Host with a microphone / MON 7-23-18 / Egyptian goddess repetitive name / Three blind creatures / West Coast NFL / California Nevada border lake / Singer 19 21 25 / Rice Burroughs / I Still Believe Vince Gill

Monday, July 23, 2018

Constructor: Todd Gross

Relative difficulty: 4:03

THEME: "OF THE" — Four expressions that have the prepositional construction "[noun] of the [time period]" in increasing order of time-period length.

Word of the Day: NAT (63D: Turner who led a slave rebellion) —
In August of 1831, seven enslaved men turned the South and the nation upside down when they engaged in a violent and historic bid to gain their freedom. Beginning before dawn on a Monday morning, a band of slaves led by Nat Turner made their way across Southampton County in southeastern Virginia. As they traveled from farm to farm, they killed every white person they encountered and picked up recruits from among the slave population. Within twenty-four hours, fifty-five white men, women, and children lay dead. By Monday afternoon, whites launched a successful attack against the rebels, capturing or killing most of them that same day. Nat Turner remained at large, and rumors spread that the rebellion had been part of a much more widespread conspiracy of slaves in Virginia and North Carolina. Over the next four months, dozens of slaves were put on trial, and more than twenty were executed, including Turner, who was captured after hiding in the area under a pile of wood for more than two months. (The Nat Turner Project)
• • •

Theme answers:
  • [17A: Unplanned]: SPUR OF THE MOMENT
  • [28A: Parliamentary agenda]: ORDERS OF THE DAY
  • [48A: Literary club feature]: BOOK OF THE MONTH
  • 62A: Annual Time issue]: PERSON OF THE YEAR
This is a nice Monday theme which does no more and no less than it needs to. I'm not super-sold on ORDERS OF THE DAY as plural, but Wikipedia confirms its use as a phrase used in the business meetings of a deliberative assembly. Apparently the Book of the Month Club is still going strong! You can get five hardcover books delivered to your door in a "fun to open box." I don't know about you, but what I find discouraging about reading is that the books are generally in a container that is such a drag to open. PERSON OF THE YEAR used to be Man (or far less often Woman) of the Year until 1999, when Time went gender-neutral. Inanimate objects have twice been Thing of the Year: The Computer in 1982 and the Endangered Earth in 1988. You were Person of the Year in 2006. Guess who was Man of the Year in 1938?

Fill-wise, we're good for a Monday with entry-level, standard stuff like ANTE ISIS MEME MAUI AFTA -- all on the NOSE, LIKE SO.

  • [26D: TV broadcast band]: VHF — That's quite a throwback, to when there was VHF and UHF, and the channels were on a little dial that you had to turn manually, and you taped a wire hanger to the rabbit ears on top of your little tube TV. And sometimes you could get that other channel that showed Monty Python if you stood near the antenna just so. Do we even say broadcast anymore?
  • [40D: N.R.A. members]: GUN USERS — I'm not convinced, from rhetoric of late, that the NRA is an organization for GUN USERS anymore, or if they just exist to intimidate people who disagree with them.
  • [6D: Possibly, but unlikely]: IN THEORY — I think of IN THEORY as more, yeah, it's good on paper, but will it play in Peoria? That doesn't mean it's unlikely to happen though -- just that it might not go over as planned.
See you tomorrow.
Signed, Laura, Sorceress of CrossWorld

[Follow Laura on Twitter]

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 12:49 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 3:40 4:30 0.82 4.8% Very Easy

Okay theme type that's probably been done 100 times before in different variations. OLA SEM IER LOS INYOU RAH DIDTOO EBON doesn't seem like too much junk, though I may have missed one or two. I don't recall anything that made me go "good clue". GUN USERS (40D) seems a little off for NRA members. I wanted to force GUN ownERS in there.

mathgent 12:50 AM  

Tomorrow's my birthday (no gifts, please). Age is just a number, everyone says, but you might wonder what that number is. It's rather special, actually, one of only five less than a hundred having exactly twelve divisors. Here's a hint. It's not 96, a number with twelve divisors. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 24, 32, 48, 96.

But what about the puzzle? Good question.

Larry Gilstrap 1:02 AM  

Certainly not your run OF THE mill Monday puzzle. Grid spanners and that cool progression made this a nice debut OF THE week. I would've settled for an "OF THE" theme, but wait! There's more. While we're at it, does anybody remember a TV series, before VHF, called Stories OF THE Century?

I think that even in these days of advanced metrics, ERA still has some legitimacy in evaluating a pitcher's effectiveness, but not in a small sample size. I once attended a game where Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan got blown out early, yet, come to think of it, that one game is probably reflected in his stats over his 27 year career. I see he pitched a NO HITTER seven times, with probably many low hit total complete games.

Lake TAHOE is big and beautiful. When I was a kid, diving off the rocks into the lake on a windless day was a challenge because we couldn't see the surface OF THE water. It was that clear.

My birthday in April occurs on the First OF THE month, often making me the butt OF THE joke. I had nothing to do with it.

Nice puzzle and pleasant review.

chefwen 2:32 AM  

Hinge before LATCH at 57A, guess I was thinking of mounting a door while building instead of locking a door after installing it, DOH!
After that little hiccup, smooth sailing.

Chest protector 43A, I usually put in RIB, the last few times I filled RIB in it turned out to be bIB, I was finally right today. YAY!

Good start for the week.

'merican in Paris 4:24 AM  

Took me almost 4 Lauras. Found it gave a bit of resistance. The theme helped a a bit in solving 28A.

Some of you may have read or heard about this, but BOLÉRO was the product of cognitive changes in Ravel's mind, as a result of a neurodegenerative condition called primary progressive aphasia. This disease eventually robs peopled of speech and eventually their life.

As explained in this article, in its early stages, however, the condition seems to "unleash a flowering of neural development in a brain area that integrated information from different senses." This condition may have drawn Ravel towards repetitive patterns, such as the themes that cycle through BOLÉRO. BOLÉRO was his Ravel's last major composition.

Click on the link to learn about the artist who painted "Unravelling BOLÉRO" -- a woman who was also in the early stages of the same disease, and who was unaware of Ravel's disease and of her own condition, while she worked on her painting.

I'm off to Saudi Arabia today. Don't know if it allows access to Rexworld.

benjaminthomas 5:45 AM  

Good to know that the political comments don't stop just because Rex is on vacation.

Lewis 6:12 AM  

@laura -- "Orders of the day" (in quotes), while getting far less Google hits than "order of the day", still gets more than 19 million hits.

The puzzle felt just right for a Monday, neither too easy or hard, and I liked the theme, which made me think about the expression "_____ of the century". So here's a little quiz. Looking at possibilities for what could go in the blank, I Googled (in quotes) TRIAL, STORM, FIGHT, TURN, and GAME. The quiz question is: What is the order of these words regarding their popularity in "_____ of the century", 1 being the most popular?

(Answer is below...)

And thank you Todd, for a high-quality start to the week!


Anonymous 6:39 AM  

Hey, Laura, that would be "two little knobs" - the one for VHF went click-click-click and the one for UHF just spun around quietly. VHF meant "news" and "grown-up shows" and UHF meant "cartoons" and "Gilligan's Island", "I Dream of Jeannie" and the like.

Hungry Mother 6:45 AM  

BOLERO makes me think of “10”, but I really do love the music. I’ve heard it in a music hall and will never forget the emotions. Very appropriate level for the “Start of the week.”

michiganman 7:01 AM  

A good Monday puzzle, not overly easy. For NRA clue I was trying to think of a 5 letter word for nuts. Only serious annoyance is the misuse of THEORY, a common error in our language usage. From the dictionary: "a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained". Although "hypothesis" is given as a synonym, there is an important difference. One can hypothesize anything. This confusion leads to a lot of misunderstanding of science and the methodical, peer scrutinized process that it is.

RJ 7:02 AM  

Nice Monday. Two Lauras. Like others, wanted to force the gunowners in that space. We haven't had "TV" in about 5 years - plenty to watch on Prime, PBS, Netflix. I spent some time wondering what that could mean then remembered the rabbit ears of my child hood which, if I remember correctly, had a UHF/VHF toggle switch. I also hesitated at RIB, which has recently been BIB in several puzzles....and maybe BRA?

Here's to a cooler week...I hope

three of clubs 7:18 AM  

Liked it except for LARAM which doesn't google well without the punctuation. Turns out it is also a Jewish Journal (their caps)about self-defense.


Kind of interesting to just compare what NOW does as opposed to the NRA. Just struck by the difference in the web sites.

Probably just comparing apples and oranges though both are prominent in the advocacy arena.

kitshef 7:25 AM  

Nice writeup but I miss having a video to watch. So, here is Sleeper with Sale of the Century.

RooMonster 7:25 AM  

Hey All !
TV knobs. Har. I was the channel changer growing up because I sat closest to the TV. We had 4 channels, ABC(16), CBS(22), NBC(28), PBS(44). And I'd get yelled at if I "clicked" through too fast! "You're gonna break it!" my Dad would yell.

Happy day-before Birthday! Well, if you're not 96, I guess you're the next number down? I thought you were older. No offense. Oh, and how is 1 divisible 12 times? Too much thinking for the ole brain.

@Larry Gilstrap
My mother's Birthday is the same day! LOL at your "I had nothing to do with it" comment!

Oh, the puz... I thought it was good. Easy. Liked the progression from MOMENT to YEAR. Is a MOMENT more or less than a SECOND? Can't think of any "of the SECOND" sayings. Wondering which easy clue will get @M&A's Eazy-E OF THE DAY. My guess is either YIN or LOS. Got 5 F's today, 4 of which are themers. I'll take it. :-)

Although easy, had two writeovers, niner-LARAM (nice misdirect, since they just moved there!), ERIc-ERIK (because.) :-)


Suzie Q 7:58 AM  

Besides the theme answers there seem to be an awful lot of phrases today. Oh No! I've been hanging around here too long. I've caught Rexitis!
You know it's true because I even noticed that Los Angeles is in two clues- LA Rams and Los. Is there a pill for this?
Seriously though, nice Monday stroll in the park.
@ Lewis, See what I did? Then there is the excellent album by Supertramp "Crime of the Century."
I wonder where the origin of the spur idiom came from.

Wm. C. 7:59 AM  

@Lewis6:12 --

"...far LESS Google hits ... .???

If referring to countable things, use FEWER. So fewer people, cats, apples ...

But LESS is used for singular mass nouns, like less money, love, or hope.

Your grammar message for the day ... and at no charge! ;-)

Nancy 8:09 AM  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, @Mathgent!! Whatever the number is. It's too early in the morning for me to even think about it.

About the puzzle: I combed it, looking for a clue that was interesting, different, amusing, imaginative or clever. I couldn't find even one.

three of clubs 8:36 AM  

I believe Mathgent's age is twice the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.

three of clubs 8:38 AM  

Although he could be younger

Anonymous 8:41 AM  

Easy, but couldn't quite break the 3-minute barrier (3:05). Didn't see NERVE right away, so wanted CONfEr instead of CONVEY (12D), and the clean-up cost me a few seconds.

Skipped all of the themes on the first pass; couldn't get some of them until I had some down crosses.

Altogether a good puzzle.

Bryce 8:41 AM  

Happy LX, LXXII, LXXXIV, or XCth mathgent!

Never heard of "Orders of the Day," but straightforward enough that it didn't slow things down. Nice and easy overall.

SJ Austin 9:04 AM  

This felt like a hard Tuesday as I filled it in, but the time came in under the Monday average, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Agreed on the NRA answer. The NRA does not advocate for mainstream gun use. Unless this clue was written before 1970, it's off key. (There's a TIME article about it, fittingly.)

Anonymous 9:08 AM  

"Crapola" gets 1.3 million hits on Google.

GILL I. 9:12 AM  

While @Hungry Mother thinks of "10" when listening to BOLERO, I think of Torvill and Dean. They gave me chills.
Fine Monday. Nothing to write home about.
I'm reading a wonderful book by Isabel Allende called "Portrait in Sepia." The main character - and she is quite a character - is a Chilean of nobility who resides in San Francisco in the 1860's. She might have owned NOB Hill.
Lots of people I know are GUN USERS and are not members of the N.R.A.
Happy Birthday @mathgent
Wm.C. Do you miss @George B?

gfrpeace 9:18 AM  

I believe our Mathgent is sixty. Young thing.

I think the NRA is an organization of gunOWNERS. GUNownerS, WHatever,

Anonymous 9:26 AM  

If they are not NRA members, they are likely responsible, too.

RooMonster 9:41 AM  

Ah, I think the coffee kicked in. Or the gerbil started running. :-) I rethought @mathgents post. He's saying that 96 and his age now (I've seen guesses of 60 & 84) have twelve divisors, not the number 1. Oops.

Is that a known thing by @mathgEnts? What others cool facts are mathers not telling us? I know there is some mystical thing with 9. Fill us in!


Gulliver Foyle 9:41 AM  

A stretched out slinky also worked well as an antenna addendum, particularly on Sunday nights at 10:30 when trying to pull Monty Python, as Laura notes.

GHarris 9:54 AM  

Figuring out mathgent's age (60) was about as challenging as was the puzzle. Happy birthday.

Odd Sock 10:03 AM  

I figured the NRA would cause the usual trigger effect.
Agree on owners being a more natural answer. BTW, in this age of inclusiveness I'm surprised there are not more ladies giving the NRA a nod for their emphasis on many programs design for and taught by women.
Now I'm waiting for a snide comment on the flag lapel pin.

Easy but not too easy this bright Monday morning. Of the many crosswordese in this one it was unexpected to see Afta. I totally expected aloe to be the skin conditioner until I saw the clue asked for a brand name. Nice subtle misdirection.
Rockola conjured up some fond memories. What works of art some of those machines are.

pabloinnh 10:39 AM  

Ah, you rich kids and your UHF/VHF choices. We got the three networks on our black and white, none of them very well, and I never heard of UHF until college. What a revelation!

I guess any mention of the NRA is now a political statement. We live in interesting times, indeed.

I thought this was just about right for a Monday, meaning how fast can I write, with an occasional pause.

Warren Howie Hughes 10:39 AM  

Time Magazine's MAN OF THE YEAR for 1938 was no less a personage than Adolph Schickelgruber himself!

Aketi 10:41 AM  

@Mathgent, my birthday is tomorrow too, There are four possibilities for your age:
a) 1 year younger than I am,
b) 11 years older than I am,
c) 23 years older than I am, or
d) 29 years older than I am.
Today my age has 12 divisors. Tomorrow it will have just 2 and will be a prime number.

Warren Howie Hughes 10:46 AM  

Say Hey! Larry Gilstrap, No Foolin', you were born on April 1st, "There Butt for the Grace of God go I" Heh Heh Heh

JC66 10:47 AM  


Happy Birthday!


You, too. BTW, I'll be 79 in October. That's a prime number, right?

gloriosky 10:51 AM  

Yes. Thank you. This grammar lesson even got a shout out last year on Game of Thrones!

G. Weissman 10:58 AM  

IN THEORY does not mean “possibly, but unlikely.” “It’ll work, in theory” does not mean “it’ll probably not work”; it means that we can expect it to work, but won’t know for sure until we test it out in reality.

Many people who use guns are not members of the NRA; and the NRA must have some members who do not fire or otherwise use guns on any regular basis, except to increase wealth and motivate voters.

Pretty innocuous puzzle.

Masked and Anonymous 11:08 AM  

@Lewis coulda chipped in CLUESOFTHEWEEK as a themer.
And I reckon it's ok to have more than one ORDER in one DAY.

Perfectly fine MonPuz. Interestin high-lite of the minute: 4 of the 5 U's pop up in the SE quadrant. Primo just-in-time inventory adjustment.

staff weeject pick: IER. Ties ISEEIT for most desperate attempt to keep the gridfill alive.
fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {She's a sheep} = EWE. Keepin things rural.

Special thanx to the LauraSorceress, for puttin up with us all week. Luvly high-lite bullets, btw.

Thanx for the fun times, Mr. Gross.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


mathgent 11:19 AM  

@Aketi (10:41): Happy birthday! You're 23 years older than I.

Everyone: Thanks for your good wishes. They warmed my crusty old heart.

Lewis 11:27 AM  

My favorite clues from last week:

1. Baby bump? (4)
2. Vessel that's 1% full? (5)
3. Getty oil (3)
4. Rough piece of land? (5)
5. Sign of the times? (3)


Masked and Anonymous 11:28 AM  


@mathgent: All of M&A's best wishes for a super-primo 1 2 3 5 6 9 10 15 18 30 45 90th b-day tomorrow. Go out and kick some butt, U young math rascal.


Eazy-E to figure out the numbers, usin yer (primo) prime factors, 1x2x3x3x5.

benjaminthomas 11:30 AM  


Any mention of NRA is not necessarily a political statement. But snarking that "...they just exist to intimidate people who disagree with them" clearly is.

If you can't see that, then you probably do live in interesting times.

JC66 11:35 AM  


Could be 60, no?

1 2 3 4 5 6 10 12 15 20 30 60

Joseph Michael 11:36 AM  

What happened to MAN OF THE HOUR and MOVIE OF THE WEEK?

I guess IN THEORY this kind of puzzle is OK for a Monday, but I had trouble staying awake during the solve. Kept waiting for something exciting to happen and the best I got was BOLERO which made me think of Bo Derek in Ten.

Then there’s the Egyptian duo of ISIS and OSIRIS. That made me think of Boris Karloff in The Mummy, The Return of the Mummy, and The Mummy’s Revenge.

Aside from that, this was kind of a NO HITTER.

kitshef 11:39 AM  

@mathgent - I make Aketi out to be 60, which would make you 38 tomorrow ... did you meant Aketi to be 23 years younger?

pabloinnh 11:41 AM  


Of course I can see that the "..they just exist" part of the statement is political. I think that whenever one starts a sentence with "The NRA..." these days, the rest of the thought is pretty sure to be political in some way. All I had in mind.

I do live in interesting times, and hope you do too.

Banana Diaquiri 11:50 AM  

History of the TeeVee:

first there was VHF. it had/has a broadcast distance of ~50 miles, at least here in Effete New England. these are channels 2 to 13, and the frequencies are still used, but in digital and not analog. there's much reporting that antenna captured digital VHF is better than cable/sat. don't know from experience.

once it became clear that broadcast radius would make lots o channels difficult in enough places, UHF was created. broadcast radius is on the order of 30 miles.

both radii may be shorter in digital.

serious watchers, and FM listeners, put up Tenna Rotors with big Yagi rigs in order to maximize signal strength. a rich family of my acquaintance had both. high on the hog living in 1960.

ah the days when all those adverts only had 4 or 5 places to go.

KIOSK 12:17 PM  

Enough with the obscure initials of Texas based organizations. First we had the miniscule media frenzy fest SXSW which I now understand could be S·SW. And then just yesterday the itsy bitsy airline SWA only to be sideswiped by SMU today. Heading back to my cave. 

mathgent 12:17 PM  

@kitshef (11:39) and @Aketi: I misspoke, yes I did! Aketi is 23 years younger than I.

Masked and Anonymous 12:19 PM  


@mathgent: Thanx a little for the 23 years older (younger?) hint. Wrong again, M&A breath…
Happy 84th, then?, dude! Even better, for butt kicking potential, out there.

@Aketi: Happy 61st b-day tomorrow? Or is it 107th? This is startin to make M&A's head hurt.

"Sh***t, I'm havin one of them 12-divisor b-days next year!!"

jberg 12:19 PM  

IN THEORY, I could type this comment with my toes. But that would take a long time, so I'm not going to do it. Some day, though, who knows?

Nice theme, nicely done. I thought EMOTER always meant over-acting, but apparently the meaning used here is legit, as well.

@Aketi, @mathgent -- Happy Birthday! I now know how old Aketi is, but need more clues to pick among the 4 possibilities for mathgent.

Bax'N'Nex 12:37 PM  

Thought "WOW, Micheal is being fairly kind today" Thought him being the author of this review was confirmed at the "gun users" comment. So was surprised to see it was not him.

BTW...I am not a gun guy, have never owned one, etc. But GUN and USERS and all the other gun related words that make their way into these puzzles are just that...WORDS in the English language. That's what these puzzle are made up of, right? Words?

I hate peas (they have a weird skin, are all mushy and gross on the inside and taste horrible to boot) but if they show up in a puzzle, I will write (tap?) them in like any other word in order to complete this momentary diversion from real life. And it won't ruin my enjoyment of said puzzle (i.e., game).

Hope everyone has a good Monday!

Aketi 12:45 PM  

@Mathgent, haha, happy 38th birthday tomorrow.

@JC66 and @M&A, I not going to reveal the two other possibilities for @mathgent’s age.
FYI autocorrect prefers M&Zamboni.

Anonymous 12:47 PM  

Happy Birthday @ mathgent but I pick 72...1,2,3,4,5,6,9,12,18,24,36,72.
I look forward to finding out if my feeble math skills held up...

Anonymous 12:52 PM  

As for my previous Mathgent age guess...switch the 5 for an 8. D'oh!

Teedmn 12:58 PM  

No record-setting Monday here. I got hung up at 2D and 14A, thinking that GPS in 2D's clue meant the answer would have an acronym and not noticing NFL in 14A's clue so I wanted LAker, not L.A. RAM. VHs before VHF (frequency, I know) and wanting GUN ownERS a la @sanfranman (who is hiding as Anon 12:49AM today).

For some reason, I enjoyed seeing IER as an ending for cash and cloth. Can't really explain why. And DE NIRO, BOLERO, MY HERO.

Diana,LIW 1:10 PM  

Just taking a trip in the DeLorean from Syndieland to remind @Rex to forward the Syndie button - we've been stuck on Friday for 4 days now. Thanks, @Rex!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting (in Syndieland) for Crosswords
And waiting for Rex to wake up

Mohair Sam 1:22 PM  

@Laura - Most folks know that Adolph Hitler was Time's 1938 Man of the Year. Very few have read the article attached to the "honor" to find that although Time found him the most influential man of the year, but the article was scathing and the cover picture was titled "From an Unholy Organist, a Hymn of Hate".

@NRA haters - I'm an advocate of strict gun control laws and stiff penalties for those who break them (it's worked in New York City). But I know plenty of NRA members and they are all good people, and they all disagree. One of them suggested to me that a membership in the NRA should be required for all gun owners - and those who wanted to purchase their first weapon would be required to pass a free NRA gun safety course first. Possession of gun without a membership card would be a felony. I kinda like the idea, one more layer of making guns difficult to get - and gun safety training thrown in.

Aketi 1:59 PM  

@Mathgent, saw your correction after I posted. I seem to have still retained a bit of my math skills.

@M&A, if I convert your second guess into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu age classification categories because I love the way they classify age. You aren’t old enough to be considered a Master 1 until you turn age 30. This last year they created a new category for my age group which is Master 7. I discovered that there actually are a group of women in my age group who compete in the World Masters in Vegas. So I decided I’d try competing in Las Vegas next year because... Why not? Life is short and I’ve never been to Vegas and my sister and my BFF from second grade said they’d come. If I were as old as your second guess, and if they keep creating more Master categories, I might actually be classified as a Master 16. How cool I would that be?

Anoa Bob 2:03 PM  

Low black square count, 34, for an early week themed puzzle. Thirty six is usually the low end. Two fewer squares doesn't seem like that big of a difference IN THEORY, but it can be much harder to fill and more likely to need stuff like I SEE IT, DID TOO & IN YOU to get it done.

I seem to recall ORDER OF THE DAY from a long-ago hitch in the Navy. It was usually about some activity that was important for the whole ship on that specific day such as taking on supplies, weaponry, fuel, or some such.

The difficulty with the phrase in this case is that it is one letter shorter than its symmetrical mate, BOOK OF THE MONTH, thirteen vs fourteen. What to do? Time for the grid-fill super-hero, the letter S? How about ORDER OF THE DAYS? Close but nah. ORDERS OF THE DAY? Bingo! Once again, POC to the rescue!

Banana Diaquiri 2:09 PM  

@Mohair Sam/1:22

well, let's consider other venues:
if your a teacher, you have to work for AmWay, selling to the kids and in off hours to they're folks
if your a doctor, you have to join you're local RtL org
if your a engineer, you have to join your local flat earth group
if you drive a car/truck/etc. you have to join ExxonMobil's lobbying arm

and so on. YMMV :)

Anonymous 2:37 PM  

On the NRA. My sister is a member. She's never even touched a gun, let alone owned one. She's a member, because she lives spang in the middle of the east coast megalopolis. ( Pretty close to you Mohair, east of course) She's highly educated-two advanced degrees plus the J.D. She's a card carrying because she thinks the orthodoxy of her tribe is largely hysterical groupthink. Completely devoid of considered thought. Simply an unquestioned axiom. Like abortion being good, or liberalism being the right path. Anyway, there are contrarians on the NRA's rolls. Not to mention folks who are ardent believers in the individual's right to arms. My goodness, that right is enshrined in the Bill of Rights. It's hard to argue that a group which defends that right is necessarily bad or political.

Anonymous 2:46 PM  

YOUR, YOU'RE, YORE I guess THEIR all interchangeable.

chefwen 2:53 PM  

@merican in Paris - Safe travels.

Nancy 2:57 PM  

Actually, @mathgent's original (birthday boy) math problem (12:50 a.m.) is not the most interesting math puzzle on the blog today. Here's one that's more interesting. Or at least it's more interesting to me:

Seemingly by enormous coincidence, @mathgent and @Aketi have just revealed that they share the same birthday. But mathematicians know that it's not nearly as coincidental as it may seem. It's called "The Birthday Paradox". And the mathematical rule is this: Put any 75 people in a room. The odds are greater than 99% that two of them will share the same birthday.

There are more than 75 people on this blog. So (as they say) do the math.

Happy birthday to you, too, @Aketi!

Banana Diaquiri 3:17 PM  

ardent believers in the individual's right to arms

of course, the 2nd doesn't say that an individual has the right. it says the state has the right a "well regulated militia". and, according to some scholarship, that amendment was inserted to placate the slave owners, who depended on militia to track down escapees.

"The restrictions underscore a key point about militias: They were more effective as domestic police forces than they were on the battlefield against enemy nations; and they were most effective when they were policing the African American population."

I know, I know, a left wing egg sucking rag.

Anonymous 3:34 PM  



here's what the highest court in the land says:

District of Columbia v. Heller

Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg

Supreme Court of the United States

Argued March 18, 2008
Decided June 26, 2008

Full case name
District of Columbia, et al. v. Dick Anthony Heller

Docket nos.

554 U.S. 570 (more)
128 S. Ct. 2783; 171 L. Ed. 2d 637; 2008 U.S. LEXIS 5268; 76 U.S.L.W. 4631; 21 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 497

Oral argument

Opinion announcement
Opinion announcement

Prior history
Provisions of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 infringe an individual's right to bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment. District Court for the District of Columbia reversed.

Procedural history
Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit


The Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed.

Court membership

Chief JusticeJohn Roberts Associate JusticesJohn P. Stevens · Antonin Scalia
Anthony Kennedy · David Souter
Clarence Thomas · Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Stephen Breyer · Samuel Alito

Case opinions

Scalia, joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito

Stevens, joined by Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer

Breyer, joined by Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg

Laws applied

U.S. Const. amend. II; D.C. Code §§ 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22–4504, 7–2507.02

District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008),[1] is a landmark case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm

Anonymous 3:39 PM  

`merican in Paris,

I second chefwen. watch your p's and q's in the kingdom.

GILL I. 3:41 PM  

My birthday is Feb 05, 19...... Can you guess the date? Anybody born on that date?
I"m lousy at math but my guess is that @mathgents is either 68 or 72. I'm guessing @Aketi is 28 with premature gray hair.... :-)

JOHN X 3:44 PM  

I'm not a member of the NRA. I don't own a gun, never have.

But I've got a Riflery Merit Badge from the Boy Scouts and I was formally trained and qualified on the M1911 .38ACP pistol in the US Navy.

What does this mean? I dunno. But I could probably shoot you dead and then properly breakdown, clean, and stow the weapon, observing all applicable safety precautions.

Banana Diaquiri 3:50 PM  

no one with a functioning frontal cortex believes Heller. it took a rogue right wingnut court to write Heller. enough said.

Anonymous 4:07 PM  

Not only is believable, it's the law of the land.
Your problem isn't that you're ignorant, it's that you know so much that it isn't so.

Rainbow 4:12 PM  

The NRA is less a protector of the 2nd amendment than a whore for the gun industry. Anyone who gives them money (membership) aids in the proliferation of weapons that have no hunting or home protection applications. It is not a stretch to say that the NRA abets domestic terrorism.

Banana Diaquiri 4:28 PM  

for those paying attention.
Heller court:
1 - destroyed 200 years of precedent
2 - destroyed the explicit statement of the text

for those who claim "original intent", well, you lie.

Anonymous 5:07 PM  

There is no test for the second amendment. That is, there is no need for the gun owner to meet a standard of use. I'm sorry that you believe there ought to be. The Founders and the supremes say you are wrong.

You're talking out of your hat. first you claimed that gun ownership wasn't an individual right. Faced with proof that the high court says it is, you change tacks and attack the ruling. There was no precedent overturned, let alone destroyed. And saying that the explicit text, (is there any other?) has been destroyed is nonsensical on its face.
go to law school abd get back to us.

benjaminthomas 5:11 PM  

So, since I (sort of) started it, I will chime in to try and end it.

The last few comments have shown that if we wanted to, we could turn this comments section into a full-blown rabid political blog.

The reason I made my comment in the first place is that it has been my observation (some may say it is a generalization) that Rex (and now Laura in his stead) has a tendency to get annoyed with the very appearance of a nominally right-learning word (NRA, TRUMP, BUSH, etc.) in the clues or the answers to the NYT puzzle. I don't normally see that same reaction to a left-leaning term (ACLU, OBAMA, CLINTON, etc.). Even demonstrably more nefarious "words" like CHE, LENIN, etc. elicit nary a peep.

Tellingly, the comments section doesn't explode when those terms are used, either. I think this is because most (right-leaning) people think a WORD is a WORD, and if it is clued fairly it should pass without mention.

What is interesting (and puzzling) to me is that Rex (and I think Laura) knows that their getting triggered by certain words in the write-up is going to pari passu trigger certain elements of the comments section to explode into political back and forth arguments that will never convince either side. So why do they, a. make those triggering comments in the first place, and b. complain that the comments section has become too political?

Just my .02.

JC66 5:22 PM  


re: CHE & LENIN, haven't been reading closely enough.

Trombone Tom 5:45 PM  

If math puzzles and the whole NRA thing have given you a headache, check out the delightful PB offering in the New Yorker puzzle today. Bliss!

Yargh 7:21 PM  


Suzie Q 10:45 PM  

@ Trombone Tom, I did and it was fun. Thanks!

Anonymous 12:00 AM  

I had 40D as KGB TOOLS at first, but then the crosses made me change it.

David 7:23 AM  

Hi Laura, millions of Americans can't afford to pay a monopoly 80-120 dollars every month for access to hundreds of channels of dreck, so they get what is now called "over air" TV on VHF and UHF. Here in NYC, we get about 18 channels, which is more than enough for anybody. And, amazingly, one needn't turn dials, the remote works just fine. If you have a television you'll have an antenna input on the back of it. You could save yourself a whole lot of money by using that.

Burma Shave 9:04 AM  


EWE are the ONEYE will rent as the ORDERSOFTHEDAY.


thefogman 9:52 AM  

This one was like staying at a Holiday Inn if it was a crossword puzzle.

rondo 10:53 AM  

Good enough for Monday. I'd take the byline if I'd've made it.

FYI @Laura, I agree with @David above re: VHF and UHF TV. Cable priced me out of the market in 1991. I stayed home from work to watch Wolf Blitzer and the first Gulf War, then on the SPUROFTHEMOMENT brought the cable box back. Saw some cable 1996-2007 due to living arrangements, so didn't totally miss out. Work/life changes now allow me to spend 20 bucks a month guilt-free for Sling TV, but most viewing is still "broadcast", like VHF. +/- 30 channels here.

ADELE by default.

The puz was fine for the day LIKESO many others said.

spacecraft 12:05 PM  

Adequate. Two 14's along with the 15's forced the inclusion of the dreaded "cheater squares" above 42 and 52. No big deal for me or for our guest blogger, but OFL would have said something...

The mere mention of the NRA in a clue has set off a huge ruckus in the halls here. well, the issue is polarizing, to be sure. My take: (1) If nobody had one, nobody'd need one. (2) the amendment was crafted in in era so totally different from today that it has little relevance now, but the gun-lovers hang fiercely onto it so they can indulge in their hobby with no restrictions. There's no arguing with them; the issue is black/white with zero room for gray. They shouldn't call it the National "Rifle" Association; I'm fine with rifles. They should maybe call it the National Uzi Association. Or, the National Bump-stock Association.

Anyhoo, I must give a shout-out to @Roo monster, who surely resides (or did then) in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, as evidenced by the channel numbers. I lived in that area in those days.

Wrapping up, the RPR at 31-down hurts the fill, but it's still not bad. How about going (too) old-school (even for me!) with DOD Clara BOW? And again, please wake up You-Know-Who; the current site is still on Sunday, which necessitates a hunt for the syndies. Par.

leftcoastTAM 2:10 PM  

Pretty easy. Two quick write-overs: DEN(e)IRO and ERI(c)K. Sleepy Monday morning.
Potential write-over: GUN(nuts)USERS.

rainforest 2:53 PM  

Hmm. Fact 1: The number of my current age has twelve divisors.
Fact 2: The membership number of the NRA regrettably has many times twelve divisors.
Fact 3: The annual number of murders in the US by guns is unconscionable.
Fact 4 (possibly debatable): If the founders of the US constitution could have been aware of Facts 2 and 3, there would never have been a second amendment. Or an NRA.
Fact 5: The puzzle which engendered the controversies about divisors and the NRA is serviceable for the day of the week. Basically clean with a reasonable theme. I say it is, as of this moment, the puzzle OF THE week.

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