Tel Aviv skyscraper first to be built in Mideast / MON 7-10-17 / Long tranquil period ushered in by emperor Augustus / Bridge declaration when not bidding

Monday, July 10, 2017

Constructor: Timothy Polin

Relative difficulty: Medium (skewing Medium-Challenging—about 10 seconds north of normal for a Monday)

THEME: WORLD PEACE (62A: Ancient dream of humanity that's hinted at by the starts of 17-, 24-, 37- and 53-Across) — I guess the first words all mean "peace" in their various languages...

Theme answers:
  • ALOHA SHIRT (17A: Colorful top often worn with a lei)
  • SHALOM MEIR TOWER (24A: Tel Aviv skyscraper that was the first to be built in the Mideast)
  • PAX ROMANA (37A: Long, tranquil period ushered in by the emperor Augustus)
  • MIR SPACE STATION (53A: Orbiter from 1986 to 2001)
Word of the Day: WORD (CLUE) —
• • •

What a drag. Just a drag, from the jump. That whole NW corner was just onerous to fill in. ABE ECOCARS SICEM AMOR SISI BALI HAI SHEL ... there's zero effort to make the answers or clues interesting. So I knew right away that things were going anywhere good. ALOHA SHIRT just confirmed it. That answer's not taking you anywhere fun. The dull, overfamiliar fill just kept coming. The revealer was a letdown, for a host of reasons. ALOHA and SHALOM do, in fact, mean "peace," but this really looked like a hello/goodbye puzzle to start. And then came PAX ROMANA, which ... refers to a state of peace ... just like the revealer ... so ... it's not much of a themer. Or it makes the themer seem redundant, one or the other. SHALOM MEIR TOWER is kind of ridiculous as a themer. I'm sure it's a real place, but it's an Astonishing outlier, familiarity-wise. Almost every bit of the difficulty came from trying to figure out what the hell went between SHALOM and TOWER (the rest of the difficulty came from the fact that this puzzle mysteriously/weirdly has just 74 words) (just means there were biggish blocks of white in every corner, a natural speed impediment).

The whole thing is forced and weird, and for no good reason. There's no wow-factor. No ooh or ahh. "These are words that mean peace." That's not a great concept. And when you add not-great fill to your not-great concept, the result is a not-great solving experience. Not really worth any specific commentary. I will say that the Venus trivia was pretty cool (64D: Period on Venus that's longer than a year on Venus (!)) (DAY), but that's all I'll say.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    [Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


    Stanley Hudson 12:21 AM  

    @Nancy, thanks for the kind wishes to those of us who live in California and are dealing with extreme temperatures and wildfires. I believe Trombone Tom also lives in the (right now, not so) Golden State.

    Unknown 12:22 AM  

    The highlight of @Rex's critique of @Timothy Polin's Monday crossword was the picture of the NBA player formerly known as @Ron Artest. The puzzle itself contains a useful pair of reminders (68- and 70-Across) to take care of the dishes, and that the 2017 Wimbledon tournament is in mid-stream (before the current big four of @Federer, @Nadal, @Murray, and @Djokovic, there was @SAMPRAS). As for a (different) @KENNEDY very much in the spotlight, read this Carl Reiner op-ed from Sunday's paper of record.

    RnRGhost57 12:36 AM  


    jae 12:49 AM  

    On the tough side of medium for me too. Taste before TOUCH, tO bAD before SO SAD, and the TOWER answer pushed this one slightly passed medium.

    Liked it quite a bit more than @Rex did.

    Larry Gilstrap 1:52 AM  

    It's Monday and apparently the expectation level is pretty high in some parts of puzzledom. I'm thinking nice puzzle; more than some of us deserve. Peace!

    Themers ran true to form. The revealer seems more than a bit revelatory. I'm heartened by the fact that the Russians have a word for peace. I have some friends and family on FB that are full-fledged Tiki aficionados and would be appalled that the words "dull, over familiar" are used in the same sentence with ALOHA SHIRT. These people are obsessed. And Rum isn't even Hawaiian. Comment could get ugly, if the word gets out.

    Speaking of our Fiftieth State, the North Shore of Kauai provides the gorgeous background for the film "South Pacific." The Na Pali Coast becomes BALI HAI in the film. Watching it offers the vicarious pleasure of visiting one of the most beautiful places on the planet, plus Mitzi Gaynor.

    ORCAS is the accepted plural, regrettably, but I am a huge fan of the aquatic mammals, especially cetaceans.

    DAY is the answer for that intriguing clue 64D and I'm thinking: has that three letter answer ever been clued better? The cosmos is basically chaos in slow motion. That's my conclusion, and I'm sticking with it.

    Anonymous 2:05 AM  

    MIR is the Russian word for both WORLD and PEACE. I have to cede OFL's point about PAX. SAD!

    Johnny 2:10 AM  

    I went to the store here in balmy SoCal and bought some ice cream. And I decided to try everyone's favorite flavor, RUM RAISIN.

    They only had the Haagen Dazs (what the hell does that even mean) version because Ralphs, but I gave it a whirl.

    Not too bad. I'll bet real rum raisin ice cream would be pretty good after a hearty old-school steak dinner.

    So there's that.

    As for todays puzzle yeah whatever.

    ArleneWKW 2:19 AM  

    I'm a happy solver whenever I successfully complete a NYT crossword puzzle without checking my answers or using Google while completing it. Right now I'm celebrating this rare experience.

    chefwen 2:45 AM  

    @Rex - ALOHA SHIRTS always take you to somewhere fun if you have the ALOHA spirit. Right @Thomaso808?

    Wasn't the easiest Monday puzzle I have ever done and that's a plus. No hang ups, but it required some thought, unlike your usual Monday.

    Hopeful to get up to Princeville this week to sample Lappert's Rum Raisin Ice Cream. I bet it's made with the locally made Kaloa Rum. I'll report back.

    Thomaso808 3:54 AM  

    @chefwen most definitely ALOHA means peace, as well as love and goodwill. In using it to say hello or goodbye one really is saying "peace to you" or "love to you". As a transplanted California boy it took me a while, knowing what it meant, to get comfortable ending my business e-mails with ALOHA, but that's really the local culture, which has a lot to offer. Plus I get to wear an ALOHASHIRT every day at work!

    This puzzle is a Monday, so opportunities for misdirection and curves are limited. It was a straightforward puzzle that may have had one tough cross with CIRRI / SHALOMMEIRTOWER. But it had no obscure answers known only to crossworlders, i.e. crosswordese, and had no awkward abbreviations or acronyms, i.e., dreck. It's a very good Monday puzzle. I liked it and I liked the theme.

    I wonder if the clue for 8D "Critics who can't be pleased" is aimed at OFL.

    Anonymous 4:41 AM  

    I spent way too long trying to figure out what SHALOMMIER meant before realizing it was two words. Decent Monday, a little harder than normal, but still a Monday.

    Thomaso808 4:57 AM  

    Since 17A was the entry theme, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
    "Aloha shirts manufactured for local use are considered formal wear in business and government, and thus are regarded as equivalent to a shirt, coat, and tie (generally impractical in the warmer climate of Hawaii) in all but the most formal of settings. Malihini (newcomers) and tourists (visitors) often wear designs of many bright colors while Kamaʻāina (or those who have been living in the islands for a long time) seem to prefer less busy patterns."

    It's true that there is are nuances in selecting an appropriate ALOHASHIRT for a business meeting, something that can be a make-or-break decision for a mainland visitor meeting with a local developer or government client. Not likely that any of you out there care, but hey, I'm available as a fashion consultant!

    Anonymous 5:41 AM  


    Hungry Mother 6:14 AM  

    Very easy for me and an enjoyable solve with a good theme. Sorry to dissent.

    Lewis 6:15 AM  

    This puzzle has beautiful connectivity, a reminder of its theme of world peace. It also reminds us that elements antithetical to that lovely aspiration always seem to exist -- SICEM, SPIT, HATERS, CARP, SCREW_IT, TASERED, SACK. While the Libra in me appreciates the balance, the greater part of me wishes the world was like this puzzle, that is, truly and overtly dedicated to peace.

    Loren Muse Smith 6:32 AM  

    I bet that HATERS UNITE is an Easter egg here. Very cool, Timothy. Let’s hope that The DAY/WORLD PEACE/DIED is not another one.

    @ArleneWKW – congrats! Keep at it, and before you know it, you’ll be finishing Fridays and Saturdays without google. I swear.

    I have to agree about SHALOM MEIR TOWER being a little tough. And it’s hard not to revisit SHALOMMIER with CHOICER in the grid. Tel Aviv? Nah – let’s go to Jaffa instead. It seems to be a bit shalommier right now.

    “Where dirty dishes pile up” – hmm. SINK would be perfect. Bet Timothy hasn’t been the parent of a teenager yet. I always had to work up some nerve to check under my son’s bed before vacuuming. At this point my sink is where cucumbers from the garden pile up. Right now there are a couple in there that are the size of a 12-inch Subway sandwich. Not much to do with those puppies. Maybe sneak’em into some kind of rum-raisin recipe.

    I liked the reveal and thought it cool to see PAX, SHALOM, PEACE, MIR, and learn that ALOHA means peace, too. Man. Those Hawaiians are pretty efficient with their language, huh? ALOHA also means circular saw, obsequious, fart, and upholstery tack. And pewit.

    whirled piece

    Gotta go – things to do, people to see, cucumbers to lug…

    BarbieBarbie 6:37 AM  

    Two 15-letter phrases beginning with alt-language words for Peace... Impressive. Also great that the constructor could come up with meaty entries that were still Monday-easy to get, like SICEM and ALOHASHIRT.

    @chefwen, I thought sugarcane agriculture was gone from Hawaii. Why have a local rum? Though I guess I'm not sure Puerto Rico grows any cane these days either.

    Nice crossing of BALIHAI and its stand-in. Yesterday's grammarians should be happy to see ASISAID. I remember touring Princeton with my son and wincing every time the guide, an English major upperclassman, used the phrase "like I say." (How much is that tuition again?)

    Grumpy Evening Rex seems to have returned from his brief vacation. As has Weirdly Uninformed Rex. I hadn't heard of the tower, but it was easy to get from the crosses, especially the middle word MEIR, one of Israel's greats. And Neil deGT has been telling kids about Venus for several years now, so a good chunk of the population should be able to retrieve that one.

    QuasiMojo 6:38 AM  

    Peace out, Rex. It wasn't that bad.

    Z 6:42 AM  

    @Larry Gilstrap - Accepted by whom? I'm definitely using "ORCApodes" in conversation today.

    I spent zero nanoseconds figuring out what went between SHALOM and TOWER, I got it totally from crosses.

    I own a C-Max Energi. My last non-hybrid vehicle was my 2000 Villager. I have used ORCApodes more often than ECOCARS. Hard to disagree with Rex on that NW corner. The rest of those answers are not particularly low quality fill, but that pile up where everyone starts a puzzle does get this puzzle off on the wrong foot. None of the other corners seem as ese-filled (PSST being redeemed by starting words rather than using the S's for POCs). I liked the puzzle well enough, but I see Rex's point.

    ALOHA everyone.

    Paz Americana 6:58 AM  

    I found it quite easy, actually. Breezed through it like it was nothing; and I'm just an average, Monday-Thursday solver!

    Glimmerglass 7:07 AM  

    @Rex, I'm really sorry your time was a bit slow for a Monday, but that doesn't mean the puzzle was dull. There are some lame elements (ECO CAR, ART SET, maybe SO SAD). But there is lots of snap in the clues and answers (SCREW IT, DAY, TASERED, MINX, SIC' EM, others). I'll say this again: If all you can think of to say about a puzzle is that you found it dull, you're writing a dull, boring review. Your critcism of the theme is an egregious example. Words fot PEACE in three languages is absolutely an appropriate Monday theme. Here's a suggestion: Stop checking your times! A slow time colors your reviews in a very unattractive way.

    Anonymous 7:25 AM  

    Also acne. Also loose powder.

    Taffy-Kun 7:53 AM  

    Nowhere else to share this (family eye roll) but I just saw an ad for a dental product Paradontax and thought "Apology from the IRS?"

    Aketi 7:57 AM  

    Could have done without the TSK, PSST and OOH.

    @Lewis, the AMOR of AMIS could balance out the HATERS and there is LOVE in the SLOVENE. You missed POP in the HATERS camp. Going AT IT could swing both ways as could the use of that STRAP. RAPT counterbalancing SO SAD. Plus a SHRINE possibly for those who DIED.

    You also have the first woman EVE as well as a CRONE nearer to the end of the life cycle and a MINX thrown into the mix..

    In addition to the four locations contributing to the themers, you have two more islands, one lone SOLVENE, and the North African MOORS who spread into Europe through Spain.

    Today on morning radio, I learned that when I allow myself to eat alcohol-infused dried fruit in frozen cream by telling myself that I'll go to the gym that it is called "licensing". The commentator suggested that people could overcome "licensing" by convincing yourself that the good behavior (in this case not eating the desired food) is rewarding. I don't know what sort of mental ORIGAMI could convince me that it is anything other than deprivation.

    Anonymous 8:03 AM  

    Well below Monday average time for me, but not interesting or clever clueing.

    tkincher 8:08 AM  

    The Venus clue was interesting trivia, but not much else leapt out at me. Lots of obscura for a Monday. Love Sharon Van Etten, though!

    Anonymous 8:36 AM  

    I found this puzzle very good for a Monday, where we can never expect much very challenging or interesting. Nice to speculate on the various nuances of words that can be rendered "peace" in English. My ignorance of languages makes me wonder about all this. Are places where there have been particular periods of "peace" and "war" likely to describe "peace" differently than places like Hawaii (but I may be off here: I know almost nothing of Hawaiian history)? I would guess, however, that the Hebrew shalom would be closer to the Hawaiian aloha (and I am just guessing), and I wonder if the Russian mir refers to a definite state of peace vs. war. As for the pax Romana, there were early cynical interpretations of that (found in Tacitus, and I think there is debate as to whether or how he endorsed the cynicism), giving the same sort of meaning to the pax Romana that one would in recent years have given when saying that, fighting in Vietnam (1950s-70s), we wanted to impose the pax Americana there.
    Anon. (i.e. Poggius)

    The Hermit Philosopher 8:44 AM  

    8D should've been clued "Rex Parker and others."

    Hartley70 8:44 AM  

    This gets a full blown Monday challenging from me. It took much longer than usual. I did not know of the SHALOMMEIRTOWER and Eros was a more familiar god of love than AMOR. I thought that ALOHA was a hello:goodbye greeting, and neither ALOHA nor MIR automatically meant PEACE to me. I would have thought IONIA was in Ancient Greece and I think there is a better clue for SISI. Elizabeth of Austria comes to mind from a previous puzzle. Thank goodness for crosses. I liked this a lot because a difficult Monday bodes well for the rest of the week.

    oldbizmark 8:45 AM  

    DNF on a Monday. In two spots. Thought this was not only a drag and also quite difficult. I can't remember the last time I DNFed on a Monday. Maybe freshman year of High School. Oh well.

    yaffa 8:49 AM  

    easy for me. typical Monday

    Anonymous 8:50 AM  

    Pretty easy puzzle and a fast time for me. Cannot get that emotional over a Monday, but thought it was fine and an ok theme. Rex, I'm betting you were in cranky mood when you did the puzzle as I think you were being a bit hard on Mr Polin.

    John 9:16 AM  

    Can't see what's so terrible about this puzzle. Typical Monday, plus the cool Venus trivia as a nice little Easter egg near the end. Why so cranky? You're getting a rep as the "you kids get off my lawn" crackpot of puzzle-dom. Why not, IMHO, keep your powder dry for when we really need a rant?

    Black Sun 9:32 AM  

    Yes, the Russians have a word for peace.
    Too bad Antifa doesn't.

    Mohair Sam 9:33 AM  

    Two things that make me smile are the sight of an ALOHA SHIRT and the thought of WORLD PEACE. So I was gonna like this puzzle whatever it threw at me, and I did. Fun Monday solve.

    Rex at his pick, pick, pick best today - The revealer clearly said "the starts", why is he analyzing each entire phrase? And @Z nailed it, how tough were the crosses for MEIR? And the clues he moaned about were Monday easy for newbies, on a Wednesday he'd have a point. If you know the famous Israeli parole judges study (you're much more likely to be paroled first thing in the morning and right after lunch) - the time of day of @Rex's reviews seem to confirm its results.

    @Loren - So true on teenagers and sinks. Our youngest inhabited our finished basement for a year before he joined the military. We could have provisioned a small diner with the kitchenware we discovered down there when he left.

    Nancy 9:36 AM  

    Ya gotta love a puzzle that's about WORLD PEACE, right? Not when it's this mindless and ridiculously easy in the cluing. I've glanced at the comments enough to see that some people here found it hard for a Monday. I can't imagine why. I found myself resenting the ca. 97 seconds I spent on it before I dropped it with a loud thud. That's ca. 97 seconds I shall never get back. Dullsville -- but at least with its heart in the right place.

    Two Ponies 9:44 AM  

    I found it odd that the dream of world peace was described as "ancient" in the revealer.
    Have we just given up?

    TOCraig 9:52 AM  

    Enjoyed it. No problems. Peace out.

    John 9:53 AM  

    Black Sun, please save your politics for some other comment thread somewhere else ...

    GILL I. 10:08 AM  

    I thought this had some Monday muscle. Didn't understand the HATERS SO SAD SACK SPIT SCREW IT along with the PEACE theme though...TSK...and then we have SHE MINX CRONE. WORLD PEACE? NOPE.
    In Ghana Goom-jigi means peace and in Denmark, it's Fred. Hah!
    I guess CHOICER is a word but it doesn't look real.
    An then there's ATIT TIC CARP DIED.
    BALI HAI saves the day.

    Tom4 10:08 AM  

    Good Monday puzzle. Much more enjoyable than Sunday's patchy slog.

    Churlish Nabob 10:09 AM  

    World B. Free (born Lloyd Bernard Free on December 9, 1953) is an American former professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1975–1988. Free was known as the "Prince of Midair" as well as "All-World."

    Joseph Michael 10:10 AM  

    PEACE comes in different languages around the WORLD. A cheerful theme for a rainy Monday morning. SO SAD that there are haters who don't like anything.

    Lots to munch on, such as MINX, SCREW IT, SLOVENE, and STRAP ON. Also liked learning that a day can be longer than a year if you're on the right planet.

    If you ask your iPhone what an IPASS is, CIRRI might explain that, in Illinois, it's an electronic toll payment system for highways.

    My only beef with the puzzle is CHOICER. Is that someone who makes decisions?

    Anonymous 10:10 AM  

    Rex, you seem to really dislike NYT crossword puzzles. Why do you keep doing them?

    Tom4 10:11 AM  

    And agree with @Two Ponies! Ancient?! World peace is much more realizable today than in "ancient" times. Still not possible, but less impossible than before ;)

    John V 10:23 AM  

    What @Rex said about SHALOMMEIRTOWER. Could not suss that.

    RooMonster 10:35 AM  

    Hey All !
    From the movie "Enemy of the State":
    " But that's my best ALOHA SHIRT!"
    "Say ALOHA to it."

    I don't think this puz deserves the hate being spewed upon it. Heck, it is a puz about PEACE after all. Found puz 98% easy, hold up was MEIR/MINX/MOORS/PAX section. Coquette not entering the ole brain, so actually had to Goog that word. Ouch! Also had tIER TOWER, seemingly makes sense. Had MOORS correct, but changed the M to a T.

    Otherwise, flew through thinking this was a great puz for beginners. Also wondering which answer would be @M&A's moo-cow easy winner, as there were many to choose from.

    TSK, Rex chose to SPIT at and CARP at the puz. Again, don't think it deserved to be SACKed and SINKed. Really wasn't SO SAD and NEEDY. One man's opinion, and all that.


    mathgent 10:39 AM  

    @George Barany, thanks for the Carl Reiner article. I think that the friend he watches Wheel of Fortune with is Mel Brooks.

    I know it's Monday, but "___ -tac-toe" for TIC? Come on, guys. Why not "What T-I-C" spells?

    jberg 10:48 AM  

    An ancient dream is one we've had for a long time -- not one we no longer have. I liked the theme -- helped me get the name of that orbiter, though I think it was usually just called MIR. But, TASERED? As in, "Don't taser me, bro'?"

    @Loren, we told our sone to stop leaving dirty dishes in his room -- so he took to hiding them. Every once in a while we'd open a desk drawer or closet door in his room, and there'd they all be. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

    There must be a better clue for ART SET. How to ask a Quaker if she's ready? ____ ____ the table while Simon cooked?

    jb129 10:48 AM  

    Very, very easy for me

    GHarris 10:50 AM  

    I, too, must dissent to the view that a puzzle can't be good if it imposes impediments to speed. That's like being unable to enjoy a leisurely back road through a beautiful wood because it's not paved like a thruway.

    ArtO 10:55 AM  

    Yes, tougher than usual Monday as noted. Taste before TOUCH was a hiccup and needed crosses to get MEIR into the SHALOMMEIRTOWER. Other than that, a perfectly fine Monday. What's so bad about taking an extra 10 seconds??!!

    Agree with @StuartShowalter about 8D.

    Joe Bleaux 11:01 AM  

    @Nancy, couldn't agree more on the easy-peasiness of this one, and was taken aback by Rex's "medium" assessment. I agree with all who found the peace theme redemptive, though.

    Mohair Sam 11:02 AM  

    @GHarris (10:50) Nicely put - I've been trying to find a simple way to say that for years.

    old timer 11:11 AM  

    Well, I would have had a record Monday time on this one if I hadn't confidently written in "taste" instead of TOUCH. Anyone else fall into that trap? It took a while to go back to the top and think of a different one of the five senses.

    When I finished the puzzle I was perversely running trough the words to "Pride of Man", a song I always looked forward to when Quicksilver Messenger Service was on stage. Managed to find the composer's own version on Hamilton Camp's album. Brilliant rendition, so thank you YouTube! Proves there is very little PEACE in the Old Testament -- some of the words Camp wrote come from Jeremiah.

    ColoradoCog 11:24 AM  

    Describing TAIWAN as "disputed" is incredibly tone-deaf. The political and historical situation there is complex and touchy, but describing the island as "disputed" is a slap in the face of the people of Taiwan. The island is considered disputed by China, who uses its economic power to undermine any and all efforts by the Taiwanese to participate on the world stage as a self-ruling society, which in fact they are. There are so many other ways to clue this that wouldn't have been an insult to the island's inhabitants.

    hankster65 11:35 AM  


    hankster65 11:39 AM  

    Difficult for a Monday but enjoyable. Rex, I believe, has become more than a little jaded.

    Unknown 11:51 AM  

    I can't see the word MOORS without thinking of George Costanza and the Bubble Boy.

    CDilly52 11:59 AM  

    I second the kudos!

    CDilly52 12:09 PM  

    Save on Gerber baby food, let's hear it for whirled peas! @LMS, I have both cukes and zucchini suitable for use as small water craft for the Navy. I feel your pain. Thanks as always for making me smile!

    Carola 12:37 PM  
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    Carola 12:38 PM  

    Warm feelings for this tour around the WORLD for PEACE. Loved EVE next to her TREE of Knowledge, whence the whole thing started to fall apart, PEACE-wise.

    Teedmn 1:13 PM  

    I had fun with this puzzle - and it was a standard Monday solve at 15 seconds over my average time. Since I had the MEI in at 24A, it wasn't a far stretch to make that MEIR TOWER so no slowdown there. I think @Rex's Monday puzzle standards were perhaps too lofty today.

    Inspired by @Loren's video contribution from yesterday, I spent some ridiculous amount of time trying to justify pluralizing clouds as CIRRUpodes but since there is no "foot" associated with CIRRI, you can't stretch the joke that far. "Whirled piece" indeed :-).

    @M&A gets a SCREWIT instead of a pEWIT today. CHOICER sounds like a description of dog food. I never thought of the British MOORS as wastelands, SO SAD. And the dirty dishes in the SINK were left by a SLOVENEly person (no insult intended to any Ljubljana residents.)

    Let's work towards PEACE in our time, or at least for a Venus day.

    Aketi 1:26 PM  

    @LMS and Mohair Sam, it's now 29 days till My husband and I become empty nesters. So I am now ignoring the room that I consider to be a giant trash can complete with various assorted potential biohazards on dishes hidden away in nooks and crannies. In 29 days I plan to enter with a mask and rubber gloves with giant industrial grade garbage bags and throw out anything that my son didn't pack up and mail to himself at college. (They actually have a moving service via the university.) Then I am turning his room into my excercise video game room. I feel slightly bad for his future roommates but one of them has already seen my son's room and knows what he is moving in with.

    chasklu 1:28 PM  

    One incompleted cell at the intersection of CIRRx and SHALOMMExRTOWER is enough for me to call it a tough Monday.

    Robert A. Simon 2:25 PM  

    First, thank you @George Barany for the Carl Reiner tip. I would read his shopping lists.

    Next, I've only been contributing--and I use that word loosely--to this forum for about a year, and then, maybe once every ten days. But I read every word all of you write. Very enjoyable, very educational and yes, sometimes very funny. But the one thing I haven't read--and maybe I just missed it--is a thought I've had since I started here. Is it not obvious to everyone that Rex wants one thing in this world--to have Will Shortz' job? Not his ping-pong job, not his world puzzle championship job, his NY Times Crossword Editor job. I'm even willing to bet that Rex would make a deal with the devil to get that job in exchange for adding a minute to his Monday solving time, 90 seconds to Tuesday, all the way up to 4:30 for Sunday. I can't believe this hasn't been brought up before. I think we'd know for sure if we could somehow get at Rex's cell phone and see if he has the NY Times Features Editor on speed-dial.

    Masked and Anonymous 2:40 PM  

    Peaceful theme. Like. fave themer: PAXROMANA. [Anagrams to: X-PAN-O-RAMA.]

    staff weeject pick: OOH. Clue has a built-in TRA-trap.

    fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue (yo, @Roo) … {___-tac-toe} = TIC. Easy *and* gamey.

    I had one of them DAYs-on-Venus at the DMV, not long ago.

    Surprise-extra 7-stacks in the corners … mighty unusual MonPuz fare. SCREWIT was the best (yo, @Teedmn: primo PEWIT powetry). Most delightfully desperate stacker: CHOICER.

    Thanx, Mr. Polin. Peace be with U.

    Masked & AnonymoUUs


    Mohair Sam 3:45 PM  

    @aketi - Recommend you go in armed.

    GILL I. 3:46 PM  

    @Robert A. Simon.
    I'm pretty sure @Rex doesn't want Will's job. I think he's pretty happy being a Prof. What he wants is for Will and gang to start accepting crosswords that don't feel a hundred years old; don't smell like Maleska and have some pizzazz in them. If you do, say, the WSJ ( just one example) you'll see how clever and up-to-date they are. So many good crossword designers have flown the coop. Time to get with the Times. @Rex has no compunction in pointing that out. I disagree with him sometimes, but other times he's spot on.
    Just my humble opinion.

    Anonymous 3:51 PM  

    Regarding the ancient dream:

    Earth shall be fair, and all her people one;
    Nor till that hour shall God's whole will be done.
    Now, even now, once more from earth to sky,
    Peals forth in joy man's old, undaunted cry,
    'Earth shall be fair, and all her folk be one!'

    -final verse of Turn Back O Man

    Bax'N'Nex 4:43 PM  

    Um, Duh...something that is more shalomm is shalommier.

    Unknown 4:52 PM  

    Pete Sampris, Pete Sampras, Pete Sampres? That's 9 and a half minutes of my life I'll neither get back, nor properly use to finish this puzzle. I didn't hate the puzzle, but it did feel forced.

    Nancy 5:01 PM  

    @mathgent (10:39) -- I cracked up over your apt -- and very funny -- comment on TIC.

    @Aketi (1:26)-- Everyone is always telling Loren to write a book. Well, based on so many of your very colorful posts, I think you have a book in you, too. It would be titled LIFE WITH OUR PRE-COLLEGE SON, and it would be very, very funny. (Though whether your son would also think so is a little bit questionable.)

    @George Barany (12:22 a.m.) -- I loved that article, too. From Carl's mouth to Arthur's ear. Please!!!

    Anonymous 5:55 PM  

    "I always drink to World Peace"

    RooMonster 6:48 PM  

    @Anon 5:55
    A Groundhog Day reference! Awesome!


    Mohair Sam 6:52 PM  

    @Anon 5:55 - Seconding @RooMonster - Way to go.

    Unknown 7:21 PM  

    All we are saying is give this puzzle a chance.

    Anonymous 8:25 PM  

    What a drag. Just no wow factor. Just onerous.
    Anyone else thinksee this
    Describes Rex's writeup 9.5 days out of 10?

    Anonymous 8:48 PM  

    How's that hate workin' out for your soul?

    RAD2626 9:08 PM  

    @lms. Rifle spinning video a hoot. Thx. Would love to see that Marine with a fidget spinner.

    Not much to add to all the comments. Awfully good puzzle for a Monday, CHOICER notwithstanding.

    Tita 7:47 AM  

    @aketi... love your last paragraph, especially your coinage of mental ORIGAMI. I shall henceforth plagiarize that phrase.

    Liked the puzzle.
    Peas on earth.

    Abu Afakski 7:26 PM  

    Exactly right!
    Rex was in the puzzle (8d) and he still didn't like it!

    Abu Afakski 7:31 PM  

    Eve - Minx - Crone
    Love it!

    Abu Afakski 7:33 PM  

    Yes, I believe I've been seeing more Rexy answers lately, I should write them down as I come across them.
    The builders are snarking back.

    kitshef 8:03 AM  

    DNF at STRAP oN/AMoS.

    I thought it was a darn clever, with cluing a little dull presumably to get the Monday slot.

    Blogger 10:20 AM  

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    rondo 10:24 AM  

    Found the theme about right for a low expectations Mon-puz. And NOPE, neither good nor bad, a puzzle doesn’t affect the rest of my day, so don’t feel SOSAD for me. ASISAID, I expect better from the real PROS.

    The only clue circled toDAY is our own MINX and yeah baby @TEED(mn).

    ‘TIS hard to imagine examples of WORLDPEACE as a “not-great concept”.

    thefogman 10:47 AM  

    I had Taste before TOUCH and MINi before MINX. I did not know that ALOHA had a deeper meaning than just hello (Love, Peace, and Compassion). I found this one to be more like a challenging Tuesday or an easy Wednesday puzzle. The theme was well executed and the fill was of a CHOICER variety than we have been subjected to of late. Peace out peeps!

    Burma Shave 11:21 AM  


    One EVE ANITA was RAPT up with ETHAN to do it,
    SHE’d TAIWAN on in the SACK, then STRAPIN and just SCREWIT.


    spacecraft 11:49 AM  

    OFL tributes two days running: GROUCH then HATERS. Can't we just all get along? (cf. Motown classic "Why Can't We Be Friends?") TIS the theme today, and a righteous one. SOSAD it remains a dream.

    But really, "No wow factor?" What about SCREWIT? "No ooh?" Um, check out 5-down if you please. No question, today's OFL post should carry a "don't read" warning. I liked it. It's not brilliant; it has the no-vowel spoken twins PSST and TSK, and what's with CHOICER? Oh, I know that guy: the Brooklynite who wrote "The Canterbury Tales."

    Still, ASISAID, I enjoyed it as the PEACEful strains of BALIHAI wafted through my head. Maybe we buckle up far more often than we STRAPIN, but that's small potatoes. Oscar-Emmy-Tony-Grammy winner Rita Moreno stars as today's DOD, playing Maria's sister ANITA in WSS. Ignore the Fearless One this time and score a birdie--as PGA winner Justin Thomas did on the 17th to seal the victory. Congrats!

    leftcoastTAM 2:04 PM  

    TIS, TIC, TSK, SIC(EM),(S)PIT, and (SCREW)IT. Quite a line-up today. Let' just leave it at that.

    kathy of the tower 6:25 PM  

    Nice, smooth puzzle with just a little bit of crunch.

    I was comforted by the theme after the horrific protests this weekend.

    rain forest 6:41 PM  

    A fine Monday with an uplifting theme, something that should always be sought.
    Charlottesville didn't help, though. Nor did the Orange one.

    Didn't mind the three-worders.


    @Spacey - that bogey putt on the 1st hole just might have been the key to his win yesterday. If a bogey putt can be huge, that one was.

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