Old coupon for needy / MON 9-25-17 / Soupy oliver twist fare / Active during daytime

Monday, September 25, 2017

Constructor: Bruce Haight

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (i.e. slightly harder than the average Monday puzzle, solely because of the crossing and cross-referenced themers)

THEME: hyphenated 10-letter adjectives where both halves (before and after the hyphen) intersect at the middle letter 

Theme answers:
  • HANDY / DANDY (17A: With 3-Down, useful)
  • HOITY / TOITY (19A: With 11-Down, snobbish)
  • HOTSY / TOTSY (39A: With 29-Down, sophisticated)
  • LOVEY / DOVEY (58A: With 48-Down, affectionate)
  • NAMBY / PAMBY (60A: With 51-Down, weak and indecisive)
Word of the Day: DIURNAL (43D: Active during the daytime) —
adjective: diurnal
  1. 1.
    of or during the day.
    synonyms:daily, everyday, quotidian, occurring every/each day

    "the patient's moods are determined by diurnal events"
    • Zoology
      (of animals) active in the daytime.
    • Botany
      (of flowers) open only during the day.
  2. 2.
    daily; of each day.

    "diurnal rhythms"

    synonyms:daily, everyday, quotidian, occurring every/each day

    "the patient's moods are determined by diurnal events" (google)
• • •

Hey all. I hope you had fun in my absence. Many thanks to my sterling stand-ins, Lena and Laura, who responded to my emergency call. Actually, it was a double emergency. Emergency 1: my internet got (mysteriously) shut off. Just ... dead. All remedies useless. All technical assistance futile. Didn't get back up til today, when the cable guy got out of his van, took one look up the pole, and said, "Yeah, your cable was mistakenly disconnected." Good to know! And then there was Emergency 2: I had urgent business in New York City on Friday. You see, it was my daughter's 17th birthday, and somebody (possibly the world's greatest father) got her (and her best friend!) tickets to see some show called ... [checks Playbill] ... "Hamilton"? Have you heard of it? Grudgingly, my wife and I came along as chaperones:

Basically the (absolutely real) internet outage neatly coincided with my Broadway plans. Some tragedies have upsides. Note: Today's puzzle is not one of those tragedies. The quaintness here is cloying. Also, I don't think anyone says HOTSY / TOTSY ... like, ever. Wasn't one part of that expression recently in a grid? And it made everyone groan in anguish and the horribleness? Yes, I'm sure that happened. I honestly don't even know what HOTSY / TOTSY means. I would not have guessed [Sophisticated]. Sounds more like [Having pretensions to sophistication]. So befuddled was I by the expression that I spent many seconds looking at HO-SY / TO-SY wondering what else could work there *besides* the "T." My second biggest theme answer objection related to NAMBY-PAMBY, which is pejorative slang for a "weak and indecisive *man*." It's basically related to SISSY and therefore can f*** right off. It's meant to suggest "effeminacy," and it's meant to suggest it negatively (duh), so pfffftfefpfdgt bite me.

FOOD STAMP in the singular is weird—never seen it that way before (33A: Old coupon for the needy). DIURNAL is a pretty high-and-in-fastball SAT word, but I must've picked it up in some poetry class somewhere. Sounds Wordsworthian. Oh, snap! I just googled [Diurnal poem] and Wordsworth was the first hit! Shout-out to Arden Reed, my Romantic Poetry professor (Spring 1990). Some of it stuck!

Overall, the fill is just OK, but about as polished as it has any right to be given the onerous pressure the theme puts on the grid. BULLMOOSE is welcome in my grid any day (8D: Symbol of Teddy Roosevelt's political party).

Happy 11th birthday to this blog. The Bloggiversary is always a good time to revisit the first comment my blog ever got. A classic of its kind. Everything about it is so pure. Enjoy.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


JC66 12:09 AM  

I stay up a little past my normal bedtime so I could post the following article from yesterday's NYTimes about climate change where everyone could see it. It has nothing to do with today's puzzle but I thought some of you might find it interesting.


Patrick O'Connor 12:14 AM  

Happy blogiversary, Rex. I thought the theme was cutesy-wootsy. I hope that you don't mind my saying so.

Mike in Mountain View 12:23 AM  

@Rex: Love the fact that commenters have been criticizing your criticism from day one.

I like the theme, but I had HOtTY TOtTY instead of HOITY TOITY. It turns out HOtTY TOtTY is a thing (an attractive one, though, not a snob). I blame the fact I used to live in Mississippi, and Ole Miss fans yell HOtTY TOddY, which is often misspelled as HOtTY TOtTY.

Whirred Whacks 12:37 AM  

Fun theme. Thanks Bruce.

I especially liked Bruce’s use of ESTEE. It was kind of a “F You” to Matt Gaffney (subbing for Rex) who gave Bruce an “F” for his July 26, 2016 puzzle for using ESTEE as the revealer. Even Will Shortz had to come in and straighten Gaffney out!


TokyoRacer 12:53 AM  

You forgot to diss the reference to the Brylcreem ad, which goes back, what, 60-70 years?
Aside from that, I think this was the easiest NYT puzzle I've ever done. Much easier than most Mondays, even. Just annoyingly easy - like, why bother?
PS: Glad you ignored that a-hole.

puzzlehoarder 12:55 AM  

This was another ho-hum dial it in Monday with the exception of the god awful HOTSY TOTSY crossing. I had thrown an I into that middle space assuming it was HOITY TOITY. That phrase actually relates to the "sophisticated" clue. When I got the "almost there" I went back and spotted the mistake. The only viable alternative was T, irregardless of how ugly the answer was. @Kitshef I liked your late comment yesterday regarding ONEMOTIME It perfect!y captures the revulsion I feel for an entry pair like HOTSY and TOTSY.

The Daily Ant 1:05 AM  

How is no one mentioning the very non-Monday STDENIS?

Larry Gilstrap 1:21 AM  

Rex, listen to Grandpamike! I like Wordsworth, "Emotion recollected in tranquillity," but I learned DIURNAL in 7th grade science as the opposite of nocturnal. Animal behavior and all that. Ever have a pet hamster fire up the wheel at 3 am?

I have no problem with the legitimacy of those symmetrical themers. LOVEY DOVEY has Steve Miller Band immunity. The rest I have heard all of my life. To be called NAMBY PAMBY had more to do with courage than with sexual preference, and that is a big distinction. Some of the smartest decisions I made growing up were due to my inherent timidity. Be a sissy or do something really dumb? Duh! Young men often make poor choices.

I follow baseball, so CY YOUNG was a gimme. There are so many talented young players and pitchers in the game right now, and I'm pumped for October. I hope those Santa ANA winds spare my part of the world this season. They can be nasty with their destructive POWER.

Speaking of poor choices, when I was a kid, driving a VW was the coolest thing. My favorites were a '66 bug and a '70 van. Miles of grinding that FOUR SPEED gear shift to maximize the under-powered vehicle up a mountain pass or through stop and go freeway traffic. No AC, barely a heater, lousy gas mileage, puny electrical system, and a rigorous maintenance schedule. And, they always smelled like burned motor oil.

Good Monday puzzle Dr. Haight. Surprised that the editor allowed Ping-Pong as a clue. Isn't it Table Tennis?

Anonymous 1:26 AM  

I thought HOITY/TOITY is derived from HOTSY/TOTSY. Wiktionary says otherwise.

All my thoughts on this puzzle were stated by others.

Theodore Stamos 1:29 AM  

Rex is reaching self parody lately. He seems to be offended by EVERYTHING! If NAMBY PAMBY makes you choke with rage then you've officially jumped the shark.

Hartley70 1:48 AM  

Oh no, let's not reargue the HOITY/TOITY HOTSY/TOTSY controversy. The first is pejorative; the second is not. This is one usage where advanced age has the advantage.

I loved @grampamike's comment. Where are you now, Grampy? Still lurking, I hope. I bet he's HOTSY TOTSY.

I'm with @TokyoRacer on the easy rating. This was so easy it was painful to complete. Okay, I'll give you STDENIS. It's a Monday outlier. I don't know how I knew this but I must have absorbed it just by living. Thank goodness it was included.

In many ways I'm sure a Monday puzzle must be the most difficult to construct, so I'm inclined to applaud all Monday constructors. Go Bruce! One can't make it too easy or most solvers will complain. It needs to be easy and clever at once to be a stellar Monday. How @Rex found this medium challenging is beyond me.

Robin 2:20 AM  

My dictionary claims HOTSY_TOTSY as a synonym for HOITY_TOITY, but I have never heard (the few times I ever heard it) used that way. Can't say I care for that particular clueing, at all. In any event, HOTSY_TOTSY sounds like something right out of the 1920s.

Dictionary also has NAMBY_PAMBY as "weak or effeminate". Oooh, ouch. I can see where that one touched Rex off.

Otherwise, an okay Monday. DIURNAL came to be right away, but that's because of the kind of research I used to do. BULLMOOSE was okay. No problem with ST_DENIS here, but I have perhaps read too many historical novels involving the Plantagenets.

jae 2:48 AM  

Medium for me. Aside from still being a tad confused about HOTSY TOTSY vs. HOITY TOITY, liked it.

Loren Muse Smith 3:37 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loren Muse Smith 3:38 AM  

I think this is a nifty idea, and in this case I happily forgive the cross-referencing. I agree that it’s Monday easy, so in fact, I just needed one cross-referenced pair to see the deal. Funny how many expressions we have that work this way: hanky panky, willy nilly, teeny weeny, tighty whitey... Ok. Tighty whities. (And I agree that GREEN STAMPs sounds more natural.)

@Hartley – I’m with you on HOTSY TOTSY. Must be our age.

I’ll add NAMBY PAMBY to the list of phrases I need to be offended by. It’s getting hard to keep up.

@TokyoRacer - the clue for DAB reminded me instantly of the commercial.

I accidentally brushed my teeth with Brylcreem once in a rented houseboat’s nasty bathroom (redundant?). Actually, I just brushed for a second. Doesn’t take you long to taste the difference.

I liked LOVEY DOVEY crossing HONEY DO. I used to resort to that. Used to. Before I accepted the fact that my husband is not really that handy. The problem is, this absolutely does not hold him back. I can’t tell you how many tubes of caulk I’ve bought because he added it to my shopping list. Killing wasps, repairing a piece of wood on our deck, hanging pictures, fixing a broken screen door. No duct tape for this guy. Caulk all the way, baby. A big ole dab’ll do ya.

@Larry – you have some turns of phrases that make me laugh. “Ever have a pet hamster fire up the wheel at 3 am?” I almost spit out my coffee.

To all those playing the animal group game yesterday – I saw a picture of two crows on a bench with the caption Attempted Murder.

Thanks, Bruce. Easy breezy Monday.

Hungry Mother 5:24 AM  

Easy (peasy) here this morning. Fun way to start the week.

BarbieBarbie 5:44 AM  

Yeah, @Robin, that dictionary would have been a little off at my house. HOTSY TOTSY has a Roaring 20s feel to it and doesn't really mean sophisticated, more wannabe fad-oriented. Kardashianesque.
NAMBY-PAMBY, as used by my mom, was perjorative but not about sexuality or masculinity. More descriptive of someone who doesn't have the courage of their convictions.
I disagree with Rex that the word pairs made the puzzle more difficult. They rhymed, so for me anyway they made it very easy. You needed a cross for one of the first letters (well, there was probably a symmetry I failed to notice, so let's just say *I* needed a cross) and the rest just plunked in. Solve time here was a near-record after a nine-hour drive doing battle with The Trucks of Intersate Eighty. EASY-PEASEY!

Lewis 5:48 AM  

Bruce gives much credit to Frank Longo for this puzzle in his Xword comments. Bruce came up with the theme, Will wasn't happy with the fill, and the puzzle went to Frank who "pretty much redid the whole puzzle from the ground up". And while Monday is the only day of the week in which Frank hasn't published a puzzle, he refused to be listed as a co-constructor. Class act.

I'm amazed when constructors come up with themes that haven't been done before, this being one of them, and props for the creativity, Bruce. I liked DEBUG and those two Y's in a row in CYYOUNG. I like that all the theme answers start with the across word, and the theme is hunky-dory cute. It made me think of "Gitche Gumee" from "The Song of Hiawatha". Clean grid. Quick and bright.

Meanwhile, with the mumbo jumbo and hanky panky going on you know where, today, just today, I'm willy nilly going to make it go hocus pocus, and hokey pokey all day.

BarbieBarbie 5:48 AM  

@LMS, I think we have to restrict our lists to pairs that not only rhyme, but differ only in the first letter. Makes it harder for us, and admirable in the constructor. Good Monday.

Muscato 5:52 AM  

Far more fun than most Mondays, and - to toot my own own - my fastest Monday ever (or at least since I started using the iPad app, which tracks such things). HOTSY TOTSY is the way that one of my great aunts would have disapprovingly described one of her racier friends ("Look at her, all HOTSY TOTSY in a pantsuit!")...

Elaine Benes 6:48 AM  

Elaine: Ok, So Barney’s is having this huge sale. I try this dress on
-- (holds the garment bag out towards Jerry) -- Stunning. Stunning. I
couldn't take my eyes off myself.

Jerry: Yeah.

Elaine: OK, so then I put it on at home. It looks like I’m carrying

Jerry: So you're saying, Store -- HOTSY-TOTSY, Home-- HOTSY-NOTSY.

Elaine: Yeah exactly. Anyway I've got to go over there and return it.

Evil Doug 6:53 AM  

And here I thought I was the only one who could cut and paste Seinfeld quotes! Well done, Benes!

Two Ponies 7:05 AM  

Well, if you're going to pretend to be @ED at least you're quoting Seinfeld.

I was thinking of George Thorogood singing about his landlady
"Lawd, she was lovey dovey.

@Lewis, Interesting about Frank Longo being too hoity toity to put his name on a Monday puzzle. Don't know what I make of that.

Also don't get Rex's reaction to namby pamby. Protesting too much?

Two Ponies 7:13 AM  

I am amazed at the anniversary date. Even more astounding is that I've been following this blog since 2008. I wonder what has become of some of the old crowd. @ mac pops in from time to time. I miss @ foodie. That was one smart lady.

ghthree 7:16 AM  

In the musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" Charlie Brown takes decisive (for him) action: I'll be wishy one day and washy the next."
This musical also offers a good example of "Mansplaining" by (ironically) Lucy van Pelt.
"You see this tree? ? It is a fir tree / It's called a fir tree / Because it gives us fur /
for coats / It also gives us wool in the wintertime. /
You don't have to be a man to mansplain.

kitshef 7:16 AM  

Fun to see HOTSY TOTSY and HOITY TOITY in the same grid following the recent discussion on this board. And as we know from that earlier discussion, people do say HOTSY TOTSY, and in my part of the world is used to mean chic, which is pretty much the same as sophisticated.

THORA sure didn’t feel like a Monday entry, but overall on the easy side of medium.

Z 7:20 AM  

Hand up for thinking of NAMBY-PAMBY as more wishy-washy than sissy, although the Urban Dictionary agrees with Rex’s understanding. Learn something every day. @LMS - I have very few words that I am offended by. I long ago came to the belief that pejoratives say more about the the caster than than the castee. This weekend’s Son of Bitch is the perfect example. I do, however, appreciate knowing that words like redskin, gyp, and now NAMBY-PAMBY give offense.

While Rex was at Hamilton I was at a Drive-By Truckers concert.

Don’t be grandpamike.

Z 7:27 AM  

Hey iPad users who post links - The new update defaults to “smart” quote marks which blogger rejected for use in my html to post links. Holding down the quote mark key gave me six quote mark options, with the html preferred " being one of them.

Aketi 7:32 AM  

The animal group comments yesterday were stellar.

@JC66, nice job on the article.

@Larry, coffee did go up my nose.

@LMS, my rule of etiquette is that if men are going to allow their pants to droop, they should wear somethimg more interesting than tighty whities underneath. Some young men do get creative with the colors in the LAYER of clothing that peeks out the top. Fortunately, I admit that I'm grateful my son never adopted the droopy drawers look. I have to sometimes remind my husband to tighten his belt when his pants sometimes drift a little towards that direction.

@Lewis, I think you've confiscated all the remaining good ones.

The only one I could come up with was from a fuzzy memory of a book from my early childhood, with a title something like "My Little Kitten". I'm sure it was intended as a sweet little book and that's how it sounded to me at the time. Anyway, I have a vague memory of the child in that book calling out for the pussy wussy that was either hiding or missing . I think that would have exceeded NAMBY PAMBY on the outrage meter had it made it into the puzzle.

Anonymous 7:32 AM  

Nice photo. Which one is Rex?

kitshef 7:32 AM  

NAMBY PAMBY is one of those words where the origin can be placed precisely - a Henry Carey poem entitled Namby Pamby: or, a panegyrick on the new versification address'd to A----- P----, written as a criticism of the works of Ambrose Philips.

It was intended to be critical of Philips' poetry and politics. Anyway, apparently Arden Reed failed to cover this.

Len Van Vliet 7:48 AM  

Grandpamike would have no problem with this puzzle.

Len Van Vliet 7:48 AM  

Grandpamike would have no problem with this puzzle.

chefbea 7:50 AM  

Happy blogoversary!!! and happy birthday to your daughter...she is 17 already!!!

Oh the puzzle..loved it and was fun. But almost got Naticked at St. Denis crossing Thora.. What a fun puzzle. Think I've been coming here 10 years!!!

Kodak Jenkins 7:56 AM  

Decent puzzle, cute theme though NAMBY PAMBY sounded familiar I didn't know the meaning. Ditto HOTSY TOTSY though i would have guessed "fancy" or "too big for their britches".

Isn't ST.DENIS crossed with THORA kind of crazy for a Monday?

Lewis 7:56 AM  

@twoponies -- I took it that Frank was too humble to put his name on a puzzle whose theme he didn't think of, and I saw it as admirable that he didn't succumb to the temptation to have his name on this puzzle, which would have given him the full cycle (puzzles with his name on it for every day of the week).

QuasiMojo 8:00 AM  

Political correctness is a curse of the small-minded. Namby Pamby offends no one. PUH-leeze!

I always thought HOTSY TOTSY referred to someone or something that was trying too hard to be chic. It's a put-down.

ONE MO' TIME was a wonderful Off-Broadway play. I'd rather see that anyday than HAMILTON. Ugh.

I am definitely a DIURNAL guy: I drink two urns of coffee a day.

crackblind 8:01 AM  

Am I the only one who remembers Debralee Scott's character Hotsy Totsy from Welcome Back Kotter? Too bad she never married Arnold and became Hotsy Horshack (I still love that punchline).

Anonymous 8:04 AM  

Of the five expressions that form the theme of the puzzle, I honestly have never heard of three used in conversation. So potential naticks in three squares. HANDY DANDY is fine But had LOpYE DOpEY. The cross-referencing is annoying in any puzzle.

Two Ponies 8:05 AM  

@ Lewis, Thanks for your take on that. Let's give Frank the benefit of the doubt.

Nancy 8:21 AM  

Since @Hartley explained the HOTSY-TOTSY vs HOITY-TOITY thing weeks ago, I had no trouble with it. But to me, having never used it or heard it in the wild, the former sounds like a pejorative. Nothing to do with age, @Hartley and @Loren, since I happen to know I'm older than both of you. It's where you grew up.I would never use the phrase to express sophistication, no matter what Elaine Benes may say.

Lively, interesting Monday, with a great clue for SCULPTS.

I was up really early today (6:45!) without an alarm (!) and will be out of the house before the first blow of the hammer of the renovation that begins today. Wish today's forecast wasn't for "very warm and humid."

Anonypuss 8:24 AM  

The expression "namby pamby" applies especially well to anyone who is offended by said phrase.

Doris 8:33 AM  

Being an older and long-term puzzle doer (I still prefer to print it out and do it in ink, though I am completely computer literate and occasionally do it online) and remember the Maleska days of MUCH higher culture, I confess to remembering the actual Brylcreem slogan: "A little dab'll do ya." Oh, those greasy heads of yore.

Regarding "hotsy-totsy," it sounds, and is, Runyonesque, though Damon Runyon claimed he did not coin it. Don't recall if Frank Loesser used it in "Guys and Dolls," but it sounds as if he might have done.

Frayed Knot 8:35 AM  

So NAMBYPAMBY is no good to use in the puzzle because it "suggests" effeminacy even though that wasn't the puzzle's definition of it.

And I like how BULLMOOSE was acceptable -- even lauded -- but what about symbols of unapproved alternate political parties or candidates?
Just checking.

Sir Hillary 9:07 AM  

Jeez @Rex, don't be such a fuddy duddy.

By the way, you and I were on the same island Friday night. I was about 30 blocks north and three avenues east watching The War On Drugs, who were playing at the Central Park Summer Stage CONCERTSERIES. Great show.

This is a perfectly fine Monday. Simple, crisp theme. Solid fill (I only wrinkled my nose at SILTS and BIL). Some excellent 7s and 9s connecting the five theme playgrounds.

The crossword week is off to a good start.

Bob C 9:10 AM  

No one said hachi machi yet?


Springtime for Hitler 9:17 AM  

Ev'ry hotsy-totsy Nazi stand and cheer
Ev'ry hotsy-totsy Nazi...
Heil myself!
Ev'ry hotsy-totsy Nazi...
Heil myself!
Ev'ry hotsy-totsy Nazi...
...stand and cheer!

mathgent 9:20 AM  

My mother used to say "hoity toity." I liked to hear her say it. I can't remember ever hearing it from anyone else or ever seeing it written out until yesterday.

The fill was astonishingly straightforward and dull, but there were a few bright spots besides the crossing theme words. "Produces a huge body of work" for SCULPTS. HONEYDO. DIURNAL.

It was more than I expect out of a Monday.

Doug 9:21 AM  

Wow, I thought for sure that this would be labeled "easy." I finished it probably record time. And I'm nowhere near the level of most solvers who follow Rex's blog.

Tita A 9:25 AM  

Were I a puzzle ease rater, I would rate this easy-medium. Medium for STDENIS, DIURNAL, and clues for SCULPTS and MARTYRS.
Easy, because like @Barbie said, they're rhymes...so you get lots of the other letters.

The theme gave the puzzle a bouncy feel. Just fine for a Monday.

The basilica of STDENIS is by some measures the first gothic church built. It is in the STDENIS section of Paris, at the Porte STDENIS.
Fun facts...
The entrances/exits on the beltway around Paris are called portes, or gates, because they are at the locations of the entrances to Paris when it was a walled city. (The wall was torn down, and the beltway built in its place.)
And walled city gates had keys...it was a great honor then to be given the "keys to the city".

Tita A 9:29 AM  

Rex...happy birthday to your daughter and to your blog. Thanks for ignoring your first commenter.
Though I must applaud his reserved and thoughtful tone. Sigh...that was in the early days of the net, before we trolls were invented.

GILL I. 9:29 AM  

@Hartley...HOITY TOITY is pejorative??? I thought it meant someone who is pretentious. Is that bad? And @Rex...NAMBY PAMBY is a sissy? I thought it meant someone who is gutless - you know, like Theon Greyjoy of "Game of Thrones."
I thought this was just plain old fun for a Monday. I told my daughter to try this one since I thought she'd enjoy it. She did!
I know all these phrases. I love them. They sound so "Alice in Wonderland." I used to get Hoi Polloi mixed up with HOITY TOITY and no one knew the difference. How do you pronounce ESTEE?
Good job Bruce Haight. Darn your luck, though. Should have had @Lena or @Laura give it a review.
Keep it coming @Rex. You certainly know how to get the blog all lively and mad and grandpa-ish. Congratulations to you and the years of survival. I don't know what I'd do without my morning reading of "Rex Parker."

Cassieopia 9:39 AM  

Easy peasy breezy puzzle, near record time, no mumbo jumbo here. Had zilch trouble with the cross references and have never seen a similar puzzle before, so color me delighted.

Happy 11th, Rex! Love the blog, the comments, the critiques, the laughs...JMHO.

GHarris 9:44 AM  

Isn't it interesting. In days of yore there were walled cities which, in almost every instance tore down the walls as presently useless. But now we have advocates of walled nations.

Anonymous 9:51 AM  

One of Lawrence Welk's early bands was called The Hotsy Totsy Boys. On his long-lived TV show he paid homage to it by featuring a small ensemble drawn from the bigger orchestra, with the same name, Remember perpetually grinning Bob Lido?

Tim Aurthur 9:53 AM  

NAMBY-PAMBY came up on the Internets recently after a certain person created a country in Africa called Nambia. Various fake news sources reported on that country's border war with its neighbor Pambia.

Colby 9:54 AM  


He says "mamby", but the thought is still the same

Joseph Michael 9:59 AM  

I feel wishy washy about the merits of this puzzle. The theme seems a bit stale, but the fill is mostly decent. Especially liked the surprise of a $2 word like DIURNAL on a Monday. Also liked HONEY DO, FOUR SPEED, and BULL MOOSE.

Also agree with those who thought SCULPTS had a great clue.

HOTSY TOTSY immediately evoked the lyrics of Mel Brooks' "Springtime for Hitler" from "The Producers," one of the funniest movies ever.

Wish FROST had been given a more poetic clue. And don't understand why a FOOD STAMP is described as "old."

Noisy reception for the Princess of Wales -- DI DIN

Anonymous 10:00 AM  

I knew it was somehow familiar. Rosalie "HOTSi" TOTSi [sic] was a recurring character on Welcome Back Kotter, played by DebraLee Scott. I always found her slight overbite quite attractive.

Tim Aurthur 10:00 AM  


1. Of literary or artistic style, a composition, etc.: weakly sentimental, insipidly pretty, affectedly or childishly simple. Of a writer, artist, etc.: having such a style.

1745 W. Ayre Mem. A. Pope II. 90 He us'd to write Verses on Infants, in a strange Stile, which Dean Swift calls the Namby Pamby Stile.
1791 J. Boswell Life Johnson anno 1747 I. 97 At a very advanced age he could condescend to trifle in namby pamby rhymes.
1823 Edinb. Rev. Oct. 73 Too many of these namby-pamby lyrics have still been allowed to remain.
1840 Thackeray Paris Sketch Bk. I. 98 The namby-pamby mystical German school [of painters].
1920 J. Joyce Let. 3 Jan. (1957) I. 135 Nausikaa is written in a namby-pamby jammy marmalady..style.
1955 Times 17 June 12/2 W. E. Frost (sometimes a trifling and namby-pamby artist) has a good incisive drawing in pen and water-colour, of a bather seated by the sea-shore.
1983 P. Levi Flutes of Autumn i. 15 Mooning over the namby-pamby stories in Lamb's Tales, and demanding the real thing.
1995 Q June 134/1 What was then innocence..now sounds weak and thin, the lyrics irritatingly namby-pamby.
(Hide quotations)

2. Of a person or group of people: inclined to weak sentimentality, affectedly dainty; lacking vigour or drive; effeminate in expression or behaviour. Also: characteristic of or suited to such a person.

1774 Westm. Mag. 2 145 A namby-pamby Duke.
1774 T. Davies in J. Granger Lett. (1805) 60 Certain namby-pamby people were never to be satisfied.
1793 W. Roberts Looker-on No. 81. 648 Sweet smirking troops, In coats of green, and namby pamby pride.
1847 Thackeray Vanity Fair (1848) xlii. 383 She was..a namby-pamby milk-and-water affected creature.
1883 Fortn. Rev. Sept. 384 An amount of curious facts which namby-pamby travellers hesitate to tell.
1904 J. London Sea-wolf ii. 20 Oaths rolled from his lips in a continuous stream. And they were not namby-pamby oaths, or mere expressions of indecency.
1913 Bulletin (San Francisco) 3 Apr. 15/2 in Comments on Etymol. (2000) May 14 It will not be a namby-pamby [baseball] club, but a straight out-and-out band of fighters.
1954 Astounding Sci. Fiction Sept. 16/2 I like quarrelling. If you're going to go namby-pamby and pally-wally on me, I'll go find someone else.
1971 D. H. Robinson Raj xxviii. 283 He had always looked on wickets as a posh game, namby-pamby.
1994 B. A. Staples Parallel Time v. 62 These weren't namby-pamby fights like mine and Albert's, but brutal affairs.

Greg Charles 10:04 AM  

Rhyming reduplication is the name for the words in today's theme. Reduplication is fairly rare in English, but it's important in many other languages, including Vietnamese, which I've been trying and failing to learn for many years now.

I liked this puzzle -- not super-duper, but it had some razzle-dazzle, and definitely easy-peasy.

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

Further Googling reveals that DebraLee Scott's police officer fiancé was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack. Allegedly she subsequently developed a drinking problem and succumbed to cirrhosis in 2005.

Anonymous 10:09 AM  

In a memorable episode, "HOTSi" TOTSi falsely claimed to be pregnant in a successful ploy to call the bluffs of all the guys who bragged that they had slept with her.

Aketi 10:14 AM  

Just remembered a childhood poem thanks to today's blast to the past.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't very fuzzy,
Was he?

@Nancy, maybe HOTSY TOTSY is a regional thing. My husband grew up in the Midwest and got it right away. I never heard it before it's appearance in the puzzle a few weeks ago and I still can't quite grasp that it isn't a pergorative. Hope you find a cool spot in the park today.

@Gill I, a friend of mine named her gray minivan, "Theon".

kitshef 10:39 AM  

@Joseph Michael-

Officially, they are no longer called food stamps (renamed in 2008). However, in common usage they are still called food stamps all the time.

So I assume the 'old' refers to the 'coupons' part of the clue. It's all electronic transactions now.

jberg 10:44 AM  

OK, maybe some of the fill is a little weak, but it's an impressive construction to fit those crossing theme pairs into those tiny little boxes. I have to admire it.

I also enjoyed getting the YY of 24A and thinking "huh?"

As for ST. DENIS, the guy was decapitated and then picked up his severed head and walked a couple of miles. Surely that's crossworthy! Also, he gets mentioned in lyrics to "Aupres de ma Blonde."

Welcome back, @Rex, and best wishes for teh next 11 years. How was the show?

semioticus (shelbyl) 10:46 AM  

I don't always time travel, but when I do, I will make sure I'll take a copy of this puzzle to my then-to-be-friends in the mid-20th century. I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

Namby-pamby just WTF?

Jim in Chicago 10:59 AM  

The puzzle made me feel so ancient I wanted to jump in my Model T and drive around town to enjoy the lack of stop lights and to gloat when seeing the horses lined up at the water troughs.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) 11:28 AM  

Wow, cranky old Grandpa Mike gets his 5 seconds of fame again ten years later. Congrats on 10 years of daily posts. I didn't find the blog until several years later..glad you didn't let that first comment discourage you. Although I've occasionally complained about ageism in your posts, this great - grandmother shares none of Grandpa Mike's sentiments. Thanks for all you do. (I've never heard the word hotsy totsy used in all my long life btw, but the puzzle was kinda fun. )

old timer 11:50 AM  

I actually had "hotty totty" and only changed it to HOITY TOITY when I got here. But on camping trips with my elder daughters I would sometimes accuse one or the other of being NAMBY PAMBYs. So it never occurred to me that it had anything to do with effeminate males. Indeed my oldest girl was a tomboy. Liked to dress like a boy and do everything a boy could do (except pee standing up). It was a relief, in a way, that she acquired a boyfriend about the time she turned 14. I think when he took her to Prom was the only time I saw her in a dress. My middle daughter liked me to spend money on clothes and my oldest wanted me to spend it on gear, especially bicycle gear, Both, to my delight, have now given us grandchildren.

The city walls of Paris where the Peripherique was were never expected to provide much defense in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Cannon could easily pierce them. However. the Portes did provide a barrier to freight traffic, making it easy to collect the taxes levied on goods coming into the city. The more interior walls, dating to medieval times, were defensible in their day. On the Right Bank, they are now the Grands Boulevards. and mark the boundary between the older parts of the city and the faubourgs. You have your Rue ST DENIS and then past the old Porte ST DENIS your Rue du Faubourg ST DENIS,

Rex Parker 11:59 AM  

I'm visiting here today to say thanks to all the kind and thoughtful people and also thanks to all the people who unironically carry on the grandpamike tradition. You're adorable.


Joe Bleaux 12:06 PM  

A fine Monday puzzle, although the bar is low, thanks to traditional overeasiness (as an egghead might say). Anniversary and birthday happies to Rex and daughter. As usual, most everything I'd note about the puzzle has already been said. Anyway, it's nearly lunchtime -- maybe Beanie-Weenies today. But first, @Larry Gilstrap. My bizarre youth included a stint as a VW owner. My '63 bug's post-purchase discoveries: The "butterfly" valve in the heater conduit was stuck open, directing an unstoppable, sneaker-melting stream of heat to the left floorboard and directly onto my right foot. And that electrical system you mentioned; If every fuse was inserted, the fuse box would blow them all out, but if one was missing, all would be fine. So I had to play "fuse roulette" -- I couldn't listen to the radio unless I gave up the windshield wipers. If it started raining, I'd have to sacrifice the radio, or the lights, and so on. Thanks for the memory.

Melinda 12:14 PM  

Nobody remembers Ian Dury and the Blockheads (of Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll fame).
"Uneasy Sunny Day Hotsy Totsy"
You're welcome.

Melinda 12:16 PM  

I should say, Everybody remembers...?

Anonymous 12:30 PM  

NambyPamby is the capital of Nambia, a country somewhere in Africa, maybe.

Sam Field 12:32 PM  

Crossing THORA! ...whose name I have no knowledge of despite having seen American Beauty at least twice. Not Monday-ish! Stared at S_DENIS and _HORA for a while.

Anonymous 12:45 PM  

Warning: somewhat disgusting explanation for why I immediately knew "hotsy-totsy: New York City (Jewish) walking chant:

Left, left
Left my wife and 48 kids
Right in the middle of the kitchen floor
Shut my mouth and said no more
Hotsy-totsy bagels and loxy
Picked my nose and got a big snotsy....

There, not nearly as bad as "presidential" tweeting

Masked and Anonymous 12:57 PM  

M&A has always been partial to "artsy-fartsy". Has some tude.

This MonPuz has a whole different feel, due to the short, efficient space-usin themers. Different is good.
But … Try to make a theme out of the longest stuff, one time:
Hmmm. Well, there's a 4-word followed by a 5-word, in all of em … I've got to think …

@muse: yep. @Larry's 3am hamster wheel comment is primo stuff. It's darn near artsy-fartsy.

Oddly, the most desperate-lookin section of this excellent grid seemed to be the teeny weeny far-north-central zone, sportin the cool, sweatsy-wetsy AMIE/BIL. Woulda thought one of the cross-themer areas had more desperation potential. But, Frank Longo does very very good work.

I see I was not the only one that momentarily thought his solution was turnin to pewitmeat, when I encountered that 24-A unusual double-YY spot. But, turned out it was just more dandy fill.

All these here non-artsy-fartsy themers seemed fine to m&e. All are things I've heard of a lot, before. Sure, all these onesy-twosy phrases are gonna sound a bit dated. So does BULLMOOSE party. That's okey-dokey.

Best moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Ping-Pong surface} = TABLE. (It just grins and sez "yo, @Shortzmeister!") BIL, the staff weeject pick, sorta grins and sez "Better clue = {Bill right after shaving??}"

Thanxy-wanxy [shudder], Mr. Haight. Fun MonPuz.
And thanx to the talented Mr. Longo, who once also helped out on a puz even much closer to my heart, as I recall.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Masked and Anonymous 1:07 PM  

Congratz to @RP, on reachin the 11th anniversary and gettin to see "Hamilton". U are an amazinly dedicated blogger and amazin daddy, tho not necessarily in that order. Who disconnected yer Internet? Wouldn't think Mr. Haight would be into climbin telephone poles … ? har


Teedmn 1:17 PM  

My brain went all herky-jerky when I saw that CYY at 24A. I started looking for my ERRor. Then I read the clue and gave a sigh of relief.

Easy today so hopefully some of my friends who are afraid of the NYTimes puzzle (in syndication in our local paper) will give it a TWIRL.

Thanks, Bruce Haight (and Frank Longo, who is my favorite Saturday Stumper constructor).

Congrats to @Rex and his daughter for their anniversary and birthday achievements. I've only been coming here 3 years but it's been great fun.

Larry Gilstrap 1:26 PM  

@Joe Bleaux, yep, melted a clock radio down to a plastic puddle one winter night during a college-era move. Folks express nostalgia for those vehicles, and I did have some good times, mostly while parked. Hanky Panky even with that obtrusive gear shift in the way.

Bruce Haight 1:44 PM  

@Whirred Whacks
My clue for ESTEE was "Lauder, for one" which would have been more of a subtle dig at Matt's write-up. A D- would have been tolerable but that F was a slap in the face - if it was done mostly to stir things up it worked well.

Tita A 2:19 PM  

@old timer...thanks for the additional factoids about the walls. I'll add to that, as it's a subject that fascinates me. As with most cities, some kind of protective barriers were erected, and as cities grew, were torn down and rebuilt. Cut stone, a very labor intensive commodity, was usually repurposed in the newer, larger wallls, or left in place and incorporated into buildings. The areas outside the walls were known as foubourgs in France.

The last truly defensive wall was the Philippe-Auguste wall from the 12th c. The ritzy Faubourg St. Honoré, where the president lives, and all the fashion designers' stores are today, was just outside that wall.
That is where I was lucky enough to live when I studied in Paris, though at the time I was unaware of its HOITY TOITY nature.

@Lewis...this puzzle illustrates the random tangents and rabbit holes that a single bit of fill can inspire. A constructor can't anticipate that. But it makes this solver happy, especially when others here jump on and add to it.
@jberg...quite a feat indeed!

Carola 2:54 PM  

Easy and a lot of fun, and I love the pile-up of more rhyming pairs in the comments.
HOTSY-TOTSY - I don't think I've used it since grade school, but to my friends and me it meant "stuck up."
@Larry Gilstrap and @Joe Bleaux - Yeah, those VW heaters. Our '65 wasn't really up to Wisconsin winters. We had to use an ice scraper on the inside of the windshield, which would ice over with condensation. One person drove, the other scraped.

Paloma Vita 2:59 PM  

"pfffftfefpfdgt": my new fave word! And wow, happy bloggiversary and I say pfffftfefpfdgt to grandpamike!

Joseph Michael 3:16 PM  

@kitshef - Thanks for the food stamp lesson. I have only heard them referred to as "food stamps," but I guess it's been a while since the subject came up in conversation.

newspaperguy 3:16 PM  

Note to crossword puzzle constructors everywhere: Please do not use words or phrases that piss Michael off. He is very sensitive, don't you know? If he doesn't like a word he does NOT want to see it in a crossword puzzle.

Alicia Stetson 3:30 PM  

Note to crossword puzzle blog readers everywhere: Please do not read a blog if its author is likely to express opinions that upset you. You are very sensitive, don't you know? If you don't like an opinion you do NOT want to see it in a crossword blog.

Mohair Sam 3:41 PM  

@Grandpamike nailed it, nothing to add.

(Congrats on 11 Rexford)

foxaroni 3:50 PM  

Congratulations to Rex on the blogiversary. I've been enjoying it for 7-8 years, and have laughed out loud at one or more comments every time. Happy birthday to your daughter--I'm sure the evening will be a cherished memory.

Natick for me at STDENIS (uhhh--what is it? A wine? A family?) and THORA. Has she ever done anything else? (I'll Google when I'm done here.)

The first part of the Brylcreem jingle was "Brylcreem, a little dab'll do ya, Brylcreem, you'll look so debonair. Brylcreem, the gals will all pursue ya. They'll love to get their fingers in your hair."

Brylcreem was an oily, smelly concoction. Then, as now, I can't imagine women wanting to get their fingers in the stuff. I used it as a teenager. When I'd put it in my hair and then comb it with water, my hair would dry into a helmet that no wind could disturb. Alas, no woman then wanted to TOUCH my hair, let alone run their fingers through it.

kitshef 4:51 PM  

@Melinda - Do it Yourself!! Great album.

Joe Dipinto 6:45 PM  

I'm surprised so many peeps had a prob with ST DENIS -- it seems to me he's in the puzzle on a pretty regular basis, usually just as DENIS with "patron saint" in the clue.

No problem with any of the themers. NAMBY PAMBY is not offensive, pay no attention to Rex. I did think HOTSY TOTSY meant "hot to trot" (forwardly sexy) rather than "sophisticated."

Malsdemare 6:54 PM  

I love all the additional themers; thanks fellow bloggers. I liked the puzzle, managed it in decent time. I didn't know THORA, but I knew the rest; just had to hunt in what passes for a memory to dredge them up.

Mich as Rex can irritate me, I'd hate to see him pack his bags and quit. Coming here each day, even if I don't post, is a lovely, nevessary part of my day. you can't imagine the mumber of times I've started a tale with, "I do the NYt xword every day and then visit a blogspot raun by this guy Rex. But the cool part are the posts by bloggers," and then I talk about whatever I learned. Keep at it, Rex. You perform a valuable service to an awful ,ot of people. If it weren't for Rex, I wouldn't have spent the weekend pleasantly ensconced with Kingsolver's "Animal Dreams," a gorgeous book I think Loren should assign her students.

Anyway, thanks everyone, Bruce, Rex, Will, and fellow bloggers.

Chuck 7:40 PM  

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday promised a bolder economic message for the Democratic Party, including the potential for single-payer health care.

"We were too cautious, we were too namby-pamby," Schumer said on ABC's "This Week."

Joy2u 9:06 PM  

Hi-de-Ho, Hi-de-Hi ...

I've been doing (or trying to do) the NYT puzzles every day for the past few weeks. I stumbled upon this blog in the process and like many others here, became fascinated with the 'company' here.
I expect this will be another 'Anonymous' but as soon as I figure out how, and providing nobody else has used it already, I'll be commenting sporadically. I am joy2u.

@Larry The 3am hamster wheel comment: priceless

Brylcream, a little dab'll do ya'
Brylcream, you'll look so debonair (hotsy-totsie)
Brylcream, the gals'll all pursue ya
They'll love to put their fingers in your hair (yuck)

@GILL I. ess-tay

@Aketi I, too, remember that 'Fuzzy Wuzzy' poem from childhood; makes me feel all, well, Fuzzy (Wuzzy) in my tummy.

snowmaiden 9:31 PM  

Like the drill sergeant therapist, I grew up hearing Mamby-pamby. It was a description of weakness but not gender specific. We country hicks said everything differnt.

Joe 10:24 PM  

Another Squeeze song--thanks Rex!

Erin Hollander 11:44 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin Hollander 11:45 PM  

I’ve never had an issue with HOTSY TOTSY and I’m always surprised to see it criticized as being outdated (I’m 26), although I realized that that may be because I’ve spent my life involved with theater and did a production of The Producers when I was 18 (there’s a lyric about “every HOTSY TOTSY nazi” that, rather unfortunately, always gets stuck in my head), so it’s just an expression that’s existed in my world for my entire adult life.

That being said, the clue given for it didn’t seem right to me.

Anonymous 7:20 AM  

Initially started with WISHY_WASHY over NAMBY_PAMBY, never heard of HOTSY_TOTSY.

Joe Bleaux 2:49 PM  

Hear, hear!

adder cyyoung martyrs 11:57 PM  

Fresh but kinda hard...
I'm not sure DIURNAL should be in a Monday puzzle, ESP if DIARY is there as they are sort of the same word in many ways...

And I do think Frank should have taken partial credit in print.
A great idea, original and wonderful, but if Frank did a ton of work, there is nothing unclassy about sharing credit.

Constructors get paid a pittance, it's nice to at least get credit. Very big on giving credit where credit is due... what on earth does it hurt?
And if there EVER comes a time that we get residuals, at least they'll know whom to send it to.

Perhaps Frank simply didn't want Bruce to only get half pay...

Bruce Haight is continually coming up with fresh ideas... and those who help him build it, helped him build it!

Frank seems super shy and self-effacing, and at least Bruce gave him a proper shout out elsewhere, but it wouldn't hurt anyone to have the paper acknowledge too, esp in order to complete the sought after "hitting for the cycle", or whatever the sports-obsessed folks call it!

Secretly I think they fudged on the definition of HOTSY TOTSY so it would seem more different from HOITY TOITY than it probably is...

(To complain about NAMBY PAMBY is sort of a cross between HOITY TOITY and NAMBY PAMBY!)
Happy Blogiversary, which definitely could use a better name!

Larry 11:35 AM  

In the business world NAMBY PAMBY means weat tea, I supose it could be used as effeminate but I've never heard it that way. Back when someone could suggest someone or something was gay, they'd be much more direct.

Hate to see border line items be tossed out in the Gleichschaltung. Like my grade school named after a mayor of Dallas from the 1870s, but we need to erase him because he served as an unknown Brigadier in the CSA.

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thefogman 9:33 AM  

Visually pleasing and rewarding to the solver. Best Monday puzzle in a long time.

thefogman 9:36 AM  

PS - I would have loved to see artsy fartsy make an appearance but fartsy is tough to clue and has six letters, not five.

rondo 10:01 AM  

Thrown like a star in my vast sleep
I open my eyes to take a peep
To find that I was by the sea
Me gazing with tranquility

It was then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love
Then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Came singing songs of love

"Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy", he sang
"Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy", he sang
"Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy", he sang


Histories of ages past
Unenlightened shadows cast
Down through all eternity
The crying of humanity

It is then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Comes singing songs of love
Then when the Hurdy Gurdy Man
Comes singing songs of love

"Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy", he sang
"Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy
Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy", he sang

"Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy", he sang
Here comes the Roly Poly Man and he's singing songs of love
"Roly poly, roly poly, roly poly, poly", he sang
"Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy", he sang
"Hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, hurdy gurdy, gurdy", he sang

rondo 10:08 AM  

Knowing 5 letter rhyming crosses came in very HANDY DANDY. And we include our very own HOTSY TOTSY - DIANA,LIW. IHOPE everyone had a nice solve. Nice Mon-puz if I do SAYSO myself.

rondo 10:13 AM  

BTW - THORA Birch does an underage strip-tease for her voyeur neighbor/boyfriend in American Beauty. A little creepy verging on illegal? 3 and out

spacecraft 10:50 AM  

Yeah, Donovan was definitely on some sort of controlled substance. But dare I be the first to SAYSO: "Easy-peasy!" All these sayings are familiar to me; perhaps it's because I, like this puzzle, skew old.

Wow, I have been here for nearly half of this blog's life. How tempus fugit when you're having fun! @rondo, you mentioned Ms. Birch without specifically naming her a yeah baby, but I assume as much and second the nomination with the DOD sash. Take a bow, THORA.

I just did a puzzle in the Sunday paper with ORD in it--clued as the Chicago airport. Funny how that happens.

This one fills in the gap between Sunday and Tuesday, if you get my drift. It'll do. Par.

Burma Shave 11:54 AM  


“HONEYDO this and HONEYDO that AFTER”,
“IHOPE to LAYER”, said ANDY with laughter,


Diana, LIW 1:55 PM  

Wha? No wanna iguana? Seeing myself in the puzzle gave me my EGO fix for the day.

Thought this was perfect for a Monday - had a good rhythm - you could dance to it. A few Wed/Thurs answers sprinkled in - Mr. Haight is never too easy peezy. Still unsure of the peezy spelling.

Saw Hamilton just before the ACPT last spring, along with @Teedmn and a friend from jr/sr hs. We met up with Nancy for dinner prior to. Good time was had by all. This blog makes friends! (Hi @Rondo) I, too, often mention doing the puzzle and then reading the blog. Gotta let peeps know if you're wordy nerdy.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Diana, LIW 2:15 PM  

PS - I remember the jingle as:

Brylcreem, a little dab 'el do ya
Use more, only if you dare
But watch out, the gals 'el all persue ya
They'll love to get their fingers in your hair

Ewwww. Could Brylcreem be the president's secret to immoveable hair?

Lady Di

rainforest 2:31 PM  

Not much to add that hasn't already been said. To me NAMBY PAMBY means wishy-washy, or maybe, weak. @Rex's comment is ridiculous, but he is a wonderful husband and father.

Yeah, I read his post today, mainly because I thought he'd be a little more praise-giving. Skews old - so what. Like @Spacey, I do also skew thus.

Easy/cute puzzle where I nevertheless had a write-over at 46A. Misinterpreting "patron" and having -IS at the end, I confidently entered marquIS. Confusion ensued, but I sorted it all out.

Good Monday puzzle.

leftcoastTAM 3:21 PM  

Like the theme, cute and lively. The rhyming pairs don't seem very old to me, but then I've been around a long time.

Crosses helped a lot in seeing THORA and BIL.

@Diana--I remember the Brylcreem ad thus:

Brylcreem, a little dab will do ya,
Brylcreem, you'll look so debonair.
Brylcreem, the gals will all pursue ya,
Just rub a little Brylcreem in your hair.

And Burma Shave made the LOVE/DOVEY best of it.

Diana, LIW 6:02 PM  

@Lefty - I looked on line - there's an old tv ad - we're both "close," but no cigar. I think it was one of those commercials that everyone parodied on the playground. Then the parody sticks in your head.

Go look at the ad - hilarious!


Lady Di

Diana, LIW 7:28 PM  


That Hamster of Larry's has been in my mind all day. 3 am - right.


thefogman 8:38 PM  

That girl will need to towel off her hands after running her fingers through that greasy head of Brylcreem hair.

Do you remember Dippity Do?


leftcoastTAM 9:57 PM  

@Diana--You're right. There were more than two versions of the Brylcreem ad. They all seem pretty greasy now.

Scott McLean 12:48 PM  

I liked this puzzle a lot, despite the presence of ESTEE, EPEES, ERR, and AAH. The rest of the full was pretty good, and the theme was neat. Unlike Rex’s experience, the theme made this puz easier for me, not harder. Two (easy) entries on one clue makes the whole thing go faster. In fact, having figured it out early, I had a T, a O, and a Y in that middle area there, and plopped in HOTSY TOTSY without even looking at the clue. Good thing, I suppose, since I always figured it meant sexually attractive, as in, “Ooh LaLa!! You’re a HOTSY-TOTSY tomato!” Sophisticated? Huh.

Anyway, nice one, Brucey-Wucey.

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