Symbol like prayer hands heart eyes / MON 11-7-16 / Obsolescent place to go online / Player most likely to shoot a three-pointer / West African country whose name is usually rendered in French / Home office item that's surprisingly expensive to replace

Monday, November 7, 2016

Constructor: Bruce Haight

Relative difficulty: Medium


THEME: I SEE (67A: "Aha!" ... or a hint to 18-, 23-, 37-, 48- and 58-Across) — two-word phrases, first word starts with "I", second word starts with "C":

Theme answers:
  • INNER CHILD (18A: What might make an adult jump in a pile of leaves)
  • INK CARTRIDGE (23A: Home office item that's surprisingly expensive to replace)
  • ISLAMIC CALENDAR (37A: What Ramadan is an annual feature of)
  • INTERNET CAFE (48A: Obsolescent place to go online)
  • IVORY COAST (58A: West African country whose name is usually rendered in French)
Word of the Day: FESTAL (47D: Celebratory) —
adjective
adjective: festal
  1. of, like, or relating to a celebration or festival.

    "he appeared in festal array" (google)
• • •

We remain in the well-worn, hoary, ultra-basic theme-type universe, with loads of dull short fill to boot. There are some nice moments—the longer Downs are fine, I'M GAY is at least interesting, and at least a couple of themers are lively and fresh, particularly ISLAMIC CALENDAR. There's even an ironic freshness to INTERNET CAFE—an "obsolescent" place that feels novel as a crossword answer. But the theme is a bore and most of the grid a chore. Lots of word parts today (MAHI, GILA), or singulars that really wish they were plurals. A single, lonely MANDM.* [Half of a fireplace tool] says it all. This puzzle is half a fireplace tool short of a pair of TONGs.


Not sure about the clue on IVORY COAST (58A: West African country whose name is usually rendered in French). "Usually rendered in French." Where? That's a rhetorical question. My point is: Certainly not in English-speaking countries (i.e. where this puzzle circulates). Google returns more hits (when names are in quotation marks) for IVORY COAST than for CÔTE D'IVOIRE. I see what the clue is trying to do, but "Usually rendered in French" is meaningless without context, and inaccurate for the vast majority of the public solving this puzzle. Great to bring up the Frenchness of the country's name, but make sure the clue phrasing is accurate. "Usually" ... for whom? Everyone? No.


FESTAL is not good on any day, and super-not good on a Monday. Major sore thumb territory. You don't say it, I don't say it, we all don't say it, and it's only here because of constructor desperation. No one willingly puts FESTAL in their puzzle—certainly not their early-week puzzle. Maybe in a tough spot on Th, F, or Sat you can get away with it. But you can see that it doesn't belong here.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

*On Saturday I bought a pack of peanut butter MANDMs. They were entirely forgettable. I will bring you periodic candy news as it becomes available.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

62 comments:

Loren Muse Smith 6:17 AM  

I like Bruce's puzzles with their focus on spelling and letters. He speaka my language. And he's an eye surgeon! So it's a cool reveal, I SEE.

Rex - your “you don't say it, I don't say it, we all don't say it”… was that a sly reference to the “we all scream for ICE CREAM” chant? Hah!

Hmm. I SEE, you are, Bee Gee, be you… wonder how many two-word phrases sound like letters. There are lots of single words that work: icy, beady, devious, enemy, ivy, seedy, excess, easy, cutie, excel, excellency, decay, essay, escapee, …

So Camp David could be seedy, right? And Bob Dylan's eyes are beady. Irene Carra’s stare is icy. NPR Morning Edition is not your enemy. Ok I'll stop. (Bruce – let's talk. Have your people call my people, ok? Great. TTYS.)

One issue – I think sarcasm has hijacked the phrase THANKS A LOT so that it pretty much means the opposite now. I've sat here imagining different scenarios where my appreciation would be heartfelt – you've just given me Rice Krispy treats, lined the girls' lacrosse field for me, offered to take my first period class so I don't have to face them, told me I'm a snazzy dancer… I would never say THANKS A LOT. I'd probably say Thank. You. So. Much.

(@M&A – didn't see your challenge until late, but I'm afraid I played all my elision cards with SMEE AGAIN (avatar), SIGH TIME, and SNOT ROCKET SCIENCE. Oh well.)

Bruce – always a pleasure. Now I want some ice cream. No wait, maybe a stiff Irish Coffee before first period.

Lewis 6:21 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 6:23 AM  

I like when a Monday puzzle has a couple of non-Monday words, as this does with TINCT and FESTAL, to help new solvers discover the usefulness of crosses -- though neither are words I use or hear. And there are some interesting angles to the puzzle:

* ATBAT is appropriately up.
* EDGE is on it.
* Nice cross of NOSY and INIT.
* Raise-the-eyebrows cross of IMGAY and ISLAMICCALENDAR.
* Happy to see NARC and USER far apart.

Grateful that the Idiotic Craziness is finally facing an Imminent Conclusion.

Anonymous 6:26 AM  

What? No tired Annabel? Something's not right.

Enjoyed the puzzle. A little harder than usual for a Monday but there's nothing wrong with that. Mondays have become predictable. Not this one.

Peanut Butter M and M's? I don't want to live in a world where MANDM's are part of cultural literacy.

Zippy

kitshef 6:59 AM  

Possibly my least favorite type of theme, so the fill or cluing was going to need to sparkle. There are some nice features: INNER CHILD crossing BONER, INK CARTRIDGE over SONY, and BERYL is lovely to see.

On the negative side, there is FESTAL and someone named TERI Polo? INTERNET CAFEs are not obsolescent. Maybe in NYC, but in the rest of the world they are ubiquitous and thriving.

And then there is the bizarre clue for TONG. If you are forced into that corner, clue TONG or scissor as a verb, not a made-up singular non-thing.

On balance, somewhere south of meh though not quite dreck.

@Rex. Cote D'Ivoire is the name of the country, and is used even in English-speaking countries. This has been the case for the last thirty years. Unless you would still use Upper Volta for Burkina Faso, or French Somaliland for Djibouti, you ought not be using Ivory Coast.

Old Lady 7:18 AM  

I particularly liked ICS in the exact middle of the puzzle. Peanut MANDMs - yes!! Peanut butter MANDMs - nooooo!!! Just the thought is distasteful. What next - marshmallow MANDMs?

George Barany 7:23 AM  

Thanks, @Rex, for your description of @Bruce Haight's IC puzzle, though (no disrespect) I had been so looking forward to @Annabel's take.

This has not been a good season for candy, think Skittles and Tic-Tac, so why not a singular M&M?

I just finished @Patrick Blindauer's puzzle #2 (available by subscription) called "Bipartisanship" -- no spoiler from me but just a very high recommendation.

Z 7:30 AM  

@Rex - I'm with @kitshef on this. Much like we don't see Bombay and Peking anymore, the only place I ever see Ivory Coast is classrooms in schools that haven't bought maps in 40 years.

Do people still "come out?" It seems so 2006 now. It seems we're very close to the point where almost everyone realizes that what consenting adults do is nobody's business and the only time being NOSY is justified is with people who misuse their positions of power (like Cosby, Sandusky, or Trump).

I could not find my ETTA EMOJI. Seems like a major oversight to me.

Ted 7:46 AM  

My INNER CHILD had a giggle at BONER.

I liked the puzzle in general. The theme is fine for a Monday, though the fill might be hard for some novice solvers.

You, me, and Rex know ETTA James, but she's not exactly a household name these days. Starting off the grid with "Jazzy James" (which your average youngster would assume is a guy named James ____) is tossing the kids into the deep end.

UNAS, TARO, BERYL, TERI... all gettable with crosses, but highly unlikely otherwise. Good teachers for those younglings, I guess. Life is hard!

The Bruce Dickinson 7:49 AM  

Rex, man, you have got what appears to be a dynamite sound! But...I could've used a little more Annabel.

chefbea 7:49 AM  

Loved the puzzle and kept thinking...what will Annabel say about it? But no such luck. Where is she?

Guess we will have an election puzzle tomorrow and Wednesday

Irene 7:56 AM  

Loved this because, just for once, the revealer was the last thing I filled in and I had been puzzling over what it was until then. Nice work, Bruce.

NCA President 7:59 AM  

Medium for me as well for all the reasons Rex mentioned: FESTAL (I wanted -ive somehow, but knew it was impossible), I had "epic" before SAGA, topaz before BERYL (don't judge), and rNA before DNA.

Is MISSOUT someone who has said, "IMGAY?" <-- That's as close as you'll get to a pun from me.

Don't touch that DIAL. Does anyone under 40 even know what that means? How long has it been since we've heard that phrase non-ironically? I'm guessing at least 30. I think I remember saying something like that in the 70s (even then it was used ironically). Ranks up there with "hold the phone."

I was surprised at this puzzle from BH, since most of his puzzles are uber-gimmicky. So I was pleasantly surprised that it was a straight forward themed puzzle that didn't try to do too many things at once. And for that, I give it a solid C...which is "average." Nothing wrong with average. In order for there to be fringe, there needs to be a middle of the road. In order for there to be vibrant, interesting, creative and engaging puzzles, you need to have puzzles like this. It's puzzles like this that give other constructors a standard from which to deviate.

Or, well...okay, probably too much thinking. It was okay. It did not offend.

Annabel Thompson 8:02 AM  

Hi guys. I totally forgot it was the first Monday in November. Next time I won't MISS OUT!!! Thanks @Rex for covering for me, you are awesome as always.

Anonymous 8:03 AM  

Normal difficulty for me. Have to agree with Rex on the theme and the sub-par fill. But then it is only a puzzle.
Would have been interesting to read Annabelle's take on this.

jberg 8:03 AM  

I would agree that "officially rendered" would have improved on "usually." Still, it seems likely that on any given day, most of the people referring to the country are those who live in it -- and they say it in French.

I'm waiting for the day when CHAD is clued as "African nation usually starting with T."

I needed the revealer to get the theme. For some reason, having the first two themers start with IN threw me off -- I wanted something involving the first and last letters, so that the rest of the answer would be IN them, or something like that; just never looked for the most obvious thing. So thank god for the revealer.

I never know what week it is since I retired, so I didn't notice her absence -- but I do hope Annabel is OK.

Vincent Lima 8:40 AM  

I loved @jberg's comment, "I'm waiting for the day when CHAD is clued as 'African nation usually starting with T.'"

Meanwhile, @Rex, who buys candy the Saturday after Halloween? I suppose your experience is nothing like mine: over 100 pieces collected by the younger kid (and hidden away for gradual release; the older one donates all but a few pieces of her loot to some charity), and a few dozen left over in the give-to-trick-or-treaters bowl.

jessica cohn 9:01 AM  

The clues I get stuck on are never the ones others comment on. Never heard of beryl and did not get Elise for beethovens honoree although seeing the answer I understand .

I'm always glad when I can finish a puzzle marked medium difficulty for Monday. Was able to finish by filling in other answers .
(Still a newbie at puzzles)

Hungry Mother 9:07 AM  

I concentrated on the downs today. FESTAL was interesting; that's why I do crosswords.

Mohair Sam 9:13 AM  

I thought it was neat that a puzzle had an actual "Aha" moment as a revealer.

We liked the puzzle is this house, although we did wince at FESTAL. Disagree with @Rex on IVORYCOAST - complaining about that usage is such an "old person move" - who am I quoting there? Buy a new map Rex.

Annabel! One day a month job and you're late for work? And the boss covers for you no less. Talk about spoiled, but at least you fessed up. And it looks like everybody missed you.
Anybody else from Wellesley starting work in the next few months? Hope she shows up on time.

A fine Monday puzz, fun.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:31 AM  

What is the world is 'Meet the Parents'? This is I think the third time in a week some actress from it has been in the puz.

Nancy 9:34 AM  

I don't expect much from Mondays and this puzzle seemed better than most. It's the sort of thing I'd give to a puzzle newbie -- not so easy that s/he would say: "Why are you wasting my time with this mindless nonsense?" and not so hard that s/he would say "Why are you torturing me with this frustrating pastime?" I really did like INNER CHILD, along with the clue for it. I didn't know BERYL: the only two green gems I've heard of are emerald and jade.

P.S. I Clap for you, @Lewis.

Jordan Silverstein 9:52 AM  

Agree on the IVORYCOAST comment. I think it's been at least a decade since I've seen any map with the English translation.

Aketi 9:54 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
QuasiMojo 9:59 AM  

"Inner Child" is a psychological term, not an expression of childish behavior or desire: "A person's supposed original or true self, especially when regarded as damaged or concealed by negative childhood experiences."

Beryl made me think of Beryl Markhum, the British-born Kenyan aviator. Would love to see her clued in a puzzle someday rather than good ole Amelia.

This puzzle was a bit on the "life of Riley" side even for a Monday. But it had some snap to it.

QuasiMojo 10:00 AM  

Oops. I meant "Beryl Markham" of course. Can't SEE what I'm typing this early in the morning without my reading glasses.

Bruce Haight 10:01 AM  

I was just reading the short story "Telemachus, Friend" by O.Henry this morning (it's available for free on WikiSource), and I noticed that in the fourth to last paragraph he writes "His wife had decorated it all up with hollyhocks and poison ivy, and it looked real festal and bowery". I love it when crosswords feature classic words like "festal" that bring back the feeling of another era... :) Bruce Haight

Whirred Whacks 10:02 AM  

I'm a member of the BRUCE HAIGHT FAN CLUB. I loved the ESTEE puzzle last summer that got Matt Gaffney's underwear in a bind. Indeed, Matt turned into a bully over that one.

A couple of years ago, Bruce did a puzzle that used only eight different letters (HAIGHT's EIGHT), and many of you found it to be a joy to solve.

This one is fun as well.

Keep up the good work, Bruce!

----

@Annabel The only other person I know who has a once a month gig is Billy Joel, the musician who shows up once a month to perform for a sold out Madison Square Garden. What do you think the MSG organizers (and fans) would do if Billy Joel forgot about his monthly gig every now and then?
:-)

AliasZ 10:21 AM  


Wouldn't it have been neater to have ICEE as the revealer?

I- C- offers a wide variety of possibilities from its immaculate conception through the inner circle of inventory control behind the iron curtain, inorganic chemistry needed to build integrated circuits under intensive care, all the way to an intentionally cultivated inferiority complex.

There is nothing more soothing than a madrigal or three by Orlando di LASSO (c. 1532–1594)

How about a nice round of Irish coffee for everyone, courtesy Irene Cara?

Don McBrien 10:32 AM  

Irene Cara's Irish Coffee? I could if Cara's Irish coffee is cold. I can't ingest coffee if coffee is caliente. I consume it, cough. It's crummy.

Aketi 10:43 AM  

Sigh, I hat autocorrect, but fixing it gave me an opportunity to go further in exploiting the potential of two grid answers.

@alias z, yes to ICEE to accompany the ICE CREAM @LMS mentioned.

@Annabel, missed you.

@jberg, good one

@rex, I think you missed an opportunity to comment on the recent upending of the meaning of NASTY, which now has new potential for fresh cluing.

Masked and Anonymous 10:53 AM  

IC x5!

@RP: yep. I'm with U. M&A hankers for the good ole days, where "common starter letter" themes used three letters, like yer 2010 SOS NYTPuz. I especially remember the SAWEDOFFSHOTGUN themer (and HOGCALLS). Primo. Had some EDGE.

@RP too: yep yep. Peanut butter M&Ms just ain't quite right. If given one, M&A always sucks on said MANDM until all the outer chocolate coatin has paid out, then it's time for trashcan target practice for spitters.

@RP one more time: yep yep yep. [Startin to sound like the neighbor's day-um runt dog.] FESTAL is indeed FIERCE, desperation-wise. M&A like. Also, the shorter fill may indeed have been slightly dull, becuz it had lotsa names (LILA. JON. ELLE. ETTA. CAIN. LEO. ELISE. ANDY. CORA. TERI, ANITA, KAL [fave weeject, btw] ). But NASTY, BONER and IMGAY kinda evens things out again, somehow. EDGE-y.

THANKSALOT, Mr. Haight. Fun and IC-y.

Masked & Anonymo2Us


**gruntz**

M Rivers 10:57 AM  

I'm easy, I'll admit it, so I liked this puzzle, but the comments are even better. @Don O'Brien, that was brilliant.

Here, here, for Beryl Markham relieving Amelia in a puzzle, though maybe not on a Monday. I liked the extra challenge of TINCT, the ever so casual IMGAY, the nod to Ramadan. But I too, missed Annabel. Ten demerits, young lady! And don't do it again.

And isn't it interesting that RP used Google as his defense of the name of a country, rather than a MAP? My daughter, a geographer, says geography explains everything, and here I must agree.

I'm off to put up HRC signs at the polls in tiny, tiny towns in central Illinois. Yes, the state will go blue, but here downstate, these signs don't last long. I'm hopeful that folks will respect the polling locations, but since they don't seem to respect private property, I'm not holding my breath. And then I must cobble together a pantsuit for tomorrow's lunch with some of the best women in the world.

old timer 11:04 AM  

I've been looking forward to Annabel Monday all week, and am very disappointed. Also surorised (well maybe not *that* surprised) at OFL's BONER with respect to Cote d'Ivoire. The puzzle? A little tougher than most Mondays, thanks to the SE corner, where I wrote in "idea" and wondered if ELISE had changed her name to Elisa. CAFE and FARCE came to me only at the end. Like many of you I used to depend on INTERNET CAFEs to keep up with my e-mail on the road. Nowadays I depend on my favorite places to eat and drink to have reliable WiFi, and on my iPhone to remember the password for each.

Carola 11:06 AM  

I join @Loren and @Whirred Whacks in the Bruce Haight fan club, and will channel @jae in saying "Liked it."

@Loren, I thought of you when I read the review of the second of the two books here - it sounded like one you'd enjoy.

John Hagen 11:07 AM  

Where is Annabel

crabsofsteel 11:16 AM  

Rex is being a little unfair, since in the country of CÔTE D'IVOIRE, that's what they call themselves.

Robert Rothschild 11:33 AM  

Only came here on a Monday to see Annabel's take!

Numinous 11:35 AM  

What she said: "It was over all too soon."

I did not find this difficult in the least. Not even medium. I was surprised to find UNAS mentioned here and had to go back to look for it. I noticed the FES___ but not until I'd completed the puzzle did I even see FESTAL. I didn't have an "Aha" moment at the end, it was more like, "Oh, okay, I get it."

Perhaps you need to set an alarm, @Annabel.

I had some disturbing news yesterday while reading the comments so none from me. The one thing I recall from yesterday is wondering if @Loren lives anywhere near NITRO WV. Was also noticing that NITRO is near Tornado WV and not far from Hurricane.

Hartley70 12:03 PM  

@Annabel, if you ever had a doubt, here is the evidence of how beloved your monthly post is. It is lovely to sleep in once in a while, though.

@Aketi's new avatar is the bomb! Make sure to check it out. That's putting today's puzzle to good use.

Thanks for the birthday wishes over the weekend. I was having too much fun to even look at Sunday's puzzle. I'll save it for a boring Monday, but this wasn't it. Nice job Mr. Haight! It was easy without being dumbed down. I haven't seen TINCT before in a daily and the ISEE clues weren't too obvious.

Anonymous 12:11 PM  

Have any of you tried crispy MANDMs? Are they any good?

chefbea 12:17 PM  

Just bought some peanut MandMs...havent tasted them yet.

mathgent 12:18 PM  

Fine job, Dr. Haight. Sorry that your clue "Spaceship-shaped thing from Mars" for MANDM didn't make it.

Best Monday in a long time. Can't do better than B minus because of the lack of crunch.

chefbea 12:19 PM  

They are fantastic!!! just had 2

Roo Monster 12:32 PM  

Hey All !
I-C I SEE. :-) Thought all themers were gonna start with IN- at first. Nope. 6 & 7D, had TINge and BOtch first.

Clue for CIGS OK for a MonPuz. I like the clue I had for it once, They're bummed. Feel free to plagiarize it, Bruce. :-)

Thought the grid looked pretty neat. Funky. No dreck! EASE-y and fun. (EMOJI)

When a magician makes a Cello relative appear? Voila, a VIOLA.

FIERCE FARCE
RooMonster
DarrinV

Dick Swart 12:34 PM  

Missed your comments today, Annabel.

Other than that, IMCOOL with the puzzle.

Larry Gilstrap 1:05 PM  

I can imagine that Wellesley College is a beehive today, what with the activities preceding the election involving one of their alumna, and, as I hear, the visit of the current president. Enjoy the excitement, Annabel.

Speaking of academia, in 1991, it was widely reported that while on a visit to BYU, former President Ronald Reagan courteously agreed to meet with a group of students and lead a forum. The discussion turned to foreign policy decisions of his administration. He admitted that by selling arms to Iraq, that they had "committed a BONER." The reaction of the crowd was that of an INNER CHILD, to say the least.

One last thing, I've noticed that some people are living under the assumption that it is possible to do and see everything. I've heard it referred to as the Fear of MISSing OUT. Be careful, Grasshopper.

DeeJay 1:18 PM  

The new, to me, mint Mark and Ms are awesome.

Carola 1:23 PM  

@Hartley70 - Belated happy birthday wishes! I'm glad to hear the weekend was FESTAL.

Teedmn 1:24 PM  

Did anyone else have Festal Pumpkin Pie Filling come to mind when they saw 47D "fill in"? Probably a local product but I remember it well. And thanks, Bruce Haight, for supplying the literary usage of FESTAL.

Good to see @Annabel was merely asleep at the switch and not down with some bug going around college.

And @NCA Pres, that's a pretty nice "near pun".

I liked the FIERCE and FESTAL duo. I mis-read the clue for 48A so I thought I was learning something new about where the "adolescents" were hanging out these days. And IVORY COAST reminded me of a topic I was pondering only this morning, which is "why are some countries' names so different in English from their native names?". Sweden and Norway were the two I was specifically thinking about - Sverige and Norge being the official names in each respective country. (Sva-ree-yeh and Nor-ee-yeh). Questions for the ages!

Masked and Anonymous 1:25 PM  

p.s.
@muse: IDENTITY CRISIS is an excellent selection, for masked dudes.. I still maintain that 3-letter "starter letters" themes, like @RP's call-for-help (SOS) puz, are primo-er, tho.
So … maybe an ICU theme? INTENSIVECAREUNIT. ITCOMESUP. INCURRENTUSE. IMCALLINUBER. ICANTUNDERSTAND. ICECREAMUTOPIA. ITCHANGEDUS. Choices are near endless, if one dares to be desperate.

@Blu-bel darlin: Yo, no show. Guess U get to do the TuesPuz blog tomorrow? Step up, for U, but M&A knows U can do it. Hint: figures to be one of them PRESIDENTELECT CLINTON/CRIMINY Schroedinger themes.

I-TEN C-ROLL U-TURN? Whoa, I think this theme is eerie-futably meant to be.

M&Also

Teedmn 1:27 PM  

@Hartley70, let me join in the belated birthday wishes. I'm glad it was a FESTAL one!

puzzle hoarder 3:14 PM  

Thanks to Bruce Haight for his use of FESTAL and his excellent citations of "Telemachus Friend" in support of it's use. I just read it and it's rather like "Deadwood" without the violence.
Words like FESTAL and ABYSM are bonuses that can appear on any day of the week. That's one of the reasons I like the NYTXWP. They weren't put in the dictionary by lazy incompetent constructors. They all have a history and I appreciate when I get a chance to learn it.
I don't doubt I did that Saturday puzzle that had FESTAL in it back in '98 but it's unlikely that memory had much to do with it's familiarity. I just ran out of space for FESTIVE and inferred the -AL ending like everyone else. It's a very common word ending and ANITA confirms it immediately.

Anonymous 3:55 PM  

Rex's overly long, overly critical comments re IVORY COAST/CÔTE D'IVOIRE are a great, but unfortunate testament to his over eagerness to find fault and spew negativism.

Anonymous 5:11 PM  

Glad to see that nobody is defending Rex`s comment on Côte d'Ivoire. Having worked there for four years, I would never say Ivory Coast (unless I think that the person I am talking to does not know much about world geography or hasn`t traveled much). When I hit my google maps button, you do not find Ivory Coast on the map (even though you do find the English names Norway, Sweden, etc.) It might help to do a little research before going off on a confident diatribe. OFL`s other criticisms do seem to have merit, though.

Elephant's Child 5:59 PM  

@puzzle hoarder, I'm with you 100% on ABYSM.
(a) It was a helluva way to avoid what could have been dunned as a POC.
(b) It was awfully nice to see AL get clear of the ABYSM where he'd been trapped for way too long.

OTOH, it may not pay to be overly concerned with getting the names of some countries just right. Not so much the IVORY COAST/CÔTE D'IVOIRE waffle, but looking at the Zaire/Congo, Republic of or other close variant thereto, it seems possible that if you just stick to your guns and wait a few years, you'll have it right again. Just a thought.

Burma Shave.

And a Big old Happy Birthday to @Hartley, @r.alphbunker and any others I've missed. Y'all are aging so gracefully.

Aketi 6:01 PM  

@Anonymous 5:11pm. I have been through Abidjan a bunch of times, often when I got stuck en route to somewhere else on the old Air Afrique route. Once I was stuck there for a whole week with a delegation from the Ministry of Health of Niger. We had a great time on the beach and dancing.

Integrity 6:11 PM  

Grow up. The country is Cote d'Ivoire. Get it? That's what the country itself says it is called. It is not called what Europeans and Americans WANT to call it. Or are you a white colonial remnant who insists on telling African people what the name of their country ought to be. You bitch and moan about a lot of crossword stuff. But this is just ignorant racist whining. If you are going to do that, then stop being so self-righteous about things like ghetto blasters. You can't call others racist when you, yourself, do the same thing. You may be right, but have no standing, since you, yourself, in your whining, do the same.

evil doug 7:00 PM  

Kramer: Hey. (notices Elaine) What's wrong?

Elaine: Oh, Peterman ran off to Burma, and now he wants me to run the catalog.

Kramer: Where?

Jerry: Myanmar.

Kramer: The discount pharmacy?

Joshua Allen 7:14 PM  

Had to sit here and run the entirety of Sure Shot through my head to figure out why it was included but now I SEE! Ma Bell, got the ill communication.

jae 8:59 PM  

Medium sounds right. Pretty smooth except for the F word (hi everybody), OK Mon. theme, I liked it too @Carola.

Hartley70 11:57 PM  

Hey, @Aketi, @Carola, and @Elephant's Child, thanks for the bday shout out!

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