Franciscan order member / MON 8-16-10 / End of week office dress policy maybe / Quaint computer insert / Drooping as rabbit's ears

Monday, August 16, 2010

Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels and Jennifer Nutt

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: TV DETECTIVE (60A: What each of the characters named at the ends of 17-, 24-, 38- and 48-Across is):

  • Frank CANNON (1971-76)LOOSE CANNON (17A: Unpredictable sort)

  • Joe FRIDAY (Jack Webb years: 1949-59, 1967-70) CASUAL FRIDAY (24A: End-of-the-week office dress policy, maybe)

  • Nash BRIDGES (1996-2001)BURN ONE'S BRIDGES (38A: Permanently sever ties)

  • Adrian MONK (2002-09)CAPUCHIN MONK (48A: Franciscan order member)

Word of the Day: CAPUCHIN MONK (48A: Franciscan order member)) —
The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (O.F.M. Cap; in England and Ireland, O.S.F.C) is an order of friars in the Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans. The worldwide head of the Capuchins, called a minister general, is currently Father Mauro Jöhri. // The order arose in 1520 when Matteo da Bascio, an "Observant" Franciscan friar native to the Italian area of Marche, said he became inspired by God with the idea that the manner of life led by the Franciscans of his day was not the one which St. Francis had envisaged. He sought to return to the primitive way of life in solitude and penance as practiced by the founder of his order.
• • •
Really liked this one, despite the fact that I (someone who starts teaching crime fiction again in something like two weeks) could identify only two of the four detectives. "CANNON" sounded like one of those one-named 70s cop shows I'd heard of (it is), but BRIDGES I could not identify. So I googled, only to have a powerful "D'oh" moment. "*Nash* Bridges." There was literally Nothing about that show that made me want to watch it, so I never did (as I avoided most '90s phenomena). I sort of forgot that Nash BRIDGES *was* a detective — whoa, I just realized NASH is in the grid—crafty (39D: Ogden who wrote "Candy / Is dandy / But liquor / Is quicker"). In my head, he is like a slightly more civilized and effete Walker Texas Ranger. Anyway, the theme answers themselves are fantastic, especially the highly unexpected and original CAPUCHIN MONK—the only answer in the grid keeping this puzzle from being flat-out "Easy" for a Monday. I hesitated only a couple of times while solving: once at SECY (58D: Cabinet head: Abbr.), an abbrev. I can't stand, and one which (consequently?) never comes readily to mind; and once at DELHI (33D: Indian metropolis), which I (once again!) misspelled on my first try. My brain will not let DEHLI go. Love the music in this one (esp. Stevie!).

Wife just called from the next room, re: clue on NIECE (15A: Uncle's special little girl): "Creepy!" Agreed. Only weirdish words today were FLOR (27D: Bloom: Sp.), which is more Spanish 102 than Spanish 101 (e.g. ESO, ADIOS, AGUA, etc.); and ALOP (31A: Drooping, as a rabbit's ears), which will make novice solvers go "???" but will be so familiar to constant solvers at this point that its presence is not likely to cause disturbance of any sort.

[My love for this man's music knows No Bounds—nothing can make me happier faster: Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie AMOUR"]

  • 41D: Quaint computer insert (DISKETTE) — this clue made me laugh out loud, mainly because it made me imagine someone picking up one of these at a little antique store on the coast: "Look at this honey ... isn't it adorable?"
  • 49D: Like some symmetry (AXIAL) — a bit of an oddity on a Monday, but I can tell you that I got this instantly based solely on the clue: symmetry seems to be a preferred way of coming at AXIAL.
  • 67A: "Go, bullfighter!" ("OLE!") — this clue also made me laugh out loud, primarily at the idea of anyone, at any time, shouting "Go, bullfighter!" "Go, bullfighter! Throw a home run!"
About tomorrow's puzzle: I won't be around to blog it (though someone else will). I want to invite you, however, to write your own personal comments on your copy of the puzzle, cut it out, and send it to me at:

Rex Parker
4700 Vestal Parkway East, #279
Vestal, NY 13850-3770

Or else take a picture of yourself solving it, shredding it, making an airplane out of it, whatever, and send that along to me via email. Seriously.

I'll be back on Wednesday with a brief recap of this past weekend's Lollapuzzoola 3 tournament in Queens.


Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


retired_chemist 12:11 AM  

More easy than medium IMO. No thrill today.

Agree the clue for NIECE was creepy.

Looking forward to tomorrow.

Tobias Duncan 12:34 AM  

Alop definitely made this novice solver go ???
Felt creeped out by the niece clue as well and then saddened by that fact.
Great shot of Jim Rockford! I have been revisiting the Rockford Files all month on Hulu. The show was must see TV when I was a kid. I have to say as dated as the show is, it is still quite watchable.

Steve J 12:38 AM  

Grr, Blogger ate my comment.

Really enjoyed this. Very clever and original theme. Stringing together TVDETECTIVEs was clever, but what made this was two of the three detective answers were great (especially the outstanding CAPUCHINMONK). BURNSONESBRIDGES doesn't really match actual usage, but it's not like this wasn't extremely solvable even with the indefinite third person.

Count me as another who raised an eyebrow at the clue for NIECE.

Blew this in very quick time: I'm guessing one of my 10 quickest Mondays (I don't track, but I also know I don't finish this quickly often). But I thoroughly enjoyed the brief time I spent with this one.

andrea capuchin michaels 1:09 AM  

Damn! Don't let one little clue derail the whole puzzle! Now I know how the other constructors feel! ;) I'm still Uncle Lenny's "Special little girl"... and he's the only one in my family who does my crossword puzzles!

D_Blackwell 1:31 AM  

I think that the NIECE clue is sweet. It's sad that this has become the public's second connotation. All the better that it was used. I wonder if it would draw fire, but don't care if it does.

I expect that a reference to Maurice Chevalier's wonderful rendition of "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" (Gigi) would make some people apoplectic.

chefwen 2:08 AM  

More easy than medium in this camp also. Only one write over, CASUAL FRIDAY over CASUAL attire. Loved the CAPUCHIN MONK and I am so happy that you used ICE TEA vs. iced tea, so that we can avoid that debate again.

Had no problem with the uncle NIECE relationship. Loved all my uncs.

Good, easy Monday puzzle, which is what Monday's are all about, right?

Sparkydog77 6:36 AM  

This column has quickly become my favorite "go to" morning cup-of-coffee web site. I absolutely adore you, Rex, and what you have going on here.

Alright, the puzzle today was a hoot and easily trounced through with the EXCEPTION of the (I thought difficult) CAPUCHINMONK (this slowed me down considerably).

Also, being 45 years old, I distinctly remember the TV Show "Cannon" as it featured the workmanlike (always meaning "average" despite what any reviewer may ever tell you) William Conrad in what had to be one of the most HILARIOUS OPENING SEQUENCES of all time for a TV DETECTIVE as CANNON was certainly one of the more, ah-hem, CORPULENT TV DETECTIVES in network history. Seeing him run in action sequences still to this day sends me back to therapy for a session or two.........LOL.

Finally, being a Kentuckian, 46 Down's "Drink served with a mint leaf," can mean only one thing: JULEPS and the Kentucky Derby. But, I willingly defer to some scintillating and scrumptious mint-flavored teas that have become epicurean delights in the past decade.

Oh, one last thing: the drooping "rabbit's ear's"..........ALOP: Well, let's just say that I viewed that ASKANCE and even with a half-raised (more than supercilious) eyebrow. I wanted to page Beatrix Potter at once and seek her disapproval as well. LOL.

Happy Monday! Barry J.

Rex Parker 6:39 AM  

@Sparkydog, you aren't the only one: CAPUCHIN MONK is essentially the Only clue getting googled today (and it's getting googled a lot, by Monday standards).

Anonymous 7:01 AM  

I was Uncle Lawrences' special little girl when I was 3, as he had no children yet. Nothing kinky, just special love. Flowerlady9

joho 7:47 AM  

Just seeing SNAFU in the puzzle was enough for me.

Thought the theme was fresh and absolutley loved CAPUCINMONK(EY).

I had CANNON and BRIDGES in the grid and thought at first that the theme was hollywood actors as in Dyan and Jeff or Beau ... so I was happily surprised to sleuth out the TVDETECTIVES.

As always with Andrea the clues are more original and interesting than usual and the puzzle is smooth.

Thank you AMC and Jennifer, you NUTT, for a great start to the week!

Leslie 7:56 AM  

Cute puzzle. I thought there would be a "destruction" theme of some sort going on with LOOSE CANNON and BURNS ONE'S BRIDGES.

I was fine with ALOP; our local Enormous State University's Ag School has an annual Small Animal Day exhibit with, among other things, lop-eared rabbits. (And dwarfs, and giants, and I have to stifle the desire to steal All of Them.)

Sparkydog77: HA! on the CANNON intro. I so remember the portly Conrad in those opening shots.

Nice one, Andrea!

r.alphbunker 8:10 AM  

I saw nothing inappropriate in the uncle clue. It brought to mind the old riddle "brothers and sisters have I none, but that man's father is my father's son". Could the niece in question be the uncle's daughter?

redhed 8:32 AM  

I am another one who thought nothing amiss with the uncle clue. I had two of 'em in the Army and they used to bring me the most beautiful clothing from all over the world. Loved the puzzle, and didn't have to google the monks even though I was unaware of them. Alop made sense to me, too, as I used to care for lop-earred ones at one time. Knew all the detectives also, as I am older and used to be a TV junkie. Thanks Andrea and Jennifer for a great puzzle start to the week!

Torbach 8:37 AM  

A fun Monday, indeed - nice one guys!

This put me in mind of Cannon star William Conrad (not to be confused with other TV names Robert Conrad, Michael Conrad or Conrad Bain) and a turn he had hosting Saturday Night Live - his girth was used to terrific, self-deprecating effect, if memory serves. Nothing like a big guy (who's otherwise a serious actor) doing physical, slapstick stuff - a guilty pleasure!

Rex, thanks for Stevie - my sentiments exactly.

Tony O.

chefbea 8:51 AM  

Easy puzzle!! Thanks Andrea and Jennifer. Haven't had time to go thru the alphabet but it seems like a pangram

Loved Dragnet, I remember Cannon and Monk is still my favorite!!

Look forward to tomorrow

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

am i the only one who put motorist in the jam?

retired_chemist 9:04 AM  

@ chefbea - no pangram. No Z or Q.

captcha - misses. Presumably somebody's nieces.....

nanpilla 9:07 AM  

This sparkler made me want to have a drink from my

Hey, it's 15 letters.

Glimmerglass 9:20 AM  

Sorry, but we olde tyme English teachers cringe at "ice tea." I remember a sign in a school cafeteria announcing "Stuff Peppers," which the faculty decided was not an error but the cook's command to us pretentious intellectuals.

Van55 9:39 AM  

Flawless. And I don't say that simply because Andrea is a co-constructor.

John V 9:41 AM  


I meet folks who say then only start the puzzle on Wednesday because early in the week is not challenging. Hmm. Merits of this approach aside, I've found for a very long time that solving the puzzle makes me more productive earlier in the day than if I don't. Is this a common phenomenon?

Today's puzzle was a nice, Monday brain wakeup.

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

Got back from a great party late yesterday, so didn't finish the Sunday puzzle until this morning. Did no one else think of Elliot Spitzer for 92A?

jesser 9:48 AM  

Loved the puzzle. Not so much loving that Blogger ate my rather long post about it, but that's life. I have no time to recompose, but here's a cheer to Andrea and Jennifer from jessville!

Gralkes! (The sound I made when my post evaporated into the ether) -- jesser

Zeke 9:51 AM  

Lovely, smooth puzzle. There were a couple of Olafs in the cluing though, e.g. 30D. If you didn't get it from the fill in the blank, did we really need both "Light My Fire" and The Doors (it is The, not the) clue?

Aunt Hattie 9:51 AM  

I'm with Glimmerglass and cringe at ice tea--Chefwen, that is still a debate! Or not a debate, just a correct and incorrect spelling. Oh, well--liked the rest of this puzzle a lot, even the weird uncle.

Cheech 10:05 AM  

@Rex - You never watched Nash Bridges? How did you choose your sunglasses in the 80's? You probably ended up with dweeb sunglasses for a decade!

Frankly, Scarlett 10:08 AM  

ALOP - and CAPUCHIN got me. Neice was DEFINITELY creepy!

daisy 10:13 AM  

You. GOOGLE????? This was easy except for the sudden posh moment in the middle there. Not enough to loose one's cannon over tho. LOVE the clips. Have a lovely day orf, won't you. cheerio.

ArtLvr 10:15 AM  

Congrats to Andrea and Jennifer -- very enjoyable! Of course I wanted Juleps at 46D...

Does anyone guess Rex's surprise for the morrow will be a debut from one Michael Sharpe? I do I do.

Can't wait... ∑;)

Ice-T 10:15 AM  

To ice CREAM. Take Tin Ice-Pots, fill them with any Sort of Cream you like, either plain or sweeten'd, or Fruit in it; shut your Pots very close; to six Pots you must allow eighteen or twenty Pound of Ice, breaking the Ice very small; there will be some great Pieces, which lay at the Bottom and Top: You must have a Pail, and lay some Straw at the Bottom; then lay in your Ice, and put in amongst it a Pound of Bay-Salt; set in your Pots of Cream, and lay Ice and Salt between every Pot, that they may not touch; but the Ice must lie round them on every Side; lay a good deal of Ice on the Top, cover the Pail with Straw, set it in a Cellar where no Sun or Light comes, it will be froze in four Hours, but it may stand longer; than take it out just as you use it; hold it in your Hand and it will slip out. When you wou'd freeze any Sort of Fruit, either Cherries, Rasberries, Currants, or Strawberries, fill your Tin-Pots with the Fruit, but as hollow as you can; put to them Lemmonade, made with Spring-Water and Lemmon-Juice sweeten'd; put enough in the Pots to make the Fruit hang together, and put them in Ice as you do Cream. (from Wikipedia)

You get the picture. Now for Ice Tea....

CoffeeLvr 10:16 AM  

I agree with the Easy-Medium rating. Solved with no web assistance, but had two erasures: AMORE for AMOUR (those 13 credits in French are a long time ago!) and MUSICMAN for MUSICIAN, but those were quickly cleared up by the crosses. Slower than most Mondays, due to leaving some answers blank and doubling back. Don't (you) think I am fast, I only time Monday and Tuesday - so today was about 15 vs. 10 minutes.

@ACM, so glad to see some of your work, I am relatively new here, and only recently began to pay attention to the constructers. I like the theme a lot, and my personal favorite was AXIAL Xing EXUDE. Recently finished a set of CD's about religions of the Axial Age.

Just to chime in, I greatly prefer Iced Tea. The only Ice T I like is on L&O SVU.

@Rex, thanx for the great clips, especially the wonderful Joe Friday, and square tomatoes.

Captcha reminds me of recent performances of Tiger Woods: expar

PIX 10:16 AM  

Google, Meriam-Webster on line, and all refuse to define alop for me.

A fun puzzle.

Diana Holquist 10:18 AM  

Great shout-out to the "Jewfro" constructor in today's Philly Inquirer.

philly *dot* com/philly/news/local/100745099.html

(And we loved the puzzle--lots o' love for Monk in this house.)

CaseAce 10:19 AM  

To all you Crossword fans out there, you simply must check out the Aug.16th-23rd New Yorker cartoon on page 69 by BEK (Bruce Eric Kaplan) to see what I regard in MHO, as just about the funniest Crossword themed cartoon ever depicted!

CoffeeLvr 10:20 AM  

Have to add, new captcha captures 41D perfectly: deoldsk.

Also, I was typing my comment when Ice-T posted. Great minds, and all that.

Evan 10:24 AM  

Yep, I'm pretty sure tomorrow's gonna be a Rexwordpuzzle. It's been a quirky tradition among my father, brother, and myself to draw pictures around puzzles that we've completed, usually illustrating something like dynamite blowing it up or a dinosaur eating it, as a way of signifying that we've destroyed it. I look forward to my drawing tomorrow.

Wade the Creepy Uncle 10:28 AM  

Andrea took me to see the CAPUCHIN MONKEYS in San Francisco on Friday. Actually they were sea lions, which are distinguishable from seals by the earlessness of the latter, which we found quite funny in a blank-stare-from-your-tour-guide kind of way. I know we're not supposed to use any words in our comments that have appeared in prior puzzles until every last person on this board has confirmed that he or she has finished those puzzles, but I'm giving myself special dispensation because I find that rule irritating.

I never saw Nash Bridges or Monk but used to watch Cannon with my grandpa--it was his third or fourth favorite show after the Cartwrights, Ironsides and/or Mannix. Say what you will about those men, but they excelled at solving crimes. William Conrad was Matt Dillon on the radio but got passed over for the TV role in favor of James Arness under pressure from the Oater Horse Union. Then, in one of those "only in Hollywood" moments, he won his most enduring role auditioning for a different role--yes, think how different our collective TV memories would be if William Conrad had actually been chosen for the part of Jake.

It's nearly 7:30 and my hosts are up, I think.

Unknown 10:29 AM  

Nice snappy little puzzle. Probably could have finished in under five minutes, if I'd done it on paper, but I'm an AcrossLite junkie.

@Jesser: I know what you mean, vis-a-vis losing posts on transmission. That used to infuriate me as well, especially since I tend to write rather lengthy comments. I suggest that you highlight your finished post and CTRL C it. Then, if it disappears into cyberspace, you can just go back to an empty comment box, and CTRL V it. I'm sure you're aware of this, but it can save you future aggravation. Just Sayin.

c.w. stewart 10:30 AM  

Enjoyed your puzzle Andrea and Jennifer. Interesting theme! It was a perfect Monday as far as difficulty. The niece clued didn't bother me since I had several uncles that were special to me as I was to them. Thanks!

foodie 10:38 AM  

What a delightful puzzle!! I think a Monday puzzle is meant to be easy, but still please, entertain, refresh and offer that little zing of unexpectedness. Like drinking fresh lemonade with a touch of mint on a hot summer afternoon.

For me the unexpectedness came from the final reveal: TV DETECTIVES. I too had some sort of combat hypothesis going for a while, then had nooo idea what the theme was. I love it when that happens. I ask myself, if I were the kind of person who could hold off and try to puzzle out the theme, would I have ever gotten it? Is it really obvious, or would it take significant mental flexibility? In this case, the latter, for sure. Hence the big aha feeling.

And did you know that JESUIT PRIEST fits where CAPUCHIN MONK did? And even intersects happily with DUD? Except that Pablo Cassal would have been playing the JELLO...

Thank you Andrea and Jennifer. More please!

Cathyat40 10:41 AM  

Enjoyed the puzzle. I'm nostalgic for Cannon & Joe Friday, but did enjoy Rockford Files and Columbo the most. Was also a fan of the Rock Hudson detective show: Mcsomething, I think.

Two write-overs: Old before OUT and hoOT before RIOT.

Creepy uncle comments made me think of the Steely Dan song "Cousin Dupree" - perhaps he'll appear in a puzzle one day.

mac 10:43 AM  

Great puzzle, Andrea and Jennifer! Easy-medium sounds right to me. After LOOSE cannon and CASUAL Friday I thought the theme might be synonyms of those words, but BURN fixed that. I don't know any of these detectives, but I remember the Bridges/sunglasses phenomenon! What happened to that actor?

Niece filled itself in, so I didn't fall over the uncle clue. As the first grandchild on both sides, I had lots of uncles who spoiled me, nothing creepy about it.

As is usually the case with Andrea's constructions, there are interesting little word combinations: noels and motet next to each other, Idols and Paula crossing and Nash crossing the Bridges answer.

Now I have "light my fire" stuck in my ears, not too bad. I'm hearing Jose, though.

Rex Parker 10:45 AM  

I don't even know who Michael Sharpe is.

Jim 10:52 AM  

Liked the puzzle. Couple smiles, one big shudder (my friend had an Uncle Johnny that springs to mind) and a moment of nostalgia (for the diskette, which to me always refers to those 5 1/4" 'Squagel'-looking things made out of Teflon, or Kevlar, or whatever it was).

Problem with ICETEA, though. Reminds me of Mr Burns' line, expressing enjoyment with 'this so-called...iced...cream.

Well, this helps cleanse my pallet of that bitter Sunday offering. Thanks, Andrea and Jennifer.

On a different site, I'd comment on the captcha. Lewd, especially given the 'uncle' business today.

deerfencer 11:03 AM  

Fun, snappy puzzle and great Monday wakeup call.

Just back from the superb Wilco fest at MASS MoCA this weekend, so still on cloud 9. Even got to rub elbows with some of the band at a local bar after their superb (2 1/2 hour, 30-song) show Saturday night.

Two Ponies 11:05 AM  

Thank you ladies for a fun Monday.
The monk was a nice surprise.
Considering the hair style they share my question is
Which came first, the monk or the monkey?
Solid puzzle with only one little groan from me. I really don't like the a- words.
Abed, atilt, etc.

Tomorrow will be quite interesting. Many of us have guessed from the first hint that it will the NYT debut we have been waiting for. Good luck Rex!
I am expecting some noise from the lurking anti-sychophant crowd but that will all be part of the fun.

Mel Ott 11:24 AM  

@Andrea (& Jennifer): Congratulations on a well-constructed puzzle.

@Mac: I had the same experience. When I saw LOOSE & CASUAL at the front end of 17A & 24A, I thought that was the theme. Scratched my head at 38A & 48A. Never looked at the back end of the theme answers until the reveal at 60A.

@Andrea: I wonder if that subtle misdirection was intentional? If so, double my congratulations!!!

Sparky 11:52 AM  

Liked the theme. Thanks Andrea and Jennifer. My memory is so bad I don't remember how I get to soutions. I know I had FRIDAY, then I had TIVE so looked back and the others suggested themselves. I wanted Tom Selleck to show up. @Wade. What rule? How could the blog discuss the puzzle with that rule? Good start to this week. Looking forward to Tuesday's surprise.

Anonymous 11:55 AM  

What a refreshing puzzle after Sunday's craptactular slog. Many great words peeking out from the grid, like pyre, pulse, axial, snafu, Pinta ... Also enjoyed the musical references scored throughout, like Paula crossing idols and noels and motet standing arm in arm.

Nice cluing too, chuckled at the sweet/creepy uncle. And I love love love Stevie, but whenever I hear "My Cherie Amour" I'm immediately transported back to that day in Boston, riding the T, when a guy looking like a very strung out junkie was listening to that song on his headphones, rubbing himself up and down the subway pole and singing along off-key. La la laaaa La la la ... creepy/hilarious

archaeoprof 12:02 PM  

Just back from 10 days of puzzle-less vacation, and it's an ACME Monday! Life is good.

Otherwise, what @Foodie and @Mac said.

Tomorrow will the whole world know how to spell Michael Sharp?

Tinbeni 12:18 PM  

CAPUCHIN MONK, learning moment of the day.
Always a plus.
Thanks Andrea & Jennifer. It was FUN!

SNAFU gets all the play, esp. Monday to Thursday.
But when the weekend hits, I prefer being FUBAR.

I'm tired of the comments that imply that there is something more than a "clue and answer" going on here.

When I saw at 15a 'Uncle's special little girl' and entered NIECE, nothing untoward entered my mind.

Those that read way more into this and found it 'creepy' ... they're the one's I find 'creepy'.

Zeke 12:19 PM  

@Rex - Michael Sharpe is kind of like you, but with really loose skin, gathering in folds, all over his head and neck.

Bob Kerfuffle 12:27 PM  

Very nice Monday puzzle.

Kept me guessing what the them was until I got to the reveal.

Stephen Cosgrove 12:34 PM  

Does anyone remember "Leo the LOP"?

The Big E 12:49 PM  

flew through this today but when I clicked submit, found I was incorrect. Took me about 30 seconds to find that I had written "SECT" instead of "SECY" (blech) and consequently created "WEEDT" which is clearly not a word.
What can I say, sometimes I am a maroon!
Nice write up!
(and def agree on "niece." ewww)

syndy 12:55 PM  

nice puzzle but can we expect to see LUTHERAN clued as CATHOLIC?I also saw a pattern rising Loose-Casual-Burn? Liked that pyre crosses burn. bye the bye Capuchin means Hooded/with a hood so monkeys and Friars had something in common but not neccessarily named for one another

retired_chemist 1:14 PM  

@ syndy - interesting (implied) question. Capuchin, the cloak/hood, gives rise to both the monkey's name and the friar's name acc. to my dict. Also there is a pigeon - did not know that.

Masked and Anonymous 1:46 PM  

@ACM & Jennifer Nutt: Nice puz, darlin's. Had a fine bouquet, clear color, just a hint of fruit, and a refreshing aftertaste. And 007 U's! Ker-ching! ThUmbs Up!

Sharpe-ening up the spare knives for tomorrow mornin'. Hope 44's website can handle the traffic...

Clark 2:09 PM  

Beautiful Monday puzzle, Andrea and Jennifer! It was easy, smooth, even, clever. I like a Monday puzzle that has no bumps or sharp edges. The cappuchin clue came easy, I think, cause (1) I went to catholic school, (2) I am a fan of cappucino, (3) I spent a summer in Salzburg, under the Kapuzinerberg. (The old city viewed from the Kapuzinerberg. Cue Julie Andrews.)

mac 2:38 PM  

@CaseAce: you're right, that one is great!

AV 2:38 PM  

this is what i sent to acme late last night (when the blog was not up):

"wow, this one had me stumped me as i raced through it. initially thought you were playing on loose, casual, etc., and then "burn" left me cold, until you pulled me back in with the darn detectives! well done. a twist in the story as far as my experience was concerned. on a monday no less! wonderful."

or as my captcha says: pretti!

andrea kojak mannix 2:41 PM  

Even tho I was going to restrain myself from further comment, and just sit back and enjoy the feedback (thank you everyone!) I would like to shed a little light on the theme.
Besides, gmail shut me down today, the WORST day that could happen to me, bec I was sending out a mailing to pals about this puzzle's appearance and google/big brother decided I am a spammer :(

I don't know when the ban will be lifted but I'm trying not to freak out!

@mel ott, @foodie, @mac
Yes, the LOOSE, CASUAL theme is how this puzzle came about.
I was doing a puzzle of Jennifer's in the LA Times/SF Chronicle (which I rarely get to but she is someone I've met here in SF and comes to the constructors' lunches despite being a super busy lawyer...and is delightful)

Anyway, she had LOOSECANNON, CASUALFRIDAYS in her puzzle and I thought the theme was TV Detectives...but then I got to RELAXED HAIR. wtf?!
(Unless that was a nod to Farrah and the gang at Charlie's Angels!)
(Uncle Charlie?!)

So I decided to indeed make one that was detectives whose last names could be in phrases (which meant jettisoning my faves: Mannix, Kojak, and all the ones with fun, ethnic last those Ks and Xs!)

In any case, as it was her puzzle that inspired me, it only seemed right to ask if she wanted to do it together! (Plus, did I mention she IS a lawyer...) ;)

EXCELLENT call on CHAMPAGNEMAGNUM and a 15 to boot!!!
We wanted detectives, if possible, from each era; we managed 60s, 70s, 90s, + the present
which is why we went for NASH BRIDGES
(plus his show was set in SF...the crossing of NASH was serendipitous) and Thelonius MONK would have been way cool, but is a name, and we needed a phrase...and FRANCISCANMONK, my first choice, had the incorrect number of all had to balance.
Personally I thought CAPUCHIN made this a Tuesday, for sure (along with MOTET, etc) but Will seems to know what he is doing!

I also thought it would be fun to have two women collaborate, which is rare-ish. Jennifer made the wonderful grid, and fill...I think I clued and we went back and forth over some corners and definitions, but it was a true collaboration.

Personally, I totally agree ICETEA needs the D...but I thought that ship sailed long ago. And I learned ALOP from crosswords and have had it challenged off in Scrabble, but it's so sweet and descriptive!

And, obviously, I can't complain about folks who find the uncle thing creepy, as it's all based on folks personal experiences, which is what this blog is all about! I'm only sorry that anyone has been subjected to a family friend who was called "uncle" so-and-so and then was on the receiving end of unwanted (or worse) attention.
In retrospect,
I would love to change that clue.

All in all, super happy today and can't wait till tomorrow in more ways than two!

Sfingi 3:08 PM  

I should have started from the bottom so I'd have known what the theme was. Figured it couldn't be themeless - was looking for shared letters, etc.

ALOP - newbies, be ready for any number of these - acock, afoam, asway, aslope. Also keep an extra "er" for endings and "re" for beginnings in your pocket.

@Rex - the monkey is cute.

@Tinbeni - I admit to being creepy - or maybe it's en garde towards anything like that. I don't belief it's "honi soit qui mal y pense." I believe it is because of the evil out there.
For instance,"Our love becomes a funeral pyre" (Doors) - puts me in mind of suttee in India. But I'm of a generation where there were these assaults and they were kept secret or ignored. Even some movies, a record of our ignorance, condoned such things. Gigi and Fanny made me apoplectic then. Now that other people are noticing, we are going through a "cultural lag."

sanfranman59 4:03 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 6:31, 6:58, 0.94, 22%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:38, 3:43, 0.98, 42%, Medium

Hats off to our resident Monday crossword specialist for another job well done. A nice variety in the theme answers spanning radio/TV from the late '40s to the present (according to Wikipedia, Dragnet actually goes all the way back to 1949 on radio ... I did not know that).

By the numbers, Will has this one slotted properly as a Monday.

(I wonder if Blogger will oust my hyperlinked post this time ... it seems to be hit and miss this past week or so)

fergus 5:00 PM  

Noting the constructors before starting, I thought I would go meticulously and deliberately through, seeing the larger picture in real solving time. Going left to right, top to bottom, I got to the point of starting to enter BUDDHIST MONK, realizing I had marred my precious grid with a grievous mistake upon checking the Down from B. Buddhist Franciscan? I'll bet there are plenty in Andrea's hometown. Anyway, I was starting to wonder what had been going through this girl's mind, especially since I've had the pleasant experience of wandering around listening to the letter/word flipping musings of ACM (reckon you bore witness, too, Wade?). What could this theme be, knowing the centrality of theme significance to at least one of the constructors? A quick switch to CAPUCHIN exuding eroticism and I was completely baffled -- until, of course getting to the next line.

Well done ACM and JN. This was a most engaging and dynamic puzzling experience.

[unamili -- Ligurian savory]

CrazyCat 5:35 PM  

Loved this Monday puzzle and the theme. Thanks ACR and Jennifer. Did it over lunch and a glass of "cold tea over ICE". Then spent a half hour going through the comments. We have a street here called CAPUCHIN Way. I always thought it was a weirdo name, but as a result I knew about the MONKs and the MONKeys. I always want ALOP to be AFLOP, but know better. It just sounds cute.

@Mac I read a few weeks ago that Don Johnson was recently awarded $23,000,000 in a lawsuit over profits from Nash BRIDGES. I guess he doesn't have to work for a while. I liked him when he was on Miami Vice.

CrazyCat 5:44 PM  

I meant ACM.

Anonymous 6:30 PM  

@Sfingi - Thank you.

Because I like to look things up 7:23 PM  


As far as your nubie advice and the NYT, you should have quit with ASLOPE.

ALOP - 24 times
AFOAM - 1 (in 1995)


Unknown 7:25 PM  

@Rex - Congrats on your debut. I hope your entry into constructor heaven will not prevent you from calling out lazy constructor work. It's difficult to be critic and drama artist.

Tinbeni 7:27 PM  

As you well know (since we both comment here and at PuzzleGirl's LAT blog) NIECE was in both puzzle's today.

@LAT the clue was "Brother's daugther."
Probably too easy for the NYT.
No comments their about being "Creepy!"

NIECE's clue here didn't get a second thought of a salacious nature, either.

Until I read Rex's comment from his wife.

Moonchild 7:44 PM  

Nice one Andrea and Jennifer.
Light and tasty like a good salad.
I must confess to only knowing Capuchin monkEYS. The crosses were easy enough but it was a learning moment for me.
Does merely being obsolete make something quaint?
Oh good, now I can tell myself that I'm not old, I'm just quaint!

Tomorrow will be an interesting study in .... something.

Anonymous 7:49 PM  

Rex--living where you do, you should just try to remember the local pronunciation of the town about 80 miles WNW of you: Delhi, pronounced "Dell-high." That's the only way I can remember how to spell it. Pretty sure there's a fellow SUNY school there, even.

fergus 8:40 PM  

Pretty sure the monkeys were named for the monks -- which leads us on some supposed reverse evolutionary path.

All those monk dudes, whatever their pluses and minuses, play a rather significant role in sustaining Western Civilization, from the sack of Rome to the Renaissance. I know that's bourgeois history, but it's more or less true, is it not, Rex, scholar of those times?

Two Ponies 9:32 PM  

@ fergus,
At the very least I think they contributed to literacy. On the rest of it I will bite my tongue.

fergus 10:20 PM  

Release your teeth -- I will say it straight: monks fucked up everything as far as convivial society is concerned, yet evidence of their labor carries more weight in our latter century.

Stan 10:24 PM  

A pleasant solve that seemed almost too easy at times ("___ Abner," Telepath's "gift") but used simple building blocks to make interesting long answers and an unexpected, cool theme.

Liked the ecumenical tone with SAUL Bellow, CAPUCHIN MONKs, and Abdul NASSER. EROS, OVID, MAYAN, and Lenin added to the cross-culturalism.

Stan 10:35 PM  

PS--The Capuchin Monkees were a major sensation of the Medieval period, but there is still some debate about the originality of their music.

sanfranman59 10:45 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, 6:58, 0.95, 28%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:33, 3:43, 0.96, 33%, Easy-Medium

Rex Parker 11:16 PM  

I just deleted a comment. It was about the Tuesday puzzle. I'll paste it into tomorrow's comments section.


Anonymous 11:17 PM  

A cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed-milk foam.
The name cappuccino comes from the Capuchin friars, possibly referring to the colour of their habits or to the aspect of their tonsured (white) heads, surrounded by a ring of brown hair. (Wikipedia)

lit.doc 11:18 PM  

Thanks. Have fun, get some sleep.

treedweller 12:13 AM  

Some of you will remember I was pretty much a fixture here for awhile, but recently, I've been busy and haven't followed closely. Then, I was always a little reluctant to praise the "regulars" because it seemed a bit too . . . fanboy? expected?

Anyway, flipping that, today I had to drop in after a prolonged absence to say this is almost a perfect example of what a Monday puzzle should aspire to. I stop short of perfect because, though I am resigned to the potential for ICETEA (and the inevitable outcry), I still bristle at the missing 'd'.

fergus 12:31 AM  

So many of us have outgrown the Rex blog, supposedly ... yet this here place remains a sanctuary of candid comment, still sincere.

andddrea 1:23 AM  

Thanks for dropping by anyway! (I gave you the missing d... ;)
-amn! almost perfect! :)
OK, on to Rex!

Van55 9:49 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glitch 9:57 AM  


The above post belongs in tomorrow's blog --- it's a spoiler for those who haven't done it yet.

Please delete.


Van55 10:02 AM  

Right Glitch. Sorry.

Dirigonzo 3:35 PM  

Solved this puzzle top to bottom and left to right, as is my usual mathod, and after my first run-through I had only 7 blank boxes, all of them in the southwest corner. From what I had in place I could infer that Casals played the CELLO, which gave me EXUDE; AXIAL and PULSE jumped into their proper places and there it was: CAPUCHINMONK, for which I needed every single cross. Almost got off to a bad start by having MotorIst in the jam, but held off until MUSICIAN became apparent. A couple of write-overs resulted because I (like @Rex) can never spell DELHI right, and I thought Divas might have sensitive Ears, which they probably do but not for purposes of solving this puzzle. A fun Monday and now I am looking forward to what I am sure will be (or was, 5 weeks ago) an equally enjoyable Tuesday! Captcha is flutio - my first guess for Casals' instrument.

Mark 12:36 PM  

Here in Toronto last night, the syndicated version published was missing many of the Down clues. DUD was there, but ICETEA [where's the D?] and everything following it was missing. It made CAPUCHINMONK impossible for me, [although I had guessed MONK because of the theme]. I didn't know whether to put in CELLO/JELLO/HELLO, or NOELS/JOELS, but thought PULSE must be right.

That omission really bumped the difficulty up from a Monday!

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