Quaint train amenity / MON 10-16-17 / Substitute terms for sensitive subjects / Long-running PBS film series

Monday, October 16, 2017

Constructor: Jennifer Nutt

Relative difficulty: Medium (i.e. Normal Monday) (3:00)

THEME: KILLER WHALE (59A: Creature found "swimming" in 16-, 22-, 28-, 42- and 47-Across) —letter string "ORCA" is embedded (i.e. "swimming") in all the themers:

Theme answers:
  • RADIATOR CAP (16A: It must be removed before pouring coolant into an engine)
  • WINDSOR CASTLE (22A: Elizabeth II's home outside London)
  • PARLOR CAR (28A: Quaint train amenity)
  • INDOOR CAT (42A: Feline that doesn't stray)
  • LIQUOR CABINET (47A: Where rum and rye may be stored)
Word of the Day: BLAT (34D: Trombone honk, e.g.) —
verb: blat; 3rd person present: blats; past tense: blatted; past participle: blatted; gerund or present participle: blatting
  1. 1.
    make a bleating sound.
noun: blat; plural noun: blats
  1. 1.
    a bleat or similar noise.

    "the blat of Jack's horn" (google)
• • •

Retro City. Reminds me of doing a puzzle in the early '90s, with my good friends OBI and ALEE and AGUE and AGRA and hey there's SRO (Sold Right Out!)*. And the theme—also old school. I've embedded my share of words across two words in a theme answer before, but usually the words change. Ooh, no, the first puzzle I ever ever made had WINK in it four times (in honor of Palin's debate performance, which gives you a rough idea of how long ago I made it). Did a "beer bellies" puzzle once, but the embedded words were all *different* beer types. And revealers should be clever—they should make the whole theme snap into focus in some interesting way. KILLER WHALE is just ... KILLER WHALE. I am unconvinced by the "swimming" part of the clue. It's just an embedded letter string, like so many embedded letter strings in so many puzzles that have come before. As a puzzle from a quarter century ago, it's fine. As a puzzle from today, it's ... a puzzle from a quarter century ago.

This was not hard, but there were definitely sloggy parts. Had LIE for FIB (10A: Something that might be said with fingers crossed behind the back), which is what happens when the "I" is the first thing to go in there. That tripped me. Then I just ... don't think of NGOs, like, ever (well, not in crosswords, anyway), so no idea there. If you'd asked me to name "train amenities" off the top of my head forever, I'd never have arrived at PARLOR CAR (whatever that is). "P.O.V." isn't a show that leaps to mind when I think of PBS (though I do know of it). MS DEGREE is just an odd / unexpected phrase. GRE was cross-referenced. I had the "X" and guessed EXITS before AXLES (51D: Highway tolls may be based on the number of them). My answer is very very good, though. Stupid "X." I like CODE WORDS, but not much else here, though the crossing of TUDORS and WINDSOR CASTLE is pretty cute. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. my wife thought this was a Tolkien-related theme until she got to the revealer

*it's actually Standing Room Only (or, in another context, Single-Room Occupancy)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


A Man Called Horse Bucholz 12:07 AM  

Nice little Monday puzzle and the theme answer was pretty good.


You can add coolant to the expansion tank without removing the RADIATORCAP, so that clue is incorrect if used with the word "must."

Agra Colts MSDegrees 12:49 AM  

I liked it!
I thought they showed respect by not having circles, so I had no idea till I got to the "Swimming" clue and thought that was super cute, that we didn't have to "Swim in circles" literally to see the theme!

What was particularly nice is Jennifer had many wonderful pairings. The WINDSORCASTLE/TUDORS one, but I also love HUSH/HARPO and DERBY/RACETRACK.
And it's not a stretch to toast LIQUORCABINET/COLTS (45!)

The MSDEGREE I didn't get at first, but I think it's interesting bec it evokes the ol' anti-feminist going to college to get your M-R-S Degree!
So that was fun.
(It was weird, I saw this Harvard commencement speech given by Sheryl "Lean In" Sandberg a year or two ago which it seemed like she was advocating just that... find someone like she did and you're all set!)

My only stumble was Gust for GALE... I'd prob have been more clued in if it were a Dorothy clue. And a GLOBE in a classroom made me more nostalgic than critical when I see things seem from back in the day.

PARLORCAR is throwback, but I'm personally stunned that she managed to find so many phrases with ORCA in there, matching lengths and clean beautiful Monday fill.

Yay, Jennifer!

Larry Gilstrap 1:05 AM  

Some of my friends will engage me in conversation just to see how quickly it takes me to reference Moby-Dick. I like the book, what can I say? As a result, I know my whales and ORCAS are the sports cars of cetaceans. KILLER WHALES, indeed! Sleek, smart, and beautiful they are a joy to watch in the water.

I'm thinking OFL gives short shrift to these themers. Embedded words in compound nouns impress me, but I'm no constructor.

Plus, we get a nice little travelogue including a few places I have actually been. Honestly, not India or Kentucky. The British locales I have covered, even The GLOBE Theatre. Cool place!

Sure, it's Monday so three stacks happen, but I got my money's worth.

jae 1:24 AM  

Easy-medium for me because I had to go back and change SHiER to SHYER. Plus, me too for lIe before FIB. Solid Mon., liked it.

Larry Gilstrap 1:31 AM  

Indulge me, I drove around England in 1978. When we got to Stratford the town was booked. Shakespeare fans? Nope, the Royal Agricultural Show in Warwickshire was happening. A kind couple offered us accommodation and the weather was lovely. The play was The Taming of the Shrew, yes, that production with Jonathan Pryce as Petruchio. We got the last seat and I volunteered for SRO and that's what I did. I stood. The show began with a fracas between the ushers and an unruly audience member, Pryce, who then runs on stage, knocks down the set, and the play begins. Anybody else have SRO memories?

andrea carla michaels 2:29 AM  
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Anoa Bob 3:05 AM  

I've seen this before. A tried and true theme formula is used, here one with a repeated embedded word, and to give it a new twist, to make it more palatable in these modern times, the number of theme entries is maxxxxed out, leading to the "ton of threes" syndrome. Five theme entries and a reveal is huuuuuuge for a 15X15 grid, especially a Monday one.

I vote for derailing the PARLOR CAR, paring back on the number of themers, and letting the grid breathe more. Might be able to avoid those helper black squares before HUSH and BONGO and after SWEET and NESS and what looks like a seven letter partial IN LEAGUE.

On the up side, the grid is surprisingly good, given the crushing constraints of the number of themers.

Loren Muse Smith 4:17 AM  

I’m with @Larry. Love, love, love this theme type. Color me olde. There’s something so satisfying for me to see words disguised, hidden, embedded between other words. I’ll never get tired of it. I’ve said before – when I have time, I do sentences for grammar exercises for a class, and I embed each kid’s name in a sentence. Finding the word you’re looking for is like finding a little Easter egg, and it always pleases me. When they realize the deal, the entire class attacks the sentences with laser focus. Ok, fine. The grammar part is totally upstaged, but still…

@Andrea – I noticed those pairs, too. And more:


I thought FILET was for the mignon but fillet was for fish. I don’t care either way.

@Andrea – let me enrage all the feminists out there by stating that, sure, I went to grad school to get a degree in linguistics, but I also went for my MRS Degree.

Again – I could do puzzles with this theme all day. Enjoyed it!

Ascot Chi Moxie 4:23 AM  

Ha! And that's why I got into crossword construction...it just hasn't worked out...yet! ;)

Very cool what you do for your students! They are very lucky to have you!

BarbieBarbie 5:02 AM  

MS DEGREE is green paint. Or something.

Smith 5:14 AM  

Online Supports...


Thomaso808 5:33 AM  

I thought this was an excellent Monday puzzle. Getting RADIATORCAP, WINDSORCASTLE, and LIQUORCABINET into the same puzzle, with six themers overall in a symmetrical grid? Outstanding, Ms. Nutt! Very entertaining!

@LMS thanks for that very interesting link. It confirmed what I always suspected -- gourmand is just a fancy word for glutton ;). McDonald's has had Filet-O-Fish out there for about 50 years, so I'm impressed that "fillet" still survives.

@Larry, it's good to have friends who know how to push your buttons. Orcas are definitely the sports car.

Hungry Mother 5:52 AM  

Super easy. I never noticed the theme and did a surprising number of downs as I sailed through it.

Thomaso808 5:53 AM  

I made a comment yesterday that surely TUYERES would be a WOE for everyone, but then @Trombone Tom comes along and says he had a summer job to "punch the TUYERES " on a lead refinery. I love it!

Lewis 5:55 AM  
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Lewis 6:03 AM  

I thought the theme was well executed, and while it might not appeal to some, I didn't mind it in the least, and thought it just right for a Monday, if not exemplary. The theme is also tight -- I haven't been able to come up with other answers (can anyone come up with more?), while these are as natural as can be.

("Motorcade" came to mind, but it isn't two words as the themers are.)

Beside the lovely crosses and pairs others have already mentioned, there's a mini-theme of double E's (6). Sweet one, JN!

kitshef 7:32 AM  

Not sure what Rex's point is about retro today, unless well-constructed and timeless are now pejoratives. Is Tears in Heaven less of a song because it is 25 years old? Or Ruby Tuesday because it is 50? DeBussy was composing 100 years ago ... Haydn 250 ...

Easy peasy puzzle. Remarkable theme density, with relatively little grid pain besides a few threadbare threes and … BLAT.

pmdm 7:44 AM  

Perhaps today's write-up could be used as an example of damning with faint praise.According to Jeff Chen, the theme is identical with a crossword puzzle he constructed (published elsewhere) and he was not at all bothered by the duplication. Good for him.

As a Monday puzzle, I thought it fit the bill. Old fashioned? So was J. S. Bach. (Kind of.) No problem there. A puzzle like this one either grabs you or it doesn't, and I reacted positively to it. newcomers may correct me, but I think it is a wonderful puzzle for new solvers to tackle. Not an easy thing to construct.

RAD2626 7:55 AM  

I thought is was very cool: woman constructor, 1A "Fancy neckware" so I dropped in SCARF and was very pleased with the puzzle and myself. Oops. Other than that, totally smooth sailing through these whale infested waters. Thought it was a fine Monday and did notice the crosswordese at all. Slightly better than normal Monday time.

chefbea 7:58 AM  

Fun easy Monday puzzle...hopefully the orca did not eat the filet of soul!!! Never heard of POV...what kind of show was it???

Two Ponies 8:05 AM  

I was hoping Trombone Tom would give us his take on "blat." Such an ugly word but perhaps not offensive to brass players.

Cool story about the Globe @ Larry.

Windsor is a great destination. The castle is stately and beautiful, the Thames flows through there, lots of swans on the river, and Eton is there as well.

Nice catch @ Andrea with the liquor cabinet and Colt 45 but I'd be shocked if you've actually ever drank one.

Too bad that PC speech has driven our language to need code words.

QuasiMojo 8:38 AM  

The Globe is in London. I think Larry was referring to Stratford-on-Avon. I saw John Gielgud in Julius Caesar at the National. After he was slain, he had a coughing fit and his corpse kept shaking. The entire cast, as well as the audience. had a hard time not laughing.

Great Monday puzzle. Just goes to show that you don't need a lot of forced humor, bad puns or arbitrary hipness to make it work. I didn't see anything here that smacked of "olde" except the Parlor Car but that was clued as "quaint." Now if the constructor had clued 39A as "TV star ___ Storm" it would have skewed old. But she didn't. Brava, Jennifer.

RooMonster 8:57 AM  

Hey All !
Nice ORCAstrated puz. SWEET and easy. Was it IDEAL? Not really, but it is Monday. It passes the requirements. 25 3's is a tad high, though, but there are nicer longer words here. No ROO today, but there's a ROE, and I'm also a LEO. :-)

lIe for FIB here first also. Toughest answer was POV, although ERMINE is tough if you've never heard of it.


Nancy 8:57 AM  

@Quasi -- Your John Gielgud anecdote is the high point of my puzzle experience today. And to think -- I've always regarded him as perhaps the greatest Shakespearean actor of all time. That really must have been a howl. Wish I'd been there. Sort of. Oh, yes, the puzzle. Once again I seem to be the outlier. I found it a complete snoozefest and am shocked, shocked that so many seem to have really liked it. Maybe some naysayers will show up later?

Teedmn 9:12 AM  

What a nice Monday puzzle. Everyone's favorite crosswordese sea menace swimming in everyday phrases. I was using @r.alphbunker's program, cycling through without any crosses, so I couldn't see the theme until after I finished, but I smiled to see that they were all two word phrases with the OR CA at the end and beginning of the two. Nice job, Jennifer Nutt.

I had a slight hitch as I was entering WINDSOR CASTLE, wait a minute Elizabeth was a TUDORS, wait a minute the clue says QEII, WINDSOR CASTLE is good. And then seeing TUDORS in the grid was an added bonus.

26A was "tabor" before BONGO but tabor is not a very Monday-ish word. And
11D's clue seems a bit vague, with a 5-star Yelp review being IDEAL. Sure, it's correct but... But I will say that I think this is the IDEAL Monday puzzle.

Sir Hillary 9:25 AM  

Liked it. Agree with @Acme that not having circles showed admirable restraint and made the solve more fun.

Not sure why I spotted this, but Walter Payton (SWEET_NESS) was a star in CHI.

jberg 9:36 AM  

Unusually for me, I spotted the ORCAs as soon as I had two of them, so when I got the first O in INDOOR CAT I confidently wrote in RCA after it. Took me awhile to sort that one out.

I did enjoy it, and unlike some I loved seeing the PARLOR CAR in there. Train travel has gone downhill almost as much as air travel.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 9:50 AM  

My only experience with Standing room was in Vienna in 1983. We were mainly American tourists and we had grown up in the '60's, we sat crosslegged on the floor comfortably and often. We thought we could sit that was in the badk listening to the Vienna Phlharmonic. No Way! It was not Sitzplatz, it was Stehplatz. A guard looked totally shocked and ordered us up.

Left over from yesterday's, which I finished late in the evening: Do they really call them Study Rooms now? My high school was built in 1882, it had 'Study Hall', which was huge. I think 8 homerooms met in it at the beginning of the school day. Once we had a rather slightly-built college English major as a sub for study hall monitor, and the kids decided to haze him. They started humming. All over the room except exactly where he was. He walked around, the humming persisted except of course where he went to. Then they started throwing pennies, whoever was behind his back. The same pennies were sloshing back and forth. Finally a vice-principal showed up and read the riot act and I guess we went back to studying.

OH, nice puzzle. My favorite word was RAT. The Times recently had an article about how Kangaroo Rats almost always escape from Rattlesnake attacks.

pabloinnh 9:52 AM  


Here's my SRO story. Went to a Bernie rally at a local high school, and the gym with folding chairs was jammed. I would have been the S in SRO but the nice young woman sitting next to my wife offered to sit on her boyfriend's lap, which she did, and down I sat, or I would have been asked to leave (no standees allowed). Random acts of kindness always bring me inordinate joy.

teevoz 10:05 AM  
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teevoz 10:07 AM  

POV= documentary film, and it's still around

Hartley70 10:17 AM  

This Monday puzzle is the kid in the front of the class with a hand up and begging to be called on before the teacher has finished asking the question. It's earnest. It's worthy. It's following all the rules. It's just not all that much fun. (Hi, Nancy)

@LMS has got to be one of the most creative teachers I've encountered.

@Trombone Tom, I looked at the Britanica site last night and it appears that they think a Bessemer has TUYERES, described as "openings near the bottom where air is blown in." That Bessemer monstrosity continues to confound me.

Cassieopia 10:33 AM  

Put me in the “likes it” column. A solid Monday that gets the job done and adds a spritz of joy with BONGO.

@lms, that you persevere with creativity in such a difficult and demanding job speaks volumes. Your students are indeed fortunate to have you stretch their minds.

Joseph Michael 10:36 AM  

As I was solving, I first noticed the recurring CA in the themers and thought it might be some kind of a California theme. Then I noticed the recurring R before the CA for an RCA theme instead. And finally, as I continued to wake up, I saw the preceding O and realized ithat there was an ORCA thing going on.

So from California by way of RCA did ENTER a KILLER WHALE wrecking havoc. The puzzle's SWEET- NESS got torn in two. And while QUEEN emerged unscathed, the lead singer from Guns N Roses has ended up as AXLES ROSIER. Meanwhile the end of a harpoon has been bitten off to become only a harmless HARPO.

Yes, there were a few irksome blats along the way, such as NGO, SRO, and HMO, but overall I thought this was an entertaining Monday morning voyage.

GHarris 10:50 AM  

Had inleafed for in league until liquor straitened me out.

Suzie Q 10:58 AM  

@ GHarris, Funny, liquor usually has the opposite effect on me!

Denise Goldstein 11:04 AM  

Loved the puzzle. But what is firebrand? Changed the I to a y but have no idea what ayn is. Help

jb129 11:17 AM  

Medium, Rex, really?

This was easy, even for a Monday!

Nancy 11:18 AM  

@Loren -- So many people today have mentioned your teaching creativity that I went back to see exactly what it was you did. And what you did/are doing blows my mind. Is it even possible? I tried to think of how I would embed a student's name. Yes, of course, I could do "Steve." Or "Arnold". Or "Candice". Or "Andrea". But what on earth could I -- or for that matter, you -- do with:
JEFFRY (or even JEFF)?

Just wondering. I know you have an incredibly busy life, Loren, with no time to waste on idle blog "what-if" questions. But if you can embed the names of all your students, I'll consider it a minor miracle!

Hartley70 11:18 AM  

@Denise, It's the author's first name.

Denise Goldstein 11:21 AM  

Never mind - got it. Been a long time since I've seen Ayn Rand in a puzzle. I had computers on the brain Duh

JC66 11:24 AM  

@Two Ponies

Using CODE WORDs goes way back.

Think Oh fudge or Gee Whiz.

Masked and Anonymous 11:32 AM  

Well Orca-striated MonPuz. Nutty fill. Killer reveal.

staff weeject pick: NGO. Crossin boNGO. The rare NGO/NGO duet.

yo, @Nancy. I can hide JEFF …

"That there lastest basket-ball game sported it a magnificent Dr. J effort."

[I left lotsa controversial grammar stuff in there, for @muse's students to work on.]

Thanx for the fun, Jennifer Nutt darlin. I hid NUTT in the comment, also, btw. Meta!

Masked & Anonymo4Us

hardish, for a Monday mornin:

Nancy 11:46 AM  

Well done, M&A! Very smooth. But can you do JEFFRY? Or JEFFREY? Or GEOFFREY?(GEOFFRY can be done: There's a whole ranGE OF FRYers in the meat section.)

Honeysmom 11:53 AM  

Rex's sorry shtick, constant complaints about boring puzzles, has become so boring. This one was FUN and EASY for me. Hah!

Anonymous 12:11 PM  

To make the puzzle more modern, 10A should have been clued " 'If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance' for example."

Anonymous 12:14 PM  

I solve using the NYT online puzzle. I solved today's puzzle in about 12 minutes ... but I was offline at the time. So I had to reenter all the answers in a fresh grid, which I did about as fast as I can type. It still took about 6 minutes. Granted, I am not the fastest keyboard artist. Still ... how does anyone (like Rex) solve a puzzle in 3 minutes?

Masked and Anonymous 12:22 PM  

@Nancy. Nope, but I can hide one of yer other challenger names lotsa times, right here …

"Back up here in Brazil, Godzilla displaced zillions, but on the other hand he never realized even a single bent-up roof dent over there in Swaziland … I mean, zilch!"

"Hidin out since 2008"

RooMonster 12:50 PM  

Hey, I got one for ELIZABETH!
She went into military medicine so she could become LIZ, A BETHesda Naval Hospital staffer.

Will try to come up with more...


Two Ponies 12:56 PM  

@ JC66,
Jumpin' Jimminy, it was the word "sensitive" in the clue that caught my attention.

RooMonster 12:59 PM  

Dang Auto Corrupt!
becomE LIZ, A BETHesda

RooMonster 1:08 PM  

Har . . .
LOL, I spend all day staring at the computer screen trying to be #freSH, IRL, EYe strain.

I'm 100% positive @LMS could do better. :-)


Cassieopia 1:23 PM  

“She gestured to heR EX. ‘PARK ‘ER in the other spot’, she commanded, as he expertly backed the Carrera down the drive. “

Cassieopia 1:25 PM  

Ps I know the apostrophe is cheating.

Carola 1:28 PM  

I would have been a goner, as I was looking around for CARp, never realising I was being circled by ORCAs. And lots of them! Possibly IN LEAGUE with each other. Anyway. I'm in the fan club for this puzzle: a theme I didn't see coming, an entertaining array of theme answers, and the nice grid complements others have pointed out.

My SRO story: 1976, Bavarian State Opera, top ring of the house, 5+ hours of Götterdämmerung. At the previous evening's Siegfried, as a newcomer to those Stehplätze, I'd seen that as soon as the lights went down, the standees abandoned their assigned positions and rushed into the aisles, jockeying for position on the steps for better sightlines. So that night I joined the scrum and got a great spot - but I'd obviously slipped in to the preferred spot of one of the regulars, so I had 5+ hours of being relentlessly jostled and poked in the back. It was vicious up there.

@Greater Fall River, I loved hearing about your attempt to turn a Stehplatz into a Sitzplatz. Also - I interpreted the study rooms as quiet rooms in a college library.

@Joseph Michael, love the truncated HARPOon!

RooMonster 1:28 PM  

Sick of me yet?

I fell in love with degrees because of that fanCY NTH I Admire so much.

In the immortal words of Jim Carey's Mask character, "Oooohhh, somebody stop me!"


Masked and Anonymous 1:48 PM  

Day-um @Roo. Outstandin [and desperate] work.
...And I was all set to go down there & kick Shirley outta @muse's class...

Back to the MonPuz:

I've decided this puppy deserves a strong and salty tip of the SAILORCAP thUmbsUp. Six themers [I always count the revealer as part of the theme material], and really darn smooth fill, as others have already notated. It used up all but two of the alphabet letters. Has MOXIE. And a primo Ode to de Speration, with BLAT. 25 nods to the weeject pile. If that ain't Big City Rodeo, then I declare.

And … almost forgot … fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: [Ye ___ Shoppe] = OLDE. Would have preferred an answer of OLDEBONG, but that's just m&e, and it was still a blat-ant gimme, anyhoo.


Willy 2:26 PM  

God you’re an asshole, Michael!

Trombone Tom 2:26 PM  

A nice refreshing start to the week. Enjoyed it.

@Two Ponies, yes, BLAT sort of rankled. I tried really hard to stop doing that around 6th grade. However there are a few pieces of music where you are required to BLAT it out.

kitshef 2:26 PM  

Key to a poetic brilliancy: nth iamb should rhyme with n+2nd iamb.

In Panjshir, Leyden jars are used to power nightlights.

Nancy 3:22 PM  

@kitshef and @Roo -- There SHIRLEY are some talented people on this blog :)

BTW, as soon as I hit "Publish your comment", I realized that NTH would be the key to embedding CYNTHIA. Shoulda picked another name. Still, you're both very good at this.

@Roo -- I do think that using the name LIZ to embed ELIZABETH is...how can I put this delicately? A teensy-tiny bit of a cheat?

Xyore 3:27 PM  

Very nice post

Loren Muse Smith 3:33 PM  

In Beliz, Abe thought he would finally get in some great scuba diving.

Loren Muse Smith 3:37 PM  

For Tarun and Nita, cheddar was the tastiest of the cheeses, but for Sunil and Nashir, leyden was the best.

(For the really hard ones like Shirley, you have to cop out a little bit. Well, a lot.)

Nancy 4:05 PM  

Is @Loren the best or is she the best?!

BarbieBarbie 4:38 PM  

@Nancy, she is easily the best, PLUS she has already been out of bed 13 hours!

Joe Dipinto 4:58 PM  

I liked this puzzle, primarily because I once had a pet INDOOR CAlico CAT named BONGO.

RooMonster 5:03 PM  

I boe to @Loren's superior intellect!
I should've known better than to try my hand!

Oh, and @Nancy, thanks for being "gentle"! :-)

Rebel Roo

QuasiMojo 5:34 PM  



"She composed a dirge off Reynaldo Hahn's song."

Shelby Glidden 6:05 PM  

I remember crowing to my college roommate about finishing the NYT Sunday puzzle (sports-themed) in 30 minutes (without help) too long ago to remember. I was certain I was well on my way to being intelligent. My roommate smiled and pointed me to an article describing a woman who had just won the national NYT competition and that she did the Sunday puzzle in 10 minutes and the daily puzzle in 3. (I can't even get the puzzle folded the way I like in 3 minutes.) One of the things I admire about Rex (Michael) is how kind and supportive he is of the next generation. His is the kind of class I would like to sit in on (even to listen to him grouse - instead of giving him the bird as some feel justified in doing.) Do we really want crossword puzzles to die out as a kind of entertainment like bridge as a card game?
(How did poker become a sport?) And, to go full circle, here, and mention sportsmanship, how about a continuing demonstration of some in this forum?
(Cage-fighting's on the other channel - and we know who the contestants are.) Stumbling across Michael's blog ten years ago has often brought me considerable amusement and greatly enhanced my prowess at Trivial Pursuit - if it hadn't improved my times ��)

kitshef 6:46 PM  

May your navidad be feliz, a Bethlehem-born senor said to me.

Joe Walsh's Drud 8:28 PM  

To "take it easy" is the subtextual message of Frey's (and Browne's) song "Take It Easy."

Nancy 9:24 PM  

That's really good, kitshef!

Hartley70 12:43 AM  

Wow, there's been a real throw down here tonight! You're all winners to this member of the peanut gallery.

Anonymous 11:02 PM  

ON Wednesday's puzzle, 41 is one of the worst Natick's I have seen in a while. At least four legitimate options.

Hartley70 7:51 AM  


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Burma Shave 8:59 AM  


I MEAN to SEARCH for a WET bar is absurd -
they HID the BALI Hai, BOONE's Farm, and BIER.


rondo 9:24 AM  

About what one can expect on Monday. Maybe a bit high on the three letter (23?) answers, over 30%, but not a plethora of abbr.s. I did notice that the second word of each themer started with CA, but didn't go back into the first word to notice the OR until seeing the revealer. Breezing through it too quickly, I guess.

Always nice to see my dad's nickname HARPO.

Guess we'd have to go back in time for yeah baby GALE Storm (not her real name).

OK puz, maybe IDEAL for the day.

Diana, LIW 12:06 PM  

Hooray! Monday is back. After last week's puzzle, which I shall ne'er forget nor forgive (it would have fine for Tues or Wed), this is smooth as Monday should be.

Imagine you are a bagger at the supermarket - a job you've taken whilst you are a student, one under 20. The other day you helped a lady pile her bags in her car, and she suggested you try your hand at Mondays (when you said you could never do a Times puzzle). You open the paper with trepidation and find - this. Maybe you won't get it all, but you'll get a lot. It'll boost your confidence - give you a bit of MOXIE. Next time you won't be SHYER.

Perhaps you'll meet the ever-popular OBI. You will learn not to put in lIe until you've ruled out FIB. Your puzzle fun has begun. And...you'll be introduced to the concept of the theme. And word pairs. Blessings on Mondays.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

spacecraft 12:27 PM  

A trip to Merrie OLDE. I've been to Royal ASCOT, WINDSORCASTLE (stunningly beautiful grounds in the spring), and the RACETRACK at DERBY. (Santa Claus, a 3-y-o wonder horse, was dead last coming out of the final turn--yet won going away. It was as if the other guys were going backwards: awesome to watch).

So thanks to Ms. Nutt for the memories, even if I have to dodge a pod of ORCAs for them. This was a pleasant little sendoff to the new week. Easy, to be sure--though NGO made me wonder. I don't know but am guessing: Non-Geographic Organization? Sounds right. Oh well.

I too must go back a ways for my DOD--though not that far. Mine's Debby BOONE.

Oh yeah: I also saw the QUEEN, astride her horse on the QUEEN's Birthday parade. She was sorta a DOD herself, back then. A most honorable honorable mention. Birdie.

thefogman 12:48 PM  

Save the wails Rex. This puzzle was IDEAL for a Monday. I figured out the revealer early on and following that the themers were solved in rapid succession. Sure it was a bit on the easy side - but it is Monday - and I enjoyed it nonetheless. Good work Jennifer Nutt!

rainforest 1:26 PM  

NGO - non government organization. Learned that last year.

Easy, but of course, Monday puzzles are meant to be easy. If the constructor can conjure up a theme which hangs together, and has a revealer that works, so much the better.

People who complain about the lack of "crunch" in a Monday puzzle might not realize how ironic that comment is. "I didn't have to think."

So, today's is/was a good Monday puzzle, and Orcas are magnificent creatures. Out fishing one day with some friends, we were suddenly surrounded by a pod of Orcas who were feeding on a passing salmon run. Ruined the fishing for us, but so beautiful and majestic to watch.

leftcoastTAM 1:58 PM  

Smooth and easy solve, like a Monday oughta be.

A couple of bumps: BLAT (odd) and miles (likely) before AXELS.

ENTER there, exit here.

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