King of gods in Wagner's ring cycle / MON 5-22-17 / Inverse trig function / Form of papyrus document

Monday, May 22, 2017

Constructor: Gary Kennedy

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (*for a Monday*) (still under 4 minutes) (relax)

[oversized grid: 16x15]

THEME: SWISS / ARMY / KNIFE (1A: With 43- and 76-Across, camping aid) — four functions of said knife:

Theme answers:
  • CAN OPENER
  • CORKSCREW
  • SCISSORS
  • TWEEZERS 
Word of the Day: WOTAN (2D: King of the gods in Wagner's "Ring" cycle) —
Ultimately from Proto-Germanic *Wōdanaz, cognate with English Woden, Old Frisian Weda, Old Norse Óðinn. Attested since the 12th century in the Chronicon of Godfrey of Viterbo, where it is spelled Wotan. In Old High German, the name could be spelled Wodan, Wotan, Wuotan or Woatan, depending on regional dialect. // After Christianization, the name persisted in folklore and formed various derivations, such as Old High German Wuotunc, Wodunc, medieval Wüetung. In modern (19th century) folklore, invocations of the god could still be found (Grimm, w:Deutsche Mythologie), especially in Westphalia as Wuodan and in Mecklenburg as Wode (also spelled Waur after its approximate pronunciation). However, they descend not from Old High German but from Old Saxon Wodan and Middle Low German variant Wode. // In literary modern German, the spellings Wodan and Wotan competed during the early 19th century, but Wotan became prevalent in the wake of Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, published in 1853. (wiktionary)
• • •


WOTAN? Pfffft, man, was that a harbinger. What a dreadful, ridiculous word to put in a Monday puzzle. Just bonkers. But I guess it did prepare me for the Avalanche of crosswordese that followed. This is a solidly Maleskan puzzle. It seriously felt like the early '90s (when I first started solving), when opera trivia roamed freely across the grid and SSTS flew the skies and ... well, IKE wasn't still president, but he may as well have been, as far as the crossword was concerned. If you are putting Cheri OTERI and N*SYNC in your puzzles in order to be hip, with-it, and up-to-date, you are doing something very wrong. And for what? Four functions of a SWISS / ARMY / KNIFE? That is a straightforward, dull-as-dishwater theme. The only thing I admire about it is the grid construction, specifically the breaking of the revealer into three, in order to accommodate the four other themers. Of course, this is also the thing that, from a solver's perspective, I enjoyed the least about the theme. Cross-referenced / themed 1As are Not fun. Also, having themers at the first and last Acrosses still really restricts your grid and puts pressure on the fill, and boy does it show. See WOTAN, above.


Other trouble spots: SHIPLOAD (!?). What a bizarre answer / clue (5D: All a tanker can hold). I assume a SHIPLOAD is *whatever* the so-called "tanker" is holding. The "All" part had me all "???" And that was hot on the heels of The WOTAN Clan (which is what I'm calling that answer now, to amuse myself). Rough. PARTD was also very hard for me to parse (41A: Medicare drug benefit). But my worst wipeout came at 63D: Where all roads lead, it's said. Maybe it says something about my state of mind by that point, but I quickly (and sincerely) wrote in HELL. Let me tell you, it really *felt* right at the time. So right. But then another member of the crosswordese posse (EMERIL!) showed up and I changed HELL ... to HOME. Good look getting 62A: Fad when you're staring down CHA_E. Ugh. But of course all roads lead to ROME, in an old (very old, like everything about this puzzle) saying. Next!!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

138 comments:

Anonymous 12:16 AM  

I hope they impeach Trump. He is beat. Mike Pence rocks .

Anonymous 12:31 AM  

I haven't been here in a while. Reading another whiny review reminds me why I stayed away. Demands for perfection will always lead to disappointment, Michael. It's just a silly pastime we enjoy. Mellow out.

Cheers, Brennan

Anonymous 12:48 AM  

I didn't hate it. Sometimes you want an old fashioned Monday.

Larry Gilstrap 1:18 AM  

Lots of theme stuff in this dense Monday effort. I've had my SWISS ARMY KNIFE for years and have lost both the TWEEZERS and that cool little nylon toothpick. Have you ever tried to open a bottle of wine with that CORKSCREW? The mechanical advantage is pathetic. I almost lost the whole package years ago in a TSA screening, but saved it last minute. Phew!

The woman who cuts my hair happens to be KOREAN, is a bit ditsy, and loves to talk to me. And, boy, does she talk a blue streak. She knows I tutor English language learners and am not judgmental. Nice feeling for both of us. She lives in a beautiful home, her kids go to top universities, but she continually tells me about how hard life is. Every conversation involves a digestive issue that is quickly and completely resolved by kimchi. Having a sour stomach or alimentary ennui? Listen to Mira.

Little Timmy 1:27 AM  


OPIATE is my favorite answer because it reminds me of drugs. I like drugs.

Bob 1:40 AM  

Heroin is not an opiate. It is an opioid Only naturally occurring substances are referred to as opiates such as morphine and codeine. Heroin is a semisynthetic opioid

jae 1:48 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 1:50 AM  

Easy-medium for me but it seemed tougher while I was solving it. Cross referencing does that. Liked it more than @Rex did.

chefwen 2:27 AM  

Puzzle Partner works on his own print out M - W, he is kind of a newbie and prides himself of beating me, time wise, which he did today. I'm going to chalk it up to ME freshening our wine glasses, he is insisting on superior solving abilities. I think the boy is CRAZEy.

Anyway, liked the puzzle. A wee bit more difficult for a Monday and that is welcomed.

Anonymous 4:10 AM  

Got SWISS ARMY KNIFE immediately after getting SCISSORS. Knew Medicare PARTD from commercials and knew WOTAN from... Somewhere. All roads lead to ROME and this one was easy, easy, easy. Probably set a new personal record on it. Only rough spot was filling in DDE for IKE at first, but ISBN quickly got me out of that. Also needed all the crosses to get NIKE.

Loren Muse Smith 4:29 AM  

Somehow I missed both WOTAN and PART D and had to go back to see them after I read Rex’s write-up. Just the fortuitous way I solved this morning. That I didn’t notice them shows that they were fairly crossed, at least for me, so no prob. I thought the theme was fine for a Monday, and since I don’t start with 1A and try to avoid reveals/themer hints, the cross-referencing wasn’t an issue.

All roads lead to ROME – huge gimme for me. I suddenly feel old. And I guess most of us lowbrow guys say “shitload.” Never thought about it.

Man oh man oh man am I a sucker for gimmicks. Those Swiss army knives fascinate me. Like @Larry – I always manage to lose the little white toothpick, the tweezers, and the pen. And then I feel really bereft even though I never used them. Here are some startling things you can get on a biggish Swiss army knife:

12/20-gauge choke tube tool
Pharmaceutical spatula
Snap shackle
Shortix laboratory key
Removable tool holder with expandable receptacle


Mystifying. Especially that pharmaceutical spatula. Where do you even start with something like that?

Best part of the puzzle was having TSA in it; bet that's where most people's Swiss army knives end up...

...so speaking of @Larry again – if your stylist eats a ton of kimchi – spicy kimchi, which I assume would be even more medicinal, ahem – then you’re a great sport. Non-judgmental you sitting there, captive, as she comes in close to check if your sideburns are the same length. The cloud of fermented, garlicky, pickled goodness wafting its blue streak toward your face.

The badass Outward Bound instructors all had Gerber tools so I hid my nifty Swiss army knife for the week and bought me a cool Gerber tool as soon as I got home.

I’m with @jae and @chefwen– liked it.

andrea carla michaels 5:08 AM  

Came here for an explanation of PARTD which I've never heard of and checked my crosses four times!

When I lived in LA, around Beverly and Western, the whole bock smelled of Kimchi. Not my fave. I rescued a dog and named her "Aggie", KOREAN for "baby"... So my neighbors would be less frightened of her.
Love of my life. Gone 25 years and I still mourn for her.

I indeed have had TSA confiscate a SWISS ARMY KNIFE I forgot was in my carry-on.
Furious.
Still think they should let you take something of equal value when you land, eg shampoo, tweezers, unopened water bottle upon landing as a parting gift.

In all seriousness, been trying to figure out a way to get all the toiletries donated to shelters at the end of each day.

Liked the lay out of SWISS ARMY KNIFE.

@Rex
Funny that all roads for you lead to HELL!
Maybe all the roads to ROME are paved with good intentions!?

Charles Flaster 5:17 AM  

Liked it a whole bunch but should have been a Tuesday offering.
OTERI again? She and my daughter are both graduates of the same high school, different years.
Had PART b originally.
Similar to @LMS , it is quite easy to "mispronounce" SHIPLOAD.
Thanks GK

Anonymous 5:25 AM  

Pence does indeed rock and would make a great President. Maybe in 2021.

smalltowndoc 5:44 AM  

Easy to me. My best Monday time ever. Theme not exciting but very clean.

PART D should be a gimme, even if you're not Medicare age (and, no offense, I thought everyone on this blog was) because of it's notorious coverage gap ("donut hole") that's been a source of criticism ever since it was enacted during the Bush administration.

Is it my imagination or is Cheri OTERI the "it" girl for the NYT crossword? She seems to appear on an almost daily basis.

Anonymous 6:03 AM  

Hey dems - please keep up the insanity. It's very satisfying to see your party implode.

BarbieBarbie 6:14 AM  

Easy-Medium for a Monday. Filled in the revealer and most of the rest of the puzzle with no crosses. Needed crosses for IKE because it could have been DDE, as above. OK, you might be tired of OTERI, but it was clever to place it symmetrically with ATARI. PART D and N SYNC were also symmetric. Made me think DDE might have been the original choice, positioned against SST.
I agree with the Maleskan comment about the fill. Needed only ALEE to complete the resemblance. But a good half of solvers these days probably don't remember the Maleska years, so what's the harm?

Lewis 6:25 AM  

Anyone who wants to experience a masterpiece of concept and construction needs to somehow get hold of last week's Fireball puzzle by Patrick Berry. It is jaw-droppingly amazing what he put together.

This fell quickly, and I like the crosses CASINO/OWES and ESSES/SCISSORS. The theme works for a Monday, where inexperienced solvers are learning the concept of "theme". This is Gary's first puzzle in eight years -- welcome back!

The Swiss Army WorkChamp XL has 31 "functions" (blades and more), including a seat belt cutter, and hoof cleaner, no lie. So I started thinking, what function would I like to see on a Swiss Army Knife that I haven't seen yet? The first two things that popped into my mind were Thesaurus and Automobile Jack.

Mr. B 6:28 AM  

I liked that SHIPLOAD was symmetrically placed with NOAHSARK.
Nice breezy Monday with maybe WOTAN and ARCTAN crashing the party early.
I remembered WOTAN ok...but needed all the crosses for what I assume is ARC TAN.
So much for my high school trig class...

Thanks Mr. Kennedy

Aketi 6:37 AM  

Every now and again it is comforting to do an instafill puzzle wth a cute theme. I got the SWISS ARMY KNFE at SWISS. Peace Corps had a long list of items you were supposed to buy and bring with you. Most were useless. The hiking boots mildewed because it rained three times a week during the dry season. No one wants to curl up in a sleeping bag when the temp is a steady 90 degrees with humidity ranging from 60 to 99 percent.

Long before the TSA existed, I had to battle it out with French airline security when we transferred planes in Paris on the way to our in country training. They freaked out over that precious SWISS ARMY KNIFE and detained me. We went round and round over the knife with them ignoring my then feeble attempts at speaking French. Their English was so clipped and said in such a derisive tone I couldn't understand them. Fnally, they agreed I could give the KNIFE to the flight attendant and she'd give it back when I got off the plane, That SWISS ARMY KNIFE made up for having zero kitchen utensils. I took me a year after returning home t remember can openers, I was still opening them with the knife,

Aketi 6:42 AM  

Haha, @lms, I see you found a photo of the ultimate SWISS ARMY KNIFE. Far more impressive than the one I found.

Glimmerglass 6:59 AM  

Good Monday. A bit old fashioned, but so am I. WOTAN is fair (viz. Wagner). I made one error, but it was intentional.. CANOtENER. That's what I think of oil tankers.

kitshef 7:15 AM  

ATARI OTERI would be a great name. Ditto IRENE IRANI.

Some serious junk – SST, SPCA, AAA, TRA, SRO, IRAS.

But some unusual and interesting stuff, too: ARCTAN, KNELLS, EXORCISM.

Alas, too much of the former and not enough of the latter, plus overly straightforward cluing, made for a pretty flat pancake.

Anonymous 7:16 AM  

This whole puzzle was gimmes for me. I was surprised the Rex didn't complain that it was too easy.

WOTAN is one of the the biggest gimmes in all all opera -- right up there with Brunhilde and Figaro.

In any case, isn't it okay for a puzzle to have a range of difficulty on any given week? must they all be Rex-Mediums?

Passing Shot 7:42 AM  

Puzzle was fine and somewhat of a palate cleanser after yesterday's mess, which I just couldn't bring myself to finish. Liked WOTAN/ARCTAN and FESSED. The rest, meh.

Anonymous 7:43 AM  

You don't have to be a psychiatrist to see Michael Sharp was the target of abuse while growing up. The only question is the type and severity of the abuse. He is to be pitied.

chefbea 7:51 AM  

Never heard of arctan or wotan but still a fun puzzle. I of course met Emeril and have an autographed copy of one of his cook boos.!!! Time to make some cole slaw.

Oh...and puzzle husband always carries a swiss army knife!!

Anonymous 7:58 AM  

"Unnamed sources" claim the Russians colluded in the construction of this puzzle.

QuasiMojo 8:02 AM  

Seriously, Rex, what is so god-awful about "old" -- you have such contempt for things that are part of our culture if they seem old to you. Tired, yes, I can agree that is not so good in a puzzle. Dull, too. But just because they seem old to you (and perhaps not old to someone else) does not make them worthy of such unbridled disdain. WOTAN is just as relevant today as when Wagner wrote his operas. They are still being played all over the world, even in Israel now, and people still listen to them regularly. Often. Perhaps you don't. Too bad, you're missing out on some great music and drama. But Wotan is hardly limited to Wagner. He's in comic books!

@LMS, your write-up today was a pleasant antidote to all that.

And to the guy who said Medicare has a gap -- does that mean they won't pay for those donuts we old people use on toilet seats?

All in all, a good Monday puzzle.

@Lewis, what is Fireball and where can we see Patrick Berry's latest?

Wm. C. 8:10 AM  


Grid was 16-wide today. Necessary to accommodate a centered 4-letter theme answer.

FWIW. (Not much, I guess...)

Moly Shu 8:15 AM  

I have no way of proving this, but iit seems to me that these puzzles are fighting a losing battle when it comes to @Rex. He has his mind made up that these are terrible puzzles before solving them and then sets out to prove himself right. His objectivity is highly suspect IMHO.
Or, maybe they are truly terrible puzzles. All I know for sure is that I enjoy solving 99% of them. I sped through this one and liked it, only to find out it's "dull as dishwater" and "very old".
WOTAN was a woe, but everything else was a snap.
Maybe I'll try skipping the write ups and go straight to @Roo,@LMS, @Lewis, and the rest of y'all. You guys and gals seem to be a tad more open-minded.
Does anyone remember @FountainsOfGoldenFluids and his "does anyone remember..." ?

Professor Poopypants 8:20 AM  

If Cheri OTERI used an EPEE to puncture her ACNE in a SST would the world explode?

jessica cohn 8:43 AM  

I always seem to find the puzzles others say are challenging -easy and vice versa . I'm glad to be able to complete a puzzle - I liked it !

Yaffa Fuchs 8:46 AM  

why are you guys solving puzzles st 1:30 in the morning?

hankster65 8:50 AM  

Liked it better than Rex did. (Which, by the way, is probably the sentence most often appearing in this comments section.)

Mary Irvin 8:50 AM  

Or puncture it with a needle from an ETUI

hankster65 8:55 AM  

LOL!

evil doug 8:57 AM  

Yeah, I told the security guys that if I wanted to kill everybody on my airplane, I wouldn't have to do it with my mini Swiss Army Knife...but he nabbed it all the same. "Sorry, Captain...."

In the early 70s--before the govt knew how to deal with the skyjacking problem--I had a college summer job as a gate agent with United at ORD. So we'd check in our passengers and, before boarding, go through all their carry-ons. I think we were really just looking for guns--I doubt we'd worry about little knives since there were bigger blades on the silverware. We did find a surprising number of vibrators among the unsuspecting women who weren't advised of our inspections....

SHIPLOAD is waaaay too hard to say--bilabial stops, oral contortions, Loren could explain the linguistic issues--so shitload became a popular catchall....

Brian 9:02 AM  

Nope

RnrGhost 9:02 AM  

@Moly Shu, I remember @Fountains with great fondness.

Somehow those were simpler, easier times.

What's needed in Rexville is a fresh prophetic voice for the second quarter of Trump's first year in office. Will anyone heed the call? Is there no balm in Gilead?

Sallie (FullTime-Life) 9:09 AM  

I enjoyed thinking about the campers who remembered the bottle of fine wine but forgot to pack the corkscrew. Thank god somebody brought their survival tool....without the knife their roughing-it experience would have been hell.

Nancy 9:10 AM  

I always welcome some "crunch" on a Monday, so while I don't want to go completely overboard (would a SWISS ARMY KNIFE be useful if I did?), I quite liked this puzzle. The tricky clue for ESCROW (17A) seemed almost Friday-worthy. And I learned about the many uses of the SWISS ARMY KNIFE -- TWEEZERS being the most unexpected. Really?

@Aketi (6:42) -- No need to apologize for your photo of a SWISS ARMY KNIFE being "less impressive" and less "ultimate" than @Loren's. Both versions are more than impressive and ultimate to me, having done no camping and being *all thumbs* when it comes to gadgets of any kind. The SWISS ARMY KNIFE's many, many functions reminds me of my reaction to what I'm typing on right now -- my first computer bought in 12/08. What I said then was: "I've bought this amazing computer that can do 287,000 different things. Whereas, I can do three different things -- none of them very well."

Re: the camping uses of a SWISS ARMY KNIFE -- this gives me yet again another chance to suggest you watch the absolutely priceless "Jews Don't Camp Song" video on YouTube. (The version with the picture of berries). I push this video so often, you'd think I wrote it myself -- but I didn't. I only wish I did.

Tita A 9:16 AM  

A major Rexrant, 40 comments, and no gripes over that ass of a missing tilde on ANO?
And talk about yer missed opportunities for yet another x-ref...
Could have avoided it altogether with the clue "12 months in 72A".

I liked this puzzle. Who isn't fascinated with SWISS ARMY KNIFEs and all the gadgets they cleverly store. Leathermen too...or are they Leathermans?
For me, choosing one induces great angst...you think you've found the most perfect combination of awesome precision mature instruments, then you swipe down and see one that has a vegetable peeler...oh! That's the one I want!! But oh no...the vegetable peeler one doesn't have the curling iron or meat grinder.

I liked it even more once @lms noticed apt TSA.

Thanks, Mr. Kennedy.

Mohair Sam 9:16 AM  

Delightful Monday. Clever idea, the world's most famous knife and a few of its many functions. You ever try to use those SCISSORS, btw? Or the TWEEZERS? And @Larry nailed it, I wonder if that CORKSCREW ever uncorked anything.

When I cook I wear an EMERIL apron (gift from my sister) but do not yell Bam! Nothing slows a haymaking operation like snapping TWINE on the baler.
I like a little chutzpah, but I don't like gall - to me there's a difference.

Yeah, the SWISS ARMY KNIFE may be great if nothing else is around - but I think it coined the term "Jack of all trades . . . . . . ." Mine sits in a drawer next to the stop watch I bought 40 years ago to time the horses training at Belmont Park in a scheme to accumulate enough cash so I wouldn't have to spend my retirement doing crossword puzzles.

Aketi 9:19 AM  

@evildoug, we cisgendered women in international development had a whole strategy to stop the pre-TSA customs agents in Africa from searching through our luggage and asking for bribes, Nothing worked better than deliberately placing a good quantity of feminine products top of your clothes. Invariably the customs agent would ask what they were and once we would explain, they'd quickly shut the bag and wave us on, Those were simpler times. I never messed around in Asia where they were throwing out toothpaste and deordeant long before 9/11.

Kdunk 9:21 AM  

I just appreciated the laugh I got while I was ignoring all the theme material and I was left with SHI_LOAD.

Anonymous 9:26 AM  

@evil doug,
How sexist are you?! just because they looked like women, had women's clothes, no adam's apple etc., doesn't mean they were woman! How dare you assign a gender to them.
I understand the current protocol with the TSA is to describe it as A vibrator, never YOUR vibrator.

CDilly52 9:27 AM  

We have been trying in OKC as well, to no avail. Keep trying!

semioticus (shelbyl) 9:28 AM  

This was easy-medium for me. And I thought it was a perfectly OK Monday puzzle. ARCTAN was a great answer. Yes, some crosswordese was there but also was ARCTAN.

Hungry Mother 9:37 AM  

I love my Swiss Army Knife. I use the tiny Philips head screwdriver the most, followed by the SCISSORS. I've used the TWEEZERS to pull out splinters. As I often do with toughish Mondays and Tuesdays, I solved mostly downs. Fast time for me.

CDilly52 9:43 AM  

HAHA! I, too have passed this on so many times folks probably think I get royalties!

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

@Anon 12:16
Typical Republican. Take no responsibility for lauding Trump this whole time, now wanted him out because he's f$!@#ing up. Yea, and wonder why people don't like you.

Anonymous 9:58 AM  

I become discouraged whenever there are 3 or more bible references in a puzzle. It makes me feel like the constructor is getting preachy with me. Very off-putting.

jberg 9:58 AM  

I enjoyed this one -- mostly, it made me think I should get a SWISS ARMY KNIFE again. And the theme density was impressive, really -- the crosswordese doesn't bother me much on a Monday, it's supposed to be easy. Tomorrow they'll kick it up a notch, I'm sure.

If you think WOTAN is obscure -- I admit, it's more commonly Odin, but still -- I don't know what to say.

Anonymous 9:59 AM  

@Evil Doug - As an expert, self taught but still an expert, on self-gratification, your comment struck me as extremely sexist. Yes, you may well have been shocked by the number of vibrators you found. Were you as equally shocked by the number of men who had right hands?

If there were a battery operated mechanism the male equivalent of a vibrator which was so vastly superior to their right hands as is a vibrator, men would have made their distribution mandatory to one and all on demand, free of charge.

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

Alan Dershowitz: "Trump is saying and doing all the right things in Israel." Don't look for this story on CNN.

Z 10:05 AM  

Liked the theme. Perfectly fine for a Monday, though hardly sharp and cutting. But the ESE‽ Oh my.

Lots of interesting comments. @Bob - I think you may be technically correct, since heroin is synthesized from morphine, but the first sentence of the Wikipedia article is "Heroin... is an opiate...." Since crosswords don't require technical clues, but often rely on the vernacular, i think the clue is fine.

@LMS - Gerber tools have no grip, a major drawback IMO.

@Mr. B - Nice catch.

@Moly Shu - After three raves in a row last week? I think Rex sets some pretty high standards, but I don't think his "mind is made up."

@Tita - Shhh. Don't jinx us.

Yyaffa Fuchs - Left coasters get the Monday puzzle at 3:00 pm local and Rex's blog appears at 9:00 pm local. The time stamps are EDT.

@Quasimojo and anyone else wanting some challenging fun puzzles - Fireball Crosswords. And I blame not printing out Patrick Berry's masterpiece to solve for not getting the final answer.

CDilly52 10:11 AM  

Call me old, a relic, stale, dated or boring, but this was a solid, typical Monday in my opinion. Yes, it did have the aroma of (again my opinion) "quintessential" old-school, but the Swiss Army knife gave us something to tie it together, and there was good opportunity for humor. And it is Monday!

That said, WOTON is possibly the most famous figure in the ring cycle. If one knows opera at all she will have a passing familiarity with The Ring and ergo, WOTON. I was so fortunate to be at the University of Illinois at when the magnificent Krannert Center opened and the Chicago Symphony was in residence to record and the U spent oodles to produce Das Reingold. Wonderful years. Now, the area adjacent to Krannert has upscale dining and a restaurant, Timpone's that harkens back to the family that owned The Jolly Roger restaurant across from the Urbana Lincoln Hotel downtown where the signature dish was "Veal a la Timpone." I was engaged to my husband of 45 years there over that very dish. WOTON has brought back a great memory.

Other bullets for me are SHIPLOAD? Call it like a stevedore (as others have observed) "shitload!" Medicare Part D is part of my life donut and all! And Trig was where math and I sadly parted ways. Thankfully the crosses brought me the ARCTAN. Fun and easy formthis old relic.

Uncle Milford 10:14 AM  

This was a fantastic Monday for people who are learning crosswords. For many of us on this thread, who solve them daily, its a Monday. Let's digest that again .... IT'S A MONDAY NYT CROSSWORD PUZZLE. For my boys, learning crosswordese (lets just call that a word), this introduces them to obvious theme, some commonplace answers and getting that aha moment once you get swiss army knife. Its a Monday, not a Saturday. I liked it. Some obvious spread of clues which appear in crosswords regularly, some random clues and a ton of old stuff (let's be honest, none of us are expecting modern day lingo to appear anymore ... they used nsync and purple rain ... bad bad bad, but I will let it go. kids should at least be acquainted with that by now if they are solving NYT crosswords).

I love your posts, I love you anger, but this is an effin Monday. I hated that only 1 Z appeared. X, Z usually signifies I got a couple for you (I am scanning the answers now to make sure I didn't screw up on that statement). Like the SAT's, there are certain blatant rules, and dropping a Z in a puzzle usually means you got another one. Other than that, it was solid/hard/nyt worthy monday for people who dare to start learning how to do this stuff.

Rex (or whatever the f!@# your name is, I forget), remember that a lot of us turn would-be crossword enthusiasts, at very young ages, onto your site. Shred the Thursday - Saturday, but who gives an f*&^ about a monday.

Still love your posts, try not to spontaneously combust because I am fairly confident you are the only human being on the planet that has a shot.

Z 10:16 AM  

Huh? We did find a surprising number of vibrators among the unsuspecting women who weren't advised of our inspections.... So @Evil Doug observes that he was surprised by the number of vibrators and implies that the owners might have packed differently if they had known college age men were going to go through their carry-on and this makes him sexist? I beg to differ.

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

Anon 9:59,

You don't need nothing fancy or battery operated for a change of pace.
Just sit on your right hand until it becomes numb. Then proceed. It's called the stranger. Enjoy.

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

Beyond simple, even for a Monday.

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

Dow, Nasdaq and S&P all nearing all-time highs. Thank you President Trump for unshackling us from the stifling Obama era regulations. Feels nice to breath again.

Roo Monster 10:36 AM  

Hey All !
Here's an observation by me, why not have the center row be SWISS_ARMY_KNIFE all the way across rather than first and last Acrosses? Would justify the 16 wide grid just ATAD more.

Anyway, did like puz. Messed up, though, my veranda was a PeRCH, giving me WeTAN for the Rings dude. Never saw those movies, so not sure if I'd like them. Somebody said it's a lot of walking.

Writeovers at hOME and phAZE, once realized a pLEF wasn't a thing. Pretty diverse fill, CJRIST, NOAHSARK, and an EXORCISM. Along with a Spanish ass year! :-P

OKAYS BRO
RooMonster (ROO T?)
DarrinV

Mr. Benson 10:51 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
DJG 10:51 AM  

@Rex: I believe SHIPLOAD is not whatever the tanker is holding, but the *amount* of whatever the tanker can hold. It's a unit of cargo, not the cargo itself, so the clue made prefect sense to me.

@Bob: "Only naturally occurring substances are referred to as opiates..." The dictionary (m-w.com) says otherwise. In fact, one of the definitions for OPIATE is "OPIOID". Also, colloquially we call heroin an OPIATE. So if it's in the dictionary, and also in common usage, I'm gonna say it's okay.

Mr. Benson 10:52 AM  

Thumbs up for the use of Helvetica in a clue for a Swiss Army Knife puzzle.

On Mondays I try to eyeball words and fill them in without looking at the clues if it's obvious what the word will be, but today that tripped me up. I was looking at PAR_D at 41A and, of course, the only letter that makes a word is E, so I entered that (making a typically crosswordy Monday word). Turns out it was T. That wound up costing me some seconds, especially since the cross for that letter was an open-ended themer.

Richard 10:57 AM  

I thought OTERI was not about being with it, but about her convenient VCVCV name. I started working the puzzle regularly about seven weeks ago and I think I've seen her name five times.

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

@Anon 6:03
It's very satisfying to see Trump implode!

old timer 11:27 AM  

Only 8 minutes. But it sure felt longer. I agree, for a Monday, this was tough. I did not get SWISS at first. Suspected ARMY but did not write it INPEN. Only when I got KNIFE at the end did I remember the ARMY and immediately write SWISS at 1A.

After that the remainder of the puzz filled in at warp speed.


(Nice story, @Aketi).

Joseph Michael 11:30 AM  

She should have done it in an APSE.

GILL I. 11:36 AM  

I thought this was cute. What I liked is how Gary made his theme answers all symmetrical and pretty.
I have a very good friend who is KOREAN. She is also one of the funniest people I know. Her English is perfect but she loves to make (good) fun of her mom's accent. When we go out to eat, we'll trade accents. I knew I had scored when a waiter told me I sounded just like Margaret Cho.
SWISS ARMY KNIFE given to me by my dad. I loved that thing. I used every single item. @Mohair...those little SCISSORS can cut sewing thread to perfection. I used to use my teeth but the thread was too ragged to push through a needle. Just what you wanted to know, right?
@Sallie. You can open a wine bottle without a CORKSCREW. Use a house key; shove it in the cork at an angle and keep twisting using the top part of the key. It will twist out.
EMERIL's Jambalaya recipe is the best.

Joseph Michael 11:47 AM  

Hand up for ONCE getting into trouble with the TSA due to a SWISS ARMY KNIFE in my suitcase.

Also had a little trouble in the NW of this puzzle due to writing in "patio" off the initial P. That led to some strange looking entries up there until I finally realized my mistake.

Michael may think that all things OLD are bad, but he obviously didn't see Cher last night on the Billboard Awards. I'll have whatever she's having.

As for the puzzle, it was a decent Monday with a couples of TANs (WOTAN and ARCTAN) thrown in for a little extra color.

Anonymous 11:48 AM  

I am a robot. Beep boop beep. Trump is Hitler. Beep boop beep.

Joe Bleaux 11:49 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Bleaux 11:57 AM  

@Loren, "pharmaceutical spatula" ... coke spoon?

Anonymous 12:12 PM  

No need to look for it. Dershowitz is on CNN virtually every day as a commentator. Try another angle of attack.

Anonymous 12:20 PM  

@Anon 10:05
Yea, after chastising them and calling them criminals before. He has to play nice now that he's prez. Hypocrite.

Masked and Anonymous 12:23 PM  

@RP: In a way, I sympathize with one of yer plaints. I've noticed that a shUtload of 3-letter weejecta keep showin up, over and over again. ERA should be banned, forever. And don't even get me started on EON and ION. Stuff in this puz like ANT, ANO, AGE, BRO, IKE, LOP, OLD, RAP, RIO, SAP, SOX, SRO, SST, STE, TRA -- perfectly good entries, but all have been turnin up in crosswords since electricity was young. Us gen-U-er solvers want fresh weeject meat. snort

Desperate times like this dictate that we make up some new weeject words, to freshen up our grids.
Suggestions:
* NER. Is rarely used. Alltime M&A fave, of extant weejecta. Highly recommended.
* SHI. Elision used at sea when U can't tell the diff between ship and shinola.
* BLO. Has been used before, but not nearly enough for y'all to know what it is.
* SAK. Same comment as for BLO. Plus, can double as a SwissArmyKnife monogram.
* KIL. Has Michael Sharp NYTPuz usage immunity.
* TWT. Becuz there ain't no "I" in TRUMP nickname-coinin.
* MOU. Chant from frustrated U-lovers. [See every-Across, in this MonPuz]
* UUU. Now, here's an example where the double-?? clue could really help open things up to a virtual shinolaload of new weeject possibilities. Primo-sabe clue: {Three turns on a random car trip??}.
But, I digress …

I thought this MonPuz was just plain fine. Perfectly reasonable MonPuz-level theme. I hadta wince a little at CATOPENER, but, still -- good set of themers. Best moo-cow etc. etc. clue: {They're red in Boston and white in Chicago} = SOX. staff weeject pick: AAA. Are any AAA teams out there called the "somethin"-SOX? Oughta surely be a Fox-Sox team, up there in Wisconsin someplace. Primo weeject stacks in the central N and S, btw.

@Z: M&A got the Fireball Contest answer *completely wrong*! It was mucho trickier than I was thinkin. Downright deviatous. Sooo … OK this time but don't make me & Z come down there, PB1.

Proposed extra S-A-K doohickey: a SPLATZULA. Then the MonPuz coulda had one U.

Thanx, Mr. Kennedy. Decent job. Come on back sooner than every 8 years, sometime. Bring a little mo U. And maybe then lo wo tan, to compensate.

Masked & Anonymo s


**gruntz**

Joe Bleaux 12:24 PM  

Yeah, it was a little easy-peasy, but it's Monday. After that trite puffball of a Sunday puz yesterday, no complaints about today's (ARCTAN notwithstanding). Since the Swiss Army Knife is the commentariat''s shiny object o' the day, check out those "all-purpose tools" in their neat little holsters. Just as irresistible.

Andrew Heinegg 12:26 PM  

I thought like Nancy and Tita that this was a perfectly acceptable Monday puzzle. Since I am not a constructor, I suppose I wouldn't know but, it seems to me that it might be pretty tough to construct a puzzle easy enough to be a Monday without a few crossword cliches and I didn't see so many of these so as to be upset.

I suppose​ when the first post on the blog is a political troll with no relevance​ to the puzzle that day, we are going to be in for a boatload of them from both sides of the fence. Sigh. I do wish OFL would remove comments totally unrelated to the puzzle of the day.

Anonymous 12:27 PM  

@Anon 10:33
There you go factless again. Markets will always go up. Remember that dip a few days ago? Where were you then? Try expanding your mind, you'll find many different things out there.

BarbieBarbie 12:28 PM  

As I've pointed out before: some people read this blog's comments in an app that has the "comment-- reply-- reply format; others see them in time-sequence. For those of us who have the time-sequence kind, could you please provide some context when you post a Reply? Something like "@name hh:mm?" It gets very confusing (though sometimes unintentionally revealing).

Roo Monster 12:39 PM  

@M&A
A SPLATZULA! ROFL! That made my day!

Also came back to laugh at myself about the WOTAN answer. Har. Thinking it was the "Lord of the Rings " movies, not an opera. Good stuff. Not up on anything operatic, or Ringy. :-)

RooMonster

Shauna SladeBooth 1:07 PM  
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Hartley70 1:08 PM  

Here you go @Masked and Anonymous...the Paw-Sox, the Red Sox triple A team in RI.

Mohair Sam 1:12 PM  

@Gill I - So you use the scissors, OKAY, I stand corrected. You must have tiny, and very steady, fingers. But I noted that you've turned to desperate measures to avoid using that CORKSCREW.

@BarbieBarbie - I like those random reply posts. Whenever someone says "Greatest post ever, you're a genius!" I assume they're talking to me. Otherwise I figure they're talking to @Nancy.

SSB 1:13 PM  

I went from hell to home to Rome as well.

Hartley70 1:15 PM  

WOTAN was a breeze and I'm no opera buff, ARCTAN was tougher since I declined to move ONTO trig. Everything else was typical Monday fare and well crossed.

The theme was prosaic but who doesn't love a SWISS ARMY KNIFE? I got nailed going into a courthouse by a security guard who wouldn't hold mine until I came out. My solution was to slip back outside and bury it under a shrub. I dug it up when I departed. Arf! Arf!

Aspen Casino eMeril 1:20 PM  

@anonymous 9:58am

I know what you mean about the too many bible clues feeling preach-y...

I feel that way about the baseball ones! Today there was a SHIPLOAD (Baseload?) of them (SOX, AAA, TARPS, ROOT) all but one easily clued to other things.
At least we were spared baseball for ESPN and ERAS!

EXORCISM in a Monday puzzle made my head spin... but in a good way!

And I do think SWISS ARMY KNIFE and it's functions spread out open all over the grid made for an excellent theme and construction idea!

Teedmn 1:20 PM  

Kimchi - I like the stuff but it has a very permeating odor. Our Korean-born salesperson brings it for lunch frequently and it always takes me by surprise - "what is that smell...oh right." Somehow my daily yogurt fails to announce its presence similarly.

I've never had a Swiss Army Knife - my Dad gave me a penknife when I was a kid - one single blade maybe 1 1/2 inches long. But my husband's SAK comes in handy all the time - the tweezers, scissors and the straight pin he stuck in with the toothpick are all indispensable.

I had the GALL to mistake PART D with Plan D, briefly leading to _LLL. Now that's not chutzpah!

I think RAN IN over KNIFE might incite someone to run with scissors, a definite AÑO CASINO CANOPENER.

Nancy 1:25 PM  

@Aketi, Loren, Tita, GILL -- to all you SWISS ARMY KNIFE-toting ladies out there: Doesn't pulling all those 30 or more tiny little gizmo thingies out of the knife break your fingernails? I can break my fingernails just by trying to pry off the cover of a microwave dish. Even though I keep my fingernails pretty short.

@Anon 9:59 -- Funny comment! You're a woman, right? I'd take every cent I have in the bank to wager that you are.

@BarbieBarbie (12:28) -- Amen. I think that CDilly52 at 9:43 was responding to my "Jews Don't Camp" plug, but I can't be entirely sure.

@Mohair (9:16) How sad for you. And yet, if your Belmont Park betting scheme had panned out, we probably wouldn't have the pleasure of your company on this blog.

@Moly Shu -- re your 2nd-to-last paragraph: Works really well for me. Why not try it?

Nathan Frank 1:29 PM  

Glad they put Wotan in today if only to learn about its etymology. Thanks for reminding me to Enter the Wu-Tang... It's been a minute.

Malsdemare 1:35 PM  

Easy-peasey with a dollop of nostalgia. I was introduced to knives at 9 (it happens when your fourth of five; who the hell knows what you're doing) and fell in love. Ever since, I've had a knife somewhere in my possession, except when TSA confiscates it. Why in the hell can't they sell you a shipping-paid box for twenty bucks so you can maill the contraband to your home? TSA would make money instead of Leatherman, and grey-haired grammas wouldn't be embarrassed to discover an impish grandson had hidden her Leatherman in a shoe in her carry-on. Even today, and I mean right now, I have a mini leatherman in my pocket and it gets used at least once a day, as scissors, screwdriver, package opener, splinter / tick remover.

Yup, all roads around here lead to hell. I sort of knew WOTAN, had OPIoid before IRAs set me straight. EXORCISM was excellent.

I'm beginning to think that agents should consider what makes a name crossword-friendly when they advise new clients about their possible name change. If I were @lms, I'd have suggestions, but sadly, I'm not that imaginative.

I'd love access to the PB crossword mentioned earlier.

Carola 2:06 PM  

I have such fond memories of my Swiss Army Knife (lost in an airport security line yearrrrrs ago because I forgot it was in my purse) that I had to like the puzzle. My husband mangaged to hang on to his longer, and for us it wasn't a camping aid but an all-purpose to-the-rescue implement (bottle opener, phillips head, regular screwdriver, file....). As @Hungry Mother noted, there's nothing better than those TWEEZERS for getting our a splinter. Anyway. Also really liked KNELLS, EXCORCISM, NOAHS ARK. I thought it was an extra-fine Monday puzzle.

WOTAN - Easy for this Ring junkie. PART D - Geez, I get the statements every month and still wrote in Plan B. Senior, and how.

Mr. Benson - Helvetica: awesome.

Mr. B. on the SHIP-ARK symmetry: nice!

Anonymous 2:10 PM  

Easiest Monday in recent memory--perfect puzzle for all-across solves.

Anoa Bob 2:21 PM  

There's a SHIPLOAD of black squares in this one, 42 to be exact. That makes for some mini-puzzles in the perimeter and a bunch of 3s and 4s in the middle.

The first time I stepped on a city bus when I was working and living in Seoul, South KOREA, I nearly fell backwards. My knees almost buckled. The aroma/stench was overwhelming. I quickly learned if I was going to survive, I had better start eating like a South Korean. So it was kimchi and other raw garlic loaded foods morning, noon and night. Problem solved.

I never did develop a fondness for kimchi, but to this day I still eat lots of garlic, and as a vegetable, not just for flavor. I do cook it though. The raw garlic is what will give you Seoul breath.

Yeah @Tita, that CORKSCREW next to the Tijuana ANO was a bit discomfiting.

The frequent appearance of ATARI & OTERI illustrates the grid-filling value of that repeating sequence of common vowels/consonants. It's not a matter of if, but of when, we will see them again.

I think of the SWISS ARMY KNIFE as a novelty item. I guess it's better than absolutely nothing at all. But not much.

Masked and Anonymous 3:01 PM  

p.s.
@Anoa dude: yep. SHOUTLOAD of squares (16x15) and words (83), too. U are of course onto a very basic grid fillin strategy: When in doubt, alternate vowUl-consonant-vowUl-consonant-etc. Amazin how well that works. Only downside: yer boxes of words often don't come out lookin real fresh. Then @RP boxes yer ears.

ODIN. WODEN. WOTAN. Same dude. Needed the aliases, back when he was young and hot-wirin Fjords. Must remember. Could save precious nanoseconds someday.

fave honest-its-been-used-in-NYTPuzs OTERI relatives:
ASAHI. ELENI. ENOKI. EMOJI. OKAPI. OBOLI. OCULI. UMAMI. UNAGI. IRAKI.
Any bets on Patrick Berry Usage Immunity for IRAKI? har

Fun alternative fact: It is impossible to create a word ladder that goes from PUTIN to TRUMP. Sooo … kinda reassurin, maybe.

M&Also

Eric 3:20 PM  

Maybe not in the operatic context, but Wotan is playing a pretty big roll currently on American Gods airing on Starz with a pretty big name cast. So not completely esoteric to present day.

Tita A 3:21 PM  

@Nancy...sailing, gardening, building and dismantling my Christmas village made with real dirt from outside...there is not a respite across the seasons that would afford me the opportunity to have manicured nails...

Manicurists have been known to run and hide when they see me coming.

That said, there is always a coin nearby to help pry those wondrous implements into the daylight when one's nails are either too thin or to pretty for the task.

Ed 4:20 PM  

Another GREAT critique! Thank you, Rex.

Lewis 4:48 PM  

@malsdemere and @quasi -- go to fireballcrosswords.com. The puzzles are challenging but not discouraging if you regularly solve NYT, and I must tell you that they are often PPP heavy. But I love them, as they have verve. You get 45 puzzles a year for $26, including periodic contest puzzles, as PB's was last week (the amazing puzzle I referred to earlier). I'm guessing that if you subscribe and ask Peter Gordon to include PB's puzzle (and answer), he just might. He responds to emails, I have found, very quickly...

bookmark 4:50 PM  

@Masked and Anonymous. Your comments are priceless. I always laugh out loud when I read them.

Loved your Wotan, Woden, Odin comment: "Same dude, needed the aliases, back when he was young and hot-wirin Fjords."

Hope you're leaving your brain to science.

Anonymous 4:57 PM  

I love the hate spewing lefties who espouse tolerance.

Andrea Ojeda 6:22 PM  

Can it be made that Anonymous comments are not allowed here? I mean, if people want to be spiteful, or nasty, or sarcastic, or plain stupid, let them be so through their face. Grow a pair, anonymous posters! Let's see if you can hold your stand, then.

Fountains of Golden Fluids 6:45 PM  

Does anyone remember balm in Gilead?

Anonymous 6:46 PM  

who died and made @Andrea Ojeda queen?

Anonymous 7:14 PM  

go to the tsa.gov site and look at a list of what's allowed in carry-on.

Screwdrivers less than 7" are allowed. I'd much have someone attack me with that little swiss army knife blade than a 6.75 inch phillips screwdriver.

Anonymous 7:32 PM  

@Anon 6:46, any Olympic soccer player is ok with me.

Malsdemare 7:58 PM  

@Andrea Ojeda. That's a fair question. I think folks have good/maybe silly reasons to want to be anonymous, especially if they're terrified of the big bad internet. Not all anonymous posts are evil and I'd like those foks to feel they can contribute. And we should be honest; even those who provide a name are really anonymous unless they have a profile. And even then we have no assurance that Nancy or Evil Doug or Malsdemare are who they say they are. The problem isn't the option of being anonymous; it's feeling that you can say hurtful or offensive stuff on a public blog.

Just skip the offensive stuff. And easy trick: if you click on the name, the post will disappear.

Aketi 8:03 PM  

@M&A I wasted precious megaminutes trying to find some over looked route from PUT INto TRUMP.

Brendan Hoover 8:08 PM  

I had never heard of Swiss Army Man until three days ago when I watched it with some friends. Then here it shows up in my daily read of Rec's review. Odd coincidence, but not nearly as odd as the movie itself.

Anonymous 8:29 PM  

Another terror attack in London. No doubt Christian Fundamentalists again.

Anonymous 8:31 PM  

that's sexist

Anonymous 8:59 PM  

Seriously "grow a pair." I am microaggressed. Horrors !!!

Anonymous 9:39 PM  

Religion of Peace.

Anonymous 9:53 PM  

Seriously all you Islam apologists have blood on your hands.

Anonymous 9:53 PM  

Another troll post on the blog; no doubt a fundamental moron.

Anonymous 9:56 PM  

Ariana Grande's audience is mostly young girls . God help us.

Anonymous 10:02 PM  

so who did it Einstein , Methodists ? There's no evidence but everybody knows. Allah Akbar dope.

Anonymous 10:03 PM  

I gotta imagine there's something better out there - in particular paise is a mite obscure - but:
Putin
cutin
cutie
curie
curse
purse
parse
paise
prise
prime
primp
crimp
cramp
tramp
Trump

Anonymous 10:12 PM  

Manchester, not London, but otherwise correct .Likely not Christians. Anyone want to wager ? I'll take Islam vs the field . I.e any other religion or atheists or agnostics. Cmon

Anonymous 10:38 PM  

Terrorists killed a few good friends and many other people I casually knew at Cantor Fitzgerald . I was lucky to get out a few years before terrorists took down the building . Whose side are you on ?

Anonymous 10:43 PM  

Allah Akbar indeed...wouldn't it be funny if it was a white Christian ? Sorry progs not very likely

Anonymous 11:00 PM  

Definitely Christians who bombed Manchester. There's no other conceivable scenario.

Anonymous 12:06 AM  

This is positively brilliant analysis. What is your clinical assessment of the mental and emotional stability of the current POTUS? Solid as a rock, no?

Anonymous 12:20 AM  

All of the named intelligence agencies of the U.S. Government certify that they have evidence that the Russians interfered in the U.S. elections. However, since that paragon of virtue, common sense, diplomacy and continuous truth-telling won the election, let's not worry about it.

Loren Muse Smith 4:04 AM  

@Andrea Ojeda – You have my vote for queen here! I’m not as understanding as @Malsdemare - if you want to participate but protect your identity, just make up a name like @M&A. You could argue that it’s really just a stupid little concession, but somehow having a name there makes all the difference for me.

Wordplay is the write-up/comment forum for the NYT, and Deb Amlen, the head honcho, is great. The commenters are just as smart and clever as they are here. And AND… you have to register to participate, so you don’t have all the drive-by cowards. The reason I gave up with that site might not be an issue for you. To follow threads there takes more digging and hence more time. If you log on and see that there are 3 new comments in a sea of, say, 75 comments, you have to look under each of those 75 posts to find the new posts. I found it incredibly frustrating. This is not under Deb’s aegis; they have to follow the format of all the NYT blogs.

Over there, we Rexites have the reputation of being nasty; many Wordplay commenters won’t even use his name. Over here, we tend to see Wordplay as a NYT puzzle love-fest. The truth is, obviously, it’s not so black and white. Just as Rexworld has people who are generally positive, ahem, Wordplay has plenty of people who pan a puzzle and complain. It’s a very lively place.

Anyway… when I tried it out over there, I sure enjoyed life without the anonymice. But ultimately the format just didn’t work for me, and I’m back here with all the anonymous cowards.

When I was in middle school, we had a period of a few months when someone would call several times a day and not say anything. Just sit there, quiet. So we put a pillow by the phone and would simply put the phone quietly on the pillow, and go about our business. No anger, no acknowledgement, no nothing. And the guy probably thought he was really getting to us, which was his goal. That’s what I do with comments by anyone anonymous. Just put that phone on the pillow.

Anonymous 8:28 AM  

To all the Anon Assholes,
The bombing was of course those dick sucking coward ISIS thugs. I'm starting to think maybe Trump does need to nuke the entire middle east.

Tita A 9:06 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Burma Shave 10:29 AM  

ERASED? ANO.

In the AGE of RAIN, ONTO NOAHSARK,
RANIN a CRAZEd ARMY of ANTs.
The S.P.C.A. told the OLD aardvark,
“On this SHIPLOAD you’d LOVETO, but can’t.”

--- ATARI OTERI

spacecraft 11:15 AM  

You had me at SPOCK. Is this guy new? I don't recall seeing the name before. If so, a very promising debut. Wonderful theme execution, with those functions sticking out both across and down; visually accurate. Yes, it's dense, and the resulting fill suffers a tad, but there is some smashing medium-to-longer fill too. Take the symmetrical SHIPLOAD of SPCA beneficiaries on NOAHSARK. Or the EXORCISM, no doubt invoking CHRIST.

I wish there weren't so many threes--with the resulting dreck--but the payoff is good enough. Hey, if @M&A can praise a puzzle with no U's, I can praise one with PARTD. Part DOD is narrowed down for us today: it's Ms. OTERI by default. LOVETO see another by Mr. Kennedy soon. Birdie.

P.S. On my birthday, the Google art is birthday candles! How did you know, Google?

P.P.S. It's my home page, I don't look up stuff--at least until after I've solved the whole grid.

leftcoastTAM 11:51 AM  

Good theme, good memories.

Patio before PORCH.

Needed all the crosses for ARCTAN. HS Trig class was long ago.

Nice start to the week. Thanks, GK and WS.

rain forest 2:44 PM  

I never had a SAK, Gerber, or a Leatherman, and if I did, no doubt it would have been seized at the airport. Two years ago, I had a corkscrew in my shaving kit, a wooden-handled beauty which had a 1-inch knife for removing the foil from a wine bottle, and it was confiscated. My wrath knew no bounds.

WOTAN was a gimme, as was ARCTAN, since the T was in place.

I liked the puzzle, the theme and its layout, and didn't mind the -ese.

rondo 2:47 PM  

NOAHSARK is like, so many millennia ago. Couldn’t we have more up-to-date answers like “micro-aggression”? Which ARMY is. It would make me feel so much more, . . . oh, TWEEZERS! . . . lost my train of thought with that phone ever-buzzing in my pants. CHRIST, what’ll it be like in OLD AGE?

All that’s missing is the SWISS cross symbol usually found on the KNIFE. And the toothpick. Nice puz with appropriate tool options.

Yeah baby Cheri OTERI wins it by mere persistence.

Nice way to start the puz week. Nothing written over or ERASED.

Diana,LIW 2:50 PM  

I often begin in the lower half, and always do when 1A is a cross ref. As soon as the TWEEZERS emerged, I filled in SWISS ARMY KNIFE and felt, like, smart.

A quick scan of the futureland comments reveals quite a lot of little anon posts. They often make me laugh - even the dopey ones. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Speaking of floating boats - @Rex didn't adore this puzzle! And Macy's is having a sale!

I found it pretty easy - crosses helped immensely with the WOEs. Don't believe I had a "writeover," AKA erasure. Since I "Do it in lead."

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

strayling 7:32 PM  

Breezy fun, just right for a Monday.

My SWISS ARMY KNIFE's ballpoint pen wasn't needed, but the rest of it was a good reference for this one.

Diana,LIW 8:08 PM  

At Trader Joe's today, part of the sample dish was kimchi. As I said yesterday, chance happens. THAT'S NOT CHEATING had I gone there prior to my solve. And it was my lucky chance, as I'd read about kimchi here and passed on the offer, not wanting to offend Mr. W when I get a hug. Of course, I also saw Nova (lox).

Lady Di, Waiting (not bad)-breathlessly

PS - @Rondo - great post - laughed out loud - oh TWEEZERS shall be my new curse

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