A lot of them can be found on a lot / MON 8-7-17 / Something that might be picked up at the beach / Character on a collectible card / Inn, informally / Pretentious

Monday, August 7, 2017

Hiii! It's the last Annabel Monday before my internship at ThinkProgress ends, so I'll be slightly less tired next time. ...Maybe. (Seriously, though, my summer has been awesome.)


Relative difficulty: EASY

THEME: FILM DIRECTOR — The second words of the first, second and third words of the theme clues are, respectively, "LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!"

Theme answers:

  • BRIGHT LIGHTS (20A: Feature of the big city)
  • CANDID CAMERA (28A: Practical joke show first aired in 1948)
  • COVERT ACTION (44A: Secret military operation)
  • FILM DIRECTOR (53A: Speaker of the last words of 20-, 28- and 44-Across)

Word of the Day: MOTET (61A: Sacred choral work) —
In western music, a motet is a mainly vocal musical composition, of highly varied form and style, from the late medieval era to the present. The motet was one of the pre-eminent polyphonic forms of Renaissance music. According to Margaret Bent, "a piece of music in several parts with words" is as precise a definition of the motet as will serve from the 13th to the late 16th century and beyond.[1]The late 13th-century theorist Johannes de Grocheo believed that the motet was "not to be celebrated in the presence of common people, because they do not notice its subtlety, nor are they delighted in hearing it, but in the presence of the educated and of those who are seeking out subtleties in the arts".[2]

• • •
OK, I'll be honest, I listed this one as easy because most of it was, but I got stuck in the bottom forever. Who thinks TAN when they hear "something that gets picked up at the beach?" I assumed it would be something like a shell or a rock.  And does ARTSY always mean pretentious? Maybe I'm mistaken in assuming this was hard for anyone else, but to ERR is human, I guess. If so, MY BAD.

Loved having FLOTSAM and JETSAM next to each other - did you know those were the names of Ursula's eels in The Little Mermaid? Man, she's easily the best Disney villain in my book.

The theme was simple. The same could be said for the whole puzzle, actually (other than the bottom where I got stuck!). It wasn't drowning in movie star names or obscure novelists, the clues were almost too straightforward (again, with a few exceptions), it was basically the ideal Monday. I'm sure Rex was bored out of his mind for the two minutes or so it took him to do it, though.

They frolic in streams and they love each other
  • KEVIN (26D: Actor Costner or Spacey) — I cannot believe they forgot Bacon. Come on.
  • OTTER (19A: Animal that frolics in streams) — I love whenever this word comes up especially with such a cute clue because did you know otters hold hands when they sleep
  • POKEMON (43D: Character on a collectible card) — Possibly the only Pokémon reference this year that wasn't a snarky comment about Pokémon Go, so, props for that. 
  • SIRI (7D: iPhone assistant) — One of Siri's lesser-known capabilities: musical collaboration.
Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired college student. (I typed "high school" last night out of habit. Whoops.)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 12:11 AM  

The southeast proved my undoing...almost a full minute over average. Arrgh. Stuck with UNe (wrong language) and NERDs for too long and MOTET was simply not in my wheelhouse.

Hartley70 12:52 AM  

MOTET was my final entry too. I suppose that indicates I'm one of the common folk unable to appreciate it's subtleties. What a definition for MOTET! It makes me hate the ARTSY music before I've heard it.

I agree with Annabel that Ursula is beyond fabulous. It's hard to beat Cruella de Vil, but Ursula does it for me. "Life's full of tough choices, isn't it?"

I like the TRUISM example but in our family it's morphed into "I'm too poor to buy cheap." It can be used to justify the most delightful expenditures, so it's used sparingly.

The theme was Monday obvious and the fill was not. No need to consider the merits of an Oreo at all and I'm most appreciative of that.

Anonymous 1:05 AM  

I actually found the southwest hardest, mainly cause I couldn't get TENDS from T N S, I couldn't see USE at all. TAN and PSLAM were the only two things I had down there for a while. And Truisms.

Robin 1:36 AM  

No problem with TAN here. Seems like I've seen that clued similarly a couple times earlier this year.

FLOTSAM and JETSAM right net to each other was cool. I saw that FJ and said WTF. Then, oh, FJORD, that makes sense.

The themer could have thrown in that 53A would like to win a 13D.

Larry Gilstrap 1:57 AM  

I'm an atypical ARIES; more like a lamb than a ram. Fortunately, I project a confident demeanor, so no problemo. My mother's maiden name was COPE, so go ahead and hack all my online accounts. Her SSN is probably still active, who knows how long those things survive?

I see biting criticism for our current President, that's fine, but don't blame it on his advanced age. The guy is only 70, for crying out loud. I'm a one of the Golden AGERS (that hurts) and a member of AARP and I see that as no excuse to be ridiculously inept. Ageism is a thing; stop it blog people! When I was teaching, some smart-ass teenager would begin a dialog:

SAT: How old are you?

Me: 57, (or whatever.) How old are you?

SAT: 17! (Smirk)

Me: I have those years in the bank, you're not guaranteed tomorrow.

Shut them up every time. Every time!

Aspire to get old, I'm working on it. Many of my friends and associates have failed in the effort. Moment of silence! As Pope wrote: "To ERR is human, to forgive is divine." Does anybody read him anymore? The strongest voice of iambic pentameter ever and number three in Bartlett's, last time I looked.

Speaking of beautiful poetry, read a PSALM! How about some folks starting with #1 and taking it to heart. "Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked." Seems like good advice, but Mama, that's where the fun is, apparently.

Thanks KEVIN and Annabel for a pleasant Monday.

jae 3:26 AM  

Easy and smooth, liked it. Good Monday for noobs.

pcardout 3:40 AM  

I was lucky enough to spend some past years in Santa Barbara. Something you pick up at the beach, why TAR of course. I thought APT was lame even for a Monday. I hesitated to out it in because it is right there in APpropriaTe... just too obvious.

Thomaso808 4:10 AM  

Easy. Straightforward theme. Good Monday puz.

OTTER and UTTER, I like meaningless similarities.

Yes, Annabel, I did know that FLOTSAM and JETSAM were Ursula's eels. I have four daughters ages 21 to 30 so I have seen all the Little Mermaid movies, DVDs, and Disney Channel series about 1 trillion to the 10th power number of times. BTW, thanks for posting that Siri video clip. I tried it on my own iPhone and got the same answer but without the Indian English accent. That was fun. Musical collaboration indeed!

In The Little Mermaid, the character of Chef Louis, who chases Sebastian the crab around the kitchen trying to make a meal out of him, is voiced by Rene Auberjonois, who also played Fr. Mulcahy in the 1970 original MASH movie, and who was also a regular on the 1990's Star Trek Deep Space Nine as a shape-shifting alien. That's a pretty diverse acting career!

andrea carla michaels 5:20 AM  

Saw CANDIDCAMERA and guessed the theme. NICE!!!! Perfect Monday!!!

Oh my god that was a great puzzle!!! FLOTSAM next to JETSAM???!!!! Brilliant and FJORD as a result!
And he snuck in KEVIN
So many Ks!

And fun words like HOCUS and PSALM TRUISMS
ARTSY crossing NERDY!


Lewis 5:39 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 5:41 AM  

1. Nice AIR/MAILED cross, as well as proximity of AIR and B_AND_B (yes, that isn't how it's actually spelled but close enough).

2. As with Acme, noticed that conflicting corner of ARTSY and NERDY.

3. Skin began to crawl at the MY_BAD/CAP cross, and then I figured out why.

4. Playful inclusion of UTTER and OTTER.

5. That beginning to the seventh row -- MY BAD OVUM -- sounds like a movie title, and if it ever comes to pass, I'll skip it, thank you.

VEE 5:44 AM  

More Vees tham Ks:


Z 7:02 AM  

Annabel - Did you get sent back to high school?

Medium here. I was a little slow getting out of the NW since Bed and Breakfasts are quite distinct from Inns in my mind. I think it was the "informally" that really threw me. "Hotel, informally" is equally valid as the clue, the "informally" telling us that the answer is going to be an ampersandwich, not that we're looking for a colloquialism. Tricksy.

I do think ARTSY is almost always pretentious. "Artistic" is the compliment, describing someone as ARTSY, or worse ARTSY fartsy, always has that "artistic wannabe" sense running through it.

@teedmn yesterday - The ICC part finished last night, but the YCC (U-20 I believe) finishes up today. The US Open will be the same weekend in Blaine for at least two more years. I've never played at that complex. The last time I was out your way we played at the Polo Grounds in Maple Grove. I hear Blaine is a much nicer, much larger, complex.

QuasiMojo 7:05 AM  

I usually pick up TAR at the beach. Nice write up Annabel.

Two Ponies 7:10 AM  

Who is Greg?

@Larry Gilstrap, Nice sort of rambling comment today. You always have something to say. I'm keeping your SAT response in my back pocket for future use.

@Lewis, I noticed the My Bad/Cap intersection as well.

Candid Camera always disappointed me. They could have done so much better. The stunts were so lame that I could barely watch them.

Anonymous 7:10 AM  

Thanks Annabel!! I loved the information on sleeping otters!!

Anonymous 7:19 AM  

If by ThinkProgress you mean more of the same partisan division, then yes.

Hungry Mother 7:21 AM  

Breezed through with a slight pause at MOTET. For some reason I wanted "motif".

kitshef 7:24 AM  

Easiest puzzle ever. Almost every clue is completely literal.

Sea otters hold hands while sleeping. River otters - IMO even cuter, don't.

Aketi 7:30 AM  

@Vee, if you hug another Vee then you become a Double You, instead of a Double Vee. Since there are five of you, then there are 2-1/2 double Us for M&A to add to the paltry 4 U count.

frankbirthdaycake 7:31 AM  

Not bad. Got held up awhile in the SE but finished in average Monday time.

I'm not sure about the definition of "artsy." I've always thought it could describe a person with particular tastes attributable to being eccentric, which (to me) is more neutral, rather than pretentious, which (to me) is more perjorative.

I could be wrong about this, and I'd welcome good-spirited clarification.

Thank you, Annabel, for another fine piece.

Anonymous 7:32 AM  

You purchase pain with all that joy can give
And die of nothing but a rage to live.

chefbea 7:44 AM  

Fun , easy puzzle!! Great write up Annabel!! Love coq au vin...I make it without MSG!!!

Anonymous 7:59 AM  

Easy puzzle. Pertentious is usually arty but artsy will work as well. If you didn't like Candid Camera (which I did when I was young), you might enjoy the Canadian program Just for Laughs: Gags If you google this, you will find some pretty funny youtube videos. However, the show is not always suitable for younger children.

Teedmn 8:10 AM  

I find it strange how there are some words and phrases that I dislike and avoid whenever possible. I try to never say "24/7" and yet I picked up the word "dissed" with nary a qualm. MY BAD is one I dislike. I see how USEful it is but it just seems weird coming from a middle-aged white woman. Anybody else with language dislikes?

This is as straight-forward a puzzle as it gets. I re-read every clue and did not find any word play. A classic Monday with a fine theme and no dreck (SSN gets a pass by me.) Thanks, Kevin Christian.

@Z, yesterday my husband and I went out to eat a couple of acres away from the Blaine sports complex and we could hear the roar of the crowds coming from the field; the place was packed. It was fun to see the fields full of people who weren't kicking a ball around.

Alex 8:13 AM  

Are motets necessarily sacred?

Nancy 8:26 AM  

No, I thought, that's not it at all!, as I read the peculiar-sounding citation at 62A. It was familiar, yes, but it was not...quite right.

Back in the days when no one thought that a child would be scarred for life if a PSALM was read to them each morning in elementary school, the first PSALM was one of P.S.6's all-time faves. I knew it/know it by heart still. (The fact that hearing PSALMS read aloud when I was young has not made me remotely religious, either as a child or an adult, is not germane to this story.)

But it is the King James Bible that was read to us in school, and it is the King James Bible that I own today. The King James Bible is pure poetry, and the PSALMS are the most poetic of all the chapters. Many of you will know what the first PSALM sounds like in that version. For those of you who don't, first re-read clue 62A, and then read this:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Pure poetry. I'm not a religious person, but I could read the King James Bible all day.

Oh, yes, the puzzle. Smooth, easy, and with an attempt to make at least some of the clues more interesting than the average Monday.

puzzlehoarder 8:29 AM  

I'm grateful for any early week puzzle that's pun and gibberish free. MOTET was a bonus word. If today was any indication we should be in for a good week.

RooMonster 8:34 AM  

Hey All !
I always try for no writeovers on a MonPuz, but it was not to be today. Was doing good, til the dyslexia kicked in at AirES. Then had AcreS for AUTOS, PiKachu-POKEMAN, CarE-CORE. Oh well.

Did like puz, easy theme, mostly easy fill and clues. Like @Annabel, really got a kick out of FLOTSAM and JETSAM next to each other. One of my unsuccessful puz submissions (a Sunday) had EEL PAIR as an answer (which was one of the answers Will said, "Um, no" to) and it was clued as 'Flotsam and Jetsam in Little Mermaid.'

Nice to see the constructor get his name in the puz! If I made puz, I would've changed MAZE to MARE to get ROO! :-)


mathgent 9:03 AM  

@Nancy (8:26): Thanks for the quote of the psalm from King James. What lovely poetry. And what a shame that the Bible the constructor quotes from has cheapened the text so.

evil doug 9:17 AM  

It is beautiful poetry, Nancy, particularly because those who wrote it felt so deeply about their subject. You say you're "not a religious person". But you've exposed yourself to these holy words, and I'll pray that some of those scattered seeds take root for you, in you. If you think that this poetry is sweet now, imagine its impact if you come to share the heart of the authors. It happens to doubting, reluctant and troubled people of all ages, all the time. May it happen for you, too....

Tita 9:36 AM  

A fine Monday puzzle. A great Monday write-up, Annabel!
I also used to like watching Candid Camera. (Were they reruns, or am I really that old), though I did think at the time that most were either cruel or stupid...but when they were creative, they were fun.

Living in Germany in the early Aughts, they had a version of the show. The two pranks that I remember to this day could not fly in the US...
One involved the whole family (a white family) at the maternity ward, anxiously awaiting the newborn...the doctor brought in the baby. It was a very black baby. Hilarity ensued?!!

The other was actually funny in how it exposes the psyche of a people...or at least the 3 people involved.
A German "official" was stopping people on the sidewalk, telling them he was a Shoe Inspector, and was doing random safety compliance checks to see if people's shoes were adequately safe.
The person was told to walk, then "Stop!", to assess braking capabilities...they measured the "tread" on the soles with a little gauge. They made people spin to check the cornering abilities.

@Teed...you're opening a can of EELS, no? Mine is "pissed off", and its derivative, PO'd. What an ugly association. Neither do I like the British use of pissed for drunk.

@Nancy...thanks for pointing out the poetry in language. I'll end on that note...a much more pleasant and creative one.

Thanks, Mr. Christian.

jberg 9:50 AM  

Fun, easy puzzle even if he did put his first name in it. But I'm puzzled by 40D - how does the painter come in?

@ACME, is this a new trend, posting in your own name rather than AGORA CAP MOTET? It does make it easier to find your comments!

QuasiMojo 10:24 AM  

@Teedm, "it's all good" makes my skin crawl.

Joseph Michael 10:28 AM  

Got the theme early on and it felt like something I had seen before, but the constructor on xword.com says that this is its first appearance in the NYT.

Nice simple puzzle, APT for a Monday, with NOTIN to complain about. The word of the day for me is FLOTSAM which is just a great word and always has been.

Enjoyed the constructor's Hitchcock-like cameo at 26D and wondered if he might be an ARIES. Also liked MY BAD, JETSAM, FJORD, SIRI, and the ever-amusing name YAKOV.

Good job, KEVIN.

Kendall 10:53 AM  

I could see why this would be easy for people, but if you are like me and you don't know FLOTSAM and JETSAM are real words and have no idea what Palme DOR is, this pretty quickly turns into a DNF. Adding to my problems is that I can never remember LENTO no matter how many times I see it in puzzles. I like learning things like FLOTSAM and JETSAM and suspect I will never forget them at this point, but the crosses there were pretty rough for a Monday.

The rest of the puzzle I thought was great and I enjoyed solving. Just wish the NE had been more forgiving for me.

kitshef 10:56 AM  

@teedmn - Agree with you on MY BAD, mostly because it is used in place of the profuse apologies and shame that some recent transgression merits. Oh, yeah, we were supposed to meet for lunch and you waited at the restaurant, alone for a half hour. MY BAD.

I personally detest the recent development of 'bae', used to mean 'babe', and the word 'snitch', when used as a verb.

Carola 11:35 AM  

Nice Monday! Cute theme plus PANSY, TRUISMS, FJORD, FLOTSAM, JETSAM, and B AND B BAGHDAD (randomly made me think of HOTEL California). Speaking of music, I liked AIR along with MOTET.

@Teedmn, to those already offered, I add "Nuff said."

Dick Swart 12:02 PM  


Yet another great and good-humored write-up!

And YES! I find the use of 'artsy' to mean 'pretentious' very misleading and demeaning.

At a Town Hall with Senator Wyden (D OR) yesterday, I asked for some small attention in the budget to maintain funding for the arts.

Anoa Bob 12:02 PM  

This puzz has a good balance between theme and fill. As others have mentioned, seeing FLOTSAM & JETSAM side by side was a nice touch, and warmed this old word-nerd salt's heart. I did a double take, though, when they were clued identically, "Detritus at sea". They are not identical.

JETSAM involves material, usually cargo, that is thrown overboard during an emergency at sea, often in a storm, in an attempt to keep the vessel from sinking. FLOTSAM is the still-floating wreckage of a ship that has sunk, maybe when the JETSAM maneuver failed.

"Detritus" is material that has disintegrated or broken away from a main mass. So that fits FLOTSAM nicely but is wide of the mark for JETSAM, methinks. But, hey, it's a crossword puzzle, and most solvers are landlubbers anyway (poor wretches), and could care less, so close enough.

When I saw "Feature of the big city" and the answer BRIGHT LIGHTS at 20 Across, I was reminded of this Jimmy Reed classic Bright Lights, Big City.

old timer 12:17 PM  

Average time for a Monday so I would not rate it Easy.

A couple of interesting questions from the commentariat:

Are MOTETs always sacred? I think so but really do not know.

Are SSNs ever re-used? I think not, but again, really don't know. I do know that at one time the first three numbers referred to the regional office where the number was processed. They must have had to give that up.

ARTSY is pretty much always a slam at the person so described. Its cousin ARTY not so much. Though my dictionary describes ARTY as "showily pretentious" I think that meaning has been transferred to ARTSY. Which conveniently rhymes with FARTSY (FARTY is simply an Irish pronunciation of "forty."

Joe Bleaux 12:20 PM  

Easy peasy as a Monday will be -- and with conspicuous absences (did Anais NIN have an ACNE flare-up, or is she just off somewhere munching OREOs?). While 18A is common enough, I'm wondering if it's meaning has become a little distorted. Is IRE really "Fury," as some recent puzzles have suggested? If you are *irritated* by, say, an expression such as "my bad," are you really *furious* about it? @Tita A. The climax of an episode of the old "Dick Van Dyke" show was a "That's not our baby! It's black!" scene. Let's make humor great again.

Masked and Anonymous 12:32 PM  

Nice smooth MonPuz … maybe coulda used just a little more 'tude … one or two single-? clues, a la Peter Gordon MonPuzs, perhaps?

Primo weeject stacks in the central N and S zones. Overall, a respectable litter of runtwords, but staff picks must be made, sooo …. ZOO's kinda neat. Owwww … just noticed, also have the bonus NE/SW weeject stacks. Exquisite runtwork! Goes the extra mile.

RETAG. har [Ultimate desperation = UNRETAGGINGERS, btw. So, RETAG is pretty mild by comparison and thereby ok for the MonPuz solvers. QED]

Best moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {___-pocus} = HOCUS. Even does 4/5 of the letter-work for U.

Any puz that has JETSAM crammed up right alongside FLOTSAM is A-ok-fabulous, in M&A-ok's O&K-book. Was worth a ONT-RTE-DOR or two, to pull it all off. Lotsa other good fillins, too boot. Real nice civilized MonPuz. Thanx, Mr. Christian -- now, let's go ahead with that there mutiny! Talkin double-?? MonPuz clues, here. har

ANDY, PANSY, NERDY, ARTSY. The 7-dwarf cousins continue to march into the reunion convention center. Yo, @Blu'Bel -- wanna play Snow White in this here parade? Great write-up, btw. Luv the bullets. U are #1 with a bullet, tired but true darlin.

Masked & Anonymo4Us

p.s. Thanx for the spot-on accurate prelim U-count, @Aketi. Always heartenin, to have assistance in such worthy regards. U are #1 with a U, darlin.


Two Ponies 1:15 PM  

Well said @Joe Bleaux, Let's all relax and have fun.

andrea carla michaels 1:42 PM  

@jberg I did try and sign in as Agora Camera Mybad but my phone made it appear under my google account or something :(

Nancy 2:15 PM  

Warm thanks to @mathgent, @Tita, and especially to @Evil Doug, whose blog "handle" seems grossly inappropriate today. Doug, I appreciate your beautiful and beautifully expressed thoughts; envy you, as I envy all deeply religious people for the certainty and conviction of their beliefs; wish I could be so sure about something that to me is unknowable; and fervently hope that you are correct. I know your wishes for me come from a really good place and I am touched by them.

Michelle Turner 2:59 PM  

Fastest Monday ever for me! Loved flotsam, jetsam, motet, psalm, and CandidCamera!!

JC66 3:13 PM  

@ Nancy

You always express yourself so well, but your 2:15PM post is truly a gem and I couldn't agree more.

TCProf 3:47 PM  

Nancy is much more tolerant of self-righteous proselytizers who condescend to us poor lost souls who do not buy into their superstitions. If only most religious people possessed the humanity and grace shown in her 2:15 post.

And, hey, P.S. 6 on East 81st in NYC!

pabloinnh 4:08 PM  

What, no Ogden Nash today?

Want some flotsam?
I got some.
Want some jetsam?
I'll get some.

Thomaso808 4:49 PM  

@Anoa Bob, thanks for that comment on FLOTSAM and JETSAM. I wondered what was the difference. I don't think I've ever seen one word without the other. The oxforddictionary.com says detritus is "waste or debris of any kind", so I think by that definition "Detritus at sea" is a fair clue for both.

FWIW, I once took a flight from Moscow to Volgograd on an AeroFLOT JET. After we were airborne, the older gentleman sitting facing me pulled out a bottle of vodka and with a big smile offered me a swig.

Anonymous 6:40 PM  

@oldtimer 12:17 pm You reminded me of the riddle
"Why do the Irish use exactly 239 beans in their bean stew?
"Because add one more, it'd be 240."

Lewis 7:00 PM  

@mathgent -- can you email me? Just click on my blue name. I have a question...

jb129 7:36 PM  

Finished early this am but with so much time left did chores (UGH) - EASY! (guess you can't make me happy!) Thank you for a great Monday morning puzzle!

Unknown 8:25 PM  

Fun and fast puzzle. Anyone else a little confused about the clue for DVD? I think they mean DVR. Is this just a full blown editor's error, or is there some reasoning I'm not thinking of?

jae 12:13 AM  

@Kyle - If Netflix streamed every movie they offer DVDs would be obsolete, however, you would still need a DVR to record TV broadcasts you want to watch at a later time that are not streamed by Hulu or Amazon or....e.g. sports, awarded shows, local news programs, talk shows...unless you are hooked into an app like KODI and then you really don't need cable unless you care about the local news.

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nice blog
Walatra G Sea Jelly

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thefogman 9:52 AM  

Just like Annabel I found this one to be very easy except in the SE. Had POKEMaN before I finally realized it was POKEMON. I also scratched my head at the answer to 52D: ARTSY. But according to Oxford, the constructor got it right: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/artsy The theme was a bit light, but it was clear of any FLOTSAM and JETSAM and sufficiently good for a Monday so I shall not UTTER any BARBS towards it.

Burma Shave 10:21 AM  


COVERTACTION demands you COPE, be BRAVE don’t ERR nor back off,
so ASK for BARB’S HANDS, in hopes that HOTEL you, “I USE to YAKOV.”


spacecraft 11:28 AM  

Plenty of FLOTSAM and JETSAM to be found here. The first detritus to go (for me) would be HOCUS. Any entry that's half of a hyphenated expression, and clueable ONLY by the other half, belongs on the cutting room floor.

BANDB, though still painful in a crossword grid, is one of the more legit {x}AND{x} combos. At least it's in the language. I just don't like single-letter stuff in a place where I'm looking for--hello--WORDS. You know? As in crossWORD? Anybody remember WORDS?? This in a raggedy NW that includes a re-verb, an Awkward Partial (NOTIN = "out," duh), and the crutchy SSN. Not the most promising of starts.

Super-easy; after the practically shouted gimme complex in the NE, I was looking at -HTS and -CAM- and instantly thought "LIGHTS, CAMERA...ACTION!" A glance at those clues confirmed it.

Theme was a yawn, fill was 9-10-down. Plenty of guys, but only TONI for the distaff side; OK, the Captain's lady wins DOD. But don't do that to me one more time. DOY (Miss America) is from North Dakota for a refreshing change. Congrats. This offering: bogey.

rondo 12:08 PM  

After finding BRIGHTLIGHTS I thought maybe we were in for rhyme time, but CANDIDCAMERA gave the theme away. Probably the coolest fill was FLOTSAM and JETSAM together like that.

College class Music Appreciation comes in handy for MOTET. Never ASK the value of college education.

In my property acquisition I have inherited a VHS copy of YAKOV Smirnoff’s Branson routine from 20 years ago. It might even be autographed by NERDY YAKOV himself. There might even be a companion paperback book. Yours if you want it. What a country.

Stretching for yeah babies Eden and Bach, a pair of BARBS. Once is never enough with a man like you, @spacey.

Not much special today, but it wasn’t a total DRAG.

rain forest 2:21 PM  

Mondays are rarely a DRAG because they are over so quickly, as this one was, yet it had its charms. The theme was straightforward, but just fine. I often wonder of those words are actually spoken by DIRECTORs.

MY BAD is an expression I dislike, too. It somehow is an attempt to not fully accept responsibility for some transgression. I also don't like "It is what it is", "...down the road", and some others I can't remember right now. I'd add "the sooner you learn that, the better off you'll be", but that delves up memories of childhood chagrin.

One write-over at UNo, but otherwise short and sweet.

leftcoastTAM 2:47 PM  

Very nice, smooth, easy and APT Monday. Maybe even ideal, as per Anabel.

Minimum drek and drag, FLOTSAM and JETSAM, and something for everybody.

Nice work, KEVIN.

Diana,LIW 4:48 PM  

Perfectly acceptable Monday puz. Interesting discussion of unloved slang and current phrases. I had a "flash card" set of slang words with "Dick and Jane" type pictures - hilarious.

Funny, one phrase that gets to me - FLOTSAM and JETSAM. It was used by a prof in grad school to refer to "this and that" or "odds and ends." I thought he sounded all ARTSY fartsy when he said that. I mean, it's really oceanic garbage. Don't get me started on backward caps. ;-)

Gotta run...

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

wcutler 7:27 PM  

The puzzle was unusually easy for me, even in the SE where I had MOTET and ARTSY with no problem, but struggled with the more common words. But the real fun was reading the review. I loved the answer of a trillion to the 10th power video. And the otter photo.

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Jason Martin 2:40 AM  

This post reminds me of my childhood.
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