Lenin's successor / MON 10-26-15 / Kid long-running 1950s western / Home with entrance flap / Furry creature from Endor / Dries up and shrinks with age

Monday, October 26, 2015

Constructor: Bruce Haight

Relative difficulty: Easy (2:42, and this thing is 16-wide...)

THEME: SAN FRANCISCO (67A: So-called "Paris of the West") — stuff in or associated with S.F.

Theme answers:
  • CITY BY THE BAY (18A: Nickname of 67-Across)
  • ALCATRAZ (26A: Island near 67-Across)
  • GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE (42A: 67-Across landmark)
  • CABLE CAR  (52A: Conveyance in 67-Across)
Word of the Day: KEAN University (32D: University in Union, N.J.) —
Kean University /ˈkn/ is a coeducational, public university located in Union and Hillside, New Jersey, United States. Kean University serves its students in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions and is best known for its programs in the humanities and social sciences and in education, graduating the most teachers in the state of New Jersey annually. Kean is also noted for the physical therapy program which it holds in conjunction with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. (wikipedia)
• • •

Another day, another puzzle about which I have nothing substantive to say. I have never liked this constructor's puzzles, so I was braced for wincing, but the wincing actually didn't come. The fill is ordinary, old-fashioned, but nothing here made me go "Oh god no." I consider this progress. The theme, however ... it jaw-droppingly remedial. Basic. This isn't a theme. It's certainly not a theme worthy of "the best puzzle in the world." It's a "$100,000 Pyramid" category, at best. Stuff in S.F. ... that's it!? This is placemat crossword fodder. Like, I would eat crab near Fisherman's Wharf and solve this puzzle on a little paper placemat. There is nothing to it. It's a remedial trivia crossword. The crossword has been self-consciously musty of late. Defiantly fuddy-duddy. Most people are going to solve this and find it unremarkable and forget it. But it's shocking, honestly, that a concept this unimaginative made the grade. Again, hurray for fill that isn't like a groin-kick, but theme-wise ... I'm aghast and agape and all the other a-words except Appreciative. The best part about this puzzle was that I torched it. Filled in most of the themers w/o even looking at the clues. 2:42 is a very good time for me on a normal 15x15. For a 15x16, it's unreal. I am The Flash. For a Day.

  • 4D: Excite (KEY UP) — just pointing out the UP dupe at ASK UP. I think dupes are more obvious and irksome when they show up in the same phrase position in their answers.
  • 44D: "Toughen up!" ("BE A MAN!") — this clue really should have some additional bit, like "... to a bullying sexist asshole."
  • 23A: On its way (SENT) — my MacBook Air does this weird thing sometimes where, when I disconnect from speakers ... it seems to have stored up a bunch of alert sounds, and then unleashes them all at once, in quick succession. Mostly SENT e-mail whooshes. It's disconcerting.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:06 AM  

Unlike Rex this was a tough Mon. for me.  Confused Vega with Braga and had Sonia before ALEXA.  Also cloG before PLUG.  KEAN was a WOE. 

I thought the Norse god of war was TYR. 

I'm with Rex on this one, a bit meh.

Music man 12:16 AM  

Yup fastest time ever.

"I'm aghast and agape and all the other a-words except Appreciative."

More entertaining than the puzzle itself.

Da Bears 12:17 AM  

At least we could have had SANCTUARY CITY to break up the trivia, or, maybe a 15 x 15 with GOLDEN GATE RIDGE? Rex is actually being kind in his comments. This has go to be a Halloween prank. I'm now thinking of doing an 18 x 19 with Chicago trivia or maybe the seven Bears linebackers who are in the HOF plus Urlacher who soon will be.

Martin 12:31 AM  

Remedial doesn't mean basic or simple. It means corrective -- as in "remedy." "Remedial English" is basic because its purpose is to remedy a lack of mastery of the language at the expected level.

The puzzle is Monday-Newsday simple. But it's not remedial.

Elle54 4:19 AM  

I liked it cuz it made me think about San Francisco and evoked some pleasant memories of visits there

Anonymous 5:55 AM  

Filled it in using just the across clues. Had to come back to "oolala" and "wizens" but the others were simple.

Might have been a little zippier if the creator had used some "hard to pronounce SF street names" like Gough or some "commonly mispronounced local place names" like Marin. Better yet, some "what the locals never call it" like Frisco or San Fran would have good.

Lewis 6:03 AM  

Too easy even for a Monday. Despite the clean grid, my heart will not be left in this puzzle. Appropriately, there is a TIME going backward in the puzzle, which could have run 10 years ago, and without the Spy Kids clue, could have run 30 years ago. It will make those who deplore current popular culture in a puzzle very happy, and I wouldn't mind it if it even had a hint of challenge or interest or cleverness. But all is well because it is so rare that I'm numbed by a NYT puzzle and tomorrow is another day!

RAD2626 7:37 AM  

Pretty pedestrian but not worth getting riled up about. Better Monday puzzle than yesterday's was a Sunday puzzle. Clever sneaking in of another CISCO. Sorry no Anchor Steam in the puzzle or to drink while solving. Not only was The CISCO kid a long running television series (over 150 episodes) but also featured in more than 20 movies. Not bad for one O. Henry short story.

NCA President 7:42 AM  

ASKUP and KEYUP v. CISCO and SANFRANCISCO. I'm not sure which is worse. At least the former pair only have two letters in common. "Cisco" is short for the name of the city.

I'm not a constructor so I really can't criticize puzzle construction. All I can offer here as a commenter in the comments section of a blog is my experience. There are puzzles I like and some that make me want to drive by the constructor's house and yell. This one fell in the "meh" category. It was an exercise. Routine. Because of that, I didn't enjoy it. So, for what it's worth, I didn't like it.

And while it didn't make me want to find BH's house and drive by and yell, with all due respect to his prolific puzzle construction (and apparently nearing "constructor in residence" status with how many times I see his name here), I really haven't found one of his puzzles enjoyable. Gimmicky, overly precious, and ultimately unsatisfying. It's nothing personal, of course. I'm sure he's a really nice guy. But hey, I don't care for Bartok either...so maybe BH is a genius and I simply don't have the wherewithal to appreciate his work.

But I chime in here to provide my average-solver-in-the-field feedback.

jberg 8:23 AM  

To develop @Lewis's thought, what this puzzle needed was either a little heart over on the left, or some kind of mini-theme in the heart of the puzzle. But at least the constructor resisted putting his own name in it for another theme answer. I guess I'm not AROAR over this one either, though I did like WIZENS -- a fate that can be avoided by overeating, I'm here to tell you.

rosebud 8:33 AM  

Full of Monday smiles, loved the Pogo reference and I saved the Santa joke for my nephew. Christmas is coming..in less than 2 months.

GILL I. 8:57 AM  

He left out Herb Caen!
HO HO, I did this pretty fast but I don't time myself... and there was SUPER MODEL AND POLAR BEARS!... wasn't that a WALTZ in the park?
By the way The GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE is really orange in color and unless the prices went up again, it costs $7 to use that little nugget. I think the Verrazano is the most expensive at $15....YAY us, we're cheaper!
If you haven't already, you really should visit ALCATRAZ. It's worth the 6 months or so reservation wait time...and you need them!
Now I have an ear-worm.

jberg 9:07 AM  

For those not on her mailing list already, Hayley Gold's weekly comic, based on last Tuesday's puzzle, is now available here.

Ludyjynn 9:21 AM  

Rex, I appreciated your two PLUGs for SAN FRANCISCO more than the constructor's. Thanks for the Maupin "Tales of the City" reference. I fondly recall the PBS 1994 adaptation of the book, with Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis, STARring IN a stellar cast, beautifully portraying '70s life in The City. Bonus was hearing the incomparable Steve Perry sing 1978's "Lights", a great way to start the day. (Wiki says he was originally writing the song about LA, but changed his mind when he joined Journey).

Coincidentally, my one and only visit to SF was in 1976, and the sights and sounds are STILL seared in my memory. For that reason, I liked the puzzle more than other commenters, so far. That, plus the clue for KEAN College, which made me laugh. I grew up in a nearby town, and it was called Newark State Teachers College til 1973. When it relocated from Newark to Union/Hillside to property owned by the Kean family, along came the name change. Never expected to see it in a Monday puzzle, as it is fairly obscure to non Jerseyans. Is Bruce Haight a Jersey boy?

Not too SHABBY for a Monday. Thanks, BH and WS.

chefbea 9:30 AM  

I agree..easy Monday. Almost put in oreo instead of hoho.
Nothing more to say

Bruce Haight 9:31 AM  

I hope you didn't just sugar coat this review because you are starting to feel sorry for me Rex. I hope you are not just afraid I will jump off the Golden Gate and leave a note blaming you. No hard feelings really - I read your column often and you make some good points. Let me buy you a beer at the next ACPT and we can talk about the Ben Franklin "kite" puzzle of 3/4/14 or the "Scotty Dog" puzzle of 2/17/15- you actually said you liked those. Don't pull any punches though - give it your best shot! Best, Bruce Haight

Tita 9:33 AM  

Niece moved to theme city a few months ago...living on Haight St.
And what Elle54 said...my enjoyment of puzzles definitely correlates to the thoughts they provoke. I realize that means a (so-called) terrible puzzle can provide a great solve, but I am not a puzzle critic.

Oh... S_APE / KEA_ was a Natick. I did guess right, but coulda been T...
My lack of Harry Potterr mania disqualifies me from ever being a top solver. (Well, there's lots that disqualifies me, but that is one very specific reason...)

Thanks, Mr. Haight.

quilter1 9:50 AM  

Yes, fast, easy and a little dull. But I liked WIZENS. Don't see that too often. And growing up a Francisco, my brothers and I were all the CISCO kid at school. OK Monday.

pmdm 10:16 AM  

Concerning the clue for 48A. If a runner advances from second to third after a fly ball is caught, the batter does not get an RBI but is credited with an RBI. So the statement that You get one [RBI] for a sac fly is incorrect - you only get one if a runner advances from third. Is that not true?

Anonymous 10:32 AM  

Mr NCA President-Cisco is short for the name of what city? San Francisco? In what universe?

Nancy 10:41 AM  

@Gill -- You have to make a reservation and wait 6 months to get into ALCATRAZ? There has to be an easier way, don't you think?

Like the city the puzzle was celebrating much better than the puzzle itself. Great city. Meh puzzle.

Pete 10:53 AM  

@Martin - People who live and breath education commonly refer to material that is so obviously below grade level as "remedial", whether the clear intent of the inclusion of such is remedial (in the definition you cite) or not. This may be a common usage, hence legitimate definition, of which you are unaware, but that in and of itself doesn't make it wrong.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:59 AM  

Maybe we could KEY UP a big emotional discussion about the spelling of 38 D (TEPEE). No? Yeah, I guess not. :>)

Andrew Heinegg 11:02 AM  

I raced though this except for the Kean/Snape cross and was able to suss that out. I am pretty tired of references to Harry Potter in crosswords. There are literary 'trends' in every generation that are of questionable merit. After reading reviews, I avoided the Lord Of The Rings in my time and I suspect that the Harry Potter books are of a similar quality. The author of Harry Potter books has issued a couple of novels recently under a pseudonym that have not been well received by critics. Bottom line is: how about crossword constructors move on from using references to the series?

The puzzle is rife with trite crossword clues/answers and thus lacking. I would have thought that the yoke's on them/oxen clue/answer had been banned forever for any day of the week from the NYT. I guess not.

Teedmn 11:21 AM  

Obviously a self-referential puzzle with The Haight district in the theme city :-).

It wasn't a particularly MEATY puzzle but not so SHABBY either. As @Bob Kerfuffle mentions, we're back to TEPEE today, I didn't run into a JAM while solving but it took more time than my average so I'm blaming the 15 X 16 construction. I can't remember seeing ICE T clued that way but nothing else jumps out at me, nothing WIZENS me UP today.

Thanks, BH and WS.

Roo Monster 11:22 AM  

Hey All !
This puzzle was a good 'un, after yesterday's anything would've been an improvement, but still liked this quick, extra-wide romp. I surprised people aren't happier that the full SAN FRANCISCO is in and not some silly nickname that folks who live there never use.

This was super easy, did online today, and my time was 7:15, and I never go for speed. That was after counting the blocks (just a quirk of mine) and reading all the Across and Down clues (another quirk, don't like when answers auto-fill). All good, clean answers, woth small dreck (if any) and a couple of tougies-for-a-MonPuz like WIZENS, COATI, KEAN, POGO.

So thanks, BH, for a quick, no brain strain puzzle.


Masked and Anonymous 11:25 AM  

@009: If ever a city deserved a crossword dedication, it would be San Francisco. Great town. It'll probably be under water either thru global thawing or earthquake someday, but, shoot -- it'll still be better below water than most cities above water. Just as long as U get a room on an **upper** floor of the Stanford Court Hotel, Nob Hill.

@Tita: yep. Mr. Haight definitely shoulda collaborated with a constructioneer named Ashbury on this. I'da looked someone up with that name in the phone book, and talked em into cluin up a couple of the answers, and … bingo … collaboration. Totally worth the 10% phoned-in cluin fee.

I do see that a dude named Arthur S. Ash has done a NYTPuz (1994). So, coulda been a 3-way, with Haight, Ash, and Patrick Berry! Sweet.

fave weeject: UMA. Currently portraying Simone in the "Burnt" flick. And best-lookin 45-year-old on Earth.

Masked & Anonymo5Us

**biter gruntz**

Joseph Michael 11:26 AM  

As a former resident of SF, I'm sorry the constructor opted for such obvious references as GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE and CABLE CARS. SF is a playful and rebellious town with its own rich culture. Even on a Monday, the puzzle could have reflected much more of this spirit.

This is a postcard version of the CITY BY THE BAY and thus kind of a snoozer. And SF is anything but that.

Wednesday's Child 11:33 AM  

I liked the puzzle, nice and easy, light and breezy.

The Golden Gate Bridge is second only to the Nanjiing Yangtze River Bridge for suicides.

I use to cut class, hitchhike to SF and watch The Dead play free in golden Gate Park. What an education.

GILL I. 11:53 AM  

@Bruce Haight....Nicely done and I bet you a Manhattan that @Rex takes you up on that beer!
@Nancy. If you're related to either Gavin Newsom or Willie Brown, I'm sure you can just walk into the ferry with just a nod and a smile.
P.S. Maybe 6 months is an exaggeration but you do have to make them far in advance...:-)

Da Bears 11:54 AM  

Clarification: I don't hate this puzzle. In its own way its a nice little tribute to San Francisco. Yes, there's some bad fill, but I mostly don't care about that (unlike Rex).

But Rex's main point is that it is not the kind of puzzle that should be published in the NYT and that is the point with which I agree. This puzzle would make a good puzzle for USA Today or some puzzle magazine. But for the NYT! I expect more for my buck. I expect some cleverness or some humor or some twist, none of which is in this puzzle.

It's almost as though the constructor woke up some morning and thought to himself my name is Haight which together with Ashbury is a district n San Francisco where the hippie movement started so let's do a SF puzzle.

If people enjoy this puzzle, there are a lot of cheaper sources for puzzles that should meet their standard.

AliasZ 11:57 AM  

While I was puzzled by the choice of the tribute subject on a Monday, I found the puzzle very easy and enjoyable. As far as I know, today is not a significant date in San Francisco's history that would warrant a tribute. The city was founded on June 29, 1776, the first cable car line opened on August 2, 1873, the 1906 earthquake occurred on April 18, the Golden Gate Bridge opened to pedestrian traffic on May 27, 1937, the movie "Birdman of Alcatraz" was released on July 3, 1962, the TV series "The Streets of San Francisco" debuted on September 16, 1972. What am I missing?

The fill was near-perfect except the sexist BE A MAN. Loved the hautbois clue, prompting this wonderful concerto for violin and hautbois by the master himself: J.S. Bach.

@Martin, loved your remedial post.


old timer 12:07 PM  

Folks, it's Monday. Ought to be just as easy as it is, and I thought the fill was remarkably clean, free of crosswordese. This really would have been an excellent Monday for Annabel, rising college student, to give us her take.

I do think Michael and Bruce ought to have a heart-to-heart talk over a pitcher of Anchor Steam beer. If they went to the Oasis in Menlo Park, they could maybe relive their college days (The "O" has long been a Stanford hangout, though they were and are pretty strict on ID's). Indeed, this being 2015, they might want to meet at the Toronado on HAIGHT Street -- incredible selection of exotic taps from the USA and Europe.

I have never understood why people are surprised the Bridge is painted orange, not gold. It is not a golden Gate Bridge, it's the bridge over the Golden Gate, which was the name for the passage from the ocean into San Francisco Bay since the 1840's or maybe before.

Martin 12:08 PM  

@Pete, 10:53

I'm aware that Rex is not the only person to use "remedial" to mean "simple." But use of a word contrary to the dictionary deserves to be noted, I believe. All the more when it is used, as you say, by educators.

mac 12:22 PM  

Easy Monday, I liked it.

Have to admit that the highlight was finding Haight above the puzzle after putting in the theme answers.

Carola 12:46 PM  

Liked it, thought it was a fine Monday. GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE as a spanner - well, that just appeals to me. Also liked the East Coast A-TRAIN complementing the CABLE CAR and thought WIZENS, SUBTLE, SUPERMODEL and POLAR BEARS livened up the grid.

Anonymous 12:56 PM  

Torched isn't the word. This was my first ever under 2 minutes, probably because I lived in San Francisco and, once I had those large ones in, I almost never looked at the clues. At least there wasn't an Obama reference. If Rex sees some progress in this puzzle, I do as well.

John 1:02 PM  

Re Gill's six month wait for tickets to Alcatraz. I don't understand what the problem was. I've been there several times and never had to wait to buy tickets. We got them on line the first time, but it wasn't really necessary. Boats run ever 20 minutes or so. Included is a little headphone tour and movie.

Anonymous 1:03 PM  

Thanks for reminding New Yorkers of the Left Coast. Enjoyed the solve.

Leapfinger 1:59 PM  

I think it has to be your surname, Bruce. If you could only manage to be adopted by the family Louis L'Amour!

Don't despair; it's a love raft.

Numinous 2:03 PM  

I will dispute, @Da Bears, that Haight-Ashbury is where the "Hippy" movement started. The truth is that it was building in places like Greenwich Village and Berkeley in 1964 and '65. I can recall using the term that Herb Caen coined from the word hipster during the summer of 64. The point at which the whole thing exploded, for me, was the Free Speech Movement that bagan on October 1st, 1964 when Jack Weinberg was arrested by the University of California campus police at the CORE table in Sproul Plaza for refusing to show his student ID. Abruptly, Berkeley was filled with people who were starting to grow their hair. At that stage in my life, I was a wannabe Beatnik and there didn't seem to be much of a separation between the beat culture and the hippy culture though it would emerge that hippies had a more political bent than the artsy beats. (Disclaimer: I grew up in Berkeley, this is what I saw.) Travelling to the Haight in S. F., all I ever saw was a comercialization of the hippy culture and a lot of junkies and pot-heads sitting around on the sidewalks.

As others have said, a puzzle saluting Baghdad by the Bay could have done much better than presenting the memories of a tourist from Anytown, U. S. A. with a population of 90,000 or less. I really like the idea of this being a puzzle printed on a placemat in Allioto's to be worked with the CRAYOLAS from the ramekin on the table before the steamed crab arrives.

I did appreciate the nod to Ice-T, the boy from Crenshaw who used to steal car stereos who is now worth around $40 million.

In the end, this puzzle is remarkable only because it isn't.

Mohair Sam 2:16 PM  

I usually snort at @Rex's PC comments, but today I'll make an exception. We have a smallish great-niece who is a starter for the women's lacrosse team at a Northeastern University. She compensates for her lack of size with aggression and spunk - as a result she leads her league in penalty minutes. If Will Shortz would like to see her toughen up (44d) I would strongly suggest he not recommend she BE A MAN.

Other than that we disagree with Rex and the majority here, we kinda liked this one. A San Francisco puzz from a guy named Haight - what's not to like? Fill was pretty good, especially for an early week puzzle. And we found it reasonably challenging too (for the day).

Fun puzzle Bruce Haight, thanks. Just clean up that MAN clue next time (maybe go to the chromosome thing) or I'll sic my niece on you.

Indypuzzler 2:37 PM  

In the "old days" I only worked the Sunday puzzle because I only had a Sunday delivery of the NYT. Seems like I've had the puzzle app now for a couple of years. I still haven't sorted out what Rex or the collective WE want in a puzzle. I sometimes see: too easy for a Monday, too hard for a Tuesday. Now I see that this should be relegated to USA Today! Really!? Do people that work these puzzles ever work the others rather than total desperation boredom when you also do Word Search? Must all puzzles be memorable, especially Monday puzzles?
Inquiring mind(s) want to know...
PS Did anyone notice JAM JAR?

woolf 2:54 PM  

Points for a cute theme-relevant non-themer, as Mel BLANC is from San Fran. One could make the argument that POLARBEARS is also theme-relevant, if you catch my drift.

Is it weird that I got more of a SoCal vibe from this puzzle, overall? Some movie stars, a Warner Brothers legend, an ONAIR sign, an rapper straight out of Compton, a traffic JAM, a SUPERMODEL and an OOLALA and a LAS...

Unknown 4:01 PM  

Thank you for continuing to point out the sexist crassness of some of the NYT clueing. Greetings from beautiful Vermont.

David Krost 4:03 PM  

Skip Monday's if you don't want easy puzzles. They almost always are, and they are meant to be. Get over yourselves. There are a lot of people that are new to puzzles. They should always have a gateway in, and there is nothing wrong with the NYT filling that need.

I know Rex has been involved in other new puzzle ventures lately. Any financial interests? If so you should disclose.

Anonymous 7:38 PM  

I have been reading this blog so frequently that I now have a secondary game I like to play. As I solve, I try to make a mental note of every clue or answer that Rex is going to hate. It's fun for the whole family.

JTHUrst 8:58 PM  

Wowzie! Back in the USA and what a culture shock or is it a shock of culture. There is no INYT and the NYT is far too expensive so how do I get my 'jonze' fix on the "best puzzle in the world"? What do i subscribe to and how do I download it?

Too long have I held mulched tree tissue in my hands in the morning while sipping a nice puer. Now I assume I will join the throng in the download crush zooming the font to a point where it is readable, grasping my Cole's Zanzibar Blend adding my two sugars and attempting to plug words into little squares.

Any help would be appreciated. The NYT puzzle I got today in the Oakland Trib was not the one shown here. OH well.

old timer 9:51 PM  

I was there from the beginning, and I can tell you that the "Hippie" trope began in San Francisco. Free love, long hair, almost free dope, LSD when rightly prepared (or sometimes not), hanging out in the Park or on the street, and in general letting your freak flag fry -- all there in San Francisco in 1966-67. The Haight was quite cheap in those days, and a lot of San Francisco State student who weren't all that interested in wealth chose to live there. Easy to live on a low wage, and easier still if you shared lodgings with many other young people. It added to the allure that the Grateful Dead lived on Ashbury, and the Jefferson Airplane not that far away on Fulton.

The hippies in those ways were pretty apolitical.They did not approve of the Berkeley radicals, though when push came to shove a lot of them joined the marches against the Vietnam War. But really, if there was a goal, it was to change people's consciousness, not their politics. There were more than a few hippies who had been members of Young Americans for Freedom (a pro-Goldwater, but also pro-marijuana) organization back in the day

GILL I. 10:27 PM  

@old timer: I didn't arrive until mid 70's... The Haight was still the "hippie" place and was beginning to be gentrified by the gays. Smart move.
What I do remember about the "flower power" in San Francisco was how they enjoyed spitting at any Vietnam veterans they could I.D.
Say's a lot about the posy you stuck in your hair.

Leapfinger 11:19 PM  

Guess I'm not all that discriminating, cause I didn't find this Haightful at all. Nothing wrong with a straightforward theme, esp one that reminds the readership that there's life West of the PALisades. Good memories of SF visits didn't hurt, either
Like @Lewis and @jberg, I looked for 5-letter slots in the West side where a HEART could be left, but the 3 available entries went elsewhere.I don't think it would have worked to try

Like @Mr Kerfuffle, thought it odd that we KEY UP to TIPI, only to get smacked back down to TEPEE next time out of the box. BTW, I just sw James Stewart in Cochise the othernight, and he mentions his love-interest as living in a WE_KEY-up at one point. Interesting how theses details become noteworthy.

Enjoyed the combo of Mel BLANC and POGO, while the SUBTLE mention of WALTZ Kelly made me BEAM AN ANSwering grin. OTOH, odd to see STALIN STARIN' out of the grid. I guess that kind of stagin' is better than a stabin the eye with a sharp stick.

This isn't a PLUG for Haight speech, but I didn't solve this ON AUTO; I enjoyed it. Perhaps as one WIZENS, one WIsENS, though of course, there's no guarantees on that.

Numinous 3:31 AM  

@old timer: I will argue that changing peoples' conciousness is political. I will also argue that Young Americans for Freedom was a political movement. Was not Maoism about changing peoples' conciousness? No, hippies were not rabid dogmatists and no there was no organized agenda but there was an overall desire to create change (for the better?) in the world. There was a "Sex, Drugs, and Rock "N Roll" element but basically they seemed to be the ones living aimlessly, postponing becoming adults yet even they wore disarmament pins on their clothes.

@GILL I.: I had a friend, Vic, who returned from a tour in Nam in "65. He was a few years older than me. I remember him, drunk and stoned, sitting on the floor in my apartment, leaning against my brick an board bookcase, crying his eyes out trying to tell of the things he'd seen there. Spitting on vets did not address the issue. It only added thoughtless insult to the injury of having been sent there in the first place to do the awful things required of people at war if they are to survive at all.

chefbea 7:48 AM  

@JYHUrst - if you e-mail me I'll be glad to send you the puzzle everyday.

old timers 12:43 PM  

The anti-war folks I knew did not spit on veterans; they did their best to recruit them into the Movement. Vietnam Veterans Against the War was a result, and I knew several members quite well, back in 1971 or so.

Bill D. 9:30 AM  

To Nancy: Yes, there is an easier way to get to Alcatraz. Go with someone who has a relative working on the island. No waiting. At least that's how I did it some years ago.

Edac2day 10:45 PM  

I love San Francisco, but do they really call it the Paris of the west? I mean, it's NOTHING like Paris. NYC, yes. But SF? No.

spacecraft 11:36 AM  

I thought more people would be fussing about the CISCO double. Doesn't bother me; I just noticed it. I don't know why OFL is so down on the theme; it's a theme. It's reasonably dense, and pretty darn clean for a' that. The two Z crossings are priceless: I can imagine the ALCATRAZ WALTZ as The Animals' "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" sung in 3/4 time.

Along with the above-listed A-words, add three from here: ATRAIN, AJAR, AROAR. Well, nobody's perfect. Easy for sure--after all, it IS Monday--but not too SHABBY. Some of the clues bent over backward not to be misunderstood (must be Eric Burdon Day!): what else do you really need but Hayworth and Desi?

"Am I decent?"
OOLALA, baby.

Rita's a straight A; this puzzle A-. Too many A-words.

rain forest 1:22 PM  

Easy and enjoyable Monday puzzle. A basic theme is what you get on a Monday, and this one is a nice tribute to a great city. It's possibly appropriate that SAN FRANCISCO is featured in the NEW YORK Times.

Once again the stampede to see who can dis this puzz the most fails to impress. Rex, go have a beer with Bruce. Maybe two.

Ooh Cisco! Ooh Pancho!

Burma Shave 3:15 PM  


“YOUWIN”, I told the SUPERMODEL, “You can STARIN my show.”
“BEAMAN, don’t be SUBTLE”, she said on ATRAIN to SANFRANCISCO.


rondo 4:00 PM  

Yeah, it was a quick Mon-puz, but aren’t they all? What do you want for a Monday theme? Not too SHABBY in my book.

Besides the theme we’re awash in yeah babies with the always available UMA, glamorous RITA, spy kid ALEXA, and the generic yet not too SUBTLE SUPERMODEL. OOLALA! YAY!

A friend and I met a pair of Swedish musicians (women) and recording artists. He kept remarking to the one that she had eyes like a POLARBEAR’S (she did). That phrase and the both of us got written into a song that they recorded and then sent us each a copy.

Decent Monday, it WORKS for me. ONAUTO, ONAIR, on POGO and Blitzen . . .

eastsacgirl 10:06 PM  

Yeah! A puzzle about my birth town. Easy as usual for a Monday but heartwarming nonetheless.

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