___ Shriver, sister of J.F.K. and founder of the Special Olympics / MON 8-6-2018 / Elecritcal unit / Lopsided wins / "____ Hope" (soap opera)

Monday, August 6, 2018

Constructor: Mark Diehl and Andrea Carla Michaels

Relative difficulty: Easy




THEME: MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR — Theme answers started with, well, MAKE, LOVE, NOT, and WAR, in that order.

Theme answers:

  • MAKE IT SNAPPY (19A: Hurry up)
  • LOVE POTION (31A: Magical drink that gets someone smitten)
  • NOT SO LUCKY (40A: Less fortunate)
  • WAR ON POVERTY (51A: LBJ campaign to help the poor)
  • 60S (54D: Decade that spawned the slogan found at the starts of 19-, 31-, 40- and 51-Across)
Word of the Day: CRU (42A: Word on a wine label) —
Cru is "a vineyard or group of vineyards, especially one of recognized quality".[1] It is a French wine term which is traditionally translated as "growth", as it was originally the past participle of the verb "croitre" (to grow). As a wine term it is closely connected to terroir in the sense of an "extent of terrain having a certain physical homogeneity . . . considered from the point of view of the nature of the soil as communicating a particular character to its produce, notably to wine".[2] It may thus be defined as: "Terroir as a place of production"[3] or an "Ensemble of terrains considered from the point of view of what grows there, from a particular cultivation."[4] More specifically, cru is often used to indicate a specifically named and legally defined vineyard or ensemble of vineyards and the vines "which grow on [such] a reputed terroir; by extension of good quality."[4] The term is also used to refer to the wine produced from such vines. The term cru is often used within classifications of French wine. By implication, a wine that displays (or is allowed to display) the name of its cru on its wine label is supposed to exhibit the typical characteristics of this cru. The terms Premier Cru, Grand Cru, etc., are generally translated into English as First Growth, Great Growth, etc.;[citation needed] they designate levels of presumed quality that are variously defined in different wine regions.
(Wikipedia)
• • •
Hi it's Annabel! Happy Annabel Monday! :D

This is actually the most I've liked a writeup-Monday in a long while. No hair-tearing-out crosses, but the fill wasn't annoyingly easy either. Plus, numbers in a puzzle! That's pretty cool! But I think I need to relearn my history, or at least my golf; I had 6IRON as 7IRON  for the longest time. My reasoning basically went, "hey, if you have a 9-iron in golf, can't you also have a 7-iron, since it's the next odd number when counting down?" ...I don't know. My dad's the golf expert. Anyways, the rest of the fill was fine, although the next time I shower I'll have to look out for SHAMPOO BUGs. And ORAL SNAKEs the next time I'm at the dentist!

...But my enjoyment of the puzzle was tempered by 25D. Yes, I'm fully aware words mean different things in different contexts, but it's still hard to ignore and honestly just kind of sloppy not to find something else to clue there. [Cue comment dumpster fire] I'm just gonna point to the elephant and move on.

No automatic alt text available.
Ignore the more serious/recent pins lol.
The theme was okay. The 60S were a pretty good era for music, or at least that's what the large numbers of my family who still call themselves "Deadheads" say. I'm intimately familiar with a ton of the older slogans because I borrowed a ton of old buttons to wear to a protest a couple years back. My favorites were the hardcore second-wave feminism ones: God Is Coming And She Is Pissed, Adam Was A Rough Draft, et al. Kinda cheesy but good. 



Bullets:
  • ETHEL (49D: Fred Mertz's wife in 1950s TV) — Sorry, but this one can only ever make me think of Ethel Muggs from the classic Archie Comics. Though I must admit I've never understood her interest in a guy with the nickname "Juggy." I guess they just figured he needed some kind of love interest, and Archie wouldn't do, so they added here? I dunno. 
  • SNIP (35A: Use shears) — I thought for sure this was CHOP! You know, as in "The Wellesley Chop," as in "everyone who goes to my college chops all their hair off at some point." Yes, we actually have a name for it, and yes, it's ridiculous, and yes, it's accurate. Remind me to post pics at some point of that time I shaved my head.
  • WPM (11D: Typist's stat, in brief) — Oh man, this one gives me major flashbacks to learn-to-type programs in elementary school computer class. Those things were almost universally super weird--I think my favorite had a space wizard who was teaching me to travel through spacetime by typing?--but I guess they worked since I'm banging this out at 11:59PM on Sunday (sorry, Rex!) at a pretty impressive speed. 
  • 60S (54D: Decade that spawned the slogan found at the starts of 19A, 31A, 40A, and 51A) — John Lennon actually does have a song called "Make Love Not War," but it's unfortunately really bad, so I'm gonna give you a different Monday earworm instead. Thank me later!
Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired college student.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

[Follow Annabel Thompson on Twitter]

132 comments:

Leah 12:09 AM  

You can have an iron of every number 1-9. Nothing to do with odd or even.

jae 12:56 AM  

Medium. Liked it, nice twist with the # answer.

Lee Coller 1:17 AM  

I suppose some from the younger generation might have trouble distinguishing the 60's from the 70's, which would make 54D/A a guess. If you are old enough, you know where that comes from.

Loren Muse Smith 1:57 AM  

Live long enough, Annabel, and all the decades kinda just fuzz together. ‘60s – numbers in a Monday grid! Loved this, Andrea and Mark. Pretty easy (but I briefly wanted not “chop,” but “clip” for SNIP).

And I kept going back to marvel at the juvenile parsing possibilities of SHAMPOO. Our newfie, Beverly Ann, when we were house training her, would go out in the yard, assume the poop position, and then trot over for her treat. She hadn’t deposited anything. Maybe she just thought she was getting the reward for the position itself. Maybe she thought we were stupid.

Let “routs” stay in for too long for ROMPS. Oops.

Live SNAKEs, RATs, PRAWNs, and BUGs notwithstanding, I enjoyed the surprise little revealer and the hidden message at the beginning of the four parts. I like doing that myself from time to time. ;-)

Shawn Steffey 2:01 AM  

The NYT is literally in the middle of their article series about how puzzles are crafted, specifically mentioning the care never to use a slur even if clued in a different context.
25D usually wouldn’t have bothered me except that it’s flying straight in the face of the process I was being taught

Paul Rippey 2:14 AM  

One of the better Monday’s in memory. Easy but still something to figure out. Well done! Of course, I’m one of those who remembers the sixties. Fondly, in fact.

Harryp 2:23 AM  

This was a satisfying Monday puzzle with an added rebus. I tried so hard to squeeze letters into those two squares, but that was obviously not gonna happen. Kudos to Mark Diehl and Carla Michaels for their Monday effort.

'merican in Paris 2:29 AM  

Always good to be able to start entering answers from the TOP.

Nice write-up, Annabel, but I don't agree with your objection to 25D. CHINK is a perfectly good word, especially as clued. Its origins are Middle English; according to etymologists it comes from chine, which in turn has its origins in Old French eschine, which is based on a blend of Latin spina ("spine") and a Germanic word meaning "narrow piece", related to shin. A bit later, it was used onomatopoeically to mean "make or cause to make a light, high-pitched ringing sound, as of glasses or coins striking together": chink!. That use has been largely supplanted by "clink!", which has a different etymology (Middle Dutch).

Interesting political bent to the puzzle, with the N.S.A. (and its BUG device) and I.C.E., OBAMA, EUNICE Shriver, WAR ON POVERTY, CLINT Eastwood (yes, he is active in politics, not just a poly-thespian), OPRAH (who still denies -- sort of -- having any political ambitions), TED, and all of the RYANS who RAN for public office. Some of them are no doubt better SEEN than heard.

Wonderful to have numbers in the puz. That added a couple of minutes to my solve time, however, as I had entered an "O" at 59 before the "6" above it, and didn't get the happy pencil until I changed it to an "0".

chefwen 2:41 AM  

Fun Monday puzzle, I would except nothing less from our Monday Queen of puzzles and her co constructor Mark.

Easy, fun and whimsical. I did, however, make every mistake you could possibly make in this easy puzzle. Got my RIZZO (Grease) mixed up with RATSO (Cowboy). Trim before SNIP at 35A, mails before SENDS at 62A. BAH! I guess that’s why Puzz Partner is still smiling as he beat me time wise with his copy.

Really liked 54D, added it unexpected twist.

Anonymous 3:18 AM  

re: 25D - I was called this all throughout my childhood, and decades later, reading and hearing this awful word still makes me sick. In this age of political correctness, esp. in the New York Times, why is this word still being used? Is it because Asians usually don't complain? Yes, I know it has alternate uses, but along the same line, I notice that the word "niggardly" is rarely used. Even though it is not a racial epithet, its misinterpretation ends up in the news often, as recently as last week in St. Augustine.

Anonymous 3:35 AM  

@Paris - agree on the etymology but the bottom line is, if a word may offend some, why use it? It's a big language, there's no great loss in avoiding a handful of problematic words and in fact it's something we can and should do to be kind to one another. Communication depends on what is heard, not what is meant, and insisting on one's right to use a problematic word despite potential negative reception is boorish at best.

andrea carla michaels 3:55 AM  

Annabel,
Thank you for the thoughtful writeup. I esp love you included the Lennon video as he meant the world to me.
Funny that you mentioned the ORAL SNAKES, as my co-constructor, the fabulous Dr. Diehl is indeed a dentist!!!

I'm also concerned that you have spent the last 6 years being tired!
As for our being sloppy, I'd like to gently disagree.

(I'll copy and paste what I wrote on the NYT Wordplay blog and probably not chime in again on this.)

"Apologies. I'm sorry (folks) are upset. Obviously it wasn't meant to offend (and I so hope the focus of today's discussion doesn't become totally derailed over one entry that has nothing to do with the theme or overall puzzle. But I suspect that train has left the station. I can already feel my heart sinking. I live to make crosswords and I live to entertain in a light-hearted way.)

Here was our thought process: We needed three adjacent words that started with I ended with C, started with C ended with K, started with E ended with Y. That is the only thing we had in mind.
In looking to see if it could be reworked, If OLM were a word we could have gone with CLINK. (Can't change the SNIP to SNAP as MAKEITSNAPPY is in the grid.)
It's valid to bring up. I'm all for avoiding anything that would upset anyone.
Honestly, what a drag that it's become a trigger word. This was meant to be a bouncy fun puzzle that ironically was to be all about love not war."

If you would like another Monday puzzle, I wrote today's Wall St Journal puzzle that was coincidentally also published today. When it rains it pours!

Pete S 4:07 AM  

@chefwen He was Enrico 'Ratso' Rizzo, so you have the excuse of being too correct!

I got into bother by deciding to watch mySELF instead of my STEP, but otherwise smooth-sailing.

Lewis 5:58 AM  

This bright fun gem threw me back into the passion of the 60s -- some of you will remember those days -- and may that fire be alive in three months. MAKE RIGHT, RESTORE!

'merican in Paris 6:06 AM  

So, here's an alternative central-Atlantic region:

ICE
ALM
LIP
INT
CKY

IALIC is the abbreviation for the International Association of Language and Intercultural Communication. Could be clued as "Organization concerned with the interplay of living languages and cross-cultural understanding." How's that for apt? Too obscure? Too bad.

Hungry Mother 6:47 AM  

I don’t like non-alphabetics in my puzzles, but this one was quite obvious. Fast time and no sweat.

Pat 6:48 AM  

I'm disgusted by the sexist and misogynistic answer at 31-Across, yet another construct by straight males to subjugate women by controlling and directing their sexual desires towards themselves. I just can't even . . . ooh this makes me so mad! Shame on the NYT!

Teddi and Teddy 7:28 AM  

Tied for best time. Mostly just filled in as the app jumped us to the next spot. Although this is good for the stats it takes some enjoyment away since many clues are never even 'solved'- just filled in. We tend to get all worked up when the clock is ticking.

Roo Monster 7:30 AM  

Hey All !
It's a "CHINK in the armor", a phrase that's been around well before the 60's. No offense taken here. (I'm 50℅ Polish, I don't get offended when someone calls me a Pollock.)

That aside, this was a very nice puz. Clean fill, in the language themers, not extremely Monday easy. Two writeovers to report, sushi-PRAWN, dOrIC-IONIC.

Nice to have an ACME sighting here, we miss you. I've a question, How do you get so many puzs published? I've been trying. Apparently my fill isn't OFT clean enough at times. I'm happy for you, but jealous. :-)

Back to my 0CARB IDEAS. Oh, SNAP.

EMPTY PARKA
RooMonster
DarrinV

Anonymous 7:33 AM  

Except? Did you mean accept or maybe expect?

three of clubs 7:34 AM  

and what is it with this ORAL SNAKE ROMPing through the puzzle way up on top next to our beloved former president?

Anonymous 7:36 AM  

For all those who would ban chink from the puzzle: Where does it end ? How about spade ? mick ? oreo ? nip ? coon ? cracker ? crow ? dink ? Y’all gotta lighten up.

kitshef 7:39 AM  

My sister went to Wellesley and had long hair throughout the experience.

ONE TO GO seemed pretty much like green paint to me.

Joe Welling 7:42 AM  

PLANBS seems like a bad plural--like "mother-in-laws" or "attorney generals" or "court martials." If the plural of PLAN B is not PLAN B, Plan C, etc., it should at least be Plans B, I think.

michiganman 7:44 AM  

I must protest the idea of cleansing the language of words that may "offend". I knew there would be angst attacks over 25D but did not expect it to start in the write up. It is a word. The clue was not "A disparaging term for an Asian or a flaw in armor". It was a clean clue/answer, a real word in a crossWORD puzzle.

chefbea 7:53 AM  

what a fun puzzle...thanks Acme and Mark

RAD2626 7:55 AM  

Very cute and clean puzzle. Perfect Monday.

Appreciate ACME's comments. I have no problem with words being using in their alternative contexts but also admit seeing the word in print regardless of context is a bit jarring.

@LMS. Very cute even if the emoji is a giveaway. Certainly not the motto of many posters to this blog.

benjaminthomas 8:10 AM  

@ Anonymous 3:35

Here is the problem: who gets to decide which words are potentially offensive and which we must therefore avoid using? These days that list is longer every day. If OFL were making the list, TRUMP, BUSH, REPUBLICAN, and probably dozens of other words would not be allowed.


Furthermore, if we get to where communication doesn't depend on what was intended by the speaker, we are down a very slippery slope indeed.

Anonymous 8:31 AM  

@Pat, That song is about a woman using a love potion on men (if you're actually serious and not joking to make a point).

Calman Snoffelevich 8:32 AM  

I don't understand why you're triggered by 25D. If you hadn't mentioned it, I (and probably everyone else) would never have noticed it. There's no reason to be hypersensitive to nonexistent offensiveness.

Teedmn 8:38 AM  

Dang, I never even thought to put numbers in the grid. I was solving online using @r.alphbunker's program and wanted a "sixties" rebus. I put in SIRON at 54A - the program was fine with that. But what belonged at the beginning of 59A? No CARB, lo-CARB?

I finally hit the reveal and it put in a Z for zero CARB, sheesh.

Other than that, it was a fine puzzle and I have seen the phrase, "A CHINK in one's armor" so many times that 25D never even registered as a problem.

Sweet Monday puzzle, thanks ACME and Mark Diehl!

Shawn Steffey 8:39 AM  

I wouldn’t beat yourself up about it; I only mentioned it because that article series was running now. It was a great puzzle overall! I’m a sucker for a number corner (esp. when it’s that quick for me to realize)

Anonymous 8:45 AM  

Oy. You people and political correctness. Love Potion?. I suppose we should boycott Disney?.

Maybe when you all stop being so damn sensitive and start paying attention to the real, serious issues all around us, well have a chance to bring this country back to some semblance of normalcy.

Unknown 8:48 AM  

I could not find a way to enter the numbers in the Android app. I had to go to a computer with a browser and enter then there for the happy pencil.

I don't have a problem with CHINK clied as it was. "A chink in your armor" is a common phrase which does not invoke the image of my personal armor worn by an Asian person.

High end scrabble players have much less compunction about playable words than top crossworders, apparently. If it's a word (and the commercial Scrabble dictionaries remove words valid in tournanent play) it's ok to play. My 92 year old m-i-l plays some if the nastiest language while beating me.

Stanley Hudson 9:00 AM  

@Pat, don’t quit your day job.

John Galligan 9:01 AM  

Loved this puz - my favorite Monday in a long time!

GILL I. 9:03 AM  

Oh dear.....I couldn't wait to come here all cheerful and happy for this lovely Monday romp, only to find out @Annabel was discomforted by 25D. I had to go back to my puzzle and look for the word that would raise a hackle or two. I had to Google CHINK to see how it might offend. For the love of Pete. Didn't even enter my mind.
Thanks for chiming in Andrea. You know what I love about you and your puzzles? You always cause a stir. A lovely one to be sure. The only complaint I have here is that you didn't fit NINE in somewhere after LOVE POTION. I did like the VENUS slipping down under LOVE. Cute.
Perfect Monday. Can't wait to send this to our daughter.....
I was in Spain during the 60's having the time of my life. Wearing mini skirts during Franco's fascist regime. Our doorman (portero) told me that my grandmother would disapprove. HAH...If only he'd known her!
Thanks for the smile Andrea and Mark. Keep them coming.

Anonymous 9:05 AM  

I'm glad all these white people can proudly live in a world where they've never been called a "chink" and therefore take absolutely zero offense to seeing it in a puzzle regardless of context. Let's also keep using the answer "retard". It clearly only means to slow down and anyone who takes offense is a hypersensitive snowflake.

mmorgan 9:06 AM  

Lovely Monday ACME puzzle.

25D, though, is unfortunate, not least for the trolling and invective it is likely to generate here.

I solved it based on the familiar phrase "Chink in the armor," without the racial usage even entering my head.

But no one threw that term at me as an insult when I was growing up. It may be a "nonexistent offense" to me but I appreciate that it's not to others.

Respectfully, Benjamin, communication does NOT "depend on what was intended by the speaker" -- it never has and it never will. Communication uses symbols -- words, images, music, etc. -- that are arbitary and fundamentally ambiguous.

To me, being politically correct simply means trying to avoid using terms we know are hurtful to others. "Where will it end" is a criticism used to repress every language evolution -- as when we first tried to stop using "man" for "person" and "mankind" for "human" 20 or 30 years ago.

Yes, to me it was "innocent," but don't assume it carries no pain for others.

jberg 9:11 AM  

Fun puzzle, fun writeup. Annabel was as low key as possible about 25D, @ACME has explained why it's there-- maybe we should move on to the puzzle?

I did think there were too many UPs, both POPping and SLIPping. You could get rid of one by changing the clue for 8D to "loving dogs."

@Annabel, I, too wavered between 7 and 6 for the square at 54; after all, the period we think of as 'the 60s' actually lasted from about 1954 to 1975. But since I lived through it, I remembered that I'd heard the slogan by 1969, so tht was OK. And my memory from the last time I played golf (hint: before the 60s) is that your 7 iron was a lot more common that your 6 iron. Still a fine pair of clues, though.

jberg 9:12 AM  

Almost forgot --@ACME, congrats on the twofer!

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

As I recall, “Love Potion #9” has the line, “I told her I was a flop with chicks” and that’s why the singer is given the love potion. Unless you think “chicks” are male, it’s a guy wanting to use it on a gal.

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

60's is offensive (ageist)

ICE is offensive (immigrants)

STAGGER is offensive (alcoholism/alcoholics)

CLEAVES, possibly as it brings to mind cleavage, which is obviously sexist

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

Annabel,

You didn't just point to 25 down; you commented on how it made feel, then criticized the editor and or the maker for sloppy clueing.

By the way, most etymologists believe chink, the way it's used to describe a gap or crack or weakness dates the 15th century. The usage to degrade someone from the orient dates to the early 20th century. Seems to me, to do so is to go out of one's way to find offense.

Nancy 9:25 AM  

So here's the puzzle I would give to a newbie solver who's smart, but completely inexperienced in the Ways of the Crossword. A puzzle that's easy enough to solve, but that forces you to think *outside the box*. Learn to think outside the box from the get-go, and it will stand you in good stead for the next 50 or more years.

This would have been a perfectly decent and pleasant puzzle if the revealer answer had been "Sixties". But with the numerical kicker, it added a slight crunch and a definite "Aha" Moment not always to be found on a Monday. When I had the final B of 59A, but NO-CARB wouldn't fit, imagine my pleasure when I took my first look at 54D. It's the answer that MAKE[s] IT [the puzzle] SNAPPY. Nice surprise.

GHarris 9:30 AM  

Yeah, I know which irons are midrange and I know the expression make love not war was an anti Vietnam Slogan but I thought it was verboten to have numbers in a puzzle unless they also served as letters such as i or o so I reluctantly went with a one iron which gave me the 10’s and an embarrassing dnf.

Anonymous 9:39 AM  

Anon 9:15

You have the lyric right but have cause and effect wrong. It's used on him to get girls. @Pat is either pulling our leg or a real winner, but in any event. The love potion is for a guy to drink so girls will find him attractive.

Here's what you cite followed by the critical stanza you left out:

I told her that I was a flop with chicks
I've been this way since 1956
She looked at my palm and she made a magic sign
She said "What you need is love potion number nine"

She bent down and turned around and gave me a wink
She said "I'm gonna make it up right here in the sink"
It smelled like turpentine, it looked like Indian ink
I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink

Z 9:47 AM  

Nice puzzle. I enjoyed it. Thanks @ACME for the explanation. The word went right past me, too. Still unfortunate. My biggest complaint is that now we get all the anonytwits with their oh so clever rejoinders. To the regulars finding themselves in agreement with anonytwits - look at who is agreeing with you. Isn't that enough to convince you? I'm good with, "Apologies, I am sorry (folks) are upset. It wasn't meant to offend." The way I was raised and raised my children, when you upset someone, even accidentally, the appropriate response is to apologize.

SlithyTove 9:48 AM  

The political correctness on here is really beginning to be a drag. People are starving, students are being killed everyday. Guns are everywhere. Obesity is nearing 50% of the U.S. population. Illiteracy is rampant. Homelessness is pandemic. Children are being incarcerated. The oceans are polluted. The ice caps are disappearing. The NYT puzzle is allowing numbers in its grid??? And you guys are in a lather (SHAMPOO) over some innocuous word? Get a life!

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

How about "CHOP!" (used in Annabel's write-up)? "Chop! chop!" is often a phrase heard in old Grade B films and used by non-Chinese when ordering around Chinese workers. Of course, Annabel meant the term in a different way. (That's the point.)

Anonymous 9:49 AM  

I think the above comments by the author hit the nail on the head. It is ok to criticize but if you can't figure a better solution, then your criticism is not valid, Annabel. At least Rex will tell us how a corner can be easily reworked to a different solution. You did not do that. I thought it was a great puzzle and it was good to see Andrea's name in the byline.

Nancy 9:50 AM  

@Loren (1:57) -- It sounds like a shaggy dog story, but no one could possibly make this up!!! Of all the funny anecdotes you've included over the years, your Beverly Ann newfie story is the funniest.

To: ACME -- Another hand up for "a CHINK in one's armor" being a phrase I've heard my whole life. Never thought of it any other way. I see absolutely no reason why you should have to apologize for the word used in this context. None at all. Enjoy your puzzle coup and don't let the Offense-of-the-Day-seekers get you down.

Anonymous 9:51 AM  

@Anon 9:15 - the guy in the song uses it on himself. It’s an aphrodisiac.

Roo Monster 9:53 AM  

OK, here is a fix to get rid of the "offending word": 8D to PROPER, 23A to LENTIL, 21D to PLAN, 28A to STAR, 30A to ONE, 36A to SPIT, 24D to TOPIC, (the horrible!)25D to ININK (IN INK), 26D to LETTY (Dom's girlfriend in "Fast and Furious" films).

Fill in your grid as warranted.

(The following is a joke, unfortunately need this preface before I write it) See ACME? That wasn't so tough! ;-) Har.

RooMonster

Anonymous 9:58 AM  

@z,
Yours is an ad hominem attack. You haven't made the case for disallowing chink, you merely attack those who do make a case for it by calling them names. That's not argument, that's bullying.

Rainbow 10:13 AM  

Well, I hope that's settled! @Anonymous 9:15 was too eager to be upset, without finding the facts of the song.

Joseph Michael 10:15 AM  

Thank you,, Acme and Mark, for a SNAPPY Monday morning puzzle.

Enjoyed the theme and the message and the memories. Thought the fill was solid except for the pluralization of PLAN B. There is only one Plan B. The next one is Plan C.

I like the use of numbers in the grid. It was a fun surprise toward the end, but I wish the answer had been across rather than down. Numbers in a column imply a mathematical operation and
6
0
S
just looks kind of weird. Aside from those CHINKS in the armor, this was a clean, well-executed grid.

Anonymous 10:18 AM  

That video of John and Sean just made me very very sad. He was so young and had so much left to give the world.its a beautiful song though. One of my favorites of his. (My most favorite is Beautiful Boy. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans).

Carola 10:21 AM  

I agree with @Nancy 9:25!

Speaking of LOVE, 25D reminded me of the mechanicals' performance in A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which...
"...it doth befall
That I, one Snout by name, present a wall;
And such a wall, as I would have you think,
That had in it a crannied hole or chink,
Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby,
Did whisper often very secretly."

Enter Pyramus:
"O grim-look'd night! O night with hue so black!
O night, which ever art when day is not!
O night, O night! alack, alack, alack,
I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot!
And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,
That stand'st between her father's ground and mine!
Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne!
[Wall holds up his fingers]
Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well for this!"

John 10:28 AM  

Webster':
Definition of chink: 1 : a small cleft, slit, or fissure a chink in the fence; 2 : a weak spot that may leave one vulnerable his lawyers found a chink in the law; or 3 : a narrow beam of light shining through a chink.
Don't be ridiculous.

Linda Vale 10:31 AM  

I am so triggered by CHINK. I’d rather have sticks and stones break my bones than to hear the word CHINK.
It’s about time we ban:
Cheese Nips
Spic n Span
Sour Kraut
Ski Slopes
Niger
Truly triggering! Words are bad! (But remember - c*nt is ok)

Adam Shapiro 10:41 AM  

I had a go at reworking this as an intellectual exercise to see if I could avoid ILIAC (@'merican in Paris) and LETTY (@roo monster):
29D to HOTS
28A to SHIP
21D to PAIN
23A to AUNTIE
24D to TONIC
25D to ININK (IN INK, thanks @roo monster)
30A to UNM (clue as Alburquerque College, or something easy since it is a Monday)
31A to SNIT

As always, the thought into this one tiny part of a grid leaves me in awe of the work the constructors do.

G. Weissman 10:45 AM  

Sometimes I ask my kids if they know answers to clues, just for fun. When I asked my 14-year-old son for the answers to 4A, Kind of exam that’s not written, he said, “Online.” Not the right answer for the puzzle, but I can’t say his answer is wrong.

Nathan van der Boer 10:56 AM  

As a South African I take offense at your use of the word boorish, it is a big language (English) so please find another term

'merican in Paris 10:59 AM  

"Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall"

@Carola: Somebody should suggest that line to POTUS!

Trigger 11:08 AM  

Hey Z. Here are four words followed by the number of times they appeared in the puzzle in the Shortz era.: Coon (17), Spade (44) Nip (81) Oreo (297). Let me know which, if any, should be banned from future puzzles. Thanks !

Annabel Thompson 11:14 AM  

Thank you so much for sharing. I wasn’t sure how much or how little that was an issue—there are a few slurs that target things about me but none have homographs—and so I didn’t know how to best address it. The NYT really needs to do better by its audience.

Anonymous 11:17 AM  

G. just curious, how did you make your online comments? Was it writing?

Hartley70 11:20 AM  

Truly a delightful Monday when we have Annabel and a puzzle by ACME and Mark. Their humor was much appreciated!

Malsdemare 11:25 AM  

Wouldn't we all love meaning to reside in intent? Sadly, meaning is constructed by speaker and listener within the context of the moment, the relationship of the interactants, the nonverbal communication. In the absence of much of that, a word is fully capable of causing pain. That's also why totally bland stuff can reduce us to tears; the context of hate/disrespect, the uneven power relationship, infuse the words with poison. I think we should do the best we can to avoid hurting others, apologize if we do, and think twice before doing it again.

I absolutely accept @acme's explanation and plan to move on. It was a lovely puzzle; I too have always heard "CHINK in one's armor" but even as I write that, I wince now that I see the second meaning. I thought that epithet was gone!

I thought the lyrics were "I said I wasn't hot with chicks." Ich bin eine dumkopf!

Cassieopia 11:31 AM  

@mmorgan - my thoughts exactly. Nicely said. Plus I loved the puzzle.

Suzie Q 11:33 AM  

That number rebus in the corner really tickled me and to have it be the revealer was icing on the cake!
Plan Bs reminds me of the confusion that always seems to happen with Attorney Generals or Attorneys General.
"One to go" must have been tough to clue but you two did it!
Nice Monday. Many thanks to Acme and Dr. Diehl.
Let's hope it is memorable only for the 6 iron/60's corner but I'm afraid it's been spoiled. Such a shame for a lovely puzzle.

TJS 11:35 AM  

@Z, so the self-righteous prig who goes out of his way to create disparaging names for those who dare to disagree with his pronouncements is now passing along advice on how to apologize "when you upset someone". Hilarious...
A non-anonymous Mick from Chicago.

Anonymous 11:35 AM  

I have insomnia. since sleep is so precious to me, just seeing one z cause me pain. I wish a certain Frisbee player would consider my feelings and find another moniker.

Lewis 11:42 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

1. Falling down in a pillow fight? (5)
2. Turns a corner? (7)
3. Provide job support (4)
4. Passes out (5)
5. Chuck in the air (6)


EIDER
DOGEARS
ABET
DEALS
YEAGER

Anonymous 11:51 AM  

Funny, it didn't even occur to me as a slur until I read this blog.

Anonymous 11:55 AM  

My name is John, which is slang for toilet, and it's never occurred to me to care.

Anonymous 11:57 AM  

I don't understand how it's a rebus.

Banana Diaquiri 12:34 PM  

@Lee Collar/1:17
I suppose some from the younger generation might have trouble distinguishing the 60's from the 70's

even those of us who lived then know that 'the 60s' was really half in the 70s: ~64 to ~75. 60 to 63 were vastly different from what came later, at least from a mass culture point of view. Nam hadn't happen yet, nor the Beatles, and so on. JFK was still alive, Civil Rights & Voting Rights hadn't happened, and so on. continued until the upheaval of Nixon & Ford, then the drift to the Right. people don't remember, except those of us who were there, that Carter tried to destroy the Deep State; most agencies 'fired' everybody and made us 're-apply' for our jobs. where do you think Reagan got the idea?

"There should be little doubt that the centerpiece of the term Mr. Carter will begin in January will be his efforts to reorganize what he often called “the horrible, bloated, confused bureaucracy” in Washington."
"However, Mr. Carter seems wholly sincere in his belief, right or wrong, that he can devise a “purposeful, manageable and competent Government's and that such reorganization is a vital element in improving Government's delivery of services to citizens."

you can read the whole story, written at the time, here: https://www.nytimes.com/1976/11/15/archives/carter-with-a-long-list-of-campaign-promises-now-faces-the-problem.html

Roo Monster 12:45 PM  

@Adam Shapiro 10:41
What is your 26D?
UNM seems iffy, but great for @M&A. :-)
Puzzle construction can be tough. ACMEs themers had to be in the order they were to get MAKE LOVE NOT WAR. (And isn't it ironic we're all here WARring?) She couldn't move them around. Sometimes you can move your themers if nothing is working. Sometimes you end up with wonky entries (raises hand). It's still fun for me.

Roo

Snorkley 12:54 PM  

SMEN!!!!

JC66 12:56 PM  

@Roo

If you haven't done today's WSJ puz
yet, you should give it a shot.

benjaminthomas 1:02 PM  

@ mmorgan

I don't assume (any longer) that the term carries no pain for others. I do feel bad for those people who refuse to learn the language and therefore take offense where none was intended.

Respectfully, your position on communication is ridiculous. Obviously, communication HAS to depend on what was intended by the speaker. Otherwise you take away their agency and leave interpretation totally up to the listener, who isn't after all the initiator of said communication.

Imagine this in practical terms using this completely ridiculous example:

You: I will sell you this car for a thousand dollars.
Me: I am going to assume by dollars you really meant cents.

Tom4 1:24 PM  

It’s silly to argue that because the world is a mess makes the accidental use of a racial slur okay. Not everyone finds every example of offensive language offensive, but that is due to subjective experience.

To quote a previous comment: “The political correctness on here is really beginning to be a drag. People are starving, students are being killed everyday. Guns are everywhere. Obesity is nearing 50% of the U.S. population. Illiteracy is rampant. Homelessness is pandemic. Children are being incarcerated. The oceans are polluted. The ice caps are disappearing.”

Rather than decry political correctness, why not simply accept the diversity of language and of experience and add to the above list - which I agree is terrible stuff: “and language accurately reflects human history, and sadly includes a diverse plethora of antagonizing and/or offensive words.”

We could all be in this together...

Jim in Chicago 1:33 PM  

The Oxford English dictionary traces the use of the work "chink" to define some sort of gap or opening to 1393, and the first derogatory use to 1901. It is perfectly acceptable, and I refuse to remove it from my vocabulary when describing a gap.

Julian 1:40 PM  

I realize that you made an honest mistake, but your apology (especially the line “what a drag that it’s become a trigger word”) sounds like you’re blaming people for being offended. Please keep this in mind for the future

Julian 1:41 PM  

But you’re (probably) not Chinese so you have no reason to notice it or get offended. You don’t speak for everyone

Julian 1:42 PM  

PREACH

Julian 1:45 PM  

If you’re concerned about all those issues then why don’t you help rather than waste precious time posting this comment?

Julian 1:46 PM  

This comment is perfect

thefogman 2:01 PM  

I think its perfectly understandable for someone to be offended by a racial slur even if that individual is not a member of the group the slur was aimed at. For suggest otherwise is to say racism is only a problem when it affects me directly, and I should not be concerned when it affects other people, which is false because we are all diminished by racism.

Tom4 2:05 PM  

I for one would probably survive if OREO were no longer appearing in a crossword. I prefer SNICKERS anyway.

No one is telling anyone to remove a word from their vocabulary when denoting a specific concept in context. We’re talking about what goes into a crossword. It’s really not the same thing - a crossword is a one-way public discourse from one privileged source (the author and the platform) to an anonymous mass. Even the scrabble analogy is flawed in that one is playing scrabble against a discrete set of players. Often people you know, like your (or my) beloved and wildly dirty grandma.

I didn’t take offense at 25D but I’ve never been called it - and I’m not saying the constructor’s job isn’t difficult! A lovely response would be a reflection by a constructor along the lines of “it’s an amazing challenge to put together a crossword that will be filled by trillions of people and as such it is a terrific honor. It’s tough that there are so many words that, over their centuries of existence, developed for however brief a period of time a connotation that qualifies as hate speech. It’s a challenge and I accept a good challenge. I know that avoiding offensive language is not truly a slippery slope because I know that the English language is vast and rich.”

The standard response online has been defensive and tribalistic. It’s a shame since we’re all supposed to be word-geeks on here sharing a common interest...

Maxine Nerdström 2:05 PM  

“Something doesn’t offend me. That clearly means it is not offensive. Also, anyone who says it offends them is just manufacturing their pain and anger. Also, since there are many problems in the world, people who care about this are stupid and wrong. The people offended by things that don’t offend me are what’s wrong with the world.”

Anonymous 2:22 PM  

It seems like it's always "other" people getting offended on behalf of another group. I'm going to speak for the 100's of Asians I know and that I'm related to: We're not offended by the word chink. We're also not offended that white people think they need to stand up for us by taking offense at it, although that's the one that's closer to being offensive. We appreciate the concern, but find bigger things to work on. There will always be slurs. Get food and healthcare and shelter for everyone before worrying about words.

thefogman 2:25 PM  

I did today's New Yorker puzzle. I still don't get the cluing for 8D: Everything alternative (ONION). Unless the constructor meant it in the following context "He sure knows his ONIONs" which is pretty lame. Anyone?

Masked and Anonymous 2:27 PM  

CHINK (in the armor) is an ok word, but sure does carry along some unfortunate baggage, I see this as mostly EUNICE's fault, in this here puz.
Possible [only slightly politely desperate] adjustment, to maybe make a lil more LOVE and lil less WAR …

ACROSS.
23. In the shape of a crescent
28. ___ on the wrist
30. "We move the world" co. that competes with FedEx
35. ___-pei (wrinkly dog)
38. It's like you have a day-um twin
DOWN.
21. What ready-for-anything people have
24. Kind of committee
25. Express gratitude to
26. Title fit for a king, in Spain
29. Piles and piles

Anyhoo, cute theme and primo weeject wevealer [60S; staff pick].
ONETOGO. har

Thanx for the fun, ACM-E & MARK-D.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


biter:
**gruntz**

Anoa Bob 2:28 PM  

I was watching one of those Log Cabin/Barn Wood Building type programs on the tube last night and the word CHINK or CHINKing came up several times referring to the SLUDGE like material that is used to fill in gaps between logs.

I was reminded of growing up in rural Tenn. farm country where POVERTY was only a crop failure or farm animal epidemic away. Lots of folks still lived in log cabins. The area was self-deprecatingly called "Shake Rag". If an outsider ask why, we would explain that in the winter if some log cabin CHINKing fell out, the owners would stuff rags in the gap and when the cold north wind blew, all around the community you could see rags a-shaking.

That said, I agree that words or phrases that might be offensive should be avoided if possible. Here CHINK actually could become CLINK. OLM is a word. It's the name of a blind, cave-dwelling aquatic salamander. A tad on the obscure side, yes, but it has appeared in the NYT xword several times, albeit in the dark ages of the Maleskan (shudder) reign of horrible fill. And even then, not on a Monday.

JC66 2:28 PM  

@thefogman

Think bagels.

Crimson Devil 2:49 PM  

I tire of PC, and submit that if LMS’s dismaydar does not go off (apparently it did not) then we oughtta move on.

mmorgan 2:50 PM  

@benjaminthomas --

First, I apologize for abbreviating your name earlier -- I was rushing to write that comment and get out the door.

Second, in terms of your example, "communication" is a lot more complex than the "accurate" exchange or transfer of information from one mind to another.

Third, "intentionality" is also a slippery slope, one that often has no intrinsic relation with the interpretation or meaning inferred by a participant in a communication event.

And fourth, I wasn't commenting one way or the other on your view of the acceptability of using the word CHINK in the puzzle; I was just responding to your assumptions about the role of intentionality in communication. (At least that was my *intent* ;-).

Adam Shapiro 2:55 PM  

@roo monster (12.45)

Unless I've made a mistake (quite possible), 26D remains EMPTY (and for that matter 38A remains CLINT).

Dr. Gary Johnson 3:02 PM  

I only know of CHINK as something that happens to armor, not something you'd call a chinaman.

newspaperguy 3:07 PM  

There are a lot of commenters here who should play sudoku if they find words offensive.

Moishe 3:24 PM  

Fogman: I would think of different types of bagels. I hope that didn’t offend anyone. You never know these days.

Joanne 3:24 PM  

@Linda Vale 10:31AM

Hilarious!!!

thefogman 3:36 PM  

Cheers JC66 !

Roo Monster 3:46 PM  

@Adam
Constructing is tough!
You ended up with UNM/TONIC (U and O same square), and your SNIT made 26D EMTTY. Har!

Rebel (and Smart-Ass) Roo

Adam Shapiro 4:11 PM  

@roo monster

Too darn right it's tough. But that was a double transcription error on my part. As I wrote it longhand, I had 24D TUNIC and 31A SNIP . But failed to proof-read my own post. Doh! Sorry to set you chasing wild geese. More haste, less speed as usual...

sketto 4:28 PM  

I’ve never liked the word country. That first syllable makes me wince. We should stop using it.

sketto 4:32 PM  

Grading apologies now, are we? Say, how does one get to that enlightened perch you have?

sketto 4:38 PM  

Amen! I saw a sign on the highway that said Brake Retarders Prohibited and I was so fucking offended. Right there on the highway!

Who cares about context? It said Retarders in really big letters.

sketto 4:43 PM  

Wow. I never knew Will Shortz was so racist. Can’t believe he let all those words in. Or do you think it was all the constructors who are racists? We should investigate.

A human being 6:13 PM  

It's jarring for me, as a person of Chinese descent, to see CHINK in the crossword puzzle.

But it is so, so much worse to read comments to the effect of "lighten up" or "people will get offended by anything these days" or "doesn't seem offensive to me as a non-Asian person." How could you possibly know what the word "chink" means to me, my family, or any other person of Chinese descent? Or for that matter, any Asian person who has been called a "chink" without respect to their family's actual origins?

Likely, you have never had this word shouted at you as a derogatory term. I have. It was very clear what the word meant in that context. It meant, "inhuman piece of garbage; something alien and therefore despicable."

The hypocrisy of "lighten up" just burns me up inside. You're upset that other people are (you think) telling you which words you can and can't use, but you're fine with telling other people how they should and shouldn't feel? How is it your business to tell me what I should feel when I, as a person of Chinese descent, read the word "chink"? Since when can you tell a person of any race to "lighten up" when they read a word that has been shouted at them to make them feel like trash?

I liked this puzzle, for the record. I didn't infer any ill intent on behalf of the constructors, and I believe Andrea when she says it was meant to cause no harm. I'm not saying the word "chink" should never be used.

I'm just saying: who are you to tell me how I should FEEL when I read a slur that has been used against my family? Who are you to tell anyone how they should FEEL, ever, at all?

It was jarring to me to read "chink." That is a fact.

If you're thinking: well, are we just going to ban any word that offends any person? I hope it's clear I'm not arguing for that. But isn't there some middle ground between "ban all words that offend any person" and "use any word in any situation regardless of its impact"?

Anonymous 6:55 PM  

Hey human being, how do you think an African American who “acts white” and is called an Oreo feels ? Should Oreo be banned ? How about being called a spade ? Should spade be banned ? How about an overweight woman who is called a cow ? Should cow be banned ? How about a Japanese person who is called a Nip? Can’t nip it in the bud anymore I guess. Seriously, get over yourself and your first world problems. There are people suffering in this world. Anyone commenting on this blog is a privileged person. Count your blessings.

Anonymous 6:55 PM  

Me too.

BarbieBarbie 7:19 PM  

Um, OK, late to the party and I would just drop it but nobody is responding to Annabel’s actual point, which was: an inoffensive clue can clue a fundamentally inoffensive word, and all is fine while you are solving the puzzle. But if that word has any kind of startling meaning, then later when you glance at the grid that word will pop out at you with that other meaning. And that’s the permanent impression left by the puzzle. It has to be hard for constructors to see those traps, because they’re so buried in their own view of their puzzle. That’s one good reason to have editors. Nice of ACME to apologize, and count me among the world’s Shortz fans, but this was an Edit Fail.

I loved this puzzle and I, also, took extra-long to finish... but I filled in those digits right away. I was just slow on everything else. Sigh. Thanks and more please!

Calman Snoffelevich 7:25 PM  

I don't speak for everyone, but I do speak for the hordes of people here who have a similar opinion.

Anonymous 7:29 PM  

I would argue that, in regions where it matters, PARKAs and "ski-jackets" are very different things.

A human being 7:40 PM  

@Anonymous, I didn't say "chink" should be banned. In fact, I wrote this paragraph at the end of my post:

If you're thinking: well, are we just going to ban any word that offends any person? I hope it's clear I'm not arguing for that. But isn't there some middle ground between "ban all words that offend any person" and "use any word in any situation regardless of its impact"?

I wonder if you skipped over that part.

I'm not arguing "chink" should be banned from the NYT crossword. I'm arguing that you don't get to decide how someone else feels about that word.

Anonymous 8:43 PM  

Meh. I still haven’t heard from the arbiters of crosswords which are acceptable. Chink ,coon, nip, mick, cow, spade, slant, oreo...I could go on and on. Lighten up.

Balloon man 9:43 PM  

Kudos on 9 down. Both my wife and my dead wife appreciated that one.

Maxine Nerdström 9:48 PM  

it is bonkers that you think this is an appropriate way to respond to someone who clearly articulated the way this word has been used to hurt them.

here’s a wild thought: i think you should try having some empathy and compassion.

Maxine Nerdström 10:01 PM  

I am sincerely sorry that you have experienced hurt today reading these comments.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen these kinds of things said on crossword blogs, often by anonymous folks. People seem to be proud of their own ignorance of slurs (“No one would ever have noticed”) and committed to digging in deeper (“here, have a bunch of etymological explanations for why this is totally fine,” “here’s all the things in the world that are worse”). Almost no one is ready to listen to the people who are hurt. I wish people could open their eyes enough to see how awful it is to have your experience dismissed and denied.

I’m sure it’s not much help, but I just want to tell you I am sorry that people have been jerks about this. I am trying to have conversations about race and privilege with my family and friends who’d agree with these commenters. I hope it will make some difference for the future.

To anyone reading this who disagree with me: I’m willing to respectfully discuss this with anyone. PLEASE consider reading A Human Being’s post a few times and trying to understand their point of view. Something that you don’t consider wrong can still be a major cause of pain for someone else. It isn’t PC-mind-policing to think about that. It’s empathy and that’s it. It’s being willing to say, “I hadn’t thought of it that way. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be more mindful next time.”

Anonymous 10:10 PM  

Hey Maxine: Get over yourself and your first world problems. There are people who are going to sleep tonight hungry. Count your blessings.

Pince-nez 10:19 PM  

Don’t let the 屁話 get you down!

Love, Nanette’s Nose

Ian Newbould 10:20 PM  

Elizabeth Gorski had the Ratso clue in her Monday Crossword Nation puzzle tonight. Coincidence? Annabel, can you decipher this mystery?

Anonymous 10:25 PM  

Maxine doesn’t want to answer which answers are acceptable. Coon, Chink, Pig, Cow, Slant, Oreo, Nip, etc.

Tom4 10:30 PM  

Tribalism tribalism tribalism.

Maxine Nerdström 10:50 PM  

thanks for the suggestion! blessing one: i’m not being a dick to strangers on the internet. that feels pretty good.

sanfranman59 2:06 AM  

Wow, do I suck at crosswords now. There's no constructor that I consistently breeze through faster than ACME's work, but I blew this one with a combination of slow recall, a stupid error that I didn't crosscheck and not knowing what the heck I was supposed to enter for the 60S answer in the solving app I use.

I've averaged 4:26 over the years on ACME Mondays (14 solo and 15 co-constructed) and about 5% below my moving 6-month Monday median. My initial submission on this one was at 4:51, so that's pretty slow for me (Medium-Challenging, 1.06, 65.5%). But there's no way this was a medium-challenging Monday. If I very conservatively knock 30 seconds off my solve time for a very sub-par performance, this one would be in my Easy-Medium range. I sure hope this malaise I've been feeling over the past two weeks goes away soon. It's effing up my crossword database!

Another fabulous Monday theme by ACME. Not too much wincing, with plural PLANBS a notable exception. OTOH, I kinda like the not plural PLAN BS, so never mind. That wince is gone. It's not surprisinf that the whole cultural vibe of the puzzle is up my alley. I think ACME and I are the same age or very close. But unless my eyes deceive me (and they've been doing a lot of that lately), no Beatles. Whaddup with that, ACME? Two thumbs up.

Wait! I just read Annabel's review (thank goodness it wasn't Rex today) and, of course! ... "Make Love Not War" ... John Lennon! Duh! So ACME gets a pass on that one too.

A human being 3:48 PM  

Maxine -- thank you. I'd been avoiding looking at this, feeling it would just make me angrier and angrier. Instead, I saw a compassionate response, and it made my day that much better.

Maxine Nerdström 8:49 PM  

<3

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP