Rap song of 1966 / MON 5-26-14 / Hip-hop song of 1967 / Suffix with pay or schnozz / Easily tamed tropical birds / Metal song of 1950

Monday, May 26, 2014

Constructor: Dan Margolis

Relative difficulty: Medium (normal Monday level)

THEME: "Genre" — songs are clued wackily, via a "genre" that they belong to only in the most literal of senses:

Theme answers:
  • 17A: "Hip-hop" song of 1967 ("WHITE RABBIT")
  • 29A: "Rap" song of 1966 ("KNOCK ON WOOD")
  • 45A: "Country" song of 1971 ("AMERICAN PIE")
  • 60A: "Metal" song of 1950 ("SILVER BELLS")
Word of the Day: John NANCE Garner (31D: F.D.R. veep John ___ Garner) —
John Nance Garner IV, known among his contemporaries as "Cactus Jack" (November 22, 1868 – November 7, 1967), was an American Democratic politician and lawyer from Texas. He was a state representative from 1898 to 1902, and U.S. Representative from 1903 to 1933. He was the 44th Speaker of the House in 1931–1933. In 1932, he was elected the 32nd Vice President of the United States, serving from 1933 to 1941. A conservative Southerner, Garner opposed the sit-down strikes of the labor unions and theNew Deal's deficit spending. He broke with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in early 1937 over the issue of enlarging the Supreme Court, and helped defeat it on the grounds that it centralized too much power in the President's hands. (wikipedia)
• • •

I did this and then made dinner (a kind of pizza / salad hybrid that actually came out great) and then watched the latest "Orphan Black" (I would watch a spin-off just about Helena and her wacky, ultra-violent misadventures), and then came back up here to write and had completely forgotten what the puzzle was about. Even now, I'm not sure (I'm deliberately not looking down and to my left, where the puzzle sits … I'm just going to try to remember … I know I liked it pretty well … something … nope, gotta look). Oh, right, the "genre in quotation marks" clues. Yes. It's a very cute concept. Execution feels wildly arbitrary. OK, I don't know any other famous songs about things that hop [looks up "WALTZING MATILDA" to find out if it's about a kangaroo — discovers it isn't —moves on]. But (drum roll) "KNOCK THREE TIMES" is a gorgeous 15 (bingo!) letters long. And there must be a bunch of song titles with a country name in them. There are certainly a bunch of songs with "America" in their titles. "AMERICAN PIE" is the worst of the themers, in that "American" is an adjective, not a country. And hey, "TURNING JAPANESE" works if you like adjectives, and (drum roll) 15! Pardon me while I completely redo your grid for you.

Again, love the concept. And where is the "rock" song?  ("Turn to Stone"?). The "pop" song? ("Father Figure"?). You've got yourself a Sunday theme here—it's semi-squandered on these four measly answers. Fill is average, but decent. Fine. I don't like NANCE on a Monday (an old veep's middle name? no). Also, two UPs and two TOs really close to each other, and then AT ME and IT NO, also really close to each other. It's a little messy. But largely inoffensive. So thumbs up for the concept, thumbs somewhere in the middle for everything else.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Moly Shu 1:02 AM  

Easy/medium for me. No write overs, but NANCE was a little tricky. I thought the theme was disjointed and not so good. Hip-hop describes something a RABBIT does, rap is a synonym for KNOCK, AMERICA is a country, and SILVER is a metal. The last two are the same, but the other two are very different. Usually @Rex harps on this theme looseness, but not today. Maybe... No, not going to even hazard a guess.

I liked the puzzle, especially SEAWALLS and those damn MACAWS again, just thought the theme was a little off.

Steve J 1:14 AM  

One of the better Monday themes I've seen in a while - precisely because it doesn't remind me of a bunch of other things I've seen. Liked that there were lots of good medium- to long-length downs, too. Nice to have an unchoppy Monday.

NANCE was a gimme for me, but I can definitely see how it could be tougher for a lot of Monday solvers. He's the speaker of the famous quote about the vice presidency's being "not worth a bucket of warm piss".

jae 1:48 AM  

Easy-medium for me too. Cute theme and I knew the songs, smooth grid, Mon. easy,  add me to the liked it list.

Seems like ILER is  known only for The Soprano's and lives on only in crosswords...Rita Moreno on the other hand...

chefwen 1:53 AM  

I'm with @Steve J with this one. Loved the theme. Caught with KNOCK ON WOOD after I had WHITE RABBIT and said "Oh Cute". Helped me with the other two long ones.

Our Kauai ROOSTERS start at least two hours before SUN UP and don't freaking quit until 2 hours after sun down. Utterly obnoxious! But, up with which we have to put.

Thank God with we had ICED TEA today instead of ICE TEA, don't think I could go through that conversation one more time.

Good start to the week.

ZenMonkey 1:54 AM  

I had a feeling for some reason that I'd like this more than Rex, and it was so. I enjoyed the theme and its execution; yes, it could work as a Sunday but that doesn't preclude a smaller version.

There was no ugly fill (to me) and a good number of longer words for a Monday. It felt like a Tuesday while I was solving, and at 7:41 I was well above my median Monday time of 5:30.

I also like the placement of OKIES above AMERICAN PIE, and that we had MORENO's ANITA as well as NANETTE singing in the grid.

chefwen 1:55 AM  

Slip an "on" between caught and with. DOH!

Jim Monroe 2:41 AM  

Am I the only that noticed that most contemporary part of this puzzle was Scott Baio, Diane Sawyer and Dr Phil? Of the theme answers, 1971 was as new as we got. To further my point, my sexagenarian mother watches Dr Phil. I prefer a puzzle that balances the old and the new. There are puzzles out there are just too in the now for me as well. Nothing about this one, though, felt fresh.

Ellen S 3:52 AM  

@Jim Monroe, I guess I agree with you that the puzzle skewed kind of old, but that made me like it better. I thought it was great to see Cactus Jack in a puzzle again. I love those Texans, even when I don't like their politics. They just tell great stories and come up with really super zingers.

As usual, especially for a Monday, I didn't get the theme until I read @Rex's comments. Kind of embarrassing this time. I kind of wondered at the characterization of AMERICAN PIE as a country song, and briefly wondered what the metal reference was for SILVER BELLS, but what the heck, what do I know from music genres?

JTHurstr 3:54 AM  

Am I missing something here. I am a Monday to Thursday solver. Fridays are generally too rigorous for me. I don't receive a Saturday puzzle and I piddle around on Sunday's puzzle throughout the week. I don't time my puzzle solutions, I just rate my enjoyment and cleverness of the puzzles.

I want to enjoy the limited number of puzzles I can solve directly and with this puzzle I feel cheated. The across clues were interesting and the theme was OK but the down clues were crap. The three long down clues were basically parenthetical clues. These longer down clues were just inane fill: "it is said', 'I do too', 'tell a lie', and even 'sea walls" was bad.

Coupled with answers that included two 'ups' and two 'tos', one 'at me', one 'it no' and then I started to see 'ru in', 'more no', and 'aer o'.

I became convinced that the answer for 67a was 'trou'.

Please, you can save this type of fill for the super solvers of Freitag but please give us Monday solvers some crisp down fill. Don't take our few days of puzzles away with dross like this.

John Child 4:37 AM  

I reall liked this - something new for a theme and not mechanical. I looked at almost all the clues to get crosses for the unpredictable theme answers, and that's great on Monday. A little crunch tastes nice.

jae 4:51 AM  

@Jim Monroe

Scot BAIO - Charles In Charge - 1984 - 1990

Robert ILER - The Soprano's  - 1999 - 2007

Danp 5:23 AM  

I enjoyed the theme, and beyond the theme, several other answers evoked musical memories. Tom SAWYER (Rush), Little Red ROOSTER (Stones), CREED, the ANIMALs. I had to go back and look after Jim Monroe's comment, but he did specify theme answers.

Z 7:12 AM  

If ever there was a puzzle that cried out for more cowbell this was it. (okay - I'll stop now)

Fine Monday, Nance came easily, probably from previous crosswords. POW & HUH crossing Dr. PHIL really slowed my start. Dr. Oz or Dr. No are the extent of my entertainment value doctors. Dr. PHIL had retreated to the deepest, darkest corners of my "people I've heard but know nothing about" file.

Remember what the dormouse said.

Loren Muse Smith 7:23 AM  

Rex – as I was standing at the washer deciding which of the 37 bath towels and 23 sour wash cloths to throw in (kids home from college and their friends are visiting – we have no Workable Towel System in place), I was thinking about this unusual theme. It took me all of ten seconds to get to Knock Three Times -15! Picturing myself in the not-cool outfit and rented skates (the cool-outfitted girls owned their own skates), I relived my skating rink days, and that was the song that got *everyone* back out on the rink; it was so fun to tap your skate to the wood for those three beats. Honestly, I think I was one of the better skate knockers despite my clothes because I had mastered the not-too-energetic-not-too-taediem-vitaeish kind of knocks. Sigh.

I worry a lot that there is this well of theme ideas with a definite bottom, and one day, we'll all just be done with themed puzzles and have to move on to something else. But themes like Mr. Margolis' today always assuage my fears a bit. I mean, c'mon – really clever idea!

"Blues" song of 1989 ICE ICE BABY (Beat you to it, @AliasZ!)

@JtHurst – I checked in with Dad before I posted to see what he – another quintessential Monday solver – said about today's, and he reported working the whole thing with no trouble. And he liked it. I specifically asked about the down clues - he looked back at some and then assured me that those clues for him were fine.

For 35A I started with "bell" but erased it because of 60A. So then I was prepared for lots of complaining about CAPS in an answer and a clue, a complaint that mystifies me. What. I guess if there are lots and lots of dupes it becomes sloppy feeling? Just one here and there is ok by me.

Okie dokie, Dan. Nice job!

Anonymous 7:29 AM  

I question if scuba equipment is used for deep-sea diving.

jberg 7:40 AM  

We took a week off to go to puzzle-less Paris; had a great time, but I missed you all!

This one was harder than the usual Monday for me, mostly because of SCUBA, which I think is cued wrongly. At least, in my mind, 'deep-sea' diving is where the diver goes, well, deep, whereas SCUBA is limited to shallower depths. So I was looking for air hose, helmet, etc. Something like this.

Aside from that, I liked the theme, disliked all the partials (although "prefix with hedron" is so bad it's good), and was left musing about cocks and roosters, as discussed by James Branch Cabell (the rooster part comes near the bottom).

chefbea 7:43 AM  

HELP!!!!!!Cant get the puzzle...again. have tried the two sites I usually go to and get the message...page not found. @Z I think you sent it to me last time this happened. Can you or anyone else send me the pdf version???Much appreciated

Z 7:44 AM  

I guess 30 to 50 meters isn't deep enough.

Hartley70 7:49 AM  

I passed my eyes quickly over the clues, saw metal and rap and figured I was finished so I solved from top to bottom from the crosses until I looked back. Once I saw white rabbit and read the dates again I was so happy with the cute theme. It was perfect for a Monday and perfect for my musical generation, sure to displease younger solvers unfortunately.

Anonymous 8:19 AM  

John Nance Garner was always called by his three names, never just John Garner, either spoken or in print.
He was from Uvalde, Texas, and retired to his home town after the vice presidency. His most famous quote is "The vice-presidency isn't worth a bucket of warm piss," the last word of which is usually bowdlerized by quoters as "spit."

Leapfinger 8:29 AM  

@Rex -- Thumb in the middle only works with innies, but agree there's ample fodder for expanding the theme.

SUNUP ROOSTER was a nice alignment. @chefwen, I saw this report about HI being invaded by minuscule froglets, over 1000/sq yd in places, that drive people crazy peeping all night. Between the frogs and the ROOSTERS, sounds like 24/7 torture. Which I wouldn't mind a touch of.

@loren -- My little old lady Mama, if she ever saw a particularly weedy-looking individual, would say "I think he was born a blue baby'. So... did you throw in the towel?

re Nance: My favourite source for Texas politicians, the entire Lege, and assorted figures ridiculous and sublime, is the late great Molly Ivins. An erring eye, a sharp way with words, and my, that woman could laugh at anything. Would that somewhere she's writing up current events; I'D pay a pretty sum to read that.

And FINALLY, @anyone, can I get some clarification on 'cowbell'? Have seen the SNL source, but remain unclear on the concept, as used here. TY

chefbea 8:30 AM  

First of all..thanks @Z for sending me the puzzle!!
When I got white rabbit I was sure it was going to be an homage to the American flag. Then I got red caps and American pie. Never found the blue so did not know the theme until I came here.

Have a great day everyone and don't eat too many hamburgers and hot dogs. Gotta go make the cole slaw.

Leapfinger 8:35 AM  

An UNerring eye, of course...

orangeblossomspecial 8:39 AM  

Memorial Day and nothing in the puzzle about veterans? I'm disappointed.

Arlene 8:45 AM  

I solved quickly and then looked back to see what this theme was. I thought for sure, we'd get some patriotic something considering it's Memorial Day. But, nope, just song genres.
Okay - I guess I'm overthinking again, but we do have WHITE, RED and AMERICAN - so close, but only a SILVER medal.

Ludyjynn 8:54 AM  

This one stands out as a special Monday. Enjoyed the theme concept AND its implementation. In response to the "skewed too old" crowd, read this--

WHITERABBIT: countless covers since Grace Slick first recorded it, as recently as 2014, per Wiki.

KNOCKONWOOD: several renditions by artists since '66, as recently as 2004, per Wiki.

AMERICANPIE: love it or hate it (I happen to LOVE it), a timeless number which Don McLean, when asked what the song means, responded, "It means I don't ever have to work again if I don't want to." Enough said!

And finally, SILVERBELLS: covered repeatedly, as recently as 2009, per Wiki. Quintessential Xmas song written by two nice Jewish boys, Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.

Thank you very much, DM and WS. More please!

Unknown 9:02 AM  

Back in the win column. I liked ITISSAID symmetrically placed with TELLALIE, SUNUP with ROOSTER.

Also nice that POW appears as 1D on Memorial Day. FWIW: There's Veterans' Day, Armed Forces Day, and the one day a year when public expression of private grief is not out of line. As it happens, no one in my family perished in national service, but I do respect the day just the same.

Thank your veterans and active duty service members tomorrow. Today, ask them to remember one who didn't come back.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

I wuestion whether Amish are a Mennonite sect.

mathguy 9:33 AM  

The cluing was unimaginative, 58 of the 75 or so clues were almost straight definitions. Did anyone do the Cryptic in yesterday's NYT? It was a killer?

mac 9:34 AM  

Nice, smooth Monday. White, red and American does make you wonder where the blue went.

Now that's a great word: bowdlerized! Oddly enough I thought it meant the opposite from the use in the comment.

quilter1 9:34 AM  

Yes, the Amish are a Mennonite sect. They broke off from the Mennonites in Switzerland, led by Jacob Ammon (hence the Amish) and came to the U.S. for religious freedom.

Very easy for me today. Felt fresh and fun. Lloyd Bridges = deep sea scuba diving. I am making a buttermilk PIE today.

Fred Smith 9:44 AM  

@jberg. --

When I lived in Paris, we did the Times Xword daily -- it was in the International Herald Tribune, delivered to our office daily. We'd take it down to the local bar while having a quick quaff prior to heading for the commuter train. One of my co-workers (Dave Gilbert, are you out there?) could almost always do the entire puzzle by filling in the horizontals only -- in strict sequence -- while never looking at the verticals. Pretty amazing...

Anon 8:19 -- tnx for the bowdlerizing explanation of Garner's "warm spit" quote. That's all I remember having heard, I guess I travel in polite company. ;-)

-- Fred Smith

tensace 9:44 AM  

I was just in Kauai where roosters outnumber the people - courtesy of a hurricane that blew them across the country side. They don't just crow at SUNUP. The crow whenever they damn well feel like it, making a cacophony in an otherwise Edenic islands. Geesh, round them up and have a fry for Pete's sake.

Garbo 9:54 AM  

Yes, @mathguy- the Cryptic was extremely elaborate!

joho 9:58 AM  

It took me a while to figure out the theme which I really liked -- both the theme and how long it took me to get it. At first I tried to find a connection between the theme answers other than that they're all songs: Do WHITERABBITs KNOCKONWOOD while eating AMERICANPIE when SILVERBELLS are ringing?

When that didn't work I saw the simplicity and newness in what was going on. Loved it, Dan, thank you!

Leapfinger 9:59 AM  

Only a PHIListine, a PHarisee or the truly PHlegmatic could PHail to see the essential meta-ness of starting the grid with PHIL.It's a PHallacy that only a PHILologist or a PHILander could PHilter some PHun from that PHrase. I know in these PHlegmatic times, with PHaeton the run, PHolks tend to ignore such PHreaky details, maybe even avoid them like PHosgene gas, but they are mother's milk to me, and I PHlox to them, and will to my last PHoton.

PHytol you like amongst yourselves, just don't give me any PHysical looks, you PHrates. After all, PHoresis own.

Now to soothe my PHaryngitis, then off to the PHantom of the Operand.

Carola 10:18 AM  

After my dismay at having to come up with a hip-hop title (the date not having registered with me), the surprise of WHITE RABBIT was doubly delightful, Verrrry cute theme. About the puzzle skewing "old" - I was surprised at how new SILVER BELLS is; I thought it had been around forever (written after I was born, it counts as "recent," of course :) ). I need to go find KNOCK ON WOOD on youtube - not familiar with it.

Thanks to those who pointed out the SUNUP ROOSTER. I noticed the pair UNBROKEN SEAWALLS (not post-Sandy).

@mathguy and @Garbo - Yes, that cryptic! It took me 4 sessions yesterday to wrestle it to the ground. I don't think we'd seen a Sylvestri puzzle for a while (?).

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

What's with the apostrophe in "Sopranos"? Who do the Sopranos belong to? Or is the title really "Soprano is"? How sad that crossword people are even sticking that f-ing little apostrophe where it doesn't belong.

L 10:22 AM  

I liked this puzzle a lot more before i read the write up. For a Monday, it wasn't the usual autopilot completion exercise that have become the typical Monday puzzle experience (and I say this only because after years of solving, I finally got the knack of most weekday puzzles but don't even get me started on the Fri-Sat puzzles... still a black hole of despiar for me). But Rex's point about making this into a more robust Sunday theme sounded like a pretty awesome puzzle. Oh well - maybe another time. Happy Memorial Day!

OISK 10:26 AM  

Knock on Wood is sung in "Casablanca." (it is also the title of a Danny Kaye movie in which he is a ventriloquist ) I wonder whether there is a newer song with the same title. Never heard of White Rabbit, and thought it really WAS a hip-hop song until the "rap" song, Knock on Wood. Some nice fill for folks of my generation, Harold Arlen, Rita Moreno and Anita, No No Nanette, (source of "tea for two"). The NW held be back a bit, since I have never watched "Dr. Phil", and I wanted to write "Ruth." But an enjoyable, suitable Monday puzzle overall.

mathguy 10:38 AM  

Carola and Garbo: I used to do cryptics in Harpers and Atlantic Monthly. It would take me many hour-long sessions over several days, but I invariably got them. But Silvestri destroyed me yesterday. Even when I was sure of UNCLE, I couldn't make sense of "One leaving vile relative."

Ludyjynn 11:01 AM  

@Anonymous, 10:22 a.m., AMEN! Misuse of the apostrophe is omnipresent and inexcusable. Whenever I see one where it does not belong, I mentally mark a big X through it. Otherwise, I would risk being arrested for trespass and/or destruction of private property on a daily basis!

Fred Smith 11:15 AM  

@anon10:22, @ludyjynn -- FWIW, my dead-tree copy of the NYT had no apostrophe. I guess they caught it after first printing. -- Fred

allan 11:19 AM  

Add me to the list of those who liked this puzzle. Having to use down clues on a Monday makes a puzzle more enjoyable.

@chefwen 7:29, your missing 'on' was quite forgiveable in light of your perfect grammar a bit later. Avoiding ending a sentence with a preposition is something I only do when writing something very formal. "But, up with which we have to put.", actually sounds very Yodaish.

@lauren muse smith 7:23 Thanks for using taedium vitae in a sentence, and making it an adjective no less.

Finally, I couldn't believe it took until @anonomous 7:29 for anyone to mention the very iffy cluing of scuba.

Carola 11:29 AM  

*cryptic spoiler alert*
@mathguy - UNCLE = "unclean"("vile") minus "an" (synonym for "one"). Brutal.

Fred Smith 11:31 AM  


Re: "up with which...."

-- heh, heh .. Yep, kinda Yoda-ish.

It tickled my memory as having come from Winston Churchill, so I googled and yes .. There it was.

What amazed me, though, was the enormous number of " famous quotes" attributed to him, many of which I had heard. Reinforces the notion that Sir Winston was the greatest man of the twentieth century!

Leapfinger 11:42 AM  

SCUBA dooba doo.

Apparently, the clue works. The world record deepest SCUBA dive is 1043 ft (318 m), likely that specialized equipment and training are required for such. Seems deep enough to me.

No expert om the subject; I just checked it on wiki.

jdv 12:07 PM  

Medium. Wasn't sure what Parker was referring to in Knock Three Times. Curiosity got the better of me, so I made the mistake of listening to it. Maybe next time you can give us a cheese alert.

I solved this like every other Monday; as a themeless. Once done, it became a week 0 Gaffney meta. Theme was fine, but never heard of KNOCKONWOOD. I was going to listen to it, but decided to keep my curiosity in check this time.

Lewis 12:38 PM  

It was a fun puzzle, a Monday with a touch of grit. Was it Memorial? Nah, but it was enjoyable. Good one, Dan!

mathguy 12:39 PM  

Thanks, Carola. I had looked it up (and several others on Deb Amblen). If you got them all without help, I'm in awe of your brain.

Masked and Anonymo4Us 12:42 PM  

Great little debut, Constructor Dan II. U really got my heart racin, with those 4 U's in rows 1-4. Would actually really like to hear a "metal" version of Silver Bells, now.

weejects anonymous: OLA = "Cocac ___??". HUH = "Informal Senate inquiry??"

fave moo-cow MonPuz cluage: The tagteam of SUNUP and ROOSTER. No sense goin off half-cocked, on yer debut puz, after all. Glad I worked the BEQ puz afterwords, tho; otherwise woulda had the wrong mindset.

@Gill I.P. -- Laughin yet? Just checkin. Will keep trying.

@Benko -- Your runtpuz separation anxiety is touchin. Since @muse is bein delayed by laundry memorial issues, will do the honors today:


... but no mas, at least until BobK gets back from vacation. p.s. My style is to puzzle without a revealer. Your profile on m&e was pretty good, except for 1.5 crucial elements...

@Fern: Outstandingly heartening to hear from my fronds in the Plant Kingdom. Many thanx for the frondly words.

@Evil: Your arguments are largely illogical. Live long and prosper.
Peace on Earth, good will toward folks with demonic schticks.

@#63: Yep. Same kinda memory problems. At least U kinda remembered why U went upstairs. So far.

"Pestilence remarkably resistant to flea and schtick killers"

JTHurst 12:45 PM  

Scuba diving is generally a recreational sport. Your object is to maximize time spent floating around reefs and wrecks. Most dives are measured in feet not meters, so 30 meters would be over 90 feet and is seldom reached in most sport dives.

Deep scuba dives utilize special oxygen - helium mixtures and are meant to set records and not be functional. Working in deep seas would almost always be with diving equipment like helmet, pressurized suit, external air source, etc. because of the ability to stay down for long periods of time.

Recreational scuba divers breathe compressed air from 70 cubic foot aluminum tanks. A dive to 90 foot and swimming around for five minutes would require the diver to spend 5 to 7 minutes at 32 feet to decompress. And for most recreational divers who want to do two dives, it would severely limit your next down time. So most first dives are limited to 50 to 60 feet for 20 to 30 minutes and you second dive to no more than 30 to 40 feet in depth. You have dive tables which explain dive times based upon depths.

Navy seals generally never dive below 32 feet so they can swim longer times and not worry about decompression.

Therefore, most scuba divers would not call their sport a 'deep sea' diving experience.

jae 12:50 PM  

To those who were offended, sorry about the apostrophe. One reason I started doing crosswords was to see if it would help with my dyslexia. It actually is helping but it can be a slow process.

Steve J 12:51 PM  

@jberg, Anon 7:29 a.m. and others: While SCUBA is most often associated with recreational diving at depths of 130 ft or less (and most often at depths of no more than 40-60 feet), it can be and is used for deeper dives. You start having to get into different gas mixes rather than standard compressed air, but it's possible to do dives of a few hundred feet using SCUBA equipment. Not that there's any fixed definition of "deep-sea diving" anyway.

Setting that aside, there's the general principle to just not expect precision from crossword clues. While it's very rare for the NYT to get something broadly wrong, it often misses the nuance. As a recovering stickler for precision in clues (my classic go-to being the crosswordy OAST nearly always being clued as a brewery fixture, despite that fact that virtually no breweries dry their own hops), I've learned just to look for the broad meaning. Makes for easier solving.

Steve J 12:54 PM  

@jae: Sad that you feel you have to apologize for that. Pluralization-by-apostrophe is one of my pet peeves, too, but everyone makes the mistake from time to time, including me. It's a cheap shot to pick on typos.

evil doug 1:22 PM  


So glad you chose to stick around. Especially thrilled not to see a single 'day-um' nor 'but I digress' in your post--surely there must be other arrows you can add to your vocab quiver ("and don't call me Shirley"--but I digress)....

And while "QED" is a particularly sweet condiment in the writing pantry, when overused it becomes as infinitely trite as white bread. So if you must maintain the 'gerund without a g' alter ego, I pray you will at least emancipate what's left of the beautiful quod erat demonstrandum currently suffering a slow death by tedium on your watch....

Clem Kadiddlehopper wasn't Red Skelton's only character, nor Richard Nixon, Rich Little's; might I suggest that you at least broaden your repertoire with some variety in your dramatis personae?


john towle 1:25 PM  

Well, didja hear the one about the horny Amish prostitute?

She wanted more Mennonite.



M and Also 1:40 PM  

@Evil: har. Well, may-urd, mon amigo! I love U, too. U please schtick around, as well. Always alarmed, when U wander off, for months and months.

Droppin the g's and such is mainly cuz I feel more genuine, writin the same way that I talk. You'd think the folks at the ACPT might pick up on that, when they meet me...


Anonymous 1:49 PM  

re fleas: Only an occasional passer-by, but see nothing to DEETract, nothing that needs a pan, nor any other unidentified frying object.

@Steve J
Except when the typo has a really funny aspect; then shining a light is almost mandatory

Prince of Serendip

Fred Romagnolo 2:29 PM  

@Fred: like you I read the newspaper version, and had the same reaction on the apostrophe until I read the apology. @Anon 8:19: the clue indicated a blank to be inserted into; didn't say John Garner. @Steve J: I appreciate your broad-mindedness, but @Anon7:27, @JBerg, & @JTHurst are right, the clue should have avoided "deep." My niece's husband was a deep-sea diver in the USN. Their grandson (my great great grand nephew) has just completed his 2nd tour in Afghanistan as a helicopter pilot, he saw buddies being killed; today is for them.

M and A Part III 2:40 PM  

@FredR at 2:29pm -- Big Amen, to that. M&A

Mohair Sam 3:04 PM  

Very nice puzzle for a busy Holiday Monday. Enjoyed. And yes, the theme would make a fine Sunday.

So Rex mentions 'We Built This City" yesterday and we get WHITERABBIT today. We're on a Gracie Slick run, but something tells me there is no collusion between Parker and Shortz.

@steve j is right, no apology needed for an apostrophical error on a blog. But has anyone else noticed that the rules for apostrophes seem almost out the window? Correct usage seems random sometimes. I had thought at one point that maybe there'd been a rule change (kinda like "and" now being allowed to start a sentence).

I hate "their/they're" errors but found I made that very mistake in an old text message. Texting and Twitter will leave grammarians drowning in their wake. Like, ya know.

Steve J 3:04 PM  

@Fred Romagnolo: Oh, I agree that "deep sea" wasn't a good descriptor for the clue, and while it's technically correct in that SCUBA can be used for deep diving, the clue is essentially off the mark. But for better or worse, the NYT takes the angle that if you can find some - actually, any, no matter how rare - of a term in a sense that fits the clue, it's justified. I don't agree with that appraoch, but it's the way it is. And once I accepted that, I found it easier to get those clues (and found myself just ever so slightly calmer through no longer being bothered by them).

Unknown 3:07 PM  

This is an excellent post but i have a question , I get multiple solutions to a specific crossword puzzle definition .But I appreciate you and I would like to read your next post. Thanks for sharing this useful information.This was an excellent post and was very insightful.

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Pilot's announcement, brieflycomment

Benko 3:36 PM  

@M&A: Good to see you back in fine form. 3 minutes, about, on the latest runt puzz. Great double ?? clue on 10 across.
As someone who also drops his "g's" (grew up in North Carolina), I tend not to notice it as much in other people.

Mohair Sam 3:49 PM  

And Holy Cow! Pop culture agreement with @rex here two days in a row - totally hooked on Orphan Black.

Sfingi 5:01 PM  

Rather liked. Not a lot of junk in it.

May is road kill month, and I just missed a black rooster on the road a couple days ago. Of course, roosters are a dime a dozen. you only need one for acres.

Thought the apostrophe just a typo. Hope people don't go gaga over every typo I make.

jae 5:14 PM  

@M&A - Don't go changin - I for one appreciate the effort and the almost daily chuckle. *

*Only one apostrophe was potentially misused in this post.

retired_chemist 5:22 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
retired_chemist 5:23 PM  

Easy. Nothing to add to previous comments.

Thanks, Mr, Margolis.

chefbea 5:40 PM  

Found this on Xword info
Broken nytimes.com links

The NYT is changing how they organize their Across Lite and PDF files so until we figure out their new system, some NYT links on this site may not work.
We believe most of our links are working now but things are apparently still in flux. We'll keep up as best we can.

So @Z can you send me the puzzle until it's fixed? Thanks

Leapfinger 5:44 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ludyjynn 5:51 PM  

My earlier post on the subject of APOSTROPHES stated MISUSE, which is rampant in the media and real world applications. I was not referring to TYPOS, which occur by accident to all of us occasionally.

Put a fork in me; I'm done.

Fred Romagnolo 7:28 PM  

@Steve J: I envy you your calm; being a lot older than you, I find it a lot harder to be as accepting as you are; but I think you're probably a lot better adjusted than I ever was, I want the world to be more accepting of your attitude than mine.

Fred Romagnolo 7:42 PM  

@M&A part III: thanks ;FYI his son is my great great grand nephew.

Z 8:29 PM  

@Leapfinger - I see no one tried to explain. Just as well. Don't fear the reaper and don't overthink the silly.

Re: apostrophes. Unless my meaning was changed, I don't bother to fix my typos. This is an erudite enough crowd, that, unless the issue is the past participle of to lay or a certain someone's issue with led/lead, it was a typo. If you want a grammar site, this ain't it.

@M&A - If you ain't pissing someone off you ain't doing your job. More cowbell.

I see that Lord Google is only giving a picture to trick me into slavery. Not today! The answer, as always, is 42.

Unknown 8:33 AM  

Mordo - Crosswords Solutions.
Answers, Clues and Solutions for all the Puzzles
We think that knowledge should pass freely

This time, we got the following crossword puzzle clue: Pilot's announcement, briefly that also known as Pilot's announcement, briefly dictionary. First, we gonna look for more hints to the Pilot's announcement, briefly crossword puzzle. Then we will collect all the required information and for solving Pilot's announcement, briefly crossword . In the final, we get all the possible answers for the this crossword puzzle definition.

spacecraft 12:05 PM  

Not the smoothest Monday for me; never heard of ILER or SNO caps candy (the latter must be a regional thing), and as to timelines? AAUGH! I'm the world's worst, so the published years of these songs were no help.

Well, maybe a little with WHITERABBIT (you never heard of it? Go ask Alice; I think she'll know), when Jefferson was still piloting a plain old Airplane. That was smack in the middle of the era when pills made you tall or small.

The criticism that all this material comes from too far in the past is refuted by the genres quoted in the clues. There'd be no cutesy point to it if we weren't familiar (oh, how I wish I weren't!) with rap and hiphop.

An OK theme with unEVENED fill. Call it a C-.

3385 = 19 = 0; card please.

rondo 1:28 PM  

@spacecraft I think you were the closest comment to realizing that the genres represented were not in existence when the song was originally done. Can't believe the rest of tthe brain-wizards here did not pick up on it.

rondo 1:30 PM  

except for "country" , I think it was country and western back then

DMG 2:58 PM  

Thought I'd have no chance at the dated theme songs, but this was actually a smooth solve. Still, ever the literalist, I assumed the clues were accurate, wondered why there was no theme, and never caught the joke, even as I wondered why a heavy metal group would mess with SILVERBELLS. I miss a lot that way!!

Today's 1328 add to 14 and leave me with 5. Does one fold in this game, or what?

ironlace 3:25 PM  

yes, yes ! it is ICED tea. along those same lines, it's " I COULDN'T care less."

Dirigonzo 5:09 PM  

I knew NANCE, I know not why.

540 = 9 which, I believe, puts me in the cat bird seat?

spacecraft 7:32 PM  

@DMG: Our new "game" is baccarat, or for us old purists, chemin de fer. In it, "player" and "banker" eack receive two cards. Adding their pips gives a single-digit total, ignoring the tens; faces and tens are thus both worth 0. Optimum total is 9; 8 or 9 is a "natural" and precludes the draw of an extra card by either. Player either requests a card (012345) or not (6789). After the (non-)request, banker shows hand; if a natural, no card is given and banker wins. Otherwise a third card is dealt to player, face up, and banker may draw or not, depending on the card dealt and/or his own hand. Closest to 9 wins. Gajillions of dollars have been gambled on this.

@rondo: thanks for picking up on the genre thing. Back in the day, we can look to Bob's Country Bunker, site of the Blues Bros.' first gig, for clarification;

"Oh, we have BOTH kinds here. We have country AND western!"

323 = 8, a mini-natural.

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