Morning Joe co-host Brzezinski / MON 1-20-13 / Dunes transport briefly / Former owner of Capitol Records / Actress Saldana of Avatar / Matchmaker's match-ups

Monday, January 20, 2014

Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: MLK, JR. (38A: Annual Jan. honoree) — a tribute puzzle in honor of MLK Day (i.e. today)

  • LINCOLN MEMORIAL (17A: Site of a 1963 speech by 38-Across)
  • CIVIL RIGHTS (30A: Cause associated with 38-Across)
  • "I HAVE A DREAM" (49A: Repeated phrase in 38-Across's speech at the 17-Across)
  • "WE ARE FREE AT LAST" (65A: Famous closing words of the 49-Across speech)

Word of the Day: MIKA Brzezinski (36A: "Morning Joe" co-host Brzezinski) —
Mika Emilie Leonia Brzezinski (/ˈmkə brəˈzɪnski/; born May 2, 1967) is an American television host and journalist. Brzezinski co-hosts MSNBC's weekday morning broadcast Morning Joe with former Republican representative Joe Scarborough. // Brzezinski was born in New York City, the daughter of Polish-born foreign policy expert and former National Security AdvisorZbigniew Brzezinski and Swiss-born sculptor Emilie Anna Benešová. Her mother, of Czech descent, is a grandniece ofCzechoslovakia's former president Edvard Beneš. Her father was then teaching at Columbia University, but the family moved to McLean, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., in late 1976, when Zbigniew was named National Security Advisor by newly elected President Jimmy Carter. Her brother, Mark Brzezinski, is an American diplomat and the current United States Ambassador to Sweden since 2011. (wikipedia)
• • •

Pretty lackluster, as tributes go. Liz is one of the best constructors on the planet, but this theme just lies there. Bunch of "I HAVE  A DREAM"-related speech stuff. Kind of ho-hum. My favorite thing about this puzzle is ATTACK AD (58A: Aggressive campaign TV spot) — a modern reality that represents the reality of our current political system. Great, modern answer that cuts against the obligatory pieties of today like an indictment. Fill is a bit subpar in places, too—standard for the NYT, but a bit less than I expect from a constructor of this caliber.

[Any way we can get "AMERICA HAS GIVEN THE NEGRO PEOPLE A BAD CHECK" into the puzzle? How come no one ever quotes *other* parts of this (great) speech???]

I found this a bit harder than normal (though by no means "hard" in any absolute sense) because of PARI- (which I didn't know how to spell: went with PARA) and ONE ALL (which I had as ONE ONE). That made 21A: Matchmaker's match-ups look like this: POIRANGS. I am quite fond of this terribly wrong non-word, POIRANGS. Sounds like an exotic ape … or fruit. But alas, the answer was PAIRINGS. I also stumbled by entering the in-the-language EPIC instead of the crosswordese / technical term no one uses, EPOS at 46A: Long narrative poem. This meant that my Niagara Falls (40D: Niagara Falls sound = ROAR) was making all kinds of weird sounds, most notably FIAR (I typoed the "F" somehow, perhaps instinctively following MLK with JF … K? Who knows? Anyway, slowed down there as well. Time was still quite normalish.

Enjoy your day, especially if you're lucky enough to have it off.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Anonymous 12:02 AM  

Not too impressed. A lot of subpar fill, and the tribute wasn't particularly exciting.

jae 12:04 AM  

OK tribute, but there were definitely some trade-offs.  Medium-tough for me.  Same problem as Rex with PARI/PAIRINGS.  

Carola 12:22 AM  

I liked the PAIRING of LINCOLN and FREE AT LAST. TAKE A STAND could be a bonus theme answer.

Evan 12:31 AM  

Not feeling this one simply because of the fill -- BEDE, EPOS, EMI, HETERO-, ORECK, INKER (?), RIMIER, A IS, PARI, and -AROO, which forced me to make a total guess on the crossing with HALS. I got it right, though it's a little scary having to take a 50/50 shot on a Monday -- though in fairness, crosswords rarely clue -EROO as a suffix for "buck." I should commit Frans HALS to memory, I suppose.

I'm also a little unsure of IRANI because I seem to recall reading (though can't remember where) that IRANIAN is the preferred noun. Some others may not care for the initialism M.L.K. JR. for the central theme answer, but I sorta like it.

One thing I didn't know: PIAGET is a luxury watch brand. I knew PIAGET was a psychologist. That crossing with APIA might be tricky for new solvers.

August West 12:48 AM  
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August West 12:49 AM  


Great Caesar's ghost!

chefwen 12:52 AM  

Not a huge fan of tribute puzzles, but I guess this one was O.K.

Hand up for PARa before PARI and ONE one before ONE ALL. Last fill was the I in 28D and 36A, I couldn't imagine what else it could have been and it worked out.

Thanks Elizabeth, love your weekly Tuesday puzzles on Crossword Nation.

Unknown 1:11 AM  

Stalk before SPEAR.

Scratched at PeRI/ePIA. That was a Natick for me.

I also blew it at VOCAs/sEDE, which is not a Natick, just evidence of ignorance. The was from the plural in the clue. Dumb, I know.

We are forced to sit tight on EPOS because the crosses are so strong, but all danger lights are flashing.

It's a difficult Monday for the Natick and the weird word.

I swear, one of these days I'm going to solve a puzzle!

Steve J 1:51 AM  

I thought I was finding this clunky because I was doing it while watching football, cooking and knocking down a few beers during the games. Looking at it after, it's just clunky.

Definitely more dodgy fill than I'd like to see (RIMIER is just awful). And there was a surprising amount of stuff on a Monday that I just didn't know: I was an English major, and I don't recall EPOS at all; the only BEDE I know is Venerable; I can think of a fair number of Dutch painters, but HALS is not one of them; and the PIAGET I recall was a psychologist, not a watchmaker.

Did like the two long downs, especially UP IN THE AIR. But overall, despite the worthiness of saluting MLK JR, this just didn't work for me. Too many sacrifices to work in the theme.

Apia Civil Mikas 1:59 AM  

Loved the no vowel craziness of MLKJR smack in the middle of a puzzle, I had ML and thought, here comes a Roman numeral!

I think of the speech as FREE, FREE, FREE at last, but I'm guessing this must have been fact checked.

IRANI and OMANI would be a neat pair, except, as @Evan pointed out, the preferred term apparently is IRANIAN.

Right with @Rex on ONEone, EPic, and liking a sad counterpoint to politics then and now.

I do have to say, that it is ironic, when I'm explaining to someone why it's difficult to make a Monday, I always SPECIFICALLY use the example, "Well, you can't have, say, capital of Samoa, even if that's the only word that will fit. Everything must be easy and that's what makes it hard.

La Liz gets a pass bec she is who she is...
I would've gotten this one back and asked to please redo PARI/APIA/PIAGET for a Monday.
(As well as EMI/MIKA, ATV...and probably III/NIA)

But I do love that this appears on the right day and CIVILRIGHTS is the same amount of letters as IHAVEADREAM. Plus that aforementioned consonant pile-up.

ANd nice endings with ORTIZ/ZOE and REMIX/XTRA gave it bounce and crunch. WAWA.

jae 3:30 AM  

@Andrea -- Yes! That's why I had some issues with this one.  It had a fair amount of stuff I only know from crosswords...BEDE, ARNE, APIA, NES, RENDS, EPOS, PIAGET was a WOE as clued (the psychologist I know) and the spelling of PARI was a problem. Not. That. Easy.

Z 5:25 AM  

My oldest lived in a communal house his senior year with nine others. On occasion they would steal the NYT from the library and work on the puzzle as a house. He said that on Monday/Tuesday they might finish 3/4ths of a puzzle. I was a little surprised, but as I solved this one, their inability made sense.

GILL I. 5:58 AM  

I too am not crazy about tribute puzzles because I've yet to meet one I liked.
While gettable, MIKA ORTIZ and ZOE were unknowns for moi. PAIRINGS and RIMIER just look so wrong.
Threw in SAmbAS and just stared at LINCOLN wondering if this was going to be a Latin ending.
@Ellen S and I spent a most enjoyable Sat. with @ACME touring the beautiful city of San Francisco and having lunch at one of her favorite haunts in North Beach. I was hoping for a Gandhi reference somewhere so that we can post a picture of us under his statue. Maybe YODA?

jberg 7:14 AM  

Yeah, what everyone said -- except about Big Papi, who became a inspirational figure beyond baseball here in Boston when said, live on TV, after the Marathon bombings "This is our f$%**#ing city." There were serious attempts to get him to run for mayor after that.

I teach in a college, and I have a DEAN -- he's a boss, not an advisor.

retired_chemist 7:51 AM  

I WAS a Dean and, no, it didn't involve any advising. But the Undergraduate Dean position did, so I have no problem with the clue.

WAil instead of WAWA was my biggest problem and the error was time consuming to find. Otherwise easy- medium.

Agree too much crosswordese for a Monday.

chefbea 8:03 AM  

Very easy!! Good puzzle. Never heard of Zoe Saldana but got it from Ortiz.

Good games yesterday..on to Super Bowl !!

joho 8:12 AM  

@Carola, along with TAKEASTAND as a bonus answer I was thinking "In GOD we trust" fits, too.

It's getting RIMIER and RIMIER here in Ohio.

I liked having a tribute to MLKJR on his special tribute day.

I'll bet PARa/ONEone was the norm for most.

My favorite answer by far was UPINTHEAIR.

Milford 8:19 AM  

Guessed wrong at the PeRI/ePIA cross. So DNF on a Monday, unfortunately.

Liked the long downs, UP IN THE AIR, and then TAKE A STAND - nice PAIRING(S), that rather fit the CIVIL RIGHTS theme, I thought.

My daughter's soccer game ended ONE ALL while I solved this puzzle, so that was timely. My other daughter was home studying her Spanish VOCAB, and my youngest just had her birthday last week, same day as MLK JR's actual birthday.

Liked the tribute, but wish it could have had a little more zip, too. But this was just fine. And RIMIER is a word I never use, nor do I plan to ever.

Unknown 8:24 AM  

Yup, kinda blah. Fitting to end it with WAWA.

AliasZ 8:31 AM  

I was UP IN THE AIR about this one at first, to be honest. The reason is, constructing tribute puzzles is a thankless job and usually nobody seems to be satisfied either with the theme or the fill. Some of the entries people found less than easy and smooth enough for a Monday are exactly the ones which made me like this one a lot, so I decided to TAKE A STAND: I love this puzzle, even though I normally dislike tributes.

My favorite entries:

Frans HALS the Elder (c. 1582–1666), son of a cloth merchant, was the premier portraitist of the Dutch Golden Age of painting, and one of the three greatest painters of that era the other two being Vermeer and Rembrandt.

Thomas Augustine ARNE (1710–1778) was a British composer best known for Rule, Britannia!, but he wrote much incidental music for the theater, songs, instrumental works, odes and cantatas.

EPOS is the noun, as in Homer's EPOS, the Iliad, while epic is its adjective form, as in Homer's epic poem, the Iliad. If there is any confusion here, I don't get it.

PIAGET watches: if you have to ASK FOR the price, you can't afford it.

I didn't mind IRANI-OMANI, ORECK-ORTIZ, or Baba WAWA. RIMIER and ONE ALL a bit of a stretch, but in the end, a smooth, professional construction by one of the best in the business. Thank you, Liz Gorski.

The timed applet apparently did not come online until 5:30 AM or thereabouts.

Z 8:38 AM  

ONE-one then ONE-nil.

Wondering just how hard it is to make every airport everywhere look exactly the same. Atlanta, Detroit, San Fran, Denver, I could be anywhere.

Downloaded a month of WaPo puzzles. Ese is like airports, much the same everywhere. SABOT, ESSEN, and ESSEX in the puz I just did.

ArtO 8:38 AM  

Very surprising to see some that were gimmes to me (BEDE, PIAGET) stumping the folks who breeze through the end of week puzzles that have me totally flummoxed.

Otherwise agree with the rating and groans (RIMIER). I know rime but....

Shamik 8:40 AM  

My time for me makes this one of the hardest Mondays...but compared to the times on the NYT site, I'm a speed demon. Clunky puzzle.

Unknown 8:42 AM  

More crap fill than I anticipated, given the constructor. Time was longer than average. Like Rex, I had more than a few re-do's. I rated this puzzle 'eh' for ennui.

mac 10:01 AM  

Nice tribute, no flash. Hand up for one-one and having to get some crosses for pari. The rest was easy.

The Frans Hals museum in Haarlem is beautiful, in a lovely old building which used to be an old people's home (can't remember if it was men or women, pretty sure they didn't mix them up).

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

Geez, after Rex categorizing Saturday's as easy-medium where I ended up with an epic DNF, today's "medium" was a total breeze for me, putting me right near the top of an admittedly sparse applet leader board. For some reason "pairings" was my first instinct and seemed like the natural answer, so I never even saw the clue for "pari". Just goes to show you how hard it is to come up with a "one size fits all" difficulty rating.

r.alphbunker 10:16 AM  

What if instead of giving the speech MLKJR had printed out 250,000 copies of today's puzzle and handed it out? Or displayed a power point presentation on the Washington monument?

I am glad that he chose to give the speech.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:42 AM  

I find myself in agreement with the general tone of remarks: A decent tribute but not a thrilling puzzle.

The only word I had flagged for possible comment was EPOS, correct but not very Mondayish. I was slightly alarmed to read the comment from @AliasZ, suggesting that "epic" be used only as an adjective. A quick look in my Merriam-Webster's says that battle was lost by 1706, when "epic" was first used as a noun. So either EPOS or EPIC would have been a correct answer, crosses permitting.

quilter1 10:42 AM  

I was excited to see Elizabeth's name and I think she did a workmanlike job on the puzzle. PIAGET danced around just outside my recollection until crosses gave me a hint. In all of my years at Drake University I don't believe I ever even met a DEAN, though I was on his/her list every time. My grandma was ZOE (actually Zola after Emile) so I enjoyed that. Overall a pleasant experience for Monday.

I didn't get to the puzzle yesterday as it was busy, but I'll do it later and seek the comments.

MetaRex 10:50 AM  
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MetaRex 10:53 AM  

For any who are interested, here is a summary of thematic answers and any extra features in MLK tribute puzzles in NYT, including mine. Apologies to any constructors I missed in my search of xwordinfo this morning...

Pete 11:01 AM  

Not knowing MIKA, and misreading Dunes as Dune (the sci-fi novel) I had MIKE sitting atop an ETV (Extra Terrestrial Vehicle)

Pete 11:06 AM  

BTW, if you go out on the dunes with an ATV you are a world class jackass. Dunes are delicate by critically important environments and they don't need someone tearing them to shreds just for the hell of it.

RnRGhost57 11:18 AM  

Not up to ECG's usual standards but as a history prof (and an adviser but not a DEAN) was glad to see the MLK Jr. tribute.

mathguy 12:02 PM  

Some devilish clues in Cryptic Crossword in the Sunday NYT. I especially liked "Saber and scimitar -- they come after R in the dictionary" for SWORDS.

Lewis 12:27 PM  

@meta -- thank you for the theme answers to past MLK tribute puzzles in the Times, because I was thinking that the theme answers would be limited; yet there was some variety.

Vibe here is that the puzzle was bland, but that MLK deserves the tribute. And yes, not a lot of zip, but does anyone have some suggestions for zippier theme answers? M&A?

Like Evan I was Naticked at H_LS/_ROO, and I've never heard of EPOS, thinking, this can't be right. So I've learned a couple of things here. Thanks, Ms. Liz.

Steve J 12:31 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle: Thanks for doing the legwork on when "epic" took on noun form. It's definitely the dominant choice between the two words in contemporary English. Even in my classical lit courses back in college, EPOS never came up.

@Z: Maybe it's a sign that I travel too much, but I can tell differences between airports quite readily, to the point I can talk in significant detail about why there are some airports I'd rather have to spend a few hours in than others. The gates are all pretty much the same, though.

I guess crosswordese is like airport gates: It's the most-functional part of the structure, and there's only so much you can do with it.

Everyone's avatars have disappeared. I hadn't realized how much I relied on them to track who's making each post.

AliasZ 12:32 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle - no need for alarms.

From Wikipedia:
EPIC from the Ancient Greek adjective ἐπικός (epikos), from the [noun] ἔπος (EPOS) meaning "word, story, poem."

EPOS [noun]
1. an epic.
2. epic poetry.
3. a group of poems, transmitted orally, concerned with parts of a common epic theme.
4. a series of events suitable for treatment in epic poetry.

EPIC (also, ep·i·cal)
1. [adjective] noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style: Homer's Iliad is an epic poem.
2. [adjective]resembling or suggesting such poetry
3. [adjective]heroic; majestic; impressively great
7. [noun] an epic poem.

Obviously I am aware that EPIC has been used interchangeably with EPOS forever, but that does not change the fact that it is the adjective form of the latter. The clue "Long narrative poem" required a noun not an adjective, which made me immediately enter EPOS. Hardly a source of epic bewilderment.

As for TUDOR, I wanted to post a beautiful work by Ralph Vaughan Williams titled Five TUDOR Portraits, unfortunately I could not find it on YouTube. Instead, I went with the HALS reference and another set of portraits by the same composer written for the 1957 documentary film, The England of Elizabeth, from which he later extracted the concert work Three Portraits from the England of Elizabeth.


Dick Swart 12:32 PM  

Does anyone remember the tribute puzzle in which this phrase (or parts of it) appeared?

"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood."

Anonymous 1:29 PM

Numinous 1:36 PM  

Marsupials, going cheap: a buck A ROO!

I never thought it would happen but I agree with virtually everything @AliasZ has said here.

I have a slide show screen saver on my PC populated with paintings largely "borrowed" from Among them are works of Vermeer and HALS.
PIAGET watches are truly beautiful.
I often hear the woks of Thomas ARNE on my favorite online radio station,

I found this puzzle to be easy though it took me longer than usual.

Anonymous 1:40 PM  


Anonymous 1:43 PM  

THE "Yep" goes with Dick Swart's question. A couple of years ago, I think.

Benko 1:56 PM  

@aliasZ: I love the Dutch masters. And while HALS is all well and good, he doesn't even come close to meriting a spot as one of the best painters of his time with Vermeer and Rembrandt. No one does.

August West 2:20 PM  

@ mathguy,

Funny how a single word can evoke ancient memories. Where I learned scimitar

LaneB 2:42 PM  

Easy but for the cross Of EPOS and JPEG, the first arcane, the second unheard of by this illiterate.. Nice topical yheme, however.

sanfranman59 4:15 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 7:28, 6:23, 1.17, 94%, Challenging

Top 100 solvers

Mon 5:41, 3:59, 1.43, 100%, Challenging

I don't know what to make of today's online solve times. The current Top 100 median is almost a full minute above the previous Monday high in my spreadsheet. Furthermore, there have only been 218 correct solutions submitted. The previous low was 415. My solve time is well within my Easy Monday range. I wasn't able to access the online applet last evening, so I'm guessing that's why the stats are off. I'll probably wind up dropping today's data.

retired_chemist 6:10 PM  

@ SanFranMan59 - I don't think it is a guess that the applet problem affected the statistics. The first time reported was 4:45:45 AM (captainbarney) so the first 6 hours plus of solvers presumably did not have times reported. Almost invariably the night-before crowd solves substantially faster on average than the day-of.

Subpar ***for a Gorski*** 7:32 PM  

as i was doing this i thought it was the second worst puzzle ive done this month - and we all know which the worst one was. i also thought i would come here to find a review that said something like "a bit subpar in places for this excellent constructor".

if this had been published anonymously it would have been panned like the trainwreck that it is - without mercy. the fill was not at all "standard for the NYT", which i assume was a jab at will. the owner of the blog can of course be as biased as he wants, and i dont have to like it, but in the end it is not in his own best interest to be so shallow with this intellectual crowd.

OISK 8:18 PM  

Always interesting to me that some here object to Adam Bede, which I have read, but are OK with an actress on Avatar named Saldano and someone named Mika. I thought this was an above average Monday puzzle, apt for the date, and slightly more difficult than usual . I really do not understand the hostility. I enjoyed it.

Z 9:50 PM  

@OISK - RIMIER got flak, Adam BEDE seems just to have been an unknown. I must admit that 1859 novels are not my forte but I have seen BEDE clued this way in crosswords before. MIKA Brzezinski co-hosts a well regarded morning news show, and ZOE Saldana is the new Uhuru on Star Trek (be careful or you might annoy a horde of Trekkies) so both seem pretty crossworthy.

@Steve J - the lighting, the color palette, the signage (okay, that is necessary) the food options, the TV's playing CNN (Fox or MSNBC would make someone angry) except when there is a "big" sporting event, the beeping carts, the stupidity that is "security" (the veteran of Afghanistan behind me was P!$$ed, "I didn't serve to be treated like this"), etc, etc, etc. Airports seem singularly designed to erase any semblance of individuality. Any spark of creativity or beauty occurs purely by accident. It is no wonder that people wrap themselves in cocoons of iPods, computers, books, papers, anything to blot out the nothingness.

mac 10:16 PM  

@Benko: Frans Hals is definitely considered in the same echelon as Vermeer and Rembrandt, as were Jan Steen and Albert Cuyp. At least that was what I was taught in Holland.

I am the Rimiest 10:32 PM  

@Z how many times have you seen BEDE clued that way on a monday? or any other way on a monday? flak is least of RIMIER's problems.

as for homogeneous food options before your ETA, one of the 2 major USAir hubs on the east coast has like 25 starbucks (the Charlotte-Douglas International Food Court) and the other has none. in fact PHL has no coffee places whatsoever (the little place that takes 15 minutes to make an espresso on one of the rare days its espresso machine is working doesnt count). and neither does dunkin donuts, where capuccino=latte and each comes with the mandatory 3 spoons of sugar per shot.

spacecraft 10:26 AM  

It took me SO LONG to even FIND today's blog I had no time to read all the comments. Please, PLEASE. P!L!E!A!S!E!!!! get the syndicated page realigned! I just HATE when this happens!

To the puzzle itself. For a Monday, I had lots of trouble with it. Not guessing who the tributee is, but how his name goes down in five squares. I mean, KING is only four. MLK is three. MARTIN? Six. etc. I have never in my life seen the abbreviation MLKJR. Streets and highways are called simply MLK. But with MLK_R there, what could the 4th letter be but J? But wait, that can't be right, that gives JPEG for 39d. JPEG makes no sense to me. You can't even say it. However, no other letter before _PEG makes any MORE sense, so I left the J.

Other weird "words" peppered this grid. Leading off with HDTV and AROO. This is Liz Gorski? Really?? VOCAB? That's "informal," all right. RIMIER PARI APIA ARNE AIS III? GOD! Who has kidnapped Liz and is using her name?

Ah, but then there are the twin long downs, UPINTHEAIR and TAKEASTAND. There's the Gorski touch! Is it really you? How come we have to wade through all this XTRA stuff? On a Monday yet?

MLKJR deserves better.

DMG 2:36 PM  

Lots of crosswordese and a couple of questionable "words" made this a less than fun puzzle. Blinked twice at RIMIER. Really??? And again at VOCAB. What is happening to our language? Then ran into two Natick spots. Guessed right on the Z in ZOE and wrong on the I in EMI, where I used an O, thinking MoKA sounds like a man's name. Enlightened there by Rex! Other than that, pretty smooth sailing, except for a momentary pause at the location of the J in JPEG, so a one square DNF.

Four 9's. Seems to happen pretty often. Stacked deck?

Solving in Seattle 4:06 PM  

Not much about this Monday thrills me - just kind of WAWA. Maybe the IRANIS and the OMANIS liked it.

Cool how Liz put MLKJR right in the center.

I'm currently in Olympics withdrawal. Major congrats to Canada for sweeping the gold in curling and icing the hockey ingots, eh?

two pair isn't going to win me anything today.

Dirigonzo 5:18 PM  

To those discussing the point earlier, I can say with authority that a DEAN is an adviser because my freshman year in college the Dean of Students advised me that if I didn't shape up I would have to ship out. Enough said.

I had a few write-overs but by the time I arrived at the bottom of the grid on my first run through the clues I had the darn thing all filled in, so that's just about right for a Monday. And I thought the tribute was just fine given the constraints of the grid (and Monday).

@spacey - just google "rex parker mm/dd/yy" (the puzzle no. is the mm/dd) and the first suggestion will be the right blog.

9s full of 5s.

strayling 7:25 PM  

A few obscurities for a Monday, but I've learned not to worry too much about needing crosses to get proper nouns.

Still, finding the syndi page here was just as challenging as solving the other puzzle.

Don't take this wrong, Rex, but if you're having to manually update the syndi link every day you're doing it wrong. We have the technology to automate those tasks.

Ginger 8:14 PM  

DNF and on a Monday. UGH Done in by EMo/MoKA.

Agree this was not the zippiest, however I applaud any tribute to MLK JR! Our society has come a long way, but the work for true fairness is woefully unfinished. Hopefully keeping his name alive will further the struggle. Thank you Liz, for doing that.

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