Vegas casino developer Steve / MON 2-20-17 / Tourist destination in county kerry ireland / Fine thin cotton fabric

Monday, February 20, 2017

Constructor: Ed Stein and Paula Gamache

Relative difficulty: Normal, Medium Monday

THEME: Presidents Day — presidents' names, arranged symmetrically ... [cough] ... and then clues! All beginning "Only president...":

Theme answers:
  • ROOSEVELT (Teddy, I assume) (17A: Only president to scale the Matterhorn)
  • HARRISON (Benjamin, I assume) (27A: Only president whose grandfather was also president)
  • OBAMA (37A: Only president born outside the continental United States)
  • TYLER (39A: Only president to have 15 children)
  • BUCHANAN (44A: Only president to be a lifelong bachelor)
  • CLEVELAND (58A: Only president to be married in the White House)
  • TAFT (53D: Only president to administer the oath of office to two other presidents)
  • FORD (12D: Only president to serve as both vice president and president without being elected)
Word of the Day: ORGANDY (21A: Fine, thin cotton fabric) —
noun: organdie; plural noun: organdies; noun: organdy
  1. a fine translucent cotton or silk fabric that is usually stiffened and used for women's clothing.
early 19th century: from French organdi, of unknown origin. (google)
• • •

These are just president names. So apparently we're just giving up on having actual themes now? I can't think of a lazier Presidents Day-themed puzzle than this one. "Oooh, symmetrical presidents!" Is that the reaction you're supposed to have? Or is it just "Oh, what a curious bit of trivia!" I don't understand the kind of person who is delighted by learning some meaningless and forgettable "Only president to scale the Matterhorn"-type fact. Or, rather, I can see finding that sort of trivia delightful, but I can't see anyone's thinking "oh my, yes, this is a totally sufficient basis for a crossword puzzle." The puzzle is in a really terrible rut of mediocrity right now. They've been dull or ripped-off or just bad for days and days now. I feel like I'm just sitting here waiting for another Patrick Berry or Lynn Lempel or other competent loyalist to show up in the byline; everything else, I'm mostly just enduring.

Obviously the fill here is subpar. When you end on the sterling combo of LTD and LLCS (....?) in the Downs and ADDN (...) SMEW (!) in the Acrosses, well, you know things are dire. Only trouble today involved more fabric nonsense and some casino owner. I wrote in (Eugene?) ORMANDY at one point for the fabric, before Catherine of ARAMON showed up and I was like "Uh, I don't know you." As for [Vegas casino developer Steve] WYNN, well, I wouldn't know he existed if it weren't for crosswords (I didn't remember him today, but I think I've probably seen his name a handful of times over the years). Other than those two answers, only a brief ERRORS-for-ERRATA error slowed me down at all. Oh, and some minor hesitation over TRALEE (a very crosswordesey 6-letter answer). I can't believe JUNO is in this puzzle and AENEID is in this puzzle and there's no cross-reference. She's the primary antagonist! Gonna go have some whiskey and try to forget this puzzle happened.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Mark Barrett 12:10 AM  

Rex: No mention of the segment about your old pal Will Shortz on CBS "Sunday Morning" earlier today? :)

As for the puzzle those tidbits about the presidents are either already known or nice ones to learn. For trivia fans most if not all those fills were gimmes.

Gregory Nuttle 12:32 AM  

I ended up having to guess on the ARAGON/ORGANDY cross, but G was the only reasonable option, so I guess that was fair. Still, though, I'm not used to having to guess at something on a Monday. Other than that, I have to agree with Rex, this was utterly forgettable.

Rachel 1:02 AM  

Who SMEW there were so many different kinds of ducks!?

I actually enjoyed the theme and found the trivia lighthearted and fun. I think I also just have a more forgiving attitude earlier in the week--I'm less mad at something that takes a couple of minutes to solve for being silly than I am at a more difficult puzzle that demands significant time and attention to solve but doesn't feel like it respects that investment.

Larry Gilstrap 1:15 AM  

Come on! That was a more than decent Monday puzzle. All those presidents on Presidents Day and even a shout out to the Presidential DOG, for crying out loud. We even get Tippecanoe and TYLER too. Plus, the president of Afghanistan and NIELSEN, the former president of Sweden, moment of silence. Ok, I made that part up, but who cares anymore?

If you ever find yourself in Riverside, CA, stop by the delightful Mission Inn, have a drink in the Presidential Lounge, and sit in the TAFT chair in the lobby. He was a big man.

Once again, my mom's maiden name, COPE, appears in the Gold Standard of Crosswords and I couldn't be prouder. Wow, I just realized I had better change some passwords. Fortunately, nobody reads these comments, anyway.

I guess Kenya is outside the continental United States, according to the cluing. I'm thinking ADDN is outside the limits of acceptable fill, according to what I know about puzzles.

One big nit: COMETS do not streak. They just sit there ALOFT for days or weeks or months. Remember Hale-Bopp? Meteors streak. I'm certain most of you have seen them both and recognize the difference.

Fountains of Golden Fluids 1:16 AM  

Does anyone remember laughter?

chefwen 1:55 AM  

After the first few moments I decided to fill in just the down clues, I hadn't tried that before but I thought it would make Monday a little more of a challange, and it did. The top half was easy, the rest not so much. It added a bit more resistance to the solve and made it a lot more fun than the usual Monday romp. Uncovering the Presidents on this Holiday Eve was a treat also.

jae 2:16 AM  

Medium-tough for me. Did not know TRALEE (I did know WYNN) and was iffy on spelling BUCHANAN. Seemed like a fine Mon. given the holiday, liked it?

chefwen 2:29 AM  

Oops, let's try challEnge, no wonder I have a hard time doing these puzzles.

Kyle 2:34 AM  

TRALEE is a 6 letter word obscure proper name crossed with 5 other proper names, some of which were obscure in their own right. TRaLEE crossed with BUCHANaN was the real kicker for me. Never heard of the first and was convinced that Buchanon would end with an O.

Hartley70 2:53 AM  

I'm in the camp that enjoyed the Presidential trivia, but then again I'm on day 12 of the most miserable bronchitis imaginable and covered in a rash from an antibiotic allergy. Just about any entertainment would be a welcome diversion from coughing at this point.

The theme was Monday fine with me. If @Rex could organize President's Day later in the week next year, I bet a more sophisticated and challenging theme will be on offer. In 2017, I'm okay with a wow for 15 children (how many wives did that take?) and a hmmm as to BUCHANAN's grandfather. Wait, wait...don't tell me! I'm thinking Presidential Trivia should be a unit in all 5th grade American History classes. Maybe it already is, but I sure missed out on the fun back when I was memorizing a list of names in 1958.

I appreciate the canine component. I have a soft spot for Millie, myself. I love a dog who's been published.

Martín Abresch 3:08 AM  

Enjoyed the trivia; did not enjoy the puzzle.

Charles Flaster 3:31 AM  

Liked the trivia and puzzle was enjoyable. No real answers stand out but I learned ORGANDY.
I remember a Sunday puzzle by Henry Hook where the answers were anagrams of presidents' names. It was very cleverly done.
BUCHANAN was a bachelor but he "intersected" with BRIDES. Go figure!
Thanks ES and PG.

Anonymous 3:52 AM  

You have to drink to get over a crossword puzzle you didn't enjoy? Get a grip, son.

Moly Shu 4:16 AM  

I have a feeling that if @Rex"s beloved HRC had won the election, the write up would have had a much different tone. Yet another reason I'm thankful she lost, I love OFL when he's cranky. My natick was NIELS?N crossing R?NEE. I had an O in there and refused to let it go. RoNEE seems as plausible as RENEE, after all, opera singers names are just a bunch of random letters thrown together. How can I be expected to know crappy music stuff like that? Am I right @Nancy, @AliasZ, and @Oisk ???

Loren Muse Smith 4:19 AM  

A Presidents’ Day puzzle with bits of trivia – fine by me. Rex – sure, it didn’t have me oohing and aahing with delight, but no biggie.

@Larry Gilstrap – your Sweden comment:

“… and NIELSEN, the former president of Sweden, moment of silence.”

Now THAT delighted me. I’m glad I had swallowed my coffee before I read that. One of the funniest lines posted here. Ever. It’s right up there with what @Lewis quipped back in April when the theme was female authors with male pen names:

“…in North Carolina, authors can only use the name that is found on their birth certificate.”

For both comments, the timing with the news is key. Back in April it was in the thick of the Trans Bathroom Flap. Today, it’s the Mystifying Sweden Thing.

Back to the puzzle itself – I have to wonder if this was constructed before Ed and Paula could’ve fathomed “Trump” where TYLER is. Imagine the possibilities of the clue, “The only president to…”

@Kyle – I had the same thought on the TRALEE/BUCHANAN cross. I guessed A, so I was lucky. Actually, @ Moly Shu, I had a dnf because I had “Nielson” crossing “Ronee.” If I had gone back to check, I probably woulda changed it.

ORGANDY went right in. Eighth word. Thanks, Mr. Garfunkel.

Theodore Stamos 4:39 AM  

ORGANDY?! Really? ORGANDY?! On a Monday?!

Aria Cleveland Macadamia 4:44 AM  

Had fun with the trivia...
Memorized presidents in order 25 years ago before I went on Jeopardy! In case there was a category and there was!

Still remember them... Mnemonics like George HARRISON intoning "#9, ...#9"; 13 you have to FILL MORE of a missing floor in a building; 14 you get your ears PIERCEd,; 18 you're GRANTed your rights, 19 you're in a HAYES/haze, etc
I think BUCHANAN was 15 Bucks...

(@Charles Flaster 3:13
neat catch on that BUCHANAN/BRIDES crossing
And @Larry Gilstrap
Your mom's maiden name and my mom's married name CLEVELAND... Let's open a joint account!)

Have to reluctantly agree that bottom fill is a bit of a non-Mondayish mess with NCAA/ATIE/ADDN/LLCS/SMEW...
Suppose if constructively criticising I should offer a smooth alternative... But too tired! And I ain't no Lynn Lempel ;)

John Child 4:46 AM  

Let's not forget to pay tribute to President Nielsen, who called for a TV in every house and a monitor on every TV, or President Macademia who was really a nut. Sort of like President Ozonehole now...

COPE is back. Any more discussion of the antebellum south? No? That's great.

I thought it was a fine puzzle on a Presidents' Day Monday holiday. I would have been delighted if the constructors could have eliminated all other proper names from the fill. Maybe too much to ask, but it would have been elegant.

Anonymous 5:30 AM  

This puzzle agrees HRC's staffers were right. Obama not born in U.S.

Eric NC 5:53 AM  

@molee. Exact same dnf. Couldn't find that mistake. @chef lol I decided to just do a crosses for same reason but too easy with all the pres names. Will try downs next Monday. @rex is like pros at anything. They become so good that it's tough to enjoy anything less than perfection. E.g. In my golf game I'm delighted with one or two good holes. Easier to enjoy. Feel sad not mad at Rex.

Lewis 6:08 AM  

@john -- Great post -- good points and funny as well! You did forget about our current President ERRATA.
@Rex -- When you say puzzles have been ripped off, I'm guessing you're talking about last Thursday's black box puzzle, but if you read the author's notes, it sounds like he came up with that theme independently of ever having seen the theme before.
@moly -- Agree re the NIELSEN/RENEE natick.

Very nice to be diverted to others besides our current one on this President's Day. I was prepared (and hoping) for a Rex rant on the current administration, but alas. ALOFT is indeed aloft in this puzzle, and that FORD goes very well with HARRISON, speaking of which, there's someone who might consider retiring his pilot's license.

evil doug 6:17 AM  

That shtick is getting tiresome, Lewis. Michael's finally calming down; let him....

Sure glad they told us the Musial in question was a baseball player and in the Hall of Fame. Thought it might be that other one....

Snowflake, formerly not a robot 6:55 AM  

Imagine if you were in the fifth grade and this was the creation of a very clever teacher who turned a history test into a crossword puzzle. That's what it felt like to me.

Too bad LBJ didn't make an appearance. Robert Caro's multi-volume biography on him is fascinating reading, although for the life of me, after all that reading I can't recall a single bit of crossword appropriate trivia.

Lobster11 6:58 AM  

I have no gripes about the theme, but I have a lot of gripes about the fill. Not much more to say about that that hasn't been said already, except that I think if the theme answers are all proper names, the fill should include few if any others.

That said, I'm not sure I've ever really gotten much joy out of a Monday puzzle anyway, so I can't say I'm particularly disappointed.

Arlene 7:05 AM  

I was surprised to see negative comments about ORGANDY. Little girls' party dresses have been traditionally made of organdy. Brings back fond memories as well. Seems that there are typically complaints when words skew to more feminine subjects.

Glimmerglass 7:09 AM  

Happy Presidents' Day. There's an appropriate lack of challenge (it's Monday!) in finding Presidents' names from a cross or too. Sure , the trivia is mostly trivial, but that's the point. Some clues, people know or can figure out (TAFT was a four-letter President who became a Supreme Court justice, so . . . .) (most of us remember FORD's and OBAMA's history). @Rex, you seem determined to be bored. If so, you will be successful, and we will beb bored by your blog (alas).

Anonymous 7:38 AM  

Boy, you're tough, Rex! I thought it was an easy, but fun puzzle. Even if I knew much of the trivia, I enjoyed the reminders. Lighten up!

Small Town Blogger 7:51 AM  

Obama was born in Hawaii, not Kenya. Are you a hidden birther?

chefbea 7:53 AM  

Great puzzle for presidents day!! I still remember one of my organdy dresses. Love macadamia nuts!! your avatar!!!

Anonymous 8:06 AM  

I think I might be the only one who had ORGANza instead of ORGANDY. Anyone else?

Dr. Haber 8:35 AM  

I agree. Had organza which is equally obscure.

Laura Hoke 8:37 AM  

I think ORGANDY is perfectly acceptable, maybe it's a girl thing. WYNN's is a huge resort in Vegas, didn't need to know the actual man to easily fill in that answer. I don't know why they wouldn't reference ARIA and RENEE. Are you this miserable all the time Rex, or just after doing crossword puzzles?

seanm 8:41 AM  

tuesdayish for me. didn't know organdy but the crosses were all monday level. TRALEE was a complete woe, and crossing neilson and the last vowel of buchanan was not really monday fair. ADDN is terrible. SMEW looks wrong

Wm. C. 8:41 AM  

Hey @Rex --

"You guess" that it was TEDDY Roosevelt that climbed the Matterhorn? A good guess, since most University Professors (from New York, yet) would know that FDR was wheelchair-bound from childhood polio and had an assortment of other maladies, whereas Teddy (of "Rough Rider fame) was an avid outdoorsman and, as President, an active supporter of the National Park Service.

QuasiMojo 8:46 AM  

Exhibitionists streak, comets orbit.

I'm old enough to remember when we had two presidential holidays in February. Lincoln and Washington. I preferred that. I have fond memories of decorating our classroom with images of each (in succession).

Gore Vidal, in his usual catty way, liked to insinuate that Buchanan was a lifelong bachelor for a reason.

I wish Fala had found its way into the grid.

I'm in complete agreement with Rex today. Plenty of junk here that made me groan, especially "addn" -- which was odd since they spelled out "station" today which normally is always abbreviated.

Just my two Lincoln pennies. (Or tupPence?) Our next president?

puzzle hoarder 9:00 AM  

Wpuldn't it be great if WS came here every day and reviewed our host's reviews. Supposedly WS commented the other day when the money things got under his skin. Having the two of them go back and forth here could be very entertaining.

As for the puzzle the presence of ORGANDY and TRALEE more than made up for the other dull fill entries. Since coming here and doing early week and Sunday puzzles regularly I'm very aware of how much ese I was missing.

Wm. C. 9:10 AM  

To those who never heard of TRALEE ... Go here --

Z 9:22 AM  

As recently as last year John Tyler (b.1790) still had two living grandsons. The latest article I found about the pair was from February 2016. See what fathering children in your 60's does for your legacy. Get on it Men!

@LMS - Nice video, which made me wonder just who this Emily was to have both Paul and Syd write songs about her.

Hand up for playing Whac-a-Vowel at our (possibly) first gay president. I successfully guessed the A. Never considered RoNÉE, but I am sympathetic.

As for all the presidential trivia, <>. I guess it is Monday appropriate but if I want Presidential Trivia I'll go to Mental Floss for a tasteful helping.

I see anonymice go to the same college as Kyrie Irving.

Z 9:25 AM  

That was supposed to be a "yawn" but Blogger didn't like my use of guillemets.

Knitwit 9:29 AM  

Happy President's Day! This was a fair tribute to some of our leaders. Glad Ford made it into the mix. Kept thinking RINGOF for 39D. And learned about another type of duck. Now heading outside to enjoy some ☀️!

Lewis 9:30 AM  

I propose that we call terms such as natick, rebus, dook, and pangram -- gridioms.

Passing Shot 9:53 AM  

Rex summed this up perfectly. Interesting trivia does not a quality puzzle make.

ArtO 9:54 AM  

A perfectly fine, appropriate Presidents Day puzzle which gave us all a bit of trivia knowledge.

Beyond me to see the spleen directed at this puzzle by OFL. Of course, it's his right, it's his blog. But I must say I was shocked by the negativity for a puzzle i thought quite well done.

Professor Poopypants 10:06 AM  

@Wm C - For what it is worth, FDR did not contract polio during childhood. Check out pictures from his 1920 Vice Presidential run. He was walking in parades etc. I believe the disease was contracted in 1921 and FDR was entering his mid 30s at the time. FDR's family regularly vacationed in Europe--he was once 6 weeks late for the start of a semester at Hah-vahd, and he was an avid outdoorsman, much more than sickly Teddy was in his youth. So the climber does need specification.

Small Town Blogger 10:20 AM  

The clue says outside the CONTINENTAL U.S. Obama was born in Hawaii.

Small Town Blogger 10:21 AM  

Yup, me too.

r.alphbunker 10:32 AM  

Solved this using the feature of my program to visit each clue of the puzzle, enter its answer and promptly erase it once I move onto the next clue. This means that there are no crossing answers to help with any clue. When all clues have been visited in this way, the entered answers appear. The only president I didn't get was 44A {Only president to be a lifelong bachelor} BUCHANAN.

@Larry Gilstrap
Be forewarned that I read your comments. :-)

Details are here.

gruffed 10:44 AM  

Seems a shame that Rex gets so bitter about a puzzle that he must resort to whiskey to help him forget the experience of solving it. Eight presidents on Presidents' Day placed symmetrically in a 15x15 grid is not too shabby, certainly theme-worthy and hardly a lazy effort on the part of the constructors, particularly since the clues for each were interesting and in some cases edifying. Maybe you should find another hobby, Rex, one that you might enjoy!

Malsdemare 10:46 AM  

It's embarrassing when you can finish late week puzzles with just a little angst and then DNF on a Monday with the SAG/DOG cross. I filled in SAt without a blink and thus never saw the DOt error. To add to my humiliation, I skipped the Bo/checkers clue because I kept thinking of Diddley and Chubby, and didn't see how rock and roll stars would fit in three squares. I'm still banging my head on the wall.

President Ozonehole! That will keep me smiling all day.

@Hartley, hope you get well soon.

Malsdemare 10:48 AM  

@Lary Gilstrap. I read 'em too!

GILL I. 10:58 AM  

TRALEE tralala. Take the Dingle walk and see (if you must) the Rose of Tralee in August. If you're of Irish decent and a brunette you could win!
Here's so more trivia...JUNO Catherine of ARAGON had the longest marriage to Henry VIII? Over 20 years I believe. Can you imagine that? At least she kept her head.
My favorite, really...was seeing our life long bachelor BUCHANAN meeting up with the BRIDES.
This was just fine for Monday....All the words used are everyday words - nothing made up. @Hartley....Maybe you need to eat more salads? Hope you feel better.

Snowflake, formerly not a robot 11:01 AM  

@Anonymous at 8:06, I started with ORGANZA, and changed it later.

@Arlene, if you're surprised to see a negative comment on just about anything you aren't reading the comments regularly. I wouldn't read too much into ORGANDY.

old timer 11:22 AM  

I admired the density of theme, but was astonished at how recondite some of the answers were (for a Monday). ORGANDY? TRALEE? SMEW? Not at all Monday lite. As a fan of US History I had no problem putting in the Presidents. And you know if HRC had won, it is at least possible OBAMA would have been an early appointment to the Supreme Court, maybe someday, like TAFT, Chief Justice. Early days yet though. TAFT left office in March 1913 and became Chief 8 years later.

I wish OFL was a bit happier. This was a fine puzzle and appropriate for the holiday. Just a little Wednesdayish in difficulty in some parts.

Joseph Michael 11:37 AM  

Holiday specific with eight themers and some interesting trvia about presidential distinctions.
Makes for a good Monday puzzle in my book. Also liked the bonus of a presidential DOG at the center of the grid

And thanks to @John Child for the laugh I got from President Ozonehole. That was the best part of the whole thing.

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

Thought Nut from Hawaii bisecting OBAMA was a bit cheeky.

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

I agree, was fun. Rex, get a life, or you can create and submit puzzles.

Anonymous 12:01 PM  

It's so refreshing hearing Pres Trump speak. For once we're not being fed a bunch of political spin and BS.

Warren Howie Hughes 12:02 PM  

Come the DAWN on this Monday in February, we're looking pretty DARN PREsidential with this ERNEST offering that was co-WROTE and TYLER-made by Ed Stein and Paula Gamache, albeit By Prexy? No MAS need be said!

Anonymous 12:02 PM  

Hi @showflake...formally not a student of history

We must have read a different bio of LBJ. Mine included:

The Civil Rights Act (1964)

Medicare and Medicaid (1965)

The Voting Rights Act (1965)

The Clean Air Act (1963)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The Great Society (1965)


Roo Monster 12:10 PM  

Hey All !
Decent MonPuz. Presidentially. Some neat facts about each included Pres. Don't think it deserved the vitriol Rex spewed at it. Monday, after all.

OZONEHOLE sounds a bit like an insult. Didn't like clue for MAS. How about- Initials of a frequent NYTX maker? Or - Masked ones?? :-)



Barbara D 12:59 PM  

Arlene--I agree with your comment. I think most guys have never heard of organdy. I don't hear a lot of complaints when the puzzles are filled with references to obscure sports figures. Super easy puzzle for me

Canon Chasuble 1:07 PM  

I actually loved today's presidential trivia. Here are two more:
1. The only president to be sworn into office by his father?
2. TWO presidents who were also presidents of Ivy League universities?

Andrew Heinegg 1:11 PM  

I did not agree with Rex's review even a little bit today. It is President's day and a Monday, so to have a puzzle with presidential trivia some of which I never heard of, Teddy climbing the Matterhorn, and some of which I forgot, only unmarried President-Buchanan, seems entirely appropriate and fun. Because of all the proper names in such a puzzle, you have to figure that some usual suspects in the way of trivial answers will find their way in and they did. But, I felt that the organdy and Tralee answers were enough to allow for the old hat stuff. All in all, I liked it a lot.

As it is President's day and some commentary is making its way into the blog, I cannot resist chiming in.

I have come to the conclusion that, if I agreed with everything that Trump has done and everything that he says he is going to do, I would still be hoping and waiting for his impeachment, as I am now.

My reason is a simple one. I now have not the slightest doubt that he is profoundly mentally ill and looking like he is headed downward with his increasingly belligerent and disorderly public appearances.

One of the clearest signs of mental illness is when someone looks at irrefutable facts and swears that they are otherwise. From looking at the pictures of the number of people at his inauguration and alleging that as an alternative fact there were more people there then there were at Obama's first inauguration to claiming to have gotten the most electoral votes since Reagan, he looks at the facts and refuses to accept them. It is delusional, plain and simple.

When it is pointed out to him that he is either lying or delusional, his response is that he was retweeting what someone else tweeted or he was just told the lie that he said.

You look at his immature behavior when things don't go the way he thinks they should from as far ranging things as Nordstrom dropping Ivanka's line to the Courts ruling that his immigration order was illegal, he displays the temperament of a 9 year old at the age of 70. Anybody who ever has the slightest disagreement with him is labeled a bad person and personally insulted.

All the signs point towards profound mental illness. I only hope he is out of office before he gets a chance to do something completely catastrophic.

Teedmn 1:19 PM  

Easy for a Monday - I didn't know any of the presidents as clued except OBAMA and FORD but a couple of crosses each got them all in place. So I am very impressed by @r.alphbunker's solve, that he got all but BUCHANAN with no crosses. Wow!

I flirted with the NIELSoN/NIELSEN DNF but the latter looked better, as did RENEE.

I'm so glad I didn't think of the ORGANza answer - ORGANDY went right in off the ORG.

I did wince a bit seeing ADDN but wasn't bothered by any other fill. TRALEE is a lovely town in which I spent a night on a bicycle tour of Ireland back in 2003 so that was a gimme.

Does anyone else want to spell 57A HArMID? I want to add a symmetrical R to go with his last name, not sure why.

@JohnChild, thanks for the bonus themers, and thanks ES/PG for this timely, themed puzzle.

@Hartley70, I hope your AILments improves swiftly!

Henry VIII 1:26 PM  

This puzzle should be super easy for anyone who graduated High School in the 60's or earlier. My solve was sub six minutes, and that's just about as fast as I can type.

I'm amazed that any college professor in America could look at Catherine Of____ and not know ARAGON? How about Anne Of____ ? Green Gables? Maybe, but at 11 letters, more likely Cleves. Of course the clue could have read Anne Of A Thousand Days, but then Rex would have had to struggle with the spelling of BOLEYN.

Lets move on to Catherine The ____ So-So?

John 1:37 PM  

#35 Moms=Mas really bugged me for some reason. Lame clue.

Warren Howie Hughes 1:38 PM  

Henry VIII, I use to love watching "BOLEYN for Dollars" on Saturday afternoons on ABC, back in the Days of Yore...I wonder if it was 'down' your alley, as well? :-)

chefbea 1:41 PM  

@Hartley70 I'll make you some chicken soup...feel better soon

Anonymous 1:46 PM  

@Andrew Helnegg @111AM,
That describes All hard core Republicans.

Anonymous 1:47 PM  

Just another alt-right conspiracy theorist showing off his stellar reading comprehension skills. Nothing to see here.

Snowflake, formerly not a robot 1:55 PM  

@Zippy, I meant the trite sort of trivia suitable to this Monday puzzle. I don't think of those things as trivial. Plus, you had another Johnson.

Here are some fun possible things, I suppose:

The Great Society president.
Only president sworn in on a plane.
Used the phrase, "...I know chicken shit from chicken salad."

Mohair Sam 2:11 PM  

What's more fun in Cruciverbia than a President's day puzzle with Presidential trivia? What the heck is your problem? You want something trickier talk to your elected reps about moving this holiday to a Thursday.

So I was thinking - 5d (SAVIORS) could easily have been clued with something from AMC's "The Walking Dead." I can't recall a TWD clue in the Times crossword ever. Yet I'm expected to know every character, the actor playing him or her, their state, and their favorite pet in HBO's "Game of Thrones". These are two hot shows for about seven years on the tube. TWD wins the overnights, GoT wins in multiplatform over time (that means millennials steal it). I've read all five "Thrones" books and never miss "Dead" so I don't have a dog in the fight. Just curious as to why Will Shortz and his constructor buddies ignore the Dead.

In spite of missing a great cluing opp at 5d I loved your puzzle Stein and Gamache.

Anonymous 2:44 PM  

"What's more fun than trivia"? I don't know; wit?

Orange Is The New Black 2:57 PM  

@Andrew Heinegg :


You still don't get it Andrew. President Trump is playing the Lame Stream Media, and by extension you, like a Stradivarius. He throws out an exaggeration or factually dubious comment and has all you Pavlovian Progressives foaming at the mouth.

President Trump mentions the unrest in Sweden which informed people have been aware of for months, and ten thousand Progressive "Journolists" fall over themselves rushing to discredit or disprove him. Obama could tell Bald-Faced lies to America, (If You Like Your Doctor---) and the same press never made a peep!

If nothing else, President Trump is filling my days with laughter and amusement. I can always count on coming to this blog or other blogs, and finding someone like yourself, whose head is exploding yet again. Its the gift that keeps on giving, and we still have 47 months to go. Judging solely from the tenor of your posts, I'd bet money that you'll be on psychotropic medication before President Trump is impeached.

Have A Nice Day!

Hungry Mother 3:01 PM  

72% Irish according to my DNA test, but didn't know TRALEE. I don't know whether to resubmit my saliva or look it up.

jberg 3:12 PM  

I once had a very primitive computer game, meant for pedagogical purposes, where you drove a little train around, picking up the presidents in the order in which they served. Everyone you picked up became another car on your train, which you had to keep inside a square without letting the front hit another part of it. So you had to get 'em fast. As a result, BUCHANAN was no problem for me, although I did think maybe Trump had all those kids. John TYLER, who knew!

For LBJ, "only president to show his appendectomy scar to the national press" would be on about the right level of trivia.

Steve WYNN is building a casino just outside Boston, and was engaged in an epic multi-year struggle with Boston's mayor about whether he would have to improve some of the roads in the adjoining part of the city. Big money was at stake, so his name was in the paper just about every day. I'd never have got him otherwise.

As for COMETS, they may not streak, but they look like a streak when you see them, what with their tails and all. As for the SMEW, it's a lovely bird.

Here's a challenge:


Make this into a theme! It will be dandy.

Malsdemare 3:24 PM  

@orange is the new black. That piece about rioting in Sweden is from 2013. 45 talked about a terror attack in Sweden "last night." It turns out he got this "news" from FOX which had done a documentary on the riots the night before. So you have to sort of twist your head, close one eye and look through your right ear to make 45's claim true. And while I doubt Andrew needs defending, I do believe that was what he was saying; we have to fact check every claim 45 makes, a very unsettling place for some of us to be.

I dropped in ORGANDY without hesitation; good thing because I could have just as easily gone with ORGANza and then would have been pounding my head against two walls. And I had a great time sussing out the presidents from a letter or two. Had to laugh at OBAMA crossing the nut from Hawaii.

@Hungry mother, I don't think our DNA comes preloaded with ancestral trivia, more's the pity. It sure would make genealogy a lot easier, wouldn't it's?

Mohair Sam 3:37 PM  

@Anon(2:44) - Jeopardy! first aired in 1964. and has run nightly without interruption since 1984. I rest my case.

Orange Is The New Black 4:13 PM  


Granted that the article I linked to is dated. I just picked the first one that came up on Google which wasn't from Fox. There were many other articles.

Having said that, the situation in Sweden and Denmark is obviously even worse now than it was in 2013. All the problems that Europe has had with their open border policies, and the failure of most Muslim immigrants to assimilate to the culture of their host countries, was there for all of America to see. We just didn't want to pay attention. Certainly, our media wasn't going to point it out.

As for Andrew, I'm not laboring under any illusions that his politics or ideology can be changed. I'm merely saying that I will never allow him to post his views without a rebuttal, and the tone of my rebuttal will be directly related to the tone of his. If he is going to call MY President mentally defective, I will respond in kind.

Anonymous 4:21 PM  

I thought nut from hawaii was one of the themers....

Anonymous 4:21 PM  

I agree with your assessment of the puzzle. Nothing wrong and some not well known facts. It's always fun taking in new info.
You're right! It's fun watching most of the media and their followers chase their tails! Everyone on this blog talks of "misdirection's" and sometimes complain/complement them, but they can't see one from Trump to save their life.
I'll leave it at that so I don't get accused of "long, political, anonymous screed" and then called a "fabricator". But then again, I didn't leave this threat from last night of physical, sexual assault on my website:

Slappy White 1:23 AM
@Anonymous 11:16, how bout I shove my black NOI Johnson up your white alt-right rectum?

Guess it's ok if you threaten to assault the "right/white?" people.

Doc John 4:47 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doc John 4:50 PM  

I'm just gonna leave this right here.

Anonymous 5:43 PM  

I'm so fed up with "45" I'm gonna settle in for the night with a half gallon of double chocolate ice cream and look at some MSNBC while seeking affirmation on the facebook.

Henry VIII 5:48 PM  

@ Warren Howie Hughes:

Ah Yes, "BOLEYN for Dollars". I remember that game well. It has been replaced by "Bawling For Scholars." Namely, If I don't know the answer, its bullshit! Aren't college professors supposed to have a general knowledge of history regardless of their field of expertise? Wouldn't it be funny If Catherine Of Aragon was crossed by Rex Of Arrogant?

As Kipling said, "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,"

That advice didn't work out so well for Anne Boleyn or her brother George.

Tis a pity!

Andrew Heinegg 5:53 PM  

Let me see if I have this right. Trump tells lie after lie in order to get progressives in a dither. How about if he just told the truth for a change of pace? Let's try an example. 'I won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote. I will not try to feed you a bunch of hokum by saying there were 3 million illegal immigrants who voted and they all voted for Hillary. I just lost the popular vote as W did and I am going to do the best job I can'.

And, by the way, why are you and your supporters still talking about the election that was over about 4 months ago? I don't know of any progressive minded folks that are? But, Mr. Trump has not given a speech or a news conference that I have seen where he doesn't begin it by talking about how great the election was and how well he did.

As for the Sweden deal, Trump was either misinformed or deliberately tried to make something from 4 years ago seem like it was yesterday, literally. I guess I am not very smart so I do not understand why he feels the need to make up as much stuff as he does. I sometimes wonder if he is testing his own self-professed idea that he could murder someone and his followers would still support him.

That was a interesting pivot that you did about informed people having been aware of the unrest in Sweden in responding to Maldemare that; 'yes, it was years ago but Sweden is bad shape'. A very Trumpean response? If what I say is wrong let me just attack the entity I said it about directly without letting facts get in the way.

I will ask you to note that I responded to your post without a personal attack on you. I only wish I saw more responses from Trump supporters who would be willing to do that, including you.

Stanley Hudson 5:53 PM  

"Used the phrase, '...I know chicken shit from chicken salad.'"

I believe LBJ said this to reporters after a Richard Nixon speech.

paulsfo 6:01 PM  

Question on an old (1972!) puzzle.
Clue: Gateway city: abbr.
Answer: SPT

I've googled a fair amount and I can't understand this answer. It's an airport code for a city in Malaysia but....
Closest I can come up with (very unlikely to be correct!):
St Louis is the "Gateway to the West."
"Spirit of St Louis" is the famous plane, and the "gateway" (beginning) of this phrase is "Spirit", which is abbreviated as "SPT". ;)

Can someone please give me the real reason?

BTW, some site said that this has never been used in the Shortzian era.


Z 6:03 PM  

@Larry Gilstrap - @r.alph also writes code. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

@anon2:44 - Nicely done.

@Mohair Sam - Budweiser is still the best selling beer. I do like Jeopardy far more than Budweiser.

FDR was nearly 40 when he contracted Polio.

Z 6:19 PM  

@paulsfo - The wikipedia disambiguation page led me to Stockport, which seems unlikely. I assume you made sure the crosses are correct, because St. Louis (STL) actually makes sense.

Anonymous 6:20 PM  

@Orange, I'm confused as to why the president would want to throw "out an exaggeration or factually dubious comment" to have "Pavlovian Progressives foaming at the mouth."

What will be the ultimate benefit of making the people you're supposed to govern - as well as much of the rest of the world - think you're a misinformed lunatic or a liar, or both?

If it's just a factually dubious statement are we supposed to think, oh, he's isn't wrong. He's just messing with the citizenry. The Swedes will know. WE must be stupid!

I'm a Republican by the way and these are real questions. At what point will this behavior bring back jobs and make the world safe for democracy?

Slappy White 6:25 PM  

@GWood, it was a sincere question. I'm glad you left the door open sugar lips.

paulsfo 6:32 PM  

@Z: Yes, the crosses are correct. Here's the solution, fyi:

However, based on your note, I went (back) to a crossword solver site. STL is the top answer but SPT is in there, in about tenth place. Then I saw an association with New York and Baltimore and it hit me. SPT == Seaport!

thanks for the nudge. :)

Anonymous 6:41 PM  

Uh, hello? Anyone been watching the Dow?

Z 7:00 PM  

@paulsfo - I'm just hoping this doesn't start showing up in puzzles again. Yuck with a capital Y.U.C.K.

@Anon 6:32 - Yes. No reason to fear a recurrence of 2008, yet, but I'm seriously considering pulling my non-retirement accounts out of the market.

Anonymous 7:24 PM  

"And, by the way, why are you and your supporters still talking about the election that was over about 4 months ago? I don't know of any progressive minded folks that are?". Right. No "Not my President" signs out there.
@Slappy White
I'm sure you WANT people to believe it was a sincere question. But we all know what you meant. GWood

Slappy White 7:26 PM  

GWood, love that last name sweet pea.

@LindaPRmaven 7:35 PM  

I found the Prez trivia amusing, but am displeased about a clue in Sunday's puzzle. Some of you mentioned having trouble with the 10A Great shakes? clue. A reason why may be that it's flat out wrong. Dancers who do the hula do not shake, they undulate; also the arms and hands are the most important thing in hula because they tell a story, the essence of hula. It is another Polynesian dance - Tahitian - that involves shaking. Now some people confuse hula and Tahitian dance, but that is no excuse the incorrect clue. IMHO "malts" would have been a better - and correct- answer.

Oldflappyfrommississappy 7:35 PM  

Wonder if Yiannopoulos dresses up his pedophilic victims in ORGANDY??

Anonymous 7:49 PM  

@Slappy White

You're a sick puppy. See a veterinarian soon! GWood

Andrew Heinegg 8:19 PM  

Not my President signs are an attempt to remind Trump that the election did not provide him with a landslide that would serve as a mandate for him to do as he pleases even though among his many lies is the claim that he won in a landslide.

When Obama was elected, Mitch McConnell vowed to stop everything Obama would ever try to do. Was that okay? The protesters, who have no power, are trying to influence and let legislators know they do not agree with what Trump wants to do.

If the anti-Trump people really wanted to pound on that door, they might suggest that Trump conspired with the Russians to undermine Hillary and steal the election about which the evidence has not yet been investigated.

Andrew Heinegg 8:41 PM  

Malsdemare, Trump is very close to finding himself on an island as more and more of Fox reporters are essentially saying:'I may like many if not most of the things he does but, his words and actions are terrifyingly disturbed looking'.

Anonymous 8:48 PM  

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Nancy 8:50 PM  

For the 2nd time in less than 2 weeks, my paper was delivered to the (same) wrong apartment. Of course, I had no idea. I ordered a replacement paper and came home late from the park to be greeted by two New York Timeses. Didn't get to the puzzle till after dinner. Times Delivery service just gets worse and worse! I found the puzzle sort of meh, but appreciate the shout-out to a lot of PREXYs on Presidents' Day. @Wm C brought my attention to @Rex's seeming lack of certainty as to which Roosevelt climbed the Matterhorn. Assuming Rex is not being coy or cute, I am every bit as shocked as Wm C. What in the world are people learning in school and college today? Anything? Anyway, late as I am to the party, this puzzle didn't take much of a chunk out of my evening.

Abu Afakski 8:54 PM  

I do!

Abu Afakski 8:55 PM  


Abu Afakski 8:56 PM  

Rex is just too negative sometimes, and today was one of those times.

Anonymous 9:27 PM  

Well thought out articulate argument. However, you're trying to play the apples with oranges game but you are doomed to failure. The McConnell comment doesn't really hold water as Obama had the Presidency, the Senate and the House. SUPER MAJORITIES!!! McConnell couldn't do anything to stop any legislation and THAT was a mandate. What did Obama do with it. Is Gitmo open? Borders open? (Almost). ACA was passed, without a single Rep vote. He did pull us out of Iraq, but at what cost. Not one Republican I know wanted Obama to "fundamentally change the USA". We didn't have a door to pound on as no one was listening. We finally did in the last election.
Well, now things have changed. Trump is in the White House, Rep's control the House and Senate, (not to mention 35 Governorship's and majorities in the Houses in the States), and you're upset. I get it. However, your guy had a chance when Crimea was invaded. Your guy played footsie with Russia during the re-election. I could go on, but what is the point. Fair or no, it happened and your horse lost, no offense intended.
Also, if we want investigations, how about investigating what was deleted from Hillary's server? What are HER connections to Russia through the Clinton Foundation? She doesn't have amnesty, unless you know something we all don't. It might be a really fun rabbit hole to go down.
Trump DOES have a mandate. He IS President. The Senate and House are controlled by Republicans. Like it or not, those are the facts.

Anonymous 9:41 PM  

Rex, YOU ARE BURNT OUT. Why the hate for this perfectly reasonable Monday? The President theme was appropriate and fun. Take a vacation and let some others do the column.

Andrew Heinegg 9:47 PM  

The idea that Trump will be tougher on the Russians than Obama is beyond preposterous. Listen/look at Trump's interview with Bill O'Reilly wherein Trump asserts that the Russians have not committed any more indefensible acts of violence than Americans.

Anonymous 10:03 PM  

I've got to get to Jeopardy but here goes. NOW O'Reilly is reputable? Funny, and you didn't even get to the Hillary query. Hilarity! GW

paulsfo 10:15 PM  

@Andrew, @Anonymous, et al: The etiquette for this blog is that no one post more than three times in a single day. And that is for actual crossword-related posts. ;)
Now and in the future, please try to observe this. *Many* people will be grateful. :D

Anonymous 10:34 PM  

Noted. Don't post here that often. Will observer customary protocol in the future. GWood

Anonymous 11:06 PM  

Does GWood come here just to display his venom? Has he ever commented on the crossword or lent any intelligence to the conversation?

tea73 11:10 PM  

What I dream I had: / Pressed in ORGANDY; / Clothed in crinoline of smoky Burgundy; / Softer than the rain.… Simon and Garfunkel

I liked the presidential trivia.

Slappy White 12:19 AM  

GWood comes here with his anus lubed, trolling for large sable Johnsons.

Churlish Nabob 12:23 AM  

Did anyone see Rex get his ass reamed by Shortz a few days ago?

Slappy White 12:25 AM  

Bet GWood wishes Shortz would ream his alabaster ass!!!

Craig Percy 1:21 AM  

Oh for Pete's sake! Listen up:

Anonymous 8:13 PM  

I heard somebody say the other day that Donald Trump is like The Ramones while the progs are like Air Supply. That seems apt. "Looking for love in all the wrong places." Trump's from Queens "bus ride is too slow...we can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach." Though something tells me he didn't need to hitchhike,.

spacecraft 9:55 AM  

Boy, throw a few presidents around and watch the bloggers start arguing politics. I shall try to steer this ship back on course, and talk about The Puzzle.

I have noticed this trend before, and it continues today: the top and middle parts of a grid are perfectly serviceable--then toward the bottom, I don't know, maybe the deadline looms, or the constructor gets tired...but the effort is not sustained, and any old thing is shoved in there. ATIE atop ADDN is really way below the fill level above, and so is LLCS/SMEW. That last is fine as a crossword entry, but on a Monday it stands out like a sore thumb.

As to the theme, it's fine. Why not throw a little education in with the puzzle? I'm big on education. BUCHANAN was a double gimme for me, since he was also the only president from my home (birth) state of Pennsylvania. And as a current resident of Las Vegas, I'd hardly call Steve Wynn obscure. So, super-easy with a mediumish ending--I doubted those horrid entries for a minute.

Containing a fine (and I mean FINE!) DOD in RENEE Russo, this one would have earned a birdie had it not been for the SC/SE. Par.

Burma Shave 9:57 AM  


In ERNEST SHE’S DARIN’ me to COPE with my ETA STATS being off,
In the INTERIM I just hope to keep the DARN NOSE of my plane ALOFT.


Anonymous 1:07 PM  

Gee, I thought this was about crossword puzzles rather than ranting and invective.
Smew to that!

SharonAK 1:36 PM  

Perhaps coming from sindyland this comment will not be seen, but it is in response to one of the later posts saying something about a college professor not being sure which Roosevelt climbed the Matterhorn since FDR was crippled in youth.
I suspect that might have been one of Rex's sly jokes.

Thought the puzzle quite fun and "organdy" easier and more in general knowledge than most of the sports and pop music trivia we see in the puzzles.

Diana,LIW 2:01 PM  

Love it when the puzzle refers to a 5-week-late holiday. The joys of Syndieland.

Thought it fine for a Monday, with a bit of crunch. But SMEW is the true outlier. Fie on SMEW!

Back from ACPT last night. Got to meet tons of Futurelanders - over 600 competitors and a few of us spectators. (AKA second-class citizens - they weren't even going to give us chairs, but I got a wonderful hotel person to rectify that.) Met @Tita, @Hartley, @Mac, @LarryG, @BobK, @David, Kathy, @LMS, and many more. Mind reeling. ALMOST finished two of the puzzles in the allotted times but got naticked in a corner both times - staring at the clues for 5 minutes. Rats. In order to meet my plane I had to miss the "grand championship final rounds - did watch one round of that. Then rode to Grand Central on the train with the winner of the Jr. division - a young fellow named David Steinberg. Turns out we were heading to the same town via different flights.

You haven't lived until you've heard palindrome jokes by a palindromist, which I now know how to correctly pronounce.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords, catching up too

rondo 2:37 PM  

Seemed OK, mostly, for a Prez-Day-puz. Whaddya want? A grid spanner like JOHNSON&JOHNSON? After all, size matters. Like @spacey mentioned, sometimes I think that they run out of gas in the southern regions.

And shouldn’t CLEVELAND have been in there twice?

I’ll go with PERT yeah baby RENEE Fleming as clued. She can really deliver an ARIA.

I’ve never seen a Eurasian SMEW,
Nevermore hope to spell one,
But I can tell you any-hoo,
I’d rather spell than smell one.

That’s all he WROTE.

spacecraft 7:04 PM  

@rondo: ROFL at the Purple Cow sendup!

leftcoastTAM 8:24 PM  

Late, late, to this one. Just got home (Oregon) from fun weekend trip to the capital of the PNW, Seattle.

Good theme with educational value.

Unknown word of the day: TRALEE

Writeovers: ERRors>ERRATA, Askew>ATILT.

Crosses needed for correct spelling: NIELSON

Nice Homecoming.

leftcoastTAM 8:47 PM  

@SharonAK: Even if in syndiland and at this late hour, your comment was seen and noted.

rondo 8:57 PM  


rain forest 9:19 PM  

For a Canadian, this puzzle was educational. Maybe for some Americans, too.
Lotta "theme" - Good.
Lotta political back and forth - not so good (restraining myself here).
Babysat today - Good.
Leaving for 5 days to see my other grandchildren - good.
See y'all next Monday - your call.

Diana,LIW 10:14 PM  

@Rainy - re Monday - my call - good

Lady Di

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