Laurence who wrote "Tristram Shandy" / MON 4-2-2018 / Top-notch / Think up / Big name in Russian ballet / Arnaz of "I Love Lucy"

Monday, April 2, 2018

I wanted to start this week off with another "hello it's me Rex and I am very gruff and hate Mondays almost as much as Garfield the lasagna cat" type intro, but then I remembered that I already did that one time, and that although it's still April Fools' Day at the time I'm writing this, it will be the much less interesting April 2nd when this post is published. So I'm just going to say, hey, it's Annabel Monday!

Constructor: Jason Mueller

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: PARIS, FRANCE — Theme answers relate to the City of Love.

Theme answers:
  • EIFFEL TOWER (17A: 62-Across landmark)
  • THE LOUVRE (24A: 62-Across museum)
  • PONT NEUF (30A: 62-Across bridge)
  • SORBONNE (44A: 62-Across school)
  • PATRON (49D: St. Genevieve, for 62-Across)
  • NOTRE DAME (51A: 62-Across cathedral)
  • PARIS FRANCE (62A: World capital that's the theme of this puzzle)
Hope I didn't miss any, there were ATONOF theme clues this week.

Word of the Day: ANODES (15A: Battery terminals) —
An anode is an electrode through which conventional current flows into a polarized electrical device. This contrasts with a cathode, an electrode through which current flows out of an electrical device. A common mnemonic is ACID for "anode current into device".[1] The direction of conventional current in a circuit is opposite to the direction of electron flow, so (negatively charged) electrons flow out the anode into the outside circuit. In Galvanic cell, the anode is the electrode, which reduction reaction occurs in. 
An anode is also the wire or plate having excess positive charge.[2] Consequently, anions will tend to move towards the anode. 
• • •

Uh, are we sure this one's a Monday? Because I've done a lot of Mondays at this point, and they don't normally lead to me gently bashing my head against the wall. I don't really know what it is, maybe there were just too many older/more obscure cultural references, or maybe my brain is just fried from eating too many chocolate Easter eggs or too much matzo and I'm having an off day. (My parents come from different faiths so I've always celebrated both Easter and Pesach to some degree, although I have been known to briefly stop observing Pesach whenever there's some cinnamon rolls or foccacia bread near me.)

Anyway, despite the puzzle's difficulty there were a few clues that were...tired. Surely there's another way to clue ENE and its cousins? And yes, I still know what ALOE vera is. I want to see more exciting fill! But not too exciting because I got stuck on the western side of the puzzle for about a million years. What can I say, I'm hard to please. DETOO made me giggle though, so score one for Jason.

The theme, fortunately, was the easiest part. Total missed opportunity for TOUR as in "de France" though. I got lost on the metro in Paris one time on a high school trip; me and a friend of mine got off at the wrong stop and spent two hours wandering around the next station waiting to see if our school group would reunite with us. Ended up having to navigate back to where we were staying because I was too anxious to ask someone to borrow their cellule and he didn't speak a word of French. Mais c'était une adventure! 

  • ENT (6D: Suffix with differ) — If this puzzle was going to get a bit geeky with DETOO, why not go all out and clue this one after the tree creatures from Lord of the Rings? Then again, those fellows went on for so long that I quit the books about two-thirds of the way through Treebeard's scene. At least he gets a really cool name.
  • OGRE (42D: Shrek, e.g.) — Alternate clue: "Layered." 
  • OLIVE (52D: Shade of green) — A friend of mine has a theory that in any given partnership (be it a couple or BFFs), only one person likes olives, so the other can give that person their unwanted olives. I have always been the latter. They're just too salty and weird! I'll pick them off my pizza and give them to whichever bizarre olive-lover is around. 
  • SCAT (59D: Sing like Ella Fitzgerald) — Can also refer to poop, or an excellent YA book by Carl Hiaasen, or this man. 


Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired college student.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

[Follow Annabel Thompson on Twitter]


Lynn 12:03 AM  

Really easy for me. And as I Tweeted earlier, v glad I traveled to Oman in Feb since it's been in a stunning # of puzzles since then and at least I know how truly cool it is.

Carola 12:43 AM  

Having at least a generation's worth of crossword puzzle solving on @Annabel, I found this one a speedwalk from one monument to the next, except for a couple of stumbles at KaBoB-->KEBAB and GRab-->GRIP.
I liked the upright French TOUR beneath its English TOWER counterpart (@Annabel, I never thought of the TOUR de France) and the reminder that NOTRE DAME has sometimes been regarded as the second EVE. EDEN + EVE+ BANISH = another story.

TomAz 12:47 AM  

Annabel's write-up sent me into a daydream. Getting lost in Paris sounds like so much fun (to me, now, late-middle-age) that I am jealous. Can you smell the crepes? I can. Can you see the chocolats beckoning in a shop window in the 16eme? Can you make your way through the bland government office compounds on the left bank, to the Musee Rodin? And wander the garden in a drizzle, marveling at The Burghers of Calais?

Oh, there was a puzzle too, which was so in my wheelhouse it might as well have been the axle. The puzzle was fabulous, not in its puzzle-ness but in the feelings it created.

I could pick a nit or two (THE LOUVRE but not the, or la, SORBONNE?) but why ruin the mood. I am happy.

Anonymous 12:54 AM  

This is now how you spell Fez!

jae 1:17 AM  

On the tough side for me too, plus I had to find a fat finger typo (it was SOW not SFW). @Annabel - My BFF of 50+ years loves olives so those salty weird things never get wasted. Liked it.

phil phil 1:32 AM  

Great writeup Annabel. Hope you loved Paris. I remember seeing PONT NEUF wondering why it was bridge niine...the real translation being New Bridge is just as much a head scratcher.needing a google intervention.

Anonymous 1:36 AM  

“Fes” is an obscure variant. Practically misspelled. I don’t know Sorbonne, so that killed me. Filled the puzzle in 4:30 and had to click the life preserver button to find my error.

Harryp 1:47 AM  

This played slightly harder than an average Monday. The only Theme answer I messed up the first time around was SObrONNE for SORBONNE, so a few seconds of WhereTF am I. BRIAR patch, and you (ARE) here got me back in play. The French Theme seemed pretty thin, with only 7 answers, but the the puzzle pleased for this day of the week. TKS, J.M.

Anonymous 2:15 AM  

Uh, I really like Annabelle Mondays, but (1) isn't Paris more generally known as the "City of Light," rather than the "City of Love,", and (2) don't the French typically speak on their "portables" rather than their "cellules?" Doesn't "cellule" translate to either a biological cell or a jail cell? Just askin.'

Thomas 2:23 AM  

Good write up, though since I’m old it was an easy puzzle for me.

But really.,,
“ and a friend of mine got off at the wrong stop....”

The grammar nazis are going to hate that sentence.

chefwen 2:51 AM  

A lOt of before A TON OF at 65A. That was it, easy fix.

Easiest Monday in history. Hardest was figuring out how KEBABS was going to be spelled, I’ve seen it with several different spellings.

Weird Tuesday, bring it on.

Larry Gilstrap 2:51 AM  

It's an Annabel Monday and we find ourselves in the City of Lights, PARIS FRANCE. I've actually been there a few times and more than once with my partner Francophone, Francophile, and onetime Parisienne. The place can be intimidating to an American knucklehead. but just be meek, gracious, and have a good credit card and you'll do fine. I've heard that "Je suis perdu" works for the totally desperate, but I have more French than that.

Easy, until I wanted GRab instead of GRIP and hoped that St. Genevieve was a bATeau plying the Seine under the PONT NEUF. True story: years ago, I was sitting at a cafe reading a USA Today and some guy stops and asks me what the news was from home. I replied, "They're getting rid of New Coke." He said, "Good!" Yep! 1985.

Remember ENRON. Big corporations doing bad things. What happened to all those complicit? Don't really care to find out. Remember Volkswagen?

One of my rules for a successful relationship: when your partner asks, "Are you a man OR A mouse?", I say, "Pass the cheese, please." Works wonders.

Speaking of broken marriages, at the age of 45, I found myself single. My friends were concerned. I hit the ground running like Br'er Rabbit whose ploy was: "Don't throw me in the BRIAR patch," knowing full well that there was safety, security, and, yes, opportunity in that seemingly dangerous environment. Find your BRIAR Patch, particularly if you are a rabbit.

Mr. Fitch 2:57 AM  

Fes is the official name of the city in Morocco, not an obscure variant. You’re probably thinking about the hat.

Blanche 4:53 AM  

What Thomas said.

Breezed through this one in record time. No head-bashing here.

'mericans in PARIS, FRANCE 4:54 AM  

Ooh la la! Zut alors! C'est magnifique! Un mots croisés sur le thème de PARIS, FRANCE!!

On Monday holidays, Mrs. 'mericans and I each take turns on the puzzle, clearing it as we pass from one to the other. No surprise, we each scored a personal best for a Monday. (Which is still twice as long as you speedsters.) I took a bit longer because I didn't go straight to the south-east to figure out 62A.

From our terrace in the 15th, by the way, we can see the EIFFEL TOWER and the top of NOTRE DAME, as well as the Dôme DES Invalides.

We both arched our eyebrows at FES, because we're used to seeing it as FEz, but Apple maps shows both the Arabic name and "FES" for the city. So, fair enough.

@Lynn 12:03 AM -- Isn't OMAN great? We spent about eight days there in November 2012. I had a just had a stent inserted in my LAD a week before (just in time to avert what would probably have been a fatal heart attack), and so was feeling as if I was beginning a new life. The OMANi people are so courteous, and the country is geologically stunning. Folks: if you are curious about Arabia, there is no safer country to visit as a tourist than OMAN.

@Anonymous 2:15 AM -- Right you are: the French call their cell phones portables, and Paris is generally known as "The City of Light" ("La Ville-Lumière" in French), a name it owes to its fame as an early center of education and ideas, or "The City of Lights", because of its early adoption of street lighting.

@Thomas 2:23 AM -- The English language and American political discourse are both going down the tubes, but as the late, great Bogart once said, "We'll always have PARIS."

A tout a l'heure, y'all!

Blanche 4:56 AM  

What Thomas said.

Breezed through this one in record time. No head-bashing here.

BarbieBarbie 5:17 AM  

It’s easy to confuse Paris with Philadelphia. A natural slip.

Medium for me, for a Monday, but I too had a fat-finger typo. Those are the hardest to find, because there is no section of the puzzle where you remember guessing. Anyway, for good typists this one is Easy. Once NOTREDAME shows up, you know it’s Paris, and the rest falls in.

@Carola and I are completely on the same wavelength today (she must hate olives?), so I won’t repeat.

Two Ponies 5:58 AM  

Yesterday we had Oh Oh and today Ask Me. Odd coincident. Even though I didn't watch it much it reminds me of Welcome Back Kotter.

Sterne and Kirov are pretty high-end answers for a Monday.

Star Wars, what a surprise.

Where is the patch for Brer Rabbit. Briar alone didn't work for me.

I thought the patron saint was Denis.

I have a lovely framed photo of Pont Neuf That I took myself. I'm proud of how it came out but if you take enough photos you're bound to get lucky.

Lewis 6:11 AM  

Like @carola, I liked the Jardin mini-theme, with the EVE/NAKED crossing, along with EDEN and BANISH.

The maxi-theme, a location list, so simple, simply transported me back nine years, to when my wife and I celebrated our 25th in the City of Light. We did not just stay there, we felt cradled there, enchanted one day after the next by the personality, the feel of a city that infused its stamp on all the senses. This puzzle -- again, so simple -- rekindled that sweet and lovely aura in me, and I began to feel as though I was floating.

Thank you for that, Jason, and on a more down-to-earth topic, may another with your last name forge ahead and enlighten the world!

Odd Sock 6:34 AM  

What a mix of super easy to kinda hard so I guess the rating is about right. No matter, it's always fun to think about Paris. Now I wonder if we are going to have a day of everyone recalling their vacations there. I'm not sure that watching everybody's home movies is going to be much fun. We'll see.

@ TomAz, I thought the wheelhouse metaphor was about boats.

QuasiMojo 6:37 AM  

Welcome back, Annabel.

APRIL IN PARIS. Chestnuts in blossom... And we get KALE?

I found this one a total breeze. Just seconds off my record time. But a lovely promenade through some of Paris's highlights.

QuasiMojo likes to think he lives in the belfry of Notre-Dame, save for that typo.

When I was a studENT in Paris, I wasn't terrified about getting off at the wrong station (the Métro map made a lot more sense than the subway in NYC) but of being locked in after closing time! Do they still close it down at night?

Ann 6:45 AM  

I’m old and European so I did this puzzle in my fastest time yet! I thought it was TOO easy, far too easy.

EC 7:01 AM  

Annabel, your friend's "theory" about olives is plagiarized from the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother". If they are claiming that as their own, you should call them on it.

Glimmerglass 7:16 AM  

Hi, Anabell, I love you like a granddaughter. I thought this was no harder than “medium,” for a Monday. It would be challenging for someone without a rudimentary knowledge of Paris. The only hard cross was PONT NEUF with the odd spelling of FE(Z). My wife and I got lost in Paris and drawing on my 10th grade French, I asked a woman in a store, “Ou se troupe le metro?” [literally, “Where does the subway find itself?] She was not much impressed by my accent and answered in English, “It’s right around the corner.”

kitshef 7:16 AM  

I really like this style of puzzle for a Monday. Constructors can’t get too crazy with the theme, so having a little geography lesson is a nice way to start the week.

Plus we get some nice long downs threading through. So overall, I liked it quite a lot.

I do think I’d’a gone with TED/DRANO/FAS/ORE to avoid FES on a Monday, though.

kitshef 7:27 AM  

@Anon 2:15 - City of Light is more usual, but City of Love is very common, too. Google "City of Love" and you'll get overwhelmingly Paris references, plus the occasional Verona, Ashgabat or Kolkata. But you are spot on about the cellphones.

YaleND Dave 7:31 AM  

This seemed like a VERY standard Monday to me, perhaps a bit on the easy side (no unusual fill, and -- being a Monday -- you knew they weren't going to make us name landmarks in Ouagadougou . . . i.e., the city in question was bound to be either Paris, London, or NYC).

Nice write up, even though I think some of your comments probably just come from (relative) inexperience (ARTOO and DETOO appear as answers all the time, ENT is indeed fairly-often clued by referring to Lord of the Rings, etc etc).

Have a great day!

chefbea 7:38 AM  

Fun easy puzzle for an Anabel Monday!!!!

Rob 7:40 AM  

This was fine, but I don't love the inconsistency in definite articles in the theme answers: *THE* LOUVRE, but just SORBONNE and EIFFEL TOWER. Perfectly fine for a Monday, but I would agree that it's pitched a little harder than your average Monday.

Anonymous 7:58 AM  

"me and a friend of mine"

Linguistically, it's a generational anomaly. It is sad that misuse over time becomes accepted as standard usage.

Anonymous 7:59 AM  

I don’t see a lot of dated cultural references here. Maybe DESI. What else? People on all steps of the age spectrum should stop using their age as an excuse for not knowing things.

Anonymous 8:01 AM  

I am confused by the Fez/Fes clue. By all accounts Rabat is the second largest city, both by cultural/political significance as well as population. What am I missing?

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

Rabat has a largest population as well as more political and cultural significance than Fez so I am not sure why they clue it as the second largest city in Morocco.

G. Weissman 8:35 AM  

“... me ... got off at the wrong stop ...” Me so tired of “me and.”

Me found this puzzle to be a typical easy Monday.

Greg Miller 8:37 AM  

"me and a friend of mine got off at the wrong stop"

An easy way to test for proper grammar is to eliminate the "and" part, and see if it still sounds right.

"me got off at the wrong stop"

That will lead you to:

"I got off at the wrong stop".

Then another correction leads to:

"a friend of mine, and I, got off at the wrong stop

off the grid 8:42 AM  

Nice little Monday. I got EIFF early from crosses, so what else but EIFFELTOWER? Then Paris is obvious. Curious, any other words start "EIFF"? Re: me and my... If you don't simply know that "I" is the subjective, drop the other subject, in this case friend. "Me got off at.." Fails the sound right test.

michiganman 8:45 AM  

Good analysis but the commas are superfluous

G. Weissman 8:53 AM  

My friend and I ...

G. Weissman 8:57 AM  

Very good point, Rob.

G. Weissman 9:01 AM  

Maybe start your day with a little less crack cocaine.

Nate 9:10 AM  

Wow, DNF'd by the PONT NEUF/FES crossing. I... guess I don't know much about Morocco? Or bridges in Paris? This left me running the alphabet.

I was also embarrassingly slowed down in the SW corner. I plopped in NOTRE DAME without thought, but then got to the "_______ vera" clue... and totally misread it as "________ versa." So the only thing that could possibly fit there was VICE, which made the down clues wonky. I then surmised that there must be some other famous cathedral in Paris that I'm unaware of, and started trying to figure out just what in the hell could possibly work for the down clues. I spent a good minute and a half struggling... before I reread the ALOE clue. Uh, whoops.

Robert 9:12 AM  

Annabelle, Go to Paris this summer so you will enjoy the next paris based puzzle as many of us older people did.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

What Thomas first pointed out:

"me and a friend"??

What hath Wellesley wrought?

Aketi 9:31 AM  

My first adventure in PARIS, FRANCE was restricted to the airport when I was en route with a huge group of Peace Corps volunteers. I had dutifully bought all the items on the list, many of which turned out to be useless (like the sleeping bag that realky was way too hot in an equatorial forest). The one item that really was useful caused me to get stuck with airline security. They kept insisting on talking to me in English, while I kept trying to talk to them in my high school French. Neither of us understood each other. All I knew was that they wouldn’t give me my Swiss Army knife back and that they thought I was an idiot. It was only when they started talking to each other in French that I understood that they were going to give the knife to the flight attendant who was going to give it to me when I arrived in Kinshasa. I did go through Paris many times on the way back and forth to Africa but I gave up trying to speak French when in Paris. I picked up and African accent in French that would cause most Parisians to burst out laughing when I spoke French. Quebeçois are far more forgiving. I have not yet seen the SORBONNE. NOTRE DAME was my favorite.

Aketi 9:33 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
mathgent 9:33 AM  

We visited Paris for a week three years ago and were predictably charmed. I don't remember learning about PONTNEUF. Happy to read the Wikipedia article about it just now.

Z 9:41 AM  

“so in my wheelhouse it might as well have been the axle.” @TomAZ pretty much summed it up. @oddsock - Yeah, sure, but never let metaphoric accuracy interfere with a good line or next you’ll find yourself obsessing over the grammar in a blog post.

All the tourist spots that will fit symmetrically doesn’t seem like much of a theme to me. Just a mad dash through PARIS, FRANCE like one of those “See Europe in Two Weeks” packages where you see everything and nothing all at once. I wish I had done it online just to see if I could have set a NYTX record for myself. Oh well.

According to Wikipedia FES is Morocco’s second largest city with 1.1 million people while Rabat is Morocco’s second largest city “with an urban population of approximately 580,000 (2014) and a metropolitan population of over 1.2 million.” This comes up in the US with discussions of places like “Detroit.” The city itself has fewer than 700,000 people but the metro area has more than 4,000,000. So, is “Detroit” the City or is the “City” the metro area. Apparently the FES clue went with the city proper notion (or to be more accurate, lifted the clue from Wikipedia which used the “city proper” for FES but not Rabat).

GILL I. 9:48 AM  

A croissant you will remember the rest of your life. Le Grenier a Pain on rue Monge, I believe. Then head on over to La Fromagerie and buy a Reblochon that will make you cry when you finish it - you want it to last forever. Then if you want to piss someone off, get some Epoisses and leave it opened on you metro ride.
A PARIS Monday. Even an OMAN and a FES. Haven't been to OMAN but now I want to. FE[Z] is fun to shop in. Great Hashish and rugs.
A puzzle that brings on memories - and on Easy Monday - is alway a treat.
Good, fun write-up Annabel. The grammarians can eat my grits with Eppoisses.

jberg 9:54 AM  

OK, so now it's FES, not Fez. Why they changed it I can't say; I guess the city fathers liked it better that way.

It waqs fun to think of Paris, and the theme answers were all very, very well known, so I'll go with easy. I would have liked to see a Paris clue for 11A, to match 67A. "Restaurant not all that popular in 62A," perhaps?

MBW W 9:59 AM  

Does PATRON count as a themer? Maybe no because the clue was part of the themer? I think Parisians talk on their mobiles, never heard cellule when I was there. Somehow I thought it was King Midas so that screwed up my SE, but not for long. Fun to traipse thru these Paris landmarks I’ll take that any Monday.

Suzie Q 10:06 AM  

Notre Dame gets all the attention but my favorite was Saint-Sulpice. Notre Dame looks better, of the two, from the outside but once inside I think Saint-Sulpice was more impressive.

For being a kids' movie Shrek sure shows up a lot.

You don't have to be a Grammar Nazi to know "my friend and I".
Fingernails on a blackboard when I hear it misused. So sorry @ Annabel but you should know by now that this sort of thing will get the attention of the crossword crowd.

GHarris 10:10 AM  

Lost In Paris
The Boulevards are
crisscrossed by Rues
that come together
In Places that slope
away to Quais intersected by
Ponts that span to Iles.

Every sign points me in the wrong
direction and scolds in a language
I barely comprehend.
Is there a Metro to offer salvation
or a bus that flashes a
vaguely familiar stop?

Is it time to eat or merely to snack?
To gulp or just to sip?
Can I cross or does the Renault
have the right of way?
Does that traffic light signal walk,
stop or run?
Is it safe, is it sensible---damn that motorcycle.

Nancy 10:12 AM  

Challenging, Anabel? Quelle idee! Je ne suis pas d'accord. For me, dull, colorless, on the nose cluing made this trip to PARIS FRANCE a dud. There was only one place where I had to do any thinking and that was FES (31D). I thought it was FEz. But zORBONNE made for an easy correction. The theme was dense, with landmarks strewn all over the grid, so I suppose I should praise that. But no challenge at all on either the Left or Right Bank.

Paris was a boy 10:12 AM  

I think the crossing of both PONTNEUF and SORBONNE with FES is a natick. I'm not a francophile, so some of the names, while sort of common and easy to figure out, were pretty much guesswork. And FES looks a power company for a town that starts with F. Fresno Electric Service? The F in PONTNEUF could've been an R or a T or any other of those extra consonants that are silent for no reason in the French language. And SORBONNE could easily be bORBONNE. And since I do not know Morocco at all, those three letters could have been anything.

I'm not sure who thought Parisian landmarks would be a good idea for a Monday theme.

Wm. C. 10:20 AM  

@GG77:16 -- "se trouve" maybe? A typo, I'm sure. ;-)

@QM6:37 -- I don't know if they shut the Metro at night now, but the did shut three RER (commuter line) at night when I lived there. A very embarrassing story which ended with a VERY expensive cab ride home.

@TwoPonies5:58 -- Ste Genevieve is the patron saint(e) of Paris. For St Denis, you're probably thinking of the Metro stop (and seedy surrounding neighborhood in the north of the city).

Wm. C. 10:33 AM  

@SuzieQ10:06 --

I agree with you on Saint-Sulpice vis-a-vis Notre Dame.

But the church That impressed me the most was Sainte-Chapelle, on the other side of the Ile de la Cite from Notre Dame. A breathtaking panoply of stained-glass Windows. I recommend that anyone who goes to see the cathedrals not miss it.

Pete 10:34 AM  

I was going to leave it alone, but since it's become almost assault, I can't.

When I read "me and a friend... " I cringed, by only because I dreaded the onslaught of holier than thou grammar Nazis. I was initially pleased when none showed up in the first 10 comments, my guess at at a fair over/under was 5, but then it began, and cascaded.

Exactly who the fuck do you people think your are that the world needs your corrections? That it's even an error rather than non standard, or that only standard is permissible? Your children need it, your students may, but no one else. Certainly not someone who is entertaining you for free, as a lark. Also, if you are so damned set on correctness, how about letting, say, the first 5 corrections stand without your piling on? Do you honestly feel that it's necessary, or is it only that your specific outrage needs attention paid to it? Susie Q - I hear you and feel your pain. Now stop. Anonymices - I fee your pain - now stop. @Thomsas - "But really.,," What the hell is ".,,"? The grammar nazis are going to have a field day with that one. See why you shouldn't jump ugly on people, other that for the simple reason that it's not nice?

Z 10:35 AM  

St. Denis, PATRON saint of PARIS and FRANCE.

BTW - It is a Monday, but it is a PPP theme so, please, let’s not be surprised that some will find it challenging. I don’t know why it is always so amazing to people that smart people don’t know everything.

FLAC 10:50 AM  

Folks who value proper grammar (and proper syntax and proper punctuation) are not all "grammar nazis." Many of us are merely advocates of clear and honest communication. If you doubt me, read "Eats, Shoots and Leaves," by Lynne Truss (or even better, Orwell's "Politics and the English Language").

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

So a Monday DNF? That's a shame.

Grammar Nazi 10:54 AM  

Also "foccacia bread." C'mon Wellesley, step it up!

Joseph Michael 10:54 AM  

Went from "kabob" to "kebob" until I got "kebab." Otherwise this was an uneventful sight-seeing TOUR of PARIS. Wake me up when we get to the cafe.

Anonymous 10:55 AM  

The show plagiarized the meme. It's been around forever.

Grammar Nazi 10:58 AM  


Anonymous 11:02 AM  

@Pete you were never "going to leave it alone." Hilarious rant.

Masked and Anonymous 11:02 AM  

Yo, @Blu'Bel. Haven't seen U in a month of Mondays. Cool write-up on this here Mueller investigation of all things Paris. (yo, @'mericans)

screamin staff weeject pick: FES. Ain't the city's name more like FEZ? M&A Research Dept. does point out that the French version of Fez is FES, soooo … clear case of French collusion with the puztheme. C'mon, fes up, Shortzmeister.

fave fillins: SAFETYNET. NERFGUN. BFFS. weeject stacks in NE & SW.

Thanx, Mr. Mueller.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


David Stone 11:11 AM  

Spot on observation, not to mention that language evolves and differs generation to generation and century to century. The Finns have a word for a grammar Nazi: pilkunnussija, which translates to ‘comma fucker.’ I love that.

The puzzle was fun and, Annabel, it was really easy. Most of us had record or near-record times. The only snag for me was FES, but that was easily fixed because I went to a French school and know of the Sorbonne. I agree that the inconsistency of articles in the answers was odd (SORBONNE but THE EIFFEL TOWER).

Anonymous 11:25 AM  

@Barbiebarbie - Philadelphia, in the US and in the Mediterranean, is the city of Brotherly Love - a simple tranlstion of the name - not the city of Love.

Paris has a male and a female Patron Saint. Lots of places ad professions have multiple patrons. Deal with it, folks.

mathgent 11:26 AM  

Annabel, I'm sure that the papers you write for class are impeccably grammatical. I like the folksy idiom you use here.

Nancy 11:28 AM  

@Aketi (9:33) -- I just put Mafi Na Yo Kofinga Te into Google Translate and out came: "My daughter is unmarked to Kofinga." I doubt very much that that's what you had in mind, and it seemed you were defending Anabel's misuse of grammar. But I'm not sure. So for those of us who don't speak any African languages, can you please translate? Thanks.

Oh dear. I find myself at totally odds with certain friends on this blog. But put me squarely in the camp of people who are absolutely appalled by when a Wellesley student, of all people, makes such an egregious grammatical error. I agree with @SusieQ who called it "fingernails on a blackboard." I agree with the person who says that people who care about the proper use of English are not all Grammar Nazis. The reason I didn't comment earlier is that I hadn't read Annabel's post, to tell the truth. But, Annabel, please, please, please tell me that you do know it's not "me and a friend." And if you do know, please don't go on thinking that the misuse of English is "cute" or ADORBS or playful. If you don't know, maybe you can find someone on campus to *learn you some English*. Sorry, Annabel, but this is important. Not only to the future of the English language, but to your future. One mistake like that and any job application of yours would probably be tossed unceremoniously directly into the trash.

Lewis 12:05 PM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

1. Belted one out of this world? (5)
2. Puts blades to blades, say (4)
3. Turkey club? (4)
4. An ace has a low one (3)
5. Whoops? (4)


JC66 12:13 PM  


"But put me squarely in the camp of people who are absolutely appalled by when a Wellesley student, of all people, makes such an egregious grammatical error."

Is this proper English? Just asking.

Z 12:13 PM  

@FLAC - Personally, I value communication and understanding, which can be aided by understanding how grammar, syntax, and punctuation work. Add the word "proper" in front of any of those tools and you risk signaling that what will come next will be tiresome and rude. I'm with @Pete - if one person wants to point out the non-standard usage, fine. The second commenter and all who follow are just being boorish and boring. I'd much rather a good debate about the multiple meanings of "thoroughfare."* Bottom Line: Not a signal person misunderstood the meaning.

*Hi @Clark - We've all been there.

Anonymous 12:26 PM  

For those of us envious of those living in Paris, let's not forget one of my favorite baseball poems, "The Crack of the Bat" (Google tells me it by Dick Rorabeck; regularly published each spring in now defunct International Herald Tribune, published in Paris); I'll quote from the beginning only:

Away on this side of the ocean
When the chestnuts are hinting of green
And the first of the café commandos
Are moving outside for a fine
And the sound of spring beats a bolero
As Paree sheds her coat and her hat
The sound that is missed more than any
Is the sound of the crack of a bat.

There’s an animal kind of feeling
There’s a stirring down at Vincennes Zoo
And the kid down the hall’s getting restless
Taking stairs like a young kangaroo
Now the dandy is walking his poodle
And the concierge sunning her cat
But the heart’s with the Cubs and the Tigers
And the sound of the crack of a bat.

etc. etc.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Anonymous 12:43 PM  

"The Crack of the Bat" is worth reading--I feared quoting the whole thing, because of its length. It can be found easily:
My error: author listed there as Dick Roraback, not Rorabeck

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Nancy 12:44 PM  

@JC66 (12:13) --The superfluous "by" was a result of putting in an extra clause and neglecting to remove the "by". My original sentence was: "...appalled by such an egregious error." Then, thinking that Anabel's Wellesley education was a very large part of my being appalled, I added the clause: "when a Wellesley student, of all people, makes..." I added it and neglected to remove the "by", ending up with "by when.". And, because of blog moderation, I didn't see the mistake for at least the next half hour. By the time I did see it, everyone else had seen it too. So it was too late to correct.

Carola 12:45 PM  

@Lewis, thank you for pointing out the NAKEDness in the Garden.

Mohair Sam 12:55 PM  

@Anon (12:26) - Thanks - great stuff. I'd forgotten the poem. Any baseball fan who has been out of the country for a length of time will appreciate it.

GILL I. 12:58 PM  

We've had the Grammar Gotcha discussions up the wazoo. President George W. went to Yale and that didn't stop him from mangling our language. As a matter of fact, thanks to him, we get the phrase "Bushisms."
I think every first Monday of the month we should look forward to Annabelisms with a big smile!

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

I keep hoping we've returned to the days of politics free puzzles, but they just keep on coming. For maybe 48 percent of the population, social security and medicare are part of a safetynet, but putting in the puzzle as a clue was an unacceptable act. I kept trying to squeeze in "welfare payment" or "government program" or something that was honest. it is not a "safety net" to that percentage of the population that maxes out the social security pay in by age 45 and then spends the next twenty years having his or her wealth redistributed when it should be available for private retirement accounts.

Teedmn 1:10 PM  

I spent 36 hours in Paris, January 1998, on the way back from skiing in the Alps. The one full day we were there, we must have walked 15 miles, or so it felt. From our hotel to THE LOUVRE, then wandered that museum. Then along the Seine to NOTRE DAME, marveling at daffodils coming up in the lawn in January. Down the river on the other side, to the EIFFEL TOWER but the line was too long so we went back to meet friends in the Jardin des Tuileries. We walked back to the Eiffel Tower, went up to the top because the lines at night were negligible. Walked the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, where, not knowing there was an underground passage, we ran across the many lanes of the traffic going around it, AT NIGHT! (We went back using the tunnel). Found a Thai restaurant that could feed all 8 of us and went back to the hotel, dead tired, to bed. What a walking TOUR that was.

So, thanks, Jason Mueller, for bringing back those memories.

As for the puzzle, I seemed to make every misstep possible. 2D's "Let out" was first EASE. 8D was AD Ware, Artoo-DETwO. KING MIdaS. and jaybirds were merely Noisy, not NAKED. Yes, all of this got fixed but it led to a time 1 3/4 minutes over my average Monday, so a workout though not quite as epic as my trip to Paris.

semioticus (shelbyl) 1:12 PM  

This was... OK. It was my fastest Monday at 4:18, but that is not necessarily a good thing. The fill was OK, the theme was OK, and on a Monday there's no room for complaint. If you have six theme answers and some bonus fill like NERFGUN or KINGMINOS on top of that, your fill will almost certainly suffer from Crosswordese at certain points. That's a sad fact.

And I agree with Annabel, the directional clues/answers almost always make me go "ugh." ENE. It is also a river, a chemical reaction/suffix, there are some people with that name/last name (who are honestly not crossword-worthy, but I'll take anything at this point)

GRADE: C, 2.55 stars.

phil phil 1:16 PM  

Genevieve. Remember the french completely transform the sound most beautifully from the English pronunciation. Say it with the accents on the 1st and 3rd and the G is pronounced like a 'J' kinds like Jean in Jean Luc.

I think it is such a sonorous sounding name the french way I just had to post a reminder.

'mericans in PARIS, FRANCE 1:24 PM  

@QuasiMojo 6:37 AM -- Yes, the last Paris metros stop running before 01:00 AM, and the last RERs (commuter trains) stop running between midnight and 01:30, depending on the station. They start up again from their end-points at about 05:00 AM. There are night buses that extend into the suburbs, and some long-distant trains that sometimes travel at night. But the general answer is that you'd better check the timetables if you want to be sure about getting to your destination of you are setting out after 11:00 PM.

@Poggius -- Thanks for the great poem! Too true!

ArtO 1:30 PM  

Love the puzzle as travel to the city every year to see our son and his family who have been there for twenty years (it was only supposed to be two or three!) Some good suggestions already noted here for visitors so here are a few more...

Chez Janou for lunch or late dinner...just a stone's throw from Place des Vosges.

Rue Montorgueil for cheese, croissant, pastry and just plain mouth watering pleasure as you pass the shops with fruit, vegetables, fish and meats.

Vins et Terroir on rue Saint Andre des Arts near Blvd. Ste. Michelle for a delicious, ridiculously low priced two course lunch.

Musee Jacquemart Andre in the 8th.

John Hoffman 1:30 PM  

Annabelle, if your write-up says there are too many older/more obscure cultural references, then you should support that with a few examples. I did not find this to be true.

Jim in Chicago 1:48 PM  

At risk of sounding like Rex, I've never hated a puzzle so much. Totally banal - ParisFRANCE, really?? I just felt like Will had thrown in the towel and said "It's Easter Monday" no one will be doing this puzzle anyway. A new low for me.

off the grid 2:47 PM  

Grammar errors may be pointed out but are not egregious. Your vulgar language is.

jb129 2:53 PM  

Annabelle, love you but really? EASY!

janet 3:19 PM  

Oui oui!

Aketi 3:24 PM  

@Nancy, hahaha. I knew google translate couldn’t handle that one. The basic gist was stop insulting Annabelle.

FrankStein 3:37 PM  

I'm getting a SORE BUN from reading all these painful comments about Anabel's grammar. Get over it! It just a blog post, not a dissertation.

Warren Howie Hughes 3:43 PM  

"I Love Paris in the Springtime, I Love Paris in the Fall, I Love Paris in the Winter when it drizzles, I Love Paris in the Summer, when it sizzles" :-)

Warren Howie Hughes 3:46 PM  

Rex, Have I uttered something on your Blog that was deemed Untoward...Please reply...

Tom 3:47 PM  

Yeah! That was my reaction, too.

Hungry Mother 4:12 PM  

I certaioly knew all of the themers since I’ve watched the end of the Tour from a hotel balcony two different years. I’ve also been there a few other times. However, some of the ansers came slowly. It’s done anyhoo.

Hungry Mother 4:26 PM  

I graduated from Villanova back in 1966, back when I should have written that I was graduated from Villanova. My daughter graduated from Nova, as it was called in 1991, twenty-five years later. We jointly attended our 50th and 25th reunions two years ago. Pretty clear who we’ll be rooting for tonight.

old timer 4:39 PM  

Annabel, I hope you get to see Paris often enough that you and a friend can do what my daughter and I did on our last trip. We stayed at a modest hotel right in the center, not far from the Right Bank off Sebastopol. We made one reservation at a highly recommended restaurant, not that pricey but memtioned in Michelin. And we walked in every direction, once to the Rue Mouffetard, which was medieval when I first found it decades ago, and then became trendy. But it has a lovely greenmarket and no end of good terraces to lunch at.

We walked in the other directions too of course. And at 6:30 or 7:00 we sat down at whichever place looked popular at the time, and ate as the suburban people do, simple affordable food to top of a day en ville. My daughter remembers that trip fondly, and so do I.

Aketi 5:01 PM  

@Nancy, basically I was grumpy this morning because I had to slog through six posts purely about Annabel’s grammar before my post at 9:33 am. One post was enough to get the point across. In the meantime I noticed my autocorrect insists on Frenchifying her name by adding another l and an e at the end. I found three other misspellings of her name in the blog comments.

tkincher 5:14 PM  

That Scatman video was absolutely everywhere when my high school French class went to France in 1995. That's all!

Anonymous 5:20 PM  

Incorrect. Suggest looking up, say on Wikipedia. It’s FEZ in English, not Fes.

Yargh 5:33 PM  

Annabel talk good. No way she should not be praised. So they're.

sanfranman59 5:38 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 1/2/2018 post for an explanation of my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio & percentage, the higher my solve time was relative to my norm for that day of the week. Your results may vary.

(Day, Solve time, 26-wk Median, Ratio, %, Rating)

Mon 4:21 4:18 1.01 53.3% Medium

KEBABS is one of my least favorite answers because the vowels are both either/or (E or A for the first one, A or O for the second). I think I've even seen it spelled with a C at the beginning. I'd thought that the city in Morocco was spelled the same way as the hat ... FEz. I went with KING MIdaS before KING MINOS (mythology is clearly not my strong suit). GRab before GRIP at 47A, 'A lOt OF' before 'A TON OF' at 65A, TiNtS before TONES at 53D. With all of that, I'm a little surprised that I ended up with a Medium Monday solve time.

Enough with the grammar cops already. I'm as persnickety as anyone with my own grammar, no matter where I'm using it, but for cryin' out loud, this is an internet comment board. Who the hell cares if Annabel adopts a colloquial tone? Cut the tired college student some slack, will ya?

Joe Dipinto 5:47 PM  

"No I'm never gonna do it without the fez on, oh no"

I remember Fez Under the Time Cafe on Lafayette Street. A great place to hear music. And the Time Cafe had the most amazing pancakes.

This was good for a Monday puzzle. Not difficult, but it was several notches above being absurdly easy. Of course it was marred by the inclusion of 41a, but what can we expect anymore?

TomAz 6:00 PM  

@Odd sock 6:34am

Thank you for the correction. For some reason I had it in my head that the "wheelhouse" referred to the big paddlewheel on a 19th century steamer (which, of course, would rotate on an axle). I never thought twice about it but your explanation makes much more sense and is supported by google.

So, I would like to change my statement to read: This puzzle was so much in my wheelhouse that it might as well have been keeping the captain's log.

Dorrance Smith 6:30 PM  


Dorrance Smith 6:32 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BarbieBarbie 6:51 PM  

...and please, enough with the virtue-signaling, casual-grammar-defenders. We get it. In fact, there was kind of a background murmur going on the topic when suddenly @Pete weighed in with a startlingly offensive post. Bullying in either direction isn’t wanted here. See @GilI’s most recent post for an example of a classy way to make your point.

Sometimes uncertain grammar is handy for emphasis. Take this, from an Amazon book review that had complained about a book’s poor writing style: “I’m posting this for others, so they and me won’t have to read any more by she.”

Anon@11:25, yes. I was making a joke with the Philadelphia crack. Perhaps too subtly (ok, another term for “not funny”).

Jenskis70 7:18 PM  

Sainte-Chapelle est manifique!

Anonymous 7:44 PM  

Hey Mods
Who made Barbiebarbie queen?
Theres not 1 scintilla about the puzzle in her post.
Besides, shes wrong. Its not virtue signaling when one corrects garmmar. Its petty, annoying, pedantic. Lots of thing but theres no moral component.
The puzzle was lotsa fun.

Z 7:46 PM  

@BarbieBarbie - Seriously? “Virtue-signaling?” Personally I find the use of “virtual signaling” far more offensive than anything @Pete posted. “Fuck” conveys emphasis while “virtue-signaling” is used to call into question not just someone’s position but their very reason for holding that position. The latter is far more offensive to free discussion than the former.

BarbieBarbie 8:05 PM  

@Z, I agree w the first part but not the second. You can hold a position and defend it without broadcasting that you consider it the only truly correct position that only truly correct people would hold. Both extremes in this discussion need to lose their Us and Them attitudes. Or should that be We and They?

My own opinion, thanks for asking, is that Annabel had so much fun stirring up the grammar hornets and bumblebees last time that she did it again, tongue firmly in cheek. Touché, Annabel, and thanks for the laugh! Talk about wordplay!

Stanley Hudson 8:08 PM  

I cannot wait for the puzzle that is themed Paris, Kentucky. And throw in Versailles (pronounced by the locals as "Verr-sales"), Ohio while we're at it.

Uncle Alvarez 8:10 PM  

Love, love, love the cafe negra they serve in Paris!

BobL 8:51 PM  

Ah, f@#& I

Barry Frain 8:53 PM  

@BarbieBarbie and @Z, do you really have nothing better than do than to argue over grammar usage on a crossword puzzle blog?

Go for a walk. Start a stamp collection. Volunteer for a non-profit. Take up ham radio. Sign up for a night class in cake decorating. But for god's sake spare us your tedious colloquys over meaningless ephemera.

Barry Frain
East Biggs, CA

BobL 9:04 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BobL 9:05 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pete 10:56 PM  

@All whom I may have offended with the language in my prior post, you have my sincerest possible apology. If any of you broke your string of pearls while collapsing from the vapors, please have them repaired at your jeweler of choice and send me the bill. To the rest, not one of you has offered an explanation of why the second, third or twentieth "correction" of Annabel's usage was merited. I can only assume that no one piped up because there are no valid reasons. Annabel made a mistake, or not, and it was pointed out once. All the rest is petty cruelty. Petty, but cruel.

a.corn 11:04 PM  

*nonstandard 😜

Anonymous 3:06 AM  

@Anon 7:58am: you wrote, “‘me and a friend of mine’ Linguistically, it’s a generational anomaly. It is sad that misuse over time becomes accepted as standard usage.”
This is a bit of ignorant pedantry that I just cannot allow to stand unchallenged. First, linguists engage in descriptive grammar (observing & analyzing the ways in which people use language), not prescriptive grammar (setting themselves up as snobby mavens and attempting to criticize or control other people’s usage). Secondly, what generation are you referring to? People have been employing the “me and ___” construction in the subject position since Chaucer’s time...,

K Swayze 3:17 AM  

@FLAC 10:50am: Orwell’s essay has entertainment value, but it is also elitist and paranoid. The “English Language” is not deteriorating: it’s evolving, as all matural languages do over time. So what is “proper grammar” and who gets to decide? Snotty old white people?

Carol 3:29 AM  

Easiest puzzle ever

Banana Diaquiri 8:39 AM  

@K Swayze:
The “English Language” is not deteriorating: it’s evolving, as all matural languages do over time.

there's the problem: if you let the low information cabal control anything, including language, you get devolution. just look at the retrograde rightwing, trying to bring back the 19th century and make America white again. some folks are pleased.

Loren Muse Smith 9:07 AM  

So, yeah, while me and my husband were driving back from Raleigh yesterday, I was reading the ridiculousness. I bet half of you learned pedants mess up pronoun case in stuff like He asked John and I if we would help edit the piece. or Give the money to whomever needs it. Pronoun case is a veritable free-for-all right now. All over the English-speaking planet.

As regards our language “going down the tubes” -

1. It is sad that misuse over time becomes accepted as standard usage. I shall try to remember that little gem; thou art on to something, methinks.

2. …get the attention of the crossworld crowd…You don't have to be a Grammar Nazi to know "my friend and I". – That period outside of the quotation mark probably got the attention of some Grammar Nazi. Glass houses and all that. Unless, of course, you're British.

3. …Many of us are merely advocates of clear and honest communication. Please explain to me how

Me and my friend went to the mall.

is less “clear and honest” than

My friend and I went to the mall.

I want to know how that one example is less clear.

4. …important ... to the future of the English language how mystifying to assume that all of the sudden the natural evolution of language – the process that took Proto Indo-European into Hindi, English, Russian, French is suddenly going to result in our language’s demise. What has happened that that language change has switched from an evolution to an annihilation?

5. @David Stone – loved your pilkunnussija! The Burmese have a word for Grammar Nazi – သေနာကောင် - supercilious snobs who shame others en route to their quest for superiority.

I’m with @Pete, @K Swayze, @sanfranman59, @Frank Stein, @mathgent, and anyone else who defended Annabel. Shame on the rest of you. This blog is a casual site for casual observations. People should be able to post stuff without fear of being slapped on the wrist for grammar, misspellings, or typos.

Banana Diaquiri 10:51 AM  

This blog is a casual site for casual observations

no debate on that. OTOH, sometimes discussions range far and wide into serious topics worthy of discourse. whether the crudest amongst us should determine the future of anything, including the semantics and syntax of our language, is such a topic. make America white again, damn it!!!!!

SJ Austin 10:52 AM  

PONTNEUF-FES-SORBONNE on a Monday… uhhh, yeah, no. Otherwise quite liked the puzzle.

Martin A. 4:22 AM  

Instead of Minos, I entered Midas! Didn't see my error until the very last few words but will never mistake these two characters again. One is from Turkey and one from Crete.

spacecraft 10:40 AM  

50-50 shot on square 44. Was it Z to satisfy the down, or S for the across? I finally decided on Z because FES just didn't look possible. (Cue the game-show trombones)

So a one-square DNF, but I liked it anyway. Good theme and execution save for that fatal flaw, and not too much junk in the fill--outside a couple of AP's. Another oldie but goodie for DOD: Deborah KERR.

How about those Golden Knights?!!!

Burma Shave 12:08 PM  


NOTREDAME and THELOUVRE make me dour,
but if you ASKME, I’LL not SAYNOTO dance


Diana,LIW 1:24 PM  

The same theme as my kitchen calendar this year, so of course I was successful.

And I was #1 in yesterday's race in the group of people with my last name. Woot! (I just learned that word. Woot!)

Go Paree

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords, eating bread and cake

rainforest 2:14 PM  

Not a bad Monday as a puzzle, but a great Monday for spotlighting my favourite city in the world.

Nothing here to cause real problems. FES/z caused a pause, but there's no doubt about the SORBONNE (had a lovely cafe au lait there).

Annabel made a grammatical no-no, yes, but the meaning is clear. Does that mean that the language is going to hell in a handbasket? That's a question for others, as we have seen, to wrangle over.

No pronouns were harmed in the critique of this puzzle.

rondo 2:57 PM  

Well, me liked it, but myself had my FEz on before I got to SORBONNE. So just the one inky spot for me, myself and I. Started 5a with K_B_BS, since you never know how it might be spelled.

OFANAGE – ain’t that where the chillun went after Bubba and Verna died in that accident and there weren’t no KIN?

PATRON and ENRON have something in common.

Will agree with Deb KERR as you-know-what.

SPED through this one. That’s a Monday GOAL.

leftcoastTAM 3:20 PM  

Nice TOUR of PARIS with a bonus stop at the Dome DES Invalides. FES in Morocco has French and probably Paris connections, too. Further, would need the "Vous etes ici" sign to find my way around the city.

STERNE and KIROV were knowns, but had to see them first, and MAINE as part of the Missouri Compromise was something of a surprise to me, sorry to say.

Au revoir.

Anonymous 4:54 PM  

@Stanley Hudson 8:08 PM:

There is also a Versailles, Kentucky. It's about 20 miles west of Paris.

Anonymous 5:49 PM  

St. Denys is the patron saint of France. My grade school's name was St. Dennis, and for a very short time was spelled Denis.

leftcoastTAM 7:35 PM  

Anonymous 5:49 PM--Confusing, but checking Wikipedia, it seems both Dennis and Genevieve have been, or are, patron saints of Paris.

Anonymous 12:37 AM  

I do not believe you have to have visited Paris for this to be an easy puzzle to solve. On to Tuesday. Thanks Anabelle.

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