Smelting residue / MON 7-6-15 / Nairobi resident / Drawings that deceive / Human/ape "missing link" found in Indonesia in 1891

Monday, July 6, 2015

MOVE ASIDE, Rex Parker! There's a new crossword solver in town...nah, it's just an Annabel Monday again.

Constructor: Lynn Lempel 

Relative Difficulty: Easy

THEME: Bric A Brac— Theme answers are either a three-word phrase containing the word "A" or a common two-word phrase where the second word starts with "A," depending on how you look at 'em.


  • WALKAROUND (17A: Decline to use the golf cart?)
  • PLANAHEAD (25A: Design the lav?)
  • TAKEAPART (36A: Accept one of the acting roles?)
  • MOVEASIDE (51A: Pass the coleslaw or potato salad?)
  • KNOCKABOUT (60A: Pan the boxing match?)

Word of the Day: JAVA MAN (41D: Human/ape "missing link" found in Indonesia in 1891) —

Java Man (Homo erectus erectus) is the popular name given to early human fossils discovered on the island of Java (Indonesia) in 1891 and 1892. Led by Eugène Dubois, the excavation team uncovered a tooth, askullcap, and a thighbone at Trinil on the banks of the Solo River in East Java. Arguing that the fossils represented the "missing link" between apes and humans, Dubois gave the species the scientific name Anthropopithecus erectus, then later renamed it Pithecanthropus erectus.

The fossil aroused much controversy. Less than ten years after 1891, almost eighty books or articles had been published on Dubois's finds. Despite Dubois' argument, few accepted that Java Man was a transitional form between apes and humans.[1] Some dismissed the fossils as apes and others asmodern humans, whereas many scientists considered Java Man as a primitive side branch of evolution not related to modern humans at all. In the 1930s Dubois made the claim that Pithecanthropus was built like a "giant gibbon", a much misinterpreted attempt by Dubois to prove that it was the "missing link".

• • •

Alright, Rex, go on. You can CONFESS it. Your grumpy face muscles made the slightest twitch in the direction of a smile for the first Monday in years, and you tried to blame it on a random twitch but we know. We all know. You liiiiiiiiked this puzzle. Seriously, come on, it was great for a Monday. It had a clever enough theme, with good fill (OP ART, ERSE, RECTORY) and good clues ("Haste" was "Waste maker, proverbially"  and "Eve" was "The 'madam' in 'madam, I'm adam'"). And that TENT/SPENT on the bottom! Classic. I will say this: the bottom left corner was maybe a little bit hard. 39A (Wheedle) fit both COERCE and CAJOLE, 39D (Internet and cable giant) fit both COMCAST and VERIZON, 40D (John, James or Judas) fit both PROPHET and APOSTLE...yours truly had no IDEA what was going on. 

Theme was really clever, which is SO refreshing to see on a Monday. Who doesn't love wordplay? My personal fave was "move aside/move a side." Ooh, ooh, speaking of wordplay, I have a riddle:

If it's information you seek, come and see me.
If it's pairs of letters you need, I have consecutively three.
Who am I?

  • YAP (21A: Sound from a pound) — So we babysat a dog last week. His name is Zuko and he's about the size of a loaf of bread. Now I know teeny dogs are supposed to YAP all the time, but the only time Zuko would ever, ever bark was when he watched an animal video.  Specifically an animal video...he didn't care if there were humans on the TV, but when there were kitty or puppy antics onscreen, he'd wag his tail and jump up and down and yap at them like they could play with him. 

Then he yapped at a video of my uncle. 
  • ONION (29A: Pungent bulb) — 

  • TOAST (24A: "Here's to the happy couple!", e.g.) — Toast also means super tired, exhausted, whatever. It's 11:30 p.m. and I'm on a train back from New York City where Rex's BFF and I saw Fun Home (it was amazing and made me cry even harder than Les Mis and Rent). This train is making me veeeeery sleepy. I'm toast. Bye guys!


JFC 12:10 AM  

What, no mention of the women's World Cup win!?

Oh, @Rex, what will we do with you?

The puzzle was a nice Monday puzzle by a master constructor. If ACME were still visiting here, I have no doubt she would agree.

Ellen S 1:06 AM  

Okay, the US team winning the Women's World Cup is certainly more of an accomplishment than when we invaded Grenada and Reagan bragged that we were "back in the game" or something stupid like that. Now, finally, our national honor is reinstated.

Will that do?

I liked this puzzle a lot. No junk, clever theme, nice wordplay. And -- Annabel, nice writeup. Will you be able to continue when your college responsibilities take hold?

Stuart Ballin 1:34 AM  

Great fun and great comments.

Anoa Bob 2:05 AM  

A low black square (aka block) count of 32---36 to 38 is typical for themed puzzles---really opened up the grid for those triple-stack sevens in each corner. That coupled with a simple but solid and consistent theme makes this an exemplary early week puzz.

My go to YAP (21A) clue would be "Micronesian island with the world's largest bitcoins".

WillGH 2:08 AM  

I really liked the adieu/ado cross myself.

By the way, the header of the blog entry reads Sunday! Thought maybe I had another day of weekend coming up!

chefwen 2:26 AM  

@WillGH - Prpbably because Annabel wrote the blog on Sunday, cut the sweet girl a little slack.

Perfect puzzle for a new solver, easy, fast and a whole lot of fun. I smiled and/or chuckled at all theme answers esp. PLAN A HEAD. Very cute.

Thank you Lynn Lempel, reigning queen of Mondays along with ACME.

chefwen 2:56 AM  

Oops probably works a little better. iPad syndrome.

jae 3:05 AM  

Cute easy smooth Mon.  @chefwen, yes! Perfect for the beginning solver. Liked it.  

@Annabel - We have a new granddog.  A loaf of bread sized Maltipoo named Tuco.  Also doesn't yap much.

Anonymous 3:22 AM  

I don't think Judas was a prophet.

MDMA 5:08 AM  

Proceed at a fork in the road:
A nice smooth Monday with almost no bad short fill, just the usual suspects. Speaking of which, it's interesting to see Annabel's take on ERSE. I guess every OVERUSEd crosswordese "cliché" once seemed fresh and intriguing.

walkaround = a drunk, AWOL
sedated = deadest

MDMA 5:16 AM  

Riddle answer guess:
Bookkeeper = a sort of librarian?

John Child 5:25 AM  

Several of these theme answers are also standalone words.

KNOCKABOUT as a noun or adjective is slapstick, and can be a hobo (n) or knockabout clothes (adj). I have consulted a TAKEAPART Manual many times (but the phrase Googles terribly). And WALKAROUND, as per @MDMA.

None of that interfered at all with the fun of a quick, sweet, clean puzzle from the Queen of Mondays.

Overheard at Starbucks 5:42 AM  

What are you drinking there, sir?

Lewis 6:01 AM  

Annabel, I, the resident alphadoppeltotter, love your double-letter riddle.

Lynn did it again, created a sparkling Monday. It was a bit easy, I thought, even for a Monday, but still, as it flew, it was instilled with life. I can’t exactly pinpoint why. Maybe it’s the stacks in the corners, where five of the 12 answers are more than one word. Maybe it’s PASTE crossing HASTE, or TENT by SPENT. Maybe it’s finding answer combinations like TAI DYED. Maybe it's Monday cluing that doesn't insult the intelligence. Quite likely it’s mainly the simple, yet clever and smile-making theme. A zippy and crackling good time from one of the queens of Monday. Thank you, Ms. Lynn.

Lewis 6:03 AM  

Factoid: A law on the books in in Blue Hill, Nebraska states that no female wearing a "hat which would scare a timid person" can be seen eating ONIONs in public.

Quotoid: “I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he SPENT less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.” -- E. B. White

Charles Flaster 6:29 AM  

Liked this easy, cleverly themed puzzle.
Fav was PLAN A HEAD.
Great soccer game from a non-soccer watcher's point of view.
Thanks AT and LL.

Rex Porker 7:04 AM  

You know it's my day off when OPART and ERSE are labeled as "good fill" rather than "any constructor who puts this kind of dreck in their puzzle (any any editor who accepts it for publication) is lazy, slothful, and a bane to society, and should never be allowed to come within 70 feet of a crossword puzzle again. In fact, they should have a crossword-puzzle offender registry for people like this."
Today's review perfectly exemplifies why I should skip my write-ups on Mondays and Tuesdays (at least).

(Aside to the first commenter today: did you really think it was possible that this positive and upbeat review was written by me?!)

Anonymous 7:08 AM  


As I always do, I enjoyed your puzzle review. -don

PS You might want to change your write up header to be Monday (v Sunday(

Glimmerglass 7:12 AM  

Four goals in 16 minutes! Are you kidding me? You go, girls.

dk 7:15 AM  

🌕🌕🌕🌕 (4 mOOOOns)

Whimsical and tight. Everything a Monday should be. Great write up Annabel (seven sister to be).

Excellent start to the week.

Z 7:17 AM  

Easy, breezy, fun. This us an exemplar of Monday puzzles.

Billy C 7:18 AM  

@Chefwen --

"...Annabel ...the sweet girl..."

Yec-c-chh! Annabel is a (rising) Wellesley Woman! Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright (our only female Secretaries of State) wouldn't like your characterization.

Z 7:25 AM  

@Nancy late yesterday - Not even close, which was my point. Also, knowing any of that stuff won't help on a Saturday (well, maybe the Tolkien/Lewis stuff).

Apologies for the overflow from yesterday.

Mike D. 7:54 AM  

@Chefwen @3:05: You should seriously apologize for your condescending sexist bullshit. At the very least, it is creepy. But it is much, much worse than that.

mathguy 8:00 AM  

I'm up at 4:30 to watch Wimbledon. Rooting for the American sweetie-pie Madison Keyes. Lindsay Davenport is coaching her. She's only 20.

I hope that Serena doesn't beat Venus too badly.

I'm having trouble understanding why so many of us liked today's puzzle.

Aketi 8:01 AM  

@Anabelle, Thx for the riddle, the Zuko story, and the Shrek link.
Loved the puzzle.

@Z, you made me laugh yesterday when Google helped me figure out topic 2. Way to go on making it seem obscure, I'd probably snooze through topic 1, but I'm sure I'd learn something from you on topic 3.

Loren Muse Smith 8:04 AM  

Congrats Team USA! We thought we couldn’t figure out the indimidating tv/dish receiver situation here on the coast in Maine, but we turned it over to my 6th grade nephew, and he figured it out lickety split.

Annabel – nice write-up. I guess you have one more before you’re a full-blown college freshman. Enjoy your summer, man.

Wow. Lynn Lempel's puzzles never fail to make me think, "Oh my gosh. How simple. How cool." I adore me some reparsing, even if the results are a stretch, but WALK A ROUND, and TAKE A PART and MOVE A SIDE are out- in- the- wild imaginable. Can't you just hear the person who ends up being the Boss of the Pot Luck table (there's always one) telling Joyce to MOVE A SIDE to make room for Mary Ann's famous green bean casserole with the canned fried ONION topping?

@Anoa Bob - I agree about the four corner triple seven stacks. Nice.

CAJOLE is just a great word. Period. And LAIR feels dangerous to me. Bunch of snakes waiting in there.

I'm a shameless fan of anyone who even seems famous, and since I have a friend who's a newscaster at NPR, and since we're friends on Facebook, I realized I could friend request other famous people I hear on the radio and my request would show "one mutual friend" and make it seem like I'm all legit and not creepy. My goal is to be friends with Nina Totenberg and Silvia Poggioli, but this takes time, people. Anyway, I never do much on Facebook, but recently Jacki Lyden posted a comment about how silly it was that people were outraged that they had Kim Kardashian on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. I commented in the thread about how I can reconcile liking both Bravo TV and NPR.

And. She. "Liked." My. Comment. Look! A Like!

A fine Monday puzzle. Simple and elegant.

AliasZ 8:09 AM  

Wonderful, decisive World Cup win last night! Congrats, Team USA.

We have become accustomed to Lynn Lempel's funny and clean Monday puzzles, and this was no exception. You too, ACME. This one had the extra bonus of some crunch: CAJOLE, JAVA MAN, SIKHS, etc., and I am always happy to see Lucy LIU.

KNOCK AROUND, WALK ABOUT and step ASIDE are perhaps more common, but they work either way. I also thought RIGHT AWAY [Straighten the crooked path?], GETTING ACROSS [What Jesus was doing prior to his walk to Golgotha?], TOTAL AMOUNT [Demolish one of the hills?] and NEVER AGAIN [Lose-lose?] could have worked, as many others I would guess. If I come up with more, I'll let you know.

Glancing across (pun intended) the completed grid I found some readable neighbor entries -- possible tabloid headlines? -- such as:


I had great fun with this one, thanks Ms. Lempel.

Here is the King LAIR OVERUSE by Hector Berlioz.

Happy Monday all.

r.alphbunker 8:19 AM  

The puzzle had the same grid pattern as Allan E. Parrish April 30, 2007

There have been 2,676 three letter words used in the Shortz era. Here they are with ordered by frequency. YAP has been used 55 times and so has WOO.

NCA President 8:26 AM  

Easy peasy. Not even any real nits to pick.

Btw, are we happy the US women's team won the World Cup because they are Team USA? Do I have to root for them because they are ostensibly America's team? The nationalism of the World Cup is something I'm glad we don't regularly participate in, frankly. I don't follow soccer, much less women's soccer, and rejoicing over a win because they are American is a terrible reason to rejoice in a win. If you follow women's soccer every year and your team, the one you follow, wins the World Cup...good on you. If, however, you are happy because 'MURICA!, then ugh. Your association with "America's teams" is solely by virtue of the good fortune to have been born here.


joho 8:37 AM  

Yikes, @NCA. Congratulations to Team USA!!! Thrilling on many levels.

And so was this puzzle. OK, maybe not exactly thrilling like a hat trick in the first fifteen minutes of the game, but Lynn Lempel makes it look so easy while it is most definitely super difficult to come up with a theme this entertaining and then weave it so expertly and smoothly into a grid. Also mentioned by @Anoa Bob and @LMS, the triple stacks in the corners are not easily filled. You have done it again, Lynn! We expect perfection from you and you deliver over and over again!

Great write-up, Annabel ... I do hope you'll continue while at Wellesley.

Wonderful start to the week!

Anonymous 8:45 AM  

@ranter (above) --

Ok, I don't follow soccer, but when one watches a game of excellent athleticism, in which one has no proximate connection to one team, but is of the same nationality as its opponent .... then why, oh why, is it "... a terrible reason to rejoice in [my nation's team's] win?

You post a fair amount, with good content. But this one is simply off-the-wall!

quilter1 9:04 AM  

Loved it! The puzzle and the soccer win. I wasn't going to watch, but, as I cleaned up dinner dishes, bam, bam, bam, three goals right out of the box. I was hooked.
I must object to the clue for John, James and Judas. They were disciples, then John and James became apostles. Judas didn't live to be one. My only nit.
Enjoy your summer, Annabel

Aketi 9:08 AM  

@r.bunker, I successfully restrained the urge to figure out whether 55 is above or below the median in that list.

Ludyjynn 9:16 AM  

Beautifully executed theme and construction. A TOAST to you, LL and WS.

Let's not forget that it was gymnast Shannon Miller's incredible overall performance which enabled the U.S. team to be in the running for ANY medal in 1996. KERRI Strug botched the first vault before gutting her way to the victory. Shannon Miller won 16 medals
(World Championship and Olympic) between 1991 and 1996, making her the most decorated U.S. gymnast, male or female.

Mike D. 9:17 AM  

@Chefwen @3:05: You should seriously apologize for your condescending sexist bullshit. At the very least, it is creepy. But it is much, much worse than that.

Roo Monster 9:19 AM  

Hey All !
Very well constructed puz, man, it's really difficult to fill an open grid puz like this cleanly. Kudos Lynn! And then spare us the brain strain by using easy clues, awesome.

I parsed the theme as (word) A (word). Made more sense to me by the way the clues read. Had esSo for HESS first, cause esso is ubiquitous in puzs! Really no other hangups, well maybe CSA, wanted reb there first. If every puz was like this, I'd be an elite solver! :-)

Sundays puz, DNF cause of that Natickily NW corner. Ouch.


Rhino 9:20 AM  

@quilter1 - If an apostle is one who is 'Sent out', then you could argue that Judas was an apostle because he was sent out with the others in Luke 9. But I would agree, I think most people who care about this kind of thing would say that the disciples became apostles (or in Paul's case named himself as one) after Jesus' resurrection in the book of Acts.

I liked this puzzle a lot, but it went by so quick I didn't have time to savor it. It took me about 7 minutes to solve it. I would think those, like Rex, who solve these things in 3 minutes or so would barely notice the clues or answers at all.

Haiku Nerd 9:23 AM  


Hartley70 9:35 AM  

Are we seriously discussing whether it's appropriate to be excited over a US Women's Soccer Championship? Would we be having this discussion about Super Bowl fans? What do gymnasts have to do with this? @Annabel thank you, thank you for the music video this morning!!! "I wanna be SEDATED" is so so fleek.

Excellent Monday submission. Nothing unfair, but typing in SENTRA reminded me of the worst car we ever owned. It had red going for it (Tita) but drove like an empty tin can and suffered from a reappearing film on the windshield that no amount of scrubbing could permanently remove. I thought it was possessed. Driving in the rain after dark was like wearing a blindfold and running into traffic.

Andrew Heinegg 9:57 AM  

Uh, I am trying to figure out whether you are testing the bloggers or have forgotten about Condolezza Rove's tenure as Secretary of State under W.

chefbea 10:00 AM  

Hi everyone. Chefbea here. Haven't done a puzzle in a week. Going through withdrawal . Hope everyone had a good 4th. I'll check back later.

Nancy 10:04 AM  

I'm with @mathguy: puzzle much too easy. But it went so fast that at least it didn't keep me from the Venus v. Serena match, aired today at 8 a.m. As far as the puzzle goes, the high point so far is coming here after the match and

1)Reading Lewis's quotoid (very nice) and factoid (mind-blowingly interesting!) Where do you FIND these gems, Lewis?

2)Annabel's riddle, which I can't figure out, unless, of course, @MDMA is right. Is MDMA right, Annabel? I was thinking that the answer is some sort of Internet info site, with which I am unfamiliar.

3)@Hartley 70's feminist rant. You go, girl! Woman power! And while soccer is not my sport, how many of you saw today's Williams sisters' Wimbledon match? Now there's a prime example of woman power.

jberg 10:06 AM  

Nothing much to add, it's all been said. Fun puzzle, entertaining and witty writeup.

One of the fun things was that the theme answers were not strained -- they all used A- words that are very common. The other way to have gone (I'll leave it to @LMS to think of examples, because I can't) would be to use the crosswordese A-words that are dragged out to solve problems: agape, asea, aswim, etc.

Thanks, Annabel!

Alicia Stetson 10:08 AM  

@NCA pres said "Do I have to root for them because they are ostensibly America's team?"
The answer, of course (you idiot), is no. One of the great things about this country is that you can root for whomever you want, unlike some places where if you publicly criticize anything to do with the country you might be in big, big trouble.
Most people root for sports teams to which they have some connection--they grew up in the place ("by virtue of having been born there," as you said), their parents are from there, they live there now, they (or their relatives) went to school there, etc. This seems pretty normal to me. Sports are a lot less fun without any connection to a team.
The majority of the US women aren't getting paid ridiculous sums of money for what they do. They play for their love of the game. They don't change teams if someone offers them more money. None of them is a convicted criminal. They play in a place that arguably supports female athletes better than anywhere else in the world. They are role models for countless young female athletes. Their fans don't riot in the streets after a victory or a defeat.
So yes, to me it seems reasonable to revel in the victory of these young American athletes.

Nobody is forcing you to do so.

old timer 10:10 AM  

I don't think ERSE is currently used for any form of Gaelic. In Ireland, it is universally called "Irish" in the English language and "Gaelic" (gaeilge) in Gaelic. However, it *was* the usual term in Scotland for Scottish Gaelic -- the word means "Irish" -- and ERSE was abandoned only when Scottish Gaelic was deemed to be a separate language. There aren't many who speak it anymore, even out in the Hebrides. But plenty in the South of Scotland who speak Scots, the language of Robert Burns. Although Scots is unique form of the greater English language, the varieties spoken in working-class parts of Glasgow and Edinburgh are incomprehensible to most English or Americans -- but take heart, tourists, the version you'll hear in the Borders, or in lovely Stirling, is pretty easy to pick up.

Aren't that many daily Irish speakers either, but I was at a pub in Derry once where the barman was bilingual. "Have another pint" he said, "because a Donegal man is about due to come in". He was right, and it was fascinating to hear.

Good puzzle, great review, and yes, very very easy even for a Monday.

Tita 10:13 AM  

61D reminded me of a childhood obsession with rockets...I would do countdowns all the time, and after every "Blastoff", I would make the required blastoff noise. I would also draw countdowns everywhere - the number 10 at the top, and a charming Saturn V rocket with huge clouds of smoke at the bottom.
(No wonder that I aced the puzzle with the original 7 astronaut names as the theme...)

@NCAPres - you've never been afraid to speak your mind here, no matter how many slings and arrows you'll get. Kudos for mixing it up.
Aren't the professional men's football teams mixing nationalities? I know almost nothing about the sport, but I do know that Portugal, England, and Italy each have more than half their teammates from other countries. Is that happening with the women's teams?
(I always wonder about how on earth the Olympic games "bring countries together".)

Very fun Monday. Thanks Ms. Lempel.

Nancy 10:15 AM  

@Alicia Stetson -- We were typing at the same time, or I would have included your comment in the "high points" of today's puzzle. I really loved your paragraph, beginning: "The majority of these women..." How true and how beautifully said. You go, girl, too!

Malsdemare 10:21 AM  

@Alicia. That was beautifully said, tactful, reasonable, and TRUE. Thank you.

Anonymous 10:22 AM  

As good as it gets on a Monday!

Thanks to Lynn Lempel.

Billy C 10:23 AM  

@AndrewH --

Re: Condi Rice, Secretary of State ....

Whoops, you got me. I guess I was blocked in part by thinking about Annabel's Wellesley connection. Actually, I was a great Condi admirer, so more's the pity.

Also, @Annabel, in case you read this. You should know that there's an aspirational quality to that student Wendy Wellesley: she always does her problem sets and turns them in ahead of time, never needs to pull all-nighters, takes five classes a semester, and Is a star athlete. I've got no doubt that you'll be a great Wendy. ;-)

Tita 10:32 AM  

@old timer - interesting backstories on "ERSE". I can confirm your Derry experience - my in-laws are from Donegal - they speak "Lagganese" amongst themselves - basically incomprehensible to anyone outside of the Laggan.

@Alicia - you make good points comparing women's sports. As for the rest of your rant, were you going for irony?
America is great because you can root for any team? (That's not in the constitution, you know. Maybe we need the SCOTUS to rule on that one.)
And without being called an idiot for voicing opinions...

Oh wait - it's just like Donald Trump - you can indeed say anything you want, just doesn't mean I have to vote for you.

Andrew Heinegg 10:38 AM  

Sorry, Condolezza Rice, of course

Alicia Stetson 10:40 AM  

@Tita: NCA pres was not voicing an opinion when he asked "Do I have to root for them because they are ostensibly America's team?" He was asking a question to which the answer is "no," and yes, it was an idiotic question, not an opinion.

And I assume you are simply pretending to be ignorant (but I fear you are not pretending), but of course freedom of speech, and freedom of association (both of which you take advantage of [take for granted, even] when you root for a sports team) are indeed in the constitution.

Don't worry, I'm not running for office, and I have much better hair than The Donald.

Joseph Michael 10:50 AM  

Great Monday. Fun simple theme and solid fill. Got me thinking about other theme possibilities, such as:

First two hours in a funeral parlor - HALF A WAKE

Try reciting a poem - RISK A VERSE

Paint a hospital area yellowish brown - BRONZE A WARD

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

@Alicia ... "[American female athletes] play in a place that arguably support woman athletes better than any place in the world."

Thanks for this observation. When I was reading about the American women's victory, I was thinking that it seems that our women do much better in international athletic competition than our men and wondering why. It's more cultural here, I guess: parents here generally support their girls in sports as much as their boys, women's sports in college --albeit in part because of the push from Title IX -- are funded equally to the corresponding men's sports, etc. And to be a good athlete is not automatically considered to be "unfeminine."

Of course American female leadership wasn't always true. Back in the "bad old days" of the cold war, Soviet and Eastern European women -- heavily supported, and even raised by their respected states -- were pretty hard to beat.

Dread Pirate Roberts 10:54 AM  

Your big fat friend: A VAST YE MATEY

Andrew Heinegg 10:55 AM  

I play golf regularly with a fellow to whom I expressed an opinion in the form of a question to recently. I said that I just don't get Donald Trump. He is egotistical beyond belief, obnoxious and offers opinions that one would expect to hear from someone with a much lower I.q. and far less education. What is there to like about him?My golfing partner's response (as suggested by your blog entry) was that he admired Trump's lack of fear in speaking his mind, regardless of the consequences or reactions. Not that he is right in what he says, just that he says it;

Fast forward a few days later when Trump made his remarks about Mexicans and lo and behold, both my golfing partner and I are sure that our divergent opinions are spot on!

Anonymous 10:56 AM  

@Anon @ 10:52: Don't forget: the Eastern European women were also "supported" by a huge amount of anabolic steroids.

r.alphbunker 10:56 AM  


I couldn't resist:
average: 45.46
median: 24
mode:1 (348 times)

And while I'm at it, here are the Shortz era frequencies for the TLWs in todays puzzle.
ONE 392
ADO 306
EVE 254
AHA 240
TAI 118
RID 101
CSA 81
SGT 80
CDS 78
CON 75
YAP 55
FLA 54
LIU 43
UPC 30

Average: 136.21

My hypothesis is that the higher the average, the less offensive the TLWs will be to sensitive palates.
I will have to compute what Patrick Berry's average is.

I think TLWs are like glue on a stamp. It is nice if the glue tastes good and doesn't poison you when you lick it but more important is the front of the stamp because it gets the letter to its destination.

Continuing from yesterday. Why not require that people solve puzzles online? If their solve time is significantly below their average time (adjusted for the crowd average) it suggests they are having an off day and their car won't start to keep them off the roads.

Anonymous 10:57 AM  

Oops, "...RESPECTIVE states..."

Darned spell-"checker!"

Anonymous 11:01 AM  


And some of these Eastern European "women" had trouble passing DNA tests.

Bob Kerfuffle 11:05 AM  

FWIW, sorta connected to today's discussion:

While I was on vacation, one of the previously downloaded puzzles I did was a 3/7/11 BEQ, Themeless Monday (#107 in a series), which included the following clue and answer:

"Supports the team, no matter who's on it" -- ROOTS FOR LAUNDRY

Carola 11:37 AM  

The pleasure started with seeing Lynn Lempel's name at the top. Beyond that, I'll defer to @Lewis 6:01.
I'LL PASS is cute with MOVE A SIDE. Funny sort of visual echo with OPART and APART.

Moly Shu 11:37 AM  

@AliciaStetson - "none of them is a convicted criminal" not sure why that is important, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. I'm looking at you Hope Solo. And if she does get convicted, should I root for the USWNT any less??
The puzzle- liked it
The write up- liked it, especially The Ramones. Hi @Hartley70

NCA President 11:58 AM  

@Alica Stetson: I think my point was more about nationalism than it was about women in America. And, yes, it was an opinion. Feel free to disagree...this is America afte rall.

As for calling my opinion "idiotic," fair enough. I do the same with my fellow Republican/Christian Americans. I guess what goes around comes around. Not that I hardly care what your opinion of my opinion is...I don't even know you, nor you, me.


And please to the gods, don't tell me if I don't like America I can always leave. Just. Don't.

mathguy 12:05 PM  

@r.alphbunker: Thanks for the data. Seeing all the three-letter words was like going to a high-school reunion.

mac 12:07 PM  

As usual, excellent Lynn Lempel puzzle and very good write-up by Annabel.

mac 12:09 PM  

Quoting Chris Christie: "Four of the goals were by women from ' Jersey.

Kim Jong-un 12:30 PM  

@NCA President,

Would you like to become my Deputy Propaganda Minister? We have a special place prepared for you in beautiful Pyongyang. Your Beloved Leader awaits.

Z 1:23 PM  

@NCA Prez - channelling a little Kurt Vonnegut are we?

@A.S. - You lost me at "idiot." Anything you wrote after was just wasted electrons. The best thing about freedom of speech is the freedom not to listen to people who can't disagree agreeably.

@Aketi - I picked #2 specifically because LOTR sometimes gets short shrift in these parts. It's easy to forget that these "kids lit" works really do fit into a specific cultural milieu. The first is my favorite Ed leadership writer, the last a bunch of lingo from my favorite game.

Top Three Things Besides Winning Yesterday's Championship Game
3. No fake writhing after hard tackles.
2. Twitter quote, "Mom, can boys play soccer, too?"
1. The team from Japan, playing in what was essentially a Team USA home game, refusing to give up and coming back to 2-4. I have the highest respect for a team that plays to the final whistle.

Glimmerglass 1:24 PM  

The charges against Hope Solo (two counts of domestic abuse) were dropped.

Alicia Stetson 1:44 PM  

@Molly @ 11:37: Hope Solo was cleared of all charges. Or in your country are people guilty until proven innocent?

Alicia Stetson 1:50 PM  

And @ Molly @ 11:37: I guess I have to spell it out for you: the reason it's important is that it makes US women's soccer different from most of the professional and collegiate level league sports that men play.

Anonymous 2:22 PM  


Re : "Hope Solo was cleared of all charges."

Not exactly. The judge dismissed the domestic violence assault charges on procedural grounds last January. The prosecution has appealed that ruling, and this will be the subject of hearing next week.

Apparently the two other people involved in the alleged violent episode, Solo's stepsister and nephew, have refused to be deposed by the prosecution, so probably the only evidence will be offered by the responders at the scene. It would seem unlikely that this will be enough to prove the charges without confirming testimony from Solo's relatives.

So yes, Solo is legally innocent, and likely to stay that way. But the court of public opinion has access to other information, and does not necessarily accept the legal standard of "guilty beyond all reasonable doubt," nor should it.

Anonymous 2:48 PM  

Yes anon @2:22. I'm sure you know what really happened. Let's lynch her because of the judgment of "the court of public opinion."

Aketi 2:48 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aketi 2:54 PM  

@r.alohbunker & M&A, couldn't help myself and I won't vouch for my accuracy, but I counted 298 TLWs that contained at least one U of the first list or 10.8% if the words on that list. I didn't weight the percentage by frequency of use.

Who knew that women's soccer could create such a KERFUFFLE.
@Z, loved your Twitter Quote.
@Hartley70, I am glad that women are now encouraged to become athletes in a much wider range of sports than the gymnastics and figure skating that seemed to be considered the only acceptable and watchable sports in my youth. I know we still have a long way to go but I delight in the fact that the instructor the girls who prance into the dojo wearing their sparkly pink tutus straight from ballet class swap them out for their Gis and then squeeze the instructor's neck just as effectively and aggressively as any of the boys. Clearly no one informed them that they can't do both, It's not that unusual for the boys to take dance classes either.

I for one hate the concept that women must somehow be placed on the pedestal or have the pressure of having to be morally superior to men in order to be fully considered a woman or a representative of her sport.

Anonymous 3:08 PM  

@Anon2:48 --

"Let's lynch her because of the judgement oh the court of public opinion."

Sheesh, Anon, aren't you going a bit overboard, suggesting that some of the posters want her "lynched," even figuratively?

The available information suggests a high liklihood -- to a standard of "more likely than not," but not to one of "beyond all reasonable doubt," that a Solo committed a violent assault. "Assault" here does not necessarily mean life-threatening or even significant injuries were inflicted; just that there was a physical aggression committed.

This suggests to me, and, I submit to the court of public opinion as well, that Solo has temper issues, is physically intimidating and uses this against others. The mitigating (and ironic) factor, of course, is that her nephew is something like 6 1/2 feet tall and 240 pounds.

Anyway, the public has access to accounts of what allegedly happened, and will form opinions from these. IMO, these opinions, on balance, will be that, more likely than not, Solo assaulted her relatives. If you want to deem that a "lynching" so be it.

Moly Shu 3:09 PM  

@AliceStetson, as has been mentioned, she has not been cleared of all charges. And, for your information, in my country, both men and women commit crimes. 'Murica !!!!
Thx @NCAprez. Like @Tita, I may not agree with you but I applaud your tenacity and always read your posts with interest.

Lewis 3:14 PM  

@Z 1:23 -- Excellent post!

Anonymous 3:14 PM  

Anon@ 3:08, you are the judge and the jury. People life you scare the crap out of me.

Anon3:08 3:26 PM  

@Anon3:14 --

Yep, I --and many/most other people who have followed this episode in the media -- and who have formed personal opinions in the matter -- are judge and jury in the "court of public opinion." But to be clear, if I were to sit on a jury on a trial is Ms. Solo, with only the information I currently have (short of credible first-hand sworn testimony and other confirming evidence), my vote would have to be "not guilty," as a legal matter. That does not mean, however, that I believe here innocent.

I guess you think that whenever people have opinions that they are dangerous,mand therefore "scare the crap out of [you]." To that, I say: "Get a life, @Anon3:14."

Anonymous 3:59 PM  

@r.alphbunker, why are your frequency counts different than the ones I see when I click the Analyze button while viewing the grid on XWord Info?

Masked and Anonymous 4:11 PM  

fave moo-cow MonPuz eazye clue: {One of 24 in a day} = HOUR. This one really handcuffs the would-be wrong-answer giver. Lynn credits that clue to the Shortzmeister.

Luv the theme. Clever yet friendly. Coulda maybe found room for SQUASHAROMA, but otherwise, perfecto. Oh, … and TICKETAGENT. And AMUSTTOAVOID.

Could almost do this theme in reverse:
* EXACTATOLL = {Precisely-formed ring in the ocean??}
* HOLDINGALIEN = {Intergalactic football penalty committer??}
* RATRUNSAMAZE = {Scientists are astonished by a rodent's diarrhea??} (personal fave)
But, I digress…

fave weeject: UPC = {High note, for short??} Just finished workin on an old NYPuz from the 70s; had the wonderful {Tale: Abbr.} = STO. Man, they really held desperation in high regard, back in the good old days… Also sported YEASTED and BORONS, in the same grid! har! Hold m&e down. But, I redigress…

5 U's and 5 themers and 4 great 7-stacks. Rodeo. Thanx, Ms. Lempel.

Yo, @Blu'Bel. Keep those primo write-ups + bullets a-comin.


r.alphbunker 5:32 PM  

@Anonymous 3:59PM

Interesting. The Shortz era started on Nov 21, 1993. My database includes all the puzzles from 1993 so I modified the program to check for Shortz as the editor and now my results correlate very closely with those at xwordinfo. Here are the new results

ONE 379
ADO 294
EVE 244
AHA 232
TAI 116
RID 95
SGT 80
CSA 78
CDS 78
CON 73
FLA 52
YAP 52
LIU 42
UPC 30
average: 45.53
median: DIT 26
mode 1 (freq 273)

And I have updated TLW frequencies.

Thanks for pointing this out.

chefwen 5:55 PM  

@Billy C and Mike D. Anyone who reads Annabel's write ups knows she is sweet and kind. How is that condescending and sexist? If someone said that to me I would say "thank you"

Teedmn 6:20 PM  

Great puzzle, fun themers and easy (tied record Monday speed) yet good clues and answers. Thanks, LL and Annabel.

I'm just sitting here feeling sorry for myself, like I should be IN BED or SEDATED. I was PASTEd on the left cheek by a bee and I feel quite KNOCKed ABOUT. My smoke bush in the front yard was laden with raindrops, almost touching the ground, so I took a broom and started shaking the water off. The bee could have just asked me to MOVE ASIDE, but no. I CONFESS to letting out a loud YAP when I felt the sting. I now have a face A LA MODE, though just ice, no cream. Perhaps I can use my nice swelling as an excuse to RUN LATE tomorrow at work. It's not an excuse ONE is likely to OVERUSE!! :-(

evil doug 6:44 PM  

@teedmn: I'd like to laden your smoke bush with dew drops.


evil doug 6:51 PM  

I wouldn't.

Billy C 8:00 PM  

@chefwen --

Re: Your post, referring to Annabel, an 18-year old young woman whose focus and hard work has gained for her gained admission to one of the most selective colleges in the country:

"Cut the sweet girl some slack."

You ask how that is condescending (my word) and sexist (Mike D.'s)? Hm-m-m-mmm.... ;-)

Sometimes anonymous is a woman 8:19 PM  

@chefwen -- of course your lovely remark was neither condescending nor sexist. Any woman would know that. Most of the evolved men here, and there are a great many of them, would know that, too. Unfortunately, Billy C. doesn't seem all that evolved and Mike D. just seems gratuitously nasty. Anabel is bound to love your comment and all of us here on this blog love you.

Anonymous 8:23 PM  

VERY presumptuous to say you speak for everyone on this blog. For the record: it was a sexist comment and I do not love you @chefwen.

Anonymous 8:26 PM  

@chefwen - it was not condescending nor sexist. Many people on the internet experience great levels of satisfaction by being smugly self-righteous on the internet.

Anonymous 8:28 PM  

Billy C. and Mike D. are what are commonly known on the internet as 'white knights'. They are creepy men who swoop down to 'save' women from sexism. It's weird and gross.

BTW, as I don't know you @chefwen, I do not love you.

Leapfinger 8:51 PM  

A Lempel is a lovesome thing, God wot.
ADIEU falls gentle in the EVEning HOUR
And SUDANly the primEROSe is BEWITCHed.

And not a SIKH puppy in vieu, even though something DYED at the very end.

Aside from all the good things people have already mentioned, noticing arrangements like BADIEU showed me that there were quite a few 'drop-down' constructions in the grid, to yield words like BELLA, WIMPELS, STENT and the subatomic PION. There's also the new field of COP ART, a form of therapy for the Boys in Blue which may function to reduce the unfortunate instances of violence evident of late. Looking at the grid like that also led me to anticipate a link to Die FLADERmaus today, but I guess I DICED that too finely.

As @aketi said, there's some big-time kerfuffling making the rounds. @NCAPres -- Martin Buber, some Princeton history prof and I could offer some heavy-duty back-up for you, if only you weren't so dead-set against puns. Not, of course, that I think you need back-up. It's just that opinions stand taller with facts behind them.

Play nice, now; tomorrow's coming.

Oh, and @mathguy, I liked your HS reunion analogy.

Zeke 9:35 PM  

Alicia Stetson wins the day. Great comments.

kitshef 10:39 PM  

Third word in and I hit ILLPASS and am so convinced this will be a terrible puzzle I consider not bothering. Soooo glad I continued. This was all that a Monday puzzle should be. It turned out that ILLPASS was the only one of the 12 seven-letter corner downs that was spit-worthy. The rest ranged from good to great, and the themers were very nice.

Tita 10:54 PM  

@r.alph - lol - let's hope that the crossword community doesn't constitute big-enough data to make that particular Orwellian twist come true.
Besides - the algorithms would have to correlate each solver's relationship with each constructor.

Hmmm....makes me wonder if SanFranMan was actually on a mission from Aetna to do just what you've described!!

Unanymous 10:55 PM  

@Zeke, did someone announce a contest? Say hey, must have missed that.

Dixie Belle 11:14 PM  

It seems nobody felt they needed to Raise the Roof over CSA, even with the Rev Pinkney lying in state near the still high-flying flag ofthe Confederasy. Guess the Court of Public Oponion has bigger fish to fry.

chefwen 12:12 AM  

@Anon 8:28 If you did, you would. I cook like a dream..

JRickness 8:01 AM  

@chefwen --

I'm quite a bit older, but even I would have been disappointed to be referred to as a "girl" when I was entering college. I'd guess that today's young women would be even more so. Just my guess...

old timer 1:33 PM  

Wendy Wellesley, the stereotypic Wellesley girl, of course insists on being called a "Wellesley woman". She also, stereotypically, has more than one little black dress, and the pearls to wear with them.

The truth is this: The professors and administrators will say you are women at an all-women's college. The boys at Harvard and MIT will talk about Wellesley "girls" the same way they would call any female their own age a "girl". Wellesley women have boyfriends; if what they have is a "male friend" the relationship is platonic. In turn, the women may be someone's "girlfriend"

Me, I'll call Annabel whatever she wants to be called, and go on to say that she is a wonderful person and a breath of fresh air in this little world of solvers. I am tempted to add the dread ATTA to the word GIRL, but I'll refrain.

spacecraft 11:06 AM  

@Ludy: Not at all to TAKEAPART Miller's performance (and, by the way, that of the entire team), but to emphasize it while reminding us of Strug's earlier miss seems to discount what to me is one of the most courageous moments in sports history. This young lady STUCK a landing on a BROKEN ankle. And yes, that vault DID clinch the gold. You want to downplay that...YOU try it.

I liked this one, but have to say the theme vis-a-vis the clues presents an awkward problem. Since the indefinite article "a" is part of all the answers, it has to be avoided in the clues, so we have to substitute "the" definite one--which makes for some strange reading.

There are some nice moments in those seven-stacks, and the fill looks more polished than usual. Let's say B-.

rondo 11:39 AM  

A few minutes well SPENT on today’s Mon-puz. It was decent enough that I didn’t care about the OVERUSE of the 3 letter answers, which I often do. Mondays will never be RID of ‘em I s’pose.

Interesting cross of ADO/ADIEU – saying goodbye during a melee?

In another cross in this puz, HASTE makes PASTE. Can’t make it up.

Too bad The ONION is no longer in print format on PAPER. I don’t have an EREADER anyway, but it just doesn’t come to my mind to look for it online.

The omnipresent Lucy LIU is always a yeah baby in my book. Like to spend an HOUR or EVE with that BEWITCHing lady.

There have been many LESSER Monday puzzles, we’ll see what’s in STORE tomorrow.

Cathy 6:00 PM  

I liked this. Thought the theme answers were cute.

@Rondo- Did you ever see the movie "The ONION"? Pretty funny scene where everyone goes to one place to smoke.

Looks like the Spelllcasters got through today. Really, who would ever call?

On to tommarrow

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