William who played Hopalong Cassidy in old westerns / MON 2-1-2015 / Indonesian tourist destination / British runner Sebastian / Bridle strap / University of Maine's home / Cigar residue

Monday, February 2, 2015

 Happy February 2nd, everybody! And it's an Annabel day again!

Happy February 2nd, everybody! And it's an Annabel day again!


Constructor: Jeffrey Wechsler

Relative difficulty: Medium-difficult (for a Monday)

THEME: THE BIG APPLE [34A: Empire State Building locale ... or a hint to three letters in 16-, 19-, 52- and 57-Across]— Answers for 16A, 19A,52A and 57A contained "NYC."

Theme answers:
  • 16A: "Some Like it Hot" actor [TONYCURTIS]
  • 19A: "I must do this" [DESTINYCALLS]
  • 52A: Indictment for a serious offense [FELONYCHARGE]
  • 57A: Executive's free "wheels" [COMPANYCAR]
Word of the Day: ERNO (61A: Rubik who invented Rubik's Cube) —
Ernő Rubik (Hungarian: [ˈrubik ˈɛrnøː]; born 13 July 1944) is a Hungarian inventor, architect and professor of architecture. He is best known for the invention of mechanical puzzles including Rubik's Cube (1974), Rubik's MagicRubik's Magic: Master Edition, and Rubik's Snake.
While Rubik became famous for Rubik's Cube and his other puzzles, much of his recent work involves the promotion of science in education. Rubik is involved with several organizations such as Beyond Rubik's Cube, the Rubik Learning Initiative and the Judit Polgar Foundation all of whose aim is to engage students in science, mathematics, and problem solving at a young age.
• • •
This puzzle was surprisingly difficult to me...it felt like there were more name clues than usual. That intersection of TONYCURTIS [16A: "Some Like It Hot" actor] andBOYD [4D: William who played Hopalong Cassidy in old westerns] ended up really frustrating me! However, it's definitely one of my favorite Mondays so far. When I finally figured that 47A: Aioli, mostly wasn't actually talking about food at all but about VOWELS, I actually laughed out loud. Other great clues include 56A: "This skull has ____ in the earth" -Hamlet [LAIN] and 38D: Dimpled breakfast items [WAFFLES]. Anyway, would anyone care for a JUMBO ONION?

The theme's not much to speak of. . Or maybe I'm just bitter because I had NEWYORKCITY in 34A for around fifteen minutes. :P

  • 23A: TV show that popularized the phrase, "Is it bigger than a breadbox?" [WHATSMYLINE]— Rehearsals for the school play have just started up. And so, I've been hearing this a lot. Fortunately, I, a star, have all my lines memorized!...all, uh, five of them, so far...
  • 50D: Mob bosses [CAPOS—  You have to love words that can go with many, many clues. The clue could have been the device that changes the pitch of strings on a guitar; "chief" in Italian or "of a chicken" in Latin; a Jim Jones album. A pretty versatile word!
  • 14A: Prime draft classification [ONEA]— I would have recognized this a lot better if the clue had been Hot Cross Buns-related [____ penny, two a penny?], because my sister is learning to play the piano...

    (I'm obviously the kid in the striped shirt)

  • 25A: Item on a birthday cake[CANDLE]— Speaking of birthdays, 
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY DAD!!!!!! He is the best dad in the entire universe and I love him a lot.

  • Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired high school student.


    Anonymous 12:09 AM  

    Hi Annabel. What about "doto" and "buddycop"? And the clue for "ravel"?


    Steve J 12:09 AM  

    Excellent start to a Groundhog Day post, Annabel.

    The puzzle? Fine. I'm finding it harder to evaluate Mondays lately, because I notice so little as I solve. Unless something particular bad or something particularly excellent jumps out, everything just feels average. And this was definitely average (down to solve time; the app said I was 1 second off my Monday average solve time).

    Zwhatever 12:19 AM  

    TONY CURTIS and William BOYD are old for me and I have an AARP card, so impressive that a tired high school student got that cross.

    Every theme breaks between NY and C. I see this as a neat little feature of the puzzle, albeit that words ending in -NY aren't that hard to come by. Serious demerits, though, for SSE and whoever JON SEDA is. Seriously, how many police procedurals does this world need? Hill Street Blues, Law and Order, and NCIS have been the three I've ever watched. They've pretty much exhausted the field (don't bother telling me what I'm missing by not watching The Wire - from what I've read it sounds like same old same old). Oh, I think we watched Dragnet when I was a kid.

    Someone yesterday asked about the @SanFranMan59's absence. When the new interface appeared his data source disappeared. Seems like I've only seen him comment once or twice since. I do miss his stats, too.

    Evan 12:36 AM  


    Having watched all of "The Wire," I can tell you that it's absolutely not the "same old same old." All of those other police procedurals focus most of their time on the police themselves, sticking with the cops-as-the-good-guys-criminals-as-the-bad-guys script. "The Wire" is far more complex than that, and sometimes flips the script entirely.

    Happy Birthday, Annabel's dad.

    Queenie 1:22 AM  

    DOTO/JONSEDA (who?) required me to run the vowels. Couldn't parse the space, I suppose. Otherwise I found it on the easy side.

    I would second on The Wire (tied for the best TV show ever made), but it sounds like Z has heard it before and made up his mind otherwise, alas.

    Mostly posting to thank Evan for the SanFranMan update. I got crazy busy at work and got behind on my lurking and when I returned, no SFM and no ACME. Where did she go? I hope all is well!

    Thanks for the write up, Annabel, and Happy Birthday to your dad. Was it actually today (Sunday) or Groundhog Day? My grandma was born on Groundhog Day and her dad used to get her up and send her outside to check for her shadow. She took the responsibility very seriously for years.

    Queenie 1:25 AM  

    Oops! Seconding Evan and thanking Z. I shouldn't type anything on my phone!

    chefwen 1:42 AM  

    Hi Annabel, good to "see" you again. Thanks for the write up.

    Thought the puzzle was Monday easy and breezed right through it. Exactly what a Monday should be.

    @Carola - I'm thinking, karma!

    jae 4:07 AM  

    Medium-tough for me too Annabel.    Zippy theme answers and nothing to really cringe at (Wiki actually has a BUDDY COP page), liked it.

    @Z - Echoing Evan &Queenie,  The Wire is something very different.  Hill Street started the shift away from the traditional procedural.  Homicide and NYPD Blue pushed the envelope further.  L & O and NCIS aren't even close.  If you want to see what's recently been moving the bar check out "The Shield", The Killing", and "The Fall" all available on Netflix streaming.   May I assume you haven't seen HBO's True Detective?...not your Dragnet procedural.  If you don't have the time to keep up that's fine,  just don't use "how many more do we need" as an excuse.  And hey, I really enjoy/mostly agree with  your inputs here.

    GILL I. 4:23 AM  

    Cher looks like she just drank some DRANO...
    Now I LAIN me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord to let me WEEP[Y]....
    Strange little Monday.

    aging soprano 5:17 AM  

    Annabel, good morning. Fortunately you neglected to mention the most insidious clue for the word CAPO, which was used to describe Jewish prisoners who collaborated with their Nazi captors in the camps in WWII. Undoubtedly that usage is related to the mob henchmen.
    I found the puzzle easy; for me that means finishing the whole thing, even on a Monday, without one google, within a half hour. As you may have guessed, I am not the experienced solver that many of you are. Also I have lived abroad for over 40 years and am not always up to date on products and TV shows.
    Happy Birthday Annabel's dad. And to my mom, who is celebrating 97 this week.

    aging soprano 5:18 AM  

    Annabel, good morning. Fortunately you neglected to mention the most insidious clue for the word CAPO, which was used to describe Jewish prisoners who collaborated with their Nazi captors in the camps in WWII. Undoubtedly that usage is related to the mob henchmen.
    I found the puzzle easy; for me that means finishing the whole thing, even on a Monday, without one google, within a half hour. As you may have guessed, I am not the experienced solver that many of you are. Also I have lived abroad for over 40 years and am not always up to date on products and TV shows.
    Happy Birthday Annabel's dad. And to my mom, who is celebrating 97 this week.

    RooMonster 5:38 AM  

    Hey All !
    Just want to say, Happy Groundhog Day!

    And talk about extreme luck that the Pats won. Extreme luck. Can someone please tell me why Seattle didn't run with one yard to go?


    Anonymous 5:52 AM  

    Gotta love the people who post here. Yesterday we had "I'm not gonna like this puzzle so I'm not gonna do it but I'll write about it anyway" and today we have "I'm sure that critically acclaimed TV show that I've never watched is just the same old thing so I'm not gonna watch it but I'm sure it's just the same old thing." Nice mix of ignorance and arrogance.

    Lewis 5:54 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Lewis 5:57 AM  

    I like JUMBO ONION across the board from AROMA/WEEPY. The WSJ is appropriately on the right, and SSE is inappropriately in the SW. @leapy: Arrividerc AROMA.

    Annabel, at least you aren't playing a Jewish husband (reference to a joke @barany recently posted).

    Monday continues to be less of a mindless solve than it was last year and before. Please keep this up, Will! It's still Monday easy, but not an insult to the intelligence.

    DESTINYCALLS for Patriots fans; WOE/RUIN/ASHes for the Seahawks fans.

    Anonymous 5:57 AM  

    Are there general guidelines for when to add a "?" to a clue? I would have put one after "Aioli, mostly." I thought this was one of the toughest Mondays in a while because of the relatively obscure names.

    Anonymous 5:58 AM  

    Methinks WOULDWEEVER is a dook.

    Lewis 5:59 AM  

    Factoid: BALI is part of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species. In this area alone over 500 reef building coral species can be found. For comparison, this is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean. (Wikipedia)

    Quotoid: “Life is like an ONION. You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.” -- Carl Sandburg

    Mohair Sam 7:18 AM  

    Right back at ya Jeffrey.

    Anonymous 7:29 AM  

    The phrase "Is it bigger than a breadbox" was not popularised by What's My Line, but rather by "20 Questions"

    NYer 7:42 AM  

    Easy Monday, no writeovers for me. All proper names right in my wheelhouse, including JONSEDA.

    Thanks, Jeffrey. And thanks, Annabel!

    L 8:00 AM  

    Easy Monday and I too had New York City in for 34A - very annoying mistake (and who knew NYC has the same number of letters as the big apple?!?).
    Am I the only one who thinks the egg size larger than large is Extra Large? Anyone go good shopping around here?

    L 8:01 AM  

    * FOOD not good. Sigh.

    joho 8:05 AM  

    Such an apt theme for the NYT crossword expertly executed by Jeffrey Wechsler!

    WSJ adds to THEBIGAPPLE vibe.

    Loved the clue for VOWELS!

    Pitch perfect for a Monday.

    Thanks, Jeff! And thank you, Annabel -- you are always a breath of fresh air!

    jschimpf 8:18 AM  

    Today is James Joyce's birthday. He would be 133 years old. He was known to coin a word or two in stately, plump language.

    John V 8:22 AM  

    Good one, good Monday fit. Surprised at the Aioli clue which seemed tricky fit a Monday.

    Dorothy Biggs 8:26 AM  

    Not too bad for me today...on the easyish side, the only hold up was a typo I couldn't find for a while.

    I spent a little bit of time trying to figure out the theme...I was looking for names of apples in the themers until I had a vision and it was revealed to me that I was looking for the wrong thing.

    On a side note, Seattle fans (if there any left after last night), setting aside the ridiculous call that set up the interception, may I just say as a Titans fan who watched my team come up a yard short in a Super Bowl, you can now look forward to years and years and years of that interception being replayed before just about every SB and in Top 10 lists of dramatic come-backs, chokes, WTF play calling, etc.

    I had no dog in the hunt last night except that I am not a Belichik fan, so I was kinda rooting for Seattle. But I suspect that single play will leave a mark on the 12th Man's psyche for decades...not to mention what Packer fans must be thinking.

    Hungry Mother 8:31 AM  

    Don't knock The Wire without watching it, alright?

    Rex Parker 8:35 AM  

    Weirdly, it is also *my* father's birthday.

    Also, JON SEDA? That's a thing now?

    Thanks, AT


    Maruchka 8:37 AM  

    @Z, @Evan, @Queenie, @Jae - The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street, and Treme (tho not strictly a cop show, lots of crime) are all great TV from David Simon and company. Smart and deep. John Seda had roles in two out of the three. You probably know this already. Wish for Homicide reruns..

    chefbea 8:38 AM  

    Fun puzzle and thanks for a great groundhog day write up Annabel

    I must say that the best onion soup ever is a recipe I got from @Mac. Make it all the time...It has an inciting smell!!!

    webwinger 8:39 AM  

    Enjoyed your write-up as always, Annabel, and also your clever reference to one of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day, apparently overlooked by previous commenters. Greetings to all from wintry Chicago, buried under a foot of snow delivered by storm Charlie Brown!

    Hartley70 8:51 AM  

    Dee-Lightful In every way, both the puzzle and Miss Annabel. It had charm in the theme and zip in the clues. I agree that Mondays are so much better lately that they're worthy of anticipation rather than ennui. Keep up the good work, Jeffrey and Will!

    Anonymous 8:55 AM  

    I think people on this website understand that the difficulty of puzzles vary by day. So, it is unnecessary to say "challenging for a Monday".

    Tita 8:57 AM  

    @chefbea - @mac, or @Mac - they are two different folks here. I may have to ask for that recipe...
    Tell me - just what does it *incite* your guests to do?!

    Puzzle was Monday-fine. I avoided the revealer, tried to suss the theme, thought ONY>INY>ONY>ANY - huh?

    Our cats are Venus and Marzipan - he no longer has his nuts, though. Sorry, Marz.

    Made 4 loaves of YEAST bread over this past week. Wonderful AROMA in the house.

    Finally saw The Imitation Game last night. We thought it was well done, and could forgive its inaccuracies. Puz spouse was a cryptologist in the army - he liked it too.

    Thanks, Mr. Wechsler.

    Ludyjynn 8:59 AM  

    @L, eggs are sold from small through jumbo; Large = 2 oz., XL = 2.25 oz., Jumbo = 2.5 oz. (Source: TheKitchen.com). My favorite chef, Ina Garten, always uses XL in her recipes and always cracks the eggs into a separate Pyrex dish just in case a stray shell finds its way there; it can be easily removed w/out ruining the entire mix. Probably one of the most practical cooking tips I've ever seen on tv. Clue as proper and clever for a Monday. BTW, Ina would never, ever ever use OLEO in one of her dishes; only butter is ALLOWED. I have all of her NYT best-selling cookbooks in which there are recipes for, among other things, French ONION soup, WAFFLES, YEAST breads, ALMOND croissants, all of which exude the most delightful AROMA.

    Annabel, this was a bit of a crunchy Monday, which, like @Lewis, I appreciate. Gets the brain cells moving at an EASYCLIP. Esp. liked the aioli clue/VOWELS answer.

    Thanks, JW and WS.

    Anonymous 9:00 AM  

    Even when he doesn't blog, rex just can't help himself. Can't let anyone else have the spotlight. Just HAS to make his presence known and insult the puzzle and/or its constructor. Thanks for that useful and edifying comment.

    jberg 9:05 AM  

    Apparently, @Anonymous 7:29 and I are the only commenters old enough to know that 23D should have been "Twenty Questions" - although I'm not sure if that show ever made it from radio to TV. (Yes, says Wiki.)

    But I never parsed DO TO, so ended up with DOTe (figuring it 35D was wrong, this could be too) and JENSEDA, a perfectly reasonable actor's surname.

    @Roo Monster and others, the sports section of the paper this puzzle is in has a good article on the Seattle coach's thought process in calling that inappropriate pass play.

    I've never watched "The Wire" either, due to lacking a TV, but I know it's good. Is that better than not watching it and knowing it's bad?

    As for birthdays, it would be my grandfather's if he was still around.

    Here's some music.

    bwalker 9:10 AM  

    Average Monday puzzle for me.

    @ Roo Monster -- the Seahawks decided to pass for one down as the Patriot Defense was lining up to stop the obvious run, but didn't get the opportunity due to the interception. Spurs fans in the NBA know plenty about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    @ Lewis -- the Lombok Strait between BALI and Lombok marks the Wallace Line which notes the change in species from those found mostly in Africa and Asia (apes, big cats, rhinos, bee eaters) to those found in Australia and New Guinea (marsupials, birds of paradise).

    Thanks for the write-up, Annabel.

    webwinger 9:13 AM  

    Listen, Amonymous 9:00 am, or whatever your name is--if you're going to insist on disparaging your host at every opportunity, you can at least sign your alias like a real man or woman or other!

    Zwhatever 9:24 AM  

    "From what I've read it sounds like same old same old" was probably some first class trolling, eh? Here's the thing, I've seen all the glowing praise and the more I read past the love the less likely I am to watch it. Am I likely to enjoy it? Sure. Would it be worth my time? If I thought so I would have watched it already. But let's remember, my real question is why JON SEDA is in a Monday puzzle. If The Wire is the best tv drama in the entire history of humankind past and future (I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere) why are Homicide and Chicago PD and Criminal Minds and and and inflicted on us? Heck - I enjoyed the first six or seven years of NCIS but have to ask a)why do they keep killing off their female co-stars and b)WHY IS IT STILL ON? Police procedural? Pass. Medical Drama? Pass. Reality TV? Pass. If I want studies in "good people acting poorly" or "bad people are not actually all that bad" or "the system is set up to screw the little guy" I'll watch the news.

    Bob Kerfuffle 9:26 AM  

    Better than average Monday puzzle, IMHO.

    I usually defend the puzzle against those who claim a clue/answer is wrong, but I'll admit I had doubts in at least three spots this morning:
    15 A, DOTO, was the last thing I entered, but, by golly, once I parsed it, I saw it was right.

    35 D, BUDDY COP, is new to me and looks strange, but sure enough, as noted above, it has its own Wikipedia page.

    And I, too, thought WHAT'S MY LINE? had to be wrong, but a quick Google search finds an excerpt from Steve Allen's autobiography in which he says he popularized the "breadbox" question while hosting - What's My Line?!

    (And, JUMBO is larger than large, apparently, just not the immediate next size.)

    Carola 10:09 AM  

    @Annabel - As always, a treat to see you.

    While I thought the NYC theme was a little wan, I liked the theme entries, especially DESTINY CALLS.


    @chefwen - Yes! Lost on a bad coaching call - ha!

    FredSmith 10:12 AM  

    Re: Super Bowl play call --

    Having Marshawn pound it up the middle was the obvious call, and the Patriots were ready for it.

    Calling a pass play COULD have been a highly-praised piece of misdirection if it had worked; but it didn't, so Carroll is a bum today. Actually, it was the Seahawks' offensive coordinator who made the call, but Carroll was man enough to take responsibility.

    The problem was that a slant pattern over the top was going into a huge piece of congestion. I assume this was not QB Russell Wilson's primary target, but the Patriots secondary had the primary covered. Lockette, the Patriot linebacker was charging in to help kill Marshawn's momentum, and he just happened to be in the right place at the right time. A career event for an undrafted free agent!

    Gracie H 10:15 AM  

    Hi Annabel - loved reading your blog! A little slow for a Monday, and struggled with DOTO (kept thinking dote was almost right) and JONSERA, but my TV actor vocabulary is sorely lacking. BUDDYCOP is new to me, but hey that's why I love puzzles - learn something every day!

    dick swart 10:24 AM  

    Anabel, I loved your tribute to Groundhog Day. I sent out the compilation of the Ned Ryerson clips to friends and family.

    Nice puzzle write-up! We got you, Babe!

    Dorothy Biggs 10:26 AM  

    I don't mean to hijack a xword puzzle blog, but one last comment on last night's game...

    Let's not forget that the Seahawks' defense gave up a decent lead. It would be a tidy explanation if the game had come down to that one play, but truth is, Seattle shouldn't have been in that situation to start with.

    RooMonster 10:31 AM  

    Should have faked to Lynch, and Wilson run ir in. He's known for his running ability, and he only ran, what, twice? If there was ever an opportunity for Wilson to run it in for a touchdown, that was it. I am supremely upset those cheating, lying NE'ers won that game. Yes, I hate ( strong word, but that's that) the team, and this is not the first time they've been caught cheating. Makes you wonder about all the illegal stuff they do and haven't got caught. I just can't stand that cheating (teams, people, etc) get rewarded. Sorry to NE fans, but that's how I feel. Hopefully I will calm down in a week or so.
    Rant done. Hopefully I didn't gain any enemies here with my diatribe.


    MikeM 10:35 AM  

    I had newyorkcity in there with no crosses, something I hardly ever do. When 28D ITE, 36D PRO, and 37D LAW didnt jive I knew something was wrong so I fixed it after a minute or so. I just finished bingewatching Season 3 of The Killing. Excellent. I tried The Wire but didnt like it and stopped. For some reason I just didnt like it. Too Innercity? Not really sure the reason. But it seems loads of people did love it so I may give it another try

    Joseph Michael 10:41 AM  

    DNF in the north east corner due to not knowing JON SEDA or figuring out WSJ which now seems obvious in retrospect. Theme was OK, but nothing to write home about.

    Liked DESTINY CALLS and the clue for VOWELS.

    Not to get WEEPY, but the groundhog saw its shadow today and you know what that means. Not a pretty thought after yesterday's JUMBO snow storm in Chicago.

    FredSmith 10:44 AM  

    Mr. Monster, sir --

    "...and this is not the first time they've been caught cheating."

    I must've missed something. When did they cheat last night?

    Yep, it's frustrating to lose a close one like that. As a Patriot fan, I can empathize, having lost to Eli in the past.

    But a couple of points: (a) as @NCA President says, they shouldn't have put themselves in that position, should've played well earlier; and (b) they had a LOT going right for them in the previous game, can't depend on good fortune ALL the time.

    Anyway, rant understood ...

    Doug Garr 10:56 AM  

    This was the easiest puzzle I've seen in the NYT in some time. I think if Annabel were a lot older she would have solved it in record time.

    mathguy 11:14 AM  

    Sad to say that I remembered Steve Allen asking "Is it bigger than a breadbox?" on Twenty Questions but I trusted Shortz's editing more than my own memory.

    Whenever I see Tony Curtis's name, I think of his great line from Sweet Smell of Success. "The cat's in the bag and the bag's in the river."

    It seems that I've done a puzzle with this same theme before. Is it familiar to anyone else?

    Wilson deserves some of the blame. The pass was slightly behind the receiver.

    Anyone do Cryptic Crossword from yesterday's magazine? I'm still working on it -- the SW is mostly blank.

    Elaina 11:14 AM  

    Did anyone else immediately fill in GARLIC for 47A? Luckily VERA changed that. But I left NEWYORKCITY in for much too long.
    I'm with @MikeM - I tried The Wire and just didn't like it. But the only TV show I really follow is Project Runway, so I guess it figures.

    Bird 11:19 AM  

    Nice write up Annabel. I too had NEW YORK CITY across the middle for a bit. I liked the puzzle though.

    I used to watch "Starsky and Hutch"

    Masked and Anonymo4Us 11:50 AM  

    Solid job, Blue'Bel. Nice bullets. Can see where BOYD might spell trouble for a tired high student. Ever hear of Gabby Hayes?

    Five themers. Some primo long downers in BUDDYCOP, EASYCLIP, WOULDWEEVER, WHATSMYLINE. And then check out those little 7-stacks, on the sideburns! Sweet!

    This all can only mean one thing: ITE's Weeject Time!
    Best of the primo field of 24, today...

    * WSJ. Stands for Wall Street Jonseda. Scrabbly lil darlin.
    * AWW. Best sound effect entry.
    * JOT UNO MIN. Best weeject stack. Every puz should start out with a J. Or a U.
    * SSE. @AnoaBob might call this a heading of convenience. har

    I'da runned it in. Still had timeouts left. Throwin it into a crowd -- what could go wrong? Kinda deflated the Seahawks's score, that's what...


    Old Codger 12:08 PM  

    "Is it bigger than a bread box" was first used in 20 Questions, as many have mentioned. However, when used there it was generally considered an idiotic phrase. People in the general populace who used it were ridiculed, tormented and generally shunned. It wasn't until it was used on What's My Line that it became popular. This has generally been attributed to Arlene Francis's use, with the not too subtle innuendo that she was talking about the guest's penis.

    M and Also 12:16 PM  

    * NYC. Winner in the hidden weeject category. How could M&A snub this lil dude? While I'm here...

    Best THEBIGAPPLE hidden weejects:
    * THE.
    * HEB.
    * EBI. Unbelievably, there was a constructioneer once desperate enough to use this in public.
    * BIG.
    * IGA.
    * GAP.
    * APP.
    * PPL. Evoked, in the good old desperate days.
    * But, not PLE. Day-um. Never been used. Just missed a full whatever-it-is ladder! Awwww...


    galegdavis 12:27 PM  

    I'm Sure you are correct on that point

    galegdavis 12:29 PM  

    Amen - perfect response to Z

    LaneB 12:48 PM  

    Easy except for the ORONO and ERNO cross--the O which could have been any vowel given ignorance of the a61 and d45 names. Also DOTO and JONSEDA required guesswork, again with the O. The rest was fun.

    Beadola 12:59 PM  

    Speaking of missing people who used to post regularly, I miss Loren Muse Smith!

    RooMonster 1:05 PM  

    On a lighter note, (if anyone will still read my posts!) I did catch the Grounhog Day movie reference in Annabels writeup, the same thing over and over. That was cool! Has anyone ever been to the real Groundhog Day in Punxsatawney? I was there in 2002! It was the biggest crowd they had had up to that year. It was because of two reasons, 1-it was after 9/11/01, and everyone wanted to show we weren't afraid to gather together in large numbers, and 2-the date was 02/02/02! I actually have two bottles of Groundhog Brew beer with the date on the bottle! Good times...


    Your real name here 1:08 PM  

    @webwinger@0900: Is that your real name? Web Winger? Strange name, but at least you're not anonymous. Oh wait, you ARE anonymous? In that case, STFU.

    Zwhatever 1:25 PM  

    @webwinger - It's not worth the effort. Skip it and move on.

    @galegdavis - I'm sure you are correct, but it might help if you indicated who made the perfect response.

    @Roo - Two bottles or two bottles of brew? Beer kept away from light will last a long time, but 13 years seems a bit much. As for your rant - no need to apologize in my book. Of course I've been known to go on at some length so I don't want that apology bar to be too low.

    AliasZ 3:40 PM  

    Fun puzzle today, with Bernie Schwartz as the first theme entry.

    It is remarkable to see eight debuts on a Monday, which made this one just a tad crunchier than the average Monday.

    I am happy to welcome DOTO into my "dook" file.

    WOULD WE EVER overhear the following conversation on a NYC subway?

    "JimiNYCricket, who's that?" "It is a maNYClept JohnNYCarson, giveNYChromosome by nature, in a bunNYCostume."

    I doubt it.

    DOTO some issues with my computer, I am unable to link to music by JOHN SEDAca, Maurice RAVEL or ERNŐ Dohnányi today. I'll make up for it tomorrow.

    Anonymous 4:39 PM  

    Is it a coincidence that the Empire State Building is on 34th street? Or brilliance?


    Anonymous 5:09 PM  

    How about stupidity?

    Anonymous 5:25 PM  

    I thought I saw two "gimmies" right away, wrote in NEWYORKCITY, and was starting to write in TWENTYQUESTIONS, only to find that it wouldn't fit and didn't cross NEWYORKCITY correctly. Other than that trap, it was enjoyable.

    Teedmn 5:45 PM  

    Fun puzzle, Mr, Wechsler, and fine write-up, Annabel!

    Average Monday for me. I definitely saw the DOOK potential of DOTO, which must be the Madagascar cousin of the famously extinct dodo.

    @Mathguy, as a fledgling cryptic solver, I only have a few entries in the SE so far and some of them came from Deb Amlen's column. Had to take a break before my head hurt.

    Thanks @M&A for the parsing of THEBIGAPPLE as three letter crosswordese.

    And I'd forgotten all about Groundhog Day being today, one of my favorite movies, so the reminder is appreciated.

    jae 6:01 PM  

    @Z - Homicide Life on the Streets should not be lumped in with NCIS, L & O, Criminal Minds...I don't watch or stopped watching that type of show for what seem to be the same reasons you did. Homicide was different and paved the way for shows like The Wire. And, I should have included Fargo in my list of bar raising shows.

    Bird 6:10 PM  

    Re Cryptic puzzle: I was able to get most of it done without help, but needed "crosswordclue.net" to finish it. Just type (or copy & paste) the clue and you get the answer.

    Masked and AnoNYCmous 6:15 PM  

    @Teedmn: hey -- U are welcome. Would be an interstin puz theme exploration, to find long entries that successfully form a weeject line, all the way thru...


    ** hard gruntz **

    Benko 6:21 PM  

    I don't think the Pats' Defense would have been able to stop Lynch three times in a row that close to goal. He had his way with them the rest of the game. Horrible play!

    How I Got Back My Ex 8:27 PM  

    contact priest omigodo for love spell he brought back my husband contact him via omigodoshrine@hotmail.co.uk or call priest omigodo on +2348079367204

    Nancy 9:27 PM  

    @mathguy -- I thought the Cryptic was a fine and fair one and it provided me with all the delicious suffering I expect from this style puzzle. I finished it -- albeit it with great difficulty -- and I have faith in you: you can too. If you give up in the SW, you'll miss the scrumptious 21A -- alone worth the price of admission.

    SUGAR Prez 5:08 AM  

    Loved vowels clue. I started with the bottom, working my way up, and the puzzle fell together faster in that manner

    Fred Romagnolo 4:32 PM  

    @Old Codger: Arlene actually said "Lucky Pierre" on TV! I'll bet she would have been fun to sit next to at a dinner.

    spacecraft 10:46 AM  

    Would you believe: a DNF?? On a Monday, no less! It came at DOT/J_NSEDA. I've never heard of the actor--even used to watch "H:LOTS". This must have been a minor character. As far as the across goes, I never parsed two short words; never occurred. I thought it was DOTe, and was all set to lambaste the clue writer for such a bad clue; "Inflict upon" does not mean DOTE...but I supposed it could mean that the "dotee" felt smothered...I dunno. I put E in there, and it was all over.

    A big heads up for newyorkcity: boy, were we ever set up for that one! The old bait & switch. I groaned the same way as if I'd heard a very bad pun. Yeah, OK, ya got me.

    Actually, this one looks pretty solid. A couple of outliers for a Monday, including, unfortunately, the obscure Mr. (Ms.? I don't even know) JONSEDA and ORONO, which few non-fans of Stephen King would know. I'm one, so that was no problem. And UDON? Definitely not Monday. Nah.

    Dimples? Square dimples. OK, I guess; doesn't matter. Breakfast food, 7, starts with W: duh. Well, now I know what to call those things. Dimples. Go figure.

    That is all.

    Burma Shave 12:39 PM  




    BS2 1:07 PM  

    DOTO DRANO (with NON)



    rain forest 1:20 PM  

    Nice. Done mostly on acrosses only, which was good because the clue for 2d in my paper had no spaces, so read "treminusdue" which I misread as "treminusclue". Forgot about that, and finished with flair, well "flair" in my own particular idiom.

    @Dirigonzo would have had no problem with ORONO, and btw, is he still having computer problems? He's missed here.

    All in all, a very solid Monday with a little more resistance than usual.

    rondo 1:23 PM  

    Didn't read much above. Is DOTO a sort of version of dook? Only reason I didn't have DOTe is the 12d person was clued male. UDON; really? Good thing everything else was so easy. Lotsa 3s - see Burma Shave above.

    Remember an old, old Mad magazine with a parody of a map - in the legend were two bar scales and another like a shapely woman -
    statute miles, nautical miles and VERA Miles. Haha.

    Did this puz at an EASYCLIP, surely just off my fastest . . oh you know I don't do that.

    DMG 2:28 PM  

    Enjoyable Monday. Fortunately decided on WSJ because JONSEDA means nothing to me. My only hesitation was with the Empire State Bldg location- thought, been there, but no idea what street (avenue?) it's on, so enjoyed unraveling THEBIGAPPLE. I join @rainforest in wishing @diri would return. Let's hope he's just on hiatus.


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