Young gallant in Romeo and Juliet / MON 5-6-19 / 1990s Indiana governor Evan / Coastal resort areas / Mortar accompanier / Sandwich chain whose name is French for ready to eat / Fish by dragging net

Monday, May 6, 2019

Constructor: Peter Gordon

Relative difficulty: Medium (3:02)

THEME: EYE / RHYMES (59D: With 65-Across, what the last words of 18-, 35- and 56-Across are to each other) — sure, OK (see long def. of EYE / RHYMES in write-up, below):

Theme answers:
  • TEXAS RANGER (18A: Lone Star State baseball player)
  • CLOTHES HANGER (35A: What you might drape a dress or shirt on in a closet) (I would not "drape" a shirt on a hanger—I would H A N G it on a hanger)
  • PRÊT-À-MANGER (56A: Sandwich chain whose name is French for "ready to eat")
Word of the Day: PATOOT (4D: Tushie) —
  1. Alternative form of patootie.  
patootie noun
    Patootie is an attractive girl or a girlfriend, or is a slang term to refer to someone's buttocks.
• • •

Hey all. Did not expect to be blogging tonight and don't really have much time, so ... uh, EYE / RHYMES, eh? People know what these are? I have a Ph.D. in English and I've barely ever heard of the concept. It's such a dumb concept. Things rhyme or they don't. Slant rhymes are imperfect rhymes where just the vowel sound or the consonant sounds are alike. Those I know. EYE / RHYMES just means they look alike but are pronounced differently? OK. Answers are tremendously arbitrary. Why this rhyme? Why these answers? Lots of things are EYE / RHYMES. Cough / rough / dough. Where's that puzzle? You gotta bring more theme cohesion than this. The worst thing, though, was the severely awkward revealer placement. Intersecting non-symmetrical two-word phrase. EYE AYE AYE, not lovely. Happy to say BAYH to this one.

Just looked up EYE / RHYMES on wikipedia and it's bizarre, since ... well, here's the entire main entry:
An eye rhyme, also called a visual rhyme or a sight rhyme, is a  rhyme in which two words are spelled similarly but pronounced differently.[1] An example is the name of English actor Sean Bean, whose name based on its visual aspect looks like it should be pronounced "Seen Been", but when spoken, there is no rhyming quality.
Many older English poems, particularly those written in Middle English, contain rhymes that were originally true or full rhymes, but as read by modern readers, they are now eye rhymes because of shifts in pronunciation, especially the Great Vowel Shift. These are called historic rhymes. Historic rhymes are used by linguists to reconstruct pronunciations of old languages, and are used particularly extensively in the reconstruction of Old Chinese, whose writing system does not allude directly to pronunciation.
One example of a historic rhyme (i.e. one which was a true rhyme which is now an eye rhyme), is the following:
The great man down, you mark his favourite flies;
The poor advanced makes friends of enemies.
— Player King, in William ShakespeareHamlet, act III, scene II
When Hamlet was written around 1600, "flies" and "enemies" rhymed in local dialects, but as a result of the shifts in pronunciation since then, the original rhyme has been lost.

So ... we're really talking about "historic rhymes," mostly. I encounter these all the time in the poetry I teach. Never heard them called "EYE / RHYMES." For instance: "... and find / What wind / Serves to advance an honest mind" is a line from Donne's "Song (1)"—"find" "wind" and "mind" all rhymed in the early 17th century, though they do not now. I did not know the words in question there were "EYE / RHYMES," and I have no plans to start calling them that. Anyway ... if EYE / RHYMES are just historic rhymes, then ... they're not really a poetic device so much as an effect of language change over time. . . So this theme doesn't really make much sense if "hanger" and "ranger" never used to rhyme (did they?), and it *especially* doesn't make sense if one of the "rhymes" in question is from another language (!?).

  • PATOOT (4D: Tushie) — ew, no, delete all of this cutesie anatomical garbage 
  • GAM (58D: Pod of whales) — we call that a "pod"; a GAM is a gun moll's shapely leg or it's nothing
  • RIVIERAS (39D: Coastal resort areas) — I doubt the pluralizability of this word. Unless you are talking about multiple Buicks, this word shouldn't be plural
  • AXMEN (55A: Lumberjacks) — Ugh. Had AXERS. AXMEN are guitar players.
  • OMAR (53D: Minnesota representative Ilhan ___) — very glad I knew her because she forced me to quickly ditch my first (wrong) answer for that last themer. I knew the Sandwich chain was mostly a to-go-type place, and since I know the French word for "carry" (as in "carry out"????), I went straight to "PRÊT-À-PORTER" ... ("porter" means both "to carry" annnnd "to wear") 
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:07 AM  

That had to be the oddest Monday puzzle ever.

jae 12:10 AM  

Medium-tough. Smooth and interesting. I only know about EYE RHYMES from xwords and had to go back post-solve and stare a bit to get the “Oh Yeah” experience.

Liked it.

Larry Gilstrap 12:56 AM  

Nice Monday puzzle! The theme reminded me of the complexity in the pronunciation of our language.

I only have an M.A. in English, so indulge me. I think I may have heard of EYE RHYMES previously, but I do know that rhyming is not a simple thing to describe or define. Go ahead! Try to define it with out using the words assonance and consonance and terminal sound. What did the guy say about porn? You might not know how to define it, but you know it when you see it. Yeah, if you are a native English speaker reading poetry or listening to a song written in your native dialect. The review contains the phrase: "things rhyme or they don't." Really? Ever read Dickenson? Ever read Burns? Ever listen to Cole Porter? Etc.

When whales get together, scientists call it a pod, Yankee whalers call it a GAM.

Robin 1:39 AM  

Finished very quickly. Third fastest Monday since I started keeping track. Never had a clue what the theme was until swinging by here for Rex's comments.

PRETAMANGER, ugh. They're that location near my office that I think of as Twin Peaks, i.e., everything is "wrapped in plastic".

chefwen 2:22 AM  

Wow, tough Monday for me. Don’t pay too much attention to politics, it tends to give me heartburn and angst, so the south almost did me in with OMAR and BAYH. Lucky guesses all around. EYE RHYMES??? Never heard of them.

I did like PATOOT, fun word.

Anonymous 2:48 AM  

Super quick Monday for me - most of the downs just filled themselves, and didn't even eveben the theme until completing the revealer at 65A.

But, Rex, EYE RHYMES are definitely a thing, so not sure why you got all hung up on historical rhymes? They aren't the same. EYE RHYMES are a thing, historical rhymes are a different thing, and some historical rhymes are EYE RHYMES. But it's not an incredibly tight Venn diagram. So wind/find/mind? Historical. Hanger/manger? EYE-RHYME.

Loren Muse Smith 3:03 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loren Muse Smith 3:04 AM  

I have neither an MA or a Ph.D in English, but I’ve definitely heard the expression EYE RHYME and feel stung to be told that a phenomenon that pleases me is a “dumb concept”. But when I think about it, we’re all allowed to harbor disdain for concepts floating around out there. Imaginary numbers, vagina dentata, reflexology, and aromatherapy are dumb concepts. Eye rhyme is not a dumb concept.

TEXAS RANGER, CLOTHES HANGER, and PRET A MANGER all end in the same five letters, and they’re all pronounced differently. Can’t we just stop right there and admire that? The obvious omission in the list is the word anger that has a full-on hard, pronounced G there. I know a bajillion of you out there will try to tell me that you pronounce the G in HANGER. You don’t. You’ll insist anyway that you do. You still don’t.

The free-for-all that is English spelling affords all kinds of visual surprises, and a breezy Monday puzzle that spotlights one is ok by me.

How ‘bout eye alliteration?
crunchy chocolate cereal
whole wheat wrap
giant garden gnome
pneumatic pterodactyl’s phantom psychosis problem

Eye assonance?
Bearded bears heartily rearrange pearls.
And Rex’s cluster: Mccullough coughed, “Rough hiccoughs plough through thought, though”.

I’m reminded in a bass-ackward way of the following verse from a helluva poem:

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead–
For goodness sakes don’t call it deed.

I liked MERCUTIO crossing DEADER. Just finished that scene with my ninth graders. I took several foam swords to class for the reading, and Kolton G was stunned. I mean, he actually trembled with excitement when he saw them and said No friggin way. He got to be Romeo. Foam swords’ll flat wake anyone up.

Anne Curzan just told me (ok - via book on tape, but still) that the doornail in the expression might refer to the rather expensive (in that time) metal nails used in doors. When they hammered them in, the nail went clean through, and they nailed down the pokie-outie ends flat to the door so no one could steal them. ‘Cause they were rendered “dead,” get it? Anne learned this from etymologist Robert Claiborne, who suggested that the other theory, that a door nail was a metal striking plate on the door, might not be the true origin of the idiom. So your day is pretty much complete now.

Fun puzzle, Peter. I’ll go stand with @jae, @Larry and the Liked It camp.

Anonymous 3:29 AM  

This relates to Sunday's puzzle, and I should have posted it yesterday. To @RAD2626, I *loved* the anecdote about Olerud and Ricky Henderson (12:33 p.m. yesterday)! I'll be repeating it hundred times over the next decade. I love good jokes. But there is something about baseball humor--a sophistication married to no pretentiousness whatsoever--that one doesn't find elsewhere. So to @RAD2626, my thanks!

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Lewis 5:49 AM  

To bring some balance, there's AYE AYE, each AYE crossed in the middle by ear rhymes, BAYH and EYE.

Anonymous 6:16 AM  

I teach mathematics. But when someone shows me something new in my field, I don't go - Oh, that's dumb, I've been teaching for thirty-five years and I've never seen that before. Must not be important.

Rex's self-referential posts are chillingly cringe-worthy as they give insight into the pompous, bombastic professor he must be.

Anonymous 6:17 AM  

Hey, I liked it!
Felt easy with a couple of sticking points, and while I'd never heard of "eye rhymes" was kinda glad to learn something new.
As far as I/m concerned, a particularly good Monday.

M. Standish 6:34 AM  

Disagree on RIVIERAS. There are a number of coastlines throughout the world that carry the appellation "riviera" (italian for coastline) - the most familiar of these being the Italian Riviera and the French Riviera. But there are many, many, many more.

Not to mention Boston's south shore, which is locally known as the "Irish Riviera."

The plural form is fine. RIVIERAS is quite proper - even when not referring to Buicks.

ncmathsadist 6:58 AM  

WTF is pret a monger? I have never heard of it.

Taffy-Kun 7:18 AM  

Re the comment in the review about Whales and “gam” - I always understood that Whaler captains bringing their boats close to exchange information was a “Gam”

Irene 7:22 AM  

Loved it, especially the fact that the gimmick was EYE RHYMES. True, most people haven't heard of them, but poetry lovers definitely have. Dickinson's poems are full of them.

Dan 7:32 AM  

How is the revealer not “ANGER MANAGEMENT”?

pabloinnh 7:35 AM  

EYERHYMES is news to me. I was an English major, but that was a long time ago, and I for one find it fun to learn something.

PATOOT must be the truncated version of "patootie", as in "You bet your sweet patootie", the only time I've ever heard this wonderful word. Don't think I'd want a truncated patootie.

Thanks to Peter (no and) Gordon, and I'm humming "Summer Song", again.

Hungry Mother 7:37 AM  

Tougher than usual, but fun solve. I liked the theme and learned a new phrase, so all good here.

kitshef 7:38 AM  

Didn't notice it at the time, but yeah having BAYH an OMAR as neighbors and needed for the revealer is bad form.

Imaginary numbers are useful for quickly solving equations that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. Used in modelling, essentially, things that flow, be it liquid, gas, data transfer or electrical current. If you own a cellphone, thank imaginary numbers.

@ncmathsadist - it's a sandwich shop. Very common in the UK, not so much in the US though I've certainly seen some.

Lewis 7:41 AM  

Incidentally, EYE RHYME was a NYT puzzle answer on a Saturday puzzle in 2010.

amyyanni 7:46 AM  

Sayhey @Larry Gilstrap, that 'guy' was Justice Potter Stewart (I have a JD). Found this much more lively than a usual Monday, even though I'd never heard of that sandwich chain (& never studied French). What makes a Rivera? I live on the Caloosahatchee River and have never thought of it as a Rivera. Perhaps I should.

CDilly52 7:52 AM  

@LMS-I thought of all the bloggers here you would probably be the one to know about the door nail. I learned about it from my daughter who learned it one summer when performing Henry V on Boston Common. She said that the Dramaturg for the play enlightened the troupe during a fight rehearsal of the genesis of the phrase. My daughter, the fight captain, was rehearsing one of the many fight scenes and someone was doing a fall from a parapet in a dangerous manner. She told the person something like “Do it that way and you’ll likely end up deader than a door nail.” According to daughter Kate, after the scene was rehearsed, the Dramaturg asked her if she knew the definition of a door nail. According to Kate’s report, nails became such a symbol of wealth, that sometimes people would hammer extra nails into the door and “kill them” just because they could afford it and wanted all the neighbors to know. These extra showy nails often would be hammered into a decorative pattern of some sort.

Continuing with The Bard, I learned about EYE RHYMEs reading him. Sure does illustrate the oddities of English. With all the zillions of examples out there I could not fathom why our constructor went to French to find one. I did like the EYE of EYE RHYME crossing the homophone AYE AYE, clever indeed.

Played a bit slow for me for a Monday

chefbea 7:53 AM  

Didn't get the puzzle at all...never heard of eye rhymes!!!

Where is anabel????? It's Anabel Monday!!!

Nancy 8:00 AM  

More sophisticated fill than on most Mondays: RESTIVE; FAKERY; NETHER; REGIONAL. No junk. A puzzle that respects the solver's intelligence. As far as EYE RHYMES are concerned -- not exactly a thrilling theme, but perfectly OK.

PRET A MANGER is really the name of a sandwich shop in the U.S. of A.? The sandwich shop of Francophiles? I don't think we have that chain in NYC, and consequently I've never heard of it. But I must assume they serve Croque Monsieurs and Croque Madames. Otherwise they're just being pretentious :)

I was taken a bit aback by PREPPED (40A), because the clue made it sound as though the person being operated PREPPED him or herself. Wash those hands! Shave that body part! Put a shower cap on your head! Then I realized someone else was doing the prepping. WHEW!

Is it an "unfair advantage" (33A) to TRADE ON something you've actually earned -- like your experience or your reputation? With all the corruption and criminality and greed we're seeing right now, this seems pretty benign and innocuous to me.

A better-than-average Monday.

Seth Goldberg 8:07 AM  

Garden variety Monday. Glad to see Ilan Omar is not banned for her anti-semitism. The puzzle needs to be inclusive. Everyone should be welcome no matter how vile.

GILL I. 8:09 AM  

Colour me obtuse. I've never heard of PRET A MANGER - ever. Nor EYE RHYMES. I filled them in then went looking them up. I asked if they had good food. Evidently so. I practically lived in the UK but that was new to me. Didn't ring a bell. They pronounce MANGER as MANJAY and yet the French pronounce it MANGEE.
I thought this was a terrific Monday. I will confess to almost not finishing it because of my ignorance of EYE RHYMES. Now that I know what they are, you get my smile, Peter.
Looking at a new word and trying to figure out how to pronounce it was/is my bane. English wasn't my first language and I could easily massacre it. Yosemite will never forgive me.
PATOOT is a great word even though I usually add an IE at the end. Where did I hear "horses PATOOT?"
I love idiomatic expressions. DEADER than a doornail was my first inquiry on this blog. I had no idea what it meant; I sure do now. Another favorite is "rain cats and dogs." As a child I'd ask why?
Ask a Latina if she pronounces HANGER with a full-on-hard G. Seguro que si.
When the bough breaks......

Steve 8:16 AM  

I don't have a PHD in English, and never taught it at any level, and yet, my opinion is just as valid as anyone else's. I liked it. Great fill, learned a new word.
So there.

TomAz 8:28 AM  

I have never heard of EYE RHYMES, and was at first a little peeved with it in my puzzle. But click a link here, click a link there, and now I've read The Chaos and also read about the Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den. So I've learned stuff, and I like learning stuff.

@LMS: Imaginary numbers are most definitely not a dumb concept. A dumb name, perhaps, yes, but a wonderful concept that is fun to learn. (I'm with you on aromatherapy though.)

webwinger 8:28 AM  

Increasingly (like many others, I suspect) I have come to view the experience of this blog as a kind of “Point-Counterpoint” between @Rex and @LorenMuseSmith. (For those too young to remember, that name was attached to dialogue between always-in-disagreement commentators James Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander which was a long-running regular feature on CBS News Sixty Minutes back in the 1970s, and brilliantly parodied by original SNL cast members Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin.) Today was a perfect example: I liked the theme while doing the puzzle, thinking, that’s a great name for this thing that’s definitely a thing, upon seeing the revealer. Then realized how wrong I was after reading OFL’s comments (snark aside, his points—regarding the puzzle, at least—are almost always well taken), thinking, that’s just the way the English language works (and agreeing that including a French expression wasn’t really fair). Then was happy again after reading @LMS, thinking, this is part of what makes our language so rich and fun, why not celebrate it?

BTW, @LMS, please don’t lump imaginary numbers with vagina dentata and aromatherapy (though your doing so gave be a good chuckle)! Despite their unfortunate name (given because of early unease about assigning a value termed “i” to the square root of -1, which cannot be a “real” number), they are a cornerstone of the magnificent edifice of mathematics. I feel sorry for anyone who can’t be in awe of Euler’s famous identity: e to the power (pi times i) plus 1 = 0 (sorry for the clunky-spell outs, but not sure symbols would show up properly).

In terms of difficulty, it seemed easy while solving, but time was about average for Monday. Interesting contrast to Saturday’s puzzle, which seemed difficult but also finished in average time.

Finally, really liked the BAYH and AYE crossings of revealer EYE, which I hadn't noticed until reading today's comments. Thanks to all for making this blog such a great counterpoint to the puzzles!

Nancy 8:30 AM  

For "Jeopardy" buffs who don't subscribe to the NYT: There's an interesting piece in the Arts Section today: "Up Against the Goliath of Jeopardy". Stephanie Stein describes her brief stint competing against James Holzhauer. Spoiler alert: It didn't end well.

Speedweeder 8:31 AM  

Having a PhD typically involves having very deep knowledge of a very narrow field of study. It certainly doesn't guarantee a broad range of knowledge, as Rex illustrates almost every day. Most of the things he's never heard of are common knowledge for a dabbler like me (I'm shallow, but wide). The other thing about knowledge is that the more you know, the more you realize how much you don't know. Rex, on the other hand, seems to think that if he doesn't know it, it's not worth knowing.

And then I decide that Rex amuses himself by intentionally trying to rile people up, and say "Dang, he got me again".

Taffy-Kun 8:32 AM  

Nancy: there are at least 3 Pret a Manger shops in NYC at Broadway, Church and Fulton

Sir Hillary 8:32 AM  

If you're going to do this theme, at least go all-in and do it with OUGH, as @Rex and @LMS suggest.

Liked NETHER crossing REGIONAL and AFFAIRS crossing FAKERY.

Loved eating at PRETAMANGER back in 1994 when I lived in London. Haven't eaten there since.

@Dan -- Nice suggestion for the revealer.

Wonder if anyone in 1977 said, I got STYX TIX for tonight. Can't wait to hear "Come Sail Away"!.

pabloinnh 8:34 AM  

@GILL I.-Have to admit I did a double take at "full-on-hard(!). If a Latina pronounces HANGER with a hard g, she'd have to spell it JANGUER, verdad?

RooMonster 8:34 AM  

Hey All !
@Loren, I guess I'm wrong. I pronounce HANGER with the hard G, no like hanjer. However, I believe we're both right, as M-W tells us. To Each their own dialect. :-)

What the what is PRETANANGER? And in a MonPuz. EEK. I see from others that it's PRET A MANGER. Ok, still never heard of it. TIT for NAT. Har.

Surprised at the amount of "never seen/heard of EYE RHYMES"-ers here. @LMS has used that term many a time in her posts. AW CMON. :-)

Had a laugh at myself for putting in PREoPED for PREPPED first, thinking Rex was going to blow a fuse because "operated" was in the clue.

NETHER was an odd/cool word. Reminds me of a scene in "My Fellow Americans" (which started Jack Lennon and James Garner as ex-presidents trying to root out the corruption of the current president [Dan Akroyd]. Funny movie if you've never seen it.) The VP wasn't the brainiest, so the President tells his advisors, "And make sure the VP knows they are from the NETHERlands, and not the NETHER regions."

AYE AYE SIR - too obvious to close with. HAR DAT.

FERRET AFFAIRS (giving some F love)

Anonymous 8:49 AM  

I was on my way to a personal record here - came into the south with two and a half minutes on the clock, felt on fire, invincible, was already rehearsing my acceptance speech in the back of my head. And then I hit the south central... Don't know BAYH, don't know GAM, never heard of EYE RHYMEs. Couldn't even remember OMAR on the spot. I wiggled out of there and cleaned up the south east and pivoted back (still under three minutes at this point, still a Monday record) ...and just came to a complete abject standstill. Stared at that south central for five minutes, seven minutes, the clock rounded ten, everything just slipped through my fingers. My acceptance speech took a dark turn, morphed into a public apology. I was booed, shamed, I was run out of town. I felt CRAZEd. I thought: "AW, C'MON!" I EMITTED a piercing TRAWL. I LASHed out with a CLOTHES HANGER and SCAREd up a DIN. Needless to say I ended up nearly ten minutes over my average, all because of this one little section...

Still liked the puzzle, though!

RooMonster 8:53 AM  

Har. Jack Lemmon, which auto-corrupt just again changed to Lennon. Funny how John Lennon never want by Jack.

And I thought I had proofread my post. I blame the first misplaced N on small-space-on-the-phone-letters. Sure, that's it.

Get my TUX, I have SAX TIX.


Glenn Patton 8:58 AM  

@Nancy: According to Mr Google, there's a long list of Pret A Manger shops in New York (at least 50) plus locations in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C..

Birchbark 9:08 AM  

A GAM is also a social visit between whaling ships that meet on the high seas. Melville said you won't find the term in Johnson's or Webster's dictionaries.

Dorothy Biggs 9:14 AM  

@Nancy, there is a Pret a Manger in Union Square. It's really not very good despite its French-y name. I've seen them in Chicago too.

BAYH/AYEAYE/EYE...either this is some kind of "mini" theme, or it's a bit inelegant. Just a collection of words that rhyme in a puzzle about words that look like they ought to rhyme but don't. Mkay...

Agreed with above comment at 2:48am (?!) that Rex's argument against EYE RHYME vis a vis historic rhyme...there may be some overlap in the sets of both, but they are not either one of them exclusive. Clearly RANGER and HANGER look like they ought to, you the EYE they RHYME. I've also known a lot of songwriters, and a "slant" rhyme to them is also called a bastard rhyme. And as for the assertion that "Things rhyme or they don't," well, it depends on what you mean by "rhyme." Lots of things can rhyme...even instrumental musical phrases can rhyme...things that are the same but slightly different could be said to "rhyme" in a grander sense.

My mom used the word PATOOT. I've never heard anyone say it since. I wonder if it will eventually just die out and eventually never be heard again.

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

Anon 6:16,

There's a phrase for what you felt; it's known as douche chills.
Rex delivers them all the time.

nyc_lo 9:16 AM  

Definitely an odd Monday, but I learned two new things: EYE RHYMES, from the puzzle, and The Great Vowel Shift, from Rex. So we’ll call it a win.

GILL I. 9:18 AM  

You bet your sweet PATOOTie Mr. @pablo. Phonetics rock. Then old Mr. jaquespeare comes along and ruins it for all of us.

Nancy 9:24 AM  

Thanks, @Taffy-Kun and @Glenn Patterson: They say that NYC is a city of neighborhoods, and that couldn't be more true. The PRET A MANGERS (PRETS A MANGER?) seem to be located way Downtown and mostly on the West Side. I'm Uptown and on the East Side. I might travel to a Destination Restaurant once in a great while, but I doubt it would be for sandwiches. But I will go to Google and look at the photos of their sandwiches. Who knows -- maybe I'll change my mind. If they feature pastrami, I might go there with @GILL, if she ever makes it here.

mathgent 9:25 AM  

Will Shortz and Joel Fagliano are giving a lecture tonight at the Castro Theater here in San Francisco. I'm going, anyone else?

SouthsideJohnny 9:28 AM  

As has been pointed out, Imaginary Numbers are a very useful and powerful concept, as evidenced by the aforementioned Euler’s Identity. Granted, they are labeled deceptively, as they are no more or less “imaginary” than any other number. That does not diminish their usefulness however.

Suzie Q 9:56 AM  

I usually associate Peter Gordon with difficult puzzles jam-packed with proper names so I approached this puzzle with caution. A Gordon puzzle on a Monday? Hmm. Wonder how this will go?
It was harder than the usual Monday but in a good way.
I was delighted to learn about eye rhymes from Rex and then @Loren continued my enlightenment so this was a great Monday for me.
Some days you're the hammer and some days you're the nail (dead or otherwise). Today I feel like the hammer.

Wood 10:04 AM  

It's fun to pronounce the three themers as if they did rhyme, three different ways.

Anonymous 10:19 AM  

I teach eye rhyme to my AP English students every year. Their exam is Wednesday and they might be glad I did. If they are ever unfortunate enough to have someone as close-minded as Rex is for a professor in college, I hope they will continue to seek out new knowledge on their own, as any holes a professor like this has in his education is always the fault of the holes themselves.

jberg 10:45 AM  

@Dan, my thoughts exactly. In fact the first thing I noticed about the theme answers was that they all contained the word ANGER, only later did I notice the sight rhymes (to use the term I'm more familiar with). And even when I noticed, I'd forgotten the context for MANGER, and was thinking "hey, that rhymes with RANGER, inelegant!" But then I remembered, and liked it.

@Gill, I'm impressed that you never notice the Pret-a-MANGER chain in the UK, they're all over the place. I'm pretty sure they were named as a play on Pret-a-Porter, which not only means "ready to wear" but is the name of a big annual fashion show in Paris (and maybe elsewhere). I've never set food inside one, so I can't say what the food is like.

I liked the NAT/NATE crossing.

OK, @Loren -- do you really say 'hanner' for that thing you hang your clothes on? Do you pronounce 'sin' and 'sing' the same way? Seems to me that you are pronouncing a German ng sound there -- not the same as a hard or soft g, but still an audible indication that the g is in there. ("Deign" is another story; and I do know people from Long Island who say "lenthen" and "strenthen;" but then they say "Lon Guyland.") BTW, I was expecting you to be beaten up severely for putting down our friends the imaginary numbers, but you're getting off easy.

I've always heard "dead as a doornail," not the comparative form, but other people here have heard the latter, so that's OK.

Notice that @Rex opens by saying that he did not expect to be blogging this one -- I hope Annabel is OK!

Nancy 10:52 AM  

@Loren (3:04) -- I clicked on your link and was delighted. Yes, it is as you said, "a helluva poem". (Light verse, more accurately). But did it write itself?

I'm not blaming you, heaven knows it's not your fault, Loren, but because it's such a clever, well-executed poem, I scoured the link to find the poet who created it. And I'm damned if I could find a reference. This is one of my pet peeves. I have read entire reviews -- long ones -- of new musicals that do not have a single reference to the composer, lyricist or book writer. The performers are discussed at great length; so, too, the director; usually the choreographer, as well. And I'll want to scream at the review: "Did this show write itself?"

Somewhere out there is a quite talented writer of light verse who failed to get his byline. That's just not right.

Lewis 10:57 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

1. "Believe it," as a retort (3)
2. Fashion lines? (5)
3. Space for everything (11)
4. Part of an after-school lineup (3)
5. Purchase of proof? (7)


Z 11:02 AM  

Liked it fine, perfectly okay, with a fair amount of good stuff and very little cringe-inducing short fill. What @anon2:48 said about eye rhymes.

@Roo Monster - Look at the pronunciation symbol of the G in HANGER, ˈhaŋ-ər, and the two G’s in gang, ˈgaŋ. Notice anything? Never doubt the Muse.

@LMS - sword fights and sex puns are always a great hook.

@speedweeder - Knowing more and more about less and less is the best description I’ve ever seen of getting a Ph.D. I’ve heard of EYE RHYMES, but mostly as something to avoid. Hardly surprising to me that a medievalist, where poetry is meant to be heard, would not remember EYE RHYMES.

Loren Muse Smith 11:14 AM  

Here’s what I meant – below is the phonetic transcription of the word HANGER that I cut and pasted from Merriam Webster.

That “n” looking symbol with a tail represents our velar nasal sound - the sound where you close up the back of the throat and send the air out of your nose. You never completely stop the air flow the way a hard g does. If you wanted, you could say king and hold that last sound for like three minutes if you had good lungs and wanted to be creepy and clear a room.

Below is the phonetic transcription from Merriam Webster for the word pug. See the actual g? You could never continue that g sound for three minutes ‘cause it has this one instance of stopping the air and then poofing it out. That’s why it’s called a stop or plosive.


The word hanger has no stop (/g/). The sound in between the two vowels is a nasal (/ŋ/).

Loren Muse Smith 11:20 AM  

PS – below is the phonetic transcription for anger, again copied and pasted from Merriam Webster.


See the g symbol after the ŋ? That was my point to begin with. Peter could’ve had another themer with ANGER ‘cause it is not pronounced like HANGER. <

albatross shell 11:22 AM  

I think we need a word for thinking you are saying a sound when you are not. Phantom
sounds is too long. Miragees only covers one letter.
Banger and HANGER - no g. Anger - with a g. Hangar can go both ways. Say "banger anger hanger" in various orders. Can you feel a variation in tongue action or mouth shape? I think so but to me it seems to become less apparent the more you say them. Also say the 2 word phrase "hanger on". Does the g magically appear? Dang me they oughta take a rope and hang me.

Yes I have heard of I eye rhymes. Sometimes when reading poetry aloud it's very tempting to read eye rhymes or historic rhymes so they do rhyme. I remember listening to a bootleg collection of early Dylan as I was going to sleep. In one song each verse ended with a non-standard pronunciation to create a rhyme except for the last verse which ended with a non-standard pronunciation to make it a near rhyme insread of an exact rhyme. Maybe I was dreaming because I never found that song again. Still looking, thought it was brilliant.

It seems to me that since breaking the ass-barrier there have been a load of ass-answers running thru the puzzles lately. Patoot maybe the most amusing and buns being the sweetest. Will only mention Kinky, Texas Jewboy, here and go no further, because some might not think it's satire.

Time consuming for a Monday for me. I like the subtlety created by the 'anger' words instead of using the more obvious 'ough' words. Plenty of fun for a Monday.

Peter P 11:42 AM  

I made the same mistake of going straight to PRETaportER instead of PRETAMANGER, as I was just cruising along on this one and speed solving it. I only have a B.A. in English, but I know EYE RHYMES pretty well. That said, my concentration was in poetry, and I was kind of obsessed with prosody and all its lingo. I'm also fairly sure we talked about them in high school, but don't quote me on it--it's possible we used the term "sight rhyme" then, but "eye rhyme" is what I usually call it. It was a "gimme" answer for me, but clearly most commentators are not familiar with the term. It doesn't have to be (and often isn't) a historical rhyme. It's simply two words that look like that should rhyme based on spelling, but don't. "Laughter/daughter" would be an EYE RHYME, for instance.

It is true that "ANGER" and "HANGER" are supposed to be pronounced slightly differently, similar to how "singer" and "finger" are slightly different. ("Singer" only has a /ŋ/ sound, while "finger" has a /ŋg/.) That said, while speaking slowly and enunciating, I am apt to say "siŋ - gɚr" where it should be "siŋ -ɚr", like I say the "l" in "folk" where most dictionaries don't even give that as a variant pronunciation. I will also occasionally do it in spontaneous speech, as well, as perhaps a hypercorrection or something like that, like how people say the "t" in "often" (which is a permissible variant, IMHO, but it was drilled into me that the "t" is silent, and the more pedantic sorts still pick at it.)

CrossMom 11:42 AM  

Rex said, “a GAM is a gun moll's shapely leg or it's nothing”
If GAM had been clued this way by the NYT xword editors, Rex would have been the first to point out their sexism.

Michiganman 11:47 AM  

@Seth Goldberg. Ilan Omar is neither "vile" nor "antisemitic". She speaks truth about a subject that AIPAC suppresses. It doesn't help the dialogue to couch your smears in a frame of tolerance.

thfenn 11:47 AM  

Liked this one, easy and fun. The puzzle, and @LMS on anger vs hanger, reminded me of this 'PSA' on YouTube:
Love it.

Molasses 11:48 AM  

I learned things today! If I ever knew about historical rhymes, I'd forgotten, and now I want to go read some Shakespeare out loud and pronounce the end words as though they rhyme. The hanger pronunciation discussion was interesting; I live in the Southwest and I do know people who pronounce that kind of word like han-ger not hang-er. Now that I think of it they're all people whose first language was Spanish. For some reason it reminds me of often, which I've noticed lately many people (including my own daughter) pronounce with an audible t. Hmm.

The puzzle was hard for a Monday. I started with pret-a-porter which made that whole bottom middle section impossible till something clicked in my brain. We don't have pret-a-manger around here but I've apparently seen them somewhere.

Great Monicker 11:53 AM  

Horace S. Patoot used to comment here fairly regularly. I always get a chuckle out of that.

Hartley70 12:07 PM  

@Nancy, the poem is by Richard Krogh, published in March, 1961.

This was an interesting Monday. I thought the eye rhyme theme was fresh and provoked a pronunciation discussion, so much better than some of the hobby-horses that get ridden here regularly. Tristram Shandy is a favorite of mine but even he might get tired of the Rex etc. complaints.

“…so long as a man rides his Hobby-Horse peaceably and quietly along the King's highway, and neither compels you or me to get up behind him,--pray, Sir, what have either you or I to do with it?”

There was little to no dreck and no, I’m not counting Cleo’s snake. The popular names weren’t sports related! I couldn’t be happier.

relicofthe60s 12:28 PM  

Please alert all crossword constructors: Only use phrases as themes if Rex Parker has heard of them. Oh, and no answers he’s never heard of either.

And to the guy from NYC who never heard of Pret a Manger, there are at least 12 of them there, including two in Penn Station.

Fred Romagnolo 12:35 PM  

It disturbed me greatly, when I was a small boy, that the Mother Goose poem about Old Mother Hubbard didn't really rhyme: bone and none. In high school I learned about sight rhymes (I'm with you, jberg); now I see that they are being called eye rhymes, which is O.K. Didn't we have a contributor to this blog who called himself Sweet Patootie? Maybe I'm wrong and Rex does say outrageous things just to get a rise out of people (and maybe to reveal the stupidity of the ones who defend him?). I don't think what Omar says is anti-semitism, it's certainly anti-Israel. Lists that include "vagina dentata" are certainly eye raisers!

Teedmn 1:05 PM  

I would add one to @LMS's LOUGH-fest: Mccullough coughed, “Rough hiccoughs plough through a slough of thought, though”. Yes, you can pronounce it "sluff" but also "sloo" which I enjoy.

A rather interesting puzzle for a Monday, with RESTIVE and MERCUTIO, RIVIERAS and NEONATE. Hey, I wasn't NEONATED yesterday!

Fun, thanks Peter Gordon.

Brit solves nyt 1:07 PM  

Worrying that anyone would lump imaginary numbers in with things like aromatherapy. Unless you don’t think things like radar to monitor and coordinate air traffic are useful, whose equations are predicated on maths using imaginary numbers / complex equations.

JC66 1:13 PM  

I, too, hope @Annabel's OK.

Also where's @M&A?

RooMonster 1:19 PM  

Bangers and Mash!

Sorry, I panicked...


Masked and Anonymous 1:28 PM  

Didn't know what an EYE RHYME was, beyond stuff like WHY and PIE and RYE(m). Had never heard of PRETAMANGER, and sure had no idea how to pronounce it. Soft g, maybe? But, still …

Enjoyed havin another feisty MonPuz from the Gordonmeister. Only 72 words! 5.31 average word length! Side-by-side politicians! [BAYH, OMAR] And learned the above theme-stuff, too boot. Pretty darn good low-U-turnout Monday rodeo.

staff weeject pick: EYE. Has yer themer-level respect for the runtwordz. Always appreciated weeject stacks in the NW & SE, btw.
fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {___ for tat} = TIT.
fave non-eye-rhymer: AWCMON. Sorta looks like it could almost rhyme with Gordon, tho.

Thanx, Mr. Gordon.

Masked & AnonymoUUs


Joe Dipinto 1:29 PM  

Eye rhyme, therefore I'm.

Forget Pret a Manger. The sandwiches suck. What's more important is that

The pellet with the poison's in the chalice from the palace;
the vessel with the pestle holds the brew that is true.

Unless they broke the chalice from the palace, in which case

The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle;
the flagon with the dragon holds the brew that is true.

Just remember that. Now it's time to listen to my Styx albums. Oh wait, I don't have any.

Unknown 1:31 PM  

Eye rhymes?

tea73 1:31 PM  

Google maps says there are 17 Pret A Manger shops in New York City alone. Boy it really bothers me that they left off the diacritical marks and dashes. (It's a play on prêt-à-porter.)DEAD as a doornail kept me from seeing MERCUTIO for a while. Otherwise I flew through the puzzle.

I have definitely heard of eye rhymes - maybe because we did so much poetry in high school or may be just from crossword puzzles. I thought it was a great theme. What a weird language English is! I though BAYH and OMAR were gimmes.

JC66 1:46 PM  


Ask and you shall receive. ;-)

Mr. Alarm 1:46 PM  

I once knew a gal named Jean Bean. Pronounced as read (red). Good, solid rhymaiden!

john towle 2:04 PM  

The French never refer to their south coast as The Riviera. La Côte d’Azur, s’il-vous plaît. Merci. Il n’y a pas de quoi.

Aketi 2:18 PM  

I liked the PATOOT EMITTED cross,

@Nancy, midtown has lots of PRET A MANGERs too. I never ate their salads, only their oatmeal with coffee in between BJJ classes just because it was convenient. It is slightly better than Starbucks for those items. Now that I’ve discovered Bibble and Sip, I can’t go back.

Carola 2:24 PM  

I thought it was an unusually elegant Monday. I'm 100% with @Loren in admiring the theme. I loved how MANGER was finessed from it's usual "Away in a manger" pronunciation, the witty concluding pile-up of actual rhymes BAYH -AYE and homophones EYE-AYE, the PATOOT-NETHER REGIONAL cluster, and the (thank you @Loren) MERCUTIO-DEADER cross. I think RESTIVE fits with him, too.

RANGER and HANGER showed me what was afoot, making PRET A MANGER a shoo-in. I was surprised at @Rex's reaction to EYE RHYMES, as I learned about them from a previous puzzle and blog discussion here, where it was the Word of the Day (Patrick Berry Friday, May 29, 2015). Funny what will ADHERE in memory!

@Dan, great idea for the reveal.
@Nancy, exact same thoughts on PREPPED and TRADE ON.

Berta 2:27 PM  

@mathgent (9:25) - thanks for telling us about tonight's crossword event in SF. I just bought a ticket.

crabsofsteel 2:36 PM  

For once I agree with Rex. Ew and Ugh.

Larry Gilstrap 2:44 PM  

As pointed out, a GAM is both a chance meeting at sea between whaling ships, clearly defined and described in Moby-Dick Chapter 53, The GAM and a group of whales. I can't remember Melville ever using the term to describe a grouping of whales in the novel, which he of course knew. Eight chapters in the book describe a GAM with various seemingly random whaling ships, and provide a refreshing contrast from the world of the Pequod. Melville, as to be expected, creates fantastic mini-worlds on these ships populated with bizarre, tragic, or hilarious crew members. The ships names are part of the fun: The Virgin led by an inept German captain has yet to kill a whale, The Rose Bud smells, The Bachelor is in the midst of orgiastic celebration as it heads home after a fabulously successful voyage, the captain of the Rachel is frantically looking for his lost child, and The Delight is under a pall of tragedy. Think of Gulliver's visit to different lands or Star Trek visiting different planets. I know, the topic is vaguely associated with Moby-Dick, wind me up and watch me go.

Unknown 2:46 PM  

Ms. Nancy: there are Pret a Mangers in NYC. As I recall, they migrated here first, from the UK. One of their early sandwiches, now missed by my was a tasty Coronation chicken. Mmmmm...

albatross shell 3:22 PM  

The coast of Alabama is called the Redneck Riviera by some Alabamans. I don't know if that includes the natives of that area.

Crimson Devil 4:04 PM  

Buddy o’ mine, Hardy Jackson, wrote The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riveria. Fun read. Cited twice in Pulitzer Prize winning The Gulf. Hardy says thas as close as he’ll get to Pulitzer.
Re:today theme, gotta be Anger Management!!!
I thought such but others have already noted, so Hand Up in concert.

Anonymous 4:08 PM  

So I guess nobody reads the blog before they comment. That would account for the 23 shout outs to @Nancy that there are indeed pretamangers in NYC.

Mohair Sam 4:19 PM  

@Loren - Dad taught me to "deaden" a few nails on anything that takes extra abuse (doors, window sills, etc.). I'd use a slightly larger nail than needed, hammer it in to about 1/2 inch from the surface, then hammer it once from the side to bend the head into the wood. One hard blow of the hammer to the head of the nail secures the head hard into the surface, making the nail nearly impossible to shake from its seat (hence dead). I've always assumed that method was the source of the "dead doornail" idiom.

@Pret A Manger defenders - Best credit man I ever knew taught me to be very careful lending to franchisees looking to start up a location with a frachisor with less than 200 locations. Name recognition will have little or no value. Googled "Pret" and saw they have only 74 locations in the USA. PRETAMANGER is a Friday/Saturday clue, or one for the London Times. Also learned that PRET opened their first location in France in 2012. Go figure.

Anonymous 4:24 PM  

To all the English majors. If you square a negative number you get a positive answer since a negative times a negative is always positive. Some equations solve to the square root of a negative number. There is no way you square any number and get a negative result. So e.g. The square root of minus one is an IMAGINARY NUMBER.

HSCW Editor 5:00 PM  

Wikipedia? Seriously? Citing Wikipedia as a reliable reference for anything serious is inexcusable for a professor. And the level of narcissism it takes to complain constantly that something is not a "thing" or "dumb" because, he never heard of it or doesn't agree with it is astonishing.

More to the point: I can no longer abide a blogger who claims to be a scholar, yet seeming can't be bothered to uphold the bare minimum standards of scholarship in his widely read public posts. Instead these posts increasingly perpetuate the excuses of the ignorant that educating themselves is either too much trouble, or unnecessary because the subject falls outside the extremely narrow field of what they consider relevant or useful.

Arguments such as "I'm an expert and I consider X to be incorrect/dumb, therefore anyone who considers X to be true is wrong/an idiot/behind the times" echo exactly the arguments of extremists and conspiracy theorists. Those arguments do a great deal of harm.

How sad someone who has allegedly devoted his life to education continues to spout them.

And last, for anyone interested in reliable, standard, well-researched sources that define "EYE RHYME" and do not seem to think it's an obscure term or a "dumb concept" or simply an obsolete historical thing:

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics which lists "Eye Rhyme" as the primary term adding in parentheses the secondary terms "sight rhyme" and "visual rhyme", followed by several paragraphs concerning history and current usage and citing other reference works.

The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (Oxford University Press)

The Poetry Foundation's "Glossary of Poetic Terms"

Numerous dictionaries including Merriam-Webster, American Heritage and Collins, with some noting it is also called a sight rhyme. Roget's Thesaurus includes it as well.

Hundreds of syllabi and course descriptions from universities and high schools alike...

Not to mention study and flashcard materials for the Advanced Placement Exam which note that "eye rhyme" is included in the AP poetry terms you will be tested on.

I could go on, but anyone - even without a Ph.D. - can easily find these same sources and others with the most cursory phrase search.

I will miss the commenters on this blog. They are a great bunch. But continuing to visit the blog and increase its hits only indicates support for a distressingly closed mindset, with which I fervently disagree.


Anonymous 5:28 PM  

Thanks for the reference to the Henderson story. Great! Gee, Rex has a PhD? Who knew? (Spoiler alert: Anyone who has read this blog more than once.)

Anonymous 5:45 PM  

Good one!

jae 6:05 PM  

@Carola - thanks for pin pointing when I learned about EYE RHYMES from xwords.

chefbea 6:10 PM  

Is there a reason no one has answered my question.....why no Anabel?????

Space Is Deep 7:21 PM  

I call foul. PRET A MANGER Is only in six cities, not states, cities. I would object if this was in a Saturday puzzle. In a Monday! Outrageous.

Birchbark 7:39 PM  

@Larry (2:44) -- Great stuff, as usual. Of course it's the Rachel that finds Ishmael in the end, which sort of underscores your point.

T Hunt 7:41 PM  

Another MA in English here to say that I, too, have heard of sight rhymes, and am flexible enough in my thinking (particularly when it comes to crosswords) to accept “eye rhymes” as a legitimate phrase. An anonymous poster noted that he/she(/they?) teaches this to AP literature students; I teach it to IB literature students and also enjoy awarding such insights when marking IB exams, particularly to students who can articulate the effects of such a technique.

As Eric Hoffer wrote, “In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists” (source: NOT Wikipedia, NOT BrainyQuote, etc.). Props to all the learners here with the humility and curiosity to explore something previously unknown rather than to claim its irrelevance in the face of their ignorance.

Jeff B. 8:13 PM  

Interesting entries here. I disagree with Rex often but don't mind him stirring things up. The political correctness is a bit much, but I enjoy the give and take of this community. And it's his blog, so we have the option of bailing out.

@Anon 8:49: I had a very similar experience, breezing through most of the puzzle (not as quickly as you) till the deep south halted that. Your account of it was an entertaining read.

@Michiganman: I too am tired of seeing criticism of Israel and AIPAC called anti-semitic. Rep. Omar certainly needs to choose her words with more care, but the actual message is an important one, especially after the most recent election and the issues that surrounded it.

Runs with Scissors 8:46 PM  

Been busier’n a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest today so a late entry.

DNF. On a Monday. Shakespeare didn’t know his own character’s name was Hercutio? I mean, c’mon Bill!!! And some people do find advantage in parting with their honey.

Other than that it was a pretty quick, fun little puzzle. No real holdups anywhere. I’ve never seen a Pret a Manger, assumed that if it’s named carry to chew then I probably don’t want to. Har.

Pretty much a great puzzle.

When I saw the AXMEN going after MERCUTIO, I just said AYE AYE and hoped he wouldn’t have to cross the STYX.

No English degrees here, just have fun with the language. 'Cause, y'know, why not?

Mark, in Mickey’s North 40

Z 10:15 PM  

@chefbea - I don’t know why, but I took Rex’s opener, “Did not expect to be blogging tonight,” to mean something came up. Finals maybe?

@Jeff B, @michiganman, and @Fred Romagnolo - Yep.

Catholic Boy 10:57 PM  

@Z : Ilhan Omar is a blatant ant-Semite. You and your alter ego Michigan Man are either ignorant or willfully dishonest. Either way it’s not a good look.

Peter P 11:22 PM  

Good lord, what is this crap about imaginary numbers? It's just a way of expressing an extra dimension. So instead of having one axis, you have two. And I'm an English major, ffs! "Imaginary" was a poor choice of nomenclature. Should've just stuck with "complex numbers."

CDilly52 6:51 AM  

Pretentious? Perish the thought!! 😉

Burma Shave 9:47 AM  


are you APT to marry, or TRADEON AFFAIRS for MONEY?


rondo 10:06 AM  

I won’t research these things, but I know about EYE RHYMES only because of previous xword puzzles. But I went straight to PRETAportER because I’ve seen it somewhere. So a bit of a Mon-puz inkfest.

Sorry to say that Ilhan OMAR is indeed from MN. Get off my side.

AW,C’MON. Why the long face Ms. PARKER? Because ANNA and TERI and TRISHA are first in line for a yeah baby? ANNA K. was semi-famous for her AFFAIRS with NHL players.

OFL is hard to please. AYEAYE EYE.

spacecraft 10:16 AM  

If indeed PRETAMANGER is a "chain," it certainly must be REGIONAL. I have lived in both the east and the west, and have never even driven PAST one, let alone heard of it. Luckily, though, the puzzle was too easy to make it troublesome.

EYE RHYMES is a new one on me; I thought they were heteronyms. No matter. As I started from the top, I was struck by how few PPPs there were. The south brought up the count, though. Simple theme; only three entries plus crossing revealer; doesn't try to do too much. The result brings more smiley faces than frowny ones. Take a lesson, constructors.

If you don't know PATOOT, you've never seen the latter M*A*S*H episodes: the ones with Col. Potter. How he talked the Army into shipping his horse Sophie to Korea is still a wonder.

The DOD contest is fierce today, but ATTAGIRL, TERI Hatcher: you win! Numerous honorable mentions to ANNA Kournikova (we poker players used to call Ace-King that name: looks great but can't win), the crossing S.J. PARKER, and TRISHA Yearwood. A GAM of GAMs, if you will. Birdie.

rondo 10:34 AM  

@spacey - You're killin' me. That Ace-king thing for ANNA K is great! I'll remember to USE it.

leftcoast 3:11 PM  

Just a normally easy Monday puzzle -- until the messy revealer area. EYE RHYMES (on a Monday?) tangled up with AYE, AYE and BAYH, topped by PRETAMANGER and crossed by OMAR? Okay, but maybe just enough to stir a bit of ANGER for some.

rainforest 3:15 PM  

EYE RHYMES, eh? Somewhat different from ear RHYMES which of course can only be discerned if one engages the mouth. Makes one think, sorta. So, are there any *nose* rhymes (other than those, toes, doze, knows, lows, sews). Inquiring minds want to know.

Hah on ANNA K, @Spacey! Isn't it also called "Big Slick"?

The puzzle was easy enough to just about complete with acrosses only, but it nevertheless had a nice array of good words: RESTIVE, FAKERY, EPIDEMIC, NETHER, NEONATE.

Good Monday.

Diana,LIW 3:27 PM  

I've seen eye rhymes before - wake up Rex!! ;-)

Never saw a PRETAMANGER store in the wild, but apparently my old Philly hometown has them.

'Twas a touch tougher than the typical Monday offering. It's no secret that I'm an ADMIRER of Mondays, but I'm not a NEONATE.

Diana, LIW for Crosswords

willzimjohn 7:21 PM  

Aside: That was Chad and Jeremy.

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