Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

Well, it's November 3rd, and you know what that means - a new month, a new selfie, a newbie doing the write-up! That's right

I, Annabel, am back!

Constructor: Janet R. Bender

Relative difficulty: Medium-challenging (on a Monday! for a newbie!)

THEME: CC - theme answers are two words, both starting with C

Word of the Day: REO (42D: 1920s car that had its inventor's initials) —
The REO Speed Wagon (alternatively Reo Speedwagon) was a light motor truck manufactured by REO Motor Car Company. It is an ancestor of the pickup truck.
First introduced in 1915, production continued through at least 1953 and led to REO being one of the better known manufacturers of commercial vehicles prior to World War II. Although the basic design and styling of the chassis remained consistent, the Speed Wagon was manufactured in a variety of configurations (pickup and panel truck, passenger bus) to serve as delivery, tow, dump, and fire trucks as well as hearses and ambulances. Other manufacturers provided refits for adapting the Speed Wagon for specialized purposes. The Speed Wagon used REO's "Gold Crown" series of engines and was well regarded for power, durability, and quality.
• • • 
This one was actually pretty hard for me, I will admit. I spent a very long time on the top right square; the answers were all pretty vague, so I had BOARD for 9A (Writing surface for chalk), SCARE for 11D (Frighten), and SHORT for 12D (like one-word answers) all in there at some point. However, clues like AVES(7D: Birds, scientifically speaking), NIKE(59D: Brand with a swoosh) and TOGAS(57A: Ancient Roman robes) were like MANNA (36D: Food from heaven) to a Latin student!

The theme was potentially not the most original at first glance, but in addition to CC, the puzzle seemed to contain a good amount of double letters. Lots of EE's and LL's. So that was a pretty cool way to expand it!

I really liked the bottom left square - the inelegance of WOOER(54D: Beau with roses, say) contrasts very nicely with IONIA(63A: Ancient 71-Across land in modern-day Turkey), which in turn ties directly into GREEK (71A: Like Zeus and Hera). WOOER is also next to ICING (53D: Cake topper), both things you would associate with a wedding cake. Just an all-around well-woven square! The same good vibes are in the top middle with SLAV/WAVE/SWAP/AMES (5A: Bulgarian or Croat; 15A: Something a surfer catches; 5D: Exchange; and 18A: Iowa State's city, respectively).

Theme answers:
  • COMPASS COURSE (20A: Ship heading) This one frustrated me very much! COMPASS BEARING? COMPASS HEADING? I even tried COMPASS POINT. As a sailor, I really should have gotten this, but I really have never heard COMPASS COURSE...
  • COLBY COLLEGE (27A: Liberal arts school in Waterville, Me.) Did somebody say college?!?! Shhh. I just submitted my first application, and there are many more to come, and it's all very stressful, and I think maybe we should stop talking about college now. Puppies! Let's talk about puppies...

  • COLOR COPYING (49A: Service at Staples or FedEx Office) This pretty much sums up how I feel about copying machines. 
  • COUNTRY COUSIN (58A: Person in overalls sucking a piece of straw, stereotypically) At the risk (okay, forget "risk;" it's happening) of going into video overload, did somebody say…

    ...COUNTRY??!?!?!??!?!?!?? Okay, just be glad I only posted this song and not the dozens of others I could have added; Ladies Love Country Boys, Country Girl, Girl in a Country Song, The Country Boy Song...heh, well, you know who to go to for country music recommendations! 

My 9-year-old sister would like you all to know that she combined a Halloween Double Stuf and a regular Double Stuf. "Half Halloween Oreo. Half regular Oreo. One hundred percent awesome."
  • YOICKS (52D: Bygone cry of good spirits)  —  Alright, this is my new word of the day. It's just so much fun to say!...And apparently dates back to an eighteenth-century fox-hunting cry, although it sounds like a '70s Scooby-Doo yelp. Which would explain why it's so difficult to use in a sentence. Yoicks!
  • ALARM (11D: Frighten) —  All I can say is that I'm happy that mine went off an hour later today. Thank you Daylight Savings Time! Thank you Benjamin Franklin! Now I can sleep until 10AM instead of 11AM, and people won't judge me so much! 
  • DONTASK (45A: Exasperated response to "How was your day?") — An appropriate clue for a Monday, eh? This immediately made me think of this song: 

Finally, I wanted to thank you all for the positive feedback from last month. As an amateur blogger,  that kind of thing means a lot to me. All of you deserve an ODE (29D: Praiseful poem) for your kindness! (Or in that one anon's case, your honesty...haha!)

 AT, tired high school student.


Hungry Mother 6:48 AM  

Nice writeup.

Jeff Anderson 7:01 AM  

Another great job Annabel. You are a breath of fresh air in how you look at the puzzle. Keep up the good work.

AnnieD 7:09 AM  

Well done, Annabel! Yoicks indeed!

Anonymous 7:14 AM  

Nice job!

But you didn't pick on EEN, I could see that as "Hallow follower" but what total junk!

evil doug 7:15 AM  

"As a sailor, I really should have gotten this, but I really have never heard COMPASS COURSE..."

As a pilot, it's new to me, too. I read heading from a compass, which due to, say, a crosswind, could be much different than a course--the track across the ground. But they're commonly confused, so for crossword use it sounds acceptable. Plus, I'm just a reasonable, get-along sort of guy....


RAD2626 7:25 AM  

Thank you Annabel. Nice write up and great videos. Good luck with you college apps.

Pretty tough for Monday. Will be interested in how the "downs only" do today. PICT, DEBAR and YOICKS strong Monday words. Theme had no real cohesiveness but puzzle was fun nonetheless.

Anonymous 7:30 AM  

Annabel. you are on course for a great future and perhaps destined for greatness in a field of your choice. Delightful sense of self-deprecating humor.
We want you every week writing these Mondays posts.

Anonymous 7:33 AM  

Yes, Linda hard for a Monday. In à word, YOICKS! But EEN Still, ont too bad. Only a few seconds over YE OLDE 5 min Monday Line of demarcation between "totally easy" and "actually had to think." Nice write up.

Unknown 7:43 AM  

Rating the difficulty of a Monday puzzle is, well, difficult! I found it fairly easy (YOICKS notwithstanding) and pretty much finished as quickly as I could type. I even tried the 'all downs' method with reasonable success. Didn't catch onto LABOR until the B was the only square left. Typical father, I suppose.

Thanks for the cheery write up to brighten my Monday morning, Annabel.

Z 7:44 AM  

YOICKS! Any puzzle that starts off with PICT is ok with me. I also like the CEE hidden in there. Most days it would have that sweet smell of desperation to it, but today it is a bonus answer.

As for country, I'm more of a Wilco type country fan.

As for YOICKS on a Monday, W.T.F?

jberg 7:44 AM  

Nice writeup, Annabel! And you must be a nice person, not to be harder on COMPASS COURSE, or the general thinness of the theme (two with three-letter alliterative phrases, two -- without?). But I enjoyed writeup and puzzle. And probably someone's about to point out what we've all missed about the theme.

I did like REO crossing OREO. And I learned something about what YOICKS means; always thought it was synonmous with "Tally Ho," i.e. "There goes the fox!) But according to, it's yelled to encourage the dogs. (I don't have a dog currently, so can't test whether this works), and derived from that original meaning, a cry of high spirits, as in the clue.

I liked the party-wear theme with SARONGS and TOGAS, too.

joho 7:57 AM  

YOICKS! Annabel you are awesome!

What is it with IDI AMIN? He's as ubiquitous as Moby Dick these days!

Z 7:57 AM  

@jberg - It's a Conan O'Brien tribute puzzle, all the themers start with CO-CO. The constructor is obviously a member of Team COCO.

According to Shortz over at the constructor's, "submissions come with hand-printed grids," and they communicate through US Mail. Not a name I recall seeing, but her NYT debut is Pre-Shortz.

I just tried YOICKS on Sam. He gave me that, "are you going to give me a treat" look.

Leapfinger 8:03 AM  

Hey Annabel! If the puppies can do it, so can you, hands/paws down! Bet they'll all be fighting to get you, girl!

PICT (Celt?) was good a good start, but I ZINC One IDI ADAY exceeds the RDA. All YOICKS aside, not the most exciting Monday. Thought we might see CO-CO Chanel in a reveal, or something about COoCOo for COCO Puffs.

Oh well, some days you get DEBAR, some days DEBAR gets you.

AliasZ 8:06 AM  

It is not a CC theme, it is a COCO theme. Having COCO Chanel as a revealer would have been too obvious, even for a Monday.

I did enjoy this puzzle, which in places could have been a Wednesday. PICT is not your typical run-of-the-mill Monday entry, neither is YOICKS nor DEBAR. I did like INDIGNANT, TYCOBB and Willie MAYS right next to each other, the one-L LAMA and OH YEAH, SARONGS. DON'T ASK, I won't tell.

Speaking of one-L: CANCELLED or CANCELED? Hmmm... Linguists may want to peruse this article by the Grammarist. Suffice it to say, I am in the one-L camp. Here is a brief excerpt from a New York Times article (May 2, 2012): "Airline mergers in recent years have reduced competition. Many flights have been canceled, forcing more passengers to connect at big and increasingly crowded hubs." If it's good enough for the Gray Lady, it is good enough for me. Besides, if you can't trust The New York Times, whom can you trust?

For the umpteenth time, let's listen to the Arrival of the Queen of SHEBA from the oratorio Solomon by G.F. Handel, but this time in a brass quintet arrangement. Trust me, you'll enjoy it.

Have a cheerful Monday.

Mohair Sam 8:19 AM  

Played Monday medium/challenging here too. Fewer gimmes than most Mondays. Good puzzle overall, but didn't care for YOICKS (a new sound to us) and agree with @Alias Z's take on CANCELLED.

So I spent a college summer many decades ago riding on the back end of an old REO Speedwagon garbage truck. Most fun summer job ever, believe it or not. Loved it when the rock group formed a few years later.

Nice write-up again Annabel, a refreshing change from the old grump.

John Child 8:20 AM  

Big thumbs up Annabel. Looking forward to your next appearance.

quilter1 8:36 AM  

Easy for me, but I can see it could be hard for some. The cat video made me miss my calico Aijo and her sister Salem (black cat). Good write-up.

Elaina 8:42 AM  

This is only a second comment for me - I rarely get to the puzzle until late afternoon when things have pretty much ended here.
Once the downs ruled out Celt, Pict was a gimme. (In ages past I was a history major.) My husband is a car guy so I knew Reo. And as a former Mainiac, Colby was easy. This just played to my strengths for once.
My major issue, as always, is my dyslexia - indegnent, cancaled, Cleo (Maybe I was thinking Eygpt instead of Greece? No I just can't spell. I love short word answers.)

Annabel - Consider including examples of your blog with your college aps. It is definitely (got that on only 2 tries - thanks, spell check) something that admissions offices are interested in. Good luck!


Ludyjynn 8:45 AM  

Liked TYCOBB and WillieMAYS together.
Took Zicam last week while I AILED. The ZINC ingredient cured my common cold. Good stuff.

@Jberg, I tried out the YOICKS yell on Honey the dog. She did not budge from her comfy perch on her favorite wing chair, despite repeated attempts!

Saw "Carmen" performed at La SCALA years ago. What a beautiful opera house!

Thanks, Annabel, JRB and WS.

RooMonster 8:46 AM  

Hey All !
Evil is a pilot? YOICKS!

Awesome writeup today, Annabel! Had me lol- ing ! (Probably everything in that sentence is passe to teens these days!)

Actually had some writeovers today! I think I was trying to zip through the puz too fast! Had soloS for guitar NECKS, ScanS for SKIMS, SARapeS for As SARONGS. The N center actually held me up a tad. Had Serb in for SLAV, but once I remembered (finally) AMES, IA, got that little section.

So, overall, nice puz, on the easyish side.


good riddance 9:04 AM  

I think rex should take off EVERY Monday. And Tuesday. And maybe Wednesday...

Leapfinger 9:09 AM  

CANCELLED has to be a Brit/ Commonwealth thing, originally. I'm forever doubling final consonants before a final -ed/-ing, and wait to see how Spellcheck likes it.

@Elaina, come back! There are always late day stragglers, and you can have the extra fun of replying to what others have said.

chefbea 9:23 AM  

Great write up Annabel!! Bee will bake you a cake with icing on top

Never heard of yoicks or pict.

Fun easy puzzle

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

A better clue than "Ship heading", maybe?

Orienteering route-COMPASS COURSE

Lewis 9:31 AM  

Simple Monday theme with a pretty clean grid. I liked YOIKS and SARONGS, which always looks elegant to me. As you alluded to, Annabel, we have 15 double letters which is very high (something in my brain makes me look for these). There is a little drink area in the middle, with SODA, SKIMS (which reminds me of milk), and GNAT (which is Tang backwards). Possible title: C’s The Day.

Felt workmanlike, that is, got the brain rolling, and that made me happy.

Lewis 9:33 AM  

Factoid: More than half a century after its spectacular failure, the EDSEL has become a highly collectible item among vintage car hobbyists. Fewer than 10,000 Edsels survive and they are considered valuable collectors’ items. A mint-condition Edsel convertible from any of its three model years may sell for over $100,000.

Quotoid: “White collar conservative flashin down the street, pointing that plastic finger at me, they all assume my kind will drop and die, but I'm gonna WAVE my freak flag high.” -- Jimi Hendrix

oldCarFudd 9:48 AM  

The prefix O is a Japanese honorific. So is an Oreo an honorable Reo truck?

Nice blog, Annabel!

Arlene 9:51 AM  

I like the idea of the CO CO theme - but not so thrilled with PICT, YOICKS or even WOOER.
Okay - ready to move on to Tuesday . . .

Steve J 9:54 AM  

Decent Monday, despite the threadbare theme (agreed with @Z and @AliasZ that the theme is COCO; I differ with @AliasZ slightly in that I would have liked to have seen CHANEL snuck into the grid somewhere - not as a revealer, but just a little bonus). Some good fill - SARONGS, DON'T ASK, YOICKS, INDIGNANT - and overall lack of crosswordese and awkwardness overcame a fairly bland theme.

Thanks to Annabel for a fun writeup, and to Annabel and @Evil for addressing whether COMPASS COURSE is a thing. Most of the Google references I found were for classes on how to use a compass.

YOIKS - as clued - was a new one for me. Had it been given a Scooby Doo clue, I wouldn't have hesitated once I had the Y, as I ended up doing.

I've long been a double-L speller for CANCELLED (and for travelled). No idea why. Perhaps it's a holdover from a very unfortunate affectation I had in my freshman year of college of trying to adopt British spellings. Thankfully I dropped that quickly, but now I wonder if the double-L is a remnant.

Masked and Anonymo3Us 10:09 AM  

mm-mm. Cocoa...

Liked the theme: 4 CO-CO's and a TY-CO.
Best MonPuz clue: "1/16 of a pound". I heard a faint mooin sound.
Best clue start: "Person in overalls sucking...". Finish was a bit of a letdown. Top ten finishes would make a heck of a list...
Saddest clue, for the comments section: "@Muse of history". Sincerely hope not.

Really really liked the write-up. Primo use of the "bullets" feature. @Annabel: "square" more often refers to one box in the grid. "Corner" usually refers to a bunch of squares, in a certain area of the puz. No biggie, but I'm thinkin better watch out, cuz I hear that @63 is a real strict grader.

Double Halloween Stuf with oreos works for m&e.

PICT? May-urd. That there kinda stampeded the moo-cows, before the rodeo hardly got started.


Moly Shu 10:26 AM  

Thanks again Anabel, another fun write up. PICT is new to me but no problem once celT didn't work. Theme was fine and I liked the long downs. I just wish I HOLED more putts.

As for YOICKS and Scooby Doo, didn't Shaggy (or as Scooby called him, Raggy) usually say Zoinks? I may be misremembering.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:40 AM  

"Ha!" says I, "Monday, easy!" So I don't follow my usual policy of confirming an entry with several crosses before writing it down. Result: two write-overs on a Monday!

1 A, before PICT, PILT (a retroformation from "Piltdown man"?) and 34 A, before SKIMS, the good old contranym SCANS.

Anonymous 10:43 AM  

So weird, reading a review from someone who enjoys doing crossword puzzles...

This was great! Thanks, Annabel!

Carola 10:44 AM  

I agree! (Annabel's write-up; theme assessment; initial missteps at celT, board, scan; COMPASS ??).

Annabel, thanks for pointing out the various grid felicities. A treat to have you back.

Ellen S 11:01 AM  

My mother, an elementary school teacher, told me there is an actual rule to the doubling of final consonant. When a word of two syllables has the stress on the first syllable, like "travel" or "cover", then when stuff is appended, like "...ed" or "", the final letter is NOT doubled. Hence, "traveled" "traveler" (exception: Robt E Lee's horse, Traveller), "covered". If the stress is on the second syllable, as in "aver", you would double the final consonant: "averred".

Annabel, fun writeup. I'm looking forward to many more first Mondays. You may be too young to have noticed "NECKS" crossing "WOOER" in that romantic southwest corner.

I, on the other hand, am old enough to (dimly) remember seeing a few horsedrawn wagons plying the streets of Chicago. (This is actually about REOs.) I was old enough to read when the Sun-Times reported that the last license for a horsedrawn commercial vehicle had not been renewed. Maybe along about the very early 50s. But I don't remember ever noticing a REO speedwagon, in any configuration. If they were manufactured until 1953, they must have been on the streets a good while after that, but while I remember seeing an occasional Edsel, the failure, never a REO, the success. I guess I wasn't looking at trucks, just looking for sports cars.

Fun puzzle, great writeup, happy Monday!

Karl Grouch 11:04 AM  

Why cc (without any motor- related revealer for example) or coco ( without any French designer- related revealer for example) qualifies as a theme in a nyt puzzle beats me!
Not to mention the "theme" answers' incongruities regarding the "c" followers: "com, cou" in the first answer becomes "col, col" in the second, "col, cop" in the third and "cou, cou" in the fourth!...
So no YOICKS for me, just YIKES!
And then all this boringly literal clues ( only punny clue of the puzzle [ "did sum work" ] was not terribly original either ) drained today's puzzle of any element of fun to the point of a DONT ASK experience.

(No more dictator related clues for "Idi" please, here go some alternatives: ).

Sir Hillary 11:04 AM  

Not cuckoo for this coco theme, but love the write-up. Annabel = Breath Of Fresh Air.

Would have been better IMO to replace COMPASSCOURSE with COSTCONSCIOUS and COLORCOPYING with COFFINCORNER. Hmm, COSTCONSCIOUS is technically a single hyphenated word so probably wouldn't work. Maybe COSTCONTAINMENT as a central grid-spanner?

Man, this after-the-fact puzzle revamping is so easy...and completely risk-free. Self-indulgence is just the best!

Evan 11:44 AM  

@Anon 11:13:

I must have missed that secret meeting declaring you the Person Who Speaks for Everybody, since I had no problem with Annabel's post or her putting up a selfie. Plus it's hilarious how you're blaming her for not having her own crossword blog -- Rex asked her to sub for him once a month.

Now that I think about it, you should start your own blog where you bitch about substitute crossword bloggers just for the hell of it. I'm sure it'll be just as popular as your contribution here.

Anonymous 11:50 AM  

The puzzle was just so-so with its CO CO theme.

I did not think that COLBY COLLEGE and COMPASS COURSE were worthy of being theme answers.

Nice job, Annabel!

But I do miss Rex...

r.alphbunker 11:53 AM  

@Anonymous 11:13

You are right it isn't facebook. People are not anonymous on facebook

Elaina 12:10 PM  

@Ellen S - Reo also made automobiles. There is currently a 1934 Reo Royale fro sale on for 62,500 Euros and a 1929 Flying Cloud for $40,000. They are actually beautiful if you enjoy cars from that era.

RooMonster 12:23 PM  

Why? Why does there always have to be one asshole who (wrongly) thinks he/she is superior to everyone else and have to ruin a good thing? Is it in their DNA? Wish I could reach through the internet and *slap* said moron. And no balls to post their name, just another troll Anon. Man oh man.

I know, I know, don't feed the trolls, but I feel better after the slap!


OldCarFudd 12:57 PM  

Reo did indeed build cars. Very good ones, from late 1904 through about 1935, when they decided to concentrate on trucks. Ransom Eli Olds thought the way to go was to build small, simple, affordable cars like his little curved-dash Oldsmobile. His directors disagreed and forced him out. He started a new company and built one-and two-cylinder cars, went to fours in 1910, and to sixes sometime in the teens. Meanwhile Oldsmobile went to enormous cars, culminating in 1910 with the Limited which had six cylinders, 8.2 liters, 60 horsepower, tires 3-1/2 feet in diameter and two running boards so you could climb up into the beast. If GM hadn't bought Oldsmobile, it surely would have gone belly up decades before GM axed it.

Brass-era Reos are very popular on Horseless Carriage Club tours for pre-1916 cars, and even more so on one-and two-cylinder tours.

M and Also 1:02 PM  

yep. I believe the Reo Lobo and Reo Bravo were my fave two models.

@Annabel: I am definitely pro-selfie shots. Only thing, U might consider livenin up the backgrounds, or more cool hats, or keepin the t-shirt message in-frame, etc. "Staging" is everything, in the blog selfie shot business. Otherwise, keep up the good work.



Anonymous 1:03 PM  

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT ANONYMOUS AT 11:13 AM. (Seeing that post almost discouraged me from posting at all.)

@joho, probably the reason IDIAMIN shows up frequently is that the name is loaded with high-frequency letters, very useful for constructors. Same for OREO.

Unknown 1:05 PM  

Love the write-up, Annabel! Crossword commentary is no idle effort, and your continuing success means I may now rest assured that the defense of the world from alien invasion is vouchsafed for another generation.

The C in the euro symbol is a stowaway RN. EEN on a Monday!

Confession time: [Still] -> yet -> until -> Ere. Argh, ya got me! Also, my solve went CEE -> CiE -> CrE.

Question time: what's the difference between a SARi and a SARONG?

MonPuz. CoCoPuz. FunPuz.

dick swart 1:09 PM  

Annabell … stellar writeup!

The freshness of your comments is a welcome relief from the jaded, bored, carping, I could have done this better comments of the regular columnist.

It is very nice to read the experience of someone actually doing the puzzle for the sake of enjoyment rather than a caustic review.

Keep it up! And the experience of writing this well-read blog might be an inclusion on your resume for c------e

SandySolver 1:42 PM  

Cat video worth price of admission. Speaking of which, let your sense of humor side into those college apps. Your style is natural and refreshing.

SandySolver 1:44 PM  

Auto- correct didn't like SIDLE!

Anonymous 1:51 PM  

Please bring Rex back! I need his witty write ups on Mondays to get me through the day.

RooMonster 1:57 PM  

Shout out to Annabel- I looked closer and saw your time of 31 minutes to do this puz. That's awesome for a self-proclaimed Newbie solver! I agree with those who said you should include this Once-A-Month NYT blog thingie on your College apps! Most definitely!

Sorry if I chafed anyone in a bad way on my last post, but people like Anon 11:13 really get my goat!

And also, had a good friend when I was in High School who loved (the band) REO Speedwagon. He said it was Ransom Edison Olds, not Eli. Who's right? (Suppose I could look it up myself.....)


jae 3:21 PM  

Medium for me.  Very smooth, very solid.  Nothing fancy, liked it in a meh sorta way.  Or what @Lewis said...

Delightful Annabel, thanks for a different perspective on this odd addiction. 

@Roo - It's Eli

LHS 888 3:31 PM  

Downs-only report: Bombed. Definitely needed crosses to crack this nut. YOIKES? Not happening. INDIGNANT? Not happening. ICING? WOOER? OHYEAH? CLIO? Not happening.

scared (Hi! @Annabel!) > ALARM
eta > CEE

After abandoning all hope (ye who enter here, to finish the cliche) and looking at across clues, I was able to polish this off in short order.

Thanks for the tough Monday, JRB / WS.
Thanks for the excellent write up, Annabel!

mine fewer 3:43 PM  

@roomonster 12:23
You need to work on your grammar. Kind of destroys your whole post when you can't make a verb agree with a noun.

Whirred Whacks 4:03 PM  

Hi Annabel: fun stuff, thanks! Good luck with your college applications. It's been a good decade-plus since I had to go through that with my kids. Everyone got harried by the process, but ended up going to the places that were the best match for them.

BTW: here's an observation that you might find useful: the comment made by @Anonymous 11:13 shows you that some of the dicks you see in high school will continue to be dicks for many years after they leave high school.

Zeke 4:33 PM  

COMPASSCOURSE was new to me, and on two different occasions I've had to take and pass navigation courses.

Wikipedia is pretty useless here, the best I can guess is that COMPASSCOURSE is used in localized endeavors such as geocaching, where correction for the difference between true and magnetic north won't make too much of a difference. I approve of geocaching, as anything that gets you out in the woods (other than shooting critters for the pure sadistic hell of it, or burying corpses) is ok with me. What I don't get is the, apparently institutionalized, willingness to be ignorant of the difference between magnetic and true north. All modern compasses permit you to adjust for it, all you have to do is tell the participants what the difference between the two is.

Oh: The NW is an unforgivable batch of partials/FITB, and YOICKS doesn't belong anywhere near a Monday. It's even a screw-you on Saturday.

Zeke 4:53 PM  

Annabel - I forgot - Don't listen to the old farts here, I'm sure admissions officers are sick of applicants with blogs, or applicants who guest on blogs. You may as well brag about your number of Facebook friends.

Do what I did. I looked up dead alumnae from each school, naming the most prominent my biological father. This faux dad was my most admired person, what with the fact that eventually he broke with his family who demanded that he abandon us and ultimately showed himself to be an honorable man when he took care of my mom and me. The fact that the bitch he was married to fought us over our inheritance, which we ultimately lost, was why I was so in need of financial aid.

Got me a full ride at Yale, and once my real father saw the financial package, he was cool with what I had done.

RooMonster 5:24 PM  

I goodly all well talk greatly. No know how you mean it.


Teedmn 7:21 PM  

@Ellen S, thanks for the spelling rule. Now I just have to resist doubling those "ll's".

@Steve J, I still like "grey" vs "gray" but I draw the line at "COLOuRCOPYING".

I wanted 52D to be zOInKS too!

Thanks, Annabel. Loved your segue into cute puppies. Keep up the great reviews.

child abuse 7:33 PM  

Oh, @ Whirred Whacks has children? Those poor dears. I hope their "best match" colleges were very far from home.

JanetMoh 8:09 PM  


Great write up! Keep up the good work.

Anonymous 8:30 PM  

Nice story.
Makes me quietly proud of my years in New Haven.

Boola, Boola, class of '68

Anonymous 8:47 PM  


Transparent 9:32 PM  

I am very pleased to see that the Blog Administrator - i.e., Rex - has quietly removed the most inappropriate comments.

But, really, Zeke, after four years at Yale you can suggest that prominent alumnae were your possible fathers?

What would William F. Buckley say?

Zeke 10:35 PM  

@Transparent -In all likelihood, William F. Buckley would stammer until everyone left the room.

Chrissy Postema 7:38 AM  

Thank you Annabel. Your observations are delightful. I look forward to your December post.

Anonymous 5:06 PM  

what happened to the selfie?

Unknown 7:27 AM  

How to Get your husband, Back after A Break up

An amazing testimony on a spell caster who brought my husband back to me.. My name is Natasha Johnson,i live in United Kingdom,and I'm happily married to a lovely and caring husband ,with two kids.A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my husband .so terrible that he took the case to court for a divorce.he said that he never wanted to stay with me again,and that he didn't love me anymore.So he packed out of the house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get him back,after much begging,but all to no avail.and he confirmed it that he has made his decision,and he never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my husband .So i explained every thing to him,so he told me that the only way i can get my husband back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for him too.So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow his advice. Then he gave me the email address of the spell caster whom he visited.{ }. So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address he gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my husband back the next day.What an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my husband who didn't call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that he was coming back.So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster. So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website {},if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to "bringing your ex back. So thanks to the Dr Brave for bringing back my husband ,and brought great joy to my family once again. { }, Thanks..

Kelly 12:36 AM  

I never believed in love spells or magic until I met this spell caster once when i went to see my friend in Indian this year on a business summit. I meant a man who's name is Dr ogboni he is really powerful and could help cast spells to bring back one's gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I'm now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 5 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And in 7 days when i returned to Canada, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married. I didn't believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His email is

spacecraft 11:21 AM  

Who's going to cast a spell on the spellcasters? YOICKS!

Today's effort doesn't try to do too much, which is apropos for a Monday. How easy is it to find CO-- CO-- expressions? COMPASSCOURSE a thing? I guess. None of the themers scream out with familiarity: what do they teach at COLBYCOLLEGE, how to make cheese? Downs took care of everything simply enough, so no harm, no foul. This grid seems unobjectionable. Can't damn it, can't praise it except for its undamnability, meaning the fill is pretty clean. C seems too mean; I'll give it a B-.

3810. I'm in a slump here.

rondo 1:10 PM  

I would agree with one of the anonymice that COMPASSCOURSE seems more of an on-land thing such as orienteering rather than sailing, but then I'm a landlubber. Not too much to complain about EEN though YOICKS is a bit of a stretch. Always like when baseball players show up. And the big hitter LAMA. So I've got that going for me . . .

158 = 14 = 5 that is ALL

DMG 1:26 PM  

Started this Monday puzzle with a T in sq. 4, and waited for the Pict/Celt shoe to drop, which it did easily enough, along with the rest of the fill. Agree YOICKS is a bit of an outlier. Somehow, rightly or wrongly, I associate it with Shakespeare. Probably should look that up. Learned that I had never noticed that CEE appears on Euros, and now wonder why. Appreciate @Spacecraft's take on COLBYCOLLEGE's fame!!

2759 = 5 Not enough.

rain forest 2:39 PM  

Easy but thoughtfully constructed (notice the double "l"). Just doublle all the ells, I say.

Wish I'd seen the anon 11:13 comment so I could yell at him/her. I very much enjoy Annabel's write-ups. Refreshing, positive, devoid of hubris.

If confronted by a Pict, a Scot, and a Celt, could one tell them apart?

33441=6 Maybe.

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