Cheers in Berlin / MON 5-27-19 / Desert crossed by ancient Silk Road / Old office worker who took dictation

Monday, May 27, 2019

Constructor: Bruce Haight

Relative difficulty: Easy (2:42) (undersized grid, tho) (14x15)

THEME: MULTIPLE CHOICE (58A: Kind of test ... and a hint to a word hidden three times each in 16-, 22-, 38- and 48-Across) — the word is "OR"

Theme answers:
  • CORPORATE WORLD (16A: What M.B.A.s enter upon graduation)
  • WORD FOR WORD (22A: Verbatim)
  • TORONTO RAPTORS (38A: Canadian team in the N.B.A.)
  • HORROR STORY (48A: Tale that might feature a haunted house)
Word of the Day: PROST (33D: "Cheers!," in Berlin)
One of the most important Oktoberfest words, prost is German for ‘cheers’ (and is useful outside Oktoberfest contexts, as well!). You will notice that Oktoberfest visitors like having a toast before drinking, a so-called Prosit. Alternatively, you could also say ‘Zum Wohl’ (‘To your health’). ("18 Essential Words for Oktoberfest" at Oxford Dictionaries)
• • •

This isn't a good representation of what a MULTIPLE CHOICE exam is (there are no "OR"s involved) and hiding "OR" doesn't seem like that great a feat (even if you are hiding it 3x) and there are far too many stray "OR"s around the grid. If you wanna put all your eggs or OVULEs or whatever in the "OR" basket then no WORN, no SNORE, no ODOR. If you're gonna do a theme, and especially if you're gonna do it with a meager, emaciated grid, at least do it cleanly. The long Downs are pretty good, but the rest of the fill is quite stale. I was tired of this thing already by the time I hit the north (BEAUT, OER (!), BAA, OUT OF, STENO, ONO, SAO ... it's a lot to take in one gulp). OD ON and ON CD are not good and especially not good in the same grid. NEYO LETO PSST TSAR, ECO x/w ECON ... there's just an accretion of crosswordesey stuff. You're allowed a little, but come on. The only real positive thing I have to say about this thing is that it's oddly, coincidentally timely, in that the central answer, the TORONTO RAPTORS, literally just this past weekend (Saturday, to be exact) advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time ever. So if you wanna read this as a little shout-out, a little low-key tribute to KAWHI-have-I-never-been-in-a-crossword-grid Leonard et al, then cool. I can live with that.

Didn't know ADLER (though I guess I've heard of the planetarium, in retrospect) and really didn't know PROST. Oh good, looks like it's very uncommon—only third time I've seen it in my blogging lifetime, and I've never seen it on a Monday before today (other times: Sat., Wed.). We went 17 years between PROST appearances (2000-17). Let's revisit those halcyon days. Well, maybe not the Bush years, but def. the Obama era—blissfully PROST-free. OD ON crossing LETS DIE is pretty morbid. I tried to make TURBOCHARGE happen before realizing it had too many letters. Slightly wrong kind of OOMPH, I guess. Anyway, hope you enjoyed this more than I did. Better luck (for me) tomorrow!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


puzzlehoarder 12:29 AM  

This was one of those Mondays you can really fly through. On 10D I did start putting in CHARGE before I saw it wouldn't fit and had to change it to BOOST. The only clue I had to pass on was the one for PROST. I knew basically what I was looking for but the hesitation was as much a spelling issue.

I did notice STAB and ADLER being back and crossing each other at that. NEYO was a near repeat of NEY.

The RELAY portion of 29D was the one other thing I hesitated on. One cross was about all that needed.

LETO and SITH were about as far out there as this puzzle got and they've both been beaten in for years.

Runs with Scissors 1:31 AM  

Standard Monday. If you’ve been crosswording for a while, this type can be pedestrian. I don’t ever find them boring, simply because the solving process, regardless of how easy it may be, is enjoyable.

It wasn’t a HORROR STORY. It wasn’t a MULTIPLE CHOICE test. It even had a sport clue as a themer – and I pay no attention to sports. At. All. Honestly, I don’t know what sport the TORONTO RAPTORS play. Oh, wait, the clue includes NBA, so I’ll go out on a limb and say basketball…

We even got the requisite Star Wars clue with the SITH. People that freak out over Star Wars clues – which are most definitely in the current lexicon – puzzle me. I mean, I can’t understand the fascination with professional sports, but I don’t wig out over the clues that refer to them. I just solve.

25D – I had DEVON for the longest time, because I started with Devil. What the heck was OOVPH??? That cost me trillions of picoseconds. Har.

The clue for AUDI was a hoot. Both AUDI and BMW are overpriced vehicles banking on the panache of their respective badges. And for anyone who didn’t choke on the clue from a while back (I don’t remember the date) BMW is an initialism, not a name in and of itself: Bayerische Motoren Werke auf Deutsch; Bavarian Motor Works in English.

27D, LETO – whenever that name appears I cannot help but be dropped back into the world of “Dune,” by Frank Herbert. If you have not read it, you are the poorer for that. Just sayin’.

No SPATTER. Not a SNORE. I wouldn’t SMEAR this puzzle. This was, to me, a perfect beginner puzzle.

Liked it.

Mark, in Mickey’s North 40

jae 2:08 AM  

Medium. An odd theme that kinda works. Like it a little bit more than @Rex did.

@Rex and Puzzlehoarder - I too ran out of room putting in TURBOcharged.

Larry Gilstrap 2:09 AM  

Three gridspanners and two more long themers aren't enough for a Monday, apparently. I wrote more than a few exam questions over the years, and the revealer got me to thinking about the three ORs. Sure enough, given a choice of A,B,C, OR D, the theme works. Remember being offered E: none of the above, OR all of the above? Devilish.

Now you try it. Moby-Dick setting as a test question and your choices are: New Bedford, Nantucket, the Pequod, every ocean on the planet, OR all of the above, OR none of the above. Moment of Zen: complex decisions are really binary on closer inspection.

On a serious note, anybody ever have to be involved in an end of life decision? If not, you probably will. 27A clue and answer resonate in my real life experience. Try to do what's best for the beloved.

Dialog in Arthur Miller's The Crucible was based on court transcripts from the SALEM Witch Trials, or so I've heard. "More weight."

chefwen 3:11 AM  

Noticed the undersized grid, interesting, saw Bruce Height and thought O.K. This might be a challenging Monday, Yay! Not so. I don’t think I have ever filled in a puzzle more quickly. My only pause was at 46A when I started to fill in SPLATTER until I ran out of squares and had to settle for SPATTER.

Way to easy, even for a Monday.

Frog Prince Kisser 4:24 AM  

Gave puzzle a high scORe!
ImplORe Mr. Haight for mORe!

Lewis 5:55 AM  

The puzzle has nothing to do with multiple choice exams; it is simply a play on words for the phrase "multiple choice". OR is a choice word, and it shows up multiple times in the theme answers. That's the theme, and, IMO, it works.

It is also good constructing -- 67 theme squares in a shortened grid, and still, somehow, practically free of crosswordese. How was the solve (the most important question)? Quick, smooth, Mondayish, speedy workabout for the recall and for the solving muscles. An excellent puzzle for the new solver to chew on and have experience with the concept of theme, I think. Mondays are for new solvers. If there are any new solvers here, I'd love to hear what you thought of it before reading any reviews or comments!

The puzzle is also an ode to O. Eight words start with that letter and nine end with it (plus wannabes HOBOS and TORONTO). O, the places you'll go!

Loren Muse Smith 6:30 AM  

Bruce! No! Just as I’m winding down ten (yes ten, not nine) months of writing MULTIPLE CHOICE TESTS, you have to remind me. Note to fledgling teachers – there’s this miracle site, Teachers Pay Teachers, where you can find all kinds of tests and stuff that will save you hours of time in prep. You can see reviews about what other teachers say about the thing and then buy it for as low as a couple of dollars. So like, I can buy a 100-multiple choice question test on Steinbeck’s The Pearl. Then I can cherry pick questions, tweak questions, modify blah blah blah and bam, I’ve just added three or four hours of Bravo TV time to my weekend. Hah.

I’m with @Runs – “I don’t ever find them boring, simply because the solving process, regardless of how easy it may be, is enjoyable.” You speaka my language, buddy. Any puzzle is fun to solve and looking for the other phrases with three ORs was a perfect Monday morning diversion.

One quick glance at the clue for 45D with “desert” and “Silk” had me going chocolaty sugary for a minute. Rushing through everything and being flummoxed – well, call that my just deserts.

I kept thinking about the word “friendly” that follows a prefix. It’s pretty sweet, right? ECO-friendly. As regards the environment, we’re convivial and welcoming. Pet-friendly, child-friendly, LGBT-friendly, family-friendly… but let’s not be fake-as-hell-emotional-support-animal-friendly. You people, if there are any of you reading this, should be ashamed. A. Shamed. I’m not talking about the bona fide ESA people; you’re fine. I’m talking about the French Bulldog owners (what is it with French Bulldogs that brainwash owners into being fawning, obsessed, exhausting goo balls?) who wanna take little Tubby everywhere? We don’t all want little Tubby panting in our face on a crowded flight. (Heads-up – I’m a dog lover extraordinaire, and I have friends with service dogs, true badass service dogs, so I resent the sham letters anyone can get declaring their pet whatever to be an emotional support animal.)

I’ve said here before, the worst HORROR STORY I ever heard was delivered by my cousin Lance. Often and embellished, it starred a chicken-legged lady. I cannot communicate to you the terror that story evoked in me. It was physical.

Bruce – gee thanks for reminding me of the drudgery I’m leaving behind for two (yes two, not three) months. I’ll leave you with this: He who eats boiled cabbage before Wednesday night church service sits in PEW.

pabloinnh 7:42 AM  

Got JIM dandy right away which made me think of "Jim Dandy to the Rescue" which is goofy and catchy and now it won't go away.

Didn't we just have another ADLER?

@LMS-Totally agree with your take on the French bulldog people. Besides taking them everywhere, they seem possessed with dressing them up and taking their pictures and bombarding you with said pictures. Who are these people? I need to get an "I Don't Love Your Dog" t-shirt and be able to expose it as needed. I mean, come on you guys.

Good zippy Monday. Thanks BH, I always like your stuff.

Jamie C 7:59 AM  

Rex is gonna shoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oot the whole day down!

Nancy 8:10 AM  

No thinking required in filling it in. I agree with @chefwen: that it's too easy even for a Monday. But as far as @Tita's Rule goes-- that you haven't solved the puzzle unless you guess the theme from the theme answers -- well I wouldn't have guessed MULTIPLE CHOICE in a million years.

I thought HORROR STORY might be the theme. RAPTORS. LETS DIE. SITH (Don't know who they are, but if they're foes of the Jedi, they must be evil, right?) EERIE. STAB. SPATTER. DEMON. SALEM. RIOTS. ALAS. And as far as the CORPORATE WORLD is concerned: All that greed. All that exploitation. Often a HORROR STORY too.

GILL I. 8:26 AM  

A nice, sweet, innocuous Monday. Nothing to fret over - except I did notice the WORN SNORE ODOR or's and I knew OFL would too.
Like JIM-dandy sitting close to BEAUT. I wonder who the original JIM was named after. Might it have been a drinkable bourbon ?
I also liked mention of WALT. I've never been a fan of poetry - perhaps because my dear sweet departed grandmother bombarded me with the likes of Ovid's Metamorphoses and some of Miltons's Paradise Lost. Her quest in life (it seemed to me) was to teach her little heathen granddaughter to speaka da eenglish good. Bad idea with poetry. Never understood it - still don't. WALT, on the other hand, wrote in a simple legible style. My brother, perhaps to convince me that not all poetry is alike, gave me "Songs of Myself" which I still have. It sits right up on the top shelf along with Dr. Seuss and his Green Eggs and Ham.
The only fruit that I like flavoring a liqueur is an orange. I enjoy Cointreau in a Whiskey Sidecar. HMM.
Love me a good HORROR STORY. H.P. Lovecraft comes to mind and anybody dressed up as a clown.
STAB, LET DIE NAB TORCH EERIE SMEAR SPATTER. You got the makings of something going on here.

Joe Dipinto 8:27 AM  

Not bad at all, but kind of a gruesome way to end the holiday weekend, what with a stabbing in the upper right corner for the second day in a row, and the apparent exhortation to, uh, drink the Kool Aid at 27a. I guess HORROR STORY was the real theme here.

The specificity of the clues for Yoko Eve and Christmas Ono was amusing. The editors are going to run out of different ways to clue "Adler" soon. May I suggest Larry, harmonica player extraordinaire, for the next occasion?

Today's playlist:
"Jim Dandy" by LaVern Baker
"That Lady" by The Isley Brothers
"Free" by Deniece Williams
"Out Of This World" by John Coltrane or Chris Connor or Ella Fitzgerald or a bunch of other people

mmorgan 8:31 AM  

I agree with those who say the theme works. I also constructed my share of multiple choice exams over the years, and I remember them fondly (though I don’t really miss them). A pleasant and easy Monday and Rex didn’t seem to hate it too much.

webwinger 8:46 AM  

Did not like this theme at all. For it to really work, seems like the letter strings between ORs should have been words. Probably impossible to achieve, but still annoyed by the randomness of the connecting segments. Also seems somehow to violate the 2-letter word taboo, made worse by the presence of several 1-letter OR connectors.

I picked up a strange vibe but did not notice the 14-square width until I read Rex’s (IMO too charitable) review.

STAB appears in exactly the same place (far NE corner) with the same secondary definition as in yesterday’s puzzle. Coincidence or conspiracy? (Et tu Brute?) Speaking of conspiracies, Denver International Airport, which I frequently use, is undergoing major terminal renovation (as is Midway in Chicago, my other “home town” airport—bummer). From the time of its original construction DIA has been the subject of weird speculation about occult activity on or under its premises. The airport authority has put up some cute signs on temporary new construction barriers bearing MULTIPLE CHOICE questions about what’s going on now that include among the possible answers things such as “building new world headquarters for the Illuminati”.

Anonymous 8:56 AM  

I have a minor objection to this puzzle in that 31A, ECO, and 28D, ECON, are the same word, or at least based on the same word, deriving from the Greek for “house” (oikos). In classical moral philosophy, one studies “ethics,” dealing with how one behaved toward oneself, then expanded this to economics, or the management of the house or household, and then further outward into politics, or the polis or state. Economics dealt with subjects ranging from choosing a wife, propitious times for sexual intercourse, raising and education of children, and management of the household or agricultural estate (including slavery, farming). All this based on Aristotle (especially the Nicomachean Ethics, his Economics, and his Politics–the second of these is now regarded as early but pseudo-Aristotle). Economics (from oikos or house + nemein or “to manage”) dealt with estate-management and management in general. What we now call “economics” was called by the great economic thinkers of the 18th and 19th century “political economy” to distinguish it from simple estate-management or business management. The eco- prefix is clipped from ecology, which deals with the logos or study of the “house” or broadly defined the “human community” (I think).

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Carola 9:09 AM  

My thought was, Nice solid Monday, good for a beginner. That was before the comments drew my attention to the gory undertones and I noticed HORROR STORY x SALEM and ROPES -- according to Wikipedia, "More than 200 people were accused, 19 of whom were found guilty and executed by hanging (14 women and 5 men) -- and DEMON hovering over the name of the town.

QuasiMojo 9:12 AM  

I think I had more fun reading all of Kierkegaard’s “Either/Or.”

Nancy 9:25 AM  

@Joe Dipinto -- I eagerly look forward to the next (2nd) installment of "The Green Paint Mystery", begun last night at 9:30 (by me) and promised to be continued today (by you). ALAS, I will probably not be here to read it in the next many hours, since I am running out to the park, but it will be the first thing I look for when I get home. I am expecting great, unexpected things to happen in the plot, Joe, and dangerous things -- though not HORROR STORY things; it's a mystery after all -- to happen to the characters. (At this point we only have one character, but that is sure to change.)

Everyone is invited to contribute. The more people who do, the sooner the novel will be finished and the longer it will be. Perhaps better, too. Perhaps not :)

While this was all Joe's idea, I actually have some experience with the spoof-y group-written story. When I was at the Literary Guild, a bloody awful novel called "Naked Came the Stranger" arrived in manuscript. Maybe 5 or 6 of us editors decided we could do at least as well. One wag decided our title should be "Stranger Than Naked". And what followed was really, really strange.

I don't remember a thing about it. Not a thing. Except that it was great fun to write and that it was never published :)

ghkozen 9:42 AM  

PROST is a very common German loan word; in my experience it is about 10x more often used in English than, say, salut. Absolutely belongs in the grid. Let’s get more common German more often.

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

Not sure about what's unfamiliar with "prost." Very familiar and mainstream toast albeit not in xwords.

Z 10:10 AM  

If you’re going to break a rule there should be a damn good reason for doing it. I can’t see anything about this puzzle that justifies going 14x15. Please don’t explain about the grid-spanners. These just are not sparkly enough to justify making the grid only 14 squares wide.

@Runs with Scissors late yesterday- More of a forehanded insult. Mediocre but sells more than anyone else. I worked in a party store back in the ‘80’s (i.e. a store with a few groceries, but mostly selling beer, wine, and maybe liquor) and our Anheuser-Busch sales were over half our sales. For all the noise about craft brewing and the explosion of styles and creativity, pilsners, and especially Budweiser, will be consumed at quantities that far outstrip the good stuff at cook-outs across America today.

David Schinnerer 10:29 AM  

Who would have guessed that Mikey would not like a Bruce Haight puzzle? Would love to see if Bruce submitted one under a nom de plume, how Mike would review it.

Liked it fine, Monday should be. Just a quick diversion before cleaning up the barbecue and icing down the cervezas.

Lewis 10:35 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

1. July 4, 1776, for one: Abbr. (3)
2. Opening of an account (9)
3. Mass movement (8)
4. Push-ups, e.g. (8)
5. Establishments whose products might be described by this answer + H (5)


RooMonster 10:41 AM  

Hey All !
Happy Memorial Day! Let's all remember the men and women who defended and who still defend the good ole USA.

Liked this "or" puz. Simple theme, easy gets, plus an apt Revealer to tie it all in a pretty bow.

Agree with the -ese-ness of puz, if you remember that puz from a few days ago, that had the Sixteen themers, that one had less -ese/dreck than this one. Just throwin' that out there.

Anyway, found an easy fix for one of the rouge ORs, 18D to WARN/20A to ONA. Still working on the other two. That actually doesn't bother me, extraneous ORs.

4 double EEs today, two double OOs, and a TT, MM, SS, RR. Not sure why they jumped out at me today. HMM. (Har)

Only writeover was as others, started with SPLATTE, oops, ran out of room. Ah, SPATTER. My grease tends to splutter. :-)

Raise a glass and toast (PROST) to the Military.


Northwest Runner 10:43 AM  

Pretty tame for a Bruce puzzle. Didn't even notice the reduced grid. In other news, prost seemed like something I'd seen recently and had to google for the date, it appeared on May 9 in Newsday.

Brian 10:57 AM  

Multiple choice questions require a choice of answers A or B or C or None or All. Lots of ORs. (:Notice that this example provides an impossible choice:)

Ein Prosit! 11:25 AM  

I took German in HS and then revisited it via Duolingo not long ago. I can speak 66% German! Which means I don't understand every 3rd word. For example: It is soidfu that osidfos you find foidufds it and osidfd. In other words, 66% is still not enough.

Anyway...from my HS days we used to sing "Ein Prosit," which is a drinking song ostensibly. I seem to remember seeing it written and there was a contraction, a la "PROS'T," in there. Looking on Google, both mean cheers, but I don't know if "prost" is actually "prosit" but spelled "pros't."

Haight's puzzles are all the same. Whether it be limiting a puzzle to only one vowel or doing this "OR" thing, he most often messes with the words/lettering itself and always has groaner pun clues (which I despise). You can tell a BH puzzle a mile away. If he'd construct one under a fake name (to see how RP would review it), he'd have to promise not to intentionally change his style. It's his style that RP usually objects to and it's what makes a BH puzzle a BH puzzle. So yeah, it wouldn't matter, RP would probably still not like it no matter whose name was on it. Probably more so than any other constructor, BH has a recognizable signature style. You either like 'em or you, well, haight 'em.

This one was okay, but BH is usually pretty fastidious about his puzzles' conceits...and having all of those mistakes that RP pointed out (outlier ORs, ECO/ECON, etc), makes this unusual in the Haight oeuvre. I didn't even notice the theme until I finished the grid so the vast array of ORs didn't bother me. I will say that this particular BH puzzle was free of groaner clues and so while there were a lot of OR strings (that I didn't notice), I didn't hate the solve.

So, I guess I liked it?

Preferred Customer 12:06 PM  

I'm a fan, Anon. i.e. Poggius.

webwinger 12:11 PM  

@Nancy (9:25 am): Your memory lapse re “Naked Came the Stranger” and its alleged sequel seems to have obliterated the fact that the original of that title was in fact a parody written by a group of authors to make fun of the dreck that was dominating best-seller lists at the time (mid-1960s).

relicofthe60s 12:14 PM  

PROST is pretty common, but am I the only one who never heard of NEYO, which looks like a TYPO?

Anoa Bob 12:29 PM  

Could the 14X15 size of this puzzle be called a Grid Of Convenience (GOC)? A standard 15X15 would work, given a single TORONTO RAPTOR (13 letters), rather than the whole team, in the middle slot. Deviating from the standard size strikes me as being like writing a Shakespearean sonnet with only 13 rather than 14 lines or a haiku poem with 16 rather than 17 syllables just because it would be more convenient, i.e., easier.

Lewis @5:55, I was surprised when you said that "The puzzle has nothing to do with multiple choice exams", when the clue for the reveal says "Kind of test...". I think MULTIPLE CHOICE, without being connected somehow to "exam" or "test", is a partial.

When I was a TA in grad school, we had to write MULTIPLE CHOICE exam questions and then have them critiqued by each other and the professor in charge. Turns out a good MC test question is hard to write. All the choices need to be equally plausible to someone who doesn't know the material being tested and at the same time have one clearly correct answer while the others are clearly wrong to someone who knows the material being tested.

MC hint of the day: If you are taking a MC test and you haven't the slightest idea what the correct answer to a question is, choose option C. For some reason, constructors are more likely to place the correct answer in that slot than in any others, i.e., A, B OR D.

Fountains of Golden Fluids 1:15 PM  

Does anyone remember laughter?

Uncle Alvarez 1:16 PM  

Now that’s comedy!

Masked and Anonymous 1:23 PM  

This MonPuz was [pick one]:
* S or
* TA or
* NERYF or
* or all of the above.

14x15 grid. NYTPuz is startin to turn runty. Like.

staff weeject pick: OER. Seems almost theme-related.


Thanx, Mr. Haight.

p.s. Everyone have a great Memorial Day.

One of the first runtpuzs, ever:

FrostMo 1:37 PM  

Very close to a PB, but had to go back and find ODON where I had OlON and LETlIE instead of LETDIE. Puzzle was fine, breezy, and did love TORONTORAPTORS being in there (though the clue was cake) 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

Bourbon Street 1:52 PM  

According to today’s Chicago Tribune, May 27, 1647 “the first recorded execution of a ‘witch’ took place in Massachusetts.” A true HORROR STORY from SALEM.

OffTheGrid 2:43 PM  

Dear Moderator,

Have we not seen enough of @Fountains of Golden Fluids' frequent and inane comment, "Does anyone remember laughter?" It has become annoying. Anything you can do would be appreciated.

NYT Calling 2:51 PM  

Exactly @webwinger and @Nancy. Hard to tell who is had who with your yarn from the Lit Guild. Full expose here

Lewis 2:57 PM  

@anoa -- I just see [Kind of test] as the clue for MULTIPLE CHOICE, but I see that answer as simply a pun hinting to the fact that there are three ORs in each theme answer. I don't agree with Rex's assessment that the puzzle is supposed to be "a good representation of what a MULTIPLE CHOICE exam is". I just don't see it as having anything to do with multiple choice tests. I certainly respect Rex's and your differing point of view, though.

albatross shell 3:00 PM  

I thought the ORs were the theme because the answers on a multiple choice test are 1 OR 2 OR 3 OR 4 OR 5. It is an OR TEST. This puzzle is an OR TEST. Whether other random ORs are fORbidden OR favORed is a question fOR all. From my viewpoint having many more ORs would be fun. From Rex's it is against the official and sacred book of laws on
crossword themery. I would like to see a copy of said book. I can understand that position, but I wonder if rules were made to be broken, and if so, have as many random ORs as possible. Go wrong big league as the pres says. Oops not the way to get Rex on my side.

JC66 3:43 PM  


re: your Budweiser comment, I thought you might find this front page article from today's NYT Business Section interesting.

Hungry Mother 4:03 PM  

Very quick solve, but I didn’t get to it until mid-afternoon. Hoped for a holiday theme since I’m a vet and feel strongly about this day. It’s a day to remember that our president shirked his duty with BS injury and that most of our elected legislators never served in the military. In spite of that, I’m still a patriot and am proud to salute during our Natiional Anthem, as I did this morning before a 5K race.

Hungry Mother 4:21 PM  

As a professor of mathematics and computer science, I don’t remember constructing any multiple choice exams. Fro the midterm exam in a graduate Group Theory course, I built a very clever true/false exam where all of the answers were false. All of my students were high school math teachers who told me that a bit more than half of the ansers should be true in a well-constructed true/false exam. What I really learned from that experience was that those students weren’t very good at finding counterexamples.

A Mod 5:38 PM  

@OffTheGrid - Inanity is not one of the reasons Rex gave us to delete comments.

Anonymous 5:51 PM  

@anonymous 11:01 AM - There is no P in Binghamton.

Vanda 6:45 PM  

Hope everyone is having a pleasant Memorial Day.

One more question: What is a DOD, as in "just note a good DOD in ROBERTA Flack"? ____ of the day? Dame of the day?


jae 6:52 PM  

I’ve co-authored some journal articles and handbooks on competency-based testing. If you are a class room instructor you need to ask yourself one question about any test that you give students...”Does this test accurately assess the knowledge and/or skills I want my students to learn/acquire from taking my course?”
If the answer is no you are just being a dick and they will hate you.

jae 6:59 PM  

...oh and @Anoa Bob - One of the first rules for constructing multiple choice tests is that all answers should be equally probable. If you fail to ensure this you’re an amateur.

Unknown 7:00 PM  

@Ein Prosit 11:25 AM

Prosit is the actual German word, if'n I recall my HS German my own self. I believe it's been bastardized in English, not in German.

Either way, Prosit! to all the veterans and currently serving folk. I've got your six.

Unknown 7:23 PM  

@Off the Grid 2:43 PM

Now you've acknowledged it, and it will keep coming back thinking it's relevant. The best course of action is to completely ignore such drivel and it will go away.

Nancy 8:38 PM  

@webwinger and @ NYT Calling -- Moral of the Story: I shouldn't ever trust my memory and neither should you. That spoof took place 50 years ago, and I can barely remember what I had for dinner last night. There have to be some aspects of the anecdote I related that were accurate; it's just that I'm not sure which ones they were. I don't even remember which Literary Guild editors were involved in the spoof. Nor do I remember how much of it we actually wrote. (Probably not all that much).The only thing I'm absolutely sure of: The title of our parody was "Stranger Than Naked" and it was someone else's title, not mine.

What you all should know is: Even my best-remembered memories tend to be fuzzy. And this was far from being one of my most vivid memories. So my bad.

kitshef 9:55 PM  

Finally, a GoT clue I can answer.
WORN feels like an unforced error. Could have had WARN crossing ONA and avoided the non-theme OR. The others are not so easy to fix.

Joe Dipinto 10:03 PM  


Part 1

Long before anyone saw it or touched it, Jonathan smelled it. It was a very faint smell because it was still wet. Paint smells the worst when it's drying -- not when the paint has just been applied. It's counter-intuitive, but it's something most people are aware of. But not Jonathan. How could he have known such a thing back then? He was only seven.

Years later he would think: Such a tiny, seemingly insignificant detail. And yet the anguish that was to come to so many people over so many years could have been avoided. If only the smell had nauseated him. Choked him. Suffocated him. So that he didn't simply roll over and go back to sleep...


Part 2

He was thinking about that on a May afternoon, as he slipped his favorite Claudine Longet album out of its dustjacket onto his Dual turntable and poured himself a glass of prosecco. He had invited his good friend Rudolf Steiner to stop by his apartment in Red Hook that afternoon. Rudolf was a crack piano salesman -- he once sold an Imperial Bõsendorfer to internationally famous concert artist Henry Orient -- and a keen adventurer, and had also acquired a reputation as a bit of a sleuth.

Jonathan wondered why he had never told Rudolf about that night. Now, Jonathan felt, Rudolf might be useful in helping him uncover what the police had never been able to piece together about the events that had transpired.

"Sunday best, I'm dwessed to kill the afternoon / You know how dwaggy afternoons can be sometimes..." Claudine's endearing breathlessness wafted through Jonathan's living room. As he poured himself another prosecco the doorbell rang. Knowing that Rudolf was due to arrive at just about that time, Jonathan pressed the buzzer that unlatched the inside door of the building and stepped into the hallway. "Hey, Rudy--" he started to call out but almost immediately the words caught in his throat.

For in the entranceway was a person from out of Jonathan's past memories that he had not expected to ever see again. "Hello, Jonathan," said the apparition calmly. "It's been quite a long time, hasn't it?" Jonathan started to speak, but before any utterance could sound he fell to the floor in a dead faint.


Part 3


GILL I. 10:55 PM  

I think @Nancy and @Joe should corroborate o a novel and name it......
"For Whom the Green Paint Tolls."
I'd buy it.

Joe Dipinto 11:07 PM  

@GILL - perhaps you would like to write Part 3? (nudge, nudge)

chefwen 2:20 AM  

I think that’s a great idea. @GILL, have at it.

Nancy 9:46 AM  

Yes, @GILL -- You're next!!!!! You've got booze and music to work with, as well as paint. And thanks, Joe!

spacecraft 9:54 AM  

The theme is OK, but I do agree that the extraneous OR's are a minus--as are all the xwordese mentioned by OFC. Mr. Haight seems to lean rather heavily on that stuff. EERIE.

There's no shortage of HEMEN: JIM, JACK, WALT...but no BEAUTs. I guess we could reverse HARPO and have OPRAH--or maybe Holmes' femme fatale Irene ADLER--but no real DOD's. Oh well, there's tomorrow. Par.

Burma Shave 12:37 PM  


EERIE with blood SPATTER, I've heard,
that's it JACK, and it's WORDFORWORD.


BS2 12:39 PM  


Diana,LIW 12:41 PM  

I used to have a lot more trouble with Mr. Haight's puzzles.

Is it me, getting better?

OR, OR, OR...

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords


leftcoast 2:40 PM  

Monday Natick! NaYO/OVULa cross. Didn't know NEYO but should have known OVULE.

Anonymous 1:43 PM  

One thing puzzles me massively: Bruce Haight mentioned, in his constructor note for 10-31-18, that his son Ryan died from an OD of Rx meds that he bought online (Haight mentioned that a law bearing his son's name prohibits the online sale of such drugs).

So I'm astonished that he would use OD ON, and clue it so lightly, and cross it with LETS DIE -- or, if Shortz et al. made changes that they would make such callous ones. (BH's constructor note for this one says that WS re-did the NW corner, so I don't know.)

Meh puzzle for me. I liked BH's 10-31-18 very very much, but by and large his sense of humor doesn't do it for me. And the fill on this one has some depressing "Only well-off white guys matter" crap:
** RIOTS clued with prisons (zero acknowledgment of the societal conditions that lead most people to jail, conditions that most of us refuse to fix);
** SMEAR clued with "Mascara mishap" (feel free to exclude women from puzzles *except* to reinforce the worst stereotypes about them, such as they need to focus on their appearance OR ELSE); and
** HOBOS, clued "Tramps" -- two words I'd love to see expunged from constructors' wordlists ("Hey, Mom, I know that I wanna do with my life -- I want to be impoverished and homeless!" -- complete refusal to acknowledge that *we* built a society in which more and more people can't survive while others gorge themselves on 20, 100, 1000 times what they deserve).

[Syndie solver, 7-8-19]

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