Strong seasoned stock in cookery / MON 10-21-13 / John Cusack thriller based on Grisham novel / D of PRNDL / Atoll composition

Monday, October 21, 2013

Constructor: Gary Cee

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging


THEME: Bust loose — first words / phrases of the theme answers involve fleeing and/or possibly breaking out of prison ...

Word of the Day: FUMET (66A: Strong, seasoned stock, in cookery) —
fumet1
n
(Cookery) a strong-flavoured liquor from cooking fish, meat, or game: used to flavour sauces
[French, literally: aroma]

fumet2
n
(Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Zoology) (often plural) Archaic the dropping of a deer
[C16 fewmet: probably via Old French from Latin fimāre to spread dung on, from fimus dung]
• • •

This has some good fill in it (YAWNER, POGO STICK, QUAFF), but all I will remember is FUMET. I have never heard of this word. Neither has the cruciverb database, which means not only has it never appeared in a Monday puzzle, it has never appeared in a puzzle, period. Not a mainstream puzzle, anyway. At least not in the past (roughly) 20 years. It's unFATHOMable to me how you make a Monday (easy) puzzle with an absurdity like FUMET in it. It's not like the grid is demanding. LAZY doesn't even begin to describe it. I'd like to blame it on the stupid pangram thing (one of every letter in the grid! Amazing! (said no one)), but there are no letters down there in the SE corner that can't be found. So you have to really *want* FUMET. Incomprehensible. I don't even know what to say anymore. A remedial theme concept + pointless pangram + word from mars + some good fill here and there. All in all, not a great outing.


Theme answers:
  • 17A: John Cusack thriller based on a Grisham novel ("RUNAWAY JURY") — I would also file this under "Not Really Monday Fare," but it's gettable-ish
  • 28A: Newly famous celebrity (BREAKOUT STAR)
  • 47A: Stipulation that frees one of liability (ESCAPE CLAUSE)
  • 62A: Part of a ski jump just before going airborne (TAKE-OFF RAMP)
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    68 comments:

    Anonymous 7:27 AM  

    FUMET will be known to cooks and foodies. But AGLET is pure crosswordese and surely unknown to the novice audience to whom Mondays are presumably aimed.

    jberg 7:37 AM  

    AGLET will be well known to shoe fetishists, however! And we had it only yesterday (along with HITCH).

    The other somewhat-difficult aspect to this one is that the ONLY routes from East to West, or West to East, are the theme answers. So if you proceed by crosses, and you're stuck on the theme, you're stuck.

    But my real problem was reading "Grisham" and thinking "LeCarre." I had to get most of the crosses before I had RUNAWAY JURY.

    Have a good week, everyone!

    joho 8:03 AM  

    RUNAWAY, BREAKOUT, ESCAPE, TAKEOFF ... loved the action in the theme!

    My favorite fill was QUAFF, YAWNER, POGOSTICK and IDUNNO.

    Yes, FUMET was unknown to me and not a Monday word, but all the crosses in that corner are super easy. So, my guess is that everybody will get it and thereby learn something. I would be surprised in even one person posts that they did not get this answer correct.

    It's interesting, @Rex, that you realize that FUMET has nothing to do with this puzzle being a pangram but still diss the fact that we have every letter of the alphabet here in a interestingly and smoothly filled grid.

    I DECLARE, Gary Cee, it's TRUE, I loved it!

    joho 8:05 AM  

    That should be "if" even one person...

    loren muse smith 8:19 AM  

    I had "FUMET??" in the margin. But it fell easily with the crosses. Just checked in with Dad, the quintessential Monday solver, and he reported he filled in that corner with no problem. So I have no objection to it. I thought this was a really lively puzzle, what with the themers, BAND AID, POGO STICK, TOUCH UPON, I DUNNO, ERY ;-).

    Early on, I kept vaguely revisiting HITCH, trying to fit "glitch." You know the clue for ONE had to be Will's. I liked it!

    I didn't even notice it was a pangram, and I'm always sniffing around for those! I DUNNO, Rex, doesn't that say something? I'm still too green to spot "Scrabble *&^ing," but I agree with @joho - this one felt pretty smooth.

    I think I'm prone to use "prostrate' instead of SUPINE.
    "There I was, prostrate in front of the Supreme Constructor God of the Universe. . ."
    "There I was, SUPINE in front of the Supreme Constructor God of the Universe. . ."

    GEE, I DECLARE this one took me back to my childhood - I could POGO STICK like it was nobody's business. And while I was POGO STICKing, Jeff J and David F were fashioning various wobbly TAKE OFF RAMPS from boards drug out of the woods in David's DRIVEway for our questionable spider bikes. Ever the CHOKER when it came to launching myself (on the bike I paid Steve S twenty five dollars for), I FAILed to brave the RAMPs and invariably went back to POGOing. Those ramps were never SAFE (insert SKID and BAND AID here), and I was never aSHAMEd to chicken out. I also wore BERETs to school back then, SEPT I had tams, too, and used the words interchangeably.

    The bunch of us formed a singing group named, mysteriously, The Saltines. We BREAK-OUT STARs had two songs in our repertoire: Signs (Five Man Electrical Band) and Is Anybody Going to San Antone (Charley Pride). We earnestly performed these every time our parents had dinner together. I was the best singer. (When the dinner was at our house, Mom's go-to meal was Braised Fish with THAI Curry Sauce. She kept homemade FUMET in the freezer. And if you believe that, I have some SEEDY beach-front property to show you in OMAHA. And in San Antone.)

    Gary – spot on, deftly-constucted Monday. Did you ever toy with trying to make the center LEA LAM?

    Susan McConnell 8:28 AM  

    I'm sure the chefs will chime in, but I think FUMET is no big deal. I'm nothing more than a good home cook and I knew it. The popularity of the Food Network will perhaps help with this one.

    I did like the action in this puzzle and I also appreciate a nice pangram now and then. This one felt natural and unforced, so thumbs up from me! Give Gary Cee an A!

    Joe The Juggler 8:36 AM  

    AGLET appeared in puzzles a couple of times very recently (within the past week?), IIRC. I think that makes it fair game for a Monday.

    mitchs 8:37 AM  

    No problem with FUMET. The crosses made it easy and I learned a word. Thought this was a very good Monday with some nice fill.

    Anonymous 8:46 AM  

    I flew through this one. I was sure Rex would have it ranked easy. Never even noticed FUMET because I filled it with crosses. One or two bad crosses in that section and maybe I'd be singing another tune. I remembered AGLET from yesterday (not fondly) and have to agree with the consensus that it is pure crosswordese.

    Laurence Katz 9:07 AM  

    Shouldn't the putative first use of "fumet" be applauded, not derided? Totally legitimate word, familiar to cooks and foodies and much better than stuff like the crap Latin legalese that litters too many puzzles.

    Anonymous 9:13 AM  

    Tin might be a good choice for tuna container if you're a Brit, but 'can of tuna' seems more attuned to an American ear.

    Bob Kerfuffle 9:19 AM  

    Must remember FUMET; Must remember FUMET; Must remember FUMET.

    P.S. to @lms - It isn't really clear from your post if you are only kidding about PROSTRATE vs. SUPINE, so forgive me if I didn't get the joke, but SUPINE means lying on your back (an unusual way to have a meeting with God in the ceremonial sense), while both PRONE and PROSTRATE mean lying on your face. I keep this clear in my mind by remembering Summer Camp rifle range and shooting in the PRONE position.

    quilter1 9:20 AM  

    I'm with @Susan McConnell, I'm a home cook but knew FUMET. Blew through this one easily and enjoyed the fresh fill. Yeah, had can before TIN, but easily remedied. Off to PT.

    chefbea 9:33 AM  

    Found the puzzle easy!!! And this here chef has NEVER heard of the word Fumet!!! I'll ask my foodie with a blog daughter if she has heard of it. Get back to you on that later.

    Z 9:36 AM  

    Time was in my med-chal range, so the rating is spot on. Absolutely no problem getting FUMET from the crosses, and I didn't notice the pangram (although the idea sparked across my AXONS as I wrote in my favorite letter). So I have no problem in going for the pangram since it didn't adversely effect the fill. The fill is pretty good, M&A's weejects list will be of the least bothersome sort today.

    I remember learning AGLET as a teenager. A broken AGLET is a huge pain for running shoes because they tend to have very small eyes for the shoe laces and frequently do not have any metal reinforcement around that eye, making it very difficult to relace the shoe. Having said so much on such a small topic, and although I've known the word for nearly forty years and have even thought to myself, "s%#t - a broken AGLET," I have never once uttered the word or, before today, written it in a sentence.

    DBlock 9:42 AM  

    I also believe it is the first appearance of One Direction, which I only know because they are my teenage daughter's favorite --
    no doubt someone else will confirm or deny

    August West 9:51 AM  

    Surprised at the medium-challenging rating, which seems almost entirely founded on inclusion of FUMET. I wasn't called upon to even read its clue, as I worked down, westward off of SHE. All five of its crosses are, or should be, readily gettable even to a novice solver, resulting in: a) completion of the corner, and; b) introduction to a new word. Win-win.

    My only slowdown was at 38A, where my brain fired "synapses" on reading the clue only to find, well, that ain't gonna fit. Made the quick segue to AXONS from the "X" in EXES and finished with an "easy" Monday time. Themers were fine, and I was very appreciative of the amount of snappy, quality fill vis-a-vis typical Monday fare. Really liked this one. Great job!

    Glimmerglass 9:52 AM  

    No problem with FUMET, because the crosses were easy, but I did a double take to see it on a Monday. My wife, an excellent cook of long, long experience and a reader of cookbooks, had never heard the word. She definitely qualifies as a foodie, albeit non-professional.

    Sandy K 10:00 AM  

    Thought Rex would DECLARE this easy. Went thru it without a HITCH, so didn't even notice the pangram.

    I too liked all the action words- just saw "RUNAWAY JURY" for the umpteenth time...

    Good theme, not much PAP in the fill to DESPISE, plus a pangram!

    No trouble with AGLET or FUMET, but I DUNNO why VARIOUS was sun dry?? Duh! Sundry!

    JC66 10:14 AM  

    SCUBA tanks contain compressed air, not pure oxygen. The percentage of nitrogen in the mix can be slightly reduced to allow for longer dives without fear of the bends, but oxygen is still only about 20%.

    Steve J 10:28 AM  

    I cook and am a bit of a foodie, but I don't recall FUMET. Then again, I don't make sauces in the French style very often, so there's a good chance I've seen it and forgotten it.

    Regardless, I had no problem with its being in a Monday puzzle. As I've mentioned before, I believe the fairness/appropriateness of words depends on how easily they're gotten from crosses. These were all easy. And FUMET is no harder for beginning solvers to get than the crosswordy AGLET.

    Even so, medium-challenging felt about right. I made steady but not blazing progress throughout. Slow points were having SLIP instead of SKID, and taking several crosses before picking up on RUNAWAY JURY.

    Good fill overall - liked POGO STICK and I DUNNO especially - some good cluing, relative lack of bad fill (like AGLET), all make for a nice Monday.

    Questinia 10:34 AM  

    My only prior encounter with FUMET was at an erudite German couple's home when the husband told the wife to leave the fish stock in the pot because he would make a FUMET out of it.

    That was fifteen years ago and I thought it was FUMEé until yesterday.

    Springy grid. Nice puzzle! Merci M. Cee.

    mathguy 10:37 AM  

    What's the point of a theme when the puzzle is so easy?Thirty-five gimmes for me, many more for most of you experts.

    Two Ponies 10:39 AM  

    I thought this was a fine Monday.
    Thanks Gary C.
    I can only recall fumet in combination with other words but the crosses were easy.
    I never notice pangrams so if it is or isn't makes no difference to me.
    Can't see PRNDL without thinking of Green Acres.

    meg 10:45 AM  

    Chef here, never heard of FUMET. A GLACE is a nice strong 5-letter stock that I would have entered without pause if I had seen the clue. The Internet recipes seem to all be for fish FUMET so maybe this word will be known to seafood lovers and Eric Ripert.

    ClaraBarton 10:47 AM  

    Scuba divers carry AIR in tanks, not oxygen.

    Pete 11:12 AM  

    I for one was happy to see FUMET in the puzzle, for now I can use it in daily conversation and not be such a crude bastard as I have been in the past.

    My lawn is covered in FUMET. I've got a resident herd of white-tail deer numbering about two dozen who call my property home. Their favorite fall feeding spot is the oak grove that surrounds my house.

    So, I can now say publicly that I have a prodigious amout of FUMET in my property rather that I'm drowning in deer shit. People will think ever so much more highly of me.

    FearlessKim 11:19 AM  

    You'll all get a laugh out of this:

    I had the leading letter D from 6D DRY
    saw the 6A clue referencing PRNDL
    focused on the PRN part
    thought "medical" and decided that the D stood for Daily. Popped it in the grid.
    Thought "crazy tough cluing for a Monday!"
    Medium-challenging solve time ensued, as I unwound my mistake.
    Oy.
    Didn't mind FUMET nearly as much as my own careless mistake :)

    Waiting for M&A: I count 6 U's!
    And ACME: pangram! (Yes, I love them, particularly when they don't feel forced)

    Steve J 11:26 AM  

    @JC66 and @ClaraBarton: Yes, SCUBA tanks contain compressed air, not pure oxygen. Nevertheless, that is indeed where divers get their oxygen. The clue's accurate.

    Jisvan 11:38 AM  

    Not so sure I want fumet in my soup after reading that second definition. Is that the secret ingredient? Just how did a word come to mean stock flavoring AND dung? Mmm mmm good!

    Anonymous 11:45 AM  

    Z,

    You're absolutelty correct on how difficult it is to lace up running shoes once the aglet is compromised. But how did you learn aglet and not eylet?

    Masked and Anonymo8Us 12:33 PM  

    @4-Oh. har. Well. Good Monday mornin, sunshine. Speakin of perky excitement, I was elated recently to learn the source of yer mysterious hooded captain icon head, pictured at the top of the Rexville blog page. Drawn by Kelly Freas, the primo Mad cover artist, no less. Others who are yet to know the answer are not explorin yer other blogsite enough. And yeah, I vote for the helmet holes bein for some invention yet to be invisioned by us primitive earthlings. Fumet egestion ports, mayhaps...

    Today's puz is actually a pretty frisky gridmonkey. I mean, fer bein a MonPuz, and all. Check it out:
    1. 8 U's. The "fair share" count for each letter would be a shade over 7. So, some healthy respect bein shown, here.
    2. Deer poop. French deer poop. Used in soups.
    3. Weeject ERY. Looks like it might mean "vaguely spooky". Sorta like a Halloween warm-up word.
    4. Pangram. Luv it. Especially since FUMET and ERY played no part in securing the prize.
    5. Themers that are all escapism. The Houdini in m&e says thUmbsUp.
    6. CATTY start and SEEDY finish. Well, there's yer rodeo.

    Workin on a real ery Trickertreat puz. Inspired by the recent Peter Wentz puz. Will share, if I can stuff exactly 13 U's into it.
    M&A


    MaharajaMack 12:35 PM  

    Two gripes on the SHARPness of this review. First, I don't think it is the constructor's job to ensure that all words in the puzzle are appropriate by day. If Will chooses to run a puzzle on Monday, that's his business. Gripe at him. Second, the pangram issue. I'm sick of hearing the dissing on pangrams when it doesn't affect the quality of the puzzle. I think it is a cute little achievement if it doesn't compromise the quality of the fill. It didn't here.

    Milford 12:40 PM  

    Been visiting this blog long enough that I saw the FUMET and pangram discussions coming a mile away. But I found this to be an easy, peasy Monday. I know I read the FUMET clue and quickly skipped it, and never had to deal with, as the crosses filled it all in.

    I am a home chef and reader of many cookbooks and I'm surprised I've never encountered FUMET. Fish stock, yes. Good to know, though.

    Liked the theme, and QUAFF is such a great word. I don't think the pangram hurt the fill at all.

    Ray J 1:02 PM  

    Fun and easy Monday puzzle. Happy to learn FUMET – never heard of it before today. Glad to see AGLET spelled the same as it was yesterday. Can also be AIGLET.

    Remember these? BEAT IT BOZO

    I listened to NPR Weekend Edition yesterday and never heard the Ben Tausig segment. BOO! They covered a bunch of addictions but omitted the crossword puzzle one. My name is Ray J and I ….

    Lewis 1:05 PM  

    Gary, I have to give you an A if for no other reason than you put in 11 words starting with that letter. But I give you an A anyway because the puzzle felt zippy, went smoothly, and while it felt easy, there was enough of a bite to make it interesting.

    This is one of those themes that didn't really help my solve, but was easy to see afterwards. When puzzles have this type theme, it feels like a themeless. And sometimes I wonder, when there is a theme like this, if the theme really adds to the puzzle. Any thoughts?

    Dansah 1:05 PM  

    As a child, my mother taught me the word aglet. She was also the person who taught me a love of crosswords. I think of her each time I do one. Fumet....Not so much. She didn't cook.

    AliasZ 1:08 PM  

    Personally, I find nothing wrong with learning a new word even on a Monday, thus I cannot FATHOM why Rex would chuck the whole puzzle for FUMET -- a pangram, no less. True, it made it a little more Wednesday-ish but I loved it.

    @JC66 - I found the clue for the scuba TANKS perfectly acceptable since it did not refer to "pure" oxygen, only that they supply oxygen, which they clearly do.

    A good one from Gary Cee.

    Bird 1:40 PM  

    A nice straightforward easy Monday puzzle. Oh, and it’s a pangram. And not a bad one either.

    FUMET is a new one for me also, but not difficult at all with those easy crosses.

    POGO STICK is pretty cool.

    @jberg – Rex Ryan, coach of the NY Jets, will know AGLET
    @joho – Same thought on @Rex’s comments about FUMET/pangram

    Re clue for 3D – the clue may be accurate, but it’s a stretch. Then again it’s Monday and maybe WS wanted to clue it easy?

    Thank you Gary.

    C’mon Big Blue! Let’s get one tonight.

    The Galactic Invade-har 2:05 PM  

    p.s.
    Lots of U's and pangrams lead to fresher, friskier vocab, btw. Which this MonPuz definitely had. Which in turn might even lead to the solver learnin a thing or two, as many here so spot-on-ly point out. Learnin new stuff is good. Especially yer new types of poop.

    I'll tell yah what would yield some mind-blowin fill: a 15x15 grid that is also an Equi-gram. Equi-gram, of course, is where there is exactly the same count, for each of the 26 letters. So,... stretch goal. Would even be more impressive, if the Equi-gram had a theme. Joe Krozel: have a rip at it; but don't hurt yerself. (M&e, I'm stickin to goin for a Halloween puz with prezactly 13 U's -- the ERY-gram...)

    M&A

    travis 2:21 PM  

    As to FUMET. I got it from the crosses and just kept going even though it looked so insane I was convinced it was wrong. The only ambiguous cross is SHAME just clued as Disgrace. SHApE? SHAkE? SHAvE?? Shape/shave are reaches, but shake certainly seems plausible. Not sure what I would have done if I had thought of it first.

    Z 2:31 PM  

    @anon11:45 - I'd love to say that AGLET was in the puzzle but eylet wasn't. But more accurate would be that the words I use are fewer than the words I know which are far fewer than the words that are.

    Richard 2:32 PM  

    Easy pickins today. The corner with fumet presented no problem but I did have to google fumet. I cook but never heard of fumet. I wonder what the difference between garden-variety stock and fumet is?

    Anoa Bob 2:45 PM  

    I did a double take when I first saw the grid. All that white space staring back at me suggested a themeless puzzle (only 34 black squares here---38 is more typical for a themed puzzle). But the four long Across slots told me it was a themer.

    The low black square count made for a challenging fill what with all those longish Downs crossing two themes. I was impressed that Mr. Cee was able to pull it off so smoothly.

    Like others, I learned a new word, FUMET. And this is how the old-school puzzles would put an unusual or obscure word in the grid, by embedding it within easily-gettable, straightforwardly-clued words.

    I'm amazed that some would say it's too easy. That's like saying a Friday or Saturday is too hard. Isn't that the way they're supposed to be?

    No YAWNER this one. An open, airy grid, rock-solid themes, & plenty of sparkling fill made this a top-drawer favorite for me. Bet you a cold brewski this one turns up again in an anthology or two down the road.

    Benko 2:49 PM  

    @Travis: If shake was plausible, I still don't think the NYT would use the word FUKET in its puzzle.

    Doc John 3:37 PM  

    I also never even saw FUMET as all the crosses were easily inferable.
    Nice to see that this was rated as Medium Challenging when I got my first sub-4:00 time!

    mac 3:42 PM  

    Easy Monday to me.

    I would have known fumet, but happened to do that corner downs only and didn't see it. I think fumet is the stage in cooking down a stock before you get to demi-glace. I keep that in the freezer. Fumet is obviously not a widely known word, but the sauce I bought yesterday is much more esoteric: Colatura, a Sicilian fish sauce, which I found at Eataly.

    @Bird: are you talking about this foot fetish?

    MetaRex 4:20 PM  

    Poysonally fine w/ FUMET...

    Like lms's thought about LAM in the middle...

    Not so sure about the Equi-Gram...but hey...

    As a fan of (most) cross-referencing, implicit themes, and mini-themes, my preference on novel short fill like FUMET is to combine it if possible w/ related fill...the grid here allows ya to stick in pretty much what ya want in the NE and the SW...ya could put in two French shorties or two cooking shorties there...

    M and A's Last Silver Fumet 4:52 PM  

    @Meta-Rex. Think U are right. Equi-gram would be way too impossible, since only around 35 vowels, plus sometimes Y, could be used. Not enough.
    So let's see some constructor go for the Gentleman's Equi-gram: yeah, that's the ticket...
    Definition of Gentleman's Equi-gram: The letter usage count is exactly the same, for each of the 26 letters USED in the grid. (So, you wouldn't need any Q's, for instance, but then you'd need the same larger count for each of the other letters that do get used: 10 A's 10 B's, 10 C's, ...or whatever...)

    Is PRUE an ok word? @Benko?

    jae 5:02 PM  

    @August West pretty much described my experience. Easy and I never saw FUMET. Thought the grid was smooth and the theme just about right for a Mon. Never noticed the pangram. Liked it.

    Bird 5:15 PM  

    @Mac - Not sure which "this" you mean, but @jberg mentioned shoe fetish and I read it as foot fetish, which got me to Rex Ryan. Around this time of year his wife posted a video and there was a lot of talk about it. Almost became a too big distraction.

    John in Philly 5:18 PM  

    I naticked at pap and peen. Never heard of either. Ran the alphabet and came up empty.

    Anonymous 6:50 PM  

    I'm pretty sure one of the old knights in The Once and Future King collected "fumets" and showed them to young Wart

    Arena Coral Maha 8:11 PM  

    OK, a Tuesday puzz on a Monday...

    Loved the theme, so fresh and solid!
    RUNAWAY
    BREAKOUT
    ESCAPE
    TAKEOFF!!!!!

    + Nice nice nice "unforced" pangram...

    And rather than being appalled, I now am almost enjoying how ridiculously FUMEd some folks get over having to learn something!

    OISK 8:18 PM  

    Near my best Monday time, so I don't see the medium-challenging rating, but my ratings seldom correspond to Rex's. (Last Friday was no problem for me, rated difficult, but I had DNF the previous week, NOT rated difficult...) Very nice puzzle, I thought, more enjoyable than a typical Monday. Well done!

    sanfranman59 11:05 PM  

    This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. 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 6:31, 6:07, 1.07, 81%, Challenging

    Top 100 solvers

    Mon 3:56, 3:46, 1.04, 72%, Medium-Challenging

    phage 1:58 AM  

    "Aglet" is featured for something like half a page in DeLillo's Underworld, where the protagonist says he wouldn't be able to come up with the term "in a million years":
    http://books.google.com/books?id=Ug3ArDMHLnQC&q=aglet#v=snippet&q=aglet
    It's actually the first place I ever saw the word and, once you read it there, it's unforgettable.

    Badir 2:25 PM  

    Okay, this is late, but I wanted to chime in on something, since I didn't see it on the comments. I didn't know the cooking FUMET, but I knew the other one from reading _The_Once_and_Future_King_ when I was a kid. King Pelinore hunted the Questing Beast, and he would track it via its fumets.

    spacecraft 10:58 AM  

    Boy, hit OFL with a single word he doesn't know. How DARE you? I echo many others here who find this one remarkably clean--and easy. There were no natick crosses in FUMET, so, what's yer problem? Fill in and learn. It's not a big stretch. FUME (odor or aroma) + the French T(TE) ending. Big deal.

    So, too, is the pangram issue.
    "Oh, by the way, it's a pangram"
    or, "Oh, by the way, it missed being a pangram by ____."

    Either way, SO WHAT? What counts is how awkward the fill becomes to accommodate a feature. In this case, not. This is one of the most cleanly-filled grids I've ever seen. OK, a dust-bunny here and there with the awkward partial (as clued) SETA, and the silly (as clued) ANI. Really, Will? "'Gimme ___!'(start of an Iowa cheer)?" Sheesh, gimme a break.

    One more cluing HITCH is "Unmoist." Don't try putting THAT clunker in the grid!

    I just don't get that m-c rating. I went through it like Ken Jennings through Jeopardy! opponents. By halfway, I could drop in ESCAPECLAUSE without even reading the clue! Is our leader really less than fearless? Does the unknown undo him? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Meanwhile, Gary, both ears and the tail to you! And now, heavens to Murgatroyd! exit (RUNAWAY, BREAKOUT, ESCAPE, TAKEOFF) stage left!

    rain forest 1:38 PM  

    There's no pleasing some people. Use a word that's been used a thousand times before and you're ripped for trite fill or crosswordese; introduce a new word and you're ripped for being--lazy!!?, especially when the word is easily gettable from crosses. Make it a pangram and you're ripped for making it a pangram, even if wasn't apparent while solving, so smoothly did that solve go.

    This puzzle was fresh, perky, and as some say, crunchy, yet appropriate for Monday.

    Great job!

    Solving in Seattle 2:09 PM  

    Nice post, @Spacecraft, and you beat me to the "Unmoist" head-shaker.

    As for the pangram issue, I do the puzzles on the newspaper and could care less if all the letters of the alphabet are used. I can't imagine going back after finishing to determine if... yup, there's an "a," and... oh, yeah, there's a "b," and...

    Does the electronic gizmo do that for the folks that solve on their PCs?

    Good suggestion from LMS that LAM in the middle would have been a nice touch. Betcha wish you'd thought of that Gary C. Liked your puzzle and the FUMET furor you caused.

    Watched the American Music Awards last night. ONE Direction was on... YAWNER. So were Katie Perry and Miley Cyrus with awful performances.

    @M&A, 4 oh's helmet holes are for AGLETs.

    Ginger 2:32 PM  

    Posters have been accused of taking the lead from Rex, not so today. Most folks LAUDed this ONE, inspite (or because) of the pangram issue and the stench at 66-A. I started wondering if it was a pangram at AXON, then hit QUAFF. Hah! Take that you scrabbly number disdainers!

    AGLET is a word I learned as a TOT, when almost all shoes had laces. Not so since Velcro. I suspect it is disappearing along with cursive writing and carbon paper.

    Fun way to start the week. Thanks Gary Cee

    DMG 2:54 PM  

    Good Monday puzzle. Only one music world clue, and it solved from the crosses. Didn't remember FUMET, but recognized it when it appeared, probably from all those years of reading the, sadly defunct, "Gourmet".

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. We're headed to the desert for the occassion, sans computer! So see you later!

    Cary in Boulder 3:28 PM  

    This one is immediately elevated if solely because there are no rap references.

    Back in the'60s my cousin bought a new car, the first one in the family with an automatic transmission. She took my immigrant grandmother for a ride. Afterward, Granny said, "I like Margo's new car, but what's a PRiNDLe?" Never forgot that one! (She also called asparagus "sparrow grass.")

    Dirigonzo 5:17 PM  

    Count me in the "loved it" camp. I was mildly surprised when IDUNNO filled in from the crosses only because the informality wasn't apparent from the clue.

    @DMG - enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday in the unwet locale!

    Waxy in Montreal 8:31 PM  

    Not to be CATTY but given the evident hostility of OFL and VARIOUS others towards the use of FUMET, perhaps it needs elevation into that pantheon of other FU words headed up by SNAFU & FUBAR. Just need an appropriate acronym for 'MET'.

    Nothing SEEDY about this Monday puzzle. Great start to the week.

    captcha = bsTNon, a very appropriate near misspelling of the Mass. capital for shell-shocked Denver Bronco fans.

    Dirigonzo 6:28 AM  

    @Waxy - given the speed-solvers' disdain for words that slow them down by even a millisecond I think an appropriate ending for your proposed FUMET acronym would be "My Excellent Time".

    Waxy in Montreal 9:40 AM  

    Great suggestion, @Diri. Now we're eligible as co-creators of the Oxford dictionary word of the year won this year by "selfie".

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