Depression-era shantytown / MON 12-14-15 / Baited with incendiary remarks / Wally's kid bro in 1950s-60s tv / Clay monster of Jewish folklore / Submarine in Tom Clancy best seller / Pioneering first-person computer game

Monday, December 14, 2015

Constructor: Timothy Polin

Relative difficulty: Normal Monday, but maybe slightly harder

THEME: PRESIDENT (59A: Title held by the people who lent their names to 17-, 24-, 38- and 49-Across) — just what it says …

Theme answers:
  • OBAMACARE (17A: National health insurance overhaul)
  • REAGANOMICS (24A: Supply-side fiscal policy popularized in the 1980s)
  • BUSHISM (16A: Statement such as "They misunderestimated me")
  • HOOVERVILLE (49A: Depression-era shantytown)
Word of the Day: BUSHISM —
1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any apparently fatuousstatement attributed to George W. Bush (
• • •
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Hello, syndicated (i.e. 1-to-5-week-behind) solvers! Somehow, it is January again, which means it's time for my once-a-year pitch for financial contributions to the blog. The idea is very simple: if you read the blog regularly (or even semi-regularly), please consider what it's worth to you on an annual basis and give accordingly. In making this pitch, I'm pledging that the blog will continue to be here for you to read / enjoy / grimace at for at least another calendar year. This year is special, as it will mark the 10th anniversary of Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle, and despite my not-infrequent grumblings about less-than-stellar puzzles, I've actually never been so excited to be thinking and writing about crosswords. I have no way of knowing what's coming from the NYT, but the broader world of crosswords looks very bright, and that is sustaining. Whatever happens, this blog will remain an outpost of the Old Internet: no ads, no corporate sponsorship, no whistles and bells. Just the singular, personal voice of someone talking passionately about a topic he loves. As I have said in years past, I know that some people are opposed to paying for what they can get for free, and still others really don't have money to spare. Both kinds of people are welcome to continue reading my blog, with my compliments. It will always be free. I have no interest in cordoning it off, nor do I have any interest in taking advertising. I value my independence too much. Anyway, if you are so moved, there is a Paypal button in the sidebar, and a mailing address here:

Rex Parker
℅ Michael Sharp
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And here: I'll stick a PayPal button in here for the mobile users.

There. Hope that helps.

For people who send me actual, honest-to-god (i.e. "snail") mail (I love snail mail!), this year my thank-you cards are "Sibley Backyard Birding Postcards"—each card a different watercolor illustration by ornithologist David Sibley. You could get a Black PHOEBE. A California TOWHEE. Or maybe even a picture of some fabled SCARLET TANAGERS (15). Or give via PayPal and get a thank-you email. That's cool too. Please note: I don't keep a "mailing list" and don't share my contributor info with anyone. And if you give by snail mail and (for some reason) don't want a thank-you card, just say NO CARD.  As I say in every thank-you card (and email), I'm so grateful for your readership and support. So thanks, not A TAD, but A TON (partial fill! coming in useful!). Now on to the puzzle …

• • •

The basic theme idea seems OK, but … man, that is the most anti-climactic revealer I've ever seen. I mean … thud. PRESIDENT? Yes, it was evident very quickly that the theme answers had presidents' names in them. How in the world do you waste real estate on a revealer? PRESIDENT!? I mean, really. I just stared at PRE- going "No…" in disbelief. Also, BUSHISM feels like an outlier. It's just stuff that Bush said. "Apparently fatuous" stuff, but still, not a general term. The other terms refer to genuine socio-cultural phenomena. BUSHISM are, presumably, finite. And not something you see in the wild. They're just too single-person-specific to be in the same group as these other answers. The slight wonkiness of the theme and the truly bathetic (yes, bathetic) revealer are really too bad, because much of the grid is quite lovely, especially for a Monday. It's pretty low word-count (74, when most themed puzzles, esp. early week, are 76-78), which allows for a lot of snazzy longer answers. SOFT-BOILED is *terribly* clued (29D: Sentimental), as no one but no one would ever say that. I've read a lot of *hard-boiled* fiction, and no one says "soft-boiled" to mean "sentimental." "Soft," sure. Or someone could be a "sap" (by far the most common slang for the sentimental guy). Should've gone the egg route with this clue. But the answer itself is good, as are SWAGGERS and INFIDELS and IT'S ON ME. Loved the contemporary clue on TROLLED (42D: Baited with incendiary remarks). So, all in all, mixed feelings for this one.

Heading back home from beautiful Vermont today. Today I discovered Vergennes Laundry, which, despite having "laundry" in its name, is an Incredible bakery / cafe. I am not saying this idly. I have no stake in their business. I just know that we loved it so much, we ate back-to-back meals. Like … screw this "brunch" stuff. We ate a breakfast of scones and cardamom buns and assorted baked goods (and coffee) and then, THEN, had a lunch of baguette w/ gravlax and leeks, and celery soup (and more coffee). Breakfast, then lunch, without ever even leaving the premises. Then we bought more stuff to go / take home. The clientele was straight out of an LL Bean catalogue. Whole families, impossibly photogenic and well-dressed. But nevermind that. That is neither here nor there. The food, the coffee, the chocolate, etc. Oh my. You. Should. Go.

Have a nice day.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    [Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


    jae 12:28 AM  

    Tough for a Mon.   

    POEms  before POESY.  

    This will be tough for the beginning (under 30) solver.

    Agree with Rex on the revealer.

    Liked it, but it felt more like a Tues.

    Anonymous 1:11 AM  

    Guess all the left-coasters will jump in on this too, but CA has a "French Laundry" that is a famous foodie hangout. Doubt they let you eat back-to-back meals there, though, since it's difficult to get a reservation to begin with.

    The theme revealer was lame and "Bushism" didn't belong, as Rex said. Maybe do away with the "Monday Theme" rule. Or, edit the Monday puzzles like they matter. I'm taking to you, "soft-boiled."

    Loved "trolled" and "swaggers." Hope we see them again.

    Glad to see the "traveling companion" got dropped, but sad to see it replaced with the equally awful poseur-ific "bathetic." Really?


    Z 5:52 AM  

    Agreed on the thud of a landing on the reveal. Agreed on the "one of these things is not like the others" BUSHISM. Would go further with HOOVERVILLEs being an event while REAGANOMICS and OBAMACARE were actual policy goals. Still, quibbles on an otherwise fine Monday.

    John Child 6:20 AM  

    I liked this puzzle a lot and found the reveal revealing. I had raced through the across answers only, putting in _____ CARE, trickledown, yogiISMS, and Hobo villagE for the themers until I got to the reveal. Oh no, Mr. Bill. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Easily fixed, but with all those squares to correct it took me somewhat longer than normal for Monday.

    As a Vermont boy who grew up not far from Vergennes and went there often as a kid and a few times a year since, I second @Rex's comments. Delicious. And very expensive for "the country," which is why the clientele could have been L.L. Bauer models. A quick look at the menu online features "gateaux au blé noir," oysters, "citron or pamplemousse pressé," wine selections from their sommelier (at a deli?), and "Vadeboncoeur nougat." Not the Vermont of my youth, but a wonderful place to eat as long as someone else says, "IT'S ON ME."

    For more delicious fun today visit my friend Steve Bachman's blog -- -- for two tasty puzzles, Wit and Wisdom.

    Lewis 6:28 AM  

    According to Timothy Polin's notes, he could only find five theme answers, and was lucky to be able to use four. The fifth TEDDY_BEAR, would have fit that reveal spot, but was an outlier,he said (I presume because it used the president's first name?). I'm guessing that Will thought this puzzle with a blah reveal was still good enough to go, was still better than not using it. That's his call. And I agree with it.

    This is a lovely Monday puzzle, and as I look more closely at it (perform a Polinoscopy?), I see three reasons why. First, some terrific interesting-sounding answers: INFIDELS, SWAGGERS, TROLLED, MWAH, SCRUM, and even a clever non-Mondayish clue for BEE ("Competition in which the winner always gets the last word?"). Second, squeaky clean grid. Third, it was on the harder end of Monday - so not hard to an experienced solver, but still the brain had to be engaged. Perfect for a newbie.

    I'm gaining confidence that when I see Timothy's name at the top of a puzzle, it's going to be a good one. This one sure was!

    Hungry Mother 7:32 AM  

    The B in soft-Boiled was the last letter to fall.

    nancy 7:46 AM  

    I drive through Vergennes often on my way to Burlington. I'll definitely stop by the Laundry. Re the people out of an LLBean catalog -- that's Vermont.

    Carola 8:15 AM  

    An entertaining take on a tribute puzzle, replete with super Down answers. HOBO made a nice complement to HOOVERVILLE.

    Roo Monster 8:25 AM  

    Hey All !
    Presidential puz. REAGAN, BUSH, OBAMA. No CLINTON? Or NIXON? Pshaw. Still enjoyed the puz! But, MWAH? Ok, I know that's what it (evindentally) sounds like when you blow a kiss, but still, MWAH? Otherwise, nice MonPuz, zippy, with little dreck.

    How many people put MY TREAT in first for ITS ON ME. (Raises hand) Yeah, screwed up that little section for a tad. Nice misdirect.

    A MEN, G MEN
    What Rd. you grew up on? MY ST
    Stubbed toe exclamation? ME OW
    Includes the 5th letter? AND ES.

    Lame, I know! But the coffee hasn't kicked in yet!


    AliasZ 8:28 AM  

    The only thing in crosswords that I hate more than rap artists are politicians. They are the SCRUM of the earth. Today even TEDDY gets into the mix.

    Besides that, I also noticed the less-than-subtly suggestive nature of the puzzle -- if I were given to evil conspiracy theories, I would say this was an expertly designed attempt at mind control. It starts with the placement of the presidents from top to bottom, it continues with the choice of suffixes attached to their names, then their crossings, starting with SWAGGERS and SMOG crossing OBAMACARE (I won't even touch ANAL) and ending with MEAN crossing PRESIDENT in the SE. But I shan't go on. KARMA is a powerful force that will eventually set things straight.

    Then there is the SHAH, HAILE Selassie, IMAM, HAMAS and the INFIDELS connection, as well as CHE, our favorite revolutionary murderer, and RED OCTOBER.

    Best thing in the puzzle: PEPE.

    In other words, Will should have filed this one in his "Rejects" bin.

    Sorry Timothy, nice try, but ...PFFT.

    jberg 8:36 AM  

    I can't think of any other possible theme answers either -- plenty of ___ Doctrines, but no other presidential portmanteaus. (Should that be portmanteaux?) Speaking of which, that could have been a revealer but it's one letter too long. If you want symmetry, you really don't have many choices with this theme.

    I'm retiring at the end of June, which means I'll stop working -- so I didn't particularly like the answer at 52A. I know, it's about machines, but still not the way I want to be thinking!

    It's been a long time since milk went into PAILs, and "fundamentalist" doesn't seem like the right word for HAMAS (they came out of the Muslim Brotherhood but seem to get on with Iran, which suggests a lack of dogmatic rigor), but I guess both clues are close enough for crosswords.

    And you have to love MEOW above ARF.

    Nancy 8:38 AM  

    Puzzle: You had me at BUSHISM. Both the clue and the answer. Loved the fact that all the theme answers were neologisms. And even though it's Monday I had two writeovers. POEMS before POESY. And (hands up, everyone) TAUNTED before TROLLED. I wasn't thinking cyberspace; I was thinking real life. As I almost always do. Only nit: ARMORS. Is that anything like lathers? Really bad usage. Other than that, a nice Monday.

    Bob Kerfuffle 8:49 AM  

    This puzzle made me wonder if eponyms more often have negative rather than positive connotations. To me, three of these four themers are negative, and the fourth is intended by its creators to be negative, though time will tell. As for eponyms in general, I have no idea.

    Hand up for POEMS >> POESY.

    Hartley70 8:54 AM  

    I'm in perfect sync with Rex on the degree of difficulty and the word quality of the fill. The revealer was obvious because the easiest themes were the first and second from the top, so the revealer was superfluous. I would have preferred the leap to Teddy bear if it was well clued. I liked this one overall.

    I have spent a fair bit of time in VT, second home, and I had missed the Vergennes Laundry. Thanks for the tip, Rex. I suspect the patrons had that LLBean/Vineyard Vines preppy polished look because they all were visiting from CT! I hope there were golden retriever puppies. Those puppies are the best reason to open the Bean catalogue. One of ours was from a Vermont litter that had been photographed for the dog bed section. Okay, the yellow labs are cute too, but I digress. The menu looks scrumptious!

    Wm. C. 8:54 AM  

    Bernie Sanders in an LL Bean Catalog???

    NCA President 8:56 AM  

    @Nancy -- Took the words out of my laptop keyboard.

    @John Child -- lol...L.L. Bauer is an apt mashup of Eddie Bauer and L. L. Bean. The two are indistinguishable and both are NE rural chic. Forrest Green for days.

    @Rex -- Back to back meals...I hope you left a helluva tip camping out at a table like that.

    As for this puzzle...I agree that it was a bit more challenging as a Monday due mostly to the cluing. A HOBO is someone looking for work? A SEED isn't a tournament front runner...everyone is seeded in a the NCAA tournament you can be a 15 seed. I thought a MARM was a prudish, prim, or strict teacher type? Which I guess is what a stereotyped one-room schoolhouse teacher would be, but I've known modern teachers who were "marms."

    Didn't know BRATT. Enough already with ENO. MWAH and PFFT were interesting. Favorites were FUELROD and HOMEROW.

    Tita 8:56 AM  

    What a belligerent, chip-on-the-shoulder puzzle. Talk about incendiary remarks...OBAMACARE, BUSHISM, HOOVERVILLE...
    A naval battle, HAMAS, INFIDELS, the GOLEM, REDOCTOBER, the competitive BEE, ARMORS, exiled SHAH, junkies and USERS, a FORT, DIED

    But then, in the south, the FLEET OGLEd TATAs.

    And looks like the cat won over the dog again today with MEOW atop ARF.

    This puzzle felt kinda like a dare...

    thanks, Mr. Polinpolin for an unexpected tough Monday, though despite the downer vibe.

    Anonymous 8:57 AM  

    Get it. Bush is dumb. The Depression was Hoover's fault. NYT politically bias shines through.

    quilter1 9:14 AM  

    Fell easily, and, maybe I'm in a mood today, but it came across to me as depressing. INFIDELS, SHAH, HOOVERVILLE, and others like HAMAS just felt like a mirror of our current sad conditions. As I said, probably just me. Glad @Rex and Co. had a lovely time.

    chefbea 9:20 AM  

    Tough for a monday. Is it ok to have Beev and Bee in the same puzzle. I guess so...the more Bees the merrier!!!

    Anonymous 9:21 AM  

    I thought this a difficult monday.just sayin'......

    Anonymous 9:22 AM  

    Tough for a monday

    Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:23 AM  

    I did not know hobos were supposed to be looking for work.

    L 9:36 AM  

    On the hard side for a Monday bUT still fine. I got tripped up by POESY and I still don't like that answer, when POEMS feels 100% better. I think of HAMAS as a terrorist organization, not just a bunch of fundamentalists. Would prefer not to see terrorist groups in the puzzle, but maybe that's just me.
    BTW, still got the TEDDY in there, which could've been the theme outlier with BEAR, as noted above.
    And soft-boiled?!? Didn't get that at all.
    I'm ready to drive to VT for some of that coffee!

    Jason Claunch 9:56 AM  

    Decent Monday, agree the revealer was lame though. Also OGLE does not mean "gaze longingly upon" afaik.

    GILL I. 10:14 AM  

    I thought the idea for this puzzle was terrific. I was really loving everything until I came to the reveal. @Rex is so right. PRESIDENT made my happy face go PFFT.
    I kept thinking how fresh this Monday felt - not sitting on Will's pile for 5 or 10 years. BUSHISM didn't bother too much because all the other goodies surrounding it (like The BEAV) made up for my nano-second huh...Then PRESIDENT reveals itself like a SOFT BOILED egg that came out way too runny.
    MEOW ARF for me.
    @Rex...Are those your pictures? They are wonderful. Love the one of the little boy and the black and white. I love eating like that!

    John V 10:26 AM  

    Thuoght the SW was SOFTBOILED, indeed. Not loving TROLLED so much, esp crossed with BRATT. Pretty uneven for a Monday.

    Charles Flaster 10:36 AM  

    Very EZ and agree with Rex.
    Liked clue for BEE.
    Reveal was unnecessary.
    Thanks TP.

    mac 10:37 AM  

    Crisper than usual Monday, I liked it a lot.

    After Reaganomics I guessed the theme, and looked forward to finding more. I thought of Monroe and his doctrine or Monrovia, and was disappointed that "president", as Rex said, took up de real estate.

    Masked and Anonymous 10:58 AM  

    Word of the Day: CARDAMOM BUNS. Are these anything like cinnamon rolls? I want to go to there.

    @009: Vermont is indeed quite beautiful. Been there. Enjoyed that. Hope U can get home at a decent hour, and moderate me up, Scotty.


    Thanx for a cool & different theme idea, Mr. Polin. Good stuff. Nice and feisty, for a MonPuz.

    Masked & Anonymo3Us

    chefbea 11:02 AM  

    Hand up for My treat and poems!!!

    @Rex I want to go to that laundry!!!

    old timer 11:10 AM  

    Actually, @Nancy drives *around* Vergennes on her way up Route 7. To see Vergennes proper, you have to take the old road through downtown. I've been told that the reason the center of town was bypassed is that the old bridge over Otter Creek was dangerously narrow for trucks. You get to see the heart of many other towns on Rte 7, but not Vergennes. I'm going to ask my friend from Vergennes about The Laundry.

    I thought the puzzle was delightful. Including BUSHISM, which was a term for the new and mangled words he came up with from time to time, which were similar to malapropisms. Sometimes I think OFL goes too far out of his way to criticize a puzzle. Though he's right about SOFTBOILED. That seemed so unlikely that it slowed me from a Monday time to a Tuesday time.

    Tita 11:20 AM  

    To continue the negative vibe...MEAN, TROLLED, even a BRATT SWAGGERS over to bully the BEAV, who PLEADto A LESSER CHARGE EVEN THOUGH HE'S NOT GUILTY. NOTASOUL survived!

    (I'm glad 'mericans aren't writing a story based on this puzzle's dark vocab.)

    Thank heavens for PEPE, who is cheery enough to turn around any bad KARMA that Mr. Polin might have brought upon himself.

    And, thanks Rex, for keeping up with this during your lost weekend.

    old timer 11:41 AM  

    Hmph. Had "poems" there instead of POESY, didn't correct it, so actually a DNF for me.

    A HOBO is (or used to be back in the day) a man who searched for work (and usually got work, too). As opposed to a "bum" who had no desire to work. At harvest time, the railroad dicks turned a blind eye to the HOBOS who rode in empty boxcars, because the farmers needed all the help they could get. The late U. Utah Philips wrote some good songs about HOBOS, and here's his best one:

    Jody Stecher sings "Hood River" so well!

    Anonymous 11:45 AM  

    The NY Times sets a new PC Puzzle record:
    OBAMACARE National health insurance overhaul vs. TAKEOVER
    HAMAS Fundamentalist Palestinian group vs. TERRORISTS.
    CHE Revolutionary leader and MASS MURDERER
    Then for fun toss in IMAM a relatively neutral but normalizing word for a religion that just isn’t normal. And SHAH just to remind us Iran is “our fault” and INFIDELS which in the last century has been used by Islamists and no one else. Add that all up and there’s a whole bunch Middle Eastern crap in this puzzle.
    So from my vantage point the NYT TROLLED me with a PC FUELROD to which I say PFFT.

    Paul Johnson 11:56 AM  

    I'm with Tita.

    nick 12:33 PM  

    Fun Monday! Have to disagree w@rex re: the knock on Bushisms. In the dark (for some of us) days of that administration, the daily publication of Bushisms on websites and, later, in books, were a balm to the soul.

    Loved 'trolled' in direct proportion to how much 'elhi', a word found only in xwords, continues to annoy.

    rosebud 12:41 PM  

    Just read about Vergennes last night in Sarah Vowell's recent book about Lafayette; the town in Vermont is named for the French diplomat, Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes, who persuaded King Louis XVI to aid the Americans in their fight for independence from Britain.

    NeilD 1:10 PM  

    BUSHISM is definitely a thing. To me, the theme seemed to be derogatory terms derived from presidential names. BUSHISMs and HOOVERVILLEs are undoubtedly bad things. OBAMACARE and REAGANOMICS are good or bad depending on your politics, but are primarily used by/were coined by opponents to those policies. The reveal wasn't great, but I liked the puzzle overall.

    Teedmn 1:10 PM  

    Four PRESIDENT theme answers plus the TEDDY, as others have pointed out and a prez wanna-be MITTEN. Pretty dense. If only the revealer could have had U.S. In front of it, I would not agree with @Rex on that one as strongly but that one had "duh" written all over it. Oh well, a nice puzzle even so.

    I did not TRIP ON much here except wyATT>pRATT>BRATT and the popular POEms for POESY to START with. Lots of fun, Mr. Polin!

    Mike D 1:31 PM  

    I love how Mr. Polin TROLLED so many in rexworld. I love how anon@ 11:45 seems to think that a law passed by congress, signed by the president, and twice upheld by the supreme court (majority republican appointees) is a "takeover" of some sort. Maybe he/she should try a country where real takeovers occur.
    I love how he/she demonstrates perfectly the problem that adherents of every religion think they're better (or more normal) than adherents of all of the others. Well done Mr. Polin.

    Mohair Sam 1:36 PM  

    With @Rex for the fourth day in a row. Pretty much word for word today, especially on that outsider BUSHISMS. Grumbling about SOFTBOILED too.

    Jeez, Anon 11:45: The political clues seemed neutral to me, except for Bush - anyhow, I thought that was more a Roger Clemonsism. And you're never gonna get the ubiquitous Guevera clued as "murderous tyrant", give it up.

    Ah Vergennes. Mrs. Mohair and I honeymooned there all those centuries ago. At the Basin Harbor Club to be exact, it just barely makes the map provided by the Vergennes Laundry which @Rex links to. My boss recommended the place to us at the time, primarily because of the cabins on Lake Champlain (without telephones!) and the peace and quiet. He was right. Oddly, we were the only couple under 60 staying there at the time, and yet we had a ball. Wonderful little corner of the world.

    thfenn 1:39 PM  

    I not only went with POEMS but also had WEDGE before SCRUM, so the NE was pretty tough. And ain't that the truth. You detect a bias one way and take a hit for being PC. You detect a bias the other way and have a liberal media conspiracy on your hands. It's hard work being a puzzle, let alone a puzzle commentator. Perhaps we all converge on the virtues of a lustful Le Pew and seductive nightwear. Enjoyed this one, and the Vermont shoutout - been in and around all parts of VT (and LL Bean, for that matter) for years, but don't know the Vergennes Laundry, so thanks.

    sasses 2:07 PM  

    Cardamom buns! Gravlax! Yum! Swedish home cooking at its best. Hold the meatballs and lingonberries please.p

    FACE 2:14 PM  

    @ Rex- “without leaving the premises..” lol if the tip wasn’t hooge I’m sure they found you entertaining.
    @ Alias Z- how about a nice, non-politician for you, i.e. Elihu Root? He’s perfect for politician-haters. Secretary Root refused to run for prez becausehe had been a corporate lawyer, and he thought that would negate his standing. And, like you, he was witty and funny. See his comment in the background of the Oval office re when told President Taft had been out horseback riding: “How is the horse?”
    @ Nancy- re “trolled” trolling, etc. It’s no longer just cyberspace. One can troll someone who is driving spectacularly selfishly on the highway.. How you ask? Well, decent driving skills are a prerequisite.
    @ Roo monster- meow
    @ Wm C- don’t ya know? LL Bean just signed Bernie to read their catalog for an ad. Brooklyn visits Portlandia.
    @ Anon 8:57 Mr. Bush a k a “Scrub” (Rest in peace Molly Ivers) is looking not so dumb any more? And he could be witty, see the tubes: Only in America + Bush: “Only in America would a couple like that be allowed to unite, beautiful people, yes; wonderful people, God bless America, fine taxpayers, very mundane people…boring person, hates to drink, doesn’t like to smoke…very slim person…only in America would anyone call her mom..” Drunk, yet. Better than being tongue-tied, I’m sure little bro would agree.
    @ quilter1: the puzzle is not so depressing, is it? ie. when you see HAMAS don’t you get a chuckle thinking of how Dr. Ben pronounced it last week… “hummus?” And he was reading from a text to prevent any slip-ups! They forgot to have him read thru it aloud, apparently. Now that’s funny.

    @ chefbea: Yes, we need all the beas/BEEs we can get, re colony collapse disorder. Now that’s depressing. Words in a puzzle, not so much…

    @ Greater Fall River: Sure! Hobos like to work. See “My Man Godfrey” starring William Powell and Carole Lombard. It begins in a place looking a lot like the river bank under the 59th Street bridge back when there were HOOVERVILLEs.
    @ anon 11:45 “… a religion that just isn’t normal..” ask the 1.2 billion adherents to the religion if it seems/feels/ thinks like “normal.” I work with and know people who worship w an IMAM, and they are normal, patriotic, good men. One told me last week that ISIL isn’t about a caliphate at all: it’s about money. Now there’s a thought..

    @ Mr. Polin, thank you for a fun Monday.


    Z 3:24 PM  

    @FACE - re:ISIS, Hamas, even the Tea Party - Money and power. What I find funny (in a dark and not very funny way) is just how much they've taken Marx's "religion is the opiate of the people" to heart.

    No Bushie here, but berating him for misspeaking always seemed a little foolish to me (not that that ever stopped me). Yogi Berra's malapropisms have taken an almost Koan like status in our culture. I doubt the same fate awaits Dubya, but you never know. Making predictions is hard, especially about the future. I am glad that Dubya is out of the public eye, though. Every time he tried to say nuclear spawned a spousal rant.

    beatrice 3:33 PM  

    Hand up for MY TREAT, and a very nice Monday.

    @FACE - interesting post

    Since BEE is one spelling of my nick-name, I'll go with that.

    The great English madrigalist John Wilbye (1574-1638) apparently wrote few works that weren't madrigals. His madrigal 'Sweet honey-sucking BEES' is complex and challenging and loads of fun to sing.

    This is a version by the Hilliard Ensemble. I didn't realize that it was only the 1st part (longer of the two), but a commenter posted a link to the 2nd.

    beatrice 3:36 PM  

    Argh -

    Leapfinger 4:09 PM  

    One stereotype has the hobo coming up to the farmhouse door, offering to chop wood in exchange for a meal and a night's sleep in the barn.

    @Anon 0857, neither Bush was "dumb", but, quite aside from any issues of ideology or governance, each of them suffered some palpable nondisjunction when it came to language and communication. 'Don't cry for me, Argentina'?

    @FACE, Molly Ivins can't say 'Ivers', can she? Lord, I miss a woman who did sharp and funny as well as she did! And never seemed to get mad. I'll bet the Texas Lege misses her also. Heeheehee

    Douglas Firs, LINCOLN LOGS

    Anonymous 4:51 PM  

    Revealer was not only weak, but unnecessary. If you didn't notice presidents' names after getting Obamacare and Hooverville (not Hooterville, from "Green Acres"), then you just wasn't payin' attention.

    jae 4:54 PM  

    @FACE - So "Tough for a Mon." doesn't rate a comment?

    Molly Ivins - shrub not scrub.

    AliasZ 4:54 PM  

    @Beatrice, thank you for that beautiful Wilbye.

    Here is a little bonus: Weep, weep, mine eyes.

    Que sera, sera,
    Whatever Wilbye, will bee...

    Slow Motion 5:14 PM  

    I agree with @NeilD at 1:10 (Love your music, BTW). These are all derogatory terms, coined by opponents to mock said president.

    Very nice puzzle, I thought, although it was Tuesday hard, which is fine. Some of us get our undies in a bundle when a puzzle isn't EXACTLY as hard as it's supposed to be for it's assigned day. Sheesh.

    Nancy 5:27 PM  

    @old timer (11:10) -- I think you've confused me with the @nancy (lower-case "n") who was tooling around in a car at 7:46 this morning. She drives; I don't. And while I've often wished I DID drive, I'm sure no one else in the country does. I was awful at it, and many very nice people -- in addition to me -- would now be dead if I ever HAD driven. In addition, the other nancy is much more of a morning person than I am. She posted at 7:46 today. I have NEVER posted that early. My comment today appeared at 8:38. (And that was unusually early for me; I awoke around 6 am and couldn't go back to sleep.) To the new @nancy, I beg you: please toss in a last initial when you post. If you're ever in a car crash -- in Vergennes or anywhere else -- I don't want the police coming to my door :) Thanks for your understanding.

    kitshef 6:30 PM  

    For the first time in donkey's years I came here on a Monday thinking I might have a DNF. The cross of WoE BRATT with the nonsensically-clued SOFTBOILED made me think I missed something.

    MAaM before MARM, HAliE before HAILE. Really hoped we'd get kITTEN under MEOW and ARF.

    Bond 8:58 PM  

    MEAN-spirited TEDDY Cruz surges above the SCRUM in IOWA, up 10 pts. on the trumpst-ER-in-the-dumpst-ER, while Dr. Hummus sinks, despite the recent trip to Jordan to meet folks not rabid.
    Iowa, a state in which the citizens want to abolish all G-MEN, particularly those near and dear to my heart, revenue agents… while keeping Medicare, Social Security, and of course, that particular favorite of “dying/DIED/doornail dead” Monarch butterflies everywhere…ethanol subsidies!
    The RNC’s at MITTEN’s door, ready to really forgive him for Mass Health and the 47% comment- (Any ARF’s on the car roof, lately?) But Willard won’t surrender his NEST (the one with the car elevator) to downgrade to the White House, even for a FLEET of naval sub FUELRODS and Marine One, and despite the fact that Ann has been known to OGLE over the W.H. china. (Now,now…there’s nothing sexist about loving dinnerware and beautiful rooms.) Plus, he’s all confused: ‘Is Putie really to be our ally? On the one side, the Iran deal, he came in on the sanctions with us; climate accord; the ISIL losers; but what about Crimea and the White Horse of the Apocalypse?’
    Ted, a Harvard debater, wants to “repeal and replace” OBAMACARE when he’s PRESIDENT, but NOTASOUL knows with what, or even ASKs. The cynicism of playing with innocent Evangelical Iowans makes you long for the POESY of
    Only in America
    Only in American can a man
    Who hates to drink and
    Doesn’t’ smoke…
    Get to be president…
    Only in America…
    MEANwhile, the prez SWAGGERS onto the cover of GQ for a seventh year in a row, well timed with 175 nations agreeing to a climate accord in Paris Saturday. It ain’t the whole ticket toward saving the Greenland ICE sheet, but it’s (half) way there, better to begin and AMEN to that. That the signatories AMOUNTEDTO literally the whole world signifies nadda to the ANTEDELUVIAN congress and their leader Mitch who insists that the SMOG from forest fires and storms from fossil fuels is the way forward, and that the next president will bow out of the agreement.
    The KARMA from REAGANOMICS surviving as a bedrock concept – every man for himself, put your tongue out for the trickle down, but we’re very into all women’s decisions – has been playing out for a while now, but doh. Let ‘em eat… stew.
    Oh, for my brothers in the forest who spoke of Haile’s “one god, one heart, one love, Rasta.” Pass that spliff to all who may be 'on the VERGE of a (nineteenth) nervous breakdown…'

    Leapfinger 9:30 PM  

    @Nancy, I agree it's a shame we weren't all foresighted enough to pick a nom-de-blog as unique as 'Numinous' or 'Whirred Whacks', but I think it might be unfair to ask @nancy to add an initial just so's we'uns can distinguish between the two on you. I'm just saying that because I don't have the slightest idea how one would go about making that adjustment. For my part, I picked 'LF' as my name on another site a while back, and when I would come here (rarely), I'd comment as 'Anonymous' because I always ran into some kind of unyielding barrier with the other options. It was sometime later and after I had opened a gmail account that I came here and --- mirabile dictu! --- I was offered to comment as 'Leapfinger', but I've no idea how that came to be, nor what it would take to make that 'Ms. Leapfinger', for e.g.

    Besides, as you point out, all we have to do is notice that we have one upper-case and one lower-case N-n-n-nancy.

    @Aketi, (if you're around) thanks for mentioning the date of the game. I looked it up and discovered that Panthers are Pittsburgh as well as Carolina, so it all made sense. Sounds as if you had a good time, and I agree about Dame's; love their sweet potato waffles w/ schmear! You'll let us know if the @Aketi offspring comes here, right? (ps, in my day, tuition was a fraction of the current rate, just over $3K vs $48K, yikes!!)

    Z 9:59 PM  

    @Nancy & @Leapfinger - it's pretty easy for us people in blue. Click on your name in blue. This should take you to your profile page (you may have to log in, but probably not). In the upper right will be a button labeled "Edit Profile." Click on it. Make whatever changes you want. Whatever you type into the box "Display Name" will be what shows up in blue. Everything else is only displayed on your profile page. Nothing you type is saved until you click on "save changes" at the bottom. If you do that successfully you should try adding/changing an avatar.

    Bond 6:14 AM  

    * correction: 195 countries re Climate Accord

    Y'r No. 1 Fan 8:48 AM  


    Thnx for a Haile trenchant mix of entertainment and erudition. It's quite enough to have me investing in Munis.

    Yrs, Paul

    Anonymous 10:58 PM  

    There is a book of Bushisms in French titled "Amuse Bush" which is a play on "Amuse Bouche", a small complimentary appetizer offered in some restaurants.

    Burma Shave 10:13 AM  


    NOTASOUL in the FLEET would dare
    to CONFIRM or PLEADTO being sober,


    spacecraft 10:46 AM  

    I've been coming here too long. When I saw TERI I immediately thought of @rondo and his lately-fruitless search for "yeah babies;" then on seeing FUELROD I was sure @Burma Shave would do something with that. Like, say, combining the two ideas.

    Enough of that fol-de-rol. I'm mostly in agreement with OFL on this one, except for TROLLED. My understanding of the modern term is fuzzy at best, but I didn't think it was "baited." What do I know? When tech terms cross my field of vision, my eyes glaze over. I'd "unfriend" them, except I never "friended" them in the first place. Yecch.

    Some nice stuff here; go with a B-.

    rondo 10:54 AM  

    Hand up for POEms, and STARTED SOFThearted until it didn’t fit, and also had TauntED, so write-over ink in diagonal corners, on a Mon-puz!?

    The thought of yeah baby TERI in a TEDDY, MWAH! A TATA or two to OGLE since it’s HAILE unlikely PEPE has DIED.

    Lots of detractors when all of the PRESIDENTial answers were current events. I know I hated when REAGANOMICS trickled down on me.

    Doesn’t one find FUELROD in a Zippy strip?

    OK for Monday, but that revealer FILL’S pretty flat.

    Nelsa27 2:47 PM  

    Loved "Bushism" ...... "make the pie higher"is my favorite.

    Diana,LIW 3:32 PM  

    I was sittin' in my NEST, sMITTEN by the fact that I had 2 perfect, cheating-free days in a row and a complete puzzle. No false STARTS here, I could brag like a BRATT - I even sussed out words I don't know like SCRUM. Really? That's a formation? Sounds more like how my husband looks today since he came down with the flu yesterday - lookin' a little scrummy this morning, eh? So I came here to MEOW like my loud-mouthed cat, Lambo (soft on the outside with a heart like Rambo), when I saw reference to ANAL. ANAL? Don't remember seeing that. Oh no! OGLEd my latest DNF because I left one square blank. Didn't know GOLEM, and didn't go back to suss out its cross. The fault? ITSONME again. I solve on paper, so don't have a happy pencil to clue me in. (I hate, hate, hate solving online. Don't like the sound and visual effects, and like to see the whole puzzle at a time.) Aargh! Tomorrow will BEE another day.

    Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

    leftcoastTAM 6:13 PM  

    Challenging Monday, more like Tuesday or Wednesday.

    MWAH: wasn't expecting it.
    OGLE: misleading clue.
    DIED: had dead first.
    GMEN: had T-men first.
    POESI: had poems first.
    TROLLED: misleading clue.
    SOFTBOILED: odd clue.

    Finished OK but took unusual time for Monday.

    BS2 6:16 PM  

    @spacey, wasn't feeling it earlier:


    PEPE ASKS, “What kind of AMOUNTED BUSHISM would FUELROD Carew?”
    He’d just be ANAL and OGLE TERI and TEDDY and the BEAV, wouldn’t you?


    CYNTHIA 5:53 PM  

    Late to the party, here in syndie land, but I gotta wonder why this wasn't held until Presidents Day? It being a Monday and all.

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