___ regni / SUN 4-5-15 / Home of Faa'a International Airport / Ayatollah's speech / Point of sharpest vision / Schlemiels / Burns's "To a Louse" / Sony video recorder

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Constructor: Tom McCoy

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: The Captain Goes Down With the Ship — Theme answers (which are all downs) consist of the names of captains and their ships.

Hey everyone. Happy Sunday to you. PuzzleGirl here with you on this beautiful day. Rex is traveling again so you're stuck with me. Let's just make the best of it, shall we? Today's puzzle is a little weird to me. I'm not saying it's bad. I'm just saying it's different. The theme answers aren't real phrases and they're not even made-up phrases. They're just two (or three) words put together for effect. The words are related to each other, but they don't actually make up a phrase. That seems a little weird to me. That's all I'm saying.

Theme answers:
  • AHAB PEQUOD (2D: Example from classic American literature)
  • KIRK ENTERPRISE (5D: Example from television)
  • NEMO NAUTILUS (10D: Example from sci-fi literature)
  • BLIGH BOUNTY (14D: Example from 18th-century history)
  • HOOK JOLLY ROGER (52D: Example from fantasy literature)
  • SMITH TITANIC (60D: Example from 20th-century history)
  • CRUNCH GUPPY (63D: Example from advertising)
  • LINCOLN USA (75D: Metaphorical example from poetry)
You know what? Let's not talk about what's weird about the puzzle. Let's talk about what's good about the puzzle. But before we do that, I just want to say really quickly and with as little vitriol as possible that I initially thought RESEE (101D: Watch over) was the worst entry in the grid and then I came across FOVEA (69D: Point of sharpest vision). FOVEA. For real. Have any of your ever seen this word in your life? I know I haven't. That is one ugly entry. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

  • 1A: White's partner (SAJAK) — Raise your hand if, like me, you wanted STRUNK here. Such nerds.
  • 22A: Asian wild ass (ONAGER) — I'm just not going to say a thing about that clue. Nope.
  • 29A: Book that needs to be read word for word? (ROGET'S) — Cute clue for the thesaurus.
  • 42A: 7/11 product? (QUOTIENT) — I got tricked recently by the clue "1/2" for DATE. And I was tricked by this one too. So I'm starting to get the idea that when there are numbers in the clue, I need to take a step back.
  • 51A: Word of regret (SHOULDA) — With S**ULDA in place I thought this was going to be a foreign word. But it's just plain old SHOULDA, as in "shoulda, woulda, coulda."
  • 65A: Baseball V.I.P.s (G.M.s) — Oh man I am so ready for baseball season. My team's G.M. has made some moves during the off season that I'm not 100% sure about but that's probably why he's the G.M. and I'm not. Well, that's one of the reasons anyway.
  • 89A: Best-selling children's series "PERCY Jackson & the Olympians" — PuzzleSon loved these books. Recommended.
  • 100A: Claymation dog (GROMIT) — Couldn't remember this guy's name at first and I also didn't know the name of Cap'n Crunch's ship. I had PUPPY at first, which, if you think about it, is a TERRIBLE name for a ship.
  • 102A: Helpful household pets (RATTERS) — I don't know. If a ratter would be helpful to you in your house, maybe it's time to think about moving.
  • 118A: "No, you really must!" ("I INSIST!") — For some reason this really tickled me. Probably by favorite answer.
  • 7D: "ARE you even listening?" — Well? Are you?
  • 13D: Big dos (AFROS) — Not a fan of this clue. #NotAllAfros
  • 37D: Affix carelessly (SLAP ON) — Another interesting colloquial phrase.
  • 44D: Game center? (TAC) — As in the "center" word of "tic tac toe." Took me a minute.
  • 48D: "I got it!" ("AHA!") and 50D: "I *finally* got it!" ("DUH!") — Nice pair of clues to jazz up this so-so fill.
  • 74D: Told (BLABBED) — BLABBED is a great word. I want to encourage all of you to use the word BLABBED in conversation today.
  • 85D: British Invasion band (THEM) — Never heard of them. (See what I did there?)
  • 87D: Kind of ceiling (DEBT) — I can't see this kind of clue/answer pair without being slightly annoyed since someone explained to me why it's just not right. You see, "debt" isn't a kind of ceiling. A "debt ceiling" is a kind of ceiling. And now that I've explained it to you, you can spend the rest of your solving years annoyed about it too. You're welcome.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everybody. With any luck Rex will be back tomorrow.

Love, PuzzleGirl


George Barany 12:17 AM  

Hi, @PuzzleGirl. It was nice to meet you in person less than a week ago at the ACPT--you may recall the guy who nearly tripped over you getting back to his seat for the finals. Your writeup gave me more enjoyment than today's puzzle by @Tom McCoy, who I also had the pleasure of meeting.

Allow me to call to everyone's attention this wonderful photoessay from the Wordplay blog of the New York Times. The first picture is of @Will Shortz, the second of @Dan Feyer (the defending Champion and now 6-time winner), etc., etc., ... all the way to the last panel which shows three bloggers @Amy Reynaldo, @Jeff Chen, and @Deb Amlen while wistfully bemoaning the "not in attendance" of @Michael Sharp aka @Rex. If you ever wondered what all these people in the crossworld look like, as well as what they're thinking (or at least little snippets thereof), you should definitely click on the link and check it out.

Zeke 12:20 AM  

I so damned old that my answer to 100A was Goliath.

There's only one way a RATTER would be a helpful household pet, and that would be only for a week, give or take. Otherwise they make horrible household pets. Barn dogs, yes, household, no.

Not a real fan of the puzzle. Kind of the opposite, actually.

F.O.G. 12:30 AM  

Some great cluing. "Bugs someone" for MEL BLANC and "7/11 product" for QUOTIENT were my favorites -- next of course to "Michigan rival, for short" -- Go Buckeyes!

Got the theme early on, but took a while to figure out LINCOLN USA.

How does one DEBUG a BONNET? My cat might be a mouser, but what kind of household pet is a RATTER? And do GMS drive MGS? To these questions, WHO CARES?

Anonymous 12:51 AM  

Agree with PuzzleGirl and the first posters all the way. Wasn't keen on oxeye either. Of course, looking forward to Annabel's comments tomorrow.

Didn't quite understand George's comments about Rex and the tournament. He didn't go? Went but photo-shy?


pmdm 12:56 AM  

Nothing wrong with fovea - it's just an uncommon word. One of the reasons I solve crossword puzzles is to come across this type of uncommon word. Much better than the tons of proper nouns that I don't care about at all. But RESEE. Yes, that is one of the worst. I've seen other entries as ugly, but I can't think of any that surpass it.

I found this a difficult puzzle until discovering the theme, when it became much easier. I suppose the theme answers were so easy that the fill had to be a bit more difficult than usual for a Sunday puzzle. The theme answers are not entertaining, but then they are not intended to be humorous, just solid. I am impressed that so many theme answers are crammed into the grid without an inordinate amount of godawful stuff. I'm also not too happy with SHOULDA, the clue for THEM, or having to deal with a claymation dog I've never heard of, but certainly there was less annoyance for me than normal. So a heartfelt congratulations to the constructor for a puzzle with so many theme answers that pretty much (if not totally) avoids annoying fill.

LINCOLN USA is a bit of a cheat, but it did put a smile on my face. So the puzzle was not totally humorless for me.

Passover and the Easter Triduum coincide this weekend, so good wishes to all of you who practice celebrating these holy days.

Eric 1:10 AM  

Man did I hate this theme. Got KIRK ENTERPRISE with only the second K and thought, no, really? my wife is taking an anatomy class as a pre-req for grad school, so she confirmed FOVEA for me.

Honestly I stopped solving because, well, WHO CARES? And wanted to read some ultimate hate from rex. I did enjoy your write-up though :)

AliasZ 1:32 AM  

This one went down like the TITANIC. Simple enough theme that I got at KIRK-ENTERPRISE from the K in Kit-KAT, the E in BETACAM and the N in INTRO. It was down to the sea in ships after that, except for GUPPY. Who knew Cap'n CRUNCH's ship was GUPPY? I'm just ASKIN'. C'mon, raise your hands. That one SHOULDA been disallowed as illegal entry.

- Captain KIRK never went down with the ENTERPRISE. I just saw him in a Priceline commercial. Boy, he got fat.
- I hope I will never resee RESEE as long a I live. I HEWED when I saw it.
- Where, oh where was Jason and the good ship Argo?
- I thought RESEE was that peanut butter cup guy. How does a cup like that provide any protection?
- Why don't we have B-DAYs here in the USA? It is the most useful amenity a bathroom can have.
- One who watches something over is a RESEEr. The thing he watches over is a RESEEee.
- FOVEA, uvea, nivea, savea penny and havea ball. I'd lovea drink right now.
- Who was the captain of the good ship Lollipop? Ask SAJAK. No, Trebek. He knows everything.
- JENGA bell, JENGA bell, JENGA all the way. Wait, wrong holiday.
- TWINKIE, TWINKIE little star, how I wonder what you are. This one doesn't sound right either. Oh, never mind.

Favorite entry today: MEL BLANC. Nothing more needs to be said.

Happy Easter, and good night.

Ellen S 1:39 AM  

I turned on the timer because I was just tearing through the top half -- felt very literate, but ran aground, so to speak, on 63D -- never realized Cap'n Crunch even actually had a ship, let alone that it had a name. Does knowing that require actually looking at the cereal box? Shudder. -- oh, and I would have had an easier time with 75D if the clue had been in italics like all the other theme clues. So the whole bottom half of the puzzle was tough, to say the least.

I have found a couple of dead rats in my backyard, and either they got poisoned elsewhere and came to my house to die, or my dogs are good RATTERS, while also being awesome housepets. I know for sure (I'm sorry to say) that they are good "opossumers", and I worry that if a neighborhood cat wanders into my yard, they will turn out to be good "catters." But so far they have shown no malice toward my own cats, and even were careful around the elderly one who passed away recently.

jae 1:54 AM  

Medium- tough for me.  Two major hang ups...NUt before NUB and BETA mAx before CAM...had me staring for an extended period. 

Liked it.  Novel theme, not awful dreck (except for RESEE), and @Alias Z MEL BLANC.

Too bad Tom couldn't work Jonas "The Skipper" Grumby  and The Minnow in somewhere.

Ellen S 1:55 AM  

p.s. the eldest cat died at age 19 of kidney failure, not at the hands, or teeth, of the dogs. The next one got a brain tumor or started having strokes, or something, and when his whole right side was useless, it was time to pull the plug, and not the dogs' fault. He was 17. They treat the no-longer-kitten more roughly, but she asks for it. (Did I really say that?)

George Barany 2:15 AM  

Several of the comments that have come in during the past two hours jogged my memory to this article that someone linked to just a day earlier on Facebook, under the subject line "my favorite gravestone." I will leave you the pleasure of discovery, but it starts with crossword puzzle clues and one of the marquee non-theme answers in today's puzzle, and keeps getting better.

To @Zippy: Elaborating on my earlier comment, please have a look at "About Me" immediately below the @Rex Parker avatar, where he writes "I am the 63rd Greatest Crossword Solver in the Universe!" This refers to @Michael Sharp's score in the last ACPT that he participated in [for some perspective, the rank was 40th when I first started following this blog regularly]. Many of us looked for @Michael aka @Rex at the just-concluded ACPT as well, but learned from a variety of avenues that his schedule and family obligations prevented his attendance this particular year.

I would not describe @Michael Sharp as camera-shy. A few seconds with Google "images" led me to this blogpost (he's the one holding the trophy) as well as this interview. Plenty more about our regular host can be found by clicking on the tab "Rex Parker in the News" at the very top of the webpage.

chefwen 2:44 AM  

@Carola - Another nail biter for Wisconsin fans, EH? Go avatar (aka Bucky)

@Puzzle Girl - We like being stuck with you.

Puzzle was a little slow getting off the ground and I agree with @pmdm, after getting the theme it became a lot easier. Had BETA mAx before BETACAM which messed me up in that area for way too long.

Paddy The Wonder Cat was a great RATTER. Used to bring me one or two a night and deposit them in the Powder Room. That went on for about a three week period, had to buy a special dust bin to sweep them up and deposit them in my neighbors field. I think he finally emptied that nest and just brought me a few small mice after that, much to my relief.

Steve J 3:01 AM  

Liked the theme. If. If nothing else, it didn't strike me as yet another variation on a theme I've seen many times before. Even if I DNF due to having no idea Cap'n Crunch had a ship, let alone what it was named. I just figured he was a relic of the late 19th century, when people widely gave themselves ranks just because they sounded cool.

Outside the theme, this was a mixed bag. There were a couple great clues, like for MEL BLANC and SADAT, and there were spots of nice fill, like JENGA. But then there's junk like AGERS, forced plurals like SOYS, and the abomination that is RESEE. If I never resee that, it'll be too soon.

David Phillips 3:31 AM  

From Wikipedia:

"Approximately half of the nerve fibers in the optic nerve carry information from the fovea, while the remaining half carry information from the rest of the retina."

Gareth Bain 3:52 AM  

Not knowing a word does not make it a bad word. That is solipsistic narcissism.

Strummer 4:51 AM  

I think "fovea" is just fine. I had to reach way back to high school science to get it, but it is far less offensive than the obscure African trees and the like that sometimes show up in the puzzle. Also, Them, although not one of the most famous British Invasion bands, did introduce the world to a young singer named Van Morrison. So I don't think that one is so bad.

Theme would have been better if it had one of those unifying answers across the middle of the grid. Oh well.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:10 AM  

Interesting puzzle, particularly because it seemed (I don't scan all the databases) to be something new and different.

I'm glad not to have read too many complaints about these "ships" not having sunk, as the title explains that in pure crossword terms these are simply the names of Captains in Down columns with the names of their "ships." (With metaphor forcing the use of quotation marks.)

I did finish with BETAMAX instead of BETACAM at 31 A. I knew something was wrong, but as sometimes happens on a Sunday puzzle, I just didn't care to put any more effort into it.

A lot of good fill, and I've never been one to let the occasional RESEE bother me. My FOVEAe can handle it.

pfb 7:06 AM  

I liked the theme and was frustrated by some of the fill--HEWED and FOVEA, in particular.

Lewis 7:39 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
mac 7:39 AM  

Happy Easter!

I agree with Puzzle Girl word for word. For me the toughest area was the far SW, Gromit and Guppy just were unknown to me.

Lewis 7:41 AM  

I agree with @bobkerfuffle that the theme works -- "The Captain Goes Down With The Ship" simply means that in this puzzle that the captain and ship are paired in down answers. I found the theme refreshingly unusual.

Enjoyed the clues for SAJAK, ANT, SANEST, QUOTIENT, INTRO, and USEBY. Loved the answers BIOTA, SHOULDA, SLAPON, IINSIST and BLABBED. Not fond of TAUNTER and TWP.

FOVEA popped out from some deep recess somewhere, and can someone please explain LINCOLNUSA?

The puzzle was like a Krispy Kreme, with the HOLE in the middle.

chefbea 7:55 AM  

Not a fun puzzle but a great write up. Don't we have our guest write up person tomorrow?? First Monday of the month. I can't remember her name?

Lewis 8:10 AM  

Factoid: There are eight times as many ATOMS in a teaspoonful of water as there are teaspoonfuls of water in the Atlantic.

Quotoid: "Success is not the KEY to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." -- Albert Schweitzer

Loren Muse Smith 8:13 AM  

This was another really hard one, if you ask me. I got it all, but it was a fight to the finish, especially the very southwest - hi, @mac ("lilies" before OXEYES) and the southeast up to LAM, which took a while because I had "too" for AND, vaguely wondering how that worked.

One early problem was that SMITH TITANIC was where I figured out the conceit, so I was thinking all the captains had indeed gone down with their ships. And I felt hopeless. @Bob, @Lewis – I quickly saw the cruciverbalisticness of the title and loved it!

I'll take RESEE just to revisit the expression "watch over." No hate here for that entry. Rechoose/pick over, reyank/pull over, retoss/pass over, reautograph/sign over…

Like @Ellen S and @Steve J, I had no idea that Cap'n Crunch had a ship. Did Captain Underpants have a ship, too? Or was he actually just a rear admiral?

PG – you're more learned than I – I kept considering "black" for SAJAK. I like your "Strunk" better. And "Asian wild ass" was one of the highlights of the puzzle.

Like @AliasZ, I briefly looked for Jason and the Argo, but a quick square count nixed that idea. I was also half looking for QUEEG CAINE.

SHOULDA – I always have a quick little inward panic when I commit to a number with a statement with something like, "Blah blah blah…… in just four words…" Whatever number I think is right, I second guess myself every time for things like SHOULDA, ain't, hasn't, etc. Yeah, overthinking and all that, but still. I secretly want to call a time out and establish some ground rules for how we're defining "word" and proceed from there. Mercifully I never have.

I had "sac" (student activity center) for quite a while before I had the AHA! It's TAC.

@pmdm - GROMIT was an early toe-hold off just the T. (Picture me buffing my nails on my lapel.)

I've never noticed the phrase anno REGNI, so I just sniffed around the internet. How the heck did that final "i" shove its way to the center of the word to give us reign? Just ciurous. Inquiirng minds want to know.

RATTER – Growing up in Charlotte, Dad had a RATTER, a terrier mix named Poochie,. He says Poochie would get all excited when they closed the doors to the dining room and his mom got The Broom because that meant a rat had been sighted up on the molding. Time to go to work, man. Sikkim.*

Hey, Tom –I really had fun with this and unlike @Eric, I wanted to finish this and make sure I could still hang with the big dogs here by knowing all of the captains and their ships. I feel so satisfied to report that my one woe was GUPPY.

*to my new friend, Sunday-only solver William F – "Sikkim" was in a clue yesterday.

'mericans back in Paris 8:25 AM  

Was travelling in southern Egypt the previous two weekends, where nobody sells the International NYT. (Can you imagine?!)

This puz was medium-tough for the Mrs. and me. Thought at first the theme answers were really going to be about captains who went down with their ships, but then got the cross-word angle. Wondered whether we were going to see "Schettino" (who decidedly did NOT go down with his ship) and "Costa Concordia", but that requires 23 squares, which puts it out of the running.

Like some other commentators, was also expecting Gilligan's Island, whose Minnow was skippered by Jonas Grumby, so was surprised by KIRK and ETERPRISE.

Thought immediately of Captain CRUNCH when the clue was "Example from advertising", but couldn't recall the name of his ship. Got it from the crosses. Turns out, by the way, that a couple of years ago there was a small Twitter storm sparked by the discovery by a very observant consumer that CRUNCH's uniform was that of a Commander, not a full Captain. The "Captain" responded vigorously that, since he was in command of a ship, that was all that mattered: he could righlty be called a captain.

Hands up for thinking second of "Strunk" as White's partner (1A). As a chess player, couldn't help but think of "black" first. Too obvious, obviously. Liked Puzzle Girl's photo of Meg and Jack White, who was actually born John Anthony Gillis but then took on his first wife's name. No relation to Dobie Gillis (Dwayne Hickman), presumably, whose best friend on the iconic early 1960s television show was Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver), later to play the erstwhile Gilligan on Gilligan's Island. So we come full circle.

Favorite clues and answers:

29A -- Book that needs to be read word for word? (ROGET'S)
42A -- 7/11 product (QUOTIENT) -- finally, a correct use of the slash!
57A -- Quarters of a Quarter Pounder (OUNCES)
92A -- Bugs someone? (MEL BLANC)

Didn't like all the otherwise clueless "See 97-Across", "See 8-Down", etc. clues, though.

And agree with the others: RESEE is just plain horrid.

Will post a further installment of MATT "DEADEYES" ESQUARE in the afternoon.

Happy Easter to those for whom today is a holiday!

r.alphbunker 8:27 AM  

I really liked the uniqueness of the theme. There really is no downside to this puzzle for me.

I think it refers to the Walt Whitman poem O Captain! My Captain!

Anonymous 8:29 AM  

Not stuck with you at all, puzzle girl. Happy Sunday! I raise my hand for Strunk and White. Liked the puzzle theme with its range and occasional goofiness (Captain Crunch/Guppy). But note that some of the captains only "went down" with their ships in the crossword grid, while others, alas, did so literally.

Anonymous 8:35 AM  

FOVEA is not sooo unusual -- for me, it's one of those words rattling around in that special part of my memory that can be awakened by crossword clues, with the help of partial crosses.

Maruchka 8:41 AM  

We are fast approaching Abraham LINCOLN's death day (April 15 - argh, did the IRS do this on purpose?).

So, Walt Whitman comes to mind. Yesterday we had LILACS in the doorway and today 'Captain, My Captain'.

@Lewis - 'Ship of state' for USA, I'm thinking.

Has anyone seen (or even RESEEn) the LINCOLN and the Jews exhibit at the N-Y Historical Society? I love that place.

@AliasZ - If you're a candy maven, I can recommend Trader Joe's dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Addictive. Beware.

Speaking of candy, today's the day. Hippity-hop.

Anonymous 8:50 AM  

"product" in math means multiply. So "7/11 product" is kind of off as a clue. Product, sum, difference, quotient.

The theme answers aren't meant to be real phrases. They are the name of a captain and his ship. (why no women?)
And the name of the captain and his ship both go down (they are down answers)

PuzzleGirl 8:51 AM  

Wow. Nice to see you too, Gareth.

Maruchka 8:52 AM  

.. also, Jacques Torres' chocolate bunnies and chocolate peanut butter matzos, for Elijah and the brunch crew. Oy.

'mericans in Paris 9:05 AM  

I agree with @ Anonymous 08:50: "7/11" would have sufficed as a clue for QUOTIENT. Adding "product" confuses matters.

rex has rubbed off on puzzle girl 9:11 AM  

Puzzle girl has a case of the Rex. "I don't know a word, so it's a bad clue/answer." This line of reasoning is, in a word, bullshit. I think it's fine to criticize words that don't really exist or exist only in crosswords (like RESEE), but to take a great and beautiful word like FOVEA, perfectly and rather easily clued, and call it "ugly" because of your own ignorance makes you look stupid, arrogant, and just plain mean. It makes you a POORSPORT.

Aketi 9:13 AM  

Who knew that going to the Bronx zoo once a week when my son was little would allow me th ocaissioal satisfaction of instasolving the weird animal clues. Loved ONAGER.

I should have figured out FOVEA sooner than I did since I worked with ophthalmologists for years on vitamin A deficiency programs, but vitamin A deficiency affects the cornea not the fovea,

Oddly, I did remember the GUPPY. Must have absorbed that from watching too many commercials in between the Saturday morning cartoons as a child.

As for ratters, I suspect our second adoptee, Charles, would easily be up to the challenge. He's constantly hunting for something to pounce on and sometimes it's us. I made the mistake of not noticing that he had crawled under the covers when I was on the iPad solving a puzzle and in a NANO second he attacked my pajama bottoms and shredded them. He used to literally open the Fresh Direct food delivery boxes every Sunday, until one day he jumped inside the top box in a stack of five and toppled them all. He still opens boxes as long as they aren't stacked and always tries to eat the tape.

RAD2626 9:16 AM  

Puzzle title could not have been any more literal. Agree with those who thought theme was different and okay. Had a DNF with "boUnCER" for TAUNTER" which sort of looked okay in a strained and wrong way. Cupid, Mel Blanc, atom and yeas clues all really clever.

Aketi 9:19 AM  

ps. Charies definite suffers the consequences when he tries to jump on our first adoptee Faith even though he's twice her size. She has a mean left hook that akways puts him in his place when he gets too fresh. She was a good mouser, clearing out the escapees from the bakery that used to be located in our building,

flower power 9:20 AM  

I had a misspelled "dasies" before OXEYES. Stupid me.

Maruchka 9:24 AM  

@Aketi, @chefwen, @LMS, @FOG, @EllenS - My cat Grover (who thought he was a dog) was a 'salamanderer'. Proudly bit they little heads off and what was left, left on my pillow, with pride. OK, 3's the charm - signing off.

Horace S. Patoot 9:24 AM  

I have to speak up for FOVEA. Among anatomical words, it's a very common one (e.g. every wakeful high school biology student should know it). If you can justify other odd words in crosswords, you have to allow FOVEA along with them. More science words, please!

Nancy 9:31 AM  

Thank you, thank you, Puzzle Girl, for making me realize that I was not alone in my terrible frustration. Oh, I wanted EVEN BET, you all have no idea how much I wanted EVEN BET, but I had Ec---ET and that's because I had FOcus instead of FOVEA, of which I, too, have never heard. I did not for a minute see the absolutely awful RESEE. Having ALEc instead of ALEX gave me no chance of seeing OXEYES (which I might not have seen anyway). And since I never heard of any of the proper names in that section: PERCY, GROMIT, GUPPY and THE M -- well, forgive the pun, but I was sunk.

If only I had cheated by going to my handy-dandy dictionary and looked up FOV--, (no, everyone, not by Googling; I NEVER Google!), I would have found FOVEA, gotten to finally write in EVEN BET and completed Northern California. But I still would have missed GROMIT, GUPPY, OXEYES, THE M and RESEE.

The rest of the puzzle was no trouble at all and I quite liked it.

Anonymous 9:41 AM  

FOVEA, take an intro course in psychology and you'll know the word

PuzzleGirl 9:49 AM  

Speaking of "just plain mean."

Nancy 9:55 AM  

@George Barany -- Thanks for providing the link to the photos of "the humans of the ACPT." It was interesting and I surely wouldn't have found it on my own.

AliasZ 9:57 AM  

I had to come back this morning to RESEE this puzzle. Maybe with a rested FOVEA I will see fresh possibilities, or a hidden trick that makes it worthwhile.

- Perhaps, on an EVEN BET that you can swallow all the tiny fish in one gulp, by reflex you bite down. What you feel between your teeth and the sound you hear is a CRUNCH GUPPY.
- After retiring from Star Trek, William Shatner started a new business in Nebraska, reattaching people's loose skull-and-bone flags. He called the company KIRK ENTERPRISE, Inc. with the slogan "We HOOK JOLLY ROGER in LINCOLN, USA."
- Mona LEWIS, CEO of a New England utilities company had the following printed on her business cards: "NE MONA UTIL US".

Nah, nothing there.

The real reason I came back was to RESEE all you gals and guys, and to @Ellen S (and everyone else) to offer this Easter cantata by our old friend J.S. Bach: Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV 4, as atonement for yesterday's Hindemith.

As you were.

Merle 10:00 AM  

I don't get how you didn't understand the theme. "The captain goes down with the ship." The expression means that if a ship sinks, the captain stays on board, and doesn't abandon ship. In the puzzle, famous captains paired with their ships, captain's name first, then ships, and the answers run down, so the captain goes "down" with the ship. Duh. 2D, Captain Ahab, Pequod, from "Moby Dick". 5D, Captain Kirk, the Enterprise, from "Star Trek". 10D, Captain Nemo, "Nautilus", from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". 14D, Captain Bligh, "Bounty", from "Mutiny on the Bounty". 52D, Captain Hook, "Jolly Roger", from "Peter Pan". 60D, Captain Smith, "Titanic",from "Titanic". 63D, Captain Crunch, "Guppy", from the cereal. And, the best one, because it is from literature, but not "literal", it's metaphorical, Lincoln, as in Abraham Lincoln, the ship is the "USA", from Walt Whitman's poem, which begins, "O Captain, my Captain", and is an elegy for Lincoln, who Whitman sees as the captain of the Ship of State, the United States. This is the best part of the puzzle, makes it a puzzle worth solving. I despair that a crossword puzzle ace like you, Puzzle Girl, doesn't know enough about literature to recognize the theme immediately. Ah well, so much for genuine culture. Have fun solving pop music clues and contemporary inane TV shows clues and contemporary inanity in general. I'll take Herman Melville and Jules Verne and Walt Whitman, and leave the next puzzle with the Kardashians and the Duck Dynasty to people like you.

Whirred Whacks 10:04 AM  

Fun, interesting theme, but a grinding solve for me.

I had the same thought as @Maruchka, namely that next week marks the sesquicentennial of Lincoln's death, and working Whitman's "O Captain! My Captain!" into the grid was constructor Tom McCoy's tribute to this.

@Lewis @Nancy
The Mark Twain quote I've been thinking about for the past week is: "You can't trust your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."

Horace S. Patoot 10:05 AM  

I for one certainly didn't intend to be mean. I'm always delighted to see a write up by PuzzleGirl. I would also be delighted to see more science in puzzles to counterbalance some of the obscure liberal arts stuff, and not third grade science like ATOM/bond.

Ken Wurman 10:13 AM  

I remember the group "Them" for their hit "Gloria" (G L O R I Aaaaa!) featuring Van Morrison.
Never considered them part of the British invasion. Guess their ship went down crossing the Atlantic. .

joho 10:17 AM  

My first thought was that the captains' names would not only be running downward in the grid but hidden or spelled backwards or something. So I was a bit surprised at how straightforward (downward?) the theme was. But once I realized that the puzzle had teeth and not too easy I got on board.

In a car on my way to church... Happy Easter!

Teedmn 10:18 AM  

FOcal killed the SW (along with ALEX, RESEE, GUPPY, PERCY and THEM). I slogged my way through the rest of it just fine (even got the LINCOLN-USA without knowing the Walt Whitman poem; isn't that the third Walt Whitman reference in the past week? Guess I have to start reading him) but the SW? Never had a chance.

The theme was fine with me, even cute, but I didn't find the non-theme fill easy. Lots of write-overs: CENTavo first, Louis instead of LEWIS (DOH, I know!!) made TWINKIE impossible. This puzzle kicked my rear admiral but good.

Thanks, Tom McCoy, nice puzz.

joho 10:20 AM  

Oh, PuzzleGirl ... wonderful write up!)

Orange 10:24 AM  

My god, you people are mean. "People like you," wow. And calling someone "stupid and arrogant" for not liking a word she didn't know—wait, who's the arrogant one here. I'll stick with the Crossword Fiend commenters, thanks.

I'm a medical editor but that FOVEA clue had me thinking I needed a focal-related term rather than a part of the eye.

The theme was also inconsistent in that some of these captains went down with their ships and died, some survived the ship going down, Kirk was not on a boat, people probably didn't call it "USA" in the 1860s and that "ship" did not go down when Lincoln was shot, and I don't know that Cap'n Crunch has ever gone down with the ship. Don't mix the dead and alive in a "Went Down With His Ship" theme. Loved McCoy's two previous puzzles but didn't care for this one. I'm largely in agreement with PuzzleGirl's critique.

Ken Wurman 10:28 AM  

I remember the group "Them" for their hit "Gloria" (G L O R I Aaaaa!) featuring Van Morrison.
Never considered them part of the British invasion. Guess their ship went down crossing the Atlantic. .

Anonymous 10:31 AM  

A RATTER is usually a terrier.
Ogden Nash fans would instantly get ONAGER. ( have you ever harked to the jackass wild, which scientists call the onager? It sounds like the laugh of an idiot child, or a hapcat on a harmonica." Ok, that's from memory, so might not be perfect. And, I know, "hepcat..." Hahaha

PuzzleGirl 10:32 AM  

Why in the world do you think I don't understand the theme? I explained the theme right at the top of the post.

shredded pajama bottoms 10:34 AM  

@Aketi: I fall into the I-Never- Met-a-Dog-I-Didn't-Like category, but Charles sounds pretty high-maintenance to me. And you sound pretty laid-back, truly!

jberg 10:34 AM  

Thanks, @PuzzleGirl, insightful and TEMPERed markup. I don't get all the hating when you put everything so kindly!

As for me: It's always nice to see ACME, and then two of my favorite part of speech, the GERUND. Plus a little lumberjack section, with SAW crossing HEWED, which is OK!

Tita 10:53 AM  

Inexplicably, knew FOVEA instantly - no crosses needed.
@PuzzleGirl...nice to see you back.
I agree 100%...I had fun dissing the answers - they definitely helped with the solve.
But, something...odd...
Don't know if that is because captains going down with their ships is inherently a pretty terrible thing, or if all but one of these captains did NOT go down with their ships, or because one of them really did...

But hey, it's only a puzzle, and the cleverness of the visual wordplay wins me over.

Gotta run. Happy Easter.

Unknown 10:58 AM  

What is up with all this name calling??
And by the way, Merle, nobody here needs to be given lessons on literature. If you've been around this blog for a while, you'll know that academic arrogance is out of place and completely unnecessary.
@PuzzleGirl, keep doing your thing; I for one love your write-ups!

Dorothy Biggs 10:58 AM  

Happy day of fertility, everyone!

The puzzle was okay. I agree with PG that the themers were odd. Last name of captain followed by his ship...as his name literally goes down with his ship. Got it.

I remembered (somewhere, somehow) that the name of Cap'n Crunch's ship was the Guppy. Don't ask me how I even know that.

I also wanted Goliath where Gromit went..."But what would Gawd think, Davie?" Classic Lutheran kids show shown on Sundays. Weird now to think that we kids bought the story of this kid (Davie) who grew up in a very religious household and would have regular conversations with his dog...who, incidentally, told him what to do. Yeah, okay, actually kinda creepy.

If any of you are itching for proof that there is indeed a god that exists on this fine Easter morning, let me just say Wisconsin and let you draw your own conclusions. I suppose you're going to say it's a correlation or some such thing...but for right now, I prefer to believe in the magic force that answered my prayers. And for what it's worth, I'm not even a Wisconsin fan.

Unknown 10:58 AM  

This puzzle desperately needed one of these:


Unknown 11:01 AM  

And here's how I'd clue it:

x Across: With y down, the opposite of a stern warning.
y Down: See x Across

Tita 11:32 AM  

Oops... I meant *sussing* the answers...not *dissing* them. Darn you, autocorrect.

Aketi 11:41 AM  

@ Maruchka, our cat Charles (or Charlie when hes behaving) also thinks he's a dog and is very affectionate with one of my sons old stuffed dogs that is about his same size. He begs for walks in the afternoon and actually walks with me. So while I know RATTERS are dogs, I figure Charlie has enough doglike genes that he could do the job if the opportunity presented itself.

Faith actually figured out where to leave offerings for my son before she finished off the mice. She would set them down next to my sons x-box controller.

@ shredded pajamas, fortunately Charlie is cat enough that he naps much of the day so there is time to recuperate from his destructive behavior.

@ Merle, I love Puzzle Girl because she is funny and enthusiastic Don't be mean to her. I am taking my black belt test in June. You don't want me decide to practice on you. I don't watch Duck Dynasty or the Kardashians.

Ludyjynn 12:00 PM  

Had a couple of DUH mistakes: Betamax v. CAM (crosses SHOULDA fixed it, but I failed to notice; CRUNCHpUPPY v. GUPPY because I also had Profit (nasty sockpuppet dog, I think) v. GROMIT. Which brings me to THEM. Never heard of THEM. So I just Wikied THEM and discovered they recorded "GLORIA" w/ Van Morrison in 1964. But the song only got to #93 on the US Billboard chart in 1965. The cover version of the song was by 'Shadows of Knight' in 1965 and reached #10 on the US Billboard chart in 1966. That's the version most Americans heard first and remember. So...in my humble opinion, 'British Invasion Band' is a sucky clue for THEM.

Speaking of RATTERS, I have been blessed w/ cats who were or are ratters, mousers and rabbiters (sorry, Easter Bunny!) The late, great K.C. eliminated every rabbit in a 3 yard radius. Prior to her arrival, the neighborhood was infested. I recall one bunny sitting in the middle of my veggie garden, munching lettuce and simultaneously giving me the finger! The present resident hunter, Felix, periodically rids the same perimeter of stray rodents of any and all sizes. He is the man! Best of all, he leaves the birds alone.

Overall, I liked the theme and some clever clues/words already noted by you all.

Thanks, TM and WS. Gotta GONOW ( as in the'Moody Blues', a real British band).

old timer 12:01 PM  

I am very glad @PuzzleGirl filled in, but if there was ever a time to miss @Rex, this is that time. I wanted him to explain *why* I hated this puzzle so much. Certainly, he could have rated the difficulty "Tedium". Though, yeah, maybe he woulda groused at FOVEA if he didn't know what it was (I didn't, for sure).

Count me among those who wanted "Betamax" instead of BETACAM, which is I'm sure more accurate. And I think it was delightful to learn that Cap'n Crunch's ship is the GUPPY. All I know about that cereal brand is, they used to have a whistle that Steve Jobs and Woz used to use to make free long distance calls.

I am delighted to see 'mericans back in Paris and back on the blog. Is there any other *couple* that blogs together?

I plumb forgot about the "Oh Captain" poem. However, I did not forget about Captain AHAB and his PEQUOD. Really all of the themers were pretty good.

Billy C 12:02 PM  

I expect a few obscure answers in the Sunday NYTXW, and work them out with crosses, but this puzzle had a few too many for me. Oh, well ...

Our only cat, Daisy Mae, was (sadly) a "bunny-er." I'll never forget the Sunday morning that I heard a shriek from my 10-year-old daughter's bedroom; Daisy had left her a present -- an eviscerated bunny. Not fun cleaning that up! Ugh!

Anoa Bob 12:03 PM  

For those who say WHO CARES about the mechanics of filling the grid (nothing wrong with that), read no further. For those who might be interested, what do the following grid entries all have in common?


Each is one letter short of the number of squares for its position in the grid. What to do? POC to the rescue. I've never seen a puzz without a plural of convenience or two or three in the grid, including ones I've made, but over 30 of 'em in one grid, even a Sunday 21X21, seems excessive. I'm ranking this one POC marked.

Steve J 12:13 PM  

@Anon 8:50 a.m. and @'mericans in Paris: It always pays not to take clues too literally. If "quotient" had been used here, you would have lost the intended misdirect to make you think of something that's sold at 7-Eleven.

@rex has rubbed off: The good points you often have would be much more effective if you didn't always have to include personal insults. Having a gap in knowledge does not make one stupid.

@Merle: Perhaps if you cleared all the contempt dripping from your post, you'd notice that Puzzle Girl did understand the theme. She just didn't think it worked particularly well. And even if she didn't it's hardly the collapse of western civilization.

I really don't get why some people have to express disagreement through ad hominem and general jackassery, rather than simply stating their case. And why it's on such an increase here of late.

Carola 12:16 PM  

Slow morning. Still trying to recover from the excitement of the Badger win (hi @chefwen and @NCA President!).
Anyway, I really liked the puzzle. My AHA theme moment came early, with AHAB PEQUOD, and I had fun matching up the other captains with their ships. Smooth sailing until the SW, where I also had trouble negotiating the reefs and shoals of "Watch over," "Incredible, say," etc. Eventually reached safe harbor, but never even saw RESEE - and probably wouldn't have understood it if I had. Thank you @r.alphbunker for the Whitman link.

RooMonster 12:21 PM  

Hey All !
Want to be mean towards PuzzleGirl so I can get a response! :-)

Cool puz, got it after ___TITANIC, then KIRKENTERPRISE. Then he AHA moment. Like others, BETAmAx, what the heck is BETACAM?? Got all the puz except that darned SW! Stared and stares for at least 20 minutes, then just left the whole thing blank! Said Enough of this silliness, and came here with my tail twixt my legs. Oh well.

Refreshing write up from PG! Funny and interesting! Oh, wait, you're mean! (I want a response, remember?):-D

Cap'N Crunch's ship? Wow, there's a throwback! Nice SunPuz, some cool clues. Overall, (blatently stealing from M&A) SUnPUzthUmbsUp!


crossvine 12:53 PM  

Wasn't too hard to get the theme answers, except Cap'n Crunch's ship. but I still had trouble finishing because of the southwest corner.

I got snagged at the end because I thought the game was "JENGo" rather than "JENGA."

Whenever I finish the fill but don't get my "congratulations" notice it's almost always because I put in the wrong tense somewhere or had an "a" instead of an "o" at the end of a foreign word. Something sloppy like that.

PuzzleGirl 1:15 PM  

No reason to be such a jerk, Roo Monster! :-)

Rhino 1:19 PM  

No sir, I did not like it. Nope, nope, nope.

Aketi 1:35 PM  

@ ludyjinn and Billy C, the thought of rabbiters reminded me of the story of the ferocious rabbit named Bunch in a 1917 NY Times article. Apparently Bunch attacked sheep, dogs and even an orangutan named Judy. Don't know if this link will work, but the article's title is A Ferocious Rabbit: New Terror at Zoo.

Since http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9A07E0DF123BEE3ABC4951DFB466838C609EDE

RooMonster 1:39 PM  

:-) Sweet!


Fitzy 1:40 PM  

As a Lit / Hist / Sci-Fi nerd who just happens to be a "Son of a Son of a Sailor" (in the words of Jimmy Buffett) I enjoyed todays puzzle far more than recent Sundays...I too spent waaaay too much time trying to fit STRUNK into 1 Across..lol

GILL I. 1:41 PM  

Just got back from church and I'm still humming and singing. Thought of you @AliasZ after listening to J Blows "Salvator Mundi," Handel's "Lift up your Heads," and motets galore.
I'm with @PuzzleGirl and @Orange on this puzzle. Actually, I'll go one step further and say it was my least favorite Sunday in a long time. I even put it down without finishing it and never looked back. JENGA? FOVEA? GROMIT? Those are just plain ugly. I thought I knew all the international airports but FAA"A la la was new to me.
Have to go help prepare Easter dinner. Lobster, shrimp and crab cakes with a Springfield whole ham..... Enjoy your day...

mathguy 1:56 PM  

Before starting today, I resolved that I would just do enough of it to figure out the gimmick and then put it down. Because I've been resenting the lack of joy in the recent Sundays and the amount of time they take. But I got the theme pretty quickly and couldn't quit. I was having too much fun.

Some excellent stuff and some terrible stuff, just as has been pointed out above.

I was treated for a retina problem a couple of years ago. It was cured with an experimental (at that time) injection into my eyeball. In my many discussions with the eye doctors and technicians, we spoke often about the retina and the macula but not the FOVEA.

I finished with one cheat. I went to my word finder to find a ??Y as an answer to "Crucial."

quilter1 1:58 PM  

Busy day, just finished before a late brunch. My helpful household animals were mousers and yes I did want Strunk (English major, ya know). But over, once I caught on to the theme and how it worked the rest fell swiftly.

Ludyjynn 2:05 PM  

@Aketi, thanks for the Bunch, the ferocious rabbit, NYT link. His story makes Beatrice Potter's Peter Rabbit look like a lightweight troublemaker!

@PuzzleGirl, I meant to thank you earlier for your posts. Don't let the bashers get to you. I now know of a feisty rabbit you could sic on 'em if he were still around!

Tom S. 2:15 PM  

I agree with the folks questioning the clue on THEM. I am a big Van Morrison fan so I know the band quite well. However, they are not British. THEM was from Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, but not part of Great Britain.

Now, this may be a small technicality; THEM was from the right time period and Ireland is right there next to Britain and they speak English and all that. Also, the Wikipedia page "List of British Invasion Artists" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_Invasion_artists) does include THEM on the list. In addition, Allmusic (pretty reliable source) describes them as British Invasion -- and notes that they did relocate from Belfast to London in 1964.

But still, there's enough ambiguity in the facts that it's questionable to use as a valid clue, IMO.

Anonymous 2:24 PM  

I first had DROP ceiling, which allowed me RAPTORS as helpful household pets. I still like that answer better.

shredded pajama bottoms (from 10:34) 2:43 PM  

@Aketa. Charles is a CAT!!!! That explains everything! (I went back, read your original post, and that info wasn't there, it just wasn't. But as I said then: I-Never-Met-a-DOG-I-Didn't-Like, so I am less shocked-really-shocked, by Charles's behavior. I do like YOUR behavior, though. Go get your black belt and use it to take the insufferable @Merle down. You're guaranteed a lot of fans.

white flag 2:44 PM  

Perfect song for today's theme. Sorry, it's not classical...


focal points 2:48 PM  

Maybe one of you geniuses with the archives can look up how man times UVEA has appeared over the years? FOVEA is no more obscure in general usage; it's just a little less crossword friendly so less familiar to crossnerds. It is certainly not "ugly," as PG called it.

Norm 3:09 PM  

Too much criticism of the puzzle today. Come on, people. The theme answers go down in the grid. That's all that is needed to tie it to the title. If the ships had all gone down physically, it would have been an extremely morbid puzzle. And, I will brook no criticism of the Lincoln entry. Walt Whitman: "O Captain, My Captain" I really liked this puzzle for its use of literature, pop culture (I think Captain Crunch qualifies), history, and so forth. Oh, and JENGA TOWER was very clever, even though I generally despite cross-referenced clues. Bravo, Mr. McCoy.

Name that tune 3:33 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 3:34 PM  

amen, norm!

Anonymous 3:53 PM  

I loved this puzzle. I agree "resee" is annoying and there were many goofy plurals, but all Crossword puzzles have those moments.

I also had the confusion of "hey, that Captain didn't drown" until the AHA moment: Super-literal Title.


O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

This is the first verse of Whitman's elegy for Lincoln.
If this poem doesn't make you cry, you-kids-today need to read more history.

Fred Romagnolo 3:56 PM  

No one else has mentioned it, so I must be the only idiot who read the "example from advertising" clue as referring to a "captain" of industry in the advertising field! Racked and racked the brain for some time. I had heard of Capt. CRUNCH but wasn't sure of the context (I'm from the Post Toasties or Corn Flakes era). I knew about GROMIT, too, but forgot "Claymation." So the SW was a definite DNF. I learned the Whitman poem as an impressionable lad, and still get misty-eyed when I read it. It's appropriate that we had two Whitman poems about Lincoln at this time of year. Have no idea what a JENGA TOWER is. Focus instead of FOVEA had me erasing REPS and SASH and wondering, not knowing the PERCY reference didn't help. And finally, mAx instead of CAM. @Puzzle Girl: fugeddabout Merle, most of us are on your side. SHOULDA said overwhelmingly on your side.

Benko 4:01 PM  

No one knows every word and has read every book. For instance, although I have read daily since the age of 2, I am just now getting around to Don Quixote. Does it make me ignorant that I've read thousands of other classics but not Cervantes? (Maybe. I've never read Milton either for that matter, though I read Dante's complete works voluntarily as a teenager.)
Also, despite having had about ten retinal operations on my left eye, I did not recall the term FOVEA. Perhaps more obscure to some people than you might think?

Fred Romagnolo 4:05 PM  

Terriers were specifically bred to be ratters. They get their name from being close to the ground. Mine (a Cairn, like Toto, only he's orange) thinks tennis balls are rats and is never happier than when he's chasing one.

Fred Romagnolo 4:09 PM  

@Benko: you'll fall in love with the Don, and Sancho. Check out the Dore (with accent on the e) illustrations (engravings), they're magnificent.

Benko 4:30 PM  

@fred, thanks! I went to the Frick collection a few days ago and they had some great Don Quixote-inspired art. It made me realize that although I've seen adaptations and read small excerpts I'd never read the whole book, so I bought a copy in the museum store. So far so good! Reminds me of other satiric masters like Swift, Voltaire (candide is one of my favorites), Rabelais, etc., but with a whole new Spanish twist.
--spellcheck wanted "candied"

GILL I. 4:37 PM  

@Tom S....United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland...All British!
@Benko...How are you liking the quixotic character? I first read it in Spanish - then English. The Spanish is SO much more florid!

Ludyjynn 4:59 PM  

Turns out one of my wrong answers was REALLY wrong. In an earlier post, I commented that I wrote 'Profit' mistakenly for GROMIT, thinking that was the name of "the nasty sock puppet dog". I was actually thinking of Triumph, the cigar-chomping insult (non-sock) puppet/dog! Geez! Sorry about that.

@Gill I, you're right technically about the all-encompassing UK label. But an Irish band is an Irish band, if you know what I mean. BTW, back on the subject of the THEM song, "Gloria", I found a YouTube video of Jim Morrison and the Doors live cover version which knocked my socks off. Vocals and instrumentation were amazing. Worth watching.

Nancy 5:02 PM  

@Benko -- Spellcheck wanted Candied instead of Candide? That's really funny! (And right now I'm looking at an ugly red squiggly underlining of MY typing of "Candide". Here it comes again.)

How does one get RID of Spellcheck? I never invited it into my life; it just appeared one day and has never left. Sort of like The Man Who Came To Dinner. I hate it when a machine thinks it's smarter than you are... AND IT'S WRONG!

PuzzleMom 5:08 PM  

Who is this Merle person? Surely not the constructor whose work I so admire. And, how could one as smart as he clearly thinks himself to be have missed the "Theme" section of the blog? It always appears right up there at the top.

I wouldn't know a Kardashian if it walked in my door right now but I'm among those who'd never heard or seen the word "fovea." Never took biology -- all physics and chemistry in my schooling. And I happen to know that PuzzleGirl's HS Senior Year program consisted of 5 musics and English. As well, she's got a degree in English Literature (with honors) and is one of the most active and prolific readers I know.

So, please, take your Duck Dynasty insults somewhere else. Why in the world would you get so very personal?

r.alphbunker 5:32 PM  


Let me know what program you are using to type and I might be able to tell you how to turn off spellchecking.

You might like this joke:

Hi Bob, This is Alan next door. I’m sorry buddy, but I have a confession to make to you. I've been riddled with guilt these past few months and have been trying to pluck up the courage to tell you to your face, but I am at least now telling in text as I can’t live with myself a moment longer without you knowing. The truth is, I have been sharing your wife, day and night when you're not around. In fact, probably more than you, particularly in the mornings after you've left for work. I haven’t been getting it at home recently, but that's no excuse I know. The temptation was just too much....I can no longer live with the guilt and I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies and forgive me. I promise that it won't happen again.


Bob accuses wife of infidelity, etc. then took out his phone to reply to Alan's text and saw


Hi Bob, This is Alan next door again. Sorry about the slight typo on my last text, I expect you worked it out anyway, but as I’m sure you noticed, my predictive text changed ‘WiFi’ To ‘Wife’. Technology is a bugger hey?!? Hope you saw the funny side of that! Regards, Alan.

Charles Flaster 5:47 PM  

DNF this relatively straightforward puzzle and Theme.
Did not know GUPPY or ALEX so lower left was my downfall.
Liked cluing for SLAP ON and EVEN BET just like tomorrow's final MARCH MADNESS!!.
Very enjoyable and worthwhile pour moi!!
Thanks TM.

Anonymous 5:47 PM  

Damn, we got some cranky pants in the comments today. @PuzzleMom, I'd bet my house that the "Merle" with the poor reading comprehension skills and all-around bad attitude is *not* the very kind and always pleasant Merle Reagle. Unfortunately, I can only assume that Gareth Bain is, in fact, *the* Gareth Bain -- perhaps he woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. As for the anonymous commenter with the ironic description of what makes someone "look stupid, arrogant, and just plain mean" -- well, I suppose vitriol is just an inherent risk with anonymity. But, still, Yowsa.

Anyhoo, PG, I thought your write-up was great. The puzzle, not so much. I have never seen the word FOVEA before, but RESEE was worse. The theme -- which, I suppose I need to clarify (slowly in small words) I DID understand-- didn't thrill me. Pretty sure I've done other, more enjoyable puzzles from this constructor in the past.

Norm 6:02 PM  

@Fred Romagnolo: Jenga is a very fun, very simple (and yet complicated) game of wooden blocks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenga Try it; you might like it.

Nancy 6:40 PM  

@r.alph bunker --That was absolutely HYSTERICAL! That was the best anti-tech joke I have ever seen. The twist was so unexpected; I bet no one would see it coming.

Now, please don't laugh at me -- and I know it's going to be hard not to -- but I have no idea what typing program I use. I wasn't even aware that I HAVE a typing program. If I do, I didn't sign up for it any more than I signed up for Spellcheck. I have never used the "Word" function on my computer. I type only on my email account and on blogs like this one. I wouldn't know how to use Word: it looks so complicated with all those tiny symbols floating around the perimeter of that blue page. I'm sure I could learn all this stuff, mind you, but there is nobody around to teach me and so far I've been able to avoid having to learn it.

I know I sound like a complete dunce, but tech utterly baffles me. I joked when I bought this computer: "I now own a computer that can do 23 million different things. Whereas I can do three different things, none of them very well."

I greatly appreciate your offer of help, Ralph, but I don't think I can furnish you with the info you need. But I loved, loved, loved your joke!

On another subject: Could PuzzleMom be the real-life mother of PuzzleGirl? I mean she knows all about PuzzleGirl's high school and college background and gives specifics about her many educational and intellectual achievements. And she defends her from the undeserved slings and arrows of PuzzleWorld with all the fierceness of a lioness defending her cubs. If this is indeed the case, it is a beautiful, touching thing to behold and I say Bravo!

Steve J 7:11 PM  

@Gill: I suppose one could consider Northern Ireland - which lies on the island of Ireland - British in that some consider Ireland part of the British Isles. But, for most, Britain and Ireland are separate entities. Great Britain is the island that includes Scotland, England and Wales. The non-Britishness of Northern Ireland is attested in the formal name of the country: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Colloquially, Britain is often used to refer to the whole thing, and Americans especially refer to anyone from the UK as a Brit (or, much to the chagrin of the Scots and the Welsh, refer to everyone as English).

Given that crossword clues are about as far from an exercise in precision as one could come up with, the clue fell into the "close enough" category (or, more cynically, the "we found one reference somewhere that called the Irish British, so it's a good clue!" standard the NYT too often applies to its cluing). Whatever the case, the clue served its purpose: I picked up THEM off of the T.

@Benko: I should reread Don Quixote. I haven't read it since college. Agreed with you that Cervantes is as biting and as funny as Swift, Voltaire, et al. And he arguably gave birth to the modern novel. It's not only a hugely important work, it's a very enjoyable one.

r.alphbunker 7:54 PM  


What browser do you use? Likely choices are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari. What kind of computer: PC or Mac? Do you get your email using that browser? Please tell me what follows the @ in your email address.

I am glad you are participating in this blog. A lot of your personality shines through in your posts even though you can't use body language or intonations. I offer think of my high school English teacher who would ask us to describe a spiral staircase without using our hands.

chefbea 8:02 PM  

@R.alphbunker...that was great!!! love the joke

GILL I. 8:02 PM  

@Steve J...just because this is fun and our Easter dinner is cooking...: A British passport will say UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND.
If you've ever met a Protestant from Northern Ireland he will probably throw his pint at you if you call him anything but British.
I can't speak for THEM. They might all be Catholics.

Z 8:24 PM  

Pretty tough solve here. I liked the theme and, except for a little trivial trivia ( I'm looking at you FOVEA), the fill didn't grate. A fine Sunday. I see LOP lost its A today.

Sam (short for Samurai) was bred to be a pester. If it was small, furry, and mobile he wanted to hear it squeal. Never killed a rat, but chipmunks, squirrels, and bunnies were not found in our back yard. Sam is old and very deaf, but the high pitch of a squeaky toy can still bring out the killer instinct.

Tita 9:21 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tita 9:27 PM  

@Maruchka - I have a Kliban mug - a cat with guitar singing
"Love to eat them mousies,
Mousies what I love to eat.
Bite they little heads off,
Nibble on they tiny feet.

My mousers stick to mice and voles, and have occasionaly beens tar-nosed molers. Ick.

@r.alph - great joke.

And I must tell my mom about your English teacher.
Anyone who meets my mom will eventually be asked to describe curlers. As soon as they use their hands, she cries foul. It's a trap she loves to set. (Pun intended.)

@Merle - get off your lawn.
Sheesh - what an ONAGER.

paulsfo 10:03 PM  

Really enjoyed it.

I thought the theme was a great change from "common phrase with a changed letter," while still being quite understandable.

I marked seven clues as quite clever, which is extremely high, so I agree with F.O.G. about the cluing.

DNF because of the SW. I was looking for a real word, so *not* RESEE (my own fault). But I still think that VETO does not work for Ixnay, which is not transitive (if it's a verb at all). *Maybe* "Ixnay" (in quotes) would work as clue for VETO.

Nancy 10:13 PM  

@R.alphbunker -- What a lovely thing to say! Thank you so much. It means a lot to me. And the answers to your 3 questions are: Internet Explorer; a PC (Asus laptop, bought in 2008)that uses Windows 7; and my email is Yahoo. I have no idea if that will enable you help me, computerwise, but there it is.

I have become addicted to this blog, actually. And it has changed my rather cavalier and ignorant original opinion about relationships in cyberspace. I always spoke of these rather dismissively as a matter of having "friends", rather than friends. And yet, I actually feel that I HAVE made friends on this blog in a strange sort of way. One of the real frustrations for me is not being able to meet in person those people with whom I feel a rapport. After all, I'm a Boomer, not a Millennial, and I really crave personal contact. But I estimate that 70% of the people on this blog live absolutely nowhere remotely near me (NYC) -- you Ralph, being just one of them. And then there's the need to keep one's identity secret, so that making contact, even with someone who lives in your part of the US is just about impossible.

But not completely. I think, by now, what I'm about to reveal can no longer be traced. Right under the noses of all of you, I got my information -- in secret -- to someone on this blog I felt really connected to. It required subterfuge worthy of Agatha Christie, John Le Carre and Alan Turing all rolled into one. In a long, complicated plan consisting of blogs over the course of more than a week, I invented a fictitious blog persona for myself, an imaginary friend for the person I was trying to reach and a whole bunch of fictitious situations. (Don't ask.) But it worked! And I have been rewarded by a series of long phone conversations with one of the warmest, funniest and most delightful people I've ever "met". And I hope we will meet in person in the very near future.

I do hope it will be possible to meet more of you. I will be going to Lollapuzzoola in August with that in mind. God knows I don't expect to win anything!

And thanks again for your nice words, Ralph.

r.alphbunker 10:36 PM  


Describes how to do it in Internet Explorer 10.

If this does not apply then open google.com in the browser and type the query
how can I tell what version of internet explorer i have
and see if anything interesting comes up.

Then open google.com again and type the query
How to disable spell checking in internet explorer X where X is the version.

Google is very good at answering queries written in English. You should experiment to convince yourself of this.

Good luck

paulsfo 10:45 PM  

Nancy: regarding " And then there's the need to keep one's identity secret".
There really is no such need. Millions of people post on the web under their real names, and hundreds of millions are findable on facebook or linkedIn. Of course you *can* keep your identity secret but, given that you don't seem like the kind of person who has to keep it secret because you write offensive stuff, all that you'd be revealing is that you are a real person, and your neighbors probably know that already. Your name and, say, an email address, don't actual put you at much risk. ;)
But, if you wanted to be careful, one easy way to do it would be to create a special email account and then say (eg, in here), "Loren [or whoever] you can contact me with the username NancyFromRexParker on the gmail mail service" and then wait for a letter. The odds that more than one person would write are very low and, if they did, so what?"
Anyway, it's good to be a little cautious but people knowing that you exist and have an email address doesn't really let anyone exploit you.
As proof of this concept, it's possible that, if one were to write to paulsfofromrexparker at google's email service, they would reach me. But (1) no one will probably bother to do so and (2) if some evil person did write to that address, they would not know who I am and no harm would come to me (don't click on email attachments, of course). Happy connecting with people. :D

Mohair Sam 11:37 PM  

Refreshingly different, fun, challenging, well-clued. What more to ask for in a Sunday puzzle?

Loved the theme - got it with BLIGHBOUNTY - but still struggled with so much of the puzzle in spite of getting the theme answers fairly quickly (expect blasted pUPPY for GUPPY). Witty clues throughout, but ultimately fair (with the notable exception of the much complained about FOVEA)

Hey @PG - I had planned to insult you roundly because I disagreed with your take in the puzz, but I see @merle has handled that. Sheeeeeze, how'd he know you watch DD?. Anyhow, it's the internet, don't let the bastards get you down.

Great Sunday Tom McCoy and Will. Thanks.

Mohair Sam 11:38 PM  


Leapfinger 2:58 AM  

Funny, some people seem to have a blind spot about the FOVEA...?
My own problem was with the reverb: will probably have to go to the refactory to figure out whether I've been RESEEn or RESEEd. A tense moment, there.

Was not sure how to squeeze Grommet into 6 spaces. Gee, I liked GLOAMING and GERUND, but hadn't known about NEMO and his NAUTI LUS. [Skip to my LUS, my darling]

Anyone else notice the old AGERS ON AGER? Shades of Donkey Haute, another TAUNTER mount.
The old stories say that breaking Lent for seven years in a row will turn the miscreant into a LOUPE garou. Just a word to the wise and FARSIing, ya never know.

Um, did you ever draw a MEL BLANC?

Nice bods to @Lewis and @Wrecks.
@Gareth Bain, isn't all narcissism solipsistic, au fond? Just asking, since I agree the phrase does roll on the tongue. Anyway, in the first Constructor Notes of yours that I read, you somehow managed to work in 'flense'; that put you on my "A" list for the duration.

SAJAK, wasn't that a great start that coulda sent people to so many different White partners? Put me firmly in the Strunk camp. With others, I was SADAT the absence of the Minnow, the Reuben James, and (one of my favourites) the Edmund Fitzgerald, though building a grid that coulda handled the latter is McSorely unlikely. Still, coming up with a theme that relates so well to so many different areas is a Swell coup and takes CABALS.

I'll stop ATTIRED now. Everyone enjoy 'their' NEWISH Holidays, and thanks for the surreal McCoy.

Anonymous 5:53 AM  

DNF same as most because of SW. Hated REESE, HEWED, LINCOLN'S, NUTS and GLEAMING (couldn't stop singing Star Spangled Banner Twilights last gleaming even though I knew JollyRoger). Immediately thought of Cap'n Crunch but not GUPPY. (Lucky Charms fan) and kept thinking of NANNY GOATS not IPODS NANOS. Also never heard of BETACAM. Didnt like EVENBET either. Wouldnt let go of spiders for RATTERS (city girl) I have a headache. #WHOCARES

Leapfinger 9:38 AM  

Oh. Hmm, that 'nice bods' indicates I know more about @Lewis and @Wrecks than is the case.

It was supposed to be 'nice nods', of course. Would not mind having more info.

Hugh 6:07 PM  

Late again to the party....

As usual, loved Puzzle Girl's write up!

I found the theme to this one a little simple and dry. As Puzzle Girl said, just words put together....and they're going down.... Kind of ho hum. I respect, as always, what it took to construct it, but I like to have some real "Aha" moments or "that's clever" moments in the theme answers - there were none this week.

For several minutes wanted "WHATEVER" for 53D ("So what?") until "WHOCARES" finally grabbed me, then the whole NE fell for me and I went through much of the rest -not quickly at all as I simply did not know names of many ships - Guppy??? Who knew?

Disappointed in myself as I like to think I know 60's music and never heard of "Them"!! Knew Van Morrison's Gloria - did not know he was one of Them :o)

Had a couple of "likes' with the fill:

49D "Begin's Opposite" - For some reason SADAT came to me right away, even before START.

55A -One who aims to hit singles- CUPID, clever.

Cluing for Mel Blanc was also good.

Was not crazy about SHOULDA and kinda hated RESEE.

Hopefully someone is still reading Sunday's blog - last time it was Leapfinger :o)

Have a great week all! Thanks again Puzzle Girl!!

Leapfinger 9:31 AM  

Still is, @Hugh ;o)
I'm not that OCD; the comments window was still on the screen, and I always refresh before deleting. Hmm, okay, maybe that's a little OCD.
Love your optimism!

I'm a little behind the times myself, after a 3rd seder and, oh yes... the DOOK game. Kudos to the Badgers, a great time that played a great game. It really was a case of anyonebutKentucky, wasn't it?

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

DNF because of lower left corner. Never heard of "Gromit" (way too obscure), couldn't name the colors of flowers if my life depended upon it, and "resee" isn't even a word and certainly isn't an answer to the clue. No complaints about the rest of the puzzle. Puzzle Girl, you need to listen to "Them" on YouTube -- they were Van Morrison's band, and quite influential and respected although they didn't have any big hits in the U.S. They did the original "Gloria" (the cover band got the hit). "Here comes the night" is a great song. I was also fond of "Mystic eyes", a cool song. No big surprise that Van Morrison went on to be a superstar.

LindaPRmaven 12:03 PM  

Agree with you and @bobkerfuffle that this puzzle was fun. Challenging for me but a pleasure of discovery all the way.

Unknown 10:01 PM  

Yay!! you cannot believe what this spell caster Dr Brave just did for me!!! Was this all a magic?? "This is totally a Easter miracle for me lol" My mouth are short of words. “I got a divorce from my husband when I was six months pregnant with my second child. We had only been married for a short time and had another child who was 1 year old. We had been arguing and quarreling nonstop since the day our first child was conceived, no love nor trust from him anymore so he divorced. And all these whiles, I have been trying all different means to get him back, I also tried some different spell casters from other countries, but none of them could bring Richard back to me. It was only Dr Brave who guaranteed me an urgent 48 hours spell casting, and he assure me that my husband will be with me before Easter day. I am writing to offer my thanks and deep gratitude to you for keeping your promises, and for using your gifted and great powers to bring him back today 2nd of April 2015.. I was thrilled to know that you are specialized in reuniting Lovers. I never thought, in my whole life, that I would be writing to thank someone for casting a love spell on my marriage, but that day has arrived! I have never been happier in my life, and I feel like all of my dreams has turned into reality now. Thank you, Dr Brave , for helping me through the worst times of my life, for being such a great spell caster, and for giving me a love spell that has brought me so much joy. If you doubt his ability, trust me. You should take a chance. It pays off in ways you could never even imagine, Contact him through his website: http://enchantedscents.tripod.com/lovespell/ or his Email: bravespellcaster@gmail.com . thank you so much sir (Mary Owen from UK)

Anonymous 10:55 PM  

I have to say this was a very non-gratifying puzzle. Didn't like it one bit; didn't think it was clever at all. Give me a break: resee?

'mericans in Paris 4:04 AM  

Better later than never (maybe). Really struggled to knit this Sunday's puzzle into a story. Finally took the easy way out and made it into a dialogue.

The further adventures of Matt "Deadeyes" Esquare, Private Eye, in The Big SLEEPS

I was sitting in my HOLE of an office, surfing the WEBS on my E-READER when there was a KNOCK ON the door. Just one. Then, after a few seconds, another one, this time with more force.

"Who goes there," I asked?

"WHO CARES?", came the gruff answer.

I undid the latch AND opened the door a crack. Just as I thought: it was Detective Lieutenant KIRK SAJAK of the Detroit Police -- also known as Captain CRUNCH for his treatment of suspects. Not the SANEST dick on the force, by any means. EYES line an OX, and a head full conspiracy theories.

I ASKed him IN. "Long time, NO-NO RESEE. What AILS you?"

"Cut the crap, Esquare. You know why I'm here."

"Honestly, I don't." SAJAK was still standing. I looked him straight in the FOVEA. "Take a seat. I INSIST." He lowered his AMASS into my LOP-sided beanbag chair.

"We know you've been seeing Maria Acropolis. Our informants tell us she may know somebody who knows somebody who knows the whereabouts of the EDO brothers."

I drew a MEL BLANK. "The who?"

"No, not THEM. They were part of the British Invasion. I'm talking about LOUIE, LOUIE, and LEWIS. Wanted for terrorism ... ."

(continued below)

'mericans in Paris 4:07 AM  

(continued from immediately above)

"Wait, there ARE two brothers both named LOUIE?!"

"Identical twins. Their parents really liked that song. You know, the one with the refrain that goes 'yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah'."

"The only song I know that goes ' yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah' is 'She Loves You', by the Beatles.

"That song has 'yeahs' only in groups of three, four, AND seven. No fives."

"SHOULDA known that. An ELAPSE of memory, I guess." I brushed a piece of LILT from my shirtsleeve. "So, this terrorist trio. ARAB? FARSI speakers?"

"No, nothin' like that. Born in TAHITI, but grew up in Canada."

"Now my curiosity's PIQUOD. So, this TAHITIan terrorist trio -- what'd they do?"

"Nothing concrete ... yet. But we've been monitoring the ROGUES' activities. We know that they've been sending messages to their controllers through Internet forums, including one run by a blogger named Rex Parker. AND we know the code name for their ENTERPRISE: 'Spell Caster'."

A shiver ran down my spine, like an ANT stepping onto a spider's WEBS. It was all coming together: Maria was a part-time x-word puzzle constructor, and the EDO brothers were using the same medium to hide their nefarious intentions.

"What else have you got on them?", I asked.

"Well, LEWIS was once arrested for fraud, and his lawyer tried to keep him out of the slammer using the TWINKIE defense. Didn't work, of course. But after an ANNO in the pen one night he dropped a SASH out the window and escaped. The CON'S been on the LAM ever since. Not much to say about the LOUIE brothers, except that they're typical LOSERS. Deep in DEBT, barely a CENTAMO to their names. LEWIS is the brains of the three, but he has a bad TEMPER. Reputed to sport underwear depicting the JOLLY ROGER."

My phone made a TWP-PHTTP sound, so I stood up to let him know I wanted some privacy. "For once I have to thank you for dropping by, SAJAK. If I hear of anything, I'll pass on the NUS."

"Any time, Esquare." SAJAK climbed awkwardly out of the beanbag chair. At the door he turned and said, "Just watch your back, my friend. With the kind of company you've been keeping, you're well past your USE BY date."

Unknown 9:23 AM  

Hello everyone, My name is Morgan Jackson, a citizen of USA; am 42 years of age..we got married for more than 11 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr Brave for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he Dr Brave casted on him that make him come back to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you Dr Brave for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact Dr Brave ,if you need his help you can contact him through his private mail: bravespellcaster@gmail.com or you can contact him through his website http://enchantedscents.tripod.com/lovespell/ and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.

spacecraft 12:31 PM  

@PG: Maybe you never heard of THEM, but I bet you know their lead singer, Van Morrison. I'm guessing he outgrew THEM, and didn't bring THEM along across the pond. But "Brown-eyed Girl" is, for me personally, a poignant memory.

Title and theme: The captain, etc. Yeah, he sure enough goes "down" with the ship. DUH. So, themers: gimmes. The fill? Not so much.

Really scratching the old dome over TAC ("Game center?") until Puzzie explained it. Man, that's really out there. So is NEWISH. To me, relatively recent would be newest, which is what I wrote, and which very nearly sunk MY ship till I thought of nice guy BLIGH and the BOUNTY placed on his head by the crew. Nobody says "NEWISH," unless they're writing a poem and desperately need a rhyme for "Jewish." That entry, coupled with RESEE for "Watch over"--without even a ?--is enough to draw the flag. They're outrageous; do them "over."

I'm with @PG about RATTERS; I'd be looking for new digs, pronto.

Oh, and SOYS. Sorry, there's no such animal. Soybeans, yeah. SOYS, no. It's SOY, no matter how much you have of it. 'nother hankie.

I guess the whole thing averages out to a medium. I didn't particularly like it, but I'll go with a C.

Burma Shave 1:14 PM  


AND this ROGUES SALES INTRO I would deplore.
AND I showed him my TEMPER and fist.
WHOCARES about these LOSERS? Maybe I SHOULDA done more!


rondo 1:41 PM  

Wow, a Sunday with just words, not bent or with 4 letters per square. Gotta like that part.
Like someone above said, I tried to fit Goliath in 100a. Age shows!? The SW was a problem, having forgotten the CAPN’s boat. And FOVEA? And RESEE. And misspelling FARcI. What the HECTARE?
Other than that, some pretty smooth “sailing” with the captains and ships.

Jackie Chan did not fit into 22a.

Was not thinking THEM as part of the Brit Invasion; by mid-’66 most of the invading was over, methinks.

It’s an EVENBET that Masters coverage this afternoon will be consuming my time. Unless I’ve OPTED to nap.

1523 not much, but at least a number

Tita 6:14 PM  

'mericans...thanks for the continuing saga...!
If a Rexvillian were to find herself temporarily in Paris un de ces beaux jours, can you recommend a good café?

Kirk 8:59 PM  

Better fat than snarky!

Anonymous 9:15 PM  

Geez now I have a phobia about fovea and
Can't resee it!

Anonymous 9:59 PM  

I would encourage everyone to watch Wallace and Gromit if they never have. I think it is British so no surprise that it is considered obscure. However, it is quite funny and I think most Brits would know it!

Joe 11:50 AM  

Them was a Northern Irish band led by singer Van Morrison. They had hits like "Gloria" and "Baby please don't go".

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