Company that makes Bug B Gon / MON 9-2-19 / Corn syrup brand / Dried chili in Mexican food / Country between Togo and Nigeria

Monday, September 2, 2019

Constructor: Zhouqin Burnikel

Relative difficulty: Hard

THEME: PENTATHLON — Theme answers ended in the events of a pentathlon.

Theme answers:
  • GORDON JUMP (17A: Arthur Carlson portrayer on "WKRP in Cincinnati")
  • PHOTOSHOOT (23A: Job for a model) 
  • CHICKEN RUN (52A: 2000 stop-motion comedy hit)
  • ADULT SWIM (9D: Late-night Cartoon Network programming block)
  • SNOW FENCE (32D: Winter barrier)

Word of the Day: HI-HAT (53D: Component of a drum kit) —
hi-hat (hihathigh-hat, etc.) is a combination of two cymbals and a foot pedal, all mounted on a metal stand. It is a part of the standard drum kit used by drummers in many styles of music including rockpop, and blues.[1] Hi-hats consist of a matching pair of small to medium-sized cymbals mounted on a stand, with the two cymbals facing each other. The bottom cymbal is fixed and the top is mounted on a rod which moves the top cymbal towards the bottom one when the pedal is depressed (a hi-hat that is in this position is said to be "closed" or "closed hi-hats").

• • •
Hello, it's an Annabel Monday! And I guess the summer's over, huh? Just like that. I mean, not that it means that much anymore now that I'm just sort of living my life rather than being on summer vacation. Also my summer job got extended through September, which is amazing because honestly  I really really love working in this library. It's gonna be sad to leave it, but hopefully I'll move on to another library before I get my M.L.S.

This has been one of my favorite Mondays in awhile! The relative difficulty rating comes from the numerous cultural refs/name drops, the fact that HAJ is usually transliterated as HAJJ and so I didn't trust that answer, and the amount of wrong answers I had. RANGE for RANCH was the most egregious--I mean, come on, it literally says "home!" Like "Home on the Range!" Anyway.

There was some fun wordplay, and some great words; EWER, which means a pitcher or jug, was my second pick for word of the day, which is impressive since I feel like I'm often scrambling for a good word rather than choosing between two! (ANCHO was a good one as well.) I feel like the decision to call SKIT a "comedic sketch" synonym could draw the IRE of some comedians, but I personally don't know enough about the differences, if there are any. Also, like the mental image of a ONE-WAY CRIME MAP. Like, a scavenger hunt that leads you from crime to crime but ends you in jail? That seems like kind of a Batman villain thing. The point is, I loved this puzzle.

I'm going to avoid exposing my lack of knowledge about all sports other than rugby and sailing by JUMPing right over the PENTATHLON theme and onto CHICKEN RUN. The VHS tape of that movie lived on the TV stand so I could replay it over and over again, proving that I've had amazing taste since childhood. Or maybe it's just that rewatching a movie that somehow pulls off "British chickens wearing women's accessories, aware of the grisly fate that awaits them, team up with an American rooster conman who pretends to teach them to fly but ends up building a working plane"-- and pulls it off perfectly and hilariously--shaped me into the lover of B-movies and anything else with a buckwild plotline that I am today.

Also, those guys made Wallace and Gromit!

  • TAE BO (68A: Fitness program popularized in the 1990s) —  Did you know Tae Bo was invented in 1976?!? Did they even have exercise tapes back then? I would have thought it was way later! 
  • LIT (22A: Extremely fun, as a party) — I was looking up the etymology for the modern slang context of this word and found out that it's actually been circulating in and out of slang since the 1910s, if not earlier, as in, from this 1918 book, "We walked into the vamp's house. We all got lit and had a hell of a time." It's so cool how language changes! (Also if you're still interested in that etymology, a cursory Google suggests that the more recent use of the word stems from its use in rap music, which in turn probably stems from African-American Vernacular English. But I'm no linguist--I just thought the 1918 thing was cool!)
  • KOI (58A: Colorful pond fish) — The word "koi" only conjures up one mental image for me now. "I have also fallen into the fountain at the Steamtown Mall."

Signed, Annabel Thompson, still searching for jobs!

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

[Follow Annabel Thompson on Twitter]


Patrick O'Connor 12:08 AM  

Thanks for the lovely write-up and good luck with the job search, Ms. Annabel Monday!

jae 12:30 AM  

Just on the easy side of medium. Delightful Mon. The only problems I see for beginners are GORDON JUMP and CHICKEN RUN. WKRP finished its prime time run in 1982 and CHICKEN RUN was a fine movie and a box office success, but that was almost 20 years ago. Maybe WKRP is streaming somewhere?

Liked it, nice one C.C.

Enjoyed the write-up Annabel, glad you were a young fan of CHICKEN RUN. It’s actually a tad better than a B- movie IMHO.

Mike 2:38 AM  

Note: this got posted under Sunday, which hopefully can be corrected. I liked it better than some of Sunday’s fill, that’s for sure.

chefwen 3:12 AM  

This was a little crunchy for a Monday, I have to go with @jae on easy medium. Had to work with crosses to get GORDON JUMP and ADULT SWIM. 42A SHONDA was a “I know I’ve seen that name before” probably People Mag.

Annabel, laughed at your ONEWAY CRIME MAPS scenario, good one.

Another keeper C.C.

NB 3:41 AM  

That was brutal for a Monday. Good puzzle, but having GORDON JUMP, ORTHO, EGAD and ICHING was too difficult for the start of the week.

Loren Muse Smith 3:48 AM  

I agree with Annabel that this was hard for a Monday. “Scrub” for SCOUR mucked up that area for a while.

I learned that I add an extra syllable in PENTATHLON. And triathlon. So I just read that my /pen TA thuh lon/ is at best non-standard and at worst “lazy.” You’d think that adding a syllable would be the opposite of lazy, but this peever maintains that I’m lazy because I’m avoiding the articulation of a difficult consonant cluster by going all anaptyxic on it. Sheesh. People can be so judgy.

I compforted (that added /p/ is epenthesis, I think) myself by thinking I could pronounce I CHING correctly only to sit and listen to Kevin Costner – it had to be – pronounce it with an initial /tʃ/-as-in CHICKEN sound and not the /dʒ/-as-in JUMP. I used to run around quoting some verse from the I CHING about water flowing through a creek, hitting a rock, and rolling around it. This was my I’m Into Taoism I’m So Fascinating phase. I imagine I was exhausting. Hah. Epiphany – I’m still exhausting what with my treatises I end up posting.

Palindromes wow me. MADAM, I’M ADAM. Nurse! I spy gypsies! RUN!

A lifeguard told me once that the ADULT SWIM was a tacit suggestion that the little kids get out of the pool and go use the bathroom. Funny how the word ADULT used in so many compounds feels x-rated. Now go back and consider ADULT SWIM. You can’t unsee it, right?

CC- nice job on the intersecting themers. I always appreciate that. At first I pictured the athletes, after swimming, fencing, shooting, and running, just standing there and jumping. Then I pictured them high jumping. Or long jumping. After a brief investigation, I found that they’re on horseback jumping. My world has broadened this morning.

Hungry Mother 5:19 AM  

A tad slow this morning. Even though I was raised on KARO syrup, I had a “c” out front for a while. Third 5K of the weekend coming up in a couple of hours. As a participate in triathlons, why did I want an extra “a” in PENTATHLON?

Frog Prince Kisser 5:25 AM  

@ Masked and Anonymous 1:57 PM yesterday

Had a belly laugh “just becuz” M&A wanted HAR yesterday, but got it today! Howdja know?

Hungry Mother 5:25 AM  

Horseback jumping and swimming has me flashing back to one of my favorite summer jobs as a hot dog and ice cream bar vendor on Atlantic City’s Steel Pier in 1960. I worked out at the far end where the famous Diving Horse was forced to jump into a pool far below.

Lewis 6:17 AM  
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Lewis 6:23 AM  

CC is so skilled. Here she makes a smooth-as-silk puzzle with a theme that uses 58 squares, including crossing theme answers. I always get the feeling with CC that she sets a high bar for her puzzles, and won't let a puzzle leave her desk if it doesn't pass it.

Look at that lovely clue for ORIGAMI! This from one for whom English is not her first language, one who moved to the U.S.from China in 2001, started solving crosswords in 2008, began making puzzles in 2010, and who, IMO, cruciverbs now with the best of them. Thank you, CC.

Lobster11 7:08 AM  

So LIT can describe either the state of a partygoer (i.e., drunk or high) or the party itself ("extremely fun")? So one could get LIT at a LIT party? Then what do you say when they turn the lights on?

GILL I. 7:31 AM  

This was Monday? EGAD... I like CC puzzles but this wasn't Monday fodder. No way, Jose. Not for moi.
The cluing was hard. You have ADULT SWIM crossing GORDON JUMP (I've never heard of either) and then you also put in RAMIS (never heard of him/her either) and then LIT is extremely fun at a party? I think of LIT as someone who's drunk or high. UGG.
RIP IT is hitting the ball out of the park? I CHING on friendly Monday? UP TOP is "give me five?" What?
Been getting my daughter interested in puzzles. Can't wait to hear what she says about this one....

Suzie Q 7:38 AM  

After solving I realized that before this morning I could not have named the five events. Even then I had one of them wrong. Thanks @ Loren for the horse jumping. If you can master all of these skills you would certainly be a well-rounded athlete ready for anything!
I agree about the clue for origami.
Gordon Jump is pretty obscure and I watched that show a lot when it first ran but if you need jump in your grid I suppose there are not a lot of options.
Very nice Monday.

QuasiMojo 7:55 AM  

Glad to have a somewhat challenging Monday. But the JUMP part of the pentathlon involves horseback riding and should be noted as such. It's the horse who is jumping after all.

Joe R. 7:56 AM  

When CHICKEN RUN was released, I went to see it with my sister. We went to a weekend matinee, and were the only adults there without children. During the opening credits, which are an incredible homage to The Great Escape, I was laughing my ass off, and at some point, I realized I was the only person in the theater laughing like that. I can understand all the kids not knowing The Great Escape, but I was a little sad for those adults that none of them got the joke either.

Anonymous 7:57 AM  

Must be a generational thing bi found this to be crazy easy.

pabloinnh 7:57 AM  

Glad others found this a little prickly for a Monday. Me too.

The "modern" pentathlon was designed to include skills needed by a soldier. Times have changed.

I think the extra syllables in the -lon events come from thinking that they are performed by ath-a-letes. (Added HAR.)


Anyway, fun enough, if maybe a bit out of line for our weekly chronology. Thanks CC.

John H 7:58 AM  

In 1910 "lit" meant drunk. Still does. Who says "this is a lit party?" Does that mean everyone there is loaded?

amyyanni 8:01 AM  

Hiya Annabel, so nice to hear from you again. Agree, one of my favorite Mondays too, even though I blithely tossed "homer" instead of RIPIT, which bolluxed me for a while. And yes, scrub and range, as has been mentioned. OK then, back to monitoring Dorian from SW Florida. Hoping for that turn north!!

Anonymous 8:13 AM  

Loved it! Fun puzzle, with some clever clues. My fave was for ORIGAMI. Made good time too.

bookmark 8:34 AM  

Annabel, if you haven't already done so, read Susan Orlean's The Library Book. The background story is the LA Public Library fire of 1986, but tells of the the evolution of libraries into the community centers they are today. A great read for anyone who loves libraries.

davidm 8:41 AM  

EGAD, what a mess! Me, not the puzzle, which was mostly fine, with a couple of exceptions.

I wrote in SPA one across, and then, incredibly, for two down, I wrote in APPLE — ??? (Note to self: APPLE does not start with the letter P.)

Then I breezily wrote in HAH instead or HAR, HOMER instead or RIP IT, RANGE instead of RANCH, SNOW DRIFT instead of SNOW FENCE, EGGNOG (!) for EGGS ON, and TUTU (!!!) for HUTU, evidently conflating the HUTUS and the TUTSIS. UGG!

My only excuse is that I had barely begun my coffee.

Since I do these things in pen, by the time the coffee was kicking in, I had to work my way back through an inkblot mess of repairs.

Objections: crossing TAE BO with KARO, and ADULT SWIM with GORDON JUMP and ETSY. Never heard of any of it/them. ETSY???

Wm. C. 8:46 AM  

Like many commenters above, I found this a particularly difficult Monday. I don't usually mind, though, because Monday is generally my least favorite day because it's too easy. However, I do mind some, though, because I has to consult with Professor Google for the GORDONJUMP/RAMIS cross, with not much help in that area from ADULTSWIM, OMNI, HAJ, or ETSY. Of course, I've at least heard of the latter three, but had no crosses to clue me in.

So I like the idea of some Tues/Weds difficulty areas on Mon, but this one bifurcated from generally-Monday to a Northeast-Saturday. Wierd.

CDilly52 8:50 AM  

A joyful Monday on so many fronts. Annabel is back, and spot on with her review of this hard-for-a-Monday offering, The puzzle was challenging but superbly crafted (as usual for a CC puz), it is Labor Day, the harbinger of all good thins “fallish” and the puzzle had the Hi-Hat, my favorite instrument in the drum set. My percussionist-husband and I had many humorous moments as he tried to teach me how to use both my hands and feet simultaneously just to do a rudimentary exercise “boom-chick” with the bass drum pedal the hi-hat pedal and hands on the snare for a parting rim shot. I did poorly at piano using the pedals but the drum set is insane!! Flute and voice were challenging enough.

I got stuck with SCrUb for SCOUR (fell right in that clever trap!) and had no idea who GORDON JUMP is as I never saw WKRP. So the top struggled a bit. The rest was a bit slow but lovely.

I had an admirer at music camp one summer who sent me envelopes stuffed with ORIGAMI cranes for months afterward. Wonder what ever happened to that young oboeist.

Happy fall is coming everybody!

SouthsideJohnny 9:07 AM  

I concur with the what appears to be the consensus of the group thus far - heavy-laden with popular culture and borderline esoterica (GORDONJUMP, CHICKENRUN, BENIN, SHONDA, MAORI), which makes this one unusually clunky for a Monday and skews it to the difficult side. Also a nit - seems like there should be an abbreviation in the clue for 38D. Last week had a few clunkers as well, so hopefully this is just a mini batting slump and we will get some cleaner, fresher offerings throughout the rest of this week.

Golfballman 9:09 AM  

davidm : try a Bic wite-out tape. No inky messes with it.

Mary McCarty 9:20 AM  

One minute below average time, for me, and pleasure doubled by@LMS (as always). Prize for “worst dictionary definition ever” goes to All you folks who mispronounce the -athlons should learn a little Greek. ATHLON means “a prize” and an ATHLete is “one who competes for a prize” , which makes “amateur athlete” a bit of an oxymoron.

kitshef 9:21 AM  

Surprised by the number of "hard" ratings today. Thought it was one of the easiest puzzles ever. It did take me a minute to come up with GORDON JUMP, but once I did it felt great.

Hand up for SCrUb before SCOUR, also. Everything else went in with no thought required.

@Loren - I have the same experience as your ADULT SWIM when I think of "petting zoo".

Z 9:46 AM  

Hand up for Hard for a Monday.

As someone pretty passionate about what is still a niche sport, I can’t help but wonder how one becomes a pentathlete.

HAJ - HAR. HAJ, HAJj, HAdj, take your pick. Using transliterated words always feels a little like the constructor is cheating. Sure, there might be somebody out there saying “this is the correct transliteration,” but they are really just making it up. The Arabic spelling is consistent, but how someone from Sanaa, Cairo, or Mosul pronounce the word will vary at least as much as how we all pronounce PENTATHLON (I put a little half “uh” between the “th” and “l”- you might almost miss it unless you want to judge me).

GHarris 9:52 AM  

A bit of bite for a Monday, all to the good. Even though it may be descriptively accurate no one says rip it to describe a big fly.

Nancy 9:54 AM  

Wouldn't have solved the puzzle without the theme. I had GORDON J--P (who's that?) and the theme gave me GORDON JUMP. This gave me Harold RAMIS (who was lurking around in my subconscious but I couldn't quite reach him) and ADULT SWIM (what's that?). And did I remember from last week's puzzle that a fun party is a party that's LIT? No I didn't. Youthy slang in xwords, especially slang that's as unappealing as a LIT party, goes in one eye and out the other.

A combination of straight fill that was boringly clued and mindless, along with more pop culture than we normally get from this constructor. Not a good combo. I had to SCOUR the puzzle to try and find anything I really, really liked and I couldn't find anything at all. Sorry.

JC66 10:05 AM  

@Southide Johnny

It's not unusual to have the clue contain an abbreviation (N.B.A.) to indicate that the answer is an abbreviation (IN OT).

Birchbark 10:06 AM  

Yesterday afternoon, at the Minnesota State Fair, we had RANCH cheese curds (powdered ranch dressing goes into the breading) with an accidental jalapeño cheese curd thrown in. We also had Gizmos (Italian sausage sloppy Joes in a hoagie bun with melted mozzarella). We went to the all-you-can-drink milk tent. And capped it off with a bucket of Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies filled so high it was like something from Dr. Seuss.

We saw some great horseback riding where two riders hold a ribbon between them and race as fast as they can across the arena, around a barrel, and back without dropping the ribbon. The winning time was just over nine seconds. And of course we rode the Sky Ride over the fairgrounds, with the Gopher Marching Band doing a parade-jam on the streets below. YEP, I'm exhausted.

PaulyD 10:09 AM  

I just have to say kudos to today's constructor. A WKRP and CHICKEN RUN reference in the same puzzle will win me over every time. Being able to slot these in immediately made this a touch faster (3:54) for me than a typical Monday.

One of the greatest sitcom episodes of all time was "Turkeys Away" - if you've never seen it, it's typically available for streaming at Amazon or Netflix. Totally worth watching!

Crimson Devil 10:18 AM  

Agree with thumbs down: GORDONJUMP, LIT, SHONDA, CHICKENRUN, ADULTSWIM, RAMIS, none fun. Enjoyed cluing for ORIGAMI: RIPIT not so much.

Anonymous 10:18 AM  

I concur with the difficulty rating. But “rip it” describes line drives, not home runs.

Anonymous 10:24 AM  

to answer the obvious objections:

Jane Fonda


all others are fakes

jberg 10:37 AM  

@Annabel, I thought of that song, too -- so I just put in RAN, leaving the last two letters to crosses. SCOT was pretty easy, so there it was.

For me, too, the RAMIS/JUMP crossing was the toughest part -- but really, what else could it be? JUxP? JUrT? Maybe JUST, but RAsIS? M is just way more plausible than any other choice.

@Loren, I can't expand your avatar -- so I can't tell, is it a literature textbook or something that could be in Rex's pulp fiction collection? Nice choice, in any event!

Everybody should know SHONDA Rhimes, one of the biggest writers and producers on network TV. I get her last name mixed up with Busta Rhymes -- or rather, I come down off on a tangent with "Rimes" -- but the clue gives us that, and the letter count blocks SHONDrA, so it shouldn't be too hard. I heard her interviewed on NPR once -- she was plugging her book My Year of Yes -- when she casually mentioned that she gets 250,000 emails a day, so had had to learn how to ignore most of them.

Second day in a row people are complaining that the names of actual countries are too obscure for a crossword. I'll just say, get used to it -- there are only 192 UN member states, and not many non-member ones, so it's worth learning them all. The clue may be a little location-specific, but "5-letter country in West Africa" would get you there, I think.

Now I want to see "CHICKEN RUN!"

Lewis 10:40 AM  

My five favorite clues from last week
(in order of appearance):

1. United, for one: Abbr. (3)
2. Ones always wearing suits at work (6)
3. Dos and dos and dos and dos (4)
4. Stretch between two pitches, say (6)
5. It's followed by "one two, one two" (3)(5)


RooMonster 10:47 AM  

Hey All !
Add me to the mispronunciation camp on PENTATHLON, I say, /pen thath a lon/. Is it /pen thath lon/? /pen ya thlon/? Whatevs.

I thought this a great puz. CC always delivers the goods. Six themers, four crossing. Light to no dreck. No GIING. :-)

Quite a few vowel ending words, tough to pull off cleanly, AHA, TRI, ANTI, AUTO, MAORI, KOI, TAEBO, ANCHO, NOCANDO, KARO, AGO, HUTU, ORIGAMI, ORTHO, OMNI. That doesn't include the E's, as that's a common ender.

So a real nice, albeit non Labor Day puz. Off work today myself, not because of the Holiday, but because we're slow. Oh well, I have personal days built up I can take!


Dan Miller 10:50 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle a lot, and FWIW I've written and performed sketch comedy and had no problem with SKIT. Happy labor day!

ASV 10:51 AM  

Definitely hard for a Monday though scored a regular time. I may be on the younger side of the posters here because I remember watching ADULT SWIM back in college... you needed to be pretty LIT for most of programming to make any sense. I have actually been to BENIN and if you ever have the chance to go, I would highly recommend it—it’s an absolutely fascinating country. It most notably is the origination point for the voodoo traditions seen in Louisiana, Haiti, and other parts of the Caribbean and South America. In fact, Voodoo is the national religion with nearly half of the inhabitants actively practicing. Also, there are almost no cars—everyone rides motorcycles. Even the taxis are motorcycles. And there are no gas stations, just roadside stands that sell gasoline in jugs. It’s wild.

nyc_lo 10:57 AM  

A tough Monday, but fun. I thought the WKRP actor’s name would elude me, but as soon as I saw the G, GORDONJUMP came rushing back. I immediately pictured Arthur Carlson wailing on his foot with a shoe, crying “I’ve got a monkey on my foot!” after mistaking Johnny Fever’s cocaine for foot powder. Good stuff.

Anonymous 10:58 AM  

Second day in a row people are complaining that the names of actual countries are too obscure for a crossword. I'll just say, get used to it -- there are only 192 UN member states, and not many non-member ones, so it's worth learning them all. The clue may be a little location-specific, but "5-letter country in West Africa" would get you there, I think.

Get off my lawn!!! back, lo these many decades, when I was in junior high school in one of my classes (JH, in my town, was when you went from Miss Teacher All Day Long to subject classes and teachers), likely social studies or some such, we had to memorize all the states of the USofA and their capitols; European and Western Hemisphere countries and capitols; just the countries of Africa (they were proliferating from colonies, changing borders, and changing names with some frequency then), and I don't recall what for Asia and Oceania. what used to be called a Liberal Education; until the wingnuts redefined the term.

Carola 11:01 AM  

On the hard side. I happened to glance at the constructor's byline as I wrote in PEACH, which struck me as particularly apt, given Ms. Burnikel's deft and witty touch with Monday puzzles. But my metaphoric fruit ended up being more like sour grapes: I had no idea about GORDON JUMP, ADULT SWIM, or CHICKEN RUN and resented the theme relying so heavily on these references. Mitigating factor: teaching me how PENTATHLON is spelled, after I was sure I was running out of squares.

Help from previous puzzles: RAMIS, SHONDA.

@Annabel, thank you for the cheery write-up.

Nancy 11:03 AM  

@Loren (5:19) -- What a great and intricate palindrome! I'd never heard it and went to Google it, hoping nothing would come up, hoping that it was your creation. Alas, it did come up, so now I'm left wondering: Who comes up with palindromes, anyway? Is this a cottage industry?
Is there a computer program that can assist you or even do it for you? I would think this "Nurse" one would be very hard to invent.

@Quasi (7:55) -- As someone who refuses to climb up on anything that wobbles -- from bicycles to roller skates to ice skates to skis to horses -- I have always admired anyone who horseback rides (hi, @GILL). But my friend Dick, who played tennis well enough and who skied at the level of the Junior Olympics in Norway, refused to accept my praise on his proficiency as a horseback rider. "It's not that demanding a sport," said Dick. "The horse does all the work."

xyz 11:15 AM  

Yes, harder, but a rather complicated (Good way) theme inclusion, seemed more like a Wednesday construction.

GORDON JUMP - needed a lot of crosses crosses crosses, no idea off the top

RIP IT could be better clued for Golf

- John Daly's method "Grip it and ___ __!"

jb129 11:30 AM  

Hello Annabel - I agree with you - "This has been one of my favorite Mondays in awhile!"

Tim Aurthur 11:31 AM  

I agree that libraries are magical places.

And what an excellent puzzle.

A moderator 11:38 AM  

@Amelia - No spoilers. Some people reading this have not done Saturday’s puzzle, yet. Either comment on Saturday and point to it here or write your post in such a way that no answers are given away. Given the thrust of your comment the latter might be impossible.

Anonymous 11:52 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous 11:56 AM  

Who is CC? Paper says Zhouqin Burnikel constructed this puz.

Anonymous 12:20 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joseph M 12:29 PM  

Theme: MEH

Clue for LIT: no.
Clue for RIP IT: no.
Clue for ORGAMI: YEP

Answer for 20D: HAR
Answer for 24D: EGAD

Difficulty level: UGG

OffTheGrid 12:33 PM  

I don't think anyone has mentioned the ICHING/ANCHO crossing. I had no idea. That square was blank when I was otherwise done. That's OK. I knew a lot of other answers that many struggled with. Tomorrow you will know the things I don't. It's always this way with what appears to be a pretty diverse group of commenters. I try not to let it affect my assessment of the puzzle. I can like and enjoy a puzzle when I have to do some googling and dislike a puzzle that is "easy". Monday usually takes me 12-15 minutes. Today it was 22 but I loved it.

Cassieopia 12:38 PM  

@PaulyD - “oh, the inhumanity!” One of the best TV episodes ever.

Puzzle played easy for me, I zipped through the first 7 across clues without missing a beat. Still I found great joy is the sheer beauty of the thing - so clean, so smooth, great theme, and a drop-dead marvelous clue for ORIGAMI.

I love Annabel Mondays. Plus she apparently has stellar taste in movies. 🐣

QuasiMojo 12:43 PM  

Nancy thanks for the funny anecdote about your friend and horses. Too true!

PS I love palindromes too! But sadly that Gypsies one wouldn't work anymore in this PC world if we have to say Roma.

old timer 12:56 PM  

Harold RAMIS (R.I.P.) was one of the creative forces behind the best TV series that ever was, SCTV. Back in the day I would set my alarm to watch that show, which came on at odd and unpredictable times. Just as Laugh-In had been the nursery for its generation of comics, SCTV was where its generation of funny men and women got their start.

So I had no trouble with that answer, and raced through the puzzle in near-record time. It was no doubt hard for a Monday, but super-easy for the crowd who routinely does the Friday and Saturday puzzles, and (often) gets them right.

PS:Since someone brought it up, MIC CHECK is just wrong. Almost no one says that. They do say, "CHECK, one, two three four." The MIC (or the older mike) is generally omitted.

John Hoffman 12:56 PM  
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oldactor 1:21 PM  

Boy! Talk about in your wheelhouse. I did comedy SKETCHES with Harold Ramis, whom I can't understand how some people don't know. He wrote Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, SCTV, Meatballs, Animal House and many more.

I was in a production of Hello Dolly with Gordon Jump and Vicki Lawrence. Bought an ORIGAMI book in Tokyo where I saw many KOI. I was also in Call Me MADAM. As 'Enry 'Iggins I attended a race at ASCOT.

I used to tell my own fortune with the ICHING which, before a family Caribbean Cruise, advised me not to go on a ship or the sea. I went anyway, of course, and my mother became deathly ill and we had to disembark on St. Thomas. She survived.

I was snowed in at OHARE once and won a spice RACK in a radio contest. I was the drummer in a HS dance band and loved the HIHAT Shall I go on?

The thumping noises you hear are names dropping.

I recently bought an Indian ring on ETSY.

CDilly52 1:36 PM  

@davidm 8:41 am. I laughed out loud a huge Hardy HAR as I read your comments because I made every single one of the mistakes you made. My saving grace is that I am familiar with ADULT SWIM from my daughter and son-in-law and my daughter uses ETSY.

The comedic response? Laughing with you, my friend. To honor my grandmother, who introduced me to crosswords and always worked in ink, I also began solving in ink as I became more proficient (probably decades after my 8 year old self tentatively “helped” my Gran.). My kids introduced me to the NYT app and I recently started using it. Had I been doing this “old school,” I am certain it would have looked like a bird tipped over the inkpot and danced through the mess!

Masked and Anonymous 2:17 PM  

HARd, for a MonPuz. OK fine by m&e -- bring it, Shortzmeister. Maybe toughened up a mite, becuz it's a holiday?

Nice theme. Is GORDONJUMP the equestrian part of the PENTATHLON's five events? Needed a horsy answer there, I'd grant … don't wanna make the JUMP part of the themer too obvious (as in BUNGEEJUMP, f'rinstance). Always admired that WKRP show, altho do recall LONI ANDERSON & Howard "Dr. Johnny Fever" Hesseman a bit clearer, as characters go.

GORDONJUMP, plus ICHING/ANCHO ate up the precious nanosecond reserves in the upper puzgrid. Also, wanted NICETRY, before NOCANDO, which self-confused the M&A.
SHONDA+BENIN did not help to unconfuse the M&A much, btw.

staff weeject pick: HAR. Becuz definitely did not want any resurrection of HAE. (yo & ribbit, @Frog Prince Kisser.)

fave fillins included: NOCANDO. ORIGAMI [nice clue, too boot]. EMPTY. HUTU.
fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Coupe or sedan} = AUTO. Almost default-rates as auto-fill.
honrable mention to: {Harold who directed "Caddyshack"} = RAMIS. One of M&A's top 20 alltime fave flicks. "Oooh … Somebody step on a duck?"

Thanx for the solvequest-labors .03 day, CC darlin.
Happy holiday, everybody.
@Annabel darlin: Great job. Primo bullets. Well, hey -- Hopefully a new presidential library will be openin up, real soon. Might be mostly tweet compilations, tho, so I wouldn't recommend holdin out fer that.

Masked & Anonymo6Us

ignore the title at yer own peril:

Amelia 2:37 PM  


That makes no sense. A spoiler on Monday for a Saturday puzzle? That writer's name was all over Saturday's comments.

I guess you didn't like what I had to say.

Not to worry. I won't say it again. It's a broken record, anyway, Prof.

Joe Dipinto 2:37 PM  

♪ And when I see the sign that points One Way→... ♪

This had a bunch of upscale words for a Monday, but I didn't think it was too hard. GORDON JUMP is pretty esoteric, I'll grant you. NOCANDO makes me think of the Mocambo, a famous Hollywood nightclub in the 40s-50s. It also reminds me of Hall & Oates. I don't understand HAR as a laugh syllable -- I know some people here use it, but I can't fathom how it approximates a laugh. Who ends a laugh on an "r" sound?

Anyway. Pentathlon...five themers with pentathlon activities...I get the connection.

Anonymous 2:52 PM  

Am I the only one who had no idea at the intersection of H_S and UPTO_?

I thought D as in high definition printers.

Anonymous 3:16 PM  

Amelia, I believe the moderator's point is that for many reasons people want to or have to do puzzles out of order. Therefore the request is to never give a spoiler to any other day's puzzle in the current day's comment blog.

RooMonster 3:44 PM  

@Anon 11:56
Ms. Burnikel gets her puzs published in various newspapers, and goes by CC Burnikel in those. The story I heard was Will wanted her to use her real name, so in the NYT she is Zhouqin.

But us elite people (HAR) refer to her as CC.

RooMonster Answer Guy

davidm 3:58 PM  

@CDilly52, Hah (HAR?), nice to know I wasn’t the only one who screwed up so badly. I can do the Times puzzle without the app because I live in NYC and get the paper every day, and honestly, I prefer doing it the old-fashioned way. I always use ink, cussedly, because I think I can ace everything I do, and I usually succeed on Mondays at least, which I usually find to be gimmes. This puzzle, though, even with all my early blundering about, struck me as closer to a Wednesday, especially in the northeast and deep southwest.

Masked and Anonymous 5:41 PM  

Just to ADDTO @Roo's excellent explanation, just a little bit, re: @Anonymous's 11:56 CC question…

Ms. Burnikel has her own website called Crossword Corner (about the LATPuz). That could possibly be the inspiration for the CC nickname letters. Just sayin without quite knowin for 100.1% sure.

Puzgrid headed toward the NYT cceiling today, with 40 black squares and 78 words. But … got yer 6 long themers, swirlin around & across each other like a pod of gord-jumpin whales -- Mighty darn impressive. CC does cool constructionwork. One of my fave puzmakers.

M&A Help Desk and HAE Bailer

lil holiday bonus:

Z 6:37 PM  

@Amelia - Exactly what @anon3:16 said. Coming to the Monday blog and walking into a Saturday spoiler would have been unwelcome by at least some. Sure, that author’s name was all over the Saturday blog... because people who had finished the Saturday puzzle were there to discuss that puzzle and the author was a key feature of people’s solving experience. I did, in fact, finish the Saturday Stumper today. I would have been apoplectic if there had been revealers in the comments. I’ve personally carefully worded comments to avoid spoilers and used the upsidedown text website to hide spoilers. At least the moderators explained why rather than leaving you wondering. Also, please recognize that even if none of us from Saturday saw your comment, the syndiland solvers would have seen it in five weeks.

@M&A Help Desk - I had a college friend named Wladislaw who went by the diminutive “Deju” (dee shoo). I asked him how you got “Deju” from “Wladislaw?” His response was “the same way you get ‘Dick’ from ‘Richard.’” I’ve always assumed “CC” from “Zhouqin” was something like that.

Anonymous 7:52 PM  

Bren gets the iron throne.

Billy 8:45 PM  

The worst Monday I've come across in a looooong time.

Tried to watch but couldn't 9:51 PM  

I was so thrilled to see that the turkey episode on WKRP was available IN ITS ENTIRETY on YouTube. And for free, yet. So I clicked on this episode of a program which, btw, I'd never watched. The episode started. Nothing about a turkey yet, but there was a tepid "joke" and guffaws exploded and wouldn't stop. A second "joke" that really wasn't much of a joke at all and the guffaws were louder and went on even longer. The laughter was so inappropriate to the stimulus that it made me wince. Canned laughter -- the reason I won't watch sitcoms that don't have a live audience. I never got to the turkey part, but the canned laughter made the whole thing a big turkey for me. I stopped watching about 45 seconds into the program.

I'm wondering if anyone else here would have had the same reaction?

CS 8:14 AM  

The long weekend has me a day late but had to chime in for the record; I thought this was Monday-appropriate with a little crunch. SO happy to see Chicken Run -- such a brilliant creation in every way.

Burma Shave 10:38 AM  


In a SPA to STRIP is no CRIME, and an ADULTSWIM is fun.
Will GORDONJUMP IN on time, or will that CHICKENRUN?


AM/FM Howard 10:40 AM  

I do the syndicated so this comment may be stale. EWER is as common in crosswords as OREO or ADIT

spacecraft 10:40 AM  

Sorry, pal, NOCANDO. I mean, I finished, but it was so bad it was actually HARD! SHONDA Who?? BENIN where??? And EGAD: HUTU???? On a MONDAY????? I had to finish it INOT! Sorry I had to RIPIT, CC, but there's nothing more I can ADDTO that. UGG! "Other." That means worse than triple-bogey.

rainforest 2:12 PM  

Great puzzle, CC. Somewhat more difficult than the usual Monday, and maybe a tad more proper names, but all were known to me, so OK.

Loved the clue for ORIGAMI. A few others like that wouldn't have been out of place.

I have to say that anyone who says PENTATH-A-LON sounds illiterate. Sorry, LMS.

Anonymous 3:05 PM  

Thank you for asking this question!

leftcoast 3:22 PM  

Very tough for a Monday, much better suited for a Wednesday, which also might have warranted an on-the-tough-side rating. But a Monday morning wakeup call like this is okay with me.

SW corner was last to fall. Needed the five Olympic events in order to see the PENTATHLON. GORDONJUMP? Rather unusual name.

ANCHO, RAMIS, SHONDA, HIHAT, and UPTOP were pausers.

Really good [Wednesday] puzzle.

wcutler 4:04 PM  

@Anonymous 3:16 PM, who wrote: "Amelia, I believe the moderator's point is that for many reasons people want to or have to do puzzles out of order."
It depends if you're talking about the weekend Saturday puzzle, which in syndiland comes out weeks before the following Monday's puzzle. There is no "want to" about it. They are published out of order.

rondo 5:06 PM  

GORDONJUMP a gimme. WKRP was a pretty decent show in the day and was running recently on one of those secondary broadcast stations, replaced by Green Acres which seems more hilarious now than ever. GORDONJUMP was also the Maytag Man on commercials for a while after WKRP.

I think they should change back to the classic PENTATHLON which included the long jump, javelin throw, 200 metres, discus throw, and a 1500 metres race. Lose the shooting, fencing, and equestrian stuff.

I usually like CC’s puzzles. This one was part xword-ese and part harder-than-your-usual-Monday. Maybe not golden for everybody, but quite tolerable for me.

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