Film director Martin — MONDAY, Dec. 21 2009 — Humor publication since 1952 / Venetian rulers of old / Language derived from Hindustani

Monday, December 21, 2009

Constructor: Sarah Keller

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

— a vowel progression theme

Word of the Day: DOGES (48D: Venetian rulers of old)

Doge (plural dogi or doges) is a dialectal Italian word that descends from the Latin dux (as does the English duke and the standard Italian duce), meaning "leader", especially in a military context. The wife of a Doge is styled a Dogaressa. [!!??] // The title of Doge was used for the elected chief of state in a number of Italian "crowned republics". The two best known such republics were Venice (where he was called a Doxe) and Genoa, which rivaled each other, and the other regional great powers, by building their historical city-states into maritime, commercial, and territorial mini-empires.


A standard vowel progression puzzle. Nice long Acrosses flanking the central answer. Other than that, not a lot to say. Fill is adequate and largely unremarkable. Puzzle, forgettable.

Theme answers:

  • 17A: Humor publication since 1952 (MAD Magazine)
  • 25A: Docs-to-be (MED students)
  • 38A: Tricky operation for extending a plane's flight (MIDair refueling)
  • 46A: Lionel products (MODel trains)
  • 57A: Dirty campaign tactic (MUD slinging)

In these kinds of puzzles, where your choices of potential theme answers are vast, I expect the theme answers to be new, fresh, exciting. I want to see something that dances. These are not bad — MIDAIR REFUELING is actually pretty cool — but overall they average out to ho-hum. Again, the loveliest thing about the grid is the middle, with that nice central theme answer and its seemingly related neighbors, PRETTIEST and HEAD-TO-TOE (32A: All-encompassing). Hate the clue on PRETTIEST, though (41A: Causing the most wolf whistles, perhaps). I don't think of wolf whistles as a good barometer of PRETTINESS. SKANKINESS? Perhaps. Wolf whistlers are bound to give a woman a good HEAD-TO-TOE look, so, though the wolf whistling is creepy, it's strangely apt. Apt!


  • 14A: Golfer Palmer, informally (Arnie) — like that this is in the vicinity of ARMIES (20A: What generals command), since ARNIE had one, famously.
  • 26D: Language derived from Hindustani (Urdu) – Now HINDUSTANI is a word I haven't seen in the grid. That, I would like. URDU ... is crosswordese.
  • 40D: Film director Martin (Ritt) — many of you don't know him. I know because my blog was flooded with searches for him last time he appeared. Maybe you remembered him this time.

  • 55D: Former New York cardinal Edward (Egan) — also the first governor of Alaska. Well, not *this* EGAN. William A. EGAN.
  • 54A: Mame on Broadway (Auntie) — crossing 44D: Dead set against (anti). Interesting.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


David 6:40 AM  

Sigh, it's Monday....

Deb Amlen 8:01 AM  

That's so weird. When I finally got the word DOGE (I had DUKE in there at first) it made me think of that book too. I thought I had left "Go, Dog, Go" behind in my nightmares when my kids outgrew it, Rex! Can't tell you how many times my son wanted to hear that book, over and over and over and over again, until I just wanted to stick a fork into my temple.

joho 8:05 AM  

My favorite answer was MIDAIRREFUELING. I thought the fact that all the "M-vowel" beginnings were complete words (MAD, MED, MID and MUD) except MODel made this answer seem off.

At reading the clue "7/20/69 and getting the answer (DATE)I thought you got to be kidding! "Fruit from a palm tree" or "See somebody," anything but the numbers.

@Rex, I had TIEST for 41A and immediately wanted SLUTTIEST. Isn't that terrible?

Not a Monday to remember "fer sher."


Andy 8:12 AM  

and I thought 41 was alphamale...

dk 8:32 AM  

Skankiness, sluttiest -- I think some may need a MIDAIRREFUELING of morals --- and I am not talkin about mushrooms.

A puzzle with MADMAGAZINE and MODELTRAINS cna't be all bad. Thank you Sarah.

Monday puzzle: (** 2 Stars).

Watched Dracula (Francis Ford C. version) last night as a function of our xmas blood bath film series. Not bad, not great. Tonight Psycho.

Off to make the ski slopes safe.

Elaine 8:45 AM  

Yeah....Monday, Monday. The 1:30 AM Club yawned and went back to bed, briefly thinking, "Oh, I forgot to look for a theme," and "I guess I should have taken French."

One should have acquired the term DOGES in a moderately adequate world history survey, but if not, WOTD has stepped in to correct the lacuna.

On with the day!

Elaine 8:49 AM  

Oh, and while wolf whistles were never "proper behavior," those of us who were once whistled at might not appreciate hearing that, in our day, we were skanks and

Nowadays, of course, anyone whistling at a Sixty-something would be presumed to be in desperate need of a professional eye examination, --in the words of Peter Sellers' Doctor Pratt ("The Wrong Box" is a movie that still delights): "I was not always as you see me now."

Rex Parker 8:54 AM  

Guys who are prone to wolf-whistling will wolf-whistle at anything. Zero to do with PRETTINESS. Wolf-whistle (unless done by someone who knows you well) = "I am an asshole hanging out with my asshole friends/co-workers and I believe you have a vagina!"

Stan 9:06 AM  

As "change-a-vowel" themes go, very smooth, with nice, unforced answers. I liked MAD MAGAZINE (grew up on it) and MUDSLINGING (still all too familiar -- with contemporary variants like Swiftboat ads and robo-calls).

Elaine 9:12 AM  

Yes, but I believe the point is: how does that make the female a skank? or a slut?

Parshutr 9:28 AM  

So. Dull. Could anyone really justify calling this a puzzle? This was a crossword exercise.
Better no puzzle at all than this.

PuzzleGirl 9:32 AM  

"Doges" made me think of the "Git along little dogies" song.

I took Rex's comment about skankiness to mean the skankiness in the guys doing the wolf-whistling. Reminds me of a list of rape prevention tips I once saw. It includes things like "Don't put drugs in people's drinks in order to control their behavior," and "If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, don't assault them!"

Puzzle? It was fine. I had an error and it's Monday so that's embarrassing.

JannieB 9:38 AM  

@joho - "Mod" was a word back in the 70's - meant modern or fashionably chic.

First sub-4 minute Monday. "nuff said

mac 9:38 AM  

Easy, but I didn't like the "number at left plus 1" and "7/20/69" much. I'm also with Joho, the MOD-el wasn't pretty, either. Maybe a term related to the Mod Squad?

Nice to have a shout-out, though.

I am not a doge, but ... 9:38 AM  


Actually DOGE(S) should also be "something learned from xwords".

It has appeared some 26 times, including a half dozen times in the last 2-3 years.

Usually clued the same way, except for, "____ Andrea Gritti (Titan Portrait)" and "Venice's _____ Palace" ---- both Friday entries.

PIX 9:39 AM  

Am I the only one that wanted DST (= Daylight Savings Time) for "NYC summer hrs"?

Agree with Elaine that Doge is a basic history vocabulary word.

OK puzzle for a Monday; nothing terribly exciting, nothing terribly bad.

ArtLvr 9:46 AM  

DEAR ME, I found it very smooth and quite good for Monday -- so no more MUDSLINGING please! Let's just agree that human wolves are odious?

My sweet aunt on my father's side always insisted on the Brit pronunciation of AUNT, rather than the homophone of ANT, though we were living in the Midwest then. (She'd been a theatre student with "Larry" Olivier back in the day.) Pleasant memories! Thanks, Sarah.


mccoll 9:48 AM  

An easy puzzle for any day. One doesn't need the theme to solve it, but it did help with MUDSLINGING. I remember a puzzle with EE-I-EE-I-O for a theme with all sorts of farm references which was more entertaining than this one.
@Rex and Elaine- You're both right. Wolfwhistles say more about the whistler than the whistlee. This is way more common in Europe than it is here. Lots of sixty-somethings are whistle worthy and would likely appreciate the appreciation.
BTW Rex, Thanks for the Merle Travis clip. He is one of the best of the early players along with Chet Atkins who was a genius.I remember it well!

Peter 9:49 AM  

@PG - I have a friend who at Trenton State Prison, counseling convicts in the sexual offender’s wing, and your list sounds much like a subset of the one he tries to work off. He anticipates a 100% failure rate for his endeavors.

I did NOT know that skank was a bi-sexual term. Live and learn. That particular word always makes me wonder why Hillary Swank didn't change her name - her junior high/high school years must have been hell.

Joel 9:57 AM  

A good monday with the exception of the SE, (I have a hatred for ODIUM) and the theme inconsistency (MAD MED pointed towards the words all being stand alone, when in fact they weren't like MODel)

Van55 10:00 AM  

DATE, TEN, SSE, SCH, EES, HRE: all pretty lame. But it's Monday. The puzzle wasn't all bad.

Incidentally the date 7/20/69 is that on which Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. Coincidentally, it's the date on which I lost my virginity.

CoolPapaD 10:03 AM  

Do people even wolf whistle anymore? Don't think so, though I'm not a pretty girl nor a skank, so maybe I'm just not around when it happens.
My daughter just started liking Go Dog Go, but A Fly Went By is the one that makes be nuts!

I liked this puzzle - MID AIR REFUELING was terrific! Learned RITT and EGAN here!

Elaine 10:12 AM  

Aw, to heck with Rule of Three.
I have NEVER heard a male called a skank, but it's an idea...
@Van55 TMI!!!!
In 1981 I thought wolf-whistles had gone the way of the dodo. Then I moved to Texas. (I met many wonderful Texans; it was the ones I did not meet, who were driving by in pick-up trucks, who were behaving badly.

Au revoir, mes enfants.

Geezer 10:25 AM  

For 26D, I fussed, as when I studied Hindustani, I was taught that it was derived from URDU. However, on googling, I discovered you can have it both ways. Languages are fascinating.

Jeffrey 10:28 AM  

@dk has it right: any puzzle with MADMAGAZINE and MODELTRAINS can't be all bad. I think this hit the Monday spot dead-on.

Glitch 10:30 AM  

Given the reaction to 41A, I'm curious if the clue was "as submitted" by Ms Keller, or changed in the editing.

In any case, the discussion seems to be going along the line of "Cougars" a while back, probably to the same conclusion. ;)


retired_chemist 10:33 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 10:36 AM  

Gee, I thought I'd have to be in the boring majority -- not very exciting -- not even for a Monday. And super easy.

But "Midairrefueling" makes the puzzle Monday-worthy. Barely.

retired_chemist 10:36 AM  


@ Elaine - On her way to Denton (TX) to grad school, about 30 mi from our house, my first wife used to drive (alone) 2 lane hwys which were under construction and had a lot of other construction going on around them. There were thus a lot of gravel trucks. The drivers would slow down in front of her, hang out the window, and in general act like DOGE BAGS. She did not appreciate it. In fact sometimes it was downright scary.

archaeoprof 10:36 AM  

What Crosscan said.

I once went along on a MIDAIRREFUELING training mission. Very, very, very impressive.

And there is a MODELTRAIN around my Christmas tree.

Two Ponies 10:37 AM  

Fair Monday with a little meat on its bones.
I don't mind being whistled at. I don't usually acknowledge it but it makes me feel good.
I don't think you men have any idea what you're talking about.
Happy Solstice everyone!

OldCarFudd 10:45 AM  

I thought this was a normal,
rather good Monday puzzle. I noticed how MOD, unlike the others, didn't stand alone, and thought: "This will bring out the nitpickers!" Thank you; you didn't disappoint.

While wolf whistling may never have been in the best of taste, I think it must have been more acceptable about 85 years ago. The Model T Ford guys who drive in parades (I'm not one; I hate parades) like to install a period accessory that gives a very piercing wolf whistle when exhaust gas is diverted through it. Its use generally gets laughs, and no offense, today.

slypett 10:52 AM  

Rex: I don't hnow what class of people you consort with, but it seems to be pretty low. I have worked construction and the docks and have never heard a wolf-whistle, not on the job or hanging out afterward. Most guys, after the age of 12 or so, tend to curtail their expressions of admiration and enthusiasm.

mac 10:58 AM  

Today the registration for the Westport Public Library crossword puzzle contest started on-line. It's filling up fast!

Bob Kerfuffle 11:06 AM  

Manday, Menday, Minday, Monday, Munday, Mynday . . .

But in fairness, another thumbs-up for MIDAIRREFUELING, and an overall decent puzzle.

David 11:11 AM  

Van55, 7/20/69 was indeed a memorable date of moonshots for you, I guess! Perhaps the byplay between the two events makes the date so memorable to you?

That this puzzle otherwise has caused a discussion of wolfs and skanks perhaps is a comment on its lack of otherwise edifying content? :)

foodie 11:16 AM  

For some reason, in our household when something is incomprehensible, we say it's in Urdu. Apparently, we never bothered to explain this expression to our children. One day, my son was getting acquainted with a Pakistani kid. He asked him what his native language was. I watched my son's jaw drop as the kid answered: "I speak Urdu".

I liked this puzzle.

xyz 11:23 AM  

Clearly one step above "solid if unspectacular".

Just have to say that SKANK is a very female sort of thing and who gets wolf-whistled at is independent of just about anything. Not fair to label the whistle-ee

Several interesting bits, but generally about what a Monday needs to be. Remember all ye great solvers, everyone has to start somewhere, methinks some of you forget ...


Anonymous 11:35 AM  

Skank = slut. Wolf whistles is all about looks, not loose morals

Shamik 11:43 AM  

Easy puzzle. Nothing more to say.

Doc John 12:31 PM  

Although I was an enthusiast of MODEL TRAINS as a child, I'm with Joho in saying that this one was off. The constructor should have been able to do something with "mod fashions" or whatever. I'm just sayin'.

bluebell 12:40 PM  

OK it was easy, but I've learned from this blog to recognize themes--I got mad and med and immediately went to the mid, mod and mud lines, solving those before going back and finishing the rest of it. It's fun to know that there is progress in learning how to do these things.

Clark 1:07 PM  

Semi-puzzle partner once got himself locked into the Doge's Palace when it closed for the night. He knew where the night guard was to be found, so he just relaxed and did some private viewing until he wanted to be let out. (Or as he might say it, reverting to Arkansian, until he wanted let out.)

joho 1:07 PM  

@darkman ... wow, you must live in a parallel universe different from the one with construction sites where I walked in NYC!

I agree with everybody who says that the one being whistled at has nothing to do with the behavior of the wolves who whistle.

chefwen 2:23 PM  

I evoked a few wolf whistles during "my time in the sun" and kind of liked it. Certainly didn't make me a skank, which I don't think was even a term 40 years ago.

Super easy puzzle, I think my cat who sports opposing thumbs could have filled it out.

Sexy Sonya 2:32 PM  

@ Rex, Who are you calling a skank?? Say that to my face.
I dare you.

Rex Parker 2:35 PM  

These comments are kind of ridiculous. The point was about the whistlers, and what would likely excite them the most — not the whistlees.

Please continue getting offended if you wish.


No snow in Arkansas! 2:44 PM  

Are you an Arkansan? Because I never hear anyone here say "Arkansian."

Despite some odd phrases and usages, (and this is the kind of thing I am very tuned in to) I have never heard "wanted let out" or "needed washed" here, either....but my Pennsylvanian hubby omits helping verbs all the time!

mexgirl 2:54 PM  

@ Parshutr
some of us are not as skilfull as you guys an still enjoy a Monday puzzle.

Voice of Reason 2:56 PM  

Quoting from your Blog:

Hate the clue on PRETTIEST, though (41A: Causing the most wolf whistles, perhaps). I don't think of wolf whistles as a good barometer of PRETTINESS. SKANKINESS? Perhaps.

I think that some of your female constituents, in the nicest possible way, wanted to alert you to your implication that whistles would be more likely to be inspired by... skanks. I see no outrage or high dudgeon in the Comments-- just female attempting to "raise awareness."

Most women have been targets of unwanted attention or appreciation, for which they do not wish to be blamed (or labeled.) How hard would it be just to think it over til you catch on?...and then say, "I get it."

Martin 2:57 PM  

I call this kind of theme a "vowel movement."

I tried to defend recreational wolf whistling over at Wordplay and got slapped. I don't know which is worse -- defending it or blaming the victim in the process of excoriating it. In either case the proper response is to quit while you're behind.

Lobo 3:01 PM  

We don't whistle, we howl. Check any zoological treatise, any literary reference including Aesop's Fables. Get your damned facts straight.

Meg 3:12 PM  

Hope you all have settled that most interesting debate on whistlers and whistlees.

I try hard, but it continues to be difficult to ENJOY a puzzle that is so easy, and yet I do the Mondays anyway. I need to change my approach.

The constructor did, after all, get the vowel shifts in order. Go Sarah! Too bad there was no room for MYD.

jskarf 3:33 PM  

Personally, I like the cross of HEADTOTOE and RESOLES. That caught my eye.

sanfranman59 3:35 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

All solvers (median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:35, 6:56, 0.95, 39%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:39, 3:41, 0.99, 53%, Medium

Clark 3:59 PM  

@No Snow --

I am no Arkansian, Arkansan, Arkansander, Arkansote, whatever. But Semi-puzzle partner is. (He’s out so I can’t ask which one he prefers.) I always assumed that his use of the past participle as a passive infinitive was an Arkansas thing. It looks like there are pockets of this usage in various places including Pennsylvania and Ohio. Could be that it comes from the Gaelic. No time to look into it more. There are presents that need wrapped and cards needing sent.

chefbea 4:22 PM  

easy Monday

Going to make onion soup a la Mac. Yummm

Geezer 4:42 PM  

Stand-alone word:

The MOD Squad

1968 et seq.

Cudgeling my Brains 5:11 PM  

...and sometimes Y and W
While Y can be short (baBY) or long (mY), W is found only in combination (OW, EW) where it designates a particular sound (or sounds.) MOW, COW, NEW...

I can see leaving out W-- MOW MEW, people would just focus on the O or E--in a vowel series.

I have not come up with MYD in a word, though. MYRiad.. that a word? MYDsized? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Martin 5:13 PM  

Myalgia in Myanmar.

Martinj 5:14 PM  

Mydriasis is an otic condition, but there's not much useful.

No snow in Arkansas! 5:21 PM  

Let's see what SemiPartner thinks about the origins of his dropped helping verbs.

We've watched the local news and read the local papers, and ARKANSAN is the going term. Every once in a long while, someone trying to be colorful will say AR-KAN-SAW-YER.

The oddest usage I've noticed is that native Arkansans will say "whenever" instead of "when." I use "whenever" to mean "at each occurrence," but not so hereabouts. Other "familiar phrases" have different meanings. "Out of pocket" means "late, distracted," not "having incurred costs, low in funds." Go figure.

Not sure how this fits into today's puzzle. Arkansas was part of the Louisiana Purchase; there was a lot of French in this puzzle; The French Connection!

SueRohr 5:28 PM  

Mystified...not by the puzzle but a suggestion for a word.
Oh, the many happy and hilarious hours I spent with Mad Magazine...

Bob Kerfuffle 5:30 PM  

@Cudgeling my Brains -

Don't forget the more pure vowel usage of W in CWM and other Welsh-based words.

And a while back, Matt Gaffney argued that H can also sometimes be a vowel, in the combination OH, similar to your argument for the W in OW.

Cudgeling my Brains 5:38 PM  

We need to stick to American English, I am pretty sure.
Actually, I am speaking of phonetics, and the fact that we have 26 letters to spell 44 sounds... Y and W *are* used as vowels and consonants, both.

H's /h/, being unvoiced, can be attached to avoid confusion (try MEH without it and you'll see,) or just as a convention (since O was once the common expression of OH.) I am not saying one can't make a case for its being a vowel, but it's not accepted as a vowel in phonetic transcription circles.

Bob Kerfuffle 5:44 PM  

@Cudgeling my Brains -

I'm just here for fun; I think I may have been wrong about the H. But I did find Matt Gaffney's puzzle, from April '09, and he refers to this article about W as a vowel. Worth reading if you like fun with words.

CoolPapaD 6:24 PM  

@Martin - vowel movement = comment of the day!

Anonymous 6:27 PM  

Sorry, Urdu is pretty common, not just crosswordese.

We fifty-somethings remember Martin Ritt well: "Sounder", etc.

Love what you do, Rex. My office does the crossword at lunch and then "check with Rex"........and then goes back to work.

Amherst, MA

slypett 7:17 PM  

Damn you, Kerfuffle! I just spent an hour reading "The Straight Dope" posts. Actually, thanks for all the fish.

treedweller 9:12 PM  

I used to work with a guy who was prone to wolf whistles (and the modern equivalent, horn beeping). I tried to explain to him that women frequently were not likely to appreciate such attentions (especially in Austin). He never got it, insisting it was a compliment. BTW, we were in Texas, but he was from Indiana (also liked to use the phrase "Hoosier daddy?!" a lot). FWIW, it was a casual sort of gesture, not the menacing ordeal described by @r_c.

Oh, I thought the puzzle was pretty standard Monday fare. And I am appalled that someone would ever get her fill of "Go, Dog, Go!" But then, I never read it endlessly to any children--I was more likely on the other end of that exchange. Dogs aplenty and a giant party in a tree--what's not to like. Well, I do not like your hat.

SethG 10:02 PM  

Beauty was the PRETTIEST woman in the village, and she was attacked by wolves before being saved by the beast. Who was played by Robby Benson, who also starred in the film adaptation of The CHOSEN. He has a daughter named Lyric. Speaking of lyrics, HEAD TO TOE is a song by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam.

TALIA Shire has a son named JASON. And Arthur JASON was the kidnapper in The Case of the Midnight Visitor, which Encyclopedia Brown solved when he saw that the clue the kidnappee left, the number 7891011, was written on the calendar. (Here's how he solved it.)

Today I drove past EGAN Avenue in Eagan, MN. That's gotta be confusing when mail-ordering and such.

Just some stuff I thought about with the puzzle. Monday!

sanfranman59 10:02 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 7/30/2009 post for an explanation. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

All solvers (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 6:38, 6:56, 0.96, 41%, Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:35, 3:41, 0.97, 48%, Medium

Sfingi 10:26 PM  

Easy. Didn't see the theme til done, but admired it. The crossword was one small step for me.

Didn't know til I read Rex that Cardinal Egan was an R.C. officer rather than a sports guy. Knew he wasn't a bird.

Uno Doge. Maybe Italy should go back to City-States. The North wants to get rid of the South (what's new?), and Silvio is a total piece of s--t. They have quite different histories, anyway. Garibaldi may have wasted his energy.
Anyway, In Italian, if "e" or "i" follow "g" or "c," the "g" or "c" is soft; whereas, this is not true with dogie. Now, if you get a long, little doggie, that's a Dachshund.

When I was small, sometime in the late 1940s, a guy whistled at my mother. I asked my father what "thrit-thru" meant, since I couldn't whistle.

@RetChem - Nowadays, I OGLE and LEER at the construction guys, and they politely ignore me. I still can't whistle. What did Lauren Bacall say?

@CoolPapa, Sonya - funny.

@Kerfuffle - The Welsh language, being Celtic, isn't even a patois or dialect of English, as Scottish dialect is, so it doesn't count.

@Clark - the helping verb use I like, since it fills a void, is "I BEEN done it," meaning I did that already, so leave me alone.

Happy Winter Solstice! I'd add a picture, but there's nothing to see.

Clark 1:09 AM  

@No Snow --

Semi-puzzle partner (he's a whole partner but he's half-way between a non-puzzle partner and a puzzle partner so I call him a semi-puzzle partner). Anyway, he confirms that the proper term is Arkansan.

By the way. Forgot to mention that when I was a tyke Go Dogs Go was one of my favorites. I think that book had something to do with my loving to climb trees. There should be lots of life going on up in trees it has always seemed to me. Even in my teen years, sometimes my friends and I would see some huge old tree somewhere out in the boondocks, make our way to it, and climb up as bloody high as we were able. (Singing Rocky Racoon at the top of our lungs no doubt.)

andrea aarp michaels 1:09 AM  

I'm surprised not more love for this puzzle...It is SO hard to find 5 "vowel movements" that are the right length, etc (remember A must match U and the E must match U in length)
So as much as the MODel didn't fit the pattern, "The MOD Squad" would not have fit the bill...altho the requistie 11 letters (to match MEDSTUDENTS, which was plural by the way), we'd have that whole
"THE" business again.

Anyway, I'm sad not more enthusiasm for the puzzle. Love Sarah Keller (43+ NYT puzzles!) and it's just SO hard to make one of these, tho no one ever believes it!

MADMAGAZINE is such a fun answer...
MIDARIREFEULING once again reminded me of my worst naming mistake.
I was re-naming People's Express and it was going to be a small Midwest I suggested MidAir...and the clients said in unison "As in MidAir collision?"

They went with Vanguard, which Bob Dole used for his campaign (before he had ED presumably...)

Go, Sarah, Go.

And as a newly minted 50 yr old, I have to admit I used to smile politely at wolf whistles (no need to glower and have to hear "What a b(*&ch" or worse in my wake...)
and now miss their complete absence.

Michael G. Benoit 4:06 PM  

The reference to Egain is a mistake. He is the current cardinal in New York. He is the former Archbishop of New York. When Egan turns 80 (at which point he would no longer be able to vote in a papal election), it is expected that Archbishop Dolan will become a cardinal.

See here:

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