Big letters in home security / TUE 8-1-17 / Marijuana slangily / Net that netted Dory in Finding Nemo / Zin altnerative / Onetime Ron Howard role

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Constructor: Jay Kaskel

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: "Shocking!" — all theme clues are ["Shocking!," to a [somebody]] and then the answer is a phrase meaning "Shocking!" (in really olde-timey lingo) that is also a pun on the [somebody]:

Theme answers:
  • "OH, MY STARS!" (17A: "Shocking!," to an astronomer?) (that "OH" is totally contrived, boo, no)
  • "HOLY TOLEDO!" (25A: "Shocking!," to an Ohio tourist?)
  • "I'LL BE DARNED!" (36A: "Shocking!," to a seamstress?) (the seamstress herself would not be darned ... just factually speaking)
  • "WELL I NEVER!" (50A: "Shocking!," to a teetotaler?)
  • "GOOD GRAVY!" (59A: "Shocking!," to a Thanksgiving guest?)
Word of the Day: ADT (5D: Big letters in home security) —
The ADT Corporation is an American corporation that provides residential and small business electronic security, fire protection and other related alarm monitoring services in 35 countries. The corporate head office is located in Boca Raton, Florida. In February 2016, the company was acquired by Apollo Global Management for $6.9 billion in a leveraged buyout. (wikipedia)
• • •

"Shocking!," to the cast of "The Andy Griffith Show." These expressions are all hilariously old. Like, OLD NAG old. Older-than-WKRP old. Not quite DINOS old. But old. Made this XER (ugh, that "word") feel waaaay too young for this puzzle. Almost like a teen AGER (ugh, that non-word). The concept almost works, except for the DARNED answer (see above), but it's all too cornball for me. The fill generally matches the theme, i.e. not from this century in any way shape or form. Grid is crowded with tired, old fill / crosswordese. There is a minor cute factor in the theme, if you're into that kind of thing, but the mustiness of the whole endeavor is rather too much for me. Rather! None of this, however, is shocking.

Puzzle was mercifully easy, though. The only hold-ups involved cheap stupid ambiguities like at 15A: "See you!"—I had ADI- and went ADIEU instead of ADIOS, and again at 39A: Childish comeback where I had AM TOO instead of IS TOO. See, fun, right? Sigh. The most interesting mistake I made came at the most interesting answer in the grid (interesting, in that it felt not at all in keeping with the mindset / humor / frame of reference of the Entire rest of the puzzle): HERB (25D: Marijuana, slangily). Had the "H-" and quickly wrote in HASH (seemed more like what someone who uses the expression "OH, MY STARS!" would call marijuana). This puzzle doesn't really warrant further comment.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Maxwell 12:15 AM  

Oddly enough, I found the ultra oldness of this puzzle charming. Silly.

Anonymous 12:27 AM  

I regularly meet with a group of people to discuss the Seven Deadly Sins and how they inform each of our lives. Lately I've noticed that Sloth, the one that most informs mine, gets short shrift in these discussions. I keep meaning to pipe up to get sloth its due, but I say what the hell, maybe I'll do it next time we meet and drop it.

mathgent 12:39 AM  

I agree with everything Rex said and yet I got some fun out of it. I enjoyed seeing all those old expressions of shock. And when I say old, I mean old. They were before my time.

By the way, I've been told that if I can get my nom de blog in blue I won't ever have to prove that I'm not a robot. How do I do that?

Anonymous 1:15 AM  

@mathgent - Whey you go to publish your comment, choose Google Account, click publish and a sign-in screen will appear, one option of which is 'More Options'. Click on that, then 'Create account'. Answer each and every question to Google's satisfaction and will then have a Google account, which you will then use to comment from now on. Oh, and please don't actually be a robot.

Larry Gilstrap 1:54 AM  

The first time I ever heard the phrase HUNKERED down, I was smitten. Couldn't wait to use that in conversation. Now, HUNKERing has become pretty much a lifestyle choice. Lucky me, I guess.

But, back in the day, a roommate might score some HERB, not what we called it, and we would get the munchies. My job was to cook popcorn using a stainless steel skillet, no easy task. They ATE it and never complained about the old maids or the scorched bits. A friend with weed is a friend in deed. Statute of limitations in CA?

My career was teaching and I strongly supported the local, the state, and NEA organizations. Collective bargaining is an ideal of governance, until we get a benevolent dictator. Particularly when we had a school board of nitwits.

When I was a freshman at Cal Poly Pomona, Miss Hightower was my English Lit teacher, and try as she might, she could not disguise her gorgeousness. I was nineteen years old! I tried extra hard in that class, One exam I was certain that the Seven Deadly sins would arise. I developed my own mnemonic device: PEWGALS. Sloth was not my SIN, but Lechery may have reared his ugly head. Wrath and Avarice leave me cold, as a general rule.

Once again, I recommend the "The Professor and the Madman" about the construction of the OED. Word nerds will love it.

jae 2:02 AM  

Easy-medium for me too. @Rex-yup, cute, reminded me of Tom Swifties. The fill is a bit clunky and yes it is ancient, but it's Tues. Liked it...and Jeff gave it POW.

...and @Larry is right about "The Professor and the Madman"

chefwen 2:03 AM  

One of my schoolmates parents kind of adopted us, we called them our second Mom and Dad. The Dad was full of these old timely phrases and this brought back fond memories of them both. She was the "OH MY STARS and GOOD GRAVY" type, he was more HOLY TOLEDO
kind of a guy. In their older years she would get up and kind of hobble across the room, his favorite saying was "What's the matter Old Paint, throw a shoe?" I'm pretty sure she didn't appreciate that, but took it all in good humor. We, of course, thought it historical. Sure do miss them.

This was beyond easy and I loved every minute of it. I would be hard put to pick a favorite. Maybe WELL I NEVER!

chefwen 2:07 AM  

Pretty sure I meant hysterical.

Anonymous 2:21 AM  

Missed cross reference op at 25D/23A. ADIeu before ADIOS? Whack.

Thomaso808 4:29 AM  

An enjoyable easy solve with some shockingly quaint themers. Really liked it.

I (and my kids) learned the word OEUVRE from the Weird Al song "Couch Potato", which was a parody of Eminem's song "Lose Yourself":

"Like to tie up those programming planners
Make 'em watch all of that junk 'til their heads explode just like "Scanners"
Leech-covered grub-eatin' fools on "Survivor"
Look there's James Lipton discussing the OEUVRE of Mr. Rob Schneider"

@mathgent you will still have to check the box that you're not a robot, but you won't have to pass any silly pattern recognition tests. Good luck!

three of clubs 5:07 AM  

Liked it. HEMP for HERB

Anonymous 5:25 AM  

Can someone explain "English Head" = LOO? I got it from the crosses but to my British ears, loo = restroom...

Loren Muse Smith 5:31 AM  

I’m with @Maxwell – I found the entries charming. Oddly enough, my favorite was I’LL BE DARNED. I see the point about its not really “working,” but I choose to overthink other things. I guess no one darns anymore because socks are pretty much disposable these days. I buy’em at Walmart, 5 pairs for less than a six-pack of beer. Our good socks, though, the nice camping/hiking wool ones that don’t make you itch…I’d love to know how to darn those.

That southeast corner is pretty cosmopolitan, right? LOO over the BEEB and OED. Italian TRE and LEGATO, French OEUVRE, Spanish DIA.

I didn’t know “HUNKERED down” meant hid. The way I use it, it means to settle in somewhere for a bit and get serious. I hunkered down and learned the steps for getting the inverse matrix of a 3x3 using determinants. I would never say When my kids were little and started arguing, I would hunker down in the coat closet so they couldn’t find me.

@mathgent, @Thomaso808 – I don’t have to check any kind of robot box at all. I just hit the button that says “publish comment.” When I “went blue,” it set up my profile, and I got an orange “B” by my blue name, so when you click on my name, it has my profile. Pretty straightforward. But there are other blue-name people who have a red “G+” next to their name. When you click to see their stuff, there’s nothing but their name – no info, no email address, no nothing. At least for me. Many times I’ve wanted to email someone to continue a discussion that others would not be interested in, clicked on their blue name, and gotten a profile that seems like it has no information. Am I missing something? Whatever the case, @mathgent, if you want to be email-able and have to choose between the orange B and the red G+, choose the orange B.

Gotta go hunker down and study for a test. Then I get to pick green beans. Then snap, blanch, and freeze them. I’d rather stab at my kneecaps with the business end of a darning needle.

Aketi 5:34 AM  

@Anonymous 5:25 am, HEAD is an American expression for LOO.

Aketi 6:08 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aketi 6:11 AM  

HOLY STARS! That was blast to my Grandparent's past and I just turned old enough to get senior discounts to the movies.

Anonymous 6:17 AM  

@anon 5:25, HEAD is specifically on a boat. But slangily used by a few Americans who want to sound nautical.
The phrase is OH MY STARS AND GARTERS. Without the garters no OH. Geez Will.

Lewis 6:24 AM  

Cute theme -- I don't think I've ever seen it before -- to go with some nice answers (HUNKERED, OEUVRE, BRUNT) and a clean grid. I like the confluences of BEEB/LOO, and REAR/SAG/OLDNAG, and the mini-theme of double E's (5).

Couple of other theme possibilities:
"Shocking!," to a lumberjack: SHIVER ME TIMBERS!
... to Rene Descartes: WELL I'LL BE!

And since we had pot in the puzzle, we could have had a HOLY SMOKES!

Anonymous 6:24 AM  

@Loren, I use it a third way: HUNKER down for the winter. Meaning, settle in, plan not to emerge, focus on something like 3x3 matrices. So, kind of like you, but with an implied "hide away from chaos" den-up element.

OTD 6:25 AM  

Agree with Rex on this one, but had a lot of fun with it. One of my fastest solves in ages. Had the same problem with 15A: SEE YOU. Finally hit ADIOS with the crosses.

puzzlehoarder 6:41 AM  

I was a little slow on this one. It wasn't the old phrases that caused this with the exception of GOODGRAVY. I blanked out on the first to clues and backfilled from the NE. Next came a HEMP/HERB write over. In the SE I had both a STER/AGER write over as well as my usual which comes first the U or the E confusion with OEUVRE. Still there were a number of clues I didn't have to read. Another harmless Tuesday. On an actual computer I enjoy the robot test.

LisaG 6:51 AM  

Hubby watches British procedurals on the "telly", all produced by the BEEB, but I've never heard that term before.

Shocking to a fisherman "Holy mackerel!"

Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome on Sunday!

LisaG 7:00 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hungry Mother 7:02 AM  

Right in the wheelhouse for this geezer. Quick one.

Two Ponies 7:03 AM  

This was so full of good clean fun.
A few answers required some thought such as
canoe, not a lanyard or fire building or making a bird house out of popsicle sticks?
The peachy car that turned out to be a lemon?
On order started out in my mind as in utero.
That SE corner was rather exotic and unexpected.
@Lewis, love your suggestions!
I didn't think the fill was bad at all. Not an eel in sight.
Is Finding Nemo such a wonderful movie?
One other chuckle for me was Pelosi the Old Nag hunkering down in the center of the grid.
All-in-all a much better than usual Tuesday. Thanks Jay.
Big difference between hash and herb, Rex.

Glimmerglass 7:19 AM  

@Rex: I don't think old-timey cuteness is any worse than concentrated up-to-date pop culture. Why is OH MY STARS any worse than Li'l somebodyorother? I suppose a pefect puzzle would have equal parts of elements from this week's pop news,1990's, 1940's, 1800's, ancient history, science, and classic literature. There's no such thing as pefect. Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good. This a good Tuesday easy puzzle. I'm old, so the nostalgia makes me smile. I'm old, so rap and current slang make me grumble. But neither is absolutely worse than the other.

JHC 7:20 AM  

I want to give a shout-out to Joel Fagliano's crypto-political mini today, with MOOCH crossing COCKY, and a DEM jumping up and down on his head.

kitshef 7:20 AM  

Charming puzzle, cute theme, WKRP mention, all good here.

Well, some of the threes are not ideal (XERPEPSELREN, anybody?).

Hartley70 7:21 AM  

I appreciate the cuteness factor here. I don't think I've ever said any of these shockers. Since I filled in GOODGrief before I read the GOODGRAVY clue, I'd say that "grief" is as far into cuteness as I'll personally go, being a Charles Schultz fan. I'm planning on dumping HOLYshit in the near future for something more polished.

Aside from the themers, the fill was very easy. I went for Hash and not HEmp. HERB is new to me. I suppose in the "legal" states it is a HERB and you can "pot" it on a sunny windowsill with your rosemary and basil. Basil would still be my favorite.

I think of HUNKERED down as girding oneself to survive a long siege, like a Canadian winter or, even less fun, a stay in the fallout shelter out back. One may be hidden, but it's more of a side effect than the point.

kitshef 7:32 AM  

My preferred old timey expression of shock is "I'll be jiggered", which could be clued with a shop class clue, or a tar clue, or a toper clue.

QuasiMojo 7:32 AM  

Can't we just have puzzles without these cloying, awfully punned, forced themes?

Anonymous 7:42 AM  

Head is used as a word the toilet mostly on yachts and ships. And on land by those who want to call attention to their nautical ties.

chefbea 7:46 AM  

Loved the puzzle...I am old enough to recognize all of the themers. Also loved Mamma Mia...saw it in NYC. Have all of ABBA's cds

Paul Rippey 7:46 AM  

Thanks for WELL I'LL BE! Brilliant.

GHarris 7:53 AM  

Shocking to a reverse geneticist? I'll be a monkey's uncle.

The Hermit Philosopher 7:55 AM  

@Glinnerglass: you are spot on! @Rex is perfect in his own mind, so HE is the enemy of good. Rarely satisfied. Rarely has anything positive to say. Rarely anything but a total jerk.

Two Ponies 8:01 AM  

Once long ago when in Jamaica I went in search of some local produce and spices to do some cooking during our stay.
I still smile to myself at the response I got from the ladies at the vegetable stand when I asked for some herbs.
They recoiled in horror. "No mon, we no sell the herb!"
They relaxed and laughed with me when I explained what I wanted.

Z 8:10 AM  

@anon12:27 - I knew where you were going but enjoyed the ride. Nicely done.

@phone users who comment- That nifty "reply" feature where your comment appears immediately below the comment you are replying to does not work on any other platform. As a result, your conversational reply looks like a total non sequitur to everyone else. If you want us to understand your comments you need to, at a minimum, use the @ convention.

As is not unusual, pretty much with Rex here. Well done for what it is, but I'm not much in to humor that was old timey when I was young. The puzzle has a certain Hee Haw/Lawrence Welk feeling to it. I did enjoy the WKRP clip. "Scratch an Allman Brother and you have black."

Sioux Falls 8:11 AM  

Can someone explain ZIN alternative? Got CAB from the crosses, but have no idea....I'm probably missing something obvious... thanks!

SouthsideJohnny 8:32 AM  

@Isaac - enjoy a glass of CABernet with your meal instead of a heavier and more robust ZINfandel.

Mohair Sam 8:33 AM  

@Isaac - Wines - Zinfandel / Cabernet

Bill Feeney 8:35 AM  

Since he suddenly withdrew from the public eye, no one can watch the BEEB.

Tom R 8:44 AM  

I am old and liked the oldness of the puzzle. The "Oh" of Oh my stars is not contrived. That actually was the way that expression was most commonly used.

jackj 8:53 AM  


With but a slight tinge of hyperbole, WELL I'LL BE was a wordsmith's equivalence of hitting a grand slam home run in the 14th inning of a tied game seven of the World Series!

Brilliant, my friend.

pmdm 8:57 AM  

Issac Mayo: do you ever drink wine of the Zinfandel or Cabernet varieties?

Stewart Showalter: Today's write up demonstrates Mr. Sharp can be nice and calm when he complains. He might not have liked today's puzzle, but he seemed to me to express himself politely which, as you imply, isn't always true. Perhaps his vacation mellowed him. (At least for the time being?)

Glimmerglass: My test for a great puzzle is that it's timeless. By this test, a great puzzle today should be great in 100 years. So to me, references to pop culture, be they to older or newer culture, result (in my opinion) to degrade the puzzle. Not that I don't mind some of the references. I just apply the judgment of "great" objectively, not subjectively. (That's not at all a comment or judgement on your opinion. Some people interpret that type of comment to be a ding on them. I only opine on my own way of looking at the puzzle.)

QuasiMojo: The problem is that there is a requirement that 5 puzzles every week (including the Sunday puzzle) must have a theme. And the theme has to be (fairly) original. And similar themes in other publications' puzzles (like the LA Times) disqualify the theme from being published in the NY Times. With all these (to me, artificial) restraints, I'm not sure you can really expect terrific themes that frequently. Yes, there are great themes that are published here and elsewhere from time to time. But try (as I have) to come up with great themes. It's not that easy. And once you have a great theme, it may be impossible to arrange the theme entries in a grid without introducing a lot of crap. Consider how, except for Sunday puzzles, Patrick Berry avoids early week theme puzzles. This is perhaps why I admire Jacob Stulberg's constructing skill so much. Anyway, I would rather have early week non-themed puzzles with great fill than many of the puzzles we get. But sadly, that's not going to happen. But, I guess we should continue complaining. Maybe someday ...

Anonymous 9:13 AM  

Head is the nautical term for a bathroom.

Frida 9:22 AM  

What is that guy's problem in the video clip?
Les might be a nerd but he was polite in his innocence even when faced by a glaring rude man chomping his gum. If the point was to try and portray racism then it was a complete success. That young man in the bandana is as racist as they come.

SouthsideJohnny 9:24 AM  

@pmdm -thanks for the good insight as to the difficulties imposed by the NYT restraints relating to themed puzzles. The results are very obviously contrary to Shortz's intentions. Instead of getting the cream of the crop, very good puzzles end up in the LAT, WSJ, etc. without all of the forced and painful slog-inducing nonsense so typical of the daily NYT efforts. We are probably stuck with it until there is a change of the guard at The Times. This also sheds some new light on Rex's pretty much daily ranting and ravings - which in some respects are a public service. As an advanced beginner (at best) myself, I frequently wondered why the NYT puzzles are so consistently, well dumb. Now I know.

Sioux Falls 9:37 AM  

Thanks for your help with ZIN/CAB. The lightbulb went on as I was driving to work. (I was not imbibing either variety during the drive.) And I am one of those weaklings who has always preferred whites.

jberg 9:43 AM  

It may be a little old, but how about 3D, pointing to that cutting-edge technology, the pinball machine? Gotta admit I enjoyed the nostalgia.

@Loren, thanks for the explanation about blue names. I'm not sure if mine is blue, but you can click on it and get my profile -- only it's a profile on Blogger, not on Google. I am replying from my Google Account, oddly enough -- and I do have to check the non-robot box, and seem to have neither a B nor a G by my name. I'll do some more research.

GILL I. 9:45 AM  

Man alive, this sure zipped by quick as a wink.
I like GOOD GRAVY. I use it. I don't think it's shocking. It takes talent to not have lumps. I also like HELLS BELLS but we didn't get any today.
Tuesday kinda fun. Jeez Louise @Rex, the day you like a Tuesday, I'll sing MAMMA MIA.
I never pray in the APSE. It's always in the front pew. I, too, HUNKER down for the winter. BRR.
Ay Caramba.

Joseph Michael 9:54 AM  

This feels like an offshoot of Sunday's puzzle with common phrases reimagined as expressions of a certain trade or activity. The choices here do seem old-fashioned, as if they were lifted from a "Highlights for Children" magazine, but I enjoyed the fact that the grid was a bit crunchier than the usual Tuesday.

Write-overs included "adage" before MORAL, "adieu" before ADIOS, "am too" before IS TOO, and "hemp" before HERB.

VROOM appears for at least the second time in recent days as does ATHOS, SEL, PEP, and the ever-recurring, ever-irritating APSE.

Interesting that today's pan from Rex is offset by a top rating (POW!) from Jeff Chen. In my opinion, neither is accurate. This is a typical early week puzzle which was pleasant to solve and easy to forget.

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

@Two Ponies, your comment about PELOSI is a little like the pot calling the kettle black, only in your case it's shorter, plumper, and doubled.

RooMonster 9:56 AM  

Hey All !
@Anon 12:27 - That was quite funny.
Cute puz, good for a Tuesday. No one has complained about the "bad" puzday of today, as per usual on a Tuesday. So it passes that test.
Liked it. Fun Shocked! sayings. Seemed to have a bunch of Britishisms. Older stuff, too. I though ,"Who's gonna remember WKRP In Cincinnati"? Most young males watched it for Loni Anderson. :-)

@Lewis got the EE mini-theme, I see lots of O's in puz, with three OOs. Two ELOs next to each other in the Downs. There IS TOO. :-)

Shocking! to a Mexican restaurant cook? Holy Frijoles!
. . . to a grove worker? How do you like them apples?
. . . to a clockmaker? Good time of day.
. . . to an off roader? Jeepers Creepers!


Anonymous 10:03 AM  


Rex has a pathological interest in denegrading anything he calls white. Or male. He' less strident in his antipathy toward people older than, let's say 49, but he certainly enjoys mocking them. Less Nessman rings all the bells.
You of course are correct. Nessman is polite. BUt that isnt a virtue to Rex, its a defect. Hes guilty of a sin far greater than rudeness, he's not hip. Or cool. Or woke. Or whatever word of the week Rex uses to mock those he finds old fashioned.
What you and I call it good manners Rex calls itiable, clueless boobism.

As for hunker. The long tome voice of Georgia football (Larry Munson) used hunker to great effect. It's an easy and worthwhile YouTube search. I'mean no particular fan of Bulldog football, but hearing Munson imp.ore his guys to "hunker down you Dawgs, hunker it down one time" can bring a smile to even this snooty North Easterner.

QuasiMojo 10:23 AM  

Thanks @pmdm, I was not aware of the rule about themes. I must confess I tried to concoct a theme puzzle myself once and it reeked. I guess I'm just nostalgic for the days when they were a novelty rather than the rule. I like brain teasers more than cutesy wootsy gimmicks.

Unknown 10:28 AM  

I don't understand the BEEB. The BBC?

JC66 10:35 AM  


JC66 10:38 AM  


I've been unnecessarily checking "I'm not a Robot" for years. Thanks for the tip.

Nancy 10:44 AM  

I agree with everyone who called this charming. I thought it was quite a delightful Tuesday, and there were actually sections that gave me some trouble. If I'd been able to think of MAMMA MIA right off the bat, that would have helped. I haven't read any of the comments in detail yet, so maybe one or more people have already said this. But the innocence of these old-timey expressions makes crystal clear how much has been lost in the coarsening of our culture over the years. We're a more knowing and sophisticated society, but I'm not at all sure that we're a better one. Anyway, a colorful and very different sort of puzzle.

@mathgent -- I hope the instructions you received earlier today enable you to put your name in blue. You deserve to be in blue. No one could possibly deserve it more!

old timer 11:00 AM  

Fast and easy. Only writeovers: "am too" before ISTOO and "good grief" before GOODGRAVY. I agree, seemed dated and old. I don't agree that the OH in OHMYSTARS is superfluous. OH is common and usual in that phrase, just as it is on "OH dear!" The one themer I dislied was ILLBEDARNED because it was not preceded by the usual WELL.

Nancy 11:02 AM  

@Anon 12:27 -- You have my nomination for most amusing comment on the blog today. Why not give yourself a nom de blog? You're too funny a person to remain unknown.

Anonymous 11:05 AM  

@ Nancy,

I know you were being generous and even handed when you said today's society is more sophisticated, but I'm not sure I agree. The coarseness of the culture is real though. And a problem. It's everywhere of course, but just look at Scaramucci and his foul mouthed rant to the New Yorker. He truly believed that's how serious, sober people with huge responsibilities speak. Because, in his circles, they DO speak that way.
More's the pity. That cowboy Wall Street braggadoccio is just one example, the frat boy, backward baseball hat wearing bro culture is another.
I'll take civility, Cole Porter and clean shaven men over the shorts-wearing, two-days of stubble, foul-mouthed feminists any day (yeah, I'm looking at you Sharp)

G. Weissman 11:10 AM  

SOL, TRE, DIA -- if you have to go to another language for your fill, your puzzle isn't too hot.

JC66 11:12 AM  

"Shocking", to an old hag:


L 11:16 AM  


mathgent 11:34 AM  

@anon (1:15): Thanks for the help. I was doing fine, giving a lot of information. Until they wanted a confirmation of a text they sent to my phone. Since I don't have a smart phone, the number I gave them was my land line. I may try again with my wife's smart phone.

Mohair Sam 11:58 AM  

Liked it an awful lot- Fun Tuesday. Except for maybe HOLY TOLEDO any of these shocking phrases might have been used by grannies in a Mark Twain book - great stuff.

Thought I was too busy to post today but had to come here to say:
@Lewis (6:24) - Damn! That DesCartes quip was beyond good. Off with the cap and sweeping bow.

Teedmn 1:14 PM  

I agree with @Mohair that @Lewis's Descartes shocker was primo.

I have been known to say at least three of these phrases (25A, 36A and 59A) though I'm more likely to say @LisaG's "Holy Mackerel". Both of my parents were prone to making exclamatory remarks - Dad saying "Son of a ..." and Mom often saying "Judas Priest".

Trying to come up with my own examples, I could only think of the shocked hostess saying GOODNESS GRACIOUS.

Jay Kaskel, thanks for the Tuesday diversion.

Anoa Bob 1:29 PM  

Businessman there,
Drink my wine,
Come and take my HERB

Yep, on a sea going vessel, the head is the landlubber's toilet which is the Brit's LOO. Speaking of which, the themers took me back to my Navy days. These phrases, and others like "jumping jehosaphat" & "gee wilikers", were ones we often used when we were at sea to expression frustration and aggravation. Yeah, I know, "Shocking!".

Lewis 1:33 PM  

@jackj -- Thank you sir, and I sure miss your regular comments!

(Thanks also to @twoponies, @mohair, and @teedmn... )

Joe Bleaux 1:53 PM  

Anyone else get 25D without immediately thinking of 23A? What a character.
"Shocking!" to a lexicographer? MY WORD!

boomer54 1:57 PM  

Grannie used to say ...Holy-smoke-a-rolly ...

after speaking with ..the Mooch"s Nana ...

boomer54 2:09 PM  

Relative to yesterday's comment from Anonymous insulting Z for his explication of the distinction between .... i.e. and e.g. ... FU ...

Anonymous 2:11 PM  

Since the expression "to hunker down" is fairly new, I guess it will mean whatever people choose it to mean, at least for a while. 11D defined *hunkered down* as "hid out." Posts added nuances: Loren: "settle in and get serious"; Anon. 6.24: "settle in and not emerge"; Hartley70: "gird oneself for a long siege." All of these additions, I think, suggest not doing anything rash or risky. Thus if you hunker down with studies you will not take on new projects; if you hunker down in a siege you will not lead forays in an attempt to break it. I've heard the term in football. A team, leading by four touchdowns in the third quarter, will hunker down (conservative defense, no risky passes on offense) and play for the clock to run out.
Anon. i.e. Poggius

Masked and Anonymous 2:14 PM  

"Shocking!", to a dental hygienist drivin a Harley thru a locust storm?*

Fun TuesPuz theme. @RP says all the themers are harlariously old hat … M&A wonders what the modern, ow-currente versions of such explanations would be? Even runty OMG is gettin pretty darn long in the tooth, nowadays.

"Shocking!", to the British workers tryin to unclog the Vatican's waste disposal system?**

staff weeject pick: EDS. Plural runt word meat … Sweet. Also, really admire the all-weeject line-ups in rows 6 (XERPEPSELREN) and 10 (NEASINSAGLOO). Them rows are so … shapely.

"Shocking!", to an over-the-top xenophobic local sheriff?***


Thanx, Mr. Kaskel. "Shocking!", to a crossword solver?****

Masked & Anonymo3Us

Answer key:

warning: shocking biter:

Glimmerglass 3:28 PM  

@anonymous 2:11. "Hunker down" is not a new term. I think it originally describe a physical position taken by a rural person, squatting on one's heels. I don't find it comfortable, but apparently those who did it could maintain the position for hours - more comfortable than standing when no chair was available. Hence the expression "hunker down and wait" for some unpleasant situation to pass. The expression is also used metaphorically for waiting out an unpleasant situation. Many Democrats are today hunkered down.

Neil Nathanson 4:32 PM  

I like that there are already 77 posted comments before this one, even though Rex concluded that "This puzzle doesn't really warrant further comment."

Joe Dipinto 5:03 PM  

I know someone who says "Oh my stars!" all the time. It's actually kind of annoying.

I don't see a Google Account option on my Droid when I post. I choose "name" and have to do the robot thing every time. Guess I just wasn't Born To Be Blue.

AnonymousByChoiceBUTnotARobot 5:58 PM  

On your phone (iphone that is) you have to choose View Web Version at the bottom of all the comments. That takes you right back to rex's page, but now with a yellow background and I think in time-order. At the bottom of that: Post a Comment link. NOW you get a bunch of other options for sign-in. Top one is Google Account. Next is OpenID.
Maybe this is just the weirdness of Safari for iOS, but it's how I see it. So now you know I am...

Joe Dipinto 6:03 PM  

@ABABNARobot -- Ah yes I see. Okay, I am trying this now...

Joe Dipinto 6:05 PM  

Am I Blue? Yes I am!

JC66 6:18 PM  

@Joe D

Mazel Tov!

Joe Dipinto 6:38 PM  

@JC66 -- this is way cool. And now we can delete as well.

JC66 6:52 PM  

@Joe D

Yep. If you see something in your post that you want to change/delete. just copy, delete, paste it back in and make any edits you want to make.

Ian 8:16 PM  

I liked it. But then again I am as old as the hills.

Anonymous 8:17 PM  

Oh my lands

LisaG 9:21 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 9:23 PM  

Glimmerglass (3:28): thanks for the comment on "hunker down," which makes more sense than what I posted (anon. 2:11). Glad to learn something new!
I assumed wrongly that any word not in my Funk and Wagnalls (1963) was a new word.
I do wonder if the meaning is "evolving." By your earlier and more precise meaning one would "hunker down" to get over something unpleasant. Thus a team down four touchdowns would "hunker down" and wait for the game to end, so that it could begin to prepare for the more hopeful next game. But I do think the term is now used more for the team ahead. Perhaps for the winning team (as well as for fans), the "hunkering down" involves the unpleasantness of not having any fun with interesting plays, etc. Both those ahead and those losing would, perhaps, want to avoid anything that could cause an injury, i.e. avoiding risks. The losing team should be taking risks in terms of plays, unless a coach should "hunker down" to avoid losing by more than a few touchdowns, thus improving his or her resume'. Then sportswriters need to damn them for it.
Anon. (i.e. Poggius)

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thefogman 10:27 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 10:39 AM  

I completed this one in record time. Tuesday's offering should be a bit more challenging than this one was, in my opinion. The theme was fine but lacked a revealer to tie it all together. It lacked a certain something - kind of like finding zero raisins in a bowl of Rum Raisin ice cream. That, and no DOD. What a dreadful pity!

Well I'LL BE DARNED! Did you know that JS Bach had 18 children? He was a prolific composer in more ways than one.
Happy birthday to one of his many kids, JC Bach...

Burma Shave 11:36 AM  


YES, the MORAL ISTOO do what E’ER that dumb ASSAYS.


spacecraft 12:25 PM  

No DOD? What about Sharon STONE?? (Before I spotted that one, I was going to singularize Britney SPEAR[s]--which crosses REAR. Hmm.) A second honorable mention might go to Loni Anderson of WKRP fame.

A couple of the clues seem offbase: I've heard grass called many things--including HEmp, which I thought 25-down was, but never HERB. Must be a local thing. And, what about WELLINEVER applies to teetotalers, specifically? Is it--don't tell me--a reference to WELL drinks?? I hope not; that's a bad pun that doesn't even really work.

But the main complaint today is the fill: we have almost all the awful crutches except the RRN. Leading the parade is the worst: XER. Oh, we're just getting started. ABC, AAA, EER, the RPR (random playground retort) ISTOO, the RCD SSE...just call me an OLDNAG.

As to HUNKERED, "Hid out" is a new one on me. You used to hunker down to play marbles. It's a positional thing. Maybe if you were "hiding" in, say, the cabinet under the sink, you might need to hunker down. That's all I have on that.

The theme is not that "shocking;" more like the dialog of an originally good movie whitewashed for cable, e.g. "Fast Times...":

Jefferson, on his car: "Don't FOOL with it." (original: another 4-letter F-word)

Spicoli, to Mr. Hand: "You NERD!" (original: DICK)

Not enough YES; too many NEIGHS. Bogey.

rondo 12:42 PM  

As the careless electrician said, “I’m shocked!” Well, maybe not that much. Yeah they’re all old sayings from the STONE age, but still in use.

HERB Tarlik used to chase yeah baby you-know-who on WKRP.

Decent enough puz. Lots to catch up on at work. ADIOS.

Diana,LIW 1:45 PM  

Well butter my buns and call me a biscuit. @Rex thought it was old and cornballish! If that shocks you, perhaps noting that Macy's is about to have a sale will make you swoon.

I thought yesterday and today were perfect puzzles for a newbie puzzle solver. Even the "fill" introduces the crosswordese that we old hands supposedly eschew. Etui? Unhand thy epee.

Of course, the first clue I glanced at was regarding a playground retort, so I knew complaints would follow. "Your fill is old." "Is not!" "Am too!"

We hit 321 last night on the air quality scale (out of 0-500) - "they" are saying to not go outdoors.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords, not holding my breath

leftcastTAM 1:55 PM  

Lots to like in this puzzle, starting with the SHOCKING theme and answers.

All GOOD, right down the Thanksgiving GRAVY.(With that meal would prefer CAB to Zin.)

Couldn't say I wouldn't try some HERB (slang for marijuana?) after such satisfying fare. Also couldn't say WELLINEVER.

So I'm off. VROOM!

Diana,LIW 2:05 PM  

@Spacey - on the off chance that you weren't kidding...the teetotaler says "I NEVER drink." WELL I...

Lady Di, not a robot

rondo 3:16 PM  

BTW - in my world ADT is Average Daily Traffic, converted to the projected number of ESALs (equivalent single-axle loads) of 18,000 lb.s over 20 years, and used in pavement strength design.
And GOODGRAVY let's not see "tar" anytime soon. Don't want to ARGUE that one again.

And around here, HERB is HERB Brooks, former U of M and 1980 Olympic hockey coach.

lodsf 3:20 PM  

I thought it was cute, WELLINEVER gets my vote for being the best word-play themes.

lodsf 3:21 PM  

Core: ... themer.

thefogman 3:27 PM  

Yeah to Sharon STONE Spacey. As well as to #6 and a few other of the BEEB's XERs:

rain forest 4:16 PM  

Cute, in a fusty way. A friend of mine in high school would say GOOD GRAVY and HOLY TOLEDO all the time. Of course he also would say "bugger bum poop" when as angry as he could get.

Easy as Tuesdays usually are, this puzzle managed to pull off 'charming' as well. Kind of like watching the Ozzie and Harriet show back in the day, so it can't be all that bad.

Diana,LIW 6:27 PM  

Note to self: Add "bugger bum poop" to daily vocab. Check.

May be late tomorrow - Mr. W has a surgical morning. I'll bring the puz to the hospital - perhaps we'll solve it together in the pre-op quarters. Keep us in your good thoughts, my friends.

Diana, LIW, which I'll surely be tomorrow 'till mid-afternoon

leftcoastTAM 6:58 PM  

@D,LIW--May all go well for Mr. W.

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