Discontinued Swedish cars / MON 2-26-18 / Avenging spirits of Greek myth / Pianist radio host John / Simulated smooch / Katherine of 27 Dresses

Monday, February 26, 2018

Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels and Mark Diehl

Relative difficulty: Normal Monday

THEME: SAW (57D: Wise old saying ... like the first words of 20-, 32-, 41- and 52-Across) — first words of those answers spell out "STILL / WATERS / RUN / DEEP"

Theme answers:
  • STILL KICKING (20A: Not dead yet!)
  • WATERS DOWN (32A: Dilutes)
  • RUN ERRANDS (41A: Pick up dry cleaning, go to the post office, etc.)
  • DEEP THOUGHTS (52A: "What is life?," "Why are we here?," etc.)
Word of the Day: Katherine HEIGL (10D: Katherine of "27 Dresses") —
Katherine Marie Heigl (/ˈhɡəl/; born November 24, 1978) is an American actress, film producer, and former fashion model. She started her career as a child model with Wilhelmina Models before turning her attention to acting, making her film debut in That Night (1992) and later appearing in My Father the Hero (1994) as well as Under Siege 2: Dark Territory(1995). Heigl then landed the role of Isabel Evans on The WB television series Roswell (1999–2002), for which she received nominations for Saturn and Teen Choice Awards.
From 2005 to 2010, Heigl starred as Izzie Stevens on the ABC television medical drama Grey's Anatomy, a role which brought her significant recognition and accolades, including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2007. Her best known film appearances include roles in Knocked Up (2007), 27 Dresses(2008), The Ugly Truth (2009), Killers (2010), Life As We Know It (2010), New Year's Eve (2011), The Big Wedding(2013), and Unforgettable (2017). Heigl has also starred in several films that have seen limited releases, including Jackie & Ryan (2014), Home Sweet Hell (2015), and Jenny's Wedding (2015). She also portrayed the lead role on the short-lived NBC television series State of Affairs from 2014 to 2015, and has lent her voice to the animated film The Nut Job (2014) and its 2017 sequel.
Additionally, Heigl has established herself as a cover model, appearing in numerous publications including MaximVanity Fair and Cosmopolitan. She is married to singer Josh Kelley, with whom she has one son and two adopted daughters. (wikipedia)
• • •

Placeholder. Nothing happening here. This is an old theme type, and a SAW is an old saying, and the fill was pretty old, and while there is nothing godawful about the grid, neither is there anything remarkable. It's a shrug. A pale three minutes. Maybe if the revealer hadn't been this sad, randomly-placed little three-letter thing, I could've mustered up some affection here. I do like how SMOLDERS kinda sidles up to AIR KISS (hoping for more?), and I kinda like GREW UP ON (despite the fact that it was the answer that gave me the most fits), but this is all just too ho-hum and basic and dated. OH GEE dated. John TESH dated. MILLI Vanilli dated. SAABS dated. Not trying hard enough, not living in this century enough. Not enough.

Flew though it quickly, but stumbled badly in two places. There was the aforementioned GREW UP ON, which I didn't even understand until I'd finished the puzzle (39D: Enjoyed frequently as a child). I think it was the "enjoyed" part that was throwing me. Growing up on something does not necessarily mean "enjoying" it; "enjoyed" led me to think of the expression "grew on," as in "the farther I got in the puzzle, the more it grew on me" (i.e. "the more I *enjoyed* it). But then of course there were four letters after GREW, not two, and then OR WORSE happened (very tough to pick up that snippet of a phrase) and so, yeah, I flailed a little, and what might've been a very fast time ended up just north of normal. I also got slowed down earlier when the the "H" in the second position at 32D: Where ships dock led me to SHORE (?!), which I then "confirmed" (??!) with ROE (43A: ___ v. Wade). Blargh. Turning SHORE into WHARF cost me dearly. The rest of this puzzle was phenomenally easy, though, so it all came out to pretty normal Mondayness—yet another way in which the puzzle was utterly unremarkable. Bye.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:14 AM  

Easy Mon. Liked the theme, liked the fill, liked it a lot more than @Rex did.

@lms - 55 United!!!

TomAz 12:14 AM  

Pretty much what Rex said. The puzzle didn't thrill me, and it didn't piss me off.

But hooray for the Screaming Females! new album!

JJ 12:26 AM  

Not once did I think " Now that was clever". Basically filling in the blanks. Did not like AEIOU.

Rita Hayworthless 12:45 AM  

I have rarely enjoyed a Monday puzzle more than I did this one.

Loved it, loved it, loved it.

Stanley Hudson 12:49 AM  

Nice Screaming Females tune.

Harryp 1:11 AM  

I finished in Monday time, but had to come here to realize there was a theme involved, to wit, Still Waters Run Deep! Evidently, to Deep for me. I have to give Kudos to Andrea and Mark for slipping in this theme while we were snoozing.

chefwen 1:54 AM  

The Queen of Monday puzzles returns.

Pretty Monday easy, needed no LEG UP for this one and I enjoyed the theme. Puzzle partner messed himself up on his copy by entering grr at 1A. Wasn’t happy, but finally found the error of his ways.

Mike in Mountain View 2:49 AM  

Liked it a lot. The clue to STILL KICKING (I'm not dead yet.) Reminded me of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGFXGwHsD_A.

Mike in Mountain View 2:55 AM  

Correction: the clue was, "Not dead yet!" But it still evoked "Bring Out Your Dead" to me.

Mike in Mountain View 2:59 AM  

Whoops. It's a 1975 movie, and that's not from this century, so it's disfavored here. Sorry, @Rex. I guess that scene is dead to you. For some of us, though, it's Not Dead Yet!

Anonymous 3:30 AM  

If I were picking nits I might 1.) ask whether questions were,strictly speaking, THOUGHTS and 2.) point out that the first words to 20-, 32-, 40-, and 52A may comprise a SAW, but they aren’t SAW.

I’m only now realizing the clue for SAABS refers to them as discontinued, not discounted. (SAAB Sale!)

Thomaso808 4:05 AM  

Fun, easy puzzle with a little aha at the end. I liked it.

I was on a business trip in Volgograd once and at a long dinner with many toasts, as the senior American in the group I ended with a toast to my Russian counterpart who was hosting the dinner. I used the phrase STILL WATERS RUN DEEP. I explained its meaning and was sincerely trying to compliment him because though he was a man of few words, he was very insightful and a very good engineer. The translator took my 30 second toast and made it into a 10 minute speech that brought the host to tears, us Americans befuddled, and the whole Russian side enthusiastically applauding. She had taken my brief reference to a generic river, and instead made it into a profound comparison to the Volga. Those guys in Volgograd, they loooove that river! Later the host gave me big hug and invited me to come back that summer with my family and he would personally take us on his boat and show us the beauties of his beloved Volga. I sure hope that translator got a good tip!

Loren Muse Smith 4:21 AM  

Seeing the SAW after the solve was nice moment. I’ve always loved this kind of theme. So subtle. With these, I never see the deal until the end (like @Harryp says -the theme was slipped in while we were snoozing), and the pleasant little aha moment is fun. Even subtler would have been really, really disguising the first words of the saying (WATERSTON, RUNNYMEDE, DEEPAK CHOPRA… But STILL doesn’t cooperate. STILLICIDIUM? STILLIONAIRE? Nah. ) Anyhoo – Andrea and Mark – I really liked this puzzle. STILL WATERS RUN DEEP. So true, that.

Whatever the case, I completely agree with Rex on the deal that you can grow up on something while Not enjoying it. I grew up on powdered skim milk. That’s some nasty stuff. Breakfast, lunch, and supper. I guess a doctor had recommended skim milk for my toddler sister – thunderthighs and all that – and the only skim milk available back in the ‘60s was powdered? Who knows. I always forget to ask Mom why she did this to us. Spending the night at Joanne H’s was bliss – real whole milk. And Mrs. H always left a ton of batter in the bowl when she made a cake. Armed with her most excellent spatula, my mom could get every last bit of batter out.

Indeed, @jae! Really appreciate your support. I’m headed back to the capitol (Capitol?) this morning. Thousands of teachers will be there for the third day.

Diddly squat so far as far as offers to settle are concerned.

Theresa B, a fellow teacher, is the sole bread-winner for her small family; husband is a stay-at-home dad. Scary times.

(Again – I just love this kind of trick. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… take a closer look at the first part of each of the above paragraphs. Hah!)

Conrad 5:47 AM  

@Mike in Moumtain View: perhaps a bit more current is the same scene from Spamalot the Musical: https://youtu.be/HLgQMtquS6Y

BarbieBarbie 5:53 AM  

@LMS, I sent my good wishes yesterday but my comment erased itself and I figured it had not passed a filter of some kind. Trying again. Scary times, indeed.

Seemed like an ordinary Monday to me. But then, I put in ARF (didn’t think of grr).

Lewis 6:01 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 6:24 AM  

Ms. Acme clued this puzzle (according to the authors' notes), and, as always, with Andrea, that cluing was smooth and had spark. This is a terrific puzzle for new solvers.

It also made me look up the theme expression, and I learned how varied the interpretations of it are. They all stem from the point that where rivers are deep, the water is placid, but when the waters are shallow, they are often gushing and loud. And this metaphor lends itself to many takes. This little puzzle-inducing side trip made for an interesting reverie with which to start the day.

Cali Marie 7:10 AM  

@Lewis, you seem to know a lot about puzzles. Can you recommend a website where I can find grids that I can download so that I can try my hand at a puzzle too? How do you know if one has been used recently?

kitshef 7:26 AM  

I thought STILL KICKING was what the revenooers do when they track down your moonshine operation.

I thought WATERS DOWN was washing the duvet.

I thought RUN ERRANDS was darning stockings and such.

@LMS, @Tita A - catching up on puzzles from vacation and am up to Feb 15. If you are serious about snakes, feel free to contact me off-blog.

Two Ponies 7:30 AM  

Like @LMS, A childhood pleasure I *grew up on* was finishing the batter bowl. I have a clear memory of when my mom got that dad-blasted rubber spatula.
That Bonnie Raitt song is so sad and lovely. I was hoping that would be the video choice of the day.

Hoople 7:38 AM  

@lms, I see what you did there...

Hoople 7:43 AM  

@lms See what I did there... sweet.

kitshef 8:07 AM  

@LMS - Night at the Museum or Meet the Parents, e.g.: STILLER FLICK

RavTom 8:08 AM  

@Rex: I know that "dated" is one of your bugbears, but let me put in a pitch for it. I grew up doing the Sunday crosswords with my father (when we had to get the Sunday Times in the mail on Wednesday in Texas, not to sound too dated). Part of the fun was learning about old terms and old pop culture. I could learn about current pop culture simply by being alive; I didn't need a crossword for that. So, to my mind, a good crossword should feel a little dated. That's part of its value.

Hartley70 8:14 AM  

@ACME and Mark have given us a perfect Monday puzzle. The revealer is "deep" in the grid and I think most new solvers would get an aha moment at the first word gimmick. There was no dreck fill and the entries didn't talk down to the solvers. I don't feel Rex's complaints at all.

SMOLDERS is my word of the day. I like the sound of it and it doesn't suffer from overuse. It reminds me of the eyes of old film goddesses. That Bonnie RAITT album is a real favorite of mine and I never tire of that wonderful torch song, "I Can't Make You Love Me". So sad, but so true.

'mericans in Colombia 8:29 AM  

ARF! What @Rex said. I, too, was slowed down by 39D. I had GREWU _ _ _ and just couldn't figure out how to make that phrase correspond with that key word in the clue: "Enjoyed". Like @LMS, I grew up on many things that I can't say I enjoyed -- celery salted mashed potatoes (my mom loved the stuff), and TV dinners, for two. OR WORSE

Was also looking for something corresponding to "question" for 52A. But that's my fault. Mrs. 'mericans zipped through (independently, after I cleared my answers) without a problem.


mathgent 8:45 AM  

@RavTom (8:08): I agree that there is value in having old stuff in the puzzle, but I also want to learn new stuff.

When Grey's Anatomy started, we would watch every week. A big reason was Katherine Heigl's immense beauty. When she left the show,(which is still running!), we quit watching. She's not a bad actress, but she didn't have the star quality to carry the movies she was in.

Nate 8:56 AM  

"AOL alternative" with the answer of "MSN" has to die. That clue is now, what, 20 years past its expiration date?

Please, let it die.

RooMonster 8:57 AM  

Hey All !
My parents made me and my sister eat that baby-food-looking squash, nasty brussel sprouts, and other icky things that we GREW UP ON. Made me want to throw UP ON. :-) Now, guess what? Even they don't eat those anymore!

Puz was good. I think @Loren's suggestions would be a WedsPuz theme. Just a bit esoteric for Monday. AEIOU was interestingly clued. I'd love to see AEIOUANDSOMETIMESY in a puz!

Not sure why, but South seemed tougher than North. I'll blame FURIES, KEENLY, and ORWORSE. Nice return of EEL. :-)


Anonymous 9:00 AM  

A perfect Monday for me. Crosswordy and fun.

G. Weissman 9:05 AM  

This puzzle was a meh. Rex is right: “Grew up on” in no way implies enjoyed. Case in point: I “grew up on” iceberg lettuce.

RooMonster 9:07 AM  

Not quite SMOLDERS, but her looks can satisfy the meaning, Cobie SMULDERS.

And, for the Monty Python crew, here is the Dead scene.

You're welcome. :-)


Anonymous 9:13 AM  

@LMS et al. when we were kids, we thought the word was "lickter beaters" for the "electric beaters" used to make batter. Cause you licktem.

Harry 9:14 AM  

I enjoyed this puzzle. Other then the southwest corner, it was a pretty straightforward walk through. Maybe it wasn't the most exciting puzzle, and I didn't see the theme till I was done, but still enjoyable.

Lewis 9:15 AM  

@cali marie -- That would be a great question to post at the Facebook group called Puzzle Collaboration Directory, where an impressive group of constructors answer questions by people starting out in making puzzles, as well as offer feedback on the puzzles of newer constructors. There is a site called cruciverb.com that has a feature where you punch in the number of letters in your theme answers and it spits out grid possibilities; it is a donation based site, but you can have access to that feature by paying $35 a year. Of course you could get crossword collection books to see scads of grids. I don't know sites that offer downloads of grids, but you might consider getting a crossword constructing program. Many people with macs use CrossFire, and many with pc's use Crossword Compiler. With these programs you can start with a blank grid and put the black squares wherever you wish, and of course these programs do a lot more as well. I hope this helps!

Sir Hillary 9:17 AM  

Nice, clean grid, well-clued. But the theme feels way too thin, even for a Monday.

QuasiMojo 9:18 AM  

@LMS, I grew up on powdered skimmed milk too. It was cheaper. I may have to go back to it as decent milk at my grocery store is now $5 a half gallon.

Okay Monday puzzle. But could it really take two people to construct it?

Nancy 9:23 AM  

I took to heart @Teedmn's "If I don't guess the revealer I feel I haven't solved the puzzle" from last week and used it to try and make a much-too-easy puzzle a little more challenging. It's something I've simply never thought of doing before -- avoiding the revealer until I've guessed what it is. I didn't have it at STILL KICKING and I didn't have it at WATERS DOWN but by the time I filled in RUN ERRANDS, I SAW it, pun intended. Did it make this "I-could-put-a-man-in-space-and-solve-this-puzzle-at-the-same-time" Monday exercise any more interesting? Only marginally. No DEEP THOUGHTS required. Barely any thoughts at all required.

Z 9:49 AM  

Hand up for “Liked this more than Rex.” I was wondering about the absence of a Beatles reference, but otherwise found this to be a fine Monday. I hear Rex’s complaint on the dated fill (looking at you MSN and SAAB) but nothing screams “No More!” at me. I despise quote puzzles, but this repurposing of an old SAW into a theme is fine by me.

@Thomas808 - Too funny. I have a friend who used to teach a class on translation. It was a particular issue where I was an administrator. We had many families who spoke Arabic, but the Arabic of Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq varied as much as the English of Great Britain, Australia, and the US. The skill isn’t just knowing the words, but knowing the meaning, a particularly treacherous issue once metaphor is involved. As @Lewis alludes to, this simple theme saying could, even in the US, be seen as a compliment or a word of caution.

@LMS - Just read up on the issues. Good Luck. I strongly suspect real long term solutions will require increasing taxes on businesses. Convincing businesses that it is in their best interest to pay more taxes is always a hard sell.

Anonymous 9:50 AM  

I don't understand what SAW means, relative to the theme/clue. Can somebody help me out?

pabloinnh 9:53 AM  

Today's revealer made me think of (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden, with its "You'd better look before you leap, still waters run deep" line, a song which is right at the top of my list for the Most Cliches in One Song Award. Truly impressive.

I was lucky enough to see Bonnie Raitt end her concert at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, a lovely outdoor facility, with "I Can't Make You Love Me". Just her and her pianist and a single spotlight and the sun going down behind her over Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks in the west. Unforgettable magic.

Unknown 9:56 AM  

Clean, simple, quick for me. Didn’t know what a SAW was and didn’t see the theme or get it until I read the blog. Makes the puzzle more interesting but agree with Rex on the “old” feel to it. SAW only adds to that. @JJ, agreed on AEIOU, wanted VOWEL badly but had the cross and it just felt forced. @ Two Ponies and @LMS, I GREW UP ON the cookie batter and brownie batter bowls from my grandmother. I was thinking as I read Two Ponies post, that I too remember the day Grandmother got that damn black plastic spatula and got rid of my favorite old wooden one....our take from the batter bowls was reduced significantly.....this musing probably furthers the idea that this puzzle is musty at best.

Z 10:00 AM  

@Anon9:50 - SAW is a synonym for “maxim” or “proverb.” I think it is most often seen paired with “old,” as in, “STILL WATERS RUN DEEP is an old SAW that still applies even in the age of over-self-exposure social media.”

Tita 10:01 AM  

You had me at "Not dead yet!"...

@Thomas - love your Volga story...Did you take him up on that invitation?

It's the opposite of my boss's story...
In Tokyo, he opened his talk with a joke - big long buildup, funny punchline.
Then he waited for the translator to finish. The translator spoke a few syllables, and everyone laughed heartily.
Boss was surprised at the brevity of the Japanese language, and continues.
At the end of the evening, he asked his host about it. He was told that the translator, used to untranslatable humor, simply said "Your guest has made a joke. Please laugh."

I always thought it was DAgBLASTED...

Loved AEIOU - we're all expecting a plural answer here, but nooooo....

@Nancy - you took my comment to heart, but not my name...
Funny, since you shouted me out for it... Ha ha - I hold no grudge...
Actually - I understand, because wasn't it you who thought that TeeD and I were actually the same person with 2 blog personas?
It's a natural mistake, since we both are wonderfully eloquent, amusing, and insightful. Did I mention long-winded???? ;)

I am proud to say that I DID put together the theme - well - I sussed out the old SAW, but was not able to predict the actual revealer. But that does satisfy my requirement.
BTW - I try to avoid at all costs reading the revealer until the very end - I purposely skirt the center of the grid and the lower right corner, and hate getting blindsided by an oddly-placed revealer spoiling my in for me...

Thanks, ACME and Mr. Diehl.

NeilD 10:03 AM  

@anonymous I didn't know it either. But whatever dictionary google uses tells me:

noun: saw; plural noun: saws
a proverb or maxim.
synonyms: saying, maxim, proverb, aphorism, axiom, adage, epigram
"the old saw about when the going gets tough""

jberg 10:05 AM  

I liked this on, even with the EEL. With STILL KICKING, one's attention is naturally drawn to the more active word, "kicking," so I was looking for a theme of things you could do with your legs, or somethinkg of the sort-- but WATERS DOWN gave it away -- although I still tried to fit in DEEP questions...oops, no room!)

I discovered SAABS in the mid-80s, I think -- just after they stopped making you pour oil into the gas tank-- and figured I was set for life. But then we had three kids and bought a used Chevy van to drive across the country (well, to Montana). It had a carpeted floor so they would lie there and read or play games. If we did that today we'd be thrown into prison. By the time I was ready for another one, they were no more.

@Loren, I've been on the road and not coming here, so I missed your post about WV teachers -- I'll send you an email. Anyway, hope it goes well!

GILL I. 10:09 AM  

I believe Monday puzzles are the most difficult to construct. In many ways your hands are tied. It has to be fairly easy; you want to engage an audience that that can zip through it in 3 seconds (like @Rex) as well as those that need as much time as possible... all the while hoping your solvers enjoy a bit of whimsy and are being amused. @Andrea always does this. If you've solved her a lot (like I have) you know you're going to get a treat. I'm just bummed that there is no PIZZA in the puzzle!
I didn't think this came across as dated. Well, maybe seeing MILLI Vanilli. Weren't they the lip-sync frauds?
My enjoyed GREW UP ON memories always involved food. (I don't think I've ever tasted powdered milk and I sure as hell don't want to) but you mention Cuban food and I drool. Tonight I'm making the classic Moros Y Cristianos, ropa vieja, yuca con mojo, tostones and a killer Daiquiri to wash away the bloat....
Haven't thought of KURT Vonnegut and his Slaughterhouse-Five character Billy Pilgrim( Is that you @semioticus?) in years. I read his book back in the day it was the rage; what's not to love about dark comedy?
Thank you Andrea and Mark for a fine Monday. Your puzzles always bring on some interesting memories.

Cali Marie 10:17 AM  

@Lewis 8:15, thank you so much for that information! I am boycotting Facebook but will for sure take a look at cruciverb. Can't wait to get started.

Nancy 10:19 AM  

I am so terribly sorry, @Tita (10:01)!!!! I thought of going back to confirm just who made that comment, but I was pretty sure I was right. But "pretty sure" is never good enough when you don't have a memory like everyone else. I should know better by now.

But no, I never thought you and @Teedmn "were the same person with two blog personas". Actually, that was @Hartley, before I set her straight. I may be forgetful, but I'm not the sort of person who concocts elaborate fictions in my head. (Just kidding, @Hartley, you know I am! LOL and all that.)

Anyway, thanks for the tip, @Tita. It made the puzzle a little more fun. Not a lot. But a little.

GILL I. 10:37 AM  

OMG @Thomaso...I've just now read the comments. First big laugh of the morning...You too, @Tita.
I absolutely love translation stories. In Spain there is a fish called Rape (pronounced rah-peh). While eating in a restaurant we noticed the Spanish/English menu listing for this dish. " Rape a la Marinera" was translated to" Rape Sailor Style." I wish I had kept that menu.
My favorite worse translation from English to Spanish: EXTREME CAUTION.....WATCH FOR ICE: EL RELOJ EXTREMO DEL CUIDADO PARA EL HIELO.

See what you've done @Acme?
@Loren. Wishing everyone the best. $450 a month for health care?

jb129 10:53 AM  

Unremarkable so I guess I agree with Rex. Didn't like "grew up on"

JOHN X 11:05 AM  

MSN as the answer to "AOL Alternative" is not past any expiration date. Not now, not in a hundred years. Just as a "Horse alternative" is still a MODELT, regardless of whether they are currently available in the marketplace, both terms accurately answer their given clues.

"Beethoven alternative?" BRAHMS. "Best alternative?" RINGO. "Coke alternative?" METH. "GE Aternative?" PANDW. "God alternative?" ALCOHOL. "Hooker alternative?" GRANT. "All alternative?" TIDE "Alternative alternative?" INDIE.

Malsdemare 11:08 AM  

I' ve got to get to work so no time to comment but . . . @LMS i've missed your post that said you were at the capital, and why, but I read a piece yesterday about the state of education in WV and instantly thought of you and your herculean task. Stay safe in DC. I support you and your mission.

pmdm 11:17 AM  

Cali Marie: Even though Lewis answered your question, perhaps I can add my own suggestion. Jeff Chen loves to mentor new constructors. Hop over to XWordInfo.com and email him. (The email link on the bottom of the solution page just says "send your comments" which will go to him. He will be glad to help you.

Kimberly 11:37 AM  

Much as with debate, the idea of speed has poisoned the crossword experience for those who abide by it. And most of them aren’t even aware of what they’ve lost or which parts of their joy were killed off by that poison. Speed is a shiny object, but at the end of the day it’s just jagged glass.

Put it down. It has no meaning. It’s artifice. The benefits are insubstantial and the cost is high.

Austenlover 11:37 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Austenlover 11:41 AM  

Am I the only one who entered STILLtICKING? Changed it when I saw AIRtISS. I guess I was thinking of the old Timex commercials.

Masked and Anonymous 11:49 AM  

Always luv it, when a weeject like SAW gets to participate in the puztheme. Respect for the lil uns, etc. Ditto for the 9 U's here, btw.

Kinda lookin forward to SAW II.

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Si : Spain :: ___ : France} = OUI.
Opposite end of MonPuz spectrum: {___ ex machine} = DEUS. Learned somethin, there.

Themers get scrunched a might into the middle, due to a 12-long themer needin to go first. Desperation would normally ensue in the middle fill, but things actually look pretty solid. Good job.

Thanx for gangin up on us, ACME & Mr. Diehl.

Masked & Anonymo9Us


Thomaso808 11:58 AM  

@Tita A,
Sadly I never did return to the Volga. Several months after that trip, my company asked me to relocate to Hawaii to take on a different project. Nineteen years later, I’m still here. I love your translation story, particularly that it was in Japan. I can totally see that happening!

Carola 12:05 PM  

I never saw SAW, so I thought that DEEP THOUGHTS was functioning both as part of the theme phrase and as the reveal, the saw in question being an example of a deep thought. DEEP! So I was a little disappointed to be alerted by @Rex to the real reveal.

I thought there was lots to like in the puzzle - SMOLDERS, AIR KISS, VELCRO, NEWSY....My favotite line is FURIES...OR WORSE. Yikes!

Kath320 12:09 PM  

Doesn't look like anyone had my issue, 60A "bathroom unit." I had ST**L and thought, no, it couldn't be...stool...could it? EWWWWWW! But it wasn't, day saved.

Anonymous 12:15 PM  

Hilarious @Kath320! A whole new meaning for unit. Ewww but funny.

Teedmn 12:37 PM  

A super easy yet clever puzzle, what a great Monday. I did give myself a jolt though, when I went back to read the theme answers, I knew they were SAW-related. First one, STILL. Ack, says I to myself, I have DNFed again! It should be a SkILL SAW. I checked the cross at 2D and knew RAITT was correct. WATERS, RUN, DEEP, none of them types of SAWS. What a nice aha when I realized the trick.

Thanks, ACM and MD, nice job.

Cali Marie 12:40 PM  

@pmdm, thank you for your suggestion. I will do that! I've got a themeless I'm working on, so not sure if the programs will help me. I'm sure he can answer it for me. Appreciate all the help!

puzzlehoarder 12:52 PM  

An excellent Monday puzzle from collaborators who work the opposite ends of the week. If I had known this I'd have solved much earlier.

In the comments at xwordinfo Mark Diehl says that the idea for the puzzle was his and that "finally" he would get a Monday credit. This makes me wonder if the constructing challenge is analogous to that of solving. I've always assumed that of its a breeze to solve so is the constructing but what do I know?

The clue for 39D used a very broad interpretation of the word "enjoyed." A little uptick in difficulty like this should be welcome to experienced solvers. That clue and a LESH/TESH write over were two of the very small number of hitches I experienced while solving.

@lms, as a fellow public sector union member I strongly support your standing up for your rights. From your writing I know you care more about your students than the people who run your state.

semioticus (shelbyl) 12:53 PM  

This was a good Monday puzzle. Zesty-as-can-be clues, a simple theme without any faults, fill that tries to be fresh and doesn't throw Crosswordistan residents in your face. Not much to comment on. Sound from a pound was a cute rhyming clue.

GRADE: B, 3.5 stars.

Marymom 1:03 PM  

Never saw the revealer and thought the theme was about football I.e. stillKICKing, watersDOWN, RUNerrands, DEEPthoughts (as in goes deep). I thought Rex would be all over the inconsistency of the theme answers.

Anonymous 1:34 PM  

What the heck? Am I the only person who's never in my life heard of a "saw"?

Are they initials? S.A.W.? Is it the word 'saw'? Is this an ancient phrase or something ? Very weird on a Monday to have the revealer be something I've never heard of in my life

Banana Diaquiri 1:54 PM  

"What the heck? Am I the only person who's never in my life heard of a "saw"? "

check any dictionary. it's a synonym for adage.

Teedmn 1:57 PM  

@Tita, thank you for setting the record straight for @Nancy. I was scratching my head on whether I had ever said such a thing. (And wasn't sure where to start to figure out who deserved the credit.) And thanks for the humble brag on our accounts - I'll own up to the "long-winded" for sure!

I had no problem with GREW UP ON, got it off the GRE. I see the "enjoyed" more as a nostalgia thing.

@LMS, my mother grew up on a farm that her father rented. Because they didn't own the cows or the milk that the farm produced, she and her 7 brothers were brought up on powdered milk, which she detested (she would tell stories of sneaking a drink of milk "straight from the cow".) When raising her family, she refused to have anything less than whole milk in the house. Once when I was sick she gave me skim milk. I thought I was going to die, it was so horrible. Spoiled rotten, we were.

Anonymous 2:03 PM  

Roe v Wade definitely doesn't pass the breakfast test. OFL may know some tools but apparently not how to read a calendar. Saab was making cars until 2012.

التميز المثالي للخدمات المنزلية 2:04 PM  
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التميز المثالي للخدمات المنزلية 2:18 PM  
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Warren Howie Hughes 3:38 PM  

AISLE never STALL aROUND upon seeing a Xword Puz constructed by Angela Carla Michaels! :-)

Lewis 4:01 PM  

My five favorite clues of the week:

1. It's not working (7)
2. Top part of a face (3)
3. Stage holdup? (7)
4. Modern screen test (7)
5. Tries to beat the buzzer? (5)


Joe Dipinto 4:57 PM  

'Twas a perfectly fine Monday puzzle.

In today's Music Haul, besides RAITT, MILLI, TESH, and "TIL", we got...let's see...the ORLONs (early 60s group), LOU Reed, George IVAN "Van" Morrison, WES Montgomery, They Might Be GIANTs, "CLEAN-Up Woman", KURT Cobain, pop singer Tommy ROE, classical baritone Simon KEENLYside, guitarist MASON Williams, "Maggie MAE", and Busta RHYMEs. Not to mention that "STILL WATER" was a Four Tops song.

Joe Dipinto 5:05 PM  

Oh, and for @Z, who was expecting a Beatles clue:
"I SAW Her Standing There".

Aketi 5:13 PM  

@LMS, wishing you and your colleagues good luck today. Teachers are so important, yet so undervalued.

I GREW UP ON whole milk that was delivered to the ice box in front of our house by the milk man who lived down the street. I think that disappeared when I went to high school. My mother was a baker and batter licker herself. She had the spatulas but she always left enough on the beaters and the spoons and the spatulas for all of us to lick. She did not use cake, cookie, or brownie mixes until we were in our tweens and she went to work in a bank. I still lick batter on the rare occasions that I bake, even with the threat of salmonella. Just can’t help it. I don’t see how anyone can cook without taste testing along the way, ive also gone back to whole milk now that they discovered that sugar is worse than fat and skim milk had more sugar.

Monty Boy 6:45 PM  

As a newbie, I liked today's puzzle. Friday/Saturday kicked my fanny, so it's nice to finish one, even a Monday. Liked the hidden saw.

For@lms, a teacher friend has my favorite t-shirt: I became a teacher for the money and the fame.

A different milk story. I grew up in Montana and we would get milk directly from a nearby dairy farm. We took our own milk can, and had it filled almost directly from the cow. Mom would put it in quart jars and after a while the cream would come to the top (not homogenized). Dad would skim (no pun intended) the cream off the top for his cereal. For our glass of milk we'd have to stir in the cream. Much different experience from the powered dry. That's what I grew up on.

Rita Hayworthless 7:38 PM  

Aketi: "@LMS, wishing you and your colleagues good luck today. Teachers are so important, yet so undervalued."

I could not agree more.

Larry Gilstrap 9:16 PM  

My dad GREW UP ON a farm and I GREW UP ON TV, and I guess we enjoyed them. Neither experiences included powered milk.

Just because someone HEARS a voice, that certainly doesn't guarantee that person listens to what is being said.
Me: Where are we going tomorrow?
Not me: I already told you.
Me: Did it ever occur to you I wasn't listening?

Using STILL WATERS RUN DEEP to describe a personality type is beautifully exact figurative language. Reminds me of the crew's observation of the dark ruminations of Ahab. "D'ye mark him Flask?" whispered Stubb; "the chick that's in him pecks the shell. T'will soon be out."

Anonymous 11:58 PM  
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Burma Shave 9:51 AM  


on this PLANET, PLUS is he still ticking?”
he’s got ONE LEGUP and is STILLKICKING.”


Diana,LIW 11:08 AM  

Before I look at or comment on today's syndie puz, I just have a moment here. I'm still getting used to being home in Spokane. With a syndie carrying paper every day.

Yesterday, as I was lying abed, I listened, as is my wont, to Will S's NPR puzzle. And learned that this would be his last Sun puz broadcast. Seemed not many were listening, so - more news. What, more tweets? I was angry. Livid. Composed (mentally) my post here.

Only to learn that it was an April "Fool's joke. Har. Anyone else hear it? Anyone else fooled?

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

spacecraft 11:33 AM  

Amusing factoid: while solving I went across in the SW and never even SAW the revealer clue! The downs all made sense--including, of course, SAW--and I just went on. IMHO, that made it a better puzzle!

A Monday themeless is rarer than a winning Powerball ticket, so I was staring at those first two--and then three--long acrosses trying to get the hook. What in the world did they have in common? I was looking for word bridges, trying to think of first-word or last-word commonalities--the whole nine yards. Then the fourth one hit, and at last I SAW it! BIG aha moment! Personally, I think they should have clued SAW differently and let it go at that.

Cuteness abounds; well, it would, with ACME in on it. A few OWIEs, such as the vowel list, but nothing too outrageous in the fill. And speaking of cute: DOD HEIGL is that and more. Birdie.

rondo 12:28 PM  

Didn’t have an opinion about it until I SAW the theme, and with some DEEPTHOUGHTS decided it was OK. Easier to fit in that saying rather than “Early to bed, . . .” or “Don’t look a gifthorse . . .” DEEPTHOUGHTS indeed. Was hoping for a second saying with the remaining words, but that fizzled after KICKING DOWN.

I read many a KURT V. book back in the days of donating plasma to pay the rent.

Those VELCRO shoe fasteners were very handy after I had my arm rebuilt. Laces don’t work one-handed.

All due respect to Bonnie RAITT, but Katherine HEIGL gets the yeah baby nod today, though many call her the poor man’s Charlize Theron. Must be the TV thing.

I’ve got ONE CLEAN grid. The puz coulda been better, ORWORSE.

rainforest 2:15 PM  

After a brief period when my Mom tried to feed us powdered skim milk which my sisters and I boycotted, we returned to whole milk, my milk of choice to this day. I think I mainly GREW UP ON Brylcreem and low self-esteem.

I figured out the the "theme" before I saw SAW, which was cutesy revealer, but hey, ACME does good cutesy.

Easy puzzle, appropriate for the day, but quite enjoyable to finish.

In my area of the PLANET, we would use the term "pocket book" and "paperback" interchangeably, so with my problems getting OR WORSE, I couldn't see STRAP for many nanoseconds (love you, @M&A). I don't think I actually know what a pocket book is - a purse? You don't put a purse in your pocket. That is where you put your wallet, and if you GREW UP ON Brylcreem, your comb.

Car Dealerships 1:26 AM  

Unremarkable so I guess I agree with Rex. Didn't like "grew up on"

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