Kylo Ren's portrayer in Star Wars Force Awakens / MON 6-20-16 / Conductor Solti / Frodo's portrayer in Lord of Rings / Battered appliance

Monday, June 20, 2016

Constructor: Jason Mueller

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: CLUBS (41A: Items found at the ends of 17-, 23-, 53- and 64-Across) — golf clubs

Theme answers:
  • ELIJAH WOOD (17A: Frodo's portrayer in "The Lord of the Rings")
  • WAFFLE IRON (23A: Battered appliance?)
  • ADAM DRIVER (53A: Kylo Ren's portrayer in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens")
  • LEMON WEDGE (64A: Iced tea garnish)
Word of the Day: ADAM DRIVER 
Adam Douglas Driver (born November 19, 1983) is an American actor. He made his Broadway debut in Mrs. Warren's Profession (2010). He returned to Broadway in the 2011 production of Man and Boy and made his feature film debut in J. Edgar (2011). Driver appeared in supporting roles in a wide range of films, including Lincoln (2012), Frances Ha (2012) and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). In 2014, Driver starred in While We're Young and won the Volpi Cup for his role in Hungry Hearts (2014). // Driver gained worldwide attention and acclaim for playing the character Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), a role which he is set to reprise in the future Star Wars films. For his supporting part as Adam Sackler in the HBO comedy-drama series Girls, Driver has received three consecutive nominations for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. (wikipedia)
• • •

In lieu of a write-up, I'm just going to post the four versions of this theme that I found on the cruciverb database inside of 2 minutes. I guess, you know, it's Monday, few minutes of diversion, who cares if it's new or fresh or thoughtful, who cares if it's a last-words (or first-words) type theme characteristic of a bygone era that I knew immediately had to have been done before many, many times? Who cares? It's Monday! It's just a puzzle! Relax! OK, I will. Here's your write-up. Good day.

 [Rich Norris, sn, 10/15/00]
 ["Norma Steinberg," sn, Sep. 5, 2000]

[Allan Parrish, LA Times, 2/24/05]

[Pete Mitchell, NY Sun, 10/29/07]

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. the name-iness of the grid meant that it took me longer than I would've liked, but not so much longer that it took the puzzle out of the normal Monday difficulty realm. Needed every cross for ADAM DRIVER (despite knowing very well who he is), and could not for the life of me remember ELIJAH WOOD at first. Kept thinking "Frodo ... which hobbity looking guy was that? ... ELI ... ELI? What actor do I know named ELI?" Etc.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


George Barany 12:21 AM  

Certainly an unexpected review of @Jason Mueller's puzzle from @Rex. Thanks! I would note that a golf CLUB theme seems timely, with the U.S. Open crowning a new champion earlier today. As the son of two Holocaust survivors, I appreciate the appearance of ELIE_WIESEL in the puzzle.

I solved @Jason's Monday puzzle on-line while watching game 7 of the NBA Finals, and for a while, it looked like the Sunday puzzle had predicted the star of the game, one Draymond Green. Then I noticed today's 57-Down, "Cleveland's state" -- ANGST, DISBELIEF, and EUPHORIA were all too long to fit.

It all made me think of Hello Loneliness ... and wonder whether its "midrash" has stood the test of time, in light of the latest developments. Plus, as Father's Day winds down, a quick shoutout to my daughter for her one-year anniversary!

Anonymous 12:28 AM  

A little harder than the usual Monday fare. What actor do I know named Eli? Nobody but Eli Wallach comes to mind. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The Magnificent Seven. 90+ other film credits. Married to Anne Jackson for 66 years. Native New Yorker. Tony winner, Emmy winner, Academy winner.

Let the kids have their fun. We'll always have Eli and Anne.


chefwen 12:32 AM  

Surprised again by Rex's rating, I thought it was beyond easy. ELIJAH WOOD and ADAM DRIVER were unknowns but the crosses were sooo easy they just filled themselves in. As soon as I got ADAM D in place, Of course DRIVER just another club, same with the WEDGE. I even hesitated with Cleveland's state thinking that was too simple, even for a Monday, there must be another Cleveland out there somewhere.

I did like SMIDGE, good name for one of those little Itsy bitsy pooches.

jae 1:30 AM  

Medium for me too. Not only has it been done, but it's been wrong. Woods and irons are club categories, drivers and wedges are specific clubs (although I guess you could argue that wedges are a sub-category of irons). Anyway, my point is that IRON, WOOD, DRIVER, and WEDGE are not really equivalent. As a golfer I was not a fan.

Eddie Wilson 2:35 AM  

Yikes. Of the five, though, I still think this is the strongest. Not necessarily because of the fill (MAEVE and FDIC are pretty awful, and MAEVE is locked in partly because of the themers), but because the themers themselves are a bit fresher, and because it's nice to see DRIVER as part of a themer where the overall phrase isn't something to do with actually driving. LEMON WEDGE is the only one here that's linked to the concept the club involves, and at least it's a good standalone phrase. All this one would need is a fifth themer to really work for me.
I'll concede that originality is nice when we can have it, but I don't remember any of the other puzzles here, even though I know I've done at least two of them. So I'll take a fresh set of themers in a theme that's been done before; I don't mind.

Anonymous 4:41 AM  

I had the same issue with ELIJAH WOOD. Funny how the mind just spaces on things one knows, yet can still nail something one heard or read of only once. Maybe that's why I love solving crossword puzzles!


Zwhatever 6:24 AM  

9 years, three originalish themers, day after the US Open finished up. Not a huge problem, IMHO. Although Rex does drive home the point of why this theme is "tired," 5 times in 17 years is a bit much, though not as bad as 4 times in 8 years.

I did a quick count last night after I finished and easily broke the 33% threshold for PPP. Hardly surprising when 50% of your themers are as Pop Culture as they come. At least the Proper Nouns are well distributed; the Great Depression, the Holocaust, and Frankenstein to make sure everyone starts their Monday DOWN GRADED, while GILDA RADNER, LIL ABNER, and OWEN Wilson try to cheer us up. Oh, and BROWNIES.

Congrats to OHIO. Now I have to avoid sports talk for at least 72 hours because I really do not want to hear anything about it.

Lewis 6:26 AM  

I like that the first names of the theme answers are balanced -- two foods and two Old Testament leading men. I like that the puzzle has an amen corner. And I'm grateful for the iced tea and ICEMAN on the first day of summer.

Loren Muse Smith 6:31 AM  

Well. I thought the issue here would be that PUTTER isn't among the themers. If I've ever seen this theme, I've forgotten it. But I don't solve all those daily puzzles in the SN, LAT, and NY Sun; it's just the BEQ Monday and the Saturday Stumper for me. So if there's a theme running around out there that's being done in other puzzles, I'm glad it finally hits the NYT so I can see it, too. To steal @Ralph's metaphor, if there are chefs out there serving some kind of interesting dish in restaurants I'll never eat in, I'd be glad to have it served in the one restaurant that I do frequent. Otherwise, I'd never experience it.

So even though the idea of golf leaves me cold, I thought this was a fine Monday. The reveal was kinda Wah Wah Wah, but what else could've worked? IT'S IN THE BAG? I didn't notice whether those other golf puzzles from other venues had a reveal. (I did see SHOT PUTTER and SPUTTER in two, though.)

Serendipitous that OHIO is clued as "Cleveland's state." Congrats, Cavs. I know the guys in my life aren't happy, but, well, congrats anyway. It was fun to see your fans on TV after the game.

Jason – let me be the first to say something lame and predictable – this was par for the course for a Monday. I liked it.

Anonymous 7:04 AM  

Way too many proper names. This feels like taking the easy way out, though I did like the up-to-dateness of Adam Driver.

Why the quotes around "Norma Steinberg" in the old puzzle? Was this a nom de puzzle?

Aketi 7:20 AM  

Nothing like a whiff of WAFFLES, EGGOS, and even BROWNIES to awaken the SENSES on a Monday morning. Sad that the WASP of a highly overused theme penetrated the PARADISE of that initial enjoyment.

chefbea 7:21 AM  

Found this puzzle very easy... even though I didn't know Elijah Wood, but got it from the crosses.
Yummy puzzle - brownies, fig newtons, eggos, waffle iron and iced tea with a lemon wedge!!!

kitshef 7:30 AM  

Some tough names for a Monday. In particular I could see the ADAM DRIVER/MAEVE/DAMON/SAMI crosses giving some folks fits, and maybe the ELIJAH WOOD/ELIE WIESEL/JOAD/MAORI/ANDERS section, too. GEORG is probably safe as the crosses are relatively easy.

Nice to see ELIE get his last name in for once.

A theme last used over a decade ago, and not in the NY Times before, seems completely reasonable to me. Did Roast Beef Wedge used to be a thing?

johnnymcguirk 7:54 AM  

Easy Monday under 5 minutes and I am no speed solver by any means. Rex please lighten up. Pleasant diversion so what if it's been done before in other publications. You truly are the Donald Trump of crosswords.

Dorothy Biggs 7:55 AM  

Why do those puzzles look so different than today's puzzle? Have the grids changed and I just didn't notice, or does cruciverb just format them differently?

This was on the faster side of a Monday for me, so a little bit less than medium. My last letter in was the M in ADAMDRIVER/MAEVE...and just as I put that in I saw MAEVE and figured I'd made a mistake. But no, I got the happy jingle anyway. MAEVE Binchy...I have no earthly idea who that is and I'm very surprised it's in a Monday puzzle. Not just because I didn't know him, but it has all the makings of a problem...a proper noun, of an Irish novelist, with that AE combo that isn't common at all. But the crosses are all solidly easy so in a way it's almost impossible to not get it.

And some of the answers were so easy they should have just prefilled the grid with them: OHIO being chief among them. NAIL, THAI, IGOR, etc.

SAMI is another word I wasn't familiar with...and along with Mr. Driver, that Mid-south area was what kept me from my best time, I'm sure.

I'm in the "so it's just a Monday puzzle, relax and just don't ask questions" camp. So what if it's repeated? It's just an excuse to organize a puzzle. Some conceits are creative...some are reworked. No harm no foul.

Leapfinger 8:13 AM  

Nine-sixteen years is enough down-time, though I WOOD've preferred a MINI_DRIVER.

Golf themes don't often excite me, but I enjoyed [Battered appliance?]. You'd need a Very Large frypan. Besides which, it's possible that the WAFFLE_IRON was Jeremy Irons'.

Agreed it's better if you WOOD've TREAD on a WASP than if you had ATE it.

Also liked the suggested repetetitiveness of SAIDIDO to SAMIAM. I did, I did. Till I didn't, didn't.

Funniest thing, though, was (in A-Lite) when the clue for EMOTE popped up in HUGE LETTERS. Okay, okay!

Congrats to Cleveland OHIO for coming up with LeBronze medal

Wm. C. 8:15 AM  

@jae1:30am --

What you say about some of the "clubs" being specific ones, and others being categories is, of course, correct. But the fact is that they are all clubs, though.

The clue is "items found at the ends of [the four other across fills]." It does not specify that they must be of the same category. So sorry, but I suggest you may be overthinking this a bit...

OFL makes an interesting point that it has been done several times already. But I'm glad to see that he's [uncharacteristically?] laid back about this today. ;-)

On a much more serious note, though, Professor Barany's comment that he's the son of two holocaust survivors is very sobering indeed! Millions slaughtered -- it's just unbelievable to me that man is so capable of such inhumanity to each another. And the Nazis and their supporters are far from the only ones to have done this -- just think of Stalin and Mao and Uncle Ho and Kim Il-Sung, all in the same century.

Lobster11 8:16 AM  

I thought for sure this must've broken some record for PPP density, so I was really surprised to see Z's estimate of only 33% or so. I still think it might be a record-breaker if you measured by percentage of squares that were PPP in at least one direction -- not to mention how many squares were crosses of PPPs -- rather than simply counting entries. Still, I'm just gonna try to take OFL's advice and not get all in a lather about it. Or as our Comedian-in-Chief might say: Too much PPP? Bucket! Crummy fill? Bucket! Just Bucket.

I am no fan of LeBron James or the Cavs, but I feel some sympathy for the people of Cleveland -- especially since two of their many championship disappointments came at the hands of my beloved Denver Broncos years ago -- so bully for them. Mostly I'm just glad that the seemingly interminable NBA season is finally over, even if it means I won't be able to watch SportsCenter for a week because it will be an embarrassing, 24/7 display of hero worship.

AliasZ 8:22 AM  

Speaking of WOOD, Ed WOOD, voted worst director of all time, created low-budget classics such as "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and one called "Glen or Glenda" or "I Changed My Sex!" featuring the indefatigable Bela Lugosi.

Sam WOOD on the other hand was responsible for gems like "A Night at the Opera", "A Day at the Races", "Goodbye, Mr. Chips", "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "The Pride of the Yankees."

This proper-name-laden puzzle puttered along for me. My favorite part was the anagram DUO top-center.

QuasiMojo 8:26 AM  

Golf has always been a yawn. Fastest time ever for me. Anyone else having problems with online version not registering that puzzle is completed? I had to start my "streak" all over again. :(

Anonymous 8:34 AM  

I would argue that the answer to 57D (Cleveland's state on this day is GLEE.

Labada 8:50 AM  

I’m always a bit saddened when your write-up seems to put a wedge between you and the good intentions of the constructor. effectively sending him out to the wood shed. I suspect the driver of this puzzle was the completion of the US Open Golf tournament yesterday. Since the world of crossword aficionados is often portrayed as such a close-knit club, I am hoping you can iron out your differences. In the meantime, I’m going to go putter around in the garden before I start getting teed off.

Carola 9:08 AM  

Like @chefwen, I found this one super easy. I can't come up with a more boring theme idea than golf CLUBS, but I liked LEMON WEDGE and WAFFLE IRON. Rather than having 2 theme actors, I'd have liked to see Birnam WOOD....

orangeblossomspecial 9:11 AM  

Frank Crumit did a great version of 'And then he took up GOLF'

Russ Columbo, an early crooner, had a nice version of 40D 'PARADISE'

It's difficult to think of Lil Abner without Stubby Kaye and 'Jubilation T Cornpone'

Tita 9:40 AM  

I knew someone who had a sister who was named WISTER. Really. Her given name.
never heard of the OWEN varieties.

This puzz was meh for me only because golf just leaves me catatonic. Unless of course there are windmills and castles involved on the course.

I've worked with far too many people who carry around their hammers, thinking every problem is a NAIL.
(We just refinished our of my jobs was to hammer down Every. Single. Protruding NAIL head. It was great!)

Charles Flaster 9:48 AM  

EZ solve and a common theme.
Golf is one of few sports I am ambivalent about although I have many friends who are crazed by it.
WAFFLE IRON was my fave answer.
Writeover--DRS for mdS.
Liked the way GEORG fit in.
Thanks JM

Anonymous 10:23 AM  

Two things: 11 Down--Iowa is a caucus state; doesn't New Hampshire begin the primary season?
32 Down--A table prayer or grace ordinarily asks God to bless the food. We don't bless it ourselves, do we?

GILL I. 10:24 AM  

I think constructors might be running out of fresh ideas anyway. I haven't a clue as to how many have been published since 2000, even so, to come up with new material must be practically impossible. When I see an original (like yesterday's wonderful green light red) I gush all over the place. Isn't there a similar problem within the music community....? Rip off songs by Led Zeppelin, anybody?
OK, other than that, I enjoyed this quickie. I did think of some newbies maybe struggling with all the names. MAEVE might be difficult but I love(ed)her sweet books. Circle of Friends was my favorite, the movie, not so much.
Do BROWNIES come in other colors?
@Nancy...You still alive and well? A glass of Pinot from me - on its way via snail mail....

Joseph Michsel 10:57 AM  

It is disturbing that at least four previous puzzles so closely resemble this one. especially since the theme wasn't all that great to begin with.

Add one third proper names, including MAEVE Binchly and The Laplanders. And you end up pretty far from PARADISE on a Monday morning.

jack 11:04 AM  

Eh, I'm more concerned when I see a word like "Ute" appear more than once a month. The last time the theme was used was nine years ago? Doesn't matter; once you got "iron" and "wood" it all comes together nicely even it was the first time the theme was use. this was a pleasant Monday puzzle even with the easy fill.

old timer 11:06 AM  

By far, this is the best of the examples OFL found. My only regret is that there was no room for a putter. Which is, of course, the only CLUB I have ever wielded, assuming that's what they give you at a miniature golf course. It occurred to me that there are only a few words that can precede IRON. And none that are nouns, in the examples -- other than WAFFLE and maybe scrap. There are even fewer that can precede WEDGE, and I thought LEMON was way better than "roast beef".

It played a little tough for a Monday, due to the relative obscurity of some of the names. But it had a Mondayish feel to it.

I kind of regret this is not the first Monday of the month, as I would have loved annabel's take on this one.

M and A Roadtrip 11:07 AM  

Only 1 U, but it is dead-center in the grid, in CLUBS reveal. Let's see one of them other clone puzs do that.

@muse: There is a dude named Eddy pUtter. Dutch football player.

sent via M&A's spouses's iPhone.

Sheryl 12:20 PM  

Found this puzzle super easy. Never ever paused.

jberg 12:51 PM  

@George_Barany, I gather that your daughter and mine were married (to different people) on the same day, if many miles apart. Congratulations to both couples!

This one would have been tough without the theme, as I didn't know either actor -- but I had the first names, and once I knew they were golf clubs the rest was easy.

When I was growing up, OWEN Wister's novel The Virginian was well known, but I don't know anyone who actually read it. Apparently, itis regarded as the first Western--I don't know, I would have said Bret Harte beat him to it, but his stories were more about mining than cows. Anyway, that vestigial memory sure helped me today.

With 52-53 Mondays a year, I wonder how long it would take before we ran out of original themes.

Teedmn 1:12 PM  

Repeating themes: it is ironic to me that @Rex points out that the theme today has been used before. When I got ELIJAH WOOD crossing ELIE WIESEL, I was sure the theme was going to involve people whose initials were EW and the reveal would reference EWs and it seems to me we just had a similar theme which I was sure would draw @Rex's ire. Golf CLUBS got it anyway!

ADAM DRIVER I knew from watching Lena Dunham's "Girls" series on HBO and although I have never read any of MAEVE Binchy's books, the first name went right in.

We can see where the OIL RIG EMERGES from the sea and we can read the NE prayer of many a person with a sweet tooth - "SEND BROWNIES, AMEN."

Thanks, JM for the easy start to the week.

Jim Finder 1:27 PM  

Kitshef, "wedge" is the name for a sub, hero, dagwood ... long sandwich, in certain places, such as upstate New York.

Unknown 1:33 PM  

I ripped through this puzzle without even noticing the groaner of a theme, but had an interesting wrong answer for "Battered appliance?"

It turns out that standmIxer fits just great! I corrected it almost immediately thanks to crosses, but clearly another constructor needs to make a better Monday theme featuring *both* battered appliances.

Chronic dnfer 1:47 PM  

Did the puzzle. Going to play golf. Nice day here in ct.

Zwhatever 3:29 PM  

@Lobster11 - Apologies. I should have written, "easily broke the 33% threshold for PPP so I stopped counting." The NYT has decided that Midtown Detroit is only worthy of Sunday delivery. Monday's just aren't challenging enough to merit printing out, and toting up the PPP exactly on my iPad isn't easy. Thursday - Saturday I always print - no succumbing to the "check square" temptation when you're working on a hard copy.

beatrice 4:05 PM  

I really don't like to publlicly say negative things about 'they're just puzzles' crossword puzzles - BUT, they are a diversion for folks who like language, and should be at least pleasant or interesting. This puzzle would have benefited enormously from some spiffed up clueing.

Maeve Binchy was not exactly obscure. She was, when she died four years ago, ' Ireland's best-loved and most recognisable writer', known for her 'sympathetic and often humorous portrayal of small-town life in Ireland'. Her novels have been 'translated into 37 languages,and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide'. Her 'Tara Road' was a selection of the Oprah Book Club, a list which includes both Toni Morrison's 'PARADISE', and 'Night', by ELIE WIESEL.

ADAM DRIVER is an interesting, thoughtful young man. In addition to the ST things, he is known for his role in HBO's 'Girls', and has acted in a number of indie films and stage plays. He is also a former Marine. A while back I heard him speak with Terry Gross, and just recently saw him on 'Ted Talks: War and Peace', on PBS.

Here is a brief clip:

And the full talk:

And since I think this is extremely important, here is Sebastian Junger's talk from the same program.

Hartley70 4:36 PM  

I thought this was a bit of a snooze after yesterday, so it has to get an easy peasy sticker from me. I knew the people. They weren't very obscure. Just to clarify @NCAPresident, MAEVE is a she, or should I say "was" unfortunately. I assume your "he" referred to Adam. MAEVE was most popular on both sides of the pond. She was good if your peeps wear green and you're in the mood for a sniffle. SAMI was easy because they came up in the Steig Larson trilogy. I never knew they were discriminated against. Shocking. Pop fiction can be educational too!

The theme was Monday, Monday-ish so I don't have a problem with it. I spent a few years golfing, but I found myself spending too much time focusing on the birds and the trees, and too little on the ball. A crate of parakeets escaped from JFK years ago and a number of them took up residence around the course I was playing. They have caused the power company no end of nuisance because they build enormous nests around the poles and wires. I remain firmly on the side of the budgies.

Hartley70 4:38 PM  

@Tita, that nail job sounds like fun! I always head straight for "Whack-a-Mole" at the arcade.

beatrice 4:53 PM  

Perhaps this is particularly for those of us who have lost our dad. But, since, as GEORGe Barany said above, Father's Day is still 'winding down', I decided to post a piece of music that I had all set up to post the other day and then managed to erase. It's the lamentation which Jacob Obrecht (1457-1505) wrote on the death of his father, 'Mille quingentis'. I'm including the English translation of the text, because I think it is rather beautiful. His father was a professional musician - Saint Cecilia is the patroness of musicians.
The liturgical 'Requiem' chant serves as the cantus firmus (a melody sung in only one of the four voice parts). -- As an aside - I'm not a conventionally religious person, but my father was (sort of), and in any case, this kind of music belongs to the spheres, as far as I'm concerned, and the text expresses, in the context of the time, feelings which are universal and (hopefully) timeless.

After fifteen hundred minus twice six years
passed since the birth of Christ, the Virgin's progeny,
Sicilian Muses wept as the Fates took away
Guillermus Obrecht, adorned with great worthiness,

On the feast of Cecilia, he who traveled thru the Cecilian
shore; the same begot the Orphic Jacob for the Muses.
Therefore a sweet song, gentle accompanying choir,
sing, that his soul may be carried to heaven
and given the palm. Amen

Eternal rest grant them, O Lord,
and may perpetual light shine upon them.

Anonymous 6:35 PM  

Big mistake here: FIG Newton has to be pluralized. It's a Nabisco trademark -- look at the package! Hands up for cam Newton first...

Otherwise, medium Monday, I only had write-overs at cam for FIG and radAR for SONAR.

A lot of proper nouns, but they are all perfectly fair on a Monday, except maybe ANDERS Celsius (nice to learn) and GEORG Solti, (but we've all seen that fella in the puzzle before).

Mini-theme with SAMI, MAORI, and THAI as Demonyms ending in "i!"

chefbea 8:45 PM  

@Gill there are blondies - like brownies but a lighter color

Elephants Child 10:09 PM  

@beatrice, thanks for the glorious music.

Burma Shave 9:43 AM  


GILDA SAIDIDO NEW things with my LIL WAND that are nice,
the EVOKED SENSES of wings that WILL SEND her to PARADISE.


rondo 10:14 AM  

@ Wm. C - If you call a mouthful of sarcasm re: the "world's best puzzle" as being "laid back", I guess OFL's comments flew a SMIDGE over your head. I'm sure it was directed at WILL.

@teedMN - thought the same re: EW people, and that the reveal would be some kind of icky or ishy EW thing.

LIL is back with ABNER where it belongs, not with Kim or Wayne.

BTW, a DRIVER used to be a subset of the category WOODs, but DRIVERs and other CLUBS that used to be WOODs are no longer made of WOOD. And a wedge is considered an IRON, and of course IRONs are no longer made of IRON nor steel. Most CLUBS there days are a metal alloy, most often of titanium, but that just doesn't flow off the tongue.

Since we have a golf theme, the yeah babies today are the American women who won the UL Int'l Crown yesterday. I once followed Cristie Kerr for a whole round. Not stalking. Just appreciating fine golf. Wish I could hit my CLUBS like that girl. Yeah baby.

So OFL DOWNGRADED the puz since the idea wasn't brand NEW. That's OK. Whatever batters your WAFFLEIRON.

BS2 10:27 AM  

Need to proofread. First word, second line = "they".

During my tech problems hiatus last week, did I miss something about repealing the year-long moderation?

spacecraft 11:28 AM  

First of all, let's talk movie credits. When I was a kid, they came in the beginning, in book form; the pages would turn (by an unseen hand), and it was short. Then "West Side Story" came along, and we saw NOTHING till the very end--a nice artistic dollop using graffiti. But it shook me up; this wasn't how it was done.Now, of course, all the INTERMINABLE credits come at the end. If you actually go out to the CINEMA, you risk breaking your eardrums because they jack the sound up to jet-engine levels. Your other alternative is to watch them on TV--where the main part of the screen is given over to ads, relegating the credits to a thin strip (across the bottom/along the edge, pick one), with print so small you'd need a microscope to see it, and it goes by so fast there's no time to read it anyway.

So no, I don't know actors' names from any film after, I dunno, twenty years or so ago. And excuse me for living under a rock, but I never heard of MAEVE Binchy, either. So there's this curious juxtaposition of Monday-easy fill with a bunch of "who?" names. Yeah, I know who Celsius was, but his first name? Uh-uh. For DOD I can appreciate @rondo's take on the golfing women (I used to think Natalie Gulbis was a hottie till I heard her speak for The Donald), but I'll go with RENE Russo. Not sure if she doubles that final E, but to include her I'm willing to stretch the point. As to scoring, how can I award less than par for a golf theme?

kitshef 11:33 AM  

@Burma Shave- without fuss, Rex removed the moderation this week. We don't know if it's a permanent thing, or if it is just temporary as there is a guest blogger in 'real time' while Rex is away. We sure do love it, though!

leftcoastTAM 1:22 PM  

Clever theme, nice execution, good revealer.

The ADAMDRIVER/MAEVE "M" crossing was the last letter in. Without the common name ADAM, it would have been a pure guess.

Couldn't tell whether the clue for 5D was an I or a one.
Wanted EIN first, but crosses made clear which it was. ELIJAHWOOD needed crosses too.

Good light but fun Monday exercise with some bite, as it should be.

rain forest 4:57 PM  

Good Monday puzzle.

@Rex - your blog exists only because the NYT puzzle exists. Why do you keep bashing it? More to the point, you've made your point nauseatingly obvious, and if you don't like it anymore, STOP. Let Ms. Smith be the Muse of the blog. Or, maybe, change the title to Rex Parker Trashes The NYT Crossword Puzzle.

I have to say I always like the puzzles that appear here, and like most others, do not remember previous ones with similar themes. Heck, I frequently don't remember why I came into a particular room. It's all new and interesting. So, if I've repeated myself here, welcome to my life, peeps.

Looking forward to the rest of the week.

Diana,LIW 6:09 PM  

Sorry if this comes through twice - I posted a couple of hours ago, but never got the "your comment" message. So, here's what I said:

Thought it a touch hard for a Monday, esp. with ADAM and MAEVE crossing. The theme actually helped my solve. Oh Rex, Cain killed Abel. Everything's been done before, we just think we're new NEW and fresh. Didn't get the "battered appliance" clue at first - then, great groaner ICEMAN!

Agree with @Rondo that some missed the "slight" sarcasm in OFL's remarks.

What @Spacey said about CINEMA sound systems is the reason why Mr. Waiting no longer goes to the movies - one minute they whisper, then KABOOM - marching band in your face. Last week in Hollywood we went to Warner Bros. studios, and I realized how much I miss the movies. Perhaps I'll start going to matinees by myself. Learned much about Harry Potter, Batman, and the new Suicide Squad. If the clue is "Sugared ___ (from Harry P)" the answer is butterfly wings.

Still catching up on sleep and last week's puzzles. It was the DsOT (Drives of Terror) on the LA freeways that took the most out of me. (And on the side roads, my back and neck got a great workout with the bumpy road conditions.) But LA was worth the price. So was today's puzzle.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting to see if moderation truly ends...

Teedmn 12:36 AM  

@rondo, loved your new take on "whatever floats your boat". Laugh out loud...

kathy of the tower 1:36 AM  

I whipped through this one. My husband golfs so I hear all these terms. I wouldn't golf if you paid me.

One of the things I enjoy about crossword puzzles is the little memories that are EVOKED. Today's is the House of the Seven Gables. I read the book and toured the house when we went to visit my son in Vermont. The front door of the house is old blackened wood with the neatest design of hammered NAILS. That was my favorite part of the tour. That and the hidden staircase which reminds me of Nancy Drew.

Blogger 9:11 AM  

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