MTV competitive reality show featuring children of pop stars / MON 6-23-14 / English racetrack site / Ladies service org since 1850s

Monday, June 23, 2014

Constructor: Brendan Emmett Quigley

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: YO-YO TRICKS (26D: what 5-, 7-, 10- and 15-Down all are) — all clued in non-yoyo-specific ways …

Theme answers:
  • ROCK THE CRADLE (5D: MTV competitive reality show featuring children of pop stars)
  • AROUND THE WORLD (7D: Where Phileas Fogg traveled "in 80 days")
  • FLYING TRAPEZE (15D: Circus act above a net)
  • WALK THE DOG (10D: Do a chore with a pet)

Word of the Day: "ROCK THE CRADLE" (5D: MTV competitive reality show featuring children of pop stars) —
Rock the Cradle is an MTV reality show in which the offspring of R&Bpop, and rock stars from the 1980s and 1990s vie in a six-week singing competition. The show debuted on Thursday, April 3, 2008. [and ran for … one season, for a total of … six episodes …] (wikipedia)
• • •

I can't really blog adequately tonight because of the post-World Cup exhaustion I am currently experiencing. My house has never, ever been that loud … and it was just me and my wife (and the dogs occasionally running for cover because they thought we were angry, which, to be fair, we sometimes were). Also, I am currently distracted by the neighbor kid who is recently out of school and apparently has decided to dedicate this summer to dribbling a basketball for 4-5 hours a day directly outside my office window. Fun times! Anyway, the puzzle—played very choppy for me. I thought I was well on the slow side, but I still finished under 3 (if just barely), and that's a pretty normal Monday time for me. Still, grid *is* choppy, dominated by 3- and 4-letter words. This means the only grid interest is in the theme answers, which are OK. I have to call foul on "ROCK THE CRADLE," though, at least as clued. How a show *that* short-lived, *that* marginal, is allowed to be a *Monday* theme answer is beyond me. Way beyond me. If you can have [Do a chore with a pet] (however awkward) as a theme clue, then you can have [Do a chore with a child], right? The central themer is basically a glorified partial. So while I wouldn't say I WAS ANGRY with this puzzle (49A: Saw red), but it mainly just sat there … being a puzzle … but, again, I'm probably not the best judge of anything right now. My heart has stopped pounding, but the searing memory of that late goal lingers.

Are there *non*-flying trapezes??? That phrase really only makes sense because of the song with the daring young man, right? Otherwise, it's a redundancy (of sorts), unless, again, there are various trapeze types of which I am unaware.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:04 AM  

Easy-medium for me and just delightful.   Erasure: got ANGRY before WAS...

A little bit of culture...ORSAY, a little bit of Rock and Roll...ZAPPA...just about perfect for a Mon.

And, @Brendan - If you still have my email could you please send me the bonus puzzles for June? 

Z 12:08 AM  

94:30 of mediocrity and three seconds of brilliance. Who wanted first in the group anyway?

7:30, with 45 seconds of looking for a typo. I hate solving electronically. I do like the down themers. Now, if only they had been palindromes yo-yoing in the grid...

Steve J 12:19 AM  

What a disappointment the US/Portugal game was. Sometimes a tie feels like a loss. This was one of those times.

To the puzzle: Bit of a yo-yo itself. I like the themers, but a couple of them are indeed clued weirdly. As much as I like BEQ, sometimes he forces it a bit on his pop-culture clues, and 5D was certainly an example of that (especially on a Monday, as Rex noted). And "do a chore with a pet" for 10D makes it sound like you're collaborating with the dog. Actually, given how much dogs love going on walks, maybe that's the case. Not much of a chore for the dog, though.

ONly a couple non-theme answers longer than 5 letters led to not much of interest, although ZAPPA always looks good in a puzzle. Felt like there was an abundance of partials in this one. Mixed bag (or yo-yo) on a Monday.

r.alphbunker 12:31 AM  
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r.alphbunker 12:33 AM  

Odd. The last BEQ Monday NYT also had vertical theme answers.

Anoa Bob 1:50 AM  

15x14? Don't see those too often. And 40 black squares? That's on the high side, especially for a reduced-size grid.

Used to be a yo yo enthusiast. The secret is having a supple wrist and an intuitive understanding of physics in motion. (Same with billiards.)

EGYPTIAN (24A) and ZAPPA (65A) helped make this one a solid Monday puzz for me.

Unknown 3:17 AM  

Fun solve. Little resistance. WASANGRY was clunky.

Does anyone remember the one-half-plus-seven rule for dating. Your date's age must be greater than half of your age plus seven (and visa versa) or you are ROCKingTHECRADLE. It works remarkably well for all "dating" ages, from 14 to 100.

Moly Shu 3:31 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moly Shu 3:36 AM  

How else are you going to clue ROCKTHECRADLE? The Billy Idol song? Probably less people are familiar with that, than the MTV show. I know the song, but not the show and still got the answer easily. It is a Monday after all. No gripes here, liked FOALS, EPSOM and POST. My horse track BIAS is showing.

@CascoKid, thanks for the update update. Still following your lead.

GILL I. 4:04 AM  

Watched the USA/Portugal World Cup game and half of us ate hot dogs and hamburgers while the other half ate folar de chaves with smoked sausage. I've never seen so much stuffed pig fly through the air when Portugal scored that last goal!
Loved this puzzle. I may have lost my voice but my pen hand flew through this puppy like Tim Howard on display.
Anything with yo yo's makes me smile smile. I spent hours perfecting AROUND THE WORLD on my white diamond studded Duncan that my uncle gave me. I could out-spin, out-flip just about anybody who cared....It WAS a MAJOR ELATE.
Thanks BEQ

Anonymous 5:12 AM  

I solve the NYT in the Int. NY Times where this puzzle had an extra row included at the bottom with the far left box marked 54!
Spent 10 minutes wondering what I had missed and what it could have to do with yo-yos
Turning to you for help, I see that this extra row must have been some weird mistake!

TokyoRacer 5:24 AM  

Anonymous: I had the same WTF problem! Very weird. Had to first figure out: No, those words are not supposed to have one more letter. Was looking forward to Rex's comment, but I guess it was just in the print version.
Michael Bradley should be kicked off the team for handing Portugal that ball at the end. In fact, he should voluntarily quit soccer. And it wasn't his first flub of the game.

Danp 6:31 AM  

Are there non-flying trapezes? This is a question only Jerry Seinfeld should ask - or try to answer.

pc 6:39 AM  

We were so loud at the end of the game kitty ran for cover and didn't even come out for her late night snack. As for the puzzle, I liked the theme and didn't notice a lot of crossword junk in the fill, so it was a pretty good Monday for me.

ArtO 6:41 AM  

BEQ on Monday. A treat. Maybe the tie affected the write up but it's really annoying to see nothing but carping and sniping every day. Thought this was a terrific Monday.

Leapfinger 6:58 AM  

Dang, @Gilly, I was just thinking of those diamond-studded Duncans! YOYOs were such a craze in grade school when they first hit, we'd make tiny ones out of buttons sewn back-to-back.

I never could WALK THE DOG (far), except in real life. I s'pose the same goes for ROCK THE CRADLE. And with AROUND THE WORLD, I'd invariably bonk myself on the return trip. Score me a yoyo klutzklutz.

So. Do @chefbea and @chefwen wok like an EGYPTIAN?

Fun to have BEQ cycle in on a Monday, but obviously he has a hard time containing hisself: WASAbi with SOFTC in early daze? U ask me, that's a bit of wicked.

Let me catch that 462 before it runs away...

Leapfinger 7:06 AM  

Noticing the D from d'ORSAY slipped Down to DECO.

Loren Muse Smith 7:17 AM  

Rex – my cat feels your dogs' pain. When we scored our second goal, my son, his friend and I exploded out of our seats, and my poor cat jumped from my lap and stood, half crouched, looking around as though he were being attacked from all sides. I guess it's safe to assume that pets all over the world are still experiencing MAJOR post-goal traumatic stress this morning.
So in my post-game stunned state, I print out the puzzle and see BEQ's name at the top. On a Monday. And I was really pleased. Morning, @ArtO.

@Gil I.P., @Leapfinger – I would save my money to buy a YOYO, mess around with it for all of ten minutes, and then it would remain untouched, forgotten, on the coffee table until Mom dealt with it. Just like the hula hoop in the back yard.

I disagree that AROUND THE WORLD is a partial. My son, daughter, and husband regularly play a basketball game called AROUND THE WORLD, and my daughter usually wins because she never OPTs to risk a second shot and start ANEW, unlike, ahem, the other two show-offs.

And I don't know, Rex, @Danp – any time I go to the circus (very rarely – I. Despise. Them.), I periodically look up and study the motionless TRAPEZE, nervous about that part of the show, about when it will switch from a sinisterly- still TRAPEZE to a Flying Swing of Terror. I'm often struck with the thought that, now that lots of us have figured out the food, shelter, safety thing, we sure have a good deal of spare time on our hands.

Here's my ignorance in things geographical – for some reason, I lump NEPAL and Tibet together and never really give it any more thought other than that they're both in the Himalayas. I just did some googling, and I think I understand it now. Sheesh.

I hadn't noticed that the grid was smaller. I did notice the theme square count – 60. So, to redirect an observation from @Anoa Bob –"That's on the high side, especially for a reduced-size grid." Right?

@JFC – wow – if I were writing and wrote "smooths," I think I would change it to "smoothes." Merriam Webster offers that as an alternative spelling, I guess as a nod to people like me, people who want it to match "soothes." But that one starts out with the e already there. So "smooth" is a "booth" kind of word, huh?

@Steve J – the second vowel in IRIDESCENT was a schwa for me until I corrected the spelling, and then after I read your post, I kept trying out the two pronunciations and decided I can freely go from a schwa to a barred ɨ there.

So anyway, Brendan – I liked it, and the fact that FAD and DIET were there, too, was not lost on me. Now I'll patiently await your beastly themeless. Thanks for those, by the way.

Glimmerglass 7:43 AM  

Easy Monday. Some interest in the theme. The long downs can be clued more obscurely because the revealer makes them very easy to solve from crosses. Some hospital beds and some racing sailboats have trapezes which are not called "flying."

Beaglelover 7:50 AM  

@casco kid: I think you are referring to "robbing the cradle".
I loved this puzzle. I feel for Rex listening to a pounding basketball for hours on end but I think he should take "it outside" to the annoying little SOB and not take it out on those who read his blog!

jberg 8:06 AM  

Easy and fun. My only real problem was ORSAi before ORSAY. I avoided putting in the obvious "tam" at 6D because of the equally obvious FAD-- left both blank until I had some crosses. Everything else just went right in. And everybody loves yo-yos, so what else could we ask for?

There's no extra row in my home-delivered paper, so maybe that's just the international edition.

For those who are annoyed reading @Rex, the solution is obvious . . .

Unknown 8:08 AM  

Delightful to see BEQ's name pop up on a Monday. Puzzle was fun. Never heard of the MTV show but I could ROCK THE CRADLE with my yoyo back in the day.

chefbea 8:10 AM  

I don't time myself but this was the tastes Monday ever. Don't think it took me 5 minutes.
Loved yo-yos as a kid - could do all those tricks..good old Duncan!!

@Leapfinger can't speak for @chefwen but as for me...I wok like a chef!!

Mohair Sam 8:18 AM  

Fun puzzle, thanks for slumming on a Monday BEQ, loved the theme. In spite of being a lifetime failure at the yoyo I knew the names of all the tricks.

If Ronaldo had gone for the goal instead of the cross it would have been 2-1 USA and @Rex (and a bunch of y'all) woulda loved this puzzle. ROCKTHECRADLE too marginal? Sure, and the crosses were just brutal. btw, MTV is called CSPN in our house (the Children's Soft Porn Network).

Manaus a crazy place for world class soccer. A read of Anne Patchett's "State of Wonder" will give you a good feel for that city and that part of the world.

joho 8:20 AM  

@Anoa Bob, I noticed something weird about this grid but didn't know what until I'd finished and counted the longest down, AROUNDTHEWORLD, and saw it was 14. So the themers are 10 13 14 13 10 -- you don't see that often is right! I marvel at BEQ's facility to create a grid just like he wants it.

I liked DROP at the top crossing UPMY. I also liked HAND next to YOYOTRICKS. And the fact that all themers DROP like a YOYO (and of course pop right UP!)


@Loren you see FAD DIETS I see YOYO DIETS. None of them are good!

YOYOTRICKS is a light and fun Monday theme in my book with WALKTHEDOG being my favorite theme answer.

Thanks, BEQ!

Unknown 8:43 AM  

"Flying trapeze" is not a redundancy. Yes, there are non-flying trapezes. The "flying" kind takes a lot more room.

Circus Harmony just recently opened St. Louis' first flying trapeze instructional facility:

Leapfinger 8:45 AM  

lol, @chefbea, I got a great visual of you in a hieroglyph, carving knife in your upraised hand!

Sooth to say, after all that analytic discourse, I agree we need to keep it SMOOTHEN, to soften up that TH. Wait a minute, what was the question?

Szent-Margit Szigeti 8:50 AM  

Why Trip Out with GRETA Van Susteren, when you could TOUR Gwen Ifill?

Franciscus van Munster 8:53 AM  

The non-flying trapeze is usually just one trapeze (nowhere to fly from or to). Depending on the size of it, one to four artists will perform tricks that may or may not involve swinging of the trapeze. When it doesn't involve swinging, it is usually pretty boring.

mac 9:18 AM  

Nice Monday with a great theme. Not too familiar with yoyos, but I recognized two of the tricks.

Today it's Holland's turn again. That soccer watching is exhausting!

Arlene 9:32 AM  

This puzzle was fun - and had me thinking of the yoyo fad when I was in junior high school. I had a Duncan yoyo that looked like Saturn - white round body with a pink ring. We had to buy replacement strings, these things got so much use. I knew the names of all the tricks - just had to wait 50 years to apply this firsthand knowledge!
Thanks for the puzzle, and the memory jogger!

lawprof 9:40 AM  

Hand up for scaring the dog -- twice.

Oh, the puzzle. Uber easy; solved like a themeless. Got an old Duncan yoyo tucked away in a drawer. Think I'll go get it.

AliasZ 9:50 AM  

Yo-yo is not exactly UPMY alley, but in LOO of loftier endeavors, I should have a GOAT mastering the art. This puzzle inspired me.

It occurs to me that BEQ could've opted for the full 15x15 grid if he really wanted to by adding a single black square at either end of AROUND THE WORLD, and designing the grid with mirror symmetry along the y-axis. Obviously he didn't, OPTing instead to cheat us OUT of one full row of crosswordese.

I can't write ORSAY anything else right now, so I will jump into my TUDOR sports car and haul my ASSN outta here.

PS. Nice to see a nod to MAS.

John V 9:53 AM  

Breath of fresh air on a Monday. Sorta startling to see Brendan this early in the week.

Liked it a lot. All's forgiven for ACPT #5.

I was never any good with a yoyo, and I'm just talking about the basics. Over at Xwordinfo, BEQ says he can do all these tricks. Grrrr.

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

First time in a long while I got a puzzle answering every across clue in order, one after another. Often solve Mon-Wed using across clues only but rare to solve them without having to skip and come back. Therefore exceedingly easy for me.


Hartley70 10:02 AM  

Love a yoyo! I thought this puzzle was adorable. Just a perfect amount of fun on a Monday to hook a newbie who opened the paper and gave it a try.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:14 AM  

Had to hold off on 30 A, "London bathroom." Never sure if it will turn out to be LOO or LAV.

(Everything else I was going to say already said, and I hate endless repetition.)

jerseygirlangie 10:21 AM  

Super easy - even for a Monday .

I'm a little disappointed, though, that the music video wasn't "Dynamo Hum", or something else from the great Frank Zappa !

retired_chemist 11:05 AM  

Easy. Almost my fastest Monday ever, which fact is tempered with the smaller 15X14 grid. But I liked it, mostly - some snappy answers, fun theme. In general clued too easily even for a Monday IMO. Not nearly as devilish as I expected from this constructor.

I put in LOO, just because it had a lower Scrabble count than Lav, and I didn't have to change it even though I was prepared to if needed. The inverse for EPSOM vs.ascOt - I had the latter first.

Thanks, BEQ.

Fred Smith 11:32 AM  


I guess you had no problem with Orono. BTW, "and vice-versa" is not necessary to your point.

-- Fred

JFC 11:33 AM  

@Loren, Ain't the English language wonderful! It even has dictionaries that differ. I hear Will relies upon M-W. My favorites bar is set to, which doesn't even recognize it as an alternative spelling.



JFC 11:35 AM  

I thought Rex's commentary was unusually good today, the first half being more interesting than the latter half. I'd give it four grouses.


Carola 11:52 AM  

Lighthearted and fun. My only snag was figuring out why ROCK THE baby wouldn't fit.

@jae - On the culture front, I liked TUDOR and DECO complementing the ORSAY with its Impressionism.

This morning I had to fold the sports page the wrong way so that I didn't have to look at the headline. Talk about YOYO-ing emotions, ending up a non-ELATE!

Unknown 11:58 AM  

@FredSmith most cities-on-rivers in Maine are twinned: Lewiston-Auburn (actually called LA in these parts) , Saco-Biddeford, Portland-South Portland, Waterville-Winslow, Bangor-Brewer, Orono-Old Town. In order, the rivers are Androscoggin, Saco, Fore, Kennebec and Penobscot, and Stillwater.

When Brewer didn't fit as Bangor's neighbor, I figured this was another stab at cluing ORONO. I'm sure @dirigonzo will back me up on this.

LEWISTON-AUBURN is ripe for cluing as the [East Coast LA]! Also, BEQ, ET ALIA, don't forget USM for University of Southern Maine, ORONO's rather big little brother.

Lewis 12:00 PM  

Solid, fun, and easy, and a fun theme. Very nice how these yoyo tricks work out letter-count wise. Very little grid gruel as well. Good quality Monday, and maybe it is some lucky person's first puzzle ever!

Post Puzzle Puzzle (PPP™): There is a consonant vowel pair that appears three times in puzzle's answers. Call it A. There is another consonant vowel pair that appears five times. Call it B. AAB is the name of someone of note. Write down a hint to who this person is.

Masked and Anonymo5Us 12:03 PM  

Ahar. M&A like. NYT&BEQ go the runtpuz route, today. Gigantic breakthrough. Be still, my palpitatin heart.

fave yoyo trick: KEEPITINTHEBOX.

fave desperation points: ORSAY. UPMY. Sounds like a potential neat cross-referenced phrase, finishin with GOAT, or some such.

weejects anonymoUs: OKD. ("Reply to 'Oh, you think you deserved a B, huh?'")

@63: Dude. Let it go. The kid next door is dedicated to honin his game. Some day, you'll go to a World Cup match, and there he'll be -- streakin from one end of the field to the other, stoned out of his mind.

NYT Runtpuz! Let's celebrate...

Happy Monday, solvers.


RooMonster 12:14 PM  

Hey all! Reading this blog for a while, never commented! However, been talking to @r.alph and told him my woes of being rejected by Mr. Shortz on my puz submissions. I sent him a puz, and he said it was decent! Woohoo! Anyway, said I should post it here to see what everyone thinks! Anxiuos to hear feedback, good or bad! Figure it's a Monday-Tuesday puz.

Andrew Heinegg 12:15 PM  

This puzzle reminded me of my ancient past, as in my first 14 years in Brooklyn. Yoyos were very popular in our local parochial grammar school. You had to save some allowance money in order to be able to buy a decent yoyo, which is to say, one that would 'sleep' properly and thus enable you to rock the cradle and such. I am not sure whether it is a memory lapse or it was just not in the repertoire of the children in our area of Flatbush but, I had never heard of the flying trapeze. Anyhoo, it was an easy but interesting puzzle. Frank Zappa' s music was so atonal that it was destined to never make it into the main stream of music but, he was a tremendously creative and intelligent man who led a surprisingly normal life for a rock musician. He was conservative in his politics and lifestyle, very different from most of his peers in that regard.

Bob Kerfuffle 12:26 PM  

@M&A - Not only completed in 3:50 (super time for me!), but this time I actually *got it* before I finished. (Hope that doesn't mean you are getting lenient. There were more *real* words than usual!)

Anonymous 12:33 PM  

Super easy for me, got my fastest time ever!

M and A Help Desk 1:25 PM  

@BobK... Sorry. Thought 9-Down mighta been sufficient to keep it unreal, especially with that rogue's gallery of themers. Will try to do ornery-er.

@RooMonster... Decent puz. It mighta got caught up in the middle, at NYT: easy theme, but a smatterin of tough words.
Slight adjustment suggestion, for two clues:
22-D: "Mashes tomatoes". U had mashed.
28-D: "French nobility". U had Italian.

36-A and 60-D probably need to go. 34-A sounds a mite suspicious, too.
8- and 9-D are pretty tough, crossin 21-A. But that might just be m&e. Thanx.


Ludyjynn 1:31 PM  

This was a beautiful Mon. puzz., satisfying theme, fill, format. Loved it, BEQ and WS.

Could care less about American football AND everyone else's version of football/soccer. Is it really necessary to blab about it here, Rex, unless it correlates to the solve? Just sayin'.

Lewis 1:49 PM  

PPP hint: The answer does relate to the puzzle's theme, in a way...

Lewis 1:50 PM  

@m&a -- clever runt this time around!

Bob Kerfuffle 1:51 PM  

@M&A - (I know you meant 8 D) - Yes, that one I had to get from crosses, but it was an LOL when I parsed it! And interesting that you caught the French/Italian nobility question before I did. Just last month I had to deal with a problem wherein my friend had written a letter addressed to Count Soandso, but further research showed that he was actually just a Baron. But since Count trumps Baron, we figured he wouldn't be offended.
(When you think about it, Mashed tomatoes can be a plural noun. Mashed isn't necessarily a verb.)

@RooMonster - I, the officially certified Median Solver, did your puzzle in 17:33, with one letter wrong in the cross of 60D and 62A. Overall, played like an indie puzz, with more oddities than I would expect in the Times.

Of course, many rough spots were simply my ignorance, but 30 D didn't look right even after it had to be (and Wikipedia approves.) 4D I simply do not understand. 5D I didn't understand, but Google cleared that one up.

Even after I asked for the correct letter at the 62A/60D cross, I had trouble parsing 62A, thinking at first that it was 4-2-4 instead of the correct 4-3-1-2! But that's a good thing!

Agree with M&A that 36 A doesn't fly.

The clue for 53 A is mis-spelled.

All in all, a decent effort, but I am unbelieving that Will Shortz suggests putting it out on such a public space. Or would that be like using future Times puzzles for the Westport tournament?

jdv 1:59 PM  

Easy-Medium. Thought it was ok. Liked the long down, yoyo-looking answers. 16a should have read "4th letter of cancel". No need for the extra words in parenthesis; it just makes the clue more wordy.

r.alphbunker 2:02 PM  


I think 22D is okay and quite sneaky. Consider {Photograph[ed] books} IMAGE[S].

I agree with M and A that 60D has to go but please don't change 62A to do it. Nice aha when I finally parsed it correctly.

Loved 21A which I knew, so the crosses that M and A mentioned weren't really a problem.

There is now a "Puzzles that didn't excite Will Shortz" section of

Ah Now I Can Quit For the Day... 2:05 PM  

@BobK... See what you mean, now, about mashed tomatoes. So, that's a never-minder. I give this Monster dude some credit; he/she did work in a few U's.
I think it was r.alph who said post it, not the Shortzmeister.
Not sure how long puz took me -- spent too much time studyin it, as I went along.

@Lewis... Thanx.


Loren Muse Smith 2:21 PM  

@M&A, Bob, Lewis – another fun runt! I still struggle mightily with them, though. That monogram that you don't have on any of your clothes was my first entry, and I don't even know you! Also, I had another phrase stuck in my mind for 4D, so that made it all the harder.

@RooMonster - I agree with @M&A's and @Bob's, notes, esp. on 36A (except, ahem, I just put 34A in a grid, too, but didn't like it), and I would add that the themer 62A doesn't feel like a real, in-the-language phrase as much as the others, so I didn't have the same reaction as @r.alph had there. I actually had trouble, too, with the area of 43D, 48D, 56 D, and 53A.

Hey! But that's a lot of white space for you to fill! Are you using Crossword Compiler? This one played more like a hard Wednesday for me, although the theme idea is earlier week. One thing I've learned pretty fast since doing runts (read: no expert cleaning up and evening up clues' difficulty) is that what I think is really simple is, in fact, not simple at all to a solver.

Hmm. Maybe @M&A can become the Editor-in-Brief(s) for our runts?

Fred Romagnolo 2:45 PM  

RHETT on Friday and TARA today. That novel was published in 1936; the movie released in 1939 (greatest of all vintage years in Hollywood).We probably won't see "Mammy" in any future puzzle, but be on the lookout for "Melanie" and "Ashley," and of course Fleming(final director), and Steiner (score).

chefbea 2:49 PM  

I have a question??? Does everyone here do the runt puzzles??? . In so many of the posts, I have no idea whats going on. Some one will mention I look at the NYT puzzle and there is no 23 down.'s in the runtpuz.

Not M and A 2:55 PM  

Could MonsterPuz 34-A be changed to start with GLASS- ?
Not M&A

GILL I. 3:42 PM  

@Ludyjynn...why so bah-humbugish?
You've been posting here long enough to know that many of us get a bit off-topic with recipes, anecdotes, and fun reminiscing. Why should comments on the "every 4 years World Cup" bother you. If you watched the US/Portugal nail biter maybe you'd understand.
@RooMonster....You go! Although I'm terrible at puzzles that I can't down-load...@M&A...Can you get them in PDF?

sanfranman59 3:52 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 (this week's median solve time, average for day of week, ratio, percentile, rating)

Mon 5:16, 6:04, 0.87, 3%, Easy

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:43, 3:55, 0.95, 22%, Easy-Medium

Good grief! So now I have to figure out how to type Cyrillic script with the captcha Blogger is using now?!? wtf?

retired_chemist 4:24 PM  

@ SFman- All I have seen are house numbers for captchas lately. No Cyrillic. Much easier than the earlier contorted letter strings.

Z 4:43 PM  

@SFman - I had something vaguely Cyrillic the other day. I've also had a couple of images of blurs. AARP gives me three shaking numbers. MLB all-star voting gives 6 easy to read wavy numbers (to insure my 35 votes per email account are from a real ballot stuffer, not an automated ballot stuffer). What a wondrous age we live in.

On Borrowed Time 4:47 PM  

Ahar indeed @M&A. U have inspired me to join in now and again.

Anonymous 5:27 PM  

My Name is kenny houstin..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster when i contact this man called OGUDU. Execute some business..He is really powerful..My wife divorce me with no reason for almost 4 years and i tried all i could to have her back cos i really love her so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married happily for 5 years with no kid and she woke up one morning and she told me she’s going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when she came back from work she tender to me a divorce letter and she packed all her loads from my house..i ran mad and i tried all i could to have her back but all did not work out..i was lonely for almost 4 years…So when i told the spell caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for her full name and her picture..i gave him that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it a try cos have tried so many spell casters and there is no solution…so when he finished with the readings,he got back to me that she’s with a man and that man is the reason why she left me…The spell caster said he will help me with a spell that will surely bring her back.but i never believe all this…he told me i will see a positive result within 3 days..3 days later,she called me herself and came to me apologizing and she told me she will come back to me..I cant believe this,it was like a dream cos i never believe this will work out after trying many spell casters and there is no solution..The spell caster is so powerful and after that he helped me with a pregnancy spell and my wife got pregnant a month later..we are now happy been together again and with lovely kid..This spell caster has really changed my life and i will forever thankful to him..he has helped many friends too with similar problem too and they are happy and thankful to him..This man is indeed the most powerful spell caster have ever experienced in life..Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone who has similar problem and still looking for a way can reach him ... CONTACT THIS GREAT AND POWERFUL SPELL CASTER CALLED OGUDU MAGIC TEMPLE ... HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS CONTACT HIM NOW AND BE FAST ABOUT IT SO HE CAN ALSO ATTEND TO YOU BECAUSE THE EARLIER YOU CONTACT HIM NOW THE BETTER FOR YOU TO GET QUICK SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS...

Edac2day 5:41 PM  

Ali Zappa has a nice ring to it.

Lewis 6:10 PM  

Post Puzzle Puzzle (PPP™) solution:

A is YO. B is MA. The "person of note", related to the puzzle's theme, is YO-YO MA.

Melodious Funk 7:23 PM  

@kenny houstin. I suggest you try this for magic in its pure form:

You're welcome.

CaseAceFos 7:32 PM  

An early Good Evening to all the Regs here on Rex'es blog.
My call letters over at Wordplay are WHH and I thought stop by to extend a cheery hello to one and all.
There was a good deal of commentary exchanged at WP this Monday about one of your number who once distinguished himself in our midst and the general consensus is that he's still in our hearts and minds and that he continues to remain so almost nine months later.

All the best, My Fellow Pun Pal

Ludyjynn 7:52 PM  

Dear @Gill, I guess you may call me Scrooge. I like to use the puzzle content as the jumping-off point for my reactions, thoughts, memories and comments. If PELE had been on today's grid, it would not have ruffled my feathers to hear more about the sport. Just my opinion!

Sfingi 8:14 PM  

I liked this puzzle because it brought back memories of my youth. In the late '40s, early '50s, Filipinos would come around the playgrounds selling yoyos and demonstrating with these tricks. Ones not mentioned were Liberty Bell, Loop the Loop, Spank the Baby. This was a gift to Oldsters. We're not dead yet! Thanx Quigley!

GILL I. 8:20 PM  

Querido @Ludyjynn.....I would never call you're a Pele fan. How much better can that get? ;-)

sanfranman59 10:36 PM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 8/1/2009 post for an explanation and my 10/15/2012 post for an explanation of a tweak I've made to my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio, the higher this week's median solve time is relative to the average for the corresponding day of the week.

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

Mon 5:17, 6:04, 0.87, 4%, Easy (9th lowest ratio of 233 Mondays)

Top 100 solvers

Mon 3:33, 3:55, 0.91, 9%, Easy

wreck 10:45 PM  

Liked the puzzle! I was reminded of back in grade school when the Duncan Yo Yo man came every year and performed tricks at an assembly. He then sold Yo Yos afterwards.

wreck 10:51 PM  

I might be misremembering -- maybe we had to go to the local hobby shop to buy the Yo YOS!

Anonymous 1:00 AM  

i am hear to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 9 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr okojie for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they caste the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he Dr okojie caste on him that make him comeback to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you Dr okojie for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay. he is specialized in solving of other problems including the following:
(1) If you want your ex back.
(2) if you always have bad dreams.
(3) You want to be promoted in your office.
(4) You want women/men to run after you.
(5) If you want a child.
(6) If you need financial assistance.
(7) If you want the cure of HIV AIDS
contact him now for immediate solution of your
problems on
Thank you

Anonymous 5:27 PM  

My name is *RITA PETERS*,i am here to spread this good news to the entire
world,on how i got pregnant after 14years of marriage.have met so many
spell caster due to my condition but to no avail,until i met a friend who
introduced me to *Drprince* the world greatest spell caster who helped me
through the power of his gods and i got pregnant for the first time after
14years of marriage and i gave birth to twins *GABRIEL and GABRIELLA*
very happy to be a mother now.please don't miss this great opportunity..if
you have any problem, please contact the world greater spell caster through
this email..* *
.he is also specialized in solving of other problems including the
(1) If you want your ex back.
(2) if you always have bad dreams.
(3) You want to be promoted in your office.
(4) You want women/men to run after you.
(5) If you want a child.
(6) If you need financial assistance.
(7) If you want the cure of HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
contact him now for immediate solution of your
problems on * *
Thank you

Anonymous 5:28 PM  

hello i want to say my testimony to every body in the world because of what this great man have just done in my life. i really appreciate drprince who helped me to bring back my fiance back to me after 3years and 4 months i think drprince is the greatest spell caster on earth now because he has just proven it to me this is like a dream to me i never thought i can still smile some day but right now my heart is filled with joy i really appreciate thanks drprince if you want to reach him visit
is the best spell caster in the whole wild world. he is specialized in solving of other problems including the following:
(1) If you want your ex back.
(2) if you always have bad dreams.
(3) You want to be promoted in your office.
(4) You want women/men to run after you.
(5) If you want a child.
(6) If you need financial assistance.
(7) If you want the cure of HIV AIDS
contact him now for immediate solution of your
problems on
Thank you

Anonymous 5:29 PM  

Am full of happiness and smile as i write this testimony to show to the
public on how this great and powerful spell caster brought back my husband
to me immediately with his voodoo spell.

I am Jennifer Anderson , I and my husband was having issues 4 years back
and it leads to serious quarrel and fight even before our child we'll fight
all night till we separated , but I was so in love with him so I seek for
how to get him back in my life and a friend told me about Solution Spell
home ( who helped her get he ex back so I
contacted aand narrated all my problems to him in email and he responded so
fast to me and he told me that my husband will return to me and beg me for
love forever in 2 days after he has cast the spell , really exactly 2 days
my husband began to call me and begged me for forgiveness . Now we are
together and he loves and shows care,concern and appreciates me like never
before . Thanks to Solution Spell home. Contact him for your all solution
to all problems (

Anonymous 7:00 PM  

The Spell Caster That Help Me Bring My Ex Back
Here is my testimony I will like to share with you all, since’ I and my lovely husband married we never find happening in our home, things always go wrong, our business shattered. along the line my husband fall sick, No money to feed things were very bad. But thank Mrs. Amara who lead me to DR pastor walkintona week ago and introduce me to him and I explain all my problem to him and he told me that what I called problem is a challenges, I have to overcome it by casting a spell. Immediately he cast the spell all I call problem was solved. Thanks to DR pastor walkinton , we are grateful me and my family below is DR pastor walkinton contact or cell number +2348136448648
what do you want? Are you feeling lonely or lost? Do you feel confused and you don’t know what to do next or cell number +2348136448648

Anonymous 12:20 AM  

my name is Mrs lawrenta pedro,i am from Manchester united,i am happily
married and blessed with kids,i am a business woman and my husband is
business man too we both operating provision store, on October 1st 2010 me
and my husband embank on a trip to South Africa,on our way back,we had a terrible
accident,that took my husband's life,while i was rushed to the hospital,by
god grace,i was still living,after a year and seven month,when my husband
were passed away,a man came to my house,and ask me to get married to him,
unknown, that he was HIV positive and i never bordered to conduct a check
up test with him,before,i accepted him into my life,why,because,he was so
cute,gentle and handsome young man,he was so caring.i never look at
him,like one that would be hiv positive.after two year of our marriage,my
body system began to weak up,all day i feel dizzy and lazy,and i began to
lose weight as well, so i went for a check up test ,for
[fever,hiv/aid,malaria],the result, show me that, i am HIV i
was afraid,that,i would die,so, i were running from hospitals,churches and
native doctors,searching for cure, because i didn't want to day i
went to a pastor's house,i told him my problem;as i was telling the pastor
my problem, there was one man which was with us,which i never look at his
face,the pastor prayed for me,on my way out , this same man,who was siting
with us,called me,i was like asking myself why this man was calling me, so
i just manage to wait to hear out what he will say,he told me that,he will
like to introduce me to this spell caster man, his name is HIOYA,SO
i JUST SAID thanks and leaved,i never wanted to go and see this man called HIOYA,but a mind,ask me to go for a try,so i went there,i meant him and i explain everything to him,he cast a spell on me and he told me,after two weeks,i should go for a hiv check up test again,after two weeks,i went for the hiv test,which the result shows me that i am now HIV NEGATIVE,whaoooooooo. i was like mad at the hospital,very happy.....if you have any problem you are facing now.....

love spell
marriage spell
divorce spell
(1) If you want your ex back.
(2) If you always have bad dreams.
(3) If you want to be promoted in your office.
(4) If you want women/men to run after you.
(5) If you want a child.
(6) If you want to be rich.
(7) If you want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
(8) If you need financial assistance.
(9) How you been scammed and you want to recover you lost money.
(10) If you want to stop your divorce.
(11) If you want to divorce your husband.
(12) If you want your wishes to be granted.
(13) Pregnancy spells to conceive baby
(14) Guarantee you win the troubling court cases & divorce no matter how what stage
(15) Stop your marriage or relationship from breaking apart.
(16) If you have any sickness like (H I V), (CANCER) or any sickness.
(17) If you need prayers for deliverance for your child or yourself.
(18)are having legs or joint pain,that is making you not to walk well
Once again make sure you contact him if you have any problem he will help you. contact him immediately via[]OR CONTACT +2348063140585

hioya 2:56 AM  

I AM VANESSA, i got married to a man [JEROME],who had a wife [JOSEPHINE] already,then i was made the second wife,and this JOSEPHINE has a daughter for my husband,called CHRISTABEL,JOSEPHINE was suffering from leg pain,that later took her life. so Christabel was left to live with me,and my two kids,PATIENCE AND GLORY,Christabel was the eldest of them, so i was misusing CHRISTABEL,SHE is the only one doing all the house work,anytime she dose some thing wrong,i wouldn't give her food to eat all through the day,and beat her up with anything close to me,but she never worry,or insult me.or report to my husband.because i told her if she did i will kill her,i did this to some extent that,one day,she was on her menstruation period, she was afraid to tell me, she was not having enough cloth,so the only cloth she had she put it into her pant,so that, the cloth would soak the bleeding,and the cloth,i was the one that brought it for her,that the only cloth i ever brought for her,then the following morning i saw her cloth on the ground,with blood stain,i called her,and ask her what is this, she told me every thing, but i beat her up, and force the blood in the cloth into her mouth,i over heard her,as she was crying,cursing me,but never bother to listen to the word she was using,but now my two daughters and my son are yet to give birth,PATIENCE,GLORY AND EXCEL,AT their age[37,34 and 31]but they are married no children,i had gone to many places to know the cause of the problem,and CHRISTABEL WAS LIVING HAPPILY with her husband and four kids, three boys and a girl.i don't know how my children,came to know about this HIOYA TEMPLE,when they got there, they told them i was the curse of their, problem,so one morning they all came home,and ask me what have i done to disturb their lives,the question sound,funny.i told them i had done nothing to hold their lives back,they cried me,down to this Hioya temple,i saw the man.he ask me what,did i do to some one,over 19 year ago,i forgot everything.i said nothing,HE EXPLAIN WHAT I DID TO ME,and this CHRISTABEL was helping my children with their needs and always come and pay me a visit and she always called me mummy,so this MAN HIOYA told me to go and apologize to her,once she accept the apology,then he will cast a pregnancy spell on my children,we all went to CHRISTABEL'S house and apologize,she forgives me,so they went back to the spell caster, for the pregnancy spell,TODAY PATIENCE CALL ME AND TOLD ME SHE IS PREGNANT,but I haven't heard anything from the others,maybe they are still angry.with me that's why they haven't called me,..THANKS TO DOCTOR HIOYA FOR EVERY THING, IF YOU ARE FACINGS ANY PROBLEM,VISIT THIS GREAT HIOYA VIA [GREATHIOYATEMPLE@GMAIL.COM]]

davisha 7:34 PM  

Been a HIV positive is just like been through hell; well special thanks to God almighty for using Dr. Zaki the greatest spell caster in curing my HIV disease. I was diagnosed of this disease in the year 2008. Thou I was taking my medications buy I was not myself. Until last two weeks. My friend came to me and told me that he saw many testimonies on how a spell caster cured people HIV disease. Thou I never believe in spell, I said to myself "seen is believing" I took his name and searched it on GOOGLE, I saw many testimonies myself. Quickly, I copied his email I emailed him, he gave me a form to fill which I did, then he called me and told me that his gods required some items in which he will use in casting a curing spell on me. And di told him to get the listed items needed to prepare my cure because by then i have little faith in him, few hours later he called me and told me he is through preparing the cure. so he send it to me I got my parcel, it was a herbal cure as described by Dr. Zaki. I took the herbal cure and after taking it for a week and some days. He told me to go for check up, I went to the hospital and had a hiv test, I was tested HIV negative. Quickly I called him and tell him what happened he congratulated me. I promise to tell the world about him. You can contact via email or phone number

Anonymous 8:36 PM  

I am very happy, I wish to share my testimonies with the general public about what this man called Dr Adodo has just done for me , this man has just brought back my lost Ex husband to me with his great spell, i was married to this man called Steven we were together for a long time and we loved our self's but when i was unable to give he a child for 2 years he left me and told me he can't continue anymore then i was now looking for ways to get him back until a friend of mine told me about this man and gave his contact email ( then you won't believe this when i contacted this man on my problems he prepared this spell cast and bring my lost husband back, and after a month i miss my month and go for a test and the result stated am pregnant am happy today am a mother of a baby girl, thank you once again the great Dr Adodo for what you have done for me, if you are out there passing through this same kind of problems you can contact he today on his mail ( and he will also help you as well

Anonymous 5:03 PM  

I was barren for 11years after marriage and my husband was getting out of patient....he was planning to get another wife...I was getting tired of life...have tried so many means just to get a baby for him but to no avail....I even tried several spell caster but no good result came out....until I ment a testimony like this on the net about how dr Ronaldo broke the york of barrenness from a fellow woman's life... So i contacted dr Ronaldo through his email and told him the pains I was going through and he told me to worry no more that my testimony will come in nine months time... He told me what to do and after doing all his wishes, I truly got pregnant... The sweetest part of it all now is that am carrying my baby boy now with joy and peace....big thanks to dr Ronaldo.... You can also contact him or better still call him on....+2348110038610... All your problems will be solve....

spacecraft 11:22 AM  

Has your blog become inundated with spellcaster testimonials? Call Dr. Spacecraft! One wave of my hand and they will all go away.

They didn't? Oh, I'm sorry; I must have used the wrong...nevermind, enough of this.

To today's. I was struck by the gimme-ness of the entire puzzle--and surprised at the "medium" rating from OFL. Most surprising of all was the byline. I didn't think BEQ would resort to such flotsam as SOFTC, OKD, UPMY, or yet another damned Romanumeral.

And yet, there are flashes...EGYPTIAN, ZAPPA...the man has done this before. I guess the cluing was so dumbed-down for Monday...hard to believe he'd sign his name to it.

Interesting theme. I could never make those damn things work (can't Hula Hoop worth a crap either), but recognized all the YOYOTRICKS. [Those who can't, watch.] I'd fling 'er down there and it'd go sideways and seize up, every time. Just never could get the *wait for it* hang of it.

I'd normally give about a B- for choppiness and those fill groaners, but respect for the signature takes the minus away. B.

1704, the slump continues.

rain forest 1:17 PM  

So, I'm BEQ, and I want to construct a Monday puzzle for the NYT. Hmm, people might see my name attached and be afraid to attempt it. I know! I'll make clues so straightforward that even Rainy can do this lickety-split. BEQ QED

Yes, the puzzle WAS straightforward, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It has a nice look to it with those long down themers. Because it was easy, there was a lot of talk about other puzzles that people do, even emailing them to one another. There are puzzle freaks out there, and I guess this is where they meet. It is what it is.

As a kid I was so-so with the yo-yo. I was rooting for Portugal five weeks ago

I think Photo Sphere is the new Burma Shave--did someone make that observation a while back?

DMG 3:38 PM  

A fun puzzle, complete with yoyo memories. Only pause was remembering the museum as d'ORSAY, but what else could fit. Probably need more understanding of French which I find pretty obtuse, all those unpronounced letters!

See the testifiers are back. Wonder what they get out of posting here? MaybeI should read one someday???

1653 with a basketball hoop thrown in for good measure, butit only yields a paltry 5!

Solving in Seattle 7:37 PM  

@Spacy, just abduct the casters and take them away in your ship. Drop them on Uranus.

Pretty good monpuz. Only write over was redo/ANEW.

Liked ONTOP crossing SOFTC - ain't gonna happen.

@Diri, Maine's getting alot of cw time lately.

214 = is this 6 or 7?


My dear reader, you have to read this.
Dr Goodluck doesn’t ask for testimonies and he doesn’t charge. He is genuine and people get to meet him by luck. But right now am your luck if you could meet him. Every other testimonies you read here are scams...... Dr goodluck lives in Nigeria and I happened to meet him by chance after a friend told me about him. I followed these internet testimonies and was hugely scammed to the extent that I wanted to kill myself. Dr Goodluck turned my situation around by bringing back my ex and made me regain double of what I lost over to these scams. He made my ex come crawling to have him back. All I spent was $250 and at last gained back all my lost money and even double of it. His email address is : but please don’t make him know that I published him on net. He is just wonderful and I wish whoever that finds him good luck. Don’t forget his email address is
Yours truly
Patrica edward

Dr Purva Pius 9:18 PM  

Hello Everybody,
My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:( Thank you.


1. Name Of Applicant in Full:……..
2. Telephone Numbers:……….
3. Address and Location:…….
4. Amount in request………..
5. Repayment Period:………..
6. Purpose Of Loan………….
7. country…………………
8. phone…………………..
9. occupation………………
11.Monthly Income…………..

Email Kindly Contact:

Unknown 4:57 PM  

God bless Dr Osas from Ghana for his marvelous work in my life, I was diagnosed of HERPES since 2014 and I was taking my medications, I wasn’t satisfied i needed to get the HERPES out of my system. When i contacted a herbal Dr in Nigeria, he scammed me of my money and he never sent me any herbal cure. I searched about some possible cure for HERPES and I saw a comment about Dr. Osas from Ghana and how he cured HERPES with his herbal medicine, I contacted him and he guided me. I asked for solutions, he started the remedy for my health, he sent me the medicine through courier delivery. I took the medicine as prescribed by him and 14 days, later i was cured from HERPES with the help of Dr Osas herbal medicine, DR.OSAS truly you are great, do you need his help also? Why not contact him on or whatsapp and call him via +233553866486.
Hepatitis B

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