers.

If I use the mean median solve time since the policy change as the "normal" value, today's All Solvers ratio becomes 0.97 and the percentile jumps to around 40%. This places the puzzle at the upper end of the Easy-Medium range or the lower end of the Medium range. This feels more accurate to me based on Rex's assessment, my own solve time and today's Top 100 median solve time.

Unfortunately, the picture varies from one day of the week to the next. Across the board, there are fewer solvers now than before the policy change, but less so as the week wears on. This makes sense to me since it suggests that there's a core of devoted online solvers who weren't deterred by the policy change. Furthermore, the pattern of median solve times is different for each day of the week. This suggests that the difficulty level of the puzzles may be changing somewhat as well. My own subjective opinion is that Monday and especially Tuesday puzzles have gotten a little more challenging and Friday and Saturday puzzles have gotten easier.

I don't know that it's going to be possible for me to come up with a way to tease apart the changing sample of solvers from the changing difficulty of the puzzles (at least not in the time I have to devote to this particular hobby of mine). One idea is to compare each day's median solve time to the mean median solve time for just the previous few months (perhaps use just the previous 13 weeks, i.e. quarter-year?) rather than including all of the 3+ years of puzzles in my spreadsheet. The downside to that approach is that I'd be using a less stable measure of "normal" since it would be based, for example, on only 13 data points rather than 180. But since the more stable measure doesn't seem to accurately characterize what's currently normal, it might be a better way to go.

Aren't statistics fun? And the news business and political campaigns actually want us to have any faith in an individual poll number??? At least here, I'm dealing with a relatively objective measure. Imagine how much more complicated it gets with something as subjective as someone's opinion about a candidate or issue, when the wording of the question and the sampling strategy used can make all the difference in the world in the results of the poll?

Milford 5:41 PM  

@sanfranman - You are so awesome to figure this all out for us. Thank you! You are not taken for granted, for sure. I'd rather read your statistical analysis than any political poll.

Although I'd hate to have you put aside all the wonderful data of 3 years, the scientist part of me would not mind you starting anew with the more accurate account of the past 13 weeks. But that's just one person's opinion...

cak 6:09 PM  

Would you be willing to share the recipe for your chocolate cake? mmmmmm! I don't know if it's the picture or your description, but I really want a good chocolate cake!

Harry Whodeeney 6:31 PM  

@Joe The Juggler -

Aha! You are a juggler of words.

I shouldn't be giving away magic tricks, but you clearly used one when you said, "I would quibble about "Have a life" for "EXIST". Rocks exist but do not have life. The deceptive clue can be nice, but it should be accurate."

All things which have a life do EXIST, even if not everything that exists has a life. You switched clue and answer on us.

Madame LeFarge 6:42 PM  

Cake!
Cake!
Cake!

King of CrossWorld: The people have spoken and want that cake recipe! Don't be one of those artistocats who just shrugs and says, "Let the people eat Sara Lee!"

Tom Pepper 6:56 PM  

I'm so happy about all the positive comments, but I have to tell you that props should go to Will on many parts of the puzzle that a lot of you found to be fun.

Will rewrote the right central section and SE corner, ramping up the "fun factor" with SANJOSE, PEES with its pickled peppers clue, OBI, JOTTED, EWOK et al. Will pepped up a lot of the clues elsewhere too.

It felt like I got to peek behind the wizard's curtain. I appreciate all the more the magic Will works in editing these puzzles.

chefbea 7:31 PM  

@Rex...this chef would like the recipe!!

DrLee77 8:26 PM  

@Acme (DORIA?) I've been trying to get in for weeks to say how much I enjoyed your recent Monday.

@Rex Thanks for the blog. I don't always agree with everything, but I enjoy your analyses. Hand up for CAKE recipe!

@Chatty. As an internist I consult with Dr. Pepper many nights in CCU or ER! Hand up for good job Tom!!!

@sanfranman. Huge hand up for above comments

@SandyK I read a very good book as a kid about the Andrea Doria that probably was the source for the wiki article. The sister who lived did so because the bow of the Stockholm came up under her catapulting her onto the Stockholms's deck!

@Everyone I enjoy your comments. This is my first post anywhere. I hope I am allowed back!

sanfranman59 10:03 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 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 6:00, 6:47, 0.89, 6%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:40, 3:41, 1.00, 53%, Medium

Thanks for the kind words, all.

sanfranman59 10:03 PM  

Oh ... I forgot ...

Go Giants!

Mike 2:45 AM  

Thank you, sanfranman59! I'm also SF based, and I've always known the way to San Jose.

Go Giants! Way to bounce back.

Tobias Duncan 6:01 PM  

sanfranman59= unsung hero of Rexville.

I never come here without scanning for your name.

Anonymous 6:40 PM  

Way to go Tom! excited to see another fun puzzle from you and I love that you made Rex work a bit for this Monday one. I have always been a big fan of Ogden Nash so it was neat to see him in your puzzle. From Geri, your first seat mate in March at the NYT crossword tournament

Spacecraft 1:24 PM  

Cool Monday--and I'll add a couple more:

Neckwear for the French riviera? NICETIES.
Neckwear for a scratch golfer? PARTIES.
Neckwear for a prayer ending? AMENITIES (Okay, an extra I, but it was so cute...)

Easy, but clever, and some fun fill. Good one, Dr. Pepper!

DMGrandma 2:03 PM  

A nice way to start the week, a doable puzzle with clues that tie into one another!

Ginger 3:03 PM  

It's a windy, rainy Monday in the Pac. NW. A fine morning to snuggle up with Tom's satisfying puzzle. Thanks Tom, for stopping by. It's always nice to hear from the constructor, and your comments about Will were especially welcome.

Nothing much to add to the well earned praise this has generated. It was an enjoyable solve.

Dirigonzo 4:54 PM  

He and she = THEY; Him and her = THEm. Why all the confusion? (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

I don't know BAHA'I from SIKH, but the crosses produced both with no problem. My Expeditious type of delivery was SpeciAl for a while - do they even have that anymore? It's hard to imagine Elvis crooning about sending a letter "SAMEDAY D".

@DrLee77 - Congratulations on your first post (5 weeks ago) and welcome to the commenting community.

Waxy in Montreal 8:15 PM  

Loved SLYLY which AFAIK is the only common word in English to contain an LYLY string. And what a great theme for a Monday - now looking forward to March 14, the day PITIES can be worn...

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