Dana Scully's sci-fi partner — MONDAY, Oct. 26 2009 — John of Colonial Jamestown / Coat named for Irish province

Monday, October 26, 2009

Constructor: Mike Nothnagel

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: X-FACTOR (36A: Mystery quality ... or what 18- and 55-Across and 3- and 32-Down have?) — four theme answers are full names where first name is three letters ending in "X" ... at least I think that's it. If there's some deeper significance to X-FACTOR, please let me know in "Comments" section...

Word of the Day: Max YASGUR (55A: Owner of the farm where Woodstock took place) Max B. Yasgur (December 15, 1919—February 9, 1973) was an American farmer, best known as the owner of the dairy farm in Bethel, New York at which the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held between August 15 and August 18, 1969. (wikipedia)


I was going to start out by saying "Who the hell is MAX YASGUR?" just to watch Baby Boomers get apoplectic, but I mostly knew who he was. I just thought his last name was JAEGER or JAGGER (as in, say, "Jägermeister"). As I said above, I don't understand what makes this theme a theme. If you say all the names one after the other you get this interesting near-rhyming waltzy kind of vibe going, but ... the "X" isn't added or subtracted or doubled. It's not even that important. All the "X"s are the terminal letters in first names. That's about it. XTERRA has more of an "X-FACTOR" than those names do. Overall this is actually a more interesting and slightly thornier puzzle than we get most Mondays. But the theme feels weak.

Theme answers:

  • 18A: Dana Scully's sci-fi partner (Fox Mulder) — from "The X-Files," so this answer had me thinking the "X" in "X-FACTOR" would mean something completely different.
  • 55A: Owner of the farm where Woodstock took place (Max Yasgur)
  • 3D: "Superman" villain (Lex Luthor)
  • 32D: Cowboy who sang the title song from "High Noon" (Tex Ritter)

Winced at AS FAT (6D: Equally plump) and never ever heard of a SALTBOX house (10D: House style with a long pitched roof in back), but otherwise the grid managed to be fairly solid and interesting and lively without being obscure. Got hung up at 52A: "If I may ..." ("Permit me ...") because "ALLOW ME..." seemed So much more correct. PERMIT ME wants an infinitive verb to follow it, whereas "ALLOW ME..." likes to stand on its own.

My colonial history continues to suck, as ROLFE was not a gimme for me (1A: John of Colonial Jamestown). Could have done without the product placement for Nissan today (esp. after the double-Apple plug yesterday) in XTERRA (35D: Nissan S.U.V.) and ALTIMA (22A: Nissan sedan). But lots of little things made the grid sparkle. PUNK (52D: Play a practical joke on, slangily) and POKE and EAT INTO and MESS UP and HAS-BEEN and EASY-ON (5D: Start of a billboard catchphrase meaning "close to the highway") and FREEBIE and ONE-EYED (40D: Like two jacks in a deck of cards) and MAXES ... well, that last one would have been great if MAX YASGUR weren't in the grid. Still, much to like.


  • 25D: Northern Scandinavian (Lapp) — lots of higher-end crosswordese today. I always forget LAPP. Want LATT or LEPP or LETT, not all of which are real things. Other high-end xwordese includes OSAGE (48D: Missouri river or Indian) and EX-GI (42A: U.S. military vet) and OSIERS (51A: Twigs for baskets), which, as I've said many times before, totally kicks RAFFIA's ass when it comes to basket-making material. Go OSIER!
  • 23A: Letter-shaped, threaded fastener (U-bolt) — aargh, rounding that corner I had the "UB..." and was Sure it would be U-BOAT. But no.
  • 31A: When repeated, bygone newsboy's cry ("Extra!") — though I feel like I've seen it before, I love this clue. I'm pretty sure the "newsboy" himself is "bygone," so there may be some redundancy in this clue. "Bygone newsboy" is a bit like "ugly hag." Is there another kind?
  • 43A: Ancient Greek city with a mythical lion (Nemea) — Hercules had to kill that lion as one of his labors. Not to be confused with the skin cream NIVEA. Which is not be confused with skin CREME (12D: Middle of an Oreo), which is part of Oreo's new line of beauty products.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

P.S. Here is Peter King reacting to being the centerpiece of the NYT crossword puzzle yesterday.

P.P.S. I get name-dropped (and quoted) in Peter King's "MMQB" ("Monday Morning Quarterback") today — see items 10 c. and 10 d. here. Best part is Wade's hilarious comment from yesterday, which gets reprinted at length.


joho 8:25 AM  

This theme confused me. I love X's and the more the merrier. But they're not just in the theme as they also show up in MAXES, SOX, SALTBOX, XTERRA, EXTRA, EXGI and VIXEN. There are X's all over the place! I guess Rex is right in that the X has to be the third letter if a first name ... but, I don't know ....

joho 8:25 AM  

Whoops, "of" a first name ...

Jeffrey 8:28 AM  

The puzzle is a tribute to Xtina Aguilera. I blame the whole thing on Peter King.

JannieB 8:28 AM  

Was surprised that this was a Nothnagel puzzle. i usually have a more difficult time with his. Finished this one in average Monday time - no glitches.

As for the theme(?) - all the other words with an X were distracting and confusing.

Overall, a disappointment for me.

dk 8:34 AM  

My Woodstock Poster says Three Days of Peace and Love so I will will remain calm over Rex not knowing who MAXYASGUR is.

A bit of a history ride today - ASPHAT meaning just as cool could have carried us across the finish line.

Perhaps a puzzle dedicated to HASBEENs may be fun, at least for the solvers. For the subjects: Not so much.

Nice Monday, thank you Mike.

d (major boomer) k

chefbea 8:38 AM  

After getting Lex Luthor and then Fox Mulder I was sure we would have Rex Parker!!!

A bit harder than the usual Monday. Had a Natick at the u in punk/yasgur. I guessed the u and was right

Elaine 8:43 AM  

Whoa-- is Tex Ritter maybe past his prime in this performance? (And I would have sworn that Wayne Newton or Waylon Jennings had sung the movie's theme song....) Saw that movie in a first run theater.

John ROLFE married Pocahontas and carried her off to England...where she died of disease. SMITH would have been my first thought, but 1D gave me the R.

Really? As someone living in upstate NY you'd not be too far from the New England salt-box houses... but no matter.

I wanted EAT AWAY for 42D even though INTO is more natural. And Arabic ALEF was in my mind, so I had to go back and rewrite. Despite my Boominess, I did not know Max Yasgur, but it looks from your bio that Woodstock shortened his life...tsk.

I would have rated this Easy --though I did not know every answer and relied on crosses (or eXes.) On to Tuesday!

PIX 8:44 AM  

Found it challenging for a Monday.

Does anyone out there use the word PUNK to mean "play a practical joke on" slangily or otherwise?

Raul 8:48 AM  

A friend of mine used to play a game of draw poker with the following wild: Deuces, One-eyed Jacks(Hearts and Spades) and the Man with the Ax ( King of Diamonds.)

Charles Bogle 9:08 AM  

I'm w @PIX--to me this was quite challenging for a Monday. Super write-up RP...thanks for YASGUR clip...I got into trouble w XTRAIL for XTERRA (does Nissan pay the NYT for these plugs!)...also loved "EXTRA..." Had not heard of OSIERS...to the constructor's great credit, I saw very little if any of the usual "fill"..ROLFE also threw me from the git-go..tried SMITH and ALDEN..all in all, I'd say extremely impressive Monday puzzle!

foodie 9:12 AM  

I'm doing this in Heathrow airport. I wasn't going to comment as I was traveling all night and this took twice as long as normal to complete. But it was eerie to see COMA in the puzzle because my dad has lapsed into a coma, hence my unexpected trip.

Like Rex, I thought his name was Max Jaeger... Woodstock happened right as I arrived to the US, so I'm functionally retarded for a baby boomer.

ALIF, Bey, Tey is the start of the Arabic Alphabet, hence the name...

See you all sometime in the future... The X-FACTOR for me is how long I'll be gone.

sillygoose 9:16 AM  

Seeing an overabundance of exes in a Monday puzzle is kind of exciting. Not everybody solves the puzzle every day of the week. I think the point of the theme is to give that XFACTOR excitement to us Monday solvers. Solid enough for me, and enjoyable, too.

I balked at LATINI, thinking martini. I like the XTERRA but the ALTIMA is one car too many for my taste. One car per puzzle, please. I always thought YASGUR was something like Lasker, because I never hear song lyrics correctly. (Crosby Stills Nash & Young "Woodstock".)

Thanks for the Peter King links. I didn't love the puzzle yesterday but I did wonder, who the hell is this Peter guy? It's nice to see he has trouble getting past Thursday too.


balto 9:17 AM  

Had trouble with the Xterra cross on Nemea -- since, of course, Xterra isn't a real word -- and I just don't know car models.

For some reason on the name commonality -- totally missed the Xs -- but noticed that each first name had 3 letters, last names had 6, all ended with a sort of -er.

Ruth 9:30 AM  

@PIX: while I don't personally used "PUNK" for practical joke, I'm aware of the TV show that made it a pop culture phenomenon. If the name Ashton Kutcher doesn't mean anything to you then Punk'd won't either.

mac 9:35 AM  

I love a little tougher Monday, and like to see all the xs. I had to really stare at one-eyed and Yasgur, both unknown to me, but how nice to learn. In the SE I had Tex Tucker on the mind, although I have no idea who he is, and I started with "pardon me". Of course Allow me is better.

@Rex: thanks for the Peter King links, that was so much fun!

@Foodie: so sorry about this sad trip. Hope you will have some good time with your father.
I think you are too young to consider yourself a boomer.

Brendan Emmett Quigley 9:39 AM  

Just saying: it's hard to come up with easy puzzles. So while I agree that this one doesn't feel like much of a theme, the Scrabble-mania really gives it zing. So A for effort.

joho 9:54 AM  

@Foodie ... sending my best wishes to your father and you.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:06 AM  

I thought "Having an X in your name" was as good an interpretation of the theme as any, so why wasn't VIXEN included? She (?) is as real as LEXLUTHOR and FOXMULDER.

PIX 10:07 AM  

@Ruth...thank you...for the others that are lost, i offer the following from Wikipedia.

Punk'd is an American hidden camera practical joke television series on MTV, produced and hosted by Ashton Kutcher, which first aired in 2003. It bears a strong resemblance to both the classic hidden camera show Candid Camera, and to TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes, which also featured pranks on celebrities. Being "Punk'd" refers to having such a prank played on oneself, and to "punk someone" refers to making someone else the victim of the show's style of prank itself.

CoolPapaD 10:22 AM  

@Foodie - Thoughts are with you.
@Crosscan- should be comment of the day!
@Rex - Thanks for the King links!

Two Ponies 10:44 AM  

@ dk, I'm right there with you on Woodstock. "Goin' down to Yasgur's farm ..."
@ foodie, I thought about you immediately at 34D. Sorry to hear about your father.
I loved this Monday offering from Mike N. I don't recall seeing him this early in the week very often so I had great hopes seeing his name there and I was not disappointed. Two car names is pushing it a bit but we also had two cowboys, a horse, a steer (with a different definition), and a reindeer for the Lapp. More Mondays like this would make me very happy.

Margaret 10:49 AM  

@foodie -- So sorry to hear about your father but thanks for the linguistic lesson on the arabic origins of word "alphabet." I leave Thursday for a trip to Tunisia so maybe I can work this newfound knowledge in somewhere!

ArtLvr 11:17 AM  

Kind of weird but nice! One doesn't eXpect Mondays to be fun, but this one was. I AAHED. And there was a FREEBIE: I learned that a U-BOLT is threaded like a screw... How does that work?

All best wishes to foodie on her dad's recovery...


mac 11:25 AM  

@Rex: Isn't this Mike Nothnagels first Monday, and hasn't he done all days now? That would be a feat!

PlantieBea 11:25 AM  

@Foodie--sorry to hear about your father.

A fun Monday puzzle. Knew Yasgur from the Joni Mitchell song "Woodstock".

Enjoyed the P King clips and learning more about the birth of said puzzle.

Stan 11:27 AM  

Found this chunky and satisfying, yet easy enough for a Monday.

Personal associations to my cat Spooky, who was named for FOX MULDER and once was a Jersey City ALLEY CAT (chat de gouttière).

@foodie: Sorry to hear about your dad. Best wishes for your trip.

PlantieBea 11:28 AM  

Forgot to add, we used to live in a saltbox in western Massachusetts where they were abundant.

Jeffrey 11:37 AM  

@mac - This is Mike Nothnagel's 3rd Monday. He has indeed "hit for the cycle" (had puzzles on every day of the week).

Jim in Chicago 11:38 AM  

I was happy to see the difficulty, since I struggled to do this before my morning coffee was gone, and actually missed my bus!

Never heard of Nemea or Rolfe, but got them both from the crosses.

Do we think that Nissan named a car the XTERRA just to make life easier for cruciverbalists? It seems to be the NENE of the 21st century.

chefbea 11:42 AM  

@Foodie sorry about your dad

@Rex thanks for the clips

MikeM 12:04 PM  

Didnt know XTERRA, got it from the crosses. Enjoyed the puzzle

Nothnagel 12:28 PM  

Hey folks.

About the theme: Sometime long ago, I realized that the names REX PARKER and FOX MULDER both had a 3-letter first name ending in X and a two-syllable 6-letter name ending in ER. (Don't ask me how this came about...it's just the way this constructor's brain works.)

Anyway, TEX RITTER eventually joined the group, and the possibility of a theme started. Knowing that I couldn't use REX PARKER in a NYT grid (sorry, Rex), I tried to come up with a couple other _ _ X _ _ _ _ E R names. I couldn't think of any of those, but LEX LUTHOR and MAX YASGUR at least had the -ER sound at the end.

Then, X FACTOR came into the picture. My original clue gave the hint that all the names rhymed with X FACTOR, which I thought was an interesting unifying idea. It wasn’t until long after I sent it to Will that I realized the clue was embarrassingly wrong.

Oh, well, can't win 'em all.

Until next time --

Clark 12:30 PM  

@Joho -- There are 5 theme words and one EXTRA. Then, because this is a crossword, each of the six words has a word that crosses it. So I'm with you on "the more the merrier" but not the "but".

It's enough of a theme for me.

@foodie -- I join those who are thinking of you and your dad and hoping for the best.

Greene 12:34 PM  

Fine Monday fare. I got held up in the SE around the intersection of ONE EYED and MAX YASGUR. Like others, I thought his name started with a J. Old time standbys OSAGE and OSIERS helped immensely in that corner. At the risk of discrediting myself as a card carrying boomer, isn't MAX YASGUR maybe a bit obscure for a Monday puzzle? This whole puzzle, in fact, could have been pitched as a Tuesday and I wouldn't have blinked.

@Foodie: my thoughts are with you on your trip. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your dad.

Clark 12:38 PM  

@Nothnagel -- You said, "Knowing that I couldn't use REX PARKER in a NYT grid (sorry, Rex) . . . " I bet I'm not the only one wondering why, after yesterday's puzzle (which I liked, by the way) Rex can't show up in the grid.

(I'm making pasties today -- back to my U.P. roots. That means rutabaga.)

Anonymous 12:44 PM  





This puzzle


CoolPapaD 1:08 PM  

@Clark - I echo your sentiments exactly. More folks that do the NYT crossword have heard of our host than the NBC / NFL guy. He could even be clued as "Harrison's Valet?"

Elaine 1:15 PM  

That's TEX, not REX.
I once had a huge orange/white mixed-breed (DSH) cat named TOM MIX (a cowboy star from way back)...
But M Nothnagel came up with an impressive number of X stuff, and it WAS fun.
Um, what is a Nothnagel? Nagel means NAIL....

@ Pednsg
What? Help me out on the "harrison's valet"...and with my shift key, apparently

chefbea 1:16 PM  

@pednsg I like that!!!

Jeffrey 1:18 PM  

Reality check. Over 5 million people watch the football show. While only a fraction do the puzzle, it will be way more than those who are aware of this blog. Sad, but true.

Now, if we can get Friday Night Crosswords on the air, with Rex doing colour commentary...

Stan 1:19 PM  

@Clark: I applaud your return to roots.

JK 1:26 PM  

One clue/solution nearly always strike a chord of irony or coincidence for me. Some are clever and intentional. Others could not possibly be anything but chance. "EXTRA" was that word for me today. I read one of these stories just prior to solving this puzzle.


Are newspapers really going away? I think so. But not their content. I just read my news, did my crossword, and am writing this note, ALL on my iPhone. Trees? Who needs them for all that?

And yes, I noticed that bit of tautology on this clue as well. It's 11:30 AM in the morning and I have to get to some emails... on my iPhone.


Frances SC (formerly NYC) 1:30 PM  

Random comments...

The saltbox-style houses are common stuff in New England. I am sure Rex has *seen* one, but just didn't know what it was called.

A great movie, esp. for kids your daughter's age, is "Newsies" based on the newsboys' strike in NYC in 1899 against Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. I have shown it to 5th graders studying Am. Hist., but enjoyable for parents as well.

Campesite 1:32 PM  

While doing the puzzle I was thinking, "this is a pretty solid puzzle for a Monday," then looked at the byline and was not surprised to see Nothnagel there. Well done.

JK 1:33 PM  

Foodie, I just read your post and see where your irony lies. May yours be as benign as mine the next time. Godspeed.

joho 1:36 PM  

@Nothnagel ... fascinating to read how your mind worked in creating this theme. Makes me realize how difficult it is to create a truly original, cohesive theme.

3 and out.

imsdave 1:52 PM  

@Nothnagel - thank you for clearing the air on the theme. I was confused after I saw the reveal clue, but I should have dug a little deeper (tough to do at 4:30 a.m.).

I liked this a lot - lot's of catchy fill, minimal crap - in general, an excellent Monday.

Thanks to Mike, Will, and of course Rex, for a very promising start to the week.

Re:SALTBOX - see my avatar - ton's of these in New England.

@Crosscan - when are you going to learn how to spell COLOR :)

Anonymous 2:21 PM  

@crosscan: Hilarious!

@raul: We always called the King of Diamonds the suicide King becauses his ax is aimed at (if not firmly planted in) his head!

sillygoose: That's Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock," but CSN&Y made a big hit covering it (harumph, harumph sez this MAJOR Joni fan).

@foodie: So sorry about your Dad. I've been there. Best wishes.

About the Peter King kerfuffle, I do Sunday puzzle on Saturday and vice versa. I also watch lots of football, so I often miss the opportunity to comment on Sunday. Despite being a big fan, I rarely read about sports or watch these commentators. Like others, I only know the (IMO dreadful) Congressman Peter King. I really liked the puzzle. Thanks, Rex for the links. I enjoyed watching Olbermann getting his ire up a bit about King getting into the puzzle. I really like Keith, but his ego is a bit much (if I ever see him in person, I'm determined to muss up that perfect hair).


"Buck"aroo 2:36 PM  

@Rex - I'm calling an Olaf on your description of Wade's comment - the modifier hilarious was unnecessary, as all of them are.

archaeoprof 3:25 PM  

@Foodie: my houghts are with you and your family.

Apropos of "alpha-bet", two other languages can also lay claim to have inspired it.

Hebrew: first two letters are aleph - beth.

Greek: first two letters are alpha - beta.

archaeoprof 3:25 PM  

@Foodie: my houghts are with you and your family.

Apropos of "alpha-bet", two other languages can also lay claim to have inspired it.

Hebrew: first two letters are aleph - beth.

Greek: first two letters are alpha - beta.

william e emba 3:46 PM  

Oh come on! Rex Parker was the name of the captain in the 1996 TV show "The Crew", played by Lane Davies. Maybe that's too obscure for a Monday. Tuesday?

chefwen 3:50 PM  

@Foodie - Best wishes for you and your family.

Easy time with this puzzle, typical fare for a Monday.

My older brother went to Woodstock but I didn't know who's farm he was having casual sex and smoking weed on; interesting. Didn't know ROLFE either but both were doable with crosses.

Bill from NJ 4:40 PM  


I was so sorry to hear of your father's illness. I hope he recovers soon.

Blackhawk 5:21 PM  

Super-lame theme, badly executed. Weird that it came from MN, who is usually great. Shows everyone can have a bad day.

If the idea was X--er, why not make it a Gen-X theme? To do an Xers grid, you'd need one more X--er name (Yasgur doesn't despite his historical coolness). I'm sure there's one out there if you keep thinking. Maybe a Dex? A Mex? ... Come to think of it, "Pex" would be a great nickname for a bodybuilder.

Karen from the Cape 5:36 PM  

I misspelled KARAN. With an I. Doh.

I'd thought SALTBOX houses were built to shed snow better than others. But wikipedia tells me it was designed to evade taxes on tall houses. Okay.

I thought it was YASSER's farm. I know it from the song 'Shoot the Moon' by Hugh Blumenfeld--"If I'd been ten years older, I might have been tripping on Yasgur's farm".

I thought it was a bit more tough than usual today also.

imsdave 5:44 PM  

@Blackhawk - please give me a perfect theme - it's not easy to come up with one. I agree with you that this one was hard to decipher, but it made sense after MN's explanation. Try and create one and you'll see that most have been done to death. This was a Monday, for goodness sake - and had great fill. I am one of those outsiders trying to get in - the game is not easy.

If you have a better idea, please give it to me (with symmetrically designed anwers).


All my hopes amd prayers

dk 5:59 PM  

@foodie, I join the chorus. Wish your Dad well from all of us and take care of yourself.

Blackhawk 6:37 PM  

@imsdave -- the purpose of a critic is not to create. it's to prompt creators to see themselves more clearly and to spur them to do their best work.

i am constantly amazed at the genius that can be created in a 16x16 grid by motivated constructors. so today's effort just throws the really great work into contrast, and helps define the lower boundary of the art.

andrex carler michaels 8:12 PM  

um, 15 x15
...and MN is a genius!!!!!!!
I'd have to agree this was really a Tuesday...
But because we don't get ANY residuals, when you "hit for the cycle" as Mike Nothnagel has done, the NY Times makes it up to us by awarding the constructor his/her choice of Nissan car.
(That's why you have to be at least 16 to make the puzzle these days)
Alas, as someone who will never be able to make a Fri/Sat, it's the cable car for me!

john farmer 8:17 PM  


I realize this isn't my beef, but let me ask a question or two. I am curious. I read comments and sometimes I'm not sure if they're made tongue-in-cheek or seriously.

1. "the purpose of a critic is not to create. it's to prompt creators to see themselves more clearly and to spur them to do their best work." Is that sincerely the purpose you have in mind with the comments you've made?

2. "Super-lame theme, badly executed." Since you mention motivating constructors: generally speaking, do you think comments like that are more likely or less likely to motivate constructors?

Rex Parker 8:21 PM  

There once was a troll, and people kept feeding it, and no one knew why ... The End.

Blackhawk 8:58 PM  

There goes the visiting assistant English professor again complaining about trolls. Just because someone disagrees with his point of view. Like most amateurs given a voice by the Internet through blogs, he has a thin skin and barely tolerates dissent.

Listen Comrade Rex: Sparking discussion by using forceful language isn't trollish. It's just provocative. This is not a seminar on Victorian colloquy. It's OK to say what we mean.

Mr. Farmer: Have enjoyed your work. And yes, if I were a constructor whose work was called lame, I would consider that motivating. But that's just me.

Elaine 9:17 PM  

Well, this is ugly, and should not be part of our little community of Solvers who Just Want to Get Along.

If you were in my class, I would make each of you write a note stating your beef and expressing your feelings...no Bad Words allowed.

Consider it a challenge. Meanwhile, let's just do puzzles.

Anonymous 9:39 PM  

No offense Elaine, but I'm glad you're not my teacher and I'm not in your class where dissent is considered evil and those who do are held up to public ridicule and

michael 9:59 PM  

Hard for a Monday, which is why I enjoyed it more than most Mondays. Wednesday- level for me.

I always like Nothnagel puzzles.

Rex Parker 10:00 PM  

Don't say "no offense" when you clearly mean to offend.

People dissent here every day, all the time. They just usually aren't assholes about it. Were you here yesterday? Yeesh. Dissent central.

Once someone establishes himself as a troll, I stop reading him. Haven't read a single word today's troll has written in months, and today has been no different. I only know he's trolling it up (again) because of the angry replies from decent people. Delete! Ignore! Solves so many problems. I have an ever-growing DNR list. Makes blog life livable.


SethG 10:21 PM  

NYTimes just posted an article and review of stout beers that will appear in the paper this Wednesday. The favorite of the panel: Black Hawk Stout, from Mendocino Brewing. They found it "[b]eautifully balanced, dry and light with roasted flavors of barley, coffee and nuts." (Note: the panel did not try Surly Darkness.)


Stan 11:27 PM  

@Elaine: Please pay no attention to Anon 9:39. I'll be in your class any day (though we might disagree!)

edith b 11:32 PM  


Funny you bring up wild cards - One of my Dad's Poker guys used to declare "Five card draw with One-eyed Jacks and the King with the Axe wild." The other guys moaned when that game was called.

Sfingi 11:36 PM  

Personal Naticks - LEXLUTHOR crosses UBOLT and MAXYASGUR crosses ONEEYED.

Did like the full names and 2-word phrases, and the theme - and learned a lot.

My only bit-o-beef- Assoc. is the abbreviation for Association. How do you decide what the 4 letter abbrev. is - Asoc. or Assc. Weak.

Venti means 20 in Italian (and they rhyme, too). I never go to that gyp-joint.

Tex Ritter, father of the unfortunate John Ritter of 3's Company. I prefer Frankie Laine's (Sicilian Frank LoVecchio) version of The Ballad of High Noon.

I'm older than a boomer, hving been born a little after the Battle of the Bulge, though I know a couple "kids" who went.

Where I taught we could send people to the box, er SHU - Special Housing Unit simply by giving them a slug - er - ticket - er - Misbehavior Report. Lot of a-holes there. Convicts, too.

@Karen In another tax case, in France, the Mansard roof was designed to create a third floor w/o being taxed for same. Rochester, NY has a fascinating example of a building with 3 Mansards, one atop the last. The first 2 were cast iron.

@Imsdave - thanx for the photo of a saltbox.

@Elaine - my mother used to say, "Let's go see Tom Mix in "Cement."

@Foodie - I'll say a prayer for your dad.

@Rex - can someone really be a visiting assistant for 10 years? Binghamton's a great University - my baby sister and my son went there. Both Philo majors.

fergus 11:40 PM  

I told one of my teenage students that her sculpture looks like the boy selling newspapers, shouting "Extra, Extra, Read all about it!" do you know what I'm talking about? Instead of being bewildered, she rolled her eyes and said "D'uh." Then I had to ask whether she'd actually ever witnessed the event live? Same answer -- opposite obvious conclusion.

Stan 11:56 PM  

Ooops I'm over but...

@Sfingi: Get a little, tiny bit PC, will you? "Gyp joint" is completely offensive.

Sfingi 12:28 AM  

@Stan - Sorry. My husband once defended some Gypsies - Roma - Travelers - named Tieni Tieni and Bula Bula. He got them off because the cops (Police?) had them sign a statement, and they couldn't read.

HudsonHawk 1:03 AM  

@Blackhawk, that was provocative? Clearly you're not having as much fun as you should be with that word.

It's totally OK to say what you mean. I'll say it: I thought this was a pretty good Monday puzzle. Thanks, MN.

Elaine 4:45 AM  

I just did Tuesday's puzzle, then came here.....
You know, I had never realized "Gyp joint" had that origin. Words do get divorced from their roots to a surprising degree.

And thanks for your note. Anony 9:39 plainly has not raised children, taught a class, or learned how to fight fairly. If YOU were in my class, I would do my best to help you with the rutabaga addiction (wink.)

Unknown 6:05 AM  

There should have been a theme answer "Rex Parker", clue what's more crossword than that?

Nullifidian 10:50 AM  

In from syndication-land:

I didn't know John ROLFE either. He married Pocahontas, so presumably he's in that Disney film, but I've never seen it.

The SW corner gave me fits because I originally had ONE PAIR for ONE EYED. Having this clued as a description of a cyclops would have been easier for me, since Greek mythology is more my domain than playing cards. Speaking of which, NEMEA was one of this puzzle's gimmes.

After I figured out ONE EYED, thanks to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young ("Said, I'm going down to YASGUR's Farm...."), the rest of the puzzle fell into place.

Anonymous 3:37 PM  

An Osage is not an Indian. Say it out loud. An Osage is not an Indian. The word you are looking for is Native American or just native.

If you never thought in a million years that this could be offensive maybe you don't have any native friends.

Anonymous 8:33 AM  

I can't believe Rex missed the opportunity to post a Vixen video!

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