Made for moments sloganeer / WED 7-19-17 / Line from Student Prince appropriate to this puzzle / Early 2000s apple product / anti-doping target, informally / Descriptive of los Andes / Hold aside for year as college athlete

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Constructor: Michael S. Maurer and Pawel Fludzinski

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: DRINK DRINK DRINK (32A: Line from "The Student Prince" appropriate for this puzzle) — this puzzle contains various toasts from around the world

Theme answers:
  • SALUD!
  • L'CHAIM!
  • NEHRU!
  • PROST!
  • ROID!
Word of the Day: "The Student Prince" (See 32A) —
The Student Prince is an operetta in four acts with music by Sigmund Romberg and book and lyrics by Dorothy Donnelly. It is based on Wilhelm Meyer-Förster's play Old Heidelberg. The piece has elements of melodrama but lacks the swashbuckling style common to Romberg's other works. The plot is mostly faithful to its source. // It opened on December 2, 1924, at Jolson's 59th Street Theatre on Broadway. The show was the most successful of Romberg's works, running for 608 performances, the longest-running Broadway show of the 1920s. It was staged by J. C. Huffman. Even the classic Show Boat, the most enduring musical of the 1920s, did not play as long – it ran for 572 performances. "Drinking Song", with its rousing chorus of "Drink! Drink! Drink!" was especially popular with theatergoers in 1924, as the United States was in the midst of Prohibition. The operetta contains the challenging tenor aria "The Serenade" ("Overhead the moon is beaming"). (wikipedia)
• • •
This is terrible. Truly not good, on every level. So bad it makes me almost never want to drink again. We can start with the boring, basic, nothing theme. Let me get this straight—the theme is ... toasts. That's it. Just toasts. And there are just four of them (?). Four ... toasts from around the world. Oh, and then a "formal" and an "informal" ... toast (in English). These latter toasts are at least mildly colorful, but still ... toasts. And the revealer ... wow. Like most of this puzzle, it is out of the past (and not in the good, film noir way). I have no idea what "The Student Prince" is. None. Never seen the movie, wasn't alive during Prohibition to see the operetta. No idea. Didn't matter, as the answer was obvious, but how ridiculous to have a revealer that old and marginal, and on a Wednesday.

Speaking of old and marginal, let's move on to the other reason this puzzle is bad—the fill. I thought we'd finally gotten rid of much of this junk: KCAR? ROK? IDI? ARNE? *&$^ing ALER!? Gah, this is a mess. A mid-20th-century mess. A NEHRU jacket-era mess. Then there's the truly-bad-in-any-era EMAC (40A: Early 2000s Apple product) and SERIE (59A: Something to watch on la télé). Then there's merely bad ALTOS IMIT HOSP. Then there's the complete lack of anything interesting (besides maybe REDSHIRT) (35D: Hold aside for a year, as a college athlete). I mean, C'MON, man. Round these undead answers up and send them back to the tombs whence they came. In the end, the puzzle's only virtue was its short life span—I drove a stake through its heart in less-than-Tuesday time.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 5:48 AM  

One must keep in mind that Sharp is blinded by hate when reading this blog.

Anonymous 5:58 AM  

The East area may be a subtle tribute to the Canadian band "Barenaked Ladies" and their album Gordon which was released 25 years ago this month. That album included the song "If I Had A $1,000,000" with the classic line "I'd buy you a K-Car (a nice Reliant automobile.)"

Or it might just be a coincidence.

Lewis 6:09 AM  

Two drinking puzzles in five days -- a sign of the times?

A votre SANYOS!

When I think of a fairy tale's ending, I think "Happily ever after", so I'm confused with EVER as the penultimate word. Help please? Notable backward words today include: SPOT, DIOR, PANS, CAME, TENON, and RACK. As your resident alphadoppeltotter, I must report that this puzzle has an unusually low double letter count (3). While rare, this is not important; it's just something I inexplicably follow.

Smile producing cross of GODIVA and REDSHIRT.

BarbieBarbie 6:19 AM  

Penultimate is next-to-whatever. Next-to-most or in this case next-to-last.

PKelly 6:20 AM  

Penultimate means second to last.

Loren Muse Smith 6:26 AM  

Rex – I was sitting there, looking at the finished grid and realizing that you could say any word holding your glass up to everyone, and it’d sound like a toast. Skyey scry, everyone!

Mom and Dad, with their PBR (in can, a little salt added in) would always say “Mun-y’-eye” – Dad said it stood for “mud in your eye.” Well, that certainly cleared things up for a 5-yr old. Glad we straightened that out.

I have fully embraced C’MON and use it liberally when I write. I like fyi and imo, too. But when I see a text from someone who uses ur, I feel, well, I can’t find the word. My husband does it, my sister, good friends… It feels like a cheap tattoo. I have no earthly idea why I’m such a hypocrite on this, but at least I’ve never mentioned this to my husband or sister, so there’s that. The only people I’ve told this to are you guys.

@Joe Bleaux – yeah, we Berkmar alumni are stunned by the news. Even in high school, Steve pretty much was already Kermit in his manner and personality.

I had no idea it was KANPAI and not KAMPAI. So I had to erase that M, but that inportant in the overall solve. (Besides, KANPAI had to cross DOWN THE HATCH. Cool to have those two pairs of theme crosses.)

Little-known points (at least they were for me) on formal toasting:
1. If someone makes a toast specifically to you, you never, ever even touch your glass. Don’t toast yourself. Just sit there and look all aw shucks and stuff. You can reciprocate later.
2. Don’t stand up and tap your glass with silverware. If you stand up with your glass in hand, most people will quiet down. (And if need be, someone else will tap their glass – let that guy be the poor guy who breaks it and makes a mess.)
3. It’s fine to toast with water.
4. You really shouldn’t clink glasses in a formal setting, but if others don’t know this rule, don’t be a jerk. Just try to tap very lightly, though. Wine glasses will, and do, shatter. (See number 2.)
5. If you’re making a toast – Begin, Be brief, Be seated. (That I’m a hypocrite on this one, too, is not lost on me since I write such long comments here. At least you can scroll past my treatises. You can’t “scroll past” Bob in Marketing going on and on and on while your soup gets cold.)

Cheers, everyone. Gotta take a mid-term now. I think I’d rather stab my kneecap with a cocktail fork.

Glimmerglass 6:35 AM  

Perhaps you never saw the old movie (one of the first in Cinemascope), The Student Prince, but surely you've heard the drinking song that begins, obviously, DRINK DRINK DRINK. Sigmond Romberg, as your Wiki says. This puzzle was easy enough to be a Monday, but it was not a bad puzzle. I found myself lookng for Melba.

puzzlehoarder 6:37 AM  

Alibi must be the word of the month. Despite the debut of KANPAI and my lack of familiarity with REDSHIRT this was much more of a routine early week exercise than yesterday's puzzle. That's to be expected with all the theme material. The fill was mostly basic. ADONAI, ARNE and REMO went right in. For some reason ROK hasn't sunk in yet. Other than those few unknowns to work around this had a fill in the blanks feel. Cheers.

QuasiMojo 6:45 AM  

I absolutely love The Student Prince, so seeing its well-known song in this puzzle made me happy, if not thirsty. Mario Lanza sang the male lead but didn't film it, so they got handsome Edmund Purdom to dub it. He did a very good job considering.

Was surprised to see it took two people to construct this puzzle. I'll give it points for consistency but a lot of the fill did seem very dated. EMAC was new to me. And SERIE was really forced. The TORTES joke made me chuckle. All in all, not as bad as Rex made it out to be. Oh, BTW, I used to wear a NEHRU jacket, complete with peace medallion!

Jeff Anderson 6:50 AM  

I really don't remember the EMac computer. But I know Emacs is a text editor program. That answer stymied me for some time today.

r.alphbunker 6:56 AM  

Masked & Anonymous recently published his 1000th runtpuz over at (see for a list of the puzzles and links to them).

This calls for a contest. I am offering a copy of Fun by Paolo Bacilieri which was mentioned by Rex a couple of months ago. It is an entertaining graphic novel about the history of crossword puzzles.

To enter, all you have to do is mention M&A in your post today. I will randomly chose one such poster and announce the winner tomorrow. Anyone who has uploaded their solution to a runtpuz will be automatically entered.

M&A used to post his puzzles here and a select group would discuss them. That ended on Wednesday July 9, 2014 ( and was created to host them.

Now about today's puzzle. The last toast went in when I changed 44D {Japanese toast} BONSAI to KANPAI. Details are here.

Jay 7:12 AM  

Rex, may you live long enough to become old and marginal. Cheers.

Andrea 7:21 AM  

Thanks! This was helpful :^)

kitshef 7:35 AM  

Somehow in @Rex's rant he missed the worst thing - the cross of REMO and SIMI.

AFTER is the ultimate word
EVER is the penultimate word
HAPPILY is the antepenultimate word
LIVED is the preantepenultimate word
I've seen suggestions for the word before that, but none of my dictionaries goes that far.

In Ticino, we were told when toasting:
We could not use water
we had to clink with every person at the table
we had to make eye contact with each person as we clinked
we could not 'cross' when clinking
All of which combined to make drinking less fun

When I first began reading the blog, I skipped M&A's posts. The style too obscure, and life is short. But I have come to love them for their consistent positive outlook and humor.

Two Ponies 7:39 AM  

This puzzle might have been fun if I had heard of The Student Prince.
When the revealer is unknown there is no enjoyment.

I had a few stylish Nehru jackets too. Never when so far as the peace symbol pendants though.

chefbea 7:47 AM  

Nice drinking puzzle...and I love tiramisu!!! Did not know red shirt or roid. also did not know the japanese toast.

Lewis 7:50 AM  

Thank you @barbiebarbie, @pkelly, and @kitshef!

Birchbark 8:03 AM  

All the toasting accompanied by an appetizer (CLAMS) and desserts (TORTES/TIRAMISU, GODIVA) could make a person OVERWEIGHT.

Aketi 8:06 AM  

@M&A, I clink my glasses to you in honor of your 1000th Runtpuz.
Ukudigatunal! (Aleut)
Uzdravlje! (Croatian)
Uz veselību! (Latvian)

smalltowndoc 8:24 AM  

I agree with most of @rex's comments. ALER (along with its mate, NLer) should be forever banned from crosswords. Also, plurals of companies (SANYOS). And the clue for NEHRU? Really, "jacket" is what comes to this constructor's mind. We can do so much better with this famous historical figure than a jacket that was in vogue for, like, 6 months (yes, I owned one; wore it twice).

@Loren Muse Smith: Thanks for the toasting tips. I'm going to be father of the groom in 3 months!

Alvin 8:26 AM  

Remember Mario lanza singing the drink song. Please no more kcars, Arne.

pmdm 8:34 AM  

Sharp found 4 toasts, Chen found 6. I'm not counting. Who's correct?

The eMac was a computer aimed at the educational market that never caught on. Perhaps it was before it's time? Incidentally, Altos (with a capital A) is or was the name of a computer company. Back around 1976 OSHA began using Altos computers for data input. There's a piece of trivia you better not be interested in.

Mr, Sharp, just because something is outside your wheelhouse doesn't mean it's old and marginal. Yes, there was a lot of junk in the puzzle, as Jeff Chen also pointed out. But please complain about the bad, not the marginal. Joke.

I offer a toast to the coconstructors for getting their puzzle published in the NY Times. Even if some think it's not publish-worthy.

Little brown bear 8:36 AM  

Gag for goo (fake blood, e.g.) raid for roid, and an unintelligible tgps for A-1, which I thought might be text speak. Total fail in the SE corner!

Anonymous 8:41 AM  

I understand that in Bulgaria, toasts are offered (or glasses clinked) with every round, not only the first.

Propreantepenultimate seems to get the most web support. Usage is described as rare and, I would guess, perhaps mostly limited to scholarly talk about syllable accent in poetry.

Unknown 8:44 AM  

Serious question: are we to object to any "dated" clue? If KCAR is terrible, does that also go for MODELT or GTO or EDSEL? Is there a shelf life to clues? If it's "before my time," does that make it invalid? Many of the objections seem based on an ill-defined timeline that I can't figure out.

BarbieBarbie 8:47 AM  

Fell asleep too many times to make it a Tuesday time. But still beat my average Wednesday. Which I guess is a comment.

@smalltowndoc, congratulations! And an anecdote: when my son got married, the bride's family kicked off the toasts and then when they'd all had a turn they declared the toasts were over and cued the dance music. So we didn't have to know any etiquette other than pretending not to be shocked. Lovely people in real life, but temporarily they were FamilyOfBrideZillas! Great wedding though.

Anonymous 8:50 AM  

Momentarily considered 'pOID, as short somehow for opiOID, for 'ROID. Then tried REDSHIfT for REDSHIRT, but I think that relates to astronomy.

Surprised OFL never came across The Student Prince.

abalani500 8:50 AM  

I barely remember doing this crossword puzzle late last night as I was several drinks in. SALUD!

Sandy 9:06 AM  

WTF is roid ???????

Mohair Sam 9:07 AM  

What the hell @Rex? I've never seen "The Student Prince" either, but the operetta is well-known and the DRINK DRINK DRINK line much more so. Very clever theme and reveal. I won't argue on the fill. But "terrible"? Sheesh!

Played Wednesday tough for us. The only toast I know is the English "Cheers" and they left that one out - as Albert King sang "If it wasn't for bad luck . . . . . ." Lost a ton of time with tARgETED for MARKETED - I was trying to sell to the customer, not sell the product - A.B.C. baby. Hand up for "Banzai" before KANPAI at 44D, banzai kind of a 6 letter Japanese everything for the unknowing I guess. And "wanted" before REWARD right next to it - took a while to straighten that area out.

Fun puzz Maurer and Fludzinski. You were gonna run afoul of @Rex with the NEHRU jacket, he just hates the things. I had a friend who owned one, don't blame Rex a bit.

Anonymous 9:14 AM  

Here steROID. In other contexts, hemorRhOID.

Anonymous 9:16 AM  

Amazed Rex doesn't know The Student Prince.

Nancy 9:32 AM  

Well, we had a crunchy drinking puzzle the other day, and today we have a dullsville drinking puzzle. I found it a mindless bore from beginning to end, but there were two spots ripe for a DNF. I avoided the first, changing RidSHIRTS to REDSHIRTS and realizing that EMAC, as well as iMAC, must be a Thing. But I didn't avoid the 2nd. I had RaID as the antidoping target, which didn't seem quite right, but still... And that gave me GAO at 55D for "fake blood". I figured it was something like CGI, a new computer-age way of producing fake blood. What do I know about such things? But even with those two stumbling blocks, this puzzle did nothing for me at all. It didn't even offer to buy me a drink like Sunday's did.

But there is one good thing about this puzzle. DRINK DRINK DRINK from the Student Prince is the single greatest drinking song ever written! It is the single best song from any operetta that wasn't created by Gilbert and Sullivan ever written! It is beyond happy. It is beyond infectious. You must go to YouTube this very minute and listen to it! You absolutely must! You will have an earworm like...forever!

Anonymous 9:34 AM  

My dad loves 'The Student Prince' and I remember him convincing me to lip sync 'Drink Drink Drink for a class in junior high school in the 1980s. We put root beer in a Heineken bottle so I could drink during the performance, which raised a few eyebrows. I still remember the Mario Lanza album cover he had.

Not sure what Nehru, Amalfi, and roid have to do with toasting. Kampai should be spelled thus. And to say that tiramisu is custardy . . . . What? Tiramisu is adyfingers soaked in espresso with mascarpone cheese. No custard.

Love the observation about the puzzle going faster than a Tuesday. I think you've been spot on about puzzle quality. Keep up the good work!

ArtO 9:38 AM  

How could someone in education not have heard of "The Student Prince." Had to at least have heard of the drinking song. But, then again Romberg is clearly before Rex's time. Even before mine, but....nevertheless.

Otherwise a very easy puzzle although putting in IMAC kept me from seeing REDSHIRT for a while.

Moly Shu 9:44 AM  

"And not in the good, film noir way". Holy (rhymes with Moly) smokes @Rex, seems you've gone all - if it's not film noir, it's crap- on us. In my world, there's no such thing as good film noir. Different strokes and all.

Kinda like @ralph, I had bANzAI before KANPAI. Yes, I'm as dumb as OFL is myopic.

Congrats @M&A on #1000, but since runtz don't appear in film noir classics (whatever those are), I'm afraid they're not good enough for the educated. Thankfully, see my above comparison, har......

mathgent 9:47 AM  

Like @Nancy, I liked it because it reminded me of The Student Prince. My mother loved Mario Lanza and was terribly disappointed that he didn't appear in the movie. They dubbed his voice. 1954.

In my circle of friends and family, when we get our drinks at a gathering, we each clink everyone else's glass, say "Cheers," and take a sip. I'll sometimes say after that, "How many clinks?" For example, if there are seven of us, the answer is 21.

Tita 9:50 AM  

It wasn't ARSON, but rather a flare-up of my sister's sweater, that gave us a family toasting tradition. Leans across a large table, with candles lit, drink in hand, in an effort to clink with every single person, her mohair sweater caught fire. No injury was sustained, thanks to my alert brother, who selflessly sacrificed his drink to douse the flames.

Well, ever since then, our toast tradition is to have the youngest person start, clinking with the person on the right, and thus go around the table. Much less dramatic!

@Glimmer...good one on Melba.

When living in Heidelberg, we would bring visitors to the Rathaus (aptly, city hall) to hear the carillon play music from The Student Prince. It played lots of other things too, but that was the mainstay.

I found this to be a fun puzzle in spite of some of the tired fill. How can anyone feel annoyed with so many invitations to raise a glass and celebrate?
Thank you, MM and PF.

Thank you too, M&A. The twists you make my brain perform are much appreciated, including the stretching of my synapses required to even wager a guess at how your own brain works.
The runtpuzzles are one chink of light into the inner workings.
And thanks to @r.alph for providing the infrastructure and creativity to make it all available to us.

Joseph Michael 9:50 AM  

Not the worst puzzle I've EVER solved. Which is about the most charitable thing I can say about it. The theme felt old-fashioned and some of the fill was so bad it hurt. Oh, SNAP. I'm looking at you, ROID and your unsightly friends.

With all things Russian in the news these days, it would be appropriate to add "Vashe zrodovye." Fond memories of drinking vodka at a dacha in Schelykovo in the Russian countryside. After the toast, everyone at the table downs the shot in front of them (no sipping allowed) and then the host refills the glasses and everyone waits to drink until someone else stands up and makes a new toast. This goes on and on into the night while much caviar, herring, cheese, and other treats are also consumed.

Thank you to @kitshef for the various forms of "penultimate," always one of my favorite words.

Questinia 9:53 AM  

OMG, I had the word *scry* in my mind and had written it down yesterday. Looked at the word and decided it was a new favorite word just before coming here, then saw @Loren's post... question is which one of us is scrying scry?

I misread the Student Prince as The Little Prince in my myopic mind and thought the theme answer was odd especially in context of the The Little Prince:

"Why do you drink?" asked the Prince.
"So that I may forget". replied the tippler
"Forget what?"
"Forget that I am ashamed".
"Ashamed of what?"
"Ashamed of drinking".

Ergo: This puzzle is really about shame.

Congrats to M&A !

Anonymous 9:58 AM  


jberg 10:00 AM  

I saw the movie when I was about 14, maybe younger -- made me want to take up fencing, so that was too hard so I went with drinking instead, and never looked back.

I'm glad someone explained ROID, I was wondering. @Nancy, no need to go to YouTube, @Rex embedded it in his comments. My DSL connection is a little slow for videos, so when the guy lifted his stein to chug, it hung up for about 3 minutes, probably close to a record for drinking without taking a breath.

I did enjoy the toasts.

Stanley Hudson 10:15 AM  

@M&A, well done sir! Your posts are often a welcome antidote to OFL's surly grumpiness (e.g., today's commentary).

Whirred Whacks 10:20 AM  

Salud M&A!
(I picked that one cuz it has a "u".)

Nancy 10:22 AM  

Ah, the imbibing of the drinks! Ah, the clinking of the glasses! What a splendid opportunity for...a math lesson!!!

You know I'm only gently pulling your leg, @mathgent (9:47), don't you? But I'm not entirely sure I could solve your puzzle even if I were sober. Is there a formula or an equation?

Malsdemare 10:29 AM  

This was easy and after a big DNF yesterday, welcome news that the prosecco from last night hadn't rotted too many more brain cells. I wasn't crazy about some of the fill but I thought the theme was just fine. Picking themers will ALWAYS involve choosing among many options; it seems awfully arrogant to bash the constructors' choices. My longest pause was at the EMAC cross with REDSHIRT. Like many others, I blithely filled in iMAC and then gaped at RIDsh---- until the penny dropped and I changed the I to E. I did a double-take at the penultimate word before I realized the last word would have to ultimate and thus reasoned backwards.

Someone in our family read that for a toast to be valid, you must make serious eye contact with each toastee. In our little family of seven, including two little, that really slows down the opportunity for the first sip, but we've found that luck and good times always follow when we obey the dictum. @lms, good tips and great story.

My favorite candles at the dinner table story, which probably involved wine, comes from my college roommate who leaned across the table to light her cigarette off the Menorah at her Jewish fiance's house. Her "meet the parents" moment. He still married her, with parental blessing. Oy!

Guess I'm gonna hafta try the runtpuz.

Anonymous 10:33 AM  

Funny about the meaning of *penultimate*, addressed and corrected in first posts on today's site. I heard a sports' reporter (MLB Network?) recently describe someone as the "penultimate shortstop"! Then Charles Blow in an NYTimes oped very recently used the word similarly. It's normal to misuse words (it happens to me all the time), but what seemed to me so odd about the oped column was that no editor caught it. Almost always, I think, the author is thinking of another word that sounds roughly similar, and I wondered in both cases what that word was. I thought of *epitome*--but that word is not technically accurate either. Perhaps *paragon*--that is, so-and-so is the paragon of the major-league shortstop.

Anon. (i.e. Poggius)

Nancy 10:38 AM  

Wait, @mathgent, I think I may have the answer. Seven people. The first clinks glasses with 6 others, the next with the 5 that remain. So it's 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1. Which adds up to 21. Am I right? If I am, just remember that I solved this while sober.

GILL I. 10:39 AM  

Friends may come and friends may go
And friends may peter out you know.
I'll love you through thick or thin
Peter out or Peter in.
Accompanied by loud belching and glass clinking.
In Spain:
Arriba, abajo, al centro, pa'dentro. That's for you bota people.
Fine Wed. Nothing more, nothing less. It brought out some memories, though, of some catastrophic toasts in my drinking career. No one caught fire (Hi @Tita) but my best friends mom would take to dancing on table tops right after the word "buen provecho" or SALUD was uttered. A wannabe flamenco dancer gone horribly wrong. She always fell and some Englishman would yell out TO YOUR HEALTH you sodding sot.
The only Japanese words I know are banzai, arigato and sake. KANPAI sounds nice so I'll add it to my extensive vocabulary.
California CAP and Trade funds flow right to moon beams bullet train. Just add another 11 cents to our gasoline, that'll take care of the problem.
No sure what ROID means. Is it missing its HEM?

The Clerk 10:41 AM  

Very enjoyable solve. Really clever cluing made this quite fun. Thank you.

RooMonster 10:49 AM  

Hey All !
Hmm, no one has asked about the clue for IMIT. Someone help out the ole brain here?

While not as ick-worthy as Rex thought, I did find puz slightly less than a good WedsPuz. Theme was good, always like sneaked-in border themers.

To @pmdm 8:34 and @Anon 9:34, Rex did mention the six themers in his post. Reread, he said the 4 foreign Toasts, and two in English. And those other words in Rex's theme answers were jokes, because that's what he dies to emphasize his not- liking.

There was some dreck in here. It does seem it should've cleaner with two constructors.

And this makes a good puz to celebrate @M&A's 1000th runtpuz. Man, that boggles the mind. I made a few runtz myself, along with @LMS, and someone else I can't remember at the moment. Lewis? Think about it, if doing one a day, that's more than 3 years worth of runtz. So, TO YOUR runtz, @M&A!

Bothers me they only play ALICES Restaurant on Thanksgiving day on the radio. Kinda like Christmas movies they only show around Christmastime. What if I want to watch it some other time of the year?
/rant :-)


G. Weissman 10:49 AM  

Be brief is good advice for many things.

kitshef 11:14 AM  

@Nancy. Your solution is correct, but the better answer is n x (n-1)/2, where n is the number of people.

So for seven people, 7 x 6 / 2 = 21 clinks.

For 117 people, 117 x 116 / 2 = 6,786 clinks.

much easier than adding up 1 + 2 + 3 + ... + 115 + 116)

Lewis 11:35 AM  

M&A -- Congratulations on your 1000th! Maybe make your puzzle a Super-Runt of just one square with its answer being "M"?

mathgent 11:35 AM  

@Nancy, @kitshef: kitshef's formula is the best way to calculate the answer, but I think that Nancy's calculation is easier to explain. Who says that lyricists are mathematically illiterate?

jb129 11:36 AM  


Dunno, Rex, I enjoyed it & flew through

Robert A. Simon 11:40 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Bleaux 11:43 AM  

Might "pluperfect" have been what should have been used instead of "penultimate"? I'm surprised that Blow (and his editor) blew that one.

Robert A. Simon 11:44 AM  

Surprised Sharp didn't say something snarky about SANYOS. After all, aren't they competitors?

Speaking of Japan, I worked in Tokyo for a year. My first week there, I told my boss that I had to take a day off to observe Yom Kippur. (Don't get me started on what it was like to see hundreds of Japanese wearing prayer shawls and chanting and singing in Hebrew. Can't unsee it. Don't want to unsee it. In much the same vein, in Paris I learned--after asking, of course--that the French word for "fatty tuna" is "toro.")

Two nights later, I was introduced to one of our clients at a dinner. My boss stands, turns to me, raises his glass and says, "L'chaim," but instead of the correct gravelly, larynx-leveling pronunciation of the "ch" sound, he said it as in "chewy."

Like all of you, I've been toasted a few times, but no matter what nice things people have said to me, nothing will ever top that.

old timer 11:55 AM  

Everyone knows Brandon Crawford of the Giants is the ultimate shortstop today. Therefore the shortstop on your favorite team can only be the penultimate. (Until recently, the Yankees had the U.S., I concede).

This was Monday-fast, with the only snag being that Japanese toast. I actually am surprised that OFL had such a fast time. The puzzle was clearly aimed at my generation, with KCAR, EMAC, and ROK, which I remember from my childhood.

I thought it was pretty good, though I could do without IDI and agree, ALER and NLER should be permanently retired.

Stuartwm 11:59 AM  

I for one knew The Student Prince but had never heard of "redshirt" or "roid". We can't expect that ALL of us have had the same background/education/experience, so today's rant seems somewhat ill-considered.

Malsdemare 12:10 PM  

@mathgent oh, dear, music is very maths, unless you're just singing along or picking out a tune by ear on the piano. Browse a music theory text sometime; it'll blow your mind. Not that Nancy need any defense.

Larry K 12:16 PM  

For about the 1000th time in this comment section it's not that one or two things are old, it's that so many things are old. There's nothing wrong with KCAR or EMAC or ROK. There is something wrong with KCAR and EMAC and ROK. And before you complain about puzzles with too much current PPP let me remind you that we are all currently alive, we weren't all alive when ROK was commonly bandied about.

Two Ponies 12:16 PM  

'Roid as in Steroid. Body builders sometimes have angry "'roid rage."

I knew ROK from MASH.

Someone (@ Nancy?) said they were eating guacamole to save calories. You might want to look up the nutritional info on avocadoes before your next indulgence.

Joe Bleaux 12:35 PM  

Two very long months ago, my doctor ordered me to limit my imbibing, for the near future anyway, to one drink per day (specifically, 12 ounces of beer, OR 8 ounces of wine, OR 3 ounces of Scotch). Suffice it to say that this puzzle's many reminders of my doctor's cruel dictate did little to lift my spirits or make me look forward to the rest of the day. That's all on me, not the constructors, of course -- but judging from the comments of many others here, the puzzle's not a very good one anyway. Yes, I admit it -- I enjoyed the negative comments! Such pettiness is just one of the awful effects of excessive sobriety. Please, fellow solvers, don't let this happen to you. Abstain responsibly.

Anoa Bob 12:35 PM  

I lived in Japan for two years, so must have heard KANPAI, but it didn't stick in my synaptic GOO. What did stick and what I confidently dropped in that slot was BANZAI. But I guess that is more of a cheer or a salute than a toast. (Autocorrect redlines KANPAI but is okay with BANZAI.)

BANZAI (bahn-zai) is the cheer while BONSAI (bone-sigh) is a miniaturized tree or shrub grown in a dish.

Second time recently that PROST has appeared as a German toast. I've only heard PROSIT. Shiner Bock, the flagship beer of the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, TX, often has PROSIT on its packaging and advertisements. Nothing's Finer Than A Shiner. PROSIT!

Hungry Mother 12:36 PM  

Very easy, very pleasant solve today. I always enjoy discussions of the Gauss sum.

BarbieBarbie 12:38 PM  

@Ponies, I believe Nancy was eating avocado to save saturated fat.
@old timer, I think you've answered my question: if the tallest mountain in the range is the ultimate, then is the penultimate one the second-tallest or the one next to the tallest?

Masked and Anonymous 12:44 PM  

@RP - har. Good mornin again, Sunshine. Kinda liked yer whole stake thru the heart of the undead terrible puzmess-grid-tomb shtick. I raise a glass of red shirt juice, in yer honor. "To yer relentless blogginess!" [fun fact: auto-correct wanted "bloodiness". Hey, Auto don't pull no punches, neither.]

KCAR. IDI. ARNE. NEHRU. Patrick Berry Usage Immunity foursome. Heck, ARNE has almost Everybody usage immunity. EMAC, SERIE, and HOSP not so much. EMAC is downright desperado, but coulda had a great double-?? clue. Behold: {Came back to square forty??}.

Thanx U, @r.alph. "Thanx" don't hardly get er all done proper enough, but thanx.

Best weeject: GOO.

Best fillins: EMOTICON. TIRAMISU. GODIVA. REDSHIRT. GOTWET. OVERWEIGHT. (undead terrible) MONSTER (tomb it may concern mess).

Fun solve, due to lotsa unusual stuff. Theme was kinda neat, in that I learnt KANPAI. DRINKDRINKDRINK was ok, but in keepin with @RP's critique, a revealer such as "MAN ARE WE EVER TOAST!" mighta been funnier, in a tomb-side humor sorta way.

Thanx, MSM & PF. And remember: U only rent beer, but that $300 bucks is yers for keeps.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

Imfromjersey 1:04 PM  

@loren muse smith wrote: I had no idea it was KANPAI and not KAMPAI. So I had to erase that M, but that inportant in the overall solve. (Besides, KANPAI had to cross DOWN THE HATCH. Cool to have those two pairs of theme crosses.)

I'm on a business trip in Dublin Ireland right now with some colleagues from Tokyo. Just last night at the bar I learned that "cheers" in Japanese is Kanpai but I als thought it was Kampai! Nice coincidence that this would be in the puzzle today!

Teedmn 1:21 PM  

This puzzle was a tough little MONSTER for a Wednesday, for me. It just didn't fly/flow. Having nLER made CASINOS hard to see. I was thinking of a CGI type answer for GOO also (PROST, @Nancy) but ROID did come through for me.

Runt puzzles and M&A ROK! Even today's puzzle celebrates the milestone, with the very Runtish clue for 28D, "Ain't the way it should be?" Har!

And thanks to @r.alph for giving us the excuse to SALUD M&A, for hosting the Runtpuz.blogspot, and for creating the cool program with which to solve it. The Runt puzzes definitely deserve the REDcarpetSHIRT treatment.

Nancy 1:35 PM  

So many people to thank on the blog today:

@mathgent (11:35) -- What a charming thing to say -- and especially after I'd pulled your leg. Thank you.

@kitshef (11:14)-- ...but if I really needed to know find this solution in more complicated instances, your equation would be enormously helpful. Thank you.

@Malsdemare (12:10) -- You are SO flattering, but I can't take credit where I haven't earned it. I'm not a musician, I'm a lyricist. And while I love music, can carry a tune and have a tolerably good ear, and have even sung in several amateur choirs, what I don't about know about music and music theory would fill every nook and cranny of Carnegie Hall. So my math knowledge and ability, modest as they are, are light-years ahead of my musical talents. But do understand that I absolutely love and appreciate your compliments!

@Barbie Barbie (12:38) -- Re guacamole: Of course that's exactly what I was saying! Thanks for reading it, remembering it, and explaining it.

Masked and Anonymous 1:35 PM  

61 squaresworth of theme material is more ambitious than snot, btw. Explains why a dash of SERIE-ous desperation wedged its way into the fillins. Still, a pretty good WedPuz. Toasty.



jae 1:42 PM  

Yep, easy except for SW which put up a bit of resistance. I was iffy on spelling ADONAI, had trouble seeing MIDST, hand up for banzai, was thinking blog poster instead of REWARD poster...tough going.

Liked it more than @Rex but agree that this one had some problems, although I agree with M&A on the fine fillins.


REX: What were you drinking when you composed your comments?
There are only six toasts and they are listed as such.
L'CHAIM and KANPAI. ROID is not one of them.

AW 1:46 PM  

The SE corner did me in. Never heard of a RED SHIRT so tried ROD SHIFT but that gave me OMAC, which I knew wasn't right. Tried GEL for 55D "fake blood," but GOO? Really? Ugh! And since when are steroids ROIDs? Do people really say, "Armstrong wrecked his career using roids"? Live and learn.

Anonymous 2:25 PM  

A missed opportunity to include crossword favorite "ORONO" as UMaine's fight song is literally one long toast.

JC66 2:44 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JC66 2:46 PM  


Congratulations on an impressive milestone. I don't think the commentariat needed @r.alph's prize to motivate them to express their thanks, not only for your creative runt puzzles, but for your thoughtful and highly amusing comments.

Unlike @Lewis, if you contracted a one letter runtz, I'd bet the solution would be "U."

Chronic dnfer 3:07 PM  

It was a horrible little puzzle. Pic=shot was really bad. Hosp was maybe worse. Good bye.

Thomaso808 3:12 PM  

@M&A, congrats on the milestone and thanks for Ur blogs. Ur staff selections and eaU d'spairs give me a daily har. Plus I now have an Unprecedented respect for the letter U.

From today's runtz -- NUNYAH. Got to start using that word!

Anonymous 4:06 PM  

Nasdaq and S&P record highs. Happy days are here again. Cheers!

Lewis 4:15 PM  

@jc66 -- I agree that U is the perfect one-square runt, the M was just for this one, as it represents 1,000.

JC66 4:19 PM  


Aha! Good one.

Cassieopia 4:27 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 4:45 PM  

I nominate for retirement: "knelt." Twice in the last week or ten days. Yawn.

jae 6:24 PM  

@Z - thanks for the Puzzazz tip. I took your advice and tried it out. Not only is it free but it is a very smooth interface which I will definitely use when I can't access a printer.

Mohair Sam 6:57 PM  

@M&A - Let me join the throng in toasting number 1,000. And echo @kitshef in saying that when I first starting reading the blog your posts confused me and I oft times skipped them - now you're a favorite.
I look forward to the wit and consistent positive tone every day. May the state plant a "U Turns Here" sign on your lawn.

Anonymous 7:57 PM  

No students of classical Greek I see. Day one of studies, the ultimate, penult(ultimate), and the ante penult(imate) syllable are front and center.
For folks who figure themselves smart,you sure have big gaps in knowledge.
And don't start me about your poorder taste.

Chim cham 10:02 PM  


Tony 8:41 AM  

Newbie here. What I like most about this blog is hearing Rex whine about spending 3 or 4 minutes on a corner. I spend 3 or 4 minutes on a word. And EXEDOUT and CUTTO? If you ask me, no worse than a dozen other clue/answers I have to contend with in every puzzle. On the bright side, I am learning that when in doubt, the answer is SRI.


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spacecraft 11:12 AM  

I'm going to call a spellcaster to cast a spell on the spellcasters. Think that would work? This must be Annoyance Day; the puzzle was another one. I agree with OFL about the fill, but besides REDSHIRT--which I didn't think was all THAT exciting--how about TIRAMISU? You have to give some props for working that one into the grid.

Theme and execution: meh. Fill: except for 27-across, less than meh; certainly not IDEAL. A preponderance of PPPs and foreign-language entries--even outside the theme area. We do have a spectacular DOD in TARA Reid; I'd like to GETWET with that one! Yeah okay, move GETWET over to the good side. Even so, bogey. There's just too much junk.

Burma Shave 11:19 AM  


with DRINKs and REWARDs of great wealth,
It’s IDEAL in San REMO


rondo 12:28 PM  

Someday OFL will be old and marginal, too. Nobody gets to be like Peter Pan. And so the theme is just toasts, fine with me. Didn’t know KANPAI, so I learned something.

Speaking of old and marginal, I ONCE bought a used (+/- 38,000 miles) 1982 Chrysler Lebaron 2 door coupe KCAR back in ’85 or so. Put about 110,000 more miles on it. If not for multiple deer hits it woulda gone more. That KCAR was dang dependable, that’s for sure. Followed it up with a 1985 Chrysler Laser, also based on the KCAR platform, which turned into a money pit. Worst KCAR EVER.

Yeah baby IONE Skye (almost skyey) will do just fine.

This puz ISNT the worst or the best, so, whatever, here’s TOYOURHEALTH.

thefogman 1:06 PM  

Drinking puzzles are becoming a bit of a habit this week. I found this one to be of a Thursday caliber, especially the MONSTER SW corner. Had bANzai before KANPAI and only got that because of the crosses which were not easy to solve either. Knowing the Torah would be of tremendous help some times. I wasn't too fussy about the cluing for ROK as a term to define a Korean war soldier, but in general it was a fine puzzle. Finished later than usual for a Wednesday, albeit with a bit of a solver's hangover - but a nice bowl of Rum Raisin ice cream should take care of that. Cheers!

TK Hodgram 1:14 PM  

IDI??? Apparently this didn't bother anyone else, so will someone please enlighten me? DNF because of it (and lack of experience drinking in Japan); otherwise easy.

longbeachlee 1:15 PM  

@Little Brown Bear, dnf for me too for exactly the same reason. Not Easy!

thefogman 1:40 PM  

For TK:

leftcoastTAM 2:10 PM  

I'm with Rex on this one, though without some of the Sharp edges and the "easy" rating.

SE did me in: KANPAI and ADONAI in particular. Left with a big mess and miss (DNF).

leftcoastTAM 2:19 PM  


thefogman 3:19 PM  

I just noticed that I DNF'd this one. I had iMAC instead of EMAC at 40A. I did pause for some time before deciding to go with the more familiar IMAC even though my instinct kept telling me there must have been an earlier version and hence the E. Also, 35D was screaming to be a REDSHIRT but I knew nothing of these sports terms and opted for RiDSHIRT to appease my need for IMAC in spite of my first instinct. Alas, my hopes were scotched when I reviewed the answer sheet. Perhaps my judgment was impaired with all the booze floating around the grid.

thefogman 4:45 PM  

Is OFL pranking us about NEHRU, AMALFI, TIRAMISU and ROID being toasts?

rondo 5:58 PM  

Yup, that's how much he disliked the theme of the puz.

Diana,LIW 6:15 PM  

I'm baaaaaack! One crazy car week in Pebble Beach (etc.) and more good food than I should have in a month. Now...9 days of puzzles, news, and mail to catch up on. Apparently our other fearless leader has created some controversy. Again. No comment.

The puzzle was fine. I gave in at the SW - completed about 12 puzzles on the plane on the way home and I was just puzzed out! But learned RANPAI, like @Rondo. And thanks for the mention of skyey - my word of the year puzwize.

Cheers, my friends. Must begin to unpack and catch up on telling my kitties that they rock.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 8:19 PM  

@Lady Di-- Good to see you're back.

thefogman 8:30 PM  

@Rondo OFL fooled me there for a minute.

Unknown 2:22 PM  

I always associate "Drink Drink Drink" with the old Benny Hill Show. He would often do a series of short drinking-related gags, framed by Benny and the cast singing the song while waving beer steins in the air.

Anyway, I had fun with this puzzle. While easy, I enjoyed the toast theme, as well as the mini dessert theme. The fill didn't bother me. As others have mentioned, why should there be an expiration date on crossword entries?

Fun Wednesday.

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