Beret-wearing individualists of the '50s-'60s / MON 10-10-15 / Very limited range / University of Maine town / One of the Jacksons / Sicilian volcano

Monday, October 10, 2016

Hi, it's Annabel!! As Rex informed you, last week I was yelling IM HIT! because I was sick - there's something going around at school. :( But I guess the battlefieldfield medic of life got to me, because your FAVE is refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to do an Annabel Monday!!!!!


Relative difficulty: EASY

THEME: A MONSTROUS NAME — Theme answers were animals that started with a fairytale monster. Each clue described the animal as having "a monstrous name."

Theme answers:
  • VAMPIRE BAT (17A: Airborne animal with a monstrous name)
  • DRAGONFLY  (27A: Airborne animal with a monstrous name)
  • DEVIL FISH (43A: Undersea animal with a monstrous name)
  • GIANT SQUID (64A: Undersea animal with a monstrous name)

Word of the Day: DEVIL FISH (43A: Undersea animal with a monstrous name) —

The devil fish or giant devil ray (Mobula mobular) is an endangered species of eagle ray in the family Myliobatidae. It is currently listed as endangered, mostly due to bycatch mortality in unrelated fisheries.
Devil rays feed on planktonic crustaceans and small schooling fish, which are trapped using the modified gill covers (branchial plates) responsible for its "devil-like" silhouette. The species is ovoviviparous: the young hatch from their eggs inside the mother's body and emerge later when they are more fully grown. Only a single live young which is called a pup is born at a time.[1] 
• • •
OoOoOoOoOoOoOooo, what a good puzzle for the second week of the spookiest month of the year! I dunno if I'd count "giant" as a monster, but I guess that's subjective. Did anyone else have LEVIATHAN for 43A? I guess I was thinking of other kinds of monsters. I wonder what ARIEL would think of a GIANT SQUID...

Honestly this puzzle is probably my favorite so far! I dunno why, it was just something about the way the clues were written. LAP is "a spot for a cat," and a LOBE  can be on a brain or an ear. Also, I don't know how old Patrick Merrell is, but there seemed to be A LOT OF Millenial influence in the puzzle! Not only were there a couple Internet shout-outs, but I always say SAME rather than "ditto," and occasionally I want to give someone a rude "AHEM?"(I don't, though, because I am a very polite young lady.) Oh, also, ABATE and AGATE, with their wildly different pronunciations.

My one  real complaint was that I tried HIGH NOON for NOONDAY about a million times despite knowing full well that it didn't even fit. Still, this puzzle was really well put together - if it ain't BAROQUE, don't fix it!

  • OUTED (68A: No longer in the closet, and not by choice) — Handled well, in my opinion, especially since it's pretty topical with tomorrow being National Coming Out Day. Unwanted outing is a pretty serious issue; it can put people in danger. Props to Patrick Merrell for bringing it up! 
  • ANYONE (20A: Who knows the answer?) — Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
You know! For kids!
  • STINE (5A: Children's writer R.L. ______) — Speaking of the spookiest month of the year....This really brings back memories. R.L. Stine is the author of the Goosebumps series, a series of horror books for kids that scared the heck out of me for years as a child. They were really good, though, check out a dramatic reading or something. And check out that "Night of the Living Dummy" cover, otherwise known as "the worst Goosebumps book ever because sentient ventriloquist dummies are terrifying." I'm probably not going to sleep well tonight.

  • AFLAC (32D: Insurer with a duck in its commercial) — AAAFLAAAAC!!!

Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired because midterms are coming up.

Oh, also...SHOUTOUT TO MY KID SISTER MAYA ON HER B-DAY!!! She's turning eleven already, which means she's only seven years away from getting her full-ride scholarship to art school. Seriously, the kid can draw. Happy birthday Maya!!!!

She's probably playing Minecraft. She's really good at making castles and stuff.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Wm. C. 8:05 AM  

Oops, just posted on yesterday's blog "Where's Anabel?" She must've been up late replaying her fellow alumna beating up on The Donald. ;-)

Lewis 8:12 AM  

Hi Annabel! Good catch on ABATE and AGATE, and I love the riff on BAROQUE.

Oh, the theme is clever, the solve smooth and easy even for Monday, and it is sweet having DOORS by AJAR, and O_MAN by OHMY. So a good start to the week. But I would like to suggest another theme answer -- and this is a real thing -- The Donald Trump Caterpillar. Okay, it's actually a flannel moth, but it has been temporarily renamed by some, and is really worth a look: .

jberg 8:16 AM  

High noon too long, midday too short-- so that was the toughest part of the puzzle. Also rOOmS before DOORS, confirmed(?) by OMAN. The rest was easy, so I had plenty of time to think about:


DRAG ON FLY -- what you try to avoid when fishing.

Thanks, Annabel, glad you are feeling better -- and Happy Birthday, Maya!

Hungry Mother 8:17 AM  

Fun theme and easy overall.

Nancy 8:21 AM  

A Monday that doesn't insult the solver's intelligence and that has a cute, well-executed theme to boot. Nice job. And nice writeup, Annabel. I liked your BAROQUE joke, too.

George Barany 8:26 AM  

So good to have you back, @Annabel, and in good health too!

I've met @Patrick Merrell several times, and (how to put this delicately?) he's of the same demographic as I am. Very wonderful person and multitalented -- look for his ZEP puzzle book and his cartoons in MAD magazine.

Any thoughts about seeing GIANT_SQUID two days in a row?

Roo Monster 8:54 AM  

Hey All !
I put the likelihood of GIANT SQUID two days in a row at 550:1 ODDS. Too bad I didn't bet...

Nice puz, only nit is non-thing NOONDAY. Made up word smack in the middle of the puz. Lots of O's also, 20 of 'em! Image if twenty U's were in here...

Fun seeing RUTABAGA, I read some kind of kids book when I was young that said RUTABAGAs were from the island of Ruta Ruta Baga Baga. Don't know why that stuck with me.

Can't think of anything else to comment on. :-) Good MonPuz, easy, always happy to see Annabel. Good luck with mid-terms!


Anonymous 9:02 AM  

A Dragonfly is not an animal, it's an insect.

calvin93 9:16 AM  

All living things are part of either the animal kingdom or the plant kingdom. All insects belong to 1 of the 15 phylum of the animal kingdom.

Tita A 9:26 AM  

Loved this puzzle because it got me to think about DRAGONFLY...I never really listened to the word, so the realization that it is a fly that looks like a DRAGON was awesome.
It has the musical name libélula in Portuguese.
Reading wiki taught me more neat stuff about this beautiful insect...and the terrifying fact that fossils exist of these creatures with 30" wingspans! Talk about monsters...

Though I could find nowhere on the intertubes to explain about their landing behavior.
When one alights, it's wings ratchet into 3 positions...each lower than the first.
Any entomologists out there?

I also like the clue for LAP, though one of my LAPcats can quickly turn into a GIANTSQUID or that eel from yesterday if you ask him to stay after he's decided to leave.

I agree with all the positive comments so far. Thanks for a good Monay solve.

L 9:27 AM  

Great example of an easy but good puzzle. I flubbed 1A (impulsively wrote ROOMS) but quickly recovered. Never heard of a DEVILFISH, but easily sussed it out. Great Monday puzzle.

Tita A 9:34 AM  

The only time I have ever heard NOONDAY is in "Mad dogs and Englishman go out in the NOONDAY, out in the NOONDAY, out in the NOONDAY sun!"
I have no idea where i might have heard it, but it is a thing, and googling just now reveals it to be a Noel Coward song. I couldn't have told you a single other line from that, or that it was Noel Coward, or even why it is firmly entrenched in my brain.

Noel Coward 9:45 AM  

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun

JC66 9:46 AM  


It's Kipling, and it's midDAY.

Loren Muse Smith 9:46 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z 9:46 AM  

My youngest had mid-terms and a cold last week. I guess it's going all the way around to West Michigan.

I'm guessing OFCS didn't have time to see BFG this summer.

With rOOms, I'M HIT, and ANYONE in place I was momentarily concerned that "Perfomer inclined to throw tantrums" was going to be Kelly rIpA. Thankfully, no.

And now, today's Cooke.

GILL I. 9:49 AM  

BEATNIKS...on a puzzle...YAY. Herb Caen coined that word right after the Russians launched Sputnik into space. Jack Kerouac was not amused. How dare any one, much less Caen, ever disparage his beloved BEAT generation. Sandals, turtle necks, bongos, berets...
I second @Nancy....I feel intelligent and I wish Patrick had slipped a ZED in there so that we can squawk about a pangram.

Loren Muse Smith 9:53 AM  

Hah! What a neat group of critters. RIP OPEN suddenly feels a bit menacing.

Annabel - glad you're better. I echo everyone else's "Hah" on your BAROQUE pun.

Bats and flies and squids, OH MY! Where's the Hercules Beetle when you need him?


And A JAR sitting right over RAGU. Cool.

I've had the pleasure of getting to know Patrick at the ACPT. One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. And, AHEM, he's an Orangeman in the good way.

As a constructor, he's ACES in my book. Fun Monday puzzle!

Nancy 10:02 AM  

@Tita, @"Noel", @JC66 -- Boy, did I learn something just now, and on subjects (poetry and song lyrics) that I consider myself really, really knowledgeable about. I knew it was Noel Coward and I knew that what he said was "midday sun", but what I didn't know is that the immortal Rudyard Kipling said it first, only he said "NOONDAY." (I Googled all of the above, because you above-mentioned commenters had me completely confused.) Now if Kipling weren't one of my favorite poets, coming in third only behind Tennyson and Blake...But he is, and I still didn't know. Can you forgive me, Rudyard? Meanwhile, Coward also gets my kudos for taking a great line and running with it. For anyone who's never heard the song, go listen now.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 10:07 AM  

Yesterday evening I complained about "Goodness" being OH ME. (to no response at all, apparently nobody else saved it to do during the debate....) Today we have "goodness Gracious' coming out the way I thought the other one should ahve, OHMY. which makes me think of OH ME OH MY, which would have been OK for either clue. But nobody says Oh ME. That I know of.

Oh, one other point from elsewhere in today's Times: they are apparently now spelling the capital of Yemen SANA, one a at end, instead of Sanaa. No idea when that happened or why. It will I am sure affect crosswords.

QuasiMojo 10:12 AM  

Welcome back Annabel! You sound delightfully rejuvenated. I was sure you were going to end with "I'm beat!" Tasty Monday morsel, this puzzle. Funny to see the Giant Squid again after its menacing appearance in yesterday's monstrosity. I think we got a glimpse of a Devil Fish in last night's debate. Surly, puckered, and circling its prey. Speaking of which (and of midday @Nancy) anyone ever read "The Prick of Noon" by Peter DeVries?

Mad Dog 10:17 AM  

My Englishman and I might never get out if it weren't for that midday sun.

But seriously, I confess I had confused the Coward lyric with the Kipling line also. However, as you read through the Coward lyrics in your best patter song fashion, take special note at the seventh from last line, where the "noonday gun" would have been fired at 12:00, exactly as the puzzle calls for.

Mad Dogs And Englishmen Noel Coward

In tropical climes there are certain times of day
When all the citizens retire to tear their clothes off and perspire.
It's one of the rules that the greatest fools obey,
Because the sun is much too sultry
And one must avoid its ultry-violet ray.
The natives grieve when the white men leave their huts,
Because they're obviously, definitely nuts!

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,
The Japanese don´t care to, the Chinese wouldn´t dare to,
Hindus and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one
But Englishmen detest-a siesta.
In the Philippines they have lovely screens to protect you from the glare.
In the Malay States, there are hats like plates which the Britishers won't wear.
At twelve noon the natives swoon and no further work is done,
But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

It's such a surprise for the Eastern eyes to see,
that though the English are effete, they're quite impervious to heat,
When the white man rides every native hides in glee,
Because the simple creatures hope he will impale his solar topee on a tree.
It seems such a shame when the English claim the earth,
They give rise to such hilarity and mirth.
Ha ha ha ha hoo hoo hoo hoo hee hee hee hee ......

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
The toughest Burmese bandit can never understand it.
In Rangoon the heat of noon is just what the natives shun,
They put their Scotch or Rye down, and lie down.
In a jungle town where the sun beats down to the rage of man and beast
The English garb of the English sahib merely gets a bit more creased.
In Bangkok at twelve o'clock they foam at the mouth and run,
But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
The smallest Malay rabbit deplores this foolish habit.
In Hong Kong they strike a gong and fire off a noonday gun,
To reprimand each inmate who's in late.
In the mangrove swamps where the python romps
there is peace from twelve till two.
Even caribous lie around and snooze, for there's nothing else to do.
In Bengal to move at all is seldom ever done,
But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

old timer 10:19 AM  

Google points out that the "noonday sun" is from one of the Psalms, Probably the King James version.

I have been searching for the "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" quote. Noel Coward definitely wrote a song about it and used "noonday sun" too. But the quote is attributed to Kipling and what poem or story it is from I can't figure out (Certainly not Gunga Din). Maybe I'll re-Google using "midday sun"d

Welcome back, Annabel. Great writeup as usual. And I guess you didn't do yesterday's, which also had GIANT SQUID. I'm pretty sure that terrifying animal was in 20000 Leagues Under the Sea.

chefbea 10:25 AM  

Welcome back Anabel!! yummy puzzle..a jar of ragu , rutabaga, and a rare steak..guess we'll have squid for dessert.
never heard of noon day

Purist 10:28 AM  

Psalms aren't King James; they're King David.


deerfencer 10:38 AM  

Nice write-up of an enjoyable and easy Monday puzzle--and your little sister's too cute! Well done.

Tita A 10:46 AM weird on two levels...

Thanks @everyone whole corrected my Coward/Kipling gaffe.

Weirdness level 1: my brain immediately started singing that line with "NOONDAY". Always has. Why? It is wired into my brain as a snippet of a song... So I must be remembering the Noel Coward song, and not the Kipling poem.

Weirdness level 2: When I googled it earlier to,post it, my brain never processed the fact that the song said midday. Illustrates quite well why people are unreliable witnesses. I superimposed what I knew to be fact over the actual fact that was staring me in the face.

Oh...have I mentioned how Noel Coward borrowed my dad's typewriter, a sleek Hermes portable, while they were on board the Saturnia from Lisbon to NY? Maybe it was to write out that song!

webwinger 11:02 AM  

Agree this was a fun puzzle, reviewed with typical charm by Anabel redux. Fastest time ever for me, too!

Didn't stumble over NOONDAY, but delighted by the new understanding I now have re Kipling, Coward, and mad dogs. Have always liked that saying--perfectly captures a certain kind of Brit-ness, also memorably embodied by the Alec Guiness character in David Lean's great film "Bridge on the River Kwai" from the 1950s.

David Schinnerer 11:03 AM  

What is ATOB?? Help!

Dick Swart 11:09 AM  


A delightful, positive, funny writeup of an especially nice Monday puzzle!

mathgent 11:39 AM  

The only good thing I can say is that there were only six Terrible Threes. I just went over every clue and I couldn't find any wit. D plus is the best I can do.

Andrew Heinegg 11:51 AM  

How nice to have a fun and easy puzzle only equalled by Annabel's entertaining write-up. The giant squid was a bit out of place as noted by Annabel and others. And, while it was easy to get with the crosses, I have personally never heard of a to b being a description of a limited range and googling it brought up nada. But, it is Monday and the most important thing is get some easy peasy puzzle work done. Mission accomplished.

chefbea 11:53 AM  

@Schinnerer A to B

David Schinnerer 11:55 AM  

Oh! "A" to "B". got it.

Wm. C. 11:56 AM  

@DavidS11:03 --

Re: What is ATOB?

If something covering a very broad range were "A-to-Z," then something covering a narrow range would be ....

BTW, this puzzle played a bit harder for me than the usual Monday. That's good!

Numinous 12:08 PM  

Two weeks in a row, I believe, a Monday puzzle has made Siñor Chen's POW. Since last week wasn't all that scintillating, I wonder what that bodes for this week.

Welcome back Miss rejuvenated and refreshed Annabel. I spent all last week jonesing for your write-up. What a delight. Happy eleventh, Maya. Perhaps in an upcoming write-up, big sis will treat us to a glimpse of your artwork. Annabel, I appreciated your, "if it ain't BAROQUE . . . " though I must say I've used that line more than once in the past.

In support of @Tita, my recollection of Noel Cowars's song is "Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the NOONDAY sun" too. I've only heard the song a couple times and, at that, very long ago. Shows to go the tricks memory can play.

As I write, my six-month-old Chiweenie is basking in the sunshine at my feet having a rare calm moment in the morning. The weather is cooling and I fear I don't have much longer to sit outside watching the garden, drinking coffee, and doing the puzzle.

Interesting aside: My step-daughter had a Mitsubishi Starrion. Make that STArrION because that is what the name was meant to be in order to be associated with Ford's sports car. They wanted it to be called the STALLION but just couldn't pronounce it correctly.

The theme was pretty groovy with the flying critters on the top and the floating critters down below. I dug the shoutout to the heros of my youth, Kerouak, Ginsberg, Ferlenghetti, Patchen, and the rest. Herb Caen was possibly the best San Francisco columnist ever. Even now, since it was mentioned, I recall standing on the roof of our apartment house with my mother in the early dark hours to watch Sputnik streak across the sky. The birth of a new era. A mere twelve years later, men were walking, hopping, bouncing on the moon.

An easy, fun puzzle from Patrick Merrell.

oldactor 12:12 PM  

Hoagy Carmichael wrote:

Lazybones sleepin' in the sun
How you spec to git your day's work done?
Never git your day's work done
Sleepin' in the NOONDAY sun.

Numinous 12:13 PM  

Should have proof read. STArrION is not what the name was meant to be.

Numinous 12:15 PM  

Damn, now I have Leon Redbone ECHOing around in my head.

Patrick Merrell 12:33 PM  

Excerpt from Jay Leonhart’s “Salamander Pie”
(with apologies to the reptiles of the world)

Turn up the rocks and watch ‘em run,
Little critters skitter in the noonday sun.
Find one, take a stick, and then you sock it,
Put what left into your pocket.

Gregory A. Bean 12:37 PM  

@George Barany:

"I've met @Patrick Merrell several times, and (how to put this delicately?) he's of the same demographic as I am."

You mean he's a self-aggrandizing blowhard social-climbing namedropper?

John Child 12:41 PM  

Dorothy Parker was quoted in the 1930s that Katherine Hepburn ran "the gamut of emotions from A to B."

Nice to have you guest blog Annabel.

Masked and Anonymous 12:46 PM  

Monster dictionary def: "An imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening".

M&A Monstrous ratings dept.:
* VAMPIRE. B. Not especially large, but fits everything else very well.
* DRAGON. A. yep. Fits the bill. Fire-belchin is a nice bonus feature, also. Make it an A+.
* DEVIL. C+. High marks for frightening, for sure. Ugly, maybe; depends on whether it's wearin Prada.
* GIANT. C-. Definitely large. Mixed bag on the rest, tho. BFG was kinda kindly, e.g.
* CLOVERFIELD. Now, there's yer rodeo. (Just sayin.)

Very smoooth fill. Not near enough desperation. Patrick Merrell is a darn good constructioneer, so … that's the way the moo-cow crumbles. Speakin of witch …

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Top choice, informally} = FAVE.
staff weeject pick: NIL. As in: nothin deplorably good here to pick. This category is A-TOAST, to-day.

Thanx, Mr. Merrell. Fun & monstrous. Nice bonus TREX.
Primo job. Blu'Bel. Best of luck with them midtermz. Do U like Sam Cooke? Just askin.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Crash222 12:49 PM  

In Hong Kong they fire a noonday gun

Lyrics from the same song. Your memory is fading with age Noel!

mathgent 12:55 PM  

@Numinous: Excellent post, as usual. When you suggest that Herb Caen was the best San Francisco columnist ever, that is no trivial claim. Other greats are Stanton Delaplane, Terrance O'Flaherty, Charles McCabe, Art Hoppe, and the still-writing Carl Nolte.

How disheartening to hear that today's is Jeff Chen's puzzle of the week. A bleak week of puzzling ahead.

AliasZ 12:55 PM  

Thanks @Annabel for your sunlit, funny review.

I enjoyed this puzzle, especially the physical placement of the fairy-tale-scary creatures from the VAMPIRE BAT to the water-skimming DRAGONFLY, then into the water for the DEVIL FISH and to greater depths to see the GIANT SQUID.

I also like that the STALLION gallivants on the ground between the bat and the dragonfly, and the BEATNIK swims barely above the giant squid.

For the musical portion of our program, try this Piano Concerto by Austrian composer ERNST Toch (1887–1964)


ArtO 12:59 PM  

I, too, always thought it was noonday so once again a blogging learning experience. Knew the line from Coward not Kipling.

Crash222 1:06 PM  

In Hong Kong they fire a noonday gun

Lyrics from the same song. Your memory is fading with age Noel!

Teedmn 1:13 PM  

Hah, all the NOONDAY vs. midday talk got my little brain spinning around thinking there was a movie with the term NOON DAY in its title - turns out I was thinking of Dog Day Afternoon (mad dogs and afternoons and too much sun fried my neurons, apparently.)

I was in the mid-bottom solving clockwise when I hit the sEMI/dEMI/HEMI area - of course chose incorrectly, giving me a GsT ending at 41D, which seemed to signal some "anGsT" coming up but in the end, I didn't have an OFF day, and got the OFF NIGHT to fill in.

Cute puzzle, Mr. Merrell, and thanks for the write-up, Annabel.

John V 1:19 PM  

Patrick Merrill substituted for Will Shortz as celebrity guest at the Westport CT Library crossword tournament a couple of years back. AT the break, while the puzzles were being judged, he made picture puzzles, on the white board, of local landmarks for the audience to decode. It was brilliant and lots of fun. He told me last year in Stamford that he'd never done that before and just made it up on the spot, last minute. Ya know, some folks are a) ridiculously talented and b) over-the-top nice. Patrick is both. But that you already knew that.

Mad Dog 1:23 PM  

@Crash222 -- I gave you the whole song, but evidently you didn't read it: the line is

In Hong Kong they strike a gong and fire off a noonday gun,"

The internal rhyme is part of Noel Coward's genius. I don't know your generation, but perhaps you would appreciate it more if I suggested that the patter song is an ancestor of rap: rhythm and rhyme are important.

GILL I. 2:47 PM  

@Numi...Without a doubt, Herb Caen was the best.
Here is something I dug up:
March 28, 1996/Michael P. Lucas, Times staff writer:
Night has fallen on what the poet George Sterling called "the cool, gray city of love." The music and laughter rise and the town yawns, stretches and begins to wake up. The late-night crowd heads to North Beach and finds its way to Moose's on Washington Square. The jazz is smooth, the lights are low. You might see Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 49ers owner Eddie De Bartolo or Robin Williams. And one famous face is always here, with its halo of curly gray hair, attentive eyes and familiar beak.
When I moved to Sacramento from San Francisco, I kept the Chronicle so that I could read him. I cried for days after he died.
Remember Moose's? Baghdad by the Bay......

Tom 3:01 PM  

Long Live Herb Caen! Does the Chronicle still run his old columns on Sunday? I don't subscribe any more. Stopped after Bill Watterson quit penning Calvin and Hobbes.

Easy Monday. Usually do it on dead trees untimed, but did it on the 'puter today to see what time I could get. Did it in under ten, and I'm a hunt and peck typist, so I lose time looking at the keyboard.

Fresh write-up Annabel. Good luck on the midterms!

Larry Gilstrap 3:03 PM  

I am reminded of the recent retirement of sports caster, Dick Enberg, whose catch phrase, "OH, MY!," became the title of his autobiography. He reached early prominence broadcasting UCLA basketball and had a long career with NBC doing football and Wimbledon tennis. He was also the voice of the California Angels and for a few years shared the booth with Don Drysdale. They truly seemed to enjoy each other's company to the point of giddy distraction. He must be a nice man.

Dr. Bunger 3:17 PM  

Oddly, GIANT SQUID are a more common sight in the puzzle than in open ocean. Yankee whalers, the most adept in the fishery, rarely spotted them at the surface, but assumed that they were a primary food source for the sperm whale, as on occasion in the throes of death the leviathan would vomit up large portions of tentacles. Ambergris has also been found with the bony beaks of squid embedded within.

Z 3:27 PM  

@Purist - I wasn't aware that Psalms had been removed from the King James version of the bible. Fascinating.

Rudyard Kipling? Noël Coward? I'm more of a Joe Cocker kind of guy. Speaking of which, jealousy is such an ugly emotion that my only response is Cry Me a River.

Hartley70 4:50 PM  

What a DAY! It was worth it to do the puzzle and read you all late in the afternoon because the puzzle and comments sparkled!

The puzzle was a terrific Monday. I never had to hit the boredom button, and the theme was a real cutie. Monsters are second only to space in my book. Brilliant to have them fly above the horizon and swim below. Thanks Patrick! Since @George OUTED your age, I'll say you're very young at heart.

Glad you're feeling better, Annabel. I think the STINE books are ghoulishly fun too. If a certain family member of mine screams AFLAC one more time he's toast. I don't know why that's funny, but I have to accept that it is. Maya is pretty cute and it looks like she's wearing a soccer shirt from my town. I squinted my eyes to see that on my iPhone, so I'm probably wrong. Happy Bday to her!

Wm. C. 5:11 PM  

@Hartley70 --

Yes, @Maya's cute, and her soccer shirt may be from Wilton, CT, but maybe from Milton (MA) Academy. Annabel???

mathgent 5:13 PM  

@Tom (3:01): The Chronicle still reprints old columns on Sunday, sometimes Herb.

Roo Monster 5:30 PM  

@Hartley70 from Saturday...
Thanks for the shout out! Wow, that was awesome!
I usually wait to do the SatPuz until Monday, since the MonPuz is usually easy, and I don't usually have many rides. (Say usually much?) :-) That puz took me a while, so just finished a few minutes ago, went to Rexblog, and saw what you wrote!

So all that to explain why I never commented back! But ot was way cool for you to remember me! I feel so special!


jae 5:35 PM  

Easy, delightful, charming, season appropriate, liked it of course!

old timer 5:41 PM  

Still hoping somebody will come up with the actual Kipling quote.

But I came back to offer a word of praise to Fred Piscop. I am sure most of you do his Split Decisions puzzle if you do the Sunday xword, but Piscop cannot come up with these every week or maybe not even every month. Yesterdays was one of the best I've ever solved. Not at all Easy, nor should it be, and it was only today when I figured out the very bottom Across on the right hand side. Brilliant!

(P.S. The Chron was the best paper for columnists in my lifetime, with Caen, Hoppe, Gleason, McCabe, and for nostalgia's sake old Stanton Delaplane. Jon Carroll, who replaced McCabe, was excellent too, but when the Sackamenna Kid finally died it was the end of an era).

QuasiMojo 7:58 PM  

@old timer -- I don't know if anyone has posted this yet, but there's a line in a rather obscure sonnet by Kipling entitled "Discovery," composed when he was a student:

“And he, our Master, the unconquered one,
Lay in the nettles of the forest place
With dreadful open eyes and changeless face
Turned upward — gazing at the noonday sun.”

Carola 8:28 PM  

Gosh, where did the day go? Just chiming in to say that I'm glad you're better, Annabel, and thanks for the delightful review - and @Lewis, thanks also for that caterpillar link, which I sent on to my science-loving and certain-person-scorning granddaughter.

The Bruce Dickinson 9:58 PM  

I'm going to want more Annabel on this track. Explore the studio space this time...

Nancy 10:19 PM  

@Numinous, mathgent, old timer, et al -- I so agree with your admiration for the brilliance of Herb Caen that I said so two years ago. I was in Berkeley back in the summer of '62...Oh, hell, why type it again? You can find my comment on Dec 28, 2014 at 6:21 p.m. (I found my comment, which I'd forgotten I'd written, in the process of searching for the Caen column that inspired it. Which, sadly, I didn't find.)

kitshef 10:20 PM  

@calvin 93. There is still disagreement on how many kingdoms there are, but definitely more than just two. Of 'things most people are familiar with', fungi, for example, are alive but neither animals nor plants. Ditto bacteria.

Solved as down-only today and failed on ATOm instead of ATOB. Figured with OMAN's capital of Muscat up top, Togo's capital of LOmE could be down bottom.

Leapfinger 11:27 PM  

@John Child, thanks for saving me the trouble. That's the one DParker I take exception to. ;)

@Numi, 'and all the rest'... Mailer and Burroughs? lol about Redbone.

@Teedmn, haha, High Noonday Afternoon!

Pish Toch. Far from it.

Dang, we came So Close to 'Land-based biped with a monstrous name'. Not R.L., but his cousin FRANK N STINE

Anonymous 1:21 AM  

A to B
Very limited range
(Took me a while to figure out)

Purist 3:43 AM  

@Z 3:27

Sometimes your shirt becomes devilishly stuffed, does it not? I know, it isn't you: it's the principal of the thing.

spacecraft 11:34 AM  

Hello again, Pollyannabel! May you never wake up and smell the coffee.

This was a pretty good grid...till reaching the SW corner. ACTI crossing ATOB? TSK, sir. Wasn't sure whether 1-a was DOORS (great band!) or rOOmS, but a glance at the next clue cleared that up. My first thought as to what the cry to a battlefield medic could be was "Medic!" Props for any time you can fit RUTABAGA into a grid. Liked the ON/OFF pair. Today's bleedover TREX honors OFL...again.

Easy to pick CHER as DOD so soon again, but I'll give her an OFFNIGHT and go with Jane (think "Barbarella" and you'll understand). A relatively pleasant Monday romp. Here in Sin City you want to watch out for mid- to late afternoon for peak temps; NOONDAY not so bad. My poor memory validates the given entry for the Coward ditty. Who cares, really? We shall issue this FAVE constructor his due birdie and move on.

Burma Shave 12:00 PM  


Said the starved DEVILFISH to the DRAGONFLY,
“OHMY, for my NEEDS I had an OFFNIGHT,
SODOI eat you EARLYON in ANYONE bite?”


BS2 12:07 PM  

Please notice my posting time above - NOONDAY.

rondo 12:32 PM  

WHAT a nice Mon-puz. I think AliasZ was the only one to mention that the order in which you would find these monstrous critters in the wild equates to where you find them in the puz. VAMPIREBAT flying the highest and GIANTSQUID in the lowest depths. That’s a nice, and mostly unnoticed touch.

Coincidence with the whole Mad Dogs and Englishmen thing – this A.M. on MPR’s 89.3 The Current (stream it, please) in honor of Leon Russel’s passing they played a selection from Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen 1970 tour. Leon put the band together for that tour and introduced the songs. The concerts probably did not go off at NOONDAY.

It’s hard to pick a FAVE yeah baby between CHER and Jane FONDA (@spacey – yeah, that opening Barbarella striptease out of the spacesuit). But also give props to LATOYA for posing in Hef’s mag.

Everybody’s favorite BEATNIK’S gotta be Maynard G. Krebs.


Enjoyed this puz. As for lunch? ITSTIME.

leftcoastTAM 1:53 PM  

I guess "monstrous" is a fairly elastic word, though a bit jarring on a dark, post-election Monday morning. Could apply to a T-REX, to NERO, and maybe even to a Trump, though that may be stretching it a bit too far, one hopes.

Diana,LIW 2:14 PM  

Just read through all the comments, and the two questions I had were answered by @Teedmn and @Rondo.

I wondered if I was the only person with an OFFNIGHT by putting sEMI before HEMI? Ms. @Teeed supplied the answer to that.

And I also thought of my FAVE BEATNIK - Maynard G. Krebs of Dobie Gillis fame. Anyone know what the G stood for? You're right - it's "Walter." (The G is silent.) Work!? Work?!

Off to see The Monster Who Devoured Cleveland, which did not appear in today's grid.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rain forest 2:25 PM  

Fun and easy, which is what a Monday puzzle should be. Making either "sea level" or "horizon" the central across answer might have been nice, but I'm not complaining. Didn't hesitate to put in NOONDAY, thinking it was Coward immediately. Nice to find out that the coiner was Kipling. By the way, "do you like Kipling?" "I don't know, I've never Kipled".

Nice write-up by Annabel, as usual, and a plus for me because unlike with a certain other blogger, I look forward to reading her posts.

I see where Trump received a "beautiful" letter from Putin, and now he wants a partnership where they will oust the rebels from Syria, and bolster Assad.
Words fail me.

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