Suffragist Carrie Chapman / MON 4-23-18 / sea snail with mother of pearl shell / Irene of old Hollywood / Semiconductor device with two terminals

Monday, April 23, 2018

Constructor: Lynn Lempel

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (the "Medium" is almost solely for a themer I've never heard of) (2:53)

THEME: GO FIRST (38A: Lead off ... or a hint to the circled letters) — words meaning "Go!" are contained in the circled letters, which are the first letters in the themers:

Theme answers:
  • SCATTER RUG (17A: Small floor covering)
  • SCRAMBLED EGGS (23A: Standard breakfast order)
  • LEAVENED BREAD (50A: Passover no-no)
  • SHOOT HOOPS (61A: Play H-O-R-S-E)
Word of the Day: SCATTER RUG (17A) —
  1. another term for throw rug. (google)
• • •

This is pretty classic fare from Lynn Lempel: simple theme, lively answers, clean fill. The revealer is spot-on. My only beef, which is not one, is that SCATTER RUG meant zilch to me. Zero, nada. I guessed the RUG part because, well, there were three letters left and the clue had "floor covering" in it, but that term means nothing to me. Is it a regionalism? An older ... ism? "Throw rug," I've heard of. And it's the same thing, so ... shrug, no idea. I also stumbled out of the gate by thinking 1A: Engaged in country-to-country combat (AT WAR) wanted a perfect-tense verb, and then by thinking that 1D: Likewise (ALSO) was SAME! Non-auspicious beginning, and yet I finished under 3, which tells me the puzzle was, in the main, quite easy. Monday easy, maybe even easier than usual. Once I got out of the NW, I paused only a handful of times while writing in answers, and lost time only because I remain the world's worst, most fat-fingered and clumsy keyboard navigator. I'm all typos and misplaced cursors and other nonsense, especially at high speeds.


My favorite corner was the NE, both because it's got the star of "Bullitt," which is one of the greatest movies of all time (I know it's not *that* Steve MCQUEEN, but try telling my "Bullitt"-loving brain that); it's also got Irene DUNNE, whom I adore, especially opposite Cary Grant (see "The Awful Truth," "My Favorite Wife," "Penny Serenade"). And finally, the corner has its own fabulous soundtrack: Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T."! Pretty YOUNG THING! He tells you what the letters mean in the song. He also tells you that TLC means Tender Lovin' Care, so it's a song both danceable and informative.

I am hopelessly DEVOTED to LAURA Linney forever and ever no matter what amen, so it was NICE to see her name here today. Ooh, and Johnny MATHIS. I finally finished cataloguing my LP collection, and there were two or three of his in there, including this ultra-cool one where he's smoking on the cover. I know smoking's bad blah blah blah but it's dumb to pretend some people don't make it look cool.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


File as fog 12:06 AM  

Scatter rug is British English. Fun, easy Monday after a fairly torturous Sunday

JOHN X 12:17 AM  

I think if you go into the motion picture business in any capacity with the name STEVE MCQUEEN you are just asking for trouble, if not a trademark violation. Same goes for HUMPHREY BOGART and MICHAEL BOLTON.

Anonymous 12:19 AM  

Scatter rugs are a thing.

Casimir 12:36 AM  

Nice writeup by OFL! I share with Rex a total devotion to Laura Linney, who is excellent in everything, most recently Ozark.

Harryp 1:36 AM  

Good average Monday with a "get outta here" Theme. No real problems posed by any of the fill, and maybe skews old like me. Thanks Lynn Lempel.

TomAz 1:52 AM  

SCATTER RUG was only vaguely remotely familiar to me, but I see now that the Bed Bath & Beyond website has an entire category devoted to it. It does seem to be an outlier in terms of familiarity vs the other themers.

(now, I'm gonna out-Rex Rex. Tee-hee.)

Too many celeb names in this puzzle for my liking. I don't know LAURA Linney from Lorna Doone. Or Irene DUNNE. I only know of one Steve MCQUEEN. LISA Kudrow I got because it's a name that's been drilled into my head over two decades of #$%^ing stupid 'Friends' crap. I hold that the American cultural infatuation with celebrity -- disposable royalty -- is as much a contributor to Trump's election as Hillary's email server or the cultural backlash against coastal elites. Would Trump have been able to destroy democracy, attack basic human rights, and abet our enemies if he hadn't had a hit TV show? Celebrity culture is not just garbage culture, it's an insidious subterfuge that makes the work of Jefferson, Lincoln, King, and many others increasingly forgotten and hence irrelevant.

As a puzzle, this was OK I suppose, given the above. I finished in average Monday time, in spite of the puzzle being a dull-witted piece of $%^&.

jae 2:23 AM  

Easy-medium for me too. Smooth and just right for a Mon. Liked it!

TLC for me is T-Boz, Left Eye, and Chilli.

chefwen 2:23 AM  

Nice, easy, Lynn Lempel Monday. A nice break after such a time consuming Sunday.

I also paused with SCATTER RUG, but a distant memory of my early years in Scotland reminded me of the term.

Only one minor adjustment, INUeT to INUIT.

Cute theme.

Loren Muse Smith 4:22 AM  

Yay. A Lempel Monday to make things less icky. How many times have I said You go first and not seen the potential there. Spot-on reveal, Lynn.
I laughed at the clue for HIP. Sat there imagining a belly dancer gyrating only one HIP. Impossible, right? Maybe not – those women are remarkable. Every now and then I give belly-dancing a shot in front of the mirror, and it’s pretty much a massive failure.

Only erasure was “insideous” before INSIDIOUS. Ok. I’ll let this go now.

Kinda jarring to see OPEN FIRE right there next to each other. Will this madness ever end?

ABIDE – I have some hand-outs I staple to students’ work that basically says, You’ve committed an error I cannot ABIDE as your English teacher and pretty much will look no further at this until you correct the offense and rewrite it ten times. Turn that back in and then we’ll talk. For now, you have a big, fat, hairy zero in LiveGrades. I just wasn’t getting their attention. Some of the offenses:

I bought three book’s.
We seen a big possum last night.
He don’t do snuff.
They was out by the Walmart yesterday.
the trap was empty.

Anyway - I used the word ABIDE and wondered it they’d understand. They sure do now. L Basnett has rewritten so many sentences ‘cause he didn’t begin them with a capital letter that I had to email his mom to give her a heads-up on all the bad grades. I do fix the grade as soon as the corrections are made. So it’s all good. (When I see the little erased apostrophes on M. King’s papers, my heart sings.)

Ok – I’ve studied exchanges between people, both on the phone and in person. They’re like mini well-organized essays. So you don’t have to use SCRAM, SHOO blah blah to let the person know you’re done and would like them to get the hell out of your room. If someone comes in to ask about borrowing my OED tomorrow (introduction), fine. Then we chat. Snark on other teachers. Complain about IEP meetings. When it gets to be too long, all I have to do is bring the conversation back to my OED (conclusion). It’s a tacit little wrap-up that lets them know I’ve had enough. And I absolutely take the cue from someone else when they’re ready for me to leave. Y’all pay attention today. You’ll see. It’s a pretty cool convention. (Of course, some people have not gotten this memo, and those are the guys you duck around the corner to avoid. Hi, Mr. S…)

Gotta git. Hey – wonder if Lynn thought of Gitmo. Probably no phrase long enough.

Charles Flaster 4:33 AM  

Liked theme and knew SCATTER RUG.
Only writeover was DIODE for anODE.
Took me back to my 1950’s favorites with SHOOT HOOPS and Johnny MATHIS.
Thanks LL.

Lewis 5:40 AM  

I second Rex here -- classic Lynn Lempel: Clean, bouncy, with beginner-friendly but not-insulting cluing. This product of LL's bean has a little animal thing going on (COHO, PIG, ABALONE, CATt, dRAT, asHEN, and a backward PETS), plus a couple of barely separated answers -- NUDE and PEEL. Any week in which Lynn can GO FIRST is off to a flying start. Truly, she never WEARS THIN.

BarbieBarbie 6:26 AM  

@LMS, what you describe is called by my communications prof friend “exhibiting leavetaking behavior.” That’s actually a larger category that includes husbands at a gathering starting to shuffle in place and glance toward the bedroom where the coats are, among other tells. I love the expression so much that when anyone I’m talking to brings the conversation back to the OED or glances towards the coats, I say “ok, you’re exhibiting leavetaking behavior; time to wrap it up!” And you wouldn’t believe the grateful expressions.

Glimmerglass 7:09 AM  

Yes, this was very easy. And yes, there were some fun moments. But I’m old and an experienced xwordphile. If easy Monday puzzles are supposed to be encouraging for younger solvers, this isn’t it. SCATTER RUG is older than even @Rex’s generation. I remember when SCATTER RUGs and (pillows) just meant small decorative accessories. Irene DUNNE is seen today chiefly on TCM. Johnny MATHIS? “Friends” is still seen in reruns, but it’s ten years old now. For us old hands, this was almost too easy to be much fun, but for newbies, it might even be challenging.

kitshef 7:17 AM  

Pretty good for a Monday. Tuesdays get the most bad PR, but I think that’s because expectations are lower on Mondays. This had a nice, coherent theme, a solid revealer, and most importantly, no words that I only know from crosswords.

Just to be clear, although the beetles attack the ELMS, it is fungi collectively referred to as Dutch Elm Disease that kill the trees. Well, actually it is the tree’s own defense systems, trying to work against the fungi, that kill the trees.

Oh, and the fungi are not Dutch – they are Asian – but the first identification of one of these fungi was made in the Netherlands.

Anyway, don’t blame the beetles. They are unwitting abettors in this.

Hungry Mother 7:18 AM  

Super easy here, for a welcome change. I couldn’t type fast enough. Helpful theme and some oldies but goodies.

chefbea 7:34 AM  

What a fun puzzle!! I knew scatter rug but I ver heard of play H-O-R-S-E

Now that my basil is growing it's almost time to make pesto

pabloinnh 7:39 AM  

Am I really that old? Anyway, SCATTER RUG was/is a common term where I live in New England and where I grew up in (way) upstate NY. I suppose they're scattered all over floors but I always have a vision of people with handfuls of things tripping on them and watching everything scatter.

Nice to see SCRAMBLEDEGGS, the genesis of "Yesterday", which is the most-covered song ever, and not that other one. The OKRA on top does not sound very appetizing.

m 7:48 AM  

Quick and fun. I got theme with SCAT and SCRAM (easy) and then wondered how the revealer would be written. SCAT is one of my favorite multi-meaning words: Get outta here, animal droppings, and jazz vocalizations.

Ralph Phillips 8:08 AM  

I agree with your celebrity culture comments. However I liked the puzzle.

QuasiMojo 8:14 AM  

Quick, easy and fine. Nice Monday fare. Scatter rugs are those silly little rugs, sometimes made of wool, otherwise cotton, that are in hallways or in kitchens, or perhaps next to your bed. If you're not careful you might step on one and scatter off like Ali Baba on a magic carpet ride. Back in the days before central heating they kept your footsies warm.

Mathis singing Sondheim? I've got to listen to that one. Very nice.

I guess raving about Irene DUNNE is okay but AVA Gardner no. But I do agree she is the cat's pajamas. I loved her in "Roberta" and "Theodora Goes Wild," and of course, "I Remember Mama."

Laura LINNEY was marveleous (hi, @LMS) in the mini-series "Tales of the City."

@Nancy, from yesterday, you had me rolling on the floor (over my scatter rugs) with your misreading of DEMEANOR for DEMEANER.

Kitty 8:25 AM  

Sister Gertrude would return papers the next day with the number of errors noted at the top of the page. We had 24 hours to find, correct and resubmit. Sometimes we needed the entire dorm to find them like the time a word was hyphenated at the end of a line with the suffix omitted.
Chrissy Moore got a flat out F because of a misspelling on her title page.
With typewriters, fixing errors was a huge chore. Had to retype the whole page!

Amy 8:26 AM  

Desperately wanted revealer to reference Jordan Peele Oscar winning flick.

Mohair Sam 8:27 AM  

Fun Monday puzz, fun write-up Rex.

Lots of Laura Linney love around here. She's awright - stole the movie in "Primal Fear", great in "Ozarks", but I'd have to get by her appearing in the hideous "Love, Actually" to take her to the Jean Arthur level (hi @Rex) in my heart. And Rex is right about Irene DUNNE.

My mother was the only person I've known who used the term SCATTERRUG - they've been "throw rugs" for at least 50 years.

Warren Peace 8:29 AM  

@LMS, I grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania, spittin' distance from the West Virginia Line. Escaped, erm, moved to California and one of the first things I had to do upon arriving was git myself a car. Pardon the lapses.

The salesman used "them" instead of "those" in a sentence as in "em guys." It turns out he'd joined the navy as a young man, ended up in San Diego, eventually retired and stayed in California. He'd grown up about five miles from where I had. The 'em was still a dead giveaway.

Fight the good fight woman!

BocaBoy 8:33 AM  

Just about tied for my best time ever on a Monday. I'm an older guy, and "scatterrug" was a known phrase to me, so no problem. Dancers rotate hipS, not just one hip. Had a senior moment over "abalone", but other than that, "sped" through this Monday puzzle!

Nate 8:50 AM  

A perfectly cromulent Monday. This is exactly how a Monday should play, in my opinion. My only stumbles were:

I'm with Rex in never having heard of a SCATTER RUG, so that was a bit of a puzzler. The only real problem was the "Poppycock!" crossing - I'm not sure what ROT means, so I was left with RO_ crossing with SCAT_ERRUG. "T" was the only letter that seemed plausible to me, and it worked, so that's nice.

I was pretty slow in the NE corner, too, because I could not remember the Michael Jackson clues. To be fair, for the vast majority of my conscious life, Michael Jackson has been less of a pop star and more of a punchline/tragic figure, so I think I get a pass there.

mmorgan 8:58 AM  

Interesting to learn that scatter rug is not a universally known thing. Who knew? On the other hand, I had no idea whatsoever about PYT (I've heard of Michael Jackson, but I don't think I know any of his songs.... I take that back, I remember A B C or something like that). But I got it from crosses. A lovely Lempel Monday.

LB 9:18 AM  

I heard scatter rug growing up in Texas. And my Sunday paper was delivered without a magazine so I was spared a hard one apparently.

GILL I. 9:25 AM  

Wow...Is this a POTUS MYTH theme?
Got to get my head rearranged. Thanks, @Rex for the Johnny MATHIS. I was so in love with him when I was a YOUNG teen. I think I may still have his Small World LP along with all my Earth Wind and Fire.
@TomAz... Does that mean you won't vote for "Sex and the City" actress Cynthia Nixon in her bid for Mayor of NYC? Hah. Next, we'll have Barbra Streisand running for City Council of Malibu.
@Lauren: My Absolut favorite (and Judge Judy) is "He borrowed me money."
I always like Lynn. Today she seemed a tad on the angry side plus, she just had to throw in OKRA to make my day!.

Two Ponies 9:26 AM  

Nice to see L.L. at the top of the page before I dug into this well-crafted puzzle. Proper names abound but are offset by some nice vocabulary.
I never thought of abalone as a snail.
Scatter rug never even made me blink.
Grammar comments from @ LMS and Kitty take me back to school days and remembering when word processors came on the scene making paper correction a breeze.
@ TomAz, I loved "disposable royalty" but whoa, you spun off to sound a bit unbalanced and quite harsh. You may be alone saying this was a piece of $%^&.
@ Lewis, Were you trying to be sneaky with "l.l.bean"? Good one.

al wander 9:34 AM  

Sick people rushing to finish- the puzzle needs to be enjoyed, relished. It’s a comforting exercise that I’ve been doing for 50 years and with strong coffee makes my day

Roo Monster 9:37 AM  

Hey All !
@Lewis 5:40 LLs bean! Priceless.
Fun "skedaddle" puz. LEAVE seems a bit of an outlier, as the other 3 start with S. But still cool. Lots of great clues in here for common words. Got a kick out of STROM and THROB next to each other. They made the best answer of all time become available, ROO! :-)

Liked the repeater clues, as I'm a run-through-the-Acrosses-and-Downs-first type solver. So they worked as they should. Yea, yea, Rex, I know that's not the "correct" solving method!

MAWS sounds like the kiss sound, MWAH. A J and Z from the pangram. OKRA again. I'm glad it's not as popular in my diet as it is in puzs!



Nancy 9:39 AM  

Mindlessly filled in some letters in the NW as far down as SAND (42A) and said to myself: There has to be a more interesting way to spend the next 5-9 minutes. So I'm stealing @Two Ponies" deathless line from yesterday: "DNF by choice." Didn't agree that yesterday's puzzle deserved it, but today's snoozer really does.

Z 9:40 AM  

I looked at the terrible threes when I finished. PIG, VEX, ROT, HIP, SAP, HUE. Sure, EAU, NAY and WII are esey, but that is better than average short fill for any day of the week. I feel like Johnny MATHIS should be retiring from word lists soon, but otherwise a clean, crisp Monday.

The dude ABIDEs? I think we can all agree that on this blog The Muse ABIDEs.

@Mohair Sam - I fear we are turning into Mr. S, so I will make a few observations and then shut-up. First, I enjoy reading your perspective. Second, it is possible to think C.U. (or any decision for that matter) is wrongly decided and still not support constitutional amendments to undo them. Amendments (imho) should be reserved for when the Constitution needs to change or has an oversight, not every time some faction thinks it has been wrongly interpreted. Third, that paragraph was specific as to the flaws in C.U., the same flaws pointed out by the dissent, the government lawyers, and a host of critics since. Specifically, it is as much the way the majority got to their ruling as the ruling itself. It is entirely consistent to oppose limits to free speech and also oppose, for example, quid pro quo “donations,” untraceable political speech, and equating corporate rights with individual rights. Finally, yes, I am amazing. :)

Banya 9:53 AM  

"PYT" was on my Pandora this morning and I thought it would be a good crossword fill-in. And then BAM. Of course, it was in a different way - but I love strange coincidences like that.

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

Scatter rug a no brainer to a Brit.
No Rex, not "olderese" just English!

irongirl 9:57 AM  

This was the first time I ever completed a puzzle top to bottom across(es) only. I'm tempted to take the day off work to celebrate--maybe go out to the driveway and play HORSE. That clue brought back great memories.

Blackeyedsusan 10:01 AM  

Thanks for the Johnny Mathis blast from the long ago past (though Chances Are was my favorite.) Spouse and I are celebrating 50 years of marriage this year and when we were dating (remember that?) he was affectionately referred to as Johnny Mattress...

Lewis 10:08 AM  

Last night was busy evening and there was a busy morning ahead, so I squeezed the puzzle in while waiting for the greens to steam as I was making dinner - probably my fastest Monday solve ever, just rushing to get it done. But there was no pleasure in it, none. This morning I was able to savor the puzzle, taking my time to look it over. Ahhh. I guess I'm a sipper and not a gulper when solving, and as solves like last night's remind me from time to time -- it's by choice.

Anonymous 10:11 AM  

A MYTH is a female moth.

Matthew G. 10:11 AM  

I somehow pulled SCATTER RUG from the deepest recesses of my brain. It is not a term I would ever use, but I’ve heard it somewhere, somehow before. I wasn’t completely sure it was right till I checked the crosses, though.

A very solid Monday from Lynn Lempel.

Carola 10:14 AM  

NICE Monday for sure. A cute theme, a clever reveal, some impressive Downs, and Johnny MATHIS. I smiled at SCATTER RUG, not having heard it in so long; it was certainly the term of use in my Midwestern girlhood.

@BarbieBarbie - I love "exhibiting leavetaking behavior." In our family, once we've gotten to the penultimate standing around phase, it's when the guys start hiking up their pants that we know it's really time to go get in the car.

Nancy 10:18 AM  

@Quasi (8:14) -- Thanks for the compliment. I'll return the favor by saying how much I enjoyed your observation today about the dangers of the SCATTER RUG. I couldn't agree more. One of the dumbest inventions in human history. Or, as I like to call it, "an accident waiting to happen." I won't have one in my house. Not even when I was 35 would I have one in my house. And when I find myself in someone else's house with a SCATTER RUG, I try to walk around it and never on it.

I have committed the unfashionable and unpardonable sin of having wall-to-wall carpeting in my apartment. And not just in the bedroom, but in the living room. No Architectural Digest photographer will be coming by any time soon. I know what people must be saying about me behind my back: "Do you know how beautiful the floors in that pre-war, Art Deco building are? And she never SANDed them and had them finished. No, she went and instead [audible gasp here] covered them! Can you even imagine such a sacrilege?" When I was moving into this apartment a friend came along with me on one occasion. When I told her I planned to buy thick, plush wall-to-wall carpet -- and for the living room, too -- she first said that I couldn't, I just couldn't. Then she said: "Well, maybe because it's a step-down living room, you can get away with it." And I said to her: "Sue, guess what? Even if it weren't a step-down living room, I could get away with it!"

So whatever other horrors may lie in store for me in the future, the one thing I can *safely* say is that I will never take a nasty, possibly fatal spill by slipping on a SCATTER RUG in my own home.

Kimberly 10:57 AM  

Credenza/side board... scatter rug/throw rug. No decorative item exists unless it has multiple names, making it more challenging to find online when shopping,

Redecorate your home without professional assistance and with a very specific taste/vision and you, too, can see a “floor covering” clue and spit out SCATTER RUG with nary a thought.

Wes Parker 10:58 AM  

DEBITS aren't necessarily minus items: they increase assets like cash, receivables, and fixed assets, credits can be minus items as well. If you're going to use accounting terms, use them correctly.

Kimberly 11:05 AM  

PS- to me, wall-to-wall carpeting is like wearing the same socks every day for years, never removing them, and occasionally dipping them in soapy water to clean them, letting them stiffly dry on my feet, dirt blending with soap to create that super ick factor,

I get why some people love it and hey, more power to them, but as a dust allergy sufferer there’s just no way. Even the cleanest home with carpeting usually requires a benedryl before I dare visit.

Quint 11:09 AM  

@ Z. Easy Monday. As for Citizens United, the ACLU filed an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in support of the appellant, I.e. Citizens United. Dude, just admit that you’re wrong and move on.

Aketi 11:09 AM  

I liked the SCRAMBLED EGGS that started my morning puzzle solve.

I have always called them throw RUGS, but SCATTER was inferable. I grew up in an era and area where wall to wall carpet and lineoleum flooring were the thing. I do,t like rugs because you have to shake them out or vacuum them. I’d rather just sweep. I have committed a sacrilege that goes beyond @Nancy’s wall to wall carpet over her hardwood floors. I painted them with lo sheen floor paint and I’m completely unrepentant. They aren’t slippery. The floors are so old that you can’t really sand them anymore without exposing nails. Plus I had already hand sanded, stained and polyurethaned them one of the floors years before deciding to paint them. Painting was so refreshing.

Charles kluepfel 11:10 AM  

DNC NE corner. Had only MYTH and EGGS. My guess of JOKE was wrong and I'm not up on salmon varieties. And Irene Dunne is too long ago and Michael Jackson not my favorite.

Joseph Michael 11:14 AM  

Pleasant enough Monday fare with a clean grid and a few NICE treats like SCATTER RUG, ABALONE, and WEARS THIN.

However, it seems slightly inelegant to include LEAVE in the theme. It's the only one that's not an "S" word and ALSO the only one whose pronunciation within the themer is different from its pronunciation as a synonym for "depart."

NUDE over SPED conjures up the image of a streaker. Perhaps one who STARES AND STRIPS.

But if I cast my ballot in November and then go back and remove it from the ballot box before it is counted, would you say I had DEVOTED?

Masked and Anonymous 11:20 AM  

I reckon VA MOOSE LODGE ended up on the don't-use-state-abbrs-in-yer-themers scrap heap. Good MonPuz, anyhoo. Nice blog write-up, also. ["NICE" = "friendly".]
Yo, Lynn: How'bout SPLITPEASOUP?

NE corner reminds U: When you're done, quit. Or, at least: when you're DUNNE, QUIP. That MCQUEEN/YOUNG+THING combo almost made M&A have to up and quip. Thank goodness for SCRAMBLEDEGGS.

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {French water} = EAU.
staff weeject pick: EAU. All-vowel word. French weejects are into that. See also OUI. [Hey … French weejects could be called OUI-jects!] Kinda pleasin symmetry with the moo-cow clue, btw.

Best long-ball fillins: WEARSTHIN. INSIDIOUS. Also admired SPIT in the PESTO.

Thanx, Ms. Lempel darlin. U are still the McQUEEN of Mondays, IM&AO.

Masked & Anonym007Us


Banana Diaquiri 11:35 AM  

@Wes Parker:
"DEBITS aren't necessarily minus items: they increase assets like cash, receivables, and fixed assets, credits can be minus items as well. If you're going to use accounting terms, use them correctly. "

well, to normal civilians having cash is a credit to oneself, not a DEBiT. normal civilians don't know what a parsec is either. blame the Brits for double-entry accounting and SCATTER RUGs.

Lewis 11:37 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

1. Ming worth millions of dollars (3)
2. It's only half due (3)
3. Net sales (9)
4. Pocket of the Mideast (9)
5. Second hand (4)


Masked and Anonymous 11:44 AM  

@RP: Nice Johnny Mathis picture sleeve 45. Did U pick that one up on yer recent record hunt? I don't own that particular one. Do have "Chances Are" on 45rpm, tho. PuzEatinSpouse has a Christmas album by him ... thUmbsUp for "Winter Wonderland".
M&A used to go on record hunts all the time, during our extensive travels. Used to be more junk stores with lotsa 45s, so was worth the effort. Now things are startin to dry up, unless U really get lucky.


Uke Xensen 11:50 AM  

This was a boring puzzle. Don't understand the praise.

MJB 11:53 AM  

Johnny Marthis's brother was a toll taker way back when on the Golden Gate Bridge and we'd quickly change lanes to be sure to give me our quarter. Sigh ... he was more gorgeous than his brother.

JC66 11:53 AM  


When "wall to wall" commenting, make sure you don't trip on your own tongue. ;-)

QuasiMojo 11:53 AM  

@Nanxy, lol, I’m not sure the editors of AD would have approved of your wall-to-wall carpeting, but I bet your downstairs neighbors are eternally grateful! Good for you!

Cassieopia 1:33 PM  

@Kimberly 11:05 - perfectly articulated.

Teedmn 1:37 PM  

If @Nancy ever comes to visit me, I will have to roll up all of my INSIDIOUS rugs scattered around the house - in the bathrooms, in front of the kitchen sink, near all of the entry doors - because we weren't about to cover up the gorg[eous] white ash flooring my husband put in to replace our ugly, ugly, circa 1980 wall-to-wall carpeting.

Only the NE slowed me down the littlest bit, when _UI_ was not emerging from my wits. "High" feelings = HOPES, har.

Does a sea snail slime around in the sea ooze? I like that ABALONE crosses HASTE. (I was going to try to tie this in with the "waste" of 45A's clue but couldn't phrase it without evoking the other meaning of waste. You're welcome.)

Nice job, Lynn, as usual.

@LMS, great avatar, also as usual. And please share any school stories regarding "A Prayer for Owen Meany". I'm so hoping that it meant something to some of your students.

phil phil 1:55 PM  

Wow, you make the PhillipMorris and ilk smile with sweet nostalgia of their advertising coup. You know Rex, smoking looks cool on some people, because of the success at associating smoking with already idolized stars, not the other way around.

tea73 2:44 PM  

I liked LMS's list of can't ABIDEs. My older son had a fabulous English teacher in 9th grade who gave half the class failing marks for their first essay. Then he made them rewrite it as many times as it took till it was A work. That kid never liked writing much, but after that he could write a serviceable essay.

My Bostonian mother definitely talked about SCATTER RUGS so no difficulties there. I like big oriental carpets, but not the little ones that slip out from under you when you step on them wrong.

Didn't know the Michael Jackson song - I know most of his work from the Weird Al parodies. I'm not sure what that says about me...

jberg 3:03 PM  

About 12 years ago I spent 3 weeks visint Cheju National University in Jeju Island, Korea. One day we all went by boat to a smaller island where we lunched on raw ABALONE (among other things), a great delicacy. It is harvested from the sea floor by women divers who don't use oxygen tanks (though they do now use wet suits) and work in self-governing cooperatives that were important in Jeju history (resisting the Japanese occupation, for example). The profession is dying out -- the average diver is now over 60.

Anyway, I bit down on a piece of abalone and was convinced it was a mistake -- it was far too tough to be edible. But everyone else was chomping away, so I kept biting and suddenly found the most incredible flavor I've ever experience filling my mouth. Even better than PESTO, which I also love. So it was nice to see them both here.

I have a considerable number of SCATTER RUGs, most of them voben from rags (so they are also "rag rugs") by a studio in Door County WI, where I grew up. My wife hates them. She fell down the un-rugged stairs a couple of years ago, and insisted I put them all awy (well, she used the phrase "throw out," but that was more than I could handle.) I've heard the phrase "throw rug," but never quite got it. You throw bowls, not rugs, right? At least, my ex did -- she's a potter.

Not to clue writers: if you are in the lee of something else, you are sheltered -- but if you point your boat ALEE, you are not sailing toward shelter -- more likely you are sailing toward a bunch of rocks unto which you will be driven by the wind at your back. The wording matters.

@Loren, good find with BEAT IT, but it would be an outlier unless you find some other 2-word examples.

jberg 3:06 PM  

Thanks for all the good wishes yesterday -- I just went back and noticed them.. No one was injured in the other car, either.

sanfranman59 4:35 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 4:57 4:24 1.13 79.7% Medium-Challenging

Not much to say about this one. It seemed fine, though I was definitely a bit fumble-fingered today. My solve times on early week puzzles have definitely trended higher over the past year for all three dailies I do (NYT, LAT & Newsday). I'm not sure what's up with that.

Mohair Sam 5:04 PM  

@jberg (3:03) - Neat stuff about the ABALONE divers. Thanks.

@Banana D (11:35) - I've some double entry bookkeeping in my time, many people have (every small business owner knows it). And now you're telling me it's as esoteric as astronomy. Thank you too.

@phil phil (1:55) - Point well taken.

Banana Diaquiri 7:23 PM  


I'd wager more folks are amateur astronomers than amateur accountants. :)

Anoa Bob 9:28 PM  

@jberg, enjoyed your Jeju Island account. Brought back memories of similar experiences in Pusan. The lady divers would bring up all kinds of sea life, including tiny octopuses, and my cultural ATTACHEs and I would take them to a local eatery where they would fix them up and serve them with rice and kimchi. The tentacle/arms of the octopodes were served raw and still wriggling, and my undisguised horror at being asked to eat them set my girlfriend and her sister (our chaperon) to giggling.

thefogman 9:16 AM  

I got tripped up in several spots before finishing. This one felt more like a Tuesday or maybe even a Wednesday puzzle to me. Maybe my brains are still SCRAMBLED from finishing the marathon yesterday.

spacecraft 10:57 AM  

NICE little Monday romp, Lempel-clean. CATT unknown, but crosses were easy like the rest of the puzzle. It's cool when the revealer is shorter than all the theme entries; that makes up for the unsightly circles.

DOD candidates abound, from old-school Irene DUNNE to LAURA Linney, but today's sash goes to LISA Kudrow. Birdie.

Burma Shave 11:49 AM  


she WEARSTHIN halters, DUNNE to catch THEE EYES of THEE worst.
When an INSIDIOUS PIG HOPES to unTHAI and OPEN her string
she'll LIETO him, "WII'll get NUDE, but EAU, you GOFIRST."


rainforest 2:13 PM  

@Burma Shave - thumbs up (unThai!)
@the fogman - even though I will never understand why people do it, congrats on completing a marathon.

@Nancy, though you'll never read this, you will always complain, even about a well-constructed puzzle such as this one, how "mindless" it seems, yet you insist on a mindless wall-to-wall comment on carpeting.

As always, Lynn Lempel comes through with a professional quality Monday puzzle. You have to admire the care evident in the theme and fill. I'm not a beginner, and I had zero difficulty completing it, but I recognize quality.

Diana,LIW 2:20 PM  

Ahhh, Monday. Done and done. Abs vs. HIP got me started, and then the race was on. The wild guess of "go for it" was quickly GOFIRST. Thought the circled answers were more orders than the idea of "going first" - that's just me.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rondo 2:31 PM  

One little write-over with ENsUe before ENDUP created a little confusion but not for long after the EDIT.

I used to SHOOTHOOPS a lot. Played in exactly one pro game, against a player whose jersey is on display in the Naismith HOOPS Hall of Fame in MA. ALSO played in a bunch more semi-pro benefit HOOPS games at my old H.S. as an ALUM.

LAURA Linney gets the yeah baby over LISA Kudrow since LAURA has done more (some) NUDE scenes than LISA (none).

My dad was a WWII vet; remember him and all the others who were ATWAR.

leftcoastTAM 3:05 PM  

All Potential Gimmees in Both Across and Down Directions.
Everybody Happy. (Or Should Be.)

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