MONDAY, Oct. 27, 2008 - Andrea Carla Michaels and Michael Blake (1690s Massachusetts witch hunt locale)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: SPIN (55D: Twirl ... or a cryptic hint to 20-, 36- and 51-Across) - "SP" goes "IN" to a common answer to make a wacky answer, which is "?"-clued.

Easy, breezy, beautiful, Cover Girl. No problem. Cute. Not one of ACME's more inspired puzzles, but it'll do. I beefed to Will that it's really more SPON than SPIN, in that you tack "SP" "ON" to the beginning of phrases, rather than inserting it "IN." He agreed, and yet I think we both agreed that the placement of "SP" fit under a broad understanding of "IN" - plus SPON, sadly, just isn't a word. I don't have much to say about this puzzle. It did inspire me to put on Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini" while I write this entry, which I am enjoying, so I appreciate the puzzle for that, at least (12D: Instrument for Rachmaninoff - PIANO).

I stumbled only a couple times, appropriately at two uncomfortable answers: GASSY (7D: Bloated, as the stomach) and ON CREDIT (39D: By deferred payment). For whatever reason, neither would come easily. Beyond that, I wondered aloud why the "Real-life" part was necessary in the SFPD clue (31D: Real-life org. seen in "Bullitt"). Will explained that it was to distinguish the answer from fictional org.'s like KAOS. But I don't think there was a fictional org. in "Bullitt." Just handsome Steve McQueen and his badass Mustang.

I also winced at the butchering of END [of] AN ERA (40A: With "of" plus 49-Down, momentous time). Cluing made me want to carry the four and divide by pi. If you can't get the "OF" in the grid, skip it.

Theme answers:

  • 20A: Aerosol tanning? (SPray of sunshine)
  • 36A: Tiffany showroom? (SPace of diamonds)
  • 51A: Babble incoherently? (SPutter nonsense)

It occurs to me that this puzzle is a LOT like yesterday's puzzle, where "ST" was added to phrases to get wacky phrases. I won't compare them - Mondays and Sundays are apples and oranges, respectively.


  • 58A: Lerner's partner for "Camelot" (Loewe) - LOEW = theater owner, LOEWE = musical theater composer.

  • 61A: Pesos : Mexico :: _____ : Turkey (liras) - argh, currency. Still weird to me that Turkey has Italy's old currency.
  • 4D: Europe/Atlantic separator, with "the" (Atlantic) - also a fine magazine, to which I subscribe.
  • 22D: 1690s Massachusetts with hunt locale (Salem) - also the cat on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch."
  • 54D: Baseball's Hideo (Nomo) - memorize. N.L. Rookie of the year in 1995. Threw two no-hitters. His name will be in the puzzle forever.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Jeffrey 9:37 PM  

Spectacularly splendid, spiffy, sparkle Spandrea.

Spiffy speech, Spex Sparker.

-Spellbound SprossSpan

Anonymous 9:39 PM  

Here I am again, first on the list.

Thanks for pointing out the SP as an add-on. I couldn't figure out exactly what was going on.

It is interesting to observe that the first two theme answers are noun phrases that remain nouns after the addition of the SP, while in the third answer, the SP turns the first word into a verb. I guess you could say that the original phrase had a verb, UTTER; but then the SP addition wouldn't even be needed.

Does anyone know the term for words that retain their meaning even after adding letters? A famous example is FLAMMABLE and INFLAMMABLE.

janie 9:58 PM  

great minds, same gutter...

my post at 7:42 p.m. on the nyt forum:
monday's michaels/blake --

is a nifty companion piece to bryant's "saints." it's a somewhat tighter piece of construction, too, in that the additional letters always fall in the same place; and we're once again left with new smile-making phrases once the requisite additional letters are in place.

pretty much an easy, breezy start to the week. fave (and most natural) of the theme fill [to my ear anyway]: SPUTTERNONSENSE, with SPRAYOFSUNSHINE runnin' a close second.

congrats, acme and michael!



wendy 10:57 PM  

I have a particular fondness for the crossing of ASPIC and ASPEN, both of which are prone to quiver, especially in PG Wodehouse literature. Before I realized how the theme was to play out, I did have Spray ON Sunshine, though!

Anonymous 11:47 PM  

A "spin" on something (e.g. a statement or event) interprets it in such a way as to give it a preferred meaning. It's often a real stretch -- like adding SP to the start of a word or phrase, thereby totally altering it.

Maybe this is what the constructor had in mind.


Pythia 12:55 AM  

Sorry to say this one felt a little bit phoned-in, both in the theme and the clues. 36A and 51A are amusing enough, but SPRAY OF SUNSHINE is stretchy/unclue-able for me. Having only three examples is light for a theme like this, but then a theme like this is rarely seen on Monday. The SP isn't "in," it's "on."

The END of AN ERA clue connection is horrible; GASSY, IDAS = ughly. Overall, alas, not too snappy.

Instead of solving puzzles and getting my nails done, have been calling voters (some who are BITTER) in battleground states, talking to ANTIS who SPUTTER NONSENSE. Also listening to GASSY SPIN and a PERT DOPE on the stump. Recent events SPELL the END of AN ERA of EXCESS and serve as an OBIT to the practice of living ON CREDIT. Hmm, maybe this is at least a timely puzzle ....

Back to the phone bank.


Anonymous 2:47 AM  

Thank you for that SPin!
I had no idea the puzzle was even in today, I pulled up Rex (I really should just make him my home page!)and saw it!

(It was truly a relief to see this puzzle, as I have been rabble-rousing in private over various issues and wasn't even sure I'd ever be published again!
SO I've been using these amazing "fellow" constructors Michael, Patrick B, Myles C as collaborators and human shields!

@jane doh
Just to respond before certain threads get out of hand...
YES, GASSY is first I thought, "how was that in MY puzzle, it must have been changed!"
but I dug up the original and have to sheepishly admit, it is indeed there (tho Michael had a cuter , less ugly clue: "Full of hot air?")

We hadn't noticed that END was also in the grid (we had clued 40A simply as "Finale" and 49D ANERA as
"The end of ___").

My guess is, since it defies the rule to have a word in the clues that is also in the grid, Will solved it by that rather tortured clue.

On a positive note, not one letter in the grid was touched, despite 50% of the clues being tweaked!

Most of Will's clues are more specific and a lot more colorful (including the only one that made the puzzle tolerable for Rex):
12D originally: "Baldwin or Steinway" and Will bumped it up about 387 notches by making it the intriguing "Instrument for Rachmaninoff".

you've hit it dead on. The impetus for the puzzle was in our original title/clue:
55D: "Add a little twist...or a hint to 20-, 36-, 51- Across?"

Anonymous 7:31 AM  

@Andrea--If you had stuck with "Baldwin or Steinway," I bet a lot of people would have been asking themselves, is there an Alec Steinway? A Stephen Steinway? A get it. I also noticed the END of AN ERA weirdness, but I knew immediately why it was done that way. A pretty straightforward Mon. puzzle. Too easy for me at this stage, but I'm sure great for newbies.

Anonymous 7:44 AM  

I thought this was a fun Monday puzzle with a cute theme with the best part being Andrea Carla Michaels name at the top. While some will criticize parts of this effort, I gasped at GASSY myself, I have nothing but admiration for anybody who gets published in the NYT.

Rex Parker 8:25 AM  

Political rants = off. Not welcome.

Weird to accuse the *puzzle* of being "ughly" and "horrible" and then to go on a self-righteous political tirade when you *know* the rules here. Really bad behavior. I hope you are doing better by Obama.


Anonymous 8:27 AM  

Steve's right. This puzzle was fun and easy, and made me feel there's hope for me yet! Why would "Add a little twist" be changed to "twirl"? I think the former is lot more colorful - and accurate.

Anonymous 8:35 AM  

for des: from Wikipedia:
The word "inflammable" came from Latin inflammāre = "to set fire to", where the prefix in- means "in" as in "inside"
The Elements of Style ("Strunk and White") says:
Flammable. An oddity, chiefly useful in saving lives. The common word meaning "combustible" is inflammable. But some people are thrown off by the in- and think inflammable means "not combustible." For this reason, trucks carrying gasoline or explosives are now marked FLAMMABLE.

Anonymous 9:11 AM  


Actually SPON exists as a proper name, a 15th century physician / explorer.

Couple this with *The cry of a successful Little Leaguer* (IMON) and you have your resolution.

Granted the former might be a bit obscure for a Monday (or any other day), it would give your WTF and/or $$#@@*!! keys a workout too!

(suggested submitted with tongue in cheek))


Anonymous 9:54 AM  

The puzzle is always a good way to start the day, but the Bullitt chase scene is a pure thrill. Better than coffee, almost.
Thanks, Tom in Pittsburgh

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

How about Spon Street in Coventry?

fikink 10:18 AM  

Congrats once again, Andrea, for another one published. An enjoyable Monday!

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

Revel in Rachmaninoff, sing along with the stars, and feel wonderfully brilliant filling in a Monday puzzle--that's what simple folk do! Thanks for the uplifting start to the week--

gotcookies 10:29 AM  

Like Wendy, I also had Spray ON sunshine at first but had no idea what the resulting ABANT was. Overall, an enjoyable Monday. Thanks, Andrea and Michael!

Margaret 10:37 AM  

I enjoyed today's version of the "insert the letters" theme far more than yesterday's. Cuter theme phrases and better fill. Congrats, ACME.

@newbie -- thanks for the in/flammable info and thanks especially for citing my favorite stylists ever -- Strunk and White.

One quick aside: We've been petsitting for our neighbor's ancient yellow lab. Yesterday morning when I got up just before dawn to take him out, the crescent moon gave me a gorgeous example of EARTHSHINE. I told the dog that I knew what that phenomenon was called but he didn't really appreciate my newfound knowledge. Another cosmic crossword coincidence!

Ulrich 10:42 AM  

@rex: I have to stick up for Jane: The S.P. was a dead give-away for what this puzzle is all about--we are told that the governor in question is a "ray of sunshine" and the "ace of diamonds"; "sputter nonsense" doesn't really fit, but then again, some people have problems with a consistent narrative. In any case, "spin" assumes in this context a new and more sinister meaning:-)

Rex Parker 10:48 AM  


You completely missed the point of my response, it seems. I was criticizing completely rude and inappropriate behavior. I'm not sure what you were "sticking up for."


Ulrich 10:51 AM  

@rex: that was part of the irony!

Rex Parker 10:55 AM  


Well then, one of us (possibly me) needs to look up the meaning of "irony."


chefbea 10:57 AM  

Thanks Andrea and Michael for a fun easy Monday puzzle. Lots of rays of sunshine here today

Had pasta last night for dinner (lasagna) , with a glass of merlot - no asti spumante. Guess we should have aspic tonight.

PuzzleGirl 11:02 AM  

Lovely puzzle -- thank you, Andrea! PuzzleHusband completed it in just about an hour, with only the slightest bit of help from me. As per usual, he was cursing Shortz throughout, but I told him he better Not curse the constructor on this one!

I was pretty sure that including Teri GARR was a shout-out to Rex and IOWAN was a shout-out to me. If it's not true, don't tell me because I prefer to believe it.

Anonymous 11:04 AM  

Hello from six weeks behind. Yes, six. Oct. 27 puzzle is # 0915. Any idea what's going on with the yo-yoing syndication?
I really enjoy your blog, Rex.
Lisa in Kingston.

Anonymous 11:20 AM  

can anyone please explain ABAFT? I too had SPRAY ON, which gave me ABANT which didn't make any sense either... but looked somehow less weird to me.
Other than that, a real joy of a puzzle.

archaeoprof 11:44 AM  

I wonder if it would ever be possible to clue the answer ASPS with that line from Raiders of the Lost Ark: "Asps. Very dangerous. You go first."

Anonymous 11:52 AM  

@mexican girl--AFT is a nautical term for the rear of the ship (probably related to AFTER). ABAFT means "toward the rear." If it doesn't make sense, then it's just another piece of crosswordese you gotta memorize.

Ulrich 12:32 PM  

I've observed at least since yesterday that the orange blogger icon no longer appears in front of a registered blogger's name at the top of a comment in my browser, nor does the trashcan that enables one to delete one's comment. I wonder if that is only a quirk of my browser or if other people have the same problem, and if so, what can be done about it.

Greene 12:37 PM  

@Rex: Thanks for including the "Camelot" excerpt. I have not seen that out-take from the Ed Sullivan show in a long time. Class act, Julie Andrews and Richard Burton in their youthful prime; modern theatre pales in comparison. Incidentally, I think I can take you down in Dorkfest 2009 so watch your back.

@Andrea: Thanks for a delightful start to my week. I always look forward to the puzzle when I see your name at the top. I did this one handily and without a single curse at Will.

foodie 12:41 PM  

I have noticed that recognizing the name of the constructor biases my feelings about the puzzle before even starting, so I've decided to avoid looking at the name before solving. As I was completing the puzzle in one of my fastest times for a Monday, I thought I love this, who did it? And was pleased, though not surprised, to see Carla & Michael's names. I think I'll get to the point where I'll recognize the puzzle's author by the style of the puzzle but I'm not there yet.

My absolute favorite is SPUTTER NONSENSE as we all know people who do just that. SPRAY OF SUNSHINE is very evocative and I can see someone using it in a novel. I also like SPACE OF DIAMONDS but I think the clue is too literal for it. I can't think of an ideal one, but I feel it could be something to do with "Lucy in the Sky".

foodie 12:51 PM  


I cannot find my trashcan either...I looked in older posts and the trashcan is still there. I recall that someone else asked about it a couple of days ago.

It would be a shame to lose the ability to delete, especially since we cannot edit.

PhillySolver 1:08 PM  

I see I have indeed lost the trash can and avatars on Firefox. I am testing it on Explorer and at least see the avatars.

HudsonHawk 1:12 PM  

Congrats on getting another puzzle published, ACME. I expected 51A to have an "OF" in the phrase, though. If GASSY could pass the breakfast test, I wondered if the answer to 43D "Not sweet" could be BITCHY. Nah, probably not.

Anonymous 1:33 PM  

Ho hum.

Only three theme entries, all of them mediocre. The "cryptic" spin was just that .. cryptic. SP didn't go "in" anything as rightly pointed out by Rex.

Maybe the solid ST adder from Sunday is influencing my views, sorry about the grumpy note.


Shamik 1:40 PM  

@amc: I liked the theme clues and liked this good Monday puzzle.

dk 1:40 PM  

oh Andrea, GUSHES I. A puzzle that includes a reference to SF, musicals, The BEATLES and Tru.

@jane doh, I apprechiate your use of the puzzle clues as a vehicle for political commentary: PERT DOPE is inspired.

Anonymous 2:02 PM  

Thank you Steve I!
One more thing to memorize.

Mike the Wino 2:20 PM  

@Lisa in Kingston.........

......Jamaica or the Olympic Peninsula? We've never been to the former, but pass through the latter all the time. Nice town.

After the toughy (for me) on Saturday, today's puzzle was fun, breezy and a great start to the week. Thanks, ACME!

Mike the Wino 2:24 PM  

@all who asked, I just commented and it has a trash can icon next to it as long as I'm logged in to Blogger. I use FireFox as well, so maybe the problem you're experiencing is a setting that got changed during the latest update? Just a thought, but I really have no idea....

Doug 2:34 PM  

As a mediocre puzzle solver, I thought this was the easiest one I've seen in The Times in a couple of years. Finished super-fast, got stuck nowhere. Probably record time for me. Thanks for the pix of Steve's Mustang GT, tricked out by the famous actor himself. One of the all-time greatest chase scenes in the movies.

miriam b 3:06 PM  

Nice to see IRA clued with reference to Gershwin. I don't like to burden my mind with financial matters just now.

A local drama workshop produced Camelot about 1973. My son, in junior high at the time, was an extra. I guess they use the word "super" in grand opera only? Anyway, he roped me into helping make costumes, and I rose through the ranks and became the costumer and dresser for the man who played King Arthur. This person was none other than the then unknown Brian Dennehy! He's a very nice man, and very funny, and also a perfectionist where acting is concerned. He's quite tall, and I'm 5'5", so in order to get the costume right I sometimes had to stand on a step stool.

We discovered via idle chitchat that we'd both been born in Bridgeport Hospital, and that we had attended different undergraduate faculties at Columbia. These events were not simultaneous. One of us is younger.

No trashcan here, either,

chefbea 3:21 PM  

@ulrich I use safari. The orange thingy and trash can have been missing for a few days. as has the trash can. On Safari - no orange, and no trash can

dk 3:31 PM  

I own the movie Bullitt and watch it about twice a year (rainy and cold Sunday's are best). Re: The chase scene please note that a green VW beatle and a white Camero or Firebird are passed several times. Does not take away from the chase just something a dork might notice and share.

Anonymous 3:37 PM  

Does Tweety ____ really need the "of Warner Bros cartoons" addendum? Is there any other Tweety ____?

RodeoToad 3:39 PM  

I don't need no trashcan. I work without a net, baby.

When the Atlantic dropped the short story from its regular print edition, I grumbled. When they dropped the puzzle, I canceled. One word for you, Rex: Appeaser.

ACME, dug your puzzle, despite the passive-aggressive avoidance of anything Wade-related. You could at least be a little less obvious about it.

Remember Pert shampoo? I stopped buying shampoo several years ago--what little I need is adequately covered by bottles I steal from hotels. As a result, I've missed out on entire generations of shampoo and still think Pert, Suave and Gee You're Hair Smells Terrific! are viable brands.

Ulrich 3:41 PM  

@all who responded: I'm of course logged in as blogger--it wouldn't display my blogger name in blue otherwise. Since the problem seems to occur over a variety of browsers and platforms, my guess (uneducated, for sure) is that google is tinkering with their software.

Jeffrey 3:42 PM  

I knew my secret would be discovered one day. My full name is Tweety Crosscan, and I am sick of being mistaken for that damn yellow bird.

foodie 3:48 PM  


I did a little experiment (sorry, can't help the scientist stuff). Since we had the trash can all the way through Friday, I went back to last Monday to determine if posting on that day would give me a trashcan. So, I posted something, and no trashcan. More interesting: The trashcan that was there for my previous post has now disappeared.

So that tells me that there is a setting in blogger that dis-allows the availability of traschcan both on the latest posts and on previous posts of the day. The trashcan is still there for my posts on Tuesday trough Friday...

The fact that Mike the Wino can see one makes it likely that it is not due to any change in Rex's settings. I'm signed into Blogger (Firefox on Mac), so that's not it either. But the blogger update idea seems plausible.

Anonymous 4:00 PM  

@mike the wino: Kitsap peninsula, actually, just before the Hood Canal floating bridge and the O/P.
Lisa in Kingston

Mike the Wino 4:07 PM  

@Lisa in Kingston,

That's what I meant. My folks live in Port Ludlow and we have property in/near Brinnon overlooking Hood Canal. Beautiful country!

Orange 4:13 PM  

Hey, Wade: My husband and I usually use Pert Plus with conditioner, and I've been buying Suave products for my kid and myself. Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific is available mainly via nostalgic-product websites. Remember that early '80s shampoo that had beer in it? I want that one. Holy crap! Vermont Country Store has both.

Anonymous 4:27 PM  

@wade: Pert is still very much alive.

@dk: that's interesting about the green & white cars seen in the scene. I love noticing stuff like that ... so many times in films the continuity just isn't there. When I watched the clip this morning all I could remember was those steep, terrifyingly steep hills I had to negotiate when I decided to buy a stick shift for a new, sporty car because everybody I talked to said automatic just wouldn't be right. Well, I ask you, what is right about being on a hill vertical with the emergency brake on just to keep you from falling off said hill? And slowly releasing the brake so you can move forward (which is upward) if you hit the gas and the clutch in a delicate dance which I obviously didn't know. That was my last stick .. until I ended up in an Alfa Romeo in Italy, but that's a whole other story.

Orange 4:28 PM  

The trash can problem has been reported to Blogger. Maybe they'll restore that soon. Maybe it'll take a while. If you use that function a lot, be sure to preview your comments first while the delete function is missing.

Anonymous 4:56 PM  

Great Monday puzzle. Flew through and loved the puzzle and the fill.

@des and @newbie: thanks for the clarification on FLAMMABLE and INFLAMMABLE. A pet peeve of mine is the addition of -al to words where it doesn't change the meaning. One of the premier journals in my field is the "Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey" which would be better named without the -al's. There are lots of examples. I'm not aware of a name for a word that doesn't change with additions such as in- or -al.

dk 5:32 PM  

@wade and @orange, I will be in Vermont next week and near the venerable Vermont Country Store let me know if you would like some Sen-Sen.

@joho, my vision of my past cars is clouded by the smoke of thier burning clutches. One was a Fiat.

Anonymous 6:08 PM  

@Victoral in Rochesteral,
I am totally with you! It's ironical!

Gosh, I hope this trashcan thing gets resolved and then people can go back and delete all those comments that were not about Michael's and my magnificent opus!!!
NOW I know how all the other constructors feel when I go off on one of my "tangents"! ;)

(Will Patrick, my love, ever forgive me for last Thursday?!)

Today in therapy (while discussing my passive-aggressiveness, story-telling-ability jealousy towards Wade, my confusion with actually sort of agreeing with Jane D'Oh (my arch-nemiss-miss), my father issues about pleasing Rex, my inability to feel worthy of the praise I get from crosscan, mac, joho, et identity-confusion of continually being called "Carla" by Foodie, my unrequited crushes on married men Ulrich and DK...not to mention green mantis, whom I thought was a married man...)
(the list goes on and on, as Orange and PuzzleGirl are well aware)
I suddenly blurted out,
"Damn, I could have made it CASED/SASSY instead of CAGED/GASSY!"

My fabulous therapist/best selling-author of "My Answer is No, if That's OK with you" Nanette Gartrell simply smiled "patiently" and asked for a copy of today's puzzle!)

RodeoToad 6:13 PM  

The insidious thing about nostalgia is it makes you forget that the past sucked. It did suck, you know. Hardly anything worked, and if it did work it made a lot of noise. The only thing that didn't suck was that Evel Knievel motorcycle that you locked into a ramp and got the wheels going really fast with a crank mechanism and you pushed this release button and the thing would go for miles. If that store has one of those, get it for me. I used to think Rock'em Sock'em Robots didn't suck, but a friend of mine found some recently and they suck.

Anonymous 6:22 PM  

@Wade - Just wait until you get your Evel Knievel motorcycle. That sucks too.

miriam b 6:22 PM  

@wade: Remember Mr. Machine? Now there's something that worked and didn't suck. It did make noise: it beeped. My son had one and loved it, would like to find one for his 7-year-old, but finds that it's now a collector's item and is hoping it'll be reissued.

@acme: What am I, chopped liver? I often extol you too, but you gave me nary a mention. I'm taking this up with my therapist this week.

foodie 6:28 PM  

@Andrea, or is it Carla, if it helps-- One reason I was desperately looking for the trashcan is that I wanted to delete the post and replace it with the same one but with Andrea in lieu of Carla.

Now I need to see my therapist about my increasing senior moments, but I don't even remember if I have one.

@Wade, yes, sadly some of us do need both the trash can and nostalgia.

@rex, I forgot how many times I've posted today. Feel free to delete one of them. My trashcan is missing.

chefbea 6:36 PM  

@andrea you are great and I love your puzzles and I don't have a therapist or a trash can.

Jeffrey 6:45 PM  

Crossword puzzles are my therapy. It is much cheaper.

Mike the Wino 7:32 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike the Wino 7:35 PM  

Ya know what would be really cool? A rebus puzzle (or whatever you call them) with little pictures of trashcans in one of the squares for each of the theme answers, whatever the theme was.

That's all I got. Except, didja notice the previous comment I deleted with my trashcan?!? Heh, heh, heh.....

Bill from NJ 7:39 PM  


It is always a good day when you get a puzzle published on several different levels.

You are the most accessible constructor we all know and we love and respect you for that

chefbea 7:45 PM  

good to hear from you bill from nj. my best to one Barbara from another

JannieB 8:15 PM  

Hey Bill - nice to see you again. Hope all is well.

ACME - you really started my week off well - thanks for a very enjoyable Monday entry.

And I use Safari and my trash can has been missing for about a week.

Doc John 8:28 PM  

A fun, quick Monday puzzle. A little too "fill in the blank" for me, though.

@ dk- I tried to do something like that in my blog but haven't had the time to do it lately (and also didn't want to have the same old trite arguments). Looking at it with fresh eyes, I guess it would help to have that day's grid as a reference (I'll see if I can fix the old postings- all two of them). Rex, now I realize how time-consuming blogging is.

@ Ulrich- you know who else was referred to as a "ray of sunshine" early in her career? Joan Crawford! Yes, THAT Joan Crawford.

For Wade: Check this out in eBay

fergus 8:31 PM  

Shampoo nostalgia: PSSSSSSST

It's not a dry shampoo, oh no,
It's not wet shampoo,
Just spray and brush is all you do,
Then go, with P SS SS SST!

I would have flattered the constructor, regardless of the possible therapeutic anxiety this might have caused. Your puzzles seem to have a graceful style about them. Even though I may not be able to identify that elegant style unattributed, I do easily recognize it once the author is revealed.

Anonymous 8:48 PM  

@bill from nj: nice to hear from you ... hope this means that you're doing well.

Third and out.

Anonymous 10:03 PM  

A baseball error, alas, in 25 down. First, second, and third are indeed bases, but home is not. It's a plate.

Rex Parker 10:12 PM  

Alas, do your homework:

"These three bags along with home plate form the four bases at the corners of the infield" - Wikipedia

"the base designated as home plate" - Britannica

"Base: The four points of the baseball diamond (first through third bases and home plate) that must be touched by a runner in order to score a run." - PBS/Ken Burns "Baseball"

I'm sure I could go on.


Bill from NJ 12:16 AM  

To all-

As the old saying goes, I'm doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances.

I still have problems putting more than a couple thoughts together, so commenting on puzzles is still out of the question, but I wanted to join the love-fest for ACME.

I am a lurker, though.

Anonymous 4:31 AM  

hey good lurker, whatcha got cooker?
Miss you!
the lovefest is mutual and you know i only write 'em as an excuse to blog!

Anonymous 3:28 PM  

I thought this was a perfect Monday puzzle. Really liked sputter nonsense.
Since I read this blog regularly, I get all excited when I see a puzzle by Andrea Carla Michaels. I want to turn to the nearest person and say "Hey! I know her! Er, sorta. Well, see, I read this blog. I mean, I've never actually talked to her, but...She's hilarious! You should really hear what she has to say about John Lithgow."
I don't actually DO that, but I want to.

Anonymous 4:15 PM  


Boy, Rex you were just WAITING for someone to comment that Home Plate was not a base....

- - Robert

Waxy in Montreal 4:32 PM  

Syndicate non sequitur -
And if you buy PERT in Canada, in French part of the product name is spun to become PRET, meaning "ready".

Anonymous 12:38 AM  

big hug to syndakate!

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