Relative of weasel / MON 9-9-19 / Neckwear with letters A B C D

Monday, September 9, 2019

Constructor: Dan Schoenholz

Relative difficulty: Ha ha ha ha I have no idea. It was my slowest Monday ever, but don't mind me, I'm kind of out of it tonight (4:15 LOLOL 30 seconds slower than my slowest Monday, wheeeeee!)

THEME: LION EYES — -ize words imagined as two-word phrases

Theme answers:
  • TENDER RYES (17A: Very soft loaves of bread?)
  • ALPHABET TIES (26A: Neckwear with the letters, A, B, C, D, etc.?)
  • STANDARD DYES (44A: Indigo, henna, etc.?)
  • SOCIAL LIES (57A: "You haven't aged a bit" and "I love that jacket you're wearing"?)
Word of the Day: RUMBA (18D: Cuban ballroom dance) —
Rumba is a secular genre of Cuban music involving dance, percussion, and song. It originated in the northern regions of Cuba, mainly in urban Havana and Matanzas, during the late 19th century. It is based on African music and dance traditions, namely Abakuá and yuka, as well as the Spanish-based coros de clave. According to Argeliers León, rumba is one of the major "genre complexes" of Cuban music, and the term rumba complex is now commonly used by musicologists. This complex encompasses the three traditional forms of rumba (yambú, guaguancó and columbia), as well as their contemporary derivatives and other minor styles.
Traditionally performed by poor workers of African descent in streets and solares (courtyards), rumba remains one of Cuba's most characteristic forms of music and dance. Vocal improvisation, elaborate dancing and polyrhythmic drumming are the key components of all rumba styles. Cajones(wooden boxes) were used as drums until the early 20th century, when they were replaced by tumbadoras (conga drums). During the genre's recorded history, which began in the 1940s, there have been numerous successful rumba bands such as Los Papines, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Clave y Guaguancó, AfroCuba de Matanzas and Yoruba Andabo.
Since its early days, the genre's popularity has been largely confined to Cuba, although its legacy has reached well beyond the island. In the United States it gave its name to the so-called "ballroom rumba" or rhumba, and in Africa soukous is commonly referred to as "Congolese rumba" (despite being actually based on son cubano). Its influence in Spain is testified by rumba flamencaand derivatives such as Catalan rumba. (wikipedia)
• • •

Wow, just not my night. Couldn't make any sense of this theme At All, and, to make matters much worse, I also couldn't type accurately, or even semi-accurately. I mean, I had ONE drink. It was strong, but still, it shouldn't have thrown me this bad. I had MOLE at 3D: Relative of a weasel (is it, tho? I feel like the MOLE must at least be a distant cousin of the weasel...) and had something OROIN at 14A: The Hunter constellation. At one point I put in AFFIRM (45D: State as fact), and then took it out because the letter combinations (possibly in the themer???) seemed impossible ... but then it *was* right? Ugh. Had -UM-- staring at me at the Cuban dance clue (18D: Cuban ballroom dance) and my brain delivered precisely zero information to my ... brain, I guess. Just zip. Seriously thought "is MUMBA a dance?" But the real issue was the themers, which are all wacky and "?"'d and I had zero, nada, no idea what they were supposed to mean until after I was done. Everyone was a baffling struggle. ALPHA BETTIES??? Like, when BETTY dominates Veronica? TENDER RYES, I mean ... I got that last and could barely wrap my head around it. Are the double-letters supposed to be part of the theme. Like, the second word in each themer is not just a word that rhymes with '-ize' but a word that begins with the same letter that the first word in the phrase ends with? Pfft, man I do not care. This felt like a Tuesday, and a not-too-pleasant one, at that. The wacky was not Wacky Enough. Just flat. Not the right day of the week, not the right level of wacky.

Had PANG for WANT (32A: Desire). Had no idea about NOTED until I had almost every cross (13D: Eminent). Not much else to say about this one. The fill is pretty boring. Very disappointing when the Monday is not on point. Oh well. See you tomorrow.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


jae 12:24 AM  

Medium. Very smooth, fun and clever. Liked it, or not even close to what Rex said.

Jeff gave it POW.

Jack 12:39 AM  

Gee. I am new here but I thought it was pretty easy and I enjoyed it. New record for me. About five Rexes.

Lion eyes 1:19 AM  

Liked it. Wasn’t quite sure what the theme is, but didn’t slow down to figure it out. Did it in two Rex’s, which is probably a record.

chefwen 2:45 AM  

Loved it, especially afterwards when I reread the theme answers out loud. Next time I’m in a deli ordering a pastrami sandwich, I’ll make sure it is made with TENDER RYE.

One write over, heWN before SAWN at 10A.

A little tricky for a Monday, I’ll take it.

Mhoonchild 2:57 AM  

Maybe the drink was harder than you thought, Rex? I flew through this one, although I didn't get the theme until I read the blog.

Loren Muse Smith 3:44 AM  

Huh. I flew through this just like any Monday. (Hi, @Mhoonchild.) No presolve drink, but I have a wicked head cold. Still, I saw the trick very early on with TENDER RYES and happily settled in to uncover the others. I got’em all with their clues and a couple of crosses. Yes – the second word in each themer has to start with the final sound of the first word. So no DEMON EYES, no parsed CAP SIZE. My avatar doesn’t fit, either. This is pretty tight, and The Wacky was not flat for me At All. I especially got a kick out of ALPHABET TIES and SOCIAL LIES.

I love me some social liars. Please tell me I haven’t aged a bit and that you love my jacket. Tell me I don’t look tired and ask me if I’ve lost some weight. Social straight shooters are scary. And mean and hateful.

I’m telling you – if you hit your elbow on a corner in that perfect way that delivers knee-buckling pain, a wholesome AW GEE or “Oh shucks” doesn’t cut it. Save those for playing Go Fish. The elbow hit requires the big guns – the F’s and the GD’s. Right?

Lewis 5:50 AM  
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Lewis 6:01 AM  

Were you just winging it, Dan, or was column six on purpose?

A brilliant, tight theme made this special, surrounded by a high-quality everything else, thank goodness, because it deserved nothing less. Gratitude along with a heaping side of admiration for this fun solve, sir!

PKelly 6:06 AM  

Loved it! Fun Monday!



Debra 6:56 AM  

Cute puzzle, loved the theme.

OffTheGrid 7:07 AM  

Good find on BIRDIE etc. I have a technical question though. In identifying a column do you use the square number, in this case 6, or is it 7 because it's the seventh column from the left.

OffTheGrid 7:17 AM  

@Unknown 2:31 re: 57A in Sunday puzzle (***SPOILER ALERT***)
The clue refers to the election campaigns in the U.S. Voting is in early November so OCTober is critical.

Today was a perfectly good Monday puzzle, I thought. It was easy enough and the theme clever enough. (I don't understand not looking for the theme like some solvers. To me it's part of the solve and a lot of the fun.)

Today's puzzle was a perfectly good Monday

kitshef 7:17 AM  

Wait … you mean when people say they like an article of clothing, that’s a lie? What an odd thing to lie about.

Monday is a hard day to do well. This was done very well, indeed.

amyyanni 7:19 AM  

Great start to the week. YOYO made me think it's been a while since I've seen one. Remember doing tricks with one, e.g., walk the dog?

Joaquin 7:32 AM  

Rex - Go home. You're drunk.

Jerry 7:44 AM  

@OffTheGrid 7:07AM

Identifying crossword columns we use Blair Notation so “Column 6” is eighth from the left, “Column 8” is fifth from the left, etc.

Small Town Blogger 7:44 AM  

Closest I ever came to two Rex’s - enjoyable!

Beaglelover 7:59 AM  

Years ago" Dear Abbey" was asked to define an alcoholic. She responded, if alcohol hinders you from doing what you want to do, then you are probably an alcoholic.

Unknown 8:00 AM  

I didn't notice the fact that the themers could be sounded out as -ize words until I read the blog. I got that the theme answers would be two words with a common letter shared where they connect, and that was enough to solve by.

I liked this puzzle pretty well, though it wasn't my best Monday speed by a fair margin.

Like Rex, I got the top left corner last. That's partly due to me taking a pass on and what seemed to weird, circular cluing about golf scoring. It wasn't as complicated as my knee-jerk reaction assumed it to be, though.

The bottom left was slow for me too, with a lot of clues that were too ambiguous to answer without existing letters. At least I remembered Amanda PEET, though I haven't seen her in anything since Saving Silverman. (Just checked, and that was 18 years ago!)

Jay 8:07 AM  

At 4 X Rex this was in my normal range for a Monday. But I did not see the theme until I got to this blog. Brilliant.

mmorgan 8:10 AM  

Solved this and had a pleasant time but couldn’t get the theme, and was surprised and confused that ALPHA BETTIES didn’t rhyme with the others.

Anonymous 8:22 AM  

I think it's ALPHABET TIES.

pabloinnh 8:25 AM  

Put me in the "liked it" section. Caught on at TENDERRYES and was just wondering what the other themers might be, they did not disappoint. Monday fill on a Monday with some fun answers. Well done, DS

Re SOCIALLIES-I'm fond of a quote I heard from an elementary school principal, who, when informed that the praise coming her way from students probably wasn't genuine, said "I'll take fake nice.". Hey, me too.

Also makes me think of the Stan Rogers song "Lies", which is one of the best folk songs ever written by anyone at any time ever. I like it.

The week is off to a good start.

Mr. Cheese 8:27 AM  

I love @LMS posts. ...but Loren, 3:44am?
Get some sleep. Monday morning students await!

Will 8:33 AM  

I was faster than Rex today! I never thought I'd see the day

Lewis 8:36 AM  

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

1. A folder is needed for this (7)
2. Marilyn Monroe played one in "Some Like It Hot" (7)
3. Bills no more (4)
4. Film bit (4)
5. Permanent spot? (5)


Nancy 8:43 AM  

Finally the Monday solver gets to have some fun, too. Absolutely charming and absolutely delightful. Has there ever been a Wordplay Monday Puzzle before? Possibly, but I don't remember it. All the theme answers brought a great big smile to my face. To make it even better, there's no junk in the non-theme answers. A playful, imaginative puzzle that brightened my morning.

LTjg Gary Johnson, USN 8:54 AM  

14A would have been a much better clue if it had been about the P-3 maritime patrol plane, which had four engines.

Anonymous 8:55 AM  

lots of ie,ei, ie in thw lower right

Hungry Mother 9:03 AM  

I always thought “dweeb” had “nerd” and “geek” as synonyms. I also thought TWERP had “runt” as a synonym. Since I was the coach of a computer programming team, I knew lots of dweebs who weren’t TWERPS.

burtonkd 9:04 AM  

@pabloinnh - I think we connected on Stan Rogers some time ago here. Travelling through Eastern Canada and Ontario this summer, many tunes of his popped into my head "...and watching the apples grow". Haven't met too many other people who know his work.

Perfectly fine Monday, good catch on column 6 Lewis.

@ Jerry, Blair Notation? As in witch? This is oddball humor, right? Made me smile

RooMonster 9:06 AM  

Hey All !
Agree with @Loren on tapping out the IZEs. Only found one other (obscure) word that would work, PHILLIPPIZE, which defines as 'Support the cause of'. Can't come up with a witty clue, though. Other IZEs I found were PIES and VIES. Maybe someone more clever than I can come up with something.

Anyway, fairly straightforward puz. Rex always cracks me up about his trials and tribulations solving the puz. And finishes in 4 minutes and change, and complains how long it took! Har. If I don't do the puz on paper, I can never remember missteps or writeovers. Oh well, to each their own brain. :-)

Speaking of writeovers, ALPHABET TeES first, before rereading clue, TEaTALKS-TED (where tea came from, no one knows), SeEN-SAWN, and LEIA in the wrong Down, but that ended up LIEU which got a chuckle out of me. 100% today, so there's that at least.

Fun theme, IMHO. Nice grid. But now it's ALL OVER.


burtonkd 9:16 AM  
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David in Brevard 9:17 AM  

Very clever and enjoyable puzzle today, Took it slowly - lots of distractions this morning, so came in between average and best.

Each theme answer was a gem.... very clever and well done. The fill was fine. Overall thoroughly enjoyable puzzle.

Best Monday for ages.

Nancy 9:30 AM  

Although I won't find out the explanation until much later today, I do have a question: WHY IS EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT COLUMN #6??? The answer is BIRDIE -- which seems to me like a perfectly ordinary answer. What's going on that I'm missing?

(The answer you provide that I won't see until much later will puzzle me all day, I'm quite sure.)

Leslie 9:45 AM  

@pabloinnh Stan Rogers. What a voice, what a loss. Saw his brother Garnett perform in a coffee shop/bar--almost the same voice, not the same depth. Wonder if he's still around?

Z 9:47 AM  

Hand up for coming here before getting the theme. I like this theme quite a bit, but the cluing was definitely lacking, especially for the last two which seemed excessively direct for a wacky question mark clue. ALPHABET TIES are a thing, so hardly worthy of the “wacky ?” treatment. Every male elementary school principal I’ve ever known has had an assortment of various ties in the closet. Holiday themed ties. Arts and Music themed ties. Math ties. History ties. And, yes, probably at least one ALPHABET TIES.

I’ll disagree with @LMS on one thing, the social liar is just as mean and hateful as the social straight shooter. You know what, if I care what you think about my looks I’ll ask you. It’s just plain rude to mention someone’s looks. I will smile and say “thank you” but what I’m thinking is “what a Gladys Kravtiz.” I know I know, it’s usually meant as just a little grease to ease into conversation, but maybe ask about the family or their vacation or the latest hit movie instead.

Crimson Devil 9:48 AM  

Much more enjoyable than usual Mondays.

Busybody 9:55 AM  

Need a spoiler.

Anonymoose 9:57 AM  

Read the 3 answers going down for that column.

RooMonster 10:07 AM  

Ha, typos and whatnot. And I always think I proofread my stuff. There's another gap in the ole brain for ya.

Anyway, I meant the other IZEs were WISE and VIES.

Oh, and SeWN-SAWN. Is SEWN even a word? Will Google it now before someone says, "Just Google it, dumbass!"


genevieve 10:27 AM  

@LMS - I thought the "Oh shucks" clue was more a modest response to a compliment, but that's generally stated as "Aw, shucks" instead. I guess it could go either way though! "Aw, gee, Wally." Poor Beaver.

albatross shell 10:40 AM  

Hey folks check out all the down columns. Many suggestive. A few more than that.

NOTED BROS SNL as in blues brothers?
More than chance or not, wit?

GILL I. 10:45 AM  

Sunday quickly segues into a fun and delightful Monday. I really liked this and then you shower me with the wonderful Eagles and their "Lyin Eyes." I had all of their albums. Remember HOTEL CALIFORNIA? As I type this I'm watching Vera Ellen and Fred Astaire dancing in "The Belle of New York" so I'm in a good mood. Love me some Turner classics...
Speaking of classics...Happy you made RUMBA WOTD. Visions of Lucy dancing a RUMBA with Ricky in an "I Love Lucy" moment.
I smiled at the first IZE and had no trouble with the theme. Clever. My favorite being SOCIAL LIES. I guess I'm good at it because I never want to hurt feelings. I'm a terrible real lies person but I'm good at the smile and nod type thing. Anyway, anyone who asks "Do I look old?" is asking for it. Everybody lies - you have to. The White ones, you know.
Some day I hope to see ADO Annie instead of Mrs. Kerfuffle. I do like kerfuffle though - especially when Judge Judy uses it and the defendant stares at her with wideeyes because they have no idea what the word means.

Jessie White 10:49 AM  
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webwinger 10:51 AM  

Again liked this puzzle more after sleeping on it. Didn't find the wackiness as lovable as in yesterday's Sunday puzz, but it still worked. The doubled middle sounds were impressive. Also, and apparently not noted here yet, the -YES and -IES homophones neatly alternated.

As an ophthalmologist with a mostly pediatric practice, I frequently wore ALPHABETTIES that had the additional commonality of letters being arranged in rows of decreasing size (like a chart for testing eYES!) My favorite made the lowest smallest lines look very blurry.

Emily Litella 10:53 AM  

Just goog.....Never mind.

Joe Dipinto 10:58 AM  

This theme felt ambitious for a Monday. I liked it quite a lot (unlike that jacket you're wearing. Maybe dye it indigo).

@Nancy -- It's the whole column top to bottom: BIRDIE/HEN/DOVE. Coincidence? And Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi were NOTED BROS. on SNL. Hmm.

So the puzzle week's off to a good start.

♪ You. Asked for it.
You got it. Toyota. ♪

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

Wait … you mean when people say they like an article of clothing, that’s a lie? What an odd thing to lie about.

if the truth, in your opinion is: "that jacket makes you look like Jabba the Hutt in 'Saturday Night Fever'", then yeah, damn straight.

TJS 11:04 AM  

Wow, @Z, "love your jacket" is "mean and hateful" ?

So there's a name for how people count the columns in a crossword? Somebody just got to name it after themselves?

I know almost everyone loved yesterdays puzzle, but I actually enjoyed this one for a Monday much more than yesterdays' for a Sunday.

Anonymous 11:04 AM  

Anybody else think Z must be fun at a party?

Masked and Anonymous 11:11 AM  

Seemed fine, for a MonPuz. Gave m&e no particular problems, but then, I only had ONE cinnamon roll…

staff weeject pick: BAS. Most of this litter of threes was real well-behaved. BAS sports some plural abbrev meat, at least.

Figured out the theme mcguffin early on, at TENDERRYES. @Muse: Extra themer, along yer avatar's lines ... {With groans?} = PLUSSIGHS?

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Des Moines's state} = IOWA. fave puzgrid intersect: DIN/DINGED.
Smoooth fillins, which don't make em borin, tho -- liked: BODYSHOP. TEDTALKS. EATSITUP. USUAL.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Schoenholz. Primo MonPuz gridwork.

Masked & Anonymo4Us

pint sighs:

Joseph M 11:35 AM  

It took a three-step aha for me to figure out the theme: 1) double letters connecting two words: 2) phrases that rhyme, and 3) phrases that each sound like a single -IZE word. So I went from “a” to “ah” to “aha.”

The final aha was a small one, but at least the theme had more going for it than double letters.

And speaking of falling off a log, filling out the grid was as EASY as that. Whoosh and it’s over. My only moment of hesitation was having to use the crosses to figure out Amanda’s last name.

However, the fill was solid and I did like the avian column. Thanks @Lewis for pointing that out. But did you notice the CAT lurking nearby?

fifirouge 11:37 AM  

Nancy - Column 6 is all birds: Birdie, Hen, Dove.

I wasn't a huge fan of the puzzle, but I solved it in 1.09 Rexes, which might be a record for me (not Monday record, just a Rex-relative record).

One drink, Rex, are you sure? I don't know who poured it for you, but I don't think you should trust them anymore. When I saw the title I thought it was going to be a 12-year old guest blogger.

Sean 11:37 AM  

Delightful puzzle, but 53A is logically incoherent: the opposite none is not all, it is at least one/one or more.

Carola 11:42 AM  

Easy and fun, a top-notch Monday puzzle. Me, too, for getting the theme at TENDER RYES and looking forward to seeing what the remaining "-izes" would be. ALPHABET TIES went right in, but I needed a couple of crosses to identify the kinds of DYES and LIES. What I hadn't noticed was the doubled linking letter - extra nice! I liked DINGED x DIN: I'm great at ignoring a one-ding timer, so I bought one that not only won't quit but gets louder and more insistent as the seconds tick by; annoying as heck but effective.

Amelia 11:42 AM  

FYI for dedicated fans of the sport:

Today's New Yorker crossword is a Patrick Berry and while it's not particularly difficult, it's a Patrick Berry. As such, it's absolutely charming in that Patrick Berry way. Enjoy.

Rex: Glad you were able to use that animation video I posted the last time that pitcher showed up in a puzzle.

Barbara Lane Books 11:51 AM  

tender ryes is just plain bad

kitshef 12:13 PM  

@amyyanni - Our region is getting ready to host their "senior olympics". I was looking at the events. In addition to traditional events like javelin and golf, they have jigsaw puzzle and yo-yo.

@moderators - Jessie White posting at 10:49 is spam.

jberg 12:43 PM  

Loved. Everything’s been said, except ACER? @Nancy, is that a real tennis word?

chasklu 1:01 PM  

This past month has had a couple of Monday puzzles way, way harder than this.

Teedmn 1:04 PM  

I can't agree with Rex on either the difficulty or quality of this puzzle. Except for thinking "imminent" rather than "Eminent" on 13D, thus wanting something Near?? for a tad, this puzzle put up little resistance and I got the theme at TENDER RYES. It still took me 6:02 but that's below my Monday average so goody for me :-).

I think, with the RYES, TIES, DYES, LIES symmetry, this is a well-made puzzle and I can't disagree with Jeff Chen's POW rating (though I always hold out hope that one of the week's later puzzles will merit the POW).

Nice job, Dan Schoenholz.

Anonymous 1:32 PM  

I got it with ALPHABETTIES, but only because I heard BetteDavisEYES. Do I still get credit?

Peter P 1:36 PM  

Easy puzzle, but I will never understand Rex's times. This one finished in at about 1.5 Rexes, probably my fastest relative-to-Rex time. Not near my Monday best, but faster than average. My main issue was getting tied up with rINGED instead of DINGED for "went off, as a time," only to lose about 30 seconds before realizing, hey, wait, "ringed" is not a proper past tense form of "ring." SMH. Ugh. And then a hiccup in the southeast with me having "mOP" for "57D. Soak (up)" and brain-farting at ACER (52D., One providing great service) despite having A-ER and not getting traction on 57A because of the incorrect "m." Lost another 30-45 seconds there.

Other than those two sticking points, the fill was a breeze. I enjoyed the little theme, though did not pay too much attention to it until trying to finish off "SOCIALLIES" in the SE corner.

Penna Resident 1:46 PM  

i usually don't like mondays - the theme, the fill, and the clues. its hard to make monday fill and clues interesting but this may be the best monday theme i can remember.
while solving i only noticed the double consonants and didn't get the full theme til the end.
i also rarely post here, but wanted to pile on to the positive comments because this deserved a better review.

Wm. C. 1:51 PM  

@LtJG Gary 8:54

Yep. The P3 Naval Aircraft is an Orion.

I once when in ROTC bummed some plane rides from the AF ... from upstate NY to CA on a 10-day pre-Xmas trip with a frat brother. Going west, all on slow planes, took us 2 full days, staying overnight at the AF academy in Colorado Springs with free room and board. Spent 5 days in LA, stayed and ate for free at out frat house at USC and got free back-lot passes to the major attractions from Brothers with vacation jobs (Disneyland, Kotts Berry Farm ...).

Bummed a ride down to San Diego, stayed more days there. Took a chance to go over to the SD naval air station, and got lucky to catch a ride on a P3a turboprop to Patuxent River NAS outside DC. Going east, the ride took less than 7 hours, the P3 doing about 500 mph with a good tailwind.

Free room/board again at PaxR. The next morning there was a P3 going up to Maine for fresh lobsters for the Sat nite O-club dinner. We both lived in the Boston suburbs and figured we could get a bus down to Boston and a train ride from there to home. When the Orion pilot heard we lived in the Boston area, he kindly said he'd drop us off at then-Weymouth NAS just south of the city. Wonder what that evolution cost the Navy?

Total out-of-pocket cost or the trip? About $12. Much of that for postcards out west, and bus/train fare at the end of the ride.

Anonymous 1:54 PM  

On 57A, social lies. The most famous "social lie" was told by God, to Abraham, as recorded in Genesis, chapter 18. God has decided that the Sarah and Abraham are to have a son Isaac. Sarah hears of this from God. She then laughs, and says that she is too old, and that Abraham can't get it up ("Sarah laughed ..., saying, 'After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure.'") God reports these words to Abraham, and here is the social lie. God to Abraham: "Why did Sarah laugh, and say, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?'" That is, God leaves out the part about Sarah mentioning Abraham's "age" or impotence(Genesis 18:12-13, RSV)

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Anonymous 2:25 PM  

Who's this @Nancy everyone's talking about?

@Wm C.

Why does your post sound so familiar?

Anonymous 2:45 PM  


I invite you to reconsider the proposition that God lied. In more than five decades of religious education I have never heard the claim that God lied. At least not in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

timjim 2:58 PM  

Best Monday in a while -- Loved it! Thought the theme was much more entertaining than Sunday's.

pabloinnh 3:02 PM  

@burtonkd , @Leslie-

Always nice to find other Stan Rogers fans. I also saw Garnet at a local pub, good show, but Stan Lite. I do some of Stan's songs-- I like to sing "Mary Ellen Carter" at the senior centers. Inspiring.` Not quite the same, as I'm a tenor and capo up. He was one of the lower voices to really make it, gave him some real power. And yes, gone far too soon.

Crimson Devil 3:15 PM  

Loved comment reference to EMILY LITTELA, a classic SNL character. Do miss Gilda Radner. Quote her as often as Inspector Clousseau in law practice.

Z 3:45 PM  

@Anon2:45 - Your religious education never taught you that a lie of omission is still a lie? I’m pretty sure that it is the God character in the Pentateuch that engendered the quip, “...and on the 8th day Man recreated god in his own image.”

@TJS - I know I know, just making small talk. But, again, people’s looks are not an appropriate topic for small talk. That comment about my jacket might be fine 999 times out of 1,000. But when he or she seems unusually distant later I reserve the right to chortle, “I told you so.” And I guarantee you that people find people who ask about them and not their looks far more entertaining at parties.

@Nancy - Look at the rest of the answers in that column. Seems like that had to be an intentional Easter Egg and we all have a little egg on our faces because nobody but @Lewis seems to have caught it.

Anonymous 3:57 PM  

*in re anon. 2:45 p.m.

*Somebody* is lying, either God or the author of Genesis (traditionally Moses, although I don't think anyone believes that any longer). This is what used to be called a "white lie" (perhaps now an un-PC term; our puzzle uses the term "social lie," new to me). What I cited was a famous example of a "problem" in an over-literal reading of the Bible. This and a few other things never caused much anxiety with believers. Another famous example is Numbers 22:20-22, where God gives precise instructions to Balaam (as in Balaam and the talking ass). Balaam apparently followed these instructions precisely, and "God's anger was kindled" as a result!

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Anonymous 4:17 PM  

@Z And Poggius,

Cassieopia 4:33 PM  

Joining the love fest for this truly delightful Monday offering.

Nancy 4:54 PM  

Thanks, everyone, for explaining BIRDIE/HEN/DOVE. I could have stared at the puzzle all day and never seen it. Either my eyes don't work that way or my brain doesn't -- take your pick.

You're right, @jberg: I can't think of a single instance in which I've heard the word ACER actually used in a tennis conversation. You'd say: "She aces opponents all the time" or "He wins because of all the aces he hits" or "Watch out that she doesn't ace you on big points." But "He's a famous ACER"? Or "I hear you're playing the big ACER today"? No way. Still, this just isn't the sort of thing that ever bothers me in xwords.

DevoutAtheist 5:08 PM  

One must recognize that there are no gods to lie, or not lie. Today's discussion on the topic is moot.

Crimson Devil 5:48 PM  

To anti-ACER folks, I’ve been around tennis continuously and intensely for 5+ decades, and never heard that term.
3 & out.

RooMonster 6:48 PM  

@Emily Litella 10:53

As long as those Patriots keep winning, I'll keep with the "There's no God" people.


Unknown 7:19 PM  

Liked the puzzle. Found it both clever and straight forward.seems like I always opposite of the experience Rex has.

Anonymous 9:02 PM  

somebody made the laws of physics that constrain the universe to what it is. it could all be random chance, of course, in terms 14.5 billion years of events that led to we pea brained morons, but the elements have a structure and so does the atom. humans credit Mendeleev for the former and Bohr for the latter, but neither 'invented' what they're credited with. they just dug it up from the muck of time. in that limited sense, you can call it God if it makes you feel better.

Adam F 10:05 PM  

Hugely easy for me and I enjoyed it. A terrific monday, IMHO.

Anonymous 10:36 PM  

If anyone is still reading, and cares. Both anon. 2:45 p.m. and 4:17 p.m. (the same person?--try to identify yourself somehow! I add "Poggius" because I can't logon when I can't remember my password), who defends Judaeo-Christian truth which he or she has learned through 5 decades of study, and DevoutAtheist (5:08 p.m.) are correct that the issues (?) I raise are irrelevant. The sort of argument, such as it is, that I made is wholly retro, the sort of thing a skeptic would have said a century ago, or a Mark Twain a century and a half ago.

I pulled these chestnuts out of the fire because I find them mildly amusing, and the "argument" is so old-fashioned (whether one is a believer, skeptic, or atheist) that I suspected that most readers of this site had not heard them, and that perhaps they would find them amusing as well.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Burma Shave 10:01 AM  


is NOTED AMONG ALL of us guys,
those SIRENS BITE on what TED mocks


rondo 10:28 AM  

I thought that this puz was right on the money for a Monday. Got the theme at TENDERRYES and never looked back. Finished in 2 Rexes and still saw the avian column 6.

As previously mentioned, GRETA Garbo was my grandmother’s cousin who, at least at first, was SOREAT her for moving to the U.S.

Relatives aside, Amanda PEET earns a yeah baby.

Vikes OVER @spacey’s Eagles; too late as USUAL. EASY but good Mon-puz, IMHO.

Diana, LIW 2:09 PM  

Solved basically from the bottom up, and didn't need (tho noted the "theme" to solve. That said...ALPHABETTIES? Any of you guys own/have seen one?

I used to have a tie when I was in the HS marching band, and helped my friends tie their ties, too. So I'm somewhat of a semi-pro in the tie world. But ALPHABETTIES? Er…

Otherwise, a fine Monday - 'praps a tad harder than average for the day, only due to the answers not existing in the universe of many people.

I do love a TENDERRYE, toasted, with my ham and eggs.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoast 2:48 PM  

Is the suffix -EYES, -AYES, or -IZE? The first two would be a bit DAFT and the third would be the USUAL, which makes most sense. Liked SOCIAL LIES [-IZE] the best, but they all worked well.

Had heWN before SAWN, and AsseRt before AFFIRM.

Enjoyed it.

rondo 3:24 PM  

@D,LIW - I think that's with your XNM.

rondo 4:23 PM  

or MNX

Diana, LIW 5:13 PM  

@Rondo - S, VFMNX - NT

Lady Di

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