Time of lackluster performance / MON 6-10-19 / Elusive Tupperware components often

Monday, June 10, 2019

Constructor: Brad Wilber

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging (for a Monday) (3:28)

THEME: PURSE (56D: Where the endings of 17-, 33-, 43- and 63-Across are often found) — things found in a PURSE, just like it says:

Theme answers:
  • DRAMATIC LICENSE (17A: Not strict adherence to what really happened, say)
  • SHIFT CHANGE (33A: When a fresh factory crew arrives)
  • FLORIDA KEYS (43A: Archipelago forming the southernmost part of the continental U.S.)
  • SAN DIEGO CHARGER (63A: Member of an N.F.L. team transplanted to Los Angeles in 2017)
Word of the Day: SLUE (33D: Swivel around) —
• • •

I'm a bit tired and I've had a drink, but even so, I don't think that accounts for how slow I was today. Just couldn't move through the grid easily at all. Not hard, but choppy and odd, w/ alt spellings like SLUE and weird partials like AGOAT and insane parsings like THE space O, plus a very segmented grid and no answers longer than seven letters outside the themers. Not a lot of fun to move through; just sloggy. The theme was OK. One of those "last words"-type themes you see all the time, with nothing special to recommend it, i.e. no clever revealer, no real wordplay ... nothing. Also, it's a pretty arbitrary assortment of PURSE things. They're fine, they're certainly PURSE items, but "change" strikes me as odd (ROSANNE CASH might've been a better answer there, in that it's a broader, more inclusive term—seems like carrying around "change" (like, the metal kind, which I assume is what was meant) is probably increasingly rare. If this were "Family Feud" and we were doing "Things Found In a PURSE" I have to imagine the most popular answers list would look a little different, and might include, among other things: wallet, credit cards, lipstick, lip gloss, tampons, snacks, phone... I dunno. All I know is this theme has me imagining all the things it left out. The premise of a PURSE containing four items is a bit strange. Also, how long ago as this puzzle written? SAN DIEGO CHARGER has been dated for a while now.

I was slow on the uptake with some of the longer answers. Getting the second half on the first two did not come easily. Brain: "DRAMATIC ... IRONY!? No? Sorry, I'm out of ideas." I got the second halves of the last two themers first, and that somehow made solving them easier, which strikes me as unusual, or unexpected. Often backing into answers makes them harder to pick up, but FLORIDA KEYS and SAN DIEGO CHARGER came easily off the back ends. Sticking points: A GOAT (never picked it up, all crosses), ANYHOW (had ANYWAY) (29A: "Be that as it may ..."), SHAPE (16A: Many a New Year's resolution prescribes getting into it) (ugh, the wordiness), ECLAT (9A: Flashy effect) (I think of this more as a "splash"or "hurrah" or something), THE O (28D: Letter you don't pronounce in "jeopardy" and "leopard") (my kingdom for [Cubs GM Epstein] or [Huxtable son]), and, most dire of all, ROLE (49A: Auditioner's goal), which I has as SALE because I read the clue as [Auctioneer's goal]. SALE then led me to my best wrong answer of the day: CAT SHOW (45D: Annual Westminster event). Me: "Really, they do cats too??" No. No they don't, although it looks like cats are now included as part of the DOG SHOW now, what the hell? The end.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:10 AM  

My wife would never carry her phone charger in her purse. However, we do live in San Diego and with what she DOES carry, calling her a "San Diego Charger" would be quite accurate.

Anonymous 12:14 AM  

I say no to SLUE in a beginner crossword. Even with easy crosses, the answer should be recognizable to the beginner. You SHOULD NOT, COULD NOT
I thought I would be the only one to read 49A as Auctioneer's goal.
The rest of it felt like a good Monday that will hopefully draw more people into our web of words

Joaquin 12:17 AM  

Re: Word of the Day "Slue". Anybody else old enough to remember the dance the Slue Foot (from "Daddy Long Legs")? It was all the rage for a year or two in the mid-50s. Google "Slue Foot Dance" for a trip down Memory Lane.

jae 12:54 AM  

Easy. Solid Mon., liked it.

chefwen 2:49 AM  

I tried to do this one with downs only and was pretty successful, had to check a few acrosses to make sure I was on the right track. Had I tried it with only acrosses I think DRAMATIC LICENSE would have tripped me up.

Excellent beginners puzzle, except for 17A. One write over at 59D ANON over soON.

Hartley70 3:42 AM  

Well this smarty-pants Monday was like a much needed vocabulary lesson for me. I’ve spent a lifetime mentally spelling SHOOIN as “shoe in”. I imagined that your shoe was in that door and you were coming in like it or not. Now I have to think of Grandma with a broom SHOOing you into the house. I might be too old to make the mental SHIFTCHANGE.

I’ve got SLUice and Slew in hand, but SLUE is new to me. I tried SPIN first.

I’ve used an XACTO knife many times but always put an “E” in front. I suppose I never purchased one and looked at the packaging. They’re so nasty with those razor blades they must have sliced off the “E” like the tip of a finger.

The theme here was very nice. I don’t keep a CHARGER in my purse or bother with CHANGE any longer. Cha-ching has replaced cash in my life. That said, I’m sure many do jam those four items in a handbag along with many others as they head out the door.

Brookboy 3:47 AM  

Unlike Rex, I thought this puzzle was relatively easy, even for a Monday, and it had its charm. Perhaps that drink that Rex had was more potent than he had anticipated, in that his review itself seemed kind of phoned in, as if his heart wasn’t really in it.

Good puzzle for a Monday…

staydetuned 3:54 AM  

Ha!! I read it as “Auctioneer’s goal” as well, and didn’t get it until well after I’d completed the puzzle and gone back to try and understand what that answer could have meant. And even then it took me two reads. I’ve also had a drink :D

Aketi 5:43 AM  

@hartley70, I too leave the CHARGER and CHANGE at home. I have reduced my PURSE to a water bottle holder that is the perfect size to hold my phone, my credit card, my KEYS and my LICENSE which is all I need for most excursions. Ditto on the SHOe IN before SHOO IN.

Bageleater 6:00 AM  

I wonder why Rex does not groan at “Singer Ono.” It always makes me cringe, as does her singing. Her visual art was always her strong suit, in my opinion. I, too, was stunned to see that it is spelled “shoo-in.”

Lewis 6:07 AM  

Good timing, with TONYS happening last night.

To keep the puzzle elegant, Brad needed to keep other purse items out of the rest of the puzzle, and did, with the possible exception of an OREO or some HOSE (spare pair of stockings?), but those aren't common. So, good on that front.

There is a mini-theme of double E's (5), and I thought this might be on the harder end of Monday, because there were some stutters and trips for me instead of the usual splat solve that greets me on this day. Maybe Brad is going for the cycle (having NYT puzzles published every day of the week), as this is his first Monday (in 52 puzzles) and now only lacks a Thursday and Sunday puzzle.

With ONO and OREO, new solvers are given a heads-up on answers to remember, and the overall fine quality also gives them a good taste of what they can expect in doing NYT puzzles. Thank you, Brad!

Suzie Q 6:17 AM  

Funny how many people misread 49A, myself included.
Gru was a total unknown as was Shalhoub.
Other than that it all was some good Monday fun.

OTD 6:25 AM  

Went through this one like the proverbial knife through butter. Agree about SLUE, however.

Richard 6:43 AM  

Funny how we all read aucttoneer. Piaf?

Hungry Mother 7:01 AM  

Very fast here, no hesitation, only slowed by typing speed and clumsy fingers.

OffTheGrid 7:18 AM  

Interesting that so many misread auditioner as auctioneer. I did it too. As I look at it the aud is easily seen as auct. BTW, spellcheck rejects auditioner.

So I was looking at DAGSHOW (though I like Rex's CATSHOW) and knew it had to be DOGSHOW. I worked the rest of the puzzle and came back to clean that up near the end.

Anonymous 7:24 AM  

I'm not the expert solver so many of the commenters are and I NEVER time myself (takes all the joy out of it), but today was the fastest I've ever, ever finished a puzzle. Just sat down and started reading clues and filling them in. It wasn't until I got here that I realized I hadn't even read a few of the clues--just zoomed right over them as I filled in consecutive downs or acrosses.

amyyanni 7:24 AM  

Gru & slue: new (to me).

kitshef 7:26 AM  

What a bizarre clue for THE O! And a strangely disconcerting one for A GOAT.

Decent enough, but just to easy to get excited about.

John H 7:26 AM  

Auditioner - auctioneer, I had the same problem.

Wm. C. 7:30 AM  

As noted several times above, SLUE (on any day!) was an absolute no-no, especially in a little corner with ... for me, anyway ... some non-obvious crosses. And it would have been very easy to re-tool that little area into a Monday. Shame on you, Mr . Shortz!

CS 7:30 AM  

Perfectly appropriate Monday-level puzzle, don't understand why Rex gave it that rating (Slue the only word that didn't fit, but gotten from the cross). "license" was obvious to me after getting "Dramatic ..... ".
And those are all things I carry in my bag which is no longer a "purse" but more like a backpack - thank goodness there are many options appropriate for professionals now, given how many other things are likely carried around these days (laptops, water bottles, etc.!

-- CS

Mike Herlihy 7:43 AM  

Auctioneer here, too.

I'm fine with SLUE - the crosses were fair for a Monday, and a beginner will (should) learn from it.

Suzie Q 8:01 AM  

I forgot to add that slue always comes easily for me because of reading The Yearling. The bear in the story is named Old Slewfoot.
I wondered why they called it that and looked it up.
For some reason it stuck with me.

Nancy 8:03 AM  

Because I saw SHIFT, rather than CHANGE, as the themer part of 33A's SHIFT CHANGE, I put together LICENSE, SHIFT, KEYS and CHARGER as the connected words and came up with some sort of (electric) car as the revealer. Wrong. Not that it mattered at all to the process of solving.

"Could you, would you, with A GOAT?" Would you what, exactly? There was an Albee play called "The Goat or Who is Sylvia" which was about a man who had profound erotic longings for a goat. I think he also had sex with the goat, though I managed to miss the play and, therefore, can't be completely sure. Was Dr. Seuss the inspiration for Albee's play? Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

The GOAT clue was by far the most stimulating and exciting thing in this puzzle.

mmorgan 8:34 AM  

Fine Monday, and I convinced myself that it was (strangely) a themeless, until I put in PURSE as the very last word. A very lower case aha moment.

Funny how many read “auctioneer” (I didn’t).

@Nancy... no comment!

Sir Hillary 8:35 AM  

Solid Monday, and appropriately easy. I think @Rex was just having an OFFDAY.

Nice to see AGOAT in a puzzle with EGGON and WHAMO.

Missed opportunity to clue 46D as Greeting on 14A.

Anonymous 9:13 AM  

I never use the word purse. Just bag. Purse seems really old fashioned, like something my grandmother would use. Adding slue and THE O it was a weird puzzle.

ghthree 9:14 AM  

Four writeovers, a comment, and a mystery:

1: BLING for 9A. Caused me no end of trouble.
2: NEET for 37D
3: GO LONG for 53A
4: SOON for 59D

Rex remarked "The premise of a PURSE containing four items is a bit strange."
I can imagine lots of purses containing these items.
It's harder to imagine a purse carrying *only* these items.
But there is no "only" in the clue.

Why would anybody put a singer in his/her purse?
Any suggestions?

Mom of Thing One and Thing Two 9:16 AM  

@Nancy, would you what is "eat green eggs and ham." One of the most famous Seuss book and one that I always used to read with great gusto for the kids.

This was a fun cheerful puzzle for a Monday. The answers were spot on. There would be no way to work in "crumpled up tissue" or "single rogue Tic Tac," things I keep finding in my purse as if someone else left them there.

Note back to yesterday, if you were one of Oprah Winfrey's zillion fans (admire her but was never home at that time of day to watch television), Stedman was a gimme. There's nothing obscure about it. Without ever watching the show it still crossed my path somehow.

GILL I. 9:17 AM  

@Nancy and I have a lot in common. Good food, good wine and thinking of bestiality at the same time. Why does the good Dr. ask if you could with A GOAT?
I'm a PURSEaholic so I found my Monday smile. I must own at least 30 purses. I walk into Marshall's and immediately head for the handbags. Lots of fakes out there - especially Louis Vuitton. You can wear a ho-hum outfit but if you have a beautiful PURSE draped over your shoulder, that's what people will look at.
So we have things that we carry around. My life is simple now. I carry exactly 4 things: KEYS, Kleenex, phone and a pretty little silk Chinese coin satchel . It holds my LICENSE, my CHANGE and my credit cards. I don't like clutter.
So @Rex lists the things he thinks could be included? Interesting....I found a purse once. Someone had draped it over a fire hydrant. I want to go to heaven so I knew I must find the owner. Talk about carrying everything in the bag including the kitchen sink! She had two little knives, pictures of everyone (I'm assuming) in her life, a can of Pepsi, lots of Cheetos and the usual other paraphernalia. It took me a while before I could find her wallet. She had exactly 2 dollars and a license and her EBT card. It made me sad. Turns out she lived down the street from me. I returned it. I remember all of this because she was probably the most ungrateful person I ever met. She could've at least told me to keep the two dollars!
ANYHOW. What else did I like? All of it. It was a sweet Monday and Brad included an OTTER!

Hartley70 9:19 AM  

@Nancy, if you haven’t had breakfast this morning, could you consider “Green Eggs and Ham”? And if you balk at the idea, might it help to eat them with a goat?

pmdm 9:24 AM  

Many years ago I attended a Fillmore East concert. Zappa was the last "act" and for his encore Lennon and Ono appeared on stage. (I think the performance was recorded and released on LP - later CD.) If I recall correctly, Ono screamed during the entire encore. Which gets me wondering, is she a screamer or a singer. I think I saw her once in Central Park by the boat pond. It certainly sounded like her creaming. [Please don't misunderstand me. I am not criticizing, just recall what I heard in a way most should understand.)

An apt Monday puzzle. I not so sure that Johnny Cash's daughter is Monday-worthy but that's for others to debate. The question is not if she has a lot of fans, but how many new solvers would get tripped up by her name.

Not much more to say today except that in NYC it is quite chilly for a day in June. But pleasant if not sunny.

davidm 9:31 AM  

This puzzle was easy except for SLUE and EEYORE. I eventually guessed at the latter because it sounded right. I have literally never before seen SLUE in print or used, in this context, as either SLUE or SLEW, though perhaps this is what’s meant in hockey by “slew footing.” Further research disclosed that SLUE has a very vulgar urban slang meaning, which perhaps should have made it problematic for inclusion in the puzzle.

GILL I. 9:32 AM  

Now I see it's Green Eggs and Ham....No bestiality....How could I forget?
My husband is allergic to eggs so he has no idea how to cook them. I love them, so for Mother's Day one year he and my son decided to make me breakfast in bed. They put absinthe on my poached eggs and green food coloring on the ham. Dr. Seuss would've approved.

Zwhatever 9:36 AM  

If you had asked me without context I’d have said “slew” is the past tense of “slay” and SLUE is the turning around thing. Which makes me wonder what, exactly, was the reason for naming a horse “Seattle Slew.” Maybe after a marshy pool? So many different meanings for a word we rarely hear.

CDilly52 9:38 AM  

@Anonymous 12:14 am. Nope! I, too was certain I was the only person who plunked in SALE for the “auctioneer’s” there. And it was the only place I got bogged down. This played very Monday otherwise for me. But that mistake left me with a big hole in the grid scratching my head.

CDilly52 9:41 AM  

@Joaquin, or SLUEfoot Sue from the tale of Pecos Bill!

QuasiMojo 9:51 AM  

Nancy, re The Goat, you didn't miss anything. Worst example of the Emperor's New Clothes that I ever saw.

Nancy 9:52 AM  

Aha! Green Eggs and Ham. SamIam. Thanks @Mom of...(9:16) and @Hartley (9:19). As @GILL says: No bestiality! Scanned the poem once as a fairly long-in-the-tooth adult and therefore didn't remember it. I'm extremely sorry Dr. Seuss wasn't part of my childhood. He's so great. For my childhood verse, I had A.A. Milne, who was pretty great too, if very British and a little bit twee. His are the verses I remember, not the good Doctor's.

But as a versifier myself, I tried to guess what the "goat" rhyme would be before looking up the poem. There wasn't a lot of competition: I guessed it would be "Would you eat it in/on a boat?" and I was right. Really nothing else it could have been. "Would you drink it in a float"? "Would you force it down your throat"? "Would you eat it, if by rote"? "Would you chow it down and gloat"? No. No. No. No.

Anonymous 9:57 AM  

Well, if this puzzle did nothing else, at least it taught a few people that something that is bound to succeed is a SHOO-IN, not a SHOE-IN. As a proofreader, I'm happy about that.

I enjoyed this puzzle in general, but I have to say that I'm at the end of my rope with puzzles that include OREO and ONO. Constructors, you can do better!

LOL 9:59 AM  

What a grouch. To Brad Wilber : Don’t take it too hard, he’s not a happy person and seems to get his thrills insulting hard working, lightly compensated crossword constructors.

Wood 10:01 AM  

Solved downs-only too, and ripped right through until I need some crosses in the SE corner. Could not see PURSE, even though the theme was obvious. Locked into my male perspective I guess.

CDilly52 10:05 AM  

I rather enjoyed this today. Got DRAMATIC LICENSE right off the bat as the concept was one my daughter taught her 5th and 6th graders during the writing of their play and “rearranging history” to think about some “what if’s” including for example “what if Michelle Obama were at Ford’s Theater that fateful night. DRAMATIC LICENSE indeed.

Meatier grid may have taken a bit longer but other than misreading “auctioneer” it was a snap.

pabloinnh 10:21 AM  

Breezy solve. I always enjoy OFL's description of answers as "arbitrary", as he usually then proceeds to offer several alternatives that are equally arbitrary. Good times.

There's a woman in our singing group that I always refer to as "Eeyore" (not to her though). Everyone else gets the reference immediately. Things may be bad, but they'll probably get worse....

And a big thumbs up to including my favorite, the OTTER (hi GILL I). All other animals pale by comparison.

Very nice Mondecito. Thanks to BW.

David 10:33 AM  

I always think of slew as a large number of things, I learned slue growing up on a sailboat. At least it wasn't slough.

Did this all on crosses, with the exception of 63, of course, which left me looking for the strange downs not allowing my app to say finished. Hmm, 30, 31, 32 wose, anly, yoos; nope, better fix that 24, not eafs either. Funny thing is I know shoo in but just presumed it would be the wrong shoe in because I see that so often.

I also read the clue for 49A incorrectly, but just at first, not long enough to put in sale.

Eeyore was the character I most identified with as a child. Eeyore and Linus, actually. "I love mankind, it's people I can't stand."

Pete 10:41 AM  

So anyway, last night I had a dream in which I was posed the question: If you had a squash and AGOAT, would you shoot the squash and cook the goat, or cook the squash and shoot the goat. Even while asleep, I knew the answer was sexual in nature, but couldn't come up with it. Anyone? @Nancy seems up on her goat/sex references.

Anonymous 10:47 AM  

I thought SANDIE GOCHARGER was an odd name, but what do I know about sport?

jberg 10:51 AM  

OK, here you go:

Pecos Bill and Slue-foot Sue
A Texas Tall Tale

retold by

S. E. Schlosser

Now, Pecos Bill had a way with wimmen. No doubt. He had dozens of wives during his time. But his one true love was Slue-foot Sue. She was his first wife - and she could ride almost as good as Bill himself.

Bill first saw Slue-foot Sue ridin' a catfish down the Rio Grande. She was riding standing up and holdin' on with only one hand sose she could take pot-shots at the clouds with her six-shooter. Was making a right pretty pattern too. Bill jest went head over heels for her. Proposed on the spot. They was married the next day too.

Sue was dressed in one of them white jobs with the large hoops. Looked plumb beautiful. Right after they was married, Sue insisted Bill prove how much he loved her by letting her ride his horse, Widow-maker. Bill couldn't talk her out of it, so Sue climbed on that great devil of a horse.

Well, Widow-Maker bucked like a maniac, jest as you'd expect. Sue was thrown off - clear up to the clouds. Luckily, Sue was still wearing her springy hoop. When she hit the ground, she bounced up again. But we all soon realized Sue couldn't stop bouncing. She bounced so high she kept hitting her head on the moon. She was crying and crying buckets of tears, and throwin' kisses to her new husband. But even he couldn't stop her bouncing.

We waited three days and four nights. Finally, even Bill realized that she was gonna starve to death before she stopped bouncing, so he had to shoot her. It was a cryin' shame. Well, time heals wounds, and Bill finally got married again. And again. And again. But I'm tellin' you, he never felt the same about another woman as he felt for his first wife, Slue-foot Sue.


As for those other purse items @Rex wanted -- they have to be words with other meanings, so 'tampon' doesn't really work.

I enjoyed this fine, but then I knew it was SHH-IN.

Question, though: is AGOAT a FOAT?

Lewis 11:09 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

1. They fall apart when the stakes are raised (5)
2. Eye site (6)
3. Flat screen (5)
4. Sleepy still? (3)
5. Rabbit's favorite chain restaurant? (4)


oldactor 11:37 AM  

@Nancy: I saw the Albee play and I think the relationship was consummated but not sure.
Reminds me of the time John Barrymore was asked at a women's club if he thought Romeo and Juliet
consummated their relationship. His answer was: "They certainly did in the Chicago company.

RooMonster 11:43 AM  

Hey All !
ANYHOW, that was my problem section today. Had ANdHOW til the end. Couldn't see the un-Monday ECLAT, so ended up with E_LAT/_HEERd. Kept checking the crosses, finally reread 10D clue, and the ole brain cottoned onto ANYHOW. Lost many actual seconds there.

Continuing the A- words today, ATILT, ALIT. At least those are more common than ABLARE, or some of the others we've been getting. Oh, AGOAT. Har.

Add me to the Auctioneer misreading clue group. Funny how the eyes see something different. Lk ths sntnc wtht vwls, y cn stll rd t.

Four F's. Good stuff.

Liked the theme. Simple and apropos for a MonPuz.

XACTO WHAMO ONO OREO OSLO IAGO THEO FRO. @Lewis, your infecting my eyeballs! :-)


OffTheGrid 11:54 AM  

Theodor Seuss Geisel must be SLUEing in his grave. Sex with goats? I've got to stop reading some of the posters.

Anonymous 11:58 AM  

Except for the short stumble with artisTICLICENSE, and you know that's the better term, it was pretty much, 'read clue write answer'. Not that such happens all that often, even on Monday.

Joe Dipinto 12:00 PM  


Does not Rex know that there's something called a change purse that you carry, um, loose change in?

Just to be contrary, I read "auditioner" just fine but mistook "leaning" at 18d for "learning". Well, I suppose one might learn how to execute A TILT in Knight School. (That was nicely complemented in the SE by the saying, "It's never too late to lean.")

I like the clue for TASTED. "Would you confirm the flavor of this soup, please?" "Why yes, I can say it definitely has the flavor of soup."

I also like EEYORE crossing OFF-DAY. I didn't know that everyone under the age of 20 is a TEEN, including, apparently, five-year-olds and newborns.

A bit of Gilbert & Sullivan as I leave/vanish, in the key of E Clat:

Oh the happy days of doing!
Oh, the sighing and the suing!
When a wooer goes a-wooing,
Oh the sweets that never cloy!

Anonymous 12:02 PM  

As for those other purse items @Rex wanted -- they have to be words with other meanings, so 'tampon' doesn't really work.

Well, I don't know about that. I carry one next to the rubber in my wallet, just in case I slice my finger open with the XACTO knife I keep to open my Ring Dings. The Boy Scout is ever prepared.

Crimson Devil 12:15 PM  

Study in mass mis-reading. What IS it about AUDITIONER that causes many, incl moi, to read/hear AUCTIONEER?
Much enjoyed Sam I Am reference to GOAT: reminds of punchline “...yeah, a good GOAT’ll do that!”

RooMonster 12:29 PM  

Here's a quick fix to be SLUE-less:

39A- They're known to lay eggs
42A- Sitcom Mork's home planet (has to be a Monday easy clue)

33D- If it fits...
34D- Spot on a map to know where you are
35D- Like a squids output

And away I go...


Masked and Anonymous 12:33 PM  

But … could U … would U … have a PURSE with AGOAT in it?

Best semi-long fillins: DOGSHOW. ANYHOW. SHOOIN. OFFDAY. VANISH.
SLUE was no biggie, at our house. Negligible nano-second repercussions.

staff weeject pick: GRU. Dude has great minions.

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Our planet} = EARTH. Trump dude could … would … probably have a different answer, tho.

yep. 100th customer to say SHOE-IN was my first choice to splats in there. But EAFS just wouldn't fly.

Thanx, Mr. Wilber.

Masked & Anonymo3Us

inspired by a wily @Teedmn suggestion:

Anoa Bob 12:42 PM  

A woman can be fat as can be
Kisses sweet as honey
But that don't mean a thing to me
If you ain't got no money
If the PURSE is fat...that's where it's at

I don't care if they wobble like a duck
Or talk with a lisp
I still think I'm a good lover
If the dollar bills are crisp

J Geils Band "First I look at the PURSE"

Aunt Hattie 12:45 PM  

I am hugely relieved to see so many of you read auctioneer--so did I, and since I have been having major problems with my vision I was desolate to have made that mistake--so happy I had so much company! Also--I always heard it called it POETIC license, not dramatic. AND--green eggs and ham, of course!

Carola 12:47 PM  

Medium here, mainly because I had to wait for TAXI and ECLAT. Two write-ins with a question mark over my head: SLUE (from the SL) and SHOe...wait a minute...?
Favorite entry: A GOAT
And in honor of Dr. Seuss, the entry SEWS, and comments about SLUE-foot Sue, this from the immortal Fox in Socks:

New socks.
Two socks.
Whose socks?
Sue's socks.

Who sews whose socks?
Sue sews Sue's socks.

Who sees who sews whose new socks, sir?
You see Sue sew Sue's new socks, sir.

@old actor, thanks for the laugh!

Teedmn 12:50 PM  

We got to say ALOHA to some old friends today who haven't been around as much as they used to - I'm looking at APSE and OSLO. ONO, OREO and ANON never seem to go home, but for OSLO and APSE it seems like it's been awhile, at least for me.

I don't carry a PURSE. I don't even own one. I buy clothes with lots of pockets because I live in fear of leaving my purse somewhere and they get heavy on the shoulder. When I have to go somewhere that I need to carry something that doesn't fit in my pockets, I use one of my bike panniers, which always prompts whoever I'm meeting to ask if I rode my bike there. Nope, just using my pannier as a purse. I then spend my time clutching it between my ankles so I can't forget it :-(. I have all of the theme items in my pannier.

Brad Wilbur, this theme works for me. I first thought it would be things you'd find in a car but PURSE, sure.

Andrew B 12:55 PM  

4 Rexes for me today - about 3-4 minutes longer than my typical Mon. Agree with Rex about the weird fill in this one. For the most part it didn't slow me down too much, because even on things like ECLAT, and A GOAT, I was able to get all of the crosses without much difficulty.

The only place that didn't work out was on ALIT and ATILT. I had no idea. It's probably a good cross, but not on a Monday!

Nancy 1:09 PM  

What a great anecdote, @oldactor (11:37)!! Behind-the-curtain glimpses like this-- glimpses I wouldn't get anywhere else -- are a big part of why I read the blog.

@Joe Dipinto (12:00) -- And you, too, can always be cou

nted on for an entertaining post. Your soup comment is hilarious. Also, anyone who quotes G&S is always a winner in my book. But what on earth are you talking about in your "yellow light" rant? I can't find an earlier reference.

To "PURSEaholic" @GILL (9:17): Finally -- something we don't have in common. Never has any woman on Planet Earth cared less about handbags (I don't call them PURSES; a PURSE to me is what Queen Elizabeth carries) than I do. I only own one kind of handbag: Lesportsac. Light as a feather. (Probably weighs about a quarter of an ounce with nothing in it! And I try really, really hard to put just about nothing in it.) Lots and lots and lots of zipper compartments. Adjustable shoulder straps. Big enough to hold many, many items, but very compact in actual size, and appropriate in scale to a small woman like me. What's not to like? I have my "daytime/Central Park" Lesportsacs -- lively, fun, bright, summery (but not too loud) prints -- and my "evening/city/winter" Lesportsacs -- dark brown (or the equivalent), serious, subtle, tasteful, quiet prints.

Look. As long as my hair looks great (which to me has always been the most important thing of all) and I'm wearing a really flattering outfit (notice that I didn't say fashionable, I said flattering) I could be carrying a handbag manufactured by the Hoboken House of Hobo, and I wouldn't care. I know that @GILL will care, though. So when we meet, GILL, and you think that my Lesportsac (it will be the tasteful evening one, I promise!) is not quite right for Tavern on the Green, I trust that you will be tactful enough not to say so. Deal?

Amelia 1:39 PM  

I'm old-fashioned. I call it my pocketbook. And it has to be big enough for a hard-covered library book. Can you guess how old I am?

I find wallets and credit cards CONSTANTLY on the street. I have some very good stories about returning them. The most recent was someone down the street in Manhattan in a brownstone. "How did you find me?? she asked with incredulity . I didn't have the heart to tell her that with a few keystrokes, I knew her name, her husband's name, where they both went to school, how much she paid for the brownstone and quite a few other things. I said just google yourself. The time before that, I found someone's wallet who didn't respond to any of the messages we left. Turns out she thought she had left it at home and because no credit card had been used, thought she was right. Also turned out that we shared an oncologist. When we finally spoke, we had a lot to talk about.

Then there was the government check I found on the street (for quite a bit of money) that I returned by mail with a return address in case it didn't get where it was going. Never heard from the guy. So I googled him and learned that he was a mafia lawyer. Perhaps it was better that way.

Easy, easy but very nice puzzle. The New Yorker puzzles are very good, Friday and today. And the New York Magazine puzzle today has the following clue: Sword found in crosswords. Made me laugh.

kitshef 1:47 PM  

@Joe DiPinto "Slow Down".

[@Nancy - it is a reference to the TV show Taxi,]

tea73 1:58 PM  

I call a purse a bag most of the time. Mine is a Bagallini big enough for a kindle and lots of zippered pockets. Great for airline travel.

I never saw SLUE spelled that way, but it didn't really matter. Got slightly slowed down by putting in OFFkeY instead of OFFDAY while thinking it wasn't really correct.

@Nancy A.A. Milne's "Now we are six" is the first thing I remember reading by myself, I was six and though I was "clever as clever", but "Green Eggs and Ham" is the first book I remember owning. If you go to eat at Bo Innovation in Hong Kong, one of the courses is green eggs and ham served in a hollowed out book.

GILL I. 2:11 PM  

@Nancy....HAH. I had to look up "Lesportsacs." I've never owned a backpack - never ever. Not that they are bad - they have their uses. I'm thinking if you live in a place where walking and biking are the norm du jour and you have to carry a book, a water bottle, the newspaper, porta potty, then you'd certainly need one.
My go to handbags (and yes, I never say purse) are London Fog's. I always buy a satchel cause I like those that diagonally cross the body. Makes it hands free.....
You can wear anything you like when we go to Tavern on the Green. I'm betting I can spot you just with that smile of yours. I'll be wearing "Green" gauchos.
All are invited. I'm having the martini and I bet @JC66 will order scotch!

ralex 2:14 PM  

So many fun comments today. I especially enjoyed:
@Gill I. (9:32) absinthe is a staple in your kitchen?!
@Nancy (9:52) love the 4 examples
@jberg (10:51) delightful story. I looked up Schlosser, hoping to read more, but it looks like they are mainly ghost stories (ugh)
@oldactor (11:37) !
@Anoabob (12:42) !
@amelia (1:39) !
and always @Lewis (11:37)

p.s. you may not like her singing but Yoko Ono writes so well. A staple of my youth was her book, 'Grapefruit'. Look it up on Wikipedia for a few prose poetry examples.

JC66 2:23 PM  


Hey, I also enjoy a good martini (Bombay Sapphire).

GILL I. 2:24 PM  

@ralex 2:14. No. My husband had to fetch it out of the liquor cabinet. I thought he secretly wanted me dead.

Anonymous 2:30 PM  


If you ever watched Taxi, the later seasons had a way-spaced-out character named Jim Ignatowski played brilliantly by Christopher Lloyd, who was taking his drivers test with the rest of the drivers nearby.

Jim (trying to whisper, but not doing it well): What does a yellow light mean?
One of the drivers trying to help: Slow down
Jim (louder and slower): Whaaat doeees aaaa yelllllow ligggght meeean?

Classic scene that kept going on and on, as he never quite understood they were giving him the answer, and he kept repeating the question slower (and louder).


Anonymous 3:02 PM  

Susie Q.
Yes!! Slew-foot the bear is precisely what came to mind.
I love the Yearling. Book and movie.
If you ever come across it, check out a movie called Cross Creek. It's all about Rawlings move to the eponymous location as she gets serious about writing. It's a star vehicle for Mary Steenburgen, but of course Rip Torn steal every scene he in.

Joe Dipinto 3:10 PM  

@kitshef and @Anonymous 2:30 -- Thanks for clarifying the "Taxi" reference. @Nancy, I don't know if you're familiar with the show, but it was one of the best sitcoms ever, imo, and that scene (described by Anon) is truly hilarious.

Nancy 3:38 PM  

Thank you all for the "Taxi" yellow light reference. I never saw the show -- not a single episode. But that scene sounds hilarious. I'm going to YouTube now to see if I can perhaps track it down.

And I'll do a favor in return -- at least for the ladies. Here's the compact size and style lesportsac handbag I favor. Colors and patterns vary quite a bit, however, from one year to the next.

pabloinnh 3:56 PM  

Don't have a handbag/purse/pocketbook. Did "murse" ever gain traction?

Hey @jberg--your "Pecos Bill" story reminded me that the definitive reading of PB, which I used to have on audio tape (audio tape?!), was done by none other than Robin Williams, and it's absolutely brilliant. Maybe you can find it out there somewhere.

Hungry Mother 3:57 PM  

There are a couple of good fishing spots in the Delaware Bay, on the Jersey side called “20 foot slue” and “60 foot slue” aka “20 foot slough and 60 foot slough.” I always thought that this referred to a deepening of the water, because I could “see” the dropoffs on my depth finder.

Anonymous 4:00 PM  

SLUE crossing IDLY gave me a DNF because I stared and stared at 35D ("Without really thinking") and drew a blank. I had ID_Y and nothing came to mind. I was unhappy to discover the answer is IDLY. The clue is lousy as IDLY means "with no real reason" but NOT "without really thinking." Example:

Without really thinking, she jammed on the brakes and turned to confront him.

Idly, she jammed on the brakes and turned to confront him.

Doesn't work.

Crimson Devil 4:01 PM  

Well, I am definitely not a qualified sartorial critic, but I did check out the Lesportpac offerings, and must agree that QEII highly unlikely to be seen sportin one.

Cassieopia 4:26 PM  

@jberg, now that brings back memories. I hadn't heard that tall tale since childhood. In that version, Pecos Bill lassoed Slue-foot Sue and on her next bounce up, he cinched it around the moon and that's where she is this very day, and that's why the moon smiles.

Very nice Monday puzzle. I'm especially a fan of God Eep, which sounds like the perfect deity for Gru.

Fred Romagnolo 5:49 PM  

@Carola: Are you familiar with the Jack Benny - Mel Blanc "Si" routine? You'll love it.

Carola 6:13 PM  

@Fred Romagnolo - I wasn't, but I found it....and I did!

Wood 9:09 PM  

J. Geils had such a wonderfully ironic take on modern masculinity, don't you agree?

Runs with Scissors 11:17 PM  

Solid Monday. Liked it.

I did this Sunday afternoon, being on the left side of the map as I am. Had no time to review or comment until now; the wife got a brand new, high-end, titanium knee this morning. It was kinda important to attend the swap. ALl is well, so now I have a few minutes.

Monty Boy 11:31 PM  

Hand up for the Auctioneer's ROLE.

As a male, I don't use a purse. I use a brief case that has all those thing (and more) in it. I suppose that qualifies as a "murse" as noted above.

Anonymous 12:22 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
oldactor 2:27 PM  

Years ago I was doing a workshop at Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidts Portfolio studio where they were developing a new musical "Philomon". I played the title role and it required a mask of my face be made to be worn by another character after I was crucified (long story).

I sat for hours on several occasions while a young sculptress created a bust of my head which she used to make the mask out of papier mache (sp?)

Several years later there was a production of the play off Broadway. I attended the opening. It had been completely rewritten and my part was missing. So was the mask. At the opening night party I was chatting with Jones and the mask came up. He asked me if I knew who the young lady sculptress was. He said it was Julie Taymor. I was stunned as I had seen TLK and in the theatre and was moved to tears by the puppetry.

I asked what had happened to that mask. No one knows. But I have the pictures.

BarbieBarbie 7:21 PM  

I agree that a lot of the musical output of the various smallish chubbyish British knights is sappy. But that’s just not true of the whole Lion King. Anyone here who’s humble bragging about not seeing TLK needs to go and find Scar’s big number, preferably the version with Jeremy Irons. “Be Prepared” is one of the best for the lyrics alone, but it’s also musically really great. And how can you not love a backup trio of hyenas?

I know it sounds sordid
But you’ll be rewarded
When at last I am given my due...

Great. Just great.
The puzzle was really clean- an admirable construction. And brought some good memories. But it doesn’t matter. It’s in the past!

Teedmn 9:33 AM  

@Syndies, as someone who got a shout-out last Friday from both @rondo and @Diana LIW, I am biased but I think @rondo's and @spacey's daily DOD designation is harmless (and I know @rondo in "real time" so there's that). And @Diana, LIW, has also been crowned DOD when her name appears in the grid, so there's another "that". As @rondo says, if you don't want to see who is DOD, don't read his comments.

spacecraft 10:14 AM  

The syndilinker has finally woken up. Yay! I was surprised to see that OFC had trouble with this one; I did not, except for figuring out the theme while solving. I had DRAMATIC--but not a follow-through; my first completed themer was SHIFTCAHNGE: OK, shift gears, change gears, we're looking for gears. Or maybe car parts. On to gimme FLORIDAKEYS; now it's definite, this has to do with car things. Going back to the NE and picking up LICENSE verified that.

Um...no. The placement (ONLY a 5-letter word) of the revealer--and the revealer itself--snuck up on me "on little cat feet," as it were. So: a nice little theme misdirect for my Monday, a plus that softens the blow of THE( )O and the RCD. Actually, for a moment I thought it was going to be brand names ending in -O: WHAM-O, XACTO. But that's just a mini-theme.

DOD was the lady behind the wonderful voice: Edith PIAF. Can't explain OFC's sluggishness; maybe he was having an OFFDAY. Birdie.

Burma Shave 10:38 AM  


He’ll just VANISH and LEAVE, so TONY’S TAXI’s in crisis,
SEW’S his ECLAT to achieve a ROLE with his DRAMATICLICENSE.


leftcoast 2:51 PM  

S'pose there might have been a smartphone somewhere in there, too?

Maybe also a WHAMO frisbee, but surely not AGOAT.

Nice of EEYORE to drop back in so soon.

Delightful Monday.

leftcoast 2:55 PM  

@Teedmn --
The issue here is not DOD, it's "yeah baby".

rondo 3:09 PM  

Another hand up for reading too quickly and seeing auctioneer; already had the R so no ‘sale’ for me. My write-over was mentally pronouncing it and writing in SHOeIN, quickly fixed. Theme-wise I didn’t ‘get it’ until the PURSE.

That last themer coulda been parsed SANDI: EGO CHARGER. Works well with some other answers.

On the MPR morning show that started with Garrison Keillor in the late 1970s and continued from the early 80s to about 10 years ago with others at the helm, you would get the occasional tune from yeah baby and chanteuse Edith PIAF. Did you know that her last husband’s name was THEO?

ANYHOW, pretty good Mon-puz.

wcutler 3:13 PM  

Add one to the count of people seeing "auctioneer". It was curious that it caught so many of us, but it doesn't seem all that surprising. I can't find the statistic on how much of a word we actually read, but it's not near 100%. It's the basis of typoglycemia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typoglycemia), describing our ability, and apparently our inclination, to read just enough to think have the word.
First two letters, good. Round thing next, then two very narrow things right next to the t, then tion, ends in er. Obviously an easy misreading.

Diana,LIW 4:25 PM  

Well, I didn't misread a thing. And I think this could be one of those perfect Monday puzzles. The odd words like SLUE, ECLAT, GRU (my unknown), and OREO - who ever heard of that? ;-)

A theme to pull it all together, but one that's not needed till the end. The odd words (see above) can be sussed out via the crosses. All's fair.

Non, je ne regrette rien. Although I was almost messed up by the tricky 26-down clue - took me a while...hmmm, opposite of WSW... I always forget that.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting, searching for the Mensch of the Moment????

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