Notes of chord played in rapid succession / MON 4-24-17 / Marksman with M40 / Obstacle for drone / Napped leather

Monday, April 24, 2017

Constructor: Gary Cee

Relative difficulty: Medium (i.e. normal Monday)

THEME: idioms involving food  ... or, I guess, idioms that use food metaphorically(?)

Theme answers:
  • WORD SALAD (17A: Gobbledygook)
  • NOTHING BURGER (30A: Big fat zero)
  • COUCH POTATOES (47A: Habitual tube watchers)
  • HUMBLE PIE (63A: What a shamed person has to "eat")
Word of the Day: PEGASUS (9D: Flying horse of Greek myth) —

Definition of Pegasus

  1. 1 :  a winged horse that causes the stream Hippocrene to spring from Mount Helicon with a blow of his hoof
  2. 2 archaic :  poetic inspiration
  3. 3 :  a northern constellation near the vernal equinoctial point (
• • •

Forgot this as soon as I solved it. The answers don't cohere very well at all. Three are prepared items, clearly meant to be eaten (salad, burger, pie), but potatoes ... in COUCH POTATOES, I don't think of food *at all*. With all the others, you have to. You literally figuratively eat HUMBLE PIE. And, as I said, the others are specifically food items. I think of a raw potato when I think of COUCH POTATOES. They're not COUCH HASH BROWNS. I don't care if you think I'm being overly picky here—this is a glaring inconsistency. BAD APPLE (e.g.) would be slightly better because at least I can eat a *raw* apple. Moreover, NOTHING BURGER is a phrase I've barely ever heard, and it's just unpalatable to look at. Aesthetically garbage. WORD SALAD is a little more common, and the others are super-familiar. This one just feels conceptually weak and loose. And there's nothing in the fill to redeem it. Forgettable placeholder.

["FADING Fast"]

Not much resistance today, because it's Monday, and that's how Mondays are. What little struggle I had involved not so much answers as single letters. Only *answer* I had trouble with was 10D: "Save me a ___!" ("SEAT"). I often fail at partials, my mind somehow working differently and more strangely than others' when it comes to fill in the blank. I'd've made a *terrible* Password contestant: Partner: "Black .... ___" Me: "... Death?" All my brain wanted was "Save me a SLICE [or PIECE]." I like pie. And cake. Beyond that, I couldn't even be bothered to read the whole clue at 2D: Time in Manhattan when it's ... see I can't even be bothered to type the whole thing, and then do the time zone math, ugh. No thanks. So I had TWO-M and went to the cross. Had GST instead of GMT (27A: Clock-setting std.), until I realized there's probably no such thing as a SENS department (28D: Store department selling suits and ties). FBI is obviously G-MAN, but I still left the "G" blank and checked the cross for a possible "T" (58D: F.B.I. worker, informally). And then there's the worst square of all, the square in the dead center of the puzzle, the square that asks me, you, every last one of us to believe that PANSY is a "girl's" name. What a *&$^ing abomination of a clue. Nobody is named PANSY. Women (*women*) are sometimes named PATSY. So today, I am declaring ENDTOTE a perfectly fine answer for 26D: Bit of appended text. No one should be forced to write in PANSY. What a godawful, totally unnecessary cluing move. It's a flower. Go with flower. It's fine as a flower. Who the hell is named PANSY!?  That clue is just crazy.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:08 AM  

Right in the middle of medium for me too. I would have been a tad quicker if I hadn't mixed up my time zones in 2d. Very smooth, great theme answers, unlike @Rex I liked it a lot!

If last Saturday's puzzle was a tad to easy for you, I would point you to (but not necessarily recommend) the June 22, 1996 Sat. puzzle by B. White. There are tough puzzles and there are brutal puzzles, but sometimes you encounter a multi car pile up in downtown Natick. When you hit the SW you will know what I mean. The last tough puzzle I cited I got, this one I missed by 4 squares.

Mike in Mountain View 12:13 AM  

Agree with OFL about PANSY. Disagree about NOTHING BURGER, which seems very in the language to me.

COUCHPOTATO doesn't bother me, either.

Unknown 12:14 AM  

Can't bring myself to wait until TWO AM to comment on @Gary Cee's puzzle, and @Rex's delicious review. My thoughts exactly re PANSY, but thankfully, it brings us the PATSY Cline "Crazy" video clip [ENDNOTE is one of my least favorite programs, but better to pursue that conversation off-Rex]. Does a GMAN buy his suits and ties in the MENS department?

Graham 12:51 AM states very clearly that no famous person has the name PANSY. Such a missed opportunity, too, to clue it as Draco Malfoy's girlfriend! I love it when constructors reward Harry Potter nerds.

Undomiel 12:53 AM  

PANSY Parkinson from Harry Potter is the first one to come to mind. It's a legitimate but uncommon girl's (yes, girl's; the equivalent here is boy's, not men's since the most common frame of reference for name conversations of that sort is infants) name. It will probably be a lot more familiar to younger solvers because of the huge Potter craze in the 00s that means they're more likely to know even the side characters. I used to do Harry Potter trivia contests when volunteering at my local library. It really was that huge.

Larry Gilstrap 1:10 AM  

I like flowers and I like girls, seriously, who doesn't? A PANSY is a type of viola. and they have the cutest little face-like blossoms. If only 39A had been VIOLA. But wait, my phone tells me that there is indeed a Pansy Parkinson in Harry Potter; instant immunity.

The theme: two word phrases that end in food items. Monday enough for me. OFL has a beef with POTATOES being raw and the others have been prepared in some way. I can't believe I just wrote that sentence. Anyway, let me play Devil's advocate. Each of the food items are equally devoid of a descriptive adjective. If I were to have a bone to pick with the themers, the plural tuber is an outlier.

On a somber note, I was just reading that SEOUL is easily in range of conventional weapons fired from a hostile neighbor to the north. May cooler heads prevail.

RAD2626 1:13 AM  
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JC66 1:20 AM  

I thought the theme was a meal.starting with SALAD, proceeding to a BURGER and fries (POTATOES) and ending with dessert (PIE). A little tighter than OFL's take. Still, his rant on PANSY was worth the price of admission.

TomAz 1:21 AM  

I don't know any PANSYs. Regardless of how huge in Harry Potter trivia. Bit it was easily inferable, at least.

NOTHINGBURGER is a thing I may have heard once. Which is once more than WORDSALAD, which is brand new to me. Neither was a huge deterrent, because inferability. Just annoying.

I was thrown for a moment by ARPEGGIO.. I thought that referred to the (singular) chord whose individual notes were being played, and not the (plural) notes themselves. More importantly, Rex should have posted a link to Radiohead's "Arpeggi/Weird Fishes"..

all in all, a fair enough Monday. average time for me.

TomAz 1:31 AM  

NB: Kelly Willis is really cool though.

BarbieBarbie 1:36 AM  

Disagree about the food. It's obviously a cookout or takeout menu. Salad, burger, fries or potato salad, pie for dessert. An apple would be stupid. Like a donut for breakfast..
It was easy but kind of dull. But it's Monday.
Does anyone know what "le pen" means in French? "The pen" would be "la plume." Or so says ma tante.

GILL I. 1:43 AM  

The only PANSY I know is a chimp.
NOTHING BURGER is bandied around by the Washington politicos who all seem to be two pickles short of a McDonald's. I think I first heard that term from Ted Cruz or Rachel Maddow when talking about Sessions and his meeting with the Russians. Do you think Putin might have needed an interpreter?
I did this so fast...dang. We just finished a wonderful dinner of poached salmon and after we finished, all I wanted to do was sit back and drink another Pinot Griego and do the puzzle. I got just one sip out of this deal - I wanted at least three.
Does a MERMAN SWIM in the SEINE with the other PANSY, or is that PEGASUS in the RED SEA with ARPEGGIO?

Robin 1:50 AM  

Okay, so yeah, PANSY is ancient usage as a name. Okay, DAPHNE or DAISY (I'm watching Gatsby on TBS at the moment) would have been better. Whatever.

It's a Monday so time to be forgiving. The thing I particularly liked was that there was a theme, but the puzzle didn't waste a clue/answer on a revealer. I have a brain, I can figure out the theme on my own.

Finished in a hurry. But yo hey it's a Monday. If I'm going to stress out about the crossword, has at least got to be a Wednesday.

Robin 1:52 AM  

@TomAz, WORDSALAD is string of gobbledygook. If we'd had the term back in the day, we might have used it to explain some Star Trek plot contrivance. These days, it's some clown throwing... words... at the fan and hoping something sticks.

Anoa Bob 2:12 AM  

Maybe CHEF at 5 Across was part of the theme.

I've seen WORD SALAD used in texts to describe the speech pattern of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. It's apropos. Sometimes their speech can seem like words randomly "tossed" together.

Liked seeing PEGASUS & ARPEGGIO, and in the same neighborhood, no less.

The 11-letter COUCH POTATO needed a plural-of-convenience ES tacked on in order for it to match its symmetrically placed 13-letter theme partner. That always strikes me as playing a little too fast and loose with theme consistency.

chefwen 2:37 AM  

@GILL I - Gotta drink faster.

PANSY? I wouldn't name a dog or a cat that, much less a child.

When I was a wee bairn in Scotland we had to wear uniforms to school. I went to Broomley School and my TAM had a crest on it with the initials BS. Puzzle partner thinks that was apropos.

Mentioned to the above puzzle partner that there were two shoutouts to me he said "chef" I said yeah and 47A, he said what was that, knucklehead? The guy is a riot a minute, might have to bake him a HUMBLE PIE, I think he needs a big slice of one, soon.

Brian 2:49 AM  

This was on the easy side for me, there wasn't any resistance at all. Other than PANSY, this was a completely fine Monday - nothing amazing, but I didn't have any problems with the theme answers.

Loren Muse Smith 3:57 AM  
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Loren Muse Smith 3:58 AM  

Favorite entry: ARPEGGIO. I’d sit at the piano forever and play arpeggios in all forms. And feel all talented and fancy.

@Gill I – I know, right? In the how-can-you-not reparse dept: MERMAN.(@Bill Feeney – we’ll see your most excellent HEBRIDES and raise you one.)

Only woe: 21A.

Food puzzles are always fun, right? I remember one by Lynn Lempel that had STUD MUFFIN, HUMAN PRETZEL, BIG ENCHILADA… Lively comments that day.

@JC66 and @BarbieBArbie- great catch on the order of the themers. Bet y’all’re right.

Ahem. Mom plays bridge twice a week with a woman named PANSY. Apparently she talks a lot and forgets what’s trump.

Then there’s this little fact at #4.

Anonymous 5:40 AM  

Pansy? Sissy? Snowflake? Where's my safe space?

Lewis 6:22 AM  

I like that the first word of the theme answers have nothing whatsoever to do with food. I like that Gary snuck in a misdirect clue on a Monday (EASEL), and the inclusion of the beautiful word SWATH. There are also a couple of interesting crosses (RED_SEA/OPENS, SNIPER/BANGS). The meal presented here is not one for the fine china in yesterday's puzzle -- this is a comfort meal (unless you're vegan or vegetarian), to give a relaxing feeling at the beginning of the week. The grid is clean, and if you start with the S in SALAD, you can find some Boggle-style SALT to go with the meal.

Very nice way to set the table for the rest of the week, Gary.

Unknown 6:28 AM  

I've never heard the phrase "Nothing burger", but thought it was an apt description of this puzzle. There are plenty of flowers that *are* girl's names: Daisy, Lily, Iris, Rose... even Petunia... but not PANSY. Sheesh.

Draco Malfoy 6:39 AM  

Don't forget:
Pansy Osmond from Henry James' The Portrait of a Lady,
Pansy O'Hara - changed to Scarlett at the last minute.

OTD 7:02 AM  

Pansy was the first name of Lil Abner's mother, Mammy Yokum. She was one tough cookie.

Rita Flynn 7:26 AM  

Pansy as a girl's name reached its peak usage in the 1900s at 153 per million names..

Famous real-life people named Pansy:
Pansy, pen name of American author Isabella MacDonald Alden
Lady Pansy Lamb (born Margaret Pansy Felicia Pakenham), writer and translator, daughter of the Earl of Longford and wife of Sir Henry Lamb. She was one of the four famous Pakenham sisters: Mary, Pansy, Violet, and Julia. They were central figures in the circle of Bright Young Things of the 1920s.
Pansy Wong, New Zealand politician
Pansy Napangardi, Australian artist
Pansy Ingle Kidd, educator

Pansy in song, story & screen:
Pansy Parkinson, girlfriend of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter book series.
Pansy O'Hara was the original name chosen by Margaret Mitchell for the heroine of her novel, "Gone With the Wind". However, she eventually (and fatefully) changed it to Scarlett O'Hara.
Pansy Gray, character in 1930 Howard Hughes film "Hell's Angels".
Pansy Milbank, character in 1989 film "Michael" starring John Travolta, played by Jean Stapleton.
Pansy Osmond, daughter of dilettante Gilbert Osmond in Edith Wharton's book "Portrait of a Lady" and the subsequent film based on it.
Pansy, character in the "Rose Window" series of children's books by Geraldine Symons about a girl growing up in Edwardian England.
Pansy Division, American rock/punk band.

chefbea 7:29 AM  

Of course we have a chef preparing this meal of salad, burger and potato and pie for dessert. And in the middle of the table we have a pansy centerpiece!!! Love it.

I originally had daisy instead...but nothing else made sense

Glimmerglass 7:32 AM  

@Rex, I guess you're correct about PANSY. I had the P and dropped PANSY right in (Petunia didn't fit, and Patsy isn't a flower). But now that you mention it, I guess no one is called PANSY any more. While I couldn't think of famous Pansy's (others did, above), I had the sense that I used to know some old ladies with that name or nickname, and I suppose they must have been named that as little girls, too. Those Pansy's were old when I was little, and I'm old now.

kitshef 7:33 AM  

Yes, I think @Rex missed the significance of the order or the themers.

Found it easy even for a Monday, though not ridiculously so.

Liked the fill pretty well, too. Shame about GMAN - seems like that section could have been redone so easily to avoid that (GMAT/TITS?).

Ted Cruz 7:38 AM  

Ted Cruz defends Jeff Sessions: Russia news is a 'nothing burger'

Professor Poopypants 8:06 AM  

Is "literally figuratively" Rex's own Donald Rumsfeldism? There are literal literals, there are figurative figuratives, there are literal figuratives and figurative literals. None of these things are actually --literally-- being eaten, so none are literal literals. Using food terms to describe other things, and doing so with the full complement of a figurative meal. That's more than good enough for me. I found it amusing.

After constantly requesting more current phrases (or at least carping on stale ones) it seems strange to me to ding someone for the very au courant "nothing burger." Maybe it's a dumb phrase and becoming overused, but it's very much here.

Tim Pierce 8:12 AM  

WORD SALAD and NOTHINGBURGER are great theme entries. Brilliant. More, please!

With SALAD BURGER POTATOES PIE I wondered a bit whether we were looking at a Memorial Day puzzle that ran a bit early. Fun theme.

Anonymous 8:19 AM  

I liked when Opey said Amaryllis in The Music Man

Mohair Sam 8:31 AM  

When PANSY went in I turned to Lady M and said, "I can't wait to watch Rex flip out on that one." - he did not disappoint. Now I've come here to discover PANSY has something called "Harry Potter immunity" - OK. Well. If PANSY didn't appear in the first two Potter books I have ignorance of Potter character immunity.

PANSY issues aside, thought it was a fun Monday. The theme holds together fine IMO, who cares exactly how well the various food items might be digested. I always misplace the vowels in SEOUL, SEINE, and CIAO - our fiendish constructor threw all three at me today. Learned ARPEGGIO today, neat to learn a new word on a Monday (thought it might be a real small island chain).

Tita 8:58 AM  

I know a PANSY. I was with her on Coney Island last fall.
She hails from Macau, and PANSY is her "Western name".

@ChefBea,,,her twin sister's name is...Daisy!

I am not making this up. She is the girlfriend of my nephew who lives in Hong Kong.

@jc66...good observation about the meal.
@Poopy.... love your Rumsfeldism neologism as much as I loved Rex's usage thereof.

Hey...don't forget the TINS in which all that food is stored. (Phew...nearly committed a dangling participle there...)

Nate 9:01 AM  

Hard not to feel like the criticism of today's themers is something a Rex parody account would have come up with. They were perfectly fine, and the complaint is beyond pedantic. I don't even think "pedantic" really captures it. You think of uncooked potatoes when you hear "couch potato"... what, really? I think of potato chips (you know, the greasy things that are all over the shirt of the person planted on their couch). In that case, the phrase fits perfectly: salad, burger, chips, dessert. That's a meal. That was the theme.

Anywho... I loved NOTHING BURGER, PEGASUS, and ARPEGGIO. I very much agree with the criticism of PANSY. If I met a person named Pansy, I'd think their name was very unique and a little strange.

Nancy 9:03 AM  

Thought For The Day: Any parents who name their daughter PANSY will be consigned to Dante's lowest circle of Hell. End of Thought For The Day.

I liked this a lot for a Monday. It was smooth and colorful and not so easy as to be insulting. Nice job.

Z 9:09 AM  

@glimmerglass - 1000% correct, "Those Pansy's were old when I was little, and I'm old now." I'm a wee bit younger than you, and didn't actually know any PANSY's, but knew of people's late aunts or grandmothers who had gone by that name.

I'm with Rex on POTATOES being different. Fries, tater tots, go to Waffle House and get hash browns, but never just POTATOES with a BURGER. Or maybe do the Sam Gamgee method.

Anonymous 9:10 AM  

I love it when himself throws a tantrum when he doesn't know something.
Thank you Michael, you made my day.

Anonymous 9:37 AM  

POTATOES, as in "please pass the...," can definitely be a prepared food item. I wa surprised OFL wasn't more familiar with NOTHING BURGER. Too HIP for him?

I am Glamour Nazi 9:42 AM  

@Anon 11:23 a.m. (from yesterday) -- Oh, thank you so much for caring. But have you ever heard the old joke: "The letter poured in."? I was hoping for a groundswell of curiosity as to the identity of "Glamour Nazi," who appeared for a one-time stint on 6/18/15 at 9:42 a.m., and then vanished into the ether. But there was no groundswell of interest -- none at all. In fact, there was not even an anthill of interest. And thus, I have realized that my "Big Reveal" would not be big at all. But oh, I was big that day: June 18, 2015. And I like to think that I'm still big; it's the blog that got small.

I would reveal to you, off-blog, Anon 11:23 from yesterday, if I knew who you were. But I don't. And sadly, with no groundswell of curiosity to spur me onward, I shall continue to keep my identity hidden, more's the pity. Wish that everyone had your loyalty and devotion.

Fischgrape 9:45 AM  

Puffy hat?! PUFFY HAT?!???!?!

My students at the Culinary Institute of America and I are sharpening our cleavers and lighting our brûlée torches in preparation of a siege on this constructor's castle.

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

Good thing about PANSY: Got to listen to the great Patsy Cline. Thanks.

PantyWaist 9:51 AM  

"She is a queer little body. And her name is Pansy! Think of it!" laughed Jennie Dalton. "What a name for a dried up little woman like her. Her last name ought to be seed." The thoughtless girls laughed at this quaint conceit. -- from The Woman's Journal, 1922.

Liz T. 9:54 AM  

Nothing burger was my favorite part. It seems odd to regularly complain that the NYT crossword is behind the times, and then complain about a neologism that isn't in your personal toolkit.

Nancy 9:59 AM  

@John Fischer (9:45) -- Laughing out loud at your comment. So funny!!!

Mohair Sam 10:20 AM  
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Hartley70 10:21 AM  

In the 1970's I knew a golden retriever named Pansy Potter. That's more than enough legitimacy for me. I don't find Pansy nearly as strange as Muffy, Bitsy and Dodo, all of whom are humans I have met.

WORDSALAD and NOTHINGBURGER were a delight because they were fresh and zany and completely new to me. That doesn't happen often on a Monday, so I give today's puzzle two thumbs up.

@John Fisher, think of it as the culinary equivalent of Seinfeld's Puffy Shirt. Wear it with pride the next time you're on tv. BTW, great comment!

Malsdemare 10:26 AM  

Sped through this in record time, loving that Scarlet's original name was in the puzzle, only to discover OFL didn't know that piece of trivia. Of course, I doubted my own recall and was going to ask Mr. Google for his opinion, so I was awfully glad to have a few people confirm that Mitchell indeed had named her Heroine PANSY. So, would Scarlet be the icon (think about that red dress image that was shared yesterday) she is were she named PANSY?

I missed that it was a full meal, but in that case, where's the beer? Some little nit is nagging me that there's a phrase describing a mediocre idea as "something" beer, but it's Monday and I could be thinking of thin gruel.

I'm much easier to please than Rex is.

Mohair Sam 10:27 AM  

@Liz T (9:54) - Good point.

@John Fisher (9:45) - I'm getting a great visual from your post, and don't blame you CIA folks a bit.

@Rex - Kudos for turning PANSY into Patsy and giving us that "Crazy" link.

Gorelick 10:40 AM  

My first association with "nothing burger" is with Helen Gurley Brown. But I had to Google it to make sure that I had invented that link. I hadn't. But, remember Helen Gurley Brown?!

Joseph Michael 10:41 AM  

This was a fast food experience indeed.

Nice that the CHEF was introduced first and that the foods were served in the order in which they would be consumed.

But what is in those TINS that come after the PIE? And what kind of URGE remains in the end?

Kudos to NOTHING BURGER which, I believe, makes its NYT debut today. A HIP term for a pleasantly satisfying puzzle.

clayplay 10:53 AM  

I went to high school with a Pansy. That would put her in her early 60's. Old but not ancient.

QuasiMojo 10:55 AM  

I had no problem with the theme. People say "eat your potatoes" all the time. I doubt they're referring to raw taters, as Rex infers.

How can you not like a puzzle with Ethel Merman in it!

Never heard of "nothing burger" -- is that what those "X-rays" in NY social circles eat? I guess I oughta try one. "nothing ventured, nothing gained."

@Malsdemere -- are you thinking of "small beer"?

Hungry Mother 11:08 AM  

Had "Daisy" for a while, which cost me a couple of minutes.

Carola 11:17 AM  

I liked the puzzle - I thought it was clever and amusing. NOTHING BURGER was a surprise, and HUMBLE PIE a delightful treat to finish things off. Nothing OLD HAT about PEGASUS and ARPEGGIO, either. Thanks to those who pointed out the complete meal and the "top" CHEF, and to @chefbea for the PANSY centerpiece.

RooMonster 11:20 AM  

Hey All !
Well, now I'm hungry!
Liked puz, agree with the in-order meal as surmised by some of youse. SALAD-first course, BURGER, POTATOES-second course, PIE-third course. No one saw Mashed POTATOES? Just raw? Odd.

Didn't think fill was all that WOEful. Did initially agree with the PANSY no-name thing, but after reading comments, I SUPPOSE I can accept clue as written.

Wanted clue for DOSE to be - Not Dese. - :-) Had agape for GAPED as a speedbump in NE. Like @Mohair Sam 8:31, messed up vowel order on CIAO and SEINE. Did get SEOUL correct though. :-)

Supernatural exam question 3? - THIRD EERIE POSIT
Instructions to goad a mythical creature in Asia?
Feel free to add your own, will probably be better than those!


Anonymous 11:42 AM  

@jae thank you for posting the date of puzzles worth revisiting. I always enjoy solving the older ones you recommend.

Charles Flaster 11:43 AM  

No time to read other comments. Rex was way too harsh. Puzzle was straightforward and very Monday normal cluing.
CROSSWORDease--TAM and ENOS (Slaughter?).
Had a high school teacher who always said "time to eat some HUMBLE PIE" when she made an algebra mistake-/ which was not that often. But it stuck with me.
Thanks GC

Masked and Anonymous 12:06 PM  

KNUCKLESANDWICH to anyone who didn't like this puz. [Not really -- M&A is pretty much all pacifist. But, sheesh …]

Near-perfect fill. Very clever MonPuz theme. NOTHINGBURGER rocks.

staff weeject pick and one of only two near-desperate moments [along with GMT] I can find in this entire grid: URI. For U MonPuz beginners: URI usually gets clued up one of three ways…

1. The Gellermeister. I think this dude could bend spoon handles with his mind. (Real thin & flexible spoons, tho.) M&A can bend entire crowds of people back, with one flatu-lation, btw.
2. Swiss canton where the whole William Tell tale took place. Actually, that's the canton's "for short" name; yer full name there is "UR I is gonna need a patch, dude". But, hard to get the whole enchilada on a license plate.
3. University of Rhode Island indirect references, such as: {Ocean State sch.} or {Big sch. in a little state} or somesuch.

Lotsa great, solider-than-snot fillins: PEGASUS. HOTMIC. ARPEGGIO. THRILLS. ISUPPOSE. SWATH. CHEF. PANSY [har].

Best MonPuz moo-cow Eazy-E clue: {"___ is me!"} = WOE.

Bet some smarty like @OTD (not to be confused with @OFL, who clearly is not into comics characters) will know who PANSY HUNKS is.

Epic MonPuz, Mr. Cee. Big thUmbsUp.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


Rob 12:21 PM  

I didn't even notice the theme, but generally thought this was fine. I do think PANSY was a little weird; NOTHINGBURGER is fine to my ear. I did appreciate having at least a little liveliness to the answers on a Monday, particularly ARPEGGIO. Monday puzzles are often such dull affairs.

Malsdemare 12:34 PM  

@quasimojo. Yes! Small beer needs to be in the puzzle and then it would be perfect! Now I'm hungry . . . .

Neil Nathanson 12:41 PM  

Thanks Rex for the pass on "Patsy" / "End Tote". I filled in Patsy and concluded End Tote must be a word, because "Patsy" was the only name that fit! Didn't realize my mistake until reading the writeup

oldactor 12:51 PM  

My sister's best friend in college was Pansy Yturia. Her father owned a jillion acre ranch here in South Texas.....just sayin.

Bostontwo 12:56 PM  

@Mohair Sam - PANSY Parkinson was definitely in the first two books, but was not a major character then or later.

@Glamour Nazi - I assure you there was frantic speculation occurring off-board.

BarbieBarbie 1:02 PM  

@Nate 9:01: No, definitely whole. Couch potatoes spend all their time watching screens ==> they are blobs with many eyes==> potatoes. Not chips.

Mohair Sam 1:18 PM  

@Bostontwo (12:56) - I stand corrected (not for the first time, btw), I shoulda known PANSY.

Three and out.

Teedmn 1:22 PM  

Due to my not being all that HIP, my modern and cool entry at 31D was "mod" (I know, right?) and therefore 39A was the ever popular dAiSY. This being my only writeover, I am not planning on eating any HUMBLE PIE over it.

Following @Rex's discussion about PANSY and COUCH POTATOES was like trying to eat WORD SALAD. Mostly gobbledygook. The question of SEINE/insane could be POSITed.

A fine Monday, thanks, Gary Cee.

Nancy 3:50 PM  

Such a delicious literary tidbit, and I'd completely forgotten it. (I used to know it, of course, but that's true of so many things I no longer remember). Thanks @Draco Malfoy, @Rita Flynn and @Malsdemare for reminding us that Scarlett O'Hara was originally named PANSY O'Hara. Perhaps the greatest service any editor ever did for any author was to make sure that MM changed it. I agree with you, Malsdemare, that PANSY never would have had the cachet that Scarlett did.

@Gorelick (10:40)-- I thought that Helen Gurley Brown referred to herself as a "mouseburger," not a NOTHING BURGER. But maybe she used both epithets -- I didn't bother to Google it.

Andrew Heinegg 4:53 PM  

I sort of liked this puzzle in that it offered more resistance than the usual Monday fare.

I refuse to hear any argument about Pansy being a name. If you clue it like was done here, it can't be some obscure reference like alternative name for Scarlett. It needs to be a reasonably commonly used name.

I also side with Rex on the couch potato 'issue'. All of the other themers conjure up an actual food dish. The couch potato makes me think of an unpeeled and uncooked Idaho potato with several 'eyes' growing out of it due to the person vegetating in front of the TV set for way too many hours of most days. Not a finished edible product;

I enjoyed arpeggio, Pegasus and nothing burger even though I never heard the nothing burger expression before.

With as many weak puzzles as we have had lately, this one seems pretty professional by comparison which is what you would expect from a veteran constructor.

BarbieBarbie 5:58 PM  

Plus, a potato is a tuber. Which used to make sense w.r.t. couch potato.

Kafkaland 6:02 PM  

Our commander-in-CHiEF gave an interview to the AP yesterday that amounted to a NOTHINGBURGER disguised in an incoherent WORD SALAD, served up to the COUCH POTATOES who elected him and really should eat HUMBLE PIE instead.

jthurst 6:16 PM  


I can not get the pansy comments out of my head so here goes:

Wasn't Pansy a friend of Daisy Buchanan or was it Daisie Mae?

Wasn't Pansy the girl friend of a Boy Named Sue?

Wasn't Pansy (aka Stiefmutterchen) the step sister of Schneeweittchen and Rosen Rot?

Unlike the Daffodil Principle isn't the Pansy Principle fraught with nihilistic and anarchistic viewpoints?

Isn't Pensee (aka Pansy in French) and unsalted panacetta like 'nova' is to 'lox'?

Isn't a Pansy a five string Viola?

Isn't Pansy an old Aramaic text found in the Dead Sea Scrolls which modifies the Book of Esther and doesn't eviscerate and emasculate foreigners and Philistines so much?

Isn't Pansy what Slash, of Gun 'n Roses, called his guitar.

OK, OK enough, let's nip this in the bud.

I thought it was a very good puzzle mainly because it did not devolve (archaic usage) into acronyms like IMHO, WTH, etc. from the iPhone era.

G. Weissman 7:44 PM  



Leo DiCaprio's private jet 9:48 PM  


BobGg 9:49 PM  

I’m surprised that Rex doesn’t know that Gilbert Osmond’s daughter in Henry James’s “Portrait of a Lady” is named Pansy Osmond. That a great and famous book.

Leo DiCaprio's private jet 9:50 PM  

Happy belated Earth Day

RooMonster 10:55 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leapfinger 2:10 AM  

@LarryGil, most people would have been chicken to commit to something like 'our OFL having a beef with POTATOES'. Well, well, I shan't wine about it, as there's thymes we all feel like a nut. And, as you say, God save our collective SEOUL. Live and loin, if all goes well.

I think it's been noted that the grid is fittingly bracketed by a CHEF and TINS, and I think it's equally apt to have us CIAO down on SALAD. I rather PRIED myself on that notation, as well as the semi-symmetry of the pseudo-animalistic PEGASUS and HIP POE. SEINE crossing the REDSEA? I think not.

Just loved all y'all's pensees about PANSYs and thought @jthurst simply outdone his/herself, but you know, @jth, that bud is now miles past being nipped. It seems NOTHINGBURGER has been ID'd as sourced to Helen Gurley Brown, but didn't see it noted as actually a Mot by Louella Parsons, who crowned Shelley Winters Miss NOTHINGBURGER back in 1956. My pologies if I missed that among the comments. I've always thought things could've gone very differently with HGB, had her middle name not been Gurley.

The NYT Magazine used to have an ENDPAPER called Lives which I often found memorable, and I SUPPOSE that might have SUEDE me, but I thought GeeCee's Monday ARPEGGIO cut quite a SWATH of THRILLS in the field of early-week puzzles.

PS. Sometimes I see my dog POSIT.

Leapfinger 2:15 AM  


Somehow ARPEGGIO leads to CROUCHing POTATO, Hidden Trigger

Leapfinger 2:26 AM  

@AnoaBob's WORD_SALAD of 24 hours ago reminded me:
The best WORD_SALAD ever is in Asimov's I'm in Marsport Without Hilda, where much of the dialogue is under the effect of the drug Spaceoline. In aWORD, Inspired.

Maggie Mitchell 3:02 AM  


(Re #8)When I was searching for a title for my book, I've no idea what possessed me to turn to a work titled Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae


And the Oscar goes to 3:21 AM  

Gold Star of the day goes to Professor Poopypants, though some might argue it depends.

@I am Glamour Nanzi, don't bother with the Big Reveal; your writing style is a give-away.

Anonymous 6:45 AM  

@old timer, oh well, South Texas! Texas being the state where Big Jim and Sallie Hogg, back in 1882, named their darling babygirl Ima. Good thing that she was loaded and no, she didn't have a sister Ura.

Poker chips

Didn't we just have a rebus puzzle with a child's counting-out rhyme? ONE PotATo/ tWO PotATO? How quickly one forgets.

Keep your small beer; I'll take Manhattan.

Jack Reader 6:52 AM  

If you are looking for Pansies, Hong Kong has some fine examples (google Hong Kong Pansy and you'll see!).
Broke my record on this one- started, and could't stop. Thought it was fun, like a mental snack rather than Sunday lunch.
Writing out couchpotatoes reminded me of a certain VP who had trouble with spelling potato, believing it had an e on the end of it (not an i, which would be just plain silly).
URI, incidentally, occurs in Tuesday's as well, both puzzles being set by Garies, who most likely have little or nothing to do with Gary, Indiana.

Hallie 11:29 AM  

I have never commented before, but felt compelled to say that I had a great aunt named Pansy. My grandmother was Gladys and their sister was named Lillian. Someonel sent a lovely arrangement of gladioli, lilies, and pansies to my grandmother's funeral in honor of the three sisters.

Anonymous 4:00 PM  

@Hallie - beautiful!

Diana,LIW 12:02 AM  

Just taking the deLorean out for a spin due to, well:

favorite recent comment - "I waited up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me." (See old FutureLanders)

From "A Way With Words" on NPR - oh shoot - I can't find it. Shoot. Shoot!


Burma Shave 9:25 AM  


they’re GOING to learn HOWTO eat HUMBLEPIE.


spacecraft 10:28 AM  

The week is not off to a stellar start--nor is this very puzzle, if 1-across is going to be HTML. This is a big red flag. Then I get to the "themer." WORDSALAD? ISUPPOSE I get the point, but I've never heard anyone use that expression. OFL calls it "a little more common," so I guess it has to be a regional thing.

But NOTHINGBURGER??? This is ridiculous. Find me anybody who has EVER said that. And while you're ATIT, find me a girl named PANSY. Good luck; send monthly reports.

Here we are at last: COUCHPOTATO! HUMBLEPIE! Our Mr. Cee (that grade would be generous today) should have found a couple more like those.

In a desperate attempt at finding a DOD, I Googled PANSY and came up with--you're not gonna believe this--PANSY Parker! I have absolutely no idea who she is, but her photo is passably cute, so it's her or NOTHINGBURGER.

Gary, eat some HUMBLEPIE and card a bogey.

BS2 10:30 AM  


the BANGS that you heard
were his second and THIRD,


rondo 12:48 PM  

Played pretty easy. ISUPPOSE ARPEGGIO may have been tough for a non music person and in a Mon-puz. Pretty sure I hadn’t heard NOTHINGBURGER before.

Bought the HUMBLEPIE vinyl album “Smokin’“ when it came out. “30 Days in the HOLE” sound familiar? EAR worm for me now.

A former MPR Morning Show would issue a MERMAN alert before they would play one of her songs. Sorry Ethel, no yeah baby. As Willie Nelson would say, “Out of kindness, ISUPPOSE.”

No real THRILLS in this puz, but OK ISUPPOSE. GOING back to work. CIAO.

leftcoastTAM 1:03 PM  

Smooth Monday offering. The lunch menu looks okay, including the POTATOES, but the NOTHINGBURGER was a new one I'd hesitate to order.

Wanted sward before SWATH. I like the mythical PEGASUS more than the mythical unicorn.

PANSY is kinda cute, but an unlikely girl's name these days.

Fine work, GC.

Diana,LIW 2:06 PM  

Today we have a typical Memorial Day meal. Don't agree with OFL on the COUCHPOTATOES issue - don't you say "pass the potatoes?" Not mashed, scalloped, fried, baked, whatever, just pass them there potatoes over here, please.

Since his minor stroke, I've put Mr. W on a health conscious diet. Little red meat, even less sugar (no pie, he weeps) and his lipids have done an amazing turnaround - bad LDL down, good HDL up! So when I asked him if he'd ever heard of a NOTHINGBURGER, you can imagine that he responded with a mournful cry that this was his current fate. He then spied the cover of yesterday's Parade Magazine (4 huge burgers) and carried it about, stroking the burgers and sounding like Homer. Not the Greek one.

@Spacey - WORDSALAD is very common to me or anyone who has anything to do with therapy/counseling/psychology. It's the shorthand way to describe the ramblings that often accompany certain mental illnesses. As I wrote it in, I wondered if it might be an unknown to many. Like NOTHINGBURGER to me.

This week I've been eating soft foods to be kind to my temporary crowns. This puzzle made me want to chomp into something meatier. But the puzzle? I liked it.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for real food

MaryPatOregon 7:08 PM  

Tim Pierce posted:

"With SALAD BURGER POTATOES PIE I wondered a bit whether we were looking at a Memorial Day puzzle that ran a bit early. Fun theme."

I'm a syndicated solver and poster. In a strange coincidence, today IS Memorial Day! I think this puzzle was fast and FUN! Enough for a Monday, in my opinion.

rain forest 11:48 PM  

Way late (too late?), but I feel bad if I don't comment.
I made the mistake, again, of reading Rex, and I couldn't believe it. This was a fine Monday puzzle with no dreck and a serviceable theme (non-food/food). POTATOES is a food (or is food), dammit.

What's the fuss about PANSY? I have known two PANSYs (one whose sister was TULIP, btw). Maybe a bad choice. I also knew a girl named Cherry Pye. There's lots of examples out their of dubious names, but to launch into a rant about PANSY is beyond the pale. Geez. or Jeez. Just shut up.

OK, I"m late, didn't read many comments, and I'm very tired from my round of golf in 31 degree (Celsius) weather where I made too many bogies. But as I said, I liked this puzzle. So sue me.

Unknown 11:57 AM  

Re: NOTHINGBURGER. Nope. Never, not once, have I ever seen or heard that phrase in the wild. Moreover, once I had NOTHINGBU____, I confidently plopped a 'T' into the next box, figuring it had to be NOTHING BUT something, and went about solving for crosses. "NOTHING BUT GER"? Huh? I have a brother named Gerald whom we call Ger, and I don't consider him a big fat zero. Kind of insulting, if you ask me.

Anyhow, REDSEA and figuring out the theme was food-related fixed the issue soon enough. But I was still left scratching my head over NOTHINGBURGER. I don't scratch my head on Mondays very often.

The rest of the puz was solid and nicely constructed. But like Rex said, pretty much forgettable. Having read Harry Potter, I wasn't mad at PANSY.

Blogger 8:28 PM  

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