Rapper in film 21 Jump Street / MON 3-25-13 / Frederick who composed My Fair Lady / Once-in-lifetime pilgrimage / Autobahn auto / Olympian sledder / Father biblically

Monday, March 25, 2013

Constructor: Adam Prince

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: CAPTAIN (37A: Title that can precede the starts of 17-, 23-, 49- and 59-Across)

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Recipe holders (COOK BOOKS)
  • 23A: Irregular trial venue (KANGAROO COURT)
  • 49A: "The Shawshank Redemption" actor (MORGAN FREEMAN)
  • 59A: Basketball scoring attempts that are difficult to block (HOOK SHOTS)

Word of the Day: ICE CUBE (10D: Rapper in the film "21 Jump Street") —

O'Shea Jackson (born June 15, 1969), better known by his stage name Ice Cube, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, screenwriter, film producer, and director. He began his career as a member of the hip-hop group C.I.A. and later joined N.W.A (Niggas With Attitudes). After leaving N.W.A in December 1989, he built a successful solo career in music, and also as a writer, director, actor and producer in cinema. Additionally, he has served as one of the producers of the Showtime television series Barbershop and the TBS seriesAre We There Yet?, both of which are based upon films in which he portrayed the lead character.
Cube is noted as a proficient lyricist and storyteller and is regarded as a brutally honest rapper; his lyrics are often political as well as violent, and he is considered one of the founding artists in gangsta rap. He was ranked #8 on MTV's list of the 10 Greatest MCs of All Time, while fellow rapper Snoop Dogg ranked Ice Cube as the greatest MC of all time. About.com ranked him #11 on its list of the "Top 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time." Allmusic has called him one of hip-hop's best and most controversial artists, as well as "one of rap's greatest storytellers." In 2012, The Source ranked him #14 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. (wikipedia)
• • •

Theme is basic and pretty dull, but the grid is wonderful, especially for a Monday (if you ignore EOCENE, which is always terrible—22A: Epoch when mammals arose). There's some mild Scrabble-f***ing going on with that "Q" and that "J", but no harm done. Lots of interesting fill, including, most notably, "SCREW IT!" (42D: "Ugh, who cares?!"). I am mildly stunned that this is now acceptable crossword fare. Pleasantly stunned, but stunned nonetheless. Swear words! KABOOM! It's a whole new world. Pass the GUACAMOLE (33D: Super Bowl bowlful).

[3D: "Craps player's boast" ("I'M ON A ROLL!")]

I was done pretty quickly today, but Yet Again lost 10-20 seconds hunting down a stupid typo. I am lucky that tournament solving is done on paper, because I would have errors left right and center if those competitions required keyboard entry of answers. And of course the typo was at the *bottom* of the grid: HHOKSHOTS crossing FRHTH. Sure. That's plausible. Idiot. Besides that self-inflicted wound, my biggest hindrance today was, ironically, ICE CUBE. Usually the rap clue is the thing that gives me traction, the gimme, Old Reliable, but today I saw "21 Jump Street" and (of course) thought TV show ... Johnny Depp was not a rapper. That other big white dude was not a rapper. What's her name ... Holly Robinson Peete? Is that right? Yes, it is. Still, not a rapper. But even if I were thinking of the movie (which I saw), I don't think it would've helped. It's a weird, weird way to clue ICE CUBE, who is legitimately famous for lots of movies and songs and albums. He's not one of the two main stars of "Jump Street." I don't even remember which role he played. Of course I saw the movie on a 13 hour flight from L.A. to Auckland, so I might not have been the most attentive watcher, but still—weird clue. And it held me up. Not a lot. But some. That LOEWE dude held me up slightly too, but that's *much* more understandable (58A: Frederick who composed "My Fair Lady").
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    Carola 12:08 AM  

    Cute theme, loved HOOK and COOK teamed up. Also OCEAN x CAPTAIN, WOOER - ASK TO - YES, and ICE next to LUGER.

    From another commenter (I'm sorry I can't remember who), I got the idea of trying to solve an early-week puzzle only looking at the Across clues and guessing the Down answers from the letters in the Acrosses. On the spur of the moment, I decided to try it on this one. Took me a while, but I finished. Mistakes slowed me down: KABOsh instead of KABOOM kept me from seeing KANGAROO COURT for a long time. But once I got that, I saw the theme and that, of course, was a huge help with the rest. Other wrong guesses: AllEES before AGREES, QUOrA, and SCREW In.

    It was harder than I'd expected to guess Downs without the clues. For example, faced with AP_I_, I thought "April," but then realized it could be two words, "a pain." (In the end, it turned out to be neither, as the "a" came from an incorrect guess at audi: OPEL made it OPT IN.) Even for the three-letter _AJ, I only thought of tAJ and rAJ - only got HAJ when I filled in the theme answer. Anyway, a fun experiment. But you miss the fun of figuring out the Down clues.

    jae 12:33 AM  

    What a nice smooth easy Mon.  The only thing that slowed me down was iPad typos and audi for OPEL.  Just the sort of theme you look for on Mon. and not much dreck. Plus a fair amount of zippy stuff...GUACOMOLE, SCREW IT, KABOOM, ICE CUBE,  KANGAROO COURT ( I wonder if that's a first for the NYT)...   Liked it!

    Evan 12:33 AM  

    All those K's in the northwest corner made me think it was going to be a K-related theme, like every answer somehow managed to jam the letter K in it. I'm glad it wasn't, because that would have turned the Scabble-f***ing meter up to 11.

    I too was pleasantly surprised to see SCREW IT. Also BIG MAC and ICE CUBE. I had ODORS before OVENS, but I think that was my only write-over. One other neat coincidence (possibly): CAPTAIN MORGAN's RUMS.

    Other possible theme answers include CRUNCH TIME, MORGAN FREEMAN's co-star in "The Bucket List" JACK NICHOLSON, and PLANET HOLLYWOOD (which would make for a cool 15-letter grid spanner). There's also AMERICA ONLINE, but that's a little outdated -- it's just called AOL these days, I think.

    Is there a RexWorld term for a situation where you think of a certain theme entry and then it magically appears a day or two later? I was just thinking of the phrase KANGAROO COURT as a possible entry for an animal-themed puzzle. I didn't really go anywhere with it, so I don't feel like I lost out on any opportunity. But still, it was pretty eerie that it showed up only one day after I was considering it. I think this situation needs a definition. Something to do with being psychic. A psychopop, perhaps?

    Evan 12:35 AM  


    It's not a NYT debut for KANGAROO COURT. It was there on two previous Mondays: December 22, 2008, and February 10, 2003.

    Anonymous 12:37 AM  

    I think the NYT would be a better value for subscribers if all puzzles had tiered cluing. Thursdays can have some strong themes and reasonable cluing, but Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday? It doesn't matter how good they are. I have no reason to care because they are so easy. Oh, well. Fuck it. Oops - NYT - I mean SCREW IT.


    Aromas Cels Morgans 1:16 AM  

    Loved it! Nice and krunchy...six Ks more than makes up for no X or Z.
    Eyebrow raised on SCREWIT, let the outcry begin, continue, be ignored!

    Very time March Madness HOOKSHOTS!

    That QUOTA was NOT gratuitous Scrabble tomfoolery, it was beautifully connecting ONAROLL and BIGMAC...clever pairing that!

    And very nice PT buildup with CaPTain, PTa and oPTin!
    That's nothing to spit at (PTUI!)

    I did not find theme dull, it was fun, four plus solid middle reveal. Perfect Monday.

    I fell for EGSACk two days ago, but not this time!

    Anoa Bob 2:36 AM  

    Monday-solid theme, but the real treats, as others have noted, were the longer Downs. Anyone ever tried GUACAMOLE on their BIG MAC?

    I hear "I'M (he, she is) ON A ROLL" at the poker table quite a lot. Just not enough of the "I'm" and too much of the "he or she is".

    Of the four theme entry beginnings, only MORGAN is a person both as CARTAIN and FREEMAN. The others, COOK, KANGAROO, and HOOK, are people as CAPTAINs but not as BOOKS, COURT or SHOTS.

    chefwen 2:39 AM  

    @Carola - Did you notice that Packer Dip would have fit perfectly at 33D? How much fun would that have been?

    42D was what I said doing Sundays puzzle about 3/4's of the way through.

    Wasn't the easiest of Mondays puzzles, but I did manage to get through it with no write overs.

    I think I'm due for a Mac Ducks Big Mac, it's been about two years. O.K. Now I'm hungry. Time for some Coconut Ice Cream.

    jae 3:21 AM  

    @Evan -- Thanks.

    And, BIGMAC is also pretty zippy...

    Ellen S 3:58 AM  

    Do eels hatch from EGG SACS? I wonder if they're sneaking in this way.

    Loren Muse Smith 5:22 AM  

    Nice fill! I thought early on it was a OO theme.

    Was watching my Tar Heels bow out of the Big Dance as I finished this, remembering Joe Wolf and his terrific HOOK SHOTS from the EOCENE period.

    @Evan – I was thinking “Crunch,” too, but isn’t he a Cap'n, not CAPTAIN? I had COURT KANGAROO the other day as an M&A- inspired entry to a different puzzle.

    Thanks, Adam – fun puzzle.

    MetaRex 5:50 AM  

    I'm envisioning Captain Screw It as a Blackbeard type with all artificial limbs...

    Further profundities at Captain Ice Cube, Meet Captain Screw It

    GILL I. 5:58 AM  

    Boy, I'M ON A ROLL I said, but EGAD my KILTS ROSE!! The AROMA went KABOOM then ICE CUBE went for the LUGER NO LESS and to make matters worse, the GUACAMOLE gave us E COLI. Dang, I want a BIG MAC said MORGAN ERNIE and GLEN. Where are the COOKBOOKS asked VAL? SCREW IT said MOM. Next time Get your own damn CAPTAIN and don't TSK me.
    What's not to love?

    webwinger 6:24 AM  


    Unknown 6:57 AM  

    KABOOM, this first (of what I would guess to be many) published puzzles by Mr. Prince is NOLESS than great as it BECKONS us with a novel theme and ROCS (stet) with an OCEAN of great fill as well --- he has met his QUOTA of fun as he AIMS to entertain us --- a budding CAPTAIN of puzzle construction.

    PSST, here’s another clue for you all (to the sound of “Glass Onion” by The Beatles) --- Mr. Prince is my son! EGAD, this one I’ll have to put AWAY as a keepsake!



    Rex Parker 7:04 AM  

    Richard Prince wins the comments.


    Z 7:08 AM  

    @Loren - I was thinking the theme would be "The Big O." I counted 22.

    Medium for me due to the LOEWE corner.

    Milford 7:31 AM  

    I liked the theme, thought it was cute. I've been enjoying these scrabbly puzzles, recently.

    Puzzle reminded me of watching CAPTAIN KANGAROO as a kid, followed by ERNIE on Sesame Street, and finally The Electric Company with MORGAN FREEMAN as Easy Reader. Literally my weekday TV schedule as a kid, all in one puzzle!

    Seems like a dam (damn?) has broken, first with OH HELL, now SCREW IT... Can't wait to see where this leads us.

    Only major write over was Half court before HOOK SHOTS, which was awesome. Thanks, Adam!

    Gareth Bain 7:34 AM  

    "(if you ignore EOCENE, which is always terrible—22A: Epoch when mammals arose)". Huh???

    Adam Prince 7:51 AM  

    Thanks all for the comments, especially the RP that I call Dad!

    Just happy to have my first publication in the NYT, and glad you all seemed to like the fill. I guess SCREWIT is kind of controversial, but I thought its liveliness outweighed its questionable nature.

    @evan, @loren said it right about CAPNCRUNCH. I would've loved to put such a great cartoon icon in there, but thought it was unfair since he is a CAPN and not a CAPTAIN.

    Unknown 7:52 AM  

    Agree with Rex that the theme was basic-typical Monday. Don't agree with dull though-just typical. Really wanted AMERICA and CRUNCH somewhere.

    Also agree with Rex that the fill is what made this sparkle. Resisted SCREW IT for a second because it's the NYT. Went back and checked - it has been used before in a 2007 QQ (Quigley/Quarfoot) puzzle.

    @Proud Papa - congrats on your son's debut! Is he another 9yo (hyperbole) boy wonder like David Steinberg?

    Adam Prince 7:56 AM  

    I tried to have my last comment show my name, so @unknown above is me. Hopefully it works this time.

    @Rob -- I am 26, but my dad does look like he could have a 9yo haha.

    Unknown 8:11 AM  

    Congrats to Adam and his Dad...so fun to see you enjoying your first NYT puzzle!

    I liked it very much. Would have LOVED to see Cap'n Crunch, but it's completely understandable why he didn't make the cut. (One year for Christmas I made my nieces and nephews cereal bowls and gave them each a box of Crunch Berries....I was a hero!)

    Anyhoo...I was so taken aback by SCREW IT....
    I had S_RE WIT and couldn't see it for the longest time.

    I will be jetting off later this week to a warm spot where I will probably reacquaint myself with dear Captain Morgan...

    Mitzie 8:11 AM  

    Absolutely tore this up - 25-30% faster than a normal Monday. I picked up the theme after a quick scan of the clues and was lucky enough to finish with no errors.

    I am a bit surprised that this theme escaped the chopping block, though. Not because it totally sucks, but I feel like the bar on this sort of theme has been raised in recent years. These days, you generally have to have a *witty* revealer, or have *two* words per theme entry that correspond to the revealer word (so, something like KANGAROOHOOK, which I realize is not a real thing), and generally both, if you're going to do this type of "thing that can precede x" theme.

    I think the major exception to this is probably if it's a debut puzzle, which this appears to be.

    Fine work, I'd say.

    joho 8:13 AM  

    @evan, RUMS defnitely seems like a bonus theme answer to me.

    Fun theme with sparkly, FROTHy fill, what more can you ask for on a Monday?

    Great job, Adam Prince! Hope to see more from you and your proud papa!

    Elle54 8:14 AM  

    I really liked the puzzle. And it was great to have the constructor and his dad weighing in! Congratulations to both! PS- wonder if Adam ever saw Captain Kangaroo.... Thought he and Mr. green jeans had retired over 26 years ago!

    jberg 8:55 AM  

    Congratulations to the whole Prince family! And thanks for stopping by.

    My only quibble with this one is that COOK BOOKS is so strong a theme answere that I was looking for MEEK GREEKS, etc., for the others. Would have been hard to find any more like that, however.

    And my only solving difficulties were a) bad hand lettering that made the I in KILTS look like an S and kept me too long from seeing ICE CUBE, and b) forgetting to think of the theme and putting in jump SHOT (the inventor of which died last week, according to the obituary columns). The theme really helped with MORGAN FREEMAN, though, I'd have had no idea otherwise.

    Oh, and looking at 58A and saying, "Wasn't that a Lerner and Lowe show? Guess I must have been wrong about that."

    It all came right, though, in a fun Monday. And @Rex, where would we be without the EOCENE?

    jackj 9:00 AM  

    “O, Captain! My Captain!”

    Of course, that Whitman poem eulogized Abraham Lincoln but Richard Prince, in his debut gig for the NY Times has a more playful quartet with Captains MORGAN, COOK, HOOK and KANGAROO as his theme characters, with a straightforward reveal of CAPTAIN.

    All good and well for the theme but the better part of today’s puzzle is the fill, with a riotous group headed up by SCREWIT, (and one wonders whether the puzzle was published in spite of it or because of it ), with a supporting cast of KABOOM, IMONAROLL, and GUACAMOLE, (NOLESS).

    Playing a placatory role to calm the folks who gasped at SCREWIT, we have the Victorian epithet often growled by that old scoundrel Major Hoople, EGAD!, a word that, in its day would likely never be allowed to grace the pages of the Grey Lady, just as SCREWIT would be ban………..oops, sorry, lost my way for a moment.

    Some other entries that BECKON include FROTH, QUOTA and the best cluing of the puzzle, “Stand around the mall?”, which very cleverly describes a familiar sight for shoppers, the mall’s version of a pop-up store, a KIOSK.

    A fun puzzle from a new talent who clearly has the touch; looking forward to Richard’s next offering!

    chefbea 9:08 AM  

    What's not to like in this Prince of a puzzle - cookbooks, ovens, guacamole,big mac...all washed down with rum!!

    Thanks to adam and his dad for stopping by.

    dk 9:19 AM  

    Poop. Adam's dad is in in the house. I will have to be nice.

    Adam, do not let wannabes like Rex put down EOCENE. I mean if EOCENE was the first or last name for some esoteric sports figure they (known only as they) would be agog.

    I realize this puzzle is yet another secret homage to March Madness. But I just want to point out that CAPTAIN MORGAN and his RUMS make me hop about like a KANGAROO attempting to BEGET ROCS in the back seat of an OPEl, wearing KILTS, while racing an ACURA.

    Off to the Windy City.

    🌟🌟🌟 (3 Stars) Nice one Adam

    Pete 9:20 AM  

    Wow, what a coincidence. I just saw The Shawshank Redemption on TV last week. Wait, it was on TV 40 times last week, the week before, and that's the schedule for next week also.

    I really enjoyed the puzzle, more zip than usual. I didn't understand the "venue" in the clue for KANGAROO COURT. A kangaroo court is an irregular trial, the venue has nothing to do with it. Hell, our own Supreme Court is a kangaroo court half the time and that doesn't have any effect on the building.

    quilter1 9:38 AM  

    Already a fresh and fun Monday and then the Prince family showed up celebrating. Nice beginning to the week. Congrats to father and son.
    Iowa State wuz robbed.

    Airymom 9:43 AM  

    So much to love about this puzzle!! #1--almost no junk., #2--Morgan Freeman--great actor in one of my favorite movies, "he could read the phone book to me"., #3--"hookshots" after staying up too late to watch Duke win (Go Blue Devils), #4--"screw it" If Adam's Dad says okay, it's okay with this Mom!
    Congrats on your debut.

    Eric 9:44 AM  

    Started as I got on the 7 train at Grand Central, finished by the time I got to Queens Plaza (~5 mins)

    Quick and easy Monday after a tougher-than-usual Sunday.

    Anything referencing Shawshank AND 21 Jump Street in one puzzle is an automatic win.

    lawprof 10:03 AM  

    Zippy Monday that played out mediumish for me. Didn't know, or had forgotten, that Captain Kangaroo was a pirate.

    Had a little delay at the QVC/CELS crossing because I initially entered UAr at 29D (thinking United Arab Republic) before remembering Emirates.

    My March Madness bracket is totally busted (as, I'd bet, is everyone else's). Appropriately, I had a major writeover at 59A with alleyoOpS before HOOKSHOTS.

    Bob Kerfuffle 10:14 AM  

    Good one!

    (And ditto what @loren muse smith said about the OO theme.)

    Two Ponies 10:30 AM  

    Wonderful puzzle and even better that it's a debut. Way to go Adam!
    I've noticed you recently commenting as @ Anonymous.
    Screw it really made my morning.

    Evan 10:41 AM  

    Fair enough about Mr. Crunch -- he's a CAP'N, not a CAPTAIN. Shows what I know, since I never eat his cereal anyway. Good job avoiding it too, Adam, since I can just imagine Will Shortz sending back a reply saying he can't use it because of his vast knowledge of cereal nomenclature.

    One other answer which probably wouldn't work, but would still amuse the hell outta me for obvious reasons, is OBVIOUS REASONS. Does anyone else besides me say the phrase "Thanks, Captain Obvious!" when they're being snarky?

    Sandy K 10:49 AM  

    Just right for a Monday! Cute theme. Not just no junk fill, but fine fill, eg MORGAN FREEMAN, GUACAMOLE, I'M ON A ROLL- very FROTHY!

    As far as epochs go, I don't mind EOCENE, or SCREW IT. SCREW you might not fly, EGAD! Don't know if the NYT is ready for that...

    Congrats, Adam Prince and proud Dad! AT NO time did you ROONE this puzz. Hoping for some MOORE!

    mac 10:49 AM  

    Easy, smooth puzzle with a perfect Monday theme. I went to the reveal location early on and needed only the c and the p to figure out the theme since I had Cook book already.

    The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite films.

    Congratulations, Princes!

    Masked and Anonymo5Us 10:59 AM  

    har. Would totally vote a dude into Congress, running under the name Captain Screwit. Nice debut puz, btw -- more Uish than some first timers.

    What. No Captain Kirk?! Beef Fart? Scourageous?

    @Parker: Dude. There's winners awarded in the comments competition? Excitin' prizes? Agree 100% with today's award winner. Will try extra hard for a prize tomorrow, even tho little hope for dudes with anonymous in their name. Need the dough, after flamin' out in Vegas.

    chefbea 11:07 AM  

    @M&A where do u win prizes for comments???

    retired_chemist 11:14 AM  

    Well done, Mr. Prince the younger!

    One of my fastest Mondays ever, so I rate it as easy. Got about half the Acrosses on the first pass, did a few downs to suss out the theme answers, and filled in the remaining blanks easily.

    EOCENE is fine in my book. I assume MC in the Ice Cube writeup refers to Master of Ceremonies - if it's a different rap-specific acronym, someone who knows rap please inform us.

    Too bad the biathlon isn't sledding and antique pistol shooting - we could have a LUGER LUGER.

    Thanks, Adam.

    Captain M and A 11:18 AM  

    @chefbea. See 7:04AM, Parker comment. The "prize" part might be wishful thinkin', I hafta admit...

    Or did You mean Where do U's win prizes in comments; which would be I Fink U Freeky Awards.

    Anonymous 11:30 AM  

    It may be a function of my age and upbringing, but I, for one, was disappointed to see that SCREW IT passed muster. I do not consider the coarsening of the language to be progress--or evidence of much wit. Surely we can be clever without pandering.

    Click and Clack 11:40 AM  

    As a rule in English, adding an "S" or "ES" to a word changes the word from singular to plural (and also adds a letter or two to the word, often found to be useful in crossword grids.)

    But we are thinking of a word for which adding an "S" changes the word from plural to singular (and also happens to change the gender!)

    chefbea 11:49 AM  

    @M&A thank u

    John in Philly 12:01 PM  

    Nice Puz. I had Beepon instead of beckon and it worked with the crosses, but alas it was wrong....

    Notsofast 12:28 PM  

    Ooh! Good one! A hoot to boot! A tip of the Hatlo Hat to SCREWIT. But it might be more appropriate near the bottom of a Saturday puzzle. Crunchy and cute! Nice job!

    Captain and Tenille 12:33 PM  

    My Fair Lady was a Lerner & LOEWE musical.

    Book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner.
    Music 'composed' by Frederick Loewe.
    So clue is technically correct.

    Ellen S 12:38 PM  

    I had thought this was a pretty boring Monday--my yardstick is, can I finish it. I used to ignore the puzzles until Thursday before I found this blog, which adds layers and layers of fun to the solving. I also wondered about "venue" to describe a KANGAROO COURT, but it's not the worst stretch we've seen. Did anybody not get the answer because of that?

    Nice to hear from the @Princes (@webwinger, Prince senior is also an opthalmologist, per his profile). Speaking of doctors, @Gareth, so far @Rex is the only one who thinks there's something wrong with EOCENE. Maybe when he comes back to give @Richard his prize he will enlighten the rest of us.

    Anonymous 12:45 PM  

    I do not think SCREWIT is appropriate. I once told a woman at work "screw you" and she never talked to me again.

    Pete 1:29 PM  

    Yeah, what the hell's wrong with EOCENE? At my day-long March Madness party yesterday, it was the primary topic of conversation. EOCENE this, EOCENE that. What a spectacular group of animals came to be in the EOCENE epoch. Not like that crap Pliocene epoch, where nothing but mollusk and worms came into being.

    We couldn't even discuss Iowa being robbed between sentences, so enrapt were we with our discussion of the EOCENE epoch.

    Bird 1:39 PM  

    I liked this puzzle. Good theme and plenty of good fill. No problem with SCREW IT – innocent oath. 23A is also great. I prefer a nice hot chili in my bowl during the Super Bowl.

    Lots of “OO”s in the grid. X and a Z short of a pangram – couldn’t get that X in there and make it fun?

    Congrats Mr. Prince.

    Captain Ahab 1:41 PM  

    So if @Rex would have done this on paper and did not have the aid of a computer to tell him he had a typo, does that mean he DNF?

    On a Monday NO LESS?!

    LaneB 1:43 PM  

    Harder than the usual Monday, but I labored through it wih only one google (ASIAN/CALI cross) and 2erasures (AIMS and CELS/UAE)
    Nothing about which to be proud, however.

    Evan 2:08 PM  

    @Anonymous 12:45:

    The difference is, I'm almost positive that when the NYT puzzle tells you SCREW IT, you're still going to come back and solve it the next day.

    Captain Bligh 2:24 PM  

    Arrrgh. Captain Rex finished with an error! Gotta check your work before handing in the sheet.

    Arrrgh. 40 lashes!

    Lewis 2:32 PM  

    @pete -- made me laugh out loud

    Great debut, fun to solve. We've got BEGET, we've got SCREWIT, and we have KILTS in an ACURA. Who could ask for more?

    Sparky 2:43 PM  

    Pretty easy. I read revealer first because it jumped to the eye. Congrats Adam Prince and proud Richard. I tsked at SCREWIT brcause it is crude and doesn't really mean "Ugh, who cares?" to me. A lot stronger.

    A happy Monday solve.

    As long as someone asked the other day...why do we put @ before a person's name?

    Sparky 2:46 PM  

    That's because, of course.

    Carola 3:02 PM  

    @chefwen - I hadn't noticed that! :)

    Captain Obvious (a wink to Evan) 3:16 PM  

    We put an @ before someone's name to make it easier to search for replies to a poster.

    Say I posted as Ted. If I wanted to see if there were any replies, searching for "ted" (I wanted ... for 23a) would return many false positives, but not so with "@ted".

    sanfranman59 3:43 PM  

    Midday report of relative difficulty (see my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation of my method and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak to my method):

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

    Mon 5:51, 6:07, 0.96, 29%, Easy-Medium

    Top 100 solvers

    Mon 3:33, 3:41, 0.96, 25%, Easy-Medium

    Captain Nemo 4:16 PM  

    To me, SCREW IT means "The hell with it, I'm going anyway."

    Captain von Trapp 4:30 PM  

    Hey, what about me! I sang "Edelweiss" but didn't have much of a sense of humour...

    but now I'm LOL @Pete's take on the EOCENE epoch!

    Two Ponies 4:53 PM  

    @ Unknown, I meant to say in my earlier post that I had noticed you here recently as Unknown not Anonymous. Duh!
    Anyway, now that we know you and your work we'll know who we are talking to.
    Thanks again for a fun solve.

    Sfingi 5:07 PM  

    Always love mini-themes: Egg containers.

    Favorite biathlon: luging and fishing.

    Anonymous 7:39 PM  

    I'm with those that think SCREW IT is in poor taste and doesn't belong in the NYT puzzle.

    I grew up in a town where "gee" was swearing 8:04 PM  

    Which is in poorer taste, "SCREW IT" or commenting anonymously about finding "SCREW IT" in poor taste?


    retired_chemist 8:18 PM  

    personal favorite biathlon: pole vaulting and sumo wrestling.

    JuMp 8:52 PM  

    @ Click and Clack ( are you really the Magliozzi bros.?).
    How 'bout princes becoming princess. do I win a prize?

    Tita 8:53 PM  

    @Captain Obvious - who the hell is @ted?? Ahh, SCREWIT.

    What everyone else said.
    Liked seeing KILTS, as puzzle husband wore one at our wedding...
    He said "If she's gonna dress silly, so am I..."
    And, his daughter is now getting married to a Scot - all men in the party will be beKILTed!

    (Same daughter, at our wedding, came running to me just before hte ceremony - "Daddy's here, and he's wearing a skirt!!!")

    Thanks Cap'ns. Prince - fun Monday.

    JenCT 9:29 PM  

    @Pete - You crack me up!

    @Tita - I didn't know Phil was a cross-dresser :-)

    Fun puzzle!

    I had to post to show my new Avatar (from NEADS), inspired by @Rex's puppy comment from yesterday...

    Click and Clack 9:32 PM  

    @JuMp - You got it! Your prize is a gold crown - and to be sure it goes with your outfit, you have our permission to design and make it yourself!

    (And, no, we are not those guys from Car Talk. We merely borrowed one of their old puzzles which seemed appropriate today.)

    Sparky 10:01 PM  

    Thanks Captain Obvious.

    Unknown 11:55 PM  

    This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. 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 5:52, 6:07, 0.96, 30%, Easy-Medium

    Top 100 solvers

    Mon 3:29, 3:41, 0.95, 18%, Easy

    crw77 5:02 PM  

    Did anyone else realize that "GEE" means right in horse and dog language? "Haw" is left. Big oversight.

    Unknown 4:41 AM  

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    Spacecraft 12:24 PM  

    Not surprising that Mr. LOEWE held OFL up; "much more understandable." He wrote MUSIC. Me? You could've improved the puzz just by cluing 10d "Drink additive--" and 43a as "'The man' of baseball." That's right; I have no love for modern animation in general, and "South Park" in particular. A talking turd is NOT my idea of entertainment.

    Well, at least the venerable MORGANFREEMAN was clued via "Shawshank;" points for that.

    From the first three answers I entered into today's grid: SKIT, KIOSK, KANGAROOCOURT, I knew I was going to like it. Lots of K's and double-O's BECKON. Tried to anticipate the last theme entry: "British scoundrels" (BLIGH-TERS), but HOOKSHOTS was fine.

    Other alternative clues: "Armand's son in 'The Birdcage'" (VAL) and "Poker variant" (OMAHA). Wish I'd dreamed up this cool grid.

    I don't recognize Mr. Prince, so if this is a debut, it is a KABOOMing success.

    Red Valerian 2:03 PM  

    @Spacecraft--Mr Prince himself stopped in above, as did his father! It is indeed a debut.

    What a fun Monday.

    Dirigonzo 3:29 PM  

    Totally agree with @RV and others, this was fun. It was definitely O-K in my book!

    There's a live Bald-Eagle cam at http://www.briloon.org/eaglecam1 - I read that there are two chicks in the nest, but I haven't seen them yet. I just checked in on the Osprey nest and there are two eggs in it, but nobody was tending them - hopefully that's just temporary.

    Dirigonzo 3:30 PM  

    (sorry, blogger wouldn't let me check the follow-up box when I commented before.)

    Red Valerian 4:04 PM  

    This having to watch ads before viewing websites is seriously wearing thin. But thanks for the link, @Diri!

    Ginger 5:04 PM  

    @Diri Thanks for the tip on the bird-cams. I've been checking on the Maine ospreys, and the owlets too. Are the ospreys late hatching? Hope they're okay.

    Seeing SCREWIT rather surprised me, but I'm certainly not offended by it. It's most definitely in common usage, and there are much cruder phrases out there.

    Enjoyed the puzzle, found it pretty easy even for a Monday, but not a bit boring. The captchas on the other hand are aggravating, and don't seem to be working very well.

    Now, to check out the eagles! Thanks again @Diri!

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