Chaney who starred in "The Phantom of the Opera" / MON 1-5-15 / Priest's robe / Nickname for Catherine / Airport with the Tom Bradley Intl. Terminal / Passover meals / National gem of Australia

Monday, January 5, 2015

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
It's Monday again,
The first one of the month, too...

Hi-ho, Annabel the blogger here!

Constructor: John Guzetta

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: Bird-brained — Theme answers are bird-themed terms for various types of people.

Word of the Day: QUATRAIN (11D: "Roses are red," e.g.) —
quatrain is a type of stanza, or a complete poem, consisting of four lines.
Existing in various forms, the quatrain appears in poems from the poetic traditions of various ancient civilizations including Ancient GreeceAncient Rome, and China; and, continues into the 21st century, where it is seen in works published in many languages. During Europe's Dark Ages, in the Middle East and especially Iran, polymath poets such as Omar Khayyam continued to popularize this form of poetry, also known as Ruba'i, well beyond their borders and time. There are twelve possible rhyme schemes, but the most traditional and common are: AAAAAABB, and ABAB.
• • •

Theme answers:
  • LEGAL EAGLE (16A: Skillful lawyer)
  • OLD BUZZARD (24A: Cantankerous fellow)
  • SPRING CHICKEN (37A: Relative youngster)
  • BUDGET HAWK (51A: Hard-liner on government spending)
  • SILLY GOOSE (60A: Goofball)

The five-letter SORER and ENERO, plus the long LEGAL EAGLE, made for a much more interesting top left corner than usual. I also loved ONO and KIMONO being right next to each other in the bottom right corner. The puzzle may have leaned a little heavily on the plural nouns - I counted five - but it made up for it with OUIS, decidedly not a word you see every day. The clue for DRACULA really drove me batty, though.

The theme was pretty simple and fun, just right for a Monday! I actually used to have three chickens: Chicken Little, Little Jerry Seinfeld, and Ernest Henningway. Maw used to send me out every mornin' at dawn to feed the chickens; well, AIN'T that just the way on the suburban farm? Unfortunately, two of them died - in the spring, no less - and we had to give the last one away. But it was really fun - free eggs, and free fried chicken!

Interesting that you'd never see a "relative youngster" actually using the expression SPRING CHICKEN, isn't it?
My mom LIZ with Chicken Little, may she rest in peace (the chicken, not my mom). Cluck cluck cluck!

  • 27A: "Can you ____ in a sentence?" (spelling bee request) (USEIT)— Spelling bees! I made it to 12th place in my county spelling bee before being eliminated on "taiga," which, as I'm sure you all know from crosswording, is a type of ecosystem; there are many taigas in Siberia. In my defense, a) the girl after me got "dreidel," and b) who expects a 12-year-old to spell "taiga"?
  • 37A: Public mention (SHOUTOUT) — After all those bird-themed clues, I couldn't resist this particular shout-out: THE RAVENS WON LAST NIGHT! YAY!!!
Also, shout-out to Wellesley for accepting me!!!

  • 56A: Urging from a dinner host (EAT) — All I can say is...
  • 17A: "Evil Woman" grp. (ELO) — So my school is putting on Xanadu, and of course, being the ham I am, I had to try out for a lead role...and this was the song we were to prepare for tryouts. I practiced a million times - in my room, in the shower, in the car with my mom (the doctor says her eardrums will be just fine in a couple of months). Did you know that "Evil Woman" features a high D, and that my voice goes up to about an A on a good day? Totally nailed the auditions, though, somehow, and got the part of the Muse of Music, I'll let you all know how that goes...
Thanks to all the people who congratulated me on my Wellesley acceptance - I'm still in AWE myself and I can't wait for September!!
Signed, Annabel, tired high school student.


Anonymous 12:13 AM  

Congratulations on your acceptance to Wellesley, Annabel. I am a lurker here. Graduated from Wellesley many years ago and still gather once a year with friends I met there when we were freshmen: in 1963! Enjoy!

Steve J 12:21 AM  

Cute Monday, about average in effort. For a change, I noticed the theme as solving, partly due to putting in OLD geeZer_ only to come up a space short. Looked up at LEGAL EAGLE and realized I needed a bird.

Fill felt clean, although there definitely seemed to be a lot of plurals (the ungainliness of OUIS was only offset by its clue - yesses just is not a good-looking word). Surprised that there were only five.

Congratulations on the Wellesley acceptance, Annabel!

Unknown 12:35 AM  


Clean solve in 16 min, which is a bit slow for me on a Monday. The hitch was the ALB/BUDGETHAWK/EWELL/KAY crossings, which derailed my submission for an extra 3-4 minutes. ALB is unknown to me, as was EWELL, and KAY was a guess that I backed off of as the clock ticked on. BUDGETHAWK certainly should have been a gimme, but _UDGETHA_K paralyzed my brain. All I could see was jUDGETHAnK (?!?!) until the penny dropped. Had I noticed the avian theme, I may have save a bit of time.


Unrelatedly, I've solved the @george, @r.alph and @hanko Enigma Variations puzzle. My experience was positive, and I learned several new bits of culture, history and language. It is Wednesday difficulty, except for the NW which I found Saturday hard. I DNF'ed by needing 6 googles to get it to settle down. I imagine most of you will do fine on it, though. I submitted a solution for the meta but my method for arriving at it was not what the constructors had in mind. Anyhoo, I hear there are great prizes. You should go win them!

Annabel, you too. Just think about it: Spring Break in Stamford, Connecticut! As Howard Dean intoned 10 yeas ago this month, "YAHH!"

jae 2:28 AM  
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jae 2:30 AM  

Medium-tough for me.  Snappy theme answers and some nice long downs out weigh the SW French corner and the partials.  Plus this one gets points for LIZ Lemon, Frankie VALLI, Tom EWELL, and LON Chaney.  

@Steve J -  Geezer was my first thought too.

@Annabel - Amusing and thank you.  Congrats on Wellesley.  Reminds me of a Dylan quote "20 years of schooling and they put you on the day shift".  Hey, but that's not a bad thing.

Liked  it. 

George Barany 2:32 AM  

Congratulations to @Annabel on your college acceptance, and I trust that you will continue to balance new experiences with your growth as a crossword solver and blogger.

With today's clever puzzle by @John Guzzetta being fixated on birds, and yesterday's by @Finn Vigeland on (the descent of) man, it is quite natural to now want to see this current-playing movie. @Hayley Gold gives her birds-eye take on today's puzzle with a new webcomic at her site.

It was kind of @Casko Kid to mention his own experience with our contest puzzle: Enigma Variations, which was inspired by a different current-playing movie. Due to the nice publicity that @Rex favored us with in his PPS to yesterday's post, we had today over 1000 hits, and quite a few fully correct answers have already been received. Many of the top names in the crossworld have generously contributed to our still-growing prize list. The contest runs for another week (168 hours, as I type these words), so Ralph Bunker, Michael Hanko, and I look forward to your continued entries.

chefwen 2:35 AM  

Hi Annabel, very nice write up and congrats on your acceptance.

Super easy Monday with a cute theme. Over before I wanted it to be, but that's the way with Mondays. One write over with KAt before KAY. On to Tuesday.

Andy 3:35 AM  

I keep finishing the puzzles without spending any thought about themes. It must be an app thing as I never missed them using pen and paper. Sometimes I know there's one there and just work around it, while puzzles like tonight I'm just oblivious to them. It hasn't had an impact on solve times, but I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not

Congrats on the blog post and the college !

Thomas808 4:39 AM  

Some of the fill was a bit tired, but overall a very nice Monday puzzle. I liked the theme answers. Also really liked the clue / formal definition in 3D for REGIFT. I guess that's a real word, and why wouldn't be -- it's a useful real thing. Thanks, Mr. Guzzetta!

Annabel, good job on the review, congrats on Wellesly, and thanks for the SHOUTOUT to Weird Al on the video clip. I hardly ever take the time to divert to Rex's clips, but for Mr. Yankovic, and thanks to you, I took a minute or two to revisit some grins.

Lewis 5:52 AM  

Congrats, Annabel. I'm sure your MOMA is proud!

I like the CHICKEN/POX/ITCH trio, and in the NW, if you look at it Boggle style, you'll find an AMY to go with that TAN. Has anyone ever said SPITTED? And Annabel, that AMENABLE is kinda close to an "annagram" of your name. I think it's fair to expect an ALB, ELL, and SSN in a puzzle -- try constructing some and I think you'll agree.

Two weeks in a row where we have a Monday puzzle that's Monday easy but not an insult to the intelligence. The theme is cute and fun, and anyone who doesn't like it is a dead duck.

Lewis 5:55 AM  

Factoid: MOMA opened on 11/7/29, nine days after the Wall Street Crash.

Quotoid: “The dog has SELDOM been successful in pulling man up to its level of sagacity, but man has frequently dragged the dog down to his.” -- James Thurber

Jeff Anderson 6:09 AM  

Congratulations Annabel! Way to go!

One gripe on the puzzle before I go.

I thought 9A was a bit bogus with a singular in the clue and plural for the answer. That threw me for a bit.

GILL I. 7:01 AM  

Hey Annabel...good job! (That J would have come in handy!)
EnJoyed this Monday puzzle despite the POCS (POX?)
I just recently watched Clint's "Jersey Boys" so, liked seeing VALLI crossing OLD BUZZARD.
a bit of an AHA to go along with BAM/DMZ and GOTH hugging SPITTED. Only thing missing is some Matza to go with SEDER FOODS.

Mohair Sam 7:09 AM  

Very nice Monday puzzle. Easy but not boring - and a nifty theme. What's not to like?

Congrats again Annabel. And, again, be sure to visit Natick while you're there.

Ahab 7:26 AM  

past tense: spitted; past participle: spitted
put a spit through (meat) in order to roast it over an open fire.
"I spitted the squirrel meat and turned it over the flames"

For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.

r.alphbunker 7:32 AM  

Never know if it is DWI or DUI so left the middle letter blank early on. Fortunately while skimming the puzzle at the end I noticed the omission and ONEWAY made the letter obvious.

The A.Word.A.Day blog featured BILDUNGSROMAN today

Anonymous 7:57 AM  

I feel like the clue 9A should have been plural for FAQS to work.

chefbea 8:06 AM  

Great writ up Annabel and congrats for getting into Wellesley!!! Easy fun puzzled...but spitted!!! Never heard put the meat on the spit, you don't spit it..yuck

Dorothy Biggs 8:07 AM  

From "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee:"

Mr. Panch: Your word is COW.

Speller: Can I have a definition please?

Mr. Panch: Yes. It means cow.

Speller: Can you use it in a sentence?

Mr. Panch: Yes. "Please spell COW."

Pure gold...great show. Thanks Annabelle for the link this morning. We all need to be reminded that life is, indeed, pandemonium.

Very easy puzzle for me today. Finished in record time, Though I don't keep track, it seemed to zing by with no hitches whatsoever. And not that it matters, but it was probably the first time I was under 5 minutes...or at least that I've noticed before.

Unlike Annabelle, I didn't care for the ONO/KIMONO adjacency. Seems inelegant, somehow. Although "Oh, No...Kimono!" would probably make a decent title for a musical.

evil doug 8:13 AM  

Factoid: The ratio of women to men at Wellesley is 100%/0%.

Quotoid: "Are you out of your mind?"
--Evil Doug

Zygotic 8:17 AM  

@Lewis - Only when talking about watermelon seeds.

My time says "challenging" but AIN'T no reason for it that I can see. Wing up for "geeZer" and pausing for DWI/DuI, but nothing else really stands out as hard or unknown.

I would say , "What, couldn't get into a good school?" but someone would think I was serious. So, congrats.

Zygotic 8:28 AM  
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Zygotic 8:29 AM  

Regarding FAQS, the feature on a single website is Frequently Asked QuestionS, not a Frequently Asked Question. Used in a sentence, one would always say, "If you wonder about the one red square you can find the answer in the FAQS." I see how it was a misdirect or nit for people, but it is okay.

John Child 8:54 AM  

I'm with @Z on rating this - challenging Tuesday time here. I went down a variety of rabbit holes, none too deep except for vampire for DRACULA, which screwed up the center of the puzzle for a long time. I liked it for stretching my brain a little early in the week.

AliasZ 8:58 AM  

Poppycock! Toucan play at this game. I'm by nature a night owl rather than an early bird, and definitely not a stool pigeon, but I thought this puzzle was for the birds. As a lame-duck culture vulture, on a lark, I will try to go cold turkey. Two of my cardinal rules: have a bird in hand before beating around the bush, and never go naked as a jaybird into that good night.

FAQ = frequently asked questions. FAQS = frequently asked questionses.


Anonymous 8:59 AM  

Evil Doug: Often wrong, but never in doubt.
Nice to read someone other than rex on these pages.

dk 9:06 AM  
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Amy 9:14 AM  

Congrats on Wellesley, which is an awesome school, but also congrats on Xanadu! Enjoy it!

dk 9:15 AM  

❄️❄️ (2 snOOwflakes)

My only delay in completing this puzzle was taking sips of my Cortado (new morning beverage of choice). The 2 flake rating is really a function of spending so little time on the puzzle i never got to know it

Annabel, We know the muse of music as Euterpe and as an attende at one of the Seven Sisters..... I shall be in Baltimore on Tuesday and expect exposure to Raven feaver.

Evil i can assure you that while the boy to girl ratio is none existant the number of boyz in da hood.... Sister went there and I often thought of arming her with a carrage gun and rock salt.

Dshawmaine 9:16 AM  

Had "Find" before FAQS in the NE, which held me up a bit, though I agree with @Z that the clue was fair. And despite being a recovering lawyer (albeit more of a "legal seagull" than a LEGALEAGLE), I had "I lost" rather than IREST my case - maybe because in my golden years my every other sentence seems to begin "I lost my ____ [glasses, keys, scissors, marbles...]." Otherwise, one of my fastest times ever, though in the double digits nonetheless. Enjoyed the theme.

Sir Hillary 9:16 AM  

Decent enough theme for a Monday. Fill is adequate at best. I really dislike IREST crossing USEIT -- those two are bad enough on their own, and having them intersect only makes it worse.

dk 9:17 AM  

Nonexistent got to turn off spell correction

dk 9:20 AM  

Probably should correct atendee as well.

Ludyjynn 9:21 AM  

Very easy, pleasant Monday. Nice long Downs, although we recently had PANDEMIC, didn't we? I esp. liked Tom EWELL and "The Seven Year ITCH" connection. Just noticed MOI crossing OUIS; cute.

MOMA also showed up on "Jeopardy" last week, BTW. I couldn't believe nobody knew it!

Liked the reef clue for EEL. Reminded me of the time my family went helmet diving in Bermuda and the most beautiful velvet green moray eel was lurking in nearby corals. Our dive guide said he was a regular, stopping in for a free handout.

FAQS seemed fair to me, esp. in light of the discussion of same on this very blog over the weekend.

Thanks, JG and WS. Good start to a BRRRRReezy week.

Billy 9:24 AM  

Your own quatrain belies Wikipedia, I'd say the most common vernacular scheme is ABCB.

quilter1 9:25 AM  

What an exciting time for you, Annabel. Enjoy every minute. Overall enjoyed the puzzle. My neighbor keeps chickens, which often fly over the fence and need retrieving. Many mornings there is a crowing contest with another rooster across the alley, followed by the Pillsbury Cluck Off among the hens.

mathguy 9:40 AM  

I'm conservative about filling in gimmes, looking at the crosses first. But even so, 90 squares were occupied by gimmes for me. That makes it too easy.

I really enjoyed the variety puzzle in yesterday's NYT magazine. It is titled Takeaway Crossword and authored by Matt Ginsberg. I don't recognize him as a crossword constructor. And the puzzle didn't say Edited by Will Shortz. Does that mean that Ginsberg retains ownership?

Lewis 10:14 AM  

@leapy -- Was all that skewered meat I saw in Missouri the other day The Spitted of St. Louis?

Joseph Michael 10:25 AM  

In this neck of the woods, Whole FOODS is referred to as Whole PAYCHECK.

Numinous 10:31 AM  

To quote a Rolling Stones title:
"Congradulations" Annabel, "Well done, my friend . . . "
I'm sure your Muse of Music will be as charming as your posts here.

This ran as a normal Monday for me at right around ten minutes. It would have gone faster had I remembered the spelling of Tom EWELL's name. Would probably have gone faster had I not bothered to check the downs before filling in some of the answers. I don't try to be a speed solver but noting the time gives me a general idea of the difficulty of the puzzle.

I absolutely hate the use of the word GIFT as a verb (even though I know any noun can become one). What's wrong with the verb, "give"? However, this reminded me of a promo on A AND E this Christmas past.

Redneck 1: Whatchya gonna give me this year?

Redneck 2: Same thing you gave me last year!

Thank you, Annabel for your wonderful write-up, would that they wre weekly rather than monthly.

And thank you to all who replied to my recent postings. I found them to be very touching. I deeply appreciate you all.

Unknown 10:32 AM  

The ratio of women to men at Wellesley is NOT 100:0. That is the admissions policy. It is not the degree granting policy as transgenders that occur at Wellesley are retained, but transgenders that occur before Wellesley are not admitted. I beleive there was a NYT Magazine piece on this recently. Not sure about admissions policies regarding transgenders going the other way.

Moreover, men matriculate for one or two semesters as a junior-year-abroad (!) kinda thing. At any one time ~5% (?) of the student body is male, either naturally or by reinvention. My info is a decade out of date. I applied for a faculty position there. Twice. My odds were 200:1, or worse.

noone 10:32 AM  

Fun puzzle for a birder today!
Congrats on Wellesley, Annabel. I hope you'll be out cheering on the Boston runners next Spring, as the Wellesley women did when I ran in 1980.

chefbea 11:11 AM  

And speaking of colleges...I went to Wheaton in Massachusettes. I was all girls then. It is now co-ed.
Any Rexites go to Wheaton?

evil doug 11:30 AM  

Yeah, I plain forgot to factor in all those transgenders in calculating the fun/social quotient. Disregard my previous post, Annabel.


SandySolver 11:31 AM  

Congrats on that early acceptance: go grrrl!

Jean 11:34 AM  

You will love Wellesley College. I attended my 55th reunion there last spring and still love it.

evil doug 11:42 AM  

From the site:

"Leadership Opportunities: 100% female student leaders at Wellesley".

Hmmm. Does that mean they discriminate against the transgender population? I smell a big lawsuit coming....


old timer 11:56 AM  

Nice writeup. I thought it was tough for a Monday, because time and again, I had to check the Down clues before writing in the Across answers.

But I still had a Mondayish time, so I guess it was pretty easy after all.

Masked and Anonymo6Us 12:10 PM  

Really like SHAR. Has potential.

Saw EAGLE (two under par) and BUZZARD (double bogey, in my old-buzzard foursome), and started to look for the PAR-words, again. Then CHICKEN pecked holes in that theory.

Cute grid layout. Are those little nests, at the top and bottom? And on the sides, too, maybe? Well, hey -- if U really squint...

26 weejects to choose from. Highlights:
* DWI. Part of DDE.
* DMZ. When DYE just won't do.
* APU. Only weeject with a U. A.k.a. Uject.
* ALB. I smell a missed Pangram opportunity, here. Surely somebody famous has the acronym JHA. (sorta like JLO) Then JIB, ION, ... rodeo. Does Blue'Bel like the Pangrams? Congrats to her on gettin into showbiz, btw. Remember us, when yer famous, and known as AlO, or somesuch.

"Spring the Chickens"

M and Also 12:21 PM  

Shoulda been all caps there, in "ALO".

After hours of irresponsible research, I find that JHA is the name of many famous folks... in Bollywood. Also eyeballed all the Jennifers, but not much cookin there... closest was JHU, for Jennifer HUdson. Is there such a thing as a PUNDEMIC? Could we start the first one?



Whirred Whacks 12:24 PM  

I'm with @Numinous on using the word "gift" as a verb. Always feels odd to my ears. Old school, I guess.

Even more grating for me is using "author" as a verb. When I create something with words, I "write" or "compose" it, not "author" it. More stick-in-the-mudness on my part, I guess.

I'm Whirred Whacks, and I authorize this message.

Hartley70 12:38 PM  

Numinous, I just read the previous few days' posts to find the explanation for your absence this fall. You've both been through a shocking trauma and I applaud your resilience. God bless.

AliasZ 12:43 PM  

It would have been neater if there were no other animals in the grid today, but we have a PIG, an EEL, EMUS and a KIMONO dragon.

If a boxer is hit, can he be UNHIT?

AZTECAN is a person originally from Azteca.

Better clue for USE IT: _____or lose it. For BAM: Emeril's signature interjection.

Speaking of birds, listen to this anonymous madrigal about a nightingale in the Catalan language, from the collection Cancionero de Palacio (Madrid, Biblioteca Real, MS II – 1335), a Spanish manuscript of Renaissance music. The works in it were compiled during a time span of around 40 years, from the mid-1470s until the beginning of the 16th century. It contains some 460 works by contemporary composers, many of them anonymous. The title of the song: Din-di-rin-din. I defy you not to fall in love with the song.

English translation:

Dindirin danya, dindirindin.
I arose one fine day
and spent the morning in the meadow;
I heard the nightingale
singing on the bough, din-di-rin-din.
Dindirin danya, dindirindin.
I heard the nightingale
singing on the bough,
Nightingale, oh nightingale,
do this errand for me,
Dindirin danya, dindirindin.
Nightingale, oh nightingale,
do this errand for me,
tell my lover
that I am already married! Din-di-rin-din.
Dindirin danya, dindirindin.

Zygotic 12:49 PM  

@Whirred Whacks - But where do you stand on eke out (Hi @Ellen S 9:42 a.m.)

Hartley70 12:50 PM  

Whoohoo Annabel! Brilliant job. So much fun awaits you. Now try to stay awake this last semester :-)

Shocking rejection@Casco. Did they know how cute you are?

Oh the puzzle. Fine. Good. Single digit. Appropriate Monday. I love birds.

Anonymous 1:02 PM  

Numinous said...
To quote a Rolling Stones title:
"Congradulations" Annabel,

Kind of ironic to misspell "congratulations" in this context.

Carola 1:07 PM  

An all-around Monday treat - puzzle, Annabel's write-up, hawk-eyed comments on grid felicities. With LEGAL EAGLE, I thought we were in for rhyming pairs, but the SPRING CHICKEN set me right. I also went wrong in writing in "not in" (my case).
I noticed that AZTECAN mirrors SPITTED, reminding me of their gory religious practice.

LaneB 1:16 PM  

Had trouble with the ELO and ELL cross, never heard of APU (not being a Simpson fan)' can't see SPITTED as describing a chicken "read y for the rotisserie", but m a aged to avoid a humiliating Mon day DNF anyway. Not "easy" for me

Whirred Whacks 1:48 PM  

@Z 12:49 I have no problem with "eke out."

But TASK used as a verb is another one that bothers me, e.g., "She was tasked with producing a report."

Typically used by government people/bureaucrats in my experience.

One week from today:


Mr. Benson 1:56 PM  

ONO/KIMONO is precisely the kind of thing that would have caused Rex to describe the puzzle as fatally flawed, and take a jab at Will Shortz in the process.

Last Silver Unhit 2:06 PM  

Past Wellesley College grads...

Top tier:
* Julia Collins. 2nd longest Jeopardy winnin streak.
* Heidi Howkins. Climbed both Mt. Everest and K2. Also, K-thru-12, evidently.
* Reena Raggi. Aka, Judge Reena.
* Soong "J-Ha" May-ling. Aka, Madam Chaing Kai-shek.
* Winifred Edgerton Merrill. Mathematician and 1883 beer chuggin champ.

Also, lesser-knowns:
* Hillary Rodham.
* Diane Sawyer.
* Cokie Roberts.
* Nora Ephron.
* Scarlet Johansson. [still attemptin to contact, for confirmation]


Nighthawk 4:21 PM  

Congrats, Annabel. Very sharp write up, too.

But, I am still trying to work out the subliminal message in the background of the photo of your Mom and Chicken Little.

Is it that running leads to lots of wine drinking?

Numinous 5:37 PM  

@Whirred Whacks:
I write a bunch but I haven't authored a single thing.

@Anon 1:02
Kind of ironic that I quoted the the Rolling Stones' song title accurately.

And thank you, @Hartley 70.

Teedmn 6:50 PM  

But you can use "present" as both a noun and a verb. Is this where the misuse of "gift" came from?

Personally, my big dislike is using "incent" as a verb, or the word "incentivize". What's wrong with "motivate"? I'm feeling incensed!

Nice puzzle, and nice write-up. Thanks, Mr. Guzzetta and Annabel.

Zygotic 6:56 PM  

Here is a fun little list for wordies, words that should be used more.

OISK 7:26 PM  

About 9 minutes for me, which is slower than a usual Monday. Don't know ELO and never heard of Evil Woman outside of the crossword, got "Valli" only from the crosses, and never heard of "Liz" Lemon - I don't watch "30 Rock." (Can't stomach Alec Baldwin)

Still, an apt Monday puzzle. Feliz Navidad a bit belatedly.

Tita 7:55 PM  

@Mathguy...don't know about ownership, but not only is Matt G a frequent constructor, but he is also the father of Dr. Fill, the computer challenger at ACPT.

Annabelle...once again, congrats...

Has anyone heard from our JenCT, our resident chicken-keeper? Anabelle- the two of you could compare notes.

Speaking of Matisse at the MOMA, go see his Cutouts exhibit there...crowds should be less now. We were lucky enough to get there via a Sponsor's pass, which meant no lines, no waiting.
My favorite was "Swimming Pool"... more because of its back story than on its own artistic merits....
Having been watching divers at a pool in Cannes, he de iced he wanted a pool of his own... the result is installed at the MOMA.

thanks, Mr. Guzetta...i loved the theme, in spite of OUIS.

Charles Flaster 10:49 PM  

Congrats on Wellesley.
Keep up the great reviews.
Thanks JG

The English Avocado 10:01 AM  

Congratulations on Wellesley, Annabel. What a superb school. I know two professors there, both excellent: Dan Chiasson, in the English Department, was a classmate of mine at Amherst, and I know a professor of Spanish whose name I forget right now. Superb location, too. Just please consider carefully the womens' college issue when making your decision--it's one that will matter to you for the rest of your life. Nick F.

Hungry Mother 2:57 PM  

If I can BQ on Sunday at Disney, maybe I'll see you in April 2016 as I run by.

spacecraft 11:24 AM  

WTG, "tired student." If you think you're tired NOW...

On to today. And there sits our old crossbird EMU, outside the theme and looking lonely with no phrase to hug him. I do like some of this stuff: PANDEMIC SHOUTOUT could be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's sign in his cameo appearance in The Stand, and an AMENABLE QUATRAIN appears at the top of this blog.

Yet some of it seems forced. The -AN ending to AZTEC, the -TED ending to SPIT (egad!)--and UNHIT? Really? Spellcheck rejects that one--and rightly so, IMO. That one's awful.

If someone gave me this puzzle, I think I'd REGIFT it. C.

rondo 1:25 PM  

Clue "___ or lose it" too easy for Monday?

What did constructors do before the Simpsons plethora of answers?

The use of "gift" as a verb e.g. REGIFT, doesn't bug me as much as sportscasters (not spellcasters) using "defense" as a verb - They defensed that pass very well - instead of "defend". It AINT right.

Wife has still not forgiven me for taking her to Guggenheim and not MOMA.

Very average puz in my VIEW.

DMG 1:50 PM  

Creeping back after washing out so badly on Friday and Saturday thatI couldn't bear to look here to see everyone say how easy they were! Starting to wonder if I should join those who settle for M thru W? At any rate,today's puzzle was one I could do easily enough to,give me hope to,keep,trying! Agree with those who think REGIFT should be outlawed!


Burma Shave 1:56 PM  

Roses of reds,
Violets of blues,
have OUIS displaced
our common EMUS

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