Bond Girl Shirley / MON 7-18-16 / Ancient Greek theaters / Succulent flowering plants / Seinfeld neighbor whose name is spoken as epithet / Bad record for motoristVessel for slow cooking /

Monday, July 18, 2016

Constructor: Jacob Stulberg

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (*for a Monday*: 20+ seconds over normal time)

THEME: OPED COLUMN (29D: Place for airing an opinion ... or what five of the his puzzle's Down answers contain?) — "OPED" can be found inside four down-running themers:

Theme answers:
  • PIANO PEDAL (3D: One of three at the base of a Steinway)
  • SLOPE DOWN (33D: Decline, as a ramp)
  • HOPE DIAMOND (17D: Large gem in the Smithsonian)
  • EUROPE DAY (9D: Annual celebration when a 12-star flag may be flown)
Word of the Day: EUROPE DAY
In Europe, Europe Day is an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe. There are two separate designations of Europe Day: 5 May for the Council of Europe, and 9 May for the European Union (EU). The latter is the EU's flag day and has a greater visibility.
The Council of Europe's day reflects its own establishment in 1949, while the European Union's day is also known as Schuman Day and celebrates the historical declaration by French foreign minister Robert Schuman in 1950. Europe Day is one of a number of European symbols designed to foster unity among Europeans. (wikipedia)
• • •

Pretty straightforward, with "OPED" inside of "columns" (i.e. Down answers). The "columns" in question were uniformly tough for me to figure out, first because I could think only of PIANO LEG ... then because SLOPE DOWN is such a Green Paintish-type answer that I had SLANT DOWN at first, and lastly because I've never heard of EUROPE DAY. Not at all. Thus, my Monday solving time spiked up. Which is fine. Cluing / fill seemed on the slightly tougher side overall for a Monday. STEW POT sounded right. STEW PAN still sounds weird, even now. The more I look at it, the more I disbelieve its thingness. STEWPOT definitely googles better, though not by as much as I expected. Between that and EUROPE DAY, the NE played slow. Then there was 19A: Bond girl Shirley (EATON). No clue. Zero, none. There have been roughly ten thousand Bond girls. Come on.

Then there was --MME- at 45A: Pound repeatedly (PUMMEL), which of course sent me to HAMMER. Then there was ROADWAY (62A: Surface to drive on). Had the ROAD, and then ... nothing. ROADWAY is a word I recognize but would never use, ROAD being normally sufficient. Finally, the clue on REVUE told me virtually zero (30D: "Side by Side by Sondheim," e.g.). Could've been OPERA for all I knew. Maybe since Sondheim is a notorious puzzle-lover, that was supposed to be a little wink / nod to him. Fine. Not a Monday clue, but fine. It's all fine. Just fine. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:28 AM  

Medium-tough for me too. LIke @Rex Pot before PAN and haMMEr before PUMMEL, plus SlideS before SWINGS which all cost precious nanoseconds @(you know who). I also hesitated on EYED UP because I was hoping that wasn't the answer.

Just OK for a Mon.

GILL I. 12:49 AM  

STEW PAN? Maybe Pot. I lived in Europe for over 8 years and never heard of EUROPE DAY. Maybe this is something new....say after 1980?
EYED UP? I've heard of EYE UP like what Captain America did at a red carpet premier, but the D at the end..not so much.
Having said all of that, this was not bad for a Monday. Shirley EATON was a TEEHEE PET in Goldfinger. Quite a beauty.
So NEUMAN's name was spoken as an epithet?

Tom 1:00 AM  

The funny thing about STEWPAN is the downs work just fine with POT -- I'd say AGEE/OGEE are equally bad.

MJ 1:26 AM  

Hope Diamond is also a theme answer

r.alphbunker 1:30 AM  


Guessed right at the NEWMAN/DWI, NEUMAN/DUI trap (a la Alfred E.)

Anonymous 2:19 AM  

WTF is a STEWPAN? Puzzle got much better in the south, but that non-item left a bad taste in my mouth.


George Barany 3:46 AM  

If all goes well, today's puzzle by @Jacob Stulberg will SLOPE_DOWN the passions in the crossworld; thank you @Rex for a thoughtful and temperate review. Clearly, there are many in this virtual community ... you all know who you are ... who ADORE the cruciverbal arts, and that's a good thing!

As a friend of mine e-mailed last night, this puzzle has a built-in Natick for those unsure of NEWMAN vs. NEUMAN, i.e., DWI (drinking while intoxicated) vs. DUI (drinking under the influence). Based on what has shown up elsewhere, it seems that @Jacob himself was aware of this issue.

Today's chemistry clue that is out of my wheel-house: Bond girl EATON. But I get my opera fix not with Sondheim (see @Rex's comment), but with VERDI.

Under the circumstances, it was interesting to see New York Times OP-ED columnist @Maureen DOWD made an appearance. There was a time when she was a "must-read" in my family ... not so much any more. We much prefer the inspiration, from four years ago, to Did Gail Collins Ever Mention ... ? and eagerly await her insightful readings about the occupants of the Clown Car that has just now parked in Cleveland.

I skip M-W 4:24 AM  

If anyone cares, I made a very late comment on Sunday's puzzle. no opinion on Monday's, natch.

smalltowndoc 5:36 AM  

@Rex: There's also HOPEDIAMOND.

Lewis 6:24 AM  

Solid, quality Monday. Answers that appealed to me: WRING, PUMMEL, OH_STOP, and KNAVE. The grid is squeaky clean. We've got a STEPS down, a HOSE down, a SEA_DOG intersecting with a REGATTA, and the KEYS are Down South. I've never heard of EUROPE_DAY and wonder how it will be affected by Brexit. There's the little nifty VEE section (rows 11/12) with not only that word, but two other V's as well.

So I had a grand old time... and on a Monday! Thank you, Jacob. I imagine my OP_ED on this puzzle would read more like a paean.

Lewis 6:24 AM  

Side note and question: I will not be watching the Trump hoo-hah this week; does this make me one who defies convention?

Loren Muse Smith 6:36 AM  

Rex – yeah, "PIANO leg" and "slant DOWN" were all I could think of there at first, too.

I liked the HIP/HOP cross. Hah!

Excellent visual with the themers showing true columns coming down. (Remember his last one that involved something coming down. – Excellent. ) Makes me think of stealing the idea for some kind of ROW puzzle. SEX IT UP, COMPLEXITIES, FLEXITARIANS… Nah.

PUMMEL is such a great word. I liked OH STOP, too.

@Nancy from yesterday – over the years I've tried to navigate the scrolling system at Wordplay, but it's, as you say, much much more cumbersome and less user-friendly than this one. During these forays, I've learned that

1. Those guys are a smart, clever bunch.
2. It's not a complete NYT Love Fest. Almost every day people mention things that they don't like in a puzzle. But they're generally not nasty about it.
3. They sure don't like Rexville and seem to believe that all of us over here are negative puzzle-bashers. Fair enough. The Rex Parker site is famously, spectacularly at times, negative, so the many of us who are not negative have to understand that we'll be lumped in with everyone else.

Anyway, back to our regularly-scheduled program - a Monday puzzle right over the plate. Nice one, JS.

Mark 7:16 AM  

I think hope diamond is also a theme clue

kitshef 7:17 AM  

@Rex - you missed a themer - HOPEDIAMOND.

Better than the average Monday, thanks to the 'column' element of the theme. I did note STEW PAN as highly questionable, along with EYED UP (???).

Anonymous 7:23 AM  

You missed one - HOPE Diamond.

Anonymous 7:26 AM  

Hi Rex,
You forgot Hope Diamond among your opeds.

Barry Sloate

Kate Slate 7:35 AM  

what about the poor old Hope Diamond?

blinker474 7:37 AM  

Why does a puzzle go from easy to "medium-challenging" when it's "20+ seconds over normal time"? Is Rex joking?

Anonymous 7:38 AM  

The theme was very 'meh,' but I actually liked the "Side by Side by Sondheim" clue, as I am a Sondheim fan (and saw the show when it was on Broadway). Best part of the puzzle for me, though, was the HIP/HOP cross.

chefbea 8:12 AM  

Very easy puzzle. Originally had CROCPOT for 7 across...that is a slow cooker.!!! Then changed it to stew pot. But no, wasn't right either. Who ever makes stew in a pan????? Not me...any other chefs want to chime in?

Aketi 8:15 AM  

Hahaha, I'm reading all the HOPE DIAMONDs that are popping up. I spent too much time in the gem room of the American Museum of Natural History with my son when he was a fast crawler. It had two circular sections with STEPS that are carpeted, one of which had only one exit. It was the perfect place to allow a perpetually energetic climber to speed crawl up and down STEPS without damaging himself.

So I must have seen the Star of India sapphire in the Gem Room a zillion times and should have remembered its name. Instead, I confidently out in SAPHIRE, thinking that I must be wrong about the extra p. Then I realized it was the Smithsonian, not the AMNH and I had the wrong gem.

Unknown 8:23 AM  

Stew pan is NOT a thing!

Unknown 8:24 AM  

Stew pan is NOT a thing!

Unknown 8:24 AM  

Nice!!! And yes it does!!

Mohair Sam 8:41 AM  

Everything to love about this Monday gem. So STEWPot is more common than STEWPAN, so big deal. And @LMS is right about PUMMEL - I'd rather be PUMMELed than beaten any day.

@Gill I - NEWMAN's name is very much an epithet as Jerry famously sneers "Hello, NEWMAN" whenever they meet. I have wondered aloud how many people named NEWMAN have suffered "Hello Newman" crank calls as a result of that line. btw - This Seinfeld fan shocked that some did not know the spelling of NEWMAN cold. "U" indeed.

Don't exaggerate @Rex, there are only a few hundred Bond girls - do they all make crossword dictionaries? We were friends with Grace Jones' brother Max, that's a leg up (love name-dropping - even twice removed).

@Lewis 6:24 - Groan worthy with the "defies convention." I've defied convention ever since they left the choice up to the primary voters decades ago. Give me smoke-filled rooms, proxy fights, and brokered conventions any time. It'll be baseball and TCM in this house every night.

Nancy 8:51 AM  

EYED UP is absurd. You look someone up and down, that's what you do. I have a real problem with this clue. As for STEWPAN -- I've never heard of it either, but I'm not a cook, so who am I to say it doesn't exist. As for the rest of the puzzle: I found it very straightforward and quite easy -- a typical Monday. I did want DUI (Isn't it Driving Under the Influence?), but NEWMAN enabled me to correct to DWI. This puzzle was OK, but if I hadn't done it today, that would have been OK, too.

@Loren -- Thanks for the confirmation about the difficulty of Wordplay scrolling. Glad to know I'm not alone. @Z from yesterday -- You (along with Chaos) have sort of influenced me to consider getting a new computer. Thing is: my computer is responding again. It's not responding WELL, mind you, and it's not responding fast, but it is responding. And I hate change. Nothing will happen today, as it's going to be 95 in NYC and much too hot to schlep down 10 blocks to Staples to buy a new computer. But, for the first time in 8 years, I'm giving it some serious thought. Of course, with a new computer comes a new Windows system, and it's taken me 8 years to learn 3.5 % of the Windows 7 system. Sigh. I'll keep you all posted. Bet you can't hardly wait.

jberg 8:53 AM  

I guess either several previous commenters don't read carefully, or else @Rex has now revised his post to include the HOPE DIAMOND.

Other than that, I share the general adversion to EYED UP and STEW PAN, but I was glad to see that SEA DOG is now just a sailor, not a pirate.

I couldn't see the theme until I got the revealer, so that was a nice moment of insight. Until I got enough crosses I thought it was going to be some kind of stUMp.

Speaking of DWI -- for a couple weeks our local highway department was running a campaign to "Just say no to OUI" -- except that they used all caps. I thought it was a belated survival of the whole 'freedom fries' thing unitl my wife pointed out the acronym.

Z 9:03 AM  

It looks like Rex fixed the HOPE DIAMOND issue around 7:38a.m. or so. Hoo Rah.

@blinker474 - No, Rex isn't kidding. Rex isn't in the elite elite of fast solvers, but he is PDQ. I think his Monday times hover around 3 minutes. Mine usually hover around 6, so my 7:18 this morning puts this in the "Challenging for a Monday" category.

I had to chuckle at Rex's ROADWAY observation. My car's GPS (Ford) has the habit of alerting me to problems on the "Carriageway." Woodward Ave stretches from the Detroit River to Pontiac and hasn't had a carriage on it in 100+ years.

@LMS - I think Deb does a fine job, better than fine in fact. The commentariat over there strikes me as having a surfeit of people who lump people together. Granted, I base this on a small sample size and maybe I just picked out the worst, but that is how I always feel after reading a day or three of comments there (which is also part of what makes me chuckle when people assert that the NYT is a liberal paper - it is and has always been a center-right publication). For me, give me Rexville or Crossword Fiend any day.

@I Skip - I saw your comment and immediately was reminded of Plato. I suppose you can't follow his "never trust anyone who wants the job" advice. Good luck to your wife.

STEWPAN? Who makes stew in a pan? I suppose if you're camping and only packed a large pan you might. STEW pot isn't much better since I would tend to call a STEW pot a "pot." I am more likely to call the road a ROADWAY.

Anyone else notice the ODESSA, ODEA, OVERDO steps? Sort of a Horshack on drugs mini theme there. Hand up for haMMEr to PUMMEL.

Sheryl 9:03 AM  

I thought the puzzle was super easy, but of course it was - it's Monday. So then I thought maybe I should time myself so I have some sense of fast or slow for a given day. Wow, me time?? This blog is really influencing me. I still don't want to be a speed solver. Crossword puzzles relax me and that would make them stressful. But timing myself would also allow me to track my progress. So, I'm going to turn on the timer.

Back to the puzzle... I didn't get the theme revealer until I was almost done with the puzzle and already had all the theme down answers, so it felt like a big So What. Boring. Yawn. I didn't get stuck on any of the clues Rex mentioned - just went right through it. Except that I had STEWPot first. Aren't pans shallow - e.g. fry pans? Or maybe "pan" is generic - any vessel you cook in.

Nancy 9:16 AM  

@kitshef from late Sunday -- Gee, I sure wish I could remember the date of that puzzle, because, if I could, I'd look for it online and ask a friend to print it out for me. It was probably either a Thursday or a Sunday, because it was a trick puzzle. Now my profile says I've been on this blog since Sept. 2014, is that it? But that's only how long I've been "in blue". I figure I was posting on the blog for maybe a year to a year and a half before that. And I also figure that my very first post on this blog would have been the day of that puzzle, since I was so excited by it. So if you go back through all of Rexworld to see when I first appeared, you might be able to find it. But that would be a LOT of work -- and certainly not worth the effort. I'm really sorry, @kitshef. If only I had a memory like everyone else.

@Aketi (also from late yesterday)-- I'll match Ludditeness with your husband any day of the week. Let's put money on it. I'm quite sure I can't lose.

RAD2626 9:19 AM  

Thought this was a really good puzzle and theme for a Monday. Cluing cuter than usual for early week. Did not mind SLOPED DOWN as a random themer but thought STEW PAN was over the random line.

Dorothy Biggs 9:20 AM  

Funny how Rex mentions SLOPEDOWN as green paintish and then mentions PIANOPEDAL in the same breath without pointing out how green paintish that is.

To the Europeans in the crowd, EUROPEDAY??? As the birthplace of western artistic culture, you'd think they'd come up with a better name than that. IIRC, the Mickey Mouse club had a Europe Day. Was it Tuesday? Okay, maybe not, but it definitely sounds like it should have been.

Sondheim. Ugh.

One last nit. The clue for ROADWAY threw me off with the word "surface." Asphalt is usually the surface, maybe cobblestone. The "roadway" is not the surface you drive on.

Carola 9:47 AM  

Nice job on the COLUMNs. I also looked askance at EYED UP and STEWPAN.

old timer 9:54 AM  

It's Monday, the day I can often do mostly on Acrosses, so I often don't even look at the Down clues. Played medium-hard for me, too (17 or 18 minutes, pen on newsprint, but part of my slow time was because I am still half asleep.

I did get HOPEDIAMOND, which helped greatly. Also NEWMAN, because I somehow knew that's how the name from the Seinfeld show is spelled. Total mess-up in that area, since I put down Advil where ALEVE is, and, misreading the clue at first, "acid" where LEAD is. Pb is indeed the abbreviation for LEAD, but I somehow thought it was Ph.

I had no idea there was a Theme.

Andrew Heinegg 10:10 AM  

No, it makes you one that does not have enough antacid in your cabinet to enable you to stomach it.

RooMonster 10:12 AM  

Hey All !
Ahh, nice, easy, non-controversial MonPuz. Gets me to believe the World is getting back to some kind of normal ( the Presidential Race not withstanding!)

Liked it. OP-ED in Columns. Agree it was kinda thinking-wise for a Monday. Interesting observations about NEWMAN/DWI, NEuMAN/DuI. I put in thw W and never gave it a second thought. #Humblebrag :-)

Also, agree that STEWPot would've worked just fine with the Downs. Odd that PAN is in there. I EYED UP the full TEEHEE today. Like @Loren, caught the HIP HOP cross. Now know ODEA is plural for Odium still looks weird. Alot of two-worders today.

Overall, APPROVED. Two TOEs UP! :-P


The Oxen of the Sun 10:14 AM  

Surprised no one's calling a GREENPAINT foul on PIANOPEDAL. Been playing for 30 years and have never heard those two words side-by-side. It's just a pedal. If it were "One of three on an electric axe", would you say "GUITARKNOB"?

Andrew Heinegg 10:27 AM  

I thought this was an okay puzzle that was somewhat spoiled by a few of the answers. I have never heard said nor have I seen in a recipe, cookbook, magazine or anywhere the stewpan business. The slope down and Europe Day are in the same category, maybe worse. Europe Day is an actual day but, since there are no celebrations of it that get any real pub even in the age of social media, it seems pretty obscure for a Monday puzzle. Those nits aside, a reasonable Monday;

Joseph Michael 10:32 AM  

Fell into the NEUMAN/DUI trap, but enjoyed the puzzle anyway and appreciated that the OP EDs were literally in columns. Nicely done.

Have heard of eyeing something up and down or eyeballing to get an estimate, but never knew anyone who EYED UP something (or someone). Thought OH STOP was also pushing it. Except for those entries and the OREO sitting in the NW corner, the fill was good. Especially liked HOPE DIAMOND.

Other OP ED columns might have included ENCYCLOPEDIA, DEVELOPED, ORTHOPEDIC, COOPED UP, and DOPED OUT among many others.

Anoa Bob 11:13 AM  

More Seinfeldia! Couple days ago it was UNCLE LEO and today it's NEWMAN (with epithets).

I vote for the STEWPOT/OGEE option. Since the Olympics are around the corner, POMMEL horse with a crossing DOE would've been timely.

With DEN & SWING sharing an ending helper square S, I'm still on track, three out of six, for some Labatt Blues from all y'all who took me up on my wager of at least five of the next ten grids having an S in the lower right square of the grid. We also get some bonus two-for-one POCs at the ends of STEP/ACE & KEY/SPRINT.

I guess it's possible to OVERDO the negative side of one's critique of a puzzle, but I'd rather see that than GREASY pollyannia.

Old SEADOG over and out.

Tita 11:18 AM  

I was living in Europe during the Seinfeld craze, and never before had I felt so left out of what seemed to be the favorite topic of conversation when any 3 Americans got together.
Thankfully, one of my Rexblog buddies taught me the significance of NEWMAN as an epithet, as he uses it whenever stumped by a particularly twisty clue in a Stan NEWMAN puzzle.

Oh and never heard of EUROPEDAY during that time either.

I agree with absolutely everyone today.

Z 11:29 AM  

@NCA and @Oxen - There being a multiplicity of PEDAL uses in the world (and knobs) PIANO PEDAL is fine. Just in my condo I have bike pedals, a sewing machine pedal, a brake and gas PEDAL in my car. I've seen trash cans with PEDALs. I've seen many a guitarist using PEDALs on stage. In fact, the likelihood of seeing a PIANO PEDAL at a pop/rock concert (other than Elton John or Billy Joel) is nearly nil.

@Mohair Sam - I feel like people from the other party will be watching hoping for a car wreck the next two weeks. Here it will be Tiger baseball and HGTV.

Nancy 11:35 AM  

@NCA Pres -- I know that you're a professional musician, so I am intrigued by your 2 mini-rants against Sondheim in the last 2 or 3 days. I argue often with my-much-more-musical-than- I-am brother, who adores Sondheim and is especially fond of INTO THE WOODS, which I gather you hate. It's one of my least favorite SS shows too, as I find it mostly unmelodic. I idolize Sondheim as a lyricist and think he is arguably the greatest of all time. But I don't consider him a great melodist. Except, of course, when he IS.

I'm wondering, @NCA Pres, how you feel about some of my favorite Sondheim songs, musically speaking -- all of them exquisitely melodic, I would argue. I'm not going to get any kudos here for an original list, nor am I looking for any, but I would call all of the following as melodic as anything that Rogers or Bernstein ever wrote. How do you feel about these songs: SEND IN THE CLOWNS; LOSING MY MIND; JOHANNA; MOVE ON; SUNDAY; ANYONE CAN WHISTLE; PRETTY LADY. My knock on Sondheim is that he CAN write melodically, but so often chooses not to. I'm wondering what you think of my list. Do you hate these songs too? Just curious.

Tita 11:35 AM  

Never watched Seinfeld, but one my my RexBlog friends taught me NEWMAN as an epithet, for he would use it as such whenever he got caught by a particular twisty Stan NEWMAN puzzle.

Re: puzzle, I agree with @everyone today.

In the "You go girl" department, have you seen this??

Here it is in a German paper - has a partial pic of the actual artwork.

I would love to learn more about the piece in particular - especially since 18A is spelled wrong...
It seems to be a mix of French and English fill.

Perhaps others of us have partially-filled puzzles that could be worth $89K sitting around collecting dust.
Just keep them away from smart-alecky 91 year-olds!
I don't normally condone defacing artwork, but,

Malsdemare 12:01 PM  

@Nancy, if you've gotta learn something new, go Mac. Intuitive, easy to learn, problem-free, virus-free. The apple store will give you free lessons. I left PCs behind about five years ago and am thrilled. I'm a power user but my sisters aren't and they found the change easy.

I really liked the puzzle, esepcially PUMMEL and REVUE. yeah, STEWPAN is nuts but I'm fine with the occasioanl groaner.

Sam Brownback 12:37 PM  

Loved, loved, loved this puzzle. I would like to see this expanded to a Sunday sized puzzle, giving room for STOPEDUCATINGOURCHILDREN, a movement near and dear to my heart.

Wm. C. 12:52 PM  

@Gill I.,

A couple observations about Seinfeld and Newman:

I'm not sure epithet is exactly the right descriptor here, since they are saying each other's name, not and insulting alternative.

It isn't just Newman who sneers Jerry's name; Jerry also sneers "New-man!" (Although perhaps Newman is always the initiator of the exchange, I can't remember.)

BTW, does Newman have a first name? ;-)

Masked and Anonymous 1:04 PM  

@indie009/WHA: yep. STEWPOT is more familiar … and it gives valid fillins, for OGEE and TEST slopedown words. Verrry interestink.

Always a pleasure to get a MonPuz with long corner stacks. Thanx, Mr. Stulberg.

fave word: PUMMEL.
fave "I have no ODEA" entry, for beginners: [guess]

Peace on Earth, good will to Will. And lotsa luck, Cleveland.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Teedmn 1:35 PM  

I have EYED UP many a dessert, wondering if the taste experience was going to be worth the calorie intake. Sadly, my decision was wrong on a strawberry-rhubarb pie from a week ago, very bland. And the phrase "she EYED UP the competition" seems in the language.

I had to check on STEW PAN also to see if it was a thing. Lots of images came right up on Google and had multiple examples of its use from recipes so I would say it's a thing but it doesn't trip off the tongue as merrily as STEW Pot.

A fine Monday puzzle from Jacob Stulberg that took me at least 45 seconds over my average, woe is me :-).

AskGina 2:14 PM  

Pots are by most assumptions deeper than pans and therefore used for something that would be slow cooked with enough liquid to compensate for the evaporation would occur. A pan is shallower. Saying stew pan is like saying frying pot. That sounds like Miss Know-it-All, but it's not meant to be ... so there.

fiddleneck 4:19 PM  

A chemical question: what is. Invert sugar (ingredient in Carmels?

chefwen 4:54 PM  

Yup, did a double take on STEW POT. I always make larger quantities of foods my stock POT.

Easy, fun and fast Monday wirh no write overs. Chuckled at NEWAN and had today it out loud, just like Jerry.

The Oxen of the Sun 5:30 PM  

I hear you, but PIANOPEDAL is like saying your brake is your CARPEDAL.

jae 6:57 PM  

@lms - I once visited Wordplay for a week or so but it proved too frustrating.

@nancy - trust me, your memory is like everyone else's. I know I started commenting here around six months after Rex created it, but I had to look up Rex's start date to remember what year that was.

@Z and Mohair - I find that an occasional TLC 4 Weddings helps break up the real estate porn on HGTV.

Nancy 7:57 PM  

@Maldesmare -- Re your suggestion of getting a Mac instead of a PC. I'm breaking into hives at the very thought. What I want most in the world is A NEW COMPUTER EXACTLY LIKE MY OLD COMPUTER -- where I don't have to do anything different from what I'm doing now, and where I don't have to learn anything new. Besides: do I really need a Mac for my extremely limited computer activities? I joked about a year into owning my Asus laptop PC: "I recently bought an incredible computer that can do 27 million different things. Whereas I can do three different things -- none of them very well." What do I do? I do email. I Google stuff. I go to the Rexblog. I watch YouTube. What I don't do: I have no files; I move absolutely nothing from one place on my computer to another; I take and send no photographs; I've never used Word and don't know how; I can't open more than one window at a time; etc., etc. I can't really continue, because I have absolutely no concept of any of the other 26.9 million things my computer can do that I can't. So that if a Mac can do them better or faster or more "intuitively", it won't matter, because they're applications I'll never use.

I went to your profile, @Malsdemare (you have the best blog name on this blog, IMO) and what did I see? That technology is one of your main interests and that you love "learning new things." That makes ONE of us on both counts. I do appreciate your feedback, though and admire you greatly for your spirit of adventure. Forgive me for being too much of a tech coward to take your advice. It's probably very good advice -- just a bit too daunting.

Unknown 8:13 PM  

@Nancy - If you want to find the crossword puzzle that led you to this blog, then I would suggest taking a look at Jim Horne's Notable Puzzles of 2013 blog post, which I found via XWordInfo. He lists some of the year's best puzzles. Based on your enthusiasm for that intricate and tricky puzzle, I would guess that it made the list.

Here the links to the other Notable Puzzles posts: 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014.

I hope that this helps!

Anonymous 9:59 PM  

Z I have never heard the NYT described as anything but liberal. I read it every day but Sunday. You must be pretty left to consider it center-right.

Nancy If all you do is what you listed, you do not need a computer at all. A Chrome book is all you need (and cheap) if you want/need a keyboard, or a tablet to which you can attach a keyboard. That way you do not need to mess with a lot of clutter you will never use.

Warren Howie Hughes 10:47 PM  

REGATTA believe that 7A STEWPAN is really STEWPOT! TEEHEE

kitshef 10:50 PM  

@Nancy - Like a lot of things, computer choices are a matter of taste. For me, Apple products are intuitive in the same way the Sahara is lush. In my experience, the only way to do anything on a Mac is to find someone who already knows how to do it and bribe them to do it.

Tim Pierce 11:48 PM  

I entered STEWPOT and never looked back. Never even noticed that I was wrong (the disadvantage of solving on paper).

The irony here is that not only does STEWPOT feel like a more natural answer, it's a legitimate way to fill out the corner, with OGEE/TEST instead of AGEE/NEST. Maybe the editors, reasonably, wanted to avoid the OGEE crosswordese, but...

OISK 11:49 PM  

I Knew New man. But anyone unfamiliar with Seinfeld really had no shot; DUI would have popped into my head before DWI. That makes it a bad crossing. Especially on a Monday. Otherwise, a more difficult than average Monday for me, but I prefer it that way.

I did not look at the Sunday comments, but crossing an acronym with an acronym ( spoiler alert - stop reading if you didn't do the Sunday puzzle...) should be avoided.

Crossing the plural of a brand of TV (LGS) with a pretty obscure acronym going down is not good. I had L_S, and no idea what the letter could be from the down clue. Fortunately, some hotels I have visited had LG televisions...

Z 12:43 AM  

@Anonymous9:59 - I hear Obama is a socialist all the time, too. Doesn't make it so. BTW - Obama is actually mostly center to center-right as well, Hillary a little more right, and Bill was even farther right. Take a gander at the policy proposals of Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford and you won't see much difference from Obama or the NYT. Best Republican presidents in the past 50 years have been Billy C and Barry O. I always say. If people would stop reading about politics and pay attention to policies you'd end up thinking far differently about politicians.

Wm. C. 8:26 AM  

@Z --

I agree that Bill Clinton was a centrist president (and might be viewed as "Republican" by many liberal Dems. But to put Obama in the same political tent is a bridge WAY too far, IMO. I expect that Hillary is way to the left of Bill, although probably not as much so as Obama.

spacecraft 10:14 AM  

Intriguing puzzle. First thing I want to note is the extraordinarily low PPP count:11 (ORIOLE as clued is capped, but the word certainly doesn't have to be; while neither HOPE nor DIAMOND alone need caps, the two together of course do). Look at those corners! It CAN be done, people! Real words!

The next item is most unfortunate: the natick at D_I/NE_MAN. Jacob, you just plain can't DO that. I don't care whether you're a Seinfeld fan or (me) not, you've never seen NEWMAN's name in print. This guy could be Alfred's cousin, who knows? The names are phonetically identical, so that square becomes a PURE 100% guess. I throw out the "New man" argument; Jerry would've said the same thing. He himself probably doesn't know the spelling.

Hand up for all the green paint in the left-hand themers. In the learn-something-new department, I discovered EUROPEDAY and STEWPAN, which, incredibly, is a real word. Doesn't make any cooking sense, but it IS a word. We have a "slow cooker" that we use all the time. We call it a "slow cooker." It is most certainly NOT a pan.

Theme was OK, execution...a bit green around the gills. The fill is all I could have hOPED for. With so few proper names to pick from, "golden" girl EATON is the obvious choice for DOD. This was like a drive out of bounds, but making an eagle with the replayed ball. In other words, par.

Sailor 10:50 AM  

Easy, even for a Monday, I thought. Thank goodness for STEWPAN to give us something to talk about. At our house we start stew by searing the meat and onions in a pan, but finish it by slow-cooking in the crockpot, which word of course did not fit the grid.

This was the antithesis of yesterday's puzzle, which I did late in the day, and thought was just a slog. I was astonished to find I had finished correctly, given that MINIMI, LEELA and EMILE were complete unknowns in that SW corner. Too many iffy clues, and the grid was just a beast, chopped up into all those 3, 4 and 5 letter words. HIP crossing STIR. EWE crossing AWOL. GEO crossing REFS. And on and on. Blah.

NM Robin 11:06 AM  

According to "The free Dictionary":

pan 1
1. A shallow, wide, open container, usually of metal and without a lid, used for holding liquids, cooking, and other domestic purposes.

pot 1
1. Any of various usually domestic containers made of pottery, metal, or glass, as:
a. A round, fairly deep cooking vessel with a handle and often a lid.

Need a POT for stewing, a PAN does not work.

The puzzle was medium for me but guessed wrong on NEWMAN. Even though we call it DWI, I thought the more common one DUI was the answer. Never have watched Seinfeld.

Burma Shave 11:39 AM  


and STEPS up for a REVUE on the HAYRIDE’S last HOP.
M: “Oh COD! If the COST is BASED on 3 carats APOP.”
K: “With COURAGE I’ll ENDURE it, my PET, with no squabble.”
M: “Don’t OVERDO it, because I’m DUE to say ‘OHSTOP!’ ”.


rondo 1:02 PM  

Had the same thoughts at the NEWMAN / DWI trap, but somewhere I’ve seen it spelled out, so avoided a DNF there. Almost went with haMMer like OFL, but resisted. ROAD is not sufficient as there is the ROADWAY and usually a shoulder (or parking lane), which is part of the ROAD, but not meant for driving on.

BASED on multiple trips to ODESSA, whether strolling Deribasovskaya Street or at the beaches, every other woman I EYEDUP could be a MODEL. They walk everywhere, have a healthier diet and don’t OVERDO it, and probably have to walk up 7 or 8 flights of STEPS to get to their flats. And just when you think you’ve met some tens, along come ELEVENS (I’ve got photo proof). If you work up the COURAGE to say hello, they ADORE talking to you. At least that’s how it was between 8 and 15 years ago. Maybe even more so now with what they have had to ENDURE, and if they are now even more eager to find a way out of the country. Always love when ODESSA shows up.

Any Bond girl gets a yeah baby, especially Shirley EATON before and after going all golden.

Upon further REVUE, I’m glad others noticed the HIP HOP cross. Decent Mon-puz.

leftcoastTAM 1:12 PM  

MODEL puzzle for any Monday. Nice, smooth, good theme, with APOP, and extra OPs in fill for good measure.

Worked from NW to SE, where revealer made some less obvious answers very accessible: ALEVE, EYEDUP, LCD, ENDURE, NEWMAN.

Nice work.

rondo 2:21 PM  

I had a post that was up for a while that noted somewhere having seen NEWMAN spelled out to avoid that trap. Raved about MODELs in ODESSA and Bond girl yeah baby Ms. EATON. Someone must have pushed one of the wrong KEYS and my post did not EDURE. This Mon-puz was APPROVED.

rain forest 3:58 PM  

I've seen DuI and DWI. I've seen NEWMAN, and NEuMAN. Never having seen the spelling of the epitheted one, I say either is correct. I did, however, choose the W.

Actually, my Mom used to occasionally make a pan stew, so presumably she used a STEW PAN. I think she cooked the meat in broth first, and spread it and potatoes and carrots on the pan with a drizzle of the broth and cooked it uncovered in the oven. It was different from regular stew cooked in a pot.

This was a Monday puzzle with a little bit of snap, and possibly tending to easy-medium as my time was about 14 seconds above my usual (*for a Monday*).

Uke Xensen 4:49 PM  

This one seemed super easy to me.

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