Mae (government lender) / MON 11-9-15 / Campus in Troy, N.Y. / Band aide / Disgorges / Chaney of chillers

Monday, November 9, 2015

SURPRISE ANNABEL MONDAY!!!! Sorry I was sick last week (don't worry, it wasn't that FOUL, I'm fine!) but I'm back.

Constructor: Pawel Fludzinski

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: QTs — Theme answers were two words, one starting with Q and the other starting with T.

Theme answers:

  • QUALITY TIME (18A: Period of undivided attention, as with a spouse or child)
  • QUANTUM THEORY (32A: Noted Max Planck contribution to physics)
  • QUICK THINKING (39A: Skill useful for handling an emergency)
  • QUARTER TONE (57A: 1/24 of an answer)
  • CUTIES (61A: Babies (aww...) ...or an aural hint to 18-, 32-, 39-, and 57-Across 

Word of the Day: BOIS (56D: ____ de Boulogne (Parisian park) ) —

The lower lake in the Bois de Boulogne
The Bois de Boulogne (French pronunciation: ​[bwa.d(ə).bu.lɔɲ]) is a large public park located along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, near the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt andNeuilly-sur-Seine It was created between 1852 and 1858 during the reign of the Emperor Louis Napoleon.[1]
It is the second-largest park in Paris, slightly smaller than the Bois de Vincennes on the eastern side of the city. It covers an area of 845 hectares (2090 acres)[2] which is about two and a half times the area of Central Park in New York and slightly less (88%) than that of Richmond Park in London. 
• • •

So, what was it about the Across clues for this puzzle? I was afraid this puzzle would take me AGES, because I only got six of them at first. I'm guessing Down-only solvers had a good time this week; the Down clues weren't so bad. Fill was decent other than that initial difficulty; my only complaint was that, while I love Portman, they could've come up with a more original clue for NATALIE. I love when the puzzle seems like the constructor seemed like they had a few things in particular on their mind; in this case, music (ASSAI, QUARTER TONE, and INTROS) and French (GENET, BOIS, NÉE, and -ETTE). French music maybe? Like this classic piece:

The theme was, well, cute! It took me a couple clues to pick up on, which was nice. I think I'm not alone in first seeing QUARTER NOTE where I should have seen QUARTER TONE, which is a bummer because I've always thought about myself as knowing at least some things about music, as well as making me CONFUSED about the rest of the theme ("Maybe the T just has to be a part of the second word!"). I like looking back on the puzzle and seeing CUE and IQS. I think

Anyway, speaking of cuties, remember that dog my mom got to replace me? Well................

...........honestly can you blame her?

  • GIANT SQUID (3D: Creature that attacked the Nautilus in "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea") — Can we just pause to talk about how cool giant squid are?!? Their eyes are the size of a human head, they grow up to 43 feet long, and in Googling them I just found out two years ago scientists actually captured video of a live one and basically I'm losing it right now here's the video!!!
  • EBENEZER (55A: Mr. Scrooge) — Did anyone else used to get absolutely terrified by A Christmas Carol? When I was little, every time it came on TV I would sort of pretend to be brave and enjoy the film when in actuality I was trembling because I knew the Ghost of Christmas Future could show up at any moment. He was so creepy! He didn't even have a face! What was he doing hanging out with the nice ghosts like the sweet young lady and the guy with the beard? You know what, I bet he didn't hang out with them. I bet he just sat off by himself somewhere, staring off into the distance and listening to sludge metal. What a jerk.
  • FRAU (21D: Mrs. in Munich) — No words, just:
  • NASA (10A: Curiosity rover launcher) — Alright I'm ending this article now after seeing this clue because I can feel a geeky pagelong tirade about how much I loved The Martian coming on. (Maybe I'll leave one in the comments later? It's just a really good movie please watch it)
Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired college student.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:13 AM  

Tough Mon. for me.  More WOEs than the Fri. and Sat. combined - BIOS, ASSAI, ALKANI...If I wasn't sure of my CAMAROS spelling it could have been a Mon. DNF.  Plus, I wasn't sure about the CUTIES spelling as BIOS was already in the clues (45a) and CUTEES might have worked (I stuck with IES despite the clue duplication).

Not one of my favorite Mondays.

chefwen 1:13 AM  

Hi Annabel, happy that you are feeling better

I really liked this Monday offering. Tried to mess myself up by forgetting about GINNIE Mae and putting in faNNIE Mae. Refusing to take it out until Fannie just wasn't going to cut the muster. Oh yeah, I remember GINNIE, she's also my favorite aunt. Good 'ol GINNIE.

Thought I had this all wrapped up and put to bed until I read Annebel's write-up. I has QUARTER note and didn't know enough to fix it.
Didn't know GATET from GANET and kinda knew that ETTE was a better answer than EnTE, but thought there was a new ending that no one clued me in on yet. DOH!

Oh well, a DNF Monday. Shameful!

John Child 3:26 AM  

Well I liked this one pretty much. The theme isn't exciting, but it's Monday. Theme density is pretty good; the revealer reveals, and there's some good longer fill. I didn't see some of the fill that will probably draw comment, like the little French cluster around Louisiana or SEMI and ADEE, so I was quite happy en solve.

I was hard pressed to think of other Q* T* phrases. Quarter Turn. Question Time, but that's very Brit. Quick or Quiet Time maybe. I think Mr Fludzinski's choices are better than those. Shed no Quocidile Tears for me.

Lewis 5:36 AM  

@m&a -- A holiday! Eleven U's!
@annabel -- Enjoyable upbeat writeup, perfectly accompanied by that Mika clip.

Quite tasty! Excellent Monday theme with a nice reveal to tie the puzzle up with a bow. Scrabbly with spark. Answers that shined: STIGMA, SEQUOIA, GORGONZOLA, EBENEZER, even BOIS. Deft handling of all those U's, which I find often hinder making a puzzle. Clean. Breezy, smiley way to start the week. Thank you Sir Pawel!

smalltowndoc 6:37 AM  

"Young Frankenstein": Perhaps the funniest movie of all time! Thanks for that PG! (Although I rank Animal House and Ghostbusters up there as well; I'm a sucker for sophisticated comedy).

Glimmerglass 7:06 AM  

Welcome back! I don't know what you look like, but I bet you're a lot cuter than that dog. You sount cute (in a GOOD way). Easy puzzle for me today, but it's about what I expect for a Monday. Not too much dreck.

Imfromjersey 7:34 AM  

Puzzle #1 of the Arlington(VA) Puzzle Fest this weekend. Was sitting at a table with Rob T who went to 24A and literally just before the first puzzle someone asked "where is RPI", and each of us chuckled as soon as we saw it. Finished my puzzle and was checking for errors and UTAHNS just looked like it was Nissan a vowel. I've seen this before but it really bothered me. I won't spoil it but there are a couple of words that showed up in consecutive puzzles this week.

RAD2626 7:43 AM  

Really good Monday puzzle. Some moderately difficult crosses, e.g, GINNIE/GENET, a nice revealer, decent theme, and not really much bad fill at all. Annabel - thanks. Thought this was your best writeup ever. Upbeat and insightful. Week is off to a good start.

fuzzle 7:47 AM  

The clue for "niece" should be "brother or sister's little girl", NOT "aunt and uncle's little girl". That would be "cousin"!

Anonymous 7:57 AM  

Medium??? This puzzle was VERY easy, even for a Monday!

RooMonster 7:58 AM  

Hey All !
What an awesome, funny writeup, Annabel! Good to know the future has some talented young-uns to look forward to!

Nice, not that easy *for a MonPuz* puzzle. Fell into the faNNIE trap (tee-hee) and never changed it. Also had QUARTER TimE, giving me I CaNESS, fEmET, and BiIS. Not knowing BOIS or GENET, and rationalizing Yes, I CaNESS to myself, got me a Monday DNF! Ouch!

Some fun clues, also like how EBENEZER looks with the alternating E's. CAMARO. For some reason, people have a hard time trying to spell that. I've seen for sale ads for that car where the people spell it CAMeRO, and those are the owners! Sad when you can't spell your own car...

And now, a Quaint Tale:
Quinn Took the Queen's Tiara and Quickly Thrashed it by Quizzically Tossing it into Quail Turds! "Quite Tasteless", the Queen Tsked.

Your welcome. :-P

Now I'll LIE LOW!

Aketi 8:15 AM  

@annabel, you are always an OASIS of enthusiasm in what too often seems like an overly cynical world, Loved you GIANT SQUID. Loved The Marttian.

After AGES of not having time for puzzle, I managed to finishe this one in QUICK TIME - Less than a QUARTER hour. Same frustration with GINNIE as Chefwen.

Favorite word: EGESTS. One more word t add to the aresenal of euphemisms that can be employed when working with newborns and their parents,

Anonymous 8:15 AM  

Easy puzzle, perfectly adequate for a Monday. Enjoyed the pairing of AQUA LUNG. Loved QUANTUMTHEORY. About a million years ago I worked with a graduate of RPI. That brief professional association saved me many crossword stumbles all these decades later. All xword solvers probably have minutia tucked away like that.

Finally - Annabel - OMG the puppy! I'm sure you are not replaceable, but that dog is adorable. Heart melting.

jberg 8:26 AM  

Welcome back, Annabel, glad your'e feeling better. I actually spent about 10 seconds thinking QUARTER nOtE and cursing the constructor's ignorance -- then it dawned on me.

I thought the revealer was going to be something about "On the Q.T.," which a) we just had, and b) is boring. Then I got the actual revealer, and suddenly liked the puzzle a lot more. I also liked it that he resisted putting in an X, and whatever else he would have needed for a pangram -- it would have seemed cheap once he had the Qs to start with.

But UTAHNS? Is that what they say there? I really wanted UTAHAN, so much that I made it singular until a trip to the YMCA forced me to correct the error.

Speaking of which -- I'm not sure if you write the headlines or Rex does, Annabel, but it should be Government leNder up there!

GILL I. 8:50 AM  

The best part of this puzzle was seeing the GIANT SQUID video posted by Annabel. I watched them all. I prefer Kraken's myself...
CUTe puppies!
Ah yes, the puzzle. Meh. Except for loving Pawel Fludzinski's name, there wasn't much else that really grabbed me. TIGER clued as a Detroit ball player? TIGER TIGER burning bright...Every time I see RPI I always think "Rest In Peace." Dies IRAE, Norma RAE and IRA went into a bar...
I read somewhere that the mere mention of QUALITY TIME by a woman, makes a man sigh...I saw this:
Girlfriend: Honey, I don't feel like we spend enough QUALITY TIME together...
Boyfriend: Really? I see you every damn day!
OK, I did like OASIS right dab in the middle.

quilter1 9:04 AM  

Agree with @ Lewis on the best answers. Easy for me, I just filled in the blanks one after another and surprise! I was done. I am pleased to say my hand is not only healed but repaired. I can write again. Cursive is clumsy still but you know what they say about practice.

chefbea 9:28 AM  

Glad you're back Anabel. Yummy puzzle - I put on my apron to solve it while eating a Reuben. It's almost time to truss the turkey. Hand up for Fannie Mae

Unknown 9:31 AM  

While LIE LOW is grammatically correct, toss that out at the next happy hour instead of LAY LOW and look for eye rolls, even barbs of hoity-toity-ism.

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

nice write up!
I really loved this Monday puzzle, it was fun and -- yes *cute* - and with new clues and not much weirdo crosswordese. Perfect for a Monday!


Nancy 10:00 AM  

Easy, but breezy. I thought the long answers were cute and the revealer was cute. I've always enjoyed puzzles with a lot of Qs in them, though I'd be hard-pressed to say why.

And I didn't need challenging today, having had challenging last night, thanks to Patrick Berry and @Mathgent. The puzzle, PLAYING GHOST by PB, was printed out for me by @Mathgent and sent snail mail to me across the entire country. He knows that I go crazy trying to solve puzzles online (assuming I can even access them in the first place) and that I don't have a printer (just one more piece of techie equipment that I probably would have great trouble using and that would make my living room look ugly.) He's been wonderful about furnishing me with great puzzles I would otherwise miss. And this is a great one! I highly recommend it to all of you who can access it.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:28 AM  

Better than average Monday, IMHO.

mac 10:40 AM  

Nice Monday with some teeth. I knew M&A was going to be happy!

Only dissonant (let's stay with the music) was Utahns, even spell check doesn't like. Hahaha, I just asked my husband what he would call someone from Utah, and he immediately said "Ute"!!

Thanks, Annabel, glad you are feeling better. Great write-up and adorable little dog.

Andrew Heinegg 10:45 AM  

What a nice puzzle and an equally fun write-up. The video of the squid was as entertaining for the enthusiasm of the scientists as it was for the sight of the enormous sea creature. It also reminded me of reading many years ago about how giant squid and sperm whales fight. There is a YouTube video of one but, pardon my incorrect term usage, it appears to be Photoshopped or a Disney production. It would take a lot of trips down in a deep diving bathyscaphe to catch the real thing and even then, I wonder how good the images would be. If I remember correctly, the whale usually wins and that is how it is in the YouTube video. I also remember seeing photos of sperm whales with 'squid scars'.

Jamie C 11:02 AM  

I didn't look at the byline when I read the review. Then I saw the word "cute" being used unironically, and I knew Rex wasn't the author. Annabelle, you are a nice relief and contrast from the scrooge known as Rex.

Ellen S 11:06 AM  

I'm with you, @fuzzle. Can't figure out how "Aunt and Uncle's little girl" would be NIECE. Cousin, indeed. Or, "my" little girl. to Aunt and Uncle. That would be nice. er... niece.

AliasZ 11:15 AM  

Hi there Annabell, good to see you. I am having a hard time deciding who of the two CUTIES is cuter, you or your mom's Yorkie.

During my last Qatar Trip I Queried Tamir who had Quite The Quixotic Temperament: "Do Quince Trees bear fruit that Quench Thirst?" His answer was a Quasi-Twitch, as a result of which a Quintessentially Turbulent Quarrel Transpired. He challenged me to a Quidditch Tournament, which I declined with Qualified Terminality, ignoring the Querulous Teasing from the Quizzical Tumult surrounding us. I took a handful of Q-Tips, stuck them in my ear and walked away. I heard Quentin Tarantino is considering making a movie about the incident.

Quoth The raven: I will now Quit Trespassing into Quicksand Territory.

Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) is best known for his operas "La sonnambula", "Norma" and "I puritani", but he also composed other works, most notably the Concerto for hautBOIS and orchestra in E flat major.

Happy Monday!

Anonymous 11:19 AM  

Very easy minus my mistake putting FANNIE instead of GINNIE which cost me some time. Cute puzzle

aging soprano 11:39 AM  

Annabel, a guarter tone is 1/24 of an octave and indicates pitch. A quarter note is a written symbol which represents a unit of time, a rhythmic value: one quarter of a whole note. Quarter note cannot be the answer to 57a. A very easy puzzle for me. I circled a few things that I thought I might need to Google, but never had to resort to that. It all just fell into place in a very Mondayn way.
@Lewis of course there were lots of U's, to go with all those Q's.
RPI not too far from Dies Irae made me conjure up RIP.
Thanks Annabel, for the writeup and photos. Enjoyed.

aging soprano 11:42 AM  

Quentin Terantino. Brilliant!

Carola 12:14 PM  

A Monday puzzle with a little bite and replete with grid treats (SEQUOIA, GORGONZOLA, GIANT SQUID + AQUA LUNG, STIGMA, ICINESS x COOLS...). Definitely QUALITY TIME spent with this one.

I liked the "THINKING" mini-theme - IQS, ACED, CONFUSED, ERRORS.

Also a treat to have you back, Annabel. Thanks for that amazing squid video.

Hartley70 12:41 PM  

I was talking about Tricia Nixon yesterday at lunch, thinking I might be the only one outside of her family and friends doing so, and voila! Here she is! Kinda gives me the heebee jeebees.

Really a fine Monday puzzle with lots of theme density and a CUTIE pie reveal. If I was new to crosswords and this was my first Monday experience, I'd be saying, "Bring it on, Tuesday!"

I had to think a bit to come up with Sequoia because I wanted that "and sometimes, Y", but I only have one complaint already mentioned. The wrongness of the NIECE clue is painful, although I popped it right in. Who needs dem clues anyway?

Hartley70 12:45 PM  

Oh, just did the mini as a dessert and it's got some extra zip today! Clever boy.

chasklu 12:57 PM  

my only erasure was IRON LUNG before AQUA LUNG. otherwise easy.

Masked and Anonymous 1:13 PM  

Really good write-up, @Blu'bel. Primo bullets, which invariably add interest.

Really good MonPuz, actually. I mean, sure -- there's yer usual coupla vowel EGESTionS, i.e.: IRAE, ADEE. And then there's the dreaded French QUARTER (t??e), down in the South. Excellent protection for the CUTIE revealer, what with the two mystery French answers crossin it at 51- and 56-Down: GENET BOIS. But otherwise, excellent grid.


* GIANTSQUID. Cool schlock flick … Did U know that there was a silent movie version of 20K Under the Sea? M&A has it on DVD.
* GORGONZOLA. This also sounds like a potential schlock flick creature name. Attack of the Giant Cheesehead, Gorgonzilla.
* SEQUOIA. Neat neat trees. They deserve a name with a U in it. Nice nest of em, at Yosemite Park. Biggest of em all = General Sherman, at Sequoia Natl. Park.
* EBENEZER. Outstandin name. Has yer Hebrew derivation. Can U guess what it (roughly) means in Hebrew? Multiple choices:
a) Smooth flow.
b) Masked devil.
c) Rock of divine assistance.
d) Underwear reuser.
e) Utahn.
(Answer* way down at the bottom.)
* fave moo-cow Monday Eazy-E clue:
{Game in which to cry "You're it!"}. And right at 1-Across.
* Eleven U's. Possible I Fink U Freaky Award contender. (yo, @Lewis. Good job, on the tricky count.)
* Weeject stacks, in the NW and SE. fave one: RPI. Better clue: {Headstone malfunction??}.
* Like @Blu'bel says, neat theme for a MonPuz. Nothin deep, but look at those juicy theme answers. Well, actually QUANTUM THEORY is kinda deep, in a way. It annoyed the snot out of Einstein, who didn't like the idea of the Universe being run like a dice game.
* Desperate moment of the day: ETTE/BOIS/GENET. That's what U get, when U stack themers.



* Multiple choice answer: C.

Anonymous 1:33 PM  

DNF, due to never having heard of GINNIE MAE or Jean GENET.

Teedmn 1:47 PM  

Nice puzzle and thanks for the great write up, Annabel.

I DNFed at the obvious spot - couldn't think of GINNIE but I knew ICaNESS was not a word. GENET was a WOE, stupidly put in QUARTER TimE and never changed it so there is a park in Paris called BiIS de Boulogne? Ach. I spelled Nixon's daughter TRIshA first but as CONFUSED as I may seem, that one I fixed.

I liked seeing the monstrous cheese GORGON ZOLA and QUANTUM THEORY is great. Waves, particles, and now strings maybe.

Thanks, Mr. Fludzinski, this was COOLS.

Unknown 2:45 PM  

@fuzzle, @ellen, I'm with you. When cousin didn't fit, I reminded myself: the New York Times Crossword Puzzle editors think E=MC is an equation Einstein would have approved of, three-peats happen twice, Arizonans call themselves Arizonian, and so a major disconnect from cousin to niece is to be expected. Or perhaps I am just a brittle denotator and fail to appreciate the plasticity of a living language. Sigh.

Total wipe-out DNF Monday. faNNIE Mae led the way. Jean fEN_ _ had me guessing fENET (sounds French enough, doesn't it) but ___ de Boulogne (Parisian park) smacks of Franco-Italian (Bologna), so . . . BO_ _ could be BOsc ???, giving me EGEcTS (which sounded like it might be close, but EjEcTS would have had more integrity there.) Facing the theme revealer CUTsE_, I went with CUTsEy, as the theme and babies are in fact, cutsey, or maybe cutsie, but then again, nieces-cousins-whatever-goes. Ultimately, that landed me with the nonsensical ICaNeYS, for extremely aloof demeanor. OK. Icahn-yes? He is extremely aloof. Especially on Mondays. @jae is right. This is Friday-Saturday hard. But it only took 14 minutes to hit the dissolute French wall in the SE.

I looked up GENET to see if I should have known him. He was friends with Picasso, Cocteau, David Bowie. ??? But his real claim to fame is that he helped today's constructor finish this puzzle. I get it.

So why we didn't get more Polish words? Did you know that [Kabaty ___ (Marie Skłodowska's place to ponder before Bois de Boulogne)] is a LAS? Yes, LAS means BOIS! And don't we need new clues for LAS?! C'mon, Pawel, feel free to go all Polish on us next time. As Marie Skłodowska may well have quipped to Einstein: Jestem prostym Polaka w kompleks samolot. (Go ahead, Francophiles, google-translate it.) Now that's what I call *good* content for a constructor's database.

thfenn 3:27 PM  

I enjoyed this one. I'll admit, just on the QT, that I don't get how a quartertone is 1/24 of an octave, but then I had QUARTERTIME and QUARTERNOTE first, so there's plenty I don't know. Fannie before Ginnie as well, not to mention IRONLUNG. But it all eventually fell into place once ICINESS dawned on me.

Margaret 3:36 PM  

I love doing these crosswords, and can usually do Monday's without feeling too dense. So today I was creeping happily along, and then I came to a clue whose answer had to be "niece," because of the letters already in the grid. But the definition was "aunt and uncle's little girl." Now my aunt and uncle's little girl is my cousin. To them she is their daughter. A niece is my brother or sister's little girl. Now I bet we all got this item, because the terms 'aunt,' 'uncle,' 'niece,' and 'nephew' go together. But really, a rather shabby definition it seemed to me.

Charles Flaster 3:56 PM  

Nice write up Annabel.
Hope school is everything you expected and more.
Liked the QT theme.
One nit is that a FINAL FOUR game can be the championship so not necessarily a SEMI.
Thanks PF.

foxaroni 4:02 PM  

Any puzzle with SEQUOIA and GORGONZOLA, a write-up by Annabelle, and a constructor named Pawel Fludzinski is COOLS by me. Loved the squid flick and a QuickTime view of Teri Garr, long-time heartthrob for the foxmeister.

Ludyjynn 4:54 PM  

One writeover: had to change 'Trisha' to TRICIA Nixon. Brain fart, I guess.

Hand up for filling in NIECE w/o noticing the mis-clue. On auto pilot, I guess.

Beautiful clues @Lewis cited, esp. 'for a Monday'.

Annabel, about the Yorkie, let me speak from experience: these little doggies are as mighty and brave as any large breed. But you can scoop them up and run away with them when they overreach! Stubborn as mules, but they are tolerated because they are so damned CUTe!

Thanks, PF and WS, for a QUality Monday.

jae 6:27 PM  

Add me to the faNNIE before GINNIE list.

Bob Kerfuffle 6:50 PM  

I wish I could say that there is no "I" in NIECE, but unfortunately that is not literally true.

However, I wish all who have complained about the clue "Aunt and uncle's little girl" for the answer NIECE would figuratively take out the "I", that is, removed themselves from the picture. The clue is not saying that the child of YOUR aunt and uncle is YOUR niece. I believe it simply says that the girl who calls two people "aunt" and "uncle" is THEIR "niece."

Tita 7:22 PM  

Welcome back Anabel. Best writeup to-date!

I liked this easy Monday, mostly becausee I love the constructor's name... (Hi @Gill)...)

@quilter - nice to see you here, and glad to hear you're recovering.

Puzzle conjured up tons of good stuff...

TAG was one of our staples, along with Tetherball and Boxball. Our own version of tag was called Kryptonite - each kid was a superhero, and whoever was It was Kryptonite. Me and Timmy were the littlest kids on the bloack, so we usually wound up relegated to being Superdog, all the cool superheroes being called by the big kids.

I bet our resident chefs wear APRONS. I get a kick out of "celebrity chefs" wearing oddles of jewelry and flowing sleeves when mixing ground meat with their hands - nary an APRON in sight. Gimme Jacques Pepin any day, with his dishcloth tucked into his APRONstrings.

RAE/RYE crossing - yesterday, puzzspouse came home with Levey's Jewish RYE, and I watched Norma RAE on TV.

Played hardish for a Monday, and the theme was ho-hummish, but the fill was great.

My parents lived near the Bois de Boulogne during their stint in Paris, before they moved to Vesinet.

Thanks Pawel Fludzinski!!!

Z 9:23 PM  

@fuzzle, @Ellen S, and @ Casco Kid - How would one be an aunt or uncle without nieces or nephews? Clues are not necessarily in 1st person.

old timer 11:06 PM  

Just got home from a trip to see the grandchildren. The flight was delayed two hours. After unpacking, I was exhausted. But for all that, I had to do the Friday puzzle that was waiting for me. And I don't think I'll bother with the Monday one. Better to enjoy Annabel's review. We're all glad to see her back, and in fine form today.

So I am going to respond to a Friday commenter, having just done the puzzle in a state of total exhaustion. I completed it, or think I did (the NE was a little tricky). And in my condition, completing it made it Easy.

But -- and here's the point -- Easy for a Friday is tough for a Monday or Tuesday. Y'all have to understand that OFL's difficulty ratings are not absolute. Every rating is followed (you must understand) by "for a [name the day of the week]. If a Friday puzzle is "easy" it may well be medium or even hard for someone who can usually do a Monday or Tuesday puzzle with no problem but gets stymied and needs lots of help later in the week. It's in the FAQ, which I actually only read on my little vacation.

I fully agree with Rex's praise for the Friday puzzle. And since I may never do today's, it's on to Tuesday for me.

Larry 9:06 AM  

Can you clue Frau with Mrs. Which indicates an abbreviation ala Ser.?

Noam D. Elkies 11:42 AM  

Doesn't seem that this was fully explained yet: QUARTER TONE as in whole tone and semitone. Octave = 12 semitones: start counting at C=0, then C#=1, D=2, D#=3, etc. until B=11 and the next C=12. So if you divide an octave into 24 equal parts you get 24 halves of semitones, i.e. 24 quarter-tones. Quarter-tone music uses 24 notes to the octave, the 12 standard ones and a dozen further notes each halfway between two consecutive piano notes (C half-sharp between C and C#, then D half-flat between C# and D, etc.). Here "tone" is used as a measure of distance between two "note"s.

rondo 11:27 AM  

Nice easy Mon-puz except for the favorite write-over at faNNIE. Speaking of which, CUTIES and yeah babies NATALIE and KATE make an appearance. Throw in TRICIA and SUSIE and we have ladies’ names all over.

Can’t see or hear AQUA LUNG together without thinking Jethro Tull.

BOIS Forte is a MN tribe, Ojibwe I believe.

An OLE today to go with yesterday’s SVEN.

I can’t imagine that @spacey will give this puz ADEE.

spacecraft 11:37 AM  

A pleasant little CUTIE to kick off the week. Uber-easy, with only the WOE BOIS--which I noticed after filling in the acrosses. That and ADEE were the LIELOW points today. Oh, one inaccuracy: "Post-E.R. locale." There are several possible of those, including the street. But after the O.R. you WILL go to the ICU (unless, horrors, you died on the table).

I fear I'm possibly migrating toward the "I-skip-M-W" camp. It was enjoyable enough; whenever we go out, I have to keep my eyes peeled for babies so wifey can fuss over them. "CBA," I say, our shorthand for "Cute Baby Alert!" (Was there ever an UN-cute baby?) Yeah, okay, she also alerts ME. But really, the clue set bends over backwards to be Monday-easy: did we really need to name TWO towns in the UTAHNS clue? B+.

BS2 2:08 PM  

How many of us drove CAMAROS in our YOUTH? Lotsa hands up I’ll bet.

Will TIGER ever again be clued as a golfer? Lotsa head-shaking I imagine.

I sense a new ICINESS in this OASIS. So today’s verse goes like this GORGONZOLA the GIANTSQUID caused terrors because QUANTUMTHEORY CONFUSED the inventor. A little QUICKTHINKING had caused some ERRORS, and he had NOT spent QUALITYTIME with a mentor. IQ’S STIGMA by EBENEEZER SEQUOIA. I TRUSS that it will make the cut this time.

I wasn’t in AWE, and this puzzle’s not GOLD, but it was one of the CUTIES.

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