Battle of ___ Jima / MON 9-5-2016 / Actor Don of "Trading Places" / Worthless stuff / Sparkling Italian wine / Mobster John

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hi, Crossworld! It's another Annabel Monday and I am EXTRA TIRED because my sophomore year just started last Thursday! But not too tired to write up the puzzle. :)

Constructor: Tracy Gray

Relative difficulty: Easy



THEME: JEANS — The beginning of every theme answer is a style of jeans.

Theme answers:

  • BAGGY EYES (17A: Facial sign of sleep deprivation)
  • SKINNY DIP (26A: Bathe in the buff)
  • LOW RISE BUILDING (41A: It has only a few stories)
  • FLARE GUNS (51A: Distress signal producers)
  • CUT-OFF SAW (66A: Tool for severing a steel cable, maybe)
  • JEANS (58D: Article of apparel with styles found at the starts of 17-, 26-, 41-, 51- and 66-Across)
Word of the Day: S STAR (55A: Celestial cool red giant) —
An S-type star (or just S star) is a cool giant with approximately equal quantities of carbon and oxygen in its atmosphere. The class was originally defined in 1922 by Paul Merrill for stars with unusual absorption lines and molecular bands now known to be due to s-process elements. The bands of zirconium monoxide (ZrO) are a defining feature of the S stars.
The carbon stars have more carbon than oxygen in their atmospheres. In most stars, such as class M giants, the atmosphere is richer in oxygen than carbon and they are referred to as oxygen-rich stars. S-type stars are intermediate between carbon stars and normal giants. They can be grouped into two classes: intrinsic S stars, which owe their spectra toconvection of fusion products and s-process elements to the surface; and extrinsic S stars, which are formed through mass transfer in a binary system.
The intrinsic S-type stars are on the most luminous portion of the asymptotic giant branch, a stage of their lives lasting less than a million years. Many are long period variable stars. The extrinsic S stars are less luminous and longer-lived, often smaller-amplitude semiregular or irregular variables. S stars are relatively rare, with intrinsic S stars forming less than 10% of asymptotic giant branch stars of comparable luminosity, while extrinsic S stars form an even smaller proportion of all red giants.
• • •
(Wikipedia)
(when I first saw this I definitely read it as "sstar," like how a snake would pronounce "star")



Poorly advised tweenage one-hit-wonders aside, this puzzle was awesome because I seriously love jeans. I'm pretty sure at least half of my wardrobe at this point in my life is denim. Most of them are SKINNY, but I think I have a pair or two of FLARE jeans, and CUTOFF shorts. I'm surprised "distressed" and "high-waisted" didn't make it into the puzzle, but hey, I guess you have to draw the A-line somewhere. (I know A-line dresses have nothing to do with jeans but I really wanted to work a fashion pun in there somewhere! Still not entirely sure what an A-line dress is though.)

The rest of the puzzle was pretty cool too, but not as cool as jeans. I do have to dock an imaginary point for using "apparel" in two different clues, and another imaginary point for having all those sports clues but no musical theater clues; IWOuld have liked that better. Also, is the saying really "UP AND AT IT"? I always thought it was "UP AND AT 'EM." Oh well.

Despite getting stuck in a couple places, though, this one was really fast for me. It usually takes me about half an hour to do the puzzle, but this time it only took 14 minutes. I wonder whether I've just been reviewing particularly easy puzzles lately or if I'm actually getting good at this? :0 Either way, Rex better watch out, because if this keeps up I'll be good enough to beat his time on a puzzle!*

Bullets:
  • ICE (20A: Decorate, as in a cake) — I just thought it was cool that the constructor didn't go with the obvious choice here by talking about ice floes or something. The only downside is that now I am hungry for cake!!!
  • ENSUITE (22A: Connected, as a bath to a bedroom) — Sooooo, since I'm a cool sophomore now, I get to live in a suite with two of my friends. We have a bathroom EN SUITE, as you might expect. However, there is no shower, and while there is a bathtub, it did not come with a bath plug. I assume we're supposed to bathe by sticking our heads under the faucet. (I mean, it doesn't matter that much, there's a bathroom down the hall, but. Why.)
  • SLATE (19A: Roof material) — Another clue I'm grateful for; you would think they would just use the name of the magazine. Also, did anyone else have TILES here for like a million years? Because I did.
  • LANCE (52D: Jouster's weapon) — Hey, did anyone know Maryland (my home state)'s official state sport is jousting? Isn't that so weird/cool??? We always used to watch it at the Renaissance Faire when I was little. Good stuff.
And, SCENE! Have a good month, and happy Labor Day, and all that.
Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired college sophomore.

*This is probably not going to happen.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

96 comments:

George Barany 12:39 AM  

Yay, another @Annabel Monday. Kudos to @Tracy Gray for an in-JEAN-ious theme. We'll discuss ENESCO vs. ENESCU later. I'm still on a cloud from watching all those TWO_HANDED backhands at the U.S. Open.

Aketi 1:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aketi 1:03 AM  


@Annabel, I had the same reaction to UP AND AT IT.

Pretty much an instafill except fir a little glitch with iNSUITE before ENSUITE.

I wanted genes in addition to JEANS. Went hunting for C-G, A-T base pairs but that was a no go. If you squint real hard some of the black squares sort of look like a double helix.

chefwen 1:27 AM  

Annabel, of course you are right, I have NEVER heard up and at IT, it's EM. Other than that little flaw, a sweet Monday puzzle.

I had a vintage pair of cut off jeans from the sixties which I gave to our renters "girlfriend du jour" they were more suited to her age bracket than mine. Of course, they broke up and I never got them back. Sniff... And they still fit! Damn!

TomAz 1:35 AM  

The theme cries out for MOM jeans

Didn't we have ENESCO as ENESCU a few days ago?

jae 2:05 AM  

Easy-medium. Yes for AT em. Liked it...gotta love JEANS. Nice write up Annabel and a fun puzzle Tracy Gray, made me smile!




George Barany 3:06 AM  

@TomAz et al. (including @AliasZ, @Martin Herbach, and others with whom I've corresponded extensively on the subject on multiple occasions):

The well-known Romanian composer George ENESCU spent part of his career (and died and was buried) in France, where his name was recorded as Georges ENESCO. Most people in the music world opt for the Romanian spelling, but swapping the U for an O is the overwhelmingly preferred choice of the crossworld (see paragraphs that follow). Note that a Google search shows that the U spelling gets more than five times as many hits as the O spelling.

@Andrew Zhou, a week and a half ago, went with the U spelling, for the first time ever in New York Times crossword history (all editors). @Tracy Gray today is the 21st Shortz era, and 57th overall, constructor to go with the O spelling.

In Definitely Defined for the Wall Street Journal, @David Steinberg and I chose ENESCO at 65-Across because the surrounding fill worked somewhat better than the same region with ENESCU. However, please see 55-Across in It's A Stretch, which honored @Lewis, a regular contributor to this blog.

Loren Muse Smith 4:41 AM  

Hi, Annabel - Very strange about your bathroom deal. Best of luck with your sophomore year.

I dunno – I thought that GARB at 1A was a flourish rather than a blemish.

Yesterday we had three NOs. Today we have three yesses: OH YES and OUIJA.

HEDGE reminded me of a picture someone posted on FB.

@George – in-JEAN-ious – good one!

Hey, Annabel – have you ever seen the site Cake Wrecks.com? It's a hoot. Here is the one that started it all. Oops.

I never mind the "words that can go in front of" themes. This was particularly fun since last week my son asked me to pick up two pairs of jeans for him at Walmart, and I was flummoxed by all the choices. I would have thought that all these styles would be just for picky women who haven't succumbed to mom jeans yet.

I guess there are still purists out there who'd dig their heels in and say It is we for the true, "correct" predicate nominative. I'd think twice before opening that door. Might just tell'em Party's over. Everyone was here, but he left.

But ITSUS looks funny, right? We had to go to the vet emergency room because our lab swallowed a big itsus.

Hey, Tracy – you left out a major JEAN type – the I'm-not-going-to-get-rid-of-these-because-after-this-maple-syrup-cayenne-cleanse-I'll-be-able-to-get-back-into-them jeans. I enjoyed it anyway – nice job!

George Barany 5:04 AM  

After reading @Loren Muse Smith's meditation inspired by @Tracy Gray's puzzle, and @Annabel's review thereof, I was reminded of an anecdote recounted in this obituary of philospher Sidney Morgenbesser.

"... But it was often energy with a humorous punch line, as Dr. Morgenbesser earned fame for witticisms. He insisted the jokes were openings to more substantive philosophic discussions.

An example: in the 1950's, the British philosopher J.L. Austin came to Columbia to present a paper about the close analysis of language. He pointed out that although two negatives make a positive, nowhere is it the case that two positives make a negative. ''Yeah, yeah,'' Dr. Morgenbesser said."

No BS 6:18 AM  

I appreciated the intentional insertion of dreck in the fill.

Z 7:48 AM  

Tough here. I need to work on my two beer solving speed.

@Annabel - Google "hardware store near me." They'll have a cheap rubber plug for your tub. My not so tired Contemplative Studies/Sanskrit graduate student son called with the "how do you unstop a garbage disposal?" question. He also learned the name "Allan Wrench" in the process.

chefbea 8:34 AM  

Forgot it was Monday...good to see you Anabel. Fun puzzle...Two shout-outs to puzzle husband at 3down and 29down!!!

NCA President 8:42 AM  

I'm surprised that Annabel didn't mention GIRLY as a descriptor for clothes with lace and ruffles. Seriously, NYT? Just last week you got all kinds of press for being "cutting edge" and "brave" for including a couple of gender fluid answers...and yet here we are, just a few days later with GIRLY = laces and ruffles. First, there were a couple of centuries when laces and ruffles were indeed worn by men. Second, who's to say, even these days of, you know, gender fluidity, that a guy couldn't wear such things? A ruffle on a guy? Why, that's not what men wear! And yet, in the very puzzle is a theme about JEANS...which not too awfully long ago were worn by men and not "ladies." God gawd, ya'll. You people are nuts.

ENESCO/U...the inclusion of this name for the almost the sole purpose of being ambiguous is right up there with playground retorts. We know what you're doing when you include a "Romanian composer" in a puzzle. It is this guy and we also know that that last letter is not a gimme. Evidently this has become a funny little game with constructors to throw us off. At least, NYT, spread it out a few weeks.

I had iNSUITE (@aketi) and AMECHi too...both look equally okay. Ironically, I fell for the very same thing I criticized a few weeks ago with ONTOE. ENSUITE is the French term...I should have known better.

I didn't like this puzzle as much as yesterday which is saying a lot since I don't really ever care for Sunday puzzles and usually give Monday's a pass. But today's cognitively dissonant "GIRLY" and "JEANS" was just too much for me.

Not long ago I talked about PC being a function of finding more words to describe something than using a limited and often pejorative tinged alternative. Today's puzzle is similar. GIRLY could have been clued a lot of different ways...it might have taken a few extra minutes to come up with an alternative, but it would have been worth it. "Old timey term for a bike that has a curved frame in front of the seat." "Old timey word to describe someone who likes to play with Barbie dolls." Or maybe they could have changed it to GIRLs...with the down crossing being stIR. I dunno...but this was not only ham fisted, but it only proves that last week's "breakthrough" was just as WS said, "It's just a good puzzle." There was no intent to say anything more on his part.

Wags 8:48 AM  

Interesting Springsteen mention given he just played in NYC area

Lewis 8:52 AM  

1. Three of the four theme answers had pop, which made the whole puzzle buzz.
2. I'm bracing for the ENESCO/ENESCU comments, to which @George has laid down a good first salvo.
3. I like what happens when you have TOM, and take the T from it and read down to get TOM's continuation (TIT).
4. Now jeans even come relaxed or distressed. There was a time when jeans took on but two qualities: They were either clean or dirty.

GILL I. 8:54 AM  

Mon DIEU...QUE SUITE...FRESH - no DRECK. Well, maybe GIRLY.
ENESCO reminds me of any Spanish clue. Is it A or O?
I had no idea what the theme was going to be until I reached JEANS! That's how Mondays should be.
Annabel - your bathroom predicament reminded me of my stay at the Ansonia - a residence in San Francisco. The first room I had had no bathroom; you had to share one with about 10 other people. I finally got another room that had an EN SUITE. I was thrilled no end. Didn't even bother to check it out - just having one to myself was enough of a thrill. Come to find out there was no water and every time you flushed the toilet, it sounded like someone was throwing up.....OH YES.
Happy LD everyone.

Hartley70 8:57 AM  

Haha Annabelle! You're ahead of me. I always thought in my pea brain that it was "up and Adam"! I have no idea why because I never gave it a moment's thought. Maybe that's how I heard it when I was five. Now I'm TWOHUNDRED so It's time I got it right!

JEANS are a cool theme. Where are the Mom and Dad jeans? They would be fun and snarky to clue. I "might" be wearing the Mom ones right now. SKINNY is completely out of the QUESTION. CUTOFFs would raise eyebrows and nudge ELBOWS, I'm afraid.

I got lucky today because I remembered ENESCO from a few days ago and pulled SOSA down from the ozone layer. Good fun!

OHYES! DRECK is my definition of SUSHI. That threesome is delicious!.

Anonymous 9:04 AM  

@NCA Prez - I take it you're not a GIRLY girl.

Hartley70 9:07 AM  

In re: Sunday's puzzle that I tackled this morning. Now I can't decide whether to memorize the periodic table first or the Monopoly game board. Decisions, decisions.

Generic Solver 9:07 AM  

Wow, I'm surprised commenters aren't all over the appropriateness of a reference to the "alleged" PED-using Sammy SOSA, who despite his 609 homers has so far been rebuffed by the Hall of Fame voters due to this transgression. Even if it is OK to somehow include him in a puzzle, which is dubious, the clue "Baseball's Slammin' Sammy" is way too laudatory. I get it, "they all did it in those days", but players have hit more homers without cheating.

Z 9:27 AM  

@NCA President - If only I were GIRLY.

chefbea 9:28 AM  

What do you call the jeans that are full of holes.....they aren't worn out..you buy them that way.

Jamie C. 9:40 AM  

LOVED reading this review not knowing it was Annabel and thinking Rex was talking about how into jeans he is.

Teedmn 9:45 AM  

I never wear JEANS anymore. I don't find them comfortable. But over the years I have owned all of the theme types. I'm just waiting for high-waisted to come back - LOW RISE has had a long, too long, run. Come on, fashion people, UP AND AT IT!!

I thought this theme was really FRESH. Thanks, Tracy Gray.

evil doug 9:49 AM  

'Girly' is a fine, descriptive, vivid, harmless word. Save your ire for legitimate infringements on your narrow vocabulary.

Happy Labor Day--if you work for Levi Strauss....

Tita A 9:54 AM  

So either Annabel decided the ensuing PC brawl was not worth it, or GIRLY simply didn't bother her a whit. Lighten up! I remember as a little kid wondering why you could call someone a GIRLY-girl, but not a boyee-boy. I guess I got my gender fluidity questions out of the way early.

This was a cute puzzle...as @Gill says, just what a Monday should be.

So mom's birthday cake was ICEd with her signature frosting...butter whipped with granulated sugar, then toasted almonds sprinkled on.
She always has.plenty of fresh veggies and fruit, everyday a homemade veggie soup, but no fear of butter and cream too.

@Gill...I tested out a theory about those -O vs -A endings...I thought that if it were "This, to Carlos", it would be ESTO, and were it "That, to Maria", it would be ESSA. Well, it seems not to be the case...Will was not throwing us subtle hints as to the gender.

Thanks for the additional birthday wishes from yesterday. We never did get around to the puzzle yesterday...maybe today when I go back to her apartment to finish installing the new range hood that was our present to her!

Annabel...love your SSTAR observation. Best of luck and wisdom for your second year.

evil doug 9:57 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Whitaker 10:06 AM  

I worked in the film business for over 20 years and never heard a director say "scene" to signal the cameraperson to stop shooting. This is something maybe heard from a very affected director, but not the professionals I worked with.

Annabel Thompson 10:16 AM  

@Z, my roommates and I are planning on making a trip to Home Depot sometime in the near future. :)

G. Weissman 10:17 AM  

Outfits with ruffles and lace are "girly"? Tell our founders. Cut-off is a "style" of jeans? I don't think so. Aren't jeans flared, not flare? Or are "flare jeans" a thing?

G. Weissman 10:20 AM  

Not to self: flare jeans are a thing. Cut off jeans are not a style.

jberg 10:36 AM  

@Tita, no boyee-boys, but there can be a man's man.

Hi Anabel! I was looking forward to your comments, and you didn't disappoint. It was a nice but flawed puzzle. Is there really such a thing as a CUT-OFF SAW? That seemed a stretch to me, though not as far a one as UP AND AT IT.

@Loren -- we have a Ghanaian friend who stays with us from time to time. He is constantly saying things like "I shall go there;" I haven't noticed "it was I," however. Anyway, the clue clearly refers to what people actually say, not what the rules of grammar specify.

@George Barany, thanks for clarifying where ENESCO comes from. I was going to say that the clue should then point to France -- but then I noticed that it did, by calling him "Georges." I should pay more attention!

Did anyone else think the only Slammin' Sammy was Snead?

Ellen S 10:37 AM  

My dog is a girly-man. Maybe not PC but definitely descriptive. When I take him out and we meet other dogs, they check out his plumbing and walk away scratching their heads in bewilderment; apparently they were expecting lady parts. Humans are sure he's a she, just based on his gentleness and timidity. God knows what that makes me! (No, I know the answer.)

Hand up here for UP AND AT em.

I already had seen the reveal so I didn't have any trouble with CUT-OFF SAW, but I had never heard of it. I checked out Lowe's website and they sell "Cutoff machines" and "chop saws" but no cutoff saws. Home Depot has a few cutoff saws, but other things that look the same, designated chop saws, metal-cutting saws, and an "abrasive metal-cutting device." That would be the opposite of GIRLY, methinks.

jberg 10:38 AM  

@Bookin' the Cooks from yesterday --- but the clue for BAJA referred specifically to Texas; that was what I was wondering about.

Joseph Michael 10:40 AM  

And then, of course, there are dominant, mutant, and recessive JEANS.

Super easy puzzle, yet ended up with the error:of an Amechi/in suite cross. EWE.

But thought that the theme was cute and a good fit for a Monday.

Roo Monster 10:40 AM  

Hey All !
ENESCO! Great stuff! Put a big smile on my face when I got that.

Nice MonPuz, different type of theme subject, nice to get the revealer in an appropriate spot. 1D is different in the fact it's a five letter entry starting and ending in G. Liked the fill, nothing to gripe about. Agree with @LMS on the ITSUS oddness. The GIRLY flap seems overblown. Sorry, @NCA, I always enjoy your posts, but that seems a harmless word. Would you mind being called Manly? :-)

Liked Mon DIEU, OPAQUE. Had the I at AMECHi, even though it is pronounced A ME CHE, long E sounds. But lots of Italian names end in I pronounced like E, no?

1D could've been clued, ___or go home.

WOOF
RooMonster
DarrinV

NCA President 10:41 AM  

@evil doug: I never said it wasn't a fine, descriptive, vivid, or harmless word. Maybe reread my post for bit more nuanced reason.

Nancy 10:44 AM  

First -- critical first-aid for Annabel and her roommates. I can't get you your shower, Annabel, but take yourself to the nearest houseware or hardware store (phone first) and get a round, flat, rubber thingie to go over the bathtub drain. Suction alone will keep the tub water in -- there needs to be no plug at all attached to the thingie. Flat. Round. Rubber. That's all you need. I know this because when I moved to this apt in 1995, I was horrified to see that the bathtub had no plug!!! I called the super and he said: No prob. And told me what to buy. It probably costs about $10 or less. Mine has lasted for 21 years. As far as the shower is concerned, I can sympathize but not empathize. Do you know how many showers I have taken in my 21 years here? Exactly zero. I'm a committed bather and only shower when I'm in a place with no other option. This goes right along with my philosophy of life: Never stand when you can sit and never sit when you can lie down. Except when you're playing tennis, walking or swimming, of course.

Oh, yes, the puzzle. Cute theme. It's an after-the-fact theme which you don't need to solve, but it's cute anyway. And a very nice write-up, Annabel. Good luck with your sophomore year and with your bathtub.

Chaos344 10:54 AM  

@NCA President:

OMG! Not again! Don't you ever learn? You really need to get over your infantile obsession/crusade to make everything gender neutral. Its all getting very tiresome.

A while back, you went on a rant about the Q in LGBTQ, stating that the term QUEER was a derogatory term that was offensive to many. I was going to answer that post by pointing out that someone as obsessed with "gender specificity" as yourself, should know that the Q can also stand for "Questioning." Please don't try and claim that you were aware of that fact when you originally posted. If you were, why didn't you mention it then? And why did you rant on about the negative connotations of the word QUEER when you should have known that it is no longer thought of in the LBGTQ community as a pejorative term? Many readers learned of this fact in a subsequent puzzle blog. If you knew it in your original post and failed to mention it, I charge you with being disingenuous through omission.

What else don't you know? Do you know that Facebook now recognizes 51 gender specific identities for personal profiles? Those genders are broken down from the sub-categories, Agender, Androgyne/Androgynous, Bigender and Cis. Facebook is shooting for the Baskin-Robbins 56 flavors mark. Am I being "sneeringly dickish" here, or am I still in the realm of biting sarcasm?

I think most Americans would agree that the whole gender specificity thing has gotten totally ridiculous. That goes for Political Correctness as well. Are you aware that the University of Chicago has warned their incoming freshmen not to expect any "safe spaces" or "trigger warnings" in the curriculum? They won't be the last. The worm is turning back towards sanity my friend. Civil enough for you?

Remember Prez, I didn't throw down the gauntlet here, you did! If you want to take it outside this arena (where it doesn't belong) my e-mail addy is on my profile! Molon Labe!

Carola 11:04 AM  

Tracy Gray + Annabel = Monday treat. After BAGGY and SKINNY, I was flummoxed by LOW-RISE: why would a non-theme (i.e., not ending in double-consonant + y) answer get the center spot? So I loved the reveal. I also liked ICE under the BAGGY EYES, although cold cucumber slices or tea-bags are gentler alternatives.

@Loren - I have one of those pairs of jeans - Levis from the 70s - in the bottom of a drawer. I get them out every decade or so just to check....

foxaroni 11:15 AM  

Thanks, Annabelle--enjoyed your write-up, as usual. Best wishes for a great sophomore year.

At first it seemed the puzzle contained SOW and SOWS (5A and 32D). That made 7D WRECK, which I thought might describe "worthless stuff." My car is a total wreck.

Like some of you, had "up and at EM" at first, and I'm unfamiliar with a CUTOFFSAW. Also thought (41A) "low-rise building" was odd. The answer started with an "L," so I thought initially it was going to be something like "library building" ("only a few stories"),

Anyone else do the 4-square KenKen and pass on the 6-square?

Leapfinger 11:19 AM  

@Tita, a new range hood to celebrate the 93rd!?!? I'm all choked up. I hope that, asof this wriding, it was at least little and red!

re ENESCO? WOUF!!

The GIRLY hurly-burly? Not eggzactly surprised, but aren't quite at the point of believing, neither.

ITS_US: I favour ITS_WE'UNS. Insufficient space, alas

Too bad FRESH wasn't clued with a slap today.

Liked having ICE under the BAGGYEYES, but thought it odd the NEURO was at the bottom of a not-so-NEU column. Deciding to END_IT with ANWAR Sadat was ArabesQUEQUE.

I was surprised not to find BOOTCUT in the theme, though I aren't sure exactly what BOOTCUTs are.

Many years ago, when holey orders of JEANS first started pouring in, Time [the Magazine] ran a bit about some enterprising Kentuckians who bought a shipment of inexpensive jeans. They spread them out on a grassy hillside, then stood on the facing hillside and fired a shotgun repeatedly at their investment. After laundering (to fray the edges of the pellet-holes), they realized a Very handsome profit.

My JEANS, otoh, tend to the utilitarian, and I hold on to my favourites. Back in college, I bought a pair of Wranglers that were nonpareil, even as over the years they passed from AGEd to POST AGEd then POST POST AGEd. They wore like iron, and it wasn't till the early 80s, when everything except the pockets of the residual CUTOFFS SAW daylight, that I finally finessed them. With an initial price of $10, they cost me about 50 cents a year.


Fast-forward to last year, with me on a cross-town street near the NYC Public Library, and walking toward me is a very soignée Manhattanite. Nothing GIRLY, with everything from makeup-hair-boots perfect and very modish. And poking out from below her CUTOFFS was a good 4" of pocket lining. Not being a native NYer, I spose my face betrayed a skosh of reaction, as Ms. Soignée returned me a rather hard look, but I guess she hadn't shelled out any 50 cents a year for her residue JEANS.


SOW and EWE on the GIRLY side, COLT and TOM just for the buoyancy. Nice balance, Ms Tracy. Happy Labor of Love Day

Numinous 11:20 AM  

I have had and used CUT OFF SAW blades on my Dremel and my grinder so that didn't bother me at all.

I liked the JEANS theme here. In my day, LOW RISE JEANS were called hip hungers. I did wear FLARE (bell bottom) JEANS in the 70s but I'm such a purist that I reckon the only real JEANS are Levis® 501s. They can still be found, I have a pair currently.

@Gil I, sadly, my first father-in-law has been dead these last 20 years but I'm sure he would have called Oaxaca "Oh-axe-ica".

On the list of odd coincidences, we have a room for rent here and the prospective tenant was hoping for an EN SUITE bathroom. She didn't use the word but we did when discussing her refusal.

I forgot this is the first Monday of the month. I'm always happy to see you here, Annabel. I always enjoy your write-ups. I got this one with 22 seconds to spare on my average time of a little over ten minutes. I am of the opinion that, given time, you may well get up to the speed of OFL. That is, if that's what you truely want to do. I prefer a more contemplative solving style. And while you say you are tired, I'm hoping that this Labor Day is not finding you overly BAGGY EYED.

Malsdemare 11:21 AM  

This one was fun. Monday often has a pretty boring puzzle, at least to me, but this one had a little giggle to it. I think cutoff jeans are a thing, although agree they can also be just cutoffs. But I adore power tools and have never heard of a cutoff saw. GIRLY was just fine; I was, and am, quite grateful that neither my daughters nor granddaughter are GIRLY, as I'd be totally unequiped to shop with or for them. I've lived in jeans for 60 years, even while working (a tenured prof gets certain perks). At this point in my life, I think I have one dress and one skirt; you know, funerals, fancy dress balls . . .

Nancy, your motto is the same as the malamute's: don't stand if you can sit, don't sit if you can lie down; you never know when some idiot's going to ask you to pull a sled.

Thanks, Tracy amd Annabel.

Norm 11:22 AM  

Annabel, in addition to or instead of the rubber plug mentioned above, you could also get a hand-held shower with a connection that fits over the bathtub spout (e.g., https://www.amazon.com/Danco-10086-VersaSpray-Handheld-Shower/dp/B003OJ3LP0/ref=sr_1_26?s=kitchen-bath&ie=UTF8&qid=1473088645&sr=1-26&keywords=handheld+shower+head). Used carefully, you don't even need a shower curtain, but there are rods available (e.g., https://www.amazon.com/Carnation-Home-Fashions-Adjustable--76-Inch/dp/B002QUYLNY/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen-bath&ie=UTF8&qid=1473088817&sr=1-1&keywords=expandable+shower+curtain+rod) that do not require any permanent installation. As a confirmed shower person, that's what Id do.

Nice puzzle; nice write-up.

old timer 11:35 AM  

Just as I was going to click on REX PARKER, I realized this is the *first* Monday of the month. YAY, I said to myself, an Annabel Monday. You go, GIRL(y)! And yes, right to your local Ace Hardware for a bathtub plug. When I was in college, girls' dorms had tubs, boys' dorms had showers. Though maybe there were a few showers for the girls, too -- but the dorms were *called* Men's and Women's because, you know, if you made it to college you were treated like an adult. Except of course when you wanted to buy yourself a beer.

I thought the puzzle was pretty much a perfect Monday. Superfast for the most part, but with enough crunch to make it interesting. FLARE GUNS did not leap to mind at first, and I assume those who have not spent time in Britain are less familiar with ENSUITE. When I was in college there, all we could afford were B&B's with the bathroom and toilet down the hall.

Now when I was in a residential boys' school, we boys were required to SKINNY DIP in the pool -- reduced the strain on the filtration system I suppose, but also when the gym was built, boys always swam naked in their local creeks or swimmin' holes. There were of course stories about boys who forgot that on Saturdays in season there were swim meets where suits were required and ladies were present.... Oops! (That all changed when the school went co-ed).

Teedmn 11:57 AM  

@Leapfinger, I remember wearing my CUT-OFFs with their pocket linings hanging out, and my butt cheeks also. I couldn't pull that look off anymore!

Tita A 12:01 PM  

@Nancy - love your philosophy.
@Malsdemar - love your add-on to that!!!!!

I made an early birthday present for her last month - I covered an old binder with fabric from her den, and have been taking her newly-found love letters from my dad, scanning them, and putting the letters by date in plastic sleeves by date.
Adding post-its for particularly noteworthy mentions, like the birth of my sister, deciding if they would buy the Buick, etc.
She told me she always sits in the chair that matches the album when she sits down to read them!

(There's also an 11 page type-written letter from her father, giving her advice on her trip to America...it was written in 1946, but could be written today. One quote- "Listen alot, talk a little, work hard.")

@Leapy - lol...that's how we roll. Only useful things! Especially when it involves labor to install it...

@jberg - and let's not forget GIRLY men.

Wm. C 12:51 PM  



Hey, @Annabel --

Make sure you don't get "Natick-ed" at Home Depot. ;)

@JBerg -- yep, me too on Slamming Sammy, I was frustrated when the penny dropped for me on "baseball" in the clue.

Pete 12:55 PM  

@Chaos - Actually, I think most Americans would agree that "Political Correctness" is only ever used by as a pejorative term, and only used by insensitive oafs tired of being called out about being insensitive oafs.

QuasiMojo 12:57 PM  

Happy Belabor Day everyone! At the risk of seeming even more dyspeptic than usual, I have to say that while I love Annabel's perky enthusiasms, the "tired" joke is really getting tired. I went to college too (albeit a long time ago) but I can promise you that you have never felt as tired as you will when you are out of school and working full-time. As for this puzzle, I thought it was a fun Monday romp, although people usually say "cut-offs" rather than "cut-off jeans." Quibbling aside, this is a promising start to the new week. Kudos to @Nancy for suggesting the handy removable bathtub plug. They work in sinks too. Perhaps "girly" show would have been less traumatizing to the PC crowd? I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the appearance of absurdist Ionesco, instead of the oft-cited and outstayed-his-welcome Enescu/o.

NCA President 1:08 PM  

For those of you who responded so thoughtfully to my post, maybe I wasn't clear.

GIRLY isn't the problem, per se. Cluing GIRLY with ruffles and lace is. Again, guys can wear ruffles and lace if they want, it's not necessarily "GIRLY." It's like saying "you play like a girl" or "act like a man a stop crying." "Are you sure you want to wear those ruffles and lace, Larry? It looks so GIRLY."

I might have let it go and not mentioned it at all, (because what does it matter in an xword blog comments section), except just last week the NYT was being lauded for being so progressive for expanding their consciousness. Letting GIRLY be so stereotypically clued in the same puzzle that ironically includes an item of clothing that not all that long ago was considered stereotypically male, betrays what ever steps forward they appeared to take.

One more time: GIRLY as a word is OK. As clued is contrary to all the good vibes from last week.

And yes, I knew that the Q in LGBTQ stood also for "questioning" but I'm not sure how that even matters.

Leapfinger 1:32 PM  

UP_AND_AT_IT? This puzzle seems to be anti EM.

@Annabel, forget the plug; who wants a bath? Get a shower hose to attach to the faucet. More work, but worth it! (ie, what @Norm said with better detail, and cf what @Tita said!) They have the bathrooms EN SUITE so you can toot sweet.

@Chaos, I find the concept of "worm-based sanity" curiously intriguing. Shall take it up with Ole Worm, the Danish naturalist who first studied the LEMMAS' suicidal behaviour [as I discovered yesterday].

@Numinous, sometimes I have pangs of 'hip hunger' also. Some parts of me are less GIRLY than others. "Wha-hack-ah!"

@Z, Mr. Wrench called, said to tell you he spells his name ALLEN.

Comments: the gift that keeps on giving.

Z 1:40 PM  

@Annabel - No no no. Google "hardware store near me" and find a local merchant. Walk in and tell the nice old man or woman what the issue is. Trust me, these folk are an invaluable resource, sometimes having answers to questions you didn't know you had. If your building is more than 10 years old they've seen it and know how to fix it. Home Depot has some of these folk, too. But they also have lots of people working for a low wage who will go somewhere else at their first opportunity so never develop the same kind of experience and know-how.

As for GIRLY, I saw a great observation today: It's not that we need more diversity for the sake of diversity, it's that we need less homogeneity for the sake of realism. Exactly. It's good to see how others see us. Personally, if I ever use the word GIRLY it is in the context of describing the sort of woman my sons seem to have no interest in. Since I wore a baby blue tux with a ruffled shirt to my prom (ahh the 70's, when we all lost our collective fashion sense), ruffles don't strike me as particularly effeminate. As for lace, it strikes me as more last century dowdy than GIRLY. But I got the answer and didn't even blink, so I was happy to read @NCA Prez's take on it.

Numinous 2:04 PM  

Yeah, @Leapy, the damn "auto-corrupt" changed " hip hugger" to hunger! Oh well.

Tita A 2:16 PM  

Loving the comments today.

Esp. hip hunger.

I also wanted to chime in that last month, we took our dear friend's daughter to Vassar for a school tour.
The tour guide told us that he was majoring in Queer Studies.
And while he wasn't dressed in ruffles and lace, he was quite GIRLY, and delightfully proud.
(COme to think of it,@QuasiMojo, he complained about how tired you'll get, in spite of Vassar's philosophy of a balanced study/personal time.)

Chaos344 2:18 PM  

@Pete 12:55 PM:

I see you're in the "Old White Men Are The Problem Camp"? You didn't say it but we all know what you're insinuating.

It depends on how you want to define the word "most" Pete. If you're talking about a simple majority like 51% to 49%, you may be right, but I seriously doubt a poll on the merits of PC would be that close. The United States of America was founded as a Democratic Republic, not a true democracy. The founding fathers wanted to insure that the rights of a small majority could not run roughshod over a large minority.

If in fact the term "Political Correctness" has taken on a pejorative meaning, it is only because those pushing the concept of political correctness have made it their goal to insure that those who do not acquiesce to their viewpoint can be roundly demonized.

There are thousands of examples over the last decade I could point to, but lets take one that most people have heard about. Should the Washington Redskins football team be forced to change its name? The PC crowd has done everything in their power to make this happen. They have used every method possible to prevail. They have used politicians, print media, TV and radio media, social media, Hollywood, on and on ad nauseam. There have been multiple threats to the owner of the Redskins, and this administration even used the power of the US patent office to deny recognition of the Redskins logo as a patented marketing tool for Redskins gear.

Yet, with the exception of a few recognized tribes in America (who were probably coerced by special interest groups) most polls show that every other recognized Indian tribe and a LARGE majority of Americans are fine with the Washington Redskins keeping their name as is. Kudos to Daniel Snyder for standing up to the PC bullsh*t !

Charles kluepfel 2:43 PM  

Annabel, an A-line dress basically has no waist; it just gets wider going from the neck down to the hem at the bottom.

Pete 2:45 PM  

@Chaos - I'm an old white man in the following camp:

Civility is both important and evolving, and there's no excuse for ignoring either.

Words which are used primarily pejoratively should be used with an excess of care, less the pejorative intent may be misinterpreted. Queer may be used in a positive sense with the LBGTQ community, but it is frequently used pejoratively outside it. Neither obviates the other.

Kindness and generosity is important, both when active and when passive. Be kind, listen/read kindly. @NCA President's comment could reasonably be read in a manner which wouldn't offend you, you chose to be offended, the very choice you're accusing @NCA President of making with respect to GIRLY.

There are no PC police. No one is making "politicians, print media, TV and radio media, social media, Hollywood" do anything. People make up their own minds to behave well or ill.

Chaos344 2:50 PM  

@Leapy:

LMAO! Being of Danish ancestry myself, I'm siding with old Ole Worm's findings regarding the suicidal tendencies of lemmings. When I have consumed an excessive amount of Johnnie Walker Black, I often find myself on the "Horns Of A Lemma", or is that the "Horns Of A Lemming"? Not sure? Do Lemmings even have horns, or are they just perpetually horny with no relief in sight? Why else would they throw themselves off a cliff? I too, would probably follow a GIRLY lemming over a cliff, if I thought there was a possibility of sex should we both survive the plunge? Perhaps that's a true Live or Die Lemma?

puzzle hoarder 2:55 PM  

Today's puzzle reminds me of an amusing incident on a medical run from a number of years ago. I can't recall the issue but our patient was this 60ish Polish gentleman. He was a big guy, looked like he did physical labor for a living. He was shirtless and barefoot but he had on skinny jeans. I'm talking really skinny lowrise jeans. Not only did they not seem to go with the rest of him I couldn't imagine how he got them on. The really odd thing was they were backwards. Zipped up too. Needless to say there was alcohol involved.

Mohair Sam 3:11 PM  

Lady Mohair forgot the "Sesame Street" adage that "It's fun to share!" this morning and finished the puzzle while I slept in. Hence I thought there'd be nothing to say, but nooooo. . . .

@Annabel - Don't listen to anyone else here, they're old and rich and can't possibly understand. Take one of those hideous tee shirts you bought at a rock concert this summer and soak it each time you need to use the sink, plug the drain with it. Sure it'll leak, but slowly. When you go home for the next break tell your parents about the problem and they'll spring for whatever you need.

ENESCO - What constructor can't love a composer with a variable last vowel? I expect we'll see more and more of him. First time I saw his name with the "O" they might have clued it as "Oft merged utility company" and I'd have filled it just the same without missing a beat.

Is "GIRLY" Tracy Gray's clue? I don't know her, but I've followed her work to some degree. She's not one the Thought Police will be hunting down any time soon, nor will they Mr. Shortz. There's no harm meant here, no harm done here, and no foul.

GILL I. 3:27 PM  

I'm waiting for daughter and company to come around so I have time on my hands and loving the blog today. Hey, we've gone from bathtub stoppers to @Tita's wonderful gift story for her mamacita and then a Queer uey.
I have an incredible flamboyant gay friend. He insists that I introduce him as his QUEER bestie. He is very GIRLY and proud of it. I'll have to ask him about this ruffles and lace business. I'm sure he'll have an answer because he has an answer for everything and it's always funny.
@Leapster or should I call you Lemmas Neighed? Your story about finessing your jeans had me reminiscing about my first. I never really wore jeans; they never fit me right. Anyway, sometime ago I was down to a very thin weight of about 120 lbs.... on my 5'7" frame that's not good. The only pants that fit were a pair of Levi's SKINNY JEANS that cost about $100. The bottoms were too short so I ended up buying boots (another $100) to cover that gap. I gained about 3 lbs. within a week and the damn things no longer fit. I also probably gained some weight in my feet because the boots were too tight as well. Damn clothes and the damn designers and damn those god-awful 10 inch heels and the person who invented the bra......!
@Numi....Wax Sacks..

G. Weissman 4:15 PM  

Does anyone read the posts that go longer than 2-3 sentences? Not me. I'm interested in dialogue, not self-interested soliloquies. Get a grip, folks.

Anoa Bob 4:47 PM  

I have a lot of saws in my workshop, some hand saws, some power saws, some for metal, some for wood, but I don't call any of them a CUT OFF SAW. That has an ad hoc, need something to go with CUT OFF, look to it, to me.

One of the most challenging steps to constructing a themed puzzle is coming up with theme entry candidates that are not only consistent with the theme concept, but---I'm talking a very big BUT here---also have matching letter-counts. You can have one, odd-numbered letter-count themer in the center position, but you need matching letter-count themers in symmetrically opposite grid positions.

So I always notice, in a negative way, when that task is made easier by using a plural of convenience (POC) to get a matching letter-count, as happens here when FLARE GUN (the LEMMA) gets boosted from 8 to 9 letters by simply tacking on a gratuitous S. Seems like fudging to me.

I once knew a cultural attaché in the Phillipines whose first name was Gerly.

I miss the spell caster. Maybe there's one to banish polemics.

'mericans in Paris 4:57 PM  

Really late to the party here.

-- Agree that it's AT 'EM, not AT IT.

-- My only recordings of ENESCu are from Romania, so I was thrown by that.

-- DNF because had "sAGGY" not "BAGGY" EYES. Thought GO SIG might be some new expression.

-- I, too, was surprised to see GIRLY.

-- Do directors really say, "And ... SCENE!"?

I'm THRU. OH YES. (END IT, already!)

Chaos344 4:59 PM  

@Pete:

With all due respect Pete, you're entitled to be in any camp you want, and I'm entitled to disagree with you.

We went through this whole issue very recently. At that time I emphatically stated that I felt politics, political agendas or ideologies should not be discussed on this blog. When I made that post, I assumed that Rex felt the same way. Apparently, I was wrong. Rex addressed my post directly and specifically pointed out that he has no problem with political commentary on his blog as long as said commentary is kept civil. Maybe I should have surmised that, since Rex often instigates those types of discussions by his comments in the puzzle critique?

I was very surprised at some things Rex shared in his post. It was very interesting to learn that, like myself, Rex (Michael) grew up in a household with parents of opposing political stripes. Many of the points in his post on that date referred directly to me. Most were valid, some were debatable. That's an issue best discussed between him and I.

Having said that, lets get back to the heart of your post Pete. You stated that:

"Civility is both important and evolving, and there's no excuse for ignoring either."

Let's dissect that statement. Of course civility is important, but its the "evolving" part that bothers me. If millions of people are going to insist that I have to acquiesce to their way of thinking or risk the ignominy of being labeled an "Old White Man", racist, xenophobic, homophobic, or other myriad socially stigmatizing labels, that's when my civility ends. That's when I'll tell you to go F**k yourself!

I don't care if my words are misinterpreted, and I don't care if you take offense at them! I'm not going to spend one extra second to decide if my next sentence is going to meet with your approval! I'm a fairly erudite individual and I generally express myself well. Most people understand my spoken words without taking offense. If they don't, they're probably looking to be confrontational?

I can't help it if someone is a special snowflake who went to a school with safe spaces and trigger warnings. Try going to school at Paris Island and doing your post-grad work in Iraq or Afghanistan! It will teach you something you'll never learn at any of our so-called hallowed halls of academia, and unless you're a STEM student, the knowledge gleaned at Paris Island will probably prove to serve you much better in life than anything crap you learned in college!

I've been as tolerant of NCA President as he deserves. I never called him out about GIRLY. I called him out because he insists on using this blog to champion his views on gender, social sensitivity, and political correctness. The last sentence in his last post at 1:08 PM was totally bogus! He knows exactly why it matters!

Wm. C. 5:22 PM  


@Chaos:

"...between him and I."

Erudite?

;-)




Chaos344 5:45 PM  

@ Wm. C. said...

"...between him and I."

Erudite?

That's your total rebuttal Will C.?
What rank have you attained in the Grammar Police? Sergeant? Lieutenant? Captain? No spelling errors? No dangling participles or split infinitives?

Get a life!

Chaos344 5:53 PM  

O.K Will C.

Only kidding. Guilty as charged. We all make mistakes. Hell, I have a son in the Grammar Police! Served a middle school. LOL!

Anonymous 6:34 PM  

Annabel, buy one of those hand held shower thingys at Lowes, for not too much money. And tell the RD to get the darn thing done!

Nancy 6:41 PM  

It was a cute puzzle, but the commentary today is even more delicious. So, catching up with you all [on the late side] after a lovely day in the park...

@Malsdemare (11:21) and @Tita (12:01) -- Thanks for your respective shoutouts. @Malsdemare: I am actually thrilled to be compared to your malamutes. They are obviously not only very lazy (not at all a bad thing in my book), but also extremely wise -- way beyond the expectations for their species.

@Teedmn (9:45 a.m.) (who doesn't wear jeans anymore) and @GILL (3:27 p.m.) (who never did) -- Thank heavens for both of you!!! It's wonderful knowing that I am not the only woman on the planet who has never worn jeans in my entire life. Wild horses will never drag put of me why, although I will say it that has nothing to do with weight. Jeans -- in addition to being profoundly uncomfortable -- are really only appropriate for one particular body type. And because I want all of you to continue to think of me as tall, willowy, and improbably beautiful -- thank you all for that! -- I will say nothing more on the subject.

Happy Pencil 6:47 PM  

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

And here I thought this was a crossword blog ...

old timer 7:16 PM  

Talking about GIRLY would be unnecessarily divisive on this blog: Except OFL sometimes gets on his high horse to complain about things he things are, uh, unsensitive to the feelings of the easily offended.

I am old enough to remember when it was un-PC to use the word "Indian" to refer to those whom the PC crowd called "Native Americans" (and who are in Canada called people of the "First Nations". One of the few linguistic changes of that type that did not stick. It seems most USA folks descended from indigenous tribes think of themselves as "Indians" and don't want to change it. Even though the term goes back to Columbus and his followers who knew damned well they had not reached India, or any part of Asia, and called them "Indians" in order to perpetuate the belief they had somehow reached Asia rather than a new (to them) continent.

My rule is that any group can change their name once in a generation. So the Negros became blacks in my generation and that's what I plan to stick with. We do, however, have an African-American president because, you know, his father was literally from Africa. He married a wonderful small-n native American, who has honored every American woman in her role as wife, First Lady, and exemplary mother. And Hillary, should she win, will have the honor of being married to at least an *honorary* black man, the coolest President of my lifetime or, I think, of anyone's lifetime.

Innocent Bystander 7:17 PM  

@Chaos - You do understand that your statement: "Let's dissect that statement. Of course civility is important, but its the "evolving" part that bothers me." is the mission statement of "old white men", no?

OISK 7:47 PM  

I knew when I saw "Girly" what would happen, although I hoped it would not. I didn't bother me at all; I wonder whether the same people would object to the clue " ___ the battlements", where the answer is "man." I have a different objection, which it seems no one else has raised. Has the word "merde" or "scheiss" appeared in the puzzle? I don't think so, and neither has "shit." Although like so many vulgar Yiddish nouns, ( Putz is a prime example) it seems to have thrust its way into the English lexicon, to me "Dreck" is still vulgar. I would prefer not to see it in the puzzle, ( as I was annoyed the first time "Schmuck" appeared). Girly is fine, however. So is manly. And boyish. By the way, never expecting "dreck" to appear, I originally wrote "Dross." Slowed me down a lot!

Kathy D. 7:55 PM  


On two points on one hardware, the other on terminology:

First, go to a hardware store or a Home Depot and buy a bathtub plug. That costs very little. Just measure the hole so you guy the correct size plug. Or, as others suggest, get an attachable shower head and hose-type attachment. Then you do have to worry about water getting on the floor so everyone has to be careful.

Second, being "politically correct" means treating all people respectfully and as you would want to and expect to be treated, and equally, and being kind.

The main issue with the name of the Washington team is what Native people want it to be named. They are the aggrieved parties. It's no big deal to change a team's name: Just do it. Why deliberately and stubbornly stick to a name that is hurtful to some people? There is no point to that.

And whatever communities want to be called, even if it changes, just go with the flow. Major newspapers change with the times. What effort does it take to change terminology? Very little to none. Just a little conscious thinking.

Mohair Sam 8:38 PM  

@OISK - I've told this story here once before, but in case you missed it - There is a small submarine sandwich chain (they may franchise now) in Upstate New York called Jreck's. I met one of the original owners at a party in Syracuse some 40 years ago. I asked him if had any idea what the name of his store sounded like in Yiddish. He replied with a grin that he was Jewish and originally from Manhattan.

As for Scheiss - I replaced "shit" in my vocabulary with "scheisser" about a decade back after seeing "Run Lola Run" in which Franka Potente chants "scheisser, scheisser, scheisser" at every frustrating turn of events.

Chaos344 10:01 PM  

@old timer said...

Excellent post! You get it!

@Innocent Bystander: Of course I understand that, and the fact that you chose to bring up that issue after all the other points I made, simply confirms that you are just another compliant and indoctrinated "All Old White Men Are The Problem" shill? Can't imagine yourself in that regard? I understand. A fish does not realize that it it wet, because it has no basis for comparison. When you've been raised in a liberal bubble, that's all you know! Not your fault!


@Kathy D: No disrespect intended, but I think you are either very young, or very naive. Perhaps both? You have absolutely no conception of what the term "Politically Correct" means to many different people.

You also have no conception of tradition as it applies to national sports franchises and team names that have existed for over a century! You obviously chose not to remember parts of my post that you don't agree with? Many polls were taken among native Americans. The vast majority had NO PROBLEM with the NFL Washington Team being called the Redskins! Neither do a very large percentage of all Americans! Its only people like yourself who have been taught to believe that if you can find one person in America who has a great,great, great, grandparent from a recognized tribe, then that one person's grievance should outweigh all others acceptance. That's political correctness and that's wrong!

Andrew Heinegg 10:15 PM  

Er, you mean concept. Conception is an entirely different thing. Persons of extreme political viewpoints have a tendency to sound out there, as do you. Sorry.

Andrew Heinegg 10:16 PM  

Er, you mean concept. Conception is an entirely different thing. Persons of extreme political viewpoints have a tendency to sound out there, as do you. Sorry.

Anonymous 11:57 PM  

@Chaos, Molon labe? Gee, your kind of a dick.

KFC 1:00 AM  

"Am I being "sneeringly dickish" here, or am I still in the realm of biting sarcasm?"

PC bad blah blah blah, SJWs bad blah blah, blah, old white guys good blah blah blah...

Neither dickish or sarcastic, just tiresome and not changing any minds. Please go find somewhere else to blah blah blah.

Eat more chicken!

KFC 1:22 AM  

@Grammer Police - I do know that "or" should be "nor".

Now boneless!

KFC 1:26 AM  

@Spelling Police - I do know it's grammar not grammer.

Try our mash potatoes!

Kathy D. 10:47 PM  

I am neither very young nor very naive. And I do know that people and team names can change.

Friends who are 40-year football fans, who grew up in households with football coaching fathers agree with changing offensive teams' names.

My father who played football in high school and in college -- and watched every game televised -- would have been for changing the Washington team's name. In fact, he didn't use the full name when he mentioned it. And he passed away 30 years ago.

Many friends who watch the Super Bowl every year as almost a religious experience and plan weeks in advance are for changing Washington's name.

Tradition is one thing, but so is social progress. People have been moved to take down Confederate flags and monuments in states where no could conceive of that. Segregation was challenged and eliminated in the South -- despite hundreds of years of racist traditions.

Yale is now taking down stained glass windows that offensively portray slavery due to objections by students, staff and faculty.

Yep, times change; so do "traditions."

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kitshef 8:52 PM  

It should of course be UP AND AT them!, as spoken by Ranier Wolfcastle in the Radioactive Man movie.

Burma Shave 10:26 AM  

FRESH RELAYS

This TEN THRU off her GARB URGING, “Let’s SKINNYDIP,
ITSUS now, SOW UPANDATIT,” then my JEANS she’d unzip,
“GOBIG with your LANCE,
EWE will BEG for ONE chance,
or ISLE ENDIT with my GIRLY TWOHANDED grip.”

--- ROGER TEE DRECK, DDS

spacecraft 11:18 AM  

Oh come on. You guys are offended by GIRLY? As Winston once said, this is the kind of nonsense up with which I shall not put. What are we turning into?? TAKE A PILL.

Two serious defects mar this one: the oft-mentioned UPANDATIT (never said by ANYONE ever) instead of the familiar 'em, and the RHB (Random Heavenly Body, or {insert initial here}-STAR). If you think I'm being picky on that latter, just go find one in a Berry gird; you won't.

Theme and execution were OK; fill has some DRECK--though points for including that fine word. As a one-time (very briefly) real estate agent, I knew ENSUITE, probably not that well-known outside the industry. Basically Monday-easy, say a three-yard gain.

The polar opposition of Annabel to Rex always strikes me. Pollyanna vs. Oscar the Grouch. Fun to watch. Can't find a DOD this time; how about it, Annabel? Care to don the sash for a day?

rondo 12:42 PM  

Wow, that was a quick right angle (notice I didn’t go left nor right) turn from GIRLY to the NFL. Can’t we stick more or less to the puz? One w/o at UPANDATem, but I’ve heard IT, too. And a puz with intentional DRECK.

SKINNYDIP always a good one, frequent readers know why.

Kinda got tired of reading GIRLY talk above, did the grammar police call out ITSUS?

Knew ENSUITE since I used to travel semi-frequently. Don’t care for bathrooms that are not.

Nice to see Anabel’s still doing her thing, good to read something FRESH.

leftcoastTAM 1:34 PM  

Very impressed with Annabel's review, and agree with her on most of the particulars.

A little slow in getting out of the NW, with GIRLY(!) and its crossing plural ABACI (misread clue as singular), holding me up. At first, on the latter, thought it might be a rare if non-existent rebus Monday.

Like Annabel, thought the common phrase was UPANDAT-em, not IT. ENSUITE is maybe at a Tuesday or Wednesday level. CUTOFFSAW was a new one on me, but the JEANS-styles revealer, one of the last clue/answer pairs attended to, took care of that.

Didn't ENESCO appear as ENESCU in a recent puzzle?

A very good, cleverly-themed, crunchy Monday.



leftcoastTAM 5:38 PM  

Having just spent time [sigh] going over realtimers' comments on the PC issue, the give-and-take was interesting but became wearying.

One thought that sticks with me is that "PC" has indeed become a pejorative term, and some (looking at you, @Chaos) tend to use it a bit more aggressively than they need to.

Not against different points of view being aired, however. It's a free country, but the blog is subject to some moderation.


Diana,LIW 7:19 PM  

We've been having some rainyish weather - perfect for doing a crossword and having a pot of tea. But looking into the teapot, what do I see but a tempest! And not over the (IMO) awful, boring, spanner - LOWRISEBUILDING. Ho hum.

GIRLY girls do exist. My favorite laboratory will prove this point. You know my lab - the grocery store. Love to shop and people watch. So go there. And while you notice the Nova Lox in the deli, you'll also notice little girls. And you'll notice about 90% of them wearing various shades of pink or purple. Shades no little boy would touch with an epee. Lace, ruffles, sequins, tiaras, fru-fru boas - little girls start eyeing these things in magazines at approximately 7 months old.

A friend of mine was a "Tom-boy" growing up. She held fast to the theory that how we gender-identify our dress/game/hobby choices is more nurture than nature. She drives a full-size pickup truck, played baseball, worked on the farm, etc. Then she had a child - a boy. Yup - a boy boy. "Where does he get this from?" she moaned. "We raised him in a gender-neutral fashion." Can you say, "vroom, vroom?"

The puzzle was fine Monday fun. And my paper managed to stay out of the rain. For these things, I say OHYES, YAYS.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 7:50 PM  

@Lady Di--

Consider the clue. If a mature women wears "outfits with ruffles and lace," are they GIRLY women?

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