Doll-making tribe of Southwest / MON 6-19-17 / Heroine of Jean Auel's Clan of Cave Bear / Desserts with layered fruits whipped cream

Monday, June 19, 2017

Constructor: Susan Gelfand

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (theme type, incl. its complete reliance on proper noun knowledge, made this slightly tougher than the average Monday)

THEME: DUETS (37A: Performances by two singers ... like 21- and 49- Across and 3- and 29-Down) — familiar phrases are clued as if they were two singers:

Theme answers:
  • PAGE TURNER (3D: Singers Patti and Tina?)
  • ROTTEN APPLE (21A: Singers Johnny and Fiona?)
  • URBAN LEGEND (49A: Singers Keith and John?)
  • KELLY GREEN (29D: Singers Tori and Al?) 
Word of the Day: Tori Kelly (of KELLYGREEN (29D: Singers Tori and Al?)) —
Victoria Loren "Tori" Kelly (born December 14, 1992) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and voice actress who slowly gained recognition after starting to post videos on YouTube at the age of 14. When she was 16, Kelly auditioned for the singing competition television series American Idol. After being eliminated from the show, Kelly began to work on her own music. In 2012, she independently released her first EP that she produced, wrote, and mixed herself, titled Handmade Songs By Tori Kelly. The following year, Scooter Braun became her manager after seeing her videos on YouTube and introduced her to Capitol Records, with whom she signed in September. Kelly's second EP Foreword came out in October 2013 as her first major label release. On June 23, 2015, Kelly's debut album, Unbreakable Smile, was released. The lead single, "Nobody Love", was released in the spring and became her first US Billboard Hot 100 appearance. Kelly was nominated for Best New Artist at the 58th Grammy Awards. She voiced a shy teenage elephant named Meena in the 2016 animated film Sing. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is a nice theme concept, though I think it's more a Tuesday or (with tougher cluing throughout) Wednesday concept. The "?" clues are tricky, and I had to fill in at least some of every theme answer from crosses before I had any chance at getting it. [Singers Keith and John?]??? Give me that out of context, and I'm gonna be like "uh ... SWEAT ELTON?" And I've never ever Ever heard of Tori Green. I mean, never. I see where she got a Best New Artist Grammy nomination recently, but ... she ain't close to Monday-famous. No major awards, no major hits (her highest charting song hit only #51??) ... just no. I mean, all best wishes, but right now, nah. I recognize only one "Singer Tori," and her last name isn't Green.

Fill is not bad. I'd've tried to get rid of phrase parts like VOOM and THEM'S and LEONE, foreign crosswordese like ÉTÉ and plural TÊTES, and lastly AYLA, which, ugh, no, nails on chalkboard. That is pure, uncut crosswordese: a weird four-letter fictional name that isn't well known. This isn't like EYRE or AHAB or IAGO. AYLA should retire to the Island of Crossword Has-Beens and stay there except in case of real crossword emergencies. She can take care of ASTA.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:11 AM  

Medium-tough for me too. Cute and pretty smooth, liked it. Tori KELLY was a WOE, Amos not so much.

@Mals & CDilly - I spent 4 years in U of I grad student housing in Orchard Downs in the early 70's. Fond memories and a fine education! The Flying Tomato Bros. had the best deep dish slice I've ever had.

Asta 12:12 AM  

You know what heaven's like for a dog, I mean besides the food which is great? I don't know about all dogs, but I'm here with Myrna Loy as my mistress. That's right, Myrna Loy, and I get to lick her whenever I want. And some schmo who claims to be a dog lover is suggesting that I swap that out for AYLA or ALYA or whatever? Is he friggin' crazy?

George Barany 12:33 AM  

Spot-on review by @Rex of @Susan Gelfand's rather easy, rather fun puzzle ... which had mostly fair crossings even when many of the proper names required for the theme (and elsewhere as well) did not come readily to mind. Singer @Al GREEN for today is no relation to novelist @Nelson ALGREN from yesterday's puzzle, and OLIVE for today continues last week's tutorial on martinis (dirty MARTINI Thursday and TWISTS Friday).

A few random thoughts about some of today's answer words and/or their clues. In Minnesota, the LYNX are the WNBA counterparts of the NBA Timberwolves. @JERI Ryan was collateral damage in a 2004 Illinois political scandal, back when the GOP was finding a candidate to run against Obama for the Senate. We'll always have PARIS, notwithstanding a White House announcement just a few weeks ago (click here for a wonderfully relevant New Yorker cartoon, and thank you, thank you for leaving a certain "artist" out of today's DEAL clue!)

P.S. Thanks, @ASTA, for your comment at 12:12 a.m.

Thomaso808 12:55 AM  

Rex rated it medium-challenging for the heavy proper names in the theme, but really all the themes have fair crosses, so even the obscure Tori GREEN WOE is very do-able. Clues were all very straightforward, no fun here, other than maybe "Bad thing to go down in" FLAMES.

I agree with Rex on AYLA, at least for early week, but I kinda like THEMS and VOOM, which are definitely not crosswordese. Maybe they're from an older wheelhouse? But shouldn't there be three Va's in the clue for VOOM, as in Va-va-va-______?

Thomaso808 1:14 AM  

Oops, it was the obscure Tori KELLY WOE. But to be fair, she does pop up before Tori Spelling on Google.

Anonymous 1:34 AM  

OYE whoops OLE

Fun puzzle, URBANLENNON didn't make sense, I have THINKSKIN so that is why I am anon.


Anonymous 1:36 AM  

Oh and the only other Tori I have heard of is Amos but not too many AL singers so once I had GREEN that wasn't too bad.

Anonymous 1:40 AM  

Parabolic shapes are not arcs. An arc is part of a circle and circles and parabolas are quite different.


chefwen 2:23 AM  

We have a house guest right now who is interested in my obsession with crosswords. I printed out a copy of today's puzzle so she could play with around with it and was very impressed with how well she did. I thought it was a little tough "for a Monday" and she cranked out almost half of it before she asked me a question. We might have a budding constructor on our hands. Printed out a couple more so she could practice on her way home.

Didn't know a couple of the artists, but was able to work around them.

Good start to the week.

Larry Gilstrap 2:35 AM  

Well, proper names are integral to the themers so I guess we can't complain too much about that element, as we are often wont to do. Tori KELLY and JERI Ryan are names not in my wheelhouse, for certain, but Patti PAGE is, but that's just me.

It's Monday, after all, and the puzzle was fun to solve and very short on junky fill. I cringe at most three letter fill, a typical feature of early week puzzles, and this thing keeps it to a minimum. The themers are stand alone things. Too bad, THIN and SKIN cannot join the party of DUETS.

I've spoken of my visit to HOPI Land before in this forum. We stayed at the HOPI Cultural Center, attended a Tribal Dance at a Pueblo, and visited the ancient village of First Mesa. Hopis call it a Sovereign Nation and I have never felt more alien in my life. At the dance, the enigmatic costumed characters are the inspiration for the Kachina dolls associated with the tribal culture. We were invited into the home of the descendants of the potter Nampeyo and saw the family firing pieces. An experience I will never forget.

andrea carla michaels 3:38 AM  

Super fun puzzle! Great idea and fresh artists!!! (John LEGEND Keith URBAN. Tori KELLY that @rex and others keep unconsciously calling Tori Green)

I love fill like VOOM it has a certain energy to it.
Bec it was already heavily name-oriented, I would've clued BOND with a non007 clue.

Definitely not a Monday by theme or otherwise which means Will needs them!
Get busy every Monday-constructor-to-be wisher! I'd be happy to help!

I also loved DJS in the lower SE corner to strike a final musical note.

Things to love GALORE! Brava Susan!!!

Loren Muse Smith 4:20 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hartley70 4:51 AM  

This was a fun and very easy Monday for me. Like @Acme, I got a laugh out of Rex's Tori Green. Hellooo, wake up! You are supposed to be more up to date than us oldsters. Tori Kelly is the new Tori Amos. Well, not really, but she is full of pep, pretty cute, and not without talent.

All the singers were gimmes and I could PLOP them in without crosses. This might be my fastest Monday ever, and since I found the theme interesting, I didn't mind that it was over too soon at all.

evil doug 5:03 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loren Muse Smith 5:27 AM  

Hah – messing around with names is so fun. One of my favorite gimmicks. I tell you, ROTTEN APPLE and URBAN LEGEND are terrific finds for this. Bravo, Susan. It’s impossible for me not to try to think of others. Ant Hill, Black Diamond, Young Love or Summer Love, Meat Loaf Spears… Very fun.

I like the word GALORE because it’s an adjective that always comes after the noun. There were parfaits galore at the buffet. I danced jigs galore after several martinis. And went down in flames galore. I tell you, Dr. Bombay Sapphire is the devil incarnate.

Just a couple of goofs –

“gig” before DJS – yeah, yeah, the plural and all that
“them’r” before THEMS. Dumb

A most excellent PAGE TURNER – Harlan Coben’s Tell No One. Be advised that I like shallow stuff that doesn’t require a lot of thought.
LUNE and PARIS reminded me of a song my first serious boyfriend taught me.

Au clair de la lune, j'ai pété dans l'eau
ça faisait des bulles, c'était rigolo

I agree with Andrea on VOOM and on the overall vibe. Sweet Tuesday offering. Thanks, Susan!

evil doug 5:41 AM  

I thought the iris was the colored part....

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder
At 'em boys, Give 'er the gun!
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under
Off with one helluva ROAR!
We live in fame or GO DOWN IN FLAME. Hey!
Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!

OTD 7:01 AM  

This was one of the better Monday's I've seen in a long time. Made me put on the old thinking cap. But I agree with Rex overall--more a Tuesday than a Monday, especially for those of us who are Older Than Dirt and don't keep up on modern popular music. Knew only Patti Page, Tina Turner, and Johnny Rotten (this only because of my son). But worked through the crosses and was lucky on a number of guesses. All in all, enjoyable. Thanks to Susan Gelfand.

CFXK 7:03 AM  

I guess it is all in the way you approach solve. I found it to be on the very, very easy side. But, unlike Rex, I really didn't bother trying to figure out the artist's names (some of which were unknown to me). Instead, I just got enough crosses to be able to see what the two-word phase in each theme answer was, filled in the rest of the letters, and the puzzle fell like a stack of dominos.

Edgar 7:06 AM  

A personal best time for me on a Monday, although I've only been doing them for a few months. Didn't know ROTTEN, LEGEND, or KELLY, but easy enough to get them from the crosses. It made me feel like I'm improving, which was welcome after being really humbled on Saturday.

Pique-a-Boo 7:13 AM  

The solution for dance club bookings made no sense to me. Is that supposed to be DJ gigs, for short? I've never heard anyone say I had a couple of DJs last week. Except perhaps Pussy GALORE. Having never heard of Jeri Ryan or Ryan Jeri, I could have had a DNF there by putting in Teri, except the online version clues you in that you haven't quite got it. If I'd done it on paper I would have had DNF.

kitshef 7:20 AM  

This close (see where my fingers are?) to a Monday DNF at JERI/DJS. The across is a total WoE, and my first conjectures made no sense (DTS, DGS).

Puzzle was a pure pleasure, love the them, a little bit of resistance thanks to DJS and the unknown Tori, AYLA.

1. a part of the circumference of a circle or other curve.
2. a curved shape, or something shaped like a curve.

Aketi 7:22 AM  

@George Barany, you're on a roll today.
@LMS, you slayed me with your use of French and the effervescence that bubbled up from it,
@Evil Doug, please keep the L out of the FAME, I really would miss most of your posts if you were went DOWN because of that.

Delightful puzzle today.

Annette 7:32 AM  

I'll forever know JERI Ryan as the-ripped-from-the-Borg-collective Seven of Nine in Star Trek Voyager. Also thought this was Tuesday.

Anonymous 7:42 AM  

Wow, for once I had an easier time than Rex and others. I thought this was a walk in the park -- picked up the theme at "Page Turner" and didn't even need to know the references to infer the phrases. I guessed "Kelly Green" for example without even looking at the clue, just from some crosses. Plus I thought the fill was less crosswordese-y than usual. And "Ayla" is absolutely fair game; those books were on the best sellers lists and that name is often in crosswords; much less obscure than the dreck one often sees.

Nice little diversion for a Monday full of yet more terrible world events.

Happy Summer!

-- CS

RooMonster 7:53 AM  

Hey All !
Very nice MonPuz. Liked all the name combos. With so many singers out there, you could've made a SunPuz sized puz. Z and Q from pangram, but trying to force them in would've resulted in some bad fill, I'm sure.

Writeover, aloeS-BALMS.

@Annette 7:32, I know JERI Ryan from that too! But as a guy, I appreciated that body hugging outfit! :-)

HOPI we see more from Susan. Not a SLOG, this.


chefbea 8:01 AM  

What a fun Monday puzzle. Hand up for not knowing some of the singers...but the crosses made it easy.
Love parfaits!!!

Two Ponies 8:05 AM  

Never heard of that Tori either.
Rotten apple was the only phrase worth the price of admission.
What is a Tinder? We heat our house with a wood stove so tinder has a practical meaning to me.

I do not like proper names clogging up my puzzles but if you need them for a gimmick please do it on a Monday and get it over with.

Capt. Pete 8:07 AM  

I loved this simple yet catchy theme and generally smile worthy fill

QuasiMojo 8:08 AM  

@Pique-a-Boo, it's the dance club that books the DJs. Not the DJ getting a booking. Although I liked your Pussy Galore joke.

This was a terrific Monday puzzle. Juicy and engaging. I particularly liked the crispness of many of the words. Galls, Bony, Jigs, Lynx, Gist, Bling, etc. Didn't we just see Kelly Green a short while back?

Nancy 8:36 AM  

Very enjoyable. I HOPI never see a Monday puzzle that's any worse. For once my lack of pop singer knowledge was a plus for me: because of it, more theme answers came as a surprise and tickled me. While I saw PAGE TURNER right off the bat, URBAN LEGEND and KELLY GREEN sneaked up on me. ROTTEN APPLE was a mixed bag (pun intended), since I saw APPLE right away, but not ROTTEN. This is a puzzle I might give to a new solver -- quite easy, but with some interesting cluing and with a lively, amusing theme.

Lewis 8:41 AM  

@loren -- "Meat loaf spears" -- Hah!
@rex -- "Fill is not bad" is how you started your final paragraph, and yet the entire rest of the paragraph deals with what you consider bad fill. I would have liked at least a little backup to that opening sentence.

Sparkling theme idea and answers, especially ROTTENAPPLE and URBANLEGEND. When I saw the clue 'Martini garnish", my mind went right back to last week's OLIVE or TWIST. There's a BLOW out and a PLOP down, and a lively feel to the puzzle. I don't mind a couple of non-Monday answers on Monday if they are easily crossed, and I believe that the ones today were. Thank you for this, Susan!

Possible theme answer: YOUNGLOVE, a thought that always makes me smile.

Mohair Sam 8:43 AM  

@Asta (12:12) - Post of the day hands (or paws) down. Stupid Rex - I feel your pain little buddy.

Yup, fun Monday. If your biggest gripe is that it shoulda been a Tuesday, well, that isn't the constructor's fault. Nifty idea, mostly clean fill. The kind of Monday that pleases new solvers as well as old timers. Well done.

I'll join any "ban AYLA" movement. I read half of "Clan of the Cave Bear" - one of the few books I ever gave up on.

@Evil - or "Nothing can stop the Army Air Corps"

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

Shocked (pleasantly, for a change) at the rating. Like others, I sailed through...sub-3 minutes, missing personal record territory by a mere 11 seconds.

Nothing clunky, no hiccups, no sweat!

Anonymous 8:58 AM  

Hey George - you going to forfeit the gains you've made in the stock market the last eight months? Didn't think so.

GHarris 9:02 AM  

@evildoug always liked that song but, as I recall, it ends "nothing can stop the Army Air Corps" which made it rhyme with "roar".

Nancy 9:04 AM  

@Evil (5:41) -- I hesitate to correct you, since you're the Air Force flying ace and I'm not. But what I am is the lyrics maven. I think it's Army Air Corps, not Army Air Force. "Corps" rhymes with "roar" -- and is therefore needed there.

evil doug 9:22 AM  

"Originally, the song was titled "Army Air Corps". Robert MacArthur Crawford wrote the lyrics and music during 1938. During World War II, the service was renamed "Army Air Force", and the song title changed to agree.

In 1947, when the Air Force became a separate service, the song became the "Air Force Song"."

jackj 9:29 AM  

Rex- Here's an alternate AYLA, daughter of the new US Ambassador to New Zealand, Scott Brown, (ask your wife) and accomplished on her own account.

From Wikipedia:

Ayla Marie Brown[1] (born July 28, 1988) is an American recording artist from Wrentham, Massachusetts and former NCAA basketball player. She was a contestant on American Idol on season 5 in 2006 and placed inside the Top 16. Shortly after the season's conclusion, Brown attended Boston College on a full basketball scholarship, and graduated in 2010 with a communications degree.

Brown is the elder daughter of former United States Senator of Massachusetts, Scott Brown, and NH1 News reporter Gail Huff.[2] She is the sixth leading scorer in Massachusetts basketball history, male or female, a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year, and was named the top female basketball player in Massachusetts.[3][4] Brown has released two full-length studio albums, is a spokesperson for the Songs of Love Foundation, and currently serves as the official anthem singer of the Philadelphia 76ers.[5]

Anonymous 9:38 AM  

Full two minutes faster than average. I didn't get a chance to see any of the "ugh" answers and really enjoyed the theme despite not knowing Tori Kelly.

Nancy 9:39 AM  

I get all that. But it's gotta rhyme, @Evil. How about:

Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
Straight and true, ever on course,
We live in fame or go down in flame --
Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!

oldbizmark 9:41 AM  

Tori Green? What?

Cassieopia 9:43 AM  

Similar experience to @CFXK at 7:03, super easy and I didn't really need to know the musicians' names. But "easy" doesn't mean "boring" by any stretch, and this was fun and bouncy. It helped that Rex's write-up was *excellent*, and I laughed at AYLA taking care of ASTA...and even more when @ASTA informed us that his current caretaker is more than fine, thank you very much. Fun fun fun Monday and good examples of why I do the puzzle, why I read Rex's analyses, and why I love the (non-troll) comments.

RooMonster 10:13 AM  

@jackj 9:29
Har! That's an awfully long clue!
I'm with the ones who say "Adieu" to AYLA. Unless she has an EPEE, an ETUI, some ACNE and a pet EEL. :-P


old timer 10:17 AM  

Pen on paper, 11 minutes, would have been faster if I had known KELLY. Oh well. I grew up hearing Patti PAGE, and younger folks might not know her. And for some reason, I have often heard both URBAN and LEGEND on the radio so no problem there.

I join the crowd who almost Naticked at DJS crossing the unknown TERI/

Thanks, @LMS, for the naughty version of Au Clair de la LUNE. At first I thought you needed an accent grave over the first e in Pete, because un pet n'a point d'accent. Have you heard the joke about the Anglophone politician who proposed a toast to "un formidable paix"? Which as spoken, is a toast to a formidable fart. It is terribly easy to mix up masculine and feminine, and the proposer of the toast should have said "une" (rhymes with LUNE) paix formidable.

Two Ponies 10:35 AM  

Sticks and stones may break my bones
but italics are going to kill me.

Joseph Michael 10:43 AM  

Fun theme. Especially liked URBAN LEGEND and DUETS at center stage.

AYLA aside, a great start to the week. Thank you, Susan Gelfand.

Warren Howie Hughes 10:46 AM  

I'VE got NEWS for ya,and ABETS are off, as this Monday offering by Susan Gelfand, was GIST what the Doctor ordered! Are ya HOPI now?

Taffy-Kun 11:21 AM  

I like the British politician who wanted to say "When I look at my past, it falls in two parts" . What he said was " Quand he regarde mon derrière, je vois qu'il est divide
en deux partes"

Taffy-Kun 11:22 AM  

"Je" not .."he"

Malsdemare 11:27 AM  

Haven't read the comments so maybe I'm not the first to protest. I almost threw my iPad across the room at 1a. These are not dolls. Kachinas are representations of Hopi Holy People and during their Kiva ceremonies, have the same sort of sacredness that the host in a Catholic Mass has. Yup, they're sold in stores, much as the Crucifix is, and for the same reason. Calling them dolls is maybe the most disrespectful thing I've seen in the puzzles. I realize it was not intended that way, but Jeez! It doesn't take much research to discover they are in the category of Christ on a Cross. I don't rant often so I hope y'all will forgive me here. Dolls!!

Otherwise, I liked the puzzle, probably because I knew most of the performers (not KELLY GREEN though; agree with Rex there.) I loved Rex's "AYLA should retire to the Island of Crossword Has-Beens and stay there except in case of real crossword emergencies. She can take care of ASTA." I've read one of those books and still couldn't dredge up that name.

Now I'll read the comments.

Warren Howie Hughes 11:31 AM  

Taffy-Kun, Oui so like your comment and Zee quote attributed to a nameless British Pol who evidently was a former member of Zee Diplomatic Corp who could obviously parlez vous with Zee best of them...Touche! Derriere!

mathgent 11:31 AM  

My wife and I got a kick out of URBANLEGEND. Whenever the current pop hit by John Legend comes on the radio, she turns it off. Whenever I see Keith Urban on a Country awards show I look for the lovely Nicole Kidman in the audience and exclaim "How did she fall for that lightweight?"

Hungry Mother 11:34 AM  

Very quick for me today. I got the theme immediately and had no issues. Getting DJS right away was a bid help.

Anonymous 11:54 AM  


Not quite. As you note the figures are representations. The host, once consecrated, IS the body of Christ. Not a symbol. Not a representation.

Carola 11:54 AM  

A very enjoyable Monday puzzle, with a bit of extra thinking rewarded with a witty theme and a nice spinkling of grid VOOM and BLING otherwise.

AYLA is not arcana for women book-clubbers of a certain age. The novel is remarkable for demonstrating Neolithic familiarity with The Hite Report. @Mohair Sam, I think you may not have read far enough to get to the good part.

@Loren, I agree about Tell No One - I read it years ago and it's stayed with me.

Right once more 12:24 PM  

Hey "Evil Doug"' the last line should be "Nothing can stop the Army Air Corps"' which is how I learned to sing it, and which is why the word "roar" doesn't rhyme with "force" but with "corps."

Anonymous 12:46 PM  

I'm absolutely loving the Trump Bump in the markets. Just bought a second home.

Masked and Anonymous 12:56 PM  

Very cool puztheme. Can't feature how DOGG STARR didn't make the cut, tho. (yo, @Asta)

WhooOops … splatzed in DTS/TERI where I shoulda had DJS/JERI. Dance club booking DaTeS was the first thing that pooped into my head, there. Lost my all-correct bonus. Coulda been a contender …

staff weeject pick: LIL. Only 007 of the LIL darlins to choose from, today. Unusual, for a MonPuz.

Well, Geez, @RP … Cavewomen get no darn respect. Other than Wilma. Bet those gals were busy inventin stuff like ovens and wheels and crosswords, while Neanderthal husbands were out shoppin for antelope brisket or gerrymanderin their district. Snort.

Ode de Speration: REGS. THEMS a good, desperate plural abbr.

Well-built, slightly feisty MonPuz. Fun was had by darn near alya, am I right?
Thanx, Ms. Gelfand darlin.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


Wow 1:00 PM  

Anon 13:46
Wow, what a moron.

Mohair Sam 1:01 PM  

@Loren - Huge second on Coben's "Tell No One" - flat out loved it - what a great plot.

Unlike you I find myself an erudite reader (whatever that means), discerning, demanding sophistication in both plotting and in my characters. Yeah - I love Elmore Leonard.

btw - I'd skip the "Tell No One" movie.

Teedmn 1:02 PM  

Multiple writeovers today but I still flirted with a sub-six minute solve, so I declare it an easy Monday for me.

Fave black ink spot - 34D. With S__T I splatted in SpaT. I am pretty sure no one ever wears SpaTs on casual Friday.

THIN SKIN crossing HATE. These days, no one can afford 27A, it seems. @GeorgeB, "artist", good one!

A nice theme, thanks, Ms. Gelfand.

Malsdemare 1:03 PM  

@anonymous 11:54. Nope. The figures play three roles. Under their most intense "use," they become the figure they represent. That's the point at which they most closely align with the Host, just as the Hopi man in his sacred dress becomes the god he portrays. At their second level, they are sacred figures, treated much as Islamic, Jewish, Christian holy figures are treated (prayed to, handled with reverence, etc). At the third level, they appear in shops, as do, again, crucifixes, rosaries, figures of Buddha, the Ark of the Covenent and so on. Those figures are made with "errors" that remove their sacred status, but still, to call them dolls? That pains me.

Malsdemare 1:07 PM  

@CDilly, Jae. Garcia's is still here. My best friend and I once stopped in for a late slice and a beer before one of the toughest seminars we took and we ended up in class slightly buzzed. Maybe not the smartest move we've ever made, but it did give me the courage to argue a point with the prof, and lord knows why, I won. But no more beer before seminars. BTW the Flying Tomato (hot air balloon) still flies.

That's my three.

Unofficial Blog Cop 1:08 PM  

Thankfully @Nancy used up her 3 posts early today, and they were unusually short and void of self indulgence. Keep up the great work @Nancy, we love you !!!!!

jberg 1:36 PM  

Apparently the rage for political correctness has corrupted the rhyme scheme of the Air Force Song. Sad.

As for the puzzle, I fell into the DtS/tERI trap, thinking 'dates" -- not thinking enough, evidently.

When @Rex says 'hard for a Monday' and others say 'very easy,' that's not a contradiction. For me, it was harder than it should have been because I misread clue 23A as "Good days for pheasant hunters." That was very confusing.

Anonymous 1:38 PM  


Thanks for the info. I'm going to have to check it out. Loose talk of The Host pains me, so I can understand your point.



Not Thin-skinned 2:04 PM  

@ Malsdemare,
Are you a Hopi? If not then why are you calling foul where none may exist? What are the cheesey trinket shops supposed to call them?
It's a clue in a puzzle for Pete's sake!
Any Hopi solvers out there please chime in and clear up this serious matter.

Anonymous 2:34 PM  

Joy Reid - another class act.

Anonymous 2:39 PM  

Anon 2:34, another classless act

Polonius 2:50 PM  

@ UBC,
Brevity is always appreciated but presuming to be qualified to improve the lyrics of a traditional military song is hardly void of self-indulgence.

puzzlehoarder 3:20 PM  

It seem the less like a Monday a Monday puzzle is the better. I got the theme with PAGETURNER but the subsequent ones still offered some challenge. The constructor managed to work a couple of debuts into the fill. ROTTENAPPLE is the only debut theme. I feel that's because it is the least in the language phrase of the bunch. The other three have all been used for what they are. PAGETURNER has been used the most and it's the only one to be used as names. This was just once in a Harvey Estes puzzle from 1994. The puzzle has a near identical theme and uses the same clue. There is a more random focus to the theme. At a glance the fill looks a little more challenging and it is a Tuesday.

Anonymous 3:25 PM  

Anonymous 2:39 - Another treasonous snowflake.

Mohair Sam 3:26 PM  

@Polonis and @Nancy - There exists a book sagely entitled "Military Justice is to Justice as Military Music is to Music". I read it forty years ago when a friend of mine was embroiled in the military justice system. Although it is out of print, you can buy it USED on Amazon. Nancy has a music background, she's qualified enough for me. This Air Force vet kinda liked her change. Go for it girl!

Nancy 3:27 PM  

@Polonius -- I knew someone would say that. Or something like that. But here's the problem: The "traditional military song" is the one that uses "Army Air Corps", and it rhymes. The revised version, which uses "U.S. Air Force", doesn't rhyme. For that reason, it comes off as really clunky. If you don't like my suggestion for a new lyric line, see if you can perhaps get Stephen Sondheim, Sheldon Harnick, Bob Dylan or Paul Simon to solve the problem. They're the most talented living lyricists right now. I should point out, however, that "force" is a terrible word with which to end a song line. It not only has limited rhyming words, but it ends with a consonant that closes the throat. You always want an open vowel sound for the last word on a musical line. So, as it turns out, Steve, Shel, Bob and Paul all might choose to decline the challenge.

evil doug 3:50 PM  

Well, Nancy, we've managed to hang in there with the modified bastard for 70 years in spite of the musical challenges, so whattya gonna do....

evil doug 3:57 PM

Anonymous 3:59 PM  

I hope she either stops posting or talks about THE PUZZLE.

Anonymous 4:05 PM  

Not to be crass or anything, but I made about 40 grand in the market today. I'm not focused on what to be offended by, or what pronoun to use. I'm not consumed by hatred and don't spew inciteful rhetoric, so maybe it's good karma.

BarbieBarbie 4:05 PM  

@Mathgent, take my word for it that this is strange coming from me but: don't sell Keith Urban short or judge him until you've sern him live. We ended up at a concert of his (long story) and the lead-ins were just what you'd expect-- lots of s*kicker boots that were still out-of-the-box clean-- but OMG can that guy make a guitar sit up and take notice. When he went into long rock riffs it was Jimi Hendrix time. We were stunned.

I think someone already touched on this but: all partial circles are arcs. Not all arcs are partial circles.

Are the Kachinas already holy or do they need to undergo a conversion like transsubstantiation the way wafers and wine do? If so then aren't they just figures up to that point?

TomAz 5:18 PM  

Put me on Team This Was Easy, please. Also on Team The ARCS Clue Was Just Fine.

Never heard of Tori Kelly either. R. Kelly, yes. Gene Kelly, sure. Even Austin-Texas-based alt-country/Americana band Reckless Kelly, yeah. But there's only one Tori.

But otherwise this was a hot knife through soft butter.

If I knew how to craft a puzzle myself I'd love to do one with a theme of punk rock stage names. Those were the days kids, don't let anyone tell you anything different.

Unicorn Slayer 5:29 PM  


Speaking of Political Correctness, the SJW crowd really took one in the shorts today!

SCOTUS voted 8-Zip, ruling Monday that a federal trademark law banning offensive names is unconstitutional. The court sided with the Asian-American band The Slants, whose name had been deemed racially disparaging by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Early reports confirm that Dan Snyder is over the moon! Washington Redskins Forever!

Joe Dipinto 5:34 PM  

Good theme answers, especially URBAN LEGEND, with ROTTEN APPLE close behind. But I would have preferred "Singers R. and Al" as the clue for 29d - I think more folks would recognize R. Kelly. (Or R. and Ceelo, to bring it entirely into this century.

Malsdemare 5:40 PM  

Barbiebarbie, you ask a good question, and I don't know. But to the best of my knowledge, only the ones you see in shops are just figures. I know the kachinas are kept with the clan whom they "serve," and those are serious objects; think chalices, driedels. My bet is there's nothing done to elevate their status but the Hopi are a very closed society so I've not seen details about that specifically (I'm not Hopi, but lots of early sociologists worked with SW tribes to preserve their cultures so some of this is recorded). But here's something to consider. When clans come together for a ceremony, they draw their "power" from one another. A couple hundred years ago, Catholic priests converted an entire Hopi village called Awatovi. Its conversion meant that essentially a special intercession/ceremony that required The participation of the Awarovi clan (and It's been a long time since I've taught this so I shall be fuzzy) was now impossible. So one night, Hopi men, from First Mesa I believe, came down and wiped out the entire village, killing all the men and male children and taking the women as slaves. It's a terrible stain on the Hopi and they don't talk about it. But I think because the Hopi are matrilineal, they were able to restore that clan to its position in the Hopi religious structure via the captured women, and thus preserve the ceremony. My point is that the power to effect rain, or a good hunt, or cure disease occurred only when two clans worked together. Perhaps the Kachinas are part of that and derive their power from the coming together.

I'm a little uncomfortable writing about this though it isn't a secret. Please understand I may have errors here. All I really wanted to point out was that Kachinas are very meaningful for a living, breathing culture and to call them dolls is to trivialize their incredible importance to the tribe.

I'm pretty sure some here wish I'd stayed silent so I'll go quiet now.

Anonymous 5:56 PM  

Liberal hate kills.

Two Ponies 6:24 PM  

@ Maldesmare,
I'm reading The Golden Bough presently.
Very interesting material. I'll bet you
are familiar with that book.

mathgent 7:40 PM  

@BarbieBarbie: I've only seen Keith Urban on tv where his guitar playing is covered by his rather average singing voice. But I'm really talking about his persona. It doesn't seem worthy of the divine Nicole.

Anonymous 8:06 PM  

The Catholic church must be so proud of saving those Hopis.

Anonymous 10:45 PM  

Anon 4:05 Then how come I'm not making money?

MaharajaMack 12:36 AM  

Thanks for the Tori Amos video. Great song. Weak video.

Schadenfreude 2:03 PM  

This weeks hits just keep on coming. This is what inevitably happens to the Blue State Model. Remember, Illinois would be a solid Red State if not for Cook County. Cook County has send more Democrats to federal prison, than to Washington.

A top financial official just warned 100 percent of the state's monthly revenue will be eaten up by court-ordered payments. Rauner is calling a special session of the Democrat-led General Assembly in a bid to pass what he hopes will be the first full budget package in almost three years.

And Illinois will – literally – lose the lottery if the budget fails.

Tsk, Tsk, Tsk! No wonder Obama isn't moving back there. Rats always desert a sinking ship!

thefogman 9:41 AM  

Very easy for me, even by Monday standards. Too many free spaces like 4D (Opposite of outs) and 41D (James ____ (007) - plus the theme was s cinch to solve. I'll have to find some other way to get a headache now...

Burma Shave 10:29 AM  


ABOUT her URGE to turn TRIX as a wage-earner –
but AUNT AYLA reads with EASE that PAGETURNER.


spacecraft 11:22 AM  

I liked it, with just a couple of ISSUEs. First one is the outlier KELLY. All the other theme names are (very cleverly) also lower-case words, but KELLY, even as a GREEN adjective, is still a PPP. That's a BIT of GRIME that GALLS. Though the fill is relatively clean, we have a "re-verb", and those not-stand-alones SHALT and VOOM--but at least they are fresh.

You can have your singers and your Somali models; the DOD has to be JERI Ryan. Seven of Nine is a Ten. HONOR-able mention to Ms. Blackman as BOND girl Pussy did Fleming get some of those names past the editors? I mean, really: ONATOP?

"I'm Plenty."
"But of course you are."

Digression, pleasant as it was, is over. Congrats to wunderkind Jordan Spieth and his rather spectacular comeback to snare the Claret Jug--and to Scott Blumstein, winner of the WSOP Main Event and $8.15 mil. A la The Outer Limits, I "now return control of your television set to" my patient wife. Thank you, honey. Birdie. The puzzle, sweetie, not you. You are always the, better make that eagle.

spacecraft 11:23 AM  

P.S. Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear obscure?? And OFL is an English teacher????

rondo 12:22 PM  

Nice LIL Mon-puz. Knew all of the singers except Tori KELLY; woulda had a better shot if the clue was singer R. rather than Tori. Thought URBANLEGEND was pretty much golden, probably the germ of the whole DUETS idea.

Like @George B mentioned, in these parts the LYNX are the best team in the WNBA.

More OLE with no Sven.

As with coastal restaurants where you may see the restrooms labeled Buoys and Gulls, in northern MN you might find them labeled for Pointers and SETTERS.

Knew that @spacey would nominate yeah baby JERI Ryan. Never a doubt. I also had thoughts GALORE of that BOND girl.

Decent start to the week. ABOUT as good as one might expect.

leftcoastTAM 12:46 PM  

Clever pairings of singers/terms. (DUETS revealer was a bit superfluous.)

Didn't know Tori KELLY or non-themer JERI, but crosses accommodated.

A bit of brain fuzz at LiNX/AiLA cross.

Nice work, SG.

thefogman 12:50 PM  

Hurray for the Rex Parker (syndicated version) NYT puzzle posters.

rain forest 2:05 PM  

Skimming through the comments, out of nowhere comes a diatribe about the clue for HOPI. Those figures/figurines are dolls which have social, recreational, and/or religious significance. Amazing what ISSUE lights someone's fuse (see: discussion about the Air Force song).

Cute theme which I got at PAGE TURNER, and finished with KELLY GREEN (didn't we have that recently?).

I thought the fill was admirable, and entries like AYLA, THEMS, and VOOM are just fine by me.

Good beginning to the crossword week. @Rondo, @Spacey - my vote is for GENE Tierney, just cuz.

Diana,LIW 3:37 PM  

As I came upon all those names I knew @Rex would rate it harder than average - an unknown name will add seconds to your solve!

Agree with all that the crosses made it fair - maybe a bit of crunch for a Monday.

Lambo on my lap, whilst solving I asked him, being a cat and all, if lions had tufted ears. He shrugged. Then we remembered the LYNX, of course. My only erasure, and I was unsure from the get go.

va-va VOOM!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

PheasantShooter 1:40 AM  

23 across: setters are pointers; these speciality dogs are used to point out ground bird game such as grouse. Such birds settle and lie low when people approach: the setters/pointers sense the covey ahead on the ground and 'point' their human colleagues into the direction of the covey. Then other breeds of specialist human companions run in and flush the birds to be shot at. Pheasants are somewhat different; they don't usually settle on the approach of human or other prey; they simply get up and fly off. Good dogs for pheasant hunters are retrievers for the human who has downed the fleeing birds. Labradors, golden retrievers, poodles even. They don't usually 'set' for pheasants. Setters point out the hidden covey.

PheasantShooter 1:43 AM  

23 across: setters are pointers; these speciality dogs are used to point out ground bird game such as grouse. Such birds settle and lie low when people approach: the setters/pointers sense the covey ahead on the ground and 'point' their human colleagues into the direction of the covey. Then other breeds of specialist human companions run in and flush the birds to be shot at. Pheasants are somewhat different; they don't usually settle on the approach of human or other prey; they simply get up and fly off. Good dogs for pheasant hunters are retrievers for the human who has downed the fleeing birds. Labradors, golden retrievers, poodles even. They don't usually 'set' for pheasants. Setters point out the hidden covey.

Blogger 6:18 PM  

Did you know that you can shorten your links with AdFly and make cash for every visitor to your shortened links.

Blogger 1:33 AM  

Ever wanted to get free Google+ Circles?
Did you know that you can get these ON AUTO-PILOT AND ABSOLUTELY FREE by registering on Like 4 Like?

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP