Republican pol Haley from South Carolina / MON 1-9-17 / Black covert doings / English monarch with lace named after her / 1990s tv series about murder in town in Washinton

Monday, January 9, 2017

Constructor: Neville Fogarty

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: BED HEAD (39A: Result of failure to comb the hair after sleep, maybe ... or a feature of 17-, 25-, 49- or 61-Across) — theme answers all start with a size of bed, thus there's a BED at the HEAD of each answer:

Theme answers:
  • TWIN PEAKS (17A: 1990s TV series about a murder in a town in Washington)
  • FULL HOUSE (25A: K-K-K-5-5, e.g., in poker)
  • QUEEN ANNE (49A: English monarch with a "lace" named after her)
  • KING COBRA (61A: Hooded snake)
Word of the Day: NOAA (14A: U.S. weather agcy.) —
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA; pronounced /ˈn.ə/, like "Noah") is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. NOAA warns of dangerous weather, charts seas, guides the use and protection of ocean and coastal resources, and conducts research to improve understanding and stewardship of the environment. In addition to its civilian employees, 12,000 as of 2012, NOAA research and operations are supported by 500 uniformed service members who make up the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. The current Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere at the Department of Commerce and the agency's administrator is Kathryn D. Sullivan, who was nominated February 28, 2013, and confirmed March 6, 2014. (wikipedia)
• • •
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Now on to the puzzle!

As first-words themes go, this one was cute. Very nice wordplay in the revealer, and nice progression of bed sizes from smallest to largest. You could do this theme with FLOWER something, FEATHER something, OYSTER something, etc. But this incarnation has the virtue of simplicity and size progression. It's a tight theme. Simple, tight. That said, I had no idea what the theme was until I was done. I mean, I got BED HEAD and saw that it was the revealer, but was on to the next answer so fast that I didn't think about how the revealer worked. Sometimes going too fast has consequences, such as causing you, ultimately, not to go as fast as you would've liked. Today, though, no real issues w/ speeding past the revealer. Had real trouble right off the bat with NOAA, of which I have never heard. It has never been in a NYT crossword, I don't think. There's only one instance in the cruciverb database, and that's from a Boston Globe puzzle from almost 15 years ago. I couldn't even begin to guess what most of those letters stand for without looking NOAA up, so that answer is a Weird One, esp. esp. esp. for a Monday. It's a very real agcy., but ... looks more like the answer to the clue ["Does this take a D battery?" response, perhaps]. And yet, once I got it from crosses, I crossed my fingers and moved on. Quickly. Only hesitation/slowness came at the end because I typo'd UNSHORE instead of UNSHORN and so had the end of of the [English monarch...] themer as -NANEE (?). Had to back into that SW from the tail end of BORN FREE. Could not come up with AUGER from the terminal "R" (59A: Drilling tool) But I knew KYRIE (yay, sports) (67A: N.B.A. star ___ Irving), and so all was soon clear. 2:47. Just south of normal Monday time.

Here's a problem: Two SETs. A SET of SETs. Two SETs is one SET too (!) many. ALL SET. PRE-SET. Probably should've SET one of those aside. I bet NIKKI Haley is a debut (52D: Republican pol Haley from South Carolina). Might've been tricky, spelling-wise, but I already had the double-K in place before I looked at the clue. The AREA of REST AREA caused me to stop because STOP fits right where AREA sits and I was unsure (47A: Place to pull over on an interstate). I would say "when's the next REST STOP?" But I'm from California originally and we do weird things like put "the" before our highway numbers so you probably shouldn't listen to me. This was a solid puzzle. Nice Monday. See you Tuesday. Pray for atypical (i.e. good) Tuesday!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:07 AM  

Easy-medium for me too. Did not know KYRIE and AIT as clued (river island yes), but the crosses were fine.

I was really into TWIN PEAKS until it got very weird. Not a Lost fan either. That said, "The OA" on Netflix streaming is worth looking at.

I'm with@Rex solid Mon., cute theme, liked it.

If anyone tried or is going to try the LATimes Sun. puzzle as printed in the newspaper, don't. They printed the wrong grid. I printed out a copy from

Mark 12:41 AM  

I liked the puzzle and thought it a nice clean Monday. NOAA has a useful website for weather forecasts. I think a lot of the commercial websites like the weather channel often over dramatize the possibility of severe weather and this gives a sort of bias to their predictions. NOAA doesn't do that, which I like.

chefwen 12:47 AM  

Someday, maybe when I grow up, I'll remember that SANDALS are not spelled sandles. My only screw up in this fine puzzle.
Didn't know KYRIE or NIKKI (thank you crosses)
Very mini theme with TWIN PEAKS and SPORTS BAR where you could have watched the Pack beat the GIANTs. Happy dance!

Anonymous 12:51 AM  

I work in Earth sciences for a fed'l gov't agency, so NOAA was a gimme for me. Just think of it as, it involves water and sounds like Noah.

Moly Shu 12:55 AM  

Why couldn't ALT get a right clue instead of a rock clue, then we would have had an epic meltdown from OFL. Also, no problem with BOYTOY? Really? Thought it would at least get a mention seeing as how gold digger and other feminist slights are mentioned in write-ups.
This came in super easy. I think I wrote in the first 9 acrosses in a row, skipped AIT and ETC, then did the next 8 before stopping at the revealer. When 17 of 20 go right in without crosses, you feel like a genius. Well, at least I do. No problem with NOAA, worked the Hurricane Hunters in their C-130's too many time to count (shout out to @Evil). Me too for RESTstop before AREA. I liked it, easy but fun with a decent theme.

Tita 1:07 AM  
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Carola 1:09 AM  

Me, too, for "liked it!" With most of the grid filled except for the poker hand and the reveal, I thought the idea might have something to do with "messy," involving scrambled letters from the theme entries. Nope. Studying the three themers I had, I never noticed the logic of the TWiN....QUEEN, KING progression. So, in with the Downs, the FULL HOUSE and then the very cute BED HEAD.

I liked the mirroring of RAIN DELAY and SPORTS BAR, a more comfortable spot to sit one out.

@Nancy, I hope you didn't feel Will was tormenting you with the ADIEU and TATA for the GIANTs, with an echo of Eli's "I'LL PASS (but who will catch?)" And a NERTS! for the loss. :)

Tita 1:10 AM  

I am on the NOAA website just about every day. Best presentation of the weather, with great charts and graphs, analytics, radar loops...
And no ads. Because I already pay for it. (Which is why it irked me that Rick Santorum wanted to bar NOAA from providing that data to anyone but private companies. Oh...did I mention that AccuWeather was a campaign contributor?

Sorry, but that has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time.

Love the flower QUEENANNE's lace. Thought QUACKs are real doctors that are lousy at it.

Mr. Fogarty must have been a French major.
Conjugating avoir? ALA? CREPE. ADIEU? EPEE? NEE? ETRE?
Must be to honor PEPE LePew.

I miss SAAB. Born from Jets.

Didn't we have a bed-themed puzzle or two not long ago? This was fine. Lots of nice fill.

Anonymous 1:14 AM  

Anonymous here again (the anonymous from comment #4 above)... Yes, I'll echo and re-echo the NOAA/NWS weather comments. is just about the best website for weather info, and it's essentially free because you already paid for it on April 15. Only compares.

puzzle hoarder 1:17 AM  

BEDHEAD and SPORTSBAR are debuts. Who'd a thunk. I needed the crosses for NOAA and NIKKI. The monarch caused me to hesitate. Queen Anne's lace is a common wildflower, that it's named after an actual lace has never occurred to me. The basketball player required all the crosses which were easy to get. As I recall this was a snark free Monday. Congratulations.

Ellen S 1:39 AM  

I've been familiar with NOAA since my daughter moved to Florida about 15 years ago and I began taking an interest in Atlantic hurricanes.

I put in REST stop, before realizing it couldn't work; but somewhere rattling around in my head is a memory of road signs saying "Next Rest Area __ Miles". I think maybe we take a REST Stop at a REST AREA.

Oh, and it's **Southern** California that puts "the" before highway numbers. Up here in the north we travel on I-5 or 101 down to where they talk about "the 101" and "the 5."

Anonymous 1:46 AM  

You should know NOAA, as you should be getting your weather forecasts from NOAA. They provide everyone else with the data, it's presented clearly without laughing or pretentious jackasses.

Larry Gilstrap 2:03 AM  

I call that a very nice Monday effort. Even the short stuff wasn't stinky, or it was disguised by interesting crosses. Don't follow the NBA until June, so KYRIE had to wait for the downs. The themers were not only appropriate, but symmetrical and in sequence.

Someone in the other room is griping about that NERTS/AKIRA intersection. Rookie mistake.

Now about me. From time to time, teaching was barely tolerable. The stultifying regime of coping with bell schedules, grades, mouthy kids, and administrators with unrealistic expectations takes a toll. What job could be better? How about being a salesman in a mattress store? What a dreamy gig! So quiet, restful, and low pressure. Folks don't just stroll in randomly. They are on a mission; they are there to buy a bed. And after a brief verbal exchange, you tell them to go lie down. Perfect! If I had it to do over...

Anoa Bob 2:36 AM  

Let me add my voice to those praising NOAA. I have several of their sites bookmarked and visit them frequently. Their Northern Hemisphere Composite merges many geostationary satellite images into one giant picture of the weather over Canada, USA, Mexico, Central America, the northern coast of South america, the Caribbean, and far out into both the Atlantic & Pacific. Go there and click on "View Loop" for a holistic panorama of weather systems in motion over a big chunk of our Little Blue Marble.

If you live in a hurricane prone area, NOAA's National Hurricane Center has a wealth of information. I like to click on "Data & Tools", then "Satellite Imagery" to choose from a selection up-close, detailed loop pictures of weather in specific areas of the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico & the Pacific, including Hawaii.

Loren Muse Smith 2:55 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 2:56 AM  

Serendipity – got out of bed, noticed myself in the mirror and thought Whoa. Serious BEDHEAD. So, so in the language. Which is worse – BEDHEAD or hat hair?

I ended up solving down at the bottom first, so after KING COBRA and QUEEN ANNE fell, I was expecting some kind of princess and prince up top. To get BED HEAD on the way up was a pleasant surprise.

@Tita – thanks for pointing out all the French. That AIT as clued is beastly. Subjunctive. Yikes.

Packers fans – we can tweak this reveal/idea with these possible themers: BRICK OVEN, STRING BEAN, CREAM SODA, COTTAGE PIE. Congrats!

@jae, @chefwen, et al, If you don’t know KYRIE Irving, if you don’t care about hoops, and even if you do, this is worth watching, I swear. When my nephew showed me, I rolled my eyes when I saw that it was 5 minutes long, but I’m so glad I watched it to the end.

Rex – I missed the SET dupe, but I noticed PEPE’s EPEE peep out from the grid for some reason.

If you look at the AA in NOAA as its own syllable, “ah” then - POTTY LINE, CUT THE CODS, CLOCK GABLE, WINTER SCOFF. Hi, Resident Bostonian with NO AAs in your speech, @jackj!

I don’t really play poker – do you ever pass? If so, the FULLHOUSE/I’LL PASS cross is nice.

@Larry – I’m right there with you on teaching. It’s laughably impossible to do what we’re asked to do. I’m getting emails from the BOE to be sure to include more technology and SPLs in my lesson plans. What the heck are those? Do this for the SAT kids? Or the IEP kids? Will I learn this in my PLC? Before the OEPA audit or IPI visit? Well, my SPLs are MIA right now. I’m still trying to keep students from swigging Windex or snorting wintergreen lifesavers up their noses when my back is turned and I’m not making that up. With thirty students in two of my six classes, with computer labs with only twenty computers, how does this “add technology” thing work? Let me address this poser during my planning. Oh wait. I have to cover – again - for a teacher because we don’t have enough subs. But oh great! Today I get planning today! But first I have to track down individual standardized STARS test scores for 80 students and then go back, enter each one, and then color code each one, because they’re all due by the end of the day and I’m not making that up, either. I find myself looking for another job almost hourly now. Granted, I teach in one of the poorest counties in one of our poorest states, but still. I’m working on a sinking ship. Maybe I’ll call some mattress stores today,

Alrighty, then. Y’all enjoy your day. Hah. Sorry for the rant. But I just get so enraged….

Neville – I agree with Rex - very nice Monday fare.

Leapfinger 3:37 AM  

A lot of the time, when I solve a puzzle, I see what what an entry almost was. This USURY makes me QUACK up, but today I had to QUACK down. There was so much of it from the git-go, I thought it looked like TWIN PEeKS, sort of a Rhymin' Simon theme:

AIRS errs

ANTS aunts
RAIN reign
PEAKS piques
PEPE peppy

SAAB sob
AILS ales

TIE tai

AUGER augur
CREPE crape

ADIEU a deux



There's more of that FAIR fare later on, but by then I'd reached the reveal and saw how I'd been short-sheeted. With the answer being between the sheets, as it were, it fitted nicely with the recent SOFABED, and I flatly insist on thinking of it as a convertible theme. If you know that I sleep on my side, and wake up every day with all my left hair sticking weirdly straight up, you'll understand why I'll go some lengths to avoid thinking of BEDHEAD.

The only place I had to RESTARE A bit was the NE, with AKIRo/A and the the way I spelt NERTZ. Wondered about an NBA star named KYRIE Eleison, but maybe he keeps company with Boris FALLOFF and NIKKI Minaj a trois.

Nice little twist with the irregular reverbs 'avoir' and ETRE. Altogether TRACE bon and TRACE FORT, Monsieur Fogarty.


PS: You can make a REST stop anywhere; REST_AREAS are state-run facilities with sep car&truck parking, options to fill and empty people and pets, but no gas.

My thermostat takes 2 AAAs but NO AA batteries. Important to kNOw when it ICES.

Leapfinger 3:52 AM  

formatted page breaks
elided 'not necessarily' gas

Z 4:59 AM  

Never even noticed NOAA in the grid. Broke 6 minutes so easy easy here, and I felt like I was going slowly. Figured out the theme post-solve, so it was largely irrelevant. The most notable thing to me was the relative lack of ese in the short answers, I never had that "ten thousandth time I've written that answer" feeling.

Trombone Tom 5:07 AM  

What @Rex said, except for what @Ellen S already pointed out. Up here it's 101, not The 101.

smalltowndoc 5:34 AM  

I am astounded that there people who don't know who NIKKI Haley is. Just for the record, she is the governor of South Carolina (the first woman and first Indian-American to hold that office). As a republican governor of a conservative state, she took the unpopular position of removing the Confederate flag from the State Capitol after the mass shooting hate crime at the AME church in Charleston. She is also Trump's pick for ambassador to the U.N.

I also don't understand how someone can not be familiar with NOAA. Among other things, it runs the National Weather Service. It's the branch of government that studies the environment, climate change, the ozone layer and catastrophic meteorological events like hurricanes, floods and tornados.

I'm just a small town doctor, not a student of politics or meteorology, but to me, these two answers are just common knowledge.

Anonymous 6:01 AM  

Fiat to invest $1 billion in Michigan, Ohio plants, create 2,000 jobs. Jobs, not gigs. I love waking up and reading the news these days.

Lewis 6:29 AM  

@tita -- I like the concept of a bed themed puzzle with lots of nice fill!

Monday theme and reveal was just right, and REST_AREA was a nice echo of it. The theme had no bunk! There was a mini-theme of double E's (5). A couple of crossing pairs stood out: KNEE/NEE (Hi Leapy!) and EAGER/AUGER. Erm... I like that if you turn east at the B in SPORTSBAR you get SPORTSBRA.

A lovely Monday that AUGERs well for the week ahead. Good one, Neville!

mruedas 6:38 AM  

Did anybody notice that REST AREA is also a 'sort of' themer? It's inverted (BED REST), and doesn't fit in with the size progression, but it does fit in with the revealer, in that BED+first part of the answer makes a coherent phrase.

Loren Muse Smith 6:44 AM  

@Lewis and @Tita – totally missed the “nice fill” play. Cool. Well played.

Rex – sending money your way this morning. Snail mail for the first time. Thanks for this site.

FWIW - I just registered for the 2017 ACPT. Be there, or be square. It. Is. So. Much. Fun. And I think finally I registered as a “non-competitor,” which I think means that I can go in the ballroom and do the puzzles but be spared the humiliation of a public spanking, erm, ranking.

Buck 7:16 AM  

Thanks Loren. That was a great little video.

Passing Shot 7:24 AM  

RESTstop before AREA and couldn't remeber whether the governor spells her name NIcKI or NIKKI, but otherwise a pleasant, smooth diversion.

kitshef 7:29 AM  

Weather Channel website is so jammed with ads and extraneous gabbage that it takes forever to load. NOAA is better in every way.

Solving downs only, when my first two themers were TWIN PEAKS and FULL HOUSE I thought we were headed for a '90s TV theme.

DNF on tAiLOFF/tORT/AiT, never noticing that I already had AIT (correctly) elsewhere in the grid.

My vastly much younger half-sister has never heard of giving DAP, which makes me wonder where the sweet spot is for that word.

chefbea 7:55 AM  

Fun easy Monday puzzle!!

Now to send Rex my contribution via snail mail and get one of the cookery post cards!!!! Think I'll check them out on line...sounds like something I might need

Sherm Reinhardt 8:06 AM  

Mondays are the only ones where I get within 5 minutes of Rex. 8:04 on this one and would've been faster except I spelled AUGER as AUGUR originally and assumed that UPI was correct without looking at the clue. Shows my age-- UPI was a huge press agency once upon a time that used to come up pretty often in crosswords. Now it's been eaten by the AP and I wonder if any constructors ever use it now.

Anonymous 8:12 AM  

NOAA - Yes!

OT but hope it's OK to post:
And for those who enjoy good weather blogs and live in New England, try Weather Wisdom, blog and twitter (you can't read without a twitter account) by David Epstein. It's also no-nonsense and does a great job of explaining meteorology in laymen's terms without dumbing it down or hyping it up.
(see page for twitter link)


Dorothy Biggs 8:18 AM  

Thanks to everyone who mentioned NOAA...I'll check them out. There is a tweeter in Nashville who does a no nonsense approach to weather and he mentions all the time that the mainstream weather apps and services aren't the best sources for weather. Now that I live in NYC, this guy's tweets don't help me much...but his wisdom did. I'll check out NOAA for sure.

AIT, KILO, and KYRIE were all clued very differently than normal...which, I think, made the puzzle a wee bit harder than normal.

DAP...that's two days in a row. DAP. I wonder how many guys who fist bump and "blow it up" know they are "dapping." Probably close to zero. And I could be wrong, but if you know that a fist bump is a "DAP," you probably aren't going to be the kind who fist bumps in the first place. I don't know...maybe you're more inclined to chest bump.

BEDHEAD or not, I'm just happy I have hair that is affected by a bed at all.

TATA and ADIEU in the same puzzle, along with Rex's shout out to the plethora of SETs and the plethora of French words (AIT, ADIEU, ETRE, ALA) makes for a puzzle that is like a Porter paint color swatch...a bunch of shades of the same color. Or in this particular case, not enough other colors to offSET the preponderance of so many like answers.

The theme was fine...and it seems so obvious that I'm surprised there aren't a ton of these in the xword Akashic records.

thfenn 8:25 AM  

Fun start to the week. Like others, enjoyed the pairing of RAINDELAY and SPORTSBAR. Sort of. Saw two iconic games in sportsbars, with less than ideal results. I was a BIG EAST college hoops fan and watched UNC beat Georgetown 63-62 in the 1982 NCAA final, with a die hard Tar Heel fan (who was, however, my best man years later). And I was wearing my red sox hat in a NYC sports bar during Game 6 of the 1986 Red Sox-Mets world series, and walked out at the end listening to the patrons sing "Red Sox fans take it up the ass, doo dah, doo dah" (think "camptown ladies sing this song"...). So, to this day, sports bars aren't really my favorite place to take in an important game.

Loved SAABs. I learned to drive in a 1963 3 cylinder SAAB wagon - it was the last year they offered a lifetime guarantee on their engine, and my parents must have put 5 or 6 in that car. Bought more SAABs as life progressed, my last being a 1996 SAAB 9000, and miss them.

Enjoyed the cluing for GOATHERD. Have been to both Elsamere and Joys Camp in Kenya, so BORNFREE was chock full of memories. Am hopeful that you don't have to be young to be a BOYTOY, only younger than the one seeing you as such. And thanks for all the NOAA endorsements. Think I'll ditch my Accuweather and Weather Channel apps.

L 8:34 AM  

NOAA was a gimme for all the wrong reasons. I thought that was the agency that tracked Santa on xmas eve. Turns out that's NORAD. Whatever... I'm a clueless jewish girl from Brooklyn - no santa, no chimney.

Didn't even get the theme until I read about it here, but loved BEDHEAD and thanks to SPORTSBAR, didn't immediately write rest stop for RESTAREA.

Great Monday puzzle.

Tita 9:01 AM  

@lms and @lewis...wish I could take the credit. While I very occasionally find myself clever enough to slide in something apropos under the radar and hope people will notice, this was not one of those times!

But thanks for giving me the excuse to post again, so I can brag about the second-in-my-life acrostic finish. Not a single cheat required, and I learned a beautiful new word.

Norm 9:09 AM  

It's against the law to put "the" before a highway number in Northern California .... ;-)

RooMonster 9:22 AM  

Hey All !
Quite nice, easy MonPuz! Also liked the small to large BED progression. Some nice words in here. @Lewis-High double letters?

Some PPP names, but all seem getable. Liked puz overall. Easy puzs always make me feel smart!

@M&A - F's and G's, but no M's!


oldbizmark 9:24 AM  

a pathetic DNF because of the [e]LDER vs. OLDER, AI[?]/G[e]A[?]HERD crossing. i do not deserve to live!

I am not a robot 9:31 AM  

It's a fine little puzzle but Queen Anne lace isn't a thing (I don't think). The term is Queen Anne's Lace (as far as I know) and it's a wildflower.

Googled, found some designer who used it in naming a few things, but I wasn't patient enough to get past page 3 of hits on the flower to figure out if there's really a Queen Anne lace. Off to work. Maybe someone else can pick up that one.

Anonymous 9:39 AM  

I check the NOAA site almost every day. The 'Forecast Discussion' section is amazing.

jberg 9:40 AM  

If I was named KYRIE, I'd spend all my time going to mass, just to bask in the adulation. With this clue, I had to get it from the crosses.

The US weather agency is NWS, but they're part of NOAA, I guess. As @smalltowndoc said, NOAA does a lot more than weather. But it fit with IOWA, so I put it in, corny as that may sound.

I got the revealer, noted how it worked with TWIN and FULL, than promptly forgot it -- to the extent that I wrote in ....COBRA and left the front blank until I got the K from NIKKI Haley.

Nice puzzle. My biggest problem was actually confusing AUGER with AUGuR.

GILL I. 9:49 AM  

KNEE NEE EPEE EPI TATA TART. Sounds like a cute song.
After years of doing puzzles those bagger clues still drive me NERTS. The first time I saw that clue, all I could think of was someone brown bagging it. Four baggers is one BIG lunch BAG.
Sacramento has a bunch of GOAT HERDs. Someone finally figured out how to clean up the levees and parkways a la cheap and they don't make any noise.
@chefwen...I ALWAYS do the le/el/la mistake as well. Then throw in the ei/ie.
Nice Monday puzzle Neville Fogarty SETs and all.

Nancy 9:51 AM  

I've heard of a Bad Hair Day, but I've never heard of a BEDHEAD. (Google has, however, since it didn't underline the word in wavy red.) It's a cute term, leading to a cute, if very easy puzzle -- the theme of which I never noticed while solving.

ICES IN is very much on my mind, right now. I just had to break an appt. with a new doctor at 11 today. It's 16 degrees out, not all the Saturday snow -- now ice -- was cleared away over the weekend, and I'm not taking any chances. I was terrified of walking on ice when I was 20 -- and I'm not 20 anymore. I'm hibernating right now. Fortunately, the receptionist was very pleasant and very understanding. She re-scheduled, and I pray the streets are clear on the day I'm supposed to go in.

The other interesting answer for me was PRESET. I have a (supposedly) uncomplicated clock radio, but it has, I don't know, 6 "bands", each with 6 stations, something like that, and no matter how hard I tried to program the damn thing so that the alarm would go off on the one classical music station, it would always go off instead on some scratchy, screechy, hideous rock station with loud obnoxious commercials. I got my handyman up and he couldn't figure it out either. Finally, Eureka, I found the solution. I put all 6 stations on each of the 6 bands on WQXR. That way, if the damn thing "reverted" for reasons unknown to some hideous but preferred station, the only station it could land on would be WQXR. I did it all laboriously by hand -- 36 stations worth. And it's worked!!! This is what's known as a non-techie's analog solution to an unsolvable digital problem. Bet no one has ever been as rigidly PRESET as I am.

Anonymous 10:01 AM  

So wanted Phony Doc to be DROZ. Quack, quack.

Anonymous 10:08 AM  

Poor Hollywood elites. If I'd donated a billion dollars to Hillary and got nothing in return on my investment I'd be upset too.

Malsdemare 10:19 AM  

Monday's, sigh. They're Mondays, first, and then they're the day for the shortest puzzle. This one was fun but over just too fast. I knew NOAA because I had their hurricane monitor on my computer at work when my daughter lived in Miami. My grandson was born during Hurricane Francis, so my over-the-top paranoia had some legitimacy. In fact, my only hiccup was KYRIE (REX says "sports!" I say "sports" but the inflections aren't even close) I thought the theme was okay, loved QUACK and its clue, loved AUGER, DAP, SKELETON. Puzzle was just fine, just fast.

I'm running on fumes today because last night Mr. Mal, who has a cold, snored until 3am, at which point I left our 60 degree bedroom for the 50 degree one and left the door open so it wouldn't be the 40 degree room by morning. At 7 am, the man who'd obviously slept all night -- the snoring is a clue -- awoke to some tiny whining from big new dog in his big new crate, a crate we agreed he would stay in despite whining because we don't want to REWARD whining, and let said big new dog loose, who joined with his big sister to come into my room to wrestle on my bed, all 150 pounds of them.

I shall now quit whining, pour a second cup of coffee and read all your comments, hopeful for some giggles.

Leapfinger 10:26 AM  

Have a pseudo French fill to add to @Tita's list. Don't know if I'm the only one, but I'm always wanting to call it AUGERbine, the way little kids say pisghetti. Maybe I'm thinking of AUGERbean.

@chefwen, here's a trick that might help: if you wear SANDALS on the beach, your feet won't be SANDless. I also (hi Lewis et al) saw SPORTSBAR hang a turn at the KING's cross and turn into a SPORTSBRA; there's your other room for the GIANT Wiggly TWINPEAKS.

@Anon 6:01 - You may see it as a Fiat, but without a defined source for where that billion is to come from, I call it government by Labor Genie. Maws yer attitude, 'fore you blow a gasket.

Nancy 10:27 AM  

@Carola (1:09) -- To paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan (who said it about the Irish): "To be a GIANTs fan is to know that one day the world will break your heart." I've always suffered while watching this team. Seeming triumph can disintegrate into disaster so very quickly. But I like to think I'm fair-minded. They didn't deserve to win yesterday. What's more, they probably didn't deserve to be in the playoffs -- even their wins this year were nail-biters and fraught with peril. I'll be rooting for the Packers in the post-season: I love their quarterback, they have a fabulous history and tradition, they seem like a likable bunch of guys, and they play in such a Godawful climate* that both they and their fans deserve for nice things to happen to them.

*Although Green Bay has nothing on NYC right now!

r.alphbunker 10:32 AM  

What @kitshef said. See our solutions side by side here.

Unknown 10:32 AM  

I seem always to get stuck on things no one comments on . Could someone tell me what nerts means ?

Malsdemare 11:05 AM  

@lms. Terrific video; even I know Dr. J., and I would watch that kind of b'ball upclose any day.

To our teachers: I think ya'll should be paid a million dollars. I substituted in a fourth grade class for 1/2 day in a private school in Marietta, GA., in the early 80s! (So you know no one was shoving certs up his nose) and promptly went back to school for a PhD so I'd never have to do that again. You folks are saints; I have voted for every school bond issue that shows up on the ballot and just wish that once, just once, it was to vote a real raise for the soldiers on the front line.

@Nancy And the town owns the Pack! To me that alone makes them worthy of my fandom. Brilliant solution to the alarm, by the way.

How to wake up a woman trying to sleep: First, see if she's awake: stick cold, wet nose in her face. Try a gentle lick. When she turns her head away, stick nose in her nice warm neck. No reaction? How about a paw on the shoulder; okay, try two, try a gentle shove. Huh! Didn't work. How about a pounce? Nope? Okay, maybe she's dead! Get on bed, stand on body, administer CPR by bouncing a little. Bounce a lot. That's when your 70 lb. sister decides wrestling could be fun, especially on that lumpy mattress, so forget CPR. At this point, of course woman is awake but thoroughly pinned to bed, hence loud swearing commences. CPR worked! At this point, bound off the bed and suggest breakfast. Voila! Woman is up!

@I am not a robot. There is a lace called Queen Anne's but the clue doesn't ask that; it asks for the name of the monarch so the answer is correct.

Meet Eeyore-ology 11:06 AM  

Knew this one Family Medicine doc. Maybe it was on account of both his parents being psychologists, but every one -- every single last one -- of his patients over 50 was prescribed Valium. He figured they all needed it for one reason or another. To me, that smacks of QUACKery, not Medicine.

So they say that everyone talks about the weather but noone does anything about it, and today everyone's talking about something that talks about the weather, and nobody's still doing nothing about it. Strikes me that we're moving in the wrong direction.

BED HEAD (teehee)

Malsdemare 11:07 AM  

@Jessica NERTS is an absolutely antique variation on Nuts! I haven't heard it in 30 years, and even then it wasn't that popular.

old timer 11:07 AM  

Technical DNF because I wrote in "Nicki" for NIKKI and it being Monday did not check the crosses.

Here in Northern California we don't put "the" before our highways. The main artery where I live is 101, not "the 101". Southern California puts a "the" there.

Rest areas were first proposed by Lady Bird Johnson. Very useful, too. One of my favorites, not actually beside the freeway, is Rogue River, which is on the beautiful Rogue up there in southern Oregon.

In my experience a clock radio will wake you up with whatever station it was last on. But I'm a troglodyte, and in any case I don't have to get up at any set time these days.

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

Anon@6:01 and all the other wasted time you'll spend here today, some things that might help you get a life outside of sitting in front of the computer fuming are: indoor gardening, hot yoga, tai chi, sewing, reading, self pleasure, bubble baths, checkers, Mahjong (online and with a group), leather working, stringing beads, indoor soccer, bread baking, starting a podcast, listening to podcasts, e-books, books on paper, booking numbers, paint by numbers, Angry Birds, bird watching, making birdbaths out of little china tea cups and saucers, building ships in bottles, wildflower identification, ant farms, and organic farming.

Hartley70 11:26 AM  

Sweet Monday. It was a delight. The @Larry-@Loren exchange on teaching was poignant, but I'm sure you would both go mad in the mattress store. All that clever verbiage and no one to appreciate it. You truly would be "talking to the hand" in no time.

Anonymous 11:30 AM  

Anon@11:14 a.m., you could have added reading the newspaper to your list. That would have told anon@6:01 that Obama has been adding jobs at about 100 times that rate, or to put it another way, approx. 200,000 jobs per month to the 2,000 he thinks he's bragging about.

But, you know, facts and all that ...

TomAz 12:06 PM  

I think present tense conjugations of common French irregular verbs is fine for a Monday, but as the conjugations get more obscure, they should move to later in the week. Passé composé and imparfait OK on Tuesday, future and conditional would work on a Wednesday, but things like subjunctive and passé simple are Friday/Saturday material.

Anoa Bob 12:14 PM  

I should have mentioned that another reason I like NOAA is that it anagrams into my namesake Indonesian buffalo. The anoa is unique for being the smallest of all the buffalo and for being primarily a solitary rather than a herding buffalo. It is also a forest dweller while most buffaloes live on the open plain. That accounts for its numerous patches of white hair which helps it blend in with the dappled shade of the deep forest.

Anoa Bob 12:30 PM  

Okay, a rare three-peat for me. If you live near the sea or Great Lakes, NOAA's Tides Online Site is golden. Click on the your state, then on the local observation station, and you will see four panels. The first gives the observed tides for the past 48 hours and the predicted tides for the next 24. Then you get wind speed and direction, in knots, followed by air pressure, and finally air and water temperature, all for the past 48 hours.

Did I mention that I like NOAA?

Singing Mother 12:42 PM  

@ANOAA Bob, teehee!

When my girl was still little, we always used to sing in the car, Abi-yo-yo and such. One of the songs we made up was "I saw a Daddy Buffalo, Buffa Buffa lo-lo-lo", followed by the Mommy Buffalo, then the Baby Buffalo. Unbeknownst to us, the Baby Buffalo might have been an ANOAA. BTW, isn't the Plural of Inconvenience still 'Buffalo'? That's what this Buffalo HERD... ;D

What time is it they blow the UN'S HORN?

I am not a robot 12:53 PM  

@Nancy, There was a clever children's show that ran from the '90s through '06 called The Big Comfy Couch. It had two characters whose names were hilarious, Major Bedhead and Auntie Macassar (antimacassar for those who haven't heard the term). Loonette was my favorite character. All from those wacky Canadians.

Malsdemare, thanks! I didn't want to be too big a smarty pants with that thought, 'cause it did seem like a thing.

Larry Gilstrap 12:55 PM  

I forgot to mention, my resident Francophone grumbled at AIT as a form of avoir, as well. Also, any research into the topic of anthropogenic climate change will feature data from NOAA and NASA, two government agencies deep into the study of the environment.

@Mrs Smith I'm sure you and I could sell the hell out of those mattresses, but never forget that you are making a difference in the lives of those kids. You are on the front lines fighting against ignorance and violence, planting seeds of literacy and civility. Some teachers get to work in fertile fields, others in parking lots, but some of those seed fall into the cracks of the asphalt and beautiful things grow. I also thought often about selling suits at Sears.

Masked and Anonymous 1:07 PM  

Hey! Wait a day-um nanosecond here! First day-um things first.
What's with this apple-mouth pose, in the Special Message section?! We desperately need more context, here. Confused the M&A. Didn't sleep at all well last night.

Top explanations of Special Message pic:
1. Selfie taken after changin tire on wife's car, and @RP hated to touch his reward apple with hands.
1A. Selfie taken after transferin dog from wife's car, and @RP hated to touch his reward apple with hands.
2. (Muffled) Rex Parker Cry for Help pic.
3. Wife had finally heard enough bitchin about pangrams.
4. Dog about to do an inventive new version of the old William Tell trick.
5. Settin up for entry in a neighborhood Garden of Eden Recreation event, ball cap version.
6. Pic taken from neighbors' new doorbell/camera dealie, catchin someone attemptin to steal fruit off their tree without leavin any prints.
7. Demo-ing to dog, re: how to fetch.
8. Ugly result of local apple orchard's "all U can eat for five bucks" promotion.
9. Apple-carry relay race for teams of dogs and their owners [Honrable Mention photo for worst penmanship].
10. Biggest single donation gets the apple. Letter of authenticity included, for the teeth marks.


Teedmn 1:20 PM  

Since I ride my bicycle to work a lot (though now I haven't since early December - waiting for a break in the cold), I have NOAA's local weather site open automatically on my browser. As someone here pointed out, it's where every commercial website gets their info. (And @Tita, I share your outrage re: Mr. Santorum's suggestion). Though I will admit that Accuweather has a fantastic radar page that is practically up to the moment accurate as far as showing precipitation moving in. And wunderground has a wind map that shows me what I'm in for, head-wind-wise, not that there's anything I can do about it. Love that weather stuff.

I had GO__HERD at 9D and was thinking the phrase was "ride HERD" on kids. Saw the four legged kids and laughed. It occurs to me that @Larry Gilstrap and @LMS might settle for GOAT HERDing if they were fed up with their current kid-watching. A calm, pastoral pasttime, little to no paperwork, I would think....

Scratched my head on AIT - I only had two quarters of college French - we never got past the past tense so present subjunctive was over my head. ETRE was to be much more to my wheelFULLHOUSE.

Nice Monday, Neville, thanks.

Anonymous 1:23 PM  


I'm with you Doc. Really surprised that some people are unfamiliar with Nikki Haley, and that no one bitched about "normalizing" her in the puzzle?
After all, she is an appointee of "He Who Shall Not Be Mentioned", so she's fair game for ridicule and scorn, right?

As for NOAA, equally astounding that so many people including Rex aren't totally familiar with that agency? Everyone who worships at the altar of Our Lady Of Anthropogenic Climate Change has gotta knowa NOAA! Its one of the oft cited gospels for the faithful. SHEESH!

ese 1:36 PM  

NERTS? What? I've never heard that before. Shocked Rex didn't know NOAA - I'm not in earth science / weather and got that with no hesitation. Didn't know a few like Nikki, AIT etc but got off the crosses. Only real issue here was KYRIE - had no idea there and had usure instead of usury.

Numinous 1:51 PM  

I am particularly impressed with Neville Fogarty's first Monday puzzle. I thought it was tight with almost no noticeable dreck. Looking back at it the list of clues with answers on xwordinfo, I'm surprised how much there is. I certainly missed all of it while I was solving. I managed this in two minutes under my Monday average.

At xwordinfo, Neville notes that his original 35D answer was SPORTS BRA but Will changed it to BAR to "clean up" the SE fill a bit. His original clue was something like "Women's athletic supporter." I'm not fond of SPORTS BARs. As was observed earlier, it's not really possible to keep track of an important game. Too many distractions. In fact, I don't really like that there are TVs in restaurants and BARs. I got into the film business because I love moving pictures. When I worked at the ABC in Sydney, I was working with a director on a show that, due to budget cuts, went from all film to integrated video and film where the interiors were all done in video. I asked him how he felt about that and he said he didn't care, the medium is called moving pictures and it didn't matter much how they moved. When there is a TV on around me, I am compelled to watch whether I'm interested or not. I've been drawn to moving pictures since i was five or six. I am, however, not so lacking in internal resources that I have to have constant eye candy or even a constant sound track going around me. The point of all this? I'd rather look at a SPORTS BRA than be in a SPORTS BAR (inner fourteen-year-0ld).

When I DAP something, I'm usually glueing stuff. I saw that yesterday and somehow I registered that that was high five but usually, to me, DAP is a glue or a sealant.

I though the theme was pretty cool and I liked the progression from smallest to largest. Had they been scattered randomly, I'm sure there would have been complaints. Good job, Mr. Fogarty.

Ahmed Salama 2:02 PM  

0553473381 تنظيف فلل وعماير وشقق فى السعوديه
0553473381 غسيل خزانات فى السعوديه
0553473381 نقل عفش نقل الاثاث فى السعوديه
0553473381 جلى الرخام فى المدينة المنورة
0553473381 جلى الرخام فى المدينة المنورة
0553473381 شركة تسليك مجارى فى المدينة المنورة

Anonymous 2:09 PM  

I would like to add a third option to @lms query ....What is worse bed head, hat hair or an Aruba? Nora Ephron wrote a delightful account of her Aruba (hint think splayed palm trees) in her book, "I Remember Nothing", which I only remember because it's sitting on my bedside table. I started doing crosswords because of impending fear of remembering nothing...ya know AARP recommendation. I can happily say that I can now remember all kinds of three letter arcana found only in crosswords & have moved to actually enjoying some late week puzzles...phew! Now if someone would only construct a daily crossword consisting of the names of those random people I run into at the grocery store (you know the ones whose names escape until groceries are safely put away in the trunk) I'd be getting somewhere.

The huge totally unexpected sideline benefit to my crossword addiction is this delightful blog community (I'm a long-time lurker). I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your daily insights and providing me with plenty of chuckles.

Re "The" highway...I grew up in So. Cal & currently live in No. Cal. The only time I use the "the" is when back visiting So.Cal & I have to shout at my husband, "No, anything but THE 5!"

Lastly, to @lms if you are seriously considering a new career I'd suggest publishing . ..Melanie Wilkes the Matress Sales Lady. I'd buy your book & place it on the shelf next to David Sedaris & Nora Ephron.

Nancy 3:08 PM  

@Anon (2:09 p.m.) -- I just went and Googled "Aruba/Nora Ephron", because even though I read "I Remember Nothing" when it came out, I'm just like Nora (and evidently like you, too) in that I Remember Nothing. And Aruba drew a complete blank from me. Now that I know what an Aruba is, I have to say that I think it's much worse than BEDHEAD or hat hair in that those two conditions can be overcome with a good brushing or, in the worse case scenario, perhaps a washing and then a blow dry. Aruba -- what a funny term for a not-so-funny condition. Good old Nora!

And good-old-you-too, Anon 2:09. What a delightful post. Glad you're not lurking behind the scenes anymore. Now it's time to get yourself a blog name, put yourself in blue if you can (I'd tell you how, as someone here was kind enough to tell me a few years ago, except that I now I've completely forgotten what I had to do to get my name in blue. That's because I Remember Nothing.) But don't remain anonymous. Join the gang -- you'll be a welcome addition.

Anonymous 3:09 PM  

Quick and clean good Monday time for me. Seems like I first encountered "dap" in a recent puzzle but it fell right in today, need to have these short answer at the ready. Not sure about Nikki Haley Trump chose her as UN Ambassador is she acceptable or not , or does it depend on how she's clued ? I can't keep track of the PC culture.

JC66 3:11 PM  

@ NCA President

How is KYRIE usually clued?

Slow Motion 3:54 PM  

Rex was so nice I thought it might have been Puzzle Girl. I was surprised to see his name at the end.

@LMS. Although everything you said in your rant was perfectly true, and everything @Larry said was true, too, you'll never quit teaching for that mattress store job, or any other. The pride you show in the myriad micro-successes you notice in your students -- the shy kid who tells you a joke, or the kid who says "thanks" after a class, or the tough kid who fist-bumps you when he does well on a test -- that's what keeps you going. If those little things mean as much to you as they did to me, you'll never quit. But that's a good thing. We always need good teachers.

I teach artists, writers, engineers, musicians, scientists -- and teachers -- and I take pride in their accomplishments, as any father would. I teach insight, purpose, direction, inspiration, hope, love, and empathy. I teach chemistry -- and thinking, and planning, and questioning and wondering, and common sense, and reason, and love of learning. I teach, not because I can't do anything else, but because I love to teach, and I’m good at it.

Teaching IS harder now. More big useless mandated tests, more government red tape, less time to teach. In-service time is spent learning new requirements rather than learning from colleagues. That part sucks.

But you'll never quit.

Tita 4:13 PM  

@Anoa - thanks for the heads up re: tides tables - I managed to miss that wonderful part of the NOAA services. (And love the Anoa tale.)

@Numi - I have a cousin who refuses to dine in a restaurant that has even one TV. She scoffs at us Muricans because we can't tear ourselves away from the boob tube.

@All the Teachers...I echo what @Mal said - such misguided placements of our values. Sports & Hollywood vs Teachers/Policemen/Caregivers etc. As long as we are willing to pay $5 grand for one Superbowl ticket, but vote no on school improvements, we are doomed to get what we deserve.

@M&A - love your apple list. 3 is my fave.

@Anon @ 2:09 - welcome - take off your coat and stay awhile - with a non-anon handle.

iamjess 4:35 PM  

Tight puzzle, only one accidental typo (SPORTSBra--whoops!).

I liked the theme, but I couldn't help thinking of the other types of beds that didn't make the cut. Murphy? Day?

Great start to the week!

Bax'N'Nex 4:55 PM  

I wonder if anyone actually reads down this far in the comments...Guess I'll find out.

In reading Rex's critique, he stated that he was going so fast, he missed the reveal meaning. My question is "Am I the only one that likes to leisurely enjoy the puzzles each day? Or is it all about speed? Seems so "unrelaxing" to rush through so quickly that you are missing things.

Just wondering what the consensus is. (And seeing if post number "78" gets read!)

Masked and Anonymous 5:00 PM  

[A better BED POST, this time.]
Decent MonPuz. Have heard NOAA mentioned on weather reports before; always assumed it was spelt NOAH, tho. Learned somethin.

"Starts with xyz" themes certainly is popular. Ditto, for bed-size ones. Gotta believe it was the BEDHEAD revealer, that tickled the Editormeister enough.

fave fillins: ILLSAY. RAINDELAY. ALLSET. PRESET. SKELSETON. KING CO-BRA crossin almost SPORTS BRA. Hard to beat BRA fill-ins.

9-D clue confused the M&A. Soo … does GOATHERD = a "job"? Woulda thought that'd be yer GOATHERD-ER -- but, no -- wrong again, M&A breath. Official M&A Research Dept. dictionary indicates that "goatherd" (all as one word) does = "a person who tends goats". Learned somethin. Was kinda a "goatcha", during the solvequest, tho.

fave weeject: AIT. One of them "Nice" words. (yo, U rascally gals from yesterday).

Thanx, Mr. Fogarty. Coincidentally, M&A woke up with "BUDgie HAIR", this mornin. Better than wakin up with an apple permanently wedged up there in yer mouth, I reckon …

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Masked and Anonymous 5:14 PM  

@Schinnerer dude: yep. M&A, for one, reads all comments, up to the Official 10pm EST newpuz cut-off.

Solvequest time can be an interestin yardstick, in measurin oneself up against other puzzlers. Me, I am known to burn a few nanoseconds enjoyin a mid-solve cinnamon roll, and then compare myself to other puzzlers more by height, weight, and best pewit insult.


Nancy 5:17 PM  

@David S. (4:55) -- I've said it many times before on this blog, but I guess you never saw any of those comments. For me, speed solving a puzzle seems completely pointless and takes away any possibility of real pleasure. It makes about as much sense as seeing how you fast you can eat a filet mignon or a broiled lobster. Or seeing how fast you can drink a fine wine. It's one of the reasons I found the puzzle tournament I entered a couple of years ago to be such a stressful and exhausting experience -- one that I won't be repeating any time soon. Take your time solving, David, and enjoy the process. Or as I like to say -- Where's the fire?

Aketi 5:19 PM  

Sigh, in a fit of App Rage I canceled my NY Times Crossword App for the iPad after neither the NY Times, nor Apple could figure out why it wasn't working (and I only called after uninstalling and reinstalling a billion times both on the iPad and the iPhone. After getting into the upper echelons of Apple tech support the conclusion was that the App has not been upgraded since October and there have been two upgrades to Apple's operating system since so its the developer's fault. I'm trying to come to grips with the annoying fact that if I'm going to continue to solve the NY Times Crossword puzzles I will not be able to write upside down on the puzzle while I'm in bed in the morning. I think my husband took the paper to work with him this morning so I don't want to read your comments about the puzzle that I couldn't access today. I forgot that I should never ever upgrade unless I absolutely have to.

Z 5:25 PM  

@Slow Motion - Nicely put. Still, it's good to unload amongst friends from time to time. A little rant probably prevents Stress Induced Dignitary Strangulation.

Totally missed that NIKKI Haley was in the puzzle. Interesting what search options pop up when you start typing her name in the search bar. I'm pretty sure "bikini" and "hot legs" never appear for, say, Rick Snyder. Paul Ryan has some beefcake photos out there, so "Paul Ryan shirtless" does pop up, but not second on the list.

@Anon11:14 and 11:30 - Never play chess with a pigeon. No matter what, the pigeon is just going to crap on the board and strut around on it as if it won the game.

chefbea 5:42 PM  

@David schinnerer...I check back all day long to read the comments.

Anonymous 6:12 PM  

@Z, Anon@11:14 here. I assure you, I'll be quoting you often. That one's a treasure. Thanks.

jae 6:23 PM  

@Z, lms, Slow Motion, and any teachers I might have missed - Amen to rants. My daughter has been an elementary school teacher for nearly 25 years and she calls me (or her Mom) almost everyday on her way home from school. Some days are joyous and others are maddening and frustrating. I'm just glad we can be there for her when she needs to vent, I think it helps.

@David - I time myself on Mon. and Tues. to make it more interesting. The rest of the week I'm more in savor mode. Today I never saw NOAA, but @Z I did see NIKKI.

Malsdemare 6:24 PM  

I know, I know, I'm over my limit, but . . .

I pop in and out all day to read comments so yup, David Shinnerer, you aren't speaking to an empty room.

@Z you're on a roll, man! Stress Induced Dignitary Strangulation is epidemic right now.

I don't solve for speed but I seem to be driven to work quickly at everything I do. I blame it on being 4th child of 5. Get in, get out before the devil knows your here (or some such thing; I remember Nothing.)

I curse my Aruba daily; saw the term first in Ephron's "I feel bad about my neck." The woman was a treasure.

Keep talking, folks; I'll be baaaaack.

Paul 7:00 PM  

Count me in as a NOAA fan as well. Love their hurricane cones. I did the puzzle online for the first time in a long time just for speed. I really missed out on enjoying the puzzle. Never even knew the theme. Breezed through in a less than record-setting but better than average time. I think I'll stick with paper and mechanical pencil. Isn't it funny what some people have never heard of? By the way. I've enjoyed this community from afar for years, and only recently began commenting. Thank you all for being a community of solvers I've enjoyed watching from nearby. Good people...mostly.

Andrew Heinegg 7:17 PM  

The dog waking you up story is funny to most everyone save the person who has to have gone through the experience to be able to relate it.

I go through a slight variation of this with the younger of our two cats. First, he stares at my face from about four inches away. He gives this about 2 seconds to work and then ratchets up the pressure by resorting to multiple slappings of my nose using a claw-retracted front paw. This is done with the precision of a boxer shooting out jabs at his opponent.

My having parried the last assault by going under the covers, the mouse toy is retrieved, pursued and pounced on all over the bed with many leaps and bounds, most of which involve some part of my legs or abdomen being landed on. I have discussed this with him and he swears he has no idea why the mouse ends being on my body or near enough to my body that he has to land on me like a ton of bricks.

If all of the above fails, the nuclear weapon is taken out in the form of jumping on top of the night table and either systematically knocking everything off of it and sending the items in every possible direction and/or getting his teeth on to the ends of the arms of my glasses. I am reluctant to remove my glasses during the day figuring that someone will notice the ends of the arms and ask me if I need to see a shrink to treat the compulsive behaviour of chewing on them.

This last tactic is generally my surrender point. I try not to look at the cat as I am walking into the kitchen to feed him out of concern that I will notice the Cheshire cat grin on his face as he savors yet another victory and that he might recite the old saying 'early to bed, early to rise makes the people the cat owns healthy, wealthy and wise'.

Cassieopia 7:38 PM  

@david s - I solve because it's there, but as a relative neophyte, I have very much enjoyed seeing my solve times improve dramatically (I solve on an iPhone and the app tracks stats automatically). Now I am to the point where I do rush the Monday and Tuesday puzzles just to see how fast I can get. (Never in Rex territory, alas.) Later in the week is a lost cause, though; I'm lucky if I can get through those without googling.

@Z - ha on pigeon advice, applicable to many things in life.

chefwen 7:38 PM  

@David S. Sooner or later, they all get read.

Z 8:01 PM  

I must confess that the provenance of the pigeon advice is a three year old tweet from I don't remember who. I presume it has older origins than that. A certain someone's propensity for early morning psychotic tweeting has given the old tweet new life.

@Andrew Heinegg - Your story calls to mind the old observation that dogs have masters while cats have servants.

@chefwen7:38 - I will disagree with "all." I had a couple dozen comments from "Sonia" today tell me all about her favorite spellcaster (I assume). Delete delete delete. The absence of spellcasters was one, probably only, benefit of blog moderation.

Malsdemare 8:28 PM  

@ Andrew. Priceless! I keep my sleeves rolled down for a sort of similar reason; don't want the bruises from getting pawed to raise questions about the condition of my marriage.

Andrew Heinegg 9:29 PM  

The dog waking you up story is funny to most everyone save the person who has to have gone through the experience to be able to relate it.

I go through a slight variation of this with the younger of our two cats. First, he stares at my face from about four inches away. He gives this about 2 seconds to work and then ratchets up the pressure by resorting to multiple slappings of my nose using a claw-retracted front paw. This is done with the precision of a boxer shooting out jabs at his opponent.

My having parried the last assault by going under the covers, the mouse toy is retrieved, pursued and pounced on all over the bed with many leaps and bounds, most of which involve some part of my legs or abdomen being landed on. I have discussed this with him and he swears he has no idea why the mouse ends being on my body or near enough to my body that he has to land on me like a ton of bricks.

If all of the above fails, the nuclear weapon is taken out in the form of jumping on top of the night table and either systematically knocking everything off of it and sending the items in every possible direction and/or getting his teeth on to the ends of the arms of my glasses. I am reluctant to remove my glasses during the day figuring that someone will notice the ends of the arms and ask me if I need to see a shrink to treat the compulsive behaviour of chewing on them.

This last tactic is generally my surrender point. I try not to look at the cat as I am walking into the kitchen to feed him out of concern that I will notice the Cheshire cat grin on his face as he savors yet another victory and that he might recite the old saying 'early to bed, early to rise makes the people the cat owns healthy, wealthy and wise'.

Anonymous 9:33 PM  

Oy - I made a mistake in my post!

Weather Wisdom CAN be read without a twitter account

I agree -- Puzzle should be savored for the pleasure. I never time them -- what's the point? I'm already stressed enough about getting things done fast ... the puzzle is a time of day to just chill (or maybe I'm procrastinating ;-))


Dorothy Biggs 10:48 PM  

@JC66: KYRIE is usually clued as part of the Latin "KYRIE eleison." Or that Mr. Mister song.

Anonymous 11:50 PM  

KYRIE Eleison and Boomer Esiason walked into a SPORTSBAR and watched a bunch of Uncle Drew clips and laughed their SessA off. In #3, Molly was wearing a SPORTSBRA, I could tell.

Maybe it took the pig eons to crap on the board and call that winning, but the ploy seems to have cot on gangbusters.

Welcome to all newbies and Kings of New England. And, oh yes, to Tuesday.

L. Finger

Anonymous 7:54 AM  

Meh Tuesday. I'm not a daily commentator here but I try to check in from time to time and make it up by my long windedness. So here goes: I think we all need to go over the new Newspeak as per puzzle protocol:Hitler and Osama bin Laden are personae not gratae. Mass murderer Mao is ok even as clued "crosser of the Yangtze" or ___ Tse Tung. Tiffany and Eric Trump are out (can't normalize them ). It's not ok to clue Betsy DeVos as "school choice advocate, " more normalizing, therefore unacceptable. Nikki Haley clued as Republican pol no worries, same goes for Orrin Hatch. Vlad the Impaler clued as a mean guy is a go. I think Idi Amin is acceptable though preferably clued as a tyrant. This is so confusing. I think I got it, the problem is that the Newspeak is constantly updating. Tomorrow Osama may be ok and Obama verboten. Hillary's "deplorables and irredeemables" remarks and Meryl Streep's condescending speech at the Golden Globes (imagine if a conservative actor -I think there may be one or two-had ripped President Elect Obama eight years ago) , were probably a big hit in Hollywood, San Francisco, Manhattan, Chicago and in academia , but they certainly didn't play well in Peoria or other towns in middle America. Keep it up and you'll keep losing. The Electoral College is a thing and it ain't gonna change anytime soon. Here's an idea: Leave the NYT Crossword alone, stop trying to ban words and stop trying to ban clues for God's sake, and try to get some perspective on life. I get it. Trump's an ass and a boor and possibly dangerous, but the election is over and Trump won. Trying to marginalize his family and Cabinet appointees is only going to backfire and empower him even more. Thanks to Harry Reid's killing of the filibuster in 2013 Trump's Cabinet and Judicial appointees will sail through. The best way to win back the Senate (sorry House not gonna happen) in 2018 is with intelligent debate. Win the argument, and have better foresight than Senator Reid, and better candidates than the Democratic Party had in 2016, or keep living in denial, keep blaming Putin, keep banning words and keep losing. Time for the obligatory "and I voted for Hillary," well I didn't. I live in a solidly blue state so was able to vote my conscience and voted for a third party candidate, but if I had lived in a swing state I would've voted for her. For the one or two people who read my whole rant, thanks feeling a little chatty today. p.s. let's stop banning things we are not fascists.

Unknown 8:04 AM  

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Burma Shave 10:10 AM  


BORNFREE with no AIRS, EAGER and ANTSy to play.
He was LED from the SHED
at times PRESET, to never during her RAINDELAY.


spacecraft 11:56 AM  

Well, I'm PRESET and ALLSET: I've SANDED my SANDALS and I'm EAGER to go. TATA, PEPE! THEYSAY a lot of things, but they seldom say them twice. Doing this puzzle felt like deja vu all over again.

In my haste--and as it happens, going across--I misspelled AKIRo and so had a single-letter w/o to mar this uber-easy grid. I'll be guilty of another spelling error for today's DOD: NIcKI Minaj. Close enough! Oh, to be her BOYTOY! I actually would rather meet QUEEN Latifah, a multi-talented and very smart lady.

I agree that by not aiming too high, our constructor has come up with a neatly done theme. The fill, with all those repeats, impresses me less. Let's call it a par, or as Pebble champ Jordan Spieth put it. "boring golf." For a Monday, it was "just what we needed."

rondo 12:20 PM  

Nice, tidy Mon-puz with little to no resistance. Cmon Rex, NOAA is such a gimme. That FULLHOUSE clue shoulda been aimed at the TV show, or another poker hand that doesn’t start with K-K-K.

Sturgill Simpson deservedly won a Grammy for his album “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” which features the DAP Kings. It’s not your typical “country” music, however. Check it out.

Disappointed “Phil” was not the fill where QUACK went.

ILLPASS on NIKKI Haley and defer to yeah baby NIKKI Cox. FYI, that clue coulda also referred to rocker NIKKI Sixx.

No matter what THEYSAY, we’re all BORNFREE in the USA. ADIEU.

Diana,LIW 12:34 PM  

Hand up for having NOAA in my PRESET list of daily sites to check.

NERTS? Really? Never heard that said. Sounds like the Three Stooges - nert, nert, nert.

Didn't notice the theme until I was done - a quick and easy Monday that was a joy to solve. Made me feel soooo smart and fast.

I signed up for ACPT too as a non-com.

Oh - and I loved @LMS's basketball video.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 1:28 PM  

Smooth, clean, and easy, but not too easy.

Deserves extra credit for its variety: from gimmes and stalwarts like PTA, to fresh ones like NIKKI, to brash ones like BOYTOY, to over a dozen sets of double lettered answers.

Throw in the theme, its revealer, and theme answers, and you have a Monday winner.

Won't penalize for the SET and SAND (SANDED/SANDALS) repeats or other nit-piks. Overall quality more than compensates.

Nicely done, NF.

BS2 1:29 PM  

that's "reign delay", if you didn't catch it.

Daily Insight 1:33 PM  

Someday, maybe when I grow up, I'll remember that SANDALS are not spelled sandles. My only screw up in this fine puzzle.

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