1976 Broadway musical with hit song Day by Day / MON 12-3-12 / Cigarette associated with women's tennis / Common pasta suffix / Wrestler-turned-governor Ventura / Baryshnikov's nickname

Monday, December 3, 2012

Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: state your name — three familiar two-word names, wherein the first word is a state

  • MINNESOTA FATS (20A: Jackie Gleason's role in "The Hustler")
  • CALIFORNIA ROLLS (38A: Common sushi orders)
  • VIRGINIA SLIMS (58A: Cigarette associated with women's tennis)

Word of the Day: MARTY Robbins (47D: Country singer Robbins and others) —
Martin David Robinson (September 26, 1925 – December 8, 1982), known professionally as Marty Robbins, was an American singersongwriter, andmulti-instrumentalist. One of the most popular and successful country and Western singers of his era, for most of his nearly four-decade career, Robbins was rarely far from the country music charts, and several of his songs also became pop hits. (wikipedia)

• • •

So these are things that are named for states? What about NEW YORK DOLLS? NEW YORK MINUTE? TEXAS TEA? "KENTUCKY WOMAN?" Wait, are FATS, ROLLS, and SLIMS part of the theme. FATS and SLIMS have a nice polarity to them, but how does ROLLS factor in? Doesn't seem like it belongs in the middle. Seems like it belongs on the FATS side. Now I'm confused. Anyway, the theme seems very loose and very thin. Is the WTA still sponsored by Virginia Slims? That seems messed up. You'd think there'd be enough money and interest in women's tennis at this point that they wouldn't need cigarette money. But maybe that sponsorship has stopped. I haven't seen the "Virginia Slims" name anywhere near the women's tennis matches I've watched lately (not that I remember, anyway).

I wonder why we have so much inelegant fill in an easy-to-fill 78-word grid that contains just three theme answers. . . UNSHY? UNITER? NOI? INI? Partials USETO and EYEOF? The strange NOT BE? ONER?! TWOL? Surely there's a reason. Surely ...

I do like some of this fill, though. DAINTY, GODSPELL (11D: 1976 Broadway musical with the hit song "Day by Day") and LIFE VEST are particularly nice.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. here's a mini-version of this theme (sans the confounding ROLLS answer)


jae 12:16 AM  

Easy-medium  Mon.  A bit of zip...GODSPELL, KISSED, BLOW, PUTONS..., straight forward Mon. theme (Blue states?), a shout out to you know who, but a couple of major  cringes...UNSHY and ONER. 

Late week clue for 50 d:  "W", for one.

Anonymous 12:21 AM  

For me, not a NYT caliber theme, but at least it isn't wacky clue and/or wacky entry theme, which I have had enough of.

Had to come here and confirm what the theme was. It would be a lot stronger as a Sunday size.

Unusually for a Monday, I came to a full stop. Needed to correct PUSHY to the ridiculous UNSHY, which appears for the first time.

UNITER had appeared seven times now, but never clued to George Bush. Why the f... not.


Anonymous 12:23 AM  

TWOL? Are. We allowed to use that for any number letter combustion? "Favourite via favor?" ONEU. "Snoop Dogg versus a regular dug? ONEG

Anonymous 12:41 AM  

The clue referenced Ogen Nash's poem:

The one-l lama,
He's a priest;
The two-l llama,
He's a beast.
And I will bet
A silk pajama
There isn't any
Three-l lllama.

I don't mind eels
Except as meals.
And the way they feels.

I love Ogden Nash.

Clark 2:09 AM  

You've come a long way baby. I think it has a kind of retro feel, back when three was enough.

I was doing the downs and found that it had a nice smooth feel. Looked up at the constructor's name and—sure enough, it was Acme.

Anoa Bob 2:43 AM  

As a long-time pool player, MINNESOTA FATS put a big smile on my face. Jackie Gleason was not only a good actor, but a solid pool player as well.

Here's a clip from "The Hustler" where MINNESOTA FATS is playing Fast Eddie (Paul Newman) in a game of straight pool for some serious cash.

After the movie came out a professional cuist by the name of Rudolph Wanderone adopted (coopted?) the name MINNESOTA FATS and became a well-known player. Here's a CBS News obit piece form 1966. He wasn't the best player---Willie Moscani (who had a cameo role in "The Hustler") was---but he had a great flair for showmanship.

Anonymous 6:41 AM  

What Rex said.

dk 6:55 AM  

An auto biographic puzzle, very nice. UNSHY was a clunker but when I think of the puzzle as a tongue in cheek bio it works. As Andrea is as UNSHY as they come.

I just wonder why nap is not in the grid.

Congratulation Acme another smooth Monday.

*** (3 Stars) even a shout out to REX: who'd a thunk it.

Elle54 6:59 AM  

Fats, rolls, slims. Three ways to describe your body or maybe your middle.

Ω 7:03 AM  

Come on @Rex, say it, you hate pangrams.

Wanted ZEal before ZEST and read "minister" as a verb so UNITEs before UNITER. Otherwise fairly straightforward and fun. This was slightly on the medium side of easy for me.

OTD 7:08 AM  

Too easy even for a Monday. Did like GODSPELL, LIFEVEST, and MINNESOTA FATS, especially crossing it with JESSE Ventura but UNSHY? Rest of fill was way too easy.

Agree with @ Anoa Bob.

Doris 7:28 AM  

Ah, the immortal Ogden Nash. These lines from his "Slightly Mythical at the Best of Times" are particularly appropriate for x-word lovers:

O Delius, Sibelius,
And What's-his-name Aurelius,
O Manet, O Monet,
Mrs Siddons and the Cid!
I know each name
Has an oriflamme of fame,
I'm sure they all did something,
But I can't think what they did.

Glimmerglass 7:49 AM  

A three-L lama is a big fire (old joke). Easy, as it should be on Monday. The hard parts were not obscure, just ambiguous. PROD could have been Poke or even Push. ZEST could have been ZEal.

Milford 8:13 AM  

Easyish Monday, didn't know ROC and had jouST before QUEST. Didn't realize it was a pangram until Rex (subtlety) pointed it out.

Finished thinking a couple things, like if the three states were significant. Guessing maybe @dk is right and they are autobiographical? Didn't even consider the FATS/SLIM connection. Maybe if the middle entry had reference a diet to get from FATS to SLIM? :)

Loved GODSPELL, DAINTY and LIFEVESTS. UNSHY is unfortunate. REX made me smile.

joho 8:16 AM  

I loved the opening ZEST/ZOOMIN and the whole top row with JPEG and FUGUE. In fact, the whole grid is super scrabbly while at the same time pretty easy, just as it should be on a Monday.

My only writeover was puSHY before UNSHY which many of us will do for sure.

@Rex, thank you for not going off on pangrams!

@Elle54, I was thinking: When you eat FATS in MINNESOTA and ROLLS in CALIFORNIA you need to SLIM(S) down in VIRGINIA!

Thank you, Andrea, for a fun Monday!

Unknown 8:31 AM  

Wasn't familiar with the Nash reference until I read the comments, so thanks - it makes me appreciate the clue that much more. This was a super simple Monday...I liked the nice long theme answers. Feels like we ARE missing the real FATS, ROLL, SLIMS connection, if there is one. But even if not, it was a fun start. Gotta love it when the first letter entered is a Z :-)

jackj 9:09 AM  

Our own favorite Monday Queen, Axeman Coping Misha, (Alit California Minnesota is just too obvious), starts off our month with a treat for all, but especially for 31* who will no doubt be delighted when solving this unforced pangram.

A lovely start, with ZOOMIN and SEENIT, then continuing on in the top row with a bevy of beauties such as JPEG, PUTONS, FAÇADE, FUGUE and GODSPELL with only a brace of questionable fill to deal with as the too oft seen ONER (A.K.A., lulu, doozy, dilly and pip) and the tail of the pasta, INI, are brought into play in the upper left.

Nice to see MISHA making the leap from a Saturday to a Monday with an energetic jeté while UNSHY Acme is busy getting someone KISSED as a prelude to tieing the knot with the help of an Orwellian Minister, ominously known as the UNITER.

The theme answers were nicely held to the required minimum and all are lively, though the FDA may find the smoking one to be ignoring a health problem, Sen. Klobuchar will undoubtedly carp about having her state repped by a pool shark named FATS and traditional Japanese sushi chefs are sure to hate the reference to the Golden State instead of to Nippon. (Otherwise, no problems at all with the theme).

Kudos to Andrea for giving us another helping of her special talent!

chefbea 9:09 AM  

Great puzzle Andrea. Was very easy for me, except for the southwest corner, which I finally got. Noticed the shoutout right away, but didn't realize it was a pangram til I came here.

John V 9:19 AM  

Fun Monday, as we'd expect from Andrea. SW was a bit gnarly with the UNSHY nexus; I wrote in PUSHY, but noticed that QPI is not spoken in Quebec. But, easy for a Monday, under 5 miles; started at Stamford, done by Greenwich even with a phone call interruption.

May be autobiographical; Andrea born in MN, living in CA. VA?

Waaaaay OT, but needs to be said: Above mentioned phone call -- at 7:30 a.m. -- was from theSocial Security Administration, calling for clarification and approval of my Medicare application -- which I submitted last Wednesday -- a 3 business day turn around! Kudos to the Bridgeport Social Security Office. It is common and easy to kvetch about government and government employees. Fair is fair; this is excellent customer service and is to be noted.

mac 9:21 AM  

Easy-medium because of multiple possibilities in some spots.

I'm sure someone is going to create a wonderful story out of a huge number of answers, starting with zoom in with zest. Lifevest, facade, Godspell and dainty are good. Super scrabbly puzzle.

Congratulations, Andrea!

John V 9:23 AM  

Forgot: Westport, CT, Library Crossword Puzzle Contest, Feb 2, is now open, with 45 tickets remaining. Lots of fun, meet fellow Rex-ites.

Link is here

lawprof 9:24 AM  

This was an enjoyable start to the week for me. Probably medium for a Monday.

Only writeover was at 38D, where I dropped in CARo, giving me ox _ _ _ at the beginning of 53A, clued "lumberjack," which momentarily sidetracked me with thoughts of Paul Bunyan's blue ox Babe. All that was soon fixed and the rest of the puzzle fell quickly.

Thanks, Anoa Bob, for "The Hustler" clip. I hadn't realized, until I saw that movie years ago, what a brilliant actor Jackie Gleason was.

JFC 9:54 AM  

I like coming here for perspective. Before I came here I thought this was a cute Monday puzzle. But after reading Rex, I hate it....


Bob Kerfuffle 10:12 AM  

Request to constructors: Next time you use this theme, how about a 16 x 15 so that NEW JERSEY BARRIER can run across the middle.


Sandy K 10:13 AM  

When it started off with ZEST and J-PEG, I began hoping that ACME was going for a pangram...

The QUEST CaME TO fruition with and a shoutout to REX!

I SAY I liked it! Nice one, Andrea!

Sparky 10:26 AM  

The ROLL is that muffin top over low cut jeans. Easy peasy, thanks Andrea. I'll nitpick on UNSHY and applaud on FUGUE. Didn't notice it's a panagram. Shout out to 31.

Thanks so much for the birthday wishes. Brought me much cheer. Thanks to Facebook folks, too.

The sun is out and the tourist busses are roaring down W 4 Street. All's right with the world.

Two Ponies 10:31 AM  

Very enjoyable Andrea.
Some good fill like facade and dainty. Thanks for a great start to our week.

Anonymous 10:41 AM  

I believe this is the first puzzle I've done with my name in it so I definitely like it.

Good difficulty for a Monday. FUGUE really made that NE hard. But I do agree that overall the little fill just didn't cut it for me, especially with the light theme. Maybe ACM has some insight?

Carola 10:43 AM  

acme, EWE ROC :) Fun Monday theme - loved writing in MINNESOTA FATS and liked it even more after @OTD pointed out the cross with JESSE Ventura. I pictured the words FATS and SLIMS printed on different sides of a die; what you get depends on how it ROLLS.

Thank you for the extra smiles @Doris for "Delius, Sibelius" and @glimmerglass for the "three-L lama" - both new to me.

Anonymous 10:51 AM  

Always have heard only Jersey Barrier

GILL I. 10:54 AM  

The clues were spot on ZESTy Andrea. Loved "Oho, dear chap!" at 59D and the ISAY answer. ROCKS part of ROLLS and I just noticed UNA/UNO and that dastardly wind ELNINO. The ZEST and the KISSES made my QUEST for a pangram pan out. Yay! No strain at all, just plain fun great Monday puzzle.
I think CALIFORNIA ROLLS were invented in Mexico as a means to use up all of their avocados.

Lewis 11:17 AM  

I've never heard of the New Jersey barrier.

Does anyone still use oleo?

The theme is fine, not a wow, but certainly adequate, and the puzzle has a good piece of pop. It was, as usual from Andrea, a fun Monday.

And may there be more rescuing from pounds!

chefbea 11:31 AM  

@anon 10:41 so what is your name that's in the puzzle???

Ellen S 12:10 PM  

Hey, folks, I haven't worked the puzzle yet, but I called the NYT crosswords help desk contact info that I found on the Wordplay blog (and posted here two days ago):
"If you are having trouble getting a response from general Customer Care (they have been DELUGED with emails and phone calls, and need to respond to queries in the order they receive them), PLEASE try writing to:

That is the help desk that has been specifically set up for crosswords issues. And please be patient. No one is being ignored, but they get a huge amount of traffic and have a very small staff that deals with the issues. If you don't hear from them in 48 hours, write again or call:
(800) 591-9233.

Well, I didn't email, I just called. I had to go through the wrong person before being connected to the Digital department, but finally talked to Amber who seemed bright and technological. And she said the problem, "HTTP 1.1 Service Not Available" was only first reported this morning! (?!?) They were previously aware of the "redirect loop" which crashed some browsers.

Amber says the HTTP 1.1 problem is only occurring on iPads and they're working on it. If you are getting the problem with another platform, you should report it, and be specific about what's involved: what browser, what hardware, what operating system. Version of each if you can find that.

(I had the HTTP 1.1 problem this morning downloading the Monday puzzle, but the workaround I reported worked: upon getting the error message, click the back button, re-click "Download for across lite", back-click-back-click -- about the 8th time, it worked. It's like there's too much of some kind of traffic and you have to keep trying and eventually you can sneak in.)

syndy 12:10 PM  

Wow this baby just drips testosterone! maybe that's why it's UNSHY! JESSY V/THE ROC (ROCKS)/MINN FATS/REX/ MISHA b/ CHUCH n/ALEX t /the AXEMAN and not to mention GOYA all flexing their PECs! Very EYE OF the tiger GO GIRL!

jberg 12:39 PM  

I admit it - I like pangrams! You don't have to if you don't want to, but I do, and I liked this one. I couldn't decide if @REX was in there to placate him, or if that was a finger in the eye, but still fun.

Nice that of the three foreign gendered terms, two came out feminine! Go ACME!

Andrea Carla Michaels 1:15 PM  

@john v
You were close! It IS autobiographical!
I was born in (Alexandria) VIRGINIA, grew up in (Minneapolis) MINNESOTA, and have been living in (LA/SF) CALIFORNIA for past 30 years!!!

@bob k
Sorry, NJ Barricade would not fit in! See @Carola and @Milford to further understand the theme :)

Shout out to @REX was playful...I'll leave the pokes in the eye to him! Don't want to further blind him so that he doesn't notice anything but the partials and ignores starting with a ZEST and ending with a KISSED!

UNSHY, to my horror, I've discovered isn't even good in Scrabble!!! The word comes up in my life at least once a day...so I didn't realize!!! Won't happen again!

And i can't take any credit (or blame) for the fun of Ogden tho it's my favorite of his poems! The one letter edit to this grid was EOE/TOOL to EWE/TWOL.

Ha! ;)

Thanks, all who enjoyed...and for the constructive criticism of those who did not!

This puzzle is dedicated to my dear friend ACE who was indeed a MINNESOTAFATS cocker Spaniel who left us this weekend. He was a good boy.

Campesite 1:23 PM  

I loved this autobiographical pangram! Wonderful Monday!
Sorry to hear about ACE.

Bird 1:35 PM  

checked the constructor’s name, smiled then proceeded to solve this lovely puzzle. Thank you Andrea. Nice easy puzzle for a Monday with only two write-overs: ELAN for 1A and JOUST for 62A. Been a looong time since I’ve seen ONER.

Three dislikes: 1) Is UNSHY a word with common usage or only crossword usage? 2) Is TWO L legit, even clued as it was? 3) UNITER is not pretty.

Maybe not ACME’s best stuff, but that could be the fault of WS. Still, not a bad Monday puzzle.

@acme – Sorry for your loss. And I like EOE/TOOL better than EWE/TWOL.

Masked and Anonymo7Us-ini 1:41 PM  

Pangram, with extra X's and 7 U's. With mini-themes of residencies and the dread SLIMS- (cinnamon)ROLLS - FATS progression. Lots of oddball (my fave) fill, like TWOL, YOYO, JPEG, ZOOMIN, REXPEC, CHUCK, fUgUe, NINO/NANO, LIFEVEST, huff, huff, sputter...

thUmbsUp, Andrea Darlin'.

allan 1:43 PM  

Thanks to this blog, I always check to see the constructor's name. When I see Andrea's name, I know the puzzle will be easy and boring. At least, in this respect, I wasn't disappointed.

joho 1:49 PM  

Oh, Andrea, you got me with, "He was a good boy." Tears.

MaryRoseG 2:00 PM  

If it 's an ACM or Liz Gorski puzzle, I am in crossword heaven.

So sorry about your pup.

Ellen S 2:29 PM  

Andrea, before I found this blog, I never did the Mon-Weds puzzles because they are too easy (even though I am often laid low by Saturdays), but I've learned to appreciate that "easy" doesn't mean "sneerworthy." Thank you for a delightful Monday.

After I retired from being a highly paid tech support person for a major computer company, I worked a couple of days a week for a dog groomer across the street, bathing dogs in return for the groomer trimming my Schnauzer. The Cockers were a real challenge--hard to get wet, then impossible to dry, and those eye-stains--but every one was the best dog in the world, patiently letting me work them over, never complaining. I know you must miss Ace "SOMETHING FIERCE."

M and A also 2:31 PM  

p.s. Wanted puSHY on route 66-A. Is there some other letter in the front margin on that there entry?
doggone sorry about Ace. Pooches are the best.

Axeman Cara Mishas 2:31 PM  

Thank you! But just to clarify, before this devolves into too many condolences, Ace was not my baby...Close friends' boy whom I occasionally dogsit when I go "home" to Minnesota... He was a sweetie. It was a playful shoutout as he was rolypoly and I used to call him Minnesota Fats. He had a good life with the best family ever...

Boring? Wow...glad I didn't disappoint! ;)

Anonymous 2:38 PM  


What a pleasant comment.

Did you know that FUGUE can actually be parsed to say

Anonymous 2:52 PM  

That would be 5D. :)

sanfranman59 3:48 PM  

Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method):

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

Mon 6:18, 6:46, 0.93, 24%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:57, 3:41, 1.07, 84%, Challenging

Anonymous 4:00 PM  

For all those having a problem downloading a PDF, I've found a workaround: Go to the WORDPLAY blog site on the puzzle page and scroll down a bit (trying to ignore some of the graphic spoilers) and click on the "PDF" link on the right. You can download the puzzle in the newspaper format just like the good old days.

chefwen 4:32 PM  

Didn't get to the puzzle until this A.M., that would be P.M. for most of y'all. Was moving through it at a rather brisk pace until I got to that SW corner, groaned and said out loud "Oh Andrea, you didn't" husband asked me what Andrea didn't do. I said, "UNSHY" he said YUCK. Other than that I thought it was a fun Monday puzzle.


santafefran 4:39 PM  

For those legions of you having the http 1.1 problem or the redirect problem, the solution is to download Google Chrome. The NYT tech person I spoke to suggested this so I downloaded it on my PC which uses the WIN 7 operating system and also got the Chrome App for my iPad. The interesting aspect is that I can now download to Acrosslite using my Foxfire browser on PC and Safari browser on the iPad. You don't actually have to use the Chrome app/browser, just download it.
It has been a frustrating few days but so glad to be able to access Acrosslite again.

Can't really comment fairly on the puzzle since the only way I could solve it last night was using the NYT puzzle format on my iPad which was a dreadful experience. Hate,hate, hate the new NYT's puzzle format.

1st part of capcha: calmsu which I definitely needed!

Nighthawk 4:41 PM  

Once I'm finished with a puzzle, I like to try to think of a pithy title for the theme. For this one, the title that came to me was "Body States". An alternative would have been "States of Obesity". I liked the progression from very (fat) to buff (slim). And I think @Sparky hit the nail on the head, comparing the rolls to "muffin top". Now when are we going to see that one in an Xword?

Anne 4:45 PM  

@Anonymous 4:00 - I tried it and it actually works. Thanks so much.

chefbea 5:02 PM  

@anon 4:00 I was doing that for a couple of weeks and all was fine. Now when I click on PDF it goes directly to NYT page and I cant get it.

captcha now has 2 blurry words...no mor numbers

Doc John 5:04 PM  

Other than UNSHY, I liked it just fine. More difficult than a typical Monday.
For the record, the VIRGINIA SLIMS tourney is now called the Lipton.

Bob Snead 5:42 PM  

@Anonymous 2:38

Comment of the year.

Dirigonzo 5:51 PM  

This puzzle was pure fun - I say this not because I solved it myself but because I watched my puzzle-neophyte friend solve it. She chuckled several times, groaned once (when I explained TWOL to her) and was proud of herself for having spotted the theme. ISAY that pretty much defines what a good Monday puzzle should be, at least from a non-critic point of view.

@Joho - Your avatar looks exactly like my Cocker, Buddy (not pictured in my avatar). He's a good boy but a little confused as he alternates between thinking he's a Lab and a cat - it's pretty funny to watch.

retired_chemist 6:03 PM  

Fun but too easy.

dk 6:07 PM  

@Allen, your confused. I am easy and boring. Ask anyone... err everyone.

dk 6:11 PM  

Anon at 2:08. Great parse. Another puzzle related slam is: while there is no I iin team there is plenty of u in fug ue.

joho 8:41 PM  

@Dirigonzo, Buddy sounds like a riot. Riley is, too. He's actually a cockapoo. He has a unique personality and we love him to bits. However, if the Dog Whisperer were ever in town, I'd grab him in a minute to get advice about many issues!

sanfranman59 1:41 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 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 6:27, 6:46, 0.95, 32%, Easy-Medium

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:52, 3:41, 1.05, 79%, Medium-Challenging

Spacecraft 10:38 AM  

Asone Cara Martys starts out with ZEST; that's a tough standard to maintain. Likes: FARRAH (HOT!), GODSPELL, FACADE, PENCE (sport-haters thank you for not going with Hunter), and after the UNITER did his thing, they KISSED. Awww.


Weirdnesses: symmetrical twins UNA/UNO, and the non-word (but maybe it should be!) UNSHY. Call Webster's; I'll give it a vote.

Ginger 12:49 PM  

Fun, Easy, Monday....Thank you Andrea. I ZOOMED IN on it. Biographic for me too, born in MINNESOTA, grew up in CALIFORNIA, and my name is VIRGINIA ;-).

Had a little trouble with the CALIFORNIA corner, with joUST, before QUEST. Easily fixed. Love the comments re FUG UE.

Note to syndilanders, the real time puzzle from yesterday was also by ACME. We'll get it next week. Something to definitely look forward to!

rain forest 2:06 PM  

A bit cheeky throwing a pangram in there, and an easy one at that. I think that overall it was a fine Monday. UNSHY and UNITER were regrettable, I liked TWOL (love Nash), and the partials bothered me not. Good fun.

Dirigonzo 5:26 PM  

Since PP solved this puzzle on her own 5 weeks ago (we had a bootleg copy) I decided to try it myself when it appeared in today's paper - with all the masculine names appearing throughout the grid maybe this puzzle is really ACM's version of a tell-all autobiography, done crossword-style. Now that would be some feat!

LIFEVESTS have been replaced by PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices).

acme 7:32 PM  

Hi syndicators! I had forgotten all about UNSHY!
that is wild about all the coincidences abounding!!!
One note, the Sunday puzzle is COwritten with THE Dan Feyer who did all the heavy lifting.

Anonymous 6:13 AM  

Thanks Axeman Cara Mete, for looking in on the syndies. LOL'd at (T) Rex smack dab in the middle. I hope he's coping after five weeks now. Oh, and don't call him Surely.
For a while there, I thought Always Confounding Monday might be reefering to some of the new state laws passed last November, for the theme. It took longer to look for words like Wallop and Xray than to do the puzzle. A first letter pangram would Shirley have elicited commentary from the noble quest. BTW, does Chuck Norris do crosswords? He must kick some major buttocks. He must be skewing Sanfranman's times! That's why I can't get that fast.

Quite a fun day Monday, thanks ACM

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