Bot that systematically browses internet / MON 6-29-15 / French city historically known for silk / Liesl's love in Sound of Music / Capital of Bangladesh old-style / Boo follower in triumphant shout / 1982 Harrison Ford sci-fi film

Monday, June 29, 2015

Constructor: Todd Gross and Andrea Carla Michaels

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (FOR A MONDAY) (3:11)

THEME: evolutionary succession of some kind

Theme answers:
  • WEB CRAWLER (17A: Bot that systematically browses the Internet)
  • ALICE WALKER (28A: "The Color Purple" novelist)
  • BLADE RUNNER (48A: 1982 Harrison Ford sci-fi film)
  • RADIO FLYER (64A: Classic red wagon)
Word of the Day: LYON (30D: French city historically known for silk) —
Lyon or Lyons [...] is a city in east-central France, in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located approximately 470 kilometres (292 miles) from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) from Marseille, 420 km (261 mi) from Strasbourg, 160 km (99 mi) from Geneva, 280 km (174 mi) from Turin. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais. // The small municipality (commune) of Lyon proper has a population of 491,268 (January 2011), and as such is France's third largest city after Paris and Marseille, but together with its suburbs and satellite towns Lyon forms the 2nd-largest metropolitan area in France with a population of 2,188,759 at the January 2011 census. Lyon is the capital of the Rhône-Alpes region, as well as the capital of the smaller Rhône département. // The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lyon was historically known as an important area for the production and weaving of silk. Since the late 20th century, it has developed a reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France and in the world. // It has a significant role in the history of cinema due to Auguste and Louis Lumière, who invented the cinematographe in Lyon. The city is also known for its famous light festival, 'Fête des Lumières,' which occurs every 8 December and lasts for four days, earning Lyon the title of Capital of Lights. (wikipedia)
• • •

OK I guess. I don't really understand the progression. That is, I see that it goes from earth to sky, but I don't know why—what is being suggested or imitated in that progression? Some vague evolutionary idea, I guess. I don't know. It's a 76-worder and felt a little heavier, a little slower than your average Monday. Fill's not great, but it's also not terrible. I mean besides XCI and YAH and ONEG and DACCA (Mondays should not have to resort to "old-style" anything). Mostly I found this one dull. Not much to say about it. What to say? YAH is not detachable from BOO, no way no how. LYON, in my mind (and in reality, too) has an "S" at the end, so that was tougher than it should've been. ROLF was unknown to me. I know about "The Sound of Music" largely by rumor. I think of "Requisite" as an adjective, so NEED was odd. This dull accretion of solving details is precisely how exciting this puzzle was to me. Adequate. That's what the puzzle is. It's adequate.

I just finished watching "From Here to Eternity" (1953), which features several of today's answers, most notably SERGEANTs and LEIs (it's set in Hawaii in late 1941, and concludes with the attack on Pearl Harbor and its immediate aftermath). The rolling-in-the-surf bit with Deborah KERR and Burt Lancaster takes all of 5 seconds, and it comes early in the movie. Given how iconic that scene is, I expected more. A lot more. More surf-rolling! Instead it was a lot of drinking and men punching each other. I liked it a lot, it's just ... my surf-rolling expectations went unmet. It did cause me to look up Jack Warden because he has one of those "wait I know that guy from everywhere!" faces. Turns out he was the president in "Being There," which I saw earlier this year, and also had Matthau's coach role in the TV version of "The Bad News Bears" (this is *surely* how his face was imprinted onto my brain). Warden used to be a boxer, and "From Here to Eternity" was a lot about boxing. Also, Lancaster's character in "From Here to Eternity" was named Warden. Frank Sinatra and Ernest Borgnine and Montgomery Clift and Donna Reed and Claude AKINS were in it too.

Maybe this theme was supposed to evoke a speech given by MLK (27A: "I have a dream" monogram) at a high school in Cleveland, OH on April 26, 1967 (text and audio here). It is, as usual, eloquent and moving, and it ends like this: "Well, life for none of us has been a crystal stair, but we must keep moving. We must keep going. And so, if you can't fly, run. If you can't run, walk. If you can't walk, crawl. But by all means, keep moving."

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


MDMA 12:09 AM  

Had "TAX PApER" at first for "April 15 mailer", and never heard of RADIO FLYER, so was stuck there for longer than I'm willing to admit. Otherwise an average Monday.

JFC 12:19 AM  

Kudos, Rex for watching FHTE. It's a true classic with an incomparable cast. Sinatra made his comeback in that movie and won an Oscar. The episode from The Godfather (dead horse's head) was about giving Sinatra the role in that movie. For the period, the beach scene was very risque. Nothing by today's standards. Best line in the movie was, "I never knew it could be like this." And, oh yes, I have it on my smartphone to watch whenever I want to....


El le54 12:29 AM  

I liked it and thought it was fun! Thx ACME

Anonymous 12:47 AM  

I have no idea what you are talking about regarding Lyon "in reality" having an "s" on the end, as if that is the only true way to do it. That is bizarrely ignorant. Lyon is just that, Lyon. Look at any map. Look at Wikipedia. It can have an "s", but commonly does not. I have been there several times and the French themselves do not usually put an "s" there. Sometimes you are such an idiot, not to mention a crossword snob. Get over yourself.

JFC 1:04 AM  

Anon at 12:47 AM, that comment was intemperate. I suspect you don't have the proper understanding of the complicated relationship between Rex and Andrea. For one thing Andrea's favorite movie is Casablanca, which happens to be mine as well. So, tonight Rex devotes half his column to FHTE. Now I might be reading something more into that than it deserves, but I'm not so sure. In any event I have both movies on my smartphone because they are both worth watching over and over again. Regardless, Anon, don't be so intemperate. Life is too short. Believe me when I say, Rex knew all you were spouting when he wrote his commentary.

Anonymous 1:05 AM  

The last theme entry should have been something like ___SHUFFLER, or ___WHEELER. Because, sorry folks, that's the way the progression goes.

Moly Shu 1:32 AM  

@Acme puzzle,so knew OFL would hate it. Instead, he tolerated it. I think that equals glowing praise. I thought it was great for a Monday. Lots of cool stuff, EMERALDS, ETCETERA, KEMOSABE, and of course BLADERUNNER. I'll take that movie over Casablanca or FHTE any day ( no offense @JFC ). And I learned a new blood type, or so I thought, ONE G. " Nurse, please administer 2 pints of ONE G blood to the patient, stat ". Yea, yea, I know O NEG. it was a DOOK moment.

JFC 1:50 AM  

@ Moly Shu, Different strokes for different folks. I suspect it's generational. No offense taken. I grew up in WWII and am a hopeless romantic, so I prefer that era over futuristic sci-fi flicks.

As for Rex, in Acme's case he prefers damning with faint praise. There is nothing wrong with this Monday puzzle. You have to crawl before you walk and and walk before you run and run before you fly (well, at least Canada geese run before they fly).



McFly 2:08 AM  

Disclaimer: Please note the following comment you are about to read is from an amateur solver that rarely finishes past a Wednesday. Reader discretion is advised.

First Take: You know what this puzzle was? This is the type of puzzle that will inevitable wind up in a future "Will Shortz' Breezy Monday" crossword books--and that isn't meant to me a slight. This puzzle was pretty solid with a basic theme for any beginner. It wasn't really easy or really hard, it was just a classic Monday puzzle. Aside from the EERO/SROS crossing, I thought the fill was reasonable. SE was the only part that caused me delay.

Favorite Clue and Answer: Not that it was at all a clever clue, but I liked seeing TAXPAYER as part of the fill. (Had this been a puzzle later in the week, I'd be curious to see a stronger cluing.)

Thing I learned: SROS. Man, that was a new one for me. Something tells me I can expect to see more of that in future puzzles, given the letters.

Final Take: I'll gladly take this as a start to the week. In a quick final glance over I also like that CHURN and OUT are the middle crossing answers. The constructors did well to CHURN OUT this puzzle, indeed!

Poor son of a gun 2:18 AM  

and the creepiness continues. Why do I think JFC is anon 12:47?

chefwen 2:32 AM  

I thought is was easy and clever. Jon is more in sync with Rex with medium/challenging. My only write over was Plods befor SLOGS.

I'm sure he had one as a lad, but Jon struggled over RADIO FLYER, actually groaned when he finally got it, I'll have to look for a picture. His mother took thousands at every age.

Great Monday Andrea and Todd

JFC 2:41 AM  

@Poor son of a gun: "Why do I think JFC is Anon at 12:47" That one is easy. Because you are a moron.

PS. Speaking of creepy, do you ever look at your watch?


Billy 3:05 AM  

Fun, nice puzzle.

jae 4:00 AM  

Medium for me.  Subtle theme, bit more zip than the typical Mon. and easy on the dreck, liked it.  Nice one Todd and Andrea.

Lewis 6:17 AM  

I like ROLF crossing BLEATS, because, trust me, if you ever get Rolfed, you may let out a few bleats of your own. It was serendipitous having EDIE Falco in the puzzle the day after the Nurse Jackie finale -- I loved that series and her courage to take a character with a not so likable side.

The puzzle had a bit of crunch for Monday, but was still easier than a Tuesday -- just right. It had the bounce I've come to expect from Acme (and credit to Todd as well). There are a couple of mini themes. One is double EEs: NEED/EERO/GEESE/SEEPS/GREENE/MELEE (I love that last word!). And, in addition to the theme answers, there were four additional answers ending in ER.

Besides the theme answers' final words, we had a BAKER, TINTER, PAYER, and TRACER. And in the review we had a Parker. Solid and enjoyable Monday.

Z 6:30 AM  

Quick, well done Monday. Finished right on my medium Monday time, so medium. I like the theme and I really appreciate that there is no revealer.

@McFly - Yes, stick SRO and SROS in your crosswordese memory file. It will be back.

@MDMA - ¿Huh? Never heard of RADIO FLYER? I don't know how that is even possible.

Anonymous 6:48 AM  

Privates never, ever call a sergeant, "sir". At least not the second time. That word is reserved for officers. It is, "YES SERGEANT", or "NO, SERGEANT", and always yelled. Otherwise, they ,"can't hear you".

So, trying to fit lieutenant into that slot cost me a few seconds. Otherwise, a typical Monday. Dead easy.

Loren Muse Smith 7:03 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 7:06 AM  

I thought the progression of movements worked fine, and, Rex, your quote from MLK in a bass-ackwards way kind of confirms that. And I was surprised to see your "Medium-Challenging for a Monday" rating; in retrospect, though, I agree. The ROLF/TROMPE cross is going to be troublesome for Dad.

But I'm with @Moly Shu - lots to like here: KEMOSABE, TAX PAYER, WEB CRAWLER, LEI LOW, AREA RUG, SWAG, CHURN/OUT (@McFly - I noticed that cross, too, smack dab in the middle – nice), and the REV MLK. Cool.

@Lewis – I'm like you; I love sniffing around for other mini-themes. I missed the EE theme but I'll see your additional ERs in BAKER, TINTER, PAYER, and TRACER and raise you PER, EERO, ERAS, EMERALDS, SERGEANT, ET CETERA, VERBOSE, and BLADE RUNNER for a total of 16ERs in the grid.

I've said this before, and I obviously am missing the chip to prevent me from saying it again: "IT'S all good" usually means it's actually pretty bad. Oh, wow. You accidentally hit "reply all" and sent a scathing email about your boss out to the entire firm? "No worries, man. It's all good," you reply as you pack your stuff up. Just a flesh wound.

I have heard of RADIO FLYER, but my immediate thought was PF FLYER. Then I remembered that was the wooden sled we had in Chattanooga. Right.

Four-letter name associated with Jane Austen? I'll admit it right here. My first thought was "Eyre." Sometimes I wish I could be that urbane person who snuggles in with a Jane Austen novel and a proper cup of tea on a dreary day. I've tried. I can recite verbatim from David Sedaris essays, but I barely even knew that there was more than one Brontë. So, yeah, I noticed at the GREENE/SLOG cross.

All in all, a fine offering by Todd and Andrea. As @jae says, "Liked it."

Off to wrestle Rat Poison Tucker to the ground to put udder cream on the angry-looking hot spots on his tail and haunch. He fights, he cries, he squirms in the twice-daily battle. It's all good.

Glimmerglass 7:22 AM  

@anon 6:48. I was never in the army, but even I know low ranks NEVER address a sergeant as "sir." I'm surprised Rex didn't pick that up.

RAD2626 7:23 AM  

Fine Monday puzzle. Enjoyed the theme. Enjoyed remembering my Radio Flyer. Like Casablanca more than FHTE. May like Maltese Falcon better than both. If MLK reference is deliberate, and I assume it is, great Monday theme and connection.

Thank you all. Byron Walden's June 24 puzzle had the clue "Get". I immediately wrote in GROK. I did not get that from puzzles. I clearly got it from this blog. Had never heard it before coming here. So thank you.

dk 7:27 AM  

🌕🌕🌕🌕 (4 mOOOOns)

A simply wonderful Monday puzzle. The fill runs the gamut from old to new, foreign and domestic, fur and fowl.

This one exhibits the gentle flow often found in Andrea's puzzles and while at times her co-constructors fill is jarring Todd is a great partner.

@Loren, after your post I think I am going to become a professional wrestler with the nom de rassle: Bag Balm.

Thanks Queen Acme and Consort Todd.

joho 7:58 AM  

There's no way MLK just happened to show up in the grid. It's mini-revealer or bonus answer that explains the theme. Well done, Todd and Andrea!

I loved seeing SOLD OUT along with SROS.

And finally, AREARUG made me remember Taylor Negron's hilarious, "You don't want carpet, you want an AREARUG" routine.

Great way to start to the week!

Name that tune 7:58 AM  
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Haiku Nerd 8:12 AM  


Anonymous 8:20 AM  

@Glimmerglass and @anon 6:48 - you better believe a Marine recruit will say "Sir, yes sir" to a sergeant, or he'll be doing push-ups for a while. Only in boot camp, though.

Semper Fi.

Name that tune 8:21 AM  

I'd rate my review as average ***for a Monday***.
Until I read some of the comments so far, it was unclear to me why I still review Monday puzzles at all. They are boring, and it is beneath me to waste even a second of my time on them. But AHA! I do them because I have a personal beef against Will Shortz and certain constructors, so doing them gives me an excuse to come here and show my disdain. "I don't know" why the themers progress from CRAWL, to WALK, to RUN, to FLY?! Of course I do (because, um, that's the theme, and I just pointed it out), but I'll pretend it's a senseless and stupid idea that has no meaning in order to insult those I want to insult (including my readers). And I mention a couple of pieces of terrible fill, but in my blind rage at this constructor I skipped over the worst piece of fill (SROS).

I should really drink more before doing these write-ups, or, as has been suggested many times, I should just skip Mondays and Tuesdays altogether.

But hey, I did see a movie yesterday. Yay me.

Generic Solver 8:30 AM  

This seemed easy to me, so a speed-solving challenge mostly, with basically no hang-ups. Only write-over was SLOGS for PLODS and never hit 52D/ROLF in my solving order. I'm not sure which aspects of the puzzle Rex felt were difficult, as he doesn't mention too many specifics in that regard.

Ludyjynn 8:41 AM  

Rex, Jack Warden was nominated for two Oscars for his roles in "Shampoo" and "Heaven Can Wait", both Warren Beatty vehicles. One of his later roles was in "While You Were Sleeping", in which he was quite endearing, acting alongside Sandra Bullock. A talented character actor.

Would someone please give me the scoop on this Rex v. ACME history? As a relative newcomer, she was already gone from this board when I got here. What's the story???

For me, an easy, breezy Monday solve, w/ a logical theme, just as it should be. Thanks, TG, ACME and WS.

And Rex, one last thing: the beach scene in FHTE is STILL one of the hottest movie scenes ever filmed, IMHO.

Anonymous 8:42 AM  

He may be the best architect in the history of the world, but if I ever see a building designed by EERO Saarinen I am going to cover it with obscene graffiti.

DL 8:45 AM  

I agree with Rex Porker.

Next Monday is Annabel day - hooray!

Dorothy Biggs 8:51 AM  


Pretty "easy" for me. There were a couple of weird spots though...

DACCA crossing EMMA. I barely know Dhaka, so there was no connection to be made between them. DeCCA is familiar to me (as a record label) and I mistakenly figured that the record label had to be named after a city, maybe? But then I was left with EMMe. Which, when you say it, does sound like a name, namely a shortened version of Emily. So that was a bit of a hitch.

The other one is purely aesthetic in the close proximity of TROMPE (obscure French word) and XCI. Actually that section of the grid typifies the entire grid for me...DACCA, TROMPE, even GREENE...along with EERO, LEI, LEA, SROS, and a host of others. From one extreme to the other.

BTW, LEI/LEA...? I would think that the job of an editor is to double check for redundancy like this.

And yes, count me in as one who knows LYON mostly as LYONS. But then, I haven't been there very many times...

aging soprano 8:56 AM  

Could somebody please explain what SROS are. Liked the puzzle. A perfect Monday medium well.

aging soprano 8:56 AM  

Could somebody please explain what SROS are. Liked the puzzle. A perfect Monday medium well.

Ludyjynn 9:04 AM  

Standing Room Only, an unpleasant way to attend an otherwise sold out theater or opera performance in NYC.

Anonymous 9:05 AM  

@aging soprano: SROS are nothing. It is a Plural of convenience (POC) for "Standing Room Only," and the worst fill we have seen in quite a while.

Billy C 9:05 AM  

@Aging -- "standing Room Only,". All the seats in the theater are taken.

"Oneg" is a pretty rare blood type for a Monday. Shoulda been clued something like "sea level gravity."

L 9:10 AM  

@Aging Soprano, SROS are either Single Room Occupancy "hotels" or Standing Room Only signs in the Broadway/theater reference.

Z 9:11 AM  
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Z 9:12 AM  

@Ludyjynn - Great friends (ACME even filled in for Rex as needed). Something happened (Pangrams may have been involved). Not friends. Beyond that it's not really our business.

@anon:8:42 - I suspect if you sold tickets there would be SROS sold.

Ludyjynn 9:14 AM  

Thanks, @Z; concise but informative.

Lewis 9:25 AM  

Factoid: While there is debate over the meaning and origin of KEMOSABE, there is no debate that "Tonto" means "fool" or "moron" in Spanish, so in the Spanish dubbed versions of The Lone Ranger, the character is called "Toro".

Quotoid: "Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it." -- ALICE WALKER

Anonymous 9:26 AM  

Training NCOs in Army basic training units are more important than God and you had better believe that they demand to hear "Sir, yes sir" from their charges.

mathguy 9:27 AM  

A usual ho-hum Monday, for me.

Happy to remember FHTE. What great performances!

After watching Bumgartner subdue the Rockies yesterday afternoon, we watched the end of A Few Good Men before dinner. Another classic in a military setting. As usual, I was moved to tears during the Jack Nicholson-Tom Cruise punch out. Allen Sorkin is a genius.

Bristol Palin 9:28 AM  

"None of us are perfect," Palin wrote. "I made a mistake, but it’s not the mistake all these giddy a$$holes have loved to assume. This pregnancy was actually planned."

So, you might wonder, what, exactly is my mistake??!

Please respect my privacy, but I'll keep myself in the spotlight as much as possible.

RooMonster 9:30 AM  

Hey All !
Fine MonPuz. Good ambling progression. Nice open grid for a Monday. Two 8 stacks in NW and SE. Three sixes in NE and SW. Low dreck.

Liked @Z's explanation of the rift.

Easy Monday, filled swiftly, another 100% for me, two in a row! Look out! :-)


Teedmn 9:32 AM  

I liked this puzzle a lot. Although it went slightly faster than my average Monday, I thought it had some challenge to it.

When I saw the theme answers, my first thought was of the riddle the Sphinx asks Oedipus: "What goes on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, and three feet in the evening?" Of course, this doesn't fit the theme at all but that's where my brain was this morning. Since I am shamefully not up on MLK's speeches like I should be, I was gratified to come here and have the connection pointed out, which just doubles my appreciation of the puzzle.

@LMS, kudos on your very apt avatar today.

Thanks, ACME and Todd Gross!

Haiku Too 9:35 AM  


Anonymous 9:37 AM  

Is JFC the new self-appointed monitor/scolder for this board? I'm sure Rex is grateful.

mathguy 9:43 AM  

I had the wrong first name in my earlier comment. The genius is Aaron Sorkin.

Hartley70 9:47 AM  

Very, very nice. As I was solving, I thought it skewed a bit old, except perhaps for webcrawler, but it was so smooth I put it in the classic category where hipness doesn't matter. The theme is subtle and gorgeous, and it's only Monday. Referencing MLK seems just right after the last two weeks.

jberg 10:02 AM  

Seemed super-easy to me, hardest part was guessing how to spell KEMO. But then, I'm old enough to have had a RADIO FLYER at one time myself.

Back home, but running late, so CIAO.

r.alphbunker 10:10 AM  

Congratulations to Todd Gross for joining a elite group of constructors who have had puzzles published on all days of the week. By my calculation the group is:

Eric Berlin, Patrick Berry, Sherry O. Blackard, Patrick Blindauer, Myles Callum, Gary Cee, Jeff Chen, Peter A. Collins, Kevin G. Der, Ed Early, Harvey Estes, Joel Fagliano, John Farmer, Victor Fleming, Paula Gamache, Peter Gordon, Elizabeth C. Gorski, Todd Gross, Raymond Hamel, Tyler Hinman, Richard Hughes, Nancy Joline, David J. Kahn, Joe Krozel, David Kwong, Julian Lim, Ian Livengood, Caleb Madison, Patrick Merrell, Stanley Newman, Manny Nosowsky, Mike Nothnagel, Joon Pahk, Trip Payne, Doug Peterson,Fred Piscop, Brendan Emmett Quigley, Nancy Salomon, A. J. Santora, Ed Sessa, Michael Shteyman, Barry C. Silk, David Steinberg, Alex Vratsanos, Wayne Robert Williams

Rita 10:12 AM  

Rex, after questioning the progression, finds that perfect quotation from Martin Luther King, whose initials are also in the puzzle. Thank you Rex! But then that whole movie review thing -- Huh?

Nancy 10:24 AM  

Yay! Rex has shared his new movie passion with you -- FHTE -- which I'm sure most of you have seen. Giving me an excuse to share MY new movie passion with you, which I doubt too many of you HAVE seen. I caught it on TV (CUNY) over the weekend. ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS (French title L'ASCENSEUR POUR L'ECHAFAUD.) Directed by Louis Malle, starring Jean Moreau. Actually, I saw it decades ago at a film festival in NYC (yes, I'm STILL living there, snarky Anonymouse!)and thought I'd remember it at least a little. But, happily, I didn't remember it at all. What an absolutely WONDERFUL evening. It's a thriller, a bit Hitchcockian, only very...French. Rent it, borrow it, steal it -- but whatever you do, don't miss it! You'll thank me, I promise.

Oh, yes, the puzzle. "Adequate" is a perfect word to describe it, Rex. It was fine for a Monday. And I was thrilled to see LIE LOW. Grammar nazi has his/her hobby horses and I have mine. One is people who plan to "lay low" or to "lay on the beach". My blood curdles. The other is confusion between "less" and "fewer". I break into hives. Ending sentences with prepositions, however, I'm easy about. Also about sentence fragments.

old timer 10:34 AM  

The reason this puzzle was slow for a Monday is that many of us regular solvers simply write in all the Acrosses and almost never need to look at the Downs. (The other way around for some, I know). Well, when you have long theme answers, you can't do that -- or at least I couldn't. My time was 10 minutes, instead of 6 or 7 -- and Rex, who uses an app of some sort and is faster than most of us, had the same experience.

I do think being irritated by that fact was a mistake on Rex's part. The estimable Mr. Porker's comments were dead on.

If you are an Austenite, and find her name associated with a four-letter answer, EMMA goes in in a flash. It really is her best book, though Pride and Prejudice is her funniest. If Jane had ever gotten married, it would have been to a Mr. Knightley.

As for LYON, 40 years ago or so, the Minister of Names got rid of the "S" at the end of the names of Marseilles and Lyons -- maybe some lesser-known places too. The "s" was not ever pronounced, anyway, but another reason was that both cities already dropped the S when turned into adjectives -- Lyonnaise and Marseillaise. Cannes got to keep its S though -- maybe someone knows why?

Arlene 10:38 AM  

Wonderful MLK quote so appropriate to this puzzle. Thanks for the reference.

The only thing that slowed me down was the SLOGS and SERGEANT - had write-overs from PLODS and GREANE - but easily fixed.

Anonymous 10:45 AM  

The clue for 21 across is incorrect.

Military etiquette requires the honorific "sir" be used to address commissioned officers - Lieutenants, Captains, Majors etc.

Corporals and sergeants are non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and are addressed by their title. As in "Yes sergeant, no sergeant".

John V 11:07 AM  

As noted, clue for 21a is wrong. My basic training sergeants would say, "Don't call me Sir. I work for a living" This is not ambiguous. Clue ding on the editors, not the constructors.

Otherwise, pretty easy, nice Monday. Liked it.

Carola 11:10 AM  

Like @loren, I'm with @Moly Shu all the way (puzzle and movie), except that I never got un-DOOKed on ONEG! I liked the contrast of the acceleration theme with the dreaded SLOGS appellation for dull puzzles.

Karl 11:11 AM  

Medium-Challenging? Even for a Monday, I found this very easy. Maybe the clues just happened to be in my wheelhouse. Usually, I think the puzzles are harder than Rex's rating...

OISK 11:12 AM  

I also thought that "Sir" was reserved for officers, and that sergeants were called "Sergeant" or even "Drill Sergeant." But I never served, so I (wisely) withheld comment, and waited. If an ex-marine says that Sergeants in Basic Training are addressed "Sir, yes sir!" that's good enough for me.

Liked the puzzle very much. More fun than usual for a Monday, and a slightly slower time, which is a good thing on a Monday.

On Sundays, I now do the Berry puzzle first, then the Double Crostic and finally the crossword. For those who haven't tried them, last Sunday's double crostic is an unusually easy one.

Honeysmom 11:12 AM  

Fastest, easiest Monday puzzle ever for this elderly, non-sophisticated, non-pro solver. Amazed that Rex rated it Medium/Challenging. Different strokes for different strokes, I guess. Sometimes feel inferior when Rex fans rate puzzles easy when they are deefeecult for me.

RAD2626 11:33 AM  

@Nancy. The score for L' also great. It was done by Miles Davis. If my memory is correct, he saw a screening, created a rudimentary score and he and his group laid down the entire score in one evening while excerpts from the movie were shown. Pretty amazing.

Anthony Swofford 11:35 AM  

If you enjoy war movies I'd recommend Jarhead. The opening sequence takes place in Marine Basic Training and the recruits (all privates) respond to their drill sergeant with "Sir, yes sir". In later scenes in advanced sniper training the instructor is referred to by his rank.

AliasZ 11:55 AM  

@Rex, the theme is not rocket science. For a pictorial illustration, take a look at @LMS's avatar.

I remember DACCA from the old East Pakistan days, so for me it was the only way I knew how to spell it. I have no idea how it is currently spelled, Dakha, Daqah, Dhaka? Wikipedia tells me it's Dhaka. When did DACCA become Dhaka? According to answers dot com, "The name change of the city took place in 1983, by then President General Hussein Muhammad Ershad who thought the spelling did not reflect the true pronunciation of the word as it is said in Bangla." I must have slept through 1983. Sorry.

What puzzles me, how is pronunciation of Dhaka different from Dacca? Anyone? Was it really the pronunciation, or was it an attempt of a recently independent country's new military dictator to break all remaining connection to the British Empire, even in the spelling of a well-known city, and put his own stamp on it? Either way, it is now Dhaka.

I always like Monday puzzles that make me think, teach me new things, have some crunch to them and have ACME in the byline.

Here is a harp concerto by Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) that you probably haven't heard before, accompanied here by l'Orchestre National de LYON.

Happy Monday!

MDMA 12:50 PM  


MDMA 12:55 PM  


Anoa Bob 1:03 PM  

Talk about a buzz kill. Check out the size and force of the wave that slams into Kerr & Lancaster as they embrace. That little tsunami would CHURN up a ton of sand. Ever try to make out with your swimsuit full of sand? Take it from an old beach bum---ain't gonna happen. Move back from the water's edge, and, for crying out loud, use a beach blanket! You're welcome.

"Three lines of 5-7-5 syllables do not necessarily a haiku make." Bashō

MDMA 1:23 PM  

On second thought the SPY UNITS would go better with the ARMADA...


Hindi/Urdu and Bengali have a richer set of consonants than English. Rather than merely distinguishing T and D, they have D, DH, T, TH for voiced/voiceless and aspirated/unaspirated, and even retroflex and non-retroflex versions of these too. So four different D's and four different T's. Similarly P, PH, B, BH; K, KH, G, GH; J, JH, CH, CHH (although with these there is no retroflex/non-retroflex variant, so only two of each).

So the change in spelling would be meaningful to someone from Bangladesh, India or Pakistan, even though you and I would have difficulty hearing the difference. Infants can distinguish all sounds, but soon lose the ability to hear differences in sounds that their mother tongue doesn't distinguish.

Sergeant Hulka 1:42 PM  

You don't say "sir" to me, I'm a sergeant, I work for a living.

mathguy 1:46 PM  

@Fred Romagnolo,@OISK: I also did Acrostic. As usual, I enjoyed it a lot. I thought that it was going to be easy because I had four clue-answers before going to the paragraph. But no. I had trouble getting the sense of the paragraph and two clue answers were beyond me. I needed to complete the whole paragraph (which contained an unexpected word) before getting all the answers.

Anonymous 1:59 PM  

@Anoa Bob--With whose swim suit were you making out?

Masked and Anonymous 2:23 PM  

Yeah, OK.

So, the theme is things on the move, gradually gettin faster, as one moves thru the MonPuz. CRAWLER, WALKER, RUNNER, FLYER. Moo-cow basics of MonPuz theming. If there had been 5 themers, the next one woulda been BEAMMEUPSCOTTY. Surprised @009 couldn't grok that progression. The lights are back on, but ain't no professors home? Somethin about FHTE that messed his mind up? Bet he'll be smack dab back in gear, on the rails, tomorrow, tho. Especially if it's a pangram. And has the circles.

Kinda liked the progression TRACER, TINTER, BAKER(S), TAXPAYER, also. A much more challengin progression to analyze, IM&AO. More of a Fri/Sat themer set.

fave AR- word: AREARUG. Sorry, ARABIC -- buy yerself a nice U to wear, before the next show.

fave weeject: XCI. It also is a daily double winner, becuz of its moo-cowiest MonPuz EAZYE clue.
fave masked fillins: KEMOSABE.

@009: Remember seein F. Here to E. on the big silver screen, when I was a wee masked one. Thought that flick lacked somethin; perhaps a ginormous crab monster attack in the beach scene, to get the plot rollin a little better, or somesuch. Now, "It Came from Beneath the Sea" -- now U B talkin primo 50's cinemagic, amigo. And let's not forget: fave puz movie = "Blade Runner". Ridley!

@muse: Glad to see Rat Poison dog is on the mend, and can still put up a good rassle when threatened with "spot" remover. Keen survival instincts.

@r.alph: yep. Absolutely remarkable accomplishment, havin a puz published on each day of the week. Since the constructor has only marginal control over the day that the puz will appear on. Even more remarkable might be some constructioneer of 7+ puzs, where all the puzs have appeared on one or two adjacent days. Has anyone ever done all ThursPuzs? Maybe all Wed/ThursPuzs, at least? But I digress…

fave most grizzly column: NEWT MOM BAKERS. mm-mm. Pass the cinnamon newt rolls, please…

Masked and Anonymo4Us

Burt Lancaster 2:39 PM  

"Now, documents released by the FBI and his family this week reveal that Lancaster, troubled by bouts of insecurity and depression, had an intensely predatory sex life which included many affairs with men."

Unknown 2:50 PM  

Fast and fun here. Sub 10 min, which is rare for me, even on a Monday. Somewhere along the line I finally learned how to spell sergeant. Phew. No wrongness of note.

Rhino 3:05 PM  

Beat my best time, so I liked it for that. But my daughter started complaining of a sore throat half-way through which had a catastrophic effect on my day. She couldn't watch her brothers so I couldn't go to my lunch meeting, so I'm sitting here at 2p wondering where I went wrong in my life.

Anonymous 3:17 PM  

As anyone who has been in the Army knows, one never addresses a sergeant as "sir." It's only in the Marine Corps, where recruits address the Drill Instructor a "sir." If you do call an Army Sergeant "sir" he will scream at you, "Don't call me sir, I work for a living." See, e.g., "Stripes" which had it right.

Masked and Anonymous 3:20 PM  

@009: Liked your MLK theme conspiracy theory, at the tail end. Sounds like U were startin to come outta yer FHTE-induced stupor, by then. If that was the two constructioneers' intent, the MLK entry sure missed out on a gold-plated cluin opportunity! Well-spotted, sir.

And by all means, Thanx, to Andrea darlin and Todd, for gangin up on us with this well-fought-out MonPuz. SCARILY VERBOSE, but had lots of fun. Nice GRAPH/ROLF combo, btw. Keep these fine collabs comin.


RooMonster 3:36 PM  

Basic Training in Army, privates scream, "Yes, Sergeant!"
Boot Camp in Marines, privates scream, "Sir, yes Sir!"
Don't know about Navy or Air Force...


Steve J 3:50 PM  

So, I'm not clear if it's appropriate to call a sergeant "sir". Can we have another couple dozen posts on the topic, please?

Wood 3:55 PM  

Clean downs-only solve in 18 mins. The themers were pretty easy to fill in, and without looking at the clues I thought they would be clued '?' style with funny definitions... Surprised to find them clued literally when I was finished. I guess wackiness like that is too un-Monday-like. Didn't notice the progression until I came here, and didn't know that MLK speech, but cool if that's what the theme is referencing!

Masked and Anonymous 4:29 PM  


In my army basic training days, they wanted U to answer "Yes, Drill Sergeant", mosta the time. Unless it was a trick question, like "Are you eyeballin me, trainee?!!" Fun times.

@r.alph: Exhaustive, semi-thorough research and eyeballin of day-of-the-week-puz-data has revealed the following…

* Two constructioneers win the M&A Beats All Stubborness Award, for havin all their (7+) puzs appear on just one single day of the week. Con Pederson had 8 SunPuzs, and nothin else; day-um; I guess Con ain't up for crankin out those coupla runtpuzs in his spare time. Marjorie Berg totally specialized in 9 moo cow and only moo cow MonPuzs. Congratz, and thanx for yer unbending consistency and hard bark stubbornness.
* Near-miss dept: Sidney L. Robbins, who had 48 MonPuzs and 2 TuesPuzs, out of 50 total. I'll bet Sidney was shootin for Monday, on those other two, and the editors needed more TuesPuzs and just wouldn't play ball.
* Trickiest 2-day customers: Brad Wilber, with 13 FriPuzs and 30 SatPuzs; Daniel C. Bryant, with 6 SunPuzs and 3 ThursPuzs; Kelsey Blakely, with 5 SunPuzs and 3 WedPuzs; Jim Hilger, with 5 WedPuzs and 5 ThursPuzs.

Thanx to all, for their true-blue, cyclic eschewal!

also @r.alph: But who had the best average U-usage? (7+ puzs)? I will leave this one to U, as an exercise. har

"No Drill, Sergeant""

RooMonster 4:33 PM  



I Love Steve J 4:46 PM  

Navy recruits respond "Yes Sir" to their NCO Company Commanders. However, this is not relevant to the current fascinating discussion as there are no sergeants in the Navy.

Anonymous 4:47 PM  

sorry steve j

didn't know your time was so valuable


mathguy 6:07 PM  

@Anonymous 4:47: Get a sense of humor.

kitshef 6:25 PM  

First DNAS, now SROS. Coming soon to your New York Times crossword puzzle: RURS.

Norm 7:02 PM  

@Steve J: You get my personal award for funniest comment of the day.

Lovely Monday puzzle, but a lot of cranky people today/last night.

Michael S. 7:32 PM  

JFC's comments are kind of freaking me out. "Kudos" to Rex for watching a movie? That's just weird.

Alicia Stetson 8:11 PM  

How appropriate that anon@4:47 signed his (very probably a him) comment "jerk."

JFC 10:17 PM  

@Ludyjynn asked what the deal was between Rex and Andrea. Below are the dates of the puzzles authored (or co-authored by Andrea). You likely will need to go only to the ones published in the last three years (maybe the last two) to read Rex’s critiques and Andrea’s reactions when she was daily posting comments on this Blog. Also, you should stick to the Monday puzzles. Rex provides links to all his past critiques, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find the right Blogs.

49 total
Mon 6/29/2015Tue 5/5/2015Mon 3/2/2015Mon 12/8/2014Tue 10/28/2014Mon 9/15/2014Mon 6/2/2014Mon 3/3/2014Mon 12/23/2013Tue 10/15/2013Mon 7/29/2013Mon 6/17/2013Sun 1/6/2013Mon 12/3/2012Mon 11/5/2012Mon 9/10/2012Mon 6/11/2012Mon 1/16/2012Mon 11/28/2011Sun 10/30/2011Mon 8/29/2011Tue 7/5/2011Tue 5/24/2011Mon 3/14/2011Mon 1/31/2011Tue 12/7/2010Thu 9/2/2010Mon 8/16/2010Wed 4/28/2010Mon 3/22/2010Sun 1/31/2010Mon 11/2/2009Mon 9/7/2009Sun 8/9/2009Mon 3/30/2009Mon 1/5/2009Mon 10/27/2008Mon 9/1/2008Mon 8/25/2008Tue 7/8/2008Mon 6/23/2008Mon 1/21/2008Mon 11/26/2007Mon 10/15/2007Mon 2/19/2007Wed 9/7/2005Tue 9/21/2004Mon 7/21/2003Mon 6/12/2000

NYer 10:26 PM  

Four reasons to go through this comments page: :Loren Muse Smith's comments, AlasZ's musical offerings, Lewis's factoids, and Rex Porker.

Z 11:54 PM  

@JFC and everyone else - At the end of each day's post there are three lines; Save and share followed by various social media icons, posted by/time/comment count, and finally Labels. On that Label line you will find the constructors name. Click on the constructors name and the blogs about that constructor's puzzles will appear in reverse chronological order. The list stops at ten puzzles or so, but you can click on "older posts" to get older posts right back to the first puzzle by that constructor reviewed by Rex. In the case of ACME you will also find her fill-in posts for Rex. What you won't find is the commentariat kerfuffle. Have fun.

chefwen 2:55 AM  

@JFC you have too much time on your hands. Let's hope football season starts soon and you will have something else to occupy your days.

Minimus musculus 8:59 AM  

We all heart @Steve J, so...

One Of these days, trainees will be shouting back "Ma'am, yes Ma'am!", and "Yes, Drill SergeAuntie!". Except in the Navy, of course.

Tita 9:29 PM  

Forgot to post, which normally wouldn't matter, but since this puzzle was co-constructed by my friend ACME, I just had too...
I liked the idea... I wonder if there could be other variations... A triathlon...with 'run, bike, swim'?
For some reason, made me think of the wood duck that on its second day of life, 'jumps' (from its nest 40" up a tree, straight to the ground), 'waddles', 'swims', and several weeks later, gets around to 'fly'.

Thanks Andrea and Todd for a fun Monday.

Agence immobilière maroc 7:11 PM  

Very Nice ^^

spacecraft 11:21 AM  

I like @anon 1:05's take on the progression. LIMPER would also work. I remember running. Fondly. Best I can do now is a silly-looking "hurry."

Interesting origin of the name RADIO FLYER, renamed in 1927 in honor of two pioneers of the day: Marconi and Lindbergh.

I liked this one despite the RRN (albeit unusual; you don't see XCI every day) and a couple of cluing inaccuracies--both easily corrected with any sort of fact-checking.

1. As @Sgt. Hulka (of "I'm getting too old for this s**t" fame) pointed out, saying "sir" to a noncom is immediately and vigorously corrected. "Sir" is for officers.

2. Having ONEG blood myself, I wouldn't call 15% of the population "rare." The rara avis in this category would be ABNEG, considerably less than 1%.

The unquestioned star of the show is KEMOSABE. Remember that novelty song (I love novelty songs!) "Please, Mr. Custer?"

"Hey out thar. What's the Injun word fer 'friend?' KEMOSABE? Yeah, that's it. Hey out thar: KEMOSABE!" [sound of arrow whizzing by ear and striking tree trunk] "Nope. That ain't it."

Ah, you gotta love it. BTW, for further ID of Jack Warden, he was the baseball-loving marmalade salesman in "12 Angry Men." A classic if there ever was one. Let's do a B+.

rondo 11:52 AM  

I thought this puz to be pretty good for early week. Better than most Tuesdays. CRAWL, WALK, RUN, FLY – a perfect progression with no need for explanation.

My dad was an Army SERGEANT in WWII at the age of 19. He’d lied about his age to enlist, but being a clever farm boy he knew how to keep vehicles running in his motor pool. Hence. Promotions.

REBA, down-home yeah baby. Remember the red dress? Google it. WOW (MOM upside down)!

Glad NEWT was not the Gingrich.

Easy, fun Mon-puz as I take time off at TAXPAYER expense. Thanks MN citizens.

Cathy 2:09 PM  

@Spacecraft- Funny "kemosabe" lines! Hope your enjoying the nice weather with your son:)

@Rondo-Don't remember the red dress. Have to look it up. I had a friend who always told guys (at any bar), she had MOM tattooed on her butt. They would just stare at her with a whaaaa expression. She'd do a shot then say "When I bend over, it says WOW!"
Wonder what ever happened to her....

@Burma shave- Where are you?

At our local nursery, you use red wagons to shop with. I love it! Yes, I live a pretty exciting life:)

rondo 3:39 PM  

This puzzle was not one of those SLOGS. My least favorite answer may have been TINTER.

Remember MSDOS? Who was ever going to have more than one program OPEN?

@Cathy - Did my best to remove ALL tan lines yesterday; had to LIELOW in the kayak while using OILS. I think there's a WEBCRAWLER or SPY OUT there making up his own LAW. haiku nerd doesn't get moderated out of existence. Yet people are asking the whereabouts of bs and his ODES, having NEVER used a swear word, just rearranged words from the puzzle. And btw was at it long before the nerd. ITS one of life's SORROWS, I guess.

When I look at ONEG I see three things. The blood type, normal gravity, and $1000.

Was that the same Graham GREENEwho made some appearances on Northern Exposure?

Again, a nice Monday.

spacecraft 6:55 PM  

Ha ha, no; GG of that avant-garde comedy is a Native American actor who was named after the famous author. But thanks for calling up images of the show, complete with the streetwalking moose. It was cancelled WAY too early, IMHO.

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