Julie portrayer of Claire on Modern Family / MON 5-9-16 / Punk rock subgenre / Law force in 60s-70s tv's Ironside / Sam for whom Georgia Tech's School of International Affairs is named

Monday, May 9, 2016

Constructor: Dan Schoenholz

Relative difficulty: Medium (normal Monday)

THEME: In a state —first words of themers can precede "state" in state slogans—relevant states have their postal codes hidden (in circles) in the latter parts of the answers.

Theme answers:
  • ALOHA SHIRT (17A: Article of tropical apparel ... whose start is a state nickname for the state indicated by the circled squares)
  • "SHOW ME THE MONEY" (27A: Catchphrase shouted in "Jerry Maguire" ...)
  • BAY MARE (37A: Secretariat's mother, for one ...)
  • FIRST RESPONDER (45A: Emergency worker ...)
  • GOLDEN CALF (60A: Biblical idol ...) 
Word of the Day: BAY MARE (37A: Secretariat's mother, for one ... ) —
Bay is a hair coat color of horses, characterized by a reddish-brown body color with a black mane, tail, ear edges, and lower legs. Bay is one of the most common coat colors in many horse breeds. (wikipedia)
• • •

This theme is very clever. Consistent and interesting. Abbreviation for the Aloha State is embedded in ALOHA SHIRT, abbr. for the Show Me State is embedded in "SHOW ME THE MONEY," etc. Nice. I thought maybe a BAY MARE was a special kind of horse, but it's just ... red-brown horse. That makes it almost the embodiment of a "green paint" answer, except maybe BAY MARE is a more singular, coherent, stand-alone thing than I imagine. I don't know from horses. The phrases aren't all two-worders ("SHOW ME THE MONEY" is the outlier), but I don't think this mild inconsistency matters at all. The gimmick works very nicely. What I *don't* quite understand are the repetitive and highly unwieldy theme clues. Over and over again, "whose start is a state nickname for the state indicated by the circled squares." There has got to be a better way to indicate this—in a note? Or in some other way, much more concisely. This is one of those days where I really wish the NYT dailies had titles. This would be a huge advantage for constructors (who wouldn't always have to be thinking about "revealers" and whose grids could thus accommodate more theme material or be more open); and for solvers ... it adds another level of wordplay. Also, it's just nice when you name things. You name children and pets, why not puzzles? Anyway, all this repetitive (and to my mind unnecessary) clue verbiage was the only real drawback to this otherwise fine Monday.


I dropped SOYA in at 1A: Protein-rich bean with no hesitation, but that makes me feel oddly guilty. That is, I *know* it's SOYA because crossword muscle says SOYA but in real life I know only SOY beans, not SOYA beans. I have to believe that corner could do better (esp. as it has YEOW and ASEC and not-everyone-knows-it proper noun BOWEN in it). In fact, the fill really could use a strong upgrade. ISSUE TO is not exactly a sizzler, as longer answers go, and the short stuff is pretty crusty in places (SCAD ELIA! IRKED ELKO!). Strength of the theme keeps the fill from being too much of a distracting nuisance today. I fell into the TRA hole at 6D: La-la lead-in (OOH), but DON HO (of the ALOHA State) got me out (15A: "Tiny Bubbles" singer). Had SO AM I instead of SO DO I, which isn't terribly surprising (27D: "Me, too!"). Gonna go listen to the new Brian ENO now ... seriously.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:04 AM  

Medium tough for me. The theme clues needed careful parsing. I'm with @Rex, very clever, like it a lot!

kitshef 12:05 AM  

Wow! Not often that a Monday puzzle yields real entertainment value, but this one did emphatically. The state nicknames/abbreviations thing was way cool.

Of course, not sure it really belongs on a Monday. BOWEN seems a little outside Monday difficulty. MFA seems a lot outside Monday difficulty. ELKO (pop 18,297; Motto: “The Heart of Northeast Nevada” (seriously)) seems outside Saturday difficulty.

Images: DONHO wearing LACE, Arthur ASHE in an ALOHA SHIRT. A FIRST RESPONDER (name of STAN, and a real STUD), dressed to the NINES.

Charles Flaster 12:14 AM  

Total agreement with Rex as the theme carries the weak( necessary?) fill.
Very Ez with one writeover --IRKED for IRate. ELKO( good CROSSWORDease) set me straight and finished shortly thereafter.
BETTE Davis was about one generation ahead of me but I have TCM'd some of her movies and found her to be incredible.
For some more enjoyment, go to George Barany's site and try " Wall In The Family".
Thanks DS.

Unknown 1:01 AM  

Loved it! The clever gimmick delighted me. Especially liked SHOW ME THE MONEY. The SHOW-ME STATE is such a wonderfully odd state nickname. To get it in a famous phrase? That's serendipity. GOLDEN CALF was also very nice.

I had to go and try to see if any other state nicknames could be treated thus (and I bet I'm not the only one). The best one that I found is the single-word GEMINIDS (a mid-Decemeber meteor shower). There's also the bland NATURAL LAKE.

In the close-but-not-quite category there is COWBOY LAWYER. He might call to the stand a VOLUNTEER WITNESS, perhaps to testify against a neighbor who was growing GARDEN GANJA. I think that the SILVER SPACE INVADERS sounds like a good name for a rock band. One of the unofficial nicknames for my home state, Washington, is the Apple State, and that would have given us APPLE WATCH.

I liked the long fill, especially PARTY HOP, PLAY DOH, and SEQUENCE. DON HO above ALOHA SHIRT was fantastic. TAMES crossing BAY MARE in the center of the grid is also nice. Enjoyed Swedish SAAB next to Norwegian OSLO. The ADDICTS need to watch out for the nearby NARC, he works for the SFPD. The short fill wasn't perfect but I thought that it was pretty clean.

BTW, I was careless and got a DNF. I had IRate for IRKED and forgot to check the crosses.

Of course, I was *really* hoping for a theme that had been used in the past few years, so I was mildly disappointed that this puzzle was both clever and original.

Anonymous 1:21 AM  

I liked this puzzle so much that I think it could be expanded into a full-sized Sunday puzzle (in a decade or so). I'd like to suggest The FATLYI[NJ]ACKESS State as a potential theme answer.

Oh yes - Bay Mare is a real thing, not green paint. "Joe's bay mare" is how the horse would be referred to around the barn.

Anonymous 2:08 AM  

I liked the ISSUE TO cross of STAN Lee, for obvious reasons. Exclelsior!

Solved in Crux, a great app, which didn'f have the circles, but as usual, didn't matter for the
solve, but I did miss the theme.

And, just to add, the Columbian lady on "Modern Family" is way hot, but Julie BOWEN
Is the shizznit.


Loren Muse Smith 3:57 AM  

Rex – you said it: " This theme is very clever. Consistent and interesting." What a novel idea. When SHOW ME THE MONEY fell, I was really, really pleased with this trick and couldn't wait to see the others.

I agree on all the repetitive unwieldy clue deal. I hadn't realized until now that when we have this situation, I just do surgical strikes down into the clue to pluck out what I need. Grab that "emergency worker" in my beak and fly outta that mess. And, yeah, I'd like to see the dailies have titles.

I never know if that bean will be a navy, lima, fava, or SOYA.

Do we all now understand that a lieutenant is called a LOOIE? Third time in less than a month that we've had LOOIE or looies. I don’t know why I keep hearing a police sergeant say, "Yo Leut. Gotta minute?

And an ADM is over a LOOIE. Cool.

Extremely nice touch to have DON HO atop ALOHA SHIRT. And there's SUED over SHOW ME THE MONEY. A couple of letter changes, and you could've had EMT over FIRST RESPONDER and NINER over GOLDEN CALF (but it does cross SFPD). Hah! Over BAY MARE? I got nothin'.

Sam NUNN went in immediately. I grew up in Georgia. Wish PEACH GARDEN were a thing.

Really, really nice puzzle. I'll remember this one for a long time.

Anonymous 5:13 AM  

The number of colors of paint there are is inherently infinite. There are only a handful of common types of horse coats, one of which is BAY. Incidentally, "BAY" speaks to pattern as well as color.

George Barany 5:41 AM  

Thanks, @Rex, for your thoughtful commentary about @Dan Schoenholz's Monday puzzle, which he informs us elsewhere is his twentieth overall for the New York Times. Great public service to link to ENO tune; most crossword constructors take that three-letter combo of two vowels and a very friendly consonant pretty much for granted without really knowing what his oeuvre actually sounds like.

A friend of mine who lives in Louisville got me thinking about horses a couple of days ago, resulting in Come What May. Reason I bring it up is that surely Secretariat's mother had a name ... yep, Google informs that it was Somethingroyal. The horse of the century was known as "Big Red" but information on his dam's color is not so readily forthcoming. A good research topic for Mother's Day, no doubt (this link might help?)

Lewis 5:59 AM  

Very clever theme -- one of those where I wonder how the constructor thought of it. I looked at a list of state nicknames and tried to come up with more possible theme answers to no avail, so to come up with these and have the answers match each other in length was very impressive.

Does anyone ever say ALIT in real life?

I like the high COSTS and that if you go down from from the G in GOLDEN (of GOLDENCALF), you get GOLDEN another way. Loved the clue for ECHO, and the answers ACHEFOR and THRASH.

This was not only enjoyable, but it was a quality Monday puzzle. Greatly appreciated!

Z 7:50 AM  

The paper has gray grid cells instead of circles and the theme clues are in italics with ellipses instead of repeating verbiage. I've said it before, I'll probably say it again, the paper version is always more pleasing to the eye than the online version.

@Nancy's recent comments about Rock combined with SO DO - in the grid brought this to mind. Amazing what you might find at a "rock" festival.

Carola 8:01 AM  

SO DO I! (think that this is a very creative and entertaining puzzle). Like others who've commented, I looked forward to each theme answer in the SEQUENCE as a little gift to be unveiled, one pleasure after another. I especially liked how CALF was so close to CALiF. Thanks to @Martin Abresch and @Loren for the other grid felicities.

chefbea 8:03 AM  

Great cleaver theme...especially since I am from the show me state. Nice to have Don Ho above aloha shirt. Didn't like having a three letter state abbreviation included - Ida

AliasZ 8:05 AM  

@LMS, I think PEACH GARDEN can be a legitimate phrase. Why not? Although there is such a thing as PEACH AGATE.

@Lewis, I was thinking some of the following could have also made it: SUNFLOWER HUSKS, GRAND CANYON MAZE, CONSTITUTION PROJECT, GEM INSIDE, BEAVER FORT, CENTENNIAL COLISEUM, PRAIRIE WILLOW, BLUEGRASS JUNKY, SILVER ENVY, and who knows how many others. BUCKEYE PLAYDOH? Not so much.

As you can tell I had great fun with this puzzle because it was full of funny business. You may even call it humoresque.


RooMonster 8:05 AM  

Hey All !
Nice, clever theme. Agree with Rex that maybe some short stuff could've been cleaned up. Did like SW corner, though. I did like it, and found it fun.

Wrote in PREp for PREK at first! Also had STag-STUD, IRate-IRKED, ska-EMO.

Re: YesterPuz, started it late, and it took a while, but managed to finish 100% correct! WooHoo! Thought the H2O theme (which is how I wrote the rebus in) was cool. And liked how the phrases were regular if you took out the H2O. Also cool how they worked in the Downs.

So a couple of good puzs in a row. This must be Will's good/tricky week.


Hartley70 8:06 AM  

This was a primo puzzle for Monday. One of the best I can remember, because my time shows it didn't come easily. Often a Monday completion can be finished on automatic pilot but not this one. Thanks a bunch for waking me up, Dan!

I got stuck for a bit on YOUHADMEATHELLO because I was all about Rene, not Tom, in "Jerry Maguire". Tom sets my teeth on edge. He's a perfect example of TMI. Wasn't SHOWMETHEMONEY around long before this film?

I've never seen "Modern Family" so I didn't know BOWEN. Sitcoms are not my thing with a huge exception for "Seinfeld" and "30 Rock".

I could hum "Tiny Bubbles", but DONHO was just out of reach for the longest while. It felt really old timey.

Anonymous 8:08 AM  

When your theme features 5 two-letter postal abbreviations for state names, throwing in an arbitrary three-letter non-postal abbreviation (IDA) just makes a large "clunk" for me. Just sayin'.

Otherwise fine Monday.

Anonymous 8:29 AM  

I failed to read themers clue. So when I ended, I couldn't figure out the theme. It stated out with a hi mom so I thought it a mother's day message but of course it went south from there so I had to come here.took the pleasure of an aha moment so I won't do that again. Had so am i and Tra but corrected. T'was A little challenging for a mon.

Alysia 8:44 AM  

I was watching something the other day (can't for the life of me remember what is was), when I heard the narrator say "...alighted on..."

I promptly yelled out, "That's not acceptable crosswordese!", at which time both my husband and son looked at me like I'm a maniac.

And maybe I am. But sometimes it's good to come here and realize I may not be the only one. :)

Wm. C. 8:45 AM  

Clever theme. I was thinking that it was a difficult task to find these, then I see @AliasZ just tossing a handful over his shoulder without having to stop and think. Gr-r-rrr! ;-)

Anyway it played more like a Wednesday for me, which is good. I usually dislike Monday's for failing to give me a workout. Tnx, Mr. Shoenholz.

Lobster11 8:47 AM  

As usual, the one thing I liked best about the theme was that it was one of those that could actually contribute to the solve: e.g., if you saw ALOHA it would give you HI, or vice-versa. In a sense I think it's too bad when a clever theme like this appears on a day when the puzzle is so easy that you don't need the help.

My favorite part of OFL's writeup is his remark about feeling guilty for being able to plunk in SOYA without hesitation, because it's one of those words (in contrast to "soy") that he knows only from crosswords. Some of you will recall that I was ranting about the whole words-I-know-only-from-crosswords thing recently, complaining (only half-facetiously) that I didn't like having such arcana taking up space in my brain -- along with the likes of the Gilligan's Island theme -- which I'd much rather devote to knowledge that's valuable for something other than solving crosswords. But I recognize this guilty feeling, too: I just don't take much pride in being a better solver by virtue of having memorized a list of crossword trivia that I learned solely from previous crossword experience. If your primary goal is in fact to become a better, faster solver -- e.g., with faster times and/or fewer DNFs -- I understand that this is just part of the game. But for me, as a strictly just-for-fun-and-relaxation solver, this kind of crosswordese detracts from, rather than enhances, my enjoyment.

John Child 9:11 AM  

IDA is very unfortunate. It's clearly possible to do something else in that space. But even if you like the resulting fill with IDA better, why on earth clue it to a state abbreviation when the theme is state abbreviations? @anon 8:08 CLUNK

Gerald Harris 9:30 AM  

After completing Friday, Saturday and Sunday (for the first time) I breezed through today's puzzle. and I know that now I'm playing with the big guys (and gals) when the only erasures I had were the same as those made by Rex.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

Paper cutters = EDS?

Nancy 9:32 AM  

This can't have been easy to construct. I agree that it's both clever and original -- very fresh for a Monday.

Nancy 9:36 AM  

@ Mohair -- I left you a comment late yesterday. It basically said mea culpa.

Z 9:38 AM  

After my first post I checked email and saw a late post from @Nancy. If you like folk you just might Beam at my link.

Pop Culture, Product Names, and Proper Noun Analysis

One of the ongoing issues with PPP is the wheelhouse v. outhouse phenomenon. If you had asked me about the PPP before I counted I might have mentioned BOWEN and DON HO, but it didn't seem significant. I also thought it a nice touch to have more modern clues like Modern Family, Facebook, and Samsung Galaxy.

I was a little surprised when I counted 26 PPP infused answers amongst the 76, an unexpectedly high 34%. Some might point to ELKO as a barrier to access. Personally, Ironsides, ELIA Kazan, Sam NUNN, EMMA Bovary, DON HO, and Arthur ASHE are the types of answers that make this an easy puzzle for regular solvers and opaque for people new to the game. Also, don't take my niggling below to mean I thought the puzzle was bad. I think it is quite good. Rather, I'm just acknowledging that the puzzle isn't as accessible as it seemed to me while solving.

The Full List (with some comments):

DON HO (most active in the 60's and 70's)
Arsenic and Old LACE
Arthur ASHE (retired 1980, died 1993)
Facebook FEED
SHOW ME THE MONEY (1996 movie)
PHONE (Samsung Galaxy)
BAY MARE (Secretariat clue - Triple Crown in 1973)
IDA ho (Don's sister?)
STUD (another Secretariat clue)
GOLDEN CALF (some might argue that the bible isn't Pop Culture. Not me)

SAAB (discontinued!)
PLAYD OH (Don's slightly off cousin?)
EMMA Bovary
BETTE Davis (1962 film)
Sam NUNN (left office in 1997 - yes, 19 years ago)
ELIA Kazan (1954 movie)
SFPD (TV show that was popular when DON HO was popular)

Jeanne 9:40 AM  

If Secretariat's father 50A is a STUD, then Secretariat's mother 37A would be a BROOD mare. The color of her coat - BAY - has nothing to do with her role.

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

Oh -- EDS is editors. Isn't that a little twisty for a Monday?

jberg 10:01 AM  

Me too for solving in the newspaper. So with the ellipsis instead of the repetitive words, other interpretations were possible. First I wanted all the shaded squares to spell out HAWAII, but that didn't work. Then I wanted to put HI in every time, which was kind of dull. Finally, GOLDEN CALF showed me the real theme -- brilliant! And the misdirections made it more fun somehow.

I wanted 38D to be a hair product, and I thought the TO at the end of ISSUE TO was redundant, but I loved PLAY-DOH, and of course CLUE. A fine Monday.

Ben 10:12 AM  

Can someone explain EDS to me?

mac 10:20 AM  

Medium Monday, but a very nice one. I could definitely do a big Sunday one in this theme.

-REK had me look for a few seconds until it came clear. Only nit the Ida in the East.

Mark 10:54 AM  

I really liked the puzzle. For those of you that don't see italics or gray squares in your app, I use Puzzaz, and the grey and the italics show up fine. It's a nice app.

Unknown 11:15 AM  

@Hartley70 - If you like "30 Rock," then I recommend that you watch Netflix's "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." It's produced by Tina Fey, and, like "30 Rock," it's overflowing with jokes.

puzzle hoarder 11:44 AM  

This puzzle does come off as a mini Sunday puzzle. I really didn't notice the paragraph sized clues while solving online last night. That's one of the disadvantages of solving on a phone or a Kindle. You can't scan the clues.
Due to the "Camp Town Race" song I've been hearing that term BAY used to describe a horse my whole life without really knowing what it meant until now.
I listened to the Eno sample in the review. It got less time than that K T Oslin recording from yesterday. I'll have to goggle " Baby's on Fire." I know Eno's put out music I find interesting. The wavering sound to the guitar track on Bowies' "Heroes" was supposed to have been made by Eno turning the reel to reel manually.

Tita 11:56 AM  

Very fun and original theme. (@Martin A - lol to your last sentence.)
Kudos to our clever Rexvillians who are coming up with others. What if we extended it from State Nicknames to State flowers, animals, etc...? THhugh the CT state animal is a sperm whale, so that entry might have to be relegated to a Buzzfeed crossword. Is SPERMECTOMY a thing?

Like others, IDA preferred that 3-letter state abbv. not be there, but that's a pretty small nit.
Oh - A-1 tennis server/ACER is a pretty awful clue/answer combo.
Made up for by Little scissor cut and Paper cutters clues...

Thanks. Mr. Schoenholz!

Tita 12:05 PM  

P.S. Just read constructor's notes at xwordinfo... Dan 20 NYT puzzles Schoenholz was inspired to construct by @ACME!
I know others here have had the same experience - and she's been kind enough to reach out to me about the possibility of constructing. If anyone can de-intimidate the process, it's her!

And - anyone else notice that the first themer clue says "shaded squares", and all the others say "circled"?

old timer 12:14 PM  

It felt like a slower solve than it really was -- 7 1/2 minutes pen on paper. After reading the review I had to go back and look at the filled-in grid to appreciate the cleverness. On Mondays I generally fill in Downs whenever possible and don't look at the crosses unless I'm stuck.

ELKO is hardly overused in xwords. Four letters, Nevada city -- almost always "Reno". I have stayed in ELKO, the City of Motels (and some good Basque cuisine). If you are driving from Northern California to Yellowstone or the Tetons, it's the logical place to spend the night. Plus, the night we stayed there I went to one of the casinos and won $200 playing craps and blackjack, so the lodging and meal were effectiverly free. One great advantage of bringing a family to a Basque restaurant: You get lots of tasty food for very little money.

Mohair Sam 12:18 PM  

Said it before and I'll say it again - a smooth Monday that is gettable for the beginner and yet pleases the veteran solver is maybe the toughest test for a constructor. Dan Shoenholz has nailed it today, what a delightful solve.

A little surprised that NUNN got a school named after him so fast. On the other hand I was at a AAA baseball game the other day and watched Nick Swisher play for the Scranton team. The following day I zapped by the Big Ten Network and noticed the Ohio State baseball team was playing a home game at Nick Swisher Stadium. Pretty soon we'll hear that these crosswords are edited at the Will Shortz Suites in the Times building.

@Nancy from yesterday - All is forgiven for your Seger/rock-bashing given your flattery salted apology. We love Bob in this house. A few years back Lady M and I attended a Gillian Welch (blue grass) concert in Manhattan (Times Square area, not far from the Shortz Suites). She explained to her audience how, a year or two before, she had been drowned out in an outdoor concert in L.A. by a rock and roll group appearing several blocks away. As a result she wrote a delightful song called "I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll" - YouTube it, you might find a kindred spirit.

@Z - Thanks for the link.

orangeblossomspecial 12:23 PM  

There are songs about each of the states:

Bing Crosby introduced 'Blue HAWAII'

Glenn Miller did an instrumental version of 'MISSOURI Waltz' without the offending lyrics of the original from the 1910s

Gene Krupa's band did 'MASSACHUSETTS'

Perry Como had a hit with 'DELAWARE'

Al Jolson's original version of 'CALIFORNIA here I come' was recorded acoustically although he recorded a later version for the movie of his life

Sunshine Flo 12:58 PM  


You're kidding, right? Are any of these real things?

Teedmn 1:00 PM  

There's not much you can do with Minnesota's nicknames or postal code. Gopher Damn? North Star Hymn? Perhaps you could stretch North Star Limn to refer to the aurora borealis?

A new theme type, some misdirections adding a bit of Monday challenge (I fell for all of @Rex's rabbit holes but on Monday, they are usually easy to scramble out of) and a low dreck count add up to a nice puzzle. I didn't have to PLAY D'OH even once.

Thanks, DS.

chefbea 1:38 PM  

To answer the question a few of you asked...eds=editors...as in newspaper

Teedmn 1:56 PM  

Letting small rodents off the hook - Gopher Amnesty

Masked and Anonymous 1:58 PM  

Great theme find, Constructor Dan.

Re: themer clues. Could go with just the first parts, and let the solver figure out the nickname/postal code connection. That wouldn't be very MonPuz-ish, tho. Can't see any smoother way out, if goin for moo-cow MonPuz eazy-Eness.

IDA Lupino mighta helped, with that extra state abbr. that ruffled some feathers. Either that, or I'DA gone with this kinda fill …

Masked & Anonymo5Us

LEADCONTA(MI)NATE? … yep. Didn't think so.


RooMonster 3:42 PM  

@Ben 10:12
Paper cutters=EDS because in all offices around the country, it is required to hire someone named Edward, Edwin, Edgar, or Edison to be your paper cutter. It's Article 33, Section 10, Subset C, Appendex R. No other named individual can do said job.


Actually... it's Editors. (As I'm sure you know by now) who "cut out" stuff from newspapers.


Leapfinger 3:42 PM  

@lms, since we recently had FOAL and STUD as well, we could have SIRE covering the BAY_MARE. For the Georgia PEACH, there's always fructose, right, Sugar?

@Marvin A is right about the theme concept being beguiling, as I also took a HALF HOUR to look up a list of state nicknames and jot some notes. The following is in no particular SEQUENCE and certainly of no conSEQUENCE, just some five-finger exercises run amok:

WALLA WALLA waSH seems a double self-referential for Monday laundry day.
I have some GARDEN NInjAS to help me with my NUTMEG ADDIctION.
Yay for TARHEEL, OncE NCAA Champs (OK, more than OncE).
Wasn't there a PALMETTO FIscAL FIAscO?
EMPIRE DESTIny implies CALUMny or VILLAIny; in certain places, it requires a MInyAN.
Land of ENCHANTMENT, InmATES UnmASKED (?)(borders on the inexcusable)
Anyone here collect CENTENNIAL coINS?
PRAIRIE QUAil (no joke)
Especially in Scandinavia, people turn their faces to the light when there's a break in the clouds (true); that's due to a presumed SUNSHINE REflEX
Isn't BLUEGRASS PLUCky on the banjo?
Remember the news clip of the lady who was dive-bombed by a seabird? She had a PELICAN IMPlaNT in her cheek. (also true)
I hope none of y'all are ever subject to a BADGER CLAwiNG.
Since SILVER EnvY has been taken, I'll settle for Oro y plata as a part SILVER EnvIRONMENT.
The OCEAN AQUAriUM has KriLL and SHriMP caught in an OUTriGGER.

Some people think I'd sooner joke than anything else; I hope to give that the lie someday.

Danke schoen for the hidden gems, Dan S.

Leapfinger 3:56 PM  

Making 40A "Give ____ rest (or whirl)!" crossing ENTER would have given us a poor FITB, but would have finessed the contaminating IDAho.

Hartley70 4:08 PM  

@MartinAbresch, thanks for the tip. I tried the first episode, and I didn't get the whole bomb shelter thing, but maybe it needs another try. I was probably still too attached to the 30 Rock cast to happily make the switch.

HopThumb 4:09 PM  

@Teedmn, somewhere, somehow, there has got to be a GOPHER Mnemonic. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it...

chasklu 4:48 PM  

being that I couldn't complete it, it was more like a Wednesday. Having CLIP instead of SNIP prevented getting COSTS, DONHO and THRASH.

ANON B 6:11 PM  

Relatively easy for me except that when I was finished I couldn't
understand the theme nor did I think that Rex's explanation
was great.
Normally when the clue says "indicated by the shaded squares"
it refers to all the shaded squares, not just the ones in that
answer. I guess the correct understanding could be inferred
by noting that all of the theme clues were in italics but that
never hit me and I don't recall that ever occurring before.

Z 7:40 PM  

@Mohair Sam - I can easily get lost trying to unravel Iron & Wine lyrics. This one is a little more accessible.

@John Child and @anon8:08 - Given how easy it is to otherwise clue IDA I have to believe the clue choice was viewed as a "bonus." Not the best decision IMHO but I'm guessing others liked it.

@Anon9:46 - I think a few twisty clues early in the week is how you build the wordplay muscle for later in the week. I'm wondering if @Gerald Harris agrees.

Chronic dnfer 9:34 PM  

Tough Monday. Dnf'd at goldescape

Anonymous 10:38 PM  

I thought golden calf for California was great since that is where the idols congregate.

Amy 1:24 AM  

I wrote "homer" for tiny bubbles singer.

Amy 1:27 AM  


spacecraft 10:59 AM  

Yep, clever--and yep, problem with IDA, as clued. Coulda gone with the woman's first name and it woulda been all right. Shoulda.

Couple other problems: isn't it "Pla-Doh?" I don't see PLAYDOH in my mind's eye. Maybe I'm wrong. But about SCAD, I'm not. You can't have one SCAD. You can if you're talking fish, but we're talking "Whole lot," and brother, that's SCADS. Plural. Period.

So, two perfectly acceptable entries rendered unacceptable by their clues (editor, anyone?) and another with an extra letter thrown in to fit the grid. These detract from a pretty nifty theme well-executed. The cluing seems all over the place, as if no editorial eyes ever saw it. FEED with a tech clue; ACER not. Go figure. For DOD, I'll take EMMA Samms, with apologies to Ms. Davis in her time. Call this one a par.

Burma Shave 11:59 AM  


Spending PLAYDOH to play still COSTS by the HOUR, honey,
SODOI take HALF in trade, or do you SHOWMETHEMONEY?


kitshef 1:16 PM  

@spacecraft - most definitely Play-Doh. I'm looking at a can right now.

Sailor 1:30 PM  

Raised an eyebrow at IDA, winced at ACER, frowned at EDS. Otherwise, a fine Monday puzzle with a better-than-average theme.

I've encountered LOOIE in several puzzles recently. The popular retro word of the moment?

Re SOYA: as everyone knows by now who has taken the time to look it up, SOYA is a legitimate alternate name for what most of us call a soybean, so definitely an actual thing, not just crosswordese. I'm guessing everyone doing this puzzle in Iowa already knew that.

Sailor 1:39 PM  

BTW, my syndicated paper version did not have "the repetitive and highly unwieldy theme clues" that others found distracting, so thanks to whichever paper cutter attended to that. 8)

rain forest 2:03 PM  

It's interesting how some American culture bleeds across your Northern border. I knew all these state nicknames, for some reason. Actually, I thought that all the US states' nicknames were "Great" which you hear in an election year all the time: "The Great state of Rhode Island casts all of its 3 votes (delegates) for XXX."

Nice puzzle with its inventive theme and a SCAD of state abbreviations. Like @Spacey, IDA know about that answer either. But, neither of those spoiled the puzzle for me. Maybe SCAD and SCADs is like TON and TONs.

When you solve with acrosses only, you miss some words. Nevertheless I ISSUE TO Dan a "well done".

leftcoastTAM 2:22 PM  

Very good theme and execution. Had to look a couple of times before seeing how well it came together.

The last to go in was the BAY state because I wasn't sure of MFA degree for a "designer."

SCAD made me pause, too.

First-rate Monday.

leftcoastTAM 2:37 PM  


:scad, a large number or quantity--USUALLY used in plural [emphasis added].

rondo 2:52 PM  

SOYA can have a Monday fun day. IDA never guessed. Almost makes me wanna SAAB. ACHEFOR more? SODOI. Lotsa ideas for other states. But I can’t think of something that fits MN either.

Not sure I see one today, but I think I’ve been encouraged to consider a yeah baby for the lady commenters. Don’t think I’d go there with DONHO, but you might see one occasionally.

I started noticing yeah baby Julie BOWEN when she was on Boston Legal and she wanted to be “friends with benefits” with one of the male characters. Turned out the male character (supposedly a STUD) couldn’t handle that. That show had good HUMOR and writing and is second on my all-time favorite list, right behind Northern Exposure. Ms. BOWEN is even better on Modern Family than she was on BL.

Hope the Tues-puz is HALF as good. ALOHA.

Unknown 5:25 AM  

Spreadshirt, Teespring, 80s tees

Blogger 7:47 PM  

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