Poet Cassady who was friend of Jack Kerouac / MON 3-9-15 / Hockey fake-out / Black Power symbol / Warning from Scottie / Pop group with backward B in its name

Monday, March 9, 2015

Constructor: Debbie Ellerin

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: BOARD GAME (62A: Entertainment found at the start of the answer to 17-, 21-, 27-, 45- or 54-Across) — first words of familiar phrases are also the names of BOARD GAMEs:

Theme answers:
  • RISK TAKER 17A: One living on the edge)
  • LIFE RAFT (21A: Need on a sinking ship)
  • TROUBLE AHEAD (27A: Ominous outlook)
  • "SORRY CHARLIE" (45A: "'Fraid not")
  • "CLUE ME IN" (54A: "So what's the story?")
Word of the Day: NEAL Cassady (36A: Poet Cassady who was a friend of Jackk Kerouac) —
Neal Leon Cassady (February 8, 1926 – February 4, 1968) was a major figure of the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the psychedelic and counterculture movements of the 1960s. He was prominently featured as himself in the original "scroll" (first draft) version of Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road. He also served as the model for the character Dean Moriarty in the 1957 version of the novel. In many of Kerouac's later books, Cassady is represented by the character Cody Pomeray. (wikipedia)
• • •

This is a very, very tired theme executed very, very nicely. There is nothing exciting about this grid, but there is nothing terrible about this grid, either. This puzzle doesn't excite me, but it does give me sincere hope for decent future work. You know how rare it is for me to go through a theme-dense easy puzzle with this much short fill and *not* have a "yuck" moment?! Very. Very rare. Some interesting cluing kept it from being a total bore (I particularly liked 69A: Black Power symbol for FIST and 11D: Pop group with a backward "B" in its name for ABBA).

[Sarah Keller, New York Sun, 2003]

I honestly have no idea who NEAL Cassady is, so that was an odd Monday encounter. Got slowed down a number of times by little mental hiccups and hesitations. HUZZAH? HOORAY? No, HOORAH (10D: Old-fashioned "Yay!"). I didn't know that exclamation had passed into "old-fashioned." HUZZAH, sure. Maybe it's "old-fashioned" in relation to HURRAH? Or maybe both are legitimately "old-fashioned." Now I want an old-fashioned. . .  Nearby SCHEMA made me hesitate too, because SCHEME seemed good (9D: Conceptual framework). ARF clue completely fooled me (63D: Warning from a Scottie)—I had ACH! Now that I look at the clue in the cold light of not-solving, "Scottie" is clearly a dog, not some Scottish dude. Ah, well.

See you tomorrow.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


    Norm C. 12:11 AM  

    @Rex - The Grateful Dead song "Cassidy" refers to Neal Cassidy. You might enjoy reading more about him in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test. Good stuff.

    Norm C. 12:16 AM  

    Um, make that Cassady." Sorry.

    Z 12:28 AM  

    Personally, I like my Beef CLUE MEIN extra spicy.

    jae 12:45 AM  

    Medium for me too. Just about what you want from a Mon.  Easy, solid theme, low on dreck,  so gotta like it!  A fine debut!

    Mark 12:46 AM  

    How about: HOORAH is old-fashioned for HOORAY ? I sometimes hear the latter, never the former. I sometimes read the former.

    Steve J 1:01 AM  

    Good theme, good fill, good clues. Very nice Monday. And a very nice debut for Debbie Ellerin. (And it's always nice to see a new constructor who happens to be a woman, in what is still a very male-dominated field.)

    chefwen 1:07 AM  

    As Rex said, seen it before, but still liked it.
    First thing I ever won was a Candyland game. We were on a ship going from New York to London when I was five.
    They had a Limbo contest (I was a lot more flexable then)
    It was thrilling to actually win something.

    Couple of days ago I had three miniature ECLAIRs on the kitchen island thawing for a nice, little dessert. Walked into said kitchen a few minutes later and they had disappeared. The culprit? You guessed it, avatar!
    I'm going to have to start hanging things from the ceiling to keep them safe. The kid is a thief.

    Moly Shu 3:52 AM  

    Guess I'll be in the minority, didn't like it. SARI, ABBA, UMA, ALOHA, ALAS, ELAL, EEN, IBAR, ATRA, ATARI, ANKA, AMA, ACNE, REFS. I realize some glue is needed, but this one seemed like every bottle of Elmers was used. Wait, no EEL or ALAI, guess there are a few drops left. I did like MUNICH. Ah well, can't like 'em all I guess.

    John Child 4:35 AM  

    SARDI, SBARRO, SWANK, SNIPED, SCHEMA !!! Whee. Very nice Ms Ellerin. Congratulations on the puzzle and on getting some nice comments from Rex! I hope we see many more from you.

    Thomas808 5:12 AM  

    @Moly Shu you have to allow for some 3's and 4's. I agree with about half your list. ATRA, ATARI (ALAS, maybe also ANKA) - time to retire. IBAR, EEN - not real words. ABBA, the clue itself says you have to turn a B backwards, so how can it be correct? The rest, including UMA, REFS, and ACNE, will probably be legit for a long time.
    Despite my whimsical discourse above, I really liked the puzzle. I thought the themes, though tied into well known games, were nevertheless pretty clever. I also thought the fill was fresh and not strained. You experts out there, has TRENT ever been set beside COMAS?

    pfb 5:31 AM  

    This was a fun and fast.

    Doris 6:48 AM  

    If it had been a Scotsman instead of a cute black terrier, it would have been "Och!" not "Ach!"

    "But Och! I backward cast my e'e,
    On prospects drear!
    An' forward, tho' I canna see,
    I guess an' fear!"

    Burns—"To a Mouse"

    'mericans in Paris 6:48 AM  

    Posted the further adventures of Matt "Deadeyes" Esquare rather late yesterday, on the Sunday comments (scroll down to 4:45 PM), in case anybody is interested and missed it:


    Danp 6:49 AM  

    @Thomas808 - Yes. I think it was a photo op with Terri Schiavo.

    Deke 6:51 AM  

    If someone writes a Monday puzzle without ELAL, ATRA, and IBAR and it falls down in a forest, is it still a Monday puzzle?

    GILL I. 7:15 AM  

    I liked that NOLTE AIN'T SWANK little corner.... I RAN THE SCHEMA after LIFE (boat? vest?) HOORAH, it's a RAFT.
    Just a perfectly fine Monday puzzle. Whenever I'm reminded of something good, I smile. BOARD GAMES with my kids eating popcorn and drinking Manhattans. Speaking of....How could you not got to SARDI's after seeing a Broadway play. Wonderful little bar; terrible food but at least you can say you did it.
    Thank you Debbie...an ECLAIR of a puzzle.

    joho 7:37 AM  

    Debbie, good thing for us that you are a RISKTAKER who decided to throw caution to the wind and ignore any TROUBLEAHEAD so you could bring us your BOARDGAME puzzle! Obviously you were in no need for a LIFERAFT as Will never uttered CLUEMEIN or SORRYCHARLIE.

    Simple, clean Monday fun. Brava!

    Anonymous 7:39 AM  

    Solved it on paper. Good thing because it gave me room to make 51D ATARI CORP.

    Loren Muse Smith 7:44 AM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Carola 7:44 AM  

    A nice Monday that kept me guessing - and erasing (HOORAy, SCHEMe, law.

    @chefwen, I felt 33A was intended for me - we're on the plane.

    Loren Muse Smith 7:44 AM  

    First of all, I thought it was “eclaire” with an E. ;-)

    @Gill I. – you get Mother of the Year award for letting your kids play BOARD GAMES and drink Manhattans. Bet early bedtimes were never a problem for your gang!

    I’m at school and cannot find my puzzle with my notes. I do remember that I wasn’t familiar with the word inveigh. Hmm. So does someone here who’s not happy with the day’s puzzle post an inveight?

    I agree – good Monday fare that brought back fond memories. Half the time in SORRY I lacked the cut-throat drive to send my opponents back home. I lost a lot.

    Congrats on your debut, Debbie!! Enjoy your day and bragging rights!

    GILL I. 7:48 AM  

    God...I'm a bad mother!

    Dorothy Biggs 7:49 AM  

    Part of the deal with a Monday level puzzle is that it is easy...so what you might see as "tired" fill is actually easy because it's tired fill which is, I guess, why it's used. I am only guessing here, but at one time ANKA and UMA weren't tired.

    Just look at the word "UMA." Now imagine a world, maybe early 80s, when that wasn't a well-known word/name. Makes you wonder how many other words/names are lurking in the background waiting to become tired fill in a few years but are now not even in our everyday language.

    Because Mondays are supposed to be easy, I give any and all puzzles a pass on the fill because any other fill that isn't crosswordese would make it harder...which would make the puzzle not a Monday puzzle.

    Here's what I liked about it...LIFERAFT. I don't know how these constructors are able to project themselves into what goes on inside our heads, but somehow they know that LIFERAFT could just as easily be LIFEboaT...which, if you take the bait (and I did) will slow you down. To some extent 51A is like it...a statute could be a law or an ACT.

    It's those little things that I love about these puzzles and the minds of the constructors...that they somehow know the answer to a clue can share many of the same letters with a faux answer and trick you up even if it is for a couple of minutes.

    GILL I. 7:51 AM  

    They never went to bed!

    Lewis 7:57 AM  

    Didn’t get dooked by DEKE.

    I had SCHEMe and HOORAy, which caused me to have to doublethink, but that was the only place.

    I liked CLUEMEIN and SNIPED, and the clue for ARF. I never heard of the game TROUBLE – is it as well known as the others? This was a serviceable puzzle, not a wow, but pretty clean, save for some 3-letter answers. I very much like EAST in its proper place.

    Lewis 7:58 AM  

    Factoid: MUNICH is located just above the 48th parallel, making it further north than any major city in the United States (excluding Alaska).

    Quotoid: “My doctor told me I shouldn't work out until I'm in better SHAPE. I told him, 'All right; don't send me a bill until I pay you.'” -- Steven Wright

    Anonymous 8:24 AM  

    Leave it to chefwen to brag about how rich and spoiled she is, and to molly shu to whine about a terrific Monday puzzle. Like clockwork, those two.

    Loren Muse Smith 8:33 AM  

    @chefwen – my Great Dane mix, Fred, once ate an entire colander of browned ground beef that was waiting in the sink to be added to Hamburger Helper. Hey – you can’t ask a dog not to be a dog.

    @Gill – I’m reminded of a Christmas party I went to once in Chapel Hill. The hosts had bought a bunch of alcohol for the grownups and had cider available for the kids. When one by one, the kids started dropping off to sleep – two sound asleep on the stairs – it was discovered that in fact the cider they had been drinking was hard cider. The mom had not realized that you could buy such a thing in the grocery store.

    And of course I understood that the Manhattans were for you! I bet you’re a snazzy Twister player with a couple of dry Manhattans under your belt!

    AliasZ 8:35 AM  

    What happens to Monday puzzles if EEN ARF, ARK, ARM, IBAR, ELAL, ACNE, ATRA or ATARI AIN'T allowed? They will become Tuesday puzzles, giving us a resπte from our Monday solving chores.

    I never played any of the BOARD GAMEs in this grid, and I barely remember that CLUE and RISK existed, about the other three I had no idea. Most of them sound like they could be BORES, but at times LIFE itself feels like a BOARD GAME.

    I did enjoy the puzzle though, with Nikola TESLA sitting next to Paul ANKA on a flight to MUNICH with Yogi BERRA sitting nearby. Paul turns to Yogi: "Hey Yogi, what time is it?" To which Yogi replies: "Do you mean right now?" When it comes to Yogi Berra, you can observe a lot just by watching, and you should always know where you are going, otherwise you'll end up someplace else.

    I am sure you will enjoy the slightly lighter side of BETA OVEN: Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in B-flat major, WoO. 6.

    Excellent NYT debut by Debbie Ellering, the second debut in three days. Nice to see fresh faces and fresh thinking.

    Anonymous 9:03 AM  

    Informing rex about the grateful dead is like telling your dog how to make an omelet. Useless.

    Ludyjynn 9:06 AM  

    Like @Alias Z, I never played these BOARDGAMEs, but that posed no problem. The big three in our house were Candyland, Monopoly and Scrabble.

    Every Sunday, my parents would sleep late and my brother and I would binge play Monopoly all morning until my Dad came down and made his specialty, salami and eggs. (occasionally manning the grill was his only other culinary contribution). We all ate brunch together,and Mom being treated as Queen for the day, we did the dishes for her. Leisurely perusal of the NYT and Dad claiming the xword, was followed by us kids being dispatched to our friends' houses and parents going back upstairs to "take a nap". God help us if we interrupted their "beauty sleep", which I found out years later was code for an afternoon of great sex! Then, around 6:00 pm, we were rounded up and taken out for Chinese food. I strongly believe this weekly ritual was the glue in my parents' very long and happy marriage. Thanks, Parker Bros!

    I liked this easy, peasy Monday. Thanks, DE and WS for the memory.

    Leapfinger 9:06 AM  

    Anticipating TROUBLE AHEAD, I wanted a LIFEBOAT, not a LIFERAFT. SORRY, CHARLIE, I'm no FUEL!!

    It was rather Old Home Week for short crosswordese, but yeti managed to be entertained in the greater theme-scheme-schema of things.

    @Z, am with you, but make it Chicken CLUE MEIN. @chefwen, I've lost an entire RAFT of homemade brownies -- double-wrapped in SaranWrap -- from a kitchen counter; never dreamed 2 cocker spaniels could make the leap. Chocolate is supposedly very bad for dogs, but there was nary the slightest problem.

    Eating @ SARDI's would cost an ARM and A FT, especially if you had A RM to yourself. It was, however, A ISLE of SWANK and A TRAdition with many.

    Liked noticing that LIMES and a LIMO both have a PEEL, though I've never seen a LIMO PEEL away from the curb. In general, had a BERRA nice time with Ms. Ellerin's debut.

    It's Monday morning again, and time to roll over, BETA OVEN.

    RooMonster 9:08 AM  

    Hey All !
    Easy puz, flew through Downs-only approach, even though checked the Across as I was going! Nice 6 themer. Open grid, I wonder how many puzzles Ms. Ellerin submitted before being accepted? Just curious...

    Is CLUE MEIN a new Chinese restaurant choice? COMAS are unresponsive COMMAS. Is a CO BRA for sharing, and the LI BRAS for fibbing about cup size? YE MEN I am one. If Mr. Asner goes to the barber, is it SNIP ED? I BAR and S BAR, RO ro! Also, ARF ARK ARM. Wherefore art ART?


    Bark 9:27 AM  

    "Poet" Cassady 36 down,as a clue seems not quite right. Cassady was drawn into "Pull My Daisy", but still. Would he have referred to himself that way? "Beat figure Cassady" makes sense. Or perhaps "Bus driver".

    Leapfinger 9:36 AM  

    Oh Chute, @Alias, that I Ladder you get to BETA OVEN's first. Will have to learn to type faster or rule with an IRAN FIST.

    @Roomie, you are having a good day! (Your turn will come, nil desperandum) @Gill, every day is good with you. I guess even @Rex is having a good day, since he forgot to nitpick that one of the themers is a three-worder. CLUE MEINs notwthstanding.

    chefbea 9:39 AM  

    Love board games. Played them as a child, with my kids, and now with my grand kids.. Lotta good food stuff in here too - eclairs, oven, limes which you can have at Sardi's. thanks @Debbie.

    fuzzle 9:39 AM  

    I, too, had a writeover on "warning from a Scottie", but not because I mistook the Scottie for a
    "dude". "Arf"is not a warning, it's a cute little bark. "Grr" is a warning>

    Tita 9:43 AM  

    CLUE was my fav growing up - I liked the puzzle-solving needed to win, as opposed to the pure luck games.
    @lms - my older brother would pounce with delight on our 'men' to send 'em back Home...

    In LIFE, I would always fill my car up with as many kids as I could - since you got paid for each one. I was mercenary - not maternal.

    I had no problem with the fill, but did think some clues were boring. Oh - and I thought "THE" was forbidden fill.

    Nit du Jour - 22D - an electric car most certainly needs fuel. Just not gasoline-type fuel. I get the temptation to link to TESLA, but...

    I was always fascinated by the La BREA Tar Pits as a kid, and they were my first stop when I first got to LA in my 20's.

    @AliasZ - I agree that it's nice to see new constructors. I'm nowhere near astute enough to be able to recognize constructors' styles, other than the very visual Gorski puzzles, esp. considering so many clues get changed by Will.
    So I'm good with throwing new names in the mix, along with the masters.

    Thanks, Ms. Ellerin, and congratulations!

    AnonyMomma 9:56 AM  




    Z 9:56 AM  

    @Danp - Dark. Oh so very dark.*

    @NCA Prez - Given their ages, I'm guessing Mr. ANKA tires before UMA. Unless they are playing BOARD GAMES with @Gill I.

    *That's a compliment.

    jberg 10:03 AM  

    Suspected the theme with RISK, confirmed with LIFE -- so (not having scanned the whole grid) was really hoping for "2oth century Marxist classic by Baran and Sweezy" = MONOPOLY CAPITAL across the middle. Not that LIMES IRS SWANK isn't pretty good. I had to ask my wife is TROUBLE was a board game, but otherwise it was all fine, aside from HOORAH. (Should either be traditional spelling, hurrah, or phonetic, HOORAy, IMHO). Fun puzzle, though, and welcome to Ms. Ellerin!(LRN?)

    noone 10:05 AM  

    AliasZ: LIFE is a board game. My granddaughter says it's like Monopoly but with more options.
    Loved La BREA (means Tar Pits in español) and the 400 Dire wolf skulls at the entrance, no two alike.

    Bob Kerfuffle 10:06 AM  

    OK Monday puzzle.

    Hand up for LIFEBOAT before LIFERAFT.

    Leapfinger 10:15 AM  

    @'mericans, Cannes I say that was very Nice?

    @Danp, first time, I believe, that Terry Schiavo made me laugh. No Scruples, so one kudo 2 U.

    @Anon0824, very honourable of you to inveigh against someone's childhood. Of course, at age five, there's enormous control over family activities and finances. At the same age, I was also on a ship, leaving postwar Europe for a Brave New World. Being rich and spoiled in that setting was typified by having a choice at meals between an apple and an orange. Do try not to be STUTTD.

    Doug Garr 10:25 AM  

    Oh Rex, you're showing your youngish age. All Kerouac fans know about Cassady. Without him there is no Jack. If you are interested in the literary atmosphere of NYC in the Fifties at all (around Columbia University), you will see the connections -- Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and a number of minor characters, mostly poet poseurs. Also, The Town and the City, Kerouac's first novel, is pretty good. it was his figurative period, before he went abstract.

    Zeke 11:25 AM  

    Rex's not knowing Cassady doesn't show his age, berating him about not knowing Kerouac or not having memorized every Grateful Dead song, or not having read The Electeric Koolaid Acid Test shows the age of the berater.

    I picked up, or was given, Kerouac's Dharma Bums recently to reread, and it was absolutely unreadable. Horrible. When I read it 40+ years ago, it was genius. That's the lesson of life, that 99.9% of the things that was life altering in your teen years is absolutely, positively, objectively crap. Its greatness only exists in your experience of it as a callow youth, when you knew absolultley nothing about anything. You know how you all hate rap?, that it's profane, unlistenable nonsense? Well, so was your stuff. So was mine. It's why your kids roll their eyes when you play the music of your youth, go on and on about the books of your youth. You're playing, talking about something which isn't any good, but had importance in the context of your youth as if that were somehow transcendent. It's not transcendent, it's ephemera. Maybe your ephemera, but ephemera nonetheless.

    Oh, I liked @chefwen's story, it was a memory of youth prompted by the puzzle. I've no idea if she rode in steerage following her GI father to a post-war posting, or in First Class to assume the presidency of Lloyd's of London, nor do I care as that has nothing to do with the story.

    I also felt much the same about the puzzle as did Molly Shu.

    pfb 11:27 AM  

    I have no LIFE because I am afraid to take a ROSK, It will only get you in TROUBLE ad you'll be SORRY. Oh, I haven't a CLUE, either.

    Anonymous 11:40 AM  

    22D What an electric car doesn't need FUEL fits the narrative of the NY Times perfectly. So little wonder Will Shortz didn't catch the error or get that only in the narrowest sense is electricity not a fuel. It certainly can fuel a car or a plant. And, even if you accept the very tight definition it ignores that fact more than 85% of the electricity produced is from "non renewable" fuel (fossil and nuclear).

    The same people who think plugging their car into and outlet saves the planet, are the same people who think meat comes from little cellophane wrapped packages.

    GILL I. 11:51 AM  

    @Loren: That's just it.....they weren't for me!
    @chefwen: I too was rich and spoiled...! We took a container ship from Caracas to Havana when I was about 7. No BOARD GAMES but I remember the limbo I had to play because the crew made me sleep in a crib!
    @Anony 11:40. My meat comes in little cellophane wrapped packages!

    Numinous 12:13 PM  

    I found Ms Ellerin's debut very easy. According to her comments at xwordinfo, this was her third NYT submission. Apparently she's been constructing for about a year, This puzzle was accepted nine months ago.

    I solved going across, checking downs as I went. My first write-over was the U I put under the H because I was expecting HuzzaH. When I was a den leader as a boy scout, some of the kids could be snakey but I would not have called them CuBRAS.

    @LMS: ECLAIR, en francais, is a patisserie but also means lightning, sparkle or flash. ECLAIRe means enlightened or lit up.

    I completely missed some of the down answers as the across clues were pretty unambiguous. Never saw ARF or WOE.

    @ Ship's passengers above: we are among the last to have had the experience of crossing the Atlantic aboard ship. I sailed on the Queen Elizabeth in 1965 from Southampton to NY. The five day trip took six days because of a hurricane so violent it shattered some of the windows on the promenade deck. I collected a shard of that glass which was over an inch thick. On the last night of the voyage, I was served dinner from first class as a reward from the steward for being the only passenger in any tourist seating to not miss a single meal. It was a rough trip at first though the last day or so was like a long Power Point presentation with calm seas.

    The only board games I can recall playing @Ludy are Monopoly and Scrabble. In London, we used to play Scrabble, @LMS & Gill, while guzzling cider from bottles bought at the pub across the street.

    Neal Cassady was a wannabe poet. As I recall, Kerouak and Ginsberg encouraged him but nothing he produced was very good. Neal, by all accounts was a walking speed trip. In my very early 20s, I tried writing on ~adrines, bennies, dexies, and nothing I wrote that way was any good either. As a result of those experiments and having read the original On the Road scroll, I don't believe Kerouak wrote that on speed either.

    Good puzzle, great comments, lots of memory joggers. Thank you Debbie and @Commentariat.

    Hartley70 12:45 PM  

    Wait...Doesn't meat come in little cellophane wrapped packages? I have no desire to burst that bubble!

    Our first dog ate all the chocolate from a neighbor's Easter egg hunt before their children awoke. He followed that up by running off with another neighbor's Thanksgiving turkey before dinner. And finally ate a mixing bowl full of green homemade Play Doh, which you may not know has cups of salt in it. And those were just his culinary escapades. He was quite the charmer and lived to a ripe old age.

    One winter we played these board games with our two kids every Sunday morning in our pj's and in front of a roaring fire. It was a wonderful way to slow life down. I wish I'd thought of the Manhattans!

    This puzzle was a fine way to start the week. Terrific first appearance. Let's hear it for the girls!

    @'merican your Sunday serial just gets better and better. I'm looking forward to it now.

    Elephant's Child 1:18 PM  

    @Anon0903, yeah, I could never get my dog to make an omelet; he just preferred them sunnyside-up. But he did finally teach me to sit up and beg.

    tthax 1:47 PM  

    The song Cassidy is not about Neal Cassady. It's about a young woman. However, Neal is referenced in "That's It for the Other One" (Cowboy Neal at the wheel on the bus to never, neverland) on "Anthem.of the Sun."

    mathguy 1:58 PM  

    @Ludyjynn: Thanks for the lovely description of your childhood Sundays.

    Today is a good example of why I ignore Rex's ratings. He called today "medium." I counted 95 non-overlapping squares filled with gimmes.

    Zeke 2:04 PM  

    Meat hasn't been wrapped in cellophane in about 100 years, if it ever had been. Additionally, the much maligned packaged meat is actually a god-send, it reduces waste to an extent that did we not have it, we would need to slaughter about 25% more cattle, pigs, chicken to have the same meat supply.

    Anoa Bob 2:10 PM  

    HURRAH for SCHEMA. That gets a word-nerd seal of approval. It's also a major concept in cognitive psychology.

    Speaking of which, back when I was still in the chalk & talk biz and teaching, among other courses, Intro Psych, I always emphasized that "Polygraph detection" (37 Across) was about measuring (graph) several (poly) physiological functions; heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate & galvanic skin response.

    The machine does not detect a LIE. That's an interpretation that the polygrapher makes, based on the display of the above mentioned physiological responses, and that interpretation is so fraught with issues and difficulties that it is not admissible in a court of law.

    The polygraph is NOT a LIE detector.

    And an I BAR (57 down) is a watering hole for narcissists.

    Masked and Anonymo3Us 2:38 PM  

    Great Debbie debut. She's got game. Keep yer U count up, darlin.

    Board game ratings:
    1. SORRY - 5 stars. Always played with family, after a jolly Christmas meal and gift exchange, to put the edge back on the evening.
    2. RISK - 4 stars. Long-winded, so perfect for playin with neighborhood kids during long summer vacation days. I always amassed zillions of armies in the Australian runtzone, and just dared someone to come in after me.
    3. CLUE - 3.5 stars. No one trusted anyone else to tell the truth about which cards they held. Made it tough to win.
    4. LIFE - 2 stars. Somethin was all wrong or missing about this game. Needed to be able to fire bazookas at opposing carloads, or somesuch.
    5. TROUBLE - ? stars. Never heard of this one. Like that it is a U-game, like clUe, tho.
    6. CABBY - 7.5 stars. The board game that condoned breakin the rules. Altho, opposing players might be able to arrest U. Built character. M&A did a lot of jail time.

    fave MonPuz moocow-E-Z clue: {Letter after alpha}.

    fave weeject: STA. Gives new meaning to the lyric: "Oh, can't you STA, just a little bit lon-ger?..."

    Best potential game name, suggested by a line in the puz: SARI LASERS ARF. This comment is gettin pretty desperate, so... bye.


    ** gruntz **

    pfb 2:51 PM  

    @anonymous: I had the same reaction to the electric car clue.

    AnonyMama 3:30 PM  

    It is ECLAIR with an E, but -- as 'an E' implies -- only one E, and that one at the beginning.

    If the packaged meat industry is a godsend, that's mainly true for the chemical industry, whose involvement allows us not to waste such as fat and gristle, chicken legs and beaks, ground-up hooves and bones, feathers, mouse and insect parts (not excluding an allowable percentage of fecal droppings). It's quite possible that the 25% reduction could be achieved if only more 'mericans got used to eating meals that weren't bigger than their heads.

    retired_chemist 3:32 PM  

    Ditto the reservations about FUEL.

    Never a board game fan so the theme made no sense to me until I got to the reveal.

    LIFEboat before LIFE RAFT, adder before COBRA, no other writeovers, so I guess I call this one easy.

    Thanks, Ms. Ellerin

    Leapfinger 3:48 PM  

    @ret_chem, since we're catching up on dogs today, how is that little pug puppy of yours doing? I don't think we had an update since those early days when you were doing feedings.

    Moly Shu 4:04 PM  

    Terrific? You wouldn't know terrific if it came up under the bridge and fed you. And speaking of clockwork....

    Z 4:08 PM  

    @Fuelerati - Uhhh, "fuel" implies burning something. Yes, electricity is oft generated by burning fossil fuels, but saying an electric car uses "fuel" is like saying a vegetarian eats meat or my hamburger was created using photosynthesis.

    @Anon11:40 - plugging in my car saves me money while contributing less to global warming. Actually, the people engaged in magical thinking are more often found behind the wheel of over-large, over-priced SUVs. While GM, Ford, Dodge, et al. thank them for their money (the profit margins on those beasts is huge), their children and grandchildren will be ashamed of them.

    Cellophane making a comeback?

    Anonymous 4:12 PM  

    Nolte messed me up because I had just done the mini, which had him clued the same way with a different movie and I had forgotten that it was in the other puzzle, so I said "it can't be nolte, he was already in his one."

    Fredd Smith 4:28 PM  

    @Lewis, re Munich factoid --

    Years ago I was shocked to learn that Rome was farther north than my home in New England.

    The Gulf Stream greatly moderates the climate in Europe. I once did a tour of Scotland and was shocked to see Palm trees at the northern tip, some 700 miles north of London.

    David from CA 4:49 PM  

    @Anony 11:40. Hand up for my meat comes in little cellophane wrapped packages! (OK...Maybe it isn't actually cellophane, picky, picky, picky). Also, suggest you do a little research on efficiencies of power production v. individual internal combustion engines - might surprise you.

    @Rex: "...very, very tired theme"
    Doesn't this criticism deserve a little more data to back it up? You give a 11 year old example from a different venue - does that make it so very tired? Just seems like your bar for a good theme is up there in the stratosphere.

    M and Also 4:54 PM  

    @muse, and other older-but-wiser-now pet owners: Our budgie has to be securely locked up, during all our meals. He can do precision landings on all plates. He once hovered over my mother-in-law, no matter what she did, because there was a grapefruit half to be had. He will faithfully try to bend cage bars, to get at any form of eggs, pancakes, or cinnamon rolls. PuzEatingSpouse usually makes him his own "budgiecake" [sic], just to keep things humane.
    Day-um bird has even landed in a bowl of spaghetti sauce. And U think U got problems?!? Try and imagine a flyin doggie.

    Our catchphrase: "Budgies. Well, there's yer trouble." snort.


    chefwen 5:11 PM  

    Thanks @leapy, zeke and GIL I your comments took that little sting away. We were on the way to Scotland for a five year stint with dad's employer, Caterpiller Tractor, and if anyone had ever met my father, you could bet is WAS NOT first class.

    Last Silver Board Game 6:00 PM  

    @63 can really grump up a good point for discussion, now and then. Like: is it ok to resuscitate a puz theme, now and then?

    I think it'd be cool to do the same puz grid answers two days in the same week. Say, Tuesday with easy clues, and again on Thursday, with near-impossible clues.

    Or have a whole week of (different) themeless puzs, with moocow-EZ clues on Monday, gettin harder as U go thru the week.

    Or have a constructioneer that only does puzs about dinosaurs. Or films. Or pangrams.

    Would U have worked today's puz, if U were told in advance that the theme had been done before, in a previous presidential administration, say? Or go to a second Star Wars movie? Or watch a third Sharknado movie? Well, I guess U do have to draw the line, somewhere...

    "Food for Thawt"

    Teedmn 7:08 PM  

    Our neighbors owned the game TROUBLE. If I remember correctly, it was similar to Parcheesi. But it had this cool dome under which the dice resided and you pushed down on the dome to get your dice roll. But I never played any of the others in the puzzle themers.

    Love all the pet gluttony stories. Budgie in spaghetti sauce, sounds like a cleaning nightmare. And good shipboard stories too.

    Thanks, Ms. Ellerin, and congrats on the debut.

    Let's be clear on this 7:58 PM  

    Electricity is a source of power, but not a fuel. There is a difference. In the presence of wind turbines, would you describe wind as a fuel?
    It would be nice to also remember that there's ample energy trapped in and available from non-fossil fuels, such as fresh vegetation waste and... hog lagoons... Yes, the technology exists to utilize all that free stuff just going to waste [sic].

    As an aside, I'm so pleased to have learned from Z that CelloPhane is poised to make a comeback. I have been worrying so about DuPont's fortunes.

    Yankees Fan 8:09 PM  


    Only a single comment has Yogi BERRA quotes!? I thought the floodgates would open. Man oh man, the present isn't what it used to be, either!


    btw, he'll be turning 90 on May 12.

    Z 8:25 PM  

    @Let's be clear - I didn't even realize that the plastic wrap I use isn't really related to cellophane until today, so imagine my surprise on learning that cellophane is making a comeback. To not quote Yogi Berra, "There's a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?"

    Yogi 11:49 PM  

    I didn't say half the things I said.

    Mikey from El Prado 11:15 AM  

    I cannot believe Rex has never heard of Neal Cassady! What have you been reading all your life Rex. He's Dean Moriarty in On The Road. He's Cody in Visions of Cody. He's in almost every Kerouac story. He was e hero of the Beat Generation. He's the original Dead Head. And, of course one of the two main characters of the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test along with Ken Kesey. Oh, to the person who said the Dead song Cassidy is about him, not quite. That tune is about a newborn child in the Dead extended family.

    spacecraft 10:30 AM  

    Hmmm...a kinder, gentler Fearless Leader? Ah, perhaps Debbie is cute. Watch out there, Mrs. FL! Here is a grid containing the unattached word "THE," and not a whisper.

    This one is OK, though TROUBLE as a board game has managed to elude me. OTOH, we used to pull all-nighters playing RISK in the dorm basement. One guy would amass all his troops in the Ukraine, just exchanging easy victories with a neighbor, until he'd go on a suicidal rampage, avenging an imagined slight and knocking that player (and himself) out of the game. Ah, what memories.

    What you better hope you have enough of on a sinking ship is LIFEboats, not RAFTS. Although the Titanic folks would have settled. So, along with SCHEMe, these were my writeovers.

    Medium for a Monday. THE IBAR knocks it down to a C+.

    DMG 1:50 PM  

    A board-game memory lane. Have spent many happy hours playing everything from Parchesi and Monopoly to Go and Scrabble. Somehow missed War, which I guess is my loss. At any rate, only do over was the LIFEraft/BOAT thing, and I'm still trying to picture the QEII or whatever with a gaggle of life rafts hanging on the side! Shades of Tom Hanks and his soccer ball friend!

    3005 Not bad!

    rain forest 1:59 PM  

    "Why are you attacking me? You should go after her! You'll regret this, dipshit!" Or words to that effect which dominated Risk whenever I played it. Haven't played a board game for ages, except for Scrabble which IS on a board, but somehow is of a different genre, and I don't play it anymore, either.

    @Spacey - you are very consistent about your letter/word aversion, but even though I don't much like IBAR or Ibeam, how else do you spell them. What about Oring or Tsquare? Just askin'.

    This was a fine Monday: appropriately easy, decent theme, good revealer and solid fill.

    Burma Shave 2:13 PM  


    “ALOHA”, and ,”SORRYCHARLIE”, was all that he said
    As he hopped in his SWANK TESLA and away he sped.
    So I hopped in my COBRA and got out THE lead,
    THE COBRA don’t SIP FUEL, it’ll throw back your head.
    I reached THE crash scene of THE LIMO and Ted,
    IRAN to the cop, ”CLUEMEIN and don’t LIE”, I said.
    He answers “I’m SARI and AISLE tell you, he’s BETTOR off dead.”


    rondo 3:30 PM  

    Better than alot of Mondays, I think. Don't expect much on Monday so this seemed OK.
    I remember playing a couple of those games; the rellies had one or two and so did we, so there was small exposure to the field. Living in a rural area, those types of games were played in the winter, if at all. Too much going on outdoors most of the year. Even basketball in the barn some winter days.
    Hope this puz leads to bigger and better.

    Anonymous 3:37 PM  

    Yeah, Spracecraft. Come down off that high orbit of yours and answer Rainforest. I used to think OFL was picky/snippy but you're giving him a run for his blog dollars. Fess up. Are your tighty whities pinching you ??

    Ron Diego (Just havin fun)

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