Europe's highest volcano / MON 5-13-2019 / Early talk show host Jack / Architect Saarinen / Real-life lawman who lent his name to a 1950s-'60s TV western

Monday, May 13, 2019

Constructor: Gary Larson

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: Baseball I guess? — The first word of each theme name is connected in some way to baseball, as in baseball diamond, as in "Diamond" Jim Brady. ...Yeah I know.

Theme answers:
  • D.H. LAWRENCE (17A: "Lady Chatterly's Lover" novelist)
  • HOMER SIMPSON (23A: Bart and Lisa's dad)
  • DIAMOND JIM BRADY (39A: Early railroad tycoon whose nickname is a hint to the starts of 17-, 23-, 51- and 62-Across)
  • BAT MASTERSON (51A: Real-life lawman who lent his name to a 1950s-'60s TV western)
  • MITT ROMNEY (62A: Utah senator who once ran for president)

Word of the Day: OLEO (24D: Bread spread) —
 Oleo is a term for oils. It is commonly used to refer to a variety of things, [including being a] colloquial term for margarine, a.k.a. oleomargarine not just vegetable fats but can be tallow.
• • •
Boom it's a surprise Annabel Monday! So as a comics geek, my first reaction to the constructor was "oh my god, Gary Larson? Like, the Gary Larson, the guy who does 'The Far Side', makes puzzles now?" I would like to apologize to Mr. Larson for that assumption because this was literally on the first page of Google results for his name + "crossword":

                  |  Two things I would like to mention:  1) I am not the Far Side cartoonist, and 2) no animals were harmed during the construction of this puzzle.

Sorry, man. Anyway, on to the puzzle itself. I hate to be so Rex-y on this one, but I was really kinda disappointed by this fill. It felt like the puzzle had so many names that barely any room was left for interesting words! To the point that there's almost not a whole lot to talk about here. I will admit there are some good English-major words in here though--MORN, ALIT. Weirdly enough, I haven't read much D.H. LAWRENCE in the course of my college career. I think of the late nineteenth/early twentieth century canon I prefer Virginia Woolf. I'm working on a paper about Orlando right now...what a cool weird book.

The theme was...okay I guess? It feels like the last few Mondays I've done have been pretty sports-oriented, which I'm getting kind of tired of. And while I guess I understand the connection between the beginnings of all the clues and "baseball diamond," it just feels kinda tenuous. I mean, they could have based that connection on any of the answers, not necessarily ol' Diamond. Bat Masterson is a great name though. It's even got that sweet sweet assonance.

  • AGE (45A: 18 or so, for a typical first-year college student) — AAAAAA MY FIRST  YEAR OF COLLEGE WAS FOUR YEARS AGO. Aaaaaaaaaa it has been so long since I was 18. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
  • MAMMA MIA (40D: Abba song or musical) — Okay, if you haven't seen the sequel that came out last summer you're really cheating yourself. Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again is exactly as corny and unnecessary as you think it would be...but that's exactly the point. Plus, I'm low-key in love with Lily James, who plays young Donna. That scene where she dances through the orange grove...sigh. That being said I feel obligated to share the campiest scene in the movie instead, because, come on, that's what the series is all about.
  • DICES (8D: Cuts into small cubes) — Speaking, sort of, of DICE, the Dungeons and Dragons session I'm in is wrapping itself up for the school year (and all our graduations). I play a seven-foot-tall lizard woman with a giant sword, who I definitely plan to use in future campaigns, and last session we defeated a tyrannical dictator and celebrated by attending a concert by an all-skeleton-bard band named Bone Time Rush. If that's not the coolest thing then IDK what is. 
  • ETTA (43A: James of jazz) — This song always makes me homesick for Miss Shirley's, which is a breakfast place in Maryland. I don't know why. I think it was playing the first time I ate there and the pancakes were so good that it instantly provoked a Pavlovian response. Anyway, fitting song for a Sunday night.

Signed, Annabel Thompson, tired college student.

Next time I write one of these blogs, I'll have graduated! This has been such a journey. I can't believe how much I've changed since my first July entry. I've thought a lot about starting my own projects, now that I don't have classes to exhaust me anymore, but tbh no matter what I do I can't imagine leaving Rex's blog. (Unless he's done with me now that I'm no longer a bright-eyed bushy-tailed young whippersnapper, which honestly would be totally valid, and don't worry, I'll have plenty of other stuff around to tire me out.) I dunno...Annabel Mondays are fun. Thanks for sticking with College Annabel after High School Annabel grew up. I'm excited to see what the future brings!

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

[Follow Annabel Thompson on Twitter]


Patrick O'Connor 12:04 AM  

A charming and geeky post as always. Ms. M (as in Ms.Annabel Monday). You might want to fix that the banner on top still says Sunday, not Monday.

Runs with Scissors 12:15 AM  

What @Patick O'Connor said...

And congrats on the graduation. Now to life...


One of these things just doesn’t belong here.

Perfect Monday puzzle; a beginner’s dream. What wouldn’t be known would be inferable from crosses.

10D was a beautiful misdirect. I had ME__P_OR and could not see how that went with “Nerves of Steel.” Maybe if I’d paid closer attention to the “e.g.” Finally saw it, and that earned an “almost got me!!”

I’ve never heard of NECCA wafers. Turns out I didn’t have to since I never saw the clue until after I was done; solved acrosses only.

A fun diversion. Would that qualify as damning with faint praise? Discuss.

*HOMER is the one that doesn’t belong. If you don’t know why I’m powerless to explain it to you.

Mark, in Mickey’s North 40

Unknown 12:41 AM  

Any puzzle with "Homer Simpson" as an answer is a puzzle I can get behind.

Mr. Alarm 12:42 AM  

...and May 12, not May 13. Thanks for your blogs!

jae 1:54 AM  

Easy-medium. Charming write up Annabel and you are totally right about Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again.

chefwen 2:45 AM  

Got the puzzle done in earth shattering time, but missed the theme. Not being a baseball, hockey, basketball, rugby or whatever other sport you can think of fan, totally missed the theme. Guess I didn’t look at the whole picture. Oh well, tomorrow’s another day.

mine! 4:03 AM  

That’s the date it was posted. Sunday. For Monday’s puzzle.

mmorgan 5:52 AM  

Congrats on your graduation Annabel! I can’t believe it’s been four years!

Oh, the puzzle... it was a fine Monday puzzle, though I don’t disagree with Annabel’s comments.

Steve 5:52 AM  

Congrats Annabel! One person's career begins, while another one's (mine) ends. Cue the circle of life music, please...
Seriously though, I hope you have as much fun as I have over the past 40+ years in your chosen profession. It can be a wild ride for sure! :)

Lewis 5:58 AM  

Pitched just right, as it were, for the Monday solver, showing how a theme can tie a puzzle together, and maybe even more, showing that unknown words can still be eventually filled in. On that point, none of the following words, all which may have given new solvers trouble, cross each other: AU LAIT, DEVIANCE, ISOMER, ESTAS, TITER, BESO, and EERO. That takes foresight and skill.

The theme seems tight to me, as well. Couldn't come up with other legitimate theme answers, though that pesky never-leaves-me-alone trickster in my brain piped in with BALK ROGERS.

I am caring for a just-turned three-year-old for the next few days -- a full-time job -- and, after later posting my favorite clues from last week, will return on the weekend.

May I add that this three-year-old (Finn) may be a future crossworder. The other day, his dad shunted him out of the bathroom, saying that for the next five minutes he was going to need some privacy, and shut the door. Two minutes later, Finn came bursting in with a big grin, shouting, "Sur-PRIVACY!"

BarbieBarbie 6:18 AM  

The revealer should have been HALLOFFAMER or something instead of just another themer with a contorted clue to make it seem more like a revealer. Does it have to span? I liked this one but there was too much Maleskese.

amyyanni 6:22 AM  

All the best Annabel, and I hope you do stick around here. Since I love baseball and have since I was around 6, I was a pushover for today's offering. Good Monday solve.

kitshef 6:49 AM  

A bit more grit than your average Monday with ISOMER and AKINS (familiar face, did not know the name).

A sure sign of doing crosswords: putting in TITER with no crosses.

We were staying at a hotel in Suffolk, Va. a few weeks ago, and flipping through channels happened upon MAMMA MIA: Here we Go Again. Can’t say I’d recommend it, though Annabel's review is othewise spot on. Just buy the original albums. And for a 73-year old, Cher looks like … a 72-year old.

Played a ton of D&D in college, and had a couple of reunion nights over the next year, and since then, nothing. Cherish these days while you have them, Annabel.

Hungry Mother 7:05 AM  

After 8.5 hours of deep sleep, recovering from a couple of weekend races, I ran through this like a knife through butter; oops, METAPHOR? I had to do some downs here and there, and I noticed the theme, which helped a tad, but no stopping the momentum. Good start to the solving week.

Suzie Q 7:12 AM  

I would add metaphor to @ Lewis' list of words that made this interesting. This is the type of puzzle that should give confidence to new solvers.
As for the theme, I don't follow baseball now or ever in the past so seeing the sports term hidden in 17A was not obvious to me. Do the initials stand for designated hitter? That is only a guess.
Nice review Annabel. You did make me laugh to read that you were grown up now. Having a 7 foot lizard woman as an alter ego doesn't sound very mature to me but perhaps that means you will remain young at heart as you age. Let's hope so. Congrats.

JJK 7:37 AM  

Congratulations, Annabel!

Don’t care much about baseball but what does DH mean? Of course the author of Lady Chatterley was a gimme but I have no idea what it has to do with baseball.

Z 7:38 AM  

@Runs - DH LAWRENCE is the only person (Designated Hitter), but you went with the only event (everything else is an object). What’s so hard to explain?

chefbea 7:43 AM  

Welcome Anabe. and congratulations on your graduation. Very easy puzzle!!!

pabloinnh 7:54 AM  

I love baseball and anybody that doesn't love baseball as much as I do, well, you're welcome to your own opinions. Take that.

Any puzzle that can connect DHLAWRENCE to baseball's DH is fine by me. Plus, HOMERSIMPSON.

Congrats to Annabel, and thanks to GL. Fun stuff.

Joe Welling 8:01 AM  

@Z, I think he meant Homer Simpson is the only themer that's a purely fictional person.

OffTheGrid 8:04 AM  

Let's see...
HOMER SIMPSON is the outlier, only one that's a cartoon character.

No...., maybe MITT ROMNEY, only Mormon,

Or maybe DH LAWRENCE, not born in U.S.,

Or DIAMOND JIM BRADY, only answer to span the grid,

GILL I. 8:23 AM  

Nice, comfortable Monday. All the names reminded me of something. My grandmother telling me not to read anything DH LAWRENCE because of the smut. Of course I did. I learned some interesting words. Scandal but seemingly de rigueur in today's world. BAT MASTERSON would never use profanity; he was a very handsome gentleman. A ladies man to be sure. Remember "Back when the West was very young...." His name was BAT, BAT MASTERSON.....???? I'll sing that ditty over anything from Cher. Her voice makes me think that any minute now, a frog is going to jump out of her throat. I love her acting, though. Just leave my Abba folks alone.
Two words I didn't know: STEVIA and TITER. I'm a snob when it comes to food - don't use anything artificial. Has to be the real deal. How do you use the word TITER? I'll have a skosh of a TITER of bitters in my scotch?
My daughter will enjoy this one. That's a good sign for a Monday.
Fun write-up Annabel. I always enjoy Annabel Mondays.

Wm. C. 8:25 AM  

@Runs12:15am --

It's NECCO wafers, not Necca. New England Confectionary Company. Btw, the NECCO factory was originally in Cambridge, MA, across the street from the Mass Ave entrance to MIT. When the wind was blowing from the northwest, the aroma of candy would blow down the long aisle of MIT. They no longer make candy there, the factory is somewhere in southern Mass, I think. But there's a water tower atop the building, and it has horizontal colored stripes painted around it, looking like stacked NECCO wafers.

Wm. C. 8:30 AM  

DH could be Designated Hitter or Double Header.

Nancy 8:33 AM  

Can we please have some DEVIANCE from mindless Monday cluing? Please? If enough Monday constructors were to say: NO! I'm not going to put in these boring clues and you can't make me! Well, I can dream...

The theme was meh, but I did laugh at DH LAWRENCE. Was he the inspiration behind the theme? DH LAWRENCE: Official Novelist of the American League Only.

I learned of STEVIA for the first time today, but it won't tempt me away from the splendid Splenda. I am exceedingly loyal to my own chosen brand of Fake Sugar.

Bryce 8:44 AM  

It took me a while to find my error, which was TRINA Lopez (although I've heard of TRINI), ESTAR (I thought "form" was distinguishing ser/estar), and RARING (which could plausibly be "getting up," but maybe not on a Monday). Not my best Monday time.

Crimson Devil 8:54 AM  

D.H. = designated hitter = MLB player who plays only offense, and only in American League. Some say unconstitutional.

Nancy 9:04 AM  

@GILL (8:23) -- Yes, BAT was handsome, but he's not the one whose looks made my knees turn to jelly and whose ditty I remember by heart. No, it was [swoon, swoon, swoon] James Garner. And this is completely from memory from 60-65 years ago:

Who is the tall, dark stranger there?
Maverick is his name.
Riding the range to who-knows-where --
Luck is his companion,
Gambling is his game.

Riverboat ring your bell.
Fare-thee-well Annabelle,
Luck is the lady that he loves the best.
Down in New Orleans,
Living on Jacks and Queens,
Maverick is a legend of the West.


And again -- swoon.

RooMonster 9:09 AM  

Hey All !
Man, I can't fathom how time slips away so quickly. Each day seems like it takes a regular amount of time to complete, yet the years are zooming by at an accelerated rate. I remember reading @Annabel as a Tired High-Schooler which absolutely doesn't seem like 5-6 years ago.

Puz was nice. Took me a second or two to grok the theme. Oooh, baseball, DIAMOND, got it. Don't really follow baseball, I do catch the highlights on ESPN occasionally, which is watchable, since each game is 30 seconds!

Got a chuckle out of misreading clue for PJS as Bedwetter. Har.


Mo-T 9:15 AM  

Annabel: Congrats to the grad! I've enjoyed reading your commentary. All the best to you.

Fun, fast puzzle. I do lots of Gary Larson puzzles from the WSJ.

I'm a Boomer, so Bat Masterson was a gimme. I'm a retired English teacher, so DH Lawrence was a gimme, too. I do crossword puzzles, so Homer Simpson was a gimme even though I've never watched the show. (The Simpsons, Star Trek, Star Wars, Game of Thrones.... tired of these clues.) Can constructors get rid of them and "eke," please?

Anonymous 9:40 AM  

My boomer memory of Necco wafers. Eat the chocolate ones use the rest to bribe the younger kids into doing your bidding.

Etta, etna essen estee ole moi Poe, hur? Looks like a question in a made up language.

Mark Tebeau 9:48 AM  

Agreed about the puzzle. And, yes, Miss Shirley's has the best money bread.

Jessica 9:52 AM  

Didn’t get the theme at all. The word diamond did not imply baseball to me at all .
Also could some explain what DH had to do with baseball

Hack mechanic 9:59 AM  

NECCO New England candy co. Regional thing, has a landmark chimney at the old factory in Charlestown

Aggers 10:29 AM  

@Jessica. To my understanding David Herbert played Silly mid-on for Yorkshire XI before heading to the New Mexico Braves prior to retirement, though I could be wrong.

Leah Brooks 10:37 AM  

Doesn’t it bother anyone else that the word “opinion” is in the clue for OPED?

Joe Bleaux 10:49 AM  

What, like Mitt Romney is real?

Nancy 10:50 AM  

Will Nediger and I have a new puzzle posted on his website today. I've already forwarded it by email to Rexite friends whose emails I know. I tried to highlight it in blue so that I could put the link here as well, but the website didn't "blue-i-fy" when I clicked on it. I think if you Google " order with nancy" you can find it on your own without a link.

Will's website is wonderfully accessible; no subscription or downloading required. If I was able input letters into the grid, so can anyone. But for a reason I don't want to give away, I'd print it out if you have a printer. Of course, if you're someone who always solves online and are used to the ways certain things are done, then you won't find the thing that's necessary to do today puzzling at all. Anyway, I hope those of you who seek it out enjoy it. People I correspond with regularly: check your email today; the link's already there.

Mary McCarty 10:52 AM  

Way, way back in the day, we saved the white NECCO wafers for hosts when we played Mass with all the non-Catholic neighborhood kids. Hope I’m not going to Hell for that.

Joe Bleaux 10:52 AM  

Yay, Nancy! (But it’s “ ... Natchez to New Orleans”😏.)

Lewis 10:54 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

1. Diamond in the rough? (7)
2. They always proceed in a biased way (7)
3. Stuffed shirts? (10)
4. Car owner's manual (10)
5. Abstract unit of exchange (3)


Malsdemare 10:56 AM  

@kitshef, She doesn't just look like she's 72, she moves like she's 100 and having a bad day. Poor baby; I hurt all over for her. All those surgeries maybe not so good for you?

"Like a knife through butter" is a simile (see that "like" in there?) It does seem a silly distinction.

Annabel, I hope Rex keeps you on; you are a breath of fresh air (metaphor) on these Mondays.

Fun puzzle. I like Mondays 'cause they make me feel like all my brain cells are functioning but it’s over TOO SOON! Yup, BAT MASTERSON was yummy but James Garner? And what about Guy whatshisname, from Zorro? Be still, my heart! HOMER SIMPSON, not so much.

Thanks Mr. "not Far Side" Larson!

Joe Bleaux 10:57 AM  

And “volcano” hits a double (32D and 69D clues). @Leah Brooks, OPED is from OPposite the EDitorial Page, so no repeat of “opinion.”

JC66 11:22 AM  

Congrats, @Annabel!

For those interested, here's the link to @Will/Nancy's puzzle .

Nancy 11:36 AM  

Thanks, @JC66!! (11:22)

@Joe Bleaux (10:52) -- "Natchez to New Orleans" is much, much better. Both sense-wise and meter-wise. Thanks, Joe. Wonder why I've misremembered it in my head for so many years?

@Malsdemare (10:56) -- So you wouldn't have competed with me for James Garner's attention back in the day? That's a relief, Mals. The fewer, the merrier. :)

albatross shell 11:58 AM  

I filled in from crosses RANDR and thought
RAN DoctoR? What's that got to do with time off? Then I thought I would not know the ABBA song. Filled in from crosses.
No music when done. Looked at RANDR first. Doh. Then TITER, tried TITiR then back to TITER. Then looked at the ABBA answer. MAMMAMyA. Double doh. TROI not as in Donahue. I knew that.

Fun puzzle for a super easy Monday. New to me word- TITER from titration. Old to me actor. AKINS not Rains. His face always blends with Bronson's in my memory. Early careers are quite close. Playing Natives and tough guys in western, crime, and war dramas in films and tv series. AKINS career never took off, but was a bit player or more in some very good movies.
Inherit the Wind, The Defiant Ones, The Caine Mutiny, From Here to Eternity, Rio Bravo, The Killers.

Joe Dipinto 12:01 PM  

I'm with @Barbie -- the middle answer is just another themer with forced "reveal" cluing.

Necco wafers are the best. The flavors are lemon (yellow), lime (green), orange (orange), clove (purple), cinnamon (white), wintergreen (pink), licorice (black), and chocolate (brown). Especially love the all-chocolate rolls. They also make the Valentine's Day candy hearts. @Mary McCarty, that's a hilarious story about "playing Mass" -- I can't imagine what that would entail.

QuasiMojo 12:14 PM  

I thought this puzzle was overstuffed with names. I counted at least fifteen examples. Undermined the otherwise fine theme. Good to see you Annabel. I bet you loved seeing POE in the grid!! :-)

Hey @Nancy, congrats on the dynamic duo puzzle! I enjoyed it although the online version was very tough to type on. Loved the theme. But I didn’t understand the clue “B or Brooks,” at least not the first part of that. I figured out the other half. No spoilers! So much fun. And quite tricky for a Monday. Looking forward to more!

GILL I. 12:17 PM  

I'm impressed, @Nancy that you could remember ALL the lyrics from the way-back era....Yes, James Garner was eye candy however, the man I mooned over was Roy Rogers. Yep. I even hated Dale Evans because she was married to him. I had a pair of silver pistol pop guns my dad gave me and I tried to act and look just like him. I even named a horse I had Trigger. (My other other was Hi-O-Silver). I just remember bits of pieces of the Western movies I'd watch but I sure remember:
Happy trails to you
Until we meet again.
Happy trails to you
Keep smiling until then!

Romantic, isn't it?

He is no stranger to the settlers, and the bad men know his name....

Now off to do your puzzle.........

MJB 12:23 PM  

I definitely would have competed with Nancy. Coincidentally, he was a subject at mother's day dinner last night. Younger son mentioned Rockford Files which he has only seen in reruns and I almost swooned again when I mentioned a younger James Garner in Maverick.

leah712 12:27 PM  

@Leah Brooks, yes! I thought people would be up in arms about the use of the word opinion in the clue for OPED and I came here to witness the uproar that would precede eventual rioting in the streets. I'm so surprised that so far we're the only two who have mentioned it. Must be a Leah thing.

relicofthe60s 12:30 PM  

Bat had a pretty good theme song too:

In the legend of the West
One name stands out oer all the rest
The man who had the fastest gun
His name was Bat, Bat Masterson

JC66 12:31 PM  

I do enjoy reading the comments of the women who are reminiscing about the men they "drooled over" when they were younger, but I can't help wondering what the reaction would be if some of us men had the same conversation about Marilyn Monroe, Bridget Bardot, et al.

Anoa Bob 12:45 PM  

There's a saying in crosswordworld that, since it's been done so many times before, if you are going to do a baseball themed puzzle, you better hit it out of the park. I thought this one was more of a long, warning track fly ball out.

Yes, a baseball infield is referred to as a DIAMOND (it's actually a square with 90 feet per side)) but it seems to me to be just another themer, rather than a reveal, as clued. A HOMER only happens when the ball has long left the infield DIAMOND, a MITT is worn by the catcher, whose position is in foul territory, and thhe DH is in the dugout most of the time, as are the BATs.

So the only thing that tied these together for me was five baseball terms that can be the first-name of a person, or really the first name of three people, one cartoon character, and the initials of another person's first name.

What's that you ask? Well, yes, I have submitted a baseball themed puzzle in the past that was rejected---still stinging from that one--but it has nothing, nothing I say, to do with my fair and balanced appraisal of today's offering. Sour grapes? Absolutely not!

Joe Dipinto 1:03 PM  

@the Leahs -- Joe Bleaux explained above that OP-ED stands for OPPOSITE the EDITORIAL(S).

Aketi 1:09 PM  

I saw the DHL and thought the puzzle theme would be about delivery services since I pass by the delivery trucks every time I decide to brave the bike lane on Central Park West. The DHL and FedEx truck drivers always make sure to leave the bike lanes clear so I thank them as I ride by. When HOMER appeared instead of FED I had to reassess DHL. Took a while to lop off the L and figure out that the DH. I personally feel that DH doesn’t fit because it’s the only abbreviation.

I did start and OLE hunt when I spotted an extra OLE in the bread spread. I do seem to recall an OLE OLE OLE puzzle, but alas it was only a duo, not a trio.

Masked and Anonymous 1:19 PM  

SHORTZSTOP the presses! One of these themers is just a DH abbreviation? A kinda blatant outlier. Surely there's somebody semi-famous out there named SPITTER, or somesuch, to take its place. Rest of the theme was just fine, at our house.

staff weeject pick: IMS. Used to work with an IBM computer database system called IMS. Had DBDs and PSBs and segments and hierarchies and HDAMs and whatnot. Weird times ... Day-um ... glad that's all over with. Primo weeject stacks in the far N and S central areas, btw.

fave moo-cow of-Biblical-proportions eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Noah's vessel} = ARK.

Some cool fillins today from Gary Larson's farside, includin: MAMMAMIA. METAPHOR. CAMELOT. UNUM.
Didn't previously know: STEVIA. NECCO. Learned somethin. Like.

Con-grad-z, Ms. Blu'Bel on yer pendin educational milestone. Nice blog write-up bullets, as usual. Thanx.

And thanx for the in-the-ballpark-of-fun MonPuz, Mr. Larson.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


Anonymous 1:19 PM  

Yes I thought it would be Bret or Bart Maverick, too. Watched em weekly.

Anonymous 1:22 PM  

What is Randr? And titer? Never heard of them. The rest was easy though didn’t see ref of ‘dh’ til after (designated hitter).

tea73 1:37 PM  

I'm feeling all Rex-ish. Why is one of the themers an abbreviation? Bah.

This took me much longer than usual (more than 2x) as I had RarING for get up and ESTAr for the Spanish verb to be.

I guess I finally need to learn TRINI Lopez, I know he's appeared in puzzles before.

Never heard of BAT MASTERSON or his TV show. I'm old, but not that old.

pabloinnh 1:51 PM  

Hey GILL I.--You realize, of course, that "Happy Trails" (fine song, BTW) was written by your nemesis and arch rival Dale Evans herself.

Of course you do, and it's very generous of you to include her song in your steamy memories of Mr. Rogers (no, not that Mr. Rogers).

tea73 1:59 PM  

One more thing...

NECCO wafers are the same size as a quarter. Don't ask me why I know!

albatross shell 2:28 PM  

@anonymous 1:22
Not sure if your joking, but since I missed for a bit too:RANDR is R and R is rest and relaxation. TITER is as defined by the clue and derived from titration.

NECCOS were sold in movie theaters. They could last a long time if you let them sit in your mouth and let them melt one at a time. The downsize was they were almost tasteless and had an ultrathin paperboard texture. I preferred Jujubes. They were almost as tasteless but would stick in your molars and rot youth teeth all day long. What more could you ask for.
I didn't know young girls had a crushes on Maverick, but I was pretty sure all the mother's did. Actors who make it look too easy don't always get the credit they deserve and it follows that comedy is harder than it looks.

CaliMarie 2:28 PM  

Robert Fuller in “Laramie” was more my speed.

OffTheGrid 3:13 PM  

Quickly, without googling, which brother did James Garner play (Bret or Bart) and who played the other?

Extra credit: Who played cousin Beau Maverick after Garner left the series?

For all the cash and an all expenses paid trip to the old west, who played the 3rd brother, Brent, who joined the show when "Beau" left?

Bart-Jack Kelly
Beau-Roger Moore
Brent-Robert Colbert

GILL I. 3:14 PM  

@JC66. If you add Doris Day, then all is forgiven
@pablo. HAH! Now, pray tell...who did you lust after?

kitshef 3:21 PM  


thanks for the excellent puzzle. It's been a banner day between a superlative M&A runt and your puzzle. Although I don't understand why I needed to print it out.

JC66 3:34 PM  


Yeah, she falls into the et al category.

Which reminds me of the Oscar Levant quote:

"I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin."

May she rest in peace.

Andrew Heinegg 3:59 PM  

I sure hope that, for your sake, if you do end up in Hell, it will be for something more sacrilegious (and fun) than the game with the un-consecrated hosts. The various incarnations that Catholic guilt take seem to be endless in number, as I can attest.

Lewis 4:09 PM  

Nancy's puzzle is lotso' fun!

Nancy 4:29 PM  

RA Dr is R(est) and R(elaxation). I only got whatvthat was when I saw it in your post and said it out loud! It takes a Village- even in crossword world!

Alex Posa 4:46 PM  

Hard for non-boomers. Never heard of Bat Masterson and only vaguely aware of Diamond Jim Brady. Of course I know DH Lawrence and Lady Chatterly's Lover, but I couldn't come up with the name. Just not an important book anymore with printed word obscenity laws pretty much dead decades before my birth. Took me about twice as long as usual.

Janet Reid 6:53 PM  

Thanks for the explanation of R and R. I too had it as Run DR and was seriously annoyed.

Anonymous 7:56 PM  

This wasn't particularly boomer-oriented.



Anonymous 11:30 PM  

Oleo was anything but the word of the day for me. It has to be one of the most overused four letter words in the history of crosswords. But, on the other hand, I have never come across stevia or titer. It didn’t help when I had defiance for 21 across.
Won’t anybody give Gene Barry some props for his portrayal of Bat Masterson?

Runs with Scissors 12:03 AM  

@Z, @Joe Welling, @everyoneelse:

The reference to HOMER SIMPSON was that it was the outlier in that I could never understand the drooling admiration that some have for it. I watched a few episodes, years ago, and it did not impress me. Wasn't funny.

NECCO wafers - I'm in the southwestern corner of the country, so a North Eastern Confectionary Company isn't in my wheelhouse. Was noting that it didn't need to be since it filled itself in on the crosses.

Giskarrrd 12:37 AM  

This was a tough Monday for me, mostly due to the many names I was unfamiliar with. For some reason (even though I think I’ve come across it in a puzzle before), RANDR has me totally stumped, mostly because I didn’t read it as the abbreviation it is. Given some of the commenters here, I’m glad I’m not the only one.

The north east was tough, and I’m still not sure about the clue for MANE (10A).

Burma Shave 9:47 AM  


and DEVIANCE to LAP at the DYKE.


RONdo 10:20 AM  

I SAW kind of a word ladder after looking around: ASH ASHE ACHE ACE AGE ALE OLE OLEO from ASHEs to fake butter. Nothing written over, but I’m not familiar with STEVIA which could just as well have been STEfIA making a DEVIANCE to DEfIANCE.

DOD is certain to be yeah baby Marina Sirtis as Counselor TROI.

A baseball Mon-puz (with a RON), pretty much a SNAP.

spacecraft 10:21 AM  

Doing my usual easy-as-pie Monday solve when I came across 7-down. I had RAND_. It took several seconds for the groan to come: oh, NO! It's a $%%&^( ampersandwich!! And right after that I ran into EKES and ESSEN, and was thinking, do I have the stamina to see this one through?

I did. The theme was OK, at least, but the fill reads like a list of crosswordese crutches. ESTER OLE OLEO ETTA...

Having gone on a low-carb diet a while back, I knew STEVIA; pleased to see its xword debut. Amid the way-too-simple clues was one wrong one: OPED is not an opinion piece, it's a page: "opposite the editorial." See, the "OP" doesn't even mean "opinion," so the inclusion rule was not violated.

The theme had possibilities, and it took a couple of entries before I SAW what was happening--for Monday, that's new. But the fill was just too...too. Despite many-time DOD Marina Sirtis as TROI, This one gets a bogey.

BTW: Hearty congrats to Gary Woodland, an 80-1 shot to win the Open, who outlasted a fearsome field of contenders. You earned it, dude.

Diana,LIW 12:05 PM  

Smooth as skating 'cross a freshly frozen pond. (Well...if I could skate, but you get the idea.) I flew (if I had wings) through this puzzle without hesitation.

Ok - so I did hesitate on my last entry. Randr. What's a randr. Isn't there a vowel missing somewhere? Is this a new slango wordo I'm missing out on? Oh - yes - the beloved ampersandwich. It's not just for breakfast anymore.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoast 1:52 PM  

For a Monday, this puzzle is IMO a bit of a DEVIANCE.

The neat, simple baseball theme wasn't much help in exposing some of the fill: STEVIA, ISOMER, TITER, ESTAS, and TROI seemed more like Tuesday or Wednesday level stuff.

DYED over DYKE caught my eye,

Parsing RANDR into RAN DR into R AND D (Hi Diana) exposed my own Monday morning sluggishness.

Diana,LIW 2:43 PM  

Sorry @Runswithscissors - I live in the Northwest and can find NECCO wafers. You'll always find a role in the console of my car. Just ask @teedmn!

Diana, NECCO woman and lady in waiting

leftcoast 6:12 PM  

R AND R, R and R, R & R.

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