Brit's teapot cover / MON 8-14-17 / First symbol on musical staff / Colorful flower also known as heartsease

Monday, August 14, 2017

Constructor: Rich Proulx

Relative difficulty: Normal Monday (so Medium, shading easy)

THEME: MEATLESS MONDAY (51A: Weekly occurrence when 20-, 31- and 38-Across might be consumed) — three themers have clues Meal Option #1 (and #2 and #3)

Theme answers:
Word of the Day: Lena OLIN (27D: Actress Lena of "Chocolat") —
Lena Maria Jonna Olin (born 22 March 1955) is a Swedish actress. She has been nominated for several acting awards, including a Golden Globe for The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) and an Academy Award for Enemies, A Love Story (1989). Other well-known films in which she has appeared include Chocolat (2000), directed by her husband Lasse Hallström, Queen of the Damned (2002), Casanova (2005) and The Reader (2008). Olin was also a main cast member in the second season (and a recurring guest star in later seasons) of the television series Alias. Olin starred in the Swedish sitcom Welcome to Sweden. (wikipedia)
• • •

Too straightforward. Just three vegetarian options. Nothing clever about it, except that, by running the puzzle on Monday, the revealer (MEATLESS MONDAY) becomes somewhat self-referential. I don't know who started MEATLESS MONDAY or when. Feels like something of fairly recent vintage. Let me take ten seconds and google it:
Meatless Monday is an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet. // Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns Inc. in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future. Meatless Monday was founded in 2003 by marketing professional Sid Lerner. (wikipedia)
So you've got a new clue for SID now, too, if you want it (I'm not serious, don't do that). In my experience, MUSHROOM BURGER is not that common a thing. Portobello Burger, sure, yes, very much so. The other two answers are fine, but they just ... lie there. I like BIKE ROUTE (57A: Path for cyclists). That's kind of fun. But the fill on this thing is solidly in a traditionalist RUT. The grid is built in a choppy way that gives us lots of short fill, and so all the uber-common stuff just batters you. And then there's the occasional WISC or EGAL that really hurt, unless you are numb from being subjected to them so much. LUI? It's Monday, come on. Your fill has to be smoother than this. Next!

Some more stuff!:
  • IRATE (58A: Fit to be tied) — that clue sounds too quaint for what I imagine IRATE to be.
  • BOIL (40D: Directive in pasta recipe) — not a verb I considered at first. BOIL is literally the only thing you do to pasta (besides maybe salt), so "recipe" had me thinking of something ... else. I don't know what else, but else.
  • PANSY (3D: Colorful flower also known as heartsease) — LOL what? "Colorful flower" tells me nothing, and "heartsease" tells me less. Easily the hardest clue of the day. Oh, [In ___ way] was no cakewalk either (HARM'S). And [XXX] leads to simply ADULT? Can't believe I finished this in 2:49 considering how iffy some of these clues are.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 1:04 AM  

This would have been medium if I hadn't put in ruG instead of WIG. Fixing that pushed it to medium-tough. Fine long downs, amusing theme, liked it much more than @Rex did.

Tom 1:26 AM  

Not much to say on this one. Finished one second off my average. So it was pretty easy. Might try going meatless tomorrow just to see what it tastes like. Had "hat" for WIG and forgot the Brits use "s" for COzY. Corrected and done. Waiting for a more scintillating Tuesday.

chefwen 1:59 AM  

Filled in meatless Friday thinking about husbands Catholic family not being allowed to eat meat on Friday until the Pope said it was O.K. Strange to me.

Tried BUFFOON before PALOOKA at 5D until WOK straightened me out. Oh yeah, COZY before COSY. Other than those goofs, pretty easy.

Larry Gilstrap 2:07 AM  

Too relaxed to post, but here goes. I asked for a theme that hits me over the head, CLONK! And those are some long, sturdy themers I espy.

In elementary school we had MEATLESS FriDAY, for some reason, and that meant Tuna Boats, in a sliced hot dog bun complete with a sail of American cheese. Ethnicity was hardly a word, let alone a life style.

Early in my teaching career, we attended a program by the ANTI-Defamation League and the presenters pretty much warned us to shape up. Gender specificity, racial stereotyping, and ethnocentrism were not a part of a professional demeanor. Challenged me to strive to be better.

In HARMS way is a place to avoid,

Thomaso808 4:23 AM  

To me a MUSHROOMBURGER is a big juicy beef patty smothered with sautéed mushrooms -- definitely not MEATLESS.

TVTRAY is something I associate with the 60's so I'm surprised that it's a debut entry here. Does anyone still make them? Let me take 10 seconds and google it...yes they do!

LUI is rare to see on a Monday, but I guess the crosses were fair. I know only a small number of French words, mostly from crosswords, and this is not one of them. But I might remember it next time (think, counterpart to Elle).

I liked the puzzle, a straightforward Monday offering. Rex said too straightforward, but hey, it's a Monday.

Lewis 5:42 AM  
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Lewis 5:49 AM  

i finished in a normal Monday time, but it felt like I had to work a bit harder than usual, so I, who advocate giving Monday a little bite -- more to intrigue than overwhelm new solvers -- was happy with the level of difficulty. Can a CLAM be eaten on Meatless Monday? MUSHROOM BURGER as a vegetarian option Googles very well, but it's not a dish I've made or had during the many vegan and vegetarian stints I've experienced along the way.

The theme was delightfully fresh, the solve lovely, and Rich was even kind enough to include an EAT out for those preferring not to participate in Meatless Mondays.

Johnny 5:55 AM  

I can usually spot a vegan, an atheist, or a cross-fit enthusiast within 30 seconds of meeting them, because they'll usually mention it within 30 seconds of meeting them. I can usually spot Canadians as well, but that's because it usually says "Canada" somewhere on their clothes.

Two Ponies 6:03 AM  

Mark Twain in my puzzle is always a good thing.

Eric 6:34 AM  

Had TOSS for boil which I thought was reasonable. Otherwise no problems today. Nice enough puzzle with no teeth.

Forsythia 7:00 AM  

Easy easy here. Half my Monday average.

Agree that Mushroom Burger could easily be beef patty slathered in mushrooms. Agree that XXX is beyond "adult". Ugh.

BIKE----- slowed me until I got a couple more crosses, thinking trail, lanes, BIKERpath (common here in western NC mtn trails).

Surprised TIEUP and ICEUP both made it in. I thought that was a no-no.

LisaG 7:07 AM  

I'm back from the family camping trip. Let me just say, when you run out of cellular data--twice--while trying to "get away from it all", it's time to come home.

As a WISConsinite for the past 25 or so years, I was glad to see the Dairy State make the puzzle.

Happy Monday, everyone!

QuasiMojo 7:26 AM  

I think the term pasta refers to the meal, Rex, not just the noodles. "We're having pasta tonight, kids." So there can be elaborate recipes in making it. Friday was the meatless day in my house growing up. We were good Catholics. I still do it sometimes just for fun. I love fish sticks! Where I live now, Tuesday is Taco Tuesday. Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day. Thursday is eating out day. Saturday is steak night. And Sunday is brunch day (eggs benedict, etc.) We have a light supper on Sunday to give us room to start the whole thing over again.

kitshef 7:27 AM  

The Bangles were darn good. Manic Monday, the song in Rex's video, was written by Prince. It went to #2. The song at #1 that week was Kiss, by ... Prince.

Oh, the puzzle? Pretty easy except in that NW. Transportation sub-theme with AXLE, RENTAL CAR, BIKE ROUTE, VESPA, MARE and SIRE with a SPUR. Maybe throw in ICE UP.

Anonymous 7:34 AM  

Canadians are not always easy to spot. When we were living in B.C., we drove south to Bellingham Costco to do our shopping. One day, a man in the parking lot saw our B.C. plates and said, "Thanks for helping out the economy here" We replied, "Well, actually we're Americans" to which he responded, "Well, actually I'm Canadian." It is not the "eh" that identifies most Canadians as that is going out with the younger generation. It is the fact that they say "sorry" all the time even when it is your fault!

Aketi 7:48 AM  

I've had some delicious BLACK BEAN BURGERs and I think I actually may have made them myself many years ago before I deemed their preparation too time consuming..

I have added sautéd MUSHROOMS into the 10 minute CHILLI recipe I found. When I cook, my limit is 15 minutes of cooking time. The extra 3-5 minutes to sauté still meets my criteria. I also add the leftover venison from the venison BURGER recipe that I usually make the day before that is also close to my 15 minute limit.

I have not yet had a MUSHROOM BURGER, that wasn't accompanied by some form of meat.

SPINACH LASAGNA is not my thing. Once on a special ocaission I managed a sweet potato,/squash version of lasagna that was amazingly great and really did taste like lasagna. The problem was that it took four hours to prepare all the different layers and cook it so I never made it again. I think it was six months before I could manage anything more than heat and eat meals after that.

Clearly I need to get up and eat breakfast!

JJK 7:58 AM  

I liked this puzzle - Monday with more interesting clues than a usual Monday, so my brain had to work a little. I do agree with Rex anout Mushroom Burger, which is not a thing, or not a veggie thing. Portobello Burger is. I also don't really think "Meatless Monday" is something anyone does, but nevertheless I found this a more-fun-than-usual Monday.

pmdm 8:04 AM  

Catholics are still not allowed to eat meat on Fridays, but only during the Lenten season. And Ash Wednesday is also a meatless day for Catholics. [For those who are interested in such things/.]

The constructor's comments (see the XWordInfo or Wordplay sites) struck me as fairly interesting, so the curious may want to visit one of those sites to read his comments. Particularly if you want to begin constructing puzzles.

Monday puzzles are supposed to be baby simple. I suppose they should also be learning experiences for beginner solvers. By example, they should demonstrate that words that you may not know (egal or lui, for example, if you never studies or don't know French) can be solved just by knowing the crosses. An experienced solver might overlook that aspect of a Monday puzzle. So I would almost but not quite say having such words in a Monday puzzle is a plus.

chefbea 8:13 AM  

Yummy puzzle!!! Although I do make all of the Monday dishes with meat. When you make any kind of have to boil the pasta...unless its that kind that does not need boiling!!! Cant remember its name

Birchbark 8:16 AM  


I usually give up meat during Lent and once ordered a MUSHROOM BURGER thinking it would just be mushrooms. Instead it was a portabella sitting on a half-pound cheeseburger -- delicious. Everything happens for a reason.

Hungry Mother 8:19 AM  

I thought "vegan" would be part of a reveal, but maybe eggs were in the noodles, or cheese on the sandwich. Quick one today.

Unknown 8:37 AM  

My aim (47A) accomplished! Finished w/out any "help" at all. I think this is a first. Never time myself. Thank you, Rich Proulx.

Irene 8:48 AM  

A lovely Monday puzzle. It went smoothly but was never boring, and the fact that it fell on a "meatless" day gave it a little extra zuzz. (A word that won't fit into a Monday crossword.)

mmorgan 8:53 AM  

Agree with those who think of a mushroom burger as a "regular" hamburger with mushrooms. But I'd much rather eat a clam.

Funny, I thought Rex would like the fill, as it seemed pretty clean to me. Oh well.

Wm. C. 8:57 AM  

The state is now constructing a new "bike route" passing near my house here in Concord, Mass. I think it goes from Lowell to Framingham, along a disused railroad right-of-way, of course. About 30 miles, with some very expensive overpasses built to cross major roads. I'm not a biker, but I think it's a good idea.

"Egal" is "alike," though like many words it has several nuances. A common expression is " Ca m'est Egal," meaning " It's all the same to me." And in the French national motto "Liberte Egalite Fraternite" it means Equality. -- for those who care ... Not many, I guess. ;-)

Unknown 9:12 AM  

Meatless Monday goes back to at least WarII. I remember my grandparents talking about meatless Mondays and Wheatless Wednesdays when they talked about rationing. It may go as far back as War I, because some of those War II rationing gimmicks were revived from War I.

Nancy 9:19 AM  

I was sure the revealer was going to be: MEALS CAUSING INDIGESTION. I found myself disappointed that it wasn't.

A riddle about 57A: What is a BIKE ROUTE in NYC?
Answer: Anywhere and in any direction, legal or not, that the biker chooses to go. (This is an urban version of the old riddle: Where does the big black bear sleep?)

A pleasant Monday, as long as I'm not required to eat any of the entrees.

Wm. C. 9:26 AM  

@Nancy --

Speaking of bad biker traits, have you ever seen a biker stop at a stop sign?

hankster65 9:32 AM  

I'd love to see you meeting up with a godless Canadian munching tofu.

Unknown 9:35 AM  

Wm. C. Beg to disagree: I care about Equality and I'll bet a majority of us do, too.

GHarris 9:39 AM  

The meatless day during WWII was Tuesday, at least it was in the Bronx.

jberg 9:43 AM  

I thought the theme was 'random muscle groups' at first. But once I saw it, it was kind of fun -- at first they were just meal options - I almost wrote omelet after MUSHROOM, but their meatlessness gradually became clear.

Slowed down because I wrote in 2/3 of lummox for PALOOKA before noticing it would come up short. And I'm puzzled by the clue for 44D, "like the peninsula...." When would you use it that way, rather than 'from the peninsula?'

"Look, that point of land sticking out into the lake is pretty CRIMEAN?"

FWIW, I'm a bicyclist -- I'd commute by bike if I wasn't retired -- who always stops for stop signs and red lights. Yesterday Martha and I were waiting for a walk light to cross a very busy, multi-road intersection when the driver of a car stopped by a red light started yelling at us to hurry up and cross.

What I learned today: what kind of flower heart's ease is.

Nancy 10:18 AM  

@Wm C (9:26) and @jberg (9:43) -- To Wm: Sure there are a few bikers who stop at a red light (we don't have stop signs in NYC) and, in Central Park at least, I suspect most of them are tourists. And, to @jberg, I have no doubt that you are one of the world's most courteous and considerate bikers. If I had 20-20 ESP and knew which bikers were going to stop and which weren't, life would be beautiful...and a hell of a lot safer. But actually, the 20 tourist bikers stopped at that red light are serving as camouflage for the maniac speeding from behind and around them -- the one that I now can't see coming and who won't stop for anything or anyone. I usually motion those stopped at the light to please, please continue on their way, and I refuse to cross until they do, so that I can see what's coming. I ignore lights in the park completely and wait until just about nothing seems to be heading my way. It can be quite a long wait. Crossing streets and avenues, I crane my neck around stopped cars before taking my next step, to try and see if a biker is zooming through that narrow lane.

There was a heartbreaking Op Ed in the NYT a few days ago, from a daughter whose mother was killed at age 65 by a biker. Evidently she simply stepped off the curb when she had a green light and was immediately rammed into, fell over backwards and hit her head, and never recovered. Coulda been me. Coulda been you. It's outrageous what's going on in this city, and you can't be too careful.

Aketi 10:19 AM  

@Nancy, I've been really enjoying your posts lso thought I'd le you know. You definitely summed up the NYC attitude towards biking, but I know that my son, at least, was using the BIKE ROUTES. I'm inheriting his Citibike pass which he forgot to leave for me.

@jberg, When I used to ride a bike I did the California rolling stop. I plan on reforming to a true stop and using the BIKE ROUTES once I get my son's Citibike pass.

kitshef 10:27 AM  

WWI had meatless Tuesdays. I suspect it got changed to Monday purely due to alliteration.

Joseph Michael 10:31 AM  

An OK theme for a MONDAY, easy to digest, though I do wonder what that CLAM MEAT is doing on the menu.

Would have been nice if the three themers had more of a connection to tie them together. The choices now seem arbitrary except for the fact that they are MEATLESS.

Liked the Mark Twain quote and think the world could use a little more HUMOR in these strange times. SNL, where are you now that we need you?

Also liked KLUTZES, PALOOKA (a word that reminds me of Jean Harlowe), and TV TRAYS (essential implements of my growing up years).

Then there is SATAN next to XXX ADULT as well as a NOPE thrown in, I guess, to resist the temptation. Meanwhile the puzzle is flaunting its PECS, ABS, and HIPS.

Wm. C. 10:42 AM  

@Barbara --

Oops, when I said "for those who care," I wasn't referring to "Equality." I was referring to my lengthy discussion about "Egal."

AW 10:55 AM  

For once in my benighted crossword-solving career I found a puzzle to be truly easy. Breezed through this one with nary a hiccup, although I agree with most commenters that a MUSHROOM BURGER is typically a burger covered in sautéed mushrooms, not a vegetarian item at all.

jb129 10:56 AM  

I found this very easy

old timer 11:17 AM  

Today is a red letter day for OFL. I always get hear by Googling Rex. This morning is the first one I can remember since the end of January where Rex Parker came in first, beating Rex Tillerson and the mysterious Rexulti.

WWI might well have had Meatless Tuesdays, but I think rationing was not so strict in 1917-18. In WWII, meat, sugar, cigarettes, gasoline, maybe other things were strictly rationed Truman brought rationing back in the Korean War, and I remember my mother had to deal with those red stamps for meat when I was little. (Her favorite grocery check-out man used to sell her black-market cigs, though). So Meatless Monday could have been a thing starting in 1942. Thing is, the War Resources Board or whatever it was called didn't say what days you could eat meat, but did make it impossible to have fresh meat even six days a week. I grew up eating cheese souffle, which was OK by me.

I have always thought that one reason Ike won in a landslide was that folks were sick and tired of rationing. Ike abolished it when he took office.

RooMonster 11:22 AM  

Hey All !
Never heard of MEATLESS MONDAY. Weird theme. No such thing as a MUSHROOM BURGER. It's a chunk of a portabella on a bun. BLACK BEAN CHILI could still contain meat.

Was easy, but odd. bAffOon for PALOOKA only writeover.

WALTZ splatz

Tita 11:25 AM  

@Birchbark - "It was delicious" - lol.

@Barbara Hohenberg - congratulations!

Thank you, Rex, for your PANSY comment.

It inspired the following:
1. Many flowers have one color - the PANSY generally has three. That is why it is "viola tricolor". So that part of the clue is defensible.

2. I always loved the flower, because in Portuguese, its common name is "Amor Pereito" - Perfect Love. Except that until about a month ago, I always thought it was "Amor Imperfeito" - IMperfect love!! Much more apt, I think!

2. You led me to google "hearts ease", which led me down an absolutely delightful rabbit hole.
Turns out wild PANSY has a plethora of evocative names:
tickle-my-fancy, Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me, come-and-cuddle-me, three faces in a hood, love-in-idleness

And, it is the flower that plays a central role in Midsummernight's Dream (as Love-in-idleness).

I missed the Shakespeare in the park version this summer, but I least I got to Julius Caesar.

I liked your puzzle, Mr. Proulx, even if in my camp a MUSHROOMBURGER is meatfull.
(Oh - and we had a very rare meatless Saturday, as it was the sendoff for my mostly vegetarian niece, who left today for an Environmental Policy studies program in Boulder.)

Tita 11:33 AM  

"Amor Perfeito", not pereito.
For the many that noticed my imperfect typo.

GILL I. 11:42 AM  

A food puzzle for my Monday fare. I like it. I always enjoyed family rituals when it came to eating meals. In our house, Sunday was the big meal day and I always looked forward to it. Dad and his cronies would always bring a couple of piglets (cochinillo) to our little finca and roast them over an open fire pit. It was an all day affair and someone was always preparing something. Had to have the BLACK BEANS and rice, fried plantains, yuca al mojo, picadillo and a tomato and onion salad. My sister's and I still try and recreate this event when we get together. Fun.
My paternal grandmother stuck to a weekly menu. She and my granddad had 10 children to feed. After the kids flew the nest, she pretty much stuck to her weekly ritual when the grandkids came to visit. There were lots of chicken and dumplings and homemade biscuits, pancakes and fried chicken and green beans. I can't remember which day of the week we got this but I do remember Sunday was always friend chicken - or so I was told.
She had a rabbit hutch out back along with a ton of hens and the required rooster. I named them all. Thumper was my favorite. One day, when I went to feed them, Thumper was missing. My grandmother told me he had escaped and was probably enjoying his new found freedom. That night, Sunday's chicken didn't quite taste the same. My cousin (whom I hated) started cackling non stop and gleefully told me I was eating Thumper. I hate rabbit.
Agree that MUSHROOM BURGER doesn't sound MEATLESS. Despite my love of animals, I don't do vegan. I'll do a vegetarian once in a while but I'm still a sucker for a nice juice NY Strip steak with good glass of Pinot.

Carola 12:07 PM  

Nice Monday! I thought the theme entries were perfectly done and the reveal aptly satisfying.
TV TRAYS! That would have been my mom and dad in their twin La Z Boy recliners, TV trays at their sides - not with dinner, but with their mid-morning coffee and "a little something" - enjoying Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.

@Aketi, I'm with you on LASAGNA. I enjoy cooking and don't mind spending time on it, but LASAGNA is way too labor intensive for the payoff.

@LisaG, hi from a fellow Badger!

The Clerk 12:12 PM  

Have we officially switched from POMPON to POMPOM now?

Pete 12:31 PM  

God help me, I'm posting a recipe, but I have to, as my wife has perfected Lasagna for 2 in half an hour to an hour. It's basically Lasagna Rollatini Make your tomato sauce, ricotta filling as your grandmother did (or if she was a bad cook get a good recipe). Cook your noodles, lay out flat on a board, put on a layer each of the cheese / tomato sauce, roll it up. Make exactly as much as you want, put it into a casserole, top with more tomato sauce & mozzarella, put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Eat.

Dick Swart 12:50 PM  

I enjoyed this am's meatless entree.

'Meatless Tuesday' was a phenom of WWII when you needed red points to purchase meat. Also blue neeed for dairy and green for veggies.

Keep 'em Flying!

Teedmn 1:09 PM  

Unlike @Nancy, all of these dishes have a place in my diet though I usually avoid burgers due to the big bun so I'm less likely to eat the MUSHROOM (portabella or portobella, Google seems confused which is correct) BURGER. I like BLACK BEAN salad better than chili so that was one writeover in my grid. I was scratching my head over GECS torso muscles as gALOOts went in at 5D - quite the oafish error, which I also fixed.

I thought this was a fine puzzle which was a little less of a WALTZ than many MONDAY puzzles. Nice sophomore effort, Rich Proulx.

Geometricus 1:12 PM  

When I was little and found out Chinese restaurants served a dish called Moo Goo Gai Pan, I thought it sounded hilarious. So today I laughed out loud at "Moo Goo Gai Pan pan" as a clue for WOK. Made the puzzle for me.

Catholics are supposed to do penance of some kind every Friday (as a commemoration of the day Jesus died) still to this day. The 2nd Vatican Council removed the year-round requirement that specified meatless Fridays as the prescribed penance for all. This left it up to the individual to choose his/her method of penance except during Lenten Fridays. However many Catholics (myself included) find it convenient for reasons of habit to stick to the old discipline of meatless Fridays year-round. Otherwise I might forget to do penance at all on Fridays.

Recently environmentally- and health-conscious students at the U of St. Thomas here in the Twin Cities, MN, proposed meatless Mondays for the cafeteria. Why not just keep it on Friday at a Catholic university?

Anonymous 1:49 PM  

This puzzle had MONDAY and LASAGNA but no GARFIELD? A big EFF U to the constructor.

Jonathan 2:54 PM  

In Harm's Way goes back to the 17th century and refers to the position that soldiers place themselves in battle. But the phrase is known best from Otto Premingers's 1965 epic movie portraying 1942 Pacific naval battles, starring John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal, Henry Fonda, Burgess Meredith and Stanley Holloway. He adapted the 1962 book 'Harm's Way' by James Bassett, an aide to WII Admiral Bull Halsey, later an early speechwriter for Richard Nixon and then one of the most literate editors ever to serve at my old employer, the Los Angeles Times.

Mohair Sam 3:07 PM  

@Pete (12:31) - Sounds great - do I need to sing a Vic DAMONE song as I cook?

We have lots of MEATLESS MONDAYS here because we're flexitarians (per the NYT puzzle definition). Just mixed my themers by finishing a BLACK BEAN veggie BURGER for lunch. Edible, but Pete's wife's Lasagna sounds a whole lot tastier.

The puzz? Thought it was a fun theme and Monday medium to solve.

Hartley70 3:28 PM  

MEATLESSMONDAY (and several other days of the week) is just what we have started doing this summer. I haven't ever tried BLACKBEANCHILI, although black bean soup from the Atticus Bookstore in New Haven is on the short list for my final meal on Death Row, so the chili would be a likely hit here.

Needless to say, I found this Monday very topical and enjoyed the theme. Pass me a fork and spoon, please.

Anoa Bob 3:43 PM  

I had BIKER..... at 57A and was thinking BIKER LANE or some variation like that. BIKE ROUTE took a little reparsing to come up with.

I rode two wheelers most of my life, but gave up the bicycle (still ride my motorbike) a couple of years ago after being hit on two occasions by a car, both times when I was riding in a clearly marked BIKE lane on the right side of the street and the car just ahead and in the lane to the left of me made a right turn directly into my path. I was lucky, no major injuries. But my custom made while I was in Japan 12-speed touring bike hangs from the rafters in my storage area, gathering dust

@Nancy's 10:18 account of the pedestrian who was fatally injured when she was hit by a biker is another tragic example of why the most dangerous form of travel, measured by deaths per mile traveled, is walking. The second most dangerous? Bicycling. The safest form of travel is by city bus.

@Tita A's list of pansy a.k.a.s prompted me to look up what the Spanish for pansy is. It's "pensamiento", which means "thought", from "pensar: to think". So you could have some beautiful thoughts planted in your garden.

Crane Poole 3:58 PM  

O Rex, the LUI crosses were all easy. EGAL also filled in. Perfectly good Monday, no complaints. One complaint: I left the NYT page to look at stats, went back to the puzzle and it was blank! Happened a few times recently. Ack!! Anyone else?

Mohair Sam 5:12 PM  

Favorite MEATLESS meal is a Vegetarian Chili the recipe which is labeled "Quick" in the magazine which published it. It includes our beloved BLACK BEANS. The guy who sent it to the mag said he likes to prepare it when "I just ran 10 miles and need to cook something that's hot, quick, and nutritious."

So just off running nearly a half marathon this guy recommends chopping 1 onion, a red pepper, a green pepper, 4 tomatoes, 1 zucchini squash, mincing two garlic cloves, mincing 1 jalapeno pepper, rinsing and draining cans of BLACK BEANS and kidney beans, adding some spicy-hot veggie juice, Old Bay, pepper, and chili powder - then stand and stir for half an hour.

Quick and easy he calls it, after running 10 miles. I think his name was Clark Kent.

@Gill I - That rabbit story made us sad.

KevCo 5:42 PM  

Can anyone provide the strategy to getting these low solve times? How does Rex get this done in 2:49? I filled my grid in without flinching and it took a little over four minutes. There must be some technique regarding how to fill in the grid that I am not getting (I just start top left and work my through in the natural progression).

Aketi 5:43 PM  
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Aketi 6:30 PM  

@Mohair Sam. ROFL over your Clark Kent version of Quick Chilli.

@Gill I, our bunnies went the way of Thumper too. We had a grey, a black, and a flop eared white rabbit in separate cages. Somehow they managed to reproduce anyway. The first litter died, the second didn't. Our parents decided enough was enough so we had to give them away. The first people straight up told us they were going to eat them. The second couple lived on a nice farm where there was plenty of room for them to hop around, according to my Dad. Forty years later he fessed up that the second couple that them took them ate them.

Happy Pencil 7:02 PM  

@Barbara Hohenberg, congratulations on your first clean solve! Before you know it, you'll be solving Fridays and Saturdays too. My unasked for advice is to resist the temptation to cheat for as long as you can. It will take you longer to finish at the outset, but it will pay dividends down the line. One thing I learned from the venerable Casco Kid, who no longer posts here, is patience. And that has made all the difference for me.

Tita 11:16 PM  

@Anoa... si si - our word in fact comes from the French name for the flower, Pensée.

@Gill, @Aketi... When I was about 12, my mother tried to hide from me the fact that we were being served rabbit at a friend's house. Inexplicably, she told me it was venison. Which is so odd on several levels. Ummm...why would I be more likely to want to eat Bambi than Thumper, and, ummm, the size of a rabbit leg vs a deer leg?
She needn't have worried - I'll eat almost anything once.

Huy NQ 5:09 AM  

Tham khảo một số tư vấn tập thể hình hiệu quả
- Hướng dẫn cách nhảy dây hiệu quả
- Đánh giá người tập võ Silicon
- Lợi ích của việc đu xà
- Những lưu ý cần biết khi nhảy dây
- Cách chọn găng boxing phù hợp

Unknown 10:13 AM  

Oh! Ah! Lengthy discussions about "egalite" are all the rage these days! As they should be!

Unknown 10:21 AM  

I hadn't noticed, but really enjoy your report from down that rabbit hole. Also, thanks for your congrats!
Today, being harder, I'm getting "help" ... it occurred to me to check if the comments thread yesterday might have grown. What fun to know my message in a bottle got opened!

Unknown 10:35 AM  

Thank you! Patience IS a virtue!

joebloggs 1:12 PM  

There are no meatless Mondays. Only meatless Fridays for observant Catholics during Lent. Thus rendering the theme extremely lame.

Hal 1:51 PM  

Yes. I remember a poster in an antique shop, "We observe all meatless, wheatless, and sweetless days." Meant for a restaurant.

Hal 1:56 PM  

As I say below, I remember seeing a sign meant for a restaurant, "We observe all meatless, wheatless, and sweetless days." In your own kitchen you might have the choice of days, but restaurants and markets wouldn't.

thefogman 10:23 AM  

OFL is once again a little bit too IRATE. This is a perfectly fine puzzle for a Monday, meatless or otherwise. All hail ̶S̶A̶T̶A̶N̶ seitan!

Burma Shave 10:32 AM  


Frome her PECS to her ABS and her HIPS
that PALOOKA’s PLAN was a COSY fun day,
but NOPE, this ADULT HUMOR from her lips,


spacecraft 11:28 AM  

I am definitely with @ThomasoBOB: and melt some Swiss cheese on that, if you please. Why did God give us "dominion over the animals" if He didn't want us to eat them?

This did not feel like a Monday. Not a [meatless] Friday either, though I tried mightily to make that work. Of course: MEATLESS + [day of the week] = Friday. I never in my life heard of 51-across.

Maybe I'm just an under-rock dweller, because Russia what?!? They seized the CRIMEAN peninsula?? In 2014??? Where was I?? Shouldn't this have made, like, you know, the NEWS or something? Geez, the stuff you find out doing a crossword!

I heartily disagree with OFL on the fill. I've seen much worse. If you have 14-letter themers you're bound to create a "choppy grid." Rex forgot to grouse about the cheater squares so created. No big deal here; I curse him for even making me notice them.

It played more like a Tuesday for me, and though I don't care for all those meatless dishes, I liked solving it. Smooth, unforced inclusion of high-count Scrabble letters is a plus. (I do not WALTZ because I am a KLUTZ.) Thought the French pronoun was either sUI or tUI, but sATTE doesn't work, neither does tATTE. LUI, eh? LUI LUI--sounds like a Kingsmen hit. Oh well, if that's the worst, we're doing very nicely. DOD Lena OLIN is a good one--even if she had competition. A tap-in birdie.

rondo 12:30 PM  

In a previous relationship I think I ate all of those MEATLESS dishes. Nowadays I EAT more meat since I am being requested to grill so often; at least once every month, even during winter. Also WEIGH more.

Though I live in Minn. I have seen WISC most every day of my life. Have to admit that the folks from WISC have a better view across the river.

In recent years we have scouted out BIKEROUTEs before vacations. Almost always part of the PLAN.

2/3 of a novel here with EAT and PRAY, no love for the ending.

Can’t go wrong with OFL’s word of the day yeah baby Lena OLIN.

Even with a coupla UPs a decent MONDAY.

Diana,LIW 1:36 PM  

@Larry and others - according to my catechism class, Catholics began eating fish on Fridays because the Pope was helping out the fishermen. Of course, he made it a penance. But that's according to Lutheran interpretation, so consider the source. Anyway, we had fish Fridays in school.

Neither the easiest nor the hardest of Mondays. A touch of, dare I say it, crunch. Hey, crunch beats gristle, yes?

I went veggie for a few years, but when my friend made a decidedly not meatless lasagna especially for me (all she said was lasagna, I made an assumption) my meat-free days were over. Still eat more vegies and salad than anything else.

Today's funny - when I considered what the world would be like if "rumor" was mankind's greatest blessing, I left to get that second cup of coffee. Think about it - what would life be like without rumors?

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

rain forest 1:48 PM  

Easy and tasty Monday. I've had all three of the featured dishes, MEATLESS, but I prefer them if there is some meat added. Never exerienced a MEATLESS MONDAY or a meatless any other day on a regular basis, but, growing up we seemed to have soup on Mondays, and fish on Fridays.

@Spacey - you're kidding, aren't you, about no knowing that the Russians annexed the CRIMEAN peninsula during and following the Sochi Winter Olympics?

There was very little iffy fill in the puzzle, and I thought it was a solid Monday effort.

thefogman 1:58 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 2:27 PM  

Lady D:

Plant-based diets can lead to humor, and rock-star hair, or so RUMOR has it...

Does anybody remember laughter?

leftcoastTAM 3:33 PM  

Good theme, good follow-through bolstered by meal-related fill: CLAM, TVTRAYS, WOK, COSY, EAT, LATTE, BOIL. (Any others?)

Had peony (a favorite flower) before PANSY.

Liked it.

thefogman 6:00 PM  

My favourite flower is the dahlia. They are easy to grow and provide you with an eye-popping colorful display that lasts from mid to late summer until the fall.

Diana,LIW 7:12 PM  

Tried to leave a comment about drawing a flower in first grade as a bag of flour - Gold Medal. I guess that was my fav.

Lady Di

Diana,LIW 7:17 PM  

A plant-based flour, but not ALA Robert, eh @Foggy?


thefogman 7:40 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
thefogman 8:46 PM  

On the contrary Lady D. Robert Plant(e) sells some of the finest dahlias, and many other fine and fancy floral favorites.

Unknown 11:50 AM  

I agree that a MUSHROOM BURGER is a regular burger with mushrooms on it. However, I take issue with the idea that a "portobello burger" is a thing. If you want to put a portobello on a hamburger bun, go right ahead, I guess. But what you've got there is a portobello mushroom sandwich on a hamburger bun. It is NOT a burger, which by its very definition must be made from meat.
Bison burgers are a thing; I've even gotten on board with turkey burgers - but that's it. No meat, no burger!!

Also, both SPINACH LASAGNA and BLACK BEAN CHILI could also have meat in them. So, kind of a theme fail here. Not enough to sink the puzzle though, which was a nice Monday, skewing a bit difficult for the day, I thought. I did a good deal more skipping around and doubling back than the usual Monday. I like a little crunch though!

thefogman 12:10 PM  

All I know is OFL's constant and predictably negative rants against almost all of the constructors are just one big fat nothingBurger.

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ramroot 2:48 PM  

This is really late, but the clue for 51D is technically incorrect. A female horse is a mare, a mother horse is the dam, which corresponds to the sire, the father, as in 54D. NYT should get it right!

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