Trilogy of tragedies by Aeschylus / WED 2-20-19 / Rigel Spica by spectral type / Mark longtime game show partner of Bill Todman / Ancient kingdom in modern day Jordan / PM who inspired 1960s jacket

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Constructor: Byron Walden

Relative difficulty: Easy (like, really easy—oversized grid, and I still set a personal record for a Wednesday) (3:01)

THEME: EDU (7D: URL ending associated with the beginnings of the answers to the six starred clues) — "blank AND blank" phrases where the first word is also the name of a well-known university:

Theme answers:
  • BROWN AND SERVE (12A: *Instructions for premade dinner rolls)
  • DUKE AND DUCHESS (14A: *Noble couple)
  • RICE AND BEANS (31A: *Latin American side dish that combines two food staples)
  • "DRAKE AND JOSH" (34A: *Title pair in a 2004-07 Nickelodeon sitcom)
  • SMITH AND WESSON (53A: *Eponymous founders of a Massachusetts-based firearms manufacturer)
  • PENN AND TELLER (58A: *Duo of magicians who are the longest-running headliners in Las Vegas history)
Word of the Day: "DRAKE AND JOSH" (34A) —
Drake & Josh is an American sitcom created by Dan Schneider for Nickelodeon. The series follows stepbrothers Drake Parker (Drake Bell) and Josh Nichols (Josh Peck) as they live together despite having opposite personalities. The series also stars Miranda CosgroveNancy Sullivan, and Jonathan Goldstein.
After actors Bell and Peck previously appeared in The Amanda Show, Schneider decided to create Drake & Josh with them in starring roles. The series ran from January 11, 2004, to September 16, 2007, totaling 56 episodes in 4 seasons. It also had two TV films: Drake & Josh Go Hollywood(2006), and Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh (2008). (wikipedia)
• • •

I hope you appreciate how loopy this theme is *and* how clean this (very thematically dense!) grid is. Just gorgeous work. I solved it so fast that I actually missed the university aspect of the theme. I thought it was just ___ AND ___ phrases ... for some reason. Some reason I would find out later. And actually I never found out. That is, why ... why the "AND ___" part?! Who knows? Honestly, who cares? Everything about this is so zippy and smooth that the just-because aspect of the theme answer structure doesn't bother me at all. Nor does the weirdness of having EDU (in such an inconspicuous position) as your revealer. When your craftsmanship is so tight, you can get away with all kinds of stuff. The only trouble I had with this grid was getting the front end of "DRAKE & JOSH," a show I am dimly aware of, but clearly not aware of enough to remember its damn name. 2004-07 Nickelodeon show falls smack between my pop culture heyday (which pretty much ends with the 20th century) and my daughter's (she'd have been a bit too young to care about this show). I think the last answer I wrote in was EERIE, which is a very weird location to finish up an easy puzzle. Usually easy puzzles follow a pretty regular top-to-bottom solving path, but my path today was oddly circular: across the top, down the east coast, around and up again. But I had the CAN-DO BANJO MOJO working for me today, and so the unconventional route didn't slow me down at all.

There were a few places I could've gotten held up. I am never quite sure about the second vowel in AMARETTO, and ENDO could've been ENTO (?), maybe, and I can see how GOODSON might've caused a struggle for some people, but I watched way way way way too many 70s-80s-era game shows not to know the phrase "a Mark GOODSON-Bill Todman production." I think the word BURGLE is silly and I probably would've changed it to BUNGLE, but that would give you PEN in the cross, and since PENN is already in the grid ... maybe BURGLE is the better choice. As opposed to the BETTOR choice, which Byron clearly made when he decided to put BETTOR ... into the grid. OK, it's late and 'SCOLD (my newfangled contraction for "it's cold"), so I'm off to bed.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Harryp 2:23 AM  

Very easy puzzle with a great Theme that I didn't look for, but probably wouldn't have gotten anyway.

jae 2:46 AM  

Easy. Again, mostly what @Rex said. Smooth and clever, liked it.

Larry Gilstrap 2:49 AM  

I caught on to the university theme element pretty quickly, but the DRAKE AND JOSH TV show never made it to my queue. Fumbled the CAN DO answer for way too long.

Tuesday means access to my private chef, or guys in a kitchen that will cook me a meal to order. I ordered BEANS AND RICE, but they both came out on one plate so the sequence was reversed. I'm trying to eat lighter, but I'm pretty sure the beans included some bits of bacon. Compliments to the chefs.

I've seen PENN AND TELLER twice, once on Broadway in the early 90s. Their shows are funny, revelatory, and cringy. Exhibit A: the bit with the cute little bunny and the chipper. The audience was appalled. Teller seemed bemused. They're even touring again and as iconoclastic as ever, I bet.

Robin 3:05 AM  

Oh? There was a theme? Totally missed that.

Brookboy 3:57 AM  

Well, it’s a pleasure to see such a positive review from Rex. Who knew that he had it in him? Ironically enough, this would not be the puzzle that I’d rhapsodize over, as much as I enjoyed it. I thought it played pretty easy for a Wednesday, but I liked the theme and I enjoyed solving it. For a rare change everything I guessed happened to be correct. My arm is sore from all that patting myself on the back.

I remember watching What’s My Line each Sunday night when I was a kid and dreading hearing the phrase “This has been a Mark Goodson-Bill Todman production.” Dreading it because it meant the end of the show and bedtime on Sunday night. The glorious weekend was over and it was back to prison, uh, I mean school, in the morning. I’ve always thought that What’s My Line was perhaps the classiest of all quiz shows. Everyone dressed up, men in suits and women in gowns, and everyone was unfailingly polite. John Charles Daly was the host and he kept the show on track. Those were the days...

jae 4:03 AM  

....and by easy I meant 30% faster than yesterday’s which I had as a medium Wed.

Anonymous 4:55 AM doesn't exist. it is

cwf 5:44 AM  

Anonymous @4:55 wins the enjoyable pedantry award. congrats

fkdiver 5:54 AM  

Is today Monday? Didn't read most of the clues; this grid just filled itself in.

Abby Friedman 6:09 AM  

34D... can we please keep wife beaters out of the puzzle? Is that so hard?

Lewis 6:15 AM  

I gave an excited inner yip when I saw Byron Walden's name because he has given me some jaw-dropping solving moments, where I sit in awe of his wit and creativity. Almost all of his NYT puzzles have appeared on weekends (including Fridays), with a handful of Thursdays, and a very few earlier weekdays. This is his first non-weekend puzzle in three years.

I did love some answers in this puzzle (BROWN AND SERVE, ALL WET, BURGLE), and the construction -- finding six colleges whose names pair with other words (not an easy task), then stacking them in three pairs -- was very impressive. There were a few hitches in my solve, areas I had to return to, which I like very much. But one place Byron shines for me is that his puzzles include several drop-dead-gorgeous clues that fall somewhere in a place beyond witty -- clues that make me shake my head in wonder -- and in this puzzle, the cluing was simply direct.

It was still an impressive construction, a lovely solve, one I'm grateful for, and I suspect that Byron's Superman side will be back in due order.

Loren Muse Smith 6:23 AM  

Wow. What a stinky little show off Byron Walden is. Take six (6!) common “ _ and _” phrases whose first word is also the name of a university. Right. And stack’em, too. And not just stack’em, but stack the hell out of them. This is a stunning piece of work. And, ok, he’s not a little show off; he’s a nice guy and one of the reasons I go to the ACPT. To stare at all the constructor badasses. Seeing Byron ranks up there with seeing Gene Hackman. I get nervous and stupid if we actually speak.

TWERK, I guess, is a portmanteau of twist and jerk. I’m too repressed and self-conscious to give it a go even alone. It would be a private embarrassment so, arguably, worse than a public embarrassment. If it’s bad enough that you’re embarrassed all alone, then it’s pretty damn bad.

BURGLE is a terrific word, Rex. A back-formation of burglar. Little-known fact: gurgle is a back-formation of the word gurglar – a emoter who, feigning death, falls to the floor clutching their throat and making the requisite choke noises. (Side note, this sign)

CAN DO attitude. Hmm. CAN DO could possibly be a back-formation of the offensive no can do a phrase apparently Americans used to make fun of the broken English of Chinese immigrant. So this cavalier disregard to the feelings of non-English speakers ruined my whole solve this morning. (And if you believe this, see @Pete, who demonstrated yesterday that he Gets me.)

“Bath tissue” feels weird to me. Who calls it that? I just did a quick Google dive into TP package images, and it’s common enough. I mean, it looked like most packages don’t bother to spell it out for you. A couple called it toilet tissue. I saw only one toilet paper.

Question: Why are WV teachers like cheap toilet paper?
Answer: ‘Cause we don’t take no sh_ _ off no one.

I added a response at the end of yesterday’s thread about my inadvertent launch of a teacher discussion. I was just trying to give my friends here an “inside scoop” on the strike. That was all. Ok, so I did feel compelled to respond to a comment. Mea culpa.

I wrote a piece once called “Scuse My French” about my daily crossword calls with Dad and all the cussing he did over foreign words in the grid. The call ended with Dad saying At least I got NO EAR, so I was proud of that. It wasn’t until I had hung up, wondering how Gorski had clued NO EAR, that I realized he had been saying NOIR. I swear.

@merican in Paris 6:28 AM  

I completed this one while waiting to do a stress test at the @merican Hospital (created during the First World War to treat American soldiers). By the end I was ALL WET with sweat, but apparently my results were normal.

As for the puzzle, I would certainly agree with the easy rating (more like a TUES), especially when 15 squares (5 x AND) are a given after the first completed theme answer.

My wife's cousin attended RICE during the late 1980s, and he once told us that their cheer when (as occurred often) the opposing football TEAM scored against RICE's was: "That's alright, that's OK, you're gonna work for us one day!" (Any RICE alumni among the commentariat who can confirm that?)

Nice to see my graduate school as part of the answer to 58A. (Right U are, @Anonymous 4:55 AM.)

My response to the clue AND answer to 26A was, "Huh, I'm surprised we don't see this one more often in crossword puzzles; ELI would seem to be a weeject that could come in handy." (Hey @M&A!).

By the way, in the International New York Times, the daily crosswords (except on Sunday) appear just below the -- gasp! -- comics. Here's today's "Garfield", which made me think of @chefwen's pooch:

Panel 1: Garfield wonders to himself, while strolling, "How does Odie keep his brain sharp?"

Panel 2: Garfield encounters Odie, who is chewing something (indicated by "MUNCH, MUNCH, MUNCH").

Panel 3: Garfield concludes, while walking away, "By eating a crossword puzzle every day."

Hungry Mother 6:31 AM  

Another PR here, but I did mostly downs. Nice to see that high class word TWERK again.

OffTheGrid 6:47 AM  

Something has become clear to me today. @Rex and others really only care about speed solving. That is the sole criterion for evaluation of a puzzle. This puzzle was praised for resulting in fast solves where the theme wasn't even noticed. OH......OK.

@merican in Paris 6:50 AM  

Seeing @LMS's post while mine is awaiting moderation, I am reminded that I had forgotten to come to the defence of BURGLE. I agree with her: it is a perfectly fine, serviceable word, and one I would not consider uncommon. (Unfortunately: violent crime is low in France, but BURGLary remains a fact of life.)

AND, I, too, had wondered what the heck was "bath tissue". So, I went to looking for our package of TP. I learned something new today: the packaging give much more prominence to the fact that it was made from paper derived from sustainably managed forests, that it is two-ply, and that its texture is soft. I had to hunt to find the small red letters (not much bigger than those in a newspaper article) identifying it as paper hygiénique. So, hygienic paper. Is that more or less a euphemism than "bath tissue" or even "bathroom tissue"?

Nice Q&A, @LMS. When I first came to Europe, in the early 1980s, I lived in The Netherlands. At my university, the public toilets didn't provide rolls of paper, but rather individual two-ply sheets, kind of like tissues out of an upside-down box. Talk about cheap TP, this stuff was the consistency of wax paper. I kid you not.

Unfortunately I can't get my hands on any of this incredible product to send you, @LMS, but you could bring a roll of wax paper to your protests; I think that most people's imaginations would fill in the blanks.

Indeed, just so you know what I am talking about, I would invite anybody to do an experiment: cut a piece, or ten (you might need them), of wax paper into pieces the size of toilet paper, and try to "finish the job" with them the next time you visit the bathroom, preferably if it involves No.2.

And then report back to us on your findings.

DeeJay 6:53 AM  

Nice, fun, easy.

Miss Manners 6:56 AM  

You do write well and make interesting observations (though @Steve may have had you in mind when he wrote on Sunday). However, the TP joke was in poor taste and not really funny.

amyyanni 6:57 AM  

Having lived in Western Massachusetts for many years, appreciated Aetna (Hartford) crossing Smith & Wesson (Springfield) as they're just about a half hour apart. Loved this, even though I went to a state school.

Flying Pediatrician 7:17 AM  

I worked at PENN for a year and the URL is definitely I am very surprised that this escaped @Rex's notice?!

Intravenous fluids/medications in the ICU are very rarely "drippers." In ORS, ERs, and clinics? Sure. Usually folks in the ICU are sick enough, though, that they need their IVs to be "pumpers" or "pushers."

Great puzzle. Lot of fun!

Rainbow 7:22 AM  

This is a very nice puzzle, fairly easy but interesting. I fear the blog is instead going to focus on toilet paper and its uses.

kitshef 7:22 AM  

DRAKE AND JOSH needed every cross, despite which this was Monday-easy. No overwrites, never had to think more than a shake or two of a nanny-goat's tail.

ETON feels like a bug rather than a feature. And SWAT AT is definitely ALL WET.

But the theme is good, and well executed, despite the minor cheat on PENN. Would have like it more on an earlier day, but liked it just fine as is.

Nicely-Nicely Johnson 7:27 AM  

Can do
Can do
This guy says the horse can do
If he says the horse can do
Can do
Can do

Fugue For Tinhorns

BarbieBarbie 7:29 AM  

Constructor says the EDU "reveal" was serendipitous. Given PENN I guess he should have just left it as an Easter egg.

This was easy and I wasn't bowled over, mainly because the second words of the phrases don't mean anything to me anyway, but also because this is a random assortment of colleges-- would have been cool if all Big 12 or Ivy or something. So, instead of an Aha, a Meh. But, OK.

Bonus: PENN AND TELLER are both institutes of higher learning. TELLER Tech is what gummint scientists call the training they get when they learn nuclear bomb technology. You're welcome.

QuasiMojo 7:50 AM  

Bad MOJO today for Quasi. I put in THREAT for word of caution and couldn’t see it as wrong for AEONS. Also KARMA before CANDO. And I’ve never heard anyone describe the school as PENN. it’s always UPENN, as noted.

EASY for you, Rex et al. I struggled mightily. I started off poorly with BUST IN before Burgle. ANNUL before ANNUM. But eventually saw the light. I could barely see straight this morning. One too many YALE of ARD?

It would have been neat to squeeze in MATCH GAME somewhere, perhaps my favorite Goodson Todman show.

Bravo Byron!

Sir Hillary 7:51 AM  

This great puzzle would have been enhanced were the NYT to allow puzzle titles during the week. I solved it so quickly that I didn't even see EDU in the grid, to say nothing of its clue as the revealer.

Anonymous 8:06 AM  

Somebody missed the point.

Suzie Q 8:26 AM  

I agree with all of the good stuff already said about today.
the clue for Latin could have included caveat esp. since they cross.
Then we have twerk. That does not pass my breakfast test. That might be the worst example of cultural decline I have ever seen. Obscene, classless, primitive, and nauseating. It's a shame because I was having fun until that word came into view.

Elision 8:36 AM  

I've lived in Philly for a decade now. People call it Penn all the time. And the revealer doesn't say that the first part of each answer *is* the URL. It says that EDU is *associated* with that first term. So it's fine.

Rug Crazy 8:37 AM  

Finished, wondering what the asterisk was about. Had to re-read all the clues. Never saw EDU

Linda Vale 8:37 AM  

From February 3, 2018 - Rex wrote of constructor Byron Walden - “I have known Byron Walden for years“.
Therefore, a glowing positive review...

Jay 8:39 AM  

Expected Rex to savage this puzzle
19 minutes for a Wednesday is on the fast side of my experience. Didn't care much for a theme that is based on names. Latin appears as an answer and as a clue.

Elision 8:40 AM  

I think he liked the cleverness it took to stack so many long answers on top of each other and still have interesting, high-quality fill. Yes, this also led to a fast solve, but that wasn't the point.

TomAz 8:40 AM  

This puzzle was fine. Never heard of DRAKE AND JOSH but it all filled in so easily from the crosses that I didn't care.

@@mericans: I graduated RICE in 1983 and can confirm that yes we did use the "that's alright" cheer you reference -- but only if we were playing Texas A&M. We had all sorts of stupid cheers. The "existential cheer": "We're from Rice, ain't that nice, who are you, do you know?" Our teams were never any good so we had to do something to keep our literally sophomoric selves amused.

Lorelei Lee 8:41 AM  

Nice fill-in-the blanks, pleasant-morning grid.

But this note is to @Brookboy. We shared the same experience with What's My Line. I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor three feet from the TV thinking that I was seeing the height of wit and sophistication. Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf, Arlene Francis. TV sent me to college and out into the world. Vast wasteland? Nuh huh.

So I just looked up the panelists and found out I was right! They actually were what they seemed to be.

"In 1933, Cerf won United States v. One Book Called Ulysses, a landmark court case against government censorship, and thereafter he published James Joyce's unabridged Ulysses for the first time in the United States."

"Kilgallen's columns featured mostly show business news and gossip, but ventured into other topics, such as politics and organized crime. She wrote front-page articles on the Sam Sheppard trial and later the John F. Kennedy assassination."

"After attending Finch College, Francis ... became an accomplished stage actress ... compiling 25 Broadway plays to her credit through 1975."

And to Anon yesterday who noted it's "we gals," that was satire son. Some of us don't want Rex's help for exactly that reason.

Carola 8:52 AM  

Well, it was nice to ace a Byron Walden puzzle for a change. I agree with others about the elegance of the theme and grid but would have enjoyed a little more resistance.

@SusieQ, after reading your post, I noticed that TWERKS is topped by IRK :)

Sheriff Woody 8:59 AM  

Definitely a “friend of Rex” review. It’s all good. You’re supposed to stick by your friends. If only he’d remember that everyone is someone’s friend.

Bruce R 9:09 AM  

I agree with Elision. EDU is associated with the colleges in that their websites end in EDU.

And TWERK? I forgot what that was so I had to look it up.

Anonymous 9:10 AM  

We get a glowing review because the puzzle was so easy that you can fill in the answers in record time. No thinking required. I guess if you dislike puzzles the way Rex usually seems to, getting it over quickly is what matters.

I found this puzzle to be Monday easy, and therefore highly disappointing. I usually skip Mondays and Tuesdays because they are too basic to be of interest. I kept waiting for the Thursday trick, but it never came. It should have been run earlier in the week.

Wm. C. 9:10 AM  

@LMS -- I made a late reply to your last post yesterday, if you care (which I understand you may not). ;-)

Z 9:13 AM  

First, the uPENN controversy... Note the actual wording of the clue, “URL ending associated with...,” uses a nice wiggle room word. EDU is, in fact, the URL ending associated with colleges and universities. Nothing was missed by Rex or Shortz because Shortz made sure the clue worked no matter the actual URL.

This felt Monday easy and the short fill is masterfully clean considering that there are six themers. Question for the constructor types here, does the use of six ANDs make it easier to fill this puzzle cleanly? I sort of think so, but the weakest short fill seems to be in the areas of the ANDs. EDOM/ENDO, the pick your spelling word HADJ.

@cwf5:44 - You took the words right out of my mouth.

Anyone else find it amusing that someone posting as “Miss Manners” has none? Manners rule number one, the only people whose manners it is okay to criticize publicly are your own children’s, and even then only if the opportunity to do it privately isn’t readily available.

Dorothy Biggs 9:19 AM  

Set a world record for me, still twice as long as it took Rex. I can't help but thinking, in a side by side solve, he would have been sitting there watching me finish the grid for as long as it took him to solve it...drumming his fingers, whistling some unrecognizable tune, occasionally looking at his watch or catching a glimpse over my shoulder and sighing. Dammit, Rex!

I wanted juJu instead of MOJO, though. That's my excuse for what slowed me down.

And the theme did help me with DRAKE...because who watches that show?

My SO and I were neck and neck in this one...which I think is we might have necked afterward. Naked necking, if you will.

Z 9:19 AM  

@Elision - Apologies. Somehow I missed you making the exact same point about “associated with.”

Nancy 9:25 AM  

No need to STOP AND THINK. I quickly scurried BACK AND FORTH, UP AND DOWN and, Bam, it was OVER AND DONE.

GILL I. 9:26 AM  

What a fun puzzle. Didn't want it to end. NO EAR, indeed. Add horse duvers.
I'm like @puzzlehoarder when it comes to spelling. My only little sit back and stare was with ORESTEIA. I figured 21A had to be CLUTCH but I've never heard the phrase "Come through in a CLUTCH." My coming through tends to end in a "jiffy."
I remember the first time I heard the word BURGLE. It might have been on Judge Judy. I'm pretty sure she corrected the defendant because she's good at that. You should hear her when somebody says "he borrowed me money." Anyway, I like the word. I've been BURGLEd several times. The worst was when the thief came into our house from the back, put our sweet Golden Retriever in the bathroom and took off with a lot of my grandmother's jewelry. The jewelry was mostly cheap imitations, so that didn't bother me, but leaving my dog in the bathroom!!!
And speaking of TP. @'merican I was in Spain in the late 60's and 70's. My favorite tapas bar experience when we first arrived: Eat off the bar, throw your discarded shrimp tails and napkins on the floor, save the toothpicks so the bar tender could count up the tapas you ate, head for the bathroom because you've had one too many chatos. Open the curtain and look at the two holes in the floor staring at you. The TP was brown paper bag type TP, cut into squares and hung on by a paper like clip. Be sure to move away from the holes before you flush from the long chain connected to the water tank. I thank my Nana for insisting that I always carry tissue with me. Hah!
@Loren I read you late last night and it made me cry. Seriously. I don't have a high degree, much less two, but I did a stint at teaching art at the American School of Madrid. I had come from Palisades High School in SoCal which was the most expensively built HS in all of California at that time. We had everything - all the Arts, beautiful science labs, a stadium for the footballers, a hockey field, ample parking for all the kids' powder blue Mustangs.
Mom was offered a teaching job at ASM and the thought of moving to Spain was so sweet to me. The school Is private and existed because of donations. My senior year was held in an old apartment building that was rented for all the students. Very little heat, no cafeteria, rooms the size of a bedroom - and, well, maybe you get the drift. I was never happier. We had nothing and yet we had wonderful teachers that gave us everything. After I graduated, they moved to a place out in the "campo." Still bare, still no money. No one was teaching Art. I volunteered. What an experience. No money, no room, and the TP was still that old brown paper. Humbled me no end.
My sister ended up teaching at ASM for over 25 years. Her daughter does so now. The pressures, the politics, the rules, the fear of terrorism, the bureaucracy is mind boggling. They stay because of their love of teaching. I couldn't hack it now - even if you paid me for being the Art Teacher.
Good luck to you and your fellow teachers. And, by the way, close to 90% of all graduates from ASM continued on to the DUKES RICE DRAKES PENNS AND SMITHS of this WORLD. No need for shiny glass windows in the cafeteria, good dedicated teachers will certainly show you the trees out there.

Nancy 9:27 AM  

No need to STOP AND THINK. I just scurried UP AND DOWN, BACK AND FORTH, and, Bam, it was OVER AND DONE.

Brian 9:32 AM  

LADES in the puzzle and LADED In the Mini —. Boo

Wm. C. 9:36 AM  

@mericans:628 -- re: your Stress Test visit to the American Hospital of Paris (in Nearby Neuilly, btw). I had cause to go there once when I lived in Paris about 30 years ago. I was shocked by how messy and outright unclean the hospital was.

Anonymous 9:38 AM  

Hurrah for the Red and the Blue

Come all ye loyal classmates now
In hall and Campus through
Lift up your loyal voices for the royal Red and Blue
Fair Harvard has her crimson old Yale her colors too
But for dear Pennsylvania we wear the Red and Blue
Hurrah Hurrah Pennsylvania
Hurrah for the Red and the Blue
Hurrah hurrah, hurrah, hurrah
Hurrah for the Red and the Blue

I'm not sure this Quaker agrees with the contorted--actually fairly tortured-- apologia for the UPenn kerfuffle. It really is

Crimson Devil 9:53 AM  

Fun smooth puz, never noticed colleges til arrived here. BURGLE a great verb.
Go Devils this eve: Tha Ceiling is Tha Roof !(23).

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

What about Orson Bean??

GHarris 10:02 AM  

Guessed edu which immediately alerted me to the theme which made completing the grid a walk in the park. Only brief hang up was the SE where I put in behave, then erased it only to restore it once I came up with caveat.

RooMonster 10:07 AM  

Hey All !
I happened to know DRAKE AND JOSH, because it was a pretty funny show, well written, even though it was aimed at Teens and Tweens. Anything funny is OK by me.

Agree on the easiness of puz. The themers were all readily gettable, filling in a large chunk quickly. Which is a good thing. Had a laugh at BSTAR, one of many (pick a letter)STARs.

@Z - I would say it doesn't make it easier to fill because the ANDs are locked in place, and you have to try to work them in cleanly. Probably made it tougher.

An overall nice triple double stack puz. Did notice the 16 long grid, proof the ole brain is still kicking!

CAVEAT is parsed as CAVE AT by me. Har.
BEHAVE reminds me of Austin Powers.
TUES on a Weds.


Airymom 10:11 AM  

Tonight's the big game: Duke vs. UNC. Hopefully, Duke has its mojo.

Crimson Devil 10:21 AM  


Hartley70 10:23 AM  

I love the word BURGLEd but not the act. When I first moved to NYC I lived on the second floor of a brownstone with two apartments PER floor. I lived in 2R for rear. When I came up the stairs after work one day, I was gobsmacked to see my very sturdy apartment door lying flat on the hallway floor. The miscreant took it right off the hinges to gain entry and make off with my meager possessions. Even more stupefying was that my neighbor in #2F was home all day and didn’t hear a thing. I later married him.....the neighbor not the thief.

This puzzle was the perfect example of why the revealer belongs at the bottom of the grid. I saw EDU quickly and filled in every long themer before I started the rest of the fill. It was frustrating because it was a lovely grid but then far too easy for a Wednesday.

Nancy 10:26 AM  

@merican (6:28) -- That Garfield strip is hilarious!

Speaking of hilarious, @merican and @TomAz -- Who cares about football prowess? I just love a university with a sense of humor. RICE sounds like a really droll place.

@Brookboy and @Lorelei Lee -- I, too, loved the Goodson-Todman shows of yesteryear. But for me, all the urbanity and sophistication of "What's My Line" (which I certainly enjoyed) couldn't hold a candle to the intoxicating will I suss out this one??? fascination of "To Tell The Truth." In the former, I already knew what the contestant's profession was and who the guest star was (they tell you), but even if I hadn't known, figuring out that someone was, say, a hatmaker to Hedda Hopper is less exciting than figuring out which of three people is lying through his teeth. The grainy old b&w episodes from the 1950s and 1960s are light-years better than the dumbed-down, exploitive, lowest-common-denominator full-color episodes that emerged in the later decades. I sometimes go back to the old shows on YouTube and watch, as enthralled as ever. But I realize I had a far better track record of sussing out the liars when I was a child and a teen. I'm wondering how this is even possible?

I recommend finding both these Goodson-Todman shows on YouTube if you've never seen them. They're great fun in and of themselves and they also open a window into an earlier and rather more civilized time. (By the way, I was in high school with Mark Goodson's daughter. Very nice, very bright, very pretty -- Mark was really handsome -- and very popular. And she never talked about being his daughter, but everyone knew it.)

Anonymous 10:27 AM  

Anon 10:07
Thanks for the gratuitous snark. Surely the Penn clue is different from all the others in that all the other schools have a url with school's name and the edu ending. Not so for Penn. It is an outlier at the very least, and surely inelegant. I think it's worth pointing out that the answer violates the general rule or flow of the puzzle. Perhaps I'm wrong though. Maybe I lack understanding. Maybe one day I can be smart, like you. Thanks again for pointing out my inadequacy. My only solace, I guess, is that I didn't go to Cornell.

David 10:30 AM  

I started with the downs, got to 7D, looked at the fill so far, and said, "Oh, how simple is this?" We have no children but we've counseled several young people over the decades about college, plus we both work in the Arts, so we know folks who have been to every one of these schools.

And pretty much no junk in the fill, no pop trivia and no sports stuff. Yay!!! I guess the solidity of the puzzle is why Rex wasn't triggered by 53A.

But yeah, would have liked more challenge. Byron, next time put pop and sports stuff in so I'm held up; thanks.

pabloinnh 10:35 AM  

For some reason I started at the bottom of this one and worked my way up. A fast climb, as many have pointed out. By the time I got to the top and EDU, the answer was so self-evident that I never read the clue and missed the theme, which is nifty.

Can second everything GILL I says about the state of TP in Madrid back in the day. Exactly describes the quality, even at the university, where sadly there frequently was none. Some of us 'mericans were thinking of importing actual wonderful (soft) TP from the USofA and selling it and becoming fabulously wealthy. Somehow we never did that.

BURGLE is a wonderful word. If you don't like saying BURGLE, you don't like saying anything. And our local HOOTENANNY is for me at least a source of joy, so nice to see that too.

Great thanks to BW. Swell puzzle.

newspaperguy 10:39 AM  

@LMS My no can do attitude can be turned around with shot of Knockando.

@merican in Paris 10:43 AM  

@TomAz 8:40 AM -- Thanks for the correction. I did not realize that the cheer was specific to Texas A&M games.

Wm. C. 9:36 AM -- Interesting. The American Hospital must have come under new management 10 years or more ago, because when I first went there, in October 2012, it already looked very spiffy. My only connection with it is because of my (French-trained, Algerian born) cardiologist, who is brilliant. The AH is more expensive than French hospitals, but still charges much less than a U.S. hospital for the same level of care. And they seem to use very modern equipment, at least in the cardiac unit.

Hartley70 10:43 AM  

BTW, @Rachael may not have prevailed last night on Jeopardy, but In my opinion her sang froid throughout her appearance was worthy of admiration. She was one cool chick!

jberg 10:49 AM  

This one would have been harder, except that -- after many DNFs due to unnoticed errors -- I now check any crosses that fill themselves in. Otherwise, I would not have noticed the revealer, even though it was up there on the top. Once I had that, the theme answers were all obvious (except DRAKE AND JOSH), so this went in really fast.

PENN is an outlier, in that it's an abbreviation for what's really known as the University of Pennsylvania, whereas the others are all the actual names (with 'university' or 'college' tacked on). But it's what people call it, so OK.

ALGA is EERIE -- I guess it's a word, but I'm not sure you can have just one.

Today's a Byron Walden twofer (if not more), as he also constructed the AVC puzzle. This one's OK, but too easy -- the AVC one is brilliant. (And yesterday's constructor also did the one in the Boston Globe, my local paper. They've dropped Plagiarizin' Tim and have been running some pretty good puzzles.)

I'm emulating @Nancy and writing this before reading any comments; so I may be back if any of you have said anything interesting.

Pete 10:50 AM  

I never heard of DRAKE, either the school nor the titular TV show character. Ever curious, I looked up Drake University, and was not impressed. It's small, and when one looks up its rankings they are filled with such prestigious entries such as "5th among Iowa Regional universities in Agricultural Science". Its best ranking was "2nd among Iowa Regional universities in Actuarial Science". Now, back in the day Actuarial Science was brutally hard, that is, before computers took over the world. I can't imagine there's much need for real-live actuaries any more, what you need is a Python programmer versed in one of the 20+ Actuarial packages. Finally, how many "Iowa Regional Universities" offer Actuarial Science as a major? We know there are two, are there any other? Does DeMoine State offer Actuarial Science? The final nail in the coffin of Drake University is that their best known graduate is Jeremy Piven. Jeremy Piven. The actor so typecast in roles of a smarmy, arrogant, misogynist bullies that one has to wonder.

Banana Diaquiri 10:57 AM  

I grew up in Spfld. MA and live near Hartford, but I didn't immediately get SMITHANDWESSON. shame (:

OTOH, for those lamenting that they went to a state school, University of Pennsylvania isn't one. and the University of New Jersey is called Rutgers. and there really should be a Sam Houston Institute of Technology.

lastly, all those for-profit 'colleges' (I'm talkin to you Trump U) get to use EDU when, by rights, they should be sequestered in the COM space where they belong.

QuasiMojo 11:00 AM  

I wasn’t going to pipe in about TP but Gill’s anecdote inspired me to recollect about the summer so spent in Greece in 1972 and was shocked to find that several bathrooms or w.c.’s didn’t have any tissue. Just comic books. The Asterix and Popeye type. Not Spider-Man.

CT2Napa 11:01 AM  

In conversation do you say "I went to Penn" or "I went to UPenn"

Unknown 11:01 AM  

In fact, the University of Pennsylvania does own the domain They just choose not to use it - or to have it misused .


deerfencer 11:02 AM  

Smooth, fun puzzle featuring the little known, up-and-coming Brit comedy duo, Twerk & Burgle. What's not to like?

albatross shell 11:06 AM  

Fun solve. Likes: the ending with O words.
TAGTEAMS supplementing 3 doublestacks of pairs.
TIN crossing TIN.
THE "corners" BE HE AN WE JO some of which are double corners.
Yes the HE goes up and corners are not a thing. Just happen to notice.

Anonymous 11:09 AM  

Whew! Easy! But still fun. Thanks very much Mr. Walden, I enjoyed it a lot.

Malsdemare 11:10 AM  

I'm not complaining, per se, but I look forward to Wednesday because I expect it to be a little harder than the early week. This was awfully easy. However, in its favor I, of course, needed the revealer to catch the theme. I don't think of RICE AND BEANS as being Latin American; more Creole in my mind but I'm a terribly unadventurous eater and expect I am wrong. I liked seeing MOJO, CLUTCH, and BURGLE here as I imagined CLUTCHing my MOJO as the BURGLEr crawls through my window. Oh, and ORESTEIA? What's up with that? I "knew" it was ORESTEs so that extra box just sat there and gave me the finger. Needed crosses to get that one.

I am apparently doomed to forever forget how to spell Lee ANG's last name. And since this time the elusive last letter was crossed with someone I don't know, I had to experiment to get it right. I suppose someone out there will call me on being inconsistent — having a dnf on a puzzle I think is really easy — so be it.

Off topic (mea culpa) Trevor Noah's riff on Democratic scandals as unearthed by Fox news is awfully funny. I think you can see it here.

Now to see what y'all have to say.

Anonymous 11:15 AM  

Wow! Just wow. Actuaries are very highly compensated professionals. Insurance would cease to exist without them.
As for Drake, I can't vouch for its curriculum but it is fairly famous for its relays. Track and field doesn't draw a lot of interest in the States ( Olympic 100 meters excepted) but I like the fact that Drake and Penn have two of the oldest ( maybe Penn's is THE oldest?) track and field relays in the country.

Why yes, I have died on the back stretch of the track at Franklin Field. Thanks for asking.

Troy McClure 11:15 AM  

You might remember me from such films as The Greatest Story Ever Hula-ed and They Came To Burgle Carnegie Hall

jberg 11:16 AM  

@Gill, @Loren, @mericans -- I found myself musing about "bath tissue" too. It's euphemism piled on euphemism. First we started calling toilets (to rest of the world) "bathrooms," then even that got too explicit so we dropped the "room" -- not sure where it will all end.

I had to look up Loren's avatar, a phrase I'd never heard. Hmmm.

@Suzie Q, you definitely should NOT do the other Byron Walden puzzle I mentioned in my earlier post, it goes way beyond twerking.

Anonymous 11:19 AM  

You missed your chance. Better to have said the state university of New Jersey is Rutgers. It is however not the College of New Jersey. (that's a separate institution formerly called Trenton state.
Like your proposed institute's name though.

Anonymous 11:19 AM  

I got naticked at Ang and goodson. but I like that Hadj crossed with bad mojo.

jberg 11:21 AM  

Oh yeah, I forgot about the Bugler warning (see @Loren); I've got a guy who plays trumpet two houses away, but if he started playing Reveille at daybreak I'd call the police. I was a little suspicious of the sign, and the listed website doesn't work -- but if you search for it you do find an Operation Bumblebee operated by the Metropolitan police (aka Scotland Yard).

Three times and out.

Aketi 11:41 AM  

Ah yes, NO EAR and horse duvers. My Dear Departed Dad was fond of horse duvers, but NO EAR did escape his lips from time to time all with a glint in his eye.

My experience with the one-PLY-rough-as-sandpaper-imported-from-China bath tissue was when I taught biology and chemistry in a Catholic high school during my Peace Corps service. The inflation rate was logarithmic and Peace Corps paid us once every three months. So in order to make ends meet we all bought in bulk. We were in the northeast where the main distribution of nonlocal goods was via train and the train only arrived sporadically. As unpleasant as the one PLY bath tissue was, it was better than the alternative of no PLY. So I bought an entire palate of the one PLY. Enough to easily last the two years of my service. I stored it under the stairway. Sadly, even though the house itself was brick, a termite invasion discovered my stash. My neighbors had taught me the solution for getting rid of vermin in rice, which was to spread the grains out on a very flat woven basket in the hot sun. So I used the same technique on the one PLY. The chickens next door were delighted and helped accelerate the termite extermination with gusto. I salvaged enough of the one PLY to survive, but it had to be folded over with care to avoid the holes that the termites had created. .

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

I can so hear 'a Mark Goodson Bill Todman production' in my head. My misspent adolescence.

Lewis 11:44 AM  

@jberg -- I believe the Boston Globe puzzle comes from Universal Syndicate which is now edited by David Steinberg.

Masked and Anonymous 11:47 AM  

I was just sure that the post-AND themer parts were gonna be somethin of interest. But, if SERVE + DUCHESS + BEANS + JOSH + WESSON + TELLER has a common thread, it's one heckuva meta.

As is, this WedPuz is amazin, tho. Has somethin for everyone …

1. 15x16 grid. More for yer money. Comes in extra handy, for stackin them two central themers.
2. Guest jaws of themelessness, in the NW & SE corners. Comes in handy, for stackin them N & S twin themers with their 13- & 14- lengths.
3. EDOM. har. Better clue: {Going in reverse mode??}.
4. BSTAR crossin BEANS. Appropriate, too. M&A don't know beans about star species.
5. ORESTEIA. U could tell m&e it stars Drake and Josh Brolin, and fool the M&A. Suffered a slight impecuniosity of precious nanoseconds.
6. CLUTCH. ALLWET. TWERKS. BURGLE. AMARETTO. Mighty neat bonus words.
7. Twin JO-JO stack.
8. A polite sprinklin of U's. Lil darlins.

staff weeject pick: EDU. Theme revealer that almost needed a spoiler alert on it.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Walden. I'da MOWED this puppy down, if it weren't for #'s 3, 4, and 5.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Banana Diaquiri 11:55 AM  

Actuaries are very highly compensated professionals. Insurance would cease to exist without them.

yes to the former; earning full Fellow of ASA is mind boggling.

not so much to the latter; most actuarial work is just re-hashing long existent time series data. most large cost events are rare, and stating a probability to drive rates for such is just guess work. 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Maria and such demonstrate that. although the P&C carriers are actively incorporating 'guesses' measuring global warming's effect on liability; I know, it's just a Chinese (or is it Bulgarian?) hoax. here's one item:

JOHN X 11:58 AM  

Ever since I got my first colonoscopy (and followed the instructions for the night before) I have sworn off toilet paper in favor of pre-moistened aloe-infused baby wipes. There is simply no going back. That's why I always have a smile on my face.

You can buy a years supply of them at Costco for $25. And they make travel packs that fit benignly in your luggage, whether checked baggage or carry-on. Are you traveling to some dump in Occupied Europe that still provides scraps of newspaper in their "lavs" and "loos" and other abominations? Bring some good ol' American baby wipes!

But, you ask, what about customs? What if they question why you have baby wipes when you are not traveling with an infant? Just use this well-tested line:

CUSTOMS AGENT: Monsieur, why do you carry thees wipes when you haff no eenfant?

LOYAL AMERICAN: Listen bub, I ain't got a baby now but I sure as shit ain't leavin' without one, and there's not a goddam thing you can do about it.

CUSTOMS AGENT: Yes, monsieur!! *stamp* *stamp* *stamp* Proceed!!!

That's how it's done, folks.

Hungry Mother 12:06 PM  

I went to Villanova for undergraduate studies and Penn State for graduate studies. Just adding college names to the list. In Philly, where I drove a Yellow Cab for a summer, we called it PENN. I had a junior high schoolmate at Bala Cynwyd (how many can pronounce it correctly?) whose father was a Brit who taught at Penn. Through the friend, I had access to the pool and other gym facilities. Also, I watched many a Big Five game at PENN’s Palestra, usually with my buddy from St. Joes. Yo!

Anonymous 12:09 PM  

You say I went to U Penn. Penn is Penn State.

Master Melvin 12:18 PM  

No, BURGLE is a fine word. BURGLARIZE is silly.

Anonymous 12:21 PM  

@Miss Manners - In poor taste? You're supposed to flush it, not eat it.

Lorelei Lee 12:51 PM  

@Banana and @anon/11:15 there are some great jokes out there demonstrating the sparkling wit of actuaries, which as you probably know can be found here:

Gems like this one: Old actuaries never die; they just get broken down by age and sex.

I don't care what anyone says. You guys are way funnier than CPAs.

Brainpan 1:10 PM  

Came here to see you complain about "TWERKS". Disappointed.

Sir Hillary 1:12 PM  

Best actuarial stereotype* joke I know:
Q: How do you identify an outgoing actuary?
A: He stares at your shoes while speaking.

* The few actuaries I know are actually a lot of fun.

But wait...people call PENN "UPenn" and Penn St. "PENN"? That's the best joke of all.

Teedmn 1:21 PM  

This was a fine, easy Wednesday even after I had to wait for crosses on ORESTEIA and DRAKEANDJOSH. I liked seeing ALL WET, one of my Mom's phrases, and SCOLD isn't commonly seen in crosswords (not as vowel friendly as the more popular REAM? 78 uses of SCOLD, 270 for REAM per

@LMS, PER your story about your Dad and NOIR, I listen to a college radio station which plays works by Toro Y Moi, a name that is purposely a mish-mash of Spanish and French. I don't know how many times I've heard the college student-DJ announce it as Toro Y "Moy". I just shake my head - haven't these kids ever heard Miss Piggy and her "moi"?

Thanks, Byron Walden, nice job.

Anonymous 1:25 PM  

Anonymous 12:09,
You could not be more wrong. You say Penn. Upenn is a very new phenomenon. I assure you no one, I mean no one said Upenn in the 80s or 70s or 60s etc.
And even now Penn is vastly more common. I'm working across the hall from a man who graduated from there in the 00's and a woman from the class of `15. ( An All-ivy in a sport I'll not name),All of us said Penn when we wre there. We all still say Penn. It's Penn. It's commonly mistaken for Penn state. So what. that doesn't meake penn state Penn. Argh! Did I mention it's Penn?

Anonymous 1:27 PM  

hungry mother,
I can pronounce Bal Cynwyd correctly. you can't see the main line from Penn, but you can see the Schuykill--which I can also pronounce correctly.

Banana Diaquiri 1:27 PM  

You guys are way funnier than CPAs.

that's easy to explain: a CPA is only capable of arithmetic, while stat/quant/actuary can do higher math. we have pi day. CPAs don't even have debit day.

Z 1:28 PM  

Okay everybody, say it five times quickly: a slight impecuniosity of precious nanoseconds.

Apparently, “Oh, I get it now,” is beyond the capabilities of upennsylvanians.

Anoa Bob 1:34 PM  

Many an NRA member owns a SMITH AND WESSON.

Let me ADD TO the scintillating ass-wipe conversation by noting that back in the day, when a new Sears and Roebuck arrived, the previous one was transferred to the outhouse. They were the size of a big city phone book and, at the rate of two or three pages per visit, usually would last until the next edition came along. If not, plan B was some dried corn cobs.

I wonder what they used at ETON.

Harvard grad 1:35 PM  

No, you say "I am a douche bag."

Anonymous 1:46 PM  

To hell, to hell with Pennsylvania (repeat) To hell with the P of U!

Some of you might recognize that ditty.

Easy puzzle even with ORESTEIA.

Gave OFL a chance to congratulation himself on his rapid solve and have some words of praise for a change.

Anonymous 1:48 PM  

@ anonymous 1:45 add...PU.

Crimson Devil 1:50 PM  

Yeah, I’ve heard that Sicilian actuaries take that fine art to an even higher level; common actuaries can tell you exactly how many folks will die next year, but Sicilian actuaries can tell ya exactly who it’s gonna be !

Joe Dipinto 2:02 PM  

Too easy. A random collection of univs, some well-known, some not-so. Okay then...

MM 2:03 PM  

So that's it....

Mr Whipple 2:09 PM  

Today's blog will be complete when someone offers a discourse on the toilet paper used at the University of Pennsylvania and how it is used.

Banana Diaquiri 2:12 PM  

well... as to bathroom habits: at least the failing Europeans have the bidet.

Cletus 2:12 PM  

The things you learn on this blog. I didn’t even know UPenn was in the Ivy League.

Masked and Anonymous 2:21 PM  

Ahar! ...

SERVE--> Supply. [or Serve, alternately]
DUCHESS --> Aristocrat.
BEANS --> Whops.
JOSH --> Tease.
WESSON --> Oil.
TELLER --> Informant.

S + A + W + T + O + I = SAWTOI, which anagrams to IOWA ST. Another dot-EDU-er. (Go Cyclones.)


M&A Meta Help Desk

Anonymous 2:30 PM  


Anonymous 2:33 PM  

How about that Electoral College. What could go wrong?

BTW, wanted "PRES" for 59A

Lorelei Lee 2:43 PM  

@Sir Hillary, @Banana, and @Crimson - Hilarious!

tea73 3:33 PM  

I have a nit to pick. All the colleges are full names except PENN. I was surprised Rex didn't complain! I didn't think the answers needed to be URLs.

I completed it twice as fast as my average, but apparently there was a Wednesday puzzle in June of 2012 I found even easier.

Unknown 4:06 PM  

Yes@ Yes! Yes! re What's My Line.

Ornery 4:26 PM  

Smith is the real outlier because it's a college and the others are universities. And Will Shortz calls himself an editor.

CT2Napa 5:09 PM  

From HUffPost (2011) -- "Some print editions of Wednesday’s newspaper include the headline “Personal Foul at Penn” for a Maureen Dowd column that actually blasts Penn State. The column’s last line refers to “Penn scoundrels.”

Penn State, not Penn, is engulfed in allegations that a former assistant football coach sexually abused children. Students at the Penn blog “Under the Button“ are demanding an apology from Dowd and the paper."

SJones 5:41 PM  

I went to school in Philadelphia, near the University of Pennsylania, and most of the time I heard it referred to as Penn (although I have heard it referred to as UPenn on occasion).
However, I come from a Penn State family (I would have gone there but they didn't have my major), and have never heard it referred to as Penn.
We are...Penn State!

CDilly52 7:48 PM  

Me too!!!

CDilly52 7:53 PM  

Actually, the CAN DO, is what brings on a bad hair day. You ovesleep, have an un-missable class or appointment at work and you try to multitask there in the loo, not yet awake and hoping you don’t drop your curling iron in your naked lap while attending to other “business.” The CAN DO.

CDilly52 7:55 PM  

Love that number from “Guys and Dolls” and have been humming it all day long!!

CDilly52 7:56 PM  

WHAT FUN!!! Thanks to all of you for the great commentary today.

BobL 8:03 PM  

Does antbody still do the puzzle for fun?

Unknown 9:27 PM  

Twerk? Disgusting. Keep that our of my puzzle.

Unknown 10:57 PM  


Cecily 11:20 PM  

I've started a blog where I give my opinions of the crossword opiners (namely Deb and Rex). I finished this puzzle last night, and really disliked the theme. I was disappointed that Rex's rant wasn't up yet. I was expecting him to be as disappointed in the theme as I was. But alas! He found this one "gorgeous"!

You can read my thoughts here:

Anonymous 11:55 PM  

So many ignorants today. More than usual? Hard to say.
Penn is the University of Pennsylvania. Always has been.
Penn State / PSU / State is up in State College and several other campuses. It is and always was a land-grant institution, founded as the Farmers'High School of Pennsylvania.
Quakers. Nittany Lions. They can't be confused except by ignorant types who inhabit this whereabouts.

Nobody not nohow would call Penn State Penn. Nobody.

Meanwhile, the erstwhile College of New Jersey now goes by the moniker Princeton University. So there's that.


Anonymous 11:48 AM  

"Haven't seen you in ages."
"Haven't seen you in eons". Maybe.
"Haven't seen you in eras." Uh-Uh.

spacecraft 10:00 AM  

Misplaced. With those clues, should've appeared on Monday. But "clean?" INDS, BSTAR, ADDTO...? Well, there you have it--the buddy system. The only thing that explains OFL's comment. If you're not besties with the Rexster, look out!

A bunch of schools appearing on the front end of "-and-" phrases. Okay, though I never heard of DRAKEANDJOSH. Points for theme density, I guess, but I certainly wouldn't call it "clean." Par.

Burma Shave 10:19 AM  


ANYTHING BAD at the TABLE just means
there’s a CAVEAT to ADDTO the feedin’.


rondo 11:17 AM  

@spacey couldn't have hit the nail more on the head, I have nothing to ADDTO that. Pick your own BSTAR yeah baby.

Uke Xensen 11:23 AM  

Easy, but boring and joyless.

leftcoastTAM 2:41 PM  

Can't believe it's a Wednesday. Only pause in walking unhindered through this one was DRAKE AND JOSH, whoever they are. Paid no attention to EDU. TAG (as in names) TEAMS might have been the revealer as well.

Not complaining, mind you.

rainforest 2:54 PM  

Easy, but fun.

The fact that the 6(!) themers are arrayed in 3 stacks of 2 whilst keeping the grid clean and dreck-free is impressive.

"Slight impecuniosity of nanoseconds" from M&A - priceless.

Diana, LIW 2:57 PM  

Nae nae - 'twasn't easy - you're all jut becoming brilliant. You outta be at a tournament. (Like @Rondo, who won a prize in Minnesota!)

No prizes for me, but nice allusions to some fine academic institutions.

Diana, You Know Who

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