Eco-conscious Dfr. Seuss character / MON 9-17-18 / Apple tablet with attachable keyboard

Monday, September 17, 2018

Constructor: Caitlin Reid

Relative difficulty: Medium (3:21)

THEME: FISH (71A: Use the items found at the ends of the answers to 20-, 31-, 47- and 56-Across) — last words are fishing-related stuff

Theme answers:
  • TELEPHONE POLE (20A: Holder of wires along a street)
  • SLIDE TACKLE (31A: Aggressive defensive soccer maneuver)
  • BLOOPER REEL (47A: Series of funny outtakes)
  • FIDGET SPINNER (56A: Toy in a 2017 craze)
Word of the Day: ENOS (60D: Grandson of Adam and Eve) —
Enos or Enosh (Hebrewאֱנוֹשׁ‬ ʼEnōš; "mortal man"; Arabicأَنُوش/يَانِش‎, translit. Yāniš/’AnūšGe'ez: ሄኖስ Henos), in the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible, is the first son of Seth who figures in the Generations of Adam, and consequently referred to within the genealogies of 1 Chronicles.
According to Christianity, he is part of the Genealogy of Jesus as mentioned in Luke 3:38. Additionally, Enos is also mentioned in Islam in the various collections of tales of the pre-Islamic prophets, which honor him in an identical manner. Furthermore, early Islamic historians like Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Hisham always included his name in the genealogy of the Prophet Muhammad, (Arabic’Anūsh أَنُوش or [commonly]: Yānishيَانِش). (wikipedia)
• • •

Slow today, for me, because ... well, several reasons. First, 1A: Part of a bed's base (SLAT) made No sense to me. I had SLA- and thought "they don't mean SLAT, do they?" I just couldn't process it, largely because I haven't seen or slept on a SLATted bed in a long time. I think my futon in grad school was on a slatted frame of some kind. Ugh. Also wrote in ANGRY for 16A: Livid, which is total amateur hour; of course it's IRATE, it's always IRATE. Then is it COLA or SODA at 40D: Fizzy, sugarless beverage (DIET SODA)? And is it IONE or IONA at 65A: College in New Rochelle, N.Y?  Worst wound was totally self-inflicted, though. I wrote in OUTTAKE REEL at 47A: Series of funny outtakes (BLOOPER REEL). Yeah, that was wrong. It's called a GAG REEL. When that wouldn't fit, my brain (apparently forgetting the exact wording of the clue) just toggled to the next plausible answer that fit.

But let's leave my floundering aside for a moment and talk about the theme, which just doesn't work. On many levels. There's a decent, albeit dated and time-worn, concept here, right? Last words are all part of X group. Today, fishing. So first, FISH is a terrible revealer. I mean ... a boringish theme like this needs a zazzy revealer, and FISH is about the least zazzy imaginable. Then there's the set of last words. They are motley, at best. Having REEL but not ROD felt odd, but the bigger problem was SPINNER, which is not nearly as solidly iconic as the other fishing words (it's a kind of ... lure?). I mean, why not BAIT. CLICKBAIT, JAILBAIT, I don't know, be creative. Did you just want to get the pseudo-current but actually dated FIDGET SPINNER in there? But I haven't yet mentioned the biggest problem, and that's TACKLE. It's not a separate item, it is All The Other Items. They are all a subset of TACKLE. You can't list POLE *alongside* TACKLE when It Is TACKLE. Here's the definition of TACKLE:
Fishing tackle is the equipment used by anglers when fishing. Almost any equipment or gear used for fishing can be called fishing tackle. Some examples are  hookslinessinkersfloatsrodsreelsbaitsluresspearsnetsgaffstrapswaders and tackle boxes. (wikipedia)
How do you let that one go, editors? You could've encouraged this constructor and shepherded this theme along into some kind of polished shape, but no. You just run with this broken theme. This is the kind of theme that someone like Lynn Lempel or Liz Gorski woulda *nailed* in the not-so-olden days. Don't submit unless you know you stuck the landing. That is the rule.

Five things:
  • 1A: Shoot out, as 14-Across (SPEW) — Cross-referenced 1-Acrosses: Not a fan
  • 49D: Like clarinets and oboes (REEDED) — If you want to get your name (kinda) in the grid, do it with an actual good answer. ;) This adjectivization of reed is awk. 
  • 44D: Apple tablet with an attachable keyboard (IPAD PRO) — yeah, this one hurt. I had IPAD AIR. Pffft. I mean, I'm all for being "current," but I hate how much "current" has come to mean "some brand name tech stuff." 
  • 63D: The laugh of someone who's up to no good (HEH) — really glad I never saw this clue because man [laugh syllable] is the worst clue genre
  • 9A: Demanding that people do this and that (BOSSY) — only just now realizing that I totally misread this clue as [Demanding people do this and that]. I was like, "Wait, what? Is it the this or the that that you want?" Thought some "___ & ___" expression was involved. Again, self-inflicted pain. 
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anon 12:08 AM  

Record Monday. Eezy-peezy-lemonsqueezy.

Anonymous 12:23 AM  

My father always considered a case of beer to be fishing tackle.

Brookboy 12:26 AM  

I liked this one better than OFL. I’m not such a stickler for perfection, I guess. For example, I’m not offended by SLAT being defined as part of a bed’s base. Maybe if the clue said “Part of EVERY bed’s base” I might take some umbrage (can one take ‘some’ umbrage, or is it the whole package or nothing?). It is a fact that SOME beds use slats, so I think it’s a reasonable clue and a reasonable answer. I’m also not sure about his pique at having to choose between ‘COLA’ and ‘SODA’, or between ‘IONA’ or ‘IONE’. Isn’t that part of the challenge of crosswords?

And if I may direct a critical comment to our Critic-in-Chief: methinks you have begun to use the word “ugh” a mite too often. As with a sword, overuse dulls the edge...

ZenMonkey 12:30 AM  

I'm willing to forgive a lot for GANDOLFINI.

chefwen 12:35 AM  

Medium? Seriously? I thought it was beyond easy, even for a Monday. One write over at 69A eland before RHINO, guess I didn’t have any downs in place yet.

Must agree with Rex about the TACKLE point.

Larry Gilstrap 1:29 AM  

For me, Monday is a breath of fresh air after the usual tedium of a Sunday solve. I used to love solving in the big Sunday magazine. Aha! It's the printout version that's messing me up. Hard to find a NYT Sunday anywhere in these parts.

Fishing is still very popular. Rent a cabin near a lake and watch folks in the fervent struggle to capture the finny prey, at all hours of the day, and in all sorts of weather conditions. I tried it once as an adult. I bought the book Fishing for Dummies, that's prophetic right there, and the TACKLE required and found the whole experience more tedious than the Sunday puzzle.

REDDI-Wip is such an abomination of whipped cream, that they spell it in a disguised manner. Who hasn't tried to snort the nitrous oxide propellant when the can is empty? I have no plans to join SCOTUS, so there, I said it.

I hate when people get all nit-picky here, but here I go: 46A is a bogus clue. I lived in Newport Beach and boated by the home of John Wayne. I saw him relaxing on his patio with his white German shepherds. I did not know him, but anybody who knew him referred to him as "Duke." No definite article, ever. As we motored by his house on the bay, our captain hailed "DUKE," and he offered a tacit acknowledgement. Orange County maintains John Wayne Airport, which is coded as SNA and perhaps soon to appear in a puzzle near you.

TomAz 1:42 AM  

I like music. I like to talk about it and sometimes write about it. (My core is guitar rock, specifically late 70s/early 80s punk-new wave, but I have Gillian Welch on now, so I have a longer reach than .. well never mind that's a tangent). Anyway, one a few occasions I have had actual band member musicians tell me that you can't understand music if you don't actually perform it. This is said as a means to invalidate some criticism I may have said or written. To which I offer a pat reply: Think of [some band you think is awful]. Its members were all musicians. QED.

Rex doesn't say this explicitly today, but from time to time he seems to have an underlying bias in his write-ups: he critiques from the perspective of a constructor and ignores the solving experience. Here he says the puzzle doesn't work, in part because, a REEL is a form of TACKLE and hence the theme is invalid. FIDGET SPINNER is slightly dated, a fad that has already passed, hence the theme is flawed. etc.

I don't know about you, but as a solver, the fact that REEL is a form of TACKLE is pretty far down on my list of valid criticisms. FIDGET SPINNERs have come and gone, sure, but they're still familiar enough that I can put the answer in. And that's what matters. When I'm solving, I'm just trying to get the answers and make sense of the theme. The solving experience is not at all affected by a (slight) overlap or a (slightly) passé entry. Critiquing from the solver's perspective, it seems a pretty silly -- or petty -- thing to get hung up on.

This is not universally true of course. Rex and I agree on much. IPAD PRO did seem contrived and I winced when filling it in. (I own an IPAD PRO and the #$%*ing keyboard that came with it doesn't work half the time). DIET SODA also rang a bit hollow, I drink Diet Coke in the morning and there is nothing else. but that's just me.

tl;dr: This puzzle worked just fine for me, for the most part. B+.

Joe Dipinto 1:48 AM  

I doubt I'll bother to do this puzzle, so I checked X-Word info to see where the "Star Wars" clue is, and it seems there isn't one today. Tsk-tsk, editors: this kind of carelessness won't be tolerated for long. You did have opportunities here. For example, the clue for 4-down could have been:

Word that becomes the name of a 3-down "Star Wars" character if you change the first letter to the one that directly precedes it alphabetically and the last letter to one of the letters that appears twice in the title "Star Wars"

and then the clue for 3-down could have been:

See 4-down

Matthew G. 2:44 AM  

Sorry, Rex, but I would say BLOOPER REEL, like the puzzle, and have never heard your GAG REEL.

jae 3:28 AM  

Medium. Like it more than @Rex did because, @ZenMonkey, GANDOLFINI.

Loren Muse Smith 4:08 AM  

Hah. Last night I was complaining to my daughter that kids are all taught that step one of writing an essay is coming up with a “hook,” something to grab the reader’s attention. Left to their own devices, they invariably go with a tired question. Has anyone ever been kind to you? Or Do you like irony? Sheesh. I told my honors class if anyone does this, I’ll drag them down the stairs and out of the building by their nostrils. (Hey – I guess a question hook would be a shade better than the dreaded This essay will be about irony…)

Rex – I never would have noticed/thought about the TACKLE issue. That’s why you’re paid the big bucks. I see what you mean, but my take on themes like today’s is more loosely words at the end of a phrase that are in the Fishing Business. So, I’m with @Brookboy and @TomAz – it’s absolutely fine. Now that you’ve opened this can of worms that I can’t unsee, though, I guess TACKLE would’ve been a good reveal instead.

Around here, some people go “noodling.” This involves, I think, getting waist-deep in a river, sticking your arm up under the bank where you can’t see what’s lurking and hoping that your arm finds its way into the mouth of a testy 50 lb catfish. The idea is that his 784 teeth will clamp down on your arm and you can pull him out. Whoever came up with this fun must’ve been really hungry.

Come to think of it, whoever stumbled upon SAUERKRAUT and ate it must’ve been pretty hungry, too. Ok – on a Reuben, it’s fine because the Thousand Island dressing masks the weirdness. (Maybe the Koreans said, Wait. You wanna see something startling done to a buncha cabbage? Here, hold my beer…)

“Chirr” before CHIRP. Oops. It’s Monday.

Rex - I went with “club soda” first.

Liked POTHOLES crossing PITS. And DOOM. You should see the last mile that leads to our farm.

TELEPHONE “line” would’ve worked, too. Your day is now complete.

Caitlin – Don’t let the over-thinkers bother you. This works, if you ask me.

BarbieBarbie 4:54 AM  

Easy-peasy. The theme was fine and a lot of the fill was smile worthy (POS & NEG! LEI & EGG!)

@Larry, fishing transcends all else as the ultimate form of meditation. Try it from the shore, around nobody, with or without bait.

I. Kea 6:18 AM  

Guess you never bought a bed at the world's largest furniture retailer.

Anonymous 6:35 AM  

5:20 and I had to stop to show the conductor my train ticket, and to swipe away the phone messages from the family. Like Eliud Kipchoge, I could’ve broken my personal best. Fine, he could’ve run a mile and a half in the time it took me to do a Monday!! I’d say my mile and a half time might be a Friday. Or a DNF...

Fishing. Meh. Easier than running. Involves more gear. Or tackle, if you will. I suppose noodling involves less tackle, and definitely sounds more dangerous than sitting on the dock of the bay. I think I’ll stick to (realizing I don’t have a hobby).

Anonymous 7:24 AM  

Rex, look underyour mattress and box springs and voila "Slats!" 😁

Anonymous 7:30 AM  

I think a line IS the wire.

Hungry Mother 7:34 AM  

Quick and easy. Finished before my coffee cooled enough to sip. Nice start to the week.

Bagelboy 7:36 AM  

My favorite story about bed slats is about Harry and Bess Truman in the White House.

Cliff Guthrie 7:39 AM  

I've played clarinet and other single-reed instruments all my life. Some of my best friends are oboe and bassoon players. Never in life have we ever thought to ourselves: What our instruments have in common is that they are "reeded" (49D).

They both have "reeds," though, or are "reed" instruments.

three of clubs 7:48 AM  

Why keep the critical comparisons ( someone like Lynn Lempel or Liz Gorski ) within the same gender?

Rainbow 7:56 AM  

I don't understand how Rex knew and didn't know SLAT at the same time. Gag reel is real. SLEEPSON SLAT, TENOR TUNE, TEEN ACNE, ORAL EXAM, RAT PAT TAD ZAC SLAT, You can tackle in soccer?

benjaminthomas 7:58 AM  

I love that Rex suggests JAILBAIT as a potential entry but would almost certainly have had a hissy fit if such an offensive term had actually been included in the puzzle. Especially given the age (at the time of the offense) of this weekend's Kavanaugh accuser.

There's No I in Me 8:00 AM  

That was a clean puzzle with some great fill (gandolfini, slide tackle, fidget spinner, pits, chirp ... apparently I'm entertained by words with the letter I) and a solid theme.

With some interesting clues it would have been a lot more fun. Red racial spots and of the mouth read like entries in an English for Dummies book. Now there's a word, Dummies. Shouldn't it be Dumbies? That's way more fun to say.

RAD2626 8:35 AM  

Sort of an ideal Monday puzzle. One I would gladly pass along to a newbie. Cute basic theme and yes basic revealer but pretty careful and clever fill.

GILL I. 8:45 AM  

Well, you do "use" a tackle box when you go fishing.
A little overthinking is bad for your health and so is SNEEZING with your eyes open.
I thought this was a sweet little Monday. Nothing offended me except maybe not knowing what a FIDGET SPINNER is. Now that I looked it up, I vaguely remember seeing them. They are marketed as an antidote for ADHD, anxiety and autism. Well, I'll be. I suppose if you tossed it at someone you could decapitate him. CHIRP.
I was sure OFL's head might explode seeing COED in the grid. I still, for the life of me, don't understand why it's considered pejorative.
I use to like fishing as a young un. My Dad was one fine fisherman. He taught all of his children. My first fishing POLE was a stick with a string tied to it and a bobby pin with some bread attached to the end. It was cheap and I never had to deal with gutting a fish. We did a lot of catch and release because that's the sane thing to do. It's peaceful.
I have a very old bed - some might call it an antique and it has slats. I'm scared to death one of them will break as I do my calisthenics.
Like @Zen, GANDOLFINI made this even more enjoyable. I so wish he were still with us. SNIFF.

Anonymous 8:53 AM  

Note to Rex: It's Monday fercrissakes.

Wm. C. 8:53 AM  

Re: OFL's comment about the constructor's "adjectivization" of her name in 49D (Like Clarinets and Oboes => Reeded). Apparently he failed to notice that her name is Reid, not Reed. Otherwise, the comment is a bit of a reach. Actually I guess it's a bit of a reach without that issue.

jberg 8:55 AM  

My bed has SLATS, so that was fine -- why should I care about anyone else's bed? And I love to FISH, so I enjoyed the theme, although the point about TACKLE is valid. Personally, I prefer fly fishing, so I would have preferred "rule about high pop-ups," or something, to SPINNER. The great thing about fly fishing is that it's so hard to cast that you're happy if you get the fly where you want it, whether or not you catch a fish -- in my case, usually not.

Welcome back, @Loren. As for your avatar, I'm completely stumped -- oh wait! Just figured out that those weren't asphodel or yarrow, but another kind of flower.

Anonymous 9:09 AM  

3:03, but it could have been even faster.

angry for IRATE, 16A
did 28A first, so put POS there, had to fix to NEG when I encountered 21D
got lost between ESa/ESO at 36A
bit for TAD at 51A

Lots of little time suckers pushed me over the three-minute mark, but I bested the boss so I've got that going for me, which is nice. :)

Anonymous 9:10 AM  

Not necessarily.

Sir Hillary 9:31 AM  

Nothing terribly memorable about this one. I agree with @ZenMonkey that GANDOLFINI buys a lot of forgiveness.

Also agree with @Larry Gilstrap that "Duke" is better for John Wayne than "The Duke". Yeah, his place at the beach (on Lido Isle?) was sweet indeed.

Silliest comment by @Rex: asserting that REEDED is a clumsy attempt to get "Reid" in the grid. I have to assume he was being tongue-in-cheek with that one.

QuasiMojo 9:38 AM  

I had a rare DNF for a Monday because I put in Midget Spinner. Never heard of that fad or that actor. For those of us who don’t own televisions and haven’t for decades it’s difficult to come up with these names. I’m not saying don’t do it, I’m just explaining why it’s nearly a Natick for me. I should have guessed Fidget but midget made some sense.

Why do people buy faddish toys? I remember when everyone was buying pet rocks. My Dad bought one that was actually a key holder. Now that made sense. You hide your key on a rock rather than under it. The only problem was finding that rock in the dark. I bet ours is still there somewhere decades after we sold the family house.

As for Rex’s point people say “bait and tackle” all the time. Stores are called that, yet bait is listed as part of tackle in that definition you cited. So I think the puzzle as conceived is fine.

Agree with above. John Wayne’s nickname was Duke. He was not a duke. Nor The Duke. Gable was The King. Mussolini was the Duke.

pabloinnh 9:40 AM  

Was writing so fast I had to stop and soak my hand in ice water. Whew. A piece of pie and easy as cake, even for a Monday.

Late to the party yesterday and wanted to hail the return of "snood" as crossword fare. There was a nice snood illustration in my Mderriam Webster's years ago, which is when I learned the word. "Snood", the video game, turned me into a fan for a while, and gave me some understanding into the addictive nature of these things. I got over it, and it's still the only video game I've played more than once.

TJS 9:45 AM  

@anon. 12:23. Had to jump immediately to the Add a Comment section to register my agreement with your Dad's philosophy. I'm looking at the lake right now, and would never consider heading out without enough beer. Maybe not a case, but atleast 2 more than you think you'll need.

RooMonster 10:19 AM  

Hey All !
FISHibg. Not my idea of fun/relaxation. Tedious and boring, for me. (Ducks thrown lures.) Had a friend growing up who was into hunting and fishing. Went fishing with him one time at the State Park. On my second cast, caught the lure on the fence behind me, and ripped the line as I flung it forward. We didn't have any more line, and there wasn't enough on the reel to go too far, so I sat there for 3 hours while he continued to fish. Not realizing the Sun was beating down on me, got a sunburn on just the left side of my body. Good times. But, even if the line didn't break, it's still not for me.

Liked puz. Had a couple of writeovers, ESa-ESO, Har-HEH. 63 D clue should've started with "When doubled", cause no EVILdoer ever lets out a single HEH. HEH HEH, usually with rubbing hands together. Mostly easy. Missing a Q and a J. But 4 F's! Nice.

Alternative clue for FROS - TOs partner. Liked the long Downs. Light dreck. Don't recognize constructors name. Is this a debut?

POS POTHOLES (Alternate meaning of POS. Har) (Grew up in The POTHOLE State, Pennsylvania, so I can call them that!)

Nancy 10:23 AM  

I want a bed with a solid foundation, thank you very much, not one where I might tumble southward into the abyss. So I was resisting SLAT when it came in and thinking: Is that really true?

Also, wouldn't a TACKLE made when you're not sliding be more aggressive than one made where you are sliding? You have more weight behind you with both feet on the ground, right?

And I have no idea what a FIDGET SPINNER is. Guess I missed the "craze" somehow.

But I liked the puzzle. Crunchier than most Mondays, and I learned some stuff. That the LORAX is eco-conscious. (Put the LORAX in the White House, that's what I say!) That you can't SNEEZE with your eyes open. (I'm feeling a bit contrary so I'm going to try to keep my eyes open, next SNEEZE.) Good job.

Suzie Q 10:23 AM  

No fun to be found in the puzzle but loads of fun in the comments.
Special thanks to @Joe Dipinto 1:48.
My nits are many but include being creeped out thinking of rats in the subway. Hotel amenity could be phone, clock, lamp, TV, everything but the bed. Bad clue for the simple iron. Sneezing with your eyes closed probably transcends urban legend and seems much older than that phrase implies. Agree that tackle is redundant.
My other laugh or at least raise of the eyebrows is from @ GILL I.
Calisthenics? That's not what we call it at our house! Ha!

Z 10:23 AM  

Are we even reading the same blog? The winking emoticon [ ;) ] is there to signify that the writer is kidding. I get that we all elide over things while reading, but that is like missing a “not” in a sentence.

@Brookboy - Do you really think Rex was “offended” by SLAT? All I read is that he didn’t get it because he hasn’t owned a SLATted bed in decades.

@TomAZ - Do you think Rex is wrong? Take @LMS’s suggestion of making TACKLE the reveal and find another example, do we have a better puzzle? And is that the sort of thing an editor should notice and ask for before publishing? I’m not so certain about the last question, but I do think FISH is not as good as TACKLE as a reveal and that TACKLE doesn’t fit as a themer as well as rod, or bait, or lure would have. I’m with you, I didn’t notice it as I solved. But, like @LMS, now that’s pointed out I can’t unsee it, and it does bother that pattern-seeking sense of rightness.

@LMS - I fully expected you to note “floundering” in the write-up. It just seems like the sort of word you would play with.

@Anon - Gorski and Lempel and Michaels are the consensus top Themed Puzzle constructors. I’ll leave you to ponder why no men make the list.

For the record, I liked this puzzle, flaws and all.

Anonymous 10:31 AM  

Jailbait ? Seriously? You might want to rethink that comment.

Z 10:32 AM  

@Nancy - Your SLIDE TACKLE would be true in American football, but not in soccer. In soccer “to tackle” is to try to get the ball away from the other team. To try to get the ball away by sliding at the ball, possibly with your cleats up, and often resulting in the opposing player ending up on the ground, is much more aggressive than to do so while standing. Some youth leagues explicitly ban SLIDE TACKLEs because of the risk of injury.

TJS 10:32 AM  

@RAD2626, We are not supposed to refer to a puzzle as good for a newbie or any such phrase. Something about being demeaning or elitist or whatever their using in college comic book classes these days. But its nice to know "jailbait" is OK.

You take a tackle box with you when you go fishing. It holds everything you need to fish, rods (poles). So I think Making a distinction between poles and tackle is legit.

Nancy 10:49 AM  

Thanks for that, @Z. The word TACKLE seems like a strange way to describe intercepting the ball rather than bringing down an opponent. I never would have guessed that. But then soccer has always seemed like a strange sport to me -- not being allowed to use the perfectly swell hands that God gave you. We tennis players would never agree to such a thing.

@Suzie Q -- Love your rejoinder to @GILL about the bed. @GILL -- Should we all chip in and buy you a new one? One without slats?

TJS 11:00 AM  

Using up my 3 comment limit, @Z, if a semi-colon is now to be defined as "I'm being ironic", is "consensus" a new definition for "In my opinion" ?

Joseph Michael 11:06 AM  

Simple, pleasant, and relaxing like a brief fishing trip,

mmorgan 11:16 AM  

For some reason, this felt like it took much longer for me than a typical Monday. I didn't have any particular struggles or WOEs, but it just seemed to take longer. Once I saw the pattern of POLE, TACKLE, and REEL, I knew a fishing-related revealer was coming somewhere, and I actually liked that it was just a nice, simple, unadorned FISH, and not some grandiose or groan-inducing pun or phrase that was tying to be cutesy or stretched too far. So plain old vanilla FISH (vanilla fish? ewww) was just fine for me.

Anonymous 11:19 AM  

@Larry (The Long Poster) Gilstrap: From Wikipedia:

Marion Mitchell Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), known professionally as John Wayne and nicknamed "The Duke", was an American actor and filmmaker.[1] An Academy Award-winner for True Grit (1969), Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades.[2][3]

(Even though floating by his home makes you an expert, name-dropper)It's still "The Duke",

Chris 11:49 AM  

New record for me too, by a couple of seconds.
Having moved to the Sportsman's Paradise (LA), I am considering taking up fishing, as everyone here seems to hunt and/or fish and the former is not an option for me.
Can't believe OFL on SLAT. Unless he's checking the undercarriage, I bet he's seen a lot more slatted beds than he realizes. And BLOOPERREEL is certainly more in use than GAG reel.
And nice job by the commentariat to call out JAILBAIT. I mean, I wouldn't care if it was in a puzzle, as those things don't bother me. But it surely would have caused a stir from Rex.

Nancy 11:51 AM  

Don't miss -- as I initially did, and wouldn't that have been a loss! -- @JoeDipinto's 1:48 post. It's...wicked! And for my money, it's The Comment of the Day.

Sir Hillary 12:07 PM  

@Z -- Well, I certainly missed the equivalent of "not" in @Rex's sentence! But at least I was right about his intent. :)

Anonymous 12:16 PM  

Wikipedia is not infallible. In fact it is often wrong.

Gordo 12:16 PM  

Perhaps TACKLE could have been better replaced by ROCKET, and the other theme answers could have been various rockets or associated rocketry equipment.

Joe Bleaux 12:23 PM  

Easy puzzle, fine Monday commentary. Bravo, @Joe Dipinto on the Star Wars farce. *Please* do us a Harry Potter (also conspicuously, but blessedly, absent today).
I was going to say something about fishing, but I can't get "capture the finny prey" out of my mind (thanks, @Larry Gilstrap).

Anonymous 12:25 PM  

We'll need documentation.

Hilton 12:32 PM  

For a very long time phones, clocks, lamps, and TV's have been standard equipment in hotels and motels.

Banana Diaquiri 12:33 PM  

old fashioned beds, with a mattress and box spring have a headboard, footboard, and metal L-rails connecting same. the rails have a tendency to splay, so three or four wooden SLATs, inserted snug to the vertical leg of the rails, provides support to the box spring within the movement of the rails. today, more beds are on a full panel with no box spring. for that, no SLATs are needed. my brother and I, as kids, managed to bust one of my grandparents bed by bouncing on it like a trampoline. we weren't small kids any more, so our parents let us have it if we tried. poor grands.

Masked and Anonymous 12:48 PM  

Cool, funnel-grid layout. Splatz a black square into the center, and U seal off one puzhalf from the other. Fortunately, no nano-sec-probs traversin that there Khyber Pass, as DONOR/SENDS were hardly raised-by-wolves entries.

After seein the FISH theme revealer in the 71-A slot, M&A immediately started givin 1-A the ol friendly stink eye, tryin to fit its symmetric bro SPEW into the theme. Not that it's any big life-and-death requirement for a puz, y'all understand. Ain't SMEW some sorta fishy fauna?, the M&A brain alarm immediately beeped … nope; merganser meat. Wonder if they coulda snuck somethin FISH-trip-ier in there at 1-A, like BAIT or HOOK or CARP or BEER or somesuch?

Lotsa fun extra longballs in this puppy, such as: PUTHOLES. IPROMUSE [yo, @muse! Most of my essay topics in school were tossed out like paper towel rolls, by the teacher -- total snoozeville topics, usually, btw. My lead sentence was often somethin a-kin to this: "To future researchers chronicling my works: They made me do this! … and to use full -ing endings." But, I digress].
… SAUERKRAUT [sic]. DUETSODA. UPADPRO. [p.s. M&A sometimes fills in the puzgrid slightly creatively, on a MonPuz solvetryst. Keeps things extra-lively.]

fave moo-cow Eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Toward sunrise} = EAST. No crossin letters ever required, to get that.
staff weeject picks: POS & NEG. Mini-theme. Honrable mention to CTR.

Thanx for the quick FISHin trip, Caitlin Reid darlin. Good job. My 1-A vote = BEER.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Larry Gilstrap 1:11 PM  

"Finny prey" was an example of a kenning taught to me by Virginia Adair, respected poet and English professor at Cal Poly, Pomona. I credit her for much more than that.

Warren Howie Hughes 1:25 PM  

REEDED and Weep! ;-)

Gus 1:26 PM  

@Gordo 12:16PM

I like this man's thinking. He's right, you know.

Fashionista 2:05 PM  

Great reply. Here here

Crimson Devil 2:44 PM  

You’re absolutely correct, unreliable.
We once had summer law clerk who won a bar bet by wagering with buddies that X univ is in the Ivy League, knowing it is not. Bet made, Wiki agreed upon as determining source. He changed Wiki to include X univ in Ivy League, and won the wager, before someone else corrected Wiki. QED

Anonymous 2:46 PM  

I'm having a hard time with LAVA being the answer for "Volcanic Rock." We tend to think of rocks as solids and lava is certainly molten. Since there are hundreds of plausible ways to clue for LAVA, I'm not sure why this would be used. Just seems sloppy-as many answers and clues are these days. This puzzle was a bore.

Unknown 2:50 PM  

Preferred from a cooler smothered in chopped ice

Doc John 3:04 PM  

Fastest time ever for me. Just zipped through with no real hesitations.
Nice to see Mr. GANDOLFINI in the puzzle today, seeing as how tomorrow would have been his 57th birthday, same as me.

Monty Boy 3:07 PM  

Nice puzzle that I mostly got by doing all the acrosses first. Downs filled in the write (type?) overs. I had to correct the battery clues because several 3 letters combos work: pos, neg, ana, cat.

My alma mater has a grad with a start-up business making protein products out of insects. He has a cricket farm and among the new recipes is chocolate chirp cookies (see 62A).

And for Rex's "nail it" comment:
Nailed it

Suzie Q 5:07 PM  

I'm back from lunch as feeling frisky.
@ Anon 11:19, Leave Larry Gilstrap alone. I love his comments and
crap remarks like yours is how we lose interesting commenters (all of you regulars know who I mean).
@ Hilton 12:32, If you see my much earlier comment I noted the exact same thing. Not reading the comments before you post is a good way to look like a dork. Trust me, I've done it myself. Don't be in such a rush to look like a smarty-pants.
There, you see what a Cobb salad and 2 white wines does to you?

john towle 7:28 PM  

That was a real slat in the face, Rex. I’ve slatted on slepts from Ikea for 20 years, but I use the floor for my calisthenics,Gilli. On Sunday I get a potato clock & in church my pie is occupewed.



Sherm Reinhardt 10:21 PM  

5:28, the only day of the week I will ever be within two minutes of your time.

jb129 10:48 AM  

What is "NGO?"

And I'm surprised to see "men" twice in the same puzzle - Scotsmen & HeMen.

Joe Bleaux 2:42 PM  

Wait til you see Tues puz😏

kitshef 10:50 PM  

Completely baffled by the popularity of the FIDGET SPINNER. About as entertaining as a 6" x 5" piece of cardboard.

Burma Shave 10:01 AM  


I’m IRATE that IONA car that hits TREEs and TELEPHONEPOLEs.
It’s the FAULT of those OPEN PITS we still call POTHOLES.


rondo 10:32 AM  

FISH. Huh. Didn’t notice until reading the clue. My FAULT.

Went to ALASKA. Nearly ‘FROS. ‘Twas nearly the ENDO’ times.

I miss EVIL doug.

Lisa DEAN Ryan floating on that air mattress with Doogie. Yeah baby.

IRATE this puz somewhat POS, somewhat NEG, probably in the CTR for a Mon. It wasn’t exactly the PITS.

Diana, LIW 11:02 AM  

Ha ha - that FISH clue actually helped me with one answer. Miracle for a Monday. I'd give it a tad over easy "for a Monday."

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

spacecraft 11:06 AM  

Easy breezy, but as OFL said, not so zazzy. Not a bad made-up word; it's like jazzy with two more Scrabble points. Space-filling. It's Monday, we need a puzzle for the puzzle space. OK, here's one. I do have to give freshness points for SLIDETACKLE--also maybe a yellow card--and for Mr. GANDOLFINI, who must be out of his comfort zone in a crossword grid.

The rest of it almost put me to SLEEP. I couldn't even find a DOD, as I did not know about Lisa DEAN Ryan--but if she's the one riding on that inflated duck in that investment ad...or is it a goose? Anyway, yeah. Par.

rainforest 1:30 PM  

Always keen to TACKLE a Monday puzzle, especially after the protracted exercise solving a Sunday. Today's was easy, but nice.

I haven't FISHed much but I always thought that TACKLE was what was in that box that FISHers bring with them. In any case, not the one with the beer, I think the revealer was unequivocal. So, I'm sure you've heard the old joke: Q: Why is FISHing like American beer? A: Because it's effing near water. Har.

My mattress lies on SLATs. Works fine. HEH.

Good beginning to the week.

leftcoastTAM 2:02 PM  

Yes, a medium Monday with a hook (and yes, HEH) in the SE corner: FIDGET SPINNER. Thanks to the late, great James GANDOLFINI, got the F in the unknown FIDGET.

Pleasant morning walk in the park.

leftcoastTAM 6:41 PM  

Memo to self: Don't know why I keep confusing SW corner with the SE.

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