Massage intensely / MON 5-20-19 / Girl Scout cookie with geographical name / Much visited site in Jerusalem

Monday, May 20, 2019

Constructor: Gary Cee

Relative difficulty: Easy


THEME: "HIT IT!" (39A: "Start the music!" ... or what one could do to the finish of the answer to each starred clue) — last words in themers can complete the phrase "hit the ___"

Theme answers:
  • DEBT CEILING (17A: *Government's credit limit)
  • HACKY SACK (28A: *Beanbag juggled with the feet)
  • CHECK MARK (46A: *Symbol for "O.K.")
  • WESTERN WALL (61A: *Much-visited site in Jerusalem)
  • CLAM SAUCE (11D: *Seafood topping that may be red or white)
  • LOWER DECK (34D: *Part of a ship just above the hold)
Word of the Day: ROLF (32A: Massage intensely)
verb
  1. treat (a person) using Rolfing, a proprietary term for a massage technique aimed at the release and realignment of the body.

    "I had the negative emotions Rolfed out of me" (LOL) (google)
• • •

Too old-fashioned and too rough, fill-wise, for my tastes. It's a pretty mundane "last words"-type puzzle, with many many many other possible last words that weren't used (I always find it really distracting when very colorful possibilities are left out of a theme like this: ROAD BRICKS HAY LIGHTS BOOKS CLUB DANCEFLOOR GROUND ICE JACKPOT etc. LOWER DECK is also pretty weak, as DECK-ending answers go. UPPER DECK is actually Much Much Better (it has baseball cred). This is one of those themes that confuses being dense with being good. The choice to include so many themers undoubtedly has something to do with the mediocre-to-poor overall quality of the fill. That NENE / INURN (!?!?!) / TRI area down below is quite hard to look at, as is TEC over EEK crossing OGEE, as is the whole western section. OTOE / OTOH looks like the stuff of parody, and ROTC / ROLF isn't helping matters. TAR crossing TARTARE is absurd (I'd've preferred CAR there, and CHEM in the cross,\—one of the few times you're going to find me advocating for the abbr.). I like the image of DEBS smoking E-CIGS, but on their own, as fill, I'm not as big a fan. I tore through this, but it was a largely TEPID and EMPTY experience.



Five things:
  • 10D: Motorized two-wheelers (SEGWAYS) — lost time trying to spell this SEGUES (like the actual word). I can't believe self-respecting people actually ... drive? ride? ... these.
  • 65A: Bury, as ashes (INURN) — this answer bothers me on so many levels. It's an ugly, rare word, so I just don't like it, but also shouldn't it refer to the act of putting the ashes *in* the urn, and not the act of putting the urn *in* the ground? Bah!
  • 20A: Like many infield grounders (ONE-HOP) — "ONE-HOP grounder" is actually not that common a phrase on the internets (~3,000 hits). "ONE-HOP groundball" is even rarer. It's totally intelligible, but you're gonna call that a "one-hopper" most of the time (~17x more often, if my ["one-hopper" baseball] search is at all meaningful). Or you'll say the infielder fielded it *on* ONE HOP. I don't really think ONE HOP stand well on its own, is the upshot of this comment. It's a minor nit, I know, but I'm tired of the puzzle mucking up or otherwise only half-nailing clues and answers from baseball, a game I love.
  • 55A: Like a gift from above (GOD-SENT) — another clunker for me. "Heaven-sent" makes sense to me. A "god senD" is certainly something I've heard of. But I've never heard anything described as GOD-SENT. Remember: "Dictionarily defensible" and "good" are not the same thing.
  • 18D: Org. concerned with ecosystems (EPA— can we stop pretending the EPA cares about anything any more besides abetting polluters and destroying as many species as possible?
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

55 comments:

Runs with Scissors 12:07 AM  

Monday.

Not bad – for Monday. Very straightforward, nothing in my outhouse, nothing jumping up and down yelling “That was cool!!”

Enjoyed it anyway. Filled the last square and got the “you ain’t done yet” message. Took forever to find the error. Down between Biloxi & NOLA: I had INter before INURN, and didn’t notice for a bit what that did to TRI & END. Fixed it, all done.

I don’t normally pick at nits vis a vis the clues & answers, but 34D, “Part of a ship just above the hold” does not equate to LOWER DECK, in and of itself. Any deck below the weather deck is a lower deck. The weather deck is the first deck open to the weather, which means it can vary from ship type to ship type.

EMPTY PISTIL.
Mark, in Mickey's North 40

tbd88 12:13 AM  

I found this challenging for a Monday, and I was double my usual Monday time. I didn't dislike it, but it was a bit ho-hum. Got discouraged in the NW and wound up starting elsewhere. ALBEE was crosswordese that I just didn't know, and while EXCOP makes sense, it wasn't coming without a few crosses.

Joaquin 12:14 AM  

Like Rex, I found this quite easy (even for a Monday). Unlike Rex, I will defend it. Seems to me this is the sort of puzzle that would give a bit of a challenge to a novice solver, all the while being quite doable by the novice. And isn't that what we should expect on Monday?

jae 12:34 AM  

Easy-medium. Liked it more than @Rex did.

The movie “Stan and Ollie” is worth a look.

Seth Romero 12:39 AM  

Ughhhhhh 20A is just a terrible clue. MANY grounders?! I hated this clue so much I tried to see if 'hops on grounders' was actually a statistic tracked somewhere (doesn't seem to be...yet). Having played in, umpired, and watched thousands of baseball games in my life I can say with some certainty that a one hop grounder is uncommon to rare. It's just a physics function of how a ground ball comes off the bat and the distance between infielders and home plate (not to mention the clue has nothing to do with "fielded" grounders which is the only case that "one hop" is even possible). Referring to catching grounders ON A HOP is exponentially more common/meaningful, especially in the context of in between hops, short hops, etc. But on ONE hop? MANY grounders? Please watch a real baseball game before putting together a half-a*$&+! clue like this in the NYT.

albatross shell 1:28 AM  

Filled as quick as an average Monday except the SW, where I'd forgotten the WailingWALL was the WESTERNWALL and it took a few of extra minutes to back track and get it all straightened out.

I enjoyed the solve, but I think some of Rex's criticisms are on the mark, even though they did not jump out at me.
What did very much jump out at me was how appealing the filled in grid looked with the themers lit up. There is very handsome symmetry working perfectly in unison with the black spaces and the placement of the theme answers. I mean crosswords aren't all about words are they? And the revealer boxed in dead center ( sort of INURNed in rectangular coffins). Vibrant. Did not agree with rex's dissing of themes HITIT interactions.
Or as LMS's inner 13 year old boy might say: HI TIT.
I find INURN fun and funny.

Mr. Alarm 2:31 AM  

TEPID and EMPTY END! Too much “crossword-ese”! Appreciate one of the Boys getting a plug (OLLIE); but it’s a ONE-HOPper if anything. Also, shouldn’t it be HIT THE or just HIT?

chefwen 2:40 AM  

I know what ROLFing is, but every time I see that word I think of what a dog might do after snarfing down something he shouldn’t have.

Monday easy puzzle with a fun theme. Liked it a lot.

Loren Muse Smith 3:00 AM  

No complaints here. I liked sitting and thinking about all the stuff to HIT. I quite like the list Gary chose from the plethora of possibilities. LOWER DECK might be blah, but the specter of HIT THE DECK elevates it. Well, kinda. As in hit the floor, it reminds me of how dangerous schools are becoming. I don’t obsess about it, but knowing that I’m in a demographic where everyone owns multiple guns makes me a little nervous. Apparently, protecting the heartbeat of a fetus is paramount, but protecting the heartbeat of a kid, well, at least we have everyone’s thoughts and prayers.

Because of the reveal’s IT, you have to take out all the plurals that can come after HIT: showers, books, brakes, skids, bricks, lights.

@albatross shell - hah! Makes me revisit phrases like work at it and you got it.

I usually pass the ceiling and go straight for the roof. Again, I enjoyed sitting there thinking about what makes me hit the roof. Always nice to get a good mad-on first thing in the morning.

1) Three IEP meetings scheduled in one week, each meeting straddling two of my classes, and the onus is on me to find teachers to cover. This means not only begging as many as six teachers to give up their planning, but six of my classes in one week will receive no instruction because a science teacher or a math teacher can’t really read a scene of Romeo and Juliet and point out literary devices.
2) Grammar shamers. Hit the roof is mild. They enrage me.
3) Someone finding and polishing off my hidden cache of Fritos.

I knew SEGWAY was spelled without the ue. Thanks, Benjamin Dreyer.

TARTARE made me sit up for two reasons. One, I’d never thought about the fact that it’s an adjective. Like galore, it’s what we in the business call a postpositive adjective; it always follows the noun it’s modifying. We have a lot of them, especially in fixed phrases, like heir apparent, whiskey sour, cause célèbre, attorney general. I like the adjectives whose meanings change if they’re made postpositive:

I need to talk to the responsible students.
I need to take to the students responsible.

Two, TARTARE the way I say it is a spondee, so both syllables are stressed. No idea why this pleases me. Sometimes I just stare out the window and think of spondees. Cartoon, marquis, trombone, harpoon. . .

TEPID is a great word. I always think an ID ending for an adjective evokes nothing but ickiness. Rancid, vapid, lurid, acrid, sordid, fetid, putrid, flaccid… But then I remember words like solid and rapid and know this “rule” is not valid.

Gary – nice little Monday romp. I’m wondering if there’s a BEAT IT cousin possible: RADIANT HEAT, GANGSTA RAP, ROOT SYSTEM, DRUG TRAFFIC. Get right on that, will ya?

Lewis 5:33 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 5:42 AM  

Answers I liked: HACKY SACK, WESTERN WALL, TARTARE.

Mini theme I liked: OLLIE / PATTI / TOWNIE / OGEE / ALBEE / EMPTY. And if you pronounce it like we did in college, you could add ROTC.

BarbieBarbie 6:10 AM  

Huh, today I learned about spondees. @LMS, is two syllables a requirement? Not that I can think of words with more, but would they get a different name?
And yesterday I learned about cold fission, so thanks to whoever defined it. Kind of a misnomer if you have to put your target in a sea of thermal neutrons to get it to happen. My guess is it was named second.
Today’s puzzle- easyish and fun. I don’t care how many other candidate phrases there are- making a plaid out of this set is pretty impressive.

Hungry Mother 6:27 AM  

Super ffast, bur didn’t seem easy with all of the downs that I had to do. Fun solve.

Karl Grouch 6:36 AM  

Karl's Likes, Grouch's Dislikes
My ratings:

- The Rexreview 10/10
(except for the comment on god-sent)

- The Fill: 2/10

- The Clues: 3/10

- The Theme: 5/10

- The Revealer: 5/10

Overall: 4/10

kitshef 7:24 AM  

A harmless enough puzzle. Theme played no part at all in the solve, which was a disappointment. Lots of theme density, though and the fill held up OK except a bit in the SW with GODSENT, LOWERDECK, IKNEWIT, OTOE, OTOH.

btgrover 7:32 AM  

It’s rare that I’m taken by surprise doing a Monday puzzle, but I definitely needed all four crosses to get ROLF. Never heard of this or seen it before. Other than that, pretty average Monday in every respect.

pabloinnh 8:15 AM  

I had @Seth Romero's reaction to the ONEHOP ground ball answer, although without most of his, um, intensity. See how many games it takes for you to see one. Also prefer the terms for multiple hop ground hugging hits, like grasscutter and wormburner.

Thought the puzzle was fine for a Monday, but when I run into Mr. Revealer right in the middle of everything I pass and try to finish the rest of the puzzle with the idea of SUSSING out the theme. Ergo, I like the revealers at the end somewhere, although I get why this is not always possible.

Thanks Mr. Cee. Nice Mondacito.

RooMonster 8:20 AM  

Hey All !
Rolf! That was a ROFL answer.

After getting my first two themers, HACKYSACK and CHECKMARK, I thought the theme might have something to do with K's. Then got Revealer from _IT_T, and smartly figured out that each one was HIT the ___. (Har, notice how I just ego-bragged?)

I don't think the fill is all that terrible because of the packed-theme puz. You know me, I like lots of theme. You're gonna have dreck and -ese in every puz, so just suck it up!

Two writeovers today, IReS-IRKS, tAkE-GATE.

Steak TARTARE to me is nasty. Who wants to eat raw food? That's why the cavemen invented fire! (Har, joke sentence. I know they didn't "invent" fire.) Cook my steak, damn it!

Gonna ONE HOP on out, I ASSURE you.

EMPTY EEK
RooMonster
DarrinV

Suzie Q 8:24 AM  

This is probably a good puzzles for the rookies.
I remember when hacky sack was first popular. I can't recall seeing anyone actually do it well. In person anyway. It certainly was good for making people look like idiots.
Inurn and god sent raised an eyebrow.
Boy, just one baseball clue and the fans go wild. The hard core baseball fans sure are a breed apart.

Nancy 8:44 AM  

A pleasant Monday with jargon-free, grown-up fill and no pop culture. HACKY SACK was new to me; I've never juggled a beanbag with my feet. Don't play soccer either. I'm a definite arm-and-hand person.

For the 4-letter answer to "massage intensely", I wanted HURT, HARM or MAIM. But I did know ROLF. If you've ever been ROLFed as I have, you're not bloody likely to forget it. I walked out of the "therapist's" office with more pain than I came in with. Needless to say, I never returned. It's one of the more awful things that people allow to be done to them. "Reflexology" is another: It took my metatarsal arches (which have always been flatter than a pancake) two weeks to recover. And the guy was supposedly treating my neck. (I've always suspected he was a foot fetishist. That's not a joke, btw. I not only never went back -- I also wrote a letter of complaint).

From physical therapists...to osteopaths...to chiropractors -- there are a lot of quacks out there and you can't be too careful. If you find a good one, consider him or her GODSENT.

GILL I. 8:45 AM  

I don't remember seeing ROLF without his ING. I dated a chap who, during his first incarnation, was a Civil Rights lawyer. He decided his talents were wasted and became a certified Rolfer. He should've kept to defending the rights of people in the south. I was one of his patsies. He'd practice on me and I'll tell ya, it was painful. Just like the first SEGWAY I rode. I had seen a video of a chimpanzee riding one and he looked like he was having fun. So I tried it. FAIL. I think I'd rather go sky diving.
The puzzle was fine. HIT IT is cute. Anda one anda two. I just wish the reveal had been at the very end. Getting the theme early makes me sad.
My "Gift from above" has a D at the end of SENt. My mom would always say things like "what a God SENd." Anything she liked.....
Too bad nobody makes TARTARE anymore. Anything raw sends people screaming out the door. It's delicious along with a good (white) CLAM SAUCE.
Kinda like seeing PISTIL on top of the WESTERN WALL. I always thought it was wailing.

tb 8:52 AM  

I don't think trombone is a spondee. Maybe it's a regional thing?

Anonymous 9:06 AM  

“News” men?

Sir Hillary 9:16 AM  

Can't really argue against the substance of @Rex's nits, but they're still nits. Aside from INURN, nothing struck me as poor during my solve, and that's the real litmus test for me. The theme was well-executed and fun. Thanks Gary, you made HAY with this one.

PS -- Most tired theme criticism: "There were so many other theme possibilities; therefore the theme was poorly done". Are themes supposed to be limited to relatively small canonical sets? Please.

Nancy 9:22 AM  

So, @GILL, once again we agree. On the rare pleasure of TARTARE (pun intended) and on the painful miseries of being ROLFed. For @Roo I have a question: Have you ever tried raw food? Steak TARTARE? Beef Carpaccio? Tuna Carpaccio? Tuna Ceviche? Sushi? Sashimi? All of them are absolutely delicious. If you've tried them and hated them, that's one thing. But if they just sound terrible -- trust me, they're not.

There are two foods I hate when eaten raw: oysters and cherrystone clams. I find them slimy. I do love the much firmer littleneck clams, though.

RooMonster 9:52 AM  

@Nancy
To be fair, I haven't tried raw anything, (well, tuna fish from a can. Har.) so I am going by the sounding terrible notion. It was just never high up on the wanting-to-try list.

Maybe I eat at the wrong places...

Oh, and about Monty Python in general, I'm glad you enjoyed that clip. Their TV show was irrationally silly, but in a good way. It ran from 1969-1972, then they did a few movies after.

I think you'd like some of their other stuff. They were ahead of their time on a lot of their skits. Others, as I said, were just silly.

RooMonster

Dawgman 9:59 AM  

The problem with the clue for One-Hop is the word "many". If that word had been "some" it would make more sense. Watch enough baseball and you will see there are not "many" one-hop grounders. It happens fairly infrequently compared to multi hop or sometimes don't even hop at all.

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

@Sir Hillary - Which shows more care - a random set of six, or six with an underlying theme? Six ok ones or six great ones? After having solved thousands of Mondays / Tuesdays, which would make you sit up and say "Damn, good job?"

Further, no one said poor, just implied it could have been better. Which is pretty much a fact.

David 10:36 AM  

Sent from God, A God-Send, Heaven Sent are all things I've heard. God-Sent? Must be used by others. Whatever, at 55D I first had Door, then Take, and it was only when I sussed out "God-Sent" that I got Gate, which is more of a horse-race or American ball game type word to me. I suppose if you're talking about pop stars who fill various stadia it works as well.

In the UK they call the folks who sit in front of cameras and read a synopsis of yesterday's news from today's papers "news readers". I suppose Lester and Anderson may be a cut above but their no Walter Cronkites. I imagine soon we'll be seeing Anderson reading us dispatches from the Brass as an "embed" for the new branch of our foreverwar, in which we attack the Shia as an ally of the Sunni, who attacked us on 9/11 and are the casus belli of said foreverwar.

And so the screw turns.

Over the last decade I've had the experience of visiting the family plot 5 times to inter cremains. Using an urn is just another way the funeral director has of making money off your grief.

Yes, Rex is full of nits today, but overall a fun puzzle for me. As for yesterday, apparently he pronounces "mook" quite differently than I learned to.

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

When you have had the (dis)pleasure of losing four loved ones in ten years, you quickly learn the word INURN, which is not an “ugly, rare word.” It is used every day by people dealing with the business of putting their loved ones to rest. Using it lets others know, in one simple, modern word, that someone’s urn is to be buried, not placed in a vault, kept in a home or the ashes scattered. People ask questions; they want to know if a deceased is going to be cremated or in a casket. It is a very painful time. Why people take offense at this simple word, except for the fact that they’ve never relied upon it’s simplicity to ease situations for them and they haven’t had to deal with death up close and personally, is beyond me.

Lewis 10:41 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

1. Button downs? (10)
2. A student might bring this up in an intro class (3)
3. Foreign correspondent, maybe (6)
4. Bad choices in it may cost you an arm and a leg (7)
5. Delightful event? (6)


KEY STROKES
GPA
PEN PAL
HANGMAN
OUTAGE

Anonymous 10:42 AM  

Godsent!

https://youtu.be/UcdVmm5V38k

(Bevis Frond, from “Valedictory Songs”)

DevoutAtheist 10:53 AM  

The argument about god send, god sent, heaven sent, etc. is silly as we all know there is no god or heaven. Nor ESP.

Nancy 10:54 AM  

Hi, @Roo -- The good news is: It's never too late. When I was quite a young child, I remember my father saying to me: "You're entitled not to like any food you don't like, but you're not entitled to not like it if you've never tasted it." With that wise advice in mind, your dining experiences might well be about to change for the better...

You appear to be a Steak Guy, @Roo. So I've decided your first raw food experience should be Beef Carpaccio. You live in Las Vegas and I've done your research for you. The top rated places for Beef Carpaccio in Vegas are:

LAGO (They use Wagyu beef, the best, and are probably quite pricey.)
CASANOVA
PROSECCO FRESH ITALIAN KITCHEN

Go online. Look at the prices and the photos. Choose a restaurant. Enjoy. I know you will. Later we'll talk.

JOHN X 11:08 AM  

I’m convinced that Lester Holt is actually computer generated.

RAD2626 11:49 AM  

I liked the puzzle and theme and while I agree it was easy, I don't think so easy for beginners: ROLF, OTOE, TEC and especially OGEE are not Monday friendly. Took me normal Monday time or about 3x Rex.

I think ONE HOP and LOWER DECK both are fine as clued and both have "Baseball cred" to quote Rex. Many homeruns and foul balls are hit into the upper deck but lots of fans sit in the LOWER DECK, that vast expanse between the swells in the box seats and the concourses. And few prettier sights than watching an infielder come up with a short hop or ONE HOP grounder, timing the movement of the glove just right. If you really want to see a lot of ONE HOP grounders, warch the women's softball college tournament now showing all over ESPN. The shorter dimensions put the infielders in constant peril.

Joe Dipinto 12:44 PM  

You are sixteen going on seventeen
Fellows will fall in line
Eager young lads and roues and cads
Will offer you food and wine


"Have some steak tartare with clam sauce, little girl."
"Eek -- food and wine! I knew it! Rolf, help me!"

I am seventeen going on eighteen
I'll take care of you


OK, so it's a Monday puzzle. After the dazzler bestowed upon us yesterday it was bound to be a letdown. But, it seems just about right to start the week. So, no complaints.

I will observe before departing that Geena Davis's performance in "The Accidental Tourist" is one of the worst ever to win an Oscar.

old timer 12:45 PM  

Very tough for Monday. Fouled up on GODSENT (had Godsend). @LMS, I haven't thought about a spondee since I was in high school. Spondee, I find, is a French word, and in French it actually is a spondee. Most French two-syllable words are, except for those with an unaccented "e". Or so I was taught when I took intensive French 50 years ago. Keeping syllables "egal" is tough for we Anglophones.

I myself love raw clams and oysters. For me, no visit to Boston is complete without a trip to the Union Oyster House.

webwinger 1:03 PM  

I thought this was a fine Monday puzzle, completed in about average time. Wasn’t particularly bothered by the non-Monday-ish crosswordese (ROLF, OGEE, OTOE, NENE, etc.) this time, maybe because the elegance of the grid design and theme density made up for it, given that the themers were pretty straightforward answers with a pretty straightforward revealer, and crossed so many of the fill words.

@Rex: Re EPA—[ahem!]—Where on earth does this come from? The EPA, which has been around since 1970 (started by Nixon!) and has a staff of nearly 15,000, mostly environmental professionals, is now worthy only of contempt, because he-who-must-not-be-named installed someone at the top whose regulatory agenda is not sufficiently progressive? Our air and water quality are immensely improved as a result of EPA efforts over the past 50 years, and it continues to do its job well year after year despite changes in political oversight. Give it a break!

@Nancy: Be careful when lumping (similar to the way @LMS tripped over imaginary numbers a short while back). Osteopathic physicians (DOs) are licensed in every US state to fill the same roles as MDs, despite some differences in their training. Osteopaths have held positions of trust and respect at every medical center I have been associated with. Likewise, most licensed physical therapists, certainly those who work in medical centers, are completely trustworthy to perform treatments within their scope of practice. Chiropractors are also licensed by states to perform a limited range of treatments, but seem more likely to work independently and to rely excessively on diagnostic and therapeutic approaches that are not justified on the basis of biomedical science. Rolfing, as I understand it, is done by people with a variety of backgrounds, some of which seem quite suspect…

And while I agree he’s not Walter Cronkite, I find Lester Holt’s “newsreading” nicely calming without seeming disingenuous.

Teedmn 1:04 PM  

What CAN I say? I first had "What did I say?". I guess I spend more time wondering how I've offended someone than rather facetiously apologizing for offending someone.

And ROLF has not found its way into my data banks. I was busy on the uppER DECK and had to HACK my way down to get 33A and 34D in correctly.

Otherwise, this puzzle theme is fine. I don't know why it's something to complain about that there are multiple other ways to END "Hit the ___". What CAN I say?

Thanks, Gary Cee.

GILL I. 1:12 PM  

Yes, @Nancy...we agree on muchas cosas.....except oysters. I LOVE raw oysters. I believe it was @Mohair who said he'd eat raw clams but not oysters. @Z likened them to snot and the beat goes on....
NOW, if you want to really get fresh and sassy, add bunderfleisch (had to look up the spelling) to your repertoire. It tastes better than carpaccio. Maybe it's the white wine or the aging process that makes it heaven. We can get it here in Sacramento at Corti Brothers. @Roo....do give it a try.
Your day is now complete.....

Carola 1:55 PM  

HIT IT is such a a nice, concise reveal. After DEBT CEILING, CLAM SAUCE, and HACKY SACK, I thought the theme might be something sibilant-related, so the unveiling was a treat of a surprise. CEILING as nice at the top, DECK down below, and WALL clinging to the edge.

I thought this could be a delightful starter puzzle themewise, but also could be discouraging because of OGEE, OTOE, TEC, NENE - auto-write-ins for those of us who've been at it forever but probably ???? for those just starting out.

Nancy 3:05 PM  

@webwinger -- I've had neck problems since I was in my 20s. In that time I've had 5 different internists -- mostly because they kept retiring on me. Not one has ever recommended an osteopath -- any more than they've ever recommended a chiropractor. They all wanted me to see an orthopedist. Recently, I've found that MDs are far more likely to recommend physical therapy than they were in the past. Perhaps they've softened on osteopaths, too. But they used to look at you askance if you even mentioned one. I'm well aware that osteopaths are real doctors, but I also know that many MDs were not accepting of them or their training for a long, long time.

With the result that, back then, it seemed just as necessary to find a good osteopath via a friend's recommendation as it was to find a chiropractor that way. Your GP was usually no help at all.

As far as my two quack-y experiences are concerned: The ROLFer was a physical therapist and the Reflexology foot-fetishist was a chiropractor. So osteopaths are off the hook in my case.

Anonymous 3:52 PM  

Spent last week in DC, for the first time in a long time. DC police patrol on Segways. Don't know whether they're even still made, but doubted it for a long time.

Called WailingWALL at least as much; and first IIRC.

Anonymous 4:00 PM  

If we assume -ing is the gerund suffix to a verb, then ROLF is a proper verb. Not that I've ever heard anyone say it that way.

albatross shell 5:22 PM  

Mystery of mysteries
Po me with no history
Of differentiating the anonymouses from the anonymii or the depth of animositii
Smart money says best a blind eye polic-eye,
Say did I see rhinocerii? Not I.
Ah but idle curiousi-tie
If anyone saw and understands I would mine knowing but otherwise I ain't telling.

droppedlove 5:42 PM  

I'm a pretty novice crossword solver, but I found this one pretty difficult for a Monday! I got stuck on the GATE/TEC cross. Never heard of TEC, and I still can't quite make sense of what "Concert proceeds" means. My first thought is the earnings from a musical concert, but I can't think of any sentence in which GATE is used like that. Is it actually referring to the fact that you PROCEED through a GATE? Is it being used as a noun or a verb?

Carola 6:11 PM  

@Teedmn - I also had "What 'did' I say?" but more in the hands-on-hips mom-to-kid mode :)

kitshef 6:31 PM  

@dropped love - GATE is a noun, and can refer to the number of people or to the total money collected at a concert or other event.

Giskarrrd 6:56 PM  

DNF, on a Monday :(

Naticked by ALBEy and RAy, although I should’ve probably gotten that one. But ROTC / ROLF and TEC / OGEE did me in as well. Too bad... liked the theme (my first word ending one, so still fresh and novel for me:)

Tony 9:10 PM  

TEC/OGEE is not pleasant for a novice like me. Not the stuff of Mondays.

Anonymous 10:38 PM  

@Loren Muse Smith....you are one of the primary reasons I read this blog...always make me smile! Thanks for your thoughts ��

Z 11:44 PM  

Meh.

Funny the things that will piss off a retired principal. “...the onus is on me to find teachers to cover,” did it. I don’t even blame your principal for this @LMS, but it still pisses me off. It is the district’s responsibility to conduct those IEPs, so it is the district’s responsibility to provide substitutes for teachers needed at these meetings. No teacher should be sacrificing their planning time (which means they have to do their planning on their own time) and a qualified substitute teacher should be providing actual instruction (I know. I know). This is basically wage theft on the part of the district.

@webwinger - Look up stories about the EPA from the last year. It’s not about being “progressive enough,” it’s about being opposed to the very notion of environmental protection. It’s roughly the same as if Wayne LaPierre was head of the ATF or Putin was in charge of Homeland Security.

Runs with Scissors 1:06 AM  

@Z 11:44 PM

If teachers want to be taken as professionals, then they need to realize that “wage theft” cannot exist. They’re paid a monthly salary, not an hourly wage. They are paid to perform a function; they are not paid to perform it in a certain number of weekly hours.

A professional – such as a doctor, lawyer, teacher, CPA, et cetera, sells skills. The time spent to perform the tasks is not the driving factor in compensation. An hourly worker, on the other hand, sells labor; often repetitive and boring, but necessary. It is the one selling the labor that often gets abused and is the reason for the rise of labor unions in the last century.

Teachers are government employees. The treasury is not bottomless. If you want to find out what teachers are really worth - monetarily - then you should whole-heartedly embrace private education.

If one wishes to be treated as a professional one must eschew the idea of wage slavery. My wife is a teacher. We’ve had discussions on the topic and for the most part she is on the same page as I am. Professionalism and the idea of “contract time” are mutually exclusive.

The EPA is an unconstitutional organization. I defy you to lay your finger on the part of the constitution authorizing it.

Anonymous 5:58 PM  

Ok, is TEC as slang for "sleuth" some sort of weird crosswordese? I get that it's supposed to be short for "detective" and I get that maybe if it is crosswordese everyone (except me) may have already seen it and can enter the answer with muscle memory. But has anyone, ANYONE, ever used TEC as slang for a detective? Has this ever happened in the real world? Is there one example? This kind of weird, made up answer should get the author put in puzzle detention for at least a year.

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