Awards in the ad biz / MON 3-6-17 / Panache / __ Harbour, Fla. / Inlets / Lee who directed "Life of Pi"

Monday, March 6, 2017

Did you know that March is National Celery Month? And today is the first Monday in it? And that celery is kind of gross but it has a good texture? Anyway, it's me, Annabel!

Constructor: SUSAN GELFAND

Relative difficulty: EASY-MEDIUM





THEME: OUTERWEAR — Theme clues were puns on professions and outerwear.

Word of the Day: ASP (55A: Nile viper) —

Vipera aspis is a venomous viper species found in southwestern Europe. Its common names include aspasp viper,[5]European asp,[6] and aspic viper,[7] among others. Bites from this species can be more severe than from the European adder, V. berus; not only can they be very painful, but also about 4% of all untreated bites are fatal.[7] The specific epithetaspis, is a Greek word that means "viper."[8] Five subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.[9]
(Wikipedia)
• • •
Theme answers:
  • CITY SLICKER (17A: Article of outerwear for an urbanite?)
  • BUBBLE WRAP (23A: Article of outerwear for a champagne drinker?)
  • SUGAR COAT (33A: Article of outerwear for a candy lover?)
  • DUST JACKET (48A: Article of outerwear for a housekeeper?)
  • CHEVY BLAZER (53A: Article of outerwear for a General Motors employee?)

This puzzle didn't give me too much difficulty...except for the lower left corner, which I'm pretty sure I spent at least five minutes on. ("Panache" is such a vague clue, and I've never seen "Top Gun", and what the heck is a CHEVY BLAZER? Is that a sports car or something?) The fill was OK; I wish LAB had been clued with something about dogs, though, and I swear I have seen SRA with that exact same clue every single time I have done a puzzle!! Also, I had SLOP instead of GLOP and PARES for PEELS, but "pares" is a better word anyways so it's whatevs. And I didn't realize that the "middle of Arizona" clue was supposed to be taken so literally! But again, whatevs.

Not a whole lot to say about the theme. It was cute and fun and that's about all you need for a Monday. And, again, what's a CHEVY BLAZER?

OK, I just looked it up and apparently they stopped making them in 2005. How was I supposed to know what they were?!?!

Bullets:
  • RIBS (40A: Entree that may be slathered in BBQ sauce) — The one thing I've missed the most since going vegetarian. I had broccoli casserole for dinner last night. Siiiiigh...
  • COOKS (19A: Too many of them spoil the broth) — Ohhhhh boy. Anyone remember this sketch? I wasn't going to post it, but come on, the clue... (Don't watch if you're squeamish!)
  • DABS (48D: Painters' touches) — Heh, this word has a very different meaning for my generation. A dab is, like, a dance move where you bend down and make your arms go diagonally in front of your face. I'd look up a good definition on Urban Dictionary but I'm a little scared of Urban Dictionary.
  • HOP (21A: Bunny's movement) — Reminds me of "dance's new creation"...



Well, that's all. I've got nothing left to say.


 Except Happy Birthday to Rex's BFFs, Jennifer and my mom!!!
can you tell they're identical

Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired college student.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

74 comments:

Anonymous 12:37 AM  

Too Many Cooks!

Moly Shu 12:50 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moly Shu 12:51 AM  

Had BAr harbor which gave me the distinctively shrieking GUrL. Pretty sure I'd be shrieking if somebody named me GUrL. What's more, I solved the puzzle less than a mile away from BAL harbor and still put in BAr.
Thx @Annabel, for the write up and the respite.

Meghan 1:04 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Punctuated equilibrium 1:22 AM  

Had BeL harbor which gave me DeBS for painting, but that was easily fixed. Chevy blazer was a big huh for me. Had the same reaction to Dab/dap as AnnaBeL.

jae 1:24 AM  

Medium-tough for me. Excellent Mon. Clever and amusing, liked it a lot.

@Moly Shu - me too for BAr at first, wrong end of the East Coast. I think I would have been OK if I'd read the GULL clue first. So much for trying to speed through a Mon.

chefwen 2:02 AM  

Been to Florida too many times to make the bel/bar Harbor mistake, but took my time to make sure BAL was correct, it's been a while since my last visit.

I usually save the word adorable to describe puppies and kittens, but this puzzle was bordering on adorable, I don't think I have ever described a puzzle as such. This one fit the bill. All the theme answers made me smile, very cute.

Loren Muse Smith 3:16 AM  

Hey, there, Annabel! CHEVY BLAZER gave me no trouble, although I when I saw it was gonna be BLAZER, I was expecting “trail blazer” – outerwear for a hiker.

For me, SUGAR COAT was a bit of an outlier – all the other themers are nouns both in their original and repurposed senses. SUGAR COAT has to switch from verb to noun. I mean I guess you could imagine SUGAR COAT being a noun. I enjoy lemon drops because of the sugar coat… but it’s weird.

Loved the words IRKSOME and INKLING. I started thinking about that -ling suffix. And thinking. And thinking. If a little duck is a duckling and seedlings and saplings are little plants, well then…

feeling - a small expense.

crawling- gastric bypass outcome

peeling - that last quick trip to the bathroom before a long car ride even though you don’t really have to go.

styling and dumpling - teenagers’ small bedrooms.

Handlings. Ahem.

Annabel – me, too, for “peels” before PARES.

I also had “fait” before FINI but that’s because I majored in French and am really smart and stuff.

I totally agree with @jae and @chefwen. Cute, breezy Monday. I think Susan hit all the coats that could work, right, Rex? Parka can’t work. Anorak… nah. Windbreaker? Well, hmm. Lemme eat some boiled cabbage and get back to you on that one.

Hartley70 3:36 AM  

Cute and breezy solve. There were no hangups here. In my book that's a great Monday. Annabel is an added bonus.

My son drove a CHEVYBLAZER throughout high school and college and it was a great car. My daughter inherited it and drove it into a ditch. It never recovered, but the family remembers it fondly.

BarbieBarbie 5:36 AM  

Kudos to the constructor for making a puzzle that's a good Monday and also has a densely-packed clever theme. Yes Chevy Blazer is a thing and what college student only speaks New Car? Anyway, think Model T, but with colors. Liked seeing BBS opposite SST, I don't know why, just tickled me. DID NOT LIKE seeing BYTE in both the Mini and the Midi on the same day. Love @Hartley70s doggie-nose pic!

Lewis 5:48 AM  

@loren -- great post, and "handlings" elicited a big hah!

Outerwear is an appropriate theme for an easy breezy Monday. I found theme echoes in DRACULA (thinking about his cape) and FOG (thinking London). I guess another theme answer to go along with that CHEVYBLAZER could have been PLYMOUTHDUSTER (yes, I looked up "outerwear" to learn that "duster" qualifies). I like the palindromic BAL and LAB, and, in the same vein, there is a backward RAT to go with that PEST. I also like how WRAP abuts HUG.

Lots of theme, good spark, little junk. Solid. And, regarding this outerwear puzzle, for me, that about covers it.

Tony M 5:54 AM  

Drug cartel informant hiding in a Lima sauna = PERUVIANSWEATER

Charles Flaster 6:22 AM  

Very well done Monday and enjoyable theme. Favorite themer was CHEVY BLAZER as a good friend owned and babied his.
CROSSWORDease--RIAS, SEGO, ANG, and SONIA.
Liked cluing for INKLING and BEES WAX.
Thanks AT and SG.

Forsythia 6:51 AM  

Newspapers....Print before PRESS. Press is more general and includes other mediums. Although "print" would include mags as well. Fun fast puzzle.

Glimmerglass 7:14 AM  

The CHEVY BLAZER was a little 4WD SUV, much like an International Harvester Scout (my sons had one, and took the roof off, like a military jeep). I bet you didn't know IH used to make cars. I had an IH Travelall, which was a pickup truck with a station wagon body. I love Annabell Mondays.

kitshef 7:27 AM  

Mostly a very nice puzzle with a good them, but...

Anything and everything should have been done to avoid BAL Harbour (population 2,500). Could have gone with BAR/GURL, or BEL/DEBS, or clued BAL as programming language or heavy boot. ANYTHING to avoid BAL Harbour.

Aketi 7:37 AM  

Like others I had a little slip up with the SLOP that turned out to be GLOP.

I liked that there was a RAIN HAT to go with the CITY SLICKER. Umbrellas are pretty useless on the inevitably windy rainy days in NYC.

I liked ACROBAT because that's what I feel like I have become trying to get out of bed every morning with a full leg brace on. I may not be able to enter into a FOOTRACE anytime soon, but my ability to HOP on one foot has vastly improved, The cats of course are fascinated with the new gadgets. I feel like I need to BUBBLEWRAP the whole leg when the cats decide to rub up against my crutches and sometimes even the leg brace.

Glenn Patton 7:43 AM  

I believe that the "Nile viper" is actually an Egyptian cobra https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_cobra) also referred to as an asp. It's the snake that Cleopatra is said to have use as a suicide method.

chefbea 7:57 AM  

What a fun easy puzzle for this COOK BEE. Love ribs , especially from St. Louis!! Thanks Anabel for the write up!!

One question...what does FGS stand for??

Hungry Mother 8:09 AM  

Easy one today. I know BAL Harbor from a Wildwood, NJ motel (actually Bal Harbour there). Easy and fun them. I know Chevy Balzer because my daughter and son-in-low used to have one.

Z 8:13 AM  

@chefbea - Field Goals.

Has there ever been a CHEVY BLAZER that wasn't rusting? I swear they all left the factory with Rust Starter™. They were discontinued? Who knew? I'm pretty sure that if I left Detroit right now heading for Marquette I'd see at least 25 on the way. All rusting.

BAL Harbor was created out of swampland by a Detroiter. You are welcome, crossworld.

L 8:20 AM  

Just came back from a week in Bal Harbour. Lovely.
Peels before PARES, media before PRESS and couldn't recall the end to DUST??? for the longest time, which tripped up the SE for me, which was unusual for a Monday.

Carey Adams 8:20 AM  

Field goals

Roo Monster 8:23 AM  

Hey All !
Pretty neat repurposing phrases as clothing articles. But what is a CHEVY BLAZER in clothing? I know the auto, but the clothes...?

Fell into same traps as everyone so far. sLOP, BAr, PeelS. Also had CLeOS. And yes, my one-letter DNF, as never changed that blasted BAr even though a GUrL wasn't a bird I've heard of. But also didn't know of a BAL Harbor. Ugh.

Lots of threes today, 28 of 'em. Usually 18 is considered high. Seemed like lots pf similar words as I solved, but now can't seem to spot them. FAT-HAT is one.

@Annabel, what a bizarre clip that was. Never did get into Adult Swim. Are you sure you're old enough to watch that? :-) Nice writeup, though. How did Celery get a whole month, not just a day? Chocolate needs a month...

FOG HUG
RooMonster
DarrinV

longtime vegetarian 8:29 AM  

Annabel! Make BBQ tofu! it's so delicious.

G. Weissman 8:29 AM  

CD racks?

mmorgan 8:32 AM  

A terrific Monday in my book. Always enjoy @Annabel's write-ups though I do wonder what Rex would have thought of it.

And thanks for reminding us about Too Many Cooks -- I'd forgotten how wonderful that is!!!

QuasiMojo 8:41 AM  

@Roo Monster -- a blazer is what we used to call a sports jacket, something less formal than a suit, worn with non-matching pants. Seems like a redundancy since we had JACKET just before it.

Fun Monday romp. Glad to see Annabel again. Chevy Blazers were all the rage back when I was a roustabout. You see a lot of them in old country music videos.

Anonymous 8:51 AM  

RAINHAT ruined the puzzle for me. Breaks the theme of the acrosses. Just didn't like it. Unless I am missing something...

Nancy 8:54 AM  

I nominate this puzzle as First Crossword Ever Attempted for the person you hope will become as excited about puzzles as you are. Easy enough not to be discouraging, but consistently interesting, playful and amusing, the theme answers are full of surprises and achievable "Aha Moments" for the novice. One of the best Mondays I've seen. Even the non-theme answers are colorful: CACKLE; INKLING; IRKSOME; BEESWAX; RUGRATS; IMAGERY. Interesting that IMAGERY is there, since rather than great visuals, this puzzle has great sound. As someone who always hears words in my head as I read (which makes me a fairly slow reader, btw), the sound of the non-theme answers delights me. Very nice in all respects.

Leapfinger 8:59 AM  

Hey there, @Annabel, I should've paid more attention to your TMCooks disclaimer. (urp) Thanks, darlin' gurl!

Another precinct that went for SLOP; would've liked CLOP just to get that CLIP CLOP. Would not want the proposed change to BAR; we need it as BAL to BALance VAL.

Oh, I thought it a lovely/lively Monday solve. Paused midway to see could I think of any themers myself, and came up with an arresting cop wearing a BOOKJACKET. Well that was pretty well preempted immediately and assigned to the DUST bin there, done that.

Can't say I've learned that thingy about quitting while ahead, soldiered on:
Article of outerwear for a sailor on shore leave?
LANDSCAPE
If you don't care for that one:
Article of outerwear for a U.N. Secretary General?
BANKIMOONSCAPE
Maybe a reverse themer
Article of outerwear for a small Alaskan medium?
ANORAKLE
(Hi @lms! There's so many ways to think small!)
Or
Article of outerwear for OFL?
REX_PARKA

With discretion overtaking VALor, I abandoned the bit about Dublin BROGANs being made using an Irish awl.

Minor aside about CHEVY_BLAZER: I'm aware of the car, but thought it might suit better with a clue for Chevy Chase, either the SNL or the MD.

Have to say I'm loving my Monday start with that IMAGERY of BUBBLEWRAP. Beats Saran hollow, don't it?

Not to SUGARCOAT it, Ms Gelfand shows off her outerwear with Panache.

Enjoy y'awls Monday!


Anonymous 9:01 AM  

ASP is the word of the day and not BROGAN, which I've never heard of?

Fountains of Golden Fluids 9:08 AM  

Does anyone remember laughter?

OISK 9:33 AM  

When the court musician lost his grasp, and found his lute begin to rasp, who had him bitten by an asp? Was I Wazir, I was...(Kismet)

Nice start to the puzzle week. This one contained a few of my personal bugaboos - easy answers I instinctively get wrong at first. Ang, not Eng. GTO, not GTE, Sego, not Sago. And for some reason, I first thought "Brogue, " instead of "Brogan." To avoid that error in the future, my personal mnemonic is the motto of the shoemaker who doesn't repair boots..."If it ain't brogan, don't fix it..."

GILL I. 10:01 AM  

What a sweet Monday puzzle. Did it in a CLIP GLOP HOP and then sat back and smiled.
@kitshef...You no like BAL Harbour? It's really a beautiful village with beautiful rich people with real tans and beautiful unaffordable shops and forget about buying a pair of shoes unless your Ivanka. It's even better than L.A.'s Rodeo Drive!
@Jete...Hah! Bankimoonscape. Doesn't he wear a London FOG with his BROGANs? Does he mind his BEESWAX?
@Aketi. Yikes, girl. I see ACROBATS flying in the air. I despise the circus ever since Dumbo took a dump in front of my 5 year old eyes, turned around and said "here's what I think of all you people." The Lion roared...
@Annabel...I watched that "Too Many Cooks" CLIP...Good grief, was that really a show? Was it called a comedy or a tragedy?
Thank you Susan G for a fun Monday.
FINI.

jberg 10:12 AM  

I did the NW corner, and it was so easy I decided to give the across-only method a whirl. I got the first three themers with no crosses, but couldn't dredge up the last two, esp. @Anabel, CHEVY BLAZER. Huh? I knew it must be a model name, but still way harder than the others.

But the result of this method was that I didn't check all the crosses, so I left PeelS in. I did manage to change Fait to FINI, but that was only because I had to go back to get CLIOS and BROGAN.

Also, the method was just not as much fun, as most of the downs escaped my attention, i.e., I couldn't appreciate them.

Thanks, @Anabel! I'll watch that CLIP later.

Anonymous 10:15 AM  

CHEVY BLAZER?

Must be too young to remember the OJ highway chase and trial.

r.alphbunker 10:31 AM  

Started out with Down clues hidden but showed all clues at about 8 minutes. Without knowing the theme its seemed hopeless.

Details are here

JC66 10:41 AM  

I always enjoy Susan Gelfand's offerings. Maybe it' because we grew up in together in Mt.Vernon, NY many years ago. I'm a couple of years older, but do remember her.

Per Wikipedia:

A blazer is a type of jacket resembling a suit jacket, but cut more casually. A blazer is generally distinguished from a sportcoat as a more formal garment and tailored from solid color fabrics. Blazers often have naval-style metal buttons to reflect their origins as jackets worn by boating club members.

puzzle hoarder 10:45 AM  

BROGAN went in off the crosses. I was relieved to see it's only appeared once before in the Shortz era. That was back in '01 four years before I started hoarding. Now I always try to annotate unknowns so I can tell if they're truly new or how many times I have to see them before they stick. BAL slipped through the cracks partly I'm sure because it's last two appearances were on days of the week I used to skip. When BEL didn't work I just let DABS put the vowel in. 32A could also be BROGUE. It has the same root word as BROGAN. I recall a local radio ad from a few years ago that referred to 53A as "the heavy snail blazer." That one was obviously not from GM. This was a fun Monday.

Roo Monster 10:46 AM  

@Quasi,
I know a what a BLAZER is :-) , my question was the particular CHEVY one. Is there a distinct feature?

@Anon 10:15 , wasn't that a Bronco? ;-)

Bachward themer, Article of clothing on a cold snake? HOODED VIPER.
Please hold the dis-plause.

RooMonster

Charles kluepfel 10:47 AM  

Had to change BAYS to RIAS and CARATS to KARATS. Lower left was indeed tough. Also took middle of Arizona laterally in a different sense : IZO.

Anonymous 10:52 AM  

Annabel - How was I supposed to know what they were?!?! Just keep on reading and vegging and puzzling! Been vegging for ore than half of my seventy plus years - hang in there your later years will Love you!

QuasiMojo 10:59 AM  

@Roo Monster, hey no worries... apparently I didn't. Lol -- I am going to go out now and put on my "Ravel Bolero."

Malsdemare 11:06 AM  

@ lms HANDLINGS! Excellent!

Numinous 11:26 AM  

All of the various versions of outerwear amused me. I think my favorite was DUST JACKET. I can just imagine the maid DUSTing all of the books after a year or two and fillinng the room with a cloud. I just love that IMAGERY. What a very nice write-up, Annabel but I just can't get that Too Many Cooks video out of my head. I even watched the YouTube Explained video that sort of went with it. That guy, Vinnie, seriously overthinks. Maybe he's a bit like @Rex or even some of the commetariat. One of the reasons I tend to not watch the linked videos in the blog is that I get sidetracked. That's happened today and blanked most of my thoughts on the puzzle. It seemed fairly clean and the longer answers made the glue tolerable to me.

I had a CHEVY BLAZER once. Our house was at the end of a mile and a quarter dirt road. Dreidel playing wife, who assured me she knew how to drive on a dirt road, managed to lose it in a corner, overcorrected, and rolled it. It was totaled.

@Gill I:
"Hey, Numi, want to go to the circus?"
"No thanks, I've been to one."
I don't like zoos either, especially after seeing a hippopotomus "spin" his tail while defacating, spraying the people watching. Having wondered what the animals thought of all the people passing by, I no longer had any questions.

@Anonymous at 12:32 this morning regarding yesterday's puzzle, lexicomane may be the word you're looking for.

Carola 11:27 AM  

Add me to the adulation. Smiles all the way. DRACULA, CASK, and CACKLE had already put me in a good mood before I even got to the theme, which offered one winner after another, I liked the little SATE-SUGAR-CRISPS stack: have some ice cream, then some potato chips, then use potato chips as scoops for the next dish of ice cream.... I also appreciated the GLOP-SHAG-RUG stair-step: our first house came with avocado-hued shag carpeting, which (I later learned) absorbed quite a few unwanted food items from our kids' plates.

@G Weissman - I have a couple of CD RACKS. Basically, there are never enough slots.

Anonymous 11:51 AM  

@Roo

Beat me to it; OJ chase was after a white Ford Bronco, not a Chevy Blazer, but they were kind of similar vehicles, IIRC.

RT

Masked and Anonymous 1:03 PM  

Smoooth stuff. @RP woulda been impressed, before he unloaded on BAL.

@Blu'Bel: Cute twin darlins. How do U tell which one is yer mom? Does one pass out on margaritas faster than the other? Primo write-up, btw. Never get "tired" of them bullet points. Fair enough, on [tired] Chevy outerwear not bein in yer wheels house. M&A has similar problems with current musical artist names. (Kinda like Ed Shearin, tho.)

fave weeject: SST. It's a COC! [Concord of Convenience. yo, @Anoa dude] Honrable mention to: BAL. Speakin of which …

Re: BAL:
See how that works, with yer weejects? First, the [excellent] constructioneer fills up the themer slots. Then she splatzes in most of the black squares. Then she goes to work on the long entries, like RUGRATS, CDRACKS, RAINHAT, and IMAGERY. Then she polishes off the medium stuff, like KARATS, STYLE, BYTE. and CLOT. Then finally she fills in what's leftover: BOT, ALT, GTO, etc., which connect up all the open grid areas. Then she fixes the ultimate leftovers, like B?L. See? It's them weejects, that get sloppy desperation fixed.

In this here BAL case, she coulda gone with: BUR not BAL, CURL not GULL, CTA not GTO, CHAT not CLOT, AHA not ALT. Et viola. Only thing: now 32-D becomes BOA, which is an unfortunate extra article of clothin. Sooo … back to the drawin board. That about how it went, SusanG darlin?

@muse: har, on yer -lings. U need to check out runt #697 sometime: **gruntz**

Thanx, Ms. Gelfand. Very good MonPuz.

Masked & Anonymo4Us.


**gruntz**

Teedmn 1:18 PM  

Loved the puzzle - great theme. I'm glad I never saw the clue for 51A - BAL is a total woe but GULL and DABS going down meant I never had to worry about BAr or [Anna]BEL (and I'm afraid I dislike celery for both its taste and texture. Cook it or don't serve it is my philosophy.

My RUGRATS were RascalS before I tried any crosses and I was serving SER BeANS in Belgrade before I noticed I was not FINe (thinking that FINal "e" had an accent on it).

But that all got fixed and in my average Monday time besides.

Thanks, Susan Gelfand, and @LMS for "handling" such a delicate topic, which made me CACKLE.

Roo Monster 1:20 PM  

@M&A
Runt #697? There can't possibly be that many runtz running around in the wild, can there? Might start walking around with "The End is Near" sign. Or at least a "Look Out! Runtz Invasion!" sign.

Roo

GILL I. 1:55 PM  

Yeah, @Numi. I've always hated that "spin the tail of the hippo" game. Hate zoo, too - except the St Louis Zoo or the San Diego zoo. They actually like animals.
@M&A. Pray tell how you would then clue BUR? I like BAL, I know BAL, everyone should know BAL, Trump knows BAL....

Masked and Anonymous 2:07 PM  

p.s.
yo, @GILL I. - No (wings or) prayers necessary, there. M&A would clue BUR as Patrick Berry did, thus shieldin hisself in Total PB1 Immunity: {Sticky seedcase}.

yo, @Roo - Don't go roogue on old M&A, but there's been about 900 of the lil runtrats, so far. May taper off some, once the infestation reaches 1000, tho …

Bettin on the margarita blog gal on the right in the pic passin out, first. She has that sorta glazin-over look.

M&Also

Anoa Bob 2:13 PM  

CITY SLICKER was the only one that fired on all cylinders for me, so to speak. The others all seemed to be missing a final connection. Yes, I see that BUBBLE WRAP, for example, is a packing material, and that champagne typically has BUBBLEs when it's opened, and that WRAP can be an "Article of outerwear", but BUBBLE WRAP as an "Article of outerwear for a champagne drinker" doesn't click. Likewise with the other three. They ultimately end up being nonsensical to me.

I decided long ago that the place I where lived had to have two things at a minimum---palm trees and sea GULLs. Down here in this corner of Tex-Mex land, deep south coastal Texas, the most common GULL is the Laughing GULL. They make lots of different sounds, including one that sort of sounds like, yep, laughing. But I wouldn't describe any of their calls as a "shriek".

On our first, or maybe it was the second day of basic training in Navy boot camp, we were issued our uniforms which included a pair of high top BROGANs. They were very durable and surprisingly comfortable.

Sailors use BEESWAX to rub on thread or twine to make it SLICKER so it passes more easily through sailcloth or canvas without tearing the fabric. It also adds an extra layer of protection against the elements such as UV damage from sunlight.

So the theme wasn't a winner for me, but I'm not much of a theme person the begin with, and, as others have pointed out, there was lots of interesting fill, such as CACKLE, IRKSOME, INKLING, OCEANIA, & IMAGERY, enough to make this an enjoyable solve for me.

Roo Monster 2:58 PM  

@M&A
900! (Insert scene of Eddie Murphy as Mama Klump fainting here.) Holy Mackerel! Holy Toledo! Holy Frijoles! Holy Moly!
It's a Holy experience, is what I'm saying. Know what I'm saying? :-)

Oh, and good clue for BUR - California bank prefix? (Just might be a ?? clue.)

Renegade Roo

Devin W 3:38 PM  

The Blazer has been a near constant member of the Chevy truck/SUV family since the freakin 70s! Not obscure by any means

GILL I. 4:00 PM  

@Anoa Bob....I'll go along with palm trees. I'm surrounded by them here in Sacramento. I draw the line at gulls - they are nothing but thugs with feathers. Go ahead and sit outside a sea-side cafe on a glorious day and watch those bastards swoop down and grab your lobster thermidor...They'll eat it in front of you and scream "catch me if you can, pig." They don't stop there. After they've finished your $50.00 meal they come back and poop right on the railing in front of you. Sometimes they aim for your head and when they do, their aim is perfect.
I'd rather listen to frogs and crickets...;-)

Robin 5:51 PM  

Good for a Monday, and the theme was decent.

I made the BAL/BEL HARBOR mistake, which took a few moments to find since I doublechecked from the top down, so didn't spot the DEBS/DABS mistake quickly.

Clueing on the VAL Kilmer entry struck me as old. Yes, Top Gun was a pretty big movie, but 30 years ago.

Moly Shu 6:12 PM  

@Roo, thanks for the shoutout. Though I must confess that most people who know me don't use holy as a descriptor. Usually it's jackass or some variation thereof.

Happy Pencil 7:47 PM  

A perfect Monday puzzle! Clever, funny, and original -- loved it! I agree with you, @Numinous, that this is an ideal puzzle to give to a first-time solver. I'm going to add it to my "Perfect Puzzle" file for the unlikely day when I try to construct one myself.

Anonymous 8:02 PM  

My friend had a blue Chevy Blazer. His vanity playe was "tan slacks"

Nancy 8:27 PM  

Could you possibly have been thinking of me, @Happy Pencil? :)

Anoa Bob 8:46 PM  

@GILL I., I laughed out loud several times while reading your "ode" to seagulls. I have mixed feelings about them my self. I've cleaned enough of their poop off my sailboat to fertilize a small garden. The local restaurants with outdoor venues strategically string monofilament fishing line as barriers to prevent much of what you experienced. They are aggressive and resourceful. They have to be to survive.

On the other hand, they often have a kind of zen-like quality to their demeanor, a theme, anthropomorphic to be sure, seen in Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull. But the main reason that I like palm trees and GULLs is that I associate them with weather that is warm and with there being a large body of water nearby, and those are the two things I really like.

Happy Pencil 9:19 PM  

@Nancy, yes, I was! So sorry! I knew I should never have tried to rely on my faulty memory, but hey, at least I got the first letter right!

Jon 9:32 PM  

Top Gun is a classic movie and is a must watch. Most women really "dig" the volleyball scene!

Oldflappyfrommississappy 11:38 PM  

Voluminous, Numinous, Schnuminous . . .

Burma Shave 10:23 AM  

SHAG STYLE

As he OBSESSES, the CITYSLICKER gets ARISE
from those FAT and IRKSOME DAMES. C_D_RACKS?
Just a GLANCE brings IMAGERY and an INKLING of size
and a CACKLE, as ZEE SITs minds his own BEESWAX.
FINI

--- SONIA BROGAN

spacecraft 11:19 AM  

First and last impressions were not too good, but most of the in-between was dandy. No one likes to be hit with an acronym at 1-across, though DRACULA paid for that one. And I really, really wanted trailblazer. With the more common letters, you'd think a corner could be fashioned to accommodate. The one that's there includes the unlovely CDRACKS...but again, if I could do it I would.

Most of this was pretty smooth, Vertical sevens went together well, and scrabbliness fit in with a natural, unforced feel. I recently neglected SONIA Braga for DOD; today we remedy that. Birdie--and hearty congrats to m'man Sergio Garcia for a WAY overdue major victory. Wear that green JACKET proudly, senor!

leftcoastTAM 1:48 PM  

Nice theme, very smooth solve that got CRISPier as you moved down the grid. Good work.

rain forest 2:51 PM  

Nice Monday puzzle, and nice write-up Annabel. Amusing that so many commenters felt that the theme answers should have been visualized as actual things. I saw them as examples of word association. Thus:

though you beat me by 5 weeks, @Leapfinger, I was thinking of

outerwear for an irascible crossword blogger - Rex Parka.

Anyway, smoothness abounded today, and no dreck visible to this naked eye.
Good one to start the week.

@Rondo - waiting for your rant on TAR.

rondo 3:50 PM  

Good theme, but not great. I won’t SUGARCOAT it.

TAR. Paving? A thousand times NO!!! I’ll spare the usual rant. Silly CITYSLICKERs.

@spacey got it right with that SONIA. Yeah baby.

More than 25 threes by my count; that’s a lot. But those sevens in the corners were nice. Not IRKSOME nor BLASÉ enough to bunch up my selectedshorts.

Diana,LIW 6:19 PM  

Thot the theme was fine and Monday cutesy. And maybe a bit tougher than the average Monday.

Thot of you, @Rondo, when I saw the road work. Said to myself, "Well TARnation - there we go again!"

Rex Parka - har!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

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