MONDAY, Mar. 9, 2009 - B Keller (Popular chain of chicken restaurants / Coffee liqueur brand / Domed domicile / Easily torn bands of tissue)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: "Keep Going!" - theme answers are four phrases encouraging someone to continue doing ... whatever it was he/she was doing ...

Word of the Day: COVEY - n., pl. -eys.

  1. A family or small flock of birds, especially partridge or quail. See synonyms at flock1.
  2. A small group, as of persons.
Dan Feyer, are you listening? Don't post your times on Facebook any more. I knew before I ever started this puzzle that Dan had finished in under two minutes. And on paper, not the computer, which is just ... sick. So I went in thinking it must at least be on the easy side. And like all Mondays, it was easy enough, but my speed-solving skills clearly aren't up to snuff. I was well over four minutes on this one. I was just completely out of sync with the puzzle from the get go - figured the theme would involve repeating initial words after I got TRY TRY AGAIN. Wrong. Never considered CADENCE for 23A: "Sound off - one, two ...," e.g. until I had virtually every cross. That clue sounds more like a COMMAND than a CADENCE. Had the initial "C" at 23D: Small flock and could think only of COVEN ... a clearly wrong answer that nonetheless got (falsely) confirmed in letter after letter, even though I could see that the final "N" couldn't be right. That "Y" in COVEY may have been the last thing I filled in. TIA MARIA is something I've never had, so huge hole there (46A: Coffee liqueur brand). Then I misread the clue at 32D: Easily torn bands of tissue (ligaments) as [Easily torn brands of tissue] and got completely stymied. Didn't look like any brand of tissue I'd ever heard of.

Now, with the exception of CADENCE, which seems poorly clued ("Sound off" etc. exhibits a cadence, as all rhythmic speech does - that does not make it CADENCE, per se), all of the above is just bad luck for me. Nothing to sneer at. But BOOKMAN (51A: Bibliophile)!?!?! Really? That answer just Kills an already half-lame puzzle. In a puzzle where the theme answers are this ... unremarkable, you need your non-theme fill to be sound. BOOKMAN is not. It is a very popular name for bookstores and also appears to be a reasonably common surname, but nobody but nobody says "Oh, I'm a BOOKMAN." How about SNOWMAN? DOORMAN? Hell, I rewrote this corner in less than 30 seconds using IRON MAN. Come on. I love the letter "K" more than most other people, more than is natural, perhaps, but when all it gets you is a half-made-up word like BOOKMAN (no attestations in the database!) and crosswordese like IKE, you need to trade it in for something else.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: "Keep going!" ("Try, try again") - this is not a self-standing phrase. It is the tail end of an adage: "If at first you don't succeed..."
  • 11D: "Keep going!" ("Hang in there!")
  • 25D: "Keep going!" ("Don't stop now!")
  • 58A: "Keep going!" ("Never say die!")

There is one clue I didn't not understand until well after the puzzle was solved and I'd had a chance to think about it for a while: 30D: It might go from 0 to 60 minutes (meter). This made zero sense to me. My guess, now, is that it refers to the METER in a taxi. Is that it? That does not seem like Monday cluing to me. I had no idea that METERs had defined upper limits like that. I figured they just ran. That range seems arbitrary (though going over the hour would require another digit on your METER ... if you wanted the time to read in hours and not just minutes). Oh crap, I Just Realized the type of METER in question. Ugh. HA ha. Whoops. Man, I was going to plead geographic ignorance (as I hardly ever see a taxi meter), but the METER in question is something I see every day:

Still, there's something yucky and clunky about that clue. Definitely not Monday smooth. Other problems include having ENURES where INURES was supposed to go (48D: Hardens), and having fabric ignorance issues at 65A: Decorative upholstery fabric (toile). The word just never comes easily. Always feels like there are many options. TUILE. That's a thing, right?


  • 11A: Harley-Davidson, slangily (hog) - yay, slangily!
  • 14A: Domed domicile (igloo) - do all IGLOOs look lie they do in cartoons? Are they all domed? I guess that's the most efficient shape, for a number of reasons.
  • 29A: Neighbor of an Azerbaijani (Armenian) - no-looked this one. Sometimes you can tell from the crosses that the answer can be only one thing. Warning: no-looking an answer can cause abysmal, embarrassing failure.
  • 31A: Cheap seat cover material (vinyl) - weird, interesting clue
  • 33A: Pizazz (elan) - easy, but what's with the spelling on "pizazz?" I think the preferred spelling is with four Zs, and yet I see that it has three accepted spellings. The four-z model, and then two 3-z models (two "z"s in the middle or two "z"s at the end). How hard would it be to make a decisions!?
  • 56A: Baby food (whose name is an anagram of 55-Across) (puree) - never saw this clue, which is good, because, as my wife said, "Do I really need to be told it's an anagram of RUPEE?" Just write a good clue. Leave the anagram detection up to us. I would have loved to acknowledge the interesting succession of RUPEE and PUREE, but the puzzle has obnoxiously shouted its own cleverness at you already.
  • 5D: Best Actress for "Two Women" (Loren) - No one will win "Best Actress" for "Watchmen," which I saw yesterday, but the guy who played Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) was Amazing. Perfect. By far the best thing about the movie.
  • 24D: Licorice-tasting seed (anise) - only recently realized how common this word is. If it weren't, in its way, a completely ordinary word, I would start calling it crosswordese.
  • 54A: "Positive thinking" Norman Vincent _____ (Peale) - very interesting inclusion given today's theme. Nice.
  • 8D: Where Springsteen was born, in song (U.S.A.) - actually, it's THE U.S.A., but OK. My initial thought: "... somewhere in Jersey."
  • 18D: Village People hit whose title completes the line "It's fun to stay at the ..." ("Y.M.C.A.") - the Village People (or actors who look like them) are *in* "Watchmen"'s opening title sequence (another good part of the movie).
  • 47D: Dick was his running mate in '52 and '56 (Ike) - in "Watchmen," Dick is still president in 1986 because we got rid of term limits after we won in Vietnam. Our not-so-secret weapon = the newest version of the A-bomb: a giant blue guy who obliterates things just by pointing at them. If you like viscera, this is the movie for you.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 8:59 AM  

A nice encouraging word or two for this morning’s puzzle. Good way to start the week.
- Tom in Pittsburgh

Kurisu 9:00 AM  

I agree that BOOKMAN was painful.

(I thought Watchmen was well done; of course they couldn't fit in everything from the graphic novel but they did an admirable job.)

Laura 9:03 AM  

I thought meter referred to a parking meter (which I got only after getting almost all the crosses because it didn't make much sense).

And I originally put in bookfan which I thought made more sense than bookman, but still not enough...

OxfordBleu 9:13 AM  

Bookman has been around since the 16th century so I don't think it really qualifies as "half made up"!!

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

The conclusion of "if at first you don't succeed" is "try second base"!

Hated 'bookman"

xyz 9:16 AM  

Rather easy Monday. For a relative novice I had no roadblocks at all, several groans BOOKMAN, SHAPER and a downright wrong cluing that despite it I got that answer in a second. Biblical clues need crosses for me ...

Small semantic gripe: (virtually) all animals SMELL but skunks STINK. :-)

I have a real beef with LIGAMENTS 32D: Easily torn bands of tissue. Trust me as an Orthopaedic specialist of 30 years, if ligaments were "easily torn" we would be falling down, or elbows would give away sideways and our heads would fall off our necks a lot more than we see on a day-to-day basis. Again medical clues fail the test of reasonable accuracy. Maybe joint supporters or provides joint support ...

RodeoToad 9:17 AM  

Tough for me too. I gotta stick up for "bookman," though. It's a term, maybe kind of slangy and in-the-knowy, people in the rare book trade use to refer to themselves. I learned it from reading memoirs of Larry McMurtry, who turned Archer City, Texas, into the Hay-on-Wye of the Great Plains. If you google the term and "McMurtry" or "collector" you'll see various hits of it used in that context.

I was stumped on what kind of meter they were talking about too. Also misread "brand" of tissue.

joho 9:17 AM  

I had TWILL before I got TOILE.

I pretty much agree with Rex's writeup. Well, I think I liked it a little bit better. The one thing I can take away as a big positive is a shout out to making my Monday more productive ... I have to remember to HANGINTHERE and NEVERSAYDIE. Have I ever mentioned that I hate Mondays?

Rex Parker 9:18 AM  

Tell me with a straight face that you've used BOOKMAN recently (i.e. ever). Go ahead. You can't. The end. The fact that you can find it in something Ben Jonson wrote means nothing.


Anonymous 9:21 AM  

Perhaps BOOKMAN would have been better clued as "Library cop on "Seinfeld."

Rex Parker 9:22 AM  

@Wade - OK, I'll believe that the word has some cred inside the bookseller industry (I did acknowledge that many bookstores seem fond enough of it to put it in their names). Doesn't make me like it any more.

Orange 9:24 AM  

Tuile is apparently a thin almond cookie. Tulle and toile and moire are all fabrics.

In my blog, I mentioned Seinfeld's library-detective nemesis, Mr. Bookman, and the attractive font called Bookman. IRON MAN would've been a good trade, though.

Thanks, Dr. redanman, for confirming my sense that ligaments hardly ever tear. Am glad to know that "easily torn" ligaments would result in our heads falling off our necks.

Anonymous 9:24 AM  

@Redanman: Fully agree concerning ligaments (Ligament: conective tissue connecting bone to bone vs. tendon: connects muscle to bone). Ligaments are not "easily" torn. One could-arguably- say they are "frequently" torn, but "easily" is just wrong.

Kurt 9:26 AM  

While I found the puzzle to be pretty easy, I agree with Commander Rex's critique. The cluing was pretty underwhelming. And BOOKMAN stinks...just like skunks.

xyz 9:43 AM  

@Orange Falling off is literary license, perhaps more like bouncing off the chest like a broken bobble doll.

Hold that image all day .... I had black humor fun with the clue, I'll stop now.

Anonymous 9:44 AM  

I'm always startled when Rex finds challenge in a puzzle I completed without trouble (since I frequently tank on puzzles he thinks are easy!) This one was pretty easy for me.

So it goes. I do agree about some of the lame clues/answers! "Bookman" seemed weird to me, too.

One more little comment, mainly aimed at those who construct crosswords, and sorry if this has been mentioned too much before, but books of the Bible are in a different order in the Hebrew Bible than in the Christian Old Testament. So "book after Daniel" isn't Hosea everywhere! Sometimes it's Ezra (but, of course, that wouldn't have fit...)

Happy Monday, all.

mac 10:02 AM  

Agree with most of what Rex said. All I thought when "bookman" showed up was: like leg man? (term a friend uses for her husband.

The term try, try again reminded me of a line a CT museum uses: Look, Look Again.

This bibliophile needs to thank Orange for unintentionally sending her to a bookstore to find a Calvin Trillin book, instead buying friends' son's book, which had a fantastic review by Janet Maslin in the NYT this morning! The book is "The Cradle" by Patrick Somerville.

Doug 10:03 AM  

Bookman did kind of ruin an otherwise good puzzle for me. I screwed it up because I put in DDE (after rupee) for the tricky dick clue. Meter confused me, too. The ligament clue should have been "commonly torn" rather than "easily torn" which would mollify all the complaining orthopaedic types. Yes?

HudsonHawk 10:08 AM  

I have to agree with Rex and Sandy. PUREE didn't need the extra cluing. The clue for 18D (YMCA) was overly long, too.

I didn't figure out METER until I came here. I had METE_ and just dropped in the R, well, just because.

As for Bruce, I wanted BORN TO RUN, but that's not a "locale" (sorry, Rex). And Jackie Earle Haley was awesome in Breaking Away. Wow, that was 30 years ago.

retired_chemist 10:14 AM  

Only quibble is with 56A. The clue calls for the name of a baby food. PUREE is a liquidized, creamy substance which MIGHT be a baby food. Or not. But very gettable, since RUPEE was obvious and how many anagrams can there be? I count 59, actually, but still....

Jeffrey 10:24 AM  

The IGLOO I live in is kind of boxy.

BOOKMAN is a long forgotten Justice League member, who read to villains and bored them to death. Kind of like this puzzle did to me.

3 1/2 minutes for me.

PlantieBea 10:31 AM  

My mother had TIA MARIA on her shelf--used for making some kind of modified Black Russian.

ANISE is a native plant to some southern states. We have cultivars growing in our yard. Its crushed leaves are very fragrant.

Agree with BOOKMAN, CADENCE comments. Wanted litters for NIPPERS, and Timer for METER at first.

jeff in chicago 10:38 AM  

How do you keep a skunk from smelling? Plug it's nose. Hahahahahaha.

Sorry. (What am I? Seven?)

Enjoyed this one just fine. Except for the spelled out ESSES clues by "tees." Have I mentioned I hate the spelled out letters?

Perhaps I shall seek out some POPEYES chicken for lunch.

Two Ponies 10:48 AM  

Yes, this was an odd puzzle. I didn't mind since it was not a Monday no-brainer.
Is this a debut puzzle? I don't recognize the constructor.
@ the redanman, Thank you for the funny visual I will carry with me today. A broken bobble head, love it.

Shamik 10:50 AM  

BOOKMAN made me wince. PUREE is what all babies eat unless they're drinking milk or formula. So, it IS baby food. Agree with Rex that it wasn't a great puzzle, though I liked the theme.

Disagree with Rex in that for 3:41...this one rates as easy. Will never be in the Dan Feyer category and that's ok.

mccoll 10:58 AM  

Pretty easy puzzle, I thought, even for Monday.
Cadence refers to a cadence count for marching. Sgt/majors use it in the army. There is a song which starts,"You've got a good man on your left. You're right!" I agree with the anonymous comment that ligaments are frequently torn but it isn't that easy to do.

archaeoprof 11:08 AM  

@redanman: do ACLs tear, or do they just kind of explode? When my wife "tore" her ACL, the MRI showed there wasn't really anything left of it...

I liked this puzzle. Are we perhaps off to another good start for this week?

Margaret 11:17 AM  

Two skunks in the woods stumble onto a tent revival. They crawl under the corner of the tent and listen to the preacher for a few moments. When he concludes, one skunk turns to the other and says, "Well, you heard the man. Let us spray."

That was my kids' favorite joke. It also got me off on a wrong start at 1A from which I never quite regained any rhythm (my first try for CADENCE.) ROMPERS for NIPPERS, IGA for MGR, SKIFF for SCULL, AMARETTO for TIAMARIA.... you get the picture. Slowest Monday in ages.

xyz 11:20 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan 11:24 AM  

Sorry dude. I only advertise my times at my own site, but that one was notable (and very lucky)...

Anonymous 11:36 AM  

relative difficulty medium-challenging???

i wanted to get my money back from the nytimes -- this 'puzzle' was absurdly easy, no thinking involved.

no accounting for perceived difficulty levels, i guess.

ArtLvr 11:39 AM  

This was one of my fastest Mondays ever, though I won't catch Crosscan or other experts here!

The BOOKMAN was no problem... One of my most cherished books is "A Gentle Madness" by Nicholas Basbanes, a bibliophile who writes about others of his ilk. Included here was Walter H Blumenthal, a collector of oddities like a nearly six-foot-tall atlas and author of "Bookmen's Bedlam". My own favorite bookman holds court in an ancient alley just off the main commercial drag in downtown Evanston IL and finds me perfect gifts for special connoiseurs from politicos to theater buffs.


jeff in chicago 11:52 AM  

@ArtLvr: Bookman's Alley! I love that store. It seems almost magical. You walk throught it and it seems so much bigger. It's like little rooms appear out of nowhere. Great place.

ArtLvr 11:57 AM  

@ thanks, Jeff -- I was going to say Bookman's Alley and then wasn't sure if I was remembering correctly. My adorable guy there looks a bit like Santa Claus, too!


davidb 11:59 AM  

Jackie Earl Haley was also fantastic in Little Children, a relatively overlooked gem of a movie. My partner and I saw it the day before she went into labor to bring our little child into the world. Don't think the movie had anything to do with it, though.

retired_chemist 12:11 PM  

@ Shamik re PUREE - I continue to disagree. The baby food you describe is an example of a PUREE, which is the more general term. Lots of purees are not baby food. "Name" by definition limits a more general term. This is vice versa. Same logic as this: "sedan" is an example of a vehicle, but "vehicle" is not the name of a sedan.

Anonymous 12:16 PM  

Skunks don't smell. They spray their attackers, but even after doing so, don't specifically smell. Their attackers do.

George NYC 12:16 PM  

I found the cluing in this puzzle to be quite off.
What a skunk does. My dog SMELLS, sometimes. A skunk…stinks (at least). Big difference. Can take a week of tomato juice baths to get rid of skunk stink.
Oared racing shell SKULL. The words shell/skull are practically the same in this context.
“Sound off-one, two…” e.g. CADENCE. Huh?
Cheap seat cover material VINYL. Wow. Do people still put vinyl on their sofas? And wasn’t that “tacky” as opposed to cheap?
Bibliophile BOOKMAN. Never heard this word. Ever.
Playful puppies NIPPERS. Surely such puppies are more than this. And so many better ways to clue those who take nips. Where have you gone, W.C. Fields?
Baby food whose name [?] is an anagram of 55 across. PUREE . Is puree a name? If so I stand corrected. But the (lame) anagram should simply be one of those little grid extras. Not a part of a clue.
Woodworking tool SHAPER. Hmm. How about “snowman maker”? “Pizza maker”? “Policy maker”? The possibilities are endless.
Gear teeth KOGS. I like this! Yay!
Easily torn bands of tissue LIGAMENTS. Are they that easy to tear?
Then there’s: It might go from 0 to 60 minutes METER. I am guessing this means Parking Meter. Lots of these meters don’t go from 0 to 60, certainly not those in any city I have visited in the last 10 yrs. More like 0 to 15, if you’re lucky.
Do we really need a 6 line clue for “YMCA”? (18D).

Greene 12:20 PM  

I agree with Rex that this was a medium challenging puzzle for a Monday. I know this has been said before, but it does seem like Monday has been moved up a notch in difficulty lately. Still fun and easy, but not quite as simple.

I can't see RUPEE these days without thinking of Slumdog Millionaire, a most enjoyable film despite some slightly contrived plotting (I haven't seen this many coincidences since Act 2 of Showboat).

Doug 12:23 PM  

@Plantiebea, I think a Black Russina made with Tia Maria instead of Kahlua would either be a black Cuban or a Black Bolivian? That's my geopolitical satire out of the way for the day, whew.

I've taken a chill pill, and give a thumbs up to the puzzle. There are some clunkers and I stumbled from the get go, with SPRAY, STINK then finally SMELL. I thought RUPEE/PUREE was cute enough for Monday. Like many, I guessed Georgian not ARMENIAN.

Anonymous 12:36 PM  

ENURE vs INURE. I made this mistake too. When I checked the dictionary, under ENURE it says see INURE. I know amend and emend are different words. But it looks like you need the crossing for this pair. Any other words where changing the initial I to E doesn't change the word?

Rex, thumbs up or thumbs down on the Watchmen?

Glitch 12:49 PM  

Ok puzzle, nothing much to write about good or bad that hasn't already been said, so I'll pick on @George NYC a bit ;-)

Unless you were kidding, it is sCull crossing Cogs (or even if you were)

I read Cheap seat cover material as upholstery, usually described as "durable and easy to clean" vinyl --- it's still used on cheap seats.

A SHAPER is a real tool, listed in catalogues along with saws, sanders, drills and other power tools.

Otherwise a fine comentary, and I especially agree that puree is a way a food is prepared, plus "name" and "baby" in the clue implied "brand of baby food" to me.

I'm sure the culinary sub committee will add more on this.


Anonymous 12:53 PM  

Finally, a controversy I have personal experience to help solve.

BOOKMAN is a perfectly acceptable and widely used term for the people who are in the book trade, and especially rare/antiquarian books. There is even a trade publication titled "AB Bookman's Weekly". We used to place ads in it for books we were searching for, and I had an employee who's entire job was to read the journal's ads to find things advetised for sale that were on our desiderata list. Now largely supplanted by online sources, however.

retired_chemist 12:58 PM  

@ Karen -

Inclose is outdated but synonymous with enclose. Inculturation and enculturation appear as a pair in my dictionary. Surely there are other cases. Arises from in- and en- prefixes having the same intrinsic meaning (within or into). Which would of course say that in principle they should always be enterchangeable, but this is Inglish and it esn;t so. :-)

Anonymous 1:08 PM  

"BOOKMAN (51A: Bibliophile)!?!?! Really? That answer just Kills an already half-lame puzzle."

Dude? Really? Kills an already half-lame puzzle? Bookman is perfectly legit. Oh, and "sound off" IS a cadence, per se.

George NYC 1:13 PM  

@glitch yes, mistyped scull; was still hurting from skunk maybe. I read the seat cover as referring to clear plastic covers people put over upholstery to prevent stains etc but take your point. Ditto w SHAPER. I just think weird clue/answer for a Monday.

chefbea 1:19 PM  

Very easy monday puzzle. Wasn't sure about meter.

You can puree anything. And a baby can eat it. But I've never heard anyone say "I better go to the store to buy puree for the baby"

@margaret - cute skunk joke

Bob Kerfuffle 1:32 PM  

Liked this puzzle. Though easy, it was somehow . . . inspiring.

One write-over (was I the only one?): 58A, had NEVER, recklessly put in NEVERGIVEUP before checking any crosses, had to replace with NEVERSAYDIE.

Jerry 1:37 PM  

Always thrilled when I find the puzzle easier than Rex!

The marching command goes: "Sound off, one two, sound off three four — cadence count — one two three four one two THREE FOUR!"

Anonymous 1:45 PM  

The controversy is a fascinating example of what happens when some folks know too much. It appears to me that the expert solvers got tripped up by the multitude of possibilities in their heads while the rest of us found it much easier because we didn't know any better!

I tend to let slide some of the less-than-exact answers as being close enough (e.g., puree, ligaments). After all, if the clue had read "baby food (anagram of 55 across)" would we really be complaining? And yes, as a doctor I know that ligaments aren't so easily torn, but it was clear that's what was wanted so it was good enough for me.

As I said, sometimes it is better to know less!

Rex Parker 1:51 PM  

"Watchmen" = thumbs sideways.

CADENCE returned these defs.:

1. Balanced, rhythmic flow, as of poetry or oratory.
2. The measure or beat of movement, as in dancing or marching.
a. A falling inflection of the voice, as at the end of a sentence.
b. General inflection or modulation of the voice.
4. Music. A progression of chords moving to a harmonic close, point of rest, or sense of resolution.

None of which seem apt unless you stretch (1) far.

What's being clued here is MILITARY CADENCE or CADENCE CALL.

BOOKMAN is horrid no matter how many bibliophiles sputter about its validity. It would be less horrid had it been Necessary to pull off some rough corner. Here - no such necessity.

retired_chemist 1:56 PM  

@ Des - Agree that imprecise cluing makes no difference in the cases today. Constructors read this blog too. I think feedback on clue issues only helps construction in the long run.

Four and out.... sorry.

allan 1:59 PM  

Thought this was a very easy puzzle, even for a Monday. Only slow area was the southern quarter, but that got resolved through the downs.

I agree with those who have a problem with puree. It was very poorly clued.

As far as cadence goes, it was one of the answers that popped out. The whole Jody goes "Sound off 1-2. Sound off 3-4. CADENCE count 1-2-3-4; 1-2....3-4."

fikink 2:02 PM  

And then there's the cadence for Independents:

You ain't got no friends on the Left.
You're Right!
You ain't got no friends on the Right.
You're left.
Sound off...

Alex the droog 2:07 PM  


Using Tia Maria (the first coffee liqueur I ever tasted and to me still the most interesting) it might technically have to be called a Black Jamaican.
Put me down for TIAMARIA = great answer/drink

George NYC 2:11 PM  

The discussion of the cluing in this puzzle I think illustrates differences in puzzle solving "experience." I agree with others that the imprecise cluing didn't cause real problems in solving. But the experience of getting the right answer was diminished. There is a satisfaction in picking out the right word for a clever clue that is different than coming up with an obscure word that happens to be correct. So "gear teeth" for COGS works (for me) whereas "bibliophile" for BOOKMAN, though I got it, causes a wrinkling of the nose. Same with SHAPER for woodworking tool. Yes, it is, but it could be so many other things. It's a bad sign when the solver can't help but think of alternate clues.
Three and out....

Orange 2:12 PM  

I'm thinking that fewer than 20% of NYT solvers are familiar with the word BOOKMAN. Few of us are bookdealers or collectors of rare/antiquarian books. If any of the crossings had been iffy, I could see people getting stuck just because BOOKMAN is so unfamiliar. (Plus, it's an innately sexist word. Kudos to the BookMan/BookWoman use bookstore for its name.)

Anonymous 2:15 PM  

Was Danno of Hawaii Five-0 a BOOKMAN? Beet puree cost one rupee in Erupe, India. Still not sure what the big stink is.


archaeoprof 2:21 PM  

On Sundays I work the puzzle while sipping coffee and Kahlua. Wonderful stuff. Never tried TIAMARIA. Maybe this week I will.

Anonymous 2:39 PM  

Mondays just aren't the place for clues which are generous interpretations of the sixth definition in the OED.

At best, BOOKMAN gets slotted in the NABES folder, but the clueing was just wrong. Bibliophiles are book lovers, and none of the clerks at my local Borders seem to fit that category. A miniscule percentage of Bibliophiles are BOOKMEN.

The clueing for CADENCE should be well known to Drill Sergents, but seemed well off for a Monday.

Not all Harleys are HOGS, and not all HOGS are Harleys. AnonEarlier was right about Skunks.

Anonymous 2:40 PM  

Oh, and if you're going to drink coffee, drink coffee. If you're going to drink booze, drink booze. I'm just saying.

flagger 2:42 PM  

Thought the puzzle was fun. A bit easy. I was hoping for a Springsteen clip in the write up so for all his fans out there, here's my favorite.

@mac: As a person with some basic math skills, I would just like to know if you plan on closing your parenthesis any time soon? It seems to be messing up the entire reticulum. <[:0)

Anonymous 2:55 PM  


I'm intrigued by the thought of Crosswords and Kahlua. I do my Sunday puzzle over coffee in the morning, what time to you do yours?

mac 3:02 PM  

@flagger: LOL. My apologies. I worried about the missing closing parenthesis all during lunch on a terrace overlooking the beach, but not enough to erase the whole thing....

@archaeoprof and @Jim in Chicago: you two may be on to something. In Brooklyn I had some red wine before the puzzles on Friday evening, and I was simply brilliant. The next day not so much, maybe I'm not a good sober solver.

archaeoprof 3:04 PM  

@jeff in chicago: I do the puzzle whenever I am awake enough to find the coffee, the Kahlua, and the paper. Usually by 1pm...

RodeoToad 3:07 PM  

Humorless twit, the converse is also true: not all bookmen are bibliophiles. That surprised me when I first started looking into the whole book-collecting and rare-book dealer subculture. In the same way that expert crossword-solvers may not necessarily be the most knowledgeable people or even word-oriented people but are attracted to crosswords because of other talents or inclinations, people who collect or trade in high-end books aren't necessarily avid readers. McMurtry's an exception and, by his own admission, a rare one.

flagger 3:08 PM  

@ mac: )

I feel much better now, although I am not sure what affect this will have on the whole time continuum thing. And am I even allowed to close it for you? What if...

Jeffrey 3:11 PM  

Isn't there an unclosed parenthesis blog we can this joke getting old?

Anonymous 3:16 PM  

In the movie "84 Charing Cross Road", Anthony Hopkins character would be called a "Bookman".

Anonymous 3:18 PM  

Well, a MILITARY CADENCE is a CADENCE (not that this follows from the form [adj] [noun], since a dwarf planet is not a planet). Seems unproblematic to me -- I guess it depends on what movies and TV shows a person has seen.

Anonymous 3:19 PM  


But, the question is:

Were the answers you put in after consuming the red wine correct?

edith b 3:20 PM  

My husband collects rare books so I recognize the word BOOKMAN from his catalogues. Didn't stop me from stumbling over the answer in the puzzle as it isn't sufficiently "in the language" for me.

On the other hand, CADANCE seeems well clued to me so I split 50-50 with Rex today.

Oh, and I agree with some others who say a lot of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Any answer that reads *OS*A and has a Biblical clue attached is going to get HOSEA from me.

flagger 3:21 PM  


Anonymous 3:21 PM  

As I recall, Tia Maria is lighter, less syrupy than Kahlua, so I think it makes a much better Black Russian. Kahlua is better when mixed with milk (White Russian) or cream and coffee.

-----> Joe in NYC

chefbea 3:23 PM  

@crosscan lol It's fun to see you directing people to other blogs. How bout a beet puree blog!!

I have a great trifle recipe made with either Kahlua or Tia Maria. It is yummy!!!!!

Anonymous 3:33 PM  


How is Tia Maria and beet puree with ...

oh, never mind. Please post that trifle recipe

mac 3:35 PM  

@Jim in Chicago: amazingly enough, they were correct. Give it a try!

@John: that is a wonderful book, "84 Charing Cross Road". A friend used that title as the name of her bookstore. I seem to remember several good books that are set in bookstores and antiquariats.

PlantieBea 3:36 PM  

@Mac and others: Tia Maria over ice cream.

Anonymous 3:40 PM  


Congrats on your correct wine-enhanced answers. I have a friend who claims to speak perfect portuguese after a couple drinks. Since he's had like one class I doubt this is the case.

Anonymous 3:45 PM  


I was going to ask you to make a beet trifle, when I discovered on the 2 Tasty Ladies blog that I've been scooped:

Finally, an experiment after hearing a lot about beet in desserts: chocolate, orange, and beet trifle. I used the chocolate cake recipe from a few days ago but replaced the caster sugar with icing sugar and baked it as a sheet--which worked beautifully. The cake was soft and tender, really moist, but not sticky at all. It cut easily into disks to layer between the orange cream and top with beet jelly. As Martha pointed out, the beet flavour was very subtle, but it worked with the orange and chocolate. Definitely needs more time in the lab before being tested on our favourite guinea pigs again.

chefbea 3:46 PM  

@anonymous 3:33 E-mail me and I will send you the recipe. This is not a recipe blog!!

Anonymous 4:18 PM  

@chefbea - I believe Rex relaxed the recipe rule for today with his closing line, "If you like viscera, this is the movie for you.

poc 4:20 PM  

I think the clueing for IKE is dubious since the answer is a nickname, whereas Dick is simply a shortened form of Richard.

Anonymous 4:26 PM  

@POC Shortened?
Rich = Dick? Nah
Icha = Dick? Nope
Char = Dick? Not close
Hard = Dick? When I'm lucky

Orange 4:57 PM  

I was just reading Calvin Trillin's Feeding a Yen last night. He talks about Chinese restaurants hiding dishes like Big Intestines in Salty Water on the signs in Chinese, not translated into English. Viscera!

Crikey, chocolate and Orange go together perfectly, but adding "beet jelly"? Noooo! That is not to be trifled with.

Anonymous 5:26 PM  

I think I'm with Des on this one. I don't overthink any of this stuff (not that I'm saying any of you do, of course). I just fill it in, check with Rex and feel delighted when it's correct. I had no problem at all with today's puzzle but I think it's funny that I too misread the clue about tissue. I have also never heard of bookman but trust me it is now etched into my brain.

Also I read yesterday that an eight year study shows that optimists outlive pessimists. As a life long pessimist, I was happy to start the week with the fine affirmations in today's theme. Maybe I'll live an extra day.

Anonymous 6:05 PM  

Read DOMED as DOOMED and thought that was a reference that igloos eventually melt.

Otherwise, agreed with Rex word for word (except the words about Watchmen which I'd never go watch).

edith b 6:05 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
George NYC 6:19 PM  

@edith b
A nickname is not a shortened version of a name. There is a term for that which I don't recall offhand. George Bush's nickname for Karl Rove was Turd Blossom. Dick Cheney has been variously nicknamed The Dark Lord and Darth Vader. Bush himself has been called the Dauphin and the Little Prince. My nephew, George, is nicknamed Geordie, which is one syllable longer than his actual name.

George NYC 6:27 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
retired_chemist 6:29 PM  

@ several -

The etymology of nickname is an eke name, where eke meant "also" in middle English. An eke-name became a nickname through time.

I think I recall several such Shakespeare usages, though I won't give a quote.

Glitch 6:38 PM  


Continuing my coment on the comments theme today:

I toadally agree with your approach to the puzzle except my emotions, jaded by time, don't swing as far up as delighted, (nor down to hatred).

We do need the "over thinkers" tho ... Monday puzzles can be so bland that the blog wanders all over the place.

Today, not only did the threads mostly keep "on [puzzle] topics",
but even had Rex jumping back in --- on topic!

Nice to have you with us, I like the way you think.

.../Glitch (a borrowed nickname AND a nom-to-blog)

edith b 6:49 PM  

Every dictionary definition of nickname includes some version of shortened, truncated or replacement of a given name so, George NYC, we were both right and both wrong.

But since I was just being a smart-ass when I made that comment, I deleted it for that reason.

George NYC 7:02 PM  

@edith b
No worries. I kind of like the way towards the end of the day the posts tend to get further afield from the actual puzzle itself. A lot of learning and exchange of ideas there!

chefbea 7:54 PM  

what is the nickname for a red tuber????

retired_chemist 8:02 PM  

@Chefbea - beets me!

Anonymous 8:03 PM  

KRAMER: Bookman? The library investigator's name is actually, Bookman?
LIBRARIAN: It's true.
KRAMER: That's amazing. That's like an ice cream man named, Cone

ArtLvr 8:08 PM  

Talk about dictionary definitions... I like M-W because it offers an earliest date of documented usage. Some really early words are still with us, like "seaman" from before the 12th century. Some are marked obsolete, like "leman" from the 13th century (lover of either sex, and later mistress).

WATCHMAN dates from the 15th century -- not horrid, and not obsolete. "Henchman" from the same era evolved from a groom for horses to one's right-hand man to a sometimes criminal sidekick.

BOOKMAN and salesman appeared in the 16th century, neither marked as obsolete. The bookman is either a lover of books and reading especially, or one who is involved in the writing or publishing or selling of books.

"Bibliophile" shows up only in the 19th century (1824), defined as both a lover of books and as a book collector interested in qualities of format. But there is also "bibliomania" dating from 1734, an extreme preoccupation with book collecting.

There were, of course, noted manuscript collectors through the ages. The first widely popular book though, not counting the Bible, is reported to have been by a German poet, whose "Das Narrenschiff" (Ship of Fools) was published in 1494. It was translated into English, Latin, French, Dutch, and Low German within 15 years, and was the first to show contemporary events and real people. Lo, of its 113 short sections the first (possibly illustrated by Dürer) made fun of an avid "Book-Fool"!

ArtLvr 8:25 PM  

p.s. the name of the author of "The Ship of Fools" of 1494 was Sebastian Brant.

Anonymous 9:17 PM  

I could have won $5 in a contest had I known back in the 60's that the RCA logo which had the pup looking into the large horn coming out of the phonograph was named "Little Nipper." Now you all know.

miriam b 9:41 PM  

Beet preserves with ginger and walnuts: ambrosial. One and out - busy.

Anonymous 9:41 PM  

Of course skunks 'smell'. Unless, they are noseless.

mac 9:44 PM  

@chefbea: just came back from dinner at a great place in South Beach: Escopazzo on Washington Ave. One of the specials: fresh pasta with goat's milk cheese and beets..... It's like coming out here these days, we are suddenly using the word!

fergus 10:05 PM  

The surf crowd would be disappointed that SHAPER wasn't Clued by the highly esteemed professional art of the main stage in surf board manufacture. But then, that brings to mind the sort of Venn diagram intersection of Xworders and surf dudes. Probably not large.

liquid el lay 1:11 AM  

Well done, fergus.

The SHAPER is indeed a figure of mystic power. His exnumerary is the GLASSER.

The GLASSER is ken to such words as LAMINATE, LAMINAR, and LAMINA (as has appeared in the puzzle recently.)

While he may be wary of the Law, the GLASSER's verb LAM means to add a layer of (fiber)glass to the board, not to skip town.

Anonymous 5:16 PM  

The BOOKMAN was the name of a very influential London-based book and literature review from the late 19th, early 20th centuries. Yeats and Barrie both contributed to it. I know of it solely because of Beckett's early essay "Recent Irish Poetry".

R.I.P. is the sort of forgettable piece that would generally not attract attention, were it not for the fact that Beckett, by later on saying so little, and that barely scrutable at best, guaranteed every last one of his own critics would eke his early writings for far more than they were worth.

As for BOOKMAN itself, I'm a bibliophile, but other than the Beckett connection and seeing it as part of the name of a bookstore here and there, I've never heard of it.

Anonymous 1:14 AM  

look out, rex! i'm a-comin'. 7:45 - on paper, no less!

Anonymous 1:58 AM  

I timed myself for the first time-ever. Had a case of insecurity that took about a year and lots of encouragement from Rex, bless his heart, to over come. Here it is, you Kings and Queens of the Grid: 11 minutes, 2 seconds. AND THIS WAS SO EASY! I was skittish, being under the "gun" of my Iphone timer. Next time I'll use my watch .
Wassup with "bookman"? Love the Seinfeld reference.

richardheaton 2:24 AM  

The rating of level of difficulty seems very subjective. I found this to be very easy for a Monday puzzle. I am guessing that difficulty level depends on a host of life experience, but a big factor seems to be when the solver was born.

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