Jean old-time French pirate with base in New Orleans / MON 3-21-16 / Coffee shop employee / Sink-side rack / Action star Jason

Monday, March 21, 2016

Constructor: Michael Hawkins

Relative difficulty: Challenging (3:45, i.e. a Medium Tuesday)

THEME: HUSH HUSH (66A: Top-secret ... or a hint to 17-, 25-, 39- and 56-Across (AND 66-Across!) — phrases contain "SHH"

Theme answers:
  • SMASH HIT (17A: #1 success)
  • RUSH HOUR (25A: Likeliest time for a traffic jam)
  • TRASH HEAP (39A: Rubbish pile) (not RUBBISH HEAP?)
  • FISH HOOK (56A: It's at the end of the line)

Word of the Day: Jean LAFITTE (21A: Jean ___, old-time French pirate with a base in New Orleans) —
Jean Lafitte (c. 1780c. 1823) was a French-American pirate and privateer in the Gulf of Mexico in the early 19th century. He and his elder brother, Pierre, spelled their last name Laffite, but English-language documents of the time used "Lafitte". The latter has become the common spelling in the United States, including for places named for him. (wikipedia)
• • •

I'm going to judge this as a Tuesday puzzle, since the constructor had nothing to do with what day of the week it ran on. But just for the record, I was almost a minute slower than (Monday) average on this puzzle. Its fill and clues make it manifestly un-Monday. LAFITTE is late-week stuff, STATHAM is a name I know but had no clear idea how to spell, understanding the clue and parsing the answer at 47D: Union agreements, informally? (PRE-NUPS) were both really tough to do, etc. Vague clues on UNWISE and UNTIDY, plus LAFITTE, plus IGNEOUS made that NE weirdly slow-going. Annoying when puzzle is so badly mis-slotted, but again, that has nothing to do with the puzzle's inherent quality. So ... quality. I mean, it's fine. I sort of like the SHHs (SHH is horrible fill on its own, but it's a neat little hidden element), and I like that the revealer also participates in the gimmick—nice trick. The fill is OK, but seems very 50-years-ago (despite Jason STATHAM crossing SAM Smith). I don't think people have given each other NOOGIEs in generations, DIG? Sorry if I sound like a FUSSPOT (another word no one has used in decades), but this just felt musty. It's like a nice-ish sweater that smells a little of mothballs: I'll keep it, but I won't find it too pleasant to ... wear ... in the near term. I think the simile fell apart a bit there, but you get the idea. Do WAH Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy old (60D: Do ___ Diddy Diddy" (1964 #1 hit)).

IN SPACE is kind of a weak stand-alone answer (44D: Where "no one can hear you scream," per "Alien"). I really dislike UNCAST, but I think that might just be personal taste (although, in my defense, it really really doesn't google well). Most of the annoying stuff is too slight to be too bothersome. I tripped all over the place. Took a while to remember DRAINER (3D: Sink-side rack). I call mine a "drying rack" and actually tried DRY RACK here, which is ridiculous, since "rack" in is in the clue. Had NEW DAY for NEW ERA (59A: Dawning period). Had CUT IT for CAN IT (63A: "That's enough out of you!"). I'm going to CAN IT now and get back to my laundry.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:07 AM  

Tough Mon. for me too. But, part of the blame goes to me skimming the clues, e.g. I read "Be on the look out" and put in ABet. It took many precious nanoseconds to undo that. The rest of the blame goes to what @Rex said.

Solid Mon. with a cute/clever theme and not much dreck, liked it.

Jon 2:17 AM  

For some reason I thought the theme was just double H's which was just as well since it helped me in areas. It started easy enough for a Monday then got stuck for a bit. Didn't think it was that challenging but I have a knack for the unusual. Still not speedy but less than a hour for me which is averageish for me.

Carola 2:22 AM  

Very nice! After SMASH HIT and RUSH HOUR, I asked myself, "Now how is he going to make a double H into a theme?" In my case, he kept the answer top secret until the reveal, as I never noticed the preceding S's, Still, knowing there'd be an HH in each theme answer definitely helped me get TRASH HEAP and FISH HOOK quickly. Loved LAFITTE, IGNEOUS, RUTHLESS, FUSSPOT, PRENUPS, I see Rex's point about the day-of-the-week difficulty level, but I found this to be a treat of a Monday all around.

chefwen 3:22 AM  

Other than the SE corner I thought this was fairly easy. Didn''t know the STATHAM fella or SAM COOK, like Rex I had NEW day before NEW ERA. Had RAT in/out and in again. It took me a long time to sort that out.

Noticed the back to back H's right away, seeing the S in front of them took a little longer. DOH!

Thought of 'Mericans in (wherever they are today) at 42A.

Wouldn't call this a SMASH HIT, but it was a great start to the week.

jae 3:49 AM  

Oops, meant to do an @m&a for the "precious nanoseconds" phrase.

Loren Muse Smith 4:09 AM  

I can report that this was hardish here for a Monday, too. Early on, I had "pourous/sloppy" for IGNEOUS/UNTIDY and, Rex, I had "new age" for NEW ERA.

A while back, in an email exchange with a regular poster (who has given up on this place because of the new system), we somehow ended up playing around with phrases that had HH in them. That alone is fun for me, and so at first, I was just thinking this was phrases like that. But I kept looking at the reveal, wondering, and finally saw that it's actually SHH. Cool.

And really cool that the reveal fits, too. Seriously cool. Cool.

I don't think I've ever said TRASH HEAP. (Never said "rubbish heap," either.) I'm more of a "pile of garbage" person myself.

I had on the tv this weekend while making my lunches for the week, and a Jason STATHAM movie was on. I tell you, whatever movie he's in, he's a RUTHLESS assassin but will always be kind to the kids and the pets and keeps a very tidy house. I'm sure he always puts the seat down. What a guy.

I think the single toughest entry was BUEN. I took a year of Spanish but didn't learn that one until the guys at the Midland Park Bagel Shop taught me, "Qué tenga un buen día."

@Z from yesterday – Another defector told me that Rex had thrown out the baby with the bathwater, but in all fairness, I agree that we're but a small minority here. Like you, I'll just be grateful that I have a place to talk about a puzzle with such a smart group of people.

Hey, everyone, qué tenga un buen lunes.

Z 5:49 AM  

LAFITTE was a gimme this weekend. IN SPACE as clued was easy enough, but it, too had a special resonance due to this weekend. Yet, a full minute over my typical Monday as well. I was going to blame it on my general fatigue, but I'll blame Will instead.

As a Tuesday puzzle this was excellent.

Lewis 6:11 AM  

I like the SHH theme, just right for a Monday, and there was even a touch of bite in a couple of places. I’m not sure about the feng shui of having that TRASHHEAP right in the middle of the puzzle, but I’m willing to forgive because there are lots of finds here.

I, who inexplicably track double letters, was hoping for a very high count due to this theme, and the 15 is fairly high, but not unusually high (over 20). I like that the LSD is high, I see the end RUN, the SAT down, and the RAT out. I realized that there is a SPA INSPACE, and I stopped to wonder if Naomi was ever RUTHLESS. There is a mini-theme of words ending with A (10), and I loved the answer FUSSPOT.

The theme reminds me of a certain politician accused of having SMALLISH_HANDS.

RooMonster 6:36 AM  

Hey All !
Seemed a straightforward MonPuz to me. At least time wise. Did have two writeovers, so there's that. circlE-SPHERE, thiN-LEAN. Nice dreck-lite fill. A nit... too many UNs. Pumps up the U count though...

NOOGIE! How can you not like that answer? Semi-difficult answers fairly crossed, IMO.


GILL I. 6:40 AM  

Lots of UNS and how cute the RET RAT RES RUE ROY.
Seemed more of an oldERAish puzzle. I don't think I've heard the word Davenport used in a hundred years.
TRASH HEAP in the middle...hmm, kinda says it for me.

Aketi 7:24 AM  

My son just verified that little kids in the Martial Arts classes he helps teach still give each other NOOGIEs so that expression has staying power. DIG it, however, was old when I was a teenager which was soooo last century.

I liked FISH HOOK and PULL TABS which I associate with hanging out in San Francisco Bay trolling for bass while my Dad sipped his beer from cans. We used to make chains out of the pull off version before the eco friendlier version was developed.

AliasZ 7:37 AM  

This was the best Tuesday puzzle masquerading as a Monday in recent memory. When my Monday solve time is a few minutes longer than average, I just LAFITTE off. Chalk it up to my dumbing down with age, or to NYT puzzles toughening up for Mondays -- the latter being my preference.

The SHH theme certainly does not belong in the TRASH HEAP. The SMASH HIT RUSH HOUR, RUSH HOUR 2, etc. brought a smile, and "HUSH… HUSH, Sweet Charlotte" brought back memories of a fine thriller showcasing a great cast toward the latter stage of their careers: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Agnes Moorehead, Joseph Cotten, and Mary Astor (her last movie).

The name of the character played by Jason STATHAM in his "Transporter" franchise is Frank Martin, which by sheer coincidence, is also the name of a Swiss composer (1890-1974). His magical Mass for Double Choir a cappella is well worth a listen.


L 8:12 AM  

Similar to Rex - tbe NE was hard and the last to fall in place for me. But I thought the theme was HH, so thanks for pointing that out. Tough for a Monday, but it's good to have a challenge at the start of the week.

Unknown 8:19 AM  

@LMS 4:09 AM: Agree with your comment to @Z and with his comment yesterday.

Working my way down the grid I hit the “HH” in SMASHHIT, and thought the double H looked really cool as an entry. Then I got RUSHHOUR and lookee there. Another HH pair. How cool is that? And how much was this appearing it might be some kind of theme?

As usual, I ignored reading the theme stuff in the revealer clue until after. Unlike yesterday, the conceit became apparent during the solve.

The solve was a lot of fun to get and seemed really smooth. Even with some tough spots, it kept me rolling along.

The last letter in was the SE “M” as a (happily correct) guess.

Some strange word strings to my wondering eyes did appear on the breast of the new-fallen snow (this morning’s weather being SLED weather, i.e. ALBA precipitation).

LSD SOFA UNTIDY (A little too busy DIGging the rainbows on the wallpaper to clean it up, noting there is no wallpaper let alone rainbows)

OUR POOL NOOGIE (The personal bully we keep on hand to deal with other kids breaking the swimming rules)

SUMMERY DUI (Judgement because you must be drunk if you ask the officer putting you in handcuffs [appropriately slurred], “If you’re so smart, how come you’re a cop?”)

DRAINER IN SPACE!! (Sci-fi flick about a vampire superhero fighting the usual alien suspects)

SENORA RUSH HOUR (Limbaugh’s alter ego radio show)

LOSE SITAR FRUE (Misplacing the fret-handle cleaner)

SMASH HIT >> WRONGS (Range of comments for yesterday’s puzzle)

IGNEOUS PRENUPS (Reality show about when they go bad)

TOOTH SPA (Why not give your teeth some self-time, too?)

EMILE LAFITTE, TYRA BUNT, ED ENSAT, ROY STATHAM, FURTH ERBUEN, AL TAR (Random grid names, in case you are looking for one to change your identity)

ADIEU and Cheers

RP 8:22 AM  

I was slightly under my Monday average time (around 10 minutes), so it wasn't a Tuesday puzzle for everyone.

Tita 8:30 AM  

Saw the SHHs, avoided the revealer to delay the aha moment.
And fell into a trap.
zipIT and Wap made that whole corner a nightmare, since I had no idea about STATHAM or SAM and found it totally plausible that there could be a music style called TEz_NO.

Very fun puzzle with a very cool execution. Hard for Monday, but not worth giving Will NOOGIES over.
Thanks, Mr. Hawkins!

@lms, @Z, I've always been in the bathwater camp...though I sheepishly admit to not missing George B's personal crybaby.

chefbea 8:31 AM  

this was hard for a monday but finally finished. I saw that all the themers had HH...didnt see the S in front. Cold here this morning..had to dig out a turtleneck and sweatshirt. At least no snow like Connecticut!!!

kitshef 8:38 AM  

UNTIDY crossing UNWISE must violate some kind of crossword rule; written or otherwise. And I wonder about USA crossing USO, too.

Solved as across-only and finished, which by definition qualifies it as easy (I finish without resorting to downs only about a third of the time when I attempt across-only).

First two themers were SMASHHIT and TRASHHEAP, so I was looking for an 'ASH' theme, which threw me off for a with the LA from LAFITTE.

Hand up for NEWage before NEWERA. Also lasheED before REAMED (when I was still had ASH on the brain).

We've had WAH a few times recently; this is the best clue for it.

Revealer made me think of 'Til Tuesday.

jberg 8:41 AM  

As a lad, I really dug Jean LAFITTE, so that was a gimme. Hardest part for me was reading the clue numbers wrong and putting in RAT where RET belonged. Fiendish, placing them right next to each other like that.

I saw the theme with RUSH HOUR, which helped the solve a bit, but the revealer was great. If you were Gertrude Stein, you could engrave it on a ring. Or on a Sunday you could go for 18 letters with YEESH! HUSH HUSH, HONEY (exasperated response to wife's loud snoring).

The midwestern flavor -- or maybe it's just the "what my mother called things" flavor -- of DRAINER and DAVENPORT brought a nostalgic smile to my face.

Mohair Sam 8:44 AM  

Yup, agree with y'all - excellent Tuesday puzzle run on a Monday.

Jason STATHAM is the glue holding the Guy Ritchie's delightful "Snatch" together. I have yet to meet a man who doesn't love the flick (I know three different guys with totally different backgrounds and careers who can quote nearly every line from the flick), and yet to meet a woman who enjoyed it. Go figure.

Hungry Mother 8:51 AM  

Pretty quick one for me, but I'm no way a speed solver. I like Jason's movies, but I thought there was an R in there.

Lobster11 9:28 AM  

Personally, I prefer a Monday puzzle with Tuesday+ difficulty, because otherwise I rarely get any joy out of Monday puzzles. I do crosswords to relax, not to compete; I solve on paper and never time myself. A typical Monday puzzle just doesn't last long enough to be satisfying in this way, so for me the more challenging the better. So, I liked this one pretty well.

My only complaint was the SAM/STATHAM cross in the SE corner. I've never heard of either of them, so had to guess at the M. I happened to guess right, but I don't like having to guess.

aging soprano 9:32 AM  

Enjoyed this puzzle immensely and don't really care if it is a Monday or a Tuesday as long as I can solve it. Didn't know BARISTA or STATHAM or REAMED, but the crosses brought them to light. Was proud to have Lafitte on the tip of my tongue. Must have learned about him back in those early days when I remembered everything. Like Rex, found UNCAST unsettling. Loren and Lewis, got a chuckle out of your posts. My laundry is done. Time for a nap. SHH.

Nancy 9:45 AM  

For me, "hard for a Monday" is a compliment, not a pejorative. So I agree with Rex's diagnosis, but not his review, to mix my metaphors. The puzzle offered a little welcome resistance at times, though I wouldn't want to exaggerate its "challenge". That tough, it's not. But perfectly fine for a Monday.

Malsdemare 10:21 AM  

A bazillion years ago, when I was a mere slip of a girl, I fell in love with Yul Brynner. He starred in what must have been for anyone with a modicum of taste a totally forgettable movie called "The Buccaneer," playing Jean Lafitte. He had a full head of --someone's -- hair and he buckled his swash in a most manly fashion. The movie was set in New Orleans during the War of 1812, and Lafitte was aiding the infant US run the blockade. So LAFITTE fell with ease, as did almost everything else. My sense of refinement doesn't go far enough to decide if a puzzle is a Monday or a Wednesday; for me, they are doable or not, and this was very doable. Loved FUSSPOT, NOOGIE, IGNEOUS, and of course, LAFITTE. Thanks, all!

Malcolm Gibson 10:29 AM  

A terrific Monday -- "easily challenging." In other words, not "too easy," as with most Mondays, with just enough pauses of thought with a few spots having to be revisited. Just as any puzzle, no matter the day of week, should be for The New York Times.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:32 AM  

Good one.

Hand up for NEW DAY >> NEW ERA.

Chaos344 10:41 AM  

Agree with Rex and all who thought this was more like a Tuesday. I was almost a full two minutes over my usual Monday time, but I really liked the puzzle.

@Z: Agree with your late Sunday posts. Glad you are enjoying NOLA, but I missed the PPP count. Our Tigers will be playing for real in two weeks! Can't wait, but I hope V-Mart's hammy is better by opening day.

Anonymous 10:51 AM  

I DIG the sanctimony of "Busted boozer's offense, for short" (DUI). Grab the PULLTABs of 2 craft beers in an hour and you'll RUE that day if some RUTHLESS cop wants a feather in his cap. Because you're over the limit, dude.

mac 10:55 AM  

This puzzle felt middle-aged to me, but a steady solve. Statham was the only word I had to get from

I also thought the theme was about HH: Hummel Hummel. Should have looked at the reveal more closely.

Joseph Michael 10:56 AM  

Yes, it does seem like a Tuesday, but it's nice to have something a bit more challenging on a Monday.

Clever theme and mostly decent fill though I had to guess at LAFITTE, STATHAM, and NOOGIE (does that sound like a law firm?)

Liked the clue for PRENUPS and the SHH in HUSH HUSH. A SWEET CHARLOTTE mught have brought this puzzle to the threSHHold of greatness.

Leapfinger 11:28 AM  

@McGILLicuddy, Davenport, Iowa has a fairly sizable population.

So we've just had an Irish holiday and now I can put away my Irish harp.

Here's what my Scots buddy, Wee Geordie, had to say:

"Aye, an'it's being a sore Monday, for the dropsy hit my flock baaad, and all of my wee ewes was in dire need of a DRAINER. I'd herd tell of a gude un (he was really moire a shearer), so I was about taking him na ane, na twa, but TRASHHEAP to DRAIN. On t'way t' his croft, we had just a mite rain, na a tRU SHHOUR, more of the usual Highland drizzle, but EVEN SO all TRA SHHEAP were wet inside and out when we arrived. But SOFA so gude, and when he were done all ewes were looking and feeling fine. Now I'm far from pinching a coin till it whimpers, but what he then asked for his FI SHHOOK me up terrible. And himself nothing more than a SMA' SHHIT..."

Now I'm not one to pass SUMMERY judgment, but perhaps it's best not to judge E-man till you've walked E-MILE in his E-mocs. Or Brogans.

@AliasZ, I'm also old enough to have thought of "HUSH, HUSH, Sweet Charlotte". Is it true that who LAFITTE offs last, LAFITTE offs best? You oughtn't make me scramble to recoup my losses.

Fun solve, whatever the day. As @jae says, liked it.

Hartley70 12:06 PM  

@jberg, I think it's an era thing, not locale. I loved seeing "davenport" because I'd forgotten its existence and I was immediately transported to my grandmother's "parlor". Her maroon velvet davenport always had antimacassars along the top of the davenport back, although I don't remember anyone using hair cream at the time. I think she crocheted them herself. What a great word to pop into the puzzle mix!

This was a sterling Monday. I had to work for STRATHAM, WAH and TECHNO, making the revealer a bit of a challenge. I hung onto "wop" for a long time giving me pUSH. I really enjoyed the tussle at the beginning of the week.

nick 12:08 PM  

Loved the puzzle and the fact it wasn't Monday-easy, though it did play mostly easy for me. Well, right up until the sam/barista/statham crossing.

Hate to be a fusspot in a puzzle that gave the serendipitous gift of 'adieu' as my last bit of fill, but the SE was a natick for moi.

Masked and Anonymo12Us 12:59 PM  

fave weejects: WAH. DUI. (DUI is duck bro of HUI and LUI, btw.)
Didn't know STAT HAM. Rest of puz was pretty eazy-e.
Luv HUSHHUSH revealer.
12 U-count is awesome, and makes this a possible I Fink U Freaky Award nominee. Good to see one, so early in the season.

"Dining on the banks of the Animas"

Teedmn 1:13 PM  

Sweet Monday theme with the revealer being a bit coy, rather than having a note hitting us over the head. I briefly had BiEN for BUEN but that bore the BrUNT of the difficulty this puzzle presented.

I'm going start working on my Scottish burr so I can read @Leapfinger's TRA SSHEAP story in the style in which it deserves to be savored. TYRA as I might, I CANIT come up with any FURTHER SMA SSHITe to add.

Thanks, Michael Hawkins.

Jim 1:51 PM  

Found it easy for a Monday -- well below average time. Knew Lafitte and In Space so that helped. Like others, thought the theme was "HH". Guess I did not need it.

puzzle hoarder 4:12 PM  

Very late entry today. We had a busy morning and early afternoon here at work.
I'm intrigued by the Monday/Tuesday discussion. While solving I kept thinking of how a novice solver would experience it and came away thinking it would be great for them as there's absolutely nothing I consider to be exotic. I did have to work around LAFITTE but that was due to a reading error. I started reading the clue for it and thought it referred to a French actor who'd played a pirate and didn't want to waste time on it. I didn't pay attention to it again until the F went in, then the lightbulb went off.
I take issue with the theme. Hush-hush is is a term completely separate from hush. It has it's own definition it just means what's coming next is strictly confidential. Shh, is just a sound to silence noise and requires no translation. I was wondering if HH is some obscure acronym for hush-hush. The blog pointed out the esses. I hate wasting time on themes.
This site has a system? If so it's been so far so good.

Anonymous 5:03 PM  

Nice theme, at least that's what I thought when I did it several years ago for CrosSynergy (not the same theme answers if memory serves me correctly). But it's in one of my Sterling book colkections, I think the title was "It's Quiet in Here" or something similar. (To be clear, I am NOT saying anything was copied! In fact, I may not have been the first person to have done the theme!). I'll see if I can dig it up and post it.


evil doug 5:11 PM  

"Took a while to remember DRAINER (3D: Sink-side rack). I call mine a "drying rack"...."

I call mine a dishwasher in the drying mode.

Check out "Snatch"--Statham's fun, and Brad Pitt's best work. Brilliant.

Nancy 6:11 PM  

@Malsdemare (10:21 am) -- I'm so happy to know that I'm not the only person who was deeply in love with Yul Brynner back in the day, but I fell in love with him WITHOUT hair. I saw him at age 11 in "The King and I" when a fellow 5th-grade classmate celebrated his 11th birthday by taking some of his schoolmates to theater. (No, this was NOT typical of NYC children -- it was highly unusual, and it was a real treat.) Decades later, don't remember which decade, I saw him again in the role of the king. In both productions, he was magnetic, sexy, and electrifying. To me, he will always be the king. In fact, there IS no other king! When I finally saw him WITH hair, in various films, it seemed entirely wrong. It took away all that magnetism. And what you should understand about me is that I am totally a hair person, that I love really good, thick, well-cut hair on men, and that I am not at all attracted to baldness. But Yul was the exception to the rule. I'm just wondering,
@Malsdemare, how you feel about Yul WITHOUT hair? You must have seen him in The King and I, if only on film. Right?

@Hartley (12:06) -- Never mind the word davenport. I'm GOBSMACKED by your oh-so-casual use of the word antimacassar. You even seem to know what it means, which is a lot more than I can say. I wish I could have seen your grandmother's parlor. I can't quite picture it (it's the antimacassar thing) but I bet it was really something!

Chronic dnfer 8:13 PM  

Hard for a Monday. Perfect for me. All good in the hood.

Leapfinger 9:47 PM  

@Teedmn, you did a far, far better thing with CANIT than was ever done before.

hawkins 11:41 PM  

MAS - Looks like you're referring to "Hush Inside!" from 2001. I searched for my revealer in cruciverb, but not each individual entry, before I constructed. So, although it only shares 1.5 of your themers, you did beat me to the theme by 15 years.

Apologies to everyone who experienced it as too hard for a Monday. Will is determined to print all my Tuesdays a day early. :)

Teedmn 12:40 AM  

@Leapfinger, thanks. Too bad my hurried post couldn't have gotten the basic SHH right! Please forgive!

spacecraft 11:04 AM  

With a full dozen U's, I knew M&A would be in his glory. With the absence of any of my pet peeves, so am I.

This one was almost slam-dunk easy for me; a little work was needed in the SE because of crossing unknowns SAM and STATHAM. Luckily there aren't many choices for a first name starting with SA_. BUEN without the -O was also unfamiliar, but filled in before I even noticed it.

The theme takes a nugget of questionable fill and turns it into a cool thing. I trust we will have used up our annual SHH quota after today.

No question who wins Damsel of the Day: the lovely TYRA. She is a SMASHHIT in my book. I'm familiar with FISHHOOK because that's what we cardplayers call a jack. Nothing to raise this FUSSPOT's IRE, so give it an A-.

Burma Shave 12:13 PM  


YES, we’ll start a NEWERA with an UNTIDY HUMAN touch,
if we’re RUTHLESS we’ll go FURTHER if OUR secret’s HUSHHUSH.


rondo 12:39 PM  

This puz is not bad, even if I’m getting shushed all over. Little if any junk fill. This is the type of puz to get a newbie going. And to keep a veteran staying.

Jason STATHAM was a gimme as the missus must watch every single movie he makes. If you’ve never seen “Snatch”, you must. Dark humor regarding a diamond heist, starring Mr. STATHAM, Brad Pitt, Benicio del Toro, Dennis Farina, and others you’d recognize. Guy Ritchie’s best as a director. Hilariously dark, or darkly hilarious. I caught something new each of the first 5 times I watched it. OTFLMFAO!

@spacey, you are half correct with yeah baby TYRA Banks. But if one looks FURTHER, we have the equally (if not more) stunning yeah baby Jessica ALBA. Sorry, Ms. KAHLO, the unibrow is a DQ (and I don’t mean Dairy Queen).

Really nice Mon-puz, and with that I gotta RUN. ADIEU.

rondo 12:51 PM  

Finally read the comments. Once again, @ED and I think alike. Where you been?

leftcoastTAM 2:10 PM  

Monday medium with a HOOK in the SE. The only ST_THAM I know is named STiTHAM, so stumbled in that corner. Couldn't get it from NEWERA because I also went for dAH instead of WAH and ended my round with a triple bogey Natick.

rain forest 2:55 PM  

Who really cares if any puzzle is deemed to be a "pick a day" appearing on "pick another day"? OMG, this took 48 seconds longer than my usual Monday! WAH! SHH, don't tell anyone, but I don't time myself-don't see the point-and some puzzles might take me longer than others to finish. So what.

Today's I found easy, period. Actually saw the theme after the second themer. Overall, the puzzle was pretty darn good. One write-over - NEW day - easily corrected. One of the finer puzzles to appear on a Monday, regardless of the relative ease. Not one for the TRASH HEAP.

Diana,LIW 4:13 PM  

It's Monday. So I decided to try something. I said to myself, "Self, since it's Monday, why not see how long it takes you to solve. Approximately. No pressure. Just glance at the clock, la la la la laa, looks like about 11. Now just solve like you always would."

Hah! And that managed to suck all the joy out of the solve. Which I did in about 18/19 minutes. After completing another puzzle I couldn't even REMEMBER this one.

Came back and looked it over, and it looks quite nice. Too bad I missed out on enjoying it. Didn't seem that hard. Solved like a themeless, as the tick tock was in the back of my head. Now that I see the theme - nice!

For those who are waiting with bated (or baited, if you had Nova at breakfast) breath, the paper is back to arriving on time.

Diana, Only Waiting for Crosswords

Diana,LIW 10:36 PM  

@Rainy - I can understand why one wouldn't care about why a puzzle would have a "pick a day" rating. However, whey you're in 4th grade puzzledom (second semester, I'll have y'all know) it helps us grammar schoolarians know what we're up against - or not - perhaps - by at least one assessor - with whom we often agree or disagree. Hmmm, that sounds like it doesn't matter too much...But we'll take any help or clues. ;-)


David Bowman 11:21 AM  

The 2005 book titled "The Pirates Laffite," by William C. Davis, demonstrated that the two pirates, Jean and Pierre Laffite, spelled their own name "LAFFITE," and not "LAFITTE." Examples of their two signatures, both showing the distinct double-f, appear in the illustrations of the book.

Blogger 5:14 AM  

If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you got to watch this video
right away...

(VIDEO) Have your ex CRAWLING back to you...?

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