Golf ball propper-upper / MON 8-10-15 / Many countertop / 1980s hand-held puzzle craze

Monday, August 10, 2015

Constructor: C.W. Stewart

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: "SAY CHEESE!" (58A: "Smile!" ... or a hint to the ends of the answers to the five starred clues) — last words of theme answers are denominations of cheese

Theme answers:
  • 17A: *Club used in a bunker (SAND WEDGE)
  • 32A: *1980s hand-held puzzle craze (RUBIK'S CUBE)
  • 41A: *Many a countertop) (MARBLE SLAB)
  • 3D: *Inability to recall something (MENTAL BLOCK)
  • 26D: *Riverboat propeller (PADDLE WHEEL) 
Word of the Day: ALB (30A: Priest's robe) —
noun: alb; plural noun: albs
  1. a white vestment worn by clergy and servers in some Christian Churches. (google)
• • •
I solved this puzzle in the lobby of the Carlton Hotel on Madison Avenue with Doug Peterson, Brad Wilber, Angela Halsted (aka "PuzzleGirl") and my wife, Penelope. I sat here and read the Across clues out in order (not a way I would ever solve the puzzle on my own). There was only one answer we got wrong—FACES (which we had, predictably, as SIDES) (55A: What 32-Across has six of). I don't think I would've opted for the cross-reference there. But nevermind that. I predicted what the revealer of this puzzle would be after just two theme answers were completed. We were none of us sure that a SLAB was a valid unit of cheese, but then Brad remembered the lyrics of this song, which validated SLAB (as well as "hunk," "slice," and "chunk," none of which appear in this puzzle).

[What is Timer? He's like this mincing ... cheese ... thing ... in the wild west???]
[Doug and Brad and I can sing this jingle verbatim]

So one good thing we have to say about this puzzle is the theme density is pretty impressive, and running two valid theme answers Down through two others is no mean feat. Doug just asked me if we're calling C.W. Stewart (the constructor) "C-Dubs." I said sure, why not. C-Dubs it is. Anyway, C-Dubs really themes it up. There's some cool little colloquial phrases here and there, but most of the fill is quite ordinary and (more distressingly) clued in a painfully straightforward way. It's possible to write easy clues that also have a certain degree of freshness. These clues don't. Mostly. Having spent the weekend with exquisite puzzles of all difficulty levels, I'm a little spoiled. But still, it's an important point—there's no reason a Monday-easy puzzle can't have interesting, clever, vibrant, or otherwise unstale clues. Our favorite clue was probably 16A: Like some screws and translations (LOOSE) (Brad especially likes this clue best because he was the first / only person to get it). Also, there's nothing in this puzzle you couldn't have seen in a puzzle 30 years ago. The Alan ALDA clue is the only thing that places this puzzle in the 21st century.

Brad says that the only Oscar nomination received by Alan ALDA was for "The Aviator," so there's some trivia for you. Brad also gave side-eye to the BEEB clue (31D: British network, with "the") that made no mention of "familiarly" or "slang" or anything like that. There's not much else to say here. It took everyone a while to guess what the first part of the "WHEEL" answer was because they all wanted FERRIS (keep in mind they couldn't see the grid when I was asking what they thought it was). Doug is now trying to convince us that he would call cheese cubes "cheese dice." I'm not sure where to go from there. So good night.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. here's a nice little write-up of this past Saturday's Lollapuzzoola crossword tournament by Oliver Roeder, a writer for

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


chefwen 12:19 AM  

What Cheesehead would't love this puzzle, I know this transplanted Cheeser did.

As I know much about this subject my first entry was at 3D started with MEmory Lapse which morphed into Mental Lapse which then morphed into MENTAL BLOCK, thank you SAND WEDGE and Mr. RUBIK. Third time's a charm. Only other write-over was sides before FACES, I'll bet @Rex and I are not alone on that one.

Good start to the week.

Steve J 12:19 AM  

Nice, albeit really quick, Monday puzzle. Theme was well-done for its type, although I wish all of the terms would have actually worked as CHEESE ____ (I can't recall ever hearing/seeing "cheese slab" in the wild; "slab of cheese," however ...). That one stuck out a little bit.

Fill was nice and clean, which is always welcome, especially with this kind of theme density.

I also found it odd that there was no indication of informality or slanginess in the clue for the BEEB.

jae 12:31 AM  

Medium- tough for me but a cocktail or two may have contributed.  

bog before FEN but I never checked the crosses.

Seemed about average for a Mon.  Wasn't sure about SLAB either.


Mostly liked it. 

Fromage 12:31 AM  

Regarding "bought the farm" from yesterday: there doesn't seem to be any agreement on the meaning or origin of the phrase. This is a fairly reliable source:

Music man 12:46 AM  

Yeah found it very straightforward as well. Enjoyed the theme, though I did wish slice made it in, oh well. I put in ACME right away, one day APEX will make it's return and add a few seconds to my time. Seriously though, where is APEX? ACME is right down the road. It's where I get all of my food, and some of my stuff.

Hoyt Wilhelm 12:57 AM  

come on, everybody, let's cheer for the puzzle!

i liked the assorted food (aside from the delicious cheese). PATE, DIBS (ice cream treat), SKIRT (steak), PIE, EGGS, CRABS, and SANDWEDGE sounds like sandwich.

first speed solve in like two years, and 3:16. so i'm ready for the pros.

Leapfinger 5:47 AM  

'The BEEB' was slang in the UK 30 years ago. No longer.

Frankly, until the revealer, I thought the theme was Shapely rather than CHEESy, so I spose I really dropped a brie.que. Will try to atone with a MELTed CHEESE SANDWEDGE, or perhaps with a CROC Monsieur. Mmm, Raclette! ISLE ODIE on that any day.

Don't mind having another run at the PATE or the NABOB or even the 'liturgical vestments', but I'm not enthused about the return of the HAGS, especially unappreciated on a day my personal chronometer ticks up another notch. I'm already apprehensive about how quickly I came up with MENTAL BLOCK.

Put me on the SIDE that didn't FACE it right away, and loved having screws and translations LOOSE. Of course, I WHISK EGGS much more often than Brooms.

Delightful Monday, CWS. Thanks to you, I want to be a Waffle Fund Manager when I grow up.

Lewis 6:26 AM  

I like RUBIKS CUBE near NOHOPE, and MENTAL BLOCK, which crosses RUBIKS CUBE, would actually be a good definition for it. I like the mini theme of words with EE, of which there are six, and I like the answers WHOSWHO, WHISK, DOTELL (I love how Jon Stewart would say this), and MENTALBLOCK. I also like the symmetrically placed PEER and PEEN. Aside from ALB and WRYER, it's in the language, and while there are no current references, it doesn't feel dated. Good one! A fine brain wakeup for the week ahead!

Lewis 6:30 AM  

Factoid: Medieval Scottish soldiers fought wearing bright yellow war shirts dyed in horse urine rather than the tartan plaid kilts depicted in the film Braveheart. The fighting depicted in the movie took place in the 1300s, while the male SKIRTS made their first appearances in Scotland in the 1600s.

Quotoid: “If you wish to make an apple PIE from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” -- Carl Sagan

evil doug 6:31 AM  

George (referring to the fortuitous death of his annoying fiance, Susan, interrupted by her parents expecting him to serve on her memorial foundation): "I was free and clear. I was living the dream. I was stripped to the waist eating a block of cheese the size of a car battery."

Jerry: "Before we go any further, I'd just like to point out how disturbing it is that you equate eating a block of cheese with some sort of bachelor paradise."

Unknown 6:55 AM  

What was missing from the BEEB clue was also missing from the CROC clue.

For the theme, I was really expecting there to be a SLICE.

elitza 7:02 AM  

Weird to see ALB (used in a Sunday clue) and PATE (used in Sunday's puzzle) again.

Peak? No. Apex? Apparently not. ACME? I guess so!

Add one more to the sides/FACES list.

Loren Muse Smith 7:24 AM  

Another fun write-up, Rex. @Steve – good point about wanting them to work as CHEESE _______. But I'm still fine with the themers. The only other CHEESE word I figured was missing was "slice." I agree with Brad that "hunk" and "chunk” would work as ways to dispense cheese. I’ll add "stick." (And when I'm alone in the kitchen, "sneaky-little-bite-and-then-smooth-over-the-teeth-marks" – I'm the only one who eats the Limburger anyway.)

I didn't notice the lack of a slang heads-up on BEEB; I just felt so cultured and smart that I got it right away. I don't listen to it much – too much silly monkeying around and nonsense for my taste.

My favorite clue was the one for LOOSE, too. I love it when the clue has two words that go with the entry, but the words are jarringly different. “Like some faces and feces” FLUSHED

I had a dnf because I spelled RUBIKS “Rubits” and thought I had found yet another word I've been saying wrong for decades: WHIST. I was perfectly willing to accept that it is a whist broom that you use to vamoose the dried little Limburger evidence from in front of the fridge.

Chefwen – I had MENTAL lapse, so at least I was halfway there. I bet we're not alone on that "lapse."

MENTAL BLOCK – if you've ever gone through a phase where you couldn't access language the way you’re used to, you know it's a terrible feeling. I don't know what happened, but for several months when I was an event planner, I had a great deal of trouble remembering everyday words like 'lightbulb" and "pillow” as well as trouble just putting together sentences. It's a weird, distressing feeling.

This was very easy for me, too, with my only hiccough being HEDGE, and I slapped myself because just yesterday my husband and I were talking about putting in a hedge as a kind of divider, and the minute he said the word, my mind was derailed (I saw H-EDGE) - and all I could imagine were phrases like HOLE PUNCH, HAM SANDWICH, HAWAIIAN PUNCH, HORSE RADISH, HENS TEETH. And yet I couldn’t see the word this morning. Heesh. (Hey! I didn't think of WEDGE: WHEEL BARROW, WEEPING WILLOW, WHADDYA KNOW…) And I might as well add here that I say "whew" and not PHEW.

I’m with @chefwen – any cheese theme is ok by me. I could eat my weight in the stuff.

AliasZ 7:30 AM  

Carolyn Stewart gave us a tasty, cheesy puzzle. Never mind a wedge of cheese, block of cheese, slab of cheese, etc., we also have the WHO'S WHO of cheese, HOCKS of cheese, cheese CLOTHE, CEASE cheese, CHEAP cheese, and the Limburger PHEW cheese. My cheese withdrawal symptoms include severe DTS, and my cat PURRS for cheese. DIBS on that cheese PIE!

"Your Honor, I PLEAD cheesy."

Although I heard many cheesy OPERAs, I'd love to see the OPERA "The Love for Three Cheeses" broadcast live on the BEEB from the town of NO HOPE, Pa. [It seems the conductor in this clip had more than his share of cheese]

I like how the NYT is becoming classier of late by upgrading from oleo to PÂTÉ.

"LOOSE lips sink cheese."

Thanks Carolyn for all the cheese and the smiles. May we all be of good cheese this Monday.

joho 7:58 AM  

I'll have a slice of lapse, please! The only MENTALBLOCK I had was at MENTALBLOCK. (Hi, @chefwen!)

Other than this brief hiccup this densely themed puzzle went down quickly like a smoothly aged (insert CHEESE of your choice) and definitely brought a smile.

As did your group write-up, @Rex, another fun take on the puzzle from you.

I liked the HEDGE/WEDGE cross.

Thank you, C.W,!

dk 8:18 AM  

🌕🌕 (2 mOOns)

Any puzzle that starts with ACME... well enough about that.

A cheesy puzzle and I like cheese. Fell for the FACES side misdirection.

As a sometimes photog of faces I ask one to say whisky. Produces a demur smile IMHO.

Thank you George for arranging the Mpls. gathering of puzzleheads. I learned about mysterys, rose gardens and all things puzzles while sitting between Marsha Marsha Marsha and Andrea. Clearly a thorn amongst....,

jberg 8:20 AM  

I was saved from SIDES at 55A by already having SEASIDE, which I learned here was not permissible. Otherwise my only troubles were deciding between apex and ACME (which of course I wanted!), and by WRiER (which is the correct form, according to

@Leapfinger, Happy Birthday! I, too, was going for geometric shapes until I got WHEEL (I'd wondered after getting SLAB, but was ready to accept that.)

@fromage, first time I ever saw "bought the farm" was in Robert Heinlein's novel "Starship Trooper." At the time, I thought he had invented it as future military slang -- but I was 14 then, so probably just hadn't heard it.

Nice start to the work week!

RAD2626 8:31 AM  

Had my own theme today: ___ Before____. In addition to sides before FACES, I had the whole top row: Apex before ACME, wHEW before PHEW, tight before CHEAP. Then tried swaTHE before CLOTHE and RUBIc before RUBIK and on and on. Must have been a biorhythm thing. Also guessed at BEEB/ADZE which is ego-deflating for a Monday. Nice puzzle with great interlocking theme answers.

Name that tune 8:43 AM  

This was a Monday New York Times crossword puzzle. Therefore it was easy. Why I continue to hope for otherwise is beyond me.

Name that tune 8:49 AM  

"How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?"
--Charles de Gaulle

Dorothy Biggs 8:51 AM  

Props to "C-Dubs" for not only an interesting take on cheese but the way those themers interlock. First, I don't think I ever thought about the thousands of ways we refer, colloquially, to cheese. And as a minor nit, "slice" is probably the most well-known and so the most conspicuously absent. Second, choosing to interlock must have definitely restricted things. I imagine her having all of the available names of cheese shapes, a grid, and a seed revealer, "SAYCHEESE." I shudder to think of the amount of erasing it must have taken to get to where we are today.

But since I don't often use puzzle themes and construction as a factor in whether I liked the puzzle or not, I'll say that I liked the puzzle but for different reasons. There was no groaning at terrible puns, the cluing, though easy, was not out of the ordinary for a Monday, and the answers were, on the whole, above average. And by "above average" I mean that, on a scale of rare to ubiquitous, most of the answers fell in the middle of that scale. There were no really unusual answers but there weren't a lot of really common ones either.

Sure, you got your ODIE, EST, DTS, etc. And there are some oldies: ADZE, FEN, EON, APSES, etc. But there doesn't appear to be any desperation answers (Roman numerals, tic-tac-toe refs, alphabet strings, rapper names) that we've come to expect in a Monday puzzle.

Well done and not a bad start to the week.

chefbea 9:14 AM  

fun easy Monday puzzle. Of course loved all the food related clues. I could live on cheese...don't think there is any I don't like....Haven't had Limburger in a while!!

Hartley70 9:33 AM  

Well, if I'm correct, Happy Birthday Leapy!

Thanks for the Lollapuzzola 8 link, Rex and for sharing your solving experience today. It was a fun write-up. I'm hoping to hear a bit more from the attendees who post here, perhaps those on a "local" whose ride is interrupted a few times by unexplained stops when the lights go out briefly.

This one was smooth as Velveeta with the exception of sides for FACES, an extremely quick fix. I didn't see the theme until the reveal which was nice. A theme dense Monday is a nice job. Thanks, C-Dubs (?)! Down themes are most appreciated.

'mericans in Paris 9:45 AM  

Nice, easy puzzle, but did get bogged down in the FEN of the south west: like OFL, I had first entered sidES instead of FACES. Last to fall was the Texas area. To me, WRY doesn't mean twisted, but perhaps I should look that one up.

Liked Rex's write-up, but it saddens me that he would take a fluid phrase like "first and only" (or "first & only" if you want to save on typing) and turn it into the choppy "first / only". Yuck, just yuck.

Clearly C.W. Stewart knows something about the game of golf. So that inspired me to compose the following:

A golfer's tale

My favourite golf course? I can't tell you its name, but it's on an ISLE on the Pacific side of Costa RICA. Laid out like a jade neckless, it SKIRTS the SEASIDE from one end of the island to the other. Among its hazards are the thousands of CRABS that migrate from shore to beach every evening. Closed-toed shoes are a must.

The course is very private, so few know about it. Guests who arrive at the nearby airport are WHISKed to the club in a helicopter with tinted windows. Once there, though, you can expect encounter some familiar FACES -- CEOS and the usual gaggle of nattering NABOBs from WHO'S WHO. More CROC-leather on those guys than you'd find in an Australian estuary. But there's a lot of unfamiliar people, too. Probably SPIES on their R&R.

So, how'd I get invited to play in such a golfing OASIS, you might ask? I wondered that, too. I certainly wasn't anywhere near the ACME END of the golf rankings. Closer to the NO HOPE cohort of golf-star wanabees, in fact. PARS are hypotheticals for me. But I do share the same name as one player pretty highly ranked. So I think they just confused me with him.

In any case, I very much doubt they'll invite me back again.

You see, I had arrived there mid-afternoon and wanted to get in a game before nightfall. I managed to progress at a rapid pace, despite the TRECK, but on the 13th hole I hit my ball into a trap. The clubs I rented didn't include a SAND WEGE, so I went looking for something else that would do. Eventually I espied an ADZE lying against a HEDGE, probably left there by a grounds person. I positioned myself, took a swing, and the ball made a beautiful ARC onto the fairway.

However, I was soon HOSED from head to foot: I had somehow broken an irrigation pipe with my deep and choppy swing. Naturally, just at that moment a Club official happened to drive by in his golf cart. I did immediately OWN UP to my unintentional vandalism, of course, but that didn't placate him. He made me HOP into his cart and ride back to the clubhouse, where my WOEs continued. They wanted to fine me $1,000, but I PLEAD poverty. When they finally figured out I wasn't the real thing, they dropped the fine asked me to leave, but not before signing a pledge that I'd never return.

Which just goes to show: "Question me not about ADZEs and I'll till you new lies."

mathgent 9:46 AM  

The only good thing I can say about it is that there were only 10 three-letter entries.

Ludyjynn 9:48 AM  

Too many answers that quite recently appeared in other puzzles for my taste. (hi, @Leapy).

I live amidst a CRABS obsessed populace. Here we don't just eat them. We silkscreen them on all manner of clothing, esp. TEE shirts. We drink from decorative crab mugs. And the latest craze is to display them on our cars in the form of crab shaped decals w/ the Maryland state flag emblazoned over them. (I couldn't help myself and HAD TO get one of those ITEMS right away!) WHOSWHO in Maryland? The CRAB, that's who.

One could argue that CROC(k) also is a themer; eh?

PURRing lap cat is about to be deposed as I conclude this post.

Thanks, CWS and WS.

Mohair Sam 10:02 AM  

Poor C. Dubs. That's quite a jury to face with your Monday puzzle. We thought it was an exceptional Monday effort in this house. @Rex's complaint about the cluing just doesn't hold up this early in the week.

My compaints? - No slice, no hunk.

@evil - I remember that Seinfeld quote and love it.

quilter1 10:04 AM  

@chefwen, I had the same MENTALBLOCK journey you did. Otherwise, overall easy with no other write-overs.

Donald Trump 10:17 AM  

Just yesterday we had MELTing SNOWCAPs, and today this:

"Climate change triggering ‘historically unprecedented’ glacial ice melt," from the International Business Times.

But climate change is just a theory and I am not a scientist. I am therefore an excellent republican candidate for president.

Joseph Michael 10:36 AM  

Theme is good and well executed. Llked the tribute at 1A to the Queen of Mondays ACME.

Would also have preferred a SLICE themer in there somewhere, as in GOLF SLICE or heavyweight boxer KIMBO SLICE, but enjoyed thinking about the different forms CHEESE can take.

Rex, how does Alan ALDA make this a 21st century puzzle? Yes, he's aluve and still working, but his rise to fame was in the 1980s.

Favorite themer: PADDLE WHEEL

Carola 10:38 AM  

I thought it was a super Monday. Unlike fine CHEESE (aged), this seemed very fresh to me. I thought the theme answers were great, and despite being a Badger could only think of physics instead of the dairy aisle, so the reveal was a treat. Also liked HOW SO, DO TELL, NO HOPE and DIBS next to PIE. SLAB over PIE is also good, but I prefer a WEDGE for a better crust to filling ratio.

AliasZ 10:39 AM  

Is it left up to me to ask who cut the cheese? Dang!

Heaven, I'm in cheese heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak,
And I seem to find my happiness in cheese
When we're out together dancing cheek to cheese.

Heaven, I'm in cheese heaven
And the cares that hung around me through the week
Seem to vanish like a mousetrap's hunk of cheese
When we're out together dancing cheek to cheese.

*My birthday gift to Katica.

Masked and Anonymous 10:44 AM  

Cheese BALL?


chasklu 10:48 AM  

early had to change TIGHT to CHEAP.

Z 10:49 AM  

I'm not quite sure what a "Slab of Cheese" is so I checked the interwebs and got images for mostly CHEESE WEDGES. Huh? Is a SLAB just a really thick slice? Are some cheeses prepared in big SLABs before cut down to size for marketing like fudge? Inquiring minds want to know.

Besides "slice" the MIA list includes "shredded" and "melted." Opa!

Bob Kerfuffle 11:18 AM  

The early bird gets the worm; the second mouse gets the cheese.

Tita 11:19 AM  

@Joe W - the clue for CROC was signaled by Swamp *critter*.

I thought it was gonna shapes - that it was cheeses made me smile because I too could eat cheese all day long. The smellier the better.
Buying a block of Maytag Blue once, the checkout girl helpfully told me - "oh - you might want to go pick out a different one - this package has gone bad..."

Liked DIBS, loved LOOSE clue.

Thanks CWS!

anonymous 11:23 AM  

@Loren, I don't think the two FLUSHED words you picked are all that 'jarringly different'; sh*t-faced is a term you can hear All The Time.

Aketi 12:18 PM  

@‘mericans in paris, I had to clean coffee off my iPad thanks to your golf story.

As for cheese, Deborah Valenze in "Milk: A Local and Global History" uses the painting "The Cheese-Eaters" by Vincenzo Campi to illustrate how cow's milk and its products were viewed with suspicion during the Middle Ages into the Renaissance. The painting shows three men who appear to be drunk, gorging on cheese while a woman with a buxom bosom serves them. One of the men looks like the cheese he stuffed into his mouth is about to come back out again. She sites how the English dissed the “base natures” the cheese eating Dutch with this quote: “A Dutchman is a lusty, Fat, Two_legged Cheese-Worm." Who knew that such a well accepted modern food had such a licentious past.

GILL I. 12:25 PM  

Cute, safe Monday puzzle.
Yes, ALDA is the freshest answer
As we say in Spain @Leapy...APY VERDE!

JC66 12:41 PM  

When I was in Army basic training, over 50 years ago, they lined us up for the company picture.

The photographer said "say motherf**cker."

He got the response he wanted.

mathgent 12:49 PM  

Happy birthday, @Leapfinger!

I made a comment earlier today that wasn't allowed. It was "The only good thing I can say about this puzzle is that it had only 10 three-word entries." It would be a kick if Rex thought that I was being too negative.

'mericans in Paris 1:00 PM  

Too sleepy today, I guess. Meant to write TREK (no "C") and SAND WEDGE.

Alicia Stetson 1:25 PM  

While I do appreciate your kind invitation the other day to leave the blog entirely, I'm merely expressing my opinion that I enjoyed the blog comments much more when there was some back and forth. A solver would pose a question about the puzzle, and within seconds they might get a response. Now, it might take all day, and often the question is often answered multiple times.
Have a wonderful day,

Julia Simms 1:30 PM  

This Monday crossword puzzle had a lot of straightforward cluing. This comes as no surprise to me. I have noticed the early-week puzzles tend to be simple, and they get harder as the week progresses. Has anyone else noticed this?

Billy C 2:26 PM  

CHEESUS this was a great puzzle!

Charles Flaster 2:56 PM  

EZ but enjoyable for this cheeseaholic.
Knew the reveal before reading the clue.
Thanks CSW.

Z 4:03 PM  

@Alicia Stetson - I missed @Evil's invite, but do have a couple of observations. First, the multiple replies to a question are nothing new. It used to happen all the time, sometimes hours after multiple answers were posted. What seems missing now is a repeat of previously asked and answered questions. My hypothesis is there is less skipping over of comments so there is actually a net reduction of repetition. Of course, the moderator may just be axing those comments. Second, while back and forth is nice, the nastiness had gotten way out of control in the past half year. I, too, prefer an unmoderated forum, but not at the expense of basic civility. As for the notion that moderating comments will kill the blog, it is still early but it seems to have had no negative impact.

@Julia Simms - I think you are being satirical, but for those asking seriously, question 4 may be of interest.

Nancy 6:27 PM  

@lms (Sunday 9:32) -- Knife-throwing skills. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! Now there are many of us women on this Blog who are possessed of a certain feistiness (and I admit to being one of them), but there is something about your posts that have made me feel for a very long time now: This is a woman to be PHYSICALLY reckoned with. Black-belted Aketi is not the only such person. (It's interesting that Aketi sent you a shout-out immediately after your post.) I missed your Sunday comment, because I was attending -- and later recovering from -- Lollapuzzoola. But your comment is very interesting to me. The way people write reveals SO much about them; it really does!

evil doug 7:25 PM  

Here's why this blog won't die:

1. It's a fraternity. The in-crowd is comprised of the regular posters who have dared to risk ridicule by placing their souls up for public scrutiny. The pledges are the thousands (!) of lurkers who so want to go active, but haven't yet crossed the risk/reward (eat me, 'mericans, I like the slash) midstripe. People enjoy feeling they're part of a club. It's why I go to Starbucks--not the coffee.

2. People who fancy themselves clever writers, but who lack outlets with generally highly educated customers, can expound ad nauseum with no real limit on their wordy prose. That's why we see thousand-word posts that are no more than grid answers linked by endless excess verbiage. There's an audience, even for pap.

3. Posters with knowledge in fields from music to medicine to, yes, aviation, can connect an answer or two to their respective fields, and know that their expertise will likely find more appreciation than opprobrium.

4. And a few of us, fatigued by political correctness and happy logrolling, enjoy having the opportunity to toss the occasional grenade at the morons here--providing personal satisfaction while entertaining the silent majority. After all, that's Michael's formula, too. When we praise something, readers know that really means something.

Teedmn 7:49 PM  

Happy birthday @Leapfinger from a fellow Leo - I'm 363 days older than OBAMA so my day was last week.

CHEESE - I love cheese. After reading @LMS' comment, I had to slice some of the Mango Fire White Cheddar (the 'fire' is habanero) made by the Bongard's Creameries near my husband's childhood home. Yum! One reason you'll never catch me on the PALEO DIET - no cheese.

@Ludyjynn, had to laugh at your list of CRABS products. I was going through my 2015 knitting magazines and saw this in the Interweave Knits 2015 Summer issue: Chesapeake Crab Jacket

Nice puzzle CWS. Definitely liked the clue for 16a. Isn't that an example of a zeugmatic clue?

GILL I. 8:20 PM  

I'm trying to figure out when I should post so that I don't repeat...@AliasZ..I guess you cut the cheese before I did.
@Z from the other day. Thanks for the TOM info. Big head bonk on my part.....

Texcritic 5:46 PM  

I asked my Father, a WW2 era vet, about "buying the farm" which appeared in war movies. He said that when servicemen dreamt of returning home a frequent idea was to settle down with their girl and buy a little farm to live on. When someone was said to have bought the farm it was an ironic way of saying they were through with the war.

Bill Young 10:41 AM  

Thought it was tough for Monday
Would have liked to see hoop (cheese)
Rather than hope

Anonymous 12:00 PM  

Nice, clean grid. Though the clues except for the LOOSE thing were straightforward (hey, it IS Monday, right?), I liked the pairings: 3&5 down, 6&7 down, 11&42 down--and even 22 down with 63 across! Hand up for sidES--and those things still baffle me. The world record is, like, 14 seconds; I wouldn't have it after 14 DAYS. Curse you Erno! Anyhow, I just thought the theme was shapes; didn't get the CHEESE part till the revealer. That did serve to tighten things up. Didn't like BEEB and WRYER--shouldn't that be WRIER? I guess either is OK. A-.

Burma Shave 12:01 PM  


When I TEE it up, but make PARS with my SANDWEDGE, it’s a lock,
ISLE OWNUP, there’s NOHOPE for my long irons, due to a MENTALBLOCK.


rondo 12:19 PM  

Yeah, I guessed the CHEESE thing pretty early on, didn’t matter much for completion.

We have a couple of PADDLEWHEELers on the river here, going on one in a couple weeks for leaf-peeping and dinner.

Better clue for ELIZA would be “Musician Gilkyson”; fantastic performer and yeah baby boomer to boot.

I have a pitching wedge, a gap wedge, and a lob wedge in my bag, but no SANDWEDGE. HOWSO you ask? No sand traps where I’m a member.

This NABOB will CEASE nattering as I am at an END. Decent Mon-puz.

leftcoastTAM 7:23 PM  

A nice Monday puzzle, which made me hesitate a few times. And I liked @Burma Shave's clear sense of the mental part of golf.

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