WEDNESDAY, Jun. 4, 2008 - Billie Truitt (ALAMOGORDO TRIAL)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: THINGS THAT BREAK (33A: What 17-, 24-, 48- and 57-Across are)

Stayed up late (for me) last night watching election coverage, so I'm wiped out this morning. Short write-up today. This theme is entirely adequate. The only theme answer I squawked over was KIDS' TOYS, and that was before I knew it was a theme answer - just didn't seem like a self-standing phrase. I know that adults can technically have "toys," but the KIDS here seemed a bit redundant. Plus, ANY toy can break. Still, KIDS at least has a "K," so that's something.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Tricky, unexpected questions (curve balls)
  • 24A: Vampire's undoing (daylight)
  • 48A: Stairway hazards, in some homes (kids' toys)
  • 57A: View from the shore (ocean waves)

Some unappealing non-theme fill in this puzzle - why would you clue LAWS as 43A: Doctor of _____ (degree)? That's one of the worst clues I've seen in a long time. It manages to be both awkward and dull. There must be tons of viable, interesting, accurate clues for LAWS out there. Or you could invent a new one. This one has all the charm of an insurance salesman's office. I had no idea what AME (32A: Letters on some churches) was supposed to mean - had to look it up when I was done: African Methodist Episcopal. A very nice church, I'm sure, but ... as fill, it's yucky. I'd have rewritten that whole AME / IVEY part again, I think, just to get rid of AME. Then there's today's version of the "stuff in your bathroom nobody needs to hear about" answer: EYE CUP (45D: Glass in a medicine cabinet). Does anyone have one of these in his/her medicine cabinet right now? I can barely even find a picture of one, and they all appear to be antiques. I did not know that the initials HRH (26D: Initials for Camilla) applied to Camilla. I thought those were reserved for the Queen, but I know squat about royalty, so whatever. I was looking to squeeze "consort" in wherever I could - it fits at 24D: Title for Camilla (Duchess). My dog's name is DUTCHESS.

Khlav Khalash:

  • 28A: Super deal (buy) - bathetic answer
  • 29A: "Hurlyburly" Tony winner Judith (Ivey) - oh, the Tonys, my specialty ...
  • 41A: "Man's the _____, and Wealth the vine, / Stanch and strong the tendrils twine": Emerson ("elm") - oh, Waldo, you were in the puzzle yesterday. Day late, dollar short. Oh, yeah, and that's a lot of ink to waste on an ELM clue.
  • 51A: Galena or anglesite (lead ore) - I had LEADOR- and still had trouble parsing it.
  • 61A: Alamogordo trial (A-test) - oh how I love deciding whether to put A, H, or N in that first position.
  • 64A: Meddlesome sort (yenta) - didn't we institute a ban on YEN's, both -TL and -TA?
  • 1D: Pay stub abbr. (FICA) - I really should look at my pay stub more often.
  • 6D: New York cardinal (Egan) - I know a cute little girl with this last name.
  • 9D: "Mighty" one who struck out (Casey) - second day in a row that "mighty" (or a version of it) has been quotation-marked in a clue.
  • 10D: 1948 John Wayne western ("Red River") - one of several Howard Hawks / John Wayne collaborations. Big bio of Hawks on my shelf still waiting to be read ... I like his movies, and one of my favorite unheralded 20c. writers, Leigh Brackett, wrote screenplays for some of his most famous movies (e.g. "The Big Sleep").
  • 12D: Place with a forge (smithy) - this word is amusing to me. I nearly wrote in SMITH'S.
  • 28D: Science fair creation, briefly ('bot) - my experience says that the more appropriate answer here is something way less cool, involving hand-painted cardboard signs and possibly duct tape.
  • 31D: Acre's locale: Abbr. (Isr.) - good clue, in that Acre has ... other meanings.
  • 32D: Source of bread, for short (ATM) - not a fan of the "bread box" variety of ATM clues.
  • 34D: Bulletin-creating department (news desk) - this answer seems old-fashioned. Sadly, I now think of politicians as the ones creating the "bulletins" and the press as the ones simply reading them out loud.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


ArtLvr 8:31 AM  

A very enjoyable puzzle today, easy too! Does DAYLIGHT break? Yes, but the other theme answers are in the plural -- as I'm sure many will note... I don't mind!

My main hesitation was in the SE with "serene" for a short while instead of SEDATE, being too eager to nail down its initial S so that would give TSARS rather than sometime alternative "czars". And TWOWAY was a GOOD ONE! Then there was little 25D where I thought of "can", though it turned out to be CUT from the team, and NEWSDESK was "newsroom" for a brief moment.

I liked the SMITHY/ANVILS pair, poor CASEY who struck out maybe from the CURVE BALLS, the BIB and the KIDS TOYS. Also the EYECUP of which I have one that's an antique! However, I'LL SAY I have to agree with the recent comment asking for no more cluing of A-TEST as a bombing trial, Alamagordo or otherwise.... Yuk.

I expect we're all looking forward to a few days of muted campaign GUSTO and less ASPIRIN -- "it's a relief"!


Unknown 8:47 AM  

I thought KIDS' TOYS was brilliant, mainly because (in my experience, and unlike so much in the crossword world) it's consonant with the way we actually talk. Redundant or not, I have yelled about how "the kids' toys" are all over the place. Parent friends tell me that before some get-together, they have to pick up "the kids' toys." It's a phrase that perfectly captures the out-of-control-ness of parenting life.

Not only that, the clue of them being "a stairway hazard" was inspired. Kids toys (sic) can -- and are -- everywhere, but those are the stairs are especially infuriating. And they jump foremost to mind. That image is part of our common culture. Think of all the family films that involve failing on stairway toys. Think of the "Talky Tina" episode of The Twilight Zone, while you're at it.

Third level of perfection: the initial clue -- "stairway hazard" -- evokes the theme (THINGS THAT BREAK). What do you tell your kids when they leave things on the stairs. Someone's going to step on these and break them and/or someone's going to break their neck. The clue/answer/theme creates a whole parenting drama!

Then again, I loved CURVE BALLS because the theme-meaning didn't match the clue-meaning. So go figure.

jubjub 8:50 AM  

Had IdEY/REDRIdER. Never heard of IVEY/REDRIVER. Seem to be missing subjects in my "sentences" today.

It occurred to me a few months ago that, while I am familiar with ANVILs being used to squish Wile E. Coyote, I had no idea what else they were used for. In any case, SMITHY is a good word, good pairing.

HOIST was hard for me. I thought it must have something to do with football.

"I've never seen purple underwear before, Calvin."

Anonymous 8:52 AM  

Red River is on my short list of great movies; incredible scenes before there was the possibility of special effects, Clift, Wayne, Ireland, and an uncredited appearance by Shelley Winters.
OK, back to the xword...I too was unable to parse LEADORE even after it was all filled; I've used an EYECUP, but not in this Century.
LAWS was my first fill...what else could it be? And the last bit, the NW, was a puzzler until I figured out ONUS, which gave me INANE.

Unknown 8:54 AM  

It is always nice to read artlvr's take early in the morning and see how she relates the fill. Thanks. This morning, I read each of the theme answers as a plural which makes 'break' fit. I am not an expert in grammar, however.

For one of the first times, I got ATEST immediately because of the Alamogordo clue. We decided to destroy Bikini Island for the H Test making N Test generic...maybe.

A man whose name is in the news this morning went to Selma recently and addressed the issue of race in America at an AME church. It was on my mind when I read the clue and was pleased it was correct.

Unknown 9:00 AM  


If Wade does not post today, I think we should check on that taco truck in Houston.

Puzzlegirl, have you two run off?

Bill from NJ 9:16 AM  

Another moss-covered Maleska-esque puzzle today. Old-fashioned, staid New York Times puzzle with an Anglophobic whiff of royalty.

When people yearn for the Maleska-Farrar days, think of EYECUP yet, right in the middle of the puzzle are three clues URL IOC AME which almost, but not quite, redeems this thing.

I didn't much care for this puzzle - as you can tell - but bear in mind this is only one man's opinion.

alanrichard 9:20 AM  

The clues & answers were very cut & dry - nothing really clever here. This was a quick puzzle and it's times like this that I'm thankful that there are Brain Basher and Daily Sudokus!!!

Anonymous 9:30 AM  

"The Big Sleep" -- screenplay by the unjustly neglected Leigh Brackett and -- who was that other guy? -- oh, yeah, WIlliam Faulkner.

Anonymous 9:33 AM  

Funny how REDRIVER could also be RIOBRAVO, another TX river. Didn't take long to sort that out, though.

I also liked how "Grouse" is an animal, as is CARP, but they share a non-animal definition. And my first attempt, CRAB, also was an animal that fit the clue.

Orange 9:58 AM  

Having grown up driving through the South Side to reach downtown Chicago, AME was a gimme from all the church signs that included that abbreviation. It's a little like seeing NAS in the crossword—tossing a little bit of African-American life and culture into the staid old (mostly) white folks' world of crosswords. (And then I also like AME because that's what my friend Kristin calls me.)

I heard an NPR discussion yesterday (on "Worldview") with M.T. Silvia, a woman who's made a documentary called Atomic Mom, about her mother's role as a scientist during the '50s A-tests in Nevada. Interesting conversation. (I don't know that the "_-test" phrase ever popped up, though.)

Anonymous 10:02 AM  

Odd obsession with Camilla today, but maybe its part of the theme.

After all, she DID break up Charles and Diana's marriage.

ArtLvr 10:02 AM  

Thanks, Philly -- I'm just up earlier with these longer days, trying to get in gear... Rex and the crosswords are a big help!

@ bill from nj --re "Anglophobic whiff of royalty" ... Is mere mention of one of the British royals either that or Anglophilic, or just neutral non-American? Here in the US we've rejected honorifics and class distinctions for good reason, but we don't have to scorn others' traditions... As Parshuter says, it's part of our family experience, little girls fantasizing being princesses, boys playing at swordfighting, whatever!


Anonymous 10:29 AM  

This puzzle felt more like a Tuesday, which is apropos because Tuesday's was more like a Wednesday :)

Yes, Camilla did break up Charles and Diana's marriage, maybe that's why she's a duchess as opposed to the princess that Diana was. I think HRH (His/her Royal Highness) is a little lower in the hierarchy than the queen's HRM (Her Royal Majesty). Has anyone else noticed that since they got married, Charles and Camilla have disappeared from the news? That's a nice break for us :)

PuzzleGirl 10:35 AM  

Hate to be cranky when I haven't been around for a few days but I'm pretty sure Charles had a little something to do with his marriage breaking up. Sheesh.

(Thanks for asking, PhillySolver, I've been sick -- nothing serious -- and am just now catching up. I noticed that wade is AWOL too. I swear he's not with me!)

Ladel 10:38 AM  


I too thought the clue for 43(a)was clumsy. Tho I had a professor in college who was always called "doctor" Pick because he held a law degree from Hiedleberg University.

Try this for some more background:

Bill from NJ 10:57 AM  

I misspoke myself and said the exact opposite of what I meant!

I meant "Anglophilic whiff of royalty

Anonymous 11:07 AM  

Not a bad puzzle, but found myself a little lost in the West Virginia area of the grid.

I don't follow the Tonys so I thought that Judith's last name could have been IDEY, which is logical since John Wayne's movie was called REDRIDER, wasn't it?

And my Canadian residency seems to put me at a disadvantage (again); I've never seen FICA on my paystub.

AME could have been XYZ for all I knew; perhaps because the congregation has very limited presence in Canada, I've never heard of the African Methodist Episcopal church. Though, when I googled it I was bemused to see that the image in the center of their logo is an ANVIL.


Anonymous 11:08 AM  

I'm sure I have put too much thought into this but I didn't like KIDSTOYS for the simple reason that, of all the theme answers, when they break, they're no longer KIDSTOYS, more often than not, they're trash.


jae 11:24 AM  

I found this easier than yesterday's. Only missteps were CRAB and a dylexic FDIC for FICA. I was thinking FICA and for no apparent reason wrote FDIC which took a couple of minutes to catch and fix. Not a great puzzle but not a terrible one either.

Joon 11:31 AM  

this was an incredibly fast solve for me, my fastest wednesday ever by more than a minute. but i didn't love the puzzle. the theme was fine (i agree that DAYLIGHT is plural, so it works just fine for me), but there was just too much crappy 3-letter fill. now, i'm not one of those people who objects to having "too many" 3-letter answers, but look at these: AME, IOC, URL, KTS, ESL, ISR, HRH, EPA. that's eight abbreviations! tack on EUR (which is normally clued as an abbreviation but today was a prefix), and you have a whole lot of annoying acronyms. what else was there? tired old ELI, EON, EWE, and EMU; and a few perfectly fine words like PIT, AIR, BIB, LAB, PAL, CUT, ALL, and BUY. BOT was actually kind of nice as 3-letter fill goes, but i didn't like the clue.

other than that, the fill was fine. but the clues were awfully boring. it's wednesday--can't we have at least one tricky clue? and i mean intentionally tricky, not just misleading-by-verging-on-wrong, as [Unruffled] for SEDATE instead of SERENE (which is really much closer to meaning unruffled).

Anonymous 11:39 AM  

Nice cover job, puzzle girl. Another tripe taco, dear?

I've heard there was a local judge in Houston who got the bright idea that since lawyers receive a juris doctorate they should be allowed to call themselves doctors, so he made a rule that all lawyers would be addressed as "Doctor" in his courtroom. There's a woman who works for a title company here who has a Ph.D. in education or sociology or something who very ostentatiously refers to herself as "Dr." in all her correspondence. I don't know what the rule is, but there's something off-putting about a non-medical doctor using that title. Or should it be okay anywhere within the hard sciences? (Doesn't referring to MLK as "doctor" have a whiff of condescencion to it?) Anyway, if you can't prescribe me drugs, you ain't a doctor to me.

Unknown 11:58 AM  

Welcome back but beware that hearts are among the things that can break. I am sure the Proctolgists would assert that calling lawyers 'Doctor' would confuse their client base. I'd start a lawyer joke theme, but Ulrich is on his way to Germany and can't supervise.

I think Wednesday is a good day to go easy on 'var.' and "?" unless it is a question. I think we will get some tricks tomorrow.

/Dr. Solver

Anonymous 12:05 PM  

Weird to see a puzzle with both ONUS and OPUS.

Also, a lot of three-letter answers beginning with E- ELI, EUR, ELM, ESL, EON, EPA, and EWE. I was starting to wonder if there was a secondary theme here.

I got a little stuck in some regions of the puzzle- didn't get 31D- "Acre's location" (ISR), despite the fact that I have actually BEEN THERE. I originally had PAN in 40A instead of EUR.

Like treedweller, I also had CRAB for 3D.

Also, more evidence that one should not do a crossword before one has had there morning cup of coffee- the first clue I entered was SUNLIGHT for 24A instead of DAYLIGHT, and then got stuck because for the life of me I could not remember CASEY's name in my non-caffeinated state. Now that I'm on my second cup, I can't believe I missed that clue originally.

overall, a nice puzzle.

ronathan :-)

Anonymous 12:09 PM  


I am a graduate student in the sciences (immunology, to be precise), and you can be DAMN sure that after ~6 years of graduate school (assuming I can get out then) that people will be calling me "Dr.". I think that by that point I will have earned it.

-ronathan :-)

Ladel 12:34 PM  


we have two PhD brain scientists in the family and it is my honor to refer to them without qualification as doctor. Wade should know that much of what physicians know and dispense comes from PhD doctors including what to write on an Rx pad. But be forewarned when calling for a restaurant reservation using the title doctor, I have heard that some snob reservation takers ask if that is PhD or MD, if that happens to you, hang up.

Orange 12:57 PM  

See, PuzzleGirl, this is why I adore you. I was feeling disgruntled and plotting another comment, and then you said just what I was thinking.

Call me Dr. Orange—doctor of cruciverbology. Rex is one of the most promising students in our doctoral program.

dk 1:00 PM  

Well... as I have not one but two PhDs I call my self DR. DR or Supreme Lord of the Universe. My lovely wife, son and stepchildren often put Jesus Christ in front of my name as well, but somehow I do not think they mean it in a worshipful way.

To all once and future PhDs I will tell you the notation is off-putting and much like going into a bar and declaring your toughness. As we learned from oaters like REDRIVER there is always a faster/brighter gun coming to town.

Thus, I have taken the Zen approach and let my intelligence, or lack of it, unfold like a flower/weed. Note: My reference point is the world of a therapist and marketing wonk, in academe it is another story all together.

That said @wade you can also offer to check under someone’s (and you know who I mean) shirt by stating you are a doctor. I do that every time I am filling up my wife’s gas tank, by coming to her window and offering to "check under your shirt maam." And when she groans and yells “listen PAL if I hear that INANE joke one more time I will strike you with LEADORE.” I say its ok I am a doctor.

Get well @puzzlegirl..

Anonymous 1:01 PM  

I often refer to the Ph.D. degree (I earned mine before my 24th birthday) as Piled higher and Deeper. I certainly don't want to be confused with medics.

Rex Parker 1:11 PM  

Rex already has one Ph.D. He is not looking to acquire another.


Doug 1:49 PM  

I guess my lowly MBA from the IVEY school of business in Canada doesn't hold much water!

I liked the puzzle and found it to be kind of zchizo: Some gimmees and then some doozies like EYECUP, EGAN and FICA? I jumped on the tricky KTS and not CTS that Rex blogged about recently. If it wasn't for Stephen King and the NYT, ORONO would be unknown to me.

If anything there was some unusual fill. I just did a puzzle yesterday with SMITHIES (NY Sun?) I really find it so odd that obscure words pop up right after each other in different puzzles, and I don't mean the Pantheonics. So I guess I'll be cunningly alert for EYECUP in the next few days.

Anonymous 2:16 PM  

AME is "soul" in French. Seen it in the NYT puzzle many times, though not too early in the week.


Anonymous 2:19 PM  

In Academe, (to judge from my husband and his colleagues) calling yourself "Dr." is kind of dorky. Wait, "Academe" is pretty dorky, too.

Anonymous 2:19 PM  

In Academe, (to judge from my husband and his colleagues) calling yourself "Dr." is kind of dorky. Wait, "Academe" is pretty dorky, too.

Anonymous 2:40 PM  

I've always heard:

BS = Bull Sh*t
MS = More of the Same
PhD = Piled Higher and Deeper

In my profile with Lufthansa I am "Herr Professor Doctor" just because it was one of the options when I registered. Coupling this back to the puzzle theme, a friend of mine is "Her Royal Highness" with British Airways.

Anonymous 3:00 PM  

That would be "Herr Professor Doktor", nicht wahr?

mac 3:03 PM  

Soso puzzle; easy with a few unknowns that where gettable through crosses. No solving aides required.

I have no idea what Fica means other than more than one leathery plant, and bot wasn't clear to me until I saw the ' in the blog. Thank you for that.

I agree that serene is a better answer for unruffeled, but it resolved itself fairly easily. I also thought of Pan-Asian. Pit was cute, but I've never seen it by itself, only as pit stop.

@doug, "smithy" was ideed in the N.Y. Sun yesterday. I had picked up one of the three copies my newsagent gets every day.....

Bill from NJ 3:15 PM  

I live in South Jersey and 32A:Letters on some churches (AME) is very familiar to me. We are surrounded by traditional black churches and, as my children are aware, they always have the best bake sales. Perhaps AME churches are not part of the New York tapestry or exist farther north of New Jersey. I know they exist in many parts of the South.

Jeez, I guess my measly BA in Mathematics makes me real low on the totem pole. I'm amazed at the high educational level of my fellow commenters but it doesn't surprise me based on the quality of some of the comments!

dk 3:32 PM  

I keep thinking of Bullwinkle Moose reciting The Village SMITHY, the first verse ending with:

"arms as strong as rubber bands"

Tried to find a clip but no luck.

@mac - FICA (federal insurance contributions act) is what pays for the social security benefits that you may or may not ever see. As I recall real estate trusts were one of the investment vehicles touted by those who wish(ed) to privitize soc.sec. benefits, speaking of CURVEBALLS & THINGSTHATBREAK.

Anonymous 3:47 PM  

Anonymous 3:00

Correct, Doktor it is.

chefbea 4:01 PM  

not too bad for a wednesday puzzle but I liked yesterday's much better.
No food to comment on today

Doctor chefbea

Anonymous 4:42 PM  

I don't know if it is still the custom, in German, to refer to a medical doctor's wife at "Frau Doktor", regardless of her educational attainments. I always wondered if I, as an MD married to an MD, would become "Doktor Frau Doktor."

JannieB 5:01 PM  

Not too much of a challenge today - theme was okay, fill was nothing to get excited about. At least we were spared another "ciao" entry. A let-down after Tuesday.

Anonymous 5:55 PM  

I've got a question about these tripe tacos.
Is the tripe the filling, or do they deep fry the tripe as the shell?
Not that it matters much, I guess.

Anonymous 5:59 PM  

I don't care how many extra years one stayed in school avoiding "the real world", it's obnoxious to call yourself "doctor".
I even cringed when my father (who is a surgeon) would correct my
friends (when we were, like, ten) if they dared to call him "Mr."
It's all snobbery.
As for the puzzle, it was weird all the Camilla stuff...
(Plus I didn't get 'bot till the blog, thank you, Herr Doktor Rex...I struggled thinking it was short for BOTany somehow!)
I'm immersed in people/things Israeli at the moment and didn't know Acre. Had the good sense to walked out of Zohan, however!)

Not particularly exciting puzzle if all that stands out is whether KIDSTOYS is redundant...but the fact that they insist on calling other things "adult" toys, lends more credence that a qualifier IS needed, unless one is tripping over vibrators and the like on the staircase!

Anonymous 5:59 PM  

The tripe is the filling. As unappealing as even that is to me, the very thought of a taco SHELL made out of tripe makes my stomach turn.

chefbea 6:15 PM  

@jim in chicago
....interesting. maybe for the next meeting...

Michael Chibnik 7:37 PM  

I found this puzzle unremarkable, which I guess means that I didn't love it. For the Acre clue, I kept thinking about Brazil -- I had no idea that there is an Israeli Acre.

As a doctor of anthropology, I strongly think that Ph.D.s should not call themselves doctors. Just today there was a woman have medical problems in the local bookstore (I hope she was ok), and I was not about to step in...A neurologist came by to help.

But there is some reverse snobbery here. I've noticed that the more elite the university, the less likely the professors are to be called "doctor." I don't know if this is a good thing or not. At the Big State University where I teach, undergraduate students often call professors "doctor" (the alternatives are "first name," and most commonly nothing at all). Graduate students often don't have a clue about how to address the professors and I can't blame them because the professors themselves have quite different views about what they want to be called by their students.

Anonymous 8:42 PM  

The custom of dispensing with the title of doctor at upscale universities arises from the conviction that no one teaching there could possibly lack a Ph. D., and that to call special attention to this minimal attainment displays class anxiety. The custom has taken a beating in recent decades with the awarding of Ph. D.'s to people who not only did not make lasting contributions to research in their chosen field with their dissertations, but who do not intend to pursue a career of increasingly profound peer-reviewed published research in a serious field.

Pythia 9:08 PM  

Have to agree that today's offering was so-so all around. No pizzazz. Theme was good enough, but odd that CURVEBALL was the only theme answer not clued in it's break-able sense. ASPIRIN may be a reliever, but is it a relief? It provides relief. Annoying plethora (24!) of three-letter words/abbreviations, most of them dull.

Leon 9:09 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
fergus 9:30 PM  

Just recently I watched the "Fawlty Towers" episode entitled The Psychiatrist, and it seems today's commentary is echoing Basil's confusion when a couple (psychiatrist and pediatrician) wish to sign in as guests. In Basil's ignorance he can't quite comprehend that the wife could be a doctor, too. Doesn't sound like such a killer humourous premise, but it's pretty hilarious.

Classic Scene…

Basil: How do you do doctor. Very nice to have you with us, doctor.
Dr (Mr) Abbott: Thank You.
Basil: And Mrs Abbott, how do you do.
Dr (Mr) Abbott: Dr Abbott, actually.
Basil: …I’m sorry?
Dr (Mr) Abbott: Doctor Abbott.
Dr (Mrs) Abbott: Two doctors.
Basil: (to Mr Abbott) You’re two doctors?
Dr (Mrs) Abbott: Yes.
Basil: Well, how did you become two doctors? That’s most unusual…I mean, did you take the exams twice, or…?
Dr (Mr) Abbott: No, my wife’s a doctor…
Dr (Mrs) Abbott: …I’m a doctor.
Basil: You’re a doctor too! So you’re three doctors.
Dr (Mr) Abbott: No, I’m a doctor. My wife’s another doctor.

Probably at lot better on YouTube...

mac 10:37 PM  

@Frances: we are missing Ulrich already... I think the woman doctor would probably also be Frau Doktor, but I'm not sure if the wife of a doctor is still called Frau Doktor or just Frau so-and-so. The titles in Germany are still quite amazing, though.

@acme: I thought of Botany as well,
don't you hate all these abbreviations

Anonymous 10:43 PM  

I went from SUNLIGHT to SKYLIGHT (which I tried to picture in a Transylvanian castle) before finally getting DAYLIGHT.

Anonymous 10:58 PM  

Is there a Doktor in the Haus? Somebody give this three-letter snoozefest CPR!
My picky gripe with KIDSTOYS is that they don't always break, unlike the other three theme answers. I still have a box or two of toys in my mother's basement. Did you ever try to break a Lego?
@bill from nj, we most definitely have AME churches here in NYC!

Doug 12:04 AM  

I've got 4 boys and believe me they break stuff ALL the TIME. Break a Lego? Now there's a challenge I'll pass on for their contemplation and destruction!

magicdgk 3:29 PM  

This Link
is a test of my HTML posting skills.

magicdgk 3:31 PM  

This text
is a link to a page on
the World Wide Web.

Waxy in Montreal 2:05 PM  

Like Opus2 6 weeks ago, I found FICA and AME more US-centric than usual (yes, I know it's the NY Times puzzle). Luckily, AME is also French for "soul" and could be lettered on some churches, I guess, and FOCAL provided the F for FICA.

Gosh, ACADIA yesterday and ORONO today. Maine seems to be finally getting the attention it deserves. My favo(u)rite state. Can't wait for BANGOR, KITTERY and BIDDEFORD to appear.

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