____ Valley, European steelmaking region / MON 4-13-2015 / St. Teresa of ____ / Mexican chili pepper / Fine glove material

Monday, April 13, 2015

Just when you thought that April was going to be dark, gloomy, and woefully free from the sunshiny words of a certain guest blogger...


 

Constructor: Alex Silverman

Relative difficulty: Easy



THEME: Fab Four — Theme clues are about which types of people might like different Beatles songs.

Theme answers:
  • YELLOWSUBMARINE (14A: Navy captain's favorite Beatles song?)
  • SHESLEAVINGHOME (17A: Empty nester's favorite Beatles song?)
  • WHENIMSIXTYFOUR (35A: Sexagenarian's favorite Beatles song?) 
  • PAPERBACKWRITER (55A: Author's favorite Beatles song?) 
  • HERECOMESTHESUN (58A: Early riser's favorite Beatles song?)

Word of the Day: MAME (49D: "We Need A Little Christmas" musical)
Mame is a musical with the book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Originally titled My Best Girl, it is based on the 1955 novel Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis and a 1956 Broadway play, by Lawrence and Lee, that starred Rosalind Russell. Set in New York and spanning the Great Depression and World War II, it focuses on eccentric bohemian Mame Dennis, whose famous motto is "Life is a banquet and most poor sons of bitches are starving to death."[1] Her fabulous life with her wealthy friends is interrupted when the young son of her late brother arrives to live with her. They cope with the Depression in a series of adventures.
• • •
(Wikipedia)
So, last week you may have thought "SHESLEAVINGHOME," or "The only time I'm going to see Annabel again is WHENIMSIXTYFOUR," or even, um, okay I can't find a way to make PAPERBACKWRITER fit into this writeup. But no, I'm just on vacation (Buenos dias de Costa Rica!) and was on a plane at the TIME when I was supposed to be writing last week. But I'm here now. Hola!

http://www.mydisplay.ws/imagenes/hola-15.gif

I thought this was a pretty good Monday, all in all. Loved the frequent biology references (ERNS, NEUR, BIOTA, AMINO) and felt that rare words were pretty well peppered throughout the puzzle. Nice command to SLEEP SOON up top. Not a lot of combos to speak of otherwise, though - the words may have been interesting individually, but never really came together. Oh well. It's worth it for words like LISLE and ANCHO.

Themewise...well...did someone say music-related crossword puzzle where the music is actually good??? Okay, so as you can see, I got super excited about this theme...The Beatles are just classic, man. Perfect for a simple Monday theme. (And the 15-letter answers make the puzzle look awesome.)

Bullets:
  • UNMAN (12D: Deprive of courage) — Ahem. My Wellesley classmates will be hearing about this. 
  • GRR (21A: Sound before a dog bites) — This was also the sound I was making a few minutes earlier this evening, when I accidentally did the wrong puzzle!! My electronic device had the Tuesday, March 24 one cued up for some bizarre reason, and in my folly, I spent half an hour on that instead. (The whole time, I was thinking, "Gee golly, this sure is hard, it should be a Tuesday puzzle!"
  • GALILEO (21D: Astronomer who discovered the main moons  of Jupiter), GALILEO, GALILEO FIGARO, MAGNIFICO-O-O-O...
Signed, Annabel, tired high school student.

94 comments:

JFC 12:06 AM  

Annabel, you get an A Plus from me on your critique. Rex should let you do all the Monday puzzle reviews....

JFC

jae 12:11 AM  

This was medium for me, but if I hadn't known all the songs it would have been very tough.  As noted at Xwordinfo there is some decidedly non-Mon. fill.

I told my 16 yr. old granddaughter (who does an occasional Mon. puz) about this one at dinner and she knew 2 of the 5 songs.  

@Annebel - I'm assuming you knew all of them?  If so, remarkable.  PAPER BACK WRITER doesn't get a lot of play these days.  Charming write-up by the way, thanks. 

I think I've finally locked in the difference between a BIOme (which I had at first) and BIOTA.  Biome is the region and BIOTA is the stuff in the region.

SEEth before SEEST.

As long as we're doing a Beatles theme why not go with 60's Mod fashion designer Mary QUANT.  Not sure she is any more obscure than the Wall Street jargon?

All that said, liked it.  An impressive debut.

Pen Pal 12:21 AM  

Five 15s, all Beatle-related? Give me more on a Monday! Great job Alex. Got stuck misspelling uvula. Note to self: you ululate employing your uvula. All sounds a bit shady.

Steve J 12:21 AM  

Nicely done Monday. When's the last time you saw six grid spanners this early in the week? And ones that, mostly, didn't cause a lot of junk fill (the NW is pretty shaky, though). That's pretty impressive.

Quo Vadis 12:25 AM  

Confidently put GOOD DAY SUNSHINE for 58A - yet another 15 letter Beatles song. How many more are there?

Moly Shu 12:27 AM  
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Moly Shu 12:30 AM  

QUANT, RHEUM and BIOTA on a Monday? Seriously?? Maybe I've heard BIOTA before, but the other two? Complete guesses. Not a Beatles fan, so did nothing for me. Thx @Annabel, and welcome back.

Zeke 12:31 AM  

This was way off in terms of difficulty for a Monday, and serves as an exemplar of the danger of doing stacks when one looks at the downs. Beyond that, I hate the Beatles. No, I don't, I hate the fact that the Beatles got the adulation they did, and do. The only Beatles album I ever owned was a German version of their debut, 'Die Beatles'. I bought it simply so I could own that slipcase.

Clean it up a bit, and you've got a good Wednesday. Except for the whole Beatles crap.

@Annabel - If you're amassing things to get irate about when you get to Wellesley, I've got one for you. When you get to the bookstore, meander around until you get to the "Womens / Gender Studies" section. Get yourself good and irate, then tromp over to the manager's office and demand to know why to two are conflated into one subject.

Anonymous 12:32 AM  


No songs written by Lennon.

chefwen 12:37 AM  

Took me a tad bit longer than your usual Monday, which is a good thing. Biggest problem was entering SYSTEM at 1A instead of SYST at 1D. DOH! My first goof, second was 20A arrS before ETAS. Wake up SLEEPyhead.

My biggest problem is trying to pick one for my daily ear worm. Guess I'm going with WHEN I'M SIXTY FOUR, cuz that's where I fit in perfectly.

Mike 2:29 AM  

Medium, but it was nice to see a puzzle with 15-letter words that were very achievable from the crosses or the clues. I think less advanced solvers will have fun solving one with long answers.

Anonymous 4:25 AM  

QUANT was my only qualm. Good puzzle, but the case can be made that it could have been more difficultly clued and made a Wed puzzle. I mean, seriously, the clue for GERMAN was for babies.

-Brennan

GILL I. 4:37 AM  

Ooooh....I love it when a Monday takes me down memory lane. I think I could squint a bit and remember where I was when each of the FAB FOUR songs were played.
"We Need a Little Christmas" always reminds me of Johnny Mathis and Angela Landsbury. If you ever go to Spain, be sure to order the papas BRAVAS at a tapas bar. the Isle of CAPRI is beautiful but it is the biggest tourist trap in all of Italy. The Blue Grotto is quite possibly the worst. AVILA, on the other hand, is wonderful anytime of the year...except in winter.
Good job Alex Silverman. This was different for a Monday and quite enjoyable for moi.
Annabel...always a smile inducing write-up.

pfb 4:48 AM  

I always an up for something Beatles-related. Nice write-up Annabel!

Thomaso808 5:42 AM  

I think this was my fastest solve ever at 8:21, so maybe just in my wheelhouse.

The grid had a LOT of four letter words but managed to avoid too much dreck.

@Steve J five grid spanners, not six, right? Just saying.

@Anon 4:25 / @brennan, @zeke I agree this could have been a good candidate for later in the week if clued better.

@anon 12:32 four of the songs are credited to Lennon / McCartney which to me means John had some contribution, however minor. Not every song can be "Imagine" but I think any product of their work bears both their DNA.

@jae I'm guessing the two your granddaughter knew were YELLOWSUBMARINE and HERECOMESTHESUN, the first an outlandish kids tune and the second a profoundly themed, well crafted song, which just goes to show you what endures.

Really nice to see you back @Annabel after much trepidation expressed last week. Best wishes for a great graduation experience and start of a new phase of your life! Keep solving!

Danp 6:04 AM  

@GILL I. Capri is the biggest tourist trap? Didn't you have to go through Sorrento to get there? Agree that Blue Grotto isn't worth a thousand words.

John Child 6:09 AM  

The constructor notes are often interesting, and they are especially so today because WS chips in to say something about this puzzle and tomorrow's. At xwordinfo both Jeff Chen and Jim Horne comment as well, so I'd suggest going there: www.xwordinfo.com.

Debut puzzle for Mr Silverman, and a wow of a first effort. Congratulations sir, and I hope we get to see more!

smalltowndoc 6:20 AM  

Love the Beatles and the stacks of their songs was great but... All the plurals, partials prefixes and suffixes made for pretty bad fill. To wit: NEUR, SAUR(!), ITS A, SYST, ELEM, IT SO. Add to that list the dreaded NBAER (does anybody ever really say that). Also, never have been a fan of pleural proper names, especially surnames (QUAYLES).

Lewis 6:27 AM  

I like the symmetrical GRR and IRS...

There are often complaints on Mondays that certain words are too hard for that day (and candidates here would be QUANT, BRAVAS, UVULA, LISLE, ANCHO, LBAR, RUHR, AVILA, LEHI, OBIS, MIEN, and LUXE).

And yet -- Here is young Annabel, a relatively new solver, and she loves it and calls it easy! This echoes my thought that a puzzle with "non Monday" words, if they are fairly crossed, can be terrific on a Monday. WS seems, this year, to be on this wavelength, giving newer solvers more credit, and I applaud it.

Nice debut, Alex, and very nice to have you back, Ms. Annabel!

smalltowndoc 6:30 AM  

Oh, and LEHI; another partial: the biblical location in question is Rabath- Lehi.

Hartley70 6:51 AM  

I didn't know QUANT, LEHI, RHEUM, and ANCHO so that was a Monday thrill, and the theme is right on the money for me. My big surprise is that while I know the lyrics to these songs, I had to use the downs to get a toehold on the answers except for WHEN IMSIXTYFOUR. As far as I'm concerned this was one of the best Mondays. Add in a visit from Annabel and the week is off to a great start.

Anonymous 7:16 AM  

smalltowndimoc: LEHI is not a partial, at least not technically in the sense that partial is used in crossword lingo. Picky? Yes, but this is what this blog is all about.

Here's the problem, some people are confusing "partials" with many fill in the blank clues. A partial is a multi-word phrase that cannot stand (easily) in its own. Such as ONE AT (for "one at a time" or "IT BE" for "Let It Be", and the like. Partials are those 2 or more word entries that need the rest of the clue to become "impartial" (or complete) so to speak.

LEHI is not a good example because depending on one's sources it's a stand alone town (it's also a place in the U.S., as I'm sure you know). Even in the Bible LEHI is the actual place, with the preceding word a modifier.

It seems to me we have a case of moving the proverbial goalposts. Not enough partials in a puzzle we dislike? Let's see if we can stretch the "rules" and make up a few more.

-MAS

AnnieD 7:35 AM  

Nice write-up Annabel, but I esp appreciated the muppet video...hadn't seen it and so enjoyed it!

Puzz was a perfect Monday for me...having been a Beatle fan since I was 7, it brought back some nice memories.

AliasZ 7:42 AM  


Who doesn't hate the FAB FOUR? The same people who don't hate puns: Eleanor Rigby and Rocky Raccoon.

Lovely songs and lovely write-up, Annabel. And a tremendous NYT debut by Alex Silverman. I can't wait to see what tomorrow's stunt puzz is all about.

I wonder if the inclusion of Rouget de LISLE who wrote La Marseillaise was intentional. NBAER and UNMAN were as bad as it got. And of course RHEUM, ITSO and NEUR. Given the enormous stress on the grid, that's not so bad. Otherwise, having GALILEO and CAPRI, then BMWS alongside the RUHR AREA and MIR with its "Back to the USSR" was a special Easter egg to discover.

The late-Renaissance Spanish composer Tomás Luis de Victoria (c.1548-1611) was born in the province of ÁVILA. O Magnum Mysterium is one of his best known and most often performed works. However exploring the large QUANT. of his oeuvre will reward the curious music lover with many unexpected treasures.

Happy Monday.

Rex Porker 7:59 AM  
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Rex Porker 8:01 AM  

I took the day off and gave the blog-writing responsibilities to someone who, you know, actually likes crossword puzzles. This is a good thing, because if I had written about this puzzle, I would have railed at Will Shortz for allowing this to be published on a Monday. I would have said that my time on this puzzle was 24.6 seconds, twice my normal Monday time. I would have talked about how Mondays are supposed to be for beginners, and should therefore be solvable by your troglodytic and blind great-aunt in her sleep. I would have complained about the terrible fill, and the fact that Beatles' themes have been done many, many times before. I would have said that the theme was outdated. I would have said that any constructor worth his salt would have revised the entire southwest corner and if he couldn't, he should have scrapped the entire project and started over, perhaps with Steely Dan songs instead. Lucky for all of you, I took the day off.

joho 8:02 AM  

Who knew the Beatles wrote their song titles in perfect grid-spanning 15's? Alex Silverman, that's who! Great observation! Wish I had seen it!

@Jae, yes, why not Mary QUANT?

GERMAN fits the theme, too, as Hamburg played a bit part in their early days.

There were an awful lot of abbrs. and there's never any room for RHEUM in my puzzle, but all is forgiven because it's the Beatles!

Finally, Alex tied it all up in a beautiful FAB FOUR bow! Bravo!

NCA President 8:04 AM  

Well, not more can be said about the puzzle that what's been said. Will, on xword info admits the fill is "compromised" (and, spoiler alert, will be tomorrow) because it's a "stunt puzzle." So, there is definitely some inelegance and raised difficulty here.

The NE to me was the most challenging with QUANT and having SEEth sitting there like nothing was wrong. I also had BIOme for a time. It was a matter of accepting that I needed to juggle some letters and entertain other possibilities before that corner came into place.

It is funny though how close LISLE is to GERMAN. LISLE is very definitely a later week puzzle answer while GERMAN is gettable by pretty much anyone with a pulse.

Didn't care for the proximity of FOR and FORM...(that would be the inelegance I was talking about).

Otherwise, no blood no foul. Looking forward to tomorrow's "stunt puzzle" for, I'm guessing, a 53' drop off a saloon roof.

joho 8:05 AM  

Oh, and MIR/USSR = nice!

joho 8:08 AM  

@NCA President, I'm all FOR FOUR FORM! :) 3 and out, have a good Monday, everybody!

Anonymous 8:14 AM  

@Zeke and @Molly Shu:
Bitter about puzzles, bitter about the Beatles. At least you're consistent. You people make rex seem happy and well adjusted.

Lewis 8:22 AM  

Factoid: The USSR liberated more concentration camps than the rest of the allies combined during World War II. (The National Holocaust Memorial Museum website)

Quotoid: "Can anything be stupider than that a man has the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of a river and his ruler has a quarrel with MINE, though I have not quarrelled with him?" -- Blaise Pascal

Lewis 8:23 AM  

@joho -- Yes on MIR/USSR, and I also like the MINE/MIEN cross

mac 8:32 AM  

Very involved theme for a Monday! Knowing the titles makes it easy, but rheum crossing quant was tough. The Quayles saved the day.

Thanks, Annabel

Anonymous 8:39 AM  

What a perfect to start the day with a sunny write up from Annabel! Great to hear from you again. Maybe we can convince Rex to let you do all Mondays.

11:55 for me means slightly faster than average time for Monday. The theme answers filled themselves easily with a few letters. True there were a few quaint words in the puzzle but the crosses were fair and the answers could be inferred.

Z 8:46 AM  

The three offspring have about as diverse musical tastes as three people from the same gene pool could possibly have (black metal, pop punk, Indian), yet all three have The Beatles in their music libraries. I was reading the Rolling Stone cover story on Ringo's induction as a solo artist into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was thoroughly amused by the writer's observation of Ringo's "All-Star Band" members reaction to playing with him, "He's a f$%king Beatle." Yeah - there is an ineffable greatness to the Fab Four.

Fine puzzle. I did notice the "atypical for a Monday" words, but interpreted them as a feature, not a bug. As a Tiger fan I immediately noted that AVILA's UVULA is the only body part he didn't injure last year.

Alex Silverman was channeling ACME and MAS, not a bad combo. Love 15's on a Monday. Love The Beatles. Impressive.

Elaina 9:18 AM  

Easy for me - at under 10 minutes I think this was my fastest time for any day. I've never heard of quant used that way but crosses made it easy.
@Z: The Beatles's music is one of the few genres loved by my husband (metal), my daughter (opera) and me (roots/folk).
Re: LISLE: In fiction set in the early 20th century, LISLE stockings are usually referenced in contrast to silk stockings - lisle stockings being coarser and cheaper. So I resisted this answer until crosses made it obvious.

Billy C 9:18 AM  


@Lewis, re: your factoid, that the USSR liberated more concentration camps than the rest of the Allies combined in WWII.

This shouldn't be surprising to students of WWII history, for several reasons: (a) most of the Nazi concentration camps were in the east, to try to shield what was going on from Western eyes, and because that was where most of the Jewish victims lived; (b) the Germans thrust was far more eastward in the war than westward, given the geography of Europe and the Soviets' strategy of stretching the German supply lines eastward; and (c) the USSR bore the brunt of the fighting in the war, as the western allies kept delaying the creation of a western front -- in large part, to let the Germans bleed the Soviets, who were clearly going to be a post-war geopolitical enemy.

Loren Muse Smith 9:22 AM  

Hey, Annabel – glad to hear from you again! ¡Que bueno!

When this popped out of the printer, I thought I had printed the wrong puzzle. Five 15's?? On a Monday? Ooh, and two stacks? Cool.. Alex, you need to meet this guy, MAS. . . (Mornin’, @Z)

I was tooling along with no problems until the NW. QUANT is a woe, and "look at" feels a lot more intentional than "see," so I had "behold" in mind for SEEST and kept checking that it indeed didn't fit. Also, off the E and M, I went straight to "phlegm," which was too long, too, and, mercifully, doesn't originate in the ayes.

So then with this RHEUM, "phlegm" (and BIOTA) mindset, GROWTH took on a more menacing feel, kind of like the "tendrils" we (Hi, @Ellen S - I can safely use "we" now. Thanks!) were talking about a while back. GROWTH is fine when it shows up where it's expected – in your ANCHO garden, say, but have it appear in an AREA where it's really not supposed to – like Mom's temples when, after a couple of months of eating that flea killer, they began sprouting hair, and, well, you have yourself a real game-changer. What’s worse, BIOTA where it shouldn't be is exponentially more upsetting. I saw a picture online of a Russian man who had a fir tree growing in his lung. I know, I know. This is why I waited until mid-morning to post.

Anyway… I appreciated having a different kind of Monday. Wouldn't it be cool if the Beatles had a title like Times of Our Lives so the FOUR was more disguised?

Alex – impressive debut. Five grid-spanners. Five Beatles songs. High five, man.

Kurt 9:22 AM  

Interesting that Rex said "Beatles' themes have been done many, many times before. I would have said that the theme was outdated."

I recently submitted a Monday/Tuesday, Beatles-themed puzzle with seven theme answers to the NYT. Just two months ago, Will rejected it with the following comment:

"Themes about Beatles songs have become a bit overdone. [So I] wasn't too excited by it"

I've concluded that the biggest determining factor in getting a puzzle accepted by Will is his mood when he reviews it for the first time. He was apparently in a more nostalgic mood when he saw this one.

By the way. Even though the theme might have been overdone, I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle.

Bob Kerfuffle 9:23 AM  
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chefbea 9:23 AM  

Fun puzzle - love the Beatles!!!

Hand up for not knowing rheum or quant!!! Of course knew ancho

Bob Kerfuffle 9:26 AM  

Good puzzle; good write-up.

(Possible alternative, "Runt" clue for 19 A: "Short guy from Down Under??")

quilter1 9:33 AM  

Very good Monday--clues, answers and write-up. Also very easy for me. We don't see RHEUM often anywhere, yet RHEUMy eyes is a good descriptor, esp. of the elderly like me when we get up in the morning.

mathguy 9:46 AM  

The MGI was -106, the smallest (easiest) in the sixteen weeks I've been calculating it. That in the face of not knowing SHESLEAVINGHOME, fifteen squares.

As a non-constructor, I'm only mildly impressed by the five fifteens. Didn't have much fun with it.

@Lewis. Terrific quotoid. And by a mathematician, to boot.

Leapfinger 9:51 AM  

Left a late Sunday note, @EllenS, @Maruchka, @AliasZ

Am currently a day late and a dollar short, but hope to be out of my time-warp (weft?) by tonight.

Woof.

Anonymous 9:52 AM  

Very "nice" write-up.
Very "nice" theme.
But RHEUM, QUANT, ANCHO, etc?
GRR! I miss @Rex!!

Anonymous 10:01 AM  

This puzzle was half easy and half stupid, i.e. NE and SW.

Riorita 10:15 AM  

Always anticipate Mondays. Kept at it, missed a few but will put a B+ on my personal scoring card. Thanks

Steve J 10:42 AM  

@Thomaso808: Yes, five grid spanners. I thought I saw a double-stack in the middle. Obviously, it's not there.

@Lewis: Sadly, "liberated" should probably get quotes around it in your factoid. Both the Allies and the Soviets treated prisoners in the camps horribly immediately after the war - one of Truman's aides described the camps as being in the same squalid conditions under the Americans as the Nazis, minus the executions - and most who were housed in concentration camps weren't freed until a few years after the war (sufficient time for uncounted thousands more to die of disease and starvation). It's one of our more shameful bits of US history, which probably explains why it's been quickly forgotten.

@Kurt: Rex hasn't commented on today's puzzle.

Ludyjynn 10:42 AM  

This was my fastest Monday ever (though I don't TIME myself)thanks to the wonderfully executed FABFOUR theme. Hard to believe this was Mr. Silverman's ALPHA NYT published puzz. as IT is SO good.

Like @jae and @joho, once I sussed QUANT, I thought of the British mod designer Mary and how apt that would be here. But I liked LORRY to go w/ the British motif and ALBUM to further highlight the themers.

Also liked MIR, USSR and A VISA vertically grouped together. Clever.

And the rockers, Queen, referenced by GALILEO was a nice touch, as Annabel noted.

Thanks a bunch, AS and WS FOR a fun solve.

old timer 11:25 AM  

Will you still be sending me a Valentine? Birthday greeting, bottle of wine?

On behalf of my grandchildren, Vera, Chuck, and Dave, thank you, THANK YOU, Alex Silverman. It was delightful to be humming tunes and remembering lyrics as I raced through this one. Very fast time for me too -- I only needed a few downs to to all the acrosses. QUANT was easy -- I subscribe to the Times for two reasons: One, the puzzle and two, the business section.

I wonder if Annabel knows that PAPERBACKWRITER was a rare *single* by the Beatles that did not come from an album. Moreover, it was backed with "Rain" which I have always thought is the best Beatles song ever, or at least after their initial burst of fame.

Masked and Anonym10Us 11:33 AM  

What's not to like here?!?
Rodeo recap:
* Blu'Bel on write-up. Or as the Beatles might sing, "BluBel in the Sky with Bullets!"
* Ten magnificent vowels of the U persuasion. Or as the Beatles might sing, "She Loves U yeah yeah yeah..."
* RHEUM QUANT. TERRA AVILA. ANCHO LBAR. AUSSI OBIS. UVULA LUXE. SEEST UNMAN BRYN. Luxey desperation. Or as MooCowMonPuz-level Beatle solvers might sing, "Help!..."
* Debut puz-ABOY! Fame and $300 moneybucks! Or as the Beatles might sing, "Quant buy me lu-uv..."
* The Beatles! Sung as "Hey hey! We ain't the Monkees..."
* Primo pile of themer material bigger than snot. Or as the constructioneer sang, " It's been a hard day's night..."

M&A

p.s. Didn't rightly recall the SHESLEAVINGHOME song. Was from Sgt. Pepper album, with no Beatles playin an instrument. Just an orchestra on backup. Learned stuff. Like.

** gruntz **

Charles Flaster 11:35 AM  

EZ and very enjoyable.
I enjoy Beatles much more now than in 1964 when I saw them on ES show at the age of 19. That made the 15's very gettable.
As a math person I guess QUANT refers to quantitative analysis.
Only new word was ANCHO.
Liked cluing for MINE and LUXE.
CrosswordEASE--ERNS, BRYN, BIOTA and RUHR.
Thanks AS and thanks Annabel.

Roo Monster 11:56 AM  

Hey All !
Easy puz, NE hard!
Never a Beatles fan. When growing up, my dad was All-American, as in only buy stuff made in USA, and not support outside "invaders" , if you will. So I was always partial to all things USA. The whole British Invasion thing never sat right. Also why I've never owned a foreign car. Used to be having an American made car was the right thing, and if you drove anything foreign, you might get a scorn now and again. Now, apparently, it doesn't matter. And worse, most people 1) don't care, and 2) think the Hondas, etc., are better cars. Mini rant, just want y'all to know where I'm coming from. The Stones have grown on me, though! :-)

Liked Annabels writeup! Good puz. Rant and out!

ICES
RooMonster
DarrinV

Carola 12:02 PM  

A triple-treat Monday with a puzzle that HONORS the FAB FOUR, Annabel's SUNny write-up, and comments pointing out other grid pleasures besides the theme answers (I Me MINE is Beatles-related, too, right? - almost an anagram of that MIEN/ MINE cross @Lewis pointed out).

@smalltowndoc - I loved your "pleural proper nouns" - along with RHEUM and NEURalgia, a common affliction plaguing the crossword solver :)

Martel Moopsbane 12:02 PM  

I nominate NBAER as the Dook-du-jour. I got it only from the crosses, and I still couldn't figure out what it meant for quite some time.

Lewis 12:05 PM  

@stevej -- Thank you for that information regarding the Soviet "liberation" of Nazi camps. Actually, another poster emailed me with the same information. This person's parents were holocaust survivors and went through the Soviet camps and knew about this first hand. It is something we all should know, as now I do. Thank you for this.

Generic Solver 12:12 PM  

Wow, I can't believe some of the hate for the Beatles on here. Maybe the same people who say "John Lennon, oh yeah, you mean Julian Lennon's father"? Or "Paul McCartney, that old dude who appeared on Kanye West's song"?

GILL I. 12:21 PM  

@Danp..Hee hee. We took the ferry from Naples to see CAPRI along with a bajillion loud, pushy tourists..and this was in October!
I'm now more of a Tuscany traveler - by car - back roads. Few tourist drive in Italy.
@Roo M....What??? NO BEATLES? That's so, so un american...;>)
Agree with other on the clue for QUANT. It should have been Mary. I owe her the pleasure of my first pair of hot pants...velvet green.

Anonymous 12:21 PM  

Rex, take more time off.

As to the puzzle, the theme answers should have been gimmes to most anyone who has had any listening acquaintance with the Fab Four, so having some harder than normal fill for a Monday should compensate for the easy themes. The first three were filled in without any other help; the fourth as soon as I got "alpha." I wanted "good morning" for the fifth but once again with "alpha" the right answer popped in.

Jyqm 12:23 PM  

@oldtimer: Would you really say that a Beatles single not also contained on an original LP is "rare"? There are a full two CDs worth in the form of the "Past Masters" sets, including everything from "She Loves You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" to "Hey Jude" and "The Ballad Of John And Yoko." Quite common practice in the 60s for bands to release hit singles that only appeared on an LP when it was time to cash in on some "greatest hits."

Anyway, put me in that apparently small group of Beatles fan who did not particularly enjoy this puzzle. I suppose it's fun to realize that so many of the group's song titles are exactly 15 letters long, but beyond that, my experience of this puzzle amounted to quickly filling in the obvious song titles ("Good Day Sunshine" v. "Here Comes The Sun" being the only possible hiccup, as already mentioned above), then grimacing at all of the rather ugly fill needed to pull off the stunt. This puzzle seems to coast by on nothing other than pure nostalgia, but maybe that's enough for a Monday after all.

Z 12:47 PM  

@Lewis & @Steve J - I have an uncomfortable ambivalence about post-WWII events. On the one hand we should not forget our errors and missteps even if they pale in comparison to the atrocities of others. On the other hand, going from a war footing to a post-war footing isn't easy. To criticize the allies for not being perfect is to criticize people trained to defeat an enemy, not to save lives. Yet, innocent people died who need not have died. Most importantly to me is that a false sense of perfection makes being a Hawk all too convenient a stance for politicians. Which brings me back to today's theme.

@Roo Monster - There hasn't been an "American Car Company" in decades. Toyota lists 6 plants in the US and Honda has 14. Meanwhile, Ford has plants all over the world. Then there is the interesting case of VW being more pro-worker than the State of Tennessee's government or even some of its own workers. So, if you believe in strong unions you might want to look at which plant assembled a car and see if it is unionized. Otherwise, it doesn't matter much which brand you buy (in case anyone wonders, two Fords and a Prius - all hybrids, one electric/hybrid).

Kurt 12:55 PM  

@Steve J

Check out Rex's post at 8:01 AM. Gone but certainly not forgotten.

Benko 12:59 PM  

@kurt-- There is a difference between the real@Rex Parker and his self-appointed parodist, "Rex Porker." I would think the tone, if not the name, would give the game away.

Anonymous 1:01 PM  

It occurred to me after I had some of the NW corner solved that I should be able to name all 5 tunes without any "down" help. Which I did on the following 3 (and mostly on the 1st two). Only SHESLEAVINGHOME is less than iconic for the greatest band ever (but still really really good).

Still my real goal on a Monday is to solve a puzzle with zero down help. To date, to no avail. My alibi is I have the annoying habit of listening to the radio while solving. A distraction that cuts into my thinking and recall. Oh well. Another day then.

Steve J 1:02 PM  

@Lewis: I recently started reading a book about how so many Nazis ended up in the States after the war, many of whom were directly recruited by the American government. The Cold War started before WWII was done.

The book starts with the contrast of how Americans ran the displaced persons camps (which often were the very same concentration camps, simply renamed, while often guarded by the same people who were guarding the concentration camps), while the army and government knew of widespread Nazi emigration to the Americas. To @Z's point, while you wouldn't expect them to just release everyone to find their own way home right away (not least because most no longer had homes), the Americans did little to improve basic conditions, food rations, etc. It wasn't on the order of the continued torture and murder that took place in the Soviet zones, but it is a jarring contrast from the impression most of us (myself included) of what liberation meant. It's a failure of our educational system and approach that this is so unknown. I shouldn't have had to have learned about this 30 years after high school.

Roo Monster 1:07 PM  

Hey @Z, yes, I know every car maker nowadays is affiliated with other car makers, so in one way doesn't matter what marquee you buy. Personally, my newest car is a 2005 Dodge Ram Rumble Bee. Limited edition!

I drive Limos here in Las Vegas, we have the Toyota contract, and they had us drive their cars. When you opened the door, there was a sticker, Made in USA!

RooMonster

dk 1:13 PM  

🌕🌕🌕 (3 mOOOns)

suede for LISLE had me singing Number 9 Number 9.

That short lived error aside -- the rest was Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Thanks Annabel (aka lucy pato)

Benko 1:15 PM  

Refugee camps, in general, do not have good living conditions. Usually due to overcrowding and a lack of resources. Soon after the postwar struggles, though, the state of Israel was created, millions relocated. and they have been given decades of military, economic, and political support by the US. Many others emigrated to a life in the US. Not exactly a continuation of the final solution.
I'm not trying to dismiss any suffering during that period--right after the most costly and cataclysmic war of all time--but I find it hard to blame the US for its postwar policy when I look at the history of major wars and the actions of their victors. Or to imply that the end of nazi-controlled camps was anything but a moral victory for mankind.

Anonymous 1:26 PM  

The Beatles also inspired some great cover versions. I recommend Al Jarreau's cover of "She's Leaving Home," with its very plaintive "Daddy, our baby's gone!"

old timer 2:32 PM  

In the very early days, the Beatles released singles, and when they had enough of them, put them on an album. With "Rubber Soul", "Revolver" and of course the White Album, they came up with an entire album first, then released some of the tracks as singles.

They recorded Rain/Peperback Writer at the same time as the songs from Revolver, but these songs were not included on "Revolver" and it was only several years later that they were tacked on to the album that included "Hey Jude".

I suppose I was incorrect in saying no other songs were *from* an album, though for the most part the early hits were going to be on an album and everyone knew it. And in Britain, at least, the hits made it onto albums pretty quickly.

I think "Hay Jude" (was that the last single the Beatles released?) may actually have been recorded with no immediate plan for an album, and if that's the case, then there are *two* singles that fit my description.

Anonymous 4:11 PM  

"The Long and Winding Road," was the last Beatle single, perhaps appropriately.

Karen Munson 4:17 PM  

Technically I'm what the corporate world calls a "quant jock". And I took forever to fill in "quant". Jeez. But I didn't know "ancho". Seemed a bit hard for a Monday.

Billy C 4:17 PM  



Regarding the liberated concentration camps and the postwar period --

It's true that American and Allied actions in the concentration camps immediately following the Nazi rollback and ultimate defeat weren't always something to be proud of. Truth be told, there was a fair amount of anti-Semitic sentiment among the allies, particularly the French (who also bore considerable guilt in the help that many in authority gave to the Nazis in the roundup of French Jews). However, the fact remains that millions of lives were saved -- not just Jews, by the way, but also others judged "undesirable" by the Nazis -- homosexuals, political liberals, elements of the intelligentsia, the mentally challenged, etc., etc.

Economic conditions throughout postwar Europe were a disaster, not only in Germany, whose infrastructure was largely in rubble, but also elsewhere due to total economic depletion caused by thethe war effort. Even England was a total basket case, with a moribund economy and (literally) near-starvation conditions in most urban areas.

It took Truman's Marshall Plan in '48 to finally breathe some life into the Western European economies. That had some domestic political opposition here, but the fear that the stagnant economies there would be breeding grounds for Communist factions finally got the funding freed up.

grammar nazi 4:28 PM  

Such a nice day, grammar-wise, until this gem from anon @ 4:11: "...the last Beatle single." Alas, there is no rest for the weary gn.

Teedmn 6:09 PM  

A few write-overs for me as I tried to continue the Fab Four theme with the Isle of Wight ("WHEN I'M SIXTY FOUR"). It was SEEth for moi, AUSSI and anON before SOON, but no problem recovering from any of that.

I was born with a cleft palate (but no scar in the front, luckily) so while I'm not UVULA-less (try saying that fast!), I am UVULA-challenged. How does this affect one's day-to-day life? It is harder to gargle or roll my r's in French. But it's a gimme in the puz so that's nice.

Love the Beatles, the puzzle and the write-up so thanks, Alex and Annabel

Leapfinger 11:58 PM  

This was a deLUXE debut, what with the Quints, the QUANT and the Quality. Agree that Mary would have suited the British invasion theme, no telling why my mind also pulled up QUANT-ico. Now that would have been an outrageous partial!

Interestingly, just hours ago I heard Candice Bergen interviewed on NPR; the discussion was about Veep QUAYLE'S inveighing against Murphy Brown's single-parent pregnancy, so that all came in right on Q.

@chefwen, I can no longer see 64 in my rear-view mirror, but that's still a big-time favourite.

@smalltown doc, it's hard to break away from professional training, isn't it? Like @Carola, I had some visceral enjoyment in neur 'pleural proper names'. AYE, there's the Rub!

Like @Elaina, I associated LISLE with stockings and sewing thread, rather than with gloves, I kid you not. Does anyone else remember little girls having white crocheted lace gloves for dress-up occasions?

@mathguy, @Lewis - Blaise Pascal, besides being a mathematician, was a physicist, an inventor, a religious philosopher and writer of some deliciously pointed wit. The man was a regular GALILEO. Unfortunately, he didn't live to see 40. Eerie, isn't it, @Alias?

Dang, @M-AS, I did not know that goal-posts can be proverbial. Love that I learn new things here every day.

Alex Agman, you showed us a real good time today. Hope you Get Back to us real soon.

How I Got My Ex Husband Back 12:05 AM  


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Anonymous 12:52 AM  

Scatter shooting while wondering why the grammar nazi doesn't parse the "spell caster's" posts?

smalltowndoc 7:53 AM  

I had to look at my post three times to see what the fuss was all about. Now, a day later, I realize the "pleural"/"plural" confusion. I'm embarrassed to admit that was not intentional. Also, not the first time I've been guilty of that misspelling (face reddens). Time to retire?

mack the knife 9:37 AM  

fuck the beatles.

Anonymous 12:18 AM  

Hi Annabelle, I liked your write up, but the image making fun of Spanish-speaking people who look for work by standing outside Home Depot did not sit well with me. Not sure if you understood it when you grabbed it, and not trying to make something out of nothing, it just seems mean to me.

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How I Got My Ex Husband Back 1:40 AM  


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Anonymous 11:42 PM  

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s 12:00 PM  

Well, this isn't a Monday puzzle, so maybe now we're on EIGHTDAYSAWEEK--alas, only 14. Not that it was a HARDDAYSNIGHT (rats! 13) solving, but it has to be unusual for a Monday to introduce no fewer than five WOEs to me: LEHI AUSSI QUANT (as clued) ANCHO, and that constructional oddity, the LBAR. H, I, T; those I buy. L??? I can't picture how one would even be used.

Eleanor Rigby doesn't make it either, though Father Mackenzie does. Still, the coincidence of 15-count Beatle titles is amazing. I, for one, very much enjoyed the trip to YESTERDAY. I will sign off with my favorite.

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, lalalala life goes on.

1627, looking up.

spacecraft 12:02 PM  

Sorry, that "s" above was supposed to be me.

rondo 1:42 PM  

Even with some faults, gotta love a Beatles theme like this. No HELP! (only a 4) required. Most everything’s been said above and I must hurry back to work.

In my world an LBAR is called an angle iron.

I feel sorry for those solvers who don’t know or don’t like the FAB FOUR – they’ve missed out on so much.

Burma Shave 2:02 PM  

MAME ABOY

That NAG! SHESLEAVINGHOME so there’s SOON extra RHEUM.
It’s TIME my new gal SLEEPS over. BRAVAS! Va-va-vavoom!

--- LORRY QUAYLES

BS2 2:43 PM  

AYES SAUR

Five years after WHENIMSIXTYFOUR, it’ll be 69,
Displaying good FORM, I’ll be HONORS and she MINE.

--- LISLE UVULA

DMG 2:47 PM  

By the time the Beatles came along I was raising a TV-less family, so I mostly missed them. My music was more along the lines of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.The only one of these pieces I recall is WHENIMSIXTYFOUR, but I "remember" it sung as romantic solo, not a group effort. Even so, the songs came easily. Elsewhere I did have to replace anON with SOON, and fell into the SEEth trap. A tricky, but fun, Monday.

2555 Looking good!

leftcoastTAM 6:33 PM  

This was medium-challenging for me on a Monday, in contrast to Annabel's "easy", but not because of our wide generational gap. I'm solidly with her on the Beatles' music. And, like mostly everyone, I'm glad to see her back.

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