"Funeral Blues" poet / TUE 6-10-14 / Sheryl Sandberg best seller / "The L Word" role for Katherine Moennig / Carne ___ (Mexican dish) / Harden (to)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Constructor: Pamela Klawitter

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: — Famous historical figures' names anagrammed into pithy obituary notices.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: MONROE NO MORE (Brief 1831 headline?)
  • 27A: NEWTON WENT ON (Brief 1727 headline?)
  • 44A: EDISON IS DONE (Brief 1931 headline?)
  • 52A: PASSING NOTES (Secretive classroom activity ... or what 20-, 27- and 44-Across are anagrammatic examples of?)
Hey hey, PuzzleGirl here. I know it's only been one day, but OMG I missed you guys! Couldn't wait to come back and talk puzzles with you again! From the looks of Rex's Facebook page, he is having WAY more fun than we are. Let's see if we can change that.

Decent Tuesday puzzle today. Very Tuesday-ish in my opinion. I was a little confused by the two long non-theme across answers, both of which are very nice entries, but being so long it kinda felt like they should be theme answers. And then they weren't. (Additional, unrelated note: I get confused easily.)

I'm not sure if there's supposed to be a connection among the three dead guys in the theme answers. My sense is that they're just three guys from history who all did different things and whose names can be anagrammed. Please let me know if there's something else I'm missing!

  • 1A: Alexander Graham Bell, for one (SCOT). How is it possible that I'm as old as I am and didn't know Alexander Graham Bell was Scottish? I'm going to guess that history was taught in a very US-centric way when I was coming up and that this fact was never mentioned. That's possible, right?
  • 19A: Vegas hotel transport (TRAM). Second- and third-guessed myself here. Started with TAXI, then changed it to LIMO. Got to the down and saw it needed to be a T and figured I had been right in the first place. No dice. (See what I did there?)
  • 25A: Golf ball's position (LIE). Entered TEE at first here. That's a horrible answer if you think about it. The actual answer is much better.
  • 33A: "I am woman, hear me ROAR." Middle-aged women! Represent!
  • 38A: Alternative if things don't work out (PLAN B). I have a former boss who would only refer to Plan B as "Another Plan A." I like that philosophy.
  • 41A: Badger's home: Abbr. (WIS). Not a fan of this abbreviation, but it was easy enough to figure out. Also reminds me of how dumb I was when we moved back to the Washington, DC, area in 2008. I saw all the people wearing red caps with Ws on them and wondered why there were so many Wisconsin fans here. (In my defense, when we left in 2004 there was no baseball here.)
  • 43A: Employee of TV's Sterling Cooper & Partners (ADMAN). I knew this was a "Mad Men" reference but I thought we needed to know a character's name. Since I haven't watched the show, I just cruised on by this one and picked up the second time around with a head-slap.
  • 51A: AER Lingus. PuzzleKids will be flying Aer Lingus this summer when PuzzleMom and PuzzleDad take them to Ireland. If you want my parents to adopt you, you're gonna have to get in line.
  • 58A: Where the Carpenters "long to be" in a 1970 #1 hit (CLOSE TO YOU). If you were upset about not having an earworm yet today, you're welcome.
  • 7D: Bit of praise, in modern usage (KUDO). Super clunker (klunker?). Really the only one that jumped out at me though.
  • 10D: Gotham City V.I.P. (BATMAN). Did you know that Batman is an actual, honest-to-God, legitimate last name? How cool would it be to have the last name Batman? (I believe Doug Peterson is on his way down to the courthouse right now.)
  • 22D: Set up, as a chair (ENDOW). Very tricky clue. One of those academia things.
  • 36D: Piano man, maybe (TUNER). Funny story. The PuzzleFam and I were watching the Times Square coverage this past New Year's Eve. They were also broadcasting from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn where Billy Joel was putting on a show. The PuzzleKids LOVE to give us a hard time about our "old people music" and couldn't resist taking some (ill-advised, as it turns out) shots at Billy Joel. PuzzleSon: "Do people even know who he is??" About 30 minutes later a Facebook friend of mine who happened to be at the Barclays Center posted a video of "Piano Man." Only Billy Joel wasn't *performing* it so much as he was leading a sing-along. Every person in the arena was singing every word. I looked at PuzzleSon and smirked, "Yeah. They know who he is."
  • 45D: Old West "neckties" (NOOSES). I was looking for BOLOS here. Turns out the correct answer is quite a bit more morbid (morbider?).
Thanks for hanging out with me today. See you back here tomorrow.

Love, PuzzleGirl


Anonymous 12:29 AM  

I can't tell you how happy I am that 52A was clued as "...anagrammatic examples of?"! Really, "anagrammatic examples of" falls ever so trippingly off the tongue, and I never in a million years would have seen that the other 3 theme elements were anagrams. How sad it would have been if it had just been "... examples of"!

BTW, not to be too PC or anything, but would it have killed anyone to have clued MONROE via Marilyn rather than James?

Steve J 12:38 AM  

This felt like the air being let out of the balloon compared to yesterday's excellent puzzle. More noticeable dreck - I can't recall ever hearing of a single KUDO, and plural OMS seem to be nearly as rare - no fill that really sparkled, and a theme that didn't really sing. Mostly solid and workmanlike, with about as much excitement those adjectives indicate.

Moly Shu 12:39 AM  

First off, @PG, love your write ups!!! Keep them coming. Found the puzzle easy and so-so. The themers are anagrams-meh, 2 long entries that aren't themers-OK, and the fill-meh. I couldn't help but notice all the familiar entries. SST, CSI, ERATO, AER, ENURE, ERLE, APSE, ATEST. At least there was MO AT and DARNS. I seem to remember my grandma using a hardboiled egg inside the sock to assist her in DARNing. Is that possible, or am I confusing something ??

Anyway, serviceable Tuesday. Nothing terrible and just a bit more difficult than yesterday.

jae 12:51 AM  

Easy-medium again for me.  So, what @ Steve J said plus what @Moly Shu said was pretty much my take.  No need to be repetitive.  @PG - Fie on those whippersnappers, The Piano Man Rocks!  

Anoa Bob 1:07 AM  

PuzzleGirl, thanks for your most enjoyable write-up.

I like anagrams and this puzzle had some nice touches. I wonder if anyone thought of cluing 20 Across MONROE NO MORE as "Brief 1962 headline"?

John v 1:08 AM  

Very easy, but... 15 across should have said "var." 99 times out of 100 inure is spelled with an I at the beginning, not an E.

John v 1:11 AM  

Steve J - alanis morrisette actually refers to kudo in the singular in one of her songs. "Thank You" maybe? That ever-elusive kudo.

Unknown 1:21 AM  

Easy medium here, and half of Monday's time. The theme was fresh and cockeyed enough to be memorable.

PLANB reminds me of "priorities." There is only ever one priority. As I've learned the hard way, when my proposal is my customer's #2 priority, a contract is not gonna happen.

Nice to see the ghost of AUDEN to appear to taunt me for Sunday's DNF. AUDENAINT. Doesn't quite work, but captures my sentiment.

@jberg, ET ALIA, do you have any suggestions on keeping the Fates straight? ERATO ET CETERA .

I'm really liking @PG's reviews.

chefwen 2:22 AM  

Got through the puzzle problem free, but the theme rather saddened me. We had to put Paddy the Wonder Cat down last Friday. Poor little guy was just all used up. The Vet who makes house calls to help with the transition picked him up and said "there's nothing left of this kitty, you made the right decision." It was pain free and we have great memories.

Anyhoo, other than that, it was a good puzzle and I beat the tar out of Jon time wise.

Anonymous 2:57 AM  

Puzzle Girl, please open your own blog, you are wonderful

Leapfinger 3:37 AM  

Hey, I thought the KUDO was a relative of the Eland and such. Who Gnu?

So. I'm really liking this PuzzleGirl's style, and not only because she admits to thinking that the other long Acrosses were themers, as well as to other silly things that I did also. That 'PLAN B is another PLAN A' boss, however...PG, the guy was messing with your head! In some lines of work, that would be called a False Positive.

This may be a little INURE Face, but I was thinking if we could get PG upgraded to maybe PG-13, we could convince Rex to extend his cruise SAMOA, perhAPSE to the ISLE of OAHU.

We AUDEN be RUDE about it, but I'll start:

PG-1...Do I hear a PG-2?

Good puzzle, though not with the level of delighting-ness in yesterday's. The themes were good picks for the anagrams, and a couple of other entries tickled my fancy:
Asteroid BELT -- Wondered what you'd have for a chaser?
Had 58A half-filled with the Downs, it looked asif the Carpenters longed to be...in the CLOSET.

Small beef with disinfectants targetting ODORS; they target the "germs" that produce the ODORS. Shan't declaim on those darling 'air-fresheners' so many of us use, 'cause the whole topic is really small potatoes.

My favourite word of the day was in the 1D clue: a couple of good friends from Brazil are named Solange. For that, and for the nice solve, MERCI, Ms Klawitter.

Leapfinger 4:05 AM  

@Casco, the Ancients themselves had trouble keeping the three Fates straight, whether they were Greek, Roman, Slavic or Germanic.

From the sound of it, however, you're wanting to get a handle on the nine Muses

They've been hard to remember for ages; their mother Mnemosyne, is likely responsible for the first mnemonic --- to remember her daughters.

The 9 Muses are listed in the link; the 10th is Loren.

Jisvan 5:24 AM  

Wanted aRATO for some reason, which left me contemplating NEWTONWaNTON, and how Newton and Chinese dumplings might somehow be related... Figured this out and the theme became clear. Liked it, and loved Puzzle Girl's write-up, as usual!

Writing this at high noon in Istanbul. So far I've been able to access the puzzles (at 5 AM, nice for jet-lagged nights) using the Magmic app, but something has played havoc with the display on the calendar. I have the connecting line going across date squares with no "completed" blue dot (impossible before now), and blue dots showing a 1/12th wedge of white that are in fact completed. Not sure if this is due to the old app dying or my current location or ??? Still gaining ground in the Streak, which is likely of interest only to the few of us still playing that game. (Just call me [Streak] 31, not to be confused with the other 31.)

Horace S. Patoot 6:20 AM  

I know this ship has sailed, but in case anyone doesn't know, kudos is a singular noun from the Greek meaning praise; thus KUDO is a back-formation that makes (made?) no sense. I only mention it because a lot of folks here like words and might be interested.

GILL I. 6:29 AM  

I thought this was a clever smile inducing Tuesday puzzle....[for a change]
I had two write-overs - had SOngs instead of SOLOS for the Aria so NEWTON took forever to WENT ON! and I always want my Carne to be ASADo. I mean really, shouldn't meat be a masculine word? I always think of my Argentine friends' son who was raised in the States but speaks perfect Spanish when he commented in great length about the new Pope. He ranted about how great "La Papa" was!

@chefwen...TEARs heading your way...:-(

Anonymous 7:19 AM  

@chefwen, sorry about your cat. Lost my Dad a few weeks back and his doc said "it's time".

Loren Muse Smith 7:19 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 7:24 AM  

@Chefwen – so sorry about Paddy the Wonder Cat. It's never pain free, but I'm glad you have lots of memories.

PG – thanks again for filling in! You do a great job, and I know I speak for lots of people when I say how glad I am that the place is still up-and-running when Rex is gone. And I hope everyone has a great time in Ireland!!

Yeah – I was a bit confused at first with the other two 10's, especially when I was picking up on the PASSING thing. Karen Carpenter. . .

I didn't know LEANIN (@John V – I actually had a dnf because I had "inure" crossing "Lia Nin," wondering if that was about her daughter or something), and ERLE was not falling, so early on I kept thinking it might be "Moreno NO MORE." Obviously I had immediately dismissed the clue dates, and I kept thinking, "But she's still alive, isn't she?"

Liked TEAR crossing APART and SAMOA crossing OAHU (hey, they're close, right?)

I always feel a little bad for schools with odd mascots – Badgers, Owls, Ducks, Banana Slugs. . .then I remind myself I'm, what, a Tar Heel? (Oh - @paulsfo – those dates were the years we won the national championship – I keep meaning to tell you.)

I was so obsessed with chess in high school that I devised a way to play during class, and it hinged on PASSING NOTES. We would each color in our separate boards with yellow magic marker and pencil in abbreviations for the pieces. Then I'd erase a "P," say, rewrite it two squares up and pass the note "P – K4." The other guy would make the change to his board and pass the note back to me with his move. This is how I spent my time when I should have been learning about MONROE, EDISON, and NEWTON. And I share this not in the spirit of Look How Smart I Was, Miss Prisspot Chess Player; I stunk and lost pretty much every game.

It's funny – I see the word "anagram" and always think, "Ah. Oh well." And then invariably I look back and am just fascinated with the results. Today's I thought was really cool. Find famous people whose names anagram into two-word phrases that can mean PASS is good – find famous people whose names anagram into two-word phrases *and* the letter totals are all 12?? To match PASSING NOTES?? Excellent, I say! (And @Anoa Bob – there's an S for you that has to be there! And good call on 1962!)

So I ended up very pleased with Pamela's effort. Kudos to you!

Anonymous 7:40 AM  

Puzzle Girl. We love your sunny write ups. Can we collect some money to keep Rex for another two weeks on the cruise or whatever?

Glimmerglass 7:41 AM  

@MolyShu: Your grandma probably had a "darning egg," which was ceramic (maybe wood or a smooth stone way back). It went inside the sock to create a work area where the hole needed to be patched. I suppose a hard-boiled egg might serve, but the needle would dig into it too,easily. Socks are cheap. My wife no longer darns socks. Her time is worth more to her than the cost of a pair of socks. My children loved to sneak her white darning egg into the egg carton. She always pretended to be fooled.

bookmark 7:48 AM  

My yoga teacher starts every session with, "Let's begin our class with three OMS."

Ken 7:51 AM  

It is a pleasure reading PuzzleGirl's upbeat, positive, yet still informative write-ups.

I wonder if Rex is reading them while on vacation. He could learn a thing or two about expressing himself in less of a pedantic, tutorial or didactic manner...often almost sounding bitter. I appreciate that he's an English professor, but this is supposed to be fun...and his avocation.

Avocation: something a person does in addition to a principal occupation, especially for pleasure; hobby.

Thanks again, PuzzleGirl, for an enjoyable read.

jberg 8:06 AM  

@Ken, I have no doubt that @Rex IS having fun!

As for the puzzle -- I, too, fell for SOngS at 18D, changed the G to O for NEWTON, couldn't figure out SOnOS, but let it go -- even though 1 or 2 days ago we had the same clue in reverse, I think. So finished with an error in this otherwise fun and easy puzzle.

@Loren, what's so odd about Bucky Badger? Look out, he's really tough! Fun fact: the name comes, not from the animal, but from the lead miners who were important in the state's early development. As with many mining booms, housing and other things were inadequate, so many miners dug themselves caves in the hillsides to live in, and were called badgers as a result.

As for the muses, @casco, nope, no system -- I can never remember what they're for, so I just hope to get it from crosses.

Thanks, @PG!

Z 8:07 AM  

This puzzle sings, it is just that the song happens to be a dirge. What a perfect theme for a Tuesday.

Did Auden only write one poem of note? "Funeral Blues" seems perfect for today's puzzle, though.

No complaints on the fill, if you are going to make it Tuesday easy you are going to need ENUREd APSE DAMS on your ISLEs to make it work. I do appreciate the SST to start words instead of to create POCs. Speaking of which, is KUDO a SOC?

Z 8:14 AM  

KUDO is okay.


KUDO is wrong.

Thanks @ Horace S Patoot for pointing this out.

Unknown 8:15 AM  
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Unknown 8:16 AM  

Ooooohhh....PASSING notes....now I get it!

Fun. I love anagrams. Puzzle girl did a great job summing this one up. But I feel Rex would want to point out the RRN (random Roman numeral)

AliasZ 8:29 AM  

This puzzle deserves at least one KUDO.

Anagrams are fun: bantam BATMAN, ANDREW wander, ATEST state taste teats, reel ERLE, orate ERATO, I sneer EISNER, a nude AUDEN, CLOSE TO YOU, coyote soul, SIDESADDLE dead slides, etc.

Shouldn't the plural of NOOSE be NEESE? Or NICE?

MERCI Pamela, and PG.

chefbea 8:30 AM  

Thanks Puzzle girl...your writ ups are grrrreat!!!

@Chefwen..sorry about your cat

The puzzle..didn't get the passing notes as obits until I came here. Fun puzzle!!

joho 8:44 AM  

I liked how the reveal, PASSINGNOTES, is so totally different from what the theme answers represent. But, am I the only one who finds the theme interesting but a bit morbid? I need to lighten up! (@Loren, but then you had to go point out that Karen Carpenter was dead, too!)

@Steve J, I agree with @bookmark, I remember at the end of my yoga class everybody OMed in unison, so there were a lot of OMS.

@chefwen, so sad :(

@PuzzleGirl, you rock!

Thanks, Pamela, in the end I decided to focus on your clever theme answers and not death. :)

Generic Solver 9:04 AM  

Yeah, I have to say that a theme that treats the deaths of people lightheartedly, as in making anagrams of their names, seems to be in poor taste, regardless of whether these are historic figures or cartoon characters.

Mohair Sam 9:14 AM  

Played medium/challenging (for a Tuesday) here. Missed the word anagrammatic which likely would have saved some time for sure.

@steve J and one or two others - I use KUDOS a lot and have probably used it here. Seems like I hear it frequently too.

@Z - Nice catch on the definitions - I've always thought it was singular, and a pretty good candy bar.

Arlene 9:18 AM  

I filled in the puzzle, saw the anagrams, read the words, and still didn't realize that the theme was referring to obits! I guess my "power of positive thinking" regimen must be working!

Ludyjynn 9:19 AM  

Hmmm...PASSINGNOTES is a juvenile activity done under teacher's nose; kinda fun because it is a verboten, basically harmless activity. Bashing Rex in his absence, taking SWATS behind his back, is just as juvenile, but serves no USE and shows malicious INTENT, a big ERROR in my book. Shut yer YAPs and say OM!

Morbid or not, this was a well-executed Tues. puzz. w/ some lovely clueing. Thanks, PK and WS.

PuzzleGirl, thanks for the ear worm and upbeat write-up.

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

How is it possible that I'm as old as I am and didn't know Alexander Graham Bell was Scottish? I'm going to guess that history was taught in a very US-centric way when I was coming up and that this fact was never mentioned. That's possible, right?

Right. Or maybe you and I blocked out a fact that runs counter to our daily media dose of American exceptionalism.

Questinia 9:26 AM  

I did a M&A runt puzz and a lms runt puzz...fun...kind of like PASSING NOTES. They're cruciverbal amuses-bouches.

SenorLynn 9:32 AM  

After "lurking" for months, because my local paper has the NYT 5 wks old, I sprang for the subscript so I could participate. I enjoy your illumination & repartee. & I didn't time my entry for Rex's absence, I swear! Glad to have such an enjoyable sub, PG.
Didn't get "passing" as =dying until reading PG. Without knowing their yrs of death, I thought Monroe lost an election in 1831, etc.

chefbea 9:37 AM  

@SenorLynn welcome!! Glad to have you on board

Ludyjynn 9:37 AM  

Alexander Graham Bell was born in 1847 in Edinborough, Scotland. Lived there, as well as in London, England, and Ontario, Canada before settling in Boston, MA. Became a naturalized US citizen in 1882 and passed away in 1922. Ergo, he was an AMERICAN inventor.

Ludyjynn 9:38 AM  

Alexander Graham Bell was born in 1847 in Edinborough, Scotland. Lived there, as well as in London, England, and Ontario, Canada before settling in Boston, MA. Became a naturalized US citizen in 1882 and passed away in 1922. Ergo, he was an AMERICAN inventor.

Lewis 9:40 AM  

I think Funeral Blues and NOOSE go right along with the theme. I did like the theme a lot -- I'm thinking it is hard to find names that anagram to fit this theme, and the reveal is terrific.

I count 12 words that start with A -- which seems pretty high to me. Not good or bad, just high.

I think this is a better than usual Tuesday.

Post Puzzle Puzzle (PPP™) -- Four three letter answers -- OLD, LIE, POI, USE -- share a property that only one four letter answer has. Write a synonym for the word you get when you read that four letter answer backward.

Cheerio 9:41 AM  

I for one loved this puzzle. The cluing is what made it smooth and lovely. I'd love to see more from this constructor! Thanks!

Ludyjynn 9:44 AM  

OOPS...misspelled Edinburgh and illegible captcha caused a double printing, above. Sorry!

RAD2626 9:46 AM  

I thought this was a very cleverly done puzzle for a Tuesday with a theme that worked and a clever funny revealer. NOOSES is morbid but clearly keeping with the theme. ENDOW a really nice clue.

While this may seem weird, I would have found cluing MONROE with Marilyn instead of James a little too grisly. Must be a recency thing.

Hartley70 9:53 AM  

Liked the puzzle, liked the write up. Only had a brief hesitation at the badger clue because it brought me back to my favorite PBS show of all time "Masters of Mayhem" and Wis didn't seem nearly devilish enough for a badger.
Sorry about Paddy the Wonder Cat. We lost Rufus the Wonder Dog a while back. It's hard to say goodbye to a Wonder Pet. They are few and far between.

John V 10:01 AM  


Anonymous 10:04 AM  

Long time reader & always enjoy this blog. First time to post a comment, but I couldn't help myself...

@Susan McConnell - there was no RRN. It was a very specific RN.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:23 AM  

Morbidity aside, interesting topic for word play. I don't see that anyone has offered other possibilities (well, maybe @AliasZ's nod to ANDREWS WANDERS), and the best I can do is the 1994 headline about developer Irving: FELT LEFT. Surely someone can do better!

John V 10:28 AM  

FWIW, we appear to have two JohnVs among us. Scary thought, that.

jdv 10:30 AM  

Easy-Med. Almost fell asleep listening to that Carpenters song. The problem with this puzzle is that it isn't very scrabbly; no q's, x's or z's. The theme is good and the revealer is above average.

Greg 10:47 AM  

@Ludyjynn to be fair, there is plenty of Rex-bashing in his presence too.

You can add me to the list of those who much prefer PG's write-ups, but I do give Rex credit for developing such a vibrant community.

Carola 11:12 AM  

I'm with those who found this a very fine Tuesday puzzle. I enjoyed figuring out the anagrams and thought the reveal was great. For some reason, the SCOT-ISLE-LAKES cluster seemed poetic to me, and I was amused by BELT AREA (as in, "I seem to have taken on some added girth in the BELT AREA").

@Puzzle Girl - We couldn't wait for you either! About WIS - it was the Badger State's abbreviation in the OLDen days (my childhood), so I'm always happy to see it.

@Horace and @Z - Fun to LEARN about KUDOs - thanks! Garnering "much kudos" sounds strange to me!

@loren - @jberg already addressed my "What's this about badgers being ODD?" so will just take this opportunity to lament that the increasingly corporate university now prohibits any ODD depictions of Bucky, thus putting out of business legions of t-shirt makers with Bucky in various fanciful and subversive guises, my favorite being a Rasta Bucky with the caption "Go Big Dread." Man, I wish I'd bought that one.

Masked and Anonymo5Us 11:49 AM  

@Lewis: Kerfuffles?

@r.alph and muse: Rest easy. Smoke em, if U got em. Runtpuzs have no stinkin rules or even guidelines, actually. They do kinda have an uplifting anthem (paean), combined with a Zen-like riddle (koan)...

Runtpuz paean koan:
"Runtpuzs should be small, yet never leave the solver in want of more."

@Pam Klawitter: Eerily grim. M&A like. Peter Graves would hardly hafta move, to qualify.

Peace on Earth, good will toward kitties.


r.alphbunker 11:52 AM  

{1948 headline in sports section}

On a cheerier note
{UNC decision a while ago considering the theme of her last runtpuz.}

Anonymous 11:58 AM  

I am curious what has happened with the iPad version of the puzzle. I've been doing it for years but only lately (the last few days) I've been in the top few every day and my times hold up - and I'm in the top of the "masters" category too. Have people jumped ship? I'm not any smarter or any faster than I was last month, and my times would consistently be in the 30-50 range. Thanks!

Bill Gates 12:03 PM  

@Anon 11:58 - That's because the really smart people don't use iPads.

AliasZ 12:21 PM  

MERCI me! I was moored on a re-MOAT ISLE called OAHU across from SAMOA, living INTENTs, eating some POI. When I was finished eating, APART of me wanted SAMOA since I am an OCTO-vegetarian. Even though ASADA me was LEANIN' towards stayin', I said: "Holy SIDESADDLE, do I have to yell ENURE ear, BATMAN? Get me out of here!" He used PLAN-B to get us out of that tropical pair of dice. Aloha, DAMS!

Some more silly anagrams:


A perfect end to all this silliness is the mesmerizing Celestial Fantasy by ALAN Hovhaness.

As you were.

Fred Romagnolo 12:21 PM  

Ludyjynn: my Scottish friends invariably pronounced (and spelled) it Edinborough, so you didn't err. especially now with the independence movement making a stir. @Senor Lynn: we don't have federal elections in odd years. Look up the muses and discover that their names have a lot to do their area of expertise. I am a curmudgeon so I enjoy Rex's rants, even when I don't agree with them

Lewis 12:34 PM  

@m&a -- yes sir!

My Captcha is MEWIMPA, kind of how I feel approaching some of those runtpuzzes.

LaneB 1:08 PM  

Fun on Tuesday with this clever medium puzzle. Let's have many more of the same.

Ellen S 1:24 PM  

@chefwen, sorry to hear about Paddy. The downside of having Wonderful animal companions is that we have to say goodbye to so many of them. I like (?) the house-call vet option because it also gives the other animals a chance to say goodbye.

I enjoyed the puzzle, but wonder if AUDEN and Funeral Blues is going to be the new EEL. ("are" going to be the new "EELS"? ... no, I think the first way is right.)

@Casco -- don't worry about the muses. It's always ERATO. The other one who shows up, CLIO, is always clued as the advertising award.

@anonymous 10:04, I think all RRNs are random when they appear in puzzles: the constructor needs an X, an I, an L, so he finds some historical event, or more likely, some arbitrary year within an era (some king's reign) that will give him those letters. They're not as bad as an alphabet run, though. I mean, really, "L-R connector", why not just print "MNOPQ" in the puzzle?

On that happy note, I'll sign off.

edwords 1:31 PM  

More PuzzleGirl, please.

Anoa Bob 1:50 PM  

Anonymous@2:57, unless I'm having a senior moment, I remember that PuzzleGirl once had her own xword blog and that her avatar/icon was the flower that is pictured at the top of today's write-up.

Leapfinger 1:51 PM  

Most pets have at least an element of Wonder Pettery about them. We have our own Pet Sematary in the back yard, all excepting the pony. Sorry for the recent loss, and hope the pup is thriving, @ret_chem.

Thinking we've had EnoSSlaughter about crossing and/or final/extraneous S's. A KUDO happens when the Harried Lauder can't commit to a full-fledged
KUDOS. Can't help it if that sounds AUD.

Not hearing the clamour for the Muse Mnemonic, but undaunted. How I remember is:

Group of 4 (poetry):
Calliope - epic, contains e-p-i-c
Erato - erotic, easy
Polyhymnea - religious, ounds like it
Euterpe - lyrical, EU prefix=pleasant

Group of 3: memory plus some word-hints
Clio - history
Urania - astronomy
Terpsichore - dance

Group of 2:
THAlmia - comedy, contains 'HA!'
MELPomene - tragedy, contains 'ELP!

So, @Muse, you're a Tarheel? Lacking an update, was thinking WVa. No shame, there's a fine tradition. otoh, about 2600 miles across the sea SAMOA-OAHU; in Pacific terms, I s'pose that qualifies as neighbourhood.

Rarely is a Lymph NODE more interesting than a Nymph LODE.

Loving the diverse and inventive outpouring today. Am not of a naturally anagrammatic bent, yet remain hopeful of finding an E.I. ROCHE for CHEERIO, and of doing better than ANDRE RIEU, ADIEU.

Solange, it's been good to know you.

Ludyjynn 1:52 PM  

@Greg, you cracked me up! Point taken re Rex.

@FredR, MERCI for the spelling tutorial. I visited Edinborough/burgh in the mid '70s and enjoyed the people and culture. Recently, @Casco gave a nice commentary about the Castle. But my favorite memory is the beautiful Botanical Gardens located there, a must-see.

@ChefWen, I'm giving my cat and dog an extra cuddle today in honor of your beloved kitty.

Unknown 1:53 PM  

@leap thanks for the multi-level clarification. There's still a risk of a muse-jumble in my noggin, but if that happens, it's some Fate or other. The only one of the ten I know for sure is the sweet-and-sassy one.

Leapfinger 3:16 PM  

@Senor Casco: Works for me, no taunto intended

Weirdest captcha ever - Shekinah

sanfranman59 3:57 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)

Tue 7:23, 8:46, 0.84, 9%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Tue 5:26, 5:26, 1.00, 50%, Medium

mac 4:08 PM  

Nice Tuesday, thought along the lines of PG's comment where the extra long answers and the connection of the dead people.

Sorry @chefwen....

I miss Rex, but I'm still hoping PG will resurrect her LA Times puzzle blog one of these days.

Z 4:34 PM  

@Generic Solver - then don't watch this or this and definitely not this

Moly Shu 4:41 PM  

@Glimmerglass, thanks, I knew I remembered something. What you described makes perfect sense. I think I'll stick with buying new socks also.

Lewis 4:48 PM  

Spoiler alert -- PPP solution

Post Puzzle Puzzle (PPP™) solution: The three letter answers are in reverse alphabetical order, and the only four letter answer like that is SODA, which backwards is ADOS, and any synonym for that is correct!

Sfingi 4:58 PM  

Brilliant puzzle. Maybe EMS OMS AND ONS were a mini-theme. Minimal sports and abbrevs, too.

Speaking of PASSING, Karen C looks near death there.

Almost got me on ENDOW crosses EMS.

Wanted MERCI to be danke. Sehr.

Many words should not be pluralized, like animals that run in groups. That includes all fish. Note sheep, but goats. Goats have personalities.

@PG - History was definitely man-centric when I was in school. For women, one still needs videos and side issues to make wars (testosterone overdose for sure) palatable. Hear me ROAR. I'm way a senior, and was told, "We don't hire women programmers," in 1966.

PG - you're more "up" than old Rex, but I think he's putting it on for the reaction. He gets. It works.

@Chefwen - they just passed a law here against burying pets in the back yard. Try and stop us. Make sure you dig deep. A skunk once dug up a squirrel I planted. A friend of mine buried her husband in the backyard. That's the Upstate I grew up in.

Awful lot of POI about, these days. Has anyone done a study of Crosswordese frequency in puzzles recent in time to each other?

Great suggestions all you clever people!

Anonymous 5:28 PM  

@Z 4:34, loved that and that, and most especially, that!!

Brian's MiL

Airymom 5:45 PM  

I know I'm supposed to love him because he's from my generation and is a fellow New Yorker....but every time I hear that harmonica start that song, it's like the teacher scratching chalk on the blackboard. Sorry, had to get that off my chest. Puzzle was "meh".

drp 6:35 PM  

dear PG, could you produce a Puz tree as i am quite confused as to how many generations are in puzfam. for instance are you puz mom as well as PG or is puz mom actually puz g mom? sinc drp.

Puzzle Mom 8:04 PM  

PuzzleMom and PuzzleDad have two daughters, PuzzleGirl and PuzzleSister. PuzzleGirl has a PuzzleHusband. I don't recall having seen PuzzleGirl refer to her kids as PuzzleSon and PuzzleDaughter, but I might have missed that part. We definitely refer to them as PuzzleGrands here at our house and because they are (grand, that is) they get to go with us to Ireland via Aer Lingus in August. We'll be departing on the very day of Lollapuzzoola, so once again, we will miss that event. One of these years . . We're practicing!

Anonymous 8:22 PM  

Here's TO YOU, Coyote Soul. The Hovhaness (new to me) was Heavenly, could be background for deGrasse Tyson.

@Questinia, your cruciverbal amuses bouches amuseed moi --- At Play In The Fields of The Word!

Señor Lynn and ludyjynn: what fun!

When you're good, everyone puts in a claim. AGBell was American by citizenship, a SCOTsman by heredity

chefbea 8:47 PM  

@Puzzle mom...thanks for the family tree!!!

J-P 9:47 PM  

I think enure is wrong, or should have clued as a variant. Because the internet is always right, I offer the following blog/page/whatever as proof of my pointhttp://www.dailywritingtips.com/difference-between-%25E2%2580%259Cinure%25E2%2580%259D-and-%25E2%2580%259Cenure%25E2%2580%259D/

Z 10:15 PM  

@J-P - learning to embed might help (hint hint). At any rate, another blogger using an OED as reference seems to suggest that ENURE is the original: "I knew inure only in the sense of "accustom, habituate," which the Oxford English Dictionary dates to 1489 (in its common alternate spelling, enure)." Anyone with an OED Online subscription care to look them up and let us know?

Carola 11:44 PM  

@Z - In the OED, the listing for "enure" has the note: "An earlier form of inure, by which it is now superseded except in the legal sense."

Joel 11:57 PM  

I don't think "kudo" is a word. "Kudos" is not plural.

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Anonymous 8:51 AM  

Rust Never sleeps.

Fugu 7:43 PM  

@ken's post is so ludicrously ironic that it makes me suspect it's deliberate. But it isn't... Is it? Deliberate or not, complaining about didactic negativity and then appending a definition made me lol.

Anonymous 7:23 AM  

@ anon 11:58am

There was an "upgrade" to the iPad app a couple of weeks ago that was in actuality a replacement, the new version is published by the NYT itself and integrated with their web version, etc. The magmic app will continue to work through the end of your current subscription, but is no longer supported. The new version doesn't currently have leader boards for times or streaks, but apparently that's on the agenda. My biggest complaint about the new app is that only one year's worth of archived puzzles are available directly, the rest have to be played using the web interface.

spacecraft 10:46 AM  

Here's one of those stupid "either/or" naticks involving alternate spelling of a word (I/E NURE) crossed with a total unknowable. Never mind the book--I never even heard of the author? Who's Sheryl Sandberg? Carl's kid? Well, guess what: I guessed wrong.

Other stuff I am SOMEHOW supposed to know (?): "The L WORD" role for Katherine Moening (WHO?????); carne _____ (Mexican dish). All Mexican food gives me terrible heartburn.

This puzzle's theme is morbidly funny, and the execution excellent. I suppose you could say that all three of those gentlemen were forward thinkers, if you need a common thread. But the unfortunate #15 square ruins the experience. Though many of the clues/answers were early-week simple, this still did not feel like a Tuesday to me.

693...hey, that's a winner!

DMG 2:18 PM  

Tuesday good. Thought PASSINGNOTES was a clever pun(?) that pulled the whole thing together and made me see the anagrams. With ENURE/iNURE one just has to wait and see which version the writer used!

I'm tired of those who keep,berating Rex. If they find him that annoying, they should opt out of reading this blog. I find their endless carping annoying, and skip down as soon as I see what's happening. That is, I opt out of their comments.

9495 =27, a tie with @spacecraft.

Solving in Seattle 3:34 PM  

Pretty fast solve for me, and I don't care about how much time it takes for me to do a puzzle.
At first I thought the theme answers might be palindromes, but no.
Only writeover was SOngs at 18D.

@DMG, I agree with you about the Rex carping. I just appreciate the effort he continues to put into this blog, even if I might disagree with his position.

Go King Felix! Strike 'em all out.

621 = 9. Split pot with @Spacy & @DMG.

Waxy in Montreal 3:51 PM  

Up here, just to muddy the waters, we consider AG Bell to have been a Canadian based on his long term residency in Brantford, Ontario and his retirement spent in Baddeck, Nova Scotia where I'm sure his PASSING lead to a brief 1922 headline.

Fun Tuesday, especially the very creative theme. Only problems were TEE for LIE (as LEANEN and SOTOS seemed fine to me) and OGDEN before AUDEN.

Thought Bruce Wayne was more of a Gotham City VIP than BATMAN but just couldn't shoehorn him into 10D.

Dirigonzo 4:44 PM  

I once wrote elsewhere that I love "anagrammy fun" so I loved this puzzle (once I figured out that SIDESADDLE wasn't a theme answer).

I know nothing about Beyoncé's family tree and I never heard of Solange - I say that with a tinge of pride. I didn't know AGB was an immigrant, either - I wonder if he'd be allowed in the country today? Wasn't PLAN B at the heart of the recent Hobby Lobby course? Why don't constructors ever clue ATEST as "This is ONLY a ___"? OAHU/SAMOA sounds like a nice vacation, I think. OK, end of stream of consciousness.

I don't like this new game, dammit!

@waxy - there was a late post on yesterday's puzzle that posed a question that I hoped you, as the resident old-timey sports expert, would weigh in on I it sounded like something you would know.

Waxy in Montreal 5:29 PM  

@Diri, way back then, no broadcaster would dare explicitly mention that a pitcher for their home team was pitching a no-no for fear of being blamed if/when it was broken up. Mel Allen might say "7 hits in the ballgame so far, all by the Yankees" to alert listeners to the possibility of a Yankee no-hitter without violating the code of omerta.

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