Classic typewriter brand / MON 1-28-19 / Extra job in gig economy / Giving away unwanted items rather than trashing them / Obsessive to fault

Monday, January 28, 2019

Constructor: Thomas van Geel

Relative difficulty: Medium (3:03)

THEME: KICKSTARTER (62A: Crowdfunding site ... or a hint to the beginnings of 17-, 30- and 46-Across) — first words (or "starters") in themers are also types of "kicks":

Theme answers:
  • FREECYCLING (17A: Giving away unwanted items rather than trashing them)
  • SIDE HUSTLE (30A: Extra job in the gig economy)
  • DROP THE MIC (46A: Dramatically end a speech, in a way)
Word of the Day: OLIVETTI (40D: Classic typewriter brand)
Olivetti S.p.A. is an Italian manufacturer of typewriterscomputerstabletssmartphonesprintersand other such business products as calculators and fax machines. Headquartered in Ivrea, in the Metropolitan City of Turin, the company has been part of the Telecom Italia Group since 2003. The first commercial programmable "desktop computer", the Programma 101, was produced by Olivetti in 1964 and was a commercial success. (wikipedia)
• • •

This felt so much harder than it was. I think the very long Downs in the NW and SE made it feel ... actually, it was pretty low word-count for a Monday (74)—that's just a couple black squares away from a themeless-style grid (72 is max word count for themelesses). And then the themers were really very contemporary phrases, which means I really had to think about them (well, the first two—I had the MIC part before I ever read the DROP THE MIC clue, so that was easier). I also got slowed by wanting only KNEECAP for 3D: Patella, and not really understanding what was going on. KNEEBONE ... OK, I guess that's a thing. Seems like there are maybe multiple "bones" in your knee, whereas "patella" is specifically the kneeCap, but OK. Sure. Had a little trouble with SEEST, and, since literally all laugh syllables are vile, terrible answers, I struggled a bit with HEH (31D: When repeated, a sneaky laugh). But I knew OLIVETTI, as I love both typewriters and great graphic design (for which their ads were very well known). I can see that answer potentially derailing some people, as it crosses a couple of proper nouns (namely FILAS and EVAN). Finished up in the SW and was surprised to see the clock at only a shade over 3 minutes—a very normal Monday time. Because the revealer and all the themers are quite fresh, and the wordplay in the revealer really works, and the puzzle was Monday-easy overall while still being interesting, I really liked this.

I think I put ANAL in a grid once, but I would never do it again. Maybe once is enough. I've tried it. Check. Moving on. INESSE is hot garbage, but seriously the only part of this grid I really don't like. I think SIDE HUSTLE is really good as fill, though I really don't like the term, as it's a lousy attempt to make job insecurity and lack of benefits sound Sex-ay! Boooo. Speaking of KICKSTARTER, Peter Gordon's Newsflash Crossword made its KICKSTARTER goal yesterday after I wrote about it, and as I said yesterday, you should definitely get in on that. Much fun. I think I don't have much more to say about this one. Let's just let it be. It's nice. See you tomorrow.

2019 NYT Crossword Constructor Count: Men: 25.5 / Women 2.5

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:06 AM  

Easy-medium. A simple and very smooth Mon. with some zippy theme answers, liked it. A fine debut!

Whirred Whacks 12:21 AM  

Very topical puzzle. It’s got last week’s “word of the week” in 43 down: SMIRK AT — as in the smug 16 year old boy showed his privilege in his expression.

George Orwell, always ahead of his time, defined the phenomenon of the “facecrime” in the opening of chapter 5 of “1984”:

“It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself – anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: FACECRIME, it was called.”

Harryp 12:22 AM  

I suppose SIDE HUSTLE is what a whole bunch of people have to do to survive in this GIG ECONOMY.

Carola 12:40 AM  

A top-tier Monday, I thought. I liked how this wasn't just a solid example of a "word that goes with" theme but how the four theme answers share being part of the contemporary scene and a liveliness of expression. Nicely done!

Do-overs: Eric before EVAN; almost NeuRoTic before NARRATOR. No idea: TANYA.

Memory Lane...PAST LIFE next to OLIVETTI brought up the image of the used early-model electric Olivetti I snagged as a grad student. Man, that thing was solid - it was built like a tank and I could barely lift it. I can still hear the impressive "I mean business" hum it emitted when I plugged it in.

Sara Dacus 1:02 AM  

Time listed by Arkansas girl who has been solving for a year and a half: 15:06. Had trouble with inesse.

Larry Gilstrap 1:04 AM  

Nice Monday! Great KICK STARTER to the last week in January. Me and my SIDE KICK solved contemporaneously, then strolled off feeling pretty smug.

Ok, I can tolerate 28A clued with a type of thermometer, maybe. I find there's something super-creepy about associating it with obsessive behavior. Don't know the association and don't care to know. DCDK! Hope to never see it again in any puzzle for any reason, and breakfast is hours off. Indulge me.

Moving above the belt, DENTAL insurance is elusive for many folks on Medicare, or worse schemes. Be true to your teeth and they won't be false to you: Soupy Sales.

HEH is one of the thousands of laugh syllables that crop up on nearly a daily basis around here. I need to laugh more, apparently.

Never could quite get my head around reincarnation. Does anybody ever have an inkling of what happened in their PAST LIFE? Sincere question. I know that every time I see an image of an Guillotine, it scares the crap out of me. Perhaps, I was part of the bourgeoisie? On the contrary, DNA test screams Scotch-Irish hillbilly.

Living in a desert tourist town, I encounter lots of Euros and they are generally a fine looking bunch. Last nit: I'm pretty sure most Spanish matron are SENORAS, but I'm certain that not all SENORAS are matrons. Pardon my tilde.

Marc 1:58 AM  

I like a Monday that makes me think a few times or wait for crosses to complete. FREECYCLING, RABE, SEEST, KNEEBONE, INESSE, OLIVETTI all new to me.

chefwen 2:11 AM  

Fun Monday puzzle with a little kick to it.

I hadn’t seen the term FREE CYCLING before, I like it. Same with SIDE HUSTLE, SIDE job, yes. Gotta try to keep up with the times.

Only hiccup I had was SEEth before SEEST at 35A.

@Carola, your posting times indicate you’re on this side of the pond and have escaped the Arctic Blast in Cheeseland. Yay!

Brian B 3:08 AM  

This was fun. It was maybe only the second time I've beaten our host's time, and my first time below 3:00 (by 6 seconds) in a long time. I threw FREECYCLING in there with no crosses and crossed my fingers, but it was the right guess. SIDE HUSTLE needed a couple of crosses, but the other themers seemed obvious. I guess I'm just barely enough in touch with "the youngs" to get through.

Bryan 3:17 AM  

Hey Rex, you missed the best thing about this puzzle. The constructor hails from Natick, Massachusetts!

Brookboy 3:26 AM  

Nice, relatively easy Monday puzzle, one that even made Rex say that he liked it (after which he points out multiple faults - he just can’t help himself).

I like the picture of the dog at the beach with a typewriter and a pair of sandaled feet. Did people actually bring their typewriters to the beach?

Being of a certain age I do remember typewriters with great fondness. I taught myself how to type when I wa a young lad. My father got an old portable manual typewriter. I forget what the make was. I got myself a book on how to learn to type, and I learned from that book. The first sentence I typed was ‘The deed did free the deer.’ Who knew that typing, as important a skill as it was, would become even more crucial even as typewriters have left the landscape.

I remember that every office had the same sound: the sound of many typewriters being used all at once. It was, in its own way, quite a pleasant sound.

Loren Muse Smith 3:43 AM  

Perfect reveal. I agree this offered up a bit of resistance for a Monday, but I couldn’t sleep, so I appreciated the diversion.

@Larry – I’ve always heard the adage: ignore your teeth and they’ll go away.

@Carola – I had an OLIVETTI in grad school, too! Saved my money and bought it and was so proud of it and used the crap out of it.

PAST LIFE presumes a reincarnation. In a Style Invitational contest, some clever person came up with reintarnation: coming back to life as a hillbilly. Others were. . .

intaxication: euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
giraffiti: vandalism painted very, very high.
inoculatte:: to take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
hipatitis: terminal coolness.
ignoranus: a person who’s both stupid and an asshole.
glibido: all talk and no action.
dopeler effect: the tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
beelzebug: Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
caterpallor: the color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.

I liked the crosses of ON TIME/NOT YET and ANKLE/KNEEBONE.

Like @chefwen, I had never seen FREECYCLING, but I love it. There’s a shelf at our recycling center where you put stuff you think someone else would want, and I’m obsessed with it. I’ll put something there and then keep checking back to see if someone took it. What are other portmanteaux like this? Keycycling – trying every &^%$ key on my lanyard ‘til I find the one that opens the library. Pleacycling – any current news footage. Weecycling – my life between 8pm and 2am. Teacycling – used Earl Grey bag on a little saucer ‘cause you think you can get another pretty good cup out of it. Appointeecycling – well, hmm. You do the math.

Thomas – this is a debut? Congrats and enjoy your day figuring out how to slip this coup into each and every conversation you have. Nice one!

Hungry Mother 4:12 AM  

Very quick and easy. I did a rare “night before” solve due to a trail run this morning on Roatan, Honduras.

KRMunson 4:52 AM  

I’m in Cheeseland. Getting up to 15 inches of snow today on top of temps below zero. Zing!

JimR 4:59 AM  

You do realize you are the one convicting this kid of the “facecrime”. I’m always amazed at the people who know about the terrible society written about in 1984, and then do exactly the same thing!!

@merican in Paris 5:12 AM  

FINE puzzle with a bit of resistance. Had "break" and "actor" before NICHE and USHER (in Europe, a theater is a place for live performances; a cinema is where one watches films), which slowed me down a bit. Also had RENt before REND, which gave me tATA. Had to stare at that for awhile before the lightbulb went on.

Another write-over was RAvE (its name in France) before RABE. In Puglia, Italy the vegetable is called cima di rapa, and is often served with hand-made orecchiette ('little ears") pasta. There is still a street in Bari where women sit at tables where they roll the dough, slice it and then make the individual pasta pieces with a flick of a thumb. Watching them perform this unbelievably rapid feat is mesmerising.

Like @Rex and several others, I have a bit of an irrational fondness for typewriters, OLIVETTIs especially. It is of course thanks to the problem of jamming in the original, manual typewriters that we are stuck with the QWERTY keyboard. (In France the top row is AZERTY.) It's even defied multiple attempts to introduce keyboard arrangements that are more efficient. The tyranny of initial technical standards.

What's a SIDE KICK, by the way? Something from soccer? Or does that one refer to a buddy?

@chefwen -- I was sure you'd comment on HULA!

@LMS -- Is your avatar today a reference to the clue to 28A, or to SO PSUP? Liked your list of portmanteaus. Been awhile since I read them, so nice to see them again.

Lewis 6:10 AM  

Not only a debut but a RRR (relative Rex rave) -- a rare and wonderful coup. Way to go, Thomas!

I loved SIDE HUSTLE and FREECYCLING and the cleverness of making a theme out of KICKSTARTER. Very nice cross of HULA and ISLANDS. Mini-theme of double EE's (6). And a SHALOM, which sets a hopeful happy tone for the week.

Lewis 6:13 AM  

Incidentally, the constructor lives in Natick, MA.

OffTheGrid 6:57 AM  

@Larry is my hero today. Here's why, from his 1:04 post.

"Ok, I can tolerate 28A clued with a type of thermometer, maybe. I find there's something super-creepy about associating it with obsessive behavior. Don't know the association and don't care to know. DCDK! Hope to never see it again in any puzzle for any reason, and breakfast is hours off. Indulge me."

kitshef 7:28 AM  

Better clue for 70A - It's as good as a mile?

Had ASH at 4D at one point, so was quite surprised to see it come up again at 37D.

In addition to LMS's ANKLE crossing KNEE, we have PINE crossing CENT, FINE crossing MANAGE, SENORAS crossing MISS.

QuasiMojo 7:31 AM  

Marvy Monday. In a PAST LIFE I had an Olivetti. It was a portable number, blue with white keys, and fit snugly into a zip carrying case. Looked like something a smart stewardess might carry as a chic overnight bag. I loved it. My ROOMIE in college knocked over a potted coleus into it. Dirtied up the type. I had to turn it over and KICKSTART it before I could finish my term paper ON TIME. It was about LINCOLN. Honest!

Anonymous 7:45 AM  

KNEEBONE is green paint.

FREECYCLE-NO, just NO. It's not even recycling. It's re-using, so how about FREEUSE? Well, no to that, too.

DROPTHEMIC-another blight on the language.

ANAL has been covered.

tommydif 7:55 AM  

My college workhorse was an OLIVETTI Lettera 32. Manual. It had the unnerving habit of rotating clockwise on the desk during typing, which of course got worse when I hit the carriage return. Fun times.

Z 7:57 AM  
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pabloinnh 8:05 AM  

Good day for typing stories, so here's mine-

I took typing in high school,probably the most useful class I took, as it turns out. Anyway, there I was whanging away on a big old manual typewriter, probably trying to center something on a page (one backspace for every two letters), when an announcement came over the PA that silenced all the clacking and left us in stunned silence.

It was Nov. 22, 1963.

Thought this was an excellent Monday. Thanks for the fun, TvG.

Lewis 8:13 AM  

@kitshef -- Hah! On AMISS!

All Good 8:17 AM  

@Quasi from yesterday, I actually gasped (really I yelled OH Sht!) at the Youtube of Bob Beamon making that long jump. He broke the record by almost 2 feet. The measuring system at the time didn't even go that far. It took them 15 minutes to find a measuring tape and do it manually. The record holder at the time told him that he'd just ruined the sport.

This was one of the best Mondays I can remember since last Monday. Moved straight through with one go back on a misspell. Really enjoyed it.

@merican in Paris 8:28 AM  

@pablo in NH 8:05 AM -- Wow!, what a punchline to your story. It KICKED the wind right out of me.

W. Smith 8:37 AM  

@whirred whacks: 1984 was a warning not a how-to guide. Do you work for The Ministry of Truth ?

mmorgan 8:39 AM  

I found this to be a nice crunchy Monday, but the theme was lost on me. I know what a SIDEKICK is (Robin, Tonto, Kato, etc.) but I had no idea as to FREEKICK or DROPKICK, other than assuming they were somehow sports-related, I think.

But I enjoyed the puzzle and I miss my old Olivetti!!

Sir Hillary 8:43 AM  

Simple, clean and contemporary -- what's not to like? The long downs are a real bonus on a Monday.

I have to laugh at FREECYCLING and SIDEHUSTLE. People have been donating unwanted items for centuries, and, sadly, a segment of society has been working multiple jobs for just as long. Do we really need these new, cutesy terms? They're totally legit for a puzzle, but let's not pretend that they represent anything new.

My write-overs: SEEth, SneerAT, KNEEcaps. Does anybody really say KNEEBONE instead of kneecap?

Jeremy Keeshin 8:58 AM  

My current level is a Monday/Tuesday and I enjoyed this puzzle. I was able to finish but almost got stuck right at the end.

IN ESSE/REND tricked me up and had to guess. And FILAS/OLIVETTI was the last square I got.

I liked the theme, I thought it was simple, clever and clean. And I also know Kickstarter.

Also got confused on TANYA, NICHE, SEEST.

Anonymous 9:07 AM  
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Matilda 9:15 AM  
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Dem bones 9:20 AM  

Ezekiel cried, "Dem dry bones!"
Ezekiel cried, "Dem dry bones!"
Ezekiel cried, "Dem dry bones!"
"Oh, hear the word of the Lord."

The foot bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the back bone,
The back bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the head bone,
Oh, hear the word of the Lord!

Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk aroun',
Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk aroun'
Dem bones, dem bones, gonna walk aroun'
Oh, hear the word of the Lord.


Gregory Schmidt 9:26 AM  

I liked it. And the sciencey start in the NW was right in my wheelhouse. Finally.

Lewis 9:33 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

1. Ore, for one? (4)
2. Call to reserve (3)
3. Food that's eaten perpendicularly to how it's usually made (5)
4. Short cut that bypasses a canal (15)
5. Iconic 1950s-'70s female tv role played by a male (6)


GILL I. 9:41 AM  

Sweeeeet. What a breath of fresh air. Even with ANAL, this puzzle felt fresh and current. Nary an EEL in sight. Phew.
I love that we are talking typewriter stories and hope to God we leave the teen confrontation in the March for Life out of this really fine Monday debut.
Typewriter story: Brookboy: Hah! I had to learn to type the "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." I remember typing it for hours. The only thing I could never do were the numbers. Remember "Daisywheel?" clickety clack clickety clack. There's a cute ad somewhere showing an "elderly" woman using a PC for the first time and when she comes to the end of her paragraph, instead of hitting the return button , she shoves the computer into the wastebasket.
@pablo: I was on a balance beam - one foot in the air, at Palisades High, when the announcement came on. Dead silence.
I love reading about PAST LIFE stories because it's wishful thinking to the extreme. Shirley MacLaine was/is a huge believer. She swears - and can prove it - that she was a Harem girl and a Muslim gypsy. She kept coming back as different dames. If it's true, then I was probably Isadora Duncan. I should take a DNA test.
Nice job, Thomas Van Geel and congrats on this mighty fine debut.

Bourbon Street 9:47 AM  

Felt my age when I was doing this puzzle—my first reaction to “ex-senator Bayh” was Birch, not his son EVAN. Then I noticed the answer was only four letters.

On the topic of age, those who want to vilify Nick Sandmann, please remember he is only 16 years old. Give him a break.

Anonymous 9:48 AM  

I ended up with FIfAS/ OfIVETTI and was very confused for a split second ����‍♀️ guess my brain decided to lump all sports related things together this morning

Anonymous 9:54 AM  

Hey Z I don’t support Trump but not everybody who wears a MAGA hat is racist. I am Pro-Choice but not everyone who disagrees is sexist. Stop telling on yourself. Judge not that he shall not be judged.

Nancy 9:55 AM  

Re DENTAL (46D): ...and even more often DOESN'T.

I have never seen anyone DROP THE MIC, but maybe I'm not watching the right performers. This sounds like an effective ploy for the singer who can't sing, the actor who can't act, and the speechifier who just bored you to tears. "Dramatically" ending a performance that was anything but. I might try it sometime and see if everyone applauds.

I learned a couple of phrases I didn't know: FREECYCLING, a very nice portmanteau, and SIDE HUSTLE, which I've probably heard in one or another movie but don't remember.

A clean and pleasant puzzle that was nicely made. But it failed to tickle my KNEEBONE.

GILL I. 10:06 AM  

This was my SIDE HUSTLE job in my PAST LIFE.

Whirred Whacks 10:13 AM  


I smirk at your easy outrage. Those on the left who call just about anything they disagree with as ”racist” or “sexist” have rendered those words nearly devoid of meaning.

What was especially disturbing about the Lincoln Memorial episode was how quickly our betters at the NYT (Maggie Hammerman, Kara Swisher), WaPo, HuffPo, BuzzFeed, as well as the Twitter “blue check” folks, decided how despicable and privileged this kid was. His main crime — at least to me — was that he inadvertently walked into a Tom Wolfe novel.

I think the word “Schadenfreude” was created with the recent HuffPo and BuzzFeed layoffs in mind. As they say: “Learn to code.”

Deplorably yours, WW.

QuasiMojo 10:23 AM  

@All Good, 8:17, I will def check that YouTube video out. Thanks.

Hartley70 10:27 AM  

I have to give this a very easy because of the fill. The only exception could be OLIVETTI if you’re not of the typewriter era, but I am. I liked the themers and knew them, I think of FREECYCLING as a local website which generally has some ACTUAL good stuff, rather than that special table at the dump where it’s fun to browse on a Saturday morning.

Escalator 10:32 AM  

Isn’t there a limit on how many times a variation of “eke” can be used in a puzzle?

Suzie Q 10:37 AM  

This one had me at freecycling. I love that word. Here in this rural area we have to take our trash to a common dumpster site. It is understood that if something is placed neatly on top of a container that someone felt it deserved a second look before being tossed in. We call the collection site "the mall".
My first typewriter was an Olivetti. Besides loving it for itself I also felt so cool and sophisticated to have a machine with such an exotic (to my 9-year-old mind) name.
Great debut.

Nancy 10:41 AM  

I also had (have, actually) an OLIVETTI. A manual. In my last few years at the Literary Guild, they "gifted" me with the first electric typewriter I had ever used. While thinking about my next sentence -- I was writing book appraisals -- I was wont to rest my hands on the keyboard. Suddenly, horrors of horrors, a "kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk" would appear on the typing paper. The damn machine had taken over my composition. So, when I was freelancing and needed my own typewriter, I made sure to buy a manual. The OLIVETTI, which I never threw away, was/is a real beauty. But since I bought my first computer, I've had no need of it. And unlike an electric typewriter, a laptop doesn't type kkkkkkkkkkkkkk for you when you rest your fingers on the keyboard.

Re PAST LIVES. What good are they if you can't remember them? @Larry G. (1:04): I deeply and sincerely hope that you were never guillotined. @GILL (9:41) -- Oh, go ahead, be Isadora Duncan if you want to! I won't SMIRK AT you. Some wit once wrote: why is it that everyone was a queen or a courtesan or an emperor or a Great Beauty in their PAST LIFE and no one was a scullery maid? I don't want to know any of my PAST LIVES -- just in case I actually was a scullery maid. Or, heaven forbid, guillotined :)

jberg 10:42 AM  

Yup, no EELs, but there was an OREO -- equally tasty but not as healthy.

It's worth pointing out that each kick was used with a slightly (or greatly) different meaning. DROP is a way of kicking, FREE is a situation in which someone gets to kick, and SIDE isn't that kind of kick at all. Nice work!

I've got strong views myself, but it would be nice if we could stick to the puzzle.

@'mericans -- Loren's avatar is a kind of kick.

Anonymous 10:53 AM  
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gfrpeace 11:21 AM  

It was nice to finally get some use out of having learned in fourth grade that ELIAS HOWE invented the sewing machine. I also liked the fact that yesterday's puzzle, which I did this morning, included the name of the second most famous person from Fall River (after Lizzie Borden). Not that I watch that kind of food show, but he was said to have been a gifted drummer in high school and for a while the previous conductor of the Fall River Symphony was trying to get him to come back home and be a guest star.

Which brings up the Gig Economy. I think it was originally a musical term. In the '60's and '70's I was so excited to be offered those little jobs that paid say $50 dollars. I still get offered them, snd they still pay $50. I find them less exciting these days. There must be some other field where the gig economy actually works these days.

Ellen S 11:34 AM  

Urban dictionary defines “mic drop” thusly:
An extremely expensive, theatrical form of punctuation often done by performers who have never actually had to purchase a microphone.

Hartley70 11:37 AM  

@Gill.I , I was in junior high math class with my yellow slide rule in hand when the announcement came. I’d forgotten about that slide rule, an anachronism if I’ve ever heard of one.

David Schinnerer 11:58 AM  

Just had to comment about Mike's criticism of Bob Beamon being in yesterday's puzzle.

Just because he is obscure to Mike, he is a(big)part of Olympic history. Not in Mike's wheelhouse = "bad" clue/answer? SMH. this is why I have (mostly) stopped coming here.

(And if this subject was addressed yesterday, I apologize.)

Hope everyone is well and prospering.


Banana Diaquiri 12:06 PM  

@Larry Gilstrap:
Be true to your teeth and they won't be false to you: Soupy Sales.

years ago, when I was a kid living in the projects, I knew a woman from some place in Latin America who was about 30 and had just dentures. I finally got curious enough to ask someone, likely the parents, how that could be? turns out that, at least then, Europeans and those in more recently colonies, viewed dental disease as a virtual guarantee of heart disease (turns out to be nearly true: ), so many would get full extraction and dentures as prophylaxis at a young age.

Masked and Anonymous 12:15 PM  

Got a kick out of this MonPuz. I had a sorta wonky time gettin goin, in the NW. Got ANKLE and TANYA ok, then putzed around a bit, finally tossin in LYE & EACH. Then had to punt, with head hung low, and slink over to the room next-door, where I got NUCLEI first, then just about everything else in there, without misabusin many more precious nanoseconds. FREECYCLING was hard to get, becuz I was only vaguely aware of that term; makes sense, tho. SIDEHUSTLE was also news to m&e, btw. No prob seein OLIVETTI.

But I can't really kick up a fuss, as completed the puz and was able to walk away with all the furniture in the room still in their normal upright positions. Fave fillins enroute included: ATFIRST. YUKS [with a primo double-har clue]. PASTLIFE. KNEEBONE connected to the ANKLE(bone). NUCLEI.

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Joint that a sock covers} = ANKLE, right outta the chute. WRIST also works, dependin on what "sock" means and if U could substitute in "uses" for "cover".

staff weeject pick: HEH. Palindrome meat. A very respectable litter of weejects, today. M&A appreciates the constructioneer's anal attention to crankin out the high-grade weejecta.

@kitshef: har. Primo AMISS clue. Wish I could do as well with a better HEH clue. Well … there's always {Hydrogen Hydrexide formula??} = HEH, I reckon. Not nearly as good as yers, tho.

Thanx for a fun MonPuz with great 'tude, Mr. Van Geel. Way to debut, dude. SEEST is worth one har.

Masked & Anonymo4Us

more of a stomper than a kicker:

Anonymous 12:22 PM  

And @Z...just read your comment. Preach brother/sister! That was well stated and exactly on point.

@Anonymous 9:54...It's hard to think that everyone that wears a MAGA hat is not racist when they are publicly supporting a racist by wearing that hat. It's easy to say "I support the rights of all people" then vote for and support someone who is attempting to do the exact opposite. Then it's easy to say "it's not ME, it's HIM". Talk about keeping you "head in the sand" (@Matilda 9:15)

Carola 12:23 PM  

@chefwen - I'm soaking up as much California warmth as I can in the next couple of days before returning to the deep freeze. But I can look forward to the ISLANDS in March.

@Loren, @Lewis, @kitshef - Thanks for pointing out those crosses.

Anonymous 12:29 PM  

dis place be cray cray
full of cray cray type peoples
dis place be full on ragin cray cray

Banana Diaquiri 12:33 PM  
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Inwood 12:56 PM  

Liked it. Just enough resistance for a Monday.

Comments bring back memories. Learned to type in summer school at a local public high school. Went to a Catholic girls school that was so strict that we couldn't talk in the halls. And if your next class was across the hall, you had to walk to the end of the corridor and come up the other side. My friend and I were shocked at the behavior of the kids in summer school - which I'm certain now was just normal high school stuff. Our nuns were kind, though. They just liked order. I was in math class on Nov. 22, 1963. The girl behind me burst into tears. I never forgot her name. No one knew what to do. We wandered out of class. There were the nuns, crying and consoling each other. They adored Kennedy of course. And they were totally oblivious to us milling around. The world was truly upside down.

Back to typing - I typed all my college boyfriend's papers for him. I found out much later that he knew how to type all along. Oh well - we're still together after 50 years.

I agree with @Bourbon Street about giving the 16 year old a break. I hate the hat. But I watched the extended video. He was approached, not the other way around. The chanter was in his face. His expression never changed, and I kept wondering what he was thinking. Did he not want to be rude and turn his back? I even thought maybe he was trying to appear friendly. So I was surprised that the assumption was made that it was a "smirk" when that wasn't obvious to me at all. And even if it were - I espoused things back then, thanks to the powerful influences of church, school and home, that I cringe at today.

Roo Monster 1:04 PM  

Hey All !
Nice puz. Only four themers (three plus the Reveal), which alot of people like. Too many theme answers grate on some of y'all. (Not me, I like lots of theme answers.)(But, that's neither here nor there.)

Very simple, but pretty cool. Haven't heard the term FREECYCLING, but it's neat. I'll have to start using that. (And doing it, as I have too much stuff/junk laying around.) This is a puz/theme that works well. No convoluted if-ness like Sundays.

Happy about two, count 'em, Two ROOs! 9D clue, and 47D ROOMIE. You can call me either one! Plus there's three F's. Not too shabby.

YUKS was fun. That's a word that can be eithet, well, YUCKY or funny. English. DEEP, that. :-)

The V of the typewriter was a guess, as EVAN as clued was unknown. But it was the logical choice.

Gonna go now and read what y'all had to say. SEEST looks like an alternate SHEESH. HEH.


Anonymous 1:37 PM  

Whoa! Easy-Peasy for sure. Also fun and enjoyable, so thanks for that Mr. Van Geel. Nice way to kick off the week.

Anonymous 1:38 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 2:02 PM  

Totally agree that patella is kneecap, and knee bone is not a thing!

Heather 2:02 PM  

I like the definition of mic drop. I have never fully understood what mic dropping and slow clapping are supposed to mean. I think mic dropping is emphasis and a little rebellious, like you just said something that might be controversial, but you owned it.

It seems like slow clapping is sometimes used to mean "very good" and sometimes meant sarcastically.

chefwen 2:17 PM  

@‘mericans, never have tried to HULA, something about being laughed at, I’d rather just watch.

@Carola, looks like it will be safe to go back by the end of the week.

mmorgan 2:54 PM  

@Nancy -- check out

Anonymous 3:16 PM  

I initially put in NSA for the spy org and ended up with kinkstarter. I imagine it’s also a site but that changes puzzle the theme dramatically.

Monty Boy 3:39 PM  

For all you typewriter fans: Get "Uncommon Type" by Tom Hanks (it seems he's a great author too). Hanks has a collection of typewriters, kinda like Leno collects cars.

The book is a collection of short stories, all of which involve a typewriter in some way. In some stories it's a central figure, in some it's barely mentioned. Some of the stories are very profound, some make you think a lot. Well worth the time. Olivetti is mentioned at least once. "The Past Is Important to Us" is my favorite.

Oh, and I liked the puzzle a lot.

Tim Aurthur 3:54 PM  

@Rex Your mention of appreciating graphic design reminded me to visit Pop Sensation to see if it's become active again. Unfortunately no. Have you run out of books?

Z 4:03 PM  

A bookstore in Ann Arbor has a “public typewriter.” People are free to type whatever they want. It became a thing. I have a copy of Notes from a Public Typewriter, a compilation of things people have written. It provides an interesting slice of life. The original public typewriter was blue OLIVETTI Lettera 32. If not for that book I don’t think I’d have so easily pulled OLIVETTI from whatever deep recess of memory it normally resides.

A fine Monday. Downright Lempelesque.

[I heard the comments got seriously off topic. deleted my initial post and reposted. No, I’m not engaging in any of the other stuff]

Larry Gilstrap 6:08 PM  

Shortly after my adolescence, I began the career of teaching adolescents. I know that kid, and have known him for decades. I went to school with him and you probably did too.

When a young man is visiting a city, it is best to avoid confrontation. But,if confrontation erupts, keep your eyes down, your mouth shut, and walk away. In the wild, an approaching group of teenagers can be intimidating, especially if they are boisterous.

Anonymous 6:46 PM  

Nathan Phillips approached the teens. That is, now, thanks to several viseos and witnesses, beyond queation.

sanfranman59 8:50 PM  

An anatomy lesson for OFL ... The south end of the femur and the north end of the tibia also help form the knee joint, but the patella is the only bone that's specific to the knee. That said, KNEEBONE is awkward unless you're singing "Dem Bones". I came in at 1.31 Rexes, a good solving day for me.

Crimson Devil 9:37 PM  

Agreed, well said: Amen! I

spacecraft 11:20 AM  

My first impression of the grid was favorable: nice, "ROOMIE" corners. The solve offered some unusual Monday resistance; NONE of the themers was familiar to me, though they were inferable. Well, in ACTUAL fact, I have seen DROPTHEMIC before--but only right here on the NYTXW page. This is all "Newspeak."

Hmm. If I get tired of grading by golf score, I could go to that. "Plus ungood." "Doubleplus good." Etc. I'll think about it.


++ungood = "other."
+ungood = double bogey.
ungood = bogey.
good = par.
+good = birdie.
++good = eagle.

Yep, it works. Cool. As debuts go, this one is fairly impressive. We should see more from Mr. van Geel, methinks. Nice, not overcrowding theme and a revealer with some "KICK" to it, and passable fill, though we have just lately had it up to here with EKE. To top it off, a splendid DOD in TANYA Tucker. I make it birdie, or "plusgood."

thefogman 11:58 AM  

Not bad for a Monday. Although I disliked some of the fill, especially SEEST.
Did anyone do the New Yorker Monday Puzzle today? It was a good challenging puzzle - even though I got Naticked in the SW corner.

Diana, LIW 1:23 PM  

What did I miss, @Spacey Where did you get the "plusgood" stuff?

Monday Monday - I trust that day. It's a great KICKSTARTER to the week.

I'm still doing many puzzles in old anthologies, and EKE may be the most often used word in the world.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for ACPT in a coupla weeks

Burma Shave 2:05 PM  




leftcoastTAM 2:30 PM  

Perfect start to the week.

Answer and clue of the day: OLIVETTI brought back memories, as did "typewriter".

FREECYCLING and SIDEHUSTLE are good terms not previously in my memory bank. FILAS may be "alternatives" to Nikes but not well-known competitors. And do movie theaters still employ USHERS?

Memories, memories.

rondo 3:28 PM  

A KICKSTARTER indeed. If *placeholder* had been an answer there coulda been a whole discussion about what the MN Vikings can’t seem to do – placeKICK.

Any decent sound guy might kick your butt if you DROPTHEMIC. A good Shure MICrophone can cost a fair amount. Too much for the effect of the DROP if you break it.

I saw TANYA Tucker live at The Cabooze in Mpls. c. 1977; sparkly tube top, leather pants, yeah baby. At the time they were touting her as the ‘female Elvis’. I guess that didn’t quite work out.

EZ Mon-puz with nothing AMISS.

rainforest 5:35 PM  

Way late but I liked this puzzle so much I had to write a comment.

This is one of the better Monday puzzles of recent memory; fresh and lively themers, and a perfect revealer. The fill was strong with only a couple of "ese" entries and some nice longer downs. This constructor has a future. Well, I guess we all do, I hope, but you know what I mean.

For the typewriter, my first thought was Underwood, which was my typewriter I used throughout my university career right up to my Master's thesis. Weighed a ton, but it was used for 20 years and I suspect still works fine. Maybe I could FREECYCLE it. All to say that I had to work to get OLIVETTI, a machine that wasn't known in 1962, at least to me.

Excellent start to the week.

spacecraft 7:09 PM  

@Lady Di: In "1984," Newspeak was the language of the government (and ERGO, everybody). Instead of negative words like "bad," all Newspeak was couched in positive terms, with the prefix "un-" to indicate the negative. Degrees were in the form of "Plus-," with one plus meaning "very" and doubleplus meaning "extremely."

From the desk of Winston Smith: "Big Brother is watching you."

Diana, LIW 9:14 PM  

Merci Monsieur @Spacey. Je comprends. It's ow unconfusing.

Lady Di

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