LBJ inlaw Charles / TUE 12-8-15 / Talkative half of magic duo / Precursor to reggae / 1990s Indian P.M. / 2000s Japanese P.M. / Qatari bigwig

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Constructor: Neville Fogarty

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: BREAKFAST (61A: Free motel offering nowadays ... or what 18-, 26-, 40- and 52-Across do?) — "FA" on one side of the theme answer, "ST" on the other:

Theme answers:
  • FAIRY DUST (18A: Sprinkle from Tinker Bell)
  • FAMILY CREST (26A: The one for the Kennedys has three knights' helmets on it)
  • "FATHER KNOWS BEST" (40A: Classic sitcom with kids called Princess, Bud and Kitten)
  • FALSE ARREST (52A: Potential charge against a bounty hunter)
Word of the Day: Lagniappe (70A: Lagniappe => EXTRA) —
A lagniappe (/ˈlænjæp/ LAN-yap) is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, "something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure. // The word entered English from the Louisiana French adapting a Quechua word brought in to New Orleans by the Spanish Creoles. It derived from the South American Spanish phrase la yapa or ñapa (referring to a free extra item, usually a very cheap one). La is the definite article in Spanish as well as in French (la ñapa or la gniappe = the ñapa/gniappe). The term has been traced back to the Quechua word yapay ('to increase; to add'). In Andean markets it is still customary to ask for a yapa (translates as "a little extra") when making a purchase. The seller usually responds by throwing in a little extra. Although this is an old custom, it is still widely practiced in Louisiana. Street vendors, especially vegetable vendors, are expected to throw in a few green chili peppers or a small bunch of cilantro with a purchase. The word is chiefly used in the Gulf Coast region of the United States [...] (wikipedia)
• • •

Solid enough concept. Seems like it might've been done before ... because it has. In 2009. With the same revealer and two of the same theme answers. How do I remember this? I don't. Neville told me his own damn self. If you search BREAKFAST in the cruciverb database, the 2009 puzzle is the first thing that comes up. But Neville had to go and use some other, possibly substandard database, and he wasn't very diligent about it so [sad trombone]! It doesn't really matter. It's a fine Tuesday concept with decent execution and a reasonably pleasant grid. Fill can get a little crusty in the small areas (I'm looking at LIRA, NETWT, RAO/ROBB, DAR, EMIR-on-ESPY...), but there's an overall enjoyable bounciness. BLUE STATEs and REDSHIRTS and SEX TAPES galore. Truly a Triple-X puzzle ... except there are four "X"s. EXTRA "X"! Roll in the HAY!

I was looking at the 2009 version of this puzzle. It's pretty much a push, themewise. I think "FALCON CREST" > FAMILY CREST, if only because of the Lorenzo Lamas factor, but I think FALSE ARREST >>> FALL HARVEST, so ... I'm gonna call it a draw. I didn't have too much trouble solving this one. Only a couple of sticking points. One was _ONKS (27D: Some frock wearers). I could Not get past the idea of a "frock" as a shift or dress....usually worn by girls/women. So even with _ONKS in place, I was baffled for a bit. I also had No idea that "ELF" had been made into a musical, so I needed crosses there (6D: 2010 hit Broadway musical with the song "Sparklejollytwinklejingley"). And "Lagniappe" is not a word whose meaning I could remember. I'm about as un-Southern as they come, I'm afraid. I believe I have seen the word before, but I believe I have seen it only in crosswords, and then only once or twice. Needed every cross to get EXTRA. If I had to write a million clues for BREAKFAST, I don't think I'd come up with this one ([Free motel offering nowadays...]), but I like it. I wish the clue had added something about how such BREAKFASTs are almost always unspeakably terrible, thus ruining one of the greatest meals God ever gave to man on this earth, but I can't stay mad at any clue with "motel" in it. All clues should feature motels or diners or bars or movie theaters (I just watched Barbara Loden's "Wanda" (1970), so I'm feeling the low-rent Americana right now).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:25 AM  

Medium for me.  A typical Tues.  Familiar theme, light on dreck...
liked it.

I too needed some crosses for EXTRA because I associate lagniappe with gift and @Rex only from a couple of previous crosswords.  Seems  like a Fri./Sat. clue.

Tough cross: RAO/ROBB which Neville and Chen acknowledge at Xwordinfo. 

chefwen 2:15 AM  

Hoo Boy, I ripped through this like nobody's business. I was moving so quickly I almost scared myself and I never time myself or go for speed, it just kinda happened. Loved it!

I was a big FATHER KNOWS BEST fan when I was growing up and wanted Dad to call me Kitten (love the kitties) but I was stuck with Bunny, which is O.K. too, I guess.

Only one write over t 60D XOXO over SWAK which is what we always put on the envelope flap.

Fun puzzle, just over too FAST.

Mike 3:48 AM  

Two things I liked: the second words of the theme answers descend from D to A, and the corresponding long non-themers with BLUE and RED. Pretty solid early week puzzle.

John Child 3:58 AM  

I liked this just fine for a Tuesday puzzle. Four long downs that are excellent - RED SHIRTS, BLUE STATE (no green paint there), SEX TAPES and IDEE FIXE. High Scrabble(TM) count at no cost in the fill.

I initially saw three theme answers and was disappointed, but FAIRY DUST showed up with the spot-on reveal. I care not a whit that a similar puzzle appeared six years ago. I can't always remember one-year-old puzzles.

I bet I've spent 100 nights in Econo Lodge rooms during my life, and their ubiquitous waffle irons make up in spades for any other culinary shortcomings at breakfast.



Anonymous 4:35 AM  

Congratulations to Neville. "...a fine Tuesday concept with decent execution and a reasonably pleasant grid..." is high praise indeed from @Rex.

Anonymous 5:16 AM  

Clue for 35D could have stopped after "...1971 hit" and been juicier. Confused lagniappe with lorgnette. Nice Tuesday.

Wes Davidson 6:48 AM  

Thought that lagniappe was an indian tribe in New Jersey.

GILL I. 6:51 AM  

From the wonderful word "Lagniappe" we get the mere EXTRA. In South America, while shopping at the central market, it was understood you'd get a little "yapa." Wonderful custom and it was the perfect time to try a certain pepper or spice you'd otherwise ignore... Do we now take that sing-song word and reduce it to "Freebie" or "Comp?"
When I finish my puzzles, I'll take a glance to see a word or two that might catch my fancy. Other than today's theme, which I thought was quite clever, nothing much else impressed me. Well, I'll confess to smiling at the "Surfer Dude" clue. BROS does bring on some memories when I lived a short time in the Palisades. I quickly learned the surfer lingo heard daily since just about all of my friends surfed. Every other word was bitchin, gnarly or stoked. Every gorgeous, blonde, tanned female was a dudette or a beach bunny. If you didn't like hearing the Beach Boys singing in every car radio or in all the shops on the beach, you were screwed. Shortly thereafter, I left for Spain and embraced Lucero Tena.
@Leapy from ayer....Yes...we're counting one day at a time...fingers still crossed!

Lewis 7:07 AM  

A workaday theme that speeded up my solve, and ASS is back! Answers I liked seeing: FAIRYDUST, NETWT, NOONE (as clued), CONCUR, IDEEFIXE, and MAUVE. Furthermore we have a down ARROW and DEW east. If ERA was clued, "The Roaring 20's, for example", we could have had a hat trick of 20 in the cluing. The puzzle felt zippy and intelligent and made for a lovely start to the day -- thank you, Sir Neville!

Z 7:15 AM  

Love the WOD. I did not realize that the word was such a cultural bastard. How cool is that?

I saw a tweet from a sci fi writer/prof who had run something through a plagiarism finder. The app flagged "Chapter 1: Introduction." I love technology. Rex has railed before against this sort of theme duplication. Is insufficient due diligence really a justification? The Puritan in me says, "No." At which point I tell the Puritan to "shut up and go to your room." Seriously, we should not be listening to Puritans. They're excessively judgmental and no fun at parties.

@Nancy late yesterday - re:Painted Lily - b. Anyone who would know you're right would not consider you pretentious. That would be puritanical and we'd have to send them to their room.

Hungry Mother 7:41 AM  

I had PIXIEDUST for a while, slowing me about 10%. I'm pretty slow, so it didn't much matter.

RAD2626 8:02 AM  

For second day in a row, totally agree with post of @chefwen including both the time comments and SWAK as the only writeover. Monday time. No rough spots at all. Long down EXTRAs were terrific. Two really nice puzzles to start the week.

AliasZ 8:28 AM  

I CONCUR: this puzzle was a FAntastic blaST. It passed the BREAKFAST test.

What are the odds that Neville Fogarty dug up a NYT puzzle from six years ago, XENONed it, changed a few things in the grid and submitted it as his own? I think he's guilty. Do you remember where you were and what you were doing on Dec. 1, 2009? Yeah, me too.

RE:AMS -- I prefer PM's, like doing the NYT puzzle at 10:01 PM.

During a routine DUI stop, make sure you don't FAll againST the FAr poST FAce firST, or you FAil the teST. Which reminds me, I have to buy more FAncy feaST for my cat. It's expensive, but once I make it big as a FAntasy noveliST, one of my works will turn into a hit movie starring a FAshion conteST winning actress with FAke breaST (whom we got at a FAir coST) and supported by a FAntasy caST, I'll be able to afford it. Then I can finally travel to OSAKA in the FAr eaST, and visit my FAvorite haistyliST in FAbulous BudapeST, .


chefbea 8:50 AM  

Fairly easy but I had to have Rex explain the theme. Didn't realize that Fa was at the beginning and st at the end. Of course I knew Stl.

Nancy 8:52 AM  

I liked it too. For a Tuesday, it had some clues and answers that were not entirely obvious at first glance; I liked IDEE FIXE, SEX TAPES (yes, they would certainly embarrass many celebrities), and RED SHIRTS, a term I've never heard. Thought the theme was well executed and liked the complete lack of junk. Nice job.

jberg 9:13 AM  

I liked the politics theme -- Presidents of the 1960s, Asian Prime Ministers, first Governor of PA, colored electoral maps. Was there another theme? Oh, BREAK FAST. That was OK, but somehow my solving experience took me down the West Coast, and once I got to the revealer I had all those free letters to make the rest too easy.

Hardest thing for me was IROC, entirely from crosses. What kind of a car is that?

67A "Mom's partner" = DAD seemed out of date, although nicely matched with the central theme answer.

Tita 9:18 AM  

coatofarms - same number o'letters as FAMILYCREST.
This is the kind of clever trick I admire in puzzle wordplay. I did vaguely feel it had been done before, but unlike @JohnC's steel trap memory, I can't remember puzzles from a week ago, much less a year or more.

Had REDSHIfTS...maybe I still had that outer space puzzle on the brain (that puzzle was less than a week ago, right?)

Yes, a bit musty, though that IROC Camaro has been updated with some XENON headlights. Oh wait...those are being obsoleted by led lights now...

Oh...and you totally got me at Cardinal cap initials...heads lap indeed when crosses dropped in STL!

Will is continuing the feline undercurrent 3 days in a row, with that STRAY alley cat.

Thanks, Mr. Fogarty!

quilter1 9:38 AM  

Very easy and fast Tuesday. We have a gift shop here called Lagniappe so that was a gimme. And they do give you a little something with purchase.

Z 9:47 AM  

@Lewis - I know you know better and it was just a slip of the fingers that spell-check didn't catch, but "speeded" was a fingernails on chalkboard moment for me. (Oh look - my technology thinks "speeded" is okay, too. Yikes)

UMGBlue 9:48 AM  

Edam Edam Edam

Z 9:50 AM  

Yikes, I say.. Even as a transitive verb it sounds wrong wrong wrong to me.

thfenn 9:55 AM  

Lots of fun. If 'Extra' had been the clue and 'LAGNIAPPE' the answer I never would have gotten there, but the other way around and with the crosses I learn something. Also IDEEFIXE had me convinced something was wrong for a bit, but got there. No peeks, no google, breezed through in a little over 10 - a perfect start to my Tuesday for me...

L 9:56 AM  

I often don't get these types of themes, so I was happy when I sorted it out before resorting to Rex' review. I was thrown by SEXTAPES at first because I didn't read the clue as a plural. Nice long downs today. Finally, I hate to get all nitpicky, but typically services in a synagogue are led by the cantor or chazzan, not the rabbi.

Charles Flaster 10:11 AM  

Liked it very much and not too much more than what others have said.
FATHER KNOWS BEST was fun to recall- a family tradition in my house.
Princess was Betty.
Kitten was Kathy.
Bud I think was James ( not sure).
Margaret and Jim were the parents.
Best episode was with Franz the gardener.
TMI sorry.
Did like the red blue symmetry in the puz.
Thanks NF.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:14 AM  

Nice Tuesday puzzle.

I laughed when I saw the reveal. I may have laughed at the same reveal six years ago, but I would never remember!

Your friend, Arfah 10:42 AM  

@Nancy, did you happen to check for any late addition editions of yesterday's comments?

Andrew Heinegg 10:42 AM  

Very pleasant solve; It offered a little resistance in a few places, which is what you want for a Tuesday puzzle. My longest hangup was my insistence on thinking of a synonym for blanched as in blanching a vegetable in boiling water (briefly) but, I got over it. It reminded me that having a idee fixe is not a good approach to solving crosswords!

Carola 10:57 AM  

Like @Alias Z, I smiled at this twist on the BREAKFAST test, which I feel I did pretty well on, in getting the reveal with no crosses: I'd noticed the FA...ST pattern. Nice to be reminded that with this morning meal we do indeed BREAK a FAST.

Hipster MONKS = BROS?

@Rex, thanks for the lagniappe explanation.

Roo Monster 10:59 AM  

Hey All !
Nice puz. I was going to start this post with a satirical jab at it being the same puz as the 2009 one, but I don't think it would've read quite right. Hell, I'm bad at satire in real life. :-)

Easy through the whole puz, til I hit the SE. Looking now at the completed grid, I have to ask myself why it held me up. Started with koreA for OSAKA. 58A was Time for a time, which made SEXTAPES, SEXTingS. And for the life of me, RED SHIRTS wouldn't pop into the ole brain. Finally said the love letters had to be XOXO, so wrote it in,then saw TAXI/SEXTAPES/REDSHIRTS. Always think of POuRED for PORED. Man.

Cool to see the whole IDEE FIXE in there. Liked the medieval SW corner with FABLE ARROW LIEGE. ABE as clued was weird. I'm sure this wasn't an easy puz to fill, but Neville pulled it off with maybe 1 or 2 drecks. Good job!


Anonymous 11:01 AM  

Here's what didn't fit for "Democratic stronghold" NEWYORKTIMES, WASHINGTONPOST, TIME, CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, NPR... So it had to be BLUE(blood)STATE.

As to "Spirit, mind and body" org. YMCA makes sense as the Y - Young, M - Men's and C - Christian have all been removed in the name of inclusiveness, which really just means you exclude groups that annoy you. Only the A - Association remains. So I'm off to the A to build my "spirit (yay team!), mind and body". Kinda.

OISK 11:01 AM  

Red shirts is a "gimmee" for a college sports fanatic like me! Never watched "Father Knows Best," still have no idea what "SKA" is , but it is a vital puzzle word, and am weak on operating systems (UNIX) and songs by the Who. ( I know they wrote the CSI theme song, but that's it.) I really wanted to write "RHINE" for "Place for a watch..." So while I enjoyed this, and liked the theme, it was an unusually slow Tuesday for me. Nice puzzle, just the same.

Masked and Anonymous 11:12 AM  

Awaiting followup lUnchbreak puz. This grid has more X's than U's!


fave weeject: RAO. (Rao. Ray-ay-ay-o. Raylight come and I wanna go home … )

fave romoo weejects: DAR/DAD.

So, constructioneer was usin a database to check up on his theme's dejavuosity, but the database didn't include NYTPuzs? Too bad. Coulda come up with more fresh themers, if he'da caught it. Examples:
* FAT KIDS SINK FAST. (Cool, but probably must recuse itself.)

I applaud @009, for not getting upset with Mr, Fogarty, for his theme reprisal. That sorta thing never bothers me much, but sometimes it can make @009 really hoot and high-step. (I know deep-down inside, @009 really wanted that FARTINGCONTEST themer.)

Masked & Anonymo3Us


DigitalDan 12:14 PM  

I always remembered it as "pixie dust." Did I make that up or did Disney or somebody decide they had to change it?

mac 12:15 PM  

Excellent Tuesday, congratulations, Neville!

Prosper Bellizia 12:15 PM  


Teedmn 1:12 PM  

A nice little Tuesday puzzle. I certainly don't remember the 2009 puzzle, might not remember if it was in August (though probably :-).

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who didn't know "lagniappe". I think I was confusing it with "frappé" because I was expecting something potable so I resisted putting the XOXO but ultimately not a problem. And I had to guess at the RAO-ROBB crossing but did so correctly, yay.

I always liked the phrase IDÉE FIXE but it was not coming to me today; seeing that IDEE??? develop in the NW was making me think I had something wrong but I was wrong. And I guess I've only heard of MONKS being "defrocked" rather than hearing their garments referred to as frocks.

Thanks, NF.

Numinous 1:33 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 1:58 PM  

What got me grouchy in this one was that 1 across, Yom Kippur service leader. Rabbi is wrong. The service is led by a Chazzan, or cantor, at least the way we do it in Natick. The rabbi gets up to give a sermon.

I never picked up the theme. didn't need to. did this one in under two minutes.

ANON B 2:57 PM  

I don't care about criticisms of any puzzle.
I am constantly amazed at the ability to construct one.
I believe in the old saying, "One man's meat is another
man's poison".
P.S. I find some of the criticisms to be picayune.
(There's a word I don't recall having ever seen in a puzzle).

Lewis 3:30 PM  

@Z -- I confess to using both, though if it turned out "speeded up" is wrong, I wouldn't have been surprised, and I would have worked to use only "sped up".

Here is what it says at The Grammarist: Sped and speeded are both standard inflections of the verb to speed, and neither is more correct than the other. The old rule, purveyed in many English reference books, holds that speeded works only in the past-tense phrasal verb speeded up, but this recommendation is dated. In real-world, 21st-century usage, writers generally use whichever they think sounds best. Speeded is widely used without up, and sped is likewise used both alone and with up. Sped is about three times as common as speeded, though, which suggests that it remains the safer choice.

Nancy 3:52 PM  

@OISK (11:01)-- Awwwww, say it ain't so. After all the wonderful moments we've shared waxing nostalgic about the Giants and Dodgers of the 1950s, I now find put that you never watched "Father Knows Best." What were you doing during that precious half-hour, OISK? What WERE you doing??

On the other hand, @Charles Flaster (10:11) -- How can you possibly remember what the "best" episode of "Father Knows Best" was? I don't remember ANY episode, much less "Franz the Gardener." THAT WAS 60 BLEEPING YEARS AGO, @CF! Your memory absolutely intimidates me.

And speaking about memory, @Tita (9:18), thank you, thank you (!) for saying that you can barely remember puzzles from last week, much less from six years ago. (I think there were 1 or 2 others who may have said the same thing today.) You all make me feel SO much better about my notoriously fuzzy memory.

@Arfah (10:42) -- I'm glad you called my attention to your late post yesterday, which I would have missed. I don't remember seeing your name before and I'm delighted if my comment inspired you to join the conversation. But (idle question) didn't you spell your name DIFFERENTLY yesterday?

Aketi 5:21 PM  

@ Wes Davidson. Lagniappe Is very close to Lenape which is the real tribe that lived in parts of Deleware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. My son's fourth grade class had to do a major project on the Lenape complete with parents coming to visit to see the report, tools, outfits and food they had prepared

I instafilled with the exception of the typo of ARIeL instead of ARIAL and I EYED that error very quickly. Even though I effortlessly filled in BREAKFAST I didn't get the theme until I came here. Can I blame that lapse on missing BREAKFAST this morning?

@ Anonymous 1:58 pm, a time of under 10 minutes shall always ELUDE me even if I instafill because my inability to type on the iPAD limits my solve time, yet allows me to solve in my preferred position for crossword puzzles: horizontal and preferably still in my pajamas. Bravo on your skills, I can't even manage a 2 minute solve time using a pen for the crossword puzzles in the ad-filled free papers handed out at subway stops in the morning.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the frequent demise of those wearing RED SHIRTS in Star Trek.

Z 6:10 PM  

@Lewis - yeah, I see it's accepted. Still fingernails on chalkboard to my ears. Sorta like @LMS and mislying something.

Norm 6:41 PM  

@jberg: Chevrolet Camaro IROC. International Race of Champions. As I recall, they took three top drivers from four (maybe more?) different racing formulas (Formula 1, NASCAR, etc.) and put them in [supposedly] identical Camaros on different types of tracks to suss out who the best of the best was. I think the IROC later just became a, yawn, model designation.

old timer 6:53 PM  

I know I'm late, but I had to add, one man's fish is another man's poisson.

And I'm here to announce I finally got Sunday's super-devilish Split Decisions. I finished it at last this morning and cannot believe one of the words. Really, my favorite novelty puzzle, and they can't be easy for Fred Piscop to create.

Deb Amlen's Sunday commentary features the two words/word combinations that give me the most trouble, and since thee may be some of you still struggling with it, I won't give the problem areas away here.

kitshef 8:50 PM  

Odd, everyone seems to think this was easy and fun,but i thought hard (for Tuesday) and dull. I like IDEEFIXE ... and that's it. And for that had to tolerate XOXO, ICONCUR, AAA, ATM, NETWT, and worst of all DARER.

Also I like motel breakfasts.

Also also I was hoping yesterday's Berlin link mightbe followed up with some Motels.

Arphah Ligon-Ward 9:16 PM  

@Nancy, am delighted that you apparently took my remark in good humor. As your sharp editorial eye noted, I spelled my name differently because every evening I have to check my pH. As you'll note, I'm cited by name (correctly) in this wax cylinder recording that Alfred, Lord Tennyson himself made in 1890, when he starts "The Charge of the Light Brigade" with 'Arfah Lig, Arfah Lig, Arfah Ligon-Ward, All in the valley of Death rode the six hundred'.

Alma Mahler,eat your heart out.

phil phil 9:49 PM  

I would have should have recognized ROBB without running the alphabet, but...
I figured it should be an abbreviation by L.B.J. clueing.

Anonymous 9:20 AM  

I believe Tiger Woods has won the Espy 21 times instead of 23

Burma Shave 10:27 AM  


When DAD leaked SEXTAPES bearing the FAMILYCREST,


spacecraft 11:43 AM  

I will NOT seal this posting with XOXO (oh, please!). That and DARER are two serious markdowns in this one. For once I didn't skip ahead to the revealer clue, but saw early on that they all began with FA and ended with ST. Was expecting the revealer to be FASTBREAK. Close! Well, my mind was on basketball because UNLV coach Dave Rice just resigned/got fired after a dismal 0-3 conference start. SOSAD. Fast break was, unfortunately, the ONLY thing his teams did well (official name: Runnin' Rebels).

I remember learning about lagniappe during, I believe, a Super Bowl pre-game feature. I think the practice should spread. Just picked up a baker's dozen bagels from Einstein's yesterday. Synchronicity?

I'm not bothered by the repeat; it's new to me. I thought it was a cute idea. Easy-medium, some iffy fill: B-.

rondo 2:11 PM  

Those are some long BREAKs in the FAST. Not the greatest puz in the world but certainly serviceable for Tuesday. Cold maybe have a basketball revealer with FASTBREAK?

SOSAD there’s no BEVY of yeah babies today. I can make a connection to NOONE. Not even Herman’s Hermits.

@spacey – I did get your Walter reference the other day. When will he turn the Paige?

43d, hmmm. @Cathy and @Diana LIW, I can be made available. XOXO

A colorful mix with BLUESTATE and REDSHIRTS.

ICONCUR that this puz was rather easy.

leftcoastTAM 3:26 PM  

Took medium-challenging Tuesday time to do this one.

Had ARIeL before ARIAL, and swak before XOXO; and slowed down at IDEEFIXE (didn't expect French) and NETWT.

Then I had to look to see the break in FA...ST.

I like a Tuesday challenge.

rain forest 3:55 PM  

Very nice, fun, theme-tight puzzle. No real hangups for me, but a few areas which caused a couple of nanoseconds pause. The best example of this was, I had bachelor DAD (never heard of PENN), but when I got 67 D I had to go back and change it. Wasn't there a TV series called "Bachelor Dad"?

I never use a straw in a drink. I think straws suck.

Dec. 1, 2009? Let's see--I recall I was teetering on a ladder hanging Christmas/holiday lights on the eaves where the ice dams form, freezing my carpals off, and anticipating the eggnog I was going to have as a reward for my derring-do. Crossword puzzle? Not so much.

Burma Shave 4:22 PM  


When DAD leaked SEXTAPES bearing the FAMILYCREST,


Anonymous 4:45 PM  

So, it's all been said. know how your eyes see what isn't there? I was looking over the completed puz and wondered what kind of NEWT was on a cereal box??? Some salamander friend of SpongeBob Squarepants that I don't know about? I'm no so much up on cartoons or breakfast cereal. Then I came here. Oh. NET WT OH. Nevermind...

Diana (Rosanadana), Lady-in-Waiting for CrossWords

BS2 4:46 PM  

@ all syndilanders and others who check in 5 weeks later:
11+ months down and about one to go to complete an entire year with at least one new verse every day, including Sundays, even while on vacation. +/- 350 verses so far, highlighting NYT Xword puzzle answers of the day, and most often focused on the theme or at least including theme answers. Some of the verses did not post during the summer moderation phase or on other random occasions, but I still have each and every one saved in Word format. The goal was/is to make it one year, possibly longer. We’ll see how it all works out. I haven’t yet been approached about the rights to the book . . .

leftcoastTAM 4:56 PM  

I haven't commented on your postings for a while, but this one is at least consistent with your usual amusing creativity, from title start to name at finish.

leftcoastTAM 6:04 PM  

@Burma Shave:

Probably obvious that my previous post was directed to you, but I want to make sure.

Congrats on your all but one year anniversary. Please do set out for number two.

rain forest 12:27 AM  

@BS I always appreciate the creativity that goes into your puzzle-related, sexy little poems. Way to hang in there.

Tita 7:43 AM  

@Burma... This realtimer naming back to say thanks and please keep up the good work!

Gotta get back to the furore now...there is a real chance that if I meet myself I the past, we both might cease yup exist...

David Bowman 1:23 PM  

Two errors in today's puzzle:

In 4D, "a group of quail" (no need for the odd plural "quails") form a COVEY – Not a BEVY. Beauties gather in a BEVY – quail gather in a COVEY.

Also, in 26A, it is not the CREST that bears three knights' helmets in the Irish Kennedy coat-of-arms, but the escutcheon (or shield). The CREST is the device borne on top of the helmet, which sits atop the escutcheon in a coat-of-arms. In the case of the Irish Kennedy coat-of-arms, the CREST consists of a dexter hand proper, holding a sprig of oak fructed proper, meaning: a right hand natural color, holding a sprig of oak with leaves and acorns, natural color.

However, in the Scottish Kennedy coat-of-arms, which is entirely different from the Irish arms, the CREST is a "dolphin nalant argent."

Anonymous 11:38 AM  

I'm new to this. Can someone explain the hint on 45 across to me? How do you get "score" out of "20"? Thanks!

Z 3:17 PM  

@anon11:38am - When Abe said "Four score and seven years ago..." he was using "score" as in twenty (see definition 1), or "87 years ago...."

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