"Airplane!" star Robert ___ / MON 12-8-14 / Carole King hit from "Tapestry" /"Airplane!" star Robert ___ / Lily with bell-shaped flowers / Charlotte of "The Facts of Life" / Nickname for Willie Mays / Certain vacuum tube

Monday, December 8, 2014

Well, now that last week's SNAFU is over, it's back to our...regularly...scheduled........ANNABEL!!!!!!!!!

Constructor: Kevin Christian and  Andrea Carla Michaels

Relative difficulty: Hard (for a Monday!!!) (for ME on a Monday that is)

THEME: SAY SEE SCI SO SIOUX — The first syllable of each theme answer starts with an S, and rhymes with A / E / I /O / U

Theme answers:
  • SAYHEYKID (17A: Nickname for Willie Mays) 
  • SEENOEVIL (25A: Catchphrase for a monkey with its eyes covered)  ๐Ÿ™ˆ
  • SCIFICONVENTION (38A: Where Darth Vader might meet Captain Kirk)
  • SOFARAWAY (52A: Carole King hit from "Tapestry")
  • SIOUXCITY (64A: Iowa port on the Missouri River)

Word of the Day: SEGO (25D: Lily with bell-shaped flowers) —
The Sego Lily, Calochortus nuttallii, is a bulbous perennial which is endemic to the Western United States. It is the state flower of Utah.  
The bulbs of this and other Calochortus species were roasted, boiled or made into a porridge by Native Americans and were also used as a food source by the Mormon pioneers in Utah. Currently, it is grown as an ornamental for its attractive tulip-shaped flowers. (wikipedia)

• • •

What a great puzzle to come back to after last week's SNAFU! Really liked the alliteration in the northeast corner (ONETO, OCTET, OTERI, ORA). There were also a few words I genuinely didn't know, which was nice for a Monday, and I found out that SEGO lilies are really pretty! The Down clues in particular, though, left me a little AT SEA. I wonder how Down-only people did today?

The theme was nice, and as simple as A-B-C...er, A-E-I-O-U. I didn't understand it at first, and needed one of Rex's BFFs (my mom) to help me, but once I did, I liked it a lot. It would have been cool if the words had been linked in more ways, though, but hey, it's a Monday!



SCIFICONVENTION (38A: Where Darth Vader might meet Captain Kirk)This one stuck out as a theme clue a little, because of that extra C, but A) it sounds the same so it doesn't matter and B) you'll never see me complaining about a SCI-FI CONVENTION! Actually...my friend went to one of those, and brought me back some Kirk and Spock figures from Star Trek, so naturally, I sent them on an adventure around my room. 
    "What is it, Mr. Spock?"
    "It appears to be some sort of...mind-weapon, used in one of this planet's brutal coming-of-age rituals."
 They also went waltzing, and got attacked by an alien strangely similar to a cat...so, basically, Season 3 of the original series.
  • BIGOT (8A: Archie Bunker type) — I have never watched All in the Family, but I immediately recognized Archie Bunker from a 1982 MAD Magazine parody, which then made it into an 864-page anthology, which I have read so many times I have some of it memorized. So, fellow students, if you want to be super smart, read comics all day.
  • ARE (Diamonds ___ a girl's best friend) — Song jackpot!!! Okay, okay, so I originally knew this one from Moulin Rouge, not Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but Marilyn Monroe's version has shown me that both are equally fabulous. "Square-cut or pear-shaped, these rocks don't lose their shape…"
  • KOI (Japanese pond fish) — When I was little, I had two goldfish named Tilly II and Tess II. (These were replacements for the first Tilly and Tess, who died the day after we got them because goldfish do that a lot.) At a certain point, Rex's BFF my mom decided she did not want to take care of them any more, and, apparently, they're bad feng shui, so she put them in the neighbor's koi pond fifteen years ago. They're still alive, swimming around, making friends with the koi and thinking of me and my mom! 
…Wait, the Internet says koi eat goldfish... 
  • FAVA (____ bean) — "I ate his liver. With fava beans and a nice chianti."
    Just like the koi did with Tilly II and Tess II!
Well, that about wraps up this Monday. Thank you Rex for being awesome, and thank you all for reading, and don't eat any goldfish! (Seriously - I'm not even sure they're NONTOXIC.) I will see you all next month, on time, hopefully!

Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired high school student


NYer 12:16 AM  

Liked this a lot, easy peasy for me.

Nice write up, Annabel.

And nice to see you again, ACME!

Moly Shu 12:32 AM  

@ACME and Annabel, on a Monday, what more could one ask for? Liked FAVA and SEENOEVIL , oh and TIT. Nice vowel progression. Liked it.

Andy 12:49 AM  

I really enjoyed Annabel's post. It was refreshingly fun to read. Well done !

I found the puzzle to be very easy and didn't even notice there was a theme, due to being able to complete all but three of the across clues , leaving only a couple of downs to complete the grid. Thanks for pointing it out

Unknown 12:50 AM  

TIMEFLIES . . . GETOVERIT. Uh! Right in the solar plexus. Whew. Now that I've caught my breath, gotta say, well played, @Acme.

Whenver I fetch a bottle of Chianti for the Mrs., I offer it to her as "a nice Chianti" - and chuckle to myself, darkly.

Thanks, Annabel, for pointing out the vowel progression. I was looking elsewhere for the theme, and not finding it. Also, sorry about misspelling your name last week. With two els and an e, I think I put you in the other side of the Potomac River. Sorry!

Brian B 1:48 AM  

I was a down-only attempter and gave up after a few minutes. Sometimes they go easy that way (I only try it on Mondays and sometimes Tuesdays), sometimes they don't, and today it didn't. It was fine once I acquiesced and looked at the across clues.

John Child 1:48 AM  

AN I IRKS me a bit. Is ANI [Singer DiFranco] too hard for Monday? Clues aren't necessarily the constructors' fault, but I would have preferred ORA [___ pro nobis], TOR [Privacy software compromised by the NSA], [Civil rights activist Medgar] EVERS, etc. Oh well, it's Monday...

ACME is the Queen of Mondays, and Mr Christian is working on hitting for the cycle with Mon, Tue, Wed, and Fri puzzles. It would be cool if he could get all seven days with seven puzzles! Thanks to both of you.

chefwen 1:51 AM  

Loved it. Thanks Kevin and Acme.

Jon was surprised that I knew the SAY HEY KID, I wasn't born under a sports fog. I do pick up on things. He got messed up with 43A when he kept reading the clue as RED BOOK rival. We got a chuckle out of that.

Very cute Monday Puzzle that we both enjoyed. Thank you Kevin and Andrea.

Steve J 1:52 AM  

Enjoyable Monday, with a nice and nicely subtle theme. Fill felt pretty clean outside a couple awkward partials and the ubiquitous SNL. Felt just a little tougher than an average Monday, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. But it's always nice not to be on autopilot to start the week.

chefwen 1:56 AM  

One too many Thanks in above comment. Go to bed after two glasses of wine little one.

jae 2:02 AM  

Smooth medium Mon. for me.  Solid vowel progression, liked it.  And, delightful Annabel.   Nice one Kevin and Andrea!

stu 2:47 AM  

more Annabel, please.

Lewis 5:47 AM  

Crunchy, as Mondays go, yet when you look at the answers, there’s very little out of the language, and the fill is quite clean. I love the spark of TIMEFLIES, WHEREAMI, BOOBOO, GETOVERIT, PURR, SWISH, FAVA, OILUP, SNAFU, and the theme answers. That’s the mark of Acme. Zorro has a Z, Acme has spark. And thank you too Kevin.

Very low double letter count (5) and very high count of very common words made from the first and last letters of words – AT (twice), HI (twice), ME, IS, PA, NO, SO, IN, AN (twice), HI, and from music, FA and RE. There are others, but not so blatantly common. And, I’m beginning to think I’m more of a nerd than I thought.

Annabel, that was funny and insightful, and had spark itself -- good one!

Lewis 5:49 AM  

Factoid: Egypt’s national dish, ful medames, consists of cooked mashed FAVA beans with salt and cumin, traditionally eaten with bread, generally at breakfast.

Quotoid: “NOT all those who wander are lost.” -- J. R. R. Tolkien

not missing rex 7:12 AM  

I thought the potential Natick of EVERS and RAE was out of place for a Monday. Not that hard of a guess, but still...
Nice to hear from pleasant Annabel instead of miserable Rex. She should do every Monday. And Tuesday. And...

GILL I. 7:26 AM  

I suggest anyone wanting to take a stab at constructing a puzzle, contact la Andrea.
I tried...am not anywhere close to putting these things together much less a Monday which requires a) easy cluing...b)easy enough for a neophyte and c) zippy fun.
I've had the good fortune of meeting Andrea on several occasions and she is wicked fun...I bet Kevin enjoyed collaborating with her.
OH MY GOD....a sports clue??????? ;-)

Dorothy Biggs 7:42 AM  

TIMEFLIES = meta = too soon...

Annabel, thanks for the write up. You represent most of us casual solvers who enjoy the puzzles as simple distractions from our day. There is a lot to enjoy in them if we but look...and ultimately (and I believe I might even speak for Rex here) we wouldn't do them if we didn't like doing them. So thanks for your take and pointing out the pleasure and joys of doing puzzles.

That said, and in defense of Rex and his blog, just because one is critical doesn't mean there isn't enjoyment in it. The true beauty of an artform (and I would say that xwords fall somewhere in there...puns excepted) is how deep one can go into the appreciation of it. You can enjoy it on the surface (like listening to Ravel's Bolero for the first time), but as you dig deeper you can find many facets to it that lead to an even deeper understanding of the work. Rex's blog, Annabel's contributions notwithstanding, is about looking deeply into the mechanism of the puzzle...sometimes down to its very DNA...which, for some, may be too deep. I happen to appreciate the dissection and I trust that Rex knows what he's talking about.

That that said, Annabel's entry is indeed a reminder why we do these things...i.e., why I continue to listen to Bolero after all these years of hearing the same melody over and over again. It's good stuff.

RAD2626 7:48 AM  

Very nice puzzle. Very nice write up. Very good way to start the week. Hope it continues. Willie Mays still going strong. Only survivor among Willie, Mickey and The Duke.

chefbea 7:48 AM  

Great puzzle Andrea and Kevin - and great write up Annabel. Found it an easy Monday even though I did not get the theme TIL I came here.

joho 8:00 AM  

I loved that the puzzle was pitch perfect Monday easy but the theme took more than a few beats to get. It clicked for me at SIOUXCITY. Fun! (Has this kind of vowel progression been done before?)

@Annabel, you've done it again! Can't wait until your next gig!
Also, have you considered that Tess II and Tilly II just might be hiding from view at the bottom of the pond? :)

Great start to the week!

Bark 8:14 AM  

re 52D: The NY Times seems to think that a “snafu” is a big mistake. I don’t agree. The definition of “snafu” is: A situation in which multiple mistakes are being made. For example a soldier during World War II can’t find a map or a potato peeler, and wonders: Why are things are always out of place? The answer is: Get used to it! And both to demonstrate that things are always screwed up, and to save the trouble of explaining what everyone knows, we have an acronym: Snafu. In such a situation the smallest errors can be the most annoying, as they demonstrate most clearly the normalcy of the bad situation. I don’t think it’s being overly precise to expect a that particular slang expression to be used accurately — not when the word practically defines itself every time it is spoken. Or am I crazy?

Other than that I thought the puzzle and theme was terrific, though I was most at sea over 1D.

Bark 8:16 AM  

... "were" terrific I mean.

Charles Flaster 8:16 AM  

Easy and extremely enjoyable. Willie Mays. WILLIE MAYS. Just incredible!!
Back to the puzzle.
Loved cluing ---TIME FLIES, SEE NO EVIL and SWISH.( "Tickle the twine").
Could not find any crosswordEASE although there were many 3 letter words.
Thanks Annabel for pointing out the theme.
Never watched All in the Family until it went into syndication and it is enjoyable 40 years later.
"Airplane" is also enjoyable but quite irreverent and not for everyone.
Thanks KC and ACM-- nice walk through the past.
Did I mention Willie Mays was the greatest ballplayer of all time in any sport?

Unknown 8:24 AM  

There was a theme? I'll be damned.

Fun. Easy. No complaints. Well, one complaint. Would it be possible to ban the name OTERI from all future puzzles?

Elaina 8:24 AM  

Easy and fast for me. I am another who never saw the theme until Annabel pointed it out.
I love Mr. Spock's comment on the SAT prep DVD. Very true.

Glimmerglass 8:33 AM  

Where would the "I" go? DANGERiOUSLY?

Z 8:33 AM  

@Bark - Crazy. Correct, but still crazy. Or, if you prefer, situation normal, all f&$@ed up. To be fair to the NYT, in modern parlance I often hear the term used to mean "error."

Vowel progression? Solved as a themeless for me. Seeing the progression I have to give it hearty round of applause. I like the hidden I and U sounds, especially. But the theme takes a bow and leaves the stage so that we can give a standing O to the long downs. WHERE AM I, GET OVER IT, TIME FLIES, NON-TOXIC, it is almost a Shakespearean tragedy in miniature. Bravo! Encore!

Glimmerglass 8:40 AM  

I love Annabel! Great comments, and I loved the coming-of-age ritual. I play duplicate bridge (another Alzheimer's preventative) and read many bridge columns. There are two kinds. One are "experts" who seem to know everything. Another sort are those who humbly, and sometimes amusingly, write about their own mistakes. The latter are just as instructive as the experts, but they don't rub your face in it. Annabel is of the latter sort, and I have to say she makes a nice change from Pope Rex.

beaglelover 8:51 AM  

@charles flaster: Muhamed Ali was the greatest athlete of the 20th century and possibly of all time!!
There are plenty of baseball players who were as good as Mays.

Anonymous 8:54 AM  

Bis, bis, for both the puzzle and that writeup. Normally we have a pic of Annabel in a hat. This time just an empty shoe. I wonder what Spock would have said if he and Kirk had landed in that!

"Zounds, Captain, my Z enohpi informs me it's a manufactured material called faux zebu but I can't place that peculiar odor. It registers as 'nail polish' but a drill down on 'polish' indicates they were europeans. nail polish? most illogical."


Anonymous 8:57 AM  

Best is the enemy of better.

quilter1 8:59 AM  

All my comments have been made so I will add my all time favorite Archie Bunkerism. Edith gave Archie tongue sandwiches because tongue was on sale. Archie rejected them, saying, I'm not going to eat anything out of a cow's mouth. Just give me an egg salad sandwich.

pmdm 9:02 AM  

No, Bark, I don't think you're crazy. I had the same thoughts. But seems to me that the clues often suggest connotations rather than denotations, which can be pretty loose.

Whirred Whacks 9:10 AM  

@ Quilter1

Archie Bunker also said:

"Patience is a virgin."

Fredd Smith 9:13 AM  


Yep, can tell you're in HS. An SAT study guide is the giveaway.

Brings back memories of the stressful times for my kids, the college admissions process. Fortunately all went well. Except, of course, for those pesky tuition bills, and now I'm making yearly contributions to the grandkids' 529s. And, btw, they live guess where? Natick (a propos of nothing....)

Oh, well, worse things to do with one's money!

Ludyjynn 9:19 AM  

I'm not surprised that Anabel found this puzz. on the hard side, as I felt it skewed 'old' and SOFARAWAY as I WHIPped through it. Age has some advantages, I guess. Even ZAC Efron is 'all growed up' by now!

Anabel, since you liked the Marilyn Monroe "Diamonds" clip, check out Madonna's video of her hit, "Material Girl" on YouTube, a very fine RETRO homage to the '50s sex symbol, down to the gown and the jewels.

Solved this, like others, as a themeless til I came here.

Lately, I've been catching reruns on cable of the old tv series "In the Heat of the Night", starring Carroll O'Connor, who previously played Archie Bunker. He had incredible range as an actor, from the loveable BIGOT on the one show to the tough but sensitive cop on the other.

Enjoyed the timing of Ayn RAND's "Atlas Shrugged" after yesterday's Sunday theme.

Thanks, KC ,ACME and WS.

mac 9:31 AM  

Charming puzzle, charming write-up, what a start to the week!

Beautiful words and expressions. No idea about the "Tinker to...." clue, but the crosses filled it in.

Try fava or broad beans with olive oil, chopped mint and slivered pecorino, with a good grind of black pepper. Room temperature.

Bodhisattva12345 9:32 AM  

Welcome back, Annabel!!
Thanks for the upbeat and positive write-up.
See you next month.
1) Hannibal drinks Amarone in the book not Chianti like in the movie.
2) Fava beans, although very tasty, can cause hemolytic anemia due to an enzyme deficiency.

Anonymous 9:34 AM  

very nice write-up Annabel! Especially loved the clip of Anthony Hopkins.

Hartley70 9:45 AM  

@BeagleLover and @CharlesFlaster, I'm presenting the award for Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century to Rudolph Nureyev.

Yea Annabel! Love hearing from you. The puzzle flew by for me and the theme was a bit skimpy but still an adequate Monday romp. I'm starting the week off happy!

jberg 9:46 AM  

Drat! I remembered the double-play wizards as Tinker to EVanS to Chance. Hemingway and Borgnine changed the a to E, but the n just sat there, since I don't know that Charlotte at all.

I had to think a bit about the theme -- I was looking for some kind of acronym, since the start-with-S part was pretty obvious. Finally said them aloud for some reason, and there it was! They are all spelled in different manners; only the O was just the letter doing a solo.

I would have been happier with a different clue for 22D, though; that looked too much like a revealer, except that the I is not missing from the vowel-sound progression. On any other day, it would be a fine clue.

Nice commentary, Annabel! And pay no attention to those who didn't notice that you don't "dig deeper" - you're just too subtle for them!

Nice puzzle, ACME and Kevin!

retired_chemist 10:17 AM  

Nice writeup, nice puzzle. On target for Monday. Skewed old, as others have said, and Annabel was very gracious in her commentary on that point.

Waited for crosses to reveal enough of PUMA since I know there is another 4-letter athletic shoe. Didn't check the theme (or geography) so des moines (64A) needed fixing.

Thanks, Andrea, Kevin, and Annabel.

Mark Sackler 10:20 AM  

Did anybody notice that the author might have been channeling this classic Three Stooges Number> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_Y6UKMp8Qw

mathguy 10:30 AM  

Monday seems to be the right time to ask a favor. I used to subscribe to Harpers primarily because they had a good cryptic crossword in every issue. I haven't done one of their monsters for years but last week I picked up a copy and solved the cryptic. It wasn't too hard but I can't decipher two of the clues.

"Staging comeback, Hooters opens for a part of the year" is the clue for SEASON.

"High-fliers, expert in French and appearing in nightwear" is the clue for PROPHETS.

Anonymous 10:40 AM  

Far too complicated for a Monday.

I got SOUIXCITY and SCIFICONVENTION right away which led me to think the theme had to do with S.C. Wrong. So much fill undone. Too frustrated. I chucked this puzzle.

-JW Norwich

Bob Kerfuffle 10:40 AM  

Nice puzzle. Something about the vowel progression with the S sound brought a smile to my face.

(Confidential to Annabel -- What is alliteration? It seems that in today's anything-goes spirit, it can simply mean "words starting with the same letter," but I like the more classical definition: "Alliteration is defined as a stylistic literary device, identified by the repeated sound of the first consonant in a series of multiple words." By this standard, ONE, OTERI, OCTET and ORA fail to be alliterative by not beginning with consonants and by not having the same beginning sound (to my New Jersey accent, anyway.) Don't be mad at me; you're the one who brought the SAT into it. :>)) Hope you do/did well on it!

Bob Kerfuffle 10:46 AM  

@mathguy - "Staging comeback, Hooters opens for a part of the year" is the clue for SEASON.

Hooters = NOSES

comeback = SESON

opens for a = SE A SON = SEASON

SEASON = part of the year

AliasZ 10:54 AM  

Kevin Christian must have that weird sensation of being invisible. True, a few of us tossed the obligatory, polite "Thanks KC", but mostly it's all about ACME. If I read Kevin's notes at xwordinfo, the theme was his idea. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing ACME's byline on the puzzle as much as Annabel's on the blog, but say hey, let's not forget Kevin.

Speaking of which, I was thinking a baseball-related S sound + vowel run possibility:

CEY, Ron
CC Sabathia
CY Young
SOsa, Sammy
SUzuki, Ichiro.

Or for those who prefer a touch more SOphistication:

si bon

sui generis

Say, seen "Psycho"? So sue me.

What bothers me about such vowel runs is that only the five vowels as recited in the English alphabet can take part in the fun. A whole slew of equally valid sounds are missed: savvy, set, sing, Sauvignon, Seurat, sunny, surprise, suit, sรปr as in "bien sรปr", etc. Oh well, this is crosswords, not French phonetics.

In non-theme richness, this puzzle was busting at its seams. I will spare you the "TIME FLIES like wind, fruit flies like bananas" pun. Oops, sorry. But there is plenty of other delicious stuff, GET OVER IT being my fave, and very few undesirables among the fill. Clearly the signature of our beloved and experienced co-constructress.

There are many other HENRIs besides Matisse and Toulouse-Lautrec in the world of arts. Here are two more: composers HENRI Vieuxtemps (1820-1881) and HENRI Duparc (1848-1933).

Thank you Kevin for the cute theme, and ACME for its polish.

Have a cheerful Monday!

RooMonster 11:03 AM  

Hey All !
Very easy, even for a MonPuz! Maybe I'm just at the correct age for this particular puz. I did want reIn for WHIP, however.

Nice clean puz, SNL doesn't bother me, SNAFU is nice, although seems a tad risque for the NYT. Are we to see FUBAR next?

Nice to read Annabel's write-up. I like SCIFI stuff also, StarTrek:Enterprise with Scott Bakula as Captain was my favorite iteration.

Nice to see ACME, if someone knows her personally, they could tell her to read today's comments, since cutie Annabel did the writeup. Just sayin.


Z 11:17 AM  

@Alias Z - Yep. ACME would point out that it was a team effort.

@mathguy and @Bob Kerfuffle - A whole different brain muscle has to be exercised to do the cryptics. I have, as yet, been a total failure. I get both Harpers and The Nation, so I have multiple opportunities for failure each month.

@Roo - someone else can answer for certain, but I think FUBAR has appeared. Or maybe I just saw it an ACVX puzzle at some point. The less salty amongst us certainly read it as "fouled up."

Bob Kerfuffle 11:27 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Kerfuffle 11:28 AM  

@mathguy -- Man, it's tough when you give the wrong answer to parse! :>))

"High-fliers, expert in French and appearing in nightwear" is the clue for PROPHETS.

No, I'll bet it's the clue for PROPJETS, which are high-fliers.

expert in = PRO +

French and = ET

nightwear = PJS


old timer 11:32 AM  

A SNAFU is an error, a military mixup. When the situation really gets out of control, it's FUBAR.

I did not see the theme either. It was an easy Monday, and I was able to do almost all of it using only the across clues, with only an occasional glance at the Downs -- mainly for the song from "Tapestry".

When I was growing up, "Tinker to Evers to Chance" was something you often saw in stories about baseball. Just learned now that tey played for the (then) mighty Chicago Cubs

RAD2626 11:33 AM  

Tinkers, EVERS, and Chance were all elected to the Baseball HOF in 1946 by the Veterans Committee. Statistically, they are among the worst players ever enshrined. Having a poem honoring their fielding prowess no doubt helped. Ironically, although they played in the first fifteen years of the last century, EVERS died the year after his induction and Tinker the year after that.

Unknown 12:16 PM  

I look forward to these monthly Annabels, and was disappointed when foggy fogey Rex forgot to let her do her thing last week. (This puzzle seems like it would be way easier for the fogey contingent than those born after, say, 1975.) I print the Monday puzzle out from NYT subscription. Not paying extra for the app, or whatever it is. The Mondays are quite a bit different from the Sundays that I do regularly and usually take me all week. I am so far behind, commenting on them would make no sense.

Unknown 12:24 PM  

And anybody who says "there are plenty of baseball players who were as good as Mays" should stick to crosswords. Because he/she don't know nothin' 'bout baseball.

dk 12:39 PM  

๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ•๐ŸŒ• (4 mOOOONs)

When will Andrea do a duet with Tony Bennet?

You know liver with FAVA (fresh) beans and a nice chianti is a great meal. I served it with a light salad with arugula, kale, tomatoes, artichoke hearts (fresh) and blueberries. Hardest part is preparing (extracting) the FAVA beans.

Annabel another wonderful writeup As far as coming of age: "We are the Borg -- resistance is futile.

Masked and Anonymo4Siouxs 1:01 PM  

What a nice Monday, thanx to KC, ACMe, & 'Bel.
It appears Kirk and Spock arrived on planet SAT in their loafer-shuttlecraft.

Weeject Cafe aperitifs...
* TOR. Nothin says moo-cow-easy, like a good rocky tor, huh, Bel?
* ORA. Better clue for Bel: {The answer to this SAT question is either D ___}.
* TIT. Good clue. Marilyn did indeed have nice chickadees.
* ONA. Better clue: {For this SAT question, I have decided ___}.
* ANI. Are A 'n' I both missin from "dangerously"? Confuses the M&A.
* ZAC. Letters missin from M&A's brain, when arrayed in this order.
* CLE. This "on scoreboards" phrase is really cool. Should be used in almost all Abbr. clues. Example:
{Torture following extensive research, on academic scoreboards} = SAT. Right, Bel?
* RAE. More than one RA, Latinly.

Wow, nice litter of runtwords, there. Fun puz!


Carola 1:11 PM  

Lovely Monday - puzzle, write-up, comments. I caught on to the theme after SAY and SEE...which helped me only with SIOUX, as I guessed the long I sound would be in "sigh" and couldn't believe that the too-easy SO would be used. I liked the TIARA for @acme as queen of Mondays.

Anonymous 1:16 PM  

some have said Muhammed Ali was the most overrated athlete ever. I think that is more accurate than "best" ever.

mathguy 1:25 PM  

@Bob Kerfuffle: You're awesome!

About SEASON: Noses never occurred to me as a synonym for hooters. I was thinking owls or breasts.

About PROPJET: The J was uncrossed and I put in H because my cheap Franklin Spelling Ace swore that that was the only possible such word.

Thank you very much. And thanks also to Rex for allowing this digression.

RooMonster 2:04 PM  

Wow @Bob Kerfuffle, how can you get those crazy cryptics, but have a hard time on Runts? Inquiring minds want to know! :-)


Gene 2:29 PM  

I did try with only Downs, and only used one Across to finish. Saw that the long words all started with S-, but didn't get the vowel trend. Nice to see a puzzle approved of at this site!

Carola 2:43 PM  

@mathguy - When I'm stuck in situations like that, I use http://www.crossword-dictionary.com/ If you enter PROP.ET, both PROPHET and PROPJET show up.

@Bob Kerfuffle - Awesome decrypting. I'd definitely have needed crosses for those two.

Ludyjynn 3:13 PM  

Interesting factoid (a la @Lewis): The only actors who have won Emmys for both best actor/actress in a drama and in a comedy are Carroll O'Connor and Edie Falco. (source: Wikipedia)

David from CA 3:47 PM  

Baseball's Sad Lexicon
These are the saddest of possible words:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon[a] bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double[b] –
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
"Tinker to Evers to Chance."

Franklin Pierce Adams

Remember there was a whole NYT crossword puzzle dedicated to this I believe within the last ~10 years. A good one I think.

Loved today's puzzle. Sad to say I didn't seethe theme despite staring at it for some time - thought maybe Will had finally decided to go back to having occasional themeless Mondays.

Bob Kerfuffle 3:48 PM  

@ RooMonster et al -

Just to keep things in perspective:

(1)When I do Runt Puzzes, I feel under terrific time pressure, which really kills me.

(2)Cryptic crosswords have some fairly well-established rules; Runt puzzes answer only to M&A.

(3) Although I did decode those two examples, I wasn't solving, I was just reverse engineering clue/answer sets right in front of me; there have been lots of cryptics I have seen where I couldn't even do that.

Charles Flaster 4:00 PM  

Yay!! Glad you agree. By the way you really know baseball. I was privileged to see him from 1951- 1957 almost daily or at least read
of his exploits.
Try to get a hold of the three game playoff in 1962 against the Dodgers and observe!!

retired_chemist 4:12 PM  

You can have your Dwight Clarks and Odell Beckham Jrs. To me THE CATCH will always be the one Mays caught on the warning track in the Polo Grounds in the 1954 World Series against Vic Wertz. Broke this young Indians fan's heart and IMO gave the Giants the momentum for the 4-0 sweep of the series.

Anonymous 7:01 PM  

Yay Annabel! Yay ACME! Yay Kevin!

mac 10:46 PM  

I find it just wonderful that there are puzzle conversations going on all over the place! No need to apologize about the different quests, apparently. The way it should be.

Clark 11:09 PM  

I enjoyed the puzzle. It was tougher than a normal Monday, which is ok with me. But what I found especially interesting is that it is the first ACME puzzle I have ever done that did not have that smooth buttery feel. Other ACME puzzles have had that feel 100%, or 80%, or 90%, but this one not at all. I mean nothing negative by that. It does say something about the result of this particular collaboration . . . Nice puzzle you guys.

And I loved the write up. I was howling with laughter as i read excerpts aloud to Semi-Puzzle Partner, trying not to give too much away because he hasn't done the puzzle yet. I could read the Archie Bunker stuff cause his name was in the clue. I could mention Diamonds are . . . because he would get that answer before he even looked at the clue. More difficult was reading about the waltzing figures and cat-like aliens without conjuring up a sci-fi convention.

rondo 5:32 PM  

@Ron Diego - you Tasmanian Devil you!!
Glad you could check in a couple times. Enjoy the rest of your tour.
Miss your regular posts.

spacecraft 12:01 PM  

Oh Carole, I am but a fool! SOFARAWAY was just one of her VERY special gifts to us. It also (epiphany!) happens to be the title of a Dire Straits tune--also, though quite different, one of my favorites.

Then, too, it's an answer to WHEREAMI? Along with the SAYHEYKID, RETRO and the two ERNESTS, I'm back a ways.

So for the memories and music it evokes, I like this one. From a construction critic's standpoint...I can't believe someone said "clean fill:" ANI ORA ONETO (!) ONA. Theme is tired to the point of exhaustion, though to be fair the entries are dynamite. A mixed bag; I'll say B.

These days I'm just getting an automatic checkmark on my captcha: is baccarat dead?

Syndicate Bob 12:53 PM  

Willie Mays may not have been the best player of all time, I give that nod to The Bambino, but he is in the top three. Mays is the best all around, for sure. He could hit, bunt, hit for power, throw, run, catch almost anything and do it all with stlyle, grace, and a sense of showmanship that put fans into seats. He knew how to make a close play thrilling and he was loved by his fans, teammates, managers, and perhaps even opposing teams.

rondo 1:26 PM  

So when W.C. Fields said "My little chickadee" to Mae West, well . . . irony??

@Spacey, I've been getting baccarat numbers maybe 1 in 3 times. Let's see about today:


Anonymous 1:27 PM  

I guess, as someone said above, solving is an age thing. I just walked theough this one almost without pause. Did use the crosses for SCIFICONVENTION. But, I always leave the grid spanners for last. So maybe I would have gotten it anyway?

@Spacey: Just a check here, too. Maybe Captcha has solved all it's problems and gone onto retirement.??

DMG 1:30 PM  

That was me ar1:27. Somehow got posted while trying to sign in. On thhe other hand got a hand this time

2085 Not the greatest, but with no competition...

rain forest 2:15 PM  

Done almost completely with acrosses only, so I didn't even see many of the downs. I hate to see SNAFU degraded to simply "error" or "mistake". It's much more complicated and full of turmoil for that.

Monday-easy, and Annabel-fresh.


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