MON 7-29-2019

Monday, July 29, 2019

Constructor: BRUCE HAIGHT

Relative difficulty: Easy (6:18, below my average by 2:30) 

THEME: ON THE BENCH (59A: Place where 17-, 23-, 37-, and 48-Across might be found)
Theme answers:

  • BALLPLAYER (17A: Athlete with a mitt)
  • PARK VISITOR: (23A: One going for a stroll among urban greenery)
  • TRIAL COURT JUDGE (37A: Official hearing a case)
  • JAZZ PIANIST (48A: Herbie Hancock or Chick Corea)

Word of the Day: OSSA (39A: Peak near Olympus) —
Mount Ossa (GreekΌσσα), alternative Kissavos (Κίσσαβος, from South Slavic kisha "wet weather, rain"[2]), is a mountain in the Larissa regional unit, in ThessalyGreece. It is 1,978 metres (6,490 ft) high and is located between Pelion to the south and Olympus to the north, separated from the latter by the Vale of Tempe.
• • •
Hi All, Jake from State Farm Ann Arbor filling in for Rex today as he continues his vacation in Montreal! I’m not the greatest at crosswords, as my Monday times show, but I have fun doing them.

This was a decent Monday puzzle! The theme was neat, but the fill varied for me.

Starting with the fill, you’ve got fun stuff like BIG IF, QUEST, ÊTRE, and BANTU, which are great fill because they cater to my specific interests: linguistics, French, and the need to make my errands sound that much fancier.

And then you’ve got the classic fill throughout: ALEE, HUH, HEE, I BET, I CARE. One could even say it was a bit EEL-y, wriggling back and forth between fun fill and slop. Okay, yeah, I broke out the EDAM for that one.

The theme was solid, I will give it that, but it wasn’t super exciting, like last week’s surprise!Rumplestiltskin. I will admit to having filled in I BET with I SEE before I got to the actual I SEE, which, when combined with a YEE instead of a HEE lead to a TRIAL CO?RE JUDGE. I think that might be a variant on the TV judge. I also was unfamiliar with both Hancock and Corea, so that took me a couple crosses and the revealer to get. I’m not much of a jazz person in general, but I’m listening to Head Hunters by Hancock while writing this and it’s kinda fun. The revealer was more of a “Yeah, that works” for me after getting most of the theme answers than it was a “Now I understand everything” as they so often can be, but overall it was solid.

  • 30A: Abba of Israel (EBAN) —   This, like the Word of the Day, is one of those things I need to just learn for crosswords, especially considering it's shown up three times since May, most recently two weeks ago. I got it off the crosses then and didn't need to pay attention to the clue, today I was not so lucky, as detailed with my I SEE/I SEE MISHAP. 
  • 46A: Tevye's occupation in "Fiddler on the Roof" (MILKMAN) — "If I were a rich man, Yibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum!" And now, that's stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Bruce and I totally collaborated on this one. You're welcome.  

Anyway, I have a deepened respect for Rex’s depth of knowledge about crosswords and his vast experience doing them from doing this review. But I guess when I’m older than Methuselah like he is, I’ll have done rather more crosswords than I have now.

Anyways, ADIOS, everybody!

Signed, Jake Taylor, Microbiologist of Cross World

[Follow Jake on Twitter]


Joaquin 12:13 AM  

This struck me as the ideal Monday puzzle - Quite easy for the experienced solver and just enough resistance for the novice, with a snappy reveal for all.

Engine Ear 12:29 AM  

Pretty standard Monday fare. Though every jazz reference is a good reference. Always figured crossworders were also jazz aficionados... or at least NPR listeners.

Engine Ear 12:32 AM  

Standard Monday fare. Always figured crossworders were jazz aficionados... or at least NPR listeners. Herbie is marvelous!

Loren Muse Smith 1:17 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae 1:23 AM  

Easy-medium. Cute, mostly smooth and just about right for a Mon., liked it.

Loren Muse Smith 2:05 AM  

Thank you, Jake Taylor Microbiologist from Ann Arbor and not from State Farm. “. . . my specific interests: linguistics, French, and the need to make my errands sound that much fancier.” You speaka my language. Let’s do lunch.

A nice little Monday pangram pitched right across the plaight. As is my wont, I resisted looking at the reveal and couldn’t see the connection at all. I got caught up in BALL PARK and was overthinking it. So the reveal delivered a sweet little aha moment. Well played, Bruce.

Just need to point out that a PARK VISITOR doesn’t have to be urban; a PARK VISITOR could be busily hoisting his bag of food way up in a tree 200 yards from his campsite to avoid grizzlies.

Plumbing woe: having minerally well water that stains. Sandpaper, people. Coarse sandpaper. Works like a charm.

Loved CAN I and its clue. You mavens who keep insisting on May I - sorry, but that ship has sailed. Hey, you gave it a good run, though, I’ll give you that. Hi, Mom. (I’m currently trying to convince her that in fact kids are now children and not just baby goats.)

I get that I'm in the minority, but where I’m from, BBQ is something you eat. It’s neither a verb NOR an event. We cook out burgers and dogs when we invite people over for a cook-out. While my husband and I have a nasty, private, hissy, little dust-up over proper charcoal grill use. I’ve said before, we’ve served many a meat that tasted like lighter fluid. Sigh.

I like this suffix O that we add to all kinds of things. NUTSO, weirdo, fatso, sicko, whacko, dumbo, wino, sleazo… seems it’s usually derogatory. But we have daddyo and boyo. And neato.

@Gill I – I responded to something you wrote yesterday on yesterday’s thread.

Is MILKMAN still an occupation? He’d be tooling around in an 18-wheeler to carry all the choices these days. I have to buy a couple of types of almond milk when my kiddos are visiting. It really makes you sit back and ponder the meaning of “milk.” I guess it can now mean just any opaque white liquid that you drink? I’ve looked into the making of almond milk, and it really just involves soaking the nuts and then straining/squeezing out the water. Hah. I propose a brand of almond milk called Nuts Eau.

Lewis 5:54 AM  

Simple enough puzzle, but then you look a little deeper:
* There's a BABA on the side to go with that TACO
* Mini-theme of double E's (6)
* Backward ETNA to go with OSSA

And look out for that REIN of TERRE in the NE.

amyyanni 6:05 AM  

Quest is a great little word, isn't it? Last word in the puzzle; good way to start Monday. What are you on on a quest for today?

Hungry Mother 6:25 AM  

Got it done in a hurry as a themeless. The reveal revealed itself as I filled it in. Good Monday for a beginner, I’m guessing.

kitshef 6:42 AM  

I’ll give it credit for theme density, which maybe makes up a little bit for theme weakness, and doesn’t make up at all for fill like BAAS, LEAS and ALEE, HEE, OPS, I BET and I SEE and I CARE (and I RAN?) …

Bruce Haight always swing hard, so he gets a lot of extra-base hits, but strikes out more than you'd like. This was the latter, but I appreciate that he keeps swinging.

Anonymous 7:19 AM  

@kitshef He keeps getting published, good or bad. Does he have a secret over Will's head?

pabloinnh 7:52 AM  

Nice review, Jake. What are you wearing? Fun to read a review that admits some ignorance instead of blaming the constructor. Also, if you think OFL is older than Methuselah, you should know that some of us think of him as an upstart whippersnapper.

A Monday Monday, good enough for me. See the clue, write in the answer. My earworm today will be Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful", and visualizing his contortions as he sings it.

Thanks for the fun, BH, and for toning it down some on Monday.

Crimson Devil 7:58 AM  

Regional differences, but I agree that BBQ is what one eats, not the process of grilling or the event at which it’s served.

Steve 8:02 AM  

Hey there Jake not from State Farm! If Rex is older than Methusela, then I would be considered dust... LOL
One thing us old folk have over you yunguns, though, is that we know you'll someday be part of our group (even though you can't imagine it right now) and you too will wonder where the heck all the years went!

Good review, Mr. Not From State Farm! :)

RooMonster 8:04 AM  

Hey All !

My first reaction to 23A, you ask? Nancy. :-) Hi, @Nancy!

Nice people-on-BENCHes puz. Could've worked in TAIL as what's on the BENCH. Liked the themers just fine. Got another pangram today, which is fine by me. Why not when you already have a J and Z's from your themers? (Plus K & V) I like pangrams, I know Rex doesn't, plus doesn't like Haight, but the fill didn't suffer from it. Although (of course :-)) there is a bunch of I answers, I CARE, I BET, I SEE, CAN I. I RAN (Har, @kitshef). But pretty much dreckless.

One writeover today, clog-LEAK. HUH, not bad.


JOHN X 8:21 AM  

The strangest part of this puzzle for me was 48D “Where Honda and Mazda are headquartered” because I had _ AP_ _ and I was racking (or wrecking) my brain trying to figure it out. It wasn’t Osaka and it wasn’t Tokyo and Hokkaido was too long . . .

I moved on and finished that corner with crosses. After I was done I wondered “What was that city?” And I saw JAPAN and realized that I had never even considered that. Never entered my mind. Go figure.

GILL I. 8:26 AM  

Pangramheads should be delighted. I want to see fribble instead of FOP - just once. I guess calling someone a FOP is not nice...too has a nice ring.
What did I like? MILKMAN. My dad was one. He had to stay alive while going to college. His truck had a sign that read: Be perspicacious ...drink milk. Why?
Liked ADELE crossing JAZZ. She has a bit of a JAZZy voice..smokey as well.
One day I will learn how to BBQ. I need a gas stove. You give me hot smelly charcoal and I panic. I want to be able to control my heat. I once had some lovely filet mignons that I BBQed and they came out looking like that dragon from GoT had a go. My son had a bit of a fit and said the only thing you can grill is meat with a bone in it. I bet I could grill peaches.
@Loren....Yes...that fits me to a T as well. I'm glad I have a kindred spirit. What really gets me is this "thing" seriously cuts into my cocktail hour. I nap, though. By 3 in the afternoon I'm a zombie. In my neck of the woods nobody is up at 2 or 3 in the am so at least I have some quiet.....Thanks for the info.

QuasiMojo 8:45 AM  

The BIG IF for me was whether to finish this one or not. It seemed so perfunctory at first. But the revealer made up for it, and the dull fill (nod at Kitshef.) -- fun review Jake!

@GILL, I love the word "perspicacious" and that it appeared on your Dad's milk truck. That reminds me of the time I lived in Venice Beach for a summer back in the 70s, and there was a billboard of a sexy construction worker sitting back reading a book while chugging on a quart of milk. I was curious what he could be reading so I moved up close and craned my next to read the cover. It was Plato's Symposium! Whoever designed or painted that ad had a sense of humor.

Bruce R 8:54 AM  

A crunchy TACO is not Mexican and is usually not considered to be an entree. And BALLPLAYERs in general wear gloves, not mitts, except the catcher.

Brainpan 8:57 AM  

I guess I'm alone in being pissed that the answer was CANI rather than MAYI? Especially when the clued by "Is it OK" rather than "Am I able to?" Gah, I reluctantly put in the C and N for the M and Y and finished easily.

Z 9:05 AM  

KAC was mentioning yesterday on Twitter about some of the reasons his submissions to the NYTX were rejected. Instead we get Ed Stevens.

5:14. Newsday came in at 4:14. These are both “medium” times for me now (Newsday has this odd time curve where every day is about a minute faster than the NYTX, then Saturday). I say “now” because these times would have been personal record shattering not that long ago.

I wonder just how sick and tired our guest blogger must be of the State Farm jokes.

@amyyanni - I dunno, QUEST has a certain obsessive connotation, a certain “I’m going to do this to the exclusion of ever enjoying a BBQ” quality that just ain’t healthy.

@Just the meat people - Sorry, but it has always been the event, the process, the cooking instrument, and the result where I come from. And since Michigan doesn’t have it’s own BBQ “style,” I think I was well into adulthood and a veteran of innumerable BBQs before I ever had BBQ, i.e. I don’t expect BBQ at a BBQ. I mean, you might get BBQ, but you’re more likely to not. In the department of Language Changes, I keep seeing stuff now on the rise of “outdoor cooking” and pushing it as a lifestyle choice. Alrighty then.

@LMS - Re: Lighter fluid flavors- The secret is time. Let the fluid soak into the briquettes and then make sure to wait for those briquettes to get good and hot and gray. BBQing is a slow art helped by patience, conversation, and having another beer.

Tmurrell 9:12 AM  

I love Monday puzzles because they offer a breather from the more difficult Sunday. I’m new to puzzles so I really have no complaints because my expectations are low. I love RPs website although I sometimes find his complaints to be a bit juvenile but it also helps me to understand the puzzles.

QuasiMojo 9:19 AM  

"Neck" not "next." In my comment above.

What is the State Farm joke? HUH?

Nancy 9:21 AM  

Hi back to you, at @Roo (8:04). I saw your shoutout, then tried to remember what, exactly, was 23A. Ah, yes -- PARK VISITOR. Of course. I am one about 345 days a year. But I'm not always ON THE BENCH. Often I'm walking. Or I'm in one of the few comfortable metal chairs at the tennis clubhouse when I can nab one. The benches around the court are not all the same type and range from mildly uncomfortable to some that can only have been designed by the Marquis de Sade. I pad all the benches -- a thick towel folded twice is placed on the seat and a plastic tablecloth that I use to lie in the grass on doubles as a back cushion when I crumple it up, stick it in a plastic bag, and lean against it.

Much of the time I am stretched out on the lawn -- far more comfortable than any bench. I was not amused the time I told a man who's about 8 years younger than I am that I would be on the lawn for the following hour or so. "You can still get up from the lawn?" he asked snarkily, probably thinking of both my age and the fact that I haven't played tennis, alas, for many years now. I looked him straight in the eye and said: "Wanna race?" Practice makes perfect and I have an effective technique for extricating myself from the lawn in two quick successive moves. I wonder how many years more I'll be able to do it, though. It's not getting any easier. At which point I'll be ON THE BENCH much more than I care to be. @Aketi has been a witness to all of it, btw: my padding of various benches; my speedy launch off the grass worthy of a much younger person.

Oh, the puzzle. Smooth, junk-free, pleasant. As @pabloinnh said: a Monday Monday.

GHarris 9:21 AM  

Quite quick except for a brief pause in the SW which fell once I changed sites to zones.

Anonymous 9:29 AM  

Laughed out loud at your "Jake from [not State Farm] Ann Arbor!" And glad you were introduced to Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea via this puzzle.

As for the puzzle itself? Meh. Pretty much defines "meh." Use it as a crossword clue in the future: Monday puzzle by Bruce Haight.

--Pam from Ypsilanti

Andrew Heinegg 9:32 AM  

LMS- chimney starters, I say, chimney starters;

jberg 10:21 AM  

@Andrew, yes that's what they're called! I couldn't think of it. My father used to make his own out of two coffee cans wired together, punching holed with a beer opener. I tried that, but it never worked, so I was glad when I could buy one. Now my new grill has one built in. But @Z is right about time, they do take that to get going. I was watching my son-in-law work his gas grill the other time, and my resolution to stick with the old ways wavered.

I went down the same BALL . . . PARK rabbit hole as @Loren -- I was looking for 'figure' next, but didn't get it. I needed the revealer to get the theme.

Fun Monday puzzle.

Lewis 10:38 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week:

1. Protection rackets? (6)
2. Dough nut? (5)
3. Performance bonus (6)
4. Spring report (5)
5. Place where musical talent may be wasted (7)(3)


David 10:41 AM  

I don't think of a quest as being obsessive, unless it's a quest for good BBQ in NYC. Luckily, over the past decade, a few places have shown up but still most of them can't do brisket without drying it out. There is one place which consistently does brisket well, you'll have to find it yourself (hint, it's on the lower East Side). Otherwise I do my BBQ at home.

Real charcoal, not briquettes. Light it with paper, not fluid. Add your wood. A chimney starter works fine, but I have a Big Green Egg so none is needed. Control the heat using the vents, it ain't rocket science. I used to just use a regular Weber and keep the fire to one side, and, when at a friend's house will do that, but at home I'll never go back. It's a process, and result can be magnificent. And don't get me going on how much cheaper and better bacon made at home is.

Super simple puzzle for me and I guess I must be about 2 thousand years old, since I remember when the milkman would leave the milk and how, in winter, the cream on top would freeze and push itself up out of the bottle; instant ice cream if you got to it before mom. Back then we had actual freezing winters in the Northeast, not so much any more. The weather is in on the hoax, as are the plants, fishes, birds, animals, bacteria, and everything else -- all in the employ of George Soros for reasons nobody understands, but it has something to do with communism. I digress, as usual.

Interesting choices to represent Jazz pianists, I'd go with Oscar Peterson myself. I think of Chick and Herbie more as fusion guys.

Happy Monday.

puzzlehoarder 10:58 AM  

A routine Monday inspite of needing some crosses to get 1A. PARKVISITOR and TRIALCOURTJUDGE didn't go right in either. Those two are debuts because they're just green paint. JAZZPIANIST and ONTHEBENCH were uncannily similar to the clue and entry for 43A in last Friday's puzzle. It's something of a coincidence showing up in two puzzles only three days apart.

@Nancy, hang onto that youthful agility as long as you can. Since getting my knees replaced I've had to develope a whole new way of getting up from the ground. I have to keep my legs straight and pivot face down onto my straightened right arm. From there I use both arms to walk myself into a kind of downward dog position from which I can stand up. It's not very dignified but it's the only way I can do it now.

Z 11:05 AM  

@QuasiMojo - Jake from State Farm is a character in Sate Farm ads (insurance company ads are pretty funny but also indicative of how much money they have to spend to increase their profits), so having the misfortune of having innocently been named "Jake" by one's parents now subjects one seemingly unending to "witty repartee." It was probably cute the first 1,523 times.

Joseph M 11:41 AM  

Puzzle got off to a great start with BIG IF and a Mae WEST quote is always a charmer, but the fun factor deflated as I waded through the crosswordese. Stubbed my toe on BAAS.

As a theme, people who sit on a BENCH isn’t exactly a BLAST. How about people who sit in a chair? Stand on the bus? Kneel in church?

Liked MILKMAN best. Can’t remember the last time I ever heard anyone refer to one. When I was a kid, one of the best zingers you could hurl at someone was to say that their father was the milkman. As if there were lascivious milkmen in white trucks delivering dairy to the lonely mothers of one’s foes.


RooMonster 11:45 AM  

"Uh, khakis."


BarbieBarbie 11:50 AM  

ALL: no time today to scan today's novellas, read today's meaningful comments or skip today's repeats-- but here's some news maybe a couple of you can use-- in case you are paying more than 38 cents per week for the NYT crossword subscription, if you are a NYT subscriber you can get the 38 cents rate right now and it won't change unless you cancel your NYT subscription. I think it's a special offer. Or maybe it's just a change from their original pricing. Anyway, FWIW, if you're paying more just get them to change your rate.

tea73 12:45 PM  

Another real charcoal not briquettes, paper not lighter fluid. With our chimney start you have coals in 10-15 minutes. Since the clue said "Is it okay, Mom" I figured that the non-grammatical answer was what we were looking for. I'm not a grammar purist anyway, so not bothered at all. I dislike most jazz, so it took me a while to figure out what instrument we were looking for. I did have a boyfriend once who used to play me Art Tatum, it was very, very romantic.

I liked this for a Monday - a mix of interesting answers and crosswordese every beginner should learn. Theme could be sussed out while you were doing it or not, but a pleasant aha moment.

(Not like yesterday's where I solved the puzzle and just didn't care about the theme.)

OffTheGrid 12:57 PM  

@Brainpan, You are not alone. I am with you on the CAN/MAY item. If language is important then usage and grammar are important.

Masked and Anonymous 1:02 PM  

Nice, tight themer list. Cuz REDSCATCHERSFLEAS is unfortunately just too darn long.

The Haightmeister has picked his appearances wisely, lately. @RP has been out of the CrossWorld office, each time BH has dropped by. And that's a good thing, if he's gonna start flauntin the pan-grams. "WEREINLUCK! Our puzs have once again avoided the BLASTZONES!"

Some lively MonPuz fillins here. Especially admired: BIGIF [right outta the gate!]. Any Mae WEST quote. GETBUSY. MILKMAN. (solve)QUEST. BLASTZONES. WEREINLUCK. MISHAP [Went for MISCUE, at first lurch]. JAPAN.

staff weeject pick: BBQ. @Muse darlin: Buy one of them chimney starter devices, for yer charcoals. Even M&A has been able to use one of those competently, and no gas/nitro/nuclear starter fluids required. And, gives U a place to burn up old NYT and runt puz scrappaper. U and the hubby can argue about somethin more interestin, then. Like where to go out to, for dinner.

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {"Ali ___ and the 40 Thieves"} = BABA. Right outta the other gate! Person'd hafta been livin in a cave in the Middle East, say, not to know that blank-filler.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Haight.

Masked & Anonymo6Us

@RP is away? … good time for The Circles:

OffTheGrid 1:11 PM  

Yesterday's theme was bogus. Unscrambled random letters do not an anagram make. Actually the theme was acceptable but not the title.

Joe Dipinto 1:16 PM  

The rules are changed
It's not the same
It's all new players in a whole new ball game

Yeah, well -- it's Monday. This puzzle was so meek and unobtrusive, its pangram status would have gone completely unnoticed by me. @Puzzlehoarder, you're right about the entries painted green, to me all the theme answers seem so in this context. And yes the piano/bench connection was cleverer last Friday.

Sang Fats Waller, from his piano bench:
My very good friend the milkman says
That I've been losing too much sleep

NUTSO deserves a more wacko puzzle. Is MoMA open today? There's an idea for something to do: Go look at "The Starry Night". Oh crud, it's closed for renovations. We're not in luck.

albatross shell 1:27 PM  

Firstbasemen also use mitts. Like a mitten all the fingers go in the same hole. Which reminds me of a sexist joke with a horrible image. Why do women have 2 holes where men have only one? There is a similar joke you can make out men if that makes it any less horrible. If anybody is dying to hear them let me know. I'll email them to you.

Decent Monday puzzle. Just enough fun with an OK theme.

Joe Dipinto 1:35 PM  

@Brainpan and @OffTheGrid" -- the clue is presented in quotes as a question to "Mom". Which do *you* think an eager child is more likely to say?

Anonymous 1:57 PM  

Isn't "Trial Judge" a pleonasm? Cash Money. Foreign Import. etc

Crimson Devil 2:16 PM  

Certainly agree Re “hand held chimney” instead of lighter fluid, quite efficient, much less dangerous.
Wish I had patent.

pabloinnh 2:18 PM  


Sorry about MoMA. but if you swing by the pub tonight I'll do my best Don McClean "Starry
Starry Night" for you. My partner thinks it's my best song.

OffTheGrid 2:38 PM  

Not the point. And, the entire clue is in " ". "Is it O.K., mom?". It is reasonable that a child would say "May I, Mom". BTW, Mom is capitalized in this usage. But, CAN is often used informally and is OK for puzzles. We should just be aware that it's incorrect.

Joe Dipinto 2:54 PM  

@pablo -- sure, I'll be there, where is it?!

@OffThe Grid -- never mind.

Peter P 3:15 PM  

@Bruce R - there are crunchy Mexican tacos. Look up tacos dorados.

Pdxrains 3:26 PM  

If you are unfamiliar with Hancock and Chick Corea I simply don't know what you are doing with your life!

Z 4:33 PM  

@Anonymous1:57 - Lots of judges are not trial judges (think SCOTUS), so it’s definitely not a pleonasm. Nor do I think it is a retronym since trial courts and appellate courts go back from before modern English.

I guess what works for you works for you, but most of what people think about grilling has no basis in reality. I’m firmly in the “slow down, you’re moving too fast” school of grilling. So no to gas. No to chimney starters. No to lump charcoal. And lighter fluid is fine as long as you wait for the coals to get charcoal gray. Assuming you’re not rushing to get food on the grill before the coals are ready, the lighter fluid is burnt off and if you’re “tasting” it that’s your imagination at work.

pabloinnh 9:12 PM  


Well, I didn't see you, so I sang "Hello in There", by John Prine, instead, which gives our resident cellist a nice solo. Only hootenanny I know of with a cellist AND a flautist.

The pub is just down from the post office, you can't miss it. We're there every Monday night.

Nancy 9:58 PM  

Thanks for the kind words, @puzzlehoarder. I'm sure I would never be able to get off the ground in the way you describe -- sounds like something only a very agile yoga practitioner could do. I hope as you move farther away from your surgeries, you will regain at least some of the knee flexibility you once had. Until and unless that happens, maybe you should do your level best (pun intended) to stay off the ground. Wishing you the best of luck for a full recovery.

albatross shell 8:01 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
albatross shell 8:47 PM  

You have to love that at least, yes?
Go back to LMS's post from Sunday on iambs and trochees. Rinse, repeat. WS sure likes to serve up the repeats. If he plays pingpong that way, he might be easy pickings. But 3 times the same, fourth different isn't a bad strategy. Or save the switch for crunch time. But I think he likes training us. Create an addiction. Good marketing. Ask WV etal.

The theme is a bit obscure. I noticed PARIS and BERN while solving and still took a few minutes to get the theme. Doh.

I'm fine with FOXIER meaning sexier or more clever, and the sexier you are the easier it is to be more clever.

PARISHPRIESTS in mystery books, whether detectives or murderers, are seldom green paint.

spacecraft 11:27 AM  

Ugh! Who knew I'd have to go on a QUEST all the way back to JULY for this? I HATE ends of months. Having (finally!) found it, I might as well throw my $.02 in.

Careful not to let my mood, soured by the search, affect the commentary, I have to admit this is one of the better Haight entries I've seen lately. The theme works, and it wasn't until I filled in the last three letters of the revealer that the light bulb came on. It was actually medium-challenging, for a Monday. OSSA, definitely NON-Monday fare, didn't help, but that's my harshest criticism--and that means it's a pretty good grid, IMHO.

Perennial DOD candidates ANNE and, for historical significance, ROSA are here, but the delightful Mae WEST was my starting point, so she gets the sash.

I'm just glad that You-Know-Who was ONTHEBENCH today. Good timing, Bruce! Birdie.

Burma Shave 12:39 PM  


ISEE that WE'REINLUCK, you wench,
ISLE be your BEAU IF you'll NOT tell,


rondo 2:01 PM  

@Z and others re: BBQ: agree on no to gas, lighter fluid is poison, so yes to chimney starter for briquettes - let the top layer remain black for slow grilling. This from someone who hasn't used lighter fluid in 25+ years and grills in every month, in MN. (And not burgers)

Good enough puz, but I did notice ISEE ICARE IBET IRAN, CANI say that last one doesn't count?

Mae WEST was circled first, yeah baby.

Nice theme, tidy up the fill a bit. ADIOS.

leftcoast 2:36 PM  

Neat thematic array of familiar BENCH warmers. And WEREINLUCK if we can always avoid sitting in a BLASTZONE.

Diana, LIW 5:16 PM  

Didn't even notice the BH byline til I came here - he seems to be "softening" in a good way.

Anyway, a good Monday.


Mondegreen 5:51 PM  

From yesterday; my grid was also imprinted - assume you solve in The Spokesman too. MOST annoying.
Wish you all the best in your health issue(s); waiting for a dx is excruciating, I know.
Enjoy your comments!
Kindred WA Syndiecat.

strayling 6:25 PM  

Finding this page was harder than solving the puzzle. A very enjoyable puzzle. Was it a pangram?

strayling 7:07 PM  

Yes, it was a pangram. Fun!

For anyone else who does the Seattle Times print version, the shared word of the day is ACTS: 56d in the NYT; 1a in the Times.

(There's always one. I'm not sure if it's intent or just probability. Probably probability, but amusing to spot.)

Nullifidian 10:11 PM  

Writing in from syndi-land.

Unlike my fellow syndicated solver, I enjoyed the Mount OSSA name-check because I'm currently rereading Ovid's Metamorphoses in the Frank Justus Miller translation, which is one of the Classical sources for the stories about the giants making war on the Olympian gods. Miller's translation is in the public domain and was originally made for the Loeb Classics dual-language edition, but I'm reading it in the Barnes & Noble Classics English-only edition.

There was a little too much reliance on phrases like "I BET", "I SEE", "I CARE", but that was probably the result of the pangram restriction. It's hard to always create elegant fill and simultaneously make sure you're getting all 26 letters, so the fact that this is my only reservation about the puzzle means it's a success, in my opinion.

Smoking Articles 7:34 AM  
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Best Offset Smokers Under 500 11:20 AM  
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