Mystery-solving Great Dane of cartoons / MON 6-15-20 / City where Gangnam Style video was filmed / Ancient Greek gathering spot / Hit with beam of light

Monday, June 15, 2020

Constructor: Olivia Mitra Franke

Relative difficulty: ??? Easy but also I got stalled forever ("forever") because of a wrong Apple product guess and also LASERED, LOL no that is not a thing... 

THEME: AU PAIRS (40A: Some household helpers ... or an oral hint to 17-, 24-, 51- and 63-Across) — each theme answer features two "O" pairs:

Theme answers:
  • SCOOBY-DOO (17A: Mystery-solving Great Dane of cartoons)
  • GOOGLE DOODLE (24A: Logo art that changes almost daily)
  • BAMBOO SHOOTS (51A: Stir-fry ingredients, often)
  • FOOL PROOF (63A: Can't-miss)
Word of the Day: HOOHA (54D: Commotion, in slang) —
a state or condition of excitement, agitation, or disturbance COMMOTION, UPROAR (wikipedia) 
• • •

I only had one glass of wine but somehow I could not type smoothly at all tonight, so my time was more bloated than it should've been. I think the puzzle was easy, although LASERED feels laughable to me and because of the whole 'hit'-is-both-present-and-past-tense thing, I had no idea what was going on there (46D: Hit with a beam of light). I guess the verb "to laser" is a thing in hair removal (?) but that's not in the clue and I only know the verb LASED and so when I finally got it all I could picture was someone in a scif show going "I LASERED him good!" and it just made no sense. Laser hair removal, I know about. LASERED as a verb, not so much. I also guessed IPAD instead of IMAC, which cost me, and which, honestly ... is just the worst (37D: Popular Apple product). I mean, Apple products are such ugh. You know them, but it's like "which one?" and the clue's all "I'm not telling?" and you're like "stupid four letters, guess I gotta check crosses, this is *tedious*!" etc. Anyway, IPAD and LASERED caused a LOAD of problems and did not ENHANCE my enjoyment of the puzzle. Luckily, the theme was nifty—a near perfect Monday-type concept, with simple, snappy fill. Nice revealer. Nice. Fill overall was a *little* on the weak side, but mostly just dull and stale (AGORA ORR AAS etc). But, again, didn't matter. Theme zinged. Puzzle was appropriately easy. Thumbs up.

HOOHA always makes me laugh, first because it is slang for "vagina" and second because it's the title of the first story in the first MAD magazine ever published (1952), a story I teach every year (it's fantastic and genuinely funny—although there, it's spelled with a terminal "H," as it often is in the "disturbance" meaning of the word as well):

W: Harvey Kurtzman, A: Jack Davis
I had the Jeep Grand Cherokee as an ATV at first (??)—got the "V" first and ... I dunno, some kind of instinct kicked in (ATV = ~2x as common as SUV in the NYTXW). Had SNEER for SCOWL (7D: Angry expression). Everything else went pretty smoothly. [Place to buy a drink] seems too vague for CASH BAR. Gotta be a be a more colorful and specific way to do that one. GRANOLAS in the plural is a little weird, but I guess if you're looking at various brand all lined up on a supermarket shelf, OK. It's all OK. It will do just fine. Again, with a theme this tight, on a Monday ,all you gotta do is not completely blow the fill, and I would say Mission: Accomplished on that front.
    Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

    [Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


    Frantic Sloth 12:02 AM  

    OO! OO! I know this one! AUPAIRS - O PAIRS - PAIRS of Os! Didn't even need SCOOBY's help.

    Eh. I'm really not in the mood to snark. It was a cute, fun theme for a Monday and the fill was the fill was the fill.
    Sorry - momentarily possessed by the spirit of Gertrude Stein.

    LODE crossed LOAD, so that happened. Yay.

    Are those the same BAMBOOSHOOTS that rambunctious little panda ate before shooting up the place and lamming it?

    HALF crossing GRAPH. Little known terminology: A HALFGRAPH is what the lecturer presents in the afternoon because the whole GRAPH causes insomnia.
    Silver lining: The lecture itself is the cure.

    As is this post. πŸ™„


    Joaquin 12:03 AM  

    I saw the “OO” theme right off the bat and was a bit put off. But by the time I was finished I decided it was blOOdy gOOd. And the revealer was tOO cOOl. More interesting than most Monday puzzles.

    Anonymous 12:07 AM  

    So, at 12:03 I'm probably the 20th person to point out that women have been getting their unwanted facial hair lasered for years. See, that's what you get when you let women construct puzzles, you get stuff men don't know and think is odd.

    puzzlehoarder 12:29 AM  

    It was kind of nice that I didn't have to read the clue for 17A. From what the fill have gave me it was a foregone conclusion. Reading the 24A clue was no help whatsoever. With Monday easy fill throughout it made little difference.

    The 51A themer was another skipped clue being as easily recognized as 17A.

    I did read the clue for 63A simply because I thought it might be FirePROOF. If that doesn't show how little attention I pay to themes nothing will.

    I won't get to tomorrow's SB until later as I have to work again. Good luck to all.

    okanaganer 12:38 AM  

    A few seasons ago I really wanted a particular answer to be GOOGLE DOODLE because it was so much a more perfect answer for the clue, whatever it was. And here it is!.. except I don't think the clue needs the "almost"; doesn't it in fact change every day?

    In the middle left we have SPAWN PENN which sounds like something from a Mad magazine actor spoof.

    There could be a lot of shorter "au pair" answers: VOODOO, YOOHOO, COOKBOOK.

    (SB [Spelling Bee] announcement: today [Sunday] was my third straight Queen Bee! I never thought it would happen. Surely tomorrow will break that streak.)

    egsforbreakfast 12:39 AM  

    The Case of the Mystery Constructor

    Started out with a giant WTF in the NW with BOSS RACE as 1D and 2D. Have Covfefe and his SPAWN, Don Jr., collaborated to construct a NYTXW? But then I noticed that both answers were correctly spelled and therefore couldn’t have emanated from the big house on Black Lives Matter Plaza.

    So I looked for the name of the constructor and knew right away that something wasn’t right. I mean, Olivia Mitra Framke would presumably be a woman. But this puz was smack dab in HEF’s wheelhouse:

    Definite Male Answers - Scooby Doo, Wren ( Christopher), Orr ( Bobby), Penn (& Teller), Tesla, Lola (talked like a man)
    Skewing Male Answers - Rich, Web, Ed’s, iMac
    Total Guy Score = 10

    Definite Female Answers - Ella, Lola (walked like a woman)
    Skewing Female Answers - Peg, Shore (Dinah)
    Total Gal Score - 4

    So one thing I was sure of was that the constructor was not actually of the distaff persuasion, nor a small town professor of comic books and other marginalia.

    Somehow it seemed clear to me that I should focus on 24 A (Logo art that changes almost daily) if I hoped to uncover the true author of the puzzle. I tried to swiftly repeat GOOGLED OODLEs of GOOGLE DOODLEs, drinking LOTSA RICH SAKE until my CASHBAR SLUR brought
    it all to a merciful end. Just when I was about to give up, GASPS erupted. Of course, GOOGLEDOODLE anagrams to OLD EGO, OLD EGO. It’s Shortz himself who constructed it!

    Seriously though, this was a sweet Monday stroll that I wish could have lasted longer. But a very nice puzzle.

    jae 1:28 AM  

    Medium-tough. Cute and pretty smooth with some fine theme answers. Liked it a bunch and Jeff gave it POW.

    chefwen 2:47 AM  

    Too bad @M&A isn’t into O’s, he’d have a field day. Lovely Monday puzzle. Made a Chicken Chow Mein last night using BAMBOO SHOOTS and water chestnuts, it was pretty good.

    Just for the record, I’m with the minority of people that liked the Sunday puzzle, thought it was fun and entertaining.

    GILL I. 3:04 AM  

    Well, I thought we had some goodies with a little GRANOLA, THAI BAMBOO SHOOTS, KRAUT and some CASH BAR SAKE. Not sure I'd sit down with anyone and try these at once but I'm betting my bestie would hold up her cup and say "Here's to HOO HA's of this world....and then wink and say "you's really called a vajayjay.
    Give us this day OUR jelly bread and lead a snot into temptation. Remember the days of innocence?
    Fun Mondays go. SCOOBY DOO and all that. I don't say Ooo pair. Mine is more of an awe.

    bertoray 3:53 AM  

    Thanks for Mad panels. Love early Mad and Jack Davis especially.

    ChuckD 6:12 AM  

    Not much to like here - if this was a Ross or Collins entry it would have been lambasted by OFL. Theme is thin and dull - fill doesn’t add much. I really dislike fill in the blank clues - Am ITOO Late, Thin As ARAIL. Other stuff like “Sauer” topping and RICH are rough. Did like to see Lady ELLA and contrary to what Rex thinks LASERED is a thing.

    amyyanni 6:13 AM  

    Paired with Friday's puzzle, a nifty set of brackets for the weekend. Both are gems. Now I want to read the Hoohah story in MAD.
    Off to navigate the Ides of June.

    Lewis 6:23 AM  

    @frantic -- Terrific catches with the LODE / LOAD and HALF / GRAPH crosses.
    @okanager -- Terrific catch with SPAWN PENN.

    I, as your resident alphadoppeltotter, should say right off the bat, that even with this theme, the puzzle doesn't have an unusually high number of double letters, which would be over 20, and here we have 16.

    This was a perfect Monday theme, with fun theme answers and a wow reveal. I can imagine Olivia's constructor mind having that OMG flash upon hearing someone say "au pair", and the execution is right on the money.

    Is it not too cool to have a "woo hoo!" in the midst of gloom and doom? It's nothing to pooh pooh and this terrific puzzle ended all too soon, so to extend the whoop-de-doo, perhaps I'll shoot hoops, or swim laps with a pool noodle, or have some moo goo gai pan or Froot Loops. And so, for now, toodle-oo!

    Dave 6:26 AM  

    I thought the first syllable of Au Pair was pronounced "aw", so why the OOs?

    Hungry Mother 6:31 AM  

    I mispronounce AUPAIR, so it wasn’t a good reveal for me; however, I didn’t need it. I was trying for a PR, but didn’t get it. Definitely below average time.

    Rique Beleza 7:07 AM  

    Because “Au” is pronounced “Oh”.

    PGregory Springer 7:08 AM  

    It's pronounced O pair. There are a pair of O's in the words.

    kitshef 7:11 AM  

    Fun fact: When SCOOBY-DOO was in development, the dog’s name was Too Much. The eventual name was inspired by Fred Silverman listening to Strangers in the Night (“doo-be-doo-be-doo”).

    jsloate 8:01 AM  

    Question: Hi Rex, We have been meaning to ask you about word of the day section.....why do you usually pick a proper name rather than a difficult or seldom seen vocabulary word?
    Best regards.

    Twangster 8:12 AM  

    It's interesting that another kind of AU PAIR would include SAUER KRAUT and KRAUT still shows up in the puzzle. Are there any other good AU PAIRS like this?

    Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 8:23 AM  

    I left a blank space at the cross between GOOGLE_OODLE and E_S. But if I solved on a platform where I could hope for a happy pencil I would have tried P first. There was something about the conceit of a changeable GOOGLE pOODLE that amused me. Does anyone call editors EDS?

    Nancy 8:36 AM  

    What an inspired idea for a revealer! I didn't see it coming and when I did see it, I chuckled. I wonder if Olivia, when the idea hit her, leapt to her feet and shouted: "Eureka -- I've got a really nifty idea!!" I think I would have.

    And the theme answers are nicely chosen, too. I don't know who SCOOBY DOO is, exactly, but I've certainly heard of him. And if I'd known he solved mysteries, I might have paid him more attention.

    This caused me much more trouble than the usual Monday (a good thing, always) because I took my Hawaiian honeymoon in mAui, rather than OAHU. If I'd had any other letter but that A...but it was the A that I had, and I wrote in MAUI with no hesitation. Now, how is 50% O--F? And AI----- where AU PAIRS should have gone meant some sort of AIDE, right?

    I sorted it all out. I had fun. One of the best Mondays in a long time.

    RooMonster 8:46 AM  

    Hey All !
    He likes it! Hey Mikey!

    Fun puz. I'm in the ' mispronounce AU as "aw" group". Why the ole brain can't grasp it as 'O' is a mystery. I guarantee next time I see it, I'll say "AW PAIR".

    Thanks @Lewis for the double count, low-ish even for a Double-Letter theme.

    Snarl-SCOWL I believe was my only writeover.

    So a fun puz, Rex actually liked and praised, wondering though, if Bruce Haight did this exact puz, what Rex would find to rip it to shreds. πŸ˜‹

    Missed one word again yesterday. Two days in a row of missing one word. Dang it! Working on today's. C'mon QB! I wanna be like @Barbara S and @jae (@jae late yesterday).

    Four F's (HALF in themer)

    bauskern 8:58 AM  

    Hi Rex, We've been meaning to ask you; why do you never put your times down when they are not as fast as you'd wish? Methinks today's easy-mediumish puzzle was really a medium-hard for you, given all the clues you got hung up on. Frankly, I don't care what your actual times are (they are *always* going to be faster than mine, which is cool), but if you're going to publicly announce and post them, then.just.announce.them. Don't play coy with all the question marks.
    Also, since I'm sure you keep track of your average times per day of the week, how do you calculate your averages if you're not keeping track of the actual time?
    (I'm sure Z has the answer to that one!) :)

    Nancy 9:02 AM  

    I hadn't read Lewis's (6:23) comment when I wrote mine. But I see we both reacted to the puzzle the same way -- imagining Olivia practically jumping for joy when the AU PAIRS idea first hit her. Great minds and all that.

    OffTheGrid 9:08 AM  

    Remember this harmless cop?

    Z 9:11 AM  

    Yep, actually chuckled at AU PAIRS. I agree with the “perfect Monday theme” assessments.
    My other thought while solving was this is a spelling nightmare. HALF and HAVE are homonyms? THOUGHT is tough, as is SAKE and THAI and SEOUL (or is it SOLE... or maybe a Kia Soul) and good luck solving SALVE.

    Like Rex, I immediately thought, “ that’s not what HOOHA means.”
    @Anon12:07 - You win my “Comment of the Day” Award. Literally, not figuratively, laughed out loud.
    @Twangster - Nice find.
    @jsloate - You might want to email Rex if you want his answer. He doesn’t typically read the comments. My guess is that proper names are more likely to be stumbling blocks for people. I assume HOOHA today is purely because it has a common different meaning, but what other non-proper name is going to trip anybody? Maybe ASANA?

    BobL 9:23 AM  

    Nice puzzle, Aulivia

    Lorelei Lee 9:40 AM  

    Standing O! Let me gush over this o’d to joy. Every word, every clue, all of it. All the squares. Perfect. Finally, something good happened. Puzzle of the year in the Monday category.

    Lewis 9:43 AM  

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

    1. Subject in which sin is an important topic? (4)
    2. Moon or Mercury (4)(4)
    3. It always turns out the same (6)
    4. Jet setting ((3)(3)
    5. Mr. Rite (5)


    RooMonster 9:48 AM  

    **SB Post (I know, I know...)**

    Finally! Got QB today! Yay Me! After missing one word the last two days, this feels great! Putting my chair close to (but not next to, as she is much better at it than me) @Barbara S. 😊
    I'm sure she'll get the QB today again.
    First one for me in 8 days. Ouch!

    RooMonster BeeMonster Guy

    ArtO 9:56 AM  

    AUPAIR...Punny but one of the best all time revealers.

    jberg 10:01 AM  

    I’m not as enthusiastic as some. The revealer is great! But its greatness resides in the way it calls attention to the paired letters, rather than paired sounds—so it would have been better to vary the sounds of the OOs, as with the aforementioned COOKBOOK, or ROOK LOOK (search for a missing chess piece). It was still good, though.

    Really, really literal clueing, but it is Monday, after all.

    EdFromHackensack 10:02 AM  

    this may have been the easiest one I ever did. I just filled in the blanks, nothing really stopped me. I do not time myself ever. But it was finished almost as soon as I began. I never even noticed the theme.

    mathgent 10:15 AM  

    Eau is another French word pronounced “oh.” That’s why the Cirque du Soleil water show in Vegas is titled O.

    Too many short entries. Only 13 out of 78 were six letters or more. There should be at least 30%, IMHO.

    My only plus is learning the term GOOGLEDOODLE.

    Anonymous 10:17 AM  

    Contrary to z’s assertion Rex almost certainly reads the comments . He’s replied directly to posts I’ve made. Both here. And if he thinks he’s written a zinger, he’ll tweet it too.

    And be assured, he’s fully aware of eggs’s masterful takedown of him last night. Either someone told him about it, or he read it himself. Likely both.
    Z is right about one thing: Michael Sharp is easy to reach. He posts his address while appealing for money. An easy search. And of course there’s his email.

    Crimson Devil 10:21 AM  

    Fun Monday. Fully expected Rut Roh somewhere.

    webwinger 10:25 AM  

    Double O’s are cute. This puzzle had πŸ‘€DLEs of them. Very cute. Didn’t really need a revealer, but it got one that was super cute! So no complaints here about the theme. Fill was so so, except for the twin long downs, which were SNAPpy and SCRAPpy. Overall a definite πŸ‘πŸΌ.

    Have been away on assignment for a while, but have to say Friday’s Robyn W. puzzle was absolutely fabulous. (Hope OFL didn’t let one 3-letter nickname spoil it for him. πŸ‘€h, he did not—hypocrite!) The clue for the center “weeject” deserves a place in the all-time x-word Hall of Fame IMO—surprised that it seemed to evoke more head-scratching than guffaws from the commentunity, and no nod from @Lewis today.

    Saturday and Sunday weren’t bad either. So it seems like we’re SORTA on a roll here...

    pabloinnh 10:37 AM  

    Zipped right through this one, and I would have gone even faster if it weren't for you meddling kids (Scooby Doo fans will understand). Revealer in the middle-not ideal-but the AU of AUPAIR was deceptive touch that made getting it more satisfying.

    So OMF, what a nice puzzle. Thanks a heap. In a word, Mondazo.

    Barbara S. 10:43 AM  

    Apologies if this appears twice. It seemed to go awry in the submitting process, so I'm trying again.

    Liked the puzzle. Fun theme, well done. Good and smooth. Don't seem to have much to say about it. Maybe because I'm nursing a loose tooth in the pool room. (Kidding: teeth intact.)

    @Twangster 8:12
    FRAUD CLAUSE (in a legal document)

    ****SB ALERT****
    Taking care of business from last night and this morning...
    @Frantic Sloth 11:33 p.m.
    You old josher! I've decided to stay away from the Wordplay hints. But I always start out knowing how many words of each length I'm after.

    @jae 11:57 p.m.
    Congratulations -- brilliant effort!

    @okanaganer 12:38 a.m.
    Wow -- 3 QBs in a row. Your bragging rights supersede mine. Thanks for the inspiration.

    @RooMonster 8:46
    I believe in yoo, @Roo! (Oops, getting different puzzles mixed up!). My only overall hint is to try and learn the words you missed in previous SBs. Like The Terminator, they will be baaack.

    UPDATE: @Roo 9:48
    WAHOO, HOORAY! I like having our chairs side by side -- very cozy. I haven't looked at the SB yet, but you're my muse today, BeeMonster!

    Z 11:20 AM  

    @bauskern - Rex has an FAQ page. Question #6 is close to an answer to your question. Rex hasn't updated the FAQs since the first time I visited this page, but I don't think his answer has changed. You might try reading the rest of the page, too.

    Masked and Anonymous 11:21 AM  

    4 double double-O's and gOOd-as-Au revealer. Double-O's do have a pleasant, "U-like" sound, sooo … ok (yo, @chefwen).

    Fillins were mighty solid. When @RP has to pick on them little pups, like AAS & ORR, U know things are pretty clean. fave sparklers: SNAPDRAGON. THOUGHT. CASHBAR. ANNOTATE (got this one offa nuthin). KRAUT.

    staff weeject pick: LAA. Semi-better clue: {Traa follower on 45rpm records played at 33&1/3 speed??}.

    fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Mark up, as a textbook} = ANNOTATE. Especially easy, considerin its length. A freebie, in the M&A solvequest.

    Thanx for the fun, Ms. Framke darlin. gOOd jOOb.

    Masked & Anonymo4Us


    Anonymous 11:35 AM  

    Question 6 on rex’s FAQ page doesn’t answer your question. Neither does the answer to that question.
    Probably, and I’m just guessing here, because it’s not the question you’re asking of Rex.

    Carola 11:41 AM  

    What a witty reveal! And a nice array of O pairs, as well. Add those stellar Downs: SNAP DRAGON and SCRAP METAL, THOUGHT + ANNOTATE. Really a terrific Monday.

    @Tale Told By An Idiot - I also liked that CASHBAR SLUR line: "Come wiz me to ze CASHBAR."

    Joe Dipinto 11:53 AM  

    This puzzle reeks of privilege and pseudo-Frenchness. I also think it's confused about what it's doing. OO is pair of O's (AUs, homophonically). I.e., OO is an AU pair. So why are there specifically two sets of OOs in each theme answer? That would be AU PAIR PAIRS. Unless that specificity is intended specifically to be unintentional because one OO pair per answer is too flimsy for a theme.

    I probably pronounce the AU as "aw". But the thing is, when does anybody who's not privileged or pseudo-French ever have to say "au pair"? Let's start an au pair joke series.

    Q: What do you say to a live-in child attendant who stubbornly remains vertically challenged?

    A: "Oh, grow, au pair!"

    Q: What did the grocery clerk say when the customer said, "No, not the round purple fruits, I want some of those pale green fruits that taper at the top and bulge at the bottom."

    A: "Au, PAIRS!"

    Your turn.

    jberg 12:05 PM  

    Back from the dog walk. One point I should have mentioned earlier --@Rex says that "lase" is the more common verb for LASER -- but they don't mean the same thing. To lase is "to produce laser light" while LASER means to apply laser light to something, which is how it is clued. Nothing much more to say.

    Greg 12:26 PM  

    Lol. Thought the same on HOOHA.

    Lorelei Lee 12:30 PM  

    @The O v. Awe/Ah pair commentators. Go to Google and type in "Translate." A box will appear. Choose French for the first box and English for the second. Type in the word. Click on the little speaker icon and listen to how the word is pronounced in French then click on the English translation. There's no translation so it's a loanword (Lehnword, those crafty Germans). The O's have it.

    And I'm starting to think that the puzzle grid is some sort of Rorschach test. People see male, female, privilege, politics, etc.

    Because my (fading into the distance) career has been dedicated to the persuasive arts, verbal and visual, I know that messages can be subtly crafted and turn up everywhere. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    After doing this puzz I thought, "Ah, maybe this is what Z and Rex are talking about, a subtly feminine puzzle: Au Pair, Asana, Wren, Spawn, Salve, Ella Peg, Dear. Sweet, living things. No dead or long retired sportsmen. And yet I come here and ...

    JC66 12:35 PM  

    Just to underline the point. think cafe AU lait.

    Ann Hedonia 12:52 PM  

    I liked this one a lot! Hooha is the name of a tampon dispenser. Mostly people use the word "hoohoo" for vagina, not "hooha" though.

    The Joker 12:59 PM  

    "I'll have the roast beef sandwich with Au Jus."

    Anonymous 1:08 PM  

    note to self: had some Mad paperback compilations of first year issues. nothing at all like the magazine of the 60s and 70s (last time I looked). was more of a horror comic. the publisher was listed as Educational Comics. go figure.

    the idea that iMac is popular is silly. it's about 1% of PC-like devices. let's go see... iMac is just one model of Mac computer (6). the laptops, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro make up most of the sales, we think. Apple only reports aggregate computer sales.

    Frantic Sloth 1:09 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Teedmn 1:22 PM  

    I apparently didn't have a THOUGHT in my head at the start of this solve - I read the clue for 4D and even with the first T in place, I continued to work on the crosses until TH_U___ led me to the correct answer. I guess I was thinking of sinuses or some sort of trans-cranial blood vessel that was going through my head. Are thoughts in the head, or in the mind or brain? And is thinking about thoughts circular reasoning?

    I must have read about AU PAIRS long before I learned any French because in my mind, AU rhymed with "aw" and thus the revealer left me wondering how the theme worked. I went so far as "aw sounds like ah, which pairs with ooh as in oohs and aahs". Wow, that is one stretchy theme. Of course, since it was all in my head (mind, brain), why would it need to make sense for anyone else?

    A nicely constructed puzzle that fell right into my Monday average time, thanks, Olivia Framke.

    Barbara S. 1:36 PM  

    @Joe Dipinto 11:53

    "AU PAIR" homonym --

    Perry Mason: Come with me to the CASH BAR and we will make beautiful music together.

    Perry Mason's date: Oh, Perr...!

    Z 1:36 PM  

    I saw this puzzle suite mentioned on Twitter.

    RooMonster 1:50 PM  

    "I don't want you to cut the whole tree down, just trim it a bit,"

    "Oh, pare!"


    Anonymous 1:58 PM  

    Mr.Feminist , z, is directing people to a website run by a man. So dude of him. Sad.

    RobertM 2:00 PM  

    Saw Great Dane, reflexively entered MARMADUKE. It fits. I’ve heard of SCOOBYDOO, but didn’t know more than the name.

    Joe Dipinto 2:42 PM  

    Good job, @Barbara & @Roo! And nice rhymes, @Frantic Sloth!

    Alice B. Toklas: "Should we let my small visiting nieces stay at Hemingway's for the weekend?

    Gertrude Stein: "No. There's no au pair there."

    pabloinnh 3:07 PM  

    French father: What letter comes after "N"?

    Frehch enfant: O, pere.

    Hungry Mother 3:17 PM  

    I’ve been mispronouncing Sauterne also; even before drinking a lot of it.

    burtonkd 3:21 PM  

    It smells stale in here, what shall I do?
    Fling the window OPE, AIR out the room

    JamieP 3:26 PM  

    One of the best Onion articles of all time, and that's saying something:

    Anonymous 3:32 PM  
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    burtonkd 3:33 PM  

    What the bald cockney-accented man says he wants for his birthday.

    I hope hair.

    Unknown 3:40 PM  

    It’s a medical thing. Have a skin tag? Get it lasered off. No doctor would say “lased.” Spell check doesn’t even like “lased.”

    Nancy 3:50 PM  

    Joe Dipinto (11:53) -- "This puzzle reeks of privilege and pseudo-Frenchness." You are being facetious, Joe, aren't you? You are parodying Rex at his most ostentatiously "woke", right?

    I suppose that if you're rich enough to bring an AU PAIR to the US from Europe to work 24/7 for your family, you might be said to have more than a soupcon of privilege. But what if if you simply know the term AU PAIR and how to pronounce it? Then the puzzle doesn't "reek of privilege" at all. Rather, it merely displays the breadth of your education and a reasonable facility with languages.

    And btw, there's really no difference between a nanny and an AU PAIR other than where they hail from. I strongly suspect that the nanny -- older, more experienced and less wide-eyed -- is paid considerably better than the AU PAIR.

    Frantic Sloth 3:50 PM  

    @Joe D LOL! You are really too kind. I deleted that abomination because it's just so embarrassing. Great jobs by you and everyone else who stuck to the program! πŸ₯΄

    Frantic Sloth 3:56 PM  

    I called my deleted post an abomination - and it's still not as bad as the one by Anonymous 3:32pm.

    egsforbreakfast 4:15 PM  

    What’s the object of this game played with two dice?
    Thr au pairs.

    More later.

    Wundrin' 4:45 PM  

    Is skin tag an adult game or a social media thing?

    Joe Dipinto 4:47 PM  

    @Nancy – well if you have to ask...yes I was being facetious but I wasn't parodying anyone particularly. I mean, there's nothing else French about the puzzle...

    I don't think au pairs were necessarily paid at all to begin with, maybe just given an allowance. They were sort of like cousins who came to stay with the family for awhile and help with the kids. Whereas "nanny" was always a salaried position. But the technicalities probably changed over time.

    Ben 4:48 PM  

    "OK. It's all OK. It will do just fine"

    High praise, coming from Rex!

    egsforbreakfast 5:36 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Another Anon 5:40 PM  

    I couldn't help but titter at Anon 3:32's post.

    GaryMac 5:59 PM  

    SB Comment only

    Seems like quite a few folks have hit three in a row. Today made three for me after a lot of 1 and 2 word misses.

    Also liked the XWord today easy but fun.


    PS - a lot of work to prove you are not a robot to be able to post

    JC66 6:15 PM  



    BTW, If you go blue, you don't have to prove you're not a robot every time you post.

    egsforbreakfast 8:41 PM  

    Two Aussie wild dogs = dingau pair

    Japanese fruit lunch = bentau pair box

    Reggae song by Chronixx = ghettau pairadise

    We can and cannot locate a missing fish = Finding Neman pairadox

    egsforbreakfast 9:07 PM  

    Finding Nemau pairadox

    Sorry for previous autocorrect disaster

    Frantic Sloth 10:09 PM  

    @Another Anon 5:40pm Do you and 3:32 attend the same junior high school?

    JC66 11:08 PM  


    Gee, I thought the photo was sorta titillating (and if only I was back in junior high school). πŸ˜‚

    thefogman 10:26 AM  

    One writeover at 35A. ARAke before ARAIL. Very nice Monday puzzle.

    rondo 10:36 AM  

    OFL is not as smart as he would like to think. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation". LASERED is absolutely correct. There is no such thing as 'lase'.
    Did not check crosses so the IpAd became an IMAC.

    Appropriately, SLUR follows CASHBAR.

    It's not comma sense, and @D,LIW knows it: A panda eats, SHOOTS, and leaves.

    A local weather gal, WREN Clair, takes the day.

    Fine for a Mon-puz.

    spacecraft 11:09 AM  

    Interesting variation on a theme with the "O"-pair. It's so Frenchily correct, it reminds me of Alex Trebek when he has to give an answer in that language. He quite literally talks through his nose.

    I agree again with OFC: oh DEAR! snappy theme, so-so fill. ELLA takes a DOD bow. This one earns a PASS--or a birdie. Go, lady constructors!

    Burma Shave 12:15 PM  


    OUR plan was FOOLPROOF, we THOUGHT,
    LOTSA CASH was HALF the goal,
    FACT is, that RICH we are not,
    because BOSSes HAVE no SEOUL.


    Anonymous 1:58 PM  

    @GFRCfP&J: Yes.
    The ACA.
    The American Congregation of Abbreviationists.

    Anonymous 2:24 PM  

    @Joe D: Are you Debbie Downer's twin brother Dennie???

    leftcoaster 2:39 PM  

    Neat and clean:

    Eight double OO [AU] PAIRS + seven single 0s = 23 OOs + Os.

    23 SKIDOO !

    Diana, LIW 4:10 PM  

    There goes @Rondo, lapsing into a comma. (another grammar book)

    Well - TGIM. Monday doesn't tick me off the way yesterday did. Maybe it's just too hot to enjoy a good Sunday slog.

    I've actually begun a foray into the world of jigsaws - addictive!

    Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

    spacecraft 6:21 PM  

    @Di: Check out Bits & Pieces online, they have some gorgeous ones.

    ramroot 1:43 PM  

    Just because we have Americanized the French pronunciation doesn't make the "o" correct to my way of thinking. I wasn't the least impressed with the theme.

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