French market town / MON 2-16-15 / Nobles above viscounts / Lip-puckering as kraut / Fudd of cartoondom

Monday, February 16, 2015

Constructor: David J. Kahn

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: Presidents Day — Note: "The last names of eight U.S. presidents are hidden in this puzzle's completed grid, reading across, back, up, down and diagonally, word-search style"

Theme answers (sort of):
  • TIRE TRACK (17A: Imprint on a dirt road)
  • OUT OF ORDER (29D: Not working)
  • DREAM ABOUT (11D: Have fantasies about)
  • TEMPT FATE (54A: Flirt with disaster)
Word of the Day: BOURG (31A: French market town) —
  1. a town or village under the shadow of a castle.
    • a French market town. [what is a non-market town?] (wikipedia)
• • •

Poor Bob Dole—it's like this puzzle is taunting him... I still have a hard time accepting that "Presidents Day" is a thing. In my day … we had Washington's birthday and Lincoln's birthday and sometimes we combined them for holiday purposes but no one was ever forced to think of TAFT. And we liked it that way. But sure, why not, as a "holiday"- (so-called) themed puzzle goes, this is fine. Certainly Monday easy (took me roughly four times as long to find all the presidents as it did to solve the thing), and the yuck stuff (BOURG? ODORED!?) wasn't exactly obstructive, so fine. This works. I don't enjoy word searches, but some do, and if I didn't want to do it, I sure didn't have to, so … "Happy" "Presidents Day"!

  • 38A: N.F.L.'s Manti ___ (TEO) — I'd already started to forget him. In college, he was the subject of a very weird fake-girlfriend story. And then I stopped paying attention. To be honest, I wasn't paying much attention to begin with.  
  • 39D: New ___, site of the 1988 Republican convention (ORLEANS) — I only just this second got why there was a convention site twofer in today's puzzle (see 6A: CHI). Me: "That's weird … wait, no it isn't."
  • 52A: Six-time Tony winner McDonald (AUDRA) — she's from Fresno, CA. As am I. As was Philip Levine (R.I.P.). He didn't grow up there, but he lived there for the last 30 years. My mom said earlier today: "I loved seeing him at the farmers market in Fresno. He always had such a wonderful smile." I have many of his books. I was sad to hear of his death yesterday.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


jae 12:03 AM  

Medium for me and I don't want to discuss how long it took me to "find" the 8 presidents.  I did notice that MORENO is a anagram of MONROE.

Clever concept and something to suck up extra time with on a holiday weekend, except I'm retired so thats pretty much every weekend, day, whatever.

JFC 12:05 AM  

Thanks, Rex. This is a dumb Monday puzzle. Like I am supposed to do an easy Monday puzzle and then find names like I am playing Battleship? Sometimes you actually provide a service. Maybe when I come into wealth I will contribute to your Blog. But I still believe ads are the way to go....


Graham 12:12 AM  

Is there a word for when the grid only has one "path" --- NW N SW center NE S SE?

Carola 12:18 AM  

Call me clueless. It's Monday, so I knew there had to be a theme, but I couldn't find it - I hadn't seen the teensy "notepad" on my dinosaur-age version of AcrossLite. I also didn't realize it was President's Day weekend - I'd thought it was Valentine's Day weekend.

Anyway, in my post-solve theme search, I thought it might be politics - HACK, CHI and ORLEANS as convention sites, RAN, Clinton's SAX, the TEA Party, RANT, DOLE, ROE v Wade as an issue, maybe even Karl MARX...
I also noticed the ACK! cluster: CRACK, HACK, TRACK, TACKY.
Then there was the "something's wrong here" smell of ROTTING, SAUER, and ODORED.
Gave up the hunt and waited for Rex.

STEEP over TEA is nice. Also liked PREEN over BIRD and ENFORCE x OUT OF ORDER.

Whirred Whacks 12:19 AM  

Fun, zippy puzzle!

I initially mistyped Princess LEIA's name as LIAE which made SEX the answer for the 20 across clue "Instrument for Bill Clinton, informally." I thought, "Hmmm."

I obviously changed it to SAX, but "sex" did seem plausible considering the many womanizing and rape allegations against Clinton, and his more recent ongoing association with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. (Reports show that Clinton flew 11 times on Epstein's private jet dubbed the "Lolita Express.)

Enjoy your Monday.

George Barany 12:42 AM  

Given its goals, i.e., keep it Monday easy and call attention to Presidents' Day, @David Kahn's puzzle was terrific. A lot of theme density, with minimal outre words. One of my favorite constructors for exactly that reason.

I too am of the generation that knew Abraham Lincoln was February 12, and George Washington February 22, and none of this shopping-Monday-split-the-difference-single-holiday-of-convenience. How many of you know that Honest Abe and Charles Darwin share the same birthdate, i.e., the year (1809) was also the same? A shade over six years ago, i.e., on the actual bicentennial, I shared this extraordinary fact with a junior colleague, who wasn't even aware of the significance of the date, let alone the year.

chefwen 1:06 AM  

Did not notice the notepad and thought "a theme less Monday, how odd.". Did it in record time, I wish I had noted the theme as it would have added another dimension to a super easy puzzle. I guess I'm in the same ballpark as @Carola, Ah well, we Cheese heads stick together.

Steve J 2:45 AM  

I couldn't possibly care less about the word search aspect - even as a kid, I found them rather pointless - so I viewed this as themeless. And for early in the week, it did pretty well on that front. Nothing that was particularly clunky, and some good fill (JESTER, MARSALA, TEMPT FATE). Decent Monday.

Moly Shu 3:16 AM  

Flew through this and didn't recognize a theme. Hit the info button, saw the word search, and said "pass". Thx @Rex for finding what I didnt care to. Good Monday themeless.

I thought this was a crossword blog 4:00 AM  

Whirred Whacks = Douche Bag

Ω 4:47 AM  

I found President ASS and figured I was done.

Lewis 5:32 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 5:36 AM  

The solve was easier than the other Mondays we’ve had this year, to my dismay. The clues could have been just slightly ramped up. I never liked word search puzzles, so didn’t spend much time looking for the Presidents. Perhaps the clue that starts “Like All The President’s Men…” is a hint to the theme? I do see that Kahn, perhaps enamored with his last initial, has a KKK diagonal in there (I’m guessing that wasn’t on purpose, actually).

ODORED perfectly describes the word that it is, and it’s grid counterpart OATERS, isn’t far behind. I like ALLEGE, GOUGE, OUTOFORDER, and PREEN. The three-letter answers, which in many puzzles, contain great dreck, were clean. And WEED wasn’t given a pottish clue; maybe Will is starting to back away from that. This must have been a bear to construct, so props to David J on that! Overall, an enjoyable Monday solve.

This solved like a themeless Monday – is that such a bad idea, by the way???

Lewis 5:37 AM  

Factoid: “The word HOAR comes from an Old English adjective that means "showing signs of old age"; in this context it refers to the frost that makes trees and bushes look like white hair.

Quotoid: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” – Groucho MARX

bwalker 6:19 AM  

I was a little slow today for whatever reason, but enjoyed the puzzle just the same. Did not see the word-search names until Rex's blog. Not gonna touch sex and politics, but who needs to when this puzzle has R-RATED RUMP?

Luxuriated eating veal MARSALA on Valentine's Day; the missus preferred her chicken piccata.

Dorothy Biggs 7:27 AM  

I did not know that ODORED was a word.

I did not do the word search because a) I didn't see the note about it, and b) had I seen the note about it, I wouldn't have done it because I don't care for them. Kudos, though, to Mr. Shortz and Mr. Kahn for providing us with an extra puzzle within the puzzle. Yay!

NEATO should really be banned.

All in all a decent solve.

Spending President's Day iced in and praying my power stays on...we're supposed to eventually get snow but right now it's just sleet. We've gone from Snowbama to Dwight D. ICEnhower. Delightful.

Aketi 7:35 AM  

Ah well, I suppose I'll expose my lower middle class roots with my true confessions, I come from a family that indescriminantly does word games and puzzles of any type.

My grandmother and her sisters played vicious games of SCRABBLE which frequently led to accusations of cheating with the inevitable tossing of the board and tiles on the floor. Apparently they were able to channel their inner two year olds well into their eighties. They also did word jumbles and word search puzzles.

All four grew up in Missouri and were educated through high school and became teachers at a time when an eighth grade education was the norm.
I didn't notice the theme, but I'm sure they would have and enjoyed the search.

aketti 7:39 AM  

And of course all four of them competed iver who could finish the crossword puzzle first. I don't think my mother or aunt ever came close to their solve times.

joho 7:40 AM  

Missing the note and thus also the point, I thought this was a themeless and that Will was messing with us. Thanks, @Rex, for finding the presidents so I didn't have to.

I think scented works but ODORED does not. The ODORED candles were a beautiful touch.

Very nice construction, David Kahn, too bad it was lost on me!

Danp 7:56 AM  

I'm pretty sure odored candles can only be bought in a novelty store - somewhere between the whoopie cushions and the plastic dog poo.

AliasZ 8:00 AM  

Fairly clean themeless Monday, I would say. Given the restrains the eight hidden presidents placed on the grid, the fill was ODORED up only in very few instances. Little glue was required to keep the grid together, a TEO here, an ATTA, ETTE and ETE there. Can ELMER be considered glue fill? HOED and HOAR may be a coincidence, or perhaps a sly reference to the antics some very popular presidents engaged in while in office. You decide.

I think POLKA hiding POLK is cheating, but that's just me. SevastoPOL Katzenjammer would have hidden him, considered the least known consequential president, a lot better.

Let us enjoy the romantic, sunny and warm music of Federico MORENO Torroba (1891-1982) on a bitter cold Monday morning in NYC. This is his"Concierto Ibérico" for Four Guitars and Orchestra.


Tita 8:21 AM  

What @joho said...

@Aketi - sounds like you've got good genes!
You're describing my mom too. Any game of almost any type is irresistible... At the age of 91, I took her to play bocce for the first time - she immediately took up a ball and started playing (and winning!) even before we could tell her the rules.

I am sure it's a big part of what keeps her young.

Thanks for the themeless Monday, Mr. Kahn.
(I must say - I miss the topical puzzles - Valentine's Day, New Year's, homage puzzles are rare these days!)

RAD2626 8:37 AM  

I thought it was a truly clever concept and terrific execution. Obviously saw POLK right away and figured most of the names had to be short so looked for Adams and Bush. Finding neither I quit looking. But not surprised. I have trouble with word searches on kid's placemats in high end diners.

Unknown 8:39 AM  

I thought OAKIE was an outlier for a Monday. Maybe it's just me, but that is pretty obscure (with all due respect to Mr. OAKIE and his legions of fans.)

Other than that, whomp, a Monday finished seemingly before I started. Just the right start for a cold and busy week.

Ω 8:46 AM  

Best Presidential Ranking Ever

I found President HOED CHI TEO. I can't believe Rex missed him.

jberg 8:50 AM  

I was tempted to call my step-grandson on this, as I couldn't get past 7 for the longest time. He's a word-search wizard, and is out of school today for the holiday - but then I would no longer have been able to feign superiority. I even half-circled DOLE, thinking I'd remembered that election result wrong, and spent oodles of time looking for the missing MON to go with ROE; poor guy was hinted at twice, but didn't make the puzzle. I guess Bush, Harrison, and Adams had to be left out because each is the name of 2 presidents, leading to an ambiguous count.

I finally saw GRANT -- I think my problem was that that G also had a GR going down, which made me overlook the diagonal.

Also two ELIs in there -- a tribute to all the Yalie presidents, I suppose.

Today my university is open, but the subway is only running in the underground sections, which means a half-mile walk through snowbanks to the shuttle bus, which is said to be running on a reduced schedule, then a bus ride for a couple miles along a street which turned into a mile-long traffic jam after the last blizzard. I'm allowing lots of time.

RooMonster 8:52 AM  

Hey All !
I found all 8 Prez's! Almost gave up, was missing Grant & Tyler, but kept on and wrangled them up!

Neat MonPuz, segregated grid, but with the names word-searched in, that's fine IMB (in my book). Went looking for Reagan and Bush for a while. Adams also. Liked how one was in each "themer" and the center. Agree with the minimal dreck.

Thought this a medium MonPuz, as had some wrong answers at first, which screwed me up/ slowed me down. bland -> TACKY, bReak -> CRACK, oNyx -> INKY, Rated_ -> RRATED, ShEEr -> STEEP. But sussed everything out, and finished with no errors! NEATO!

ATTA me!

Anonymous 9:12 AM  

took me longer to find the Presidents

Gracie H 9:14 AM  

Printed puzzle from Across Lite without first looking closely at the screen. No note about the word search on the printed version, so I didn't see it until opening Rex's grid. Zipped through it apace, about average for Mon, and for a change knew the proper nouns.

Hartley70 9:16 AM  

I was disappointed with the ease of this Monday until I came here and saw the theme. I wish there was a small asterisk on the face of online versions to alert me to additional info. I can't seem to remember to tap the small i since it's so seldom rewarding. Perhaps if an m&m popped out of my phone....

Ludyjynn 9:16 AM  

Okay Monday, despite my lack of fondness for word-searches. Thanks, Rex, for doing the leg work. BTW, not all towns were/are 'market towns', where the farmers and crafters gather, from far and wide, usually weekly, to ply their wares.

I was disappointed in the answer for 49Across. The better word to use is JEWISH. This may seem insignificant to non-Jews, but I would refer you to for a well-reasoned explanation of the distinctions and usages.

Let's not make ALLEGations against any Presidents here today; rather, in the spirit of the holiday, if anything, they should be LAUDED. Snark is OUTOFORDER, IMO. That said, I agree w/ @George Barany about the (d)evolution of "Presidents' Day" for the sake of convenience.

Thanks, DJK and WS.

Fredd Smith 9:23 AM  

@Prof. Barany --

To me, the most interesting date co-incidence was that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, outspoken political rivals in their own active political years, both died on July 4 (Independence Day, a cause for which both had labored) in 1826.

They had reconciled via frequent written correspondence starting in 1812.

At age 90, on his deathbed, Adams said that Jefferson still lives. He was wrong; Jefferson had died several hours earlier.

Leapfinger 9:26 AM  

@Lewis, high MARX for your Groucho quotoid; he was a very smart cookie.

@WWhacks, I wouldn't go as far as the 0400 reply, but it strikes me that your comment tiptoes into gratuitous territory. Of course, furriner that I am, I have no dog in the race.

Like @Carola et aliae, I missed the note and therefore the theme. While casting about, I did see the BIRDS PREEN and was struck by the ACK-ACK-ACK fusillade. Noticed one or two 'tree' words in ELMER and OAKIE, but that wooden branch into anything and I had to leave it. Thought it would have been fun to have square 43 be a G, to yield G-RATED/GRATED GUMP. Was pleased to be reminded of "The Umbrellas of CherBOURG".

My mental DOODLE for the day: Elizabeth came in to DOOK unmarried, but she soon DOLED out. (Since I live in DERM, NC, I'm allowed some local DERMAL humour. Apologies if my DOODLE DOLED ODORED.)

Happy PresiDense Day.

chefbea 9:29 AM  

Puzzle was easy. Found 5 presidents then came here. I hate word search puzzles. - bit I do love veal Marsella.

chefbea 9:29 AM  

should be but

Leapfinger 9:39 AM  


I frequently have bit Veal Marsala, but given the option, I'd rather have a bit of Veal Picatta.

Indywhoodle 9:53 AM  

I live in the Midwest and have never heard Chicago referred to as Chi/shy, but rather Chi-town. I threw Chi in anyway with the thought that Mr. Kahn must be thinking of ChiSox on a baseball scoreboard. It also made me realize that Will probably hasn't hung out in Crawfordsville, Indiana for awhile.

Arlene 9:53 AM  

I'm not too picky about word puzzles, so unlike many other commenters here, I actually like word-find puzzles. I understand the elitist attitude about all the letters already being there, but, hey - it's another way to dabble in wordplay.
I'm also of the vintage that celebrated Lincoln and Washington separately - and lamented them being combined for the sake of a Monday holiday. But it does make it more palatable for the Confederacy.

old timer 10:29 AM  

I thought it was tough for a Monday -- 10 minutes, just writing answers in the newspaper, and Mondays for me are 6 to 8 minutes.

I have been doing word search thingies for 60 years and still don't really like them. But I knew to took for the shorter Prexys (Potuses? Poti?) Still could not find Tyler, though I was looking for him and really hoping for Monroe or Madison.

It would have been neat to find Eisenhower, but no such luck.

DShawMaine 10:30 AM  

Thanks @Ludyjynn for mentioning the Jew/Jewish terminology - I too reacted negatively to the JEW/JAIL crossing but since I am not Jewish, thought I might be being overly PC. It so easily could have been hew/hail, or new/nail or pew/pail or sew/sail or..... Anyway, otherwise thought it a too easy puzzle, even for a Monday, until I read here about the hidden theme. That is why this blog is so helpful!

Bird 10:38 AM  

Puzzle was easy with only one nit. ODORED not only looks bad but sounds bad as well. The word search was not that easy tho.

President ASS is funny

old timer 10:38 AM  

BTW, when I was a student in England, I was taught the following about towns, cities, etc:

City: Must have a cathedral. Eli and Wells and Chichester are cities, though pretty small. Bath is grandfathered in, because it used to have a church where the Bishop of Bath and Wells had his chair (Lichfield and Coventry also share a bishop). Newcastle, though large, was a town (pronounced, "toon" there) until it acquired its own Bishop.

Town: Must have a weekly (or more frequent) market. Grantham's was in the high street. So there are no non-market towns

Village: Must have a church.

Hamlet: A place that may be as big as a village, but that has no church.

Tita 10:54 AM  

To further the fascinating discussion, the BOURG that came to my ind is BOURG-en Bresse, which is described at Wiki as a commune.

I know it for the giant wire chicken sculpture along the A39, an homage to the chickens for which it is famous.
(Though Julia Child lamented, during the 40's when she lived in Paris, that the Poulets de Bresse were not what they used to be...)

@Z - lol!

Joseph Michael 11:01 AM  

Poor George W. Bush got left out again. Just like he did at the National Republican Convention.

Given the SNL lampooning of FORD long ago, it was amusing to find his name in OUT OF ORDER.

Good Monday puzzle. Like others, didn't devote much effort to the word search. But was impressed that eight Presidential names could actually be squeezed into the grid.

Anonymous 11:50 AM  

It's a shame bags-of-douche like whirred wacks and evil doug feel the need to use this forum for exposing their vile inner selves in such an embarrassing fashion, but I suppose if they didn't have rex they'd be spouting their hatred on street corners or gunning down JEWs on Denmark or blacks in Missouri, so I guess we should humor them.

Anonymous 11:53 AM  

Methinks JEWdy Lynne be a tad oversensitive.

Anonymous 11:59 AM  

Thank you for the Philip Levine YouTube. One of my favorite poets.

Larry David 12:23 PM  

Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty clever puzzle.

Masked and Anonymo6Us 12:40 PM  

oh, man...
Soooo close, to includin a President with a U.
(If one plays Boggle, U can get TaRUMAN.)


r.alphbunker 12:49 PM  

Nice theme. Word searches are one situation where paper solvers have an advantage unless the crossword program has some way to highlight the words as they are found.

This NYT article might be of interest to some of us: what your online comments say about you

mathguy 1:27 PM  

It seems to me that honoring all presidents is equivalent to honoring none of them. Around here, ads featured Lincoln and Washington and none of the others. Even today's puzzle didn't remind me that today is President's Day until I came here.

I've always taken an elitist view of word searches ("They're for those who can't do crosswords."). But isn't this one more difficult than normal? It doesn't come with a list of the words to be found. I sort of enjoyed finding the eight presidents.

dick swart 1:46 PM  

In the ancient days before Presidents Day, when Lincoln and Washington rated days and recognitions suited to their unique achievements, there was a George Washington hatchet filled with red cherry hard candies.

The hatchet was made of a shaped cardboard hatchet head in red attached to a blue cardboard tube for a handle.

Both contained the cavity-provoking red hard-candies.

I don't think that these goodies made it through WWII.

Anonymous 3:26 PM  

@ludyjynn in defense of 49A I read the clue and the answer as referring to the proper noun "Jew", which I don't think is offensive, instead of using the term as an adjective, which would be offensive to many. It would be like using the clue "Many a Slav" for the answer "Pole".

I AM a robot 3:58 PM  

Re: Bourg - resistance is futile.

GILL I. 4:02 PM  

I'm late, I'm late...but wanted to chime in an say how much fun this Monday was.
I got the note and thought how yummy! a crossword game on Monday. I had the hardest time finding that rascal TYLER but, by gum, I wasn't givin up...I mean thanks to him we have the Treaty of Wanghia with Qing China. How could we forget that!
Good construction job DJK. I'll take more of these...

CaseAceFos 4:22 PM  

I ODORED David Kahn,for having STEEPed up to the plate by hooking up JODIE with MORENO, an anagram for "Monroe"

CaseAceFos 4:31 PM  

Leapfinger, AliasZ,

Do you recognize my hands-up mug shot in the pic appended to my punny "Monroe/DiMaggio" comment posted @4:22 PM?

Ludyjynn 4:49 PM  

@DShawMaine, You're welcome.

@anon3:26pm, please Google, "Should I say Jew or Jewish?", scroll down a bit and click on My argument for using JEWISH is clearly detailed there. Shalom.

beatrice 4:59 PM  

As we are nearing the Season of Lent, here is the 'Tristis ANIMa mea' (My soul is sorrowful') from the Tenebrae Responsoria of Carlo Gesualdo (ca.1560-1613).*

In a more joyful vein, the 'Magnificat' ANIMa mea Dominum' ('My Soul doth magnify the Lord') of (the until-today-unknown to me ) Alexander Arkhangelsky (1846-1924).

*For anyone who is at all interested in this kind of music, or Gesualdo in particular, here is the URL for the excellent notes which accompany the Tallis Scholars' recording of the 'Responsories' for Holy Saturday. (The 'Tristis' is performed on Maunday Thursday).

AliasZ 5:00 PM  

I sure do, Howie! So good to see you. Happy to note that your punning ways didn't SAUER any.

Just for you, here is a little mid-afternoon delight from the Tchaikovsky opera, The Maid of ORLEANS.

Say hi to Librarose, OAKIE-dokie?

evil doug 5:39 PM  

From "The Jewish Week" in New York:
"Bibi Tells Europe's Jews To Come ‘Home’".

Ludy: The Jewish people have certainly suffered way more than their share of ugly slurs. But I fear that if you decide "Jew" is one of them, you trivialize your own case--especially if respected Jewish publications regularly employ the term. I don't deny you your choice to take offense; I merely believe you could make so much more hay with more obviously malicious words.


OISK 5:48 PM  

Noticed mention of Jeffrey Epstein, friend (perhaps) of Clinton. I taught him chemistry, Lafayette High School, Brooklyn. He got 100 on the Regents, but even then, was not interested in a career in science. Met him at an airport, decades later, when he was super-wealthy and successful - another ex-student makes good. Oops.

Average Monday time, and I enjoyed the memory of Bourg, en Bresse, not to be confused with Bourges, which we also visited the same summer. Had a lot of trouble finding that last President. Tyler. I actually thought I had 8 much earlier, until my wife reminded me that Dole lost. Seriously. I had written "Dole." (61 across...)

aging soprano 6:08 PM  

Would have liked to have seen Roosevelt in there. That would have counted as 2 more presidents.

Geoff Holtby 6:10 PM  

I'm just glad to see URI Geller clued as PSEUDOpsychic instead of just psychic for once.

aging soprano 6:12 PM  

Would have liked to have seen Roosevelt in there. Would have raised the presidents count to ten.

aging soprano 6:13 PM  

Would have liked to have seen Roosevelt in there. Would have raised the presidents count to ten.

Ludyjynn 7:04 PM  

@Evil, I repeat, for the third and final time, to read the web site referenced by me above at 4:$9 p.m. It fully addresses your comment.

Ludyjynn 7:06 PM  

make that 4:49 p.m. Put a fork in me; I am done.

evil doug 8:01 PM  


I did!

"The proper term to use when referring to someone of Jewish ancestry or a member of the Jewish faith is “Jewish,” although “Jew” is technically correct. However, “Jew” has become laden with negative connotations which have led most people to conclude that it should not be utilized in polite conversation, for fear of being viewed as an insult. The plural form, “Jews,” along with “Jewry” to refer collectively to Jewish people around the world, is appropriate for use in most regions, although individual people may express personal preferences which should be respected."

Precisely my point: Jew is "technically correct", but I'm supposed to somehow anticipate which "individual people" take varying viewpoints. Adding an 's' makes it okay--but not always? What negative connotations, and says who? Why is this site authoritative?

How about this: Stand tall and embrace the term, instead of yielding to those who want it to be derogatory. What better empowerment is there than that?

Who are "most people", when Jewish publications themselves use the term?

This is why pc just doesn't work--too many well-meaning people have too many individual opinions, and fight unnecessary battles when there are real battles to be won. If we were personal pals, and you asked me not to say 'Jew', I'd try to comply. But when speaking to a mass audience, am I expected to take a survey first? I can only assure everyone I mean no offense, and employ the language with logic and common sense.


Happy Pencil 8:16 PM  

Sigh. I suppose there's no point in trying to talk sensibly to someone who seems to have taken leave of his senses, but it may interest you to know, @Whirred Whacks, that in 90 percent of your comments, you come across as an interesting, affable person. In the 10 percent of your remarks that revolve around politics, however -- almost always initiated by you, by the way -- you sound consistently intolerant and laughably ill-informed.

It's truly a shame, and unfortunately it has significantly diminished my enjoyment of this blog and the thoughtful, rational comments of many of those who post here.

Don McBrien 8:17 PM  

Awesome puzzle for President's Day! Solved the crossword, then did the word search with my 12-year-old daughter. Really had fun with this one!

PuzzleCraig 9:31 PM  

As a contractor, I've kind of grown to accept that the Federal government does not recognize a holiday called "President(')s(') Day" - no matter which way you care to apostrophize it (if at all).

The day is officially set aside as Washington's Birthday in 5 U.S.C. 6103(a).

Anonymous 10:46 PM  

People like whirred wacks and evil doug prove it time and time again: You can't argue with ignorance.

Unknown 11:54 PM  

visit my blog too

evil doug 3:42 AM  

All this, for an innocent three-letter word in a crossword.

Meanwhile, just a gunman cutting down some "random victims" in a kosher deli. Just a video of 21 "random Egyptians" beheaded on a Libyan shore....


Oscar 7:23 AM  

Too bad he couldn't get full interlock, or at least one word going in each direction. Maybe next time.

Leapfinger 10:23 AM  

@oldtimer, thanks for explaining the categories from hamlet on up. Interesting, that.

@CaseAce, no mistaking! Recognized not only the mugshot and nom de blog, but also the inimitable style of The Bard of Quincy!

Well, what dzhoo know! It's not possible to argue against perception and subjective reaction, but fwiw, I agree 100% with @EvilD on this topic. Even before he brought up the Libyan shore.

Just hunkering and waiting for ice-melt, hoping the power stays with us.

Anonymous 12:04 AM  

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spacecraft 11:31 AM  

And now, back to our show.

ELMER and JODIE, a pair of HACKS
DREAMABOUT playing the alto SAX:
As he is GREETED, she simply PREENs.

Enough of these DOODLEs. No such note appeared in my paper, so hand up for never seeing the prexys at all. I too thought "Hmm, a Monday themeless, go figure." As such, it seemed a harmless bit of fluff, with some nice fill (the ROTTING "ODORED" being a SAUER exception). But now, with OBAMA hidden in DREAMABOUT and TAFT in TEMPTFATE (which, I notice, will land you in JAIL if it involves WEED) This becomes quite a NEATO accomplishment. ATTA boy, David: consider yourself LAUDED--which luckily doesn't necessarily mean you're dead, as the clue seems to suggest. B+. Gotta take a full letter off for 42d.

spacecraft 11:34 AM  

P.S. Isn't it strange how a really dated expression like "NEATO" gets resurrected just because it's crossword-friendly?

rain forest 12:06 PM  

I had the note about the word search in my paper, but I demurred. Now, if the puzzle contained Canadian Prime Ministers' names, I might have had a go.

Even if there was no note, it is hardly a big deal to have a themeless on a Monday. As a Monday puzzle this is just fine, ODORED (proper spelling: odoured) notwithstanding.

Nicely done.

DMG 12:47 PM  

Not much to say about this Monday-easy puzzle, so I just dropped by to say "Hi". I was a bit surprised to find how many crossworders are averse to word searches. I always thought it was just me. @Spacecraft: love your verses!

Burma Shave 2:06 PM  


JODIE played the part of a HOAR
who AIMED to GOUGE every creep.
For TACKY SAX they DOLED out more,


rondo 2:40 PM  

It might be a trend, the Harper's puzzle had a "word search" in their latest. Not that big a fan, but I did have the warning about it.

Poetry slam today; let it FLO!

I guess I didn't "miss" anythiing on Prez Day.

BS2 3:38 PM  

If you think that poem’s BLU or RRATED,
Don’t TEMPTFATE. Her master’s ABATED.

Anonymous 7:15 PM  

In racking my brain like mad trying to find NIXON (I thought the last one would probably be ADAMS, but figured given the daily-size grid there was no room for long names like WASHINGTON, JEFFERSON, CLEVELAND, ROOSEVELT or EISENHOWER), I saw two false starts, both upwardly diagonal: starting with the T in TEO, there's a TRU, but instead of continuing to make it TRUMAN it just sputtered into a string of gibberish. And the R in BIRDS starts an REA, but to get REAGAN out of it you have to put a G in the black square and change direction to hook up with the AN in ANIME.

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