Actress Raymonde of Lost / MON 6-18-18 / Trendy much used lingo / Hawaiian surfing mecca / Candy suckers in form of jewelry

Monday, June 18, 2018

Constructor: Ross Trudeau

Relative difficulty: Medium (3:10)

THEME: BUZZ WORDS (59A: Trendy, much-used lingo ... or a hint to the starts of 16-, 23-, 35- and 48-Across) — "starts" of those answers are synonyms for "BUZZ" (as in "contact via telephone"):

Theme answers:
  • PHONE JACK (16A: Wall fixture for a landline)
  • DIAL SOAP (23A: Bathroom bar offering so-called "round-the-clock" protection)
  • CALL TO ORDER (35A: Start, as a meeting)
  • RING POPS (48A: Candy suckers in the form of jewelry)
Word of the Day: TANIA Raymonde (15A: Actress Raymonde of "Lost") —
Tania Raymonde (born Tania Raymonde Helen Katz; March 22, 1988) is an American actress. She began her career in the recurring character of Cynthia Sanders in TV series Malcolm in the Middle between 2000 and 2002, followed by the role of Alex Rousseau in the ABC series Lost from 2006 to 2010. She has since played Carla Rinaldi on MTV's Death Valley(2011), starred in the horror film Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) and portrayed Jodi Arias, the title role in the TV movie Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret (2013). In April 2015, she joined the cast of the TNT series The Last Ship. She is a star of the current Amazon Video series Goliath. (wikipedia)
• • •

First-words-type puzzle. Very old-school. This one has a kicky little revealer, which is probably the nicest answer in the grid, but it's still just a ... first-words-type puzzle. Also, the "phone" in PHONE JACK refers directly to the telephone, whereas the other first words all go another direction (different DIAL, different CALL, different RING). That's a ding. Another ding: the weird grid shape that gives us non-themers (specifically MACADMIA and SNAIL MAIL) right alongside themers of exactly the same length. That alone is awkward, and it's especially awkward when those non-themers are *longer* than some themers in the grid  (i.e. MACADAMIA is longer than DIAL SOAP or RING POPS). The grid has weird big corners and a badly black square-riddled middle. It's structurally all kind of a mess, and conceptually ... it's just plain. Old-fashioned. TAJ is a name part. AMAT is crosswordese. EKING, APING, NOS ... there's just too much that needs improving. Monday is usually pretty reliable, and while this one is by no means terrible, it's just not up to par. Also, UNICOLOR? Come on, no one says that.

["I hope he's talking to a he not a she..." LOL, OK...]
[from the "Sixteen Candles" soundtrack]

AS SOON is obviously terrible fill—it's long *and* it's partial, and if you have to use it (which you shouldn't) why in the world, why why why would you do the incredibly annoying thing of writing a *cross-reference* clue to yet another not-great answer (1A: ASAP). Do not call attention to the worst answers in your grid by giving them grievous, convoluted clues that require the solver to stop and think about how bad the whole situation is. Just write a simple clue, minimize damage, and move on. If your puzzle is good, the solver will forget the badness. AS SOON ... that's not an answer, that's a wind instrument typo. My biggest struggles today were TANIA (who?) and the horrible dumb crosswordese CZAR, which is a spelling that I only associate with political titles like "Drug CZAR" or whatever. The actual Russian rulers (54D: Ruler until 1917) are almost always spelled TSAR, which is how I spelled this answer first time out. I also wrote in NIL for ZIP (60D: Nada), so seeing BUZZ WORDS was oddly hard. Yet another way this puzzle found to be mildly annoying. Lastly, CANNED IT in the past tense is hilarious. You say "can it!" to get someone to shut up, but "he CANNED IT...."????  If you google ["Canned it"] you will get a host of sites related to canning, as in the process of putting things into cans. Past tense of the colloquial CANNED IT is implausible. Again, as with UNICOLOR, I just can't hear it.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. thanks very much to Oliver Roeder for filling in for me yesterday. Ollie is a senior writer for Check out his weekly puzzle column, "The Riddler," if you like math, logic, and probability challenges.

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Graham 12:26 AM  

American usage guides (AP Stylebook, Garner 2003) actually prefer CZAR over tsar, although the latter is the better transliteration from the Russian. And, I dare say, actual Americans (AP and Garner aside) tend toward tsar. But I still think CZAR is still legit for crosswords.

puzzlehoarder 12:52 AM  

I did this on my phone in 7:11. This may be the fastest I've ever done a puzzle. The odd thing is it didn't seem any different than usual.

AMPSUP seems a poor fit for it's clue so I didn't first guess that off the A. I had to change SOUR to TART as soon as I read the TAJ clue. The actress is unkown to me so that was another one I had to skip.

After that it was all first guess. When I finished I looked back over the puzzle to get the theme and realized that I'd skipped the clues for 11 entries. One of which was the BUZZWORDS revealer.

One of these days I may learn to type. One finger hunt and peck on a phone is very slow.

It's funny that WAIKIKI shows up today after yesterday's WAITITI impostster.

Larry Gilstrap 1:04 AM  

I liked it and so did OFL, of course with nits, his not mine.

I've actually heard the phrase: Give me a BUZZ! Well, not recently. But, I do remember when folks communicated and connected on the phone. How are the wife and kids?, i.e. Facebook killed that curiosity.

The SAHARA Desert is larger than the U.S. including Alaska. and growing. Africa is a large continent, but not growing.

Now about me: When I was a young teacher, I found myself without a TV on the event of the first Monday Night Football Game of the season, maybe '72. Howard Cosell, Dandy Don, and Frank Gifford, or did they come later? I went to a department store, Broadway or May Co...? I was thrifty, so I was fine with the b/w model. The box label said Monochromatic. All those superfluous colors confuse the experience.

To me, Crossword is not a passion, but it was until PASTIME reared its odd head. Baseball once was the National PASTIME and fans were passionate; Many fans still are.

I have the most stressful job; I'm the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Friends of the Borrego Springs Library. I have to produce Board Meeting Minutes every month. CALL TO ORDER is a heading and President Knaak usually pulls it off about 5:00 pm on the second Thursday of each month. Donations gratefully accepted. San Diego County is currently building us a beautiful new facility. Nicest building in town. I can't imagine how OFL does what he does, and has done for years. I write one measly report a month and have to take a run at it. Checks in the mail.

Harryp 1:40 AM  

I guess I am just simple, and try to finish the daily crosswords as fast as my aged brain will let me. All this carping about this and that doesn't keep me from enjoying the moment. Thank you Ross Trudeau.

sanfranman59 2:23 AM  

This week's relative difficulty ratings. See my 1/2/2018 post for an explanation of my method. In a nutshell, the higher the ratio & percentage, the higher my solve time was relative to my norm for that day of the week. Your results may vary.

(Day, Solve time, 26-wk Median, Ratio, %, Rating)

Mon 3:43 4:30 0.83 6.2% Easy

Lickety-split. Hot knife through butter. Never heard of RING POPS or TANIA Raymonde. Didn't matter. ASSOON looks like Vidal with a bad haircut. CANNED IT and the spelling of CZAR took a couple of extra seconds.

chefwen 2:27 AM  

Typical easy Monday for me. Had to Wite Out ASAP cuz I put it in at 5A, DOH! Hate when I do that.

Wanted zippED IT at 35D, CALLED TO ORDER nixed that. Never have I heard anyone say CANNED IT. I usually say “enough, put a lid on it”. kind of relates to canning I guess. Anyhoo, good start to the week.

Z 3:47 AM  

I did this in 5:34, which is now a medium Monday. The theme seemed pretty meh. Not bad, but not really good either. Got to the revealer, pondered for 3 nanoseconds and then shrugged. The short fill was typical, some of the longer fill was okay. I, too, wondered who ever says UNICOLOR.

Lewis 5:30 AM  

Most interesting take: Learning that the inventor of Ring Pops, who had a daughter with a thumb sucking problem, created the candy as an alternative.

Most quizzical brief moment: Wondering who the heck puts a bar in a bathroom?

Charles Flaster 6:33 AM  

Very easy even for a Monday.
However, Rex is picking too many nits.
EOS is good crosswordEASE.
Loved the SARGE!
Thanks RT

Aketi 6:42 AM  

@Lewis, just trying to imagine why any parent would think using molded sugar in place of a thumb be an improvement. Just thinking of the spike in dental work as well as the fad of molly laced RING POPS.

Back in the days when I used to polish the grants that the country offices developed for submission to donors, we used to joke about developing a random BUZZ WORD generator. My job essentially involved converting descriptions of pragmatic project proposals into the jargon that would please the donors. The fads in donor lingo were as difficult to keep up with as teen slang.

Anonymous 7:04 AM  

Is it possible for someone to tell me what OFL stands for? Thanks!

kitshef 7:14 AM  

Felt to me like the revealer was not really a revealer, but simply another themer. Not much to say about the puzzle, which was fine, so some trivia instead.

During prohibition, PABST switched to producing cheese.

The leading producer of MACADAMIA nuts (which botanically are not nuts) is South Africa.

Hungry Mother 7:25 AM  

Super fast for me today doing mostly downs for some reason.

Anonymous 7:25 AM  

I don't understand Rex's comment about PHONEJACK going in the opposite direction. Can someone explain this?

RJ 7:30 AM  

I usually wait to solve until I've had at least half of the 1st cup of coffee and gotten the sleepy stuff out of my eyes (lots of that now with grass pollen in full swing!) but its Monday, so....8+ minutes due to making corrections.

I'm liking that the Monday puzzles seem a little more challenging. Agree that CANNEDIT is one of those phrases that no one uses. No idea who TANIA is but crosses filled that in.

Loren Muse Smith 7:33 AM  

Fine Monday, if you ask me. I didn’t catch that PHONE was the only themer whose clue wasn’t a misdirection. But honestly, unless you’re a linguist distinguishing between a phoneme (abstract category of sounds) and phone (actual utterance) what’re ya gonna do?

What I did notice was that they’re not really that interchangeable. You CALL someone and RING someone (I guess? In the UK?) , but you give someone a BUZZ. DIAL is the outlier.

*Hey man. Where you been? I like dialed you and dialed you but you were like totally awol.
*Hey man. Where you been? I like gave you a dial and gave you a dial, but you were like totally awol.

But the reveal hedges and just says they’re BUZZ WORDS, so all is well.

I could amend DIAL to “pocket dial,” like when you pocket dial Shauna P and she hears you sing the entirety of Sound of Silence while you’re driving to Kroger. But I did nail the harmony.

Agree that UNICOLOR made me pause. But as usual not an enraged pause but a curious pause. Like what if… people who eschew proper teeth care become unidentified.

@sanfranman59 – So you’ve never been in line at a grocery store when a kid spots those sexy RINGPOPs and decides he wants one and throws a spectacular tantrum? I have to say, if they had been around when I was a kid, I’d have wanted one, too. Back then, I was obsessed with those ridiculous red wax lips. Nasty.

@Lewis – me, too, for being startled at the thought of a bar in a bathroom. I mean, frat parties have their hunch punch in the bathtub, right? Makes you wonder about, well, the bar stools…

I noticed PABST crossing BUZZ. Dad used to put salt in his PBR.

I have to disagree with the clue for RICED. If you use a ricer to do your mashed potatoes, they’re not only mashed, but they’re ethereal, miraculous little hills of wonder.

Wm. C. 7:34 AM  

@Anon7:04 --

OFL => Our Fearless Leader, i. e. Rexy

Z 7:53 AM  

@Aketi - Lol. I became department chair the same way. Our curriculum director no longer spoke English, so I, working on a Masters and replete with all the latest BUZZWORDS, ended up rewriting all the department’s work to get her approval. Since I was doing the final work, the old guard let me be chair (I think it came with an extra $500/year). All I was doing was translating everything we had done into educationese.

@anon7:25 - the PHONE in PHONEJACK is still a specific to telephones item. CALL, DIAL, and RING are used in phrases unrelated to telephones. In first word (or last word or words split between two words) themes it is more elegant to use the theme word in a unrelated fashion.

Peter the Great 8:01 AM  

Tsar is crosswordese. I think czar is more common in the real world.

Unknown 8:07 AM  

40A: THE "A" AND "S" OF 1-ACROSS is not a valid clue, as 1A has two As, so there is no "THE A".

Suzie Q 8:45 AM  

I think my dad used "Give me a buzz" a lot so I was OK with that usage but buzz as in slightly high is more familiar to me. Misspent youth and all that.

The puzzle says Australia and @ kitshef says S. Africa but I thought those yummy nuts came from Hawaii.

pabloinnh 8:45 AM  

Straight shot down Crossword Highway this AM, which means it's a Monday. About as crunchy as not quite mashed potatoes.

My question, and it's an old one for me, is about PASTIME. There always seems to be something wrong with this spelling, even though there isn't. Do we engage in activities to pass time? What happened to that other s? Or does it somehow refer to time in the past? Where's the other t? Or time that passed? Where's everything?
And while we're at it, where's mastime? (I realize this requires an apostrophe, it's just what happens when you start that stroll down Orthographic Avenue.) English. How does anyone ever learn it?

RAD2626 9:04 AM  

I thought this was a clever and fine Monday where I did not get the theme until the end, which I like. Thought long non-theme entries were very strong. PHONE connection did not bother me.

Only nit is the clue for CAM. CAM is a Newton or a shaft. Have never heard it used as a shortened form of camera. Must be a Monday cluing thing but still...

Warren Peace 9:07 AM  

@Lewis, Interesting story on the ring pop, the choice there being tooth rot or bucked teeth. My daughter was a thumb sucker and it cost us not one but two sets of braces. Ring pops were out at that time and it never occurred to me that they could introduced as a substitute, probably because they appalled me. Still, if I'd looked ahead at the $9k, I might have paused for at least a moment.

It thought this was a very good Monday. One color before unicolor (I think there's a local Spanish language station here called Univision), but everything was clean.

mathgent 9:23 AM  

Doing this puzzle was like walking into a woman's bathroom. An embarrassed feeling of I'm not supposed to be here. 5D: "__ Majal." 37D: "___ Jones industrial average."

GILL I. 9:24 AM  

You mean MACADAMIA doesn't come from Mauna Loa? I'll be.
I know TANIA Raymond from Amazon's Goliath with Billy Bob Thornton. Terrific series. It's Billy Bob at his very best. I watched maybe half a season of "Lost" so TANIA didn't register.
@Like @pablo, I want an extra "S" in PASTIME.
RICED mashed potatoes are very much mashed. Its's the only way you can really get them smooth.
EKING is such an icky word. How did IKE get that nickname? My dad's nickname was EK. His surname was Echols so his army buddies shortened his name and gave him that charming moniker.
@Loren...Bar Stool? How do you come up with those things so damn early in the morning. I have to have had at least one drink before my imagination juices start to flow.
Have never heard of RING POPS. I never really ate candy and neither did my children and now I'm glad. I did, though, like Tootsie Roll POPs. Cherry. I never licked long enough - wanted that middle chocolate something bad.
Will Jeff give this a POW?

Nancy 9:25 AM  

Rex is right that it should have been TSAR, not CZAR, as clued. It bothered me, too.

Skimming the clues, as I often do with easy early week puzzles, my eye caught only the last two lines of 23A: "...offering so-called 'round-the-clock' protection'". I had DIA----- filled in already. Imagine what I thought of first. :)

Someone invited me to her health club years ago for a swim. There were two SAUNA rooms free when we got out of the pool. She said she was going to use one and suggested I use the other. I walked in. I hadn't even closed the door yet and I absolutely couldn't breathe. I thought: Isn't this the way they used to torture people? I walked out. I still haven't figured out why people do this to themselves?

How long do you think it will be until we have an entire country in which no one has ever seen a PHONE JACK or received a single piece of SNAIL MAIL? Already SCRIBES seem as long ago and far away as dinosaurs.

pmdm 9:35 AM  

At one time, all pictures taken with a camera would print out only in MONOCHROME. In the days of the silent movies, sometimes the movie in places would be tinted - blue for night, yellow for day, red for hell, and such. I suppose you would refer to that type of processing as UNICOLOR tinting. So yes, there is a difference between MONOCHROME and UNICOLOR and yes, UNICOLOR can be distinguished from MONOCHROME. Granted, one would seldom need to include UNICOLOR in a conversation. But if you are speaking about something that is UNICOLOR rather than MONOCHROME (some recognize that tints are different colors; is red the same as pink, or green the same as lime?), the word UNICOLOR would be the word to use.

To designate this puzzle (or at least the grid) as "all kind of a mess" is laughable. And using common crosswordese on a Monday is appropriate since new solvers need to learn crosswordese.

OK Sharp, you don't say unicolor and I guess neither do your firends. But I use it. So do my friends. I guess we are NOBODY.

kitshef 9:47 AM  

@Suzie Q 8:45 - MACADAMIAs originated in Australia, but other countries now grow them also - including the US (Hawaii, California, Florida that I know of). South Africa grows more of them than anyone else.

QuasiMojo 10:21 AM  

@Aketi, I am jealous of your exotic travels. Did you ever fly into Saba? I hear it is heart-stopping.

old timer 10:52 AM  

Perfectly OK Monday and very Easy, too. OFL (Our Feckless Leader) picked far too many nits, methinks.

I always figured that the CZAR spelling was that the Emperor of All the Russias was, like the Kaiser, using a term based on the old Roman Caesars. Augustus called himself Caesar and I think his successors did too.

Joseph Michael 10:57 AM  

Got a BUZZ from solving the puzzle, but I agree that PHONE JACK is an outlier since it is the only themer that refers to the theme concept directly. Something like CONTACT LENS might have been a better way to go.

Thought the fill was solid and offered some nice diversions, such as SNAIL MAIL, DIAL SOAP, MACADAMIA, WAIKIKI. and BASE PAY. Am amused that Rex considers the grid “weird” looking. Really?

Those perplexed by a bar in the bathroom must have never been in a bathroom for the disabled where one can find bars not only in the bathtub but also on either side of the toilet.

ASS OON makes no sense but it’s what I keep seeing when I look at the grid.

Malsdemare 11:02 AM  

I made most but not all of the mistakes that others did, but enjoyed the too brief workout. @pmdm, thanks for the tutorial on UNICOLOR; I didn't know any of that. @Z, I got the chair punishment when the presiding chair quit while on sabbatical. My reward was a one-course reduction, from 4 to 3. That was taken away when the president practically bankrupted the institution, using the endowment to pay the bills. Today, that tiny no-longer-strapped university has been designated the best Illinois university for getting its grads jobs (I think I already bragged about that but it bears repeating).

Fine monday morning effort.

clued in 11:27 AM  

Peter the Great at 8:01: I agree completely. Never heard tsar used so frequently as it is in crossword puzzles.

mathgent 11:53 AM  

Tennis fans will get a kick out of seeing Serena Williams being clued as Venus's doubles partner. Serena is probably the best woman tennis player of all time. Worse than cluing John McEnroe as Peter Fleming's doubles partner. McEnroe-Fleming was much more successful than the Williams sisters, winning 52 tournaments, many of them Grand Slams.

Lewis 12:04 PM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

1. Source of multicolored Maos (6)
2. Critic's pick (3)
3. 1960s TV unit (6)
4. Path of an overnight star (10)
5. Fair game (8)


Victor 12:37 PM  

My nit: Time to resurrect William Safire's Squad Squad. "Sahara Desert" is redundant. "Sahara" means "desert" in Arabic. It's the Sahara, it's a desert, it's not the Sahara Desert.

Reasonablewoman 12:58 PM  

@RAD2626 9:04 AM. I agree. I think CAM is used but just in conjunction with something else as in body-cam or helmet-cam.

Those commenting about a bar in a bathroom; I'm almost sure you realize it is bar of soap, right?
(safety bars are another thing and have been covered already)

I liked all the A's in the NW, especially in words where every other letter was A, ASAP, SAHARA, AMAT,
MACADAMIA (almost). Also 2 double A's elsewhere, CANAAN, ISAAC. A is also my grade for the puzzle.

Teedmn 1:17 PM  

RING POPS must be after my time - I was picturing those ridiculous necklaces that had the candy circles on the stretchy string and when they were all bitten off you were left with a wet string around your neck. So backing in to that answer, I put in ____caPS, and thought 42D would be icING until I read the clue. Without that brief hold-up, this would have been by far my fastest Monday ever. At 5:23, it still might be a record but I can’t be sure.

I liked it, thanks Ross Trudeau.

Banana Diaquiri 1:21 PM  


they're #2 behind Martina and Pam.

not bad.

jberg 1:52 PM  

First of all, for all you doubters, here is the the output of a CAM.

And why wouldn't you want a bar in your bathroom? Especially one you could reach from the tub. Personally, I was disappointed when I realized they meant soap.

@Loren, @Gill -- I'm with you on the potatoes. When I host Thanksgiving dinner for the family, I do the turkey and the mashed potatoes and farm out everything else. I liked to use a hand masher, which always seemed to work fine to me -- but one Christmas my son gave me a ricer and said "Dad, I hope you use this." (He has a way with gifts -- the next year I got a handbook on how to prune shrubs, as if mine were overgrown or something.)

Me too a linguist: what's the best way to reach you?
Linguist PHONEME!

Anonymous 2:07 PM  


Banana Diaquiri 2:18 PM  

In the days of the silent movies, sometimes the movie in places would be tinted

I thought so too, but films shot in color happened quite early. I, too(?) assumed that Technicolor, et al, didn't exist until the late 40s or so. turns out that color silents were common until it was found that color didn't increase gate.

"Technicolor is a series of color motion picture processes, the first version dating from 1916" here:

who knew?

Anoa Bob 3:27 PM  

I'm a long-time SAUNA user, even during the summertime here in south TX. When someone asks why in the world would a sane person willingly put themselves into an oven (hi @Nancy), especially when it's already 90+ degrees outside, my standard reply goes something like this:

All the blood vessels throughout the body are surrounded by smooth muscle that can dilate or constrict thus opening up or closing down the vessel's inner diameter. The nervous system can control the body's blood flow patterns by constricting or relaxing these muscles.

When body temp rises, blood is shunted away from the body core and sent to the skin surface. Even the tiniest of vessels open up. That in combination with perspiration helps to cool the body.

When body temp falls, the reverse happens. Blood is shunted away from the surface and back to the core to prevent further heat loss.

By alternating between sitting in the SAUNA and doing cool-downs (a chill pool or a snow bank will help speed this up) one is exercising the blood vasculature throughout the body. The vessels' smooth muscles respond to exercise like all muscles by becoming stronger and more resilient, i.e., healthier.

So the SAUNA can be an important factor in cardio-vascular health, and since cardio-vascular disease is the number one cause of illness and death in the U.S., that's a big deal, methinks.

Another benefit comes from perspiration's role in regulating salt levels in the body which, in turn, can have a beneficial effect on blood pressure.

The skin, the largest organ in the body, also benefits from this regular exposure to increased blood flow rich in oxygen and nutrients. If you know a SAUNA user, check out their skin (at your discretion of course). Does it look healthy? I'd bet yes.

About an hour or so after a session of SAUNA/cool-down cycles (I usually do three), I get a runner's high kind of feeling of being completely relaxed and carefree.

Plus the summer temps don't seem so bad when you've been sitting where it's 160-180 degrees!

Thus endeth my ode to the SAUNA.

One final thing. Is GREEN PAINT UNICOLOR?

Local 600 D.P. 4:08 PM  

Who knew? A lot of people knew. Two of the most famous films of all time, Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, were both released in 1939, not the late 40s. Both are classic three-strip Technicolor productions.

Anonymous 4:57 PM  

This was my fastest Monday ever at 3:25 - within striking distance of the king!

RooMonster 5:42 PM  

Hey All !
Late to the party. Thankfully not @LMS's bathroom bash...

Nice MonPuz, only hang-up (Har) was having sour for TART first. Since we seem to be @M&Aless today, I will nominate MAP as the e-z MonPuz clue. What a ROSY clue on that one.

MACADAMIA, CANNED IT. :-) And they're UNICOLOR. And you can get them through SNAIL MAIL. Mini theme alert!

BUZZ WORDS - Bee, hornet, wasp, hive, honey. *Bows*


Doug 7:11 PM  

I knew Rex would trash this puzzle. But I considered this easy as hell. Probably finished faster than I've ever finished any NYT puzzle.

David 8:02 PM  

When I was a kid and we had to dial 5 numbers to call someone on the phone, our TV was monochromatic, aka "black and white". The printers I use in my profession are also monochromatic, aka "black and white".

Certainly there was a school in modern art which created "monochromatic" paintings which were not black and white, but neither were they "unicolor" though they explored the nuances of a single color, which was kind of the whole point.

David 8:04 PM  

Also, I forgot to say, when we had to dial only 5 numbers to make a call. CZAR was, by far, the more common spelling of the Russian autocrats. Over the ensuing decades it changed to TSAR.

I found today's puzzle quite simple and, frankly boring. Meh, to use crosswordese.

Suzie Q 8:08 PM  

@ Anoa Bob, Thanks for the info. I kinda knew that but not in such detail. Cool (and hot) stuff.

Azzurro 10:15 PM  

Good Monday fare. Glad to see another from Ross Trudeau!

pmdm 9:14 AM  

From yesterdqay.

Banana Daiquiri: I knew. Buster Keaton used technicolor in one of his silents. It was only two-color technicolor, but technicolor it was. Probably around the mid-20s.

thefogman 9:17 AM  

A pleasant solve. Fine for a Monday. Don't take Rex too seriously Mr. Trudeau.

Burma Shave 10:01 AM  


That TART SERENA is ONWATCH for fun,
she ACHES for a TEABAG before they’re AWL gone,


spacecraft 10:05 AM  

Syndilinker alert: WAKE the %#(* UP!!!!! You've been stuck on Friday for three days now!

This one was easy as can be; I was surprised to see a medium rating. It was harder to find the link than it was to do the puzzle. There's an OK theme, featuring what must be the longest DOOK on record: CALLTOORDER. The fill had average junkiness; I was disappointed--nay, crestfallen--to see EKING. As it unfolded, I was saying to the constructor "Aw, no, you're not gonna do THAT again, are you?" Yeah, he was. He did. Oh well.

A special DOD today: same as OFL's WOD, TANIA Raymonde. I could get lost with her. Congrats to Francisco Molinari for winning the Claret Jug. He finished with a par, and that'll be the score for today.

And watch out, pros: he's ba-a-ack!

rondo 11:35 AM  

Was going to say I got this with no hang-ups, but that’s been said up above. BUZZWORDS – apt enough. If you’re gonna use PHONE, I don’t know how else to get it in there. Isn’t IKE often short for ISAAC?

I do not know of RINGPOPS. I was thinking of the candy pieces ONE bites off of the bachelorette’s shirt.

Gotta agree on TANIA.

Any puz with RON in it can’t be AWL bad.

Diana,LIW 1:14 PM  

@Spacey and other Synders - I took the DeLorean out for a spin to Futureland to tell Rex to move the Syndie button. We'll see what happens, if ought.

Easy Peasy Monday, but the "revealer" is off, as I'm sure many have noted. Those "calling cards" are not trendy, but the vague remnants of the 20th Century telecom industry.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoastTAM 1:21 PM  

"Trendy"? How so?

Here's a "trend": double letters:

Okay, okay, I get it. Puzzle is okay, too.

kitshef 1:44 PM  

Syndilanders - Just wanted to let you know @Rex is on vacation this week, and I'm not sure if his fill-in knows about the Syndicated Puzzle link. You may be inconvenienced for a few days.

leftcoastTAM 2:52 PM  

....and TEEMS, ETTA, ILL, and HASSLES. That's ten; any more?

leftcoastTAM 3:06 PM  

....and DEE makes eleven. (Does persistence pay?)

leftcoastTAM 3:32 PM  

....Oh, and CANNEDIT makes twelve. (Phew!)

Diana,LIW 3:48 PM  

@Lefty - I did a quick count and saw 13. But I'm still recovering from time travel...

Lady Di

Diana,LIW 3:54 PM  

Or 14? (doubles)


rainforest 4:05 PM  

@Spacey - Molinari birdied the last hole. Richly deserved to win. Didn't miss a putt.
Tiger's putting was better, but two loose swings sealed his fate.

When I was in grade school CZAR was the word. Somewhere over the years tsAR became the spelling. I treat them as interchangeable.

I don't know whether people say UNICOLOR, but I just have to say I hate typing "color". "Colour" is the word, people. Work with me.

The puzzle was easy, but it had its moments. @leftcoast TAM - unless I'm blind, I did not see DEE in the grid.

Diana,LIW 4:19 PM  

@Rainy - 14D - DEE


thefogman 5:07 PM  

Here's an easy solution to the Rex-is-on-holidays/Syndie-button issue. Just leave this tab open and the next day go to "newer post".

rondo 5:20 PM  

@rainy - I will try to humour you as you labour through your colour issues.

leftcoastTAM 7:07 PM  

@DILW - Yeah, I3. Didn't count the double-double. Also realized that a bunch of doubles are more common than uncommon.

Diana,LIW 9:45 PM  

FWIW - @Lewis was keeping track of double letters for a while, and had a running count.


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