Jean-Luc of the U.S.S. Enterprise / MON 7-27-15 / Slapping stooge / Zoo heavyweight, informally / Doofus

Monday, July 27, 2015

Constructor: D. Scott Nichols and Zhouqin Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (***FOR A MONDAY*** (Rex always does this, so I will, too))

THEME: "Palindromes" — The last word of theme answers are all palindromes. Easy enough.

Word of the Day: ATTAR (35A. _____ of roses) —
Rose oil (rose ottoattar of rose, or attar of roses) is the essential oil extracted from the petals of various types of roseRose ottos are extracted through steam distillation, while rose absolutes are obtained throughsolvent extraction or supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, with the absolute being used more commonly inperfumery. Even with their high price and the advent of organic synthesis, rose oils are still perhaps the most widely used essential oil in perfumery.
• • •
Hello, CrossWorld! I'm Eli Selzer, filling in for Rex, today only! Who am I, you ask? I'm a screenwriter in LA (I'll save you the IMDB search: nothing produced. I've had multiple scripts in development over the last 5 years at fairly well-known companies, but still no credits to my name. It's a cruel business). You may have met me at the Crosswords LA Tournament, where I've managed to not embarrass myself on 3 separate occasions. I've not yet attended ACPT. I've never constructed a puzzle, so I don't tend to notice things like cheater squares (or fully understand them, honestly), but I tend to agree with Rex's opinions on puzzle quality. I'm not overly-familiar with most constructors, aside from a few favorites. So how did I get this sweet gig, then? Simple: I asked, and Rex said yes.

On to the puzzle!

Theme answers:
  • GEORGE TENET (11D. *C.I.A.'s second-longest serving director)
  • MONICA SELES (17A. *Youngest French Open Champion)
  • DARYL HANNAH (24D. *"Splash" star)
  • YOKO ONO (39A. *"Double Fantasy" singer)
  • PALINDROMES (60A. What the ends of the answers to all the starred clues are)
This seemed like a straight-over-the-plate Monday. My time was a bit over my average Monday (3:13), but I had a few typos (the danger of only solving on my phone, which is how I solve 95% of the time). Also, I was taking my time because I knew I had to blog about it when I was done. Theme was straight-forward with a revealer to match. Nothing much to tie the answers together other than the fact that they're all people with palindromes for last names.

Side note: In elementary school, I had an English book with a story called "Hannah is a Palindrome," where a teacher allows her class to mercilessly pick on a girl named Hannah because she is a palindrome until Hannah takes the initiative to look up "palindrome" and turns the tables on a boy named Otto. That story is still what I think of every time palindromes come up. So... good job, story, I guess?

The themers didn't give me much trouble. I'm a bit embarrassed that I read "Youngest French Open Champion" and immediately thought of men. I'm better than that, both as a solver and a human being. Also, drew a blank on GEORGE TENET, but it didn't really slow me down. Fill overall seemed pretty solid; I'm not drawn to any obvious garbage. The partial INS isn't ideal, especially paired symmetrically with the partial TOS. I guess looking it over again, there's a pretty fair amount of partials throughout, but it didn't stand out while solving, so I'll give it a pass. ATTAR feels like the difficulty outlier to me. It's not inappropriate for a Monday, just stuck out a bit. I felt like I had one error slow me down, but looking over the puzzle, I can't for the life of me remember what it was, so I'll just say that it was a solid, if somewhat unremarkable, puzzle that I largely enjoyed. Not bad for a Monday!

  • NOLTE (29A. Nick of "48 Hrs.") — Makes me think of Rifftrax (the current project of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew), and specifically, of Mike Nelson's impression that comes up in so many of their riffs.

  • NAME (32A. Peter, Paul or Mary) — Or John or Finn or Elliot or Stu or Joe or Thor or Melissa or Ahmed or Geena or Lindsay or Lindsey or...
  • PICARD (5D. Jean-Luc of the U.S.S. Enterprise) — Automatic bullet for TNG references.

  • MOE (34D. Slapping Stooge)— My wife likes the Three Stooges more than I do (I'm more of a Marx Brothers guy). But I'm highlighting this clue because I couldn't write a post for this blog without a Simpsons reference.
  • PAEAN (57A. Song of triumph)— Fun word. But only pointing it out to get in another one:

So, this has been fun! Thanks to Rex for letting me fill in. I emulated him as best as possible by solving and blogging with a glass of bourbon. I recommend it.

Signed, Eli Selzer, um... what title hasn't been taken? False Dauphin? I'll go with that.

Signed, Eli Selzer, False Dauphin of CrossWorld


jae 12:31 AM  

Easy-medium for me too and pretty much all of what Eli said (thanks for filling in), except I never saw PAEAN.    A very solid Mon. from Scott and C.C.

MAVEN and NIMROD make an nice pair.

MDMA 12:32 AM  

Fun fact: Nimrod didn't mean "nimrod" until Bugs Bunny.

Anonymous 12:51 AM  

i guess it's true. weird al is funnier than the simpsons and riff trax and tng combined.

Mark Trevor Smith 1:22 AM  

IMHO attar of roses is not a Monday term

chefwen 1:55 AM  

"From scratch" two days in a row. ANEW and AFRESH. Finished a book tonight titled Life from Scratch by Sasha Martin, a must read for every lover of foodie books. Bought chicken scratch Saturday for the hens, I'm inundated with SCRATCH.

Monday easy with only one write-over. YAk before YAP.

Anonymous 2:02 AM  

I hardly ever comment here, but had to chime in with a +1 for Hannah is a Palindrome. I could have written that paragraph. It's the only story from an elementary-level English book I remember, but now every time I think of palindromes, I think of Hannah and Otto and classroom bullying. Fun!
To actually comment on the puzzle, the partial "ins" was basically the same as "ons" in yesterday's puzzle. I know there shouldn't such similarities in one puzzle but I always notice these things from day to day.

Z 2:59 AM  

ORR, NOLTE, AMY, RORY, OMAN, BANGOR, ANN, MIA, LE PEW, REM, ECO, PICARD, DESI, ERROL, AVEENO, AKRON, MOE, OBAMA, OPAL, ALAMO, ARARAT, and LAO. The theme isn't palindromes, it is NAMEs, 22 of them, otherwise known as 18 too many.

Solved during a bumpy plane ride while fatigued and did it in Monday normal of 6:30. Easy even with ATTAR of Rose.

FrostMo 4:17 AM  

Read this blog ever day and have never commented, but I'm studying for the bar exam this week and I am looking for anything else to do. Solved just under an average Monday for me. Agree that ATTAR was super tough for a Monday, especially since GEORGETENET was the toughest theme answer for me. Silly mistake that ate up my time was getting gAb for YAP on the first go. Then correcting to YAk after getting YOKOONO. Made seeing HIPPO tough for me. Doh! (Nice Simpsons clips, and thanks for filling in.)

FrostMo 4:19 AM  

I hope it doesn't MAR you.

Loren Muse Smith 6:09 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 6:10 AM  
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Lewis 6:21 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 6:23 AM  

Hey, there, Eli. Good luck there on your scripts in development. Ever wondered why you can be a playwright or a screenwriter? It should be either playwriter or screenwright. Oh! we could call an editor a copy righter. And putting the final touches on your novel could be the last writes. Ok, I'll stop.

I like clues like the one for NAME. NAMEs could be clued "Larry, MOE, and Curly."

With DARYL HANNAH and YOKO ONO in place, I was thinking the theme would be NAMES that used only one vowel: Snoop Dogg, Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, Ted Kennedy, Graham Chapman, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Serendipity – right after Dad and I solved this, we watched a movie with Kevin Costner playing a man whose last name is Renner. Cue Twilight zone music. @Z – I noticed all the proper nouns much more because I was pulling for Dad to sail through his beloved Monday puzzle.

Liked UGLY crossing MUTT. We had a dog, Ethel, who looked like a cross between a black lab and a possum. (And she had the personality of a honey badger. Warning – kinda gross clip with lots of bad words.)

Two palindromesome thoughts:

1. ARARAT is one letter away from being a palindrome. Plus, if you become the desperate linguistic contortionist required to create palindromic phrases, you could warn everyone about the Gone with the Wind rodent terrorizing people on the mountain. Tara rat at Ararat!

2. What if ERROL's mom had remarried Peter Lorre, and they both changed their names? (Don't check date feasibility – work with me here, people.) We'd have Errol Lorre. I'll pause while this sinks in. Actually, a word that spells another word backwards is called a semordnilap (stressed desserts), but imo, backed up against each other, they're just big ole semordnilap palindromes.

On the first day of class, I teach the word PALINDROME because I always have at least one HANNAH, Ava, Eve, Anna, Elle, or Asa. Someone invariably knows about racecar,, and we're off and running happily along - even though usually a couple of pupils slip up and yell out "Sara" - until I show them Able was I ere I saw Elba. Then the fun comes to a stand-still. Silence. WAH Wah wah…

@Anne, @FrostMo – always glad to hear from new people. @FrostMo – hope this puzzle served as a pleasant reviver for your bar studies.

I appreciated this grid; there aren't many palindromic last names out there, so to come up with a symmetrical list had to be tough. And, Eli – thanks for agreeing to slap on the gateman nametag this morning. I'll look for your name in movie credits from now on. Best of luck!

Lewis 6:23 AM  

I like the top RATED and RISE up, and the other mini theme (beside NAMES, as Z points out), namely, the nine answers ending on O. I wish EGO and MANIA were closer together, and two answers actually could have been starred according to the PALINDROME clue (What the ends of the answers are): OBAMA and DAREME. Clean fill for the most part, but not a lot of pop. Workmanlike. Did the job, and thank you for that, DSN and ZB.

I will be away for nearly two weeks, on vacation, and I look forward to rejoining upon my return!

Thomaso808 6:37 AM  

Loved the puzzle. Love palindromes. All time favorite is Weird Al's song "Bob" entirely composed of palindromes, with the crowning glory being "Go hang a salami I'm a lasagna hog".

@LMS, I really enjoyed your post. I wanted so much to put a W on the end of your Wah Wah Wah, but, aargh, it doesn't quite work!

Anonymous 7:09 AM  

How about Wah Wah Wah, Aw?

- Jim C. in Maine

(Thumbs up for BANGOR rather than Orono as a Maine place name in a puzzle.)

RAD2626 7:14 AM  

Dopey mistake AVEEdO which let to dAME, which of course makes no sense for Peter, Paul or Mary but did not find it scanning puzzle for what seemed like forever. Okay theme, plus explicit revealer, lots of names but all pretty gettable.

Anonymous 7:26 AM  

@Z is fast becoming this board's biggest whiner. And there is a LOT of competition.

Anonymous 7:28 AM  

I liked that we had SOT and TOS in a palindrome puzzle.

Haiku Nerd 7:43 AM  


joho 7:56 AM  

I was struck by all the NAMES of people, not products, in the grid in addition io the four NAMES in the theme answers: ORR, NOLTE, RORY, AMY, ANN, LEPEW, PICARD, DESI, ERROL and OBAMA! I think the reason MIA wasn't clued as Farrow is because there just wasn't room for another NAME!

This had to be intentional, right?

I really like PALINDROMES so appreciated the main theme and think it filled the bill for Monday just fine if without a lot of bells and whistles.

Thank you, D. SCOTT NICHOLS and ZHOUQIN BURNIKEL. And ELI, ttoo, nice job!

Obvious Man 8:01 AM  

Hey did anyone else notice that there are a lot of names in this puzzle?

r.alphbunker 8:02 AM  

It is nice that the three theme names have the same number of letters as PALINDROMES. Because of this I do not think that PALINDROMES should be considered a POC but @Anoa Bob may disagree.

It sounds like getting a script accepted is like getting a puzzle accepted by the NYT. FYI information the puzzle had four cheater squares as shown in the analysis of the puzzle.

@Loren, the analysis also lists the 11 semordnilaps I found in the puzzle. Did I miss any?

Anonymous 8:08 AM  

@r.alph--comparing the challenge of having a crossword puzzle published to that of getting a movie script accepted is demeaning, insulting and ridiculous to those who have been toiling for years writing scripts and are trying to make a living doing so.

George Barany 8:10 AM  

Kudos to my Minnesota neighbor and friend @C.C. Burnikel and her collaborator @Scott Nichols, who blogs some of the puzzles over at C.C.'s L.A. Times Crossword Corner under the name of Argyle. Their clever Monday theme brings to mind Look Both Ways by my cyberfriend @Tim Croce, which can be a bonus treat to those looking for an additional challenge on a hot summer day.

CFXK 8:25 AM  

What ever would constructors do had we never heard of the boy from Parry Sound?

Danield 8:35 AM  

Eli-enjoyed your commentary. Rex is smart to let some other voices be heard on his forum. I thought this was a superior Monday puzzle.

Nancy 8:55 AM  

Easy, but with one writeover: I had REo instead of REM. But then I often confuse band names with car names, not knowing much about either. When REo gave me OONICA SELES (that famous tennis-playing daughter of Charlie Chaplin), I corrected ASAP. Note to constructors: If you always cross a rock band with a famous tennis player, I'll never yell at you. :)

Didn't notice all the NAMES today, because, with the exception of REM, they were all well within my wheelhouse. But the answer, NAME, at 32A, is about as green paintish an answer as I've ever seen. I didn't love it.

Aketi 8:58 AM  

@z, do brand NAMEs count? If so, RENU brings the total up to 23.

@lms, I think our cat Charlie might have the personality of a honey badger too.

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

@Nancy: I don't think you know what the phrase "green paint" means.

From Rex: "GREEN PAINT answer,' which, in crossword-constructor-speak, is an answer made up of weak adj./noun pairing..."

Billy C 9:04 AM  

Well, @ Aketi, @Z listed AVEENO, and given your extensive experience with dried-out nipples (please tell us some more war stories), I suspect you are familiar with that one, so, yes, it would seem brand names like RENU count, unless AVEENO is the name of @Z's honey badger.

Billy C 9:14 AM  

@FauxBillyC9:04 --

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: offa my turf, Dude!

-- the real Billy C

Ludyjynn 9:18 AM  

I GIVE this an easy RATing, despite the ATTAR cross. I like it when constructors throw in ONE or two crunchier words in earlier days-of-the-week grids. They DAREME to think a little harder.

@FrostMo, good luck to you on your upcoming bar exam. So much ROTE crap to remember which I assure you will most likely not come into play in your legal career! I used to break up my studying for the exam by watching "General Hospital", a fairly mindless diversion. Impressive that you are doing the puzzles instead. Bring your AGAME and you'll do well on the test.

Thanks, Eli, for filling in today. I look forward to seeing your NAME on film credits sometime soon.

And thanks, DSN, CCB and WS.

Nancy 9:19 AM  

@Anon (9:00) -- And I don't think you know the difference between a literal statement and a metaphorical statement. Yes, GREEN PAINT was coined, and is primarily used, to connote a weak adjective/noun pairing. But that pairing is notable for its vagueness. And it is the vagueness of the NAME answer for Peter, Paul and Mary to which I was referring. A good writer knows how to play with language as well as regurgitate it. In fact, a playful approach to the myriad uses of language is how the inside joke of GREEN PAINT came about in the first place.

chefbea 9:27 AM  

Fun easy puzzle. Thanks Eli for the write up. I too noticed - a lot of names

Anonymous 9:40 AM  

@Nancy: Oh, I see. Now we'll just use "Green Paint" to describe any answer we don't like? That will be very useful.

Billy C 9:58 AM  

@FauxBillyC9:04 --

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: offa my turf, Dude!

-- the real Billy C

Billy C 10:11 AM  

Is YOKOONO A dook?

Mike D 10:12 AM  

Well, @ Billy, it seems more DOOK than Green Paint...maybe we should ask @Nancy?

Anonymous 10:14 AM  

Looks like I'm the only one to ask, just what the heck is a "RUDE SHELTER"? A hostile hotel, lousy room service? Oh wait you mean a C-RUDE SHELTER. LEANTO of course.

jberg 10:17 AM  

I had no idea who starred in Splash, so I thought I'd have to guess the DARYL/RORY crossing, but fortunately I had at least heard of DARYL HANNAH, and the crosses gave me that. I had more trouble with NIMROD, whom I knew only as the mighty hunter (and the grandson of that guy who landed on ARARAT), but fortunately I looked it up before complaining. Interestingly, gives only the 'hunter' meaning, but the Urban Dictionary gives the other.

Would you like to start ANEW? Sure, I'm AGAME!

@Loren, or you could herald the landing with a trumpet call, TA RA RA ARARAT!

Thanks for the writeup (wright-up?), Eli!

Billy C 10:17 AM  

I am friends with Mila Kunis. Her nickname was "Koono" in high school. When I see her, I'm like all, "YO, KOONO!"

Anonymous 10:20 AM  

Anon@10:14: Good pickup. Maybe that mean apple tree in the Wizard of Oz was a "rude shelter?"

Anonymous 10:21 AM  

@Z One in particular too many OBAMA. Come on puzzle makers/Will Shortz find another 5 letter word with vowel consonant syncopation rather than shamelessly fawning over this guy.

Tita 10:24 AM  

Hey Loren - I love your theme idea, and am in awe of how you thought of it, and then came up with so many! And thanks also for embedding that one mistake, so the likes of me can latch onto it and think ourselves so smart for having caught the teacher in a mistake - BARACKoBAMA has 2 vowels!

Welcome, @FrostMo, though I would have felt better about the future of our legal profession if you had said it was the "Splash" answer that was the tough one. Well, the fact that you told the truth is a big plus!
BTW, you are practicing "Creative avoidance" - something that I do very well.
Good luck!

@r.alph - guess you'll have to include that same "proximity" analysis for clues - I have never seen "From scratch" before yesterday, and it does stand out because of its slight offness.

Thanks Eli - nice job!

And thanks to SN & ZhB - a fun Monday.

Barack Obama 10:27 AM  

I think Anon@10:21 has OBAMAMANIA! But I'm not sure a mention in a crossword puzzle amounts to "fawning." Bitter, much?

Joseph Michael 10:31 AM  

Enjoyed the PALLINDROMES, but this is my least favorite kind of puzzle: one full of NAMEs.

I would add to @Z's list RENU and GRANDE. Those plus the three themer names add up to total of 27 which means that names account for more than one third of the puzzle (34%).

Meh. What happened to wordplay?

Leroi Parquet 10:38 AM  

My first girlfriend was Rose Otto.

@anonymous 10:21 - The clue was neutral. Would you be happy if the clue was worst president ever?

Loren Muse Smith 10:39 AM  

@Tita – oops. Obama was just a mistake. I already had to lose Meryl Streep. And Lady Gaga doesn't work, either. I'll just go lie down before I hurt myself. You're a peach for claiming I did it on purpose!

@r.alph – I saw only 11, too.

Malsdemare 10:41 AM  

I'm a genealogist, and I have ancestors who arrived in Ohio in 1827. Their last name was Bourgeois (they were German-speakers from Alsace) and the ways the name is spelled in early 18th century documents makes for interesting challenges in establishing just who is who. But it's their sons, Morand and Mirod, that gave me the most trouble. The variety of spellings of THEIR names led me to the unsettling conclusion that I had both a Nimrod and a Moron in my family tree. Then I realized we STILL have them, but they go by aliases.

The puzzle was just fine for Monday. thanks, Eli, for the writeup and D and Z for the morning workout.

mac 10:41 AM  

Easy Monday, workaday puzzle.
Only write-over MAR for PAR before checking the clue for 60A.

Thanks, Eli, and good luck!

Z 10:47 AM  

@Aketi - Dang, I double checked and went from 20 to 22 but still missed RENU.

I was definitely thinking that a theme of names should have had no other names in the puzzle as I was flying home. I am more amenable to the notion now that the names are more of a feature than a bug, especially with the bonus revealer.

@Nancy - Funny how I knew exactly what you meant. Consider:

Genesis 10:8-9 New International Version

8 Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.”

@LMS - On a roll today.

old timer 10:59 AM  

Good, fast Monday even though I did not know the pop culture references. My only writeover: "Maine" for ALAMO.

I think ATTAR is fair for a Monday, partly because it is used so often that most solvers will get it, even if they never use the word IRL.

My favorite palindrome: "A MAN A PLAN A CANAL -- PANAMA! I have a vague impression the first part was once used in a Sunday puzzle, crossed by Panama.

One of my best friends circa 1960 was the son of a screenwriter. He and his family lived in a very nice house in Brentwood, even though he had not had a movie produced in years. I later learned that screenwriters are paid very good money to work on a script that has been accepted for production, even if in the end the producer decides to pull the plug. So I'm hoping Mr. Selzer is in that category.


old timer 11:02 AM  

I wanted to add, Bangor, Maine is familiar to most outside of Maine because of Roger Miller's song, "King of the Road". "Destination, Bangor Maine" sounds almost salacious the way old Roger sang it.

mathgent 11:06 AM  

As I've been thinking about doing for some time, I skipped doing the too-big fun-deprived Sunday yesterday. No withdrawal pains. Did the Acrostic instead. It kept me up until 11:30 last night. It had some very nice entries. "Traditional garb worn by Ghandi," (5). "Congressional session that Harry Truman called 'Do-Nothing' " (9). "Literary giant with a love of wordplay," (7).

This sure was a Monday puzzle.

Roo Monster 11:10 AM  

Hey All !
AAH, nice easy MonPuz. Unusual to see CC partner with someone. I GIVE this puz a RATED A!

NAME counters, did anyone count ALAMO, or doesn't it fit the bill?

1A also a semordnilap, RECAP to PACER, worrier, or AMC vehicle. And OMAN was his NAMO! AMY - YMA? Maybe M&A is a U-NER?

OkK, enough silliness. Good MonPuz, OME!

Wink, wink, NUDGE, NUDGE

Alison 11:12 AM  

Yes! Hannah is a Palindrome! I think of that every time there's a palindrome in a crossword, or the answer is "Otto"

Kevin Mcgue 11:17 AM  

Two Pepe LePew answers in the space of a week? Different constructors, but still...

Joseph Michael 11:32 AM  

Tennis rats won set
Ate snow stars in net

Z 11:36 AM  

@Roo - I did include ALAMO, near the end of my list. I also included MIA even though the cluing wasn't Hamm-handed and ECO just to prove I know the NAME of the Rose is ATTAR.

shaking fist OBAMA has messed up our fair Muse so I'm never voting for him again. /shaking fist

Anoa Bob 11:39 AM  

@r.alphbunker, PALINDROME, "What the end of each starred clues is"; PALINDROMES, "What the ends of the starred clues are". I see this option a lot with this kind of theme. The constructor has a one-letter degree of freedom to work with, POC-wise.

I think this grid is remarkably free of LCM's. I'm only seeing a couple of verbs that needed an add-a-letter tense shift to fill their slots, 6A RATED & 40D NUDGED, & and a couple of POC's 25A TOS & 52A INS (and, arguably, the reveal).

This results is a grid that delivers heavily on substance---every section is filled with base/core words and phrases---and is delightfully lacking if fluff---letters appended to base words to boost their grid filling power without adding much to their value or meaning.

Kudos to the constructors for a very fine theme and exemplary grid fill.

AliasZ 11:43 AM  

OMAN, a PALINDROMES puzzle! How exciting is that? Not too.

I did like the puzzle despite its over-dependence on NAMEs. The theme names were pleasantly from mixed backgrounds. Not much else to say about this easy-breezy Monday diversion.

As much as I would like to offer the ninth Enigma Variation titled NIMROD, I decided instead to link to this dreamy (sleepy?) VIOLA SOLO piece instead, by palindromic composer Max Reger (1873-1916).

Happy Monday!

Lewis 11:54 AM  

Factoid: YOKO ONO's second husband (she had three), film producer Tony Cox, kidnapped and hid their eight-year-old daughter, Kyoko, and joined a Christian cult, cutting off all communication from Ono. Ono did not see Kyoko again until she (the daughter) was 31.

Quotoid: "What's in a NAME? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." -- William Shakespeare

Jamie C 12:05 PM  

@Nancy: As obnoxious as he is, I have to agree with Anon @9AM: You may not like the NAME answer for "Peter, Paul, or Mary" but it is not Green Paint. I think of Green Paint as a phrase or word pairing that isn't really a phrase. It definitely has to be two words.

Anonymous 12:11 PM  

DARE ME is a famous race horse. Add him to the list of names.

MDMA 12:26 PM  


Anonymous is right, "green paint" has a very specific meaning: pairing a random plausible adjective with a noun, which is considered a suboptimal choice for crossword entries. But it's not a general term for suboptimal entries.

To belabor the point: "wet paint" is a set phrase, whereas "green paint" is comparable to "yellow paint", "blue paint", etc. "Holy water" is a thing, whereas "warm water" is just comparable to "cold water", "hot water", etc.

Ironically, "green paint" itself is no longer green paint, because it now has a specific meaning as a set phrase.

To address your point, there's absolutely nothing wrong with cluing NAME as "Peter, Paul or Mary". It's just classic "less than meets the eye" misdirection. It's no different than cluing "tool" as "Hammer or sickle", or indeed cluing "vee" as "Center of gravity".

OISK 12:26 PM  

Too many names made this one a slow (7 minute) Monday for me, although there were only two that were completely meaningless: REM, which has been in the puzzle many times before, and Aveeno. I am always harping about product clues, and we had Renu as well, but I don't think I have ever seen "Aveeno" anywhere. The reason I am fairly sure of this, is that it reminds me of the Hebrew word for "Our Father", (Avenu Malkanu, "Our father, our king.") so I would definitely have remembered it.

I like palindromes, and enjoyed the puzzle. But Aveeno? Aveeno shame?

Lewis 12:27 PM  

@Z -- Loren is indeed on a roll, and in a communication I had with her on another matter, she let slip out that she hid two palindromes in her post, each involving more than one word. One is 12 letters, and the other 14...

Martel Moopsbane 12:36 PM  

I first learned the word PAEAN at the time of the USS Pueblo crisis. The commander of the ship, which had been captured by the North Koreans, was forced to make a public "confession" of his misdeeds. During the performance, he said something like "We PAEAN the North Koreans" - but made sure to pronounce the word "pee-on."

Eve Peron 1:07 PM  

Evita lived in the high and dry desert in Argentina. Peron was one Eva aveeno could have helped!

NCA President 1:10 PM  

"This seemed like a straight-over-the-plate Monday. My time was a bit over my average Monday (3:13), but I had a few typos (the danger of only solving on my phone, which is how I solve 95% of the time). Also, I was taking my time because I knew I had to blog about it when I was done."

Humblebrag alert. smh

r.alphbunker 1:11 PM  

Is "green paint" an example of synecdoche in that it is an element of a set of unsatisfactory answers that is used to represent the entire set?

George PALindrome 1:15 PM  

Sleapy solos.

Max Reger
Hat keine Träger.

mathgent 1:27 PM  

I think that some posters need to reread @Nancy's explanation of her use of "green paint." She's wasn't using it literally.

@mdma: Nice discussion of the term "green paint," especially that "green paint" is no longer an example of a "green paint" entry. I think that there is a term for self-contradictory terms like that but I can't remember it.

Anonymous 1:44 PM  

@mathgent: True, she wasn't using it literally. She was using it incorrectly.

Anonymous 1:48 PM  

Here is what @Nancy said: "NAME, at 32A, is about as green paintish an answer as I've ever seen. I didn't love it."

Please explain to us NIMRODs in what impressive and novel literary sense the term "Green Paint" was used in that sentence?

Leapfinger 3:22 PM  

@MDMA, I agree with you that 'cold water' and 'warm water ' are both green paint, but 'hot water' is not.

On the face of it, that seems a rather odd sentence.


MDMA 3:40 PM  

@Leapfinger, you're absolutely right, I missed that.

And speaking of groanworthy things that just dawned on me, there is @OISK's final sentence.

I am slow on the uptake today.

Anonymous 4:20 PM  

@MDMA - Seems @Leapy just threw a bucket of cold water on your explanation of green paint.

semordnilap spotter 4:29 PM  

Eve@ 1:07: I see what you did there. One Eva Aveeno indeed!

Teedmn 7:13 PM  

PALINDROMES - I like both the word and the concept. Maybe I like the word a little too much because it was a source of embarrassment earlier this year. I was doing a 72 mile ride around Lake Pepin in SE Minnesota. I had been playing Hare and Tortoise with a couple of tandem bikes and had just gotten passed again. I started up a conversation with the guy next to me, a stranger, and we discussed the dynamics of two people on a bike versus one, and the efficacy of drafting. I said something like, "Yeah, riding in a palindrome really has an amazing effect on your speed." Pause. "Did you mean 'peloton'? "Yes, what did, oh, I said palindrome didn't I?" Cue red face and some sputtering about not having slept well....Shortly after that, he sped away and I was left to squirm in peace.

@Lewis, thanks for the heads-up on @lms' contributions, I think I spotted the two plus reviver. And @LMS, of course, for the extra puzzle.

And thanks, DSN and ZB.

Tita 7:37 PM  

@loren...well, I certainly know that you are not at all the manipulative type (trickster, parasitical joker, yes...but not manipulator), so I didn't *really* think you were trying to trip us up...but I just wouldn't just cry "you screwed up!" at the top of my lungs...
And good thing I didn't, considering as how I missed crowing about LADYGAGA, or finding all your PALINDROMES too. (I did notice gateman name tag...that's the only one.

@teed... Must be beautiful riding a palindrome on a velodrome by Lake Pepin!

Tita 7:38 PM  

Damn...*practical*, not parasitical!

Leapfinger 10:26 PM  

Say hey! On a hot day, a splash of cold water can be very welcome! Right, Doctor MAsters?

"Make it snappy with the RECAP, Pappy!"
Anyone else remember that Carling's O'Keefe RECAP Ale jingle from wa-aay back? (Maybe you had to be in Canada or the UK) The Black Label slogan was "Mabel, Black Label!". That had to be some good advertising, to be a mindsticker after [all those] years, and it gave me a snappy start to the puzzle.

Like many others noticed there was a GRATE many reversible words in the fill, and love what @LMS did with Errol Flynn and Laszlo Lowenstein, what @Eva did with Aveeno. I didn't see if anyone mentioned the grid having a double (insert that lms word here) with TOS-SOT. Also,xwp stalwart AMY Camus is there,ready to SING her EVENSOng.

TAROT: TO RAT is to SING, and any dirty RAT that does should be left out tarot.
Would you like some BALSA for your model airplane? Thanks, I'll take a slab or two!

Thought this was noway an autopilot solve as some Mondays can be, and was a bit of a NItwit about NIMROD. Also, I'm taxing @Rhino with making me slow to see HIPPO.

@OISK, I was familiar with AVEENO, and, just like you, it has made me think of Aveenu Malkeinu. I think there must be something about those lines, because just a little further on there's "O say [can you see?] imanu tz'dakah va'chesed".

@NCAPrez, re humblebrags,... smh = ??? If anyone else knows, pls help.

@FrostMo, best of luck with the pub, er, with the bar.

@False Dauphin, fun having you with us, but I tell you, that "Hannah is a Palindrome" made me think. I just can't see how it wasn't Otto who was 'mercilessly picked on in the first instance, and I lay the whole inverted affair at the feet of institutionalized gender astigmatism.

That's all she ROTE.

Anonymous 10:43 PM  

Loofahs in a violin. In a gap in my hymn, I, Paganini, lo I vanish, a fool.

Teedmn 11:08 PM  

@Leapfinger, had to look up the smh myself - per Urban Dictionary, it equals 'shaking my head,.

@Anon 10:43, impressive.

Leapfinger 11:20 PM  

TY @T. smh2

Anonymous 11:57 AM  

@Barak, while this OBAMA clue was neutral, most in the NYT have bordered on fawning. Further the shear frequency of OBAMA sightings in the NYT puzzles is ipso facto fawning. OBAMA on average appears nearly ever week - sometimes several in one week. I don't think I've missed a puzzle beginning with Bush's presidency and can't recall BUSH EVER appearing. Numbers say it all. Bitter? But clearly unhappy with this narcissist who is doing everything in his power to march the country hard to the left.

Burma Shave 10:21 AM  


ONEON lights I ADORE you, ATONE time so UGLY ORR so GRANDE,
EVENSO IGIVE you credit, OMAN, you make YOKOONO look like eye candy.


spacecraft 11:16 AM  

OBAMAMANIA may soon shift to daughter Malia, fast becoming a "yeah baby." I never did have it for HIM, though the side-by-side is amusing. And right alongside that is the "y.b." in residence today: DARYLHANNAH.

More WOEs than usual for a Monday. I know zero album titles, so 1-down and 39-across had to come from crosses, as did GEORGE who apparently didn't last as long as J. Edgar. I didn't actually uncover the theme TIL I started to fill the revealing line with a few downs. PAEAN and ATTAR not WOEs but a tad un-Mondayish. Though Mr. TENET is a bit outside the fame spotlight, theme and entries were solid. The fill, with its INS and TOS, is not Burnikel's AGAME (I hope), but not too bad considering the plethora of threes in this grid. B-.

And just remember: if you see ATOYOTA backing's still ATOYOTA.

rondo 11:33 AM  

Let me RECAP – lotsa NAMEs. Yeah, that’s the theme, but EVENSO, it’s just overflowing.

Of the NAMEd theme answers I’d give definite yeah baby status to one, on-the-bubble to another, and the third? ONO!

I walked along with DARYLHANNAH (the yeah baby) one day during filming of Grumpy Old Men on the grounds of the church where I am a member. She was talking on one of those large-ish cell phones of that era – and I believe it was to John-John, if I eavesdropped correctly. As I was sort of in her company, I got inside the barriers to the filming area, while all the other locals were cordoned off on the other side of the street. All those other big stars were there too, including yeah baby ANN-Margaret. Memorable afternoon.

All in all, it’s hard to PAEAN a Mon-puz. One way ORR the other.

rondo 11:50 AM  

@Anon 11:57 - ever consider it might have something to do with the vowel-consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel of his name? I'm no xword constructor, but words like OBAMA are golden.

spacecraft 7:27 PM  

What did I say THIS time that got me censored?????

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