Replacement Rex / MON 10-1-12 / BFFs

Monday, October 1, 2012

Aloha from your favorite alternate bloggers, aka Liz and Jenny, aka Rex's BFFs, aka, the Replacement Rex.  (And also Annabel hi :)

(Annabel is Liz's daughter who is Replacement Rexing with us because she's on the A-List too.)

We've re-dubbed ourselves as the Replacement Rex because our ability to fill in for the pro Rex is awfully similar to the ability of those NFL replacement refs.  In fact, Liz just threw a flag on the field because Jenny misspelled Jong. 

We get your excitement guys.  That's how we felt when we first got here too!

(FYI-we KNOW that the real refs are back, but Replacement Rex...that's Awfully Amusing)

Constructor: Susan Gelfand

Relative difficulty: Absolutely eAsy

THEME: THE A LIST — People whose first and last names start with the letter A

Word of the Day: Aggravated  —


  [ag-ruh-veyt] Show IPA
verb (used with object), ag·gra·vat·ed, ag·gra·vat·ing.
to make worse or more severe; intensify, as anything evil,disorderly, or troublesome: to aggravate a grievance; toaggravate an illness.
to annoy; irritate; exasperate: His questions aggravate her.
to cause to become irritated or inflamed: The child's constantscratching aggravated the rash.
1425–75; late Middle English  < Latin aggravātus  (past participleof aggravāre ), equivalent to ag- ag-  + grav-  ( see grave2 ) + -ātus-ate1 compare aggrieve
• • •

After much begging, we agreed to be Replacement Rex because Rex has been sooooo aggravated (and aggravating) with the puzzles for the last several days.  And now, like most BFFs, we feel the same way...someone stop us before we say yes again (oh wait...we're already lined up for another day).

Theme answers:
  • 20A "The Second First Lady" / Abigail Adams
  • 28A "American Dance Theater Founder" / Alvin Ailey
  • 35A "Oscar Winning Actor for Little Miss Sunshine" / Alan Arkin
  • 48A "Tennis Champion With A Stadium Named After Him" / Arthur Ashe
  • 56A "Achieved Great Fame...Or, What 20, 28, 35, and 48 Across Did" / Made The A List
What can we say about this theme?  We know someone who said "The theme makes no, or poor, sense. Maybe if all those people were heavy drinkers who had to go into rehab, the whole initial thing would make sense."  We agree.  As soon as we wrote "Abigail Adams", and saw the next theme clue, we knew immediately what was going on.  And it kind of made it un-fun because there was no real challenge to filling in these answers.

Some clues were fun.  Here are some that we liked:
  • We liked the cross of 68A (One Giving Orders - BOSS) and 60D (Occupation - JOB) 
  • 34A Football Field Units: Abbr. - YARDS, because we love all things Football (Go Ravens!)    Did you know that last season, Liz beat Rex in a football pool?  In fact, she was the season winner.  (Interestingly, there isn't a pool this year.) 

  • 52A ____ The Impaler — VLAD because what's not to love about the name Vlad?
Here's a list of answers that we are sick and tired of seeing every single week:

  • 6A Indian Prince - RAJA
  • 65A Ye ____ Shoppe - OLDE
  • San ___, Calif -  RAFAEL (or any other San ___ or Los ___ or Las ___)
  • 63A Corrida Cheer - OLE (we cheer when we see a puzzle without this tired clue)
  • 64A Across-the-Atlantic flier of old, briefly - SST 
Any puzzle without these clues gets an automatic A+ from us.

Signed, Liz and Jenny, aka Rex's BFFs, aka the Replacement Rex


PurpleGuy 12:40 AM  

Nice easy Monday puzzle. Cute theme.
Nothing really to bog one down, and nothing really eye catching.

Happy Monday all.

Shanti -


Anoa Bob 1:05 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anoa Bob 1:13 AM  

Raja sabe ceres? Asta arr ole gia. Mac nea!

Aero neros doasi (sys sst). Mts jong ods ens enl vlad. Rah rae alli nik!

Anomaly Canberra Meccas 1:45 AM  

I was surprised at first, knowing it's not enough to simply have a list of initials (I know! I've tried many times, still trying to get my PS I LOVE YOU to fly!)

However, when you have a punchline, like MADETHEALIST, it elevates the puzzle to another level, not just a list (although, ironically, the idea of making a list is almost the revealer!)

So I think this is fine. There are four names, plus a reveal...five theme entries is nice for a Monday.

Plus nice historical figure, a dancer, an actor, an athlete.
Two African Americans, which is slightly unusual in the puzzle...

Maybe the only thing that would have been better is two men/two women, but with EVE and Erica JONG in there, it balances out on my feminist alarm-o-meter!

And why no love for ANOMALY, BOBSLED and SAFARI corner... or the sophisticated TREMOLO?

The fun No-goodNIK? ZINGS?
Lots to like if you look for it!

By just listing the glue/crosswordese, and everyone being slightly dismissive, there is a missing the forest for the trees. again.

As much as I chuckled over the whole Replacement Ref cleverness of the blog write up, I hope one day there will also be someone who loves Mondays who will appreciate the subtle, but myriad positives.

jae 2:09 AM  

I'm with ANOMALY CANBERRA,  charming theme, nicely done.  Liked it!

My iPad adjusted time (T-90sec. for one finger typing) says medium but I was a tad fumble fingered so I'm going with easy.

acme 2:57 AM  

PS To give you some idea how far we've come, and how much more is expected of the constructors, the last time NYT ran an AA theme (which coincidentally had ALVINAILEY) was a Tuesday Dec 1998 and there were only four 10-letter theme answers and no unifying reveal...

Evan 4:11 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Evan 4:14 AM  

I would have thought Alan Arbesfeld would author a puzzle like this, he of the appropriate initials. My first thought on the revealer was MADE THE GRADE. Can you tell I have school-related anxiety by now?

Other AA members not invited to the meeting:

Amy Adams -- one ADAMS too many. Alan Alda -- one ALAN too many. Alaa Abdelnaby -- yeah, y'all remember him, right? Egyptian-American NBA player during the 90s, 5.7 career points per game, played for the Portland Trailblazers the last time they went to the Finals in 1992?

Z 7:03 AM  

I with @Anomaly Canberra Meccas on this one.

No RRNs, no RCDs, no OLAF/OLAV/LEOxx. If you don't want any three letter answers/abbreviations ever, don't do puzzles. On balance, this is a very good puzzle.

I also like the BOSS statement, DO AS I say, That's ALL I ask.

John V 7:18 AM  

A fine Monday. The revealer was the highlight to me. Re @Acme, easy puzzle=high word count=3 letter words=more crosswordese, etc. That's the way it is.

Off to Charlotte.

Anonymous 7:22 AM  

As a Canberran I really wanted to enjoy this puzzle, but I just couldn't. In fact, I really didn't enjoy it at all. That may have something to do with me not knowing *any* of the people in the theme! Not one.

jberg 8:16 AM  

You gals have been hanging out with Rsx too long, losing your sunny dispositions, and getting all critical. I agree it's not that good, but also not that bad. I just wish it had a W, so I could says something about not minding his Ps and Qs.

Did anyone else think the grid looked like a swastika?

Happy 8:19 AM  

I try to make the Monday puzzles more interesting by solving them without looking at any of the theme clues (or answers for that matter). Today, I completed the entire puzzle without using any of the theme clues and it was VERY easy. Fun nevertheless.

Susan McConnell 8:28 AM  

I don't expect to be blown away by Monday puzzles....this was pretty standard NYT Monday fare. I'll say it was A-OK.

joho 8:39 AM  

This was was very easy, yes, but also smooth and well done especially with the payoff line, MADETHEALIST.

NAVYSEAL is timely. REVERIE is nice, too.

The only thing that sounded odd to my ear was ZINGS. I thought that should be ZINGerS.

@Anoa Bob, interesting new language you've developed!

Lastly, I've got to say, it is always so much easier to criticize than be positive. I wish we'd see more of the latter around here!

joho 8:41 AM  

Fuzzy Wuzzy was was a bear ... sorry for the was was!

mac 9:02 AM  

I'm completely with Andrea today, this was a smooth, clean Monday, probably very enjoyable for new solvers.

Love cleaver, anomaly, tremolo and navy seal. The clue to "zings" could have been better, with this one zinger seems better.

I'm too lazy to check, but is this a pangram?

chefbea 9:07 AM  

Agree ..Very easy..and a lot of fun

Thanks BFFs..for another great right up. Good to see you again

jackj 9:13 AM  

This was a terrific Monday puzzle from Susan Gelfand, though I suspect many early week solvers (EWS) could consider it patently unfair and to some degree they have a valid claim.

Words like CLEAVER, RAFAEL, ANOMALY, TREMOLO, CERES and REVERIE are among my favorites in today’s offering but they are also words that have never before been clued lower than Wednesday entries, hence, subject to griping by the EWS.

But, for other treats of the puzzle, CANBERRA, the Aussie clone of The District of Columbia (but with national voting rights for the residents of the capital) was a nice reminder that Australia is more than just Sydney and Melbourne.

And, among the A LIST clues, who can forget ALAN ARKIN(s) brilliant portrayal of Yossarian in the film version of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 or the unsung brilliance of ABIGAIL ADAMS, especially as shown to us in David McCullough’s wonderful book on John Adams.

The clue at 46 down, “Comic Charlotte”, looking for RAE is sure to remind those who solved the puzzle of Friday last of the unfair cluing using Carly RAE Jepsen but to add a cherry to the Jepsen sundae, (or salt to the solver’s wound), Sunday’s NY Times Magazine had a half-page spread on the singer headlined, CARLY RAE JEPSEN.

An excellent puzzle from Susan Gelfand, hopefully she’ll come around more often in the future.

Welcome back Liz and Jenny and a shout out to aide-de-puzzle, Annabel!

Milford 9:16 AM  

I liked it, no aggravation here. Maybe I haven't been doing puzzles long enough, but 3-letter words and abbreviations don't bother me so much.

Thought there were a lot of words that were interesting and different: REVERIE, TREMELO, ENZYME, NAVY SEAL.

Just love ALAN ARKIN, especially in this role as the foul-mouthed grandpa in the back of the van.

Concerned because the BFFs make it seem like Rex had a nervous breakdown. Hope he's better tomorrow.

quilter1 9:28 AM  

Agree completely with Andrea about this one. I was pleased with TREMOLO, NAVY SEAL and REVERIE. When I saw all the lovely ladies I felt pleased not to be inundated with old ball players.

Cute write up, ladies. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. BTW I know how Rex feels. I'm a little down myself about the last few puzzles. I did not weigh in yesterday because it was a busy day and I couldn't pay attention to the puzzle, but I was a little bored with what I did. Maybe I'll give it another try later today after solving Monday's BEQ.

Shamik 9:34 AM're dead on as usual about the Monday puzzles.

orangeblossomspecial 9:46 AM  

Most folks aren't old enough to remember that 35A ALAN ARKIN was a member of The Tarriers, a folk group, in the 50s.

George Strait recorded the quintessential song about 69A: "All my EXES live in Texas." Now the song is featured in a car commercial.

57D "My country 'tis of THEE" has an interesting provenance. The melody has been the national anthem of at least four countries - England, Prussia, Switzerland, and the US.

Two Ponies 10:25 AM  

I thought this was a great Monday.
There were non=theme entries with a lot of zing as others here have noted. Anomaly, tremolo, and Canberra on a Monday? What's not to like?

Blogger was giving me fits on Sat. so I gave up but I thought it was a good one, esp. after the Fri. slog.

Kurt 10:36 AM  

@Anoa Bob

You win the prize today! Great job.

Carola 11:29 AM  

Agree with @acme and others on liking it - themewise and otherwise - esp. the lovely REVERIE and TREMOLO.

After getting ABIGAIL ADAMS, I first thought the theme would be U.S. first ladies, but no - there was just the real first lady, EVE.

@orangeblossomspecial -
What an Alan Arkin find! Didn't know that "Yellow Bird" was originally in French.

@evan -
On school-related anxiety, I thought you might get a kick out of this. In a grad philosophy seminar I was taking, the assistant prof referred to Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison as "Discipline and Publish."

BFFs - It's always a treat to read your reviews. Love your grid/ gridiron take with the Replacement Refs. I, too, fumbled the O (ball) in JuNG, but managed to recover it quickly,

Bob Kerfuffle 11:40 AM  

The last area I filled in centered on 52 A, VLAD, because I just couldn't believe that was the intended answer, because up to that point in the grid, each alternating line - 2, 4, 6, 8 - had Every Answer starting with an "A". I was getting ready to post a link to "Take the A Train" if no one else had. But then the puzzle went from great to just good with Vlad, etc.

Agree with others, 55 D should be clued, perhaps, "Wittily put down."

And, darn, darn, darn, was so hung up on As that I fell into the JUNG/JONG trap!

Bob Kerfuffle 11:42 AM  

"Wittily puts down."

Evan 11:47 AM  


That goes double for me as I'm planning on doing my dissertation on prison history, so Foucault will almost certainly be in the mix, as will the threats of publishing or perishing.

Lewis 11:48 AM  

Rex, I hope your BFFs were just kidding and you didn't take a day off because of a string of puzzles you didn't like. You'll miss a good one at some point. Also, your presence helps lift the quality of the puzzles in general.

I liked FLIT, VLAD, and TREMOLO. Thought the clue for EVE was too easy even for a Monday, don't need the part about clipping in the clue for HEDGES.

Overall, liked this a lot. Felt zippy, non-stodgy. Bravo!

Gareth Bain 12:09 PM  

Disagree. The cute revealer is reason enough to make the puzzle: famous people who have "made the a-list" in two different ways! The long proper names was enough to push this to Tuesday difficulty for me, though that's hardly the constructor's fault!

JenCT 12:22 PM  

Add me to the list of those agreeing with @ACME; liked it.

Stayed up WAAAY too late watching the Giants/Eagles game.

With all the fuss about the replacement refs, Green Bay will live in infamy - you can't buy that kind of publicity.

Used my CLEAVER yesterday when I made a big batch of chicken stock...

JenCT 12:23 PM  

(Forgot to check followup box)

mac 12:43 PM  

@JenCT: Nooooo! Chickensoup?

syndy 12:45 PM  

My boss once told me "don't do what I say;do what I mean!" way to AGGRAVATE!Not TOO terrible ELM(TREE )seemed unnecessary but complaining about LA place names is just sour grapes.It is not outside the realm of possibility that messages are being passed in the margins but hopefully only about ovaltine.

retired_chemist 1:16 PM  

Fun. Easy. Best time ever, but I only know approximately what it was since I mistyped GAELA @ 67A and I had to look for a half-minute or so to find it.

Pretty much just started across @ 1A and did it, although I did use a few downs, e.g. for ALAN ARKIN and NERO'S Circus. Slapped in UVEA @ 33A, thought for a sec, realized THAT wasn't right, fixed it. same process with RIME @ 61A.

Thanks, Ms. Gelfand. A successful Monday IMO.

Davis 2:05 PM  

After some of the downright unpleasant puzzling last week (I'm looking at you, Sunday), today's was a breath of fresh air. While I agree with the Replacements about the tired clues — if I never see OLE or SST again it'll be too soon — this puzzle had more than enough refreshingly fun entries to keep me going: CERES, CANBERRA, CLEAVER, and ANOMALY added a little zing to the grid for me. Also, any constructor who manages to fit in ABIGAIL ADAMS is A-okay in my book.

There's nothing I can ask from a Monday that this grid didn't provide. Here's to hoping the rest of the week similarly holds up.

JFC 2:12 PM  

I see Rex took my advice and let Acme to the commentary for Monday puzzles. I want to congratulate Rex and compliment Acme on her comment. You are both on my A List even if I'm on your S List....


ksquare 2:32 PM  

I consider a CLEAVER (3D) more an ax or chopper than a knife, although Chinese chef use a half-cleaver as a cutter. I don't know what it's called.

chefbea 2:36 PM  

@ksquare I think it's called a santuko knife

JenCT 2:45 PM  

@mac: not to worry, it was chicken thighs from the store. :-)

Sparky 2:47 PM  

This was just fine with me. I wanted first ladies but it was not to be. Liked CLEAVER, ANOMALY, ENZYMES. Fair cluing and the revealer pulled it all together. Like @Davis gives me hope for the rest of the week.

Sandy K 2:52 PM  

I don't do puzzles for speed. I like to enjoy them, but I FLITted thru this so fast, it was AN ANOMALY...

I'm with the ACME AGREEMENT vector.

ALSO AGREE with @joho's final paragragh! Need more positives!!

I liked the theme and esp. the revealer!

The Replacements Rex are ABUNDANTLY AMUSING, altho for a Monday puz, I say this MADE THE A-LIST!!

Anonymous 2:58 PM  

I consider a CLEAVER more of a Ward, June, Wally or a Beaver.

Couldn't help thinking of that...

Carola 3:04 PM  

@Evan - That's quite a coincidence! I should have added that everybody had a good laugh, including the prof.

@chefwen and JenCT - I'm looking forward to a game where the Pack just has to play against the opposing team and not the officials, too!

Anonymous 3:28 PM  

As a novice solver and one who only truly feels comfortable doing the Monday puzzle....this one was a challenge...come on---tremolo? ceres? Canberra? Not the usual Monday by any means--at least not in my book.....and while I'm used to Rex and his irritability quotient being rather high, I was suprised to see his BFFs being so negative as well......I go to this website to be educated and to help me learn to progress in my puzzle solving---the negativity is becoming pervasive.......

ANON B 3:59 PM  

I don't read all of the comments so I may have missed this.
Can someone please explain what
Happy@8:19 meant by saying he tries
to do the puzzles by not looking at the clues(or answers)?

Rob C 4:05 PM  

@ANON B - Happy said theme clues/answers

sanfranman59 4:09 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 5:56, 6:47, 0.87, 5%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:25, 3:41, 0.93, 19%, Easy

Sandy K 4:38 PM  

Hi @Rob C

I graduated from BC a few years before you and became an elementary school teacher.

Altho I still live in Bklyn, I never pass by there- but I understand they've expanded, redesigned, and built a residence on Farragut Rd.

So maybe now they have RAs of both kinds??

Sfingi 4:54 PM  

Agree with @Carola - TREMOLO and REVERIE are nice words. Turns out words with R or L are most favored. That would include the name Carola. One fellow's favorite words were "cellar door."

Nice and easy - also oldster friendly. I once saw ALVIN AILEY and troop.

JenCT 5:11 PM  

I meant to say that Green Bay will forever have everyone's sympathy, not infamy - wrong noun!

Okay, enough football - oh, wait, MNF is on tonight...

Sandy K 5:27 PM  

Hi @Rob C

I attended BC a few years before you did, and became an elementary school teacher.

Altho I still live in Bklyn, I don't pass by BC, but I understand that they've expanded, redesigned, and built a residence at Farragut Rd.

Maybe that means they now have both types of RAs...??

Sandy K 5:32 PM  

Can anyone in Rexville please help with this one??

Twice in the past 2 weeks, I posted my comment, saw it there for a while, and then it was gone. (Rex did not delete it).

I don't undertand why that is happening? Did anyone else have that happen to their post??


Carola 5:36 PM  

@sfingi - :) And - I see we share a favorite movie.

Rob C 5:42 PM  

@Sandy K - I grew up in Marine Park but have long since moved away. I live in Penn. now. My parents still live in the same house I grew up in, so we go back to Brooklyn quite often. But, like you, I don't pass by BC. Can't really remember the last time I saw it. It always had a pretty good reputation and there was always a small number of out-of-towners that attended, but they would just rent local basement apartments. So it doesn't surprise me that they've built some campus housing. Thanks for the info.

Anonymous 6:04 PM  

I don't have time to do the puzzle or read the write up or comments, so can someone summarize it all for me?

Sandy K 6:10 PM  

@Rob C

I grew up not-too-far from you- Brigham St. right near Sheepshead HS and Shellbank Jr.High- my alma maters.

I googled BC, and it has become very prestigious, has produced many high-ranking alumni, and has a long list of famous professors and lecturers eg.
Allan Ginsberg, Yitzak Perlman et al.

The pictures look pretty impressive too-esp the new residence!

It didn't seem all that great when I went there, but the price was right!

Bob Kerfuffle 6:20 PM  

@Sandy K - Re your problem with disappearing posts: A couple of years ago or so, we had a somewhat similar problem, with posts disappearing, but then it seemed to affect only posts with hot links in them. (For example, sanfranman59 used to have a hot link to the explanation of his system, but he had to give it up because it kept disappearing.) We blamed various unknown malefactors or incompetents, but I don't think anyone explained it, and after a while the problem went away. That's no help to you, I know, but you have my sympathy.

@Anonymous 6:04 _ LOL! (Unless you are serious, in which case: 42.)

Sandy K 6:29 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle

Well, at least I'm not the only one- was getting kinda paranoid!!

Sadly, I don't have a HOT LINK! So this is still very mysterious...

Thanks for your response and esp. the sympathy!!

PS. Hope THIS doesn't disappear...

Tita 7:06 PM  

@JenCT - had the same reaction as @mac to your chicken stock...happy that my namesake has not yet met such a fate...

Again, puzzling and blogging on the fly.
Happy to see the Italian and Roman mini-themes continuing from Sunday (posted there just now too).
Rafael is my new CEO in Italy, and NEROS circus in the SE. (There was an amazing market at the Circus Maximus here this weekend)
Funny how puzzles can tie in to real life - 2 days in a row now.

Liked the puzzle and the revealer.

Welcome back, BFFs.

Rob C 7:19 PM  

@Sandy K
I went to James Madison HS and it has two very interesting graduates, both judges, but from way different ends of the judge spectrum... Ruth Bader Ginnsburg and Judge Judy

Anonymous 8:02 PM  

Hi does anyone remember the movie "Wait Until Dark" with Alan Arkin and a blind Audrey Hepburn? One of my faves!

JenCT 8:17 PM  

@Rob C & Sandy K: fellow Marine Parker here, too.

Three and out.

Sandy K 8:20 PM  

@Rob C

I know Madison quite well too. Many of my friends and rels went to Madison...

That's funny about the judges- I think Judge Judy is doing better than Judge Ruth!!

I heard that 3 US Senators also went to Madison- Barbara Boxer? And 2 others- can't remember off-hand...

Interesting info!!

Rob C 8:34 PM  

@Sandy K
Sens. Norm Coleman-MN (moderate), Chuck Schumer-NY (liberal), and Bernie Sanders-VT (communist) also went to JMHS

Didn't know Boxer went to JMHS. That would have made 4 sitting Senators from JMHS. I've always heard the 3. But I do know she's an alum of Brooklyn College.

3 posts=done

Acme 8:59 PM  

@anon 8:02pm
I had forgotten ALAN ARKIN was the scary giy in "Wait Until Dark" which I loved! My fave of his is Papi about the Cuban boat lids...most touching father/sons film I've EVER seen.

I'm glad to see so many folks appreciated this puzzle after's very tempting to get on the snark train for subs to prove bona fides here, I'm guessing.

Heck, I've been more than tempted and totally done so myself back in the early days when I was more swayed by our host's charismastic wit.
Now I'm more in a state of shock how good puzzles get casually trashed...
(But still thankful for a place to express my opinion and enjoy others' stories and knowledge!)

that EXES song has been my earworm all year!

Acme 9:02 PM  

Guy, boatkids, charismatic...sorry!

Acme 9:06 PM  

Oh for goodness sake, i am losing my mind... it's POPI, not Papi...1969 ...look it up it's a fantastic film!

Ginger 12:36 PM  

Monday Easy, Monday Fun; starts the week off just fine.

Enjoyed the write-up, Rex's BFFs, and the pic of the replacement refs. They had an impossible JOB that they were totally unprepared for. The regular refs missed a significant call in yesterday's Seahawk/Viking game, allowing a field goal well after time had run out. Fortunately it didn't affect the outcome.

Have a good week, Syndilanders!

Anonymous 12:39 PM  

I liked it. Rex is a curmudgeon and so are the BFFs

Spacecraft 12:41 PM  

Yes, really easy, but it felt smooth. When you can work in two J's and a Z without straining on either cross, you're doing something.

If Mr. Hersheiser went for his doctorate, would he have to take... just sayin'.

I really like the big heavy dark print you guys used today; please ask OFL to keep it. Us old f**ts need all the help we can get.

Dirigonzo 5:34 PM  

WPP stayed around long enough to tackle this one on her own, with me offering only the occasional groan or grunt in support. I thought a few of the clues were beyond Monday hard but she breezed through the whole grid without any problem because all of the crosses were fair - Natick never even appeared on the horizon.

@Acme's appreciation of the craftsmanship (craftwomanship?) that goes into creating such a wonderful Monday grid is a refreshing contrast to some of the critics that comment here.

Dirigonzo 5:36 PM  

@Spacecraft - ...Orel's Orals?

DMGrandma 6:18 PM  

A smooth puzzle like this one gives me a boost at the start of the week, and help makes up for those end-of-the-week stumpers. I did this one while on the phone waiting for the cable company to stop telling me how valuable my call was and actually respond to it! As a result, I was a trifle distracted so that when the revealer came I had to go back and look at the theme answers to see the connection. Only write over was replacing "rime" with HOAR, maybe an easy mistake for one who has never lived where either happens? We have a different problem, Santa Anas and the threat of forest fire. It's 88° outside right now, and this is November!

Failed the Captcha. One more try...

Ellen S 11:13 AM  

I'm noticing "schwa" all over the place since yesterday's puz (Oct 28 in the real-time world). Shouldn't the "a" in Texas be schwa? And the second "e" in "exes"? Maybe only in the Midwest--George Strait seemed to pronounce them "Texiss" and "exiss". Still two different vowels pronounced the same in order to rhyme.

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