Lower class in 1984 / WED 7-21-10 / Rope for pulling sail / Woman's name meaning weary in Hebrew / When doubled popular 1980s-90s British sitcom

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Constructor: Oliver Hill

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: BROKEN HEART (57A: Lover's woe ... or something found, literally, in the 4th, 5th, 8th and 11th rows of this puzzle) — word HEART is split by black squares four times

Word of the Day: 'ALLO 'ALLO (64A: When doubled, popular 1980s-'90s British sitcom) —

'Allo 'Allo! is a British sitcom broadcast on BBC1 from 1982 to 1992 comprising eighty-five episodes. It is a parody of Secret Army and was created by David Croft, who also wrote the theme music, and Jeremy Lloyd. Lloyd and Croft wrote the first 6 series. Series 7 onward was written by Lloyd and Paul Adam. Lloyd and Croft were also responsible for the popular sitcom Are You Being Served?. In 2004, Allo 'Allo came 13th in Britain's Best Sitcom. A reunion special, comprising new material, archive clips and specially-recorded interviews, was broadcast on 28 April 2007 on BBC Two. (wikipedia) [HA ha: not having read this wikipedia paragraph, from the next room, my wife said "yeah, I've heard of it. We had it in New Zealand. It's bad. It's "Are You Being Served?" bad]
• • •

Unpleasant experience for me, so I'll keep it brief. Started out great, but saw quickly that there were no clear "theme answers," which made the grid feel Thursdayish and made me think "there's some trick here ... maybe it's a rebus." Then I hit 43A: Flirtatious one. I had the COQ- part and at that point I was *sure* there was a rebus afoot. I mean, COQUETTE is spelled thusly, so ... it doesn't fit ... sooooooo ... I don't get it. Add to this miscomprehension an understandable but serious FAILure on my part at 33D: Information superhighway (THE WEB). I wrote down THE NET (which, unlike "THE WEB," has the virtue of having been a '90s movie *about* the "Information superhighway"). Didn't know PROLES (49D: Lower class in "1984"), couldn't pick up the odd past tense formation at 48A: Made tidy, in a way (SWEPT UP), and so was well and truly screwed in the W and S. 44D: Rip into is TEAR AT? Pretty sure I wanted TEAR UP. Anyway, it was all ugly down there. Mistakes were all my fault, but COQUET makes me hate this grid. Subjective, I realize, but that spelling (despite dict. cred), is asinine. Add an "R" in there and you have a real word. Otherwise, barf. Twice as many hits for the correct spelling, COQUETTE, plus most of the first hits for ["coquet"] are this song by of Montreal, which, you'll notice, also contains the real spelling of COQUETTE:

Lastly, INHAUL = ? (15D: Rope for pulling a sail)

The theme: shrug. Not impressed. Don't really care. Nothing here worth seeing. Theme is something that you can only really appreciate once you're done, as there are no real theme answers. Not a fan.

  • 24A: Woman's name meaning "weary" in Hebrew (LEAH) — guessing this helped me get 21D: Lacking spice (TAME), which I couldn't see to save my life.
  • 51A: Experience a mondegreen, e.g. (MISHEAR) — this I like. Original-seeming. Accurate.
  • 65A: Alexander the Great conquered it ca. 335 B.C. (IONIA) — one of those common crossword place names that have lots of different clues, none of which mean anything to me. "Hey, it's that Greek place that's 80% vowels. Awesome!")
  • 2D: Filmdom's Willy, for one (ORCA) — laugh-out-loud clue. I'm imagining Willy living somewhere in the Hollywood Hills, part of the movie scene. "Filmdom." Rich.

  • 7D: Metric prefix (KILO-) — annoying. First, because KILOmetric is a ridiculous word, and second because the clue doesn't signify KILOmetric after all—only that the prefix KILO- is associated with the "metric" system. Just give me a drug clue.
  • 8D: Pretty vistas, for short (SCAPES) — "Look at that lovely SCAPE, honey! Don't you just love SCAPES? I know I do." More ugh. SCAPES are flowering stems. Garlic SCAPES are some of the first edible things to come out of the ground here in the spring.
  • 28D: Uh-Oh! ___ (Nabisco product) (OREO) — The only thing that follows "Uh Oh" is "Spaghettios." Also, this alleged "product" is actually bygone–the name is, at any rate, if wikipedia is to be believed: "Golden Chocolate Creme Oreo are 'reverse' (inverse) Oreo cookies in that they comprise vanilla wafers and a chocolate cream filling. Originally, the title was named Uh-Oh Oreo until 2007." (wiki)
  • 37D: Poet/illustrator Silverstein (SHEL) — uneven cluing. This and the adjacent ETTA (36D: "At Last" singer James) are transparent—Monday easy, with recycled cluing.
  • 52D: Poem with approximately 16,000 lines ("ILIAD") — the number of lines is perhaps the Least interesting thing about this poem.
  • 53D: With 45-Across, largest city in California's wine country (SANTA / ROSA) — Having grown up in CA helped here. Got the SANTA first and then went hunting for the back end, with my mind spinning with possibilities (I know squat about wine country, but I got a rolodex of SANTA names in my head from having lived in CA for 17 years).
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Jo 7:46 AM  

Somehow found this one very easy, only got stuck slightly in the lower left but it came fairly quickly. I don't know why I wrote THE WEB without any real thinking. COQUET awkward indeed.
We watched 'ALLO 'ALLO on the reruns sometimes and liked it for some reason.
Off to my workout to get the brain further in gear.

Emily Jane Brontë 7:47 AM  

High waving heather 'neath stormy blasts bending,
Midnight and moonlight and bright shining stars,
Darkness and glory rejoicingly blending,
Earth rising to heaven and heaven descending,
Man's spirit away from its drear dungeon sending,
Bursting the fetters and breaking the bars.

All down the mountain sides wild forests lending
One mighty voice to the life-giving wind,
Rivers their banks in their jubilee rending,
Fast through the valleys a reckless course wending,
Wider and deeper their waters extending,
Leaving a desolate desert behind.

Shining and lowering and swelling and dying,
Changing forever from midnight to noon;
Roaring like thunder, like soft music sighing,
Shadows on shadows advancing and flying,
Lighning-bright flashes the deep gloom defying,
Coming as swiftly and fading as soon.

dk 7:56 AM  

Huh, not as perturbed as our fearless blog master. Although I do echo his rants over 43A and Spaghettios.

While not a 20A this one almost falls NEATH my arbitrary and capricious Wednesday bar.

** (2 Stars)

I like the BROKENHEART trick, filling in ZINC is oddly satisfying and a friends in high school had a garage band named The PROLES. I think that was the year I was a comma for Halloween. Yes, we were pretentious, unbearable twits from AP English.

Bob Kerfuffle 8:01 AM  

I was blaming my standard myopia/dyslexia for putting in SWEEPUP before SWEPTUP. Thank you, Rex, for pointing out that the answer is an "odd past tense formation".

Brendan Emmett Quigley 8:04 AM  

Bitte! Orca! Orca! Bitte!

The Bard 8:05 AM  

King Henry VI, part III > Act II, scene VI

From off the gates of York fetch down the head,
Your father's head, which Clifford placed there;
Instead whereof let this supply the room:
Measure for measure must be answered.

dk 8:08 AM  

Catching up:

@joho, great story yesterday keep it up and you may become as annoying as me :):)

@jen ct = 43A spelled correctly.

@foodie, a homeostatic state for pleasure- hmmmmmm most interesting.

cue the stings - love this blog

DrGaellon 8:10 AM  

Coquet is a perfectly valid French spelling; it's the masc. (see what I did there) form of the feminine coquette. Same distinction as brunet/brunette; it's just uncommon to refer to a male coquet.

joho 8:13 AM  

@Rex, what color are your cranky pants?

I do agree with you about COQUET and SCAPE, but other than those awkward spots I zipped through puzzle and enjoyed it along the way. I liked the theme ... seeing heart broken throughout the grid differently each time was fun.

SWEPT UP sounds right to me and I TEAR AT things all the time.

This just didn't seem to be Medium-Challenging to me and I'm wondering if that's a speed solving thing and that fact that @Rex was obviously not in sync with this constructor today. I'm looking forward to @sanfranman59's statistics later today.

@dk ... thanks! I can try but you set the bar pretty darn high!

r.alphbunker 8:22 AM  

The theme was great. It was fun to suddenly see something that had been laying hidden. To me the occasional unusual spelling is like some punk rock band that I have never heard of. It is just something that comes with the territory.

Anonymous 8:36 AM  

"LOADS" not "SCADS" tripped me up.. in the NW("MALA" -- isn't that something opposite of buena in Spanish...). Otherwise, striaghtforward, esp if you had to read 1984 in high school.


Anonymous 8:55 AM  

I didn't have a problem with scapes, I've it seen many times before in crosswords. Fell into net/web trap also. I would have felt the coquet clue would have been a bit more fair if there had been a var. after it. Otherwise, I liked the puzzle and would put it easy/medium.

CaseAce 8:56 AM  

ALLO ALLO! My wifey and I gave this a TWIRL and ARR at the conclusion that it was a very NEAT and TASSE offering ALA O.HILL.

PIX 8:56 AM  

Seemed like an average Wed. to me...theme also seemed OK (not brilliant, but not terrible.)

Do agree that Uh-Oh! should only be used with "SpaghettiOs" even if Oreo is technically correct.

John V 8:59 AM  

@rex: same problem with 43A. Oddly, theme popped up to me right away. NEVER heard of mondegreen until today. Add that one to the vocabulary.

Thought 66A was ambiguous.

Overall, average to easier for a Wednesday.

jesser 9:00 AM  

I am so smitten with Grace Jones that I automatically entered her at 10D, and that screwed up my world for a while. That, and I -- like Rex -- plopped in THE nEt at 33D, which created a mess only partly mitigated by the fact that I did know PROLES. Had I not, I think I would have still been solving rather than typing. I also had a writeover (but an easily fixed one) at 54A, where I wanted item. Mr. Hill disagreed with my assessment.

Scapes was truly horrible. I'm giving COQUET a pass only because of 1D hinting at it.

The theme was pretty elegant, in my view. This may have something to do with having recently gone through a rather devastating break-up after three and a half years. But that's a whole other story.

All in all, I thought it pretty ZESTY and not at all TAME.

Dumam! (The answer you give when the elderly woman asks, "What did I just step in?") -- jesser

The Palin 9:04 AM  

Throughout the process, it was our goal to take one of the state's most historic--and most technical, buzzworded, boring-to-read--bills and boil it down to the common sense level--because that's my world. We had to articulate clearly and simply what we were doing so that Alaskans could trust us to do it right. While our gasline team crunched away on the technical issues and lawyers, economists, scientists, consultants, and specialists from around the world provided drafts of potential language, the communications team--Marty, Bruce, Meg, and I--would cut to the chase like Ronald Reagan used to do and just talk to the people in plain language.

retired_chemist 9:05 AM  

Slow here. Med-challenging. Mondegreen - interesting word.

chefbea 9:22 AM  

Liked the puzzle. Once I got broken heart it made it much easier.

Speaking of oreos...I bought a package of the new pretzel M&Ms...Yummmmy

Frances 9:31 AM  


Thanks for your explication of coquet/coquette. On our next Girls' Night Out, I certainly hope to meet a handsome brunet coquet.

fred 9:34 AM  

What's with all the french crap?

SethG 9:36 AM  

LATKES almost made up for the theme that was a minor variation from some we've seen recently, the veritable mass of French, the INHAUL. But add cluing that I found irksome and uneven, and ugh.

Entrap Vapor 9:45 AM  

leaves me feeling blah
also started thinking rebus, trying to somehow fit spaghettios for a minute, but then got the broken heart thing and moved on. there's always tomorrow...

JayWalker 9:47 AM  

Dear Rex: please sleep later . . . or something. Lordy - "cranky pants" INDEED!! I honestly don't think that a fairly simple puzzle with some odd or obscure references was printed just to P. you O. Take a deep breath. We all love you.

JenCT 10:05 AM  

@dk - coquette, moi?...

BANC, OREO, COQUET were trouble for me. Also had THE NET.

@Rex - agree with you. Puzzle felt meh to me. SWEPT UP, PUT ON, EKE OUT?

Didn't know mondegreen.

JC66 10:20 AM  

@Rex Hilarious write up.

@Jesser item/TASK bit me too.

What about 3D NEAT/38A NEATH? Is this kosher?

fikink 10:31 AM  

"Just give me a drug clue" LOL! Does anyone talk about lids or nickel bags anymore? @dk? ...and how does a comma dress, btw?

‪"Uh-Oh, Spaghettios!" Damn straight, @Rex.‬

Actually enjoyed this puzzle much more than Rex because I was all over the grid filling in a letter OVER HERE and a letter OVER tHERE. All the broken hearts spoke to me and seeing CATASTROPHE across the Montana skies fed my masochistic bent.
ZINC and ZESTY added a nice ZIP!

Two Ponies 10:34 AM  

I'm with Rex on this annoying puzzle. My clues are all marked up with my own comments.
Hated Cool Beans back then, still do.
'Scapes is stupid. No one would ever say that.
Strange convoluted clue for data.
Inhaul? Sailing has so many original names for things like jib or spar then we get this dud.
I eat applesauce with pork chops.

Constructing this must have been a challenge but if I wanted to do a word search puzzle then I would buy a book of them at the impulse aisle of the grocery store.

Nancy in PA 10:38 AM  

Inhaul, outhaul, uphaul, downhaul...all very useful and self-explanatory sail trim terms. Love nautical terms. Love the puzzle. Love @dk "cue the stings" even if it is a typo.

ask me if I have a broken heart 11:03 AM  

Applesauce goes with pork chops .. yes!
Also hate (HATE)"Cool Beans"

captcha: "roitica" -- anybody??

MikeM 11:06 AM  


Steve J 11:13 AM  

Wasn't terribly fond of this one, either. SCAPES was the worst offender from my point of view. A hobby of mine is landscape photography (as my avatar alludes to), and shortening the word this way just grated on my ears.

Wasn't wild about COQUET, either. Yes, it's a valid French spelling (as @DrGaellon mentioned), but it wasn't clued as French. Or male. Yes, I'm sure that the word is in use somehow, somewhere in English - particularly in older texts - but to me this crossed the line from misdirection into dirty pool. While there are occasional exceptions (notably "actress"), contemporary English has dropped the vast majority of its gender-specific declensions. You don't see the likes of "poetess," "editrix" and "comedienne" in contemporary usage anymore.

I'd be curious if there was anyone out there who didn't work for Nabisco who thought of anything other than Spaghettios with the 28D clue.

Didn't like and didn't hate the theme (although I swear this exact theme has been done before, albeit with circles; I'll give points for there not being circles).

Ended up being easy-medium for me. Top half of the puzzle went instantly for me. Took a bit longer to get the SW and Oregon (the latter thanks largely to the much-disliked COQUET).

Tinbeni 11:25 AM  

Searched out the theme reveal, BROKEN HEART, early and concentrated on getting them filled in.

This caused me to correct "Rope for pulling a sail" sheets to INHAUL. Puzzle learning moment.

@Steve J
I got the OREO's instantly since they are a Nabisco fave of mine. But, Yes I did think of the "Uh Oh Saghettios."

I see I'm back to having the Avatar at sunset, NEAT.

poc 11:46 AM  

Agree with Rex in pretty much everything. THEWEB is terrible, the right answer should have been THENET. What exactly about the Web says "highway"?

However I do appreciate being introduced to the "mondegreen", a word I'd never heard of and had to look up.

foodie 11:48 AM  

I liked that the central HEART was broken in two places! I think there's a song called: Seven ways to break my heart? It would have been good to have had a little twist on the theme along the lines of different kinds of heartbreak.

COQUET looked all kinds of wrong as Rex pointed out, like it was looking for it's missing R. As @Dr. Gaellon points out, the spelling is technically correct in French. However, when it is used in the original, masculine sense, COQUET does not mean flirtatious-- it rather means someone who is very concerned with his appearance and dress style. COQUET can also be used for a good amount of money- as in "a handsome sum". But that's all getting pretty esoterically Frenchified- @Fred- LOL...

I always love seeing NORAH Jones in the grid.

Still in all, I enjoyed solving this puzzle and discovering the theme helped quite a bit.

My quick and dirty index rates it as Medium Challenging.

deerfencer 12:10 PM  

Liked this one quite a bit despite the occasional odd cluing. Got the theme early on, which helped.

r.alphbunker 12:16 PM  

To me THE WEB connotes texts with hyperlinks in HTML sent over HTTP which is just one of the protocols support by the Internet, i.e., THE NET. "Information superhighway" is vague enough to describe either of them. Constructors have discovered another ambiguous pair to add to old standbys like tia/tio, etc.

CaseAce 12:21 PM  

WWW, World Wide Web,is there to remind us, everytime we log in, of it's everpresent existence!

syndy 12:30 PM  

unlike Lady Mondegreen,am proud member of the proletariat(vive le revolution)!stumbled over coquet didn't like it but fair's fair,dict.says yes.Thanks all: knew uhoh didn't say oreos but for the life of me i couldn't remember spaghettiOsRated puzzle easy-medium-no sport names I didn't know

David 12:57 PM  

I too wonder what got into Rex's pants on this one? It seemed like an average Wednesday for me, whatever average Will Shortz seems to apply that is.

But then one of the charms of following Rex's blog is the sub-text of his moods, isn't it?

Zeke 12:59 PM  

So, assuming that sailors spend most of their time in the boat rather than floating in the ocean alongside the boat, they really need to be that specific about their lines? Grab the INHAUL Matey, and pull the sail in!??? What's wrong with grab the f***in rope and pull it in? It's not as if there's any choice there, or do they have an outpush rope too? I'd like to see that work.
Captcha: reafter. I'm telling you, all these re-words are totally fake. Does one recarve the turkey for the reafter repast?

Shamik 1:14 PM  

Really enjoyed Rex's write-up, although the end result was that I enjoyed the puzzle and found it just on the medium side of medium-challenging. LOL...would be medium if I hadn't sneezed and lost a couple of seconds.

rierowei: another version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"

Masked and Anonymous 1:32 PM  

Fun puz. Not quite cool beans, tho. Fortunately, I have no spellin' skills whatsoever, so I just waltzed up and filled in COQUET like it was no big deal. SCAPES also seemed obvious, but then I couldn't wait to get here to see how 44 would yelp at it. And he outdid himself.

My own engine light came on when I bumped into ALLO/PROLES and INHAUL/LATKES. Gotta do more yachtin' while eatin' fancy pancakes and readin' "1984", sayin' 'allo to the deck hands. Guess I'm just an old TEA RAT (see 44-D).

Rube 1:32 PM  

I, too, found very little to object about this middle-of-the-week puzzle. Liked the clues for VICI and MEASURE. Mondegreen is my WOTD. We had TERP within the last week to the consternation of our host at the time.

"Cool Beans" -- ridiculous. But along the same lines, it constantly amazes me that "cool", as slang meaning good, is still alive and well despite having been around for at least for 60 years. It was originally from the "Beat" era in the expression "Cool, man, cool", I believe.

SCAPES should be a gimme considering the clue, "Pretty vistas, for short". Think of those pretty desktop scenes that come with Microsoft's Vista. They're oft referred to as eScapes. Will just forgot to capitalize Vista.

Like @Tinbeni I sure wanted "sheet" for 15D, but too few letters. Had to go with the crosses. And, yes, it's "Uh-Oh, spaghettios!" -- period.

Anonymous 1:36 PM  

kilo as metric prefix makes perfect sense: e.g. kilogram, kilometer

Anonymous 1:55 PM  

Rex can be such a TUSH. I just need answers to the puzzles, not critique so I'll be going elsewhere.

While I drive to SANTA ROSA in my MAZDA, I'll listen to ETTA James and NORAH Jones and perhaps SEE some nice SCAPES along the way. Once there any ANTZ I notice will get SWEPTUP so they don't get my OREOs and the place will look NEAT.

Ta ta for now

Another Anonymous 2:02 PM  


Tia Maria 2:08 PM  

@r.alphbunker: What do you find ambiguous about tia/tio, unless the answer is clued as "padre's sibling"?

Gabe 2:29 PM  

Can it really be Uh oh! for either Spagettios or Oreos? Uh oh indicates dismay, as in Uh oh, the dog crapped in my shoes! Did the ad agency geniuses really want to indicate dismay? Wasn't it really ooh ooh (think Horshack)?

chefwen 2:38 PM  

My brother (62) still thinks he's a hippie and says "cool beans" ALL the time. Every time he says it I want to smack him.

Had no problem with COQUET, did have a problem with SWEeP UP, APART fixed that little snafu. Mondegreen was also my learning word of the day.

I really liked this one and enjoyed finding all the hearts.

Van55 2:40 PM  

There really is quite a bit to dislike about this puzzle's oddities, but I finished it in about average time (I am not a speed solver and don't time myself), so I pronounce it fair.

Gabe 2:42 PM  

Can it really be Uh oh! for either Spagettios or Oreos? Uh oh indicates dismay, as in Uh oh, the dog crapped in my shoes! Did the ad agency geniuses really want to indicate dismay? Wasn't it really ooh ooh (think Horshack)?

Another ballless guy 2:45 PM  

@Anon 1:55 You're so right. Rex is such a dick for not posting the solution right at the top, but making us read his drivel, then get at least 87% correct on the quiz before he deigns to disclose the correct solution to us. With what we're paying him, he should give each of us exactly what we want, when we want it.

Jerry 2:55 PM  

It's Oh! Oh! Oreos, obviously, not Uh! Oh!

For a very fun explanation of where the word mondegreen came from see:


huh? 3:08 PM  

So if you thought it was Oh! Oh! all those years when it was really Uh! Oh!, would that be a mondegreen?


Two Ponies 3:16 PM  

The origin of mondegreen is very interesting.
Possibly the best modern example being "Scuze while I kiss this guy".

r.alphbunker 3:19 PM  

@Tia Maria
Exactly. The clue is phrased so either of two (or more) answers with almost all the same letters could be correct. I am sure that there are other common examples but I am drawing a blank right now.

Rube 3:32 PM  

@Jerry, great site. Lady Mondegreen is indelibly inscribed in my heart.

George NYC 3:37 PM  

Route One is sometimes a FAST alternative to I-95, especially when there's hamburger all over the highway in Mystic, Conn.

JenCT 3:38 PM  

@Zeke - I don't know anything about sailing, but that's pretty funny.

Zen-ophobe 5:27 PM  

Who's cranky now, wow.

Nice theme. Subtle.

COQUET as a noun (as clued) is obsolete, but as a verb is current, according to the two dictionaries I checked. Perfectly good entry.

Cathyat40 6:09 PM  

Found the puzzle easy - a Wednesday in under 10 minutes is fast for me.

Agree that Route 1 is often faster than I-95 in Virginia. I avoid both as much as possible by staying in Charlottesville.

CrazyCatLady 6:12 PM  

The puzzle was fine. I thought it was on the easy side. Comments are great today.
I liked all the French crap. Except for CROQUET. If I were a guy, which I'm not, and someone called me a CROQUET, I would bop him/her on the TETE with my CROQUET mallet.

CrazyCatLady 6:20 PM  

Oops I meant COQUET. COQUET, Croquet, Croquette, Coquette....

Tinbeni 7:20 PM  

Like @Mashed and Anonymous, my spelling skills had NO PROBLEM with COQUET.
And I did look it up in the dictionary where it told me it was "FR 'coqueter' to flirt, lit., to strut like a rooster"

But you're right, if addressed in this manner, I probably would bop whomever with said croquet mallet.
Though cutting their brake lines is probably easier.

Anonymous 8:26 PM  

I'm surprised there was trouble with 48A, SWEPT UP. The clue was easy and past tense so 'sweep' is out and according to Merriam-Webster 'sweeped' is not even a word. I say SWEPT all the time. Maybe I need a vacuum.

joho 9:10 PM  

CrazyCatLady ... LOL

CrazyCatLady 9:25 PM  

@Tinbeni I also looked up COQUET and found it was transitive verb as well. I then found COQUETRY which is a flirtatious act or attitude. Then I found COQUET defined as a man who engages in COQUETRY. Mon Dieu! I prefer my COQ au vin.
@joho I play a mean game of croquet!

Stan 11:17 PM  

Even if "broken heart" has been used before as theme, this is a lovely variation. A heart broken often, but never in the same place.

Great clues for MISHEAR, MAZDA, MEASURE, and (for me) ROUTE ONE, which is always called Route One in these parts but has many other 'official' names (like LaFayette Road, Post Road, Portland Road, Blue Star Memorial Highway) that confound anyone trying to use Google Directions.

CrazyCatLady 12:11 AM  

@Stan Ah yes! The Boston Post Road in Rye NY brings back fond memories. I lived there for 18 yrs. Read in the LAT yesterday that coyotes have recently attacked two toddlers in Rye. That makes our SoCal coyotes seem nice in comparison. They only attack cats and small dogs.

Stan 12:39 AM  

@CCL: Yes, we have coyotes in the marshes though I've never seen one. That's one reason our cats are indoor-only these days. Didn't know about the toddlers (sad).

Visiting southern Texas, I was pleased to see both coyotes (hi, Acme!) and roadrunners.

andreah ear tmichaels 12:48 AM  

In NY and no time to write but just saw your note.
I LOVED this theme thought it was brilliant and fresh to break up the words with a black square instead of the usual within the phrase and in so many places!! I jumped on the phone and called one of my writing partners and made him do the puzzle then and there...
found it super inspiring!!!

Pls had puzzle lunch with my favorite boys: Patrick Blindauer, Tony Orbach, Peter Gordon, Dan Feyer and Francis Heaney at the 2nd Ave Deli bec it turned out Patrick had never had jewish food!!!!!! ANd we made him eat Latkes with apple sauce of all things!

If Oliver is reading this, I LOVED yourpuzzle, brilliant brilliant!

Stan 1:00 AM  


2nd Ave. Deli is the best. Have a great time in NYC!

(Okay I'll shut up now -- not turning the place into a chat room.)

andrea coquetttte michaels 1:20 AM  

@Stan...not just idle chat...LATKE and applesauce were in the puzzle.
The manager of the deli is a puzzle fan and took a huge liking to our table and kept bringing appetizers and desserts and what not all thru the meal! I mean, chopped liver, kasha varnishkas?, choc egg cremes, ruggeleh...and on and on!
it (almost) made up for charging $11.95 for a tuna sandwich!

Plus it was me plus five puzzle genius boys... When I got into the elevator with Patrick B, Francis H and Peter G later (at Sterling Publishing where they all work) I commented on what a loss it would be to the puzzle world if the elevator crashed...and Peter said they usually don't all ride in the same car just in case!!! :)

Perhaps you'd be pleased to note that Grace Cathedral in SF is on Jones St.

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