Monday, August 11, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: Laundry - four theme answers end with words that describe just-finished laundry

It's Monday. This was very easy. Never noticed the theme til I was done. Wondered how BLOWS A FUSE (11D: Loses it) and AT ALL COSTS (29D: No matter what) fit in ... then realized they didn't. They're just long. I am getting a very late start and the puppy in the next room is constantly threatening to break into (ear-piercing) song, so this will have to be quick. Can you give dogs ETHER (8D: Onetime dental anesthetic)? [Dear ASPCA, I'm kidding]

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Psychologically manipulated (brain-washed)
  • 34A: Formulaic (cut-and-dried)
  • 42A: Put-upon (hard-pressed)
  • 62A: Like players in pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey (blind-folded)

Wow, they're all hyphenated (unless "blind-folded" isn't ... I'm way too tired to check). Interesting.

So I finished this in ... well the clock says 3:40, though the end was weird because I finished the grid, then immediately realized the last answer I'd written in was wrong - I had JEER where JAPE was supposed to go - so then I restarted timer and typed right answer. I think. Anyway, I got to wondering what separated my time on this puzzle (with an average Monday time for me) from my record time, considering nothing in this puzzle was hard. It's the little hesitations and rewrites that are costly when you are trying to come in under the 3 minute mark. You can't afford to be pondering an answer or surveying the grid for Any length of time. So here are the places that made me stumble Slightly, just so you know.

  • 15A: Bizarre (outré) - I actually nailed this with no crosses, but DOUBTED it, considering it's Monday and OUTRÉ is a pretty OUTRÉ word.
  • 10D: Fiery-tempered sort, they say (red head) - this is the one that really held me back (relatively speaking) in the NW. Stereotypical nonsense like this is not something I expect in my NYT puzzle. I guess it's harmless enough - it's not passing on info about what Irish or blacks or gay people are supposedly like, and it's not too derogatory. But still. It threw me. I had two or three passes at it before I got it. Here's a red head I like (Happy Birthday, Andrew):

  • 38A: Furnace output (heat) - I had SOOT, lord knows why
  • 39A: Western treaty grp. (OAS) - like OUTRÉ, I nailed this but then doubted it. I have to learn to trust myself more ... though inevitably I'll end up trusting myself when such trust is unfounded.
  • 48A: Smooth and lustrous (silken) - I had SATEEN (!?)
  • 49A: At an angle (canted) - I don't really know this word. I know "cantered" (daughter starts pony camp today).
  • 34D: When repeated, a toy train (choo) - wha? I was looking for a brand name. Or an actual name of any kind. "What a child calls a toy train," perhaps.
  • 63D: "This puzzle is really, really hard," e.g. (lie) - I really, really didn't like this. Mondays are hard for people who are just starting out. Jeez. Have a little sympathy. No need to be smug about your Monday puzzle-solving skillz.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS if your day is rainy, like mine, please use the following video to cheer you up: "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden," complete with ... dancers (thanks, Steve!)


Jeffrey 8:56 AM  

About to do this last night when Mrs. Crosscan told me to start the laundry first.

I like the word FJORD. We have FJORDs here on the road from Vancouver to Whistler. You will see them a lot when the 2010 winter olympics come around.

Quick Monday.

Anonymous 8:59 AM  

I thought this was easy, also, but really enjoyed it. Any number (well, a few) five-letter words that we all should know, xworders or not...atone, elide, fjord, and yes, outre.

Parshutr 9:00 AM  

I thought this was easy, also, but really enjoyed it. Any number (well, a few) five-letter words that we all should know, xworders or not...atone, elide, fjord, and yes, outre.

Parshutr 9:01 AM  

Sorry about the double-post. Couldn't access my blog for a minute or three there.

HudsonHawk 9:03 AM  

Agree with Rex on 63D, but more along the lines of the complaints about the LIES puzzle awhile back.

As for 1A, nice breakfast test to start the week...

Barry G. 9:07 AM  

Morning, folks!

What can I say? Apart from a little bit of forced cluing ("Galas" for DOS?) and variant spelling (CABALA instead of KABBALAH), I found this puzzle to be ridiculously easy, even for a Monday, and got a chuckle when I saw 63D toward the very end. In fact, I never even noticed the laundry theme and thought the whole point of the puzzle was that it was incredibly easy just in order to set up the clue for 63D.

OK, so maybe I don't have enough sympathy for people who are just starting out, and I really don't mean to be smug about my Monday puzzle-solving skills. But I swear, as I blew through this puzzle (which is something I rarely do, believe me), I kept thinking this was just too easy and there had to be a catch somewhere. So when I finally saw 63D I went, AHA! So that's why it was so easy -- they did it on purpose!


kjones 9:23 AM  

Grrr. I accidently has HARDPESSSED for about three minutes while trying to figure out how E__OF could me free from. Stupid modern tech-mology.

Pythia 9:24 AM  

Can't ask for more on a Monday. Nice theme, lovely grid. Bravo!


Unknown 9:29 AM  

I think the SMEAR heading for the puzzle starts the Wash cycle today. In church music, Richard REDHEAD is a well known name and could be considered as an alternative clue. Among his many familiar tunes is the original Rock of Ages. I liked the puzzle and its uncommon fill. It seems that these are easier to get on Mondays because of the crossing clues and it develops solving skills. I believe there is a difference between saying something is easy and noting that it is not really hard with the stress on really. You can tease me bro.

Anonymous 9:37 AM  

@crosscan: At least you got the laundry started. This theme only served to guilt me out over not doing the laundry yesterday.

@Barry: I can't believe a constructor would purposely set out to create the easiest puzzle he can.

I thought this was easy but interestingly clued and worded. A fun Monday (except for the guilt trip.)

Barry G. 9:49 AM  

@joho: Yeah, you're probably right. But I'm just reporting what was going through my head as I solved it.

Oh -- and I forgot to mention my surprise and delight at seeing "Don't taze me, BRO!" Very fresh clue for a stale bit of crosswordese.

Joon 9:49 AM  

i absolutely loved this puzzle. i mean, first of all, it's an incredibly tight theme--not only are they all laundry words, and not only are all the phrases hyphenated, but they actually appear in the grid in the correct sequence: WASHED, DRIED, PRESSED, FOLDED. well, the correct sequence for people who actually press and fold their laundry (a group that does not include me). but still. so bravo for that.

i also loved the fill. it wasn't too tough for a monday, but what wonderful words! FJORD crossing FLAX and JAPE was a particular highlight. BLOWSAFUSE was wonderful. i'm also amused that the first word we see on monday morning is GASSY. what breakfast test?

one last thing--[Ivory or Coast] was an absolutely wonderful clue for SOAP. proof that easy cluing doesn't have to mean boring cluing.

Jeff 9:52 AM  

I L'edOL at 63D as I was breezing through this is in record time.

I did this one in a roughly counterclockwise fashion, and BRO was the last answer I filled in. I L'edOL again! Holy pop culture! (For those of you who aren't aware of what this refers to, here's a link to the much talked-about YouTube video. Google for one of the millions of remixes, responses, etc.) What's next, an All Your Base Are Belong To Us reference? An Mmm, Whatcha Say reference? For the record, I LOVE it!

Joon 9:53 AM  

maybe i spoke too soon. i actually disagree with rex about the hyphenation; BRAINWASHED and BLINDFOLDED seem like standalone single words. still.

PuzzleGirl 10:03 AM  

Easy, breezy Monday. Good theme although it reminds me a little bit too much about my life, which seems to revolve around laundry most days. I initially had FLAXEN for SILKEN and JEER for JAPE. I think the clue for DINES (eats by candlelight, say) is bogus.

Thanks for the Kathy Griffin clip. She's awesome. Her bit about meeting Lindsay Lohan is priceless.

Bill from NJ 10:32 AM  

You can't get much more pop culture than " Don't tase me, BRO."

I liked the fresh fill GASSY HOWDY
FJORD and a little gratutitous insult at 63D.

All in all . . . Interesting

fikink 10:35 AM  

Agree this puzzle was one to get the brain "just" engaged enough for a Monday morning. And ditto puzzlegirl on the Kathy Griffin feed - thanks. Don't taze me, bro' was apropos to trying to wake up on a Monday morning.
Rex, I hear "canted" often in the barn - been hanging around too many carpenters!

ulrich.flemming 10:59 AM  

It started on a low point--GASSY--but when I got into the diagonally opposite corner, everything had gotten SILKEN. A superior Monday, to me at least--tight, well-handled theme. Yes, the correct order is the icing on the cake (could be the last phrase on a theme centered around cake making).

And yes, I'm still at a skill level where I enjoy easy. BTW For us professors, .edu is also a common end for an e-mail address.

Ulrich 11:06 AM  

Shucks: blogger outed me under my full name--no idea how that happened.

ArtLvr 11:27 AM  

Very good cohesive theme, and there are other hints about getting laundry done besides SMEAR crossing SOAP at top center -- ODOR is certainly an incentive to get cracking with clean-up! I won't dwell on a GASSY connection, but STEPS at 70A recapitualtes the theme's sequence nicely.

Linking the two long down answers might be a stretch these days, but way FAR back when you had a laundress come in for wash day, your wringer was DEEP and CANTED to get the excess water running off. Also, you might have been concerned about COSTS and you didn't want inexperienced help who BLOWS A FUSE in using your equipment (including the huge roller thing that pressed the sheets, whose name I can't recall)... It was a two-day routine, washing on Mondays and ironing on Tuesdays, and the beautiful copper kettles are gardeners' collectibles now...


Luke 11:35 AM  

I agree with Rex on 63D because this was puzzle was super tough for me. A lot of words that prevented me from getting anywhere such as OUTRE, CANTED, and CABALA. Similarly there were words that I knew but just don't know very well such as ATONE and SNIPES AT. Coupled with YEN I couldn't get anywhere on the NW. The mid-section went good but have no idea what OAS is and looking it up rings no bells.

The south was just a mess for me. FJORD was my favourite but I couldn't get FLAX ( never heard of it), JAPE (I was using this word last week but it escaped me. Also CANTED crossing with ELIDE was some serious crosswordese. That didn't help at all. Also what the heck was up with 69A "Silly Birds" is GEESE? I think that cluing is abysmal since it could be any bird in my opinion.

Anyway this is the worst Monday puzzle I've done in recent memory. The cluing seemed more Tuesday than Monday to me and I would have enjoyed this as a perfect Tuesday puzzle.

jeff in chicago 11:43 AM  

I wanted to say "easy, breezy," but puzzlegirl beat me to it. Still, it was.

Loved "Don't tase me." Had HOTHEAD briefly. Also did the SOOT thing. That furnace would need to be replaced. Agree that the SOAP clue was freshly clever.

Starting with 20A we have the old TV row. Wyatt Earp, Opie and Howdy Doodie. Mini theme!

Was talking with a friend over the weekend (at DCI Championships...anyone do drum corps?) about seeing ELO in concert years ago. It was some RAD MUSIC.

Two Ponies 11:44 AM  

If you blow a fuse as gas prices soar you might be pleading "Don't tase me, bro!"
Great puzzle to start the week.

Some people call the sheet pressing machine a Mangler. A bit gruesome and probably true.

jeff in chicago 11:48 AM  

Oh...meant to say to artlvr: we had this machine in the basement as a kid that was fairly wide for pressing sheets (and other things). Mom called it a "mangle." Seems an odd word for something that is supposed to be flattening clothes.

There's a Wikipedia page for mangle, but it shows a machine unlike what we had. Ours did not involve water, and was electric and the rollers got hot when pressing the clothes.

jae 11:58 AM  

Cute theme and some fresh fill equals a nice Mon. My only problem was spelling CABALA with a K and briefly wondering what IKE had to do with "Rocks."

@omnie -- I think 69a comes from the phrase "aren't you a silly goose" (or variations of it). Granted I haven't heard anyone say that for a long while but it was fairly common "back in the day."

This theme seemed vaguely familiar. Has there been something similar in the last year or two??

HudsonHawk 12:01 PM  

@omnie -- O.A.S. = Organization of American States

Anonymous 12:01 PM  

Mangle rack: a contrivance for converting continuous circular motion into reciprocating rectilinear motion, by means of a rack and pinion, as in the mangle.
The pinion is held to the rack by a groove in such a manner that it passes alternately from one side of the rack to the other, and thus gives motion to it in opposite directions, according to the side in which its teeth are engaged.

Anyway, the mangler is named after the mangle wheel which enables the mechanical motion described above. It is from the French word mangle which was a catapult device that used a mangle wheel.


cmaury 12:20 PM  

Canted means tilted at an angle so you can pour a liquid. "He canted his decanter in order to decant his cranberry juice." How many time can you use the same word in one sentence?

ArtLvr 12:20 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtLvr 12:21 PM  

Mangle! That was the roller thing in the laundry room....

fikink 12:35 PM  

Canted is not exclusive to pouring liquid. Many "book"cases have CANTED shelves, especially those for CDs and DVDs...

Orange 12:38 PM  

SATEEN! Rex, I had three other wrong answers along the way, and I was so disheartened by confessing those in my post, I couldn't bring myself to confess that I also went with SATEEN. Now my conscience is clear.

You're right about the LIE clue. Beginning solvers do often struggle with Monday NYTs until they learn the tricks of the trade, and they shouldn't be teased by the puzzle itself.

Anonymous 12:56 PM  

I used to know a woman with millions of dollars and everything in the world and her favorite thing to do in life was sit down at her mangle.

dk 12:59 PM  

@artivr, shopping for a mangle. My mom had one as she liked to have ironed sheets. I want a small one as we use cloth napkins and with the step twins we use a lot of them. The real reason is I want to buy a tool that folds and irons at the same time (insert slacker about here)

Can't CANT (criticize) about today's puzzle. I would like to agree with all the easy-peasy comments except that I stared at "rocks" and wanted to fill with ore, knew CRIER was correct and, well ICE just slipped away. I would like to say that I was thrown off by the spelling of CABALA, but that would be a LIE.

Rex, much empathy, step cat has taken to licking my nose mornings between 4 and 5 am. It is a subtle demand for more food, however, I am thinking about giving her a ride in the new mangle. Especially if I can find the one Miguel wrote about.

@rikink, @joho would like your avatar better if it was a beet, well a mangled beet anyway.

ArtLvr 1:05 PM  

@ jeff in chicago and dk -- Yes! the huge mangle in the laundry room ran on electricity and part of the art of being a competent laundress was in sprinkling the dried sheets just the right amount and leaving them rolled up overnight. By Tuesday the sheets were uniformly just barely damp and would produce the effect of a steam ironing when passed slowly through the double rollers of the hot mangle. I was just old enough to be allowed to refill the water bottle and refit the miniature sprinkler head back on, and to pull the lever which lowered the top roller down to meet the lower one as the sheets passed through.

And Louise, our laundress, had the same birthday as my grandmother and my uncle and also Abraham Lincoln! She retired about the tiime steam irons or permanent-press fabrics became available, I suppose. Laundry days were lovely in the olden days!


fergus 1:50 PM  

The AUDI seems to be becoming the puzzle's car of choice -- even more common than the outmoded REO?

Ivory or Coast tied (TIDE?) me up for a moment or two. Too bad they're not laundry SOAPs.

Why poor GEESE get singled out for Silliness I don't know. Perhaps because they're intelligent enough to emulate and actually associate with humans? I have had quite a bit of goose interaction over the last few years, and I can assert that they're way more interesting than chickens and guinea fowl. Turkeys seem to have a bit more going on, but not as much as much as the highly communicative geese, especially the slender Chinese variety. (See also the Nicholas Kristof opinion piece from last week defending his carnivorousness. The Letters to the Times were not sympathetic in response.)

Anonymous 2:00 PM  

I really liked this puzzle! And after reading about all of the olden days of laundry drudgery, I am feeling not so bad about having to do laundry today.

I agree with all of those who don't like the 63D clue/answer. As a relatively new solver, I would not have considered this puzzle easy or even medium last April when I began to do crosswords. I would have been stuck on DOS, CANTED, ICE for rocks, and JAPE and seriously slowed down by XES, the alternate spelling of CABALA, and OUTRE. After reading Orange's book and doing a few months of puzzles I can now say I thought this was easy, but finding a puzzle like this hard is still somewhat fresh in my mind and would have been a bit annoyed with the clue then.

I loved the GEESE clue- I must still be living back in the day because I have used the silly goose phrase in the not too distant past.

Great Kathy Griffin clip. I'm going to see her in October.


Anonymous 2:07 PM  

@dk, artlvr et al: Here's a bit of useful data from Wikipedia:

Mangelwurzel or mangold wurzel (Beta vulgaris), is a root vegetable of the family Chenopodiaceae, genus Beta (the beets). Its large white, yellow or orange-yellow swollen roots were developed in the 1700s for feeding livestock.

How about that?

Addenda to artlvr: I remember stretching lace curtains on tenters. An acquaintance once told me of the time her family had done up all the curtains (for their vacation cabin, yet!) and stacked the tenters neatly. The curtains had just about dried when their cat peed on the top one.

ATTENTION: I'm miriam b, unable to access for some reason. My son connected a new monitor this weekend. That can't be the trouble, but I may as well blame him until I dope this out.

Cheers - MIRIAM B

Doc John 2:25 PM  

I was surprised to find that everyone thought this was easy. I had to pick my way through it more like the way I do a late-week puzzle, rather than being more methodical like an early-week one. Oh well, I guess I didn't have my solving hat on squarely enough today. At least I finished mistake-free!

Wasn't thrilled about CABALA. I've only seen it as "kabbalah". Is cabala going to be the new chanukkah?

Interesting that CUE IN and clue in could both work for 28D.

As for mangles, Stephen King wrote a short story about one that gets demonically possessed. It's in one of his earlier collections and called, I think, "The Mangler".

BTW, did everyone know that c.a. had some health problems? If you're reading, this, c.a., I wish you a speedy recovery- it sounds like you're well on your way.

Michael Chibnik 4:00 PM  

I liked 63D. It would be really hard to claim that this puzzle was "really, really, hard." Even a beginner would recognize that.

For what it is worth, I found this a bit harder than usual for a Monday (though still easy). I didn't see the theme until reading this blog, but nonetheless think it is really great -- especially with the laundry tasks in the right order.

Anonymous 4:25 PM  

Well, I'm off to do laundry now, good evening everybody!

(I sure wish I had a mangle...)

chefbea 4:31 PM  

thought it was a great, easy, fun monday puzzle.

@artlvr when I was groing up we did not have a mangle but we did have a laundress named Nawretha. Now when ever any of my kids are doing laundry they refer to themselves as Nawretha.

Saw a great plaque on vacation last week:

I hate four letter words - WASH IRON DUST COOK

Anonymous 5:26 PM  

My initial answer to "silly birds" was dodos. I took exception to the answer "geese," as I've heard the phrase "silly goose," but NEVER heard it used in the plural as "silly geese."

George NYC 5:49 PM  

Thought this a very pleasant, clever job. I chuckled at 63D. The only answer I thought a bit off was "cuein" for "make aware." A Monday puzzle to be emulated.

dk 6:10 PM  

@artivr and @chefbea1, as mentioned we had a mangle (Iron-Rite according to my mom who cannot believe sensible people talk about cross-word puzzles via computers. I would point out that she still believes Nixon was the victim of a hostile press) and a cleaning lady (Bertha) who among other things would fry us up pork chops for breakfast when my parents were out of town. We called it the b-breakfast, as we were sworn to secrecy by Bertha who was told to give us fruit and other healthy stuff.... like... say beets.

Speaking of food, I replicated Black and White cookies (clue DINES) and the step twins love them. Now if I can teach a native Minnesotan to eat a Black and White like a native new yawker my life will be complete.

Orange 6:24 PM  

Holy cow, both artlvr and chefbea had laundresses?? I'll bet Louise the laundress didn't think laundry day was lovely at all!

chefbea 6:50 PM  

@dk black and white cookies yummm

@Orange I don't have a laundress (it was my mother who had Nawritha) I love the four letter word WASH.
Don't really like to iron but I do it

fergus 6:59 PM  

Laundry was probably a fairly stable revenue stream due to its quality and time factors. When widespread Maytags and Whirlpools diminished the need for much of the craft, those employees probably moved on to cleaning lady status, or grim factory work.

Alex S. 7:27 PM  

My only real complaint is that I've never noticed "choo choo" being a reference to a toy train but rather a childish reference to ALL trains.

Shamik 8:23 PM  


Loved seeing FJORD and FLAX. Easy puzzle, but my longest time. Guess I'm built for comfort and not speed today.

Yikes. Mangles. I'd never seen one until 7th grade home economics cooking trimester. If you didn't bring your hair net that day, you weren't allowed to cook. You were sent to....dunh dunh DUNH....the mangle.

Backpacked in the rain all weekend and all clothes smell of mildew. So gotta go finish the wash and dry!

Anonymous 8:46 PM  

Dear Orange -- The early 1940's, when I was a tot and had a baby sister and then a baby brother, were quite different from today. No disposable diapers, etc. No Social Security for widows like Louise, whose husband died before that legislation was even enacted. Besides our family, Dad was supporting his widowed sister and her two toddlers, plus Great Aunt Maggie who'd been a milliner, and various others. Social safety nets for seniors hardly existed.

Everyone was involved one way or another in the war effort of WW II. Father was an attorney who spent long hours gratis on a Chicago area board hearing and judging sad appeals for draft exemption or deferment, Mother founded a home for children who were not orphans but who had a single parent with a heavy work schedule -- most of the kids were able to spend weekends with the parent, but at times we had some with us. (Her "Victory Garden" did not flourish, but the kids did.) We also had a series of nannies migrating from the deep South -- as soon as they found better-paid work in war production, they'd give notice and send a relative to us... a mutually helpful set-up.

Even after the war was over we did what we could -- homeless veterans would often come to the door, asking for work or for accommodation over the garage. Unfortunately, the second floor there was bare, with no heat or running water... We did drives to send food and clothing packages to relatives and others in London who suffered dire shortages years after the war's end, and we still get thanks for her efforts from their children.

I remember that Dad also was involved in writing parts of the Constitution and the comprehensive updated legal codes that the US and Allies imposed on Japan after they finally surrendered!


chefbea 9:03 PM  

@artlvr - gosh ... so much of that sounds so familiar!!

fergus 9:30 PM  

Social safety nets for seniors hardly existed.

a quote from above that revolved

Unknown 9:33 PM  

Chefbea and artlvr...same kind of experience. My mom grew up in New Mexico along Route 66. During the Depression her dad's job as the Post Master made them the stopping point for Okies and Arkie (not meant to be derogatory as in the day) and she grew the kindest heart. She spent her life in volunteer work helping others and founding assistance groups. Our social security net is all but evaporated for many people today and my sisters and I employ people with few trained skills but great work ethic. All of our grandchildren are learning that love can come from any social, economic or ethnic group when you open your house with kindness. (fried food counts, too)

Bill from NJ 9:58 PM  

(fried food counts, too)

God bless you, Phillysolver.

My experience doesn't quite match yours as I was born after my father returned from the War, but my people lacked safety nets also and stayed close to the synagogue and came away from that experience with an appreciation that we were all in this together and they worked cheek by jowl with Catholics and Protestants in their community to see that nobody fell through the cracks.

This was rural Eastern Shore Maryland during the 40s and there weren't that many Catholics and Jews in the community-at-large but all the churches in the area had an open door policy when it came to what you might call "Dire Straits" and all were welcome.

My grandparents told us stories about the local AME church "hosting" dinners for anybody that needed a dinner and my Orthodox Jewish people ate Fried chicken, chitlins with greens, and what we call Soul food today without asking what it was that they were eating because they didn't want to insult their hosts with a lot of questions.

Curiously, after the GIs came back from the war, things went back to "normal".

But, as they say, those were the days

fergus 10:28 PM  

the fog goddess dropped in, and
it is now 61 degrees outside

miriam b 11:04 PM  

Here it is Monday, and I've been posting on the Sunday thread - thanks, Crosscan for pointing that out. Had company for the weekend and evidently became completely discombobulated as a result. Well, it happens.

I'd be HARDPRESSED to find a neater Monday puzzle.

Anonymous 11:04 PM  

p.s. Thanks to ChefBea and all you fellow blog contributors who've shared similar early memories, and I apologize for wandering so far afield.. Being at the summer place in Michigan (which my grandparents had built in '31) is now forging bonds for grandchildren widely scattered, and I find the setting brings on a lot of nostalgia!

I just wanted to comment on Bill_from_NJ's last observation that things went back to "normal' after the end of WW II... I thiink they did somewhat on the surface, for a while anyway, but underneath things were changed forever.

One of our last live-in household helpers from the South came with a son my age, and Mother said fine -- he's a member of our household and needs to be enrolled in school here. Well, she single-handedly integrated our local elementary school by getting him into class with me, not without some outright disapproval from certain other "pillars of the community"... It took another decade before we had the son of noted black scientist Dr Percy Julian joining my sister's high school class, when they bought their own home in our Chicago suburb! I'm sorry to say they had a rocky first couple of years, but they stuck it out.. Fingers crossed that we can build on the best of the past with our kids, as PhillySolver does.


sillygoose 5:38 PM  

Just in case anyone checks in days later... I got a BIG LAUGH out of the clue for "geese".


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