Berry touted as superfood / MON 1-17-11 / Fully extended ballerina / Westernmost of Aleutians / Traveling show of 1970s 2000s originated in Cairo

Monday, January 17, 2011

Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY — the first words of the theme answers are, respectively, MARTIN, LUTHER, KING and DAY

Word of the Day: LATH (1A: Plaster backing) —

Lath and plaster is a building process used mainly for interior walls in Canada and the United States until the late 1950s. After the 1950s, drywall began to replace the lath and plaster process in the United States. In the United Kingdom, lath and plaster was used for some interior partition walls, but was mostly used in the construction of ceilings. In the UK, plasterboard became a more common ceiling construction from 1945 onwards. (wikipedia)
• • •

This one definitely played tough. I had perhaps my most disastrous Monday opening ever, starting with not knowing LATH (the word still looks strange to me), and then throwing down FLASKS instead of FIFTHS (14D: Bottles of liquor). North was worse, in that I couldn't come up with ON TOE (15A: Fully extended, as a ballerina) or INHD (an ugly answer, 6D: How many TV shows are now shown)—I think I had TIVO, which I knew was Wrong on many levels. Just stared at 5A: Bigger than big. Could come up with only LARGE and ENORM (yes, really). GIANT is an appropriate answer, of course, but with ON TOE and INHD not coming, I wasn't getting much help. Wanted GO BAD, not GO SOUR (5D: Spoil, as milk), never heard of the "VALSE Triste" (28D: Sibelius's "___ Triste"), wrote in ROMP for ROUT (which I do routinely, btw) (35D: Easy win), and still have very little clue how [Embodied] is a good clue for SUBSUMED. That's quite a literal understanding of [Embodied], I think. I managed to get my bearings after the horrible start, and ended with something like a normal Tuesday time. Seems like a fine, simple tribute puzzle. Fill seems about average, though probably somewhat below Ms. Gorski's normally exacting standards. ATTU, Liz? :) (23A: Westernmost of the Aleutians). Favorite answer of the day: UNIONCARDS (27D: Things in the wallets of many laborers).

Theme answers:
  • 17A: "S.N.L." alum who co-starred in "Three Amigos!" (MARTIN SHORT) — ugh, the MARTIN just reminded me of Steve Martin (also in "Three Amigos!"), which only blocked MARTIN SHORT's name further...
  • 26A: His "Dance With My Father" won the 2003 Grammy for Song of the Year (LUTHER VANDROSS)
  • 41A: Traveling show of the 1970s and 2000s that originated in Cairo (KING TUT EXHIBIT) — the Steve Martin subtheme continues...

  • 54A: They're in la-la land (DAY DREAMERS)
This will sound nitpicky, and I freely admit that it is, but I miss the "JR." in this puzzle's theme. Wendy's has as JR. CHEESEBURGER. That's 14, to go with LUTHER. Now just get an odd-numbered KING entry for your center and bam, theme complete (warning: side effects may include Terrible puzzle).

  • 34A: Social reformer Jacob (RIIS) — I feel as if his crossword star is rising. This is likely complete coincidence, i.e. I've probably just seen him a few times this week (I do a lot of puzzles).
  • 61A: Names hidden in Hirschfeld sketches (NINAS) — I remember learning about this hidden NINA thing in a puzzle a few years back, and it baffled me because I had no idea who "Hirschfeld" was, let alone what hidden NINAs were.
  • 2D: Berry touted as a superfood (AÇAI) — I don't know. I'm always skeptical about stuff like this, though I confess that I do enjoy this AÇAI Berry Granola cereal I have every morning with my oatmeal (to give it crunch). You can't really taste the berries.
Enjoy your holiday if you've got one. See you tomorrow.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]


Anonymous 12:03 AM  

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY makes a nice theme, but this was a little hard for a Monday, but there was only one day for this puzzle and it was this Monday....

Go Bears

Anonymous 12:21 AM  

PS. Gorski - Hot Dates - Miss Piggy -- Like next Sunday's game between The Pack and Da Bears, IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER!

Go Bears

PurpleGuy 12:22 AM  

Rather enjoyed this puzzle. A nice romp by Ms. Gorski.

Agree with the rating. More medium for a Monday. Totally missed the theme until I came here.Feel rather stupid that I missed it.
SUBSUMED was the only problem. Had to get it from the crosses. Thought it would be the WOD.

Another great write up Rex. Thanks.

Happy Monday all.

Shanti -


Don Byas 1:51 AM  

NRA [19a. Gun enthusiast's org.] sounded off-key in an MLK puzzle, but otherwise I loved it.

First Fig

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!

EDNA St Vincent Millay

andrea earmuffs michaels 2:00 AM  

ha haha ahahahahahahahahahahaha!

oh, all right: "LoL"

Super hard words for Monday...
but what the heck...

Blah blah blah Genius blah blah blah Liz Gorski blah blah blah What can't she do blah blah blah :) ;) :)

Almost everything @Rex said, esp about LATH...
but I had GrANd for a long time, making GIANT even harder to see, but RNHD seemed a little off, unless you now watch TV shows with a big roundhead or a nurse's something or other!

One extra brilliant thing was to make it DAY "DREAMERS" when it could have been DAYtrippers (or who knows what). It nicely evokes the "I have a Dream" speech.

chefwen 2:29 AM  

Thought this was a super puzzle for a Monday, it's nice to have to think on a Monday instead of auto fill. Like Rex I had had flask before FIFTHS and unlike Rex had at 27D (I lived in California for many years) greenCARDS before UNION CARDS. 1A LATH caused me pause also.

@ANON da bears guy, any bets on next Sunday? Sorry Rex, caught up in the moment.

@Clark - you should be here now, 35 foot waves on the north shore.

SethG 4:32 AM  

I had all the problems you did in your summary, especially SUBSUMED, except my Big big was OBESE and I liked ACE OF less than IN HD.

Glad Martin Short was clued by Three Amigos!. Three Amigos! rocks.

r.alphbunker 5:19 AM  

The V of VALSE was the last letter entered and it was a guess. VAN seemed like a reasonable beginning of a surname. It brought Richard Nixon to mind and his gesture of spreading his arms upward in the shape of a V with his fingers forming two little Vs. Very fractal-like.

imsdave 7:52 AM  

This was a RO__ (I always wait for that one). LATH, ACEOF, LAMB, MARTINSHORT - then filled in LUTHER, KING and waited to see if it would be DAY or JUNIOR/JR.

Like ACME, I thought it was a very nice touch using DREAMERS. That elevated the puzzle to another level for me.

Steve 7:53 AM  

Regarding LATH, my father's family were all lathers, the guys who hammered the lathing on to the studs (and then the plaster got slathered over the lathing). Apparently you could tell a lather by his swollen thumbs.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  

Got HOTbAbES in 4D instead of HOTDATES and FlaskS in 14D instead of FIFTHS. As I did not know about ACAI I was stuck. Googled to get LUTHERVANDROSS, the the theme revealed itself.
From Bangna/Bangkok

balto 8:13 AM  

It was no record for me, but I was never truly stopped -- I knew I wouldn't know VALSE, ATTU, and NINAS, so got all from crosses. And for once I got an 1A (LATH) right off the bat. Tough for a Monday but not frustrating.

joho 8:16 AM  

I have VALSE and SUBSUMED written in the margin with Monday??!!!

But, as already mentioned, this had to run today so those and other tougher than usual Monday answers can be forgiven.

I'm with @andrea earmuffs & imsdave that getting DREAM into the puzzle was a beautiful touch.

fikink 8:50 AM  

Rex, some of us old hippies best remember LATH from refurbs we did that always seemed to start out with peeling the god-awful cabbage-rose wallpaper off the 10-foot walls and taking the wall down to the plaster.

SUBSUMED brings to mind philosophy courses and I know not why. @Clark?

ATTU seems fine for a Monday. @Andrea, @Rex- good ears!

Agree that the puzzle was wanting JUNIOR. But would it have to be JR? JUNIOR MINTS would have fit. I did not pursue, fearing Terrible Puzzleland.

@Don Byas, I take your tin ear point re: NRA and MLK. Good eye!

@r.alphbunker, "fractal-like" - nice. And didn't you give us "implicature" on Saturday? Still reading.

Good puzzle, imo.

One of them gives me the creeps 8:50 AM  

This is the first time in human history that Martin Short and Luther Vandross have been used in what is essentially the same sentence, except for examples of antithesis.

mac 8:54 AM  

Fun puzzle, with flasks the only write-over, complicated even more by the birdfood, which I wanted to be birdseed.

Agree that the DREAM added a lot to this puzzle, but the NRA is unfortunate.

How about those Jets!

mac 8:57 AM  

We say Martin Luther Kind Day, not Martin Luther King Jr. Day, don't we?

Anonymous 9:02 AM  

This was definitely a challenging Monday puzzle (relatively speaking). Got it all except that I had HOT MATES instead of HOT DATES. So I could not figure out the BIRD part in BIRD FOOD and never heard of ACAI.
What slowed me down was that I had GRAND in 5A and FLASKS in 14D. But I figured those out in the end. I completely missed out the MLK theme until I came to the blog.
Nice puzzle though.

Pete 9:03 AM  

@Rex - Thanks for the Nina Simone tribute - it corrected my psyche for the morning.

chefbea 9:11 AM  

Great puzzle. Had no idea what the theme was, so wrote out all the theme answers in order ...doh.

Had flask and bird seed at first also.

I miss Hirshfeld and looking for the Ninas.

R. McGeddon 9:25 AM  

Great puzzle. And 1A was a gimme in this case, since I live in a house with plaster and LATH walls and have had to use molly bolts on several occasions.

Glitch 9:32 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
ArtLvr 9:34 AM  

I knew LATH, UNIX, even NINAS peeking through, so it wasn't hard... Some answers went unnoticed, like the NRA @mac spotted-- but I guess that fits with DISMAL.

When the MLK Day was first proposed, I was sorry that King was chosen over Thurgood Marshall, but I got over that -- except to rue the sorry choice of his successor on the Supreme Court, SUBSUMED under the category of lapses in legal acumen IMO.

My last fill was the N in IN HD, but what's one odd cross? Lots of kudos to Liz Gorski, who did this engaging salute more smoothly than most might!


Glitch 9:37 AM  

Per Title V of the United States Code (5 U.S.C. § 6103):

Date: Third Monday in January

Official Name: "Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr."

Honors Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights leader, who was actually born on January 15, 1929; combined with other holidays in several states.

The official name came from the laws that define holidays for federal employees. The "Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr." holiday is commonly called "Martin Luther King Day",

So, unless you use the "official designation", I'd guess you're pretty much free to use any name you want to use.


The Bard 9:38 AM  

King Richard III > Act I, scene I

[Enter GLOUCESTER, solus]

GLOUCESTER: Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,
About a prophecy, which says that 'G'
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
Clarence comes.

[Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY]

Brother, good day; what means this armed guard
That waits upon your grace?

Van55 9:48 AM  

I got LATH right of the bat.

Enjoyed the puzzle with the exception of SSNS, ANI, INHD and ATO. I guess they are necessary compromises to the holiday monday theme.

retired_chemist 9:53 AM  

Did not see the theme until I came to this blog. Wrote down STEVE MARTIN immediately at 17A. Wrong. Got the theme answers mostly from crosses, so they didn't seem to make a connected theme to me. Or I just didn't look carefully enough....

Hand up for BIRD SEED.

By my time, it was easy. Felt harder though.

Kurt 10:01 AM  

I didn't find the puzzle that difficult. I think that it's a geezer thing. NINAS, LATH & VALSE were gimmes. And the rest just seemed to follow.

Speaking of Ninas, I can see two in Carol Channing's hair. Anyone see any others?

Thanks Ms. Gorski & Mr. Parker.

David L 10:07 AM  

Seemed like tougher-than-average Monday fill, but my time ended up Monday-normal -- knew LATH, VALSE, NINAS, although I don't yet count myself as a geezer.

My only serious objection is that I can't see any way that SUBSUMED is even approximately equivalent to EMBODIED, and my colleagues Mr Merriam and Mr Webster agree with me.

quilter1 10:13 AM  

Easy rating for me due to being a geezer and old hippie. Our house is 100+ years old and neglected by previous owners, so I've shoveled more than my share of broken lath and plaster into wheel barrows and dumpsters over the years. Been to the Prado and seen the Tut exhibit. As also a civil rights activist since age 15 I liked the theme very much. Would have appreciated working in Jr. as others suggested. But overall an enjoyable solving experience.

PuzzleNut 10:17 AM  

My only issue with LATH is that it can just as easily be SLAT. Need to get a cross or two to make sure you get the right one.
Agree with the rating, for a Monday. Missed the "ATTU, Liz" reference so a big thanks to ACME for pointing it out. Brilliant pun, on several levels.

Ulrich 10:18 AM  

Like Kurt said...

And like @fikink, @quilter1 et al., I've opened so many walls in old houses in connection with DIY projects to expose plaster on lath that I started with 1A as a gimme and never really slowed down.

An old coot

Pete 10:19 AM  

@David L - It took me a while to convince myself SUBSUMED/Embodied wasn't in error, but these two definitions seemed close enough:

Embody: to collect into or include in a body; organize; incorporate.
Subsume: 3. to take up into a more inclusive classification.

archaeoprof 10:28 AM  

"Second Fig" by Edna St Vincent Millay:

Safe upon the solid earth
the solid houses stand;
Come and see my shining palace
built upon the sand.

Two Ponies 10:30 AM  

Yes, that's some high-end fill.
Nice puzzle.
Now I have to look up this Hirschfeld person that I had no idea about.

archaeoprof 10:32 AM  

Oops. "Second Fig" actually reads:

Safe upon the solid rock
the ugly houses stand;
Come and see my shining palace
built upon the sand.

David L 10:38 AM  

@Pete -- thanks -- but that still seems like a stretch to me. I'd like to see a sentence where those words can be substituted for each other without a change in meaning.

@Puzzlenut: 'plaster and lath' is a thing, but 'plaster and slat' is not...

JaxInL.A. 10:57 AM  

My house is 100 years old and the plaster and wood lath walls are cracking and failing. Apparently wood expands and contracts over the course of 100 years and loosens the bond with the plaster. I had some noble idea of preserving the plaster walls rather than replacing them with drywall, but it's a losing battle. And expensive. Sigh. 

What @Andrea said, esp. the blah blah genius and hahahahah parts. 

My winter gear was wARMhatS for a minute. EDNA fixed that for me. 

Spent yesterday in Exposition Park at the Calif. African American Museum's great MLK, Jr. Day festival, with dancing from the Lula Washington Youth Ensemble, etc. etc. More free activities there today if you happen to live, as I do, in what some refer to as LALALAND. Or is that Lotusland?  

Looking forward to Richard III from @TheBard. Oops, he posted while I was writing. Thanks!

Count me into the SUBSUMED controversy. Huh? I would not believe it until confirmed by every single cross.

For those with no knowledge of Irene DUNNE (tried to post a link but did something wrong and Blogger wouldnt take it), she was nominated for five Academy Awards, and may be best known for the lead in the 1936 movie musical Showboat and "I Remember Mama." She was fabulously popular in her heyday during the 1930s to 50s.  

Hope you all have a rewarding holiday.

Anonymous 11:17 AM  

Nice puzzle Elizabeth. Lath was easy for me because in 1978 we knocked all the plaster off the walls in our home and exposed tons of lath. The biggest problem was forgetting to remove the crowbar off the top of the ladder when moving it. Saw lots of stars when the the crowbar fell on my head. Pehaps that is why I didn't see today's theme at first.

Lindsay 11:27 AM  

OK, I generally try to repress my preachy side, but drywall is a dead dead dead surface. No subtle play of light, no visual interest. How the citizenry has been induced to foresake plaster & lath and take up residence in cardboard boxes is a mystery to me.

Had to study the completed the grid before the MLK theme appeared.

fikink 11:35 AM  

@Lindsay, this is one of those days I wish Blogger had little "Like" buttons at the bottom of posts as FB does. Imagine Giotto painting on drywall. LOL!!

Leonardo 12:02 PM  

Imagine the Mona Lisa painted on a piece of rock!

Mel Ott 12:15 PM  

@Bard: I LOLed several times at Gloucester's description of his unsexy body, esp. "dogs bark at me".

I have been remiss in not thanking you ere now for your always edifying and oft entertaining citations.

Paul Cézanne 12:17 PM  

Apples and oranges, Leo.

Anonymous 12:19 PM  

I HAVE A DREAM. It's that Da Bears will beat The Pack, not by the color of their uniforms, but by the content of their character. I HAVE A DREAM. It's that MAC will continue her support and Chefwen will be free to go surfing during the Super Bowl....

Go Bears

CaseAce 12:23 PM  

Eliz. Gorski hit us with a CHEEP shot to the chin with her subtle 20A!
As for 1A, better LATH than never, as I was thinking strickly thoroughtly soused for PLASTERED!

Matthew G. 12:27 PM  

As always, I love a Monday with some heft. My tendency to work from the bottom up saved me from some of the stumbling blocks others had -- I had LATH and GIANT from the crosses before I really looked at them. I finished in only slightly worse-than-average Monday time.

Great fill for a Monday. Loved XMARKS and SUBSUMED in particular. Also PRADO, which could have been obliquely theme related, as it could have been clued {Atlanta Braves second baseman Martin} [!!] if the day's theme didn't make that clue illegal ... (and with that clue I could have had it with no crosses, instead of a Spanish museum I'm dimly aware of).

See BEQ's site today for an inversion of this puzzle's theme.

I'm loving this run of challenging Mondays for the most part. The only downside is that I'm trying to get my wife into solving, and I have to keep reassuring her that the last few Mondays have been unusually tough and it's not just her.

Greene 12:36 PM  

Lovely Monday puzzle. I pretty much agree with Andrea that Liz Gorski is brilliant and can do no wrong. It didn't hurt that this puzzle was filled with neons for me and I just tore through it.

For as far back as I can remember, Al Hirschfeld caricatures were a regular feature in the Sunday New York Times Arts and Leisure section where he would provide wonderful sketches of the latest hits and really spot on illustrations of the stars. He would often latch onto a specific feature, say Bob Hope's nose or Walter Matthau's jowls, and build the entire drawing around it. The result was almost always humorous, but often insightful. It was considered a huge honor as an actor to be drawn by Hirshfeld. It wouldn't be unreasonable to say that an actor hadn't really "arrived" on the New York stage until being imortalized in a Hirshfeld drawing. Some of the work is quite iconic and Carol Channing still insists that she altered her stage makeup to look more like her caricature.

The Nina business came about with the birth of Hirshfeld's daughter in 1945. The hiding of her name in a drawing was supposed to have been a one-time event, but it rapidly became popular and expected. I expect Mr. Hirschfeld would have abandoned the practice eventually, but there was always such an outcry when he produced sketches without Ninas that he continued their inclusion right up to his death in 2003. He would often include a digit by his signature to assist the art lover in finding all the Ninas in any given drawing.

He is greatly missed on Broadway. His image currently lights up the old Martin Beck Theatre on West 45th Street, now called, of course, the Al Hirschfeld.

Henri Rochefort 1:08 PM  

@Paul - I don't get your comment, though I could never distinguish between apples and oranges in your paintings, so I guess not all that much has changed.

ArtLvr 1:11 PM  

@ Greene -- So glad you're back! Thanks for the (refreshed) memories...


PlantieBea 1:17 PM  

There weren't any real sticking points in this puzzle, except for finding the theme. Solved it on a Sunday, and when I saw Luther, I thought of Martin Luther, what a less common name Luther is. It took a visit to Rex World to piece together the whole thing. Face palm.

Go Pack.

william e emba 1:28 PM  

Biggest problem was guessing the V of VANDROSS. Second biggest problem was guessing DAYtrippers, not DAYDREAMERS, for those in la-la land. Not a problem at all was misreading 20A as "Cheap eats?" and thinking the answer BIRD FOOD was just a dumb joke.

The only reason I know of ACAI berries is because I've seen online ads exposing them as a fraud. As a rule, by the time I hear of these things, it's a dead issue already.

Al Hirschfeld's sketches were a regular NYT feature for over 70 years. A show being reviewed just didn't rate if it wasn't accompanied with a Hirschfeld. The NINAS only showed up after the birth of his daughter, from then on, he wrote the Nina-count by his signature if it was two or more. When the USPS commissioned him to do a series of showbiz stamps, they waived their no hidden message rule just for him!

Hirschfeld died 1/30/2003. The NYT had a memorial crossword puzzle Sunday 2/9/2003. That was the speed record until the Michael Jackson memorial puzzle.

syndy 1:29 PM  

Hey leave Richard alone- He didn't do it! Nor did I see the theme til I came here! Duh! always thought of it as "LAth and Plaster" and I guess it does make me a geeser (with a union card in my wallet)28 d asked sibelius whay kind of sad dance are we doing? Oh1 a waltz .Miss gorski is my IDOL

Sparky 1:39 PM  

LATH went right in confirmed by LAMB. Same 1960s projects as others stripping walls down to the brick. FIFTHS, VALSE gimmes. Have copy of RIIS's How The Other Half Lives (reprinted by Dover Press). Caught theme at 26A as the downs in the East gave it to me. Popped the DAY right in. Enjoyed it very much. Thanks Ms. Gorski. Not so sure of 15A--ON point, no?

Sparky 1:42 PM  

Oh, occasionally Hirshfeld would put in a Judy. I believe that was his wife's or other daughter's name.

Paul Cézanne 2:27 PM  

For the love of ugly, @Henri, you are so Uncompromising!

EddieH 3:27 PM  

OFF TOPIC: But I thought some of you wordsmiths would have a thought on this. Played Scrabble, wife won with a massive amount of points for: EXQUEENS; would you have accepted this?

Great puzzle. I didntknow the theme until after the Happy Pencil showed and I reviewed

william e emba 3:48 PM  

Hirshfeld's first wife (and NINA'S mother) was Dolly. His second wife was Louise.

Stan 3:59 PM  

A solid commemorative puzzle with nicely added overtones (already pointed out).

My wife has done construction/demo work and loved all the LATH stories. She suggests burning it in the fireplace for great kindling. What that says about its safety as a building material is another story.

Happy MLK Day, all!

Clark 5:08 PM  

@chefwen -- I have found myself several times in the last week wishing myself back to our little house on the beach. The sound of the waves at night . . . I'll be back. 35 feet! The reef must keep them from washing the house away.

@fikink -- Did you do Kant? If I say that my Gracie is a ragdoll, I subsume her under the concept ragdoll. The schematism in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is about this (you may or may not recall). I subsume an empirical object under a concept. No problem. But pure concepts of the understanding (categories) and empirical intuitions are so unhomogenous, “how is the subsumption of the latter under the former, thus the application of the category to appearances possible” (A137/B176), and Yada Yada Yada.

In the syllogism
All men are mortal
Socrates is a man
Socrates is mortal
the second line (the minor premise) is a subsumption. I think it is kind of cool to think of that as embodying. I suppose if God did it it would be. "Let Socrates be a man." But then, that's what I do when I say that Gracie is a ragdoll. I let her (in my sentence) be a ragdoll. I'll stop now.

acme 9:04 PM  

Absolutely not! Once a Queen, always a queen! :)
Totally not in the official Scrabble dictionary!
(Worth buying by the way to prevent future blood spill)
I once played QUEENIER which you would think would at least be good in SF. Sadly it was not.

Just for the record, the "ATTU, Liz?"
joke was in @Rex's writeup...pls re-read! That was just me laughing my head off at it!
I wouldn't usually correct you onthis, but I stepped on his Pataki joke the other day having not noticed the picture in his writeup. We often think alike, but I don't want to take credit where credit ain't due! ;)

It's not just her!

Sfingi 9:12 PM  

Easy Monday for me. Started on the bottom and it went up like a window shade. The only sports was ALI, and Laila has been nearby at the Casino and the Boxing Hall of Fame.

Didn't like seeing the dreaded SSN and geezer = COOTS (I resemble that remark). The ACAI ads are annoying. These days I go straight to disbelief.

@Byas - Agree. NRA could have been clued National Rehab Assoc for today only.

@Stan - I love my old houses - one is 95 yrs old and one is 150. The first has metal lathing (Faraday box!)and asbestos shingles.
My IA sister's specialty is mudwork on her rental rehab properties.

Luther Van Dross RIP - "A House is not a Home." Died too young and was every soul singer's singer/songwriter.

@Eddie H - Always agree on a particular dictionary ahead of time.

Great comments and topics!

Bill from NJ 9:34 PM  

Thanx to @Greene for re-appearing on Al Hirshfeld. It used to be my favorite thing to do on Sunday morning was to go to the Arts & Leisure section and count the Ninas in the 70s and 80s

fikink 9:46 PM  

@Greene, yes, double thumbs up for resurfacing.
You, too, @Bill.

@Clark, thanks for the Kant context. More off-blog.

I think "cheep eats" might be my fav clue in this one, for like @William Emba, I read "cheap."

mac 9:56 PM  

@Bill: so nice to see/hear you again!
I never looked at a Hirshfeld without searching for a Nina.

sanfranman59 10:01 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 7:28, 6:56, 1.08, 78%, Medium-Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:57, 3:42, 1.07, 83%, Challenging

ArtLvr 12:41 AM  

@ David L, if you are still around -- A good example of SUBSUMED meaning incorporated into a larger category was the comment by an MLK friend when asked if the civil rights movement was as active today as in the 60s. His answer was yes, certainly, but one would need to point to many leaders today, as the anti-segregation category is basically SUBSUMED into broader civil rights activism including women's rights and other such issues... We can only try to stress that the MLK commitment to a non-violent approach must prevail in over-coming remaining habits of prejudice and legal obstacles to justice for all.


p.s. I just finished reading Nathaniel Philbrick's "Mayflower" and it's quite an eye-opener. Did you know that the Pilgrims and Puritans nearly wiped themselves out along with the various Native tribes around them because their greed for more land led to extended wars? They finished in such poor condition that, while re-establishing friendly relations with some of the surviving Natives, they also sold hundreds of those they had captured inro slavery in the Caribbean in order to raise needed funds!

Anonymous 11:18 AM  

Too difficult for Monday. A few of the answers ( INHD, for example) were rather obtuse.

Anonymous 11:31 AM  

Who ever head of "subsumed?" Was it invented for this puzzle? I don't like words that I can't find in the dictionary.


Palmdalian 12:18 PM  

First time posting, been following along for a few weeks. Thanks Rex and everyone for this blog. I do the syndicated puzzle and especially appreciate the link at the top of the page.

Always loved looking for Ninas in Hirschfeld's drawings. Dan Piraro's comic strip "Bizarro" has little hidden pics and he has started putting a number by his name to help seekers.

Not sure if it makes sense to post as you all are living in the future, but thought I'd give it a try, perhaps Dr Who will drop by in the tardis and see my message.

Waxy in Montreal 1:40 PM  

@Palmdalian - please keep on posting. The more that we syndipuzzlers can contribute, the more valuable this blog becomes - at least for us.

Interesting synchronicity - as I worked on this puzzle, coffee cup was resting on a KING TUT EXHIBIT coaster bought at the Royal Ontario Museum at the 1970s traveling show.

Personal Nattick - LATH & ACAI. On a Monday!

fikink 2:46 PM  

@Palmdalian, glad you posted - please continue. I get follow-up posts via Blackberry if it is a puzzle I commented on - and FIL (father-in-law) is doing the puzzle in syndication (Des Moines Register) and enjoys hearing new comments on the puzzle he is doing.

Btw, @Anon at 11:31, he said that SUBSUMED is in his dictionary and that maybe you need a better one.

Dirigonzo 5:27 PM  

I am glad to see others found the puzzle to be somewhat challenging for a Monday - I spent most of the day doing my taxes and feared that exercise had used up all my puzzle-solving abiliies for the day.

It's President's Day, not MLK day, in syndication land so the theme completely eluded me until I came here. It's a nice tribute to a great man.

My mother's name was EDNA so it was nice to see a shout out to her so close to her birthday - she would have been 99 this Friday.

Nullifidian 11:59 PM  

Writing from syndication-land:

Frankly, I didn't find this one very challenging except when it came to figuring out the theme. Like the other syndicated solvers, it's President's Day and I didn't make the connection between this puzzle and MLK Jr. Day.

I too liked UNION CARDS. It's strangely apropos given the huge battle for the right to collective bargaining in Wisconsin.

LATH was my first solved clue. Maybe it's the effect of being the son of a general contractor (who, in his day, also possessed a UNION CARD).

There were a few too many partials for my taste (ACE OF, AN I, A TO, HE'S), but I can understand the difficulty in making this unusual theme work. You need MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY all in order without signaling the answers too clearly.

Despite my qualms with the fill, I enjoyed it well enough. It earns a solid and respectable B from me. :-)

Anonymous 3:51 AM  

@ Bill from NJ - always very good to hear from you,

Seems like it's been awhile (for me at least).

Lots of Holiday revelers here today - I just came in to verify that this was tough for Monday. Hello y'all 5 weeks later folks.

- - Robert

Palmdalian 1:05 PM  

@Waxy in Montreal and fikink, many thanks for the encouragement. Now I'll be on the lookout for posts from syndication-land at the the bottom of the page.

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