Middle Corleone brother / MON 3-17-14 / Burma's first prime minister / Orioles Hall-of-Fame pitcher who modeled Jockey underwear / 1945 Alamogordo event / Poacher's nemesis

Monday, March 17, 2014

Constructor: John Lieb

Relative difficulty: Medium (i.e. perfectly Mondayish)


THEME: G-M vowel progression (including "Y") — theme answers follow G-M pattern, from GAM- thru GYM-

Theme answers:
  • GAME WARDEN (18A: Poacher's nemesis)
  • GEM STATE (23A: Idaho's nickname)
  • GIMME FIVE (35A: Request for some skin)
  • GOMER PYLE (41A: Mayberry resident who became a Marine)
  • GUMBALLS (49A: Round candy in a vending machine)
  • GYMNASTICS (58A: Sport that includes the pommel horse and parallel bars)
Word of the Day: AIMEE Mann (19D: "Save Me" singer Mann) —
Aimee Mann (born September 8, 1960) is an American rock singer-songwriterguitarist and bassist. In the 1980s, Mann sang in the Boston New Wave band 'Til Tuesday until she left to begin a solo career in the early 1990s. In 1999, Mann recorded original songs for the soundtrack to the Paul Thomas Anderson film Magnolia, for which she was nominated for Academy Award and Grammy Award nominations. She has released seven solo albums. (wikipedia)
• • •
This is a reasonable Monday theme. "G" changes from soft to hard, vowels change from short to long, but from a purely visual standpoint, the theme works; those vowels between the "G" and "M" sure do change. Fill is pretty decent, long Downs add some nice glitz. Big thumbs up for JIM PALMER and his underwear clue (34D: Orioles Hall-of-Fame pitcher who modeled Jockey underwear). Trรจs SEDUCTIVE (11D: Alluring). I had #speedsolverproblems a number of times during this one. Came in a hair's breadth under 3, so, you know, it was still pretty easy, but I'm capable of going 30 to 40 seconds lower, so where were the bumps? First, dumbass me wrote in GEMSTONE (instead of GEM STATE) without even looking at the clue. Dumb dumb dumb. Then my brain paused to consider where Kabul was. Ugh. Clue for GIMME FIVE was in no way transparent, so that took many, many, nearly all crosses to get. Could not see COVER for the life of me. Had it down to CO-ER before I got it. GUMBALLS also was not quick in coming. Brain said "gumdrops" and then wouldn't allow anything else in. Making things worse—a couple of crosses that were not immediately apparent, namely IN B (43D: Bach's "Mass ___ Minor") (I should've known this, the Mass is famous, but still, I see IN [blank], I let the crosses do the talking), and 'SPOSE (53D: "Assuming it's true…," informally).


I like that the puzzle contains the homophones GUYS and GUISE. For some reason, this AMUSES me.

That's enough for today.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

70 comments:

Steve J 12:14 AM  

Most fun I've had with a Monday in some time, at least that I can recall. I'm usually apathetic to vowel progressions, but they can make good early-week themes, especially when the theme answers are as good as these were. Personally, I liked that they weren't trying to be phonetically similar, and that each was a solid word or phrase.

Really liked the four long downs. All were good, especially with SEDUCTIVE and FANTASIES rubbing up against each other.

Being Monday, it went by very quickly, but for a Monday I'm perfectly happy with a short-but-sweet puzzle, and this fit the bill.

Moly Shu 12:19 AM  

Liked this one just fine. Medium for me, got stuck on ADANO and LADE for some reason until JIMPALMER threw a changeup that I lined softly to center. My only (minor) complaints are
1. I don't think of GUMBALLS as candy, it's gum.
2. UNU seems very un-Monday-ish

Anonymous 12:48 AM  

The problem with six theme answers is that it almost always requires a handful of poor entries. This puzzle is no exception.

It highlights how pathetic the fill was for the four/five theme-entry puzzles of Monday/Tuesday last week. This is the point when puzzles should actually be struggling to get out cleanly.

Anonymous 12:51 AM  

I thought Obama sang "Save Me at The White House".

Carola 1:06 AM  

Enjoyed it. I saw the vowel progression after GAME WARDEN and GEM STATE, and, counting the theme spots, was impressed that we were also going to get a "Y" for a change. There was a nice variety in the themers, too - all were different kinds of "things."

But, like yesterday when I missed the diagonal RXs, today I overlooked the M that followed the vowel in each entry - another example of how much more I can appreciate the puzzle after reading @Rex and the comments.

I liked the array of long Downs - underwear model JIM PALMER pushing the bounds of the DRESS CODE, leading to SEDUCTIVE FANTASIES. Goes nicely somehow with that grid echo GUY, GUISE.

Evan 1:20 AM  

I've been so swamped at school lately that I took break to solve some puzzles, and only just now saw that Rex nominated my latest Devil Cross puzzle for Puzzle of the Week. Cheers, Rex! I would also recommend this fun Pi Day offering from Neville Fogarty on Friday.

Nice puzzle today. I wasn't crazy about some short stuff like IRAE and ADANO, but the longer stuff is great. I met John briefly at the ACPT last week and he seems like a good chap.

jae 1:52 AM  

Medium for me too although it seemed like there was a fair amount of "only know it from crosswords" stuff...IRAE, SNEE, NILS, YEW, ESAU...for a Mon.   Solid vowel progression theme, non cringy 3s, liked it. 

Ellen S 2:19 AM  

I've enjoyed the puzzles all week, but this is the first time in forever I've been able to finish one in time to comment before everybody else went to bed the next day (the Sunday puzzle took me from 6pm Saturday to about 2pm Sunday, with breaks for sleep, meals, dog walk, stuff like that. But still...). I got GIMME FIVE and the Mass IN B Minor with no hesitation, and "almost" everything else but dang it all, I never heard of the pitcher and that Hersey novel has been tripping me up for thirty years!!!! Maybe I should read it, then I'll remember the spelling? (Is it any good? I know it won a Pulitzer Prize, but I find that only slightly more compelling than "__ weeks on the NYT Best-Seller List."

Oh, as usual, I never realized there was a theme until reading Rex's blog.

chefwen 3:55 AM  

Super Monday Puzz. Got the GA
GE and went ahead and filled the GI,GO, GU and was pleased as @Carola was to fill in the GY.

Shouldn't the 49A clue read round candieS in a vending machine, or am I being too picky? And does robust = LUSTY? I thought robust meant healthy and hearty.

Time to go read the funnies.

Danp 5:23 AM  

@Ellen S - Love your comment because I've been there so many times. My self-imposed rule is if you have to google it or if you didn't know it twice, it's wikipedia time. You might want to read "A Bell for Adano", but crossword fame is the absolute worst indication of quality. Just wait until LEMMY comes up and you decide to listen to a whole Motorhead album. You'll understand what I'm saying.

Anonymous 7:08 AM  

Did I miss something or have you not yet posted your thoughts about the ACPT?

jberg 7:52 AM  

I got the theme with GEM STATE (when "famous potatoes" wouldn't fit), which made GIMME FIVE a gimme, as was GOMER PYLE - didn't need the clue for that - and made me accept the S on GUMBALLS. GEM was the only theme element not integrated into a longer word, but you can't have everything.

I remember studying SE Asian politics in college and being told that U NU's guards (after he was imprisoned by Ne Win) had to be changed every few days -- he was so persuasive that they would go over to his side if left with him too long.

I really liked SPOSE, for some reason. Not much more to say.

AliasZ 7:57 AM  

The theme was OK, the fill better, I thought. I liked the many classical historic and cultural references: MAGNA Carta, the Latin hymn Dies IRAE, the Mass IN B minor by J.S. Bach, the iambic HEXAmeter and JIM PALMER posing in his undies.

Did you know that The Flight of the Bumblebee by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov is from act III of his opera The Tale of TSAR Saltan? This clip is not the FOTBB, it is instead the opening part of the orchestral suite from the opera.

Happy Monday!

Susan McConnell 8:04 AM  

Yup, a fun Monday. I appreciate the vowel progressions so much more when the Y is included. Like others, I caught the G_ but missed the M. Saw GIMME FIVE right away, but needed all crosses for ADANO. Just noticed UNU which I must have filled in from crosses...I wouldn't have known it from the clue. And ULEE showed up again...wasn't he just here last week?

loren muse smith 8:08 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
loren muse smith 8:09 AM  

Rex – I missed that there are hard and soft G's. I missed the long/short vowel changes. I'm childishly jealous that you see these things, these important things that float my sad little boat, and I don't notice until you point them out. Not yet. . . That's why I'm here, and that's why I encourage you readers-but-not-posters to go ahead and bite the bullet. Join in! (And you know I'm talking to you – the lovely woman just emailed me!!)

And Rex - I didn't notice the GUYS/GUISE pair. Again jealous. Hey - while we're on that pair – that picture of PALMER? Well, I have it on very good authority (reality TV photo shoot, and I'll admit it here among friends - Vanderpump Rules - I've always owned up to watching shallow, vapid tv and movie fare) that those male models use wadded up rolls of socks. . . The picture takes me back to that TRUNKS, HINT AT issue a few days ago. I would much rather talk to the GUY wearing the trunks than the GUY GUISE GUY. Sheesh.

@Ellen S – "Oh, as usual, I never realized there was a theme until reading Rex's blog." You're a solver a lot like Dad and I'm sure thousands of others – the theme? Oh right. What was it? I'm so opposite – like a lab with a stick. Imagine that poor GUY dog with the stick in his mouth bugging his owner. The dog is thinking frantically, "Take the stick, throw the stick, stick, stick, stick, stick…" As soon as I start a themed puzzle, the *only* thing on my mind, frantic because I'm so dammed impatient, is the theme. "What's the theme? Where's the theme? Is the theme part of those four down 9's – this is a pinwheel grid maybe? Does the theme have a reveal?" No theme reveal clue . Oh well. Back to the theme. .. ." With this ridiculous tunnel vision I miss the ITE, RPI, IRAEs and hence can't shake my gushy Loved It Loren persona.

@jberg from yesterday – (and @Steve J off blog) excellent, excellent point about that first sound in "union"* being a diphthong in British English. All the way to PF yesterday I said the sound over and over, and in my American mouth, it definitely begins with a "y" sound – not an ee sound. (And our long A is yea a diphthong of an "e" and an "i".) *Tell me how to get your possessive S on then end of that union!!

Just this past weekend, I was talking to my second grade niece about GUMBALLS. I despise cherry -flavored anything. I told her that on the two times a year that I'm possessed by this inner, irresistible hankering, this I NEED TO HAVE ONE OF THESE GUMBALLS NOW craving, I frantically dig out my one single quarter, put it in the slot, turn it… And stand there, devastated, really, as I watch a %$#^& red gumball start its long, slow roll down that wrap-around chute. Every single time.

DRESS CODE – if all public schools would adopt uniforms, then the kids who can't afford Abercrombie and Aeropostale tops could disGUISE their financial status better.

Thanks, John! Nice one! Reminds me of the time after a couple of strong gimlets, I had the gumption to do some snazzy gymnastic moves. Let's just end it with AWRY.

dk 8:21 AM  

๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ• (3 Moons) Only pause was a crosscheck to determine the letter TSAR would start with this time.

Beat by a hair is a so so clue for NIP. A small dogs bite or first step for a sot would have amused.

Light dusting of snow this morning. Sometimes I think March is the cruelest month. Rumor has it Spring will show a little ankle later this week. Who knew the sighting of driveway asphalt would be a Vernal experience.

Thank you Mr. Lieb.

Andrew Morrison 8:42 AM  

UNU? Who knew? Tough clue for a Sunday, nevermind Monday, but easily solved through crosses so no harm done. Solid Monday fun, this puzzle.

Show of hands - who is tired of Ulee's Gold - related clues?

Z 9:10 AM  

Vowel Progression? No, No, No. The theme is JIM PALMER's DRESS CODE leading to SEDUCTIVE FANTASIES. Vowel progressions, pshaw.

Went to see AIMEE Mann at the ROMC last time she came buy. Great Show. Those of you who remember 'Til Tuesday and MTV playing music videos might get a kick out of this.

Z 9:15 AM  

@lms - Learning to cope with the type of a$$h0le who looks down on you because of the clothes you wear is one of the many benefits of public education. Learning that the clothes don't make the person is another. Protecting kids from the pangs of life is not nearly as useful as helping them deal with them. To steal from tech speak, its not a bug, it's a feature. One man's humble opinion...

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

Let’s Keep Score said-

Rex Parker review- Sunday, 3/16/14-

507 words

LMS comment-

892 words

Rex review- Monday, 3/17/14-

424 words

LMS comment-

555 words

Gill I. P. 9:18 AM  

Simple black sleeveless dress sans any jewelry puzzle.
La fheile Padraig sona dhuit....

quilter1 9:33 AM  

Back from my trip and doing crosswords. I found this one very easy and fast, although I don't time myself. Also I liked that, while a Monday puzzle, it didn't have boring fill or clues. Very enjoyable.

chefbea 9:42 AM  

Fun easy puzzle but I was really hoping for a green, leprechaunish puzzle

Happy St. Paddy's day all!!!

Bob Kerfuffle 9:55 AM  

Nice, easy Monday.

Left me time to wonder if anyone would have had a hesitation filling in the cross of 8D and 15A, IDE/FREDO, since the sulf- suffix could be IDE or ITE, or even ATE or ONE.

joho 9:59 AM  

Loved GIMMEFIVE, GUMBALLS and the "Y" in GYMNASTICS.

SEDUCTIVE FANTASIES is really nice, too.

Lovely puzzle and just what a Monday should be. Thank you, John Lieb!

Gill I. P. 10:05 AM  

MAJOR CLING and GOMER PYLE RHODA HIP AFGHAN to MECCA. COVER SEDUCTIVE NIP GUYS....YEW SPOSE HIS GUMBALLS PEEN AWRY? IFSO, AXE the LUSTY FANTASIES....

loren muse smith 10:07 AM  

@Z - point well taken. Still. Poor kids. I used to get notes from the school nurse asking for cast-off "cool" t shirts for her to use for kids who needed a change of clothes for some reason. I had a reason once for needing a change of clothes. Involved milk break, deciding to sprint back to my desk from a crouch a la Usain Bolt, and a freshly-waxed floor. Sometimes being a sub is for the birds. Har.

@Bob K - I was just noticing I had a dnf owing to my "Freto/ite cross. How 'bout clue IDE "Oxtail" instead?

Glitch 10:19 AM  

@anon 9:17am

One of the main reasons I still lurk here.

.../Glitch

Dave Grohl 10:29 AM  

@Danp, you must not have listened long enough. LEMMY RULES !!!!!!!!!

mac 10:34 AM  

Nice Monday, and an easy theme to spot, I could fill in quite a few boxes. Good to see the y included.

Help! I did the second puzzle in the NYT Magazine yesterday, and am stumped by SIGNOR. Anybody, please?

Steve J 10:36 AM  

@Z: Thanks for the clip to the Aimee Mann video. That was fantastic.

Mary Rivers 11:08 AM  

Lovely puzzle. But in my airhead state, I missed vowel progression, G, M, soft G, hard G. I just did the puzzle, as is my wont. Then I come here to see what I missed.

@lms. My kids wore uniforms. They just find another way to set themselves apart: shoes, backpacks, jewelry. But it does cut down some on the ability to instantly identify the haves and have nots. And it is certainly easier on the budget.

Masked and Anonym007Us 11:08 AM  

@Lets Keep Score-- whatever trips yer trigger, I reckon. Now me, I just enjoy the heck outa both of em. Kinda curious if "phooeypewitfleadigestionbreath" counts as one word, or what, tho.

Primo MonPuz, with yer GM product placement, to boot. I'm more of a Ford dude, but mention GUMDROPS, and I'm there for yah.

And agent 007-U will return, in
"Yew Only Lieu Twice"

M&A

Moly Shu 11:15 AM  

@LetsKeepScore, you actually took the time to count up all the words? Hmmmm.....

@LMS, preach on Sister !!

M and A Errata 11:17 AM  

p.s. GUMBALLS, not GUMDROPS. But well either is pretty darn good, tho. Wrong again, Phoo-etc. breath.

Speakin of oopses, sure hope no one tried my accidentally-included email addr from yesterday. Unless U are in need of spellcastin work.

M&A

retired_chemist 11:18 AM  

Back doing puzzles.

This one was fine. Didn't find the fill particularly weak. LO FAT and S'POSE were the worst for me.

Had JIM bunnin(g) while I was whizzing through things I thought I knew. Turns out (a) he never pitched for the Orioles, (b) never did any underwear ads AFAIK (might not have worked well for him as a US Senator from KY), and (c) has one too many letters. So, easily fixed. Soon remembered the right JIM.

Proud of remembering NILS Lofgren - a name I only know form crosswords. Would like to see 32A clued as "One-third of a Catch-22 character."

Thanks, Mr. Lieb.

RnRGhost57 11:54 AM  

Would be really HIP to see Nils Lofgren sit in with Lemmy and Motorhead. I mean, hey, if Lou Reed and Metallica could record a reasonably coherent album . . .

Sandy K 12:09 PM  

@mac

Change the R to FF!

Lewis 12:32 PM  

TSAR, FREDO, HEXA, IRAE, PEEN, AVES, UNU, ULEES, AERIE, RPI, SMEE, EMS. This is the kind of fill that Rex often castigates, yet today he said that it's "pretty decent". I was sure he was going to jump all over this, though I'm kind of glad he didn't. I found the puzzle to be workmanlike, a good blue collar Monday, a good blue collar solve.

Reading down and across, I like the DRESSCODE NANNY, and MAJOR GIMMEFIVE. Would have liked a superior with that name when I was in the service...

Mohair Sam 1:12 PM  

Medium Monday. Nice clean puzzle. Once again had to have Rex explain that there was a theme at all, and feel dumb that I never saw it.

Anonymous 1:12 PM  

"hey YEW GUISE!"

-The Goonies

Benko 1:53 PM  

(Warning: Spoiler Alert for Sunday NYT Magazine Puzzle)

@mac-- Did that one on the plane yesterday. had some stumpers, but managed to finish.
SIGNOR=SIGNOFF
I felt really stupid when I managed to get GRISLY. Took me too long to see.

mac 3:13 PM  

Thank you, Benko. I know that feeling.....

mac 3:20 PM  

...and thank you Sandy K!

Carola 3:23 PM  

Re: JIM PALMER in his underwear and the SEDUCTIVE FANTASIES - I just noticed that LEER is in the grid, too. Clued as "Lothario's look." Question: Do only men LEER? (Is there a female "Lothario"? What do women do - stare brazenly?).

@loren - If I can have the cherry ones, you can have all the rest.

@mac, @SandyK, @Benko - That second Sunday puzzle is the kind I have absolutely no aptitde for - I need clues or context, it seems. Two of them jumped out at me straight off (AGENDA and GRISLY), but for the rest, I had no idea of how to proceed systematically to solve them.

Anonymous 3:39 PM  

Ditto an earlier comment on GUMBALLS. It's candy if you can swallow it (intentionally), I say. (See Hi-Chew for a compromise -- it's candy that chews like gum.)

David IN CA 3:44 PM  

Can any one tell me if this represents a long awaited return of Hershey's bell town? Feel like I haven't seen that old friend in forever! (note I am a monogamous XWord doer - true to the NYT; perhaps it is still common elsewhere) (Or, perhaps it is just another vicim of my failing memory.)

@lets keep score: What is your point other than that you know how to use a word counter? Is there some blog-o-sphere rule against long comments, or perhaps you contributed to Rex and don't feel you are getting your money's worth?

chefbea 4:04 PM  

@ Mac,SandyK,Benko and Carola..or anyone else. Do you know where to find the answers to the Two for one Puzzle?

sanfranman59 4:36 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

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

Mon 6:01, 6:15, 0.96, 30%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 4:02, 4:00, 1.01, 51%, Medium

An Irish blessing for all of you out there in Rexland ...

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

... and a tune that never fails to bring tears to my eyes ...

A Song for Ireland

vcb 6:05 PM  

@ Anonymous 12:51
You think Obama sang "Save me from the White House”?
Or should sing?
Just because the president’s poll numbers are low? Or because Putin’s an ass, a real jerk, or Assad a genocidal maniac?
Do polls among a passive, mute citizenry, one that refuses to protest en masse, or even individually for all I can tell, to even engage in any kind of an organized campaign-boycott, letter writing- something! against a totally embarrassing Congress that has negated the results of not one, but two legal* presidential elections, brazenly thwarting every effort by President Obama to move the economy forward more effectively? Shouldn’t it be our cry for help? And hey, the one % is quite happy.. stock market is in great shape. S and P breaking records.
President Obama has succeeded in the two main things he had to accomplish in 2008: prevent a global economic collapse, which McCain didn’t have the brains or the team to have successfully accomplished (Can you see Sarah Palin trying to help?) and two, get reelected as the first American president of color. How he accomplished getting elected in the first place with the middle name “Hussein” is a testament to the functionality and logic of a man who needs no help.
Despite the brazen, quite stupid, insulting and simplistic obstruction during the president’s first term, President Obama, through key actions and decisions, in fact stopped, in early 2009, the hemorrhaging of job losses he inherited.
Then, too, he had two really messy wars to deal with, both of which highly questionable,** and expensive in lives lost and injuries, with more than 100,000 in traumatic brain injuries and PTSD cases alone. Fatalities and amputee numbers are well-known We don’t mention in-country deaths and internally displaced. (Four million in country, four million external refuges in Iraq as of 2008, in what had been a functioning civil society before Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld invasion.) But yet the people responsible for this criminality received no censure or humiliation while in office, nor prosecution after. Compare that to the disrespect this eminently respectable and competent president has had to deal with from the rif-raf hate-baiting gene pool in this country. Stll,he maintains a decorum that is truly remarkable.
From repealing DADT, to getting the NEW Start Treaty through the lame duck session of Congress in 2010, to pulling BP into the White House and holding them financially responsible for the billions of dollars of damage caused during the oil spill (and by the way, superceding BP’s supervision by appointing the administration’s Dr. Steven Chu to head up the team, thus resulting in the top stack that finally shut down the spill), Obama had a particularly effective first term, in addition to health reform, a platform for wider reform and the reason there is such vehement opposition to it: generations of Democrats!
Add to that tally, the bailout of GM and Chrylser against popular opinion. And that, in the end, also saved Ford. (supply chain)
And then there’s Putin… a real emotional guy, contrary to the high esteem in which he is held by McCain, Lindsey G., John Bolton and Mike Rogers. Putin thinks Obama is just Dreams from My Father. A guy who writes searching memoirs- when Dreams was simply written to accomplish two goals: one, ‘I am not an angry black man.’ 2. ‘I smoked the ganja.’(…the first Head president, lol)
But it’s Putin, vain Putin who has botox and a nose job, and had such a nervous breakdown that his hockey team lost to the Canadians and that Ukraine rained on his Olympic parade that he had to act out and invade Crimea…Turns out he’s the wack job and Obama is, as always, calm, cool and collected. Cry for help? Hardly!
Should Obama have bombed Assad’s airfields and gotten the bastard out of there? As satisfying as that would have been, the answer is, unfortunately, no. Brown Moses says it best. See weapons, see jihadis, see the hellhole Syria is.

Masked Leprchaun 6:25 PM  

Thanx to @sanfran dude, for all the stats, and now also for gettin my Irish up, today...

www.xwordinfo.com/Solve?id=54054&id2=1941704139

It ain't real hard.
M&A

Z 6:26 PM  

Could somebody please count the number of words in @vcb's post, please.

@Steve J - you are welcome.

@lms and @Mary Rivers - my favorite DRESS CODE memory from my high school asst. principal days... The halls had just cleared when I see a young lass coming out of the office with a late pass. Her skirt barely covered her FREDO, so I wait until she gets to me and say something officious about her need to change into something more appropriate for school. She gives me the , "Awww, Mr.Zeeeeee" with full eye roll. I'm having none of it and ask, "Do you have something in your locker or do we need to call home?" I get another eye roll accompanied by the sound of Velcro being undone. The skirt was now magically mid thigh length. 15 years later and I am still impressed by the ingenuity the young lady exhibited in getting out of the house in a skirt her mother approved.

Anon 12:51 6:37 PM  

@VCB - Jeez, make a (far too subtle) joke about the importance of quotation marks around a title, i.e. ..sings Save Me at the White House vs .. sings "Save Me" at the White House" and I get this diatribe?

Damn

Bob Kerfuffle 6:44 PM  

@M&A - Woo-hoo! 8 min 11 sec, but no cheating! Maybe because you put in things I actually knew, like 17A. Very appropriate theme!

Benko 7:46 PM  

@chefbea-- possibly they post the answers the next week? I'm not sure; I only got the magazine because I was on a flight leaving NYC. If you need any more of them, I did manage to finish, so just ask.

Carola 8:29 PM  

@chefbea - On the webpage below, click "Answer" on the far right.

http://www.nytimes.com/crosswords/archive/#/variety/2014/

chefbea 8:41 PM  

@Carola thanx

Ann Heil 9:08 PM  

LOL @lms with the lab analogy for her and themes. My lab is totally that way, but with tennis balls instead of sticks. For themes, I like to figure them out before seeing the revealer.

Was disappointed not to have a St. Pats theme. When I saw the Gs starting the them entries I was hoping for green. Oh well.

Tita 10:52 PM  

@sanfranman - thanks for that! I have the Mary Black album that song is from. She is a powerful and beautiful singer. ("Air-blue sky" is my favorite phrase from that song.")

Saw the MAGNA Carta (one of the 4 contempopraty copies) in Houston a few weeks ago. Well-designed exhibit that put the document in the context of the times.

Disappointed in the theme - vowel progressions do little for me - but did like the puzzle overall.

Oh - and to link the puzzle wtih the day - the DRESSCODE at my grammar school was a forest-green a-line skirt, green bolero, and white blouse with Peter Pan collar. Hated it then, of course, now look back on it with nostalgia.
It did scar me, though. I finally realized that the reason why I can never find anything to wear on St. Patrick's Day is the 8 years I spent wearing green. Really.

Anonymous 2:01 AM  

I don't read @LMS anymore. Too much else to do.

evil doug 7:12 AM  

... but plenty of time to post a we-really-don't-give-a-shit comment in the middle of the night instead of doing your vital too much else.

Evil

Tita 8:52 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tita 8:53 AM  

lol - my self-imposed exile has me heeding Rex's advice of ignoring anonymice. But thanks to @evil and a few others, I get one additional chuckle over my morning coffee over the inexplicable inanities that occasionally appear here.

(Of course, we all relish the explicable variety, of which we happily have many...)

@loren, dear friend - keep up the spreading of sunshine. You are the Renoir of Rexville.

Anonymous 11:50 AM  

I'm a slow solver compared to most of the posters here so I'm surprised at all the comments about how hard this was.

Also the theme was nice.

BWI was a gimme.

Didn't know TORV or BEBE or MRBEAN but crosses gave them.

How many phrases start with DEATH? So DEATHWarmEDOVER was easy since I had the theme by then

Gerry W.

Unknown 10:39 PM  

FYI, Isa. is a standard biblical abbreviation; see Chicago Manual of Style (you are an academic, right?).

spacecraft 10:13 AM  

Have I been doing this too long? Maybe I should be like @I skip M-W and just take it on home from Thursday. Another ho-hum, fill it in fast as you can write, tired theme Monday. Vowel progressions leave me underwhelmed. Hic haec hoc. Next!

P.S.: I will be taking the next two days off: ROAD TRIP! Going out to LA to see a Phillies-Dodgers game with son. Go Phils!!

Solving in Seattle 1:02 PM  

I enjoyed this John Lieb offering, especially how clean and free of cweese this was. Only regret is that he didn't offer us a GWM closer. I can't think of one but I remember from grammer school "aeiou and sometimes y and sometimes w."

Finished Sunday's "It's taxing" puz, which I also enjoyed. Wondering if Dan S. is a CPA?

@Spacy, I grew up listening to Vin Scully broadcast the Dodgers. Be careful in the ballpark parking lot.

Two pair. Why don't I ever get a flush?

DMG 2:37 PM  

Good way to start the week! Has to replace LOcal with LOFAT, but otherwise a smooth solve. Not a Sopranos watcher, I was glad that FREDO filled from the crosses, otherwise I'd never have gotten it.

Back to the table. Two 9's, two 6's. Don't know if this beats @SIS.

Dirigonzo 5:27 PM  

For some reason the NW (or upper-left, if you prefer) corner had me scratching my head for a minute or two (maybe five, I don't time myself) and by the time I had it figured out I forgot to look for the theme. Oh well, I liked the puzzle anyway.

@SiS - I presume "sometimes w" as a vowel would have to be written "uu" (as in "humuus, maybe) which would be enough to send @M&A into an ecstatic stupor.

@spacy - have fun!

@Z is rapidly becoming one of my favorite philosophers.

6-high straight - could be a straight flush, so let's call it that.

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