Captain of 2012 2016 US women's women's Olympic gymnastic teams / MON 8-31-20 / Belgian river to North Sea

Monday, August 31, 2020

Constructor: Anne Marie Crinnion

Relative difficulty: Challenging (FOR A MONDAY) (3:31)


THEME: CHANGE LANES (64A: What you might do to pass on an interstate ... or a phonetic hint to the starts of 18-, 28- and 50-Across) — first words of themers are homophones for types of "lanes," but with different "changed" spelling:

Theme answers:
  • RODE SHOTGUN (18A: Traveled in the front passenger seat) ('road')
  • ALY RAISMAN (28A: Captain of the 2012 and 2016 U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics teams) ('alley')
  • WHEY POWDER (50A: Main ingredient in a protein shake, maybe) ('way')
Word of the Day: MASADA (8D: Ancient fortification overlooking the Dead Sea) —

Masada (HebrewΧžΧ¦Χ“Χ”‎ metsada, "fortress") is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau, akin to a mesa. It is located on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea 20 km (12 mi) east of Arad.

Herod the Great built two palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE.

According to Josephus, the siege of Masada by Roman troops from 73 to 74 CE, at the end of the First Jewish–Roman War, ended in the mass suicide of the 960 Sicarii rebels who were hiding there.

Masada is one of Israel's most popular tourist attractions. (wikipedia)

• • •

This is a cute theme. Is "lane" a perfect synonym for all these words ("road," "alley," and "way")? I don't know, but it's close enough, and the themers themselves are lively and interesting. Good revealer, strong themers. The theme works. My only issue is a pronunciation one—I definitely say WHEY way (way) breathier than I do "way." "Weigh" is a precise homophone for "way," but WHEY just has far more exhale for me in the WH-. But it's fine. Close enough. I did think, though, that this should've been a Tuesday. ALY RAISMAN is totally crossworthy, but even having heard her name many times before, It was very tough for me to remember her last name, and how to spell it. And then that same last name ran right into what was, for me, the hardest part of the grid. If I've heard of MASADA before, man did I forget it. I needed every cross, and sadly one of those crosses was a chemical formula (NAOH), which I'm sure was a breeze for some of you, but for me, unless we're talking about NACL, I'm gonna struggle in the chemical formula, especially on a Monday. Found the clue on CD-ROM really hard. Just ... nothing about it said CD-ROM to me (4A: Something computers cannot write to or erase). I'm sure it's accurate, just not very evocative of its shape or purpose or relative bygoneness. And then there was one more time suck, in the SW, where I had the -GE and confidently wrote in SURGE for 68A: Sudden forward thrust (LUNGE). Even now, SURGE feels like a better answer for that clue. Somehow also couldn't get BAND, possibly because BAND was an actual *class* when I was in middle school, not an "extra-curricular" (58D: Extracurricular activity for a musician). 


I took a bad route in this puzzle, which is to say I took a very haphazard and thoughtless initial route, building off answers that I had, but in a careening way that took me all over the place without really solidly finishing off any particular part. So the latter half of my solve was basically me going back and playing fill-in / clean-up in a lot of sections I had blown through where I had left blanks. It's weird how much your solving route can affect your time. Even solving quickly, moving pell mell about the grid will cost you. Not getting CD-ROM up top really threw me, and I couldn't lock into a good rhythm after that. Here are some other issues / problems / thoughts:

Five things:
  • 69A: "___ could've told you that!" ("EVEN I") — ugh, always bad when your bad fill is also your hard-to-get fill. I wanted "WELL, I"). Actually I just wanted "I" but you can see how that was not going to work.
  • 43A: End of a lasso (NOOSE) — yeah, no, I really don't care how you clue it, I'd really rather not see this word in my crossword ever. Too evocative of lynching. Pass. 
  • 27D: "Hilarious!," in a text (LMAO) — sigh, this one hasn't died yet? Still in use? OK. I had the "L" and only wanted LOLS! or something like that
  • 4D: One tending a house during the owner's absence (CARETAKER) — uh, that's a "housesitter." A CARETAKER takes care of a person. 
  • 71A: Choice words? (AND/OR) — again, no. "OR" is a choice word, but "AND" is decidedly not. If anything, these are words of ambiguity or flexibility, but "choice" is misleading.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

128 comments:

Kevin C. 12:13 AM  

Google seems to prefer "Les Mis" over "Les Miz" by a more than a 3:1 margin.

Joaquin 12:15 AM  

I sure thought @Rex would DIS this one. I think the words used for "lanes" are all a bit of a stretch (and on Monday, no less).

A few other nits, too, but all was forgiven by fond memories of climbing MASADA with my family in 1981. It was quite the trip - the family went to celebrate my Grandfather's 100th birthday. He lived in California but wanted to celebrate in Israel, so 13 of us did. And no, he did not climb Masada!

August West 12:18 AM  

This was a great puzzle that caught my attention with RODE SHOTGUN, but really had me at ANALAVA.

John Hoffman 12:18 AM  

I didn’t know RASTA. The crossing of RASTA and NES was hard for me.

jae 12:27 AM  

Tough, more like a medium-tough Tues. ALY was a WOE and the chemical notation for lye is not on the tip of my tongue. WHEY POWDER also took some crosses. Then it took several nanoseconds of staring to grok how the theme worked (just read Xwordinfo and apparently Jeff didn’t quite get it).

Pretty smooth with a couple of fine long downs, liked it. A nice debut.

Mike in Mountain View 12:28 AM  

Nice debut, Anne. Thanks.

The puzzle felt a bit Tuesday-ish, difficulty-wise. I've heard ALY RAISMAN's name but did not remember it.

@Rex: CD-ROM definitely fits the clue. ROM stands for Read Only Memory.

Pamela 12:35 AM  

Super easy, I thought, except for the near Natick at MASADA/NAOH, where I have to agree with Rex. But ALY’s last name was easily filled with the crosses where necessary except at 8D, and by that point I knew it was an A. Easy doesn’t mean mindless, though. I had to go back and forth between acrosses and downs pretty much all the way through, so just crunchy enough to be interesting. BLOODYMARY made me wish it was 12 hours later, but it isn’t and I’m yawning while writing this so keeping it short.

A very nice debut- thank you, Anne Marie Crinnion

I’ve had a full schedule for the last few days, so tonight I’m just tired enough that I wasn’t going to do the puzzle until tomorrow. Before giving up for the night, I decided to take one more crack at...

***SB. ALERT******

....the last 3 words I needed to hit the jackpot, and just after 11:40 pm, I made it! QB at last!

I posted on yesterday’s blog, but figured no one would see it. So I spent a few minutes on the Monday offering- more enjoyable than I expected- and here I am, even more tired, but content. 😊

G’nite😴😴😴

Pete 12:37 AM  

As RIDE is cognate with road, it's really not that much of a change of lanes. When you're talking property, a caretaker is an employee who's in charge of maintaining the property. It's a loop at the end a lasso.

ghkozen 12:38 AM  

You should learn about Masada. It’s fascinating!

Cory Calhoun 2:12 AM  

Re: CARETAKER ...

See def #2: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/caretaker

Clue is legit

chefwen 2:37 AM  

Pretty easy Monday, but I did end up with a one letter error. Didn’t know 8D or 22A and ended up guessing a vowel and I guessed the wrong one. Dang! I know what a Malasada is, Hi @harryp, but didn’t know or forgot MASADA and NAOH, noah clue.

I guess you have to be really into the Olympics to know 28A, downs only for me.

Theme was kind of a stretch for me.

On to Tuesday.

Frantic Sloth 3:25 AM  

Who is BETSY? And why does she get all the heavens?

Either I don't get this theme or it's as bad as I really think it is. "What you might do to pass on an Interstate ... or a phonetic hint to the starts of 18-, 28- and 50-Across"
So...RODE (road?)...ALY (alley?)...WHEY (way?) and these have exactly what to do with changing lanes? Or are these the "lanes" that are being changed...into..other types of routes?

I don't usually read Rex or comments before posting, but I gotta sneak a peek.
Hang on....
(at this point, I wanted to post a link to the Final Jeopardy theme song, but every clip I found started with a f@@king ad which would have ruined the whole gag. So pffft! 🀬 Besides, how Merv Griffin can take credit for "writing" a song that essentially lifts its ending from "I'm a Little Teapot" is absurd in the extreme.)

But, I digress.

I'm back. Who was doing all that yammering while I was gone and how did they get in here??

So, I was basically right about the theme. Not terribly exciting, but at least the revealer was in the right place. And that MERGE dead-center grid was a nice touch.

I agree that this seemed kind of difficult for a Mondee and that MASADA/NAOH cross was rather off-putting, but not impossible to suss out.
And ALYRAISMAN is a name I've heard about a bajillion times, but not something I can just pull out of my hat on command.

Overall, it was surprisingly difficult-ish for its weekday slot, but that's not on the puzzle or the constructor.


🧠🧠
πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

Joe Dipinto 4:35 AM  

A yesterday-and-today lyrical mashup to start off your week:

And I dreamed I saw the bomber jet planes
Riding shotgun in the sky
Turning into butterflies above our nation

Ann Howell 4:45 AM  

Tougher than your average Monday, but the theme was cute. Also fell into the SURGE trap at 68 across and could not figure out how BARD would be an extra-curricular activity for a musician... (not a great clue, it has to be said!). Enjoyed getting a little extra bang for the buck at the start of the week!

ZenMonkey 4:49 AM  

NOOSE scarves are a thing, as are cable NOOSEs. As a Jew I’m not requesting that “camp” or “oven” be banned from the puzzle. Let’s not go overboard with the Forbidden Lexicon entries.

LES MIS always looks to me like it should be pronounced the French way, “lay me,” not “lay mizz,” regardless of its popularity. My mother who company managed the show for part of its Broadway run writes “Les Miz,” for what it’s worth.

Lots of fun answers today. It’s always nice to have a BLOODY MARY on a Monday morning.

Conrad 5:33 AM  


@Frantic: I believe Betsy's last name is Murgatroyd.

Lewis 5:47 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 5:49 AM  

“I’ll take some GOOD OLE WHEY POWDER, AUNTY!” That’s my brain-worm from looking at those five connected words in the SE. I’ll be hearing that all night and day.

But this terrific debut has quite a bit more. After getting the three theme answers, but before I filled in the revealer, I tried to figure out the theme, and I couldn’t come close, so when I finally got it after getting the revealer, I had to nod with admiration. And I love how the meanings of RODE, ALY, and WHEY are worlds away from those of road, alley, and way.

I also thought how someone just starting out as a solver would be mighty proud of completing this puzzle, getting big answers like BLOODY MARY, INDONESIA and SELL-BY DATE, not to mention cool answers like ABYSS, RASTA, and OPULENT. That solver would also have a good chance of figuring this theme out, due to the specificity of the revealer’s clue. And afterwards, this new or newish solver would be highly motivated to continue solving due to the fun and satisfaction this puzzle rendered.

So brava, AMC, I'll take some GOOD OLE WHEY POWDER, AUNTIE, and thank you – you show great promise!

Finally, in the end, I have to give this puzzle an A. Why? -- AROMA / RASTA / DATA / LAVA / MASADA / ALOHA / INDONESIA / YOGA / IKEA.

Lewis 5:59 AM  

@rex -- Re CARETAKER, see Merriam-Webster entry #2.

Paul 6:00 AM  

LES MIZ was what got me, because I had LES MIS. Hadn’t seen the clue on 63D, but SACK looked reasonable enough. If we’re going to spell it phonetically, why not just all the way to LAY MIZ?

CDilly52 6:17 AM  

@Conrad: 5:33AM. Good one!

Hungry Mother 6:30 AM  

Very easy for a Monday here, but I did mostly downs as I traversed the grid.

ChuckD 6:31 AM  

Theme was pretty weak and uninteresting - but overall a decent Monday solve - didn’t have as much trouble as Rex seemed to. Liked the MASADA/NaOH crossing and RAGER crossing ANAL is an interesting way to start the week. CARETAKER is definitely a thing - although a lot of properties employ them when the owner is present too so “absence” may throw some people off. Stuck a little on LES MIZ because of the teen show I didn’t know.

Would have liked to see ASLEEP clued as Ray Benson’s band. I’d put this squarely in an average Monday category.

amyyanni 7:06 AM  

Dapper debut, Anne. Looking forward to more. Always like a Monday with a little challenge and this one had it. Surprised by DIALIN because of DIAL. Didn't think younger people even knew about dials on phones. And so onto another month in this Groundhog Year.

Unknown 7:08 AM  

wrong about caretaker.
I've heard caretaker refer to one watching others house or real estate on numerous occasions for many years

kitshef 7:12 AM  

About the same level as quote puzzles are pronunciation puzzles. A significant portion of your audience is not going to pronounce ‘whey’ the same as ‘way’.

And what the gerschpritzen is LES MIZ?

ANAL and LMAO … cheeky.

kitshef 7:25 AM  

Before the Romans finally broke into MASADA, the entire population committed suicide. They also moves all their valuables to a central storehouse and set fire to it, so that the Romans would not be able to get anything from the conquest.

Flash forward 2000 years. Archaeologists investigating MASADA find, in the rubble of that storehouse, dates from the Judaean date palm - a variety that had gone extinct in the meantime. At least one of the seeds in those dates was found to still be viable, so as of today there is one Judaean date palm in the world again.

pabloinnh 7:31 AM  

Agree with those who found this fun but somewhat misplaced for a Monday. Very helpful that we have a big jar of WHEYPOWDER on our kitchen counter, which goes into some concoction my wife makes. I really have no idea what it tastes like, but I'm guessing not much.

Used to have some ASLEEP at the Wheel albums before I sold off my LP collection. Lots of fun stuff. And nice to see/be reminded of ALYRAISMAN, even if I needed lots of crosses to spell her name properly.

Congratulations on a fine debut AMC. I never did like your cars all that much but this is a nice puzzle.

JD 7:44 AM  

Struggled with Aly Raismen. It was my own fault. A solid Monday puzzle though.

@Frantic, From yesterday, you're right. Phase 4 changed to Annoyance.

SouthsideJohnny 7:47 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown 7:54 AM  

x2

David Fabish 7:59 AM  

I was surprised to see this listed as "challenging, because I basically flew through it as fast as I could type, but once I read the comments, I realized it just basically played to my strengths.

I had MASADA from just the MA. Maybe being Jewish helped there... 😁

I thought CDROM and LUNGE were perfectly clued. I didn't even think of SURGE, and even after seeing it I think LUNGE fits the clue better.

Had to think for a second about ALYRAISMAN's first name (is it Amy?) but that didn't stop me for long. I didn't see NOOSE, but if I had, I probably would have been bothered by it as Rex was.

Oh, and I didn't even understand the theme until I read Rex's explanation. πŸ˜‚

SouthsideJohnny 8:15 AM  

Agree with what seems to be a consensus that this was tougher than a standard Monday - ALY RAISMAN is out of my wheelhouse, so had to parse it together and bumped into MASADA (never heard the word before) and even EER (I’m guessing e’er which means ever which kind of means forever which gets us to always, so ok). Too much thinking required to discern the theme - it doesn’t really jump right out at you - way, alley are lanes I guess - but who cares ?

Joe R. 8:44 AM  

@Kevin C. - 3:1? Google prefers “Les Mis” to “Les Miz” by 300:1, with Z getting 7.6 million hits and S getting 2 billion hits. “Les Miz” is just wrong.

pmdm 8:50 AM  

John Hoffman: There is a winery on the East side of Lake Seneca called Rasta Ranch. Most interesting place.

Not exactly a puzzle I would give to a new solver. At least as a sample of Monday difficulty. That means tomorrow's puzzle should be interesting,

RooMonster 8:51 AM  

Hey All !
@Frantic 3:25
Ah, thanks for explaining the nuances of the theme for the not-quite-getting-it dumb ass that is me! Now it moved up a notch.

Natick for me at A in MASADA/NAOH. Don't know my Dead Sea mountains. Actually wanted a 2 there for a bit! N2OH. Why not?

Started 2A with ALYR, and thought I had something wrong. Kept going over the Downs, but they seemed correct. Thought that start was LOOPY. Har. Agree this puz was rather crunchy. Nice to see our old friend YSER make an appearance.

Overall, a nice MonPuz. Congrats on the debut. Seems you were DOALed IN, Anne!

But...
No F's! (SHUN!)
YAK AND/OR ALOHA
RooMonster
DarrinV

Lewis 9:01 AM  

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

1. 50 or more letters? (4)
2. Entry-level workers? (7)
3. Sonata alternative (7)
4. Accident report? (4)
5. Close one? (4)


AARP
DOORMEN
ELANTRA
OOPS
CHUM

Z 9:15 AM  

Hand up for Rex’s CARETAKER comment getting the arched eyebrow here. In his defense, most of us common folk would get a house sitter. You need to be more in the Bill Gates Dan Gilbert Bill Ford Jr. category to hire a CARETAKER.
Rex also missed on the AND OR clue. The “choice” being offered is AND or OR.

I made the same sUrGE to LUNGE mistake as Rex. Unlike Rex I think both fit the clue because the clue doesn’t specify if it’s a single person (lUnGE) or an army (SURGE).

I also agree with the general “Best Tuesday Ever” vibe of earlier comments. Having PPP as a theme entry is always sub-optimal in my opinion, so not being the usual movie/theater/baseball PPP is more of a “fewer demerits” situation than a “bonus points” situation to me. I do like that we CHANGE the LANES into homonyms, that’s definitely a bonus points situation. I thought the long fill was pretty good and the short fill never made my hold my nose (well, YSER maybe a little).

@John Hoffman - Remember that crossing because both RASTA and NES are coming to a puzzle near you soon. Any three letter video game related clue is likely to be NES. Occasionally we will see WII, but not nearly as often as NES.

MASADA was easy here. I know the tale of the siege is shared as one of heroism these days, sort of the way we recount the story of the Alamo. Historians, well some at least, have a different understanding of events.

Z 9:22 AM  

I think this fairly and impartially resolves the S or Z debate. Z is the future and don’t anyone forget it.

Unknown 9:30 AM  

Liked it a lot, all made sense. But this feels like the first Monday in September, labor day, a day to labor.

GILL I. 9:44 AM  

OK....when I can come here on a Monday and @Frantic wants to know why BETSY gets all the heavens and @Conrad lets her know because her last name is Murgatroyd, then you know the comments are probably going to be more fun than the puzzle.
The only thing I think of when I want to CHANGE LANES is that I hope my eyeballs will actually glimpse a motorcyclist zipping passed me and I won't flatten him. I really don't think RODE ALY WHEY even if they're from the phonetic persuasion.
Spelled my MIZ with an S because I'm not crazy about Z's; forgot about MASADA, never met NAOH and if the gymnastic coach isn't Bela whatshisname, I don't know it. It's Monday...I can't give up....must forge on. LES MIZ did me in.
@pablito....I'm not sure I would ever drink anything that had WHEY POWDER in it. EVER. It sounds BLOODY awful.
Congrats on debut, Anne, but I think Will should've run you on Tuesday.

mathgent 9:48 AM  

@Lewis (9:01): Two great clues in your list, #2 and #4. When you construct a puzzle, is it ethical to use a clue from your list of excellent clues? I would guess not. Even if you change the wording?

Only four red plus signs in the margins. A kiss from the lovely miss in the ABYSS. “Hi in HI,” certain to be in Lewis’s list next Monday unless the rest of the week is epic.

We love Les Miz here in San Francisco. It’s had two or three long runs. It’s always referred to with a Z.

I’m an easy marker when it comes to calling an entry a piece of junk. E.g., most crosswordese is OK with me. I would say that there is no junk in this grid.

wrivz 10:03 AM  

"27D: 'Hilarious!,' in a text (LMAO) — sigh, this one hasn't died yet? Still in use?" - very confused about this criticism. I (young millennial) use LMAO in texts probably more often than any other text-speak shorthand. I'm not sure how you can critique it for not "having died yet" given it's probably used more now than ever. (If we're talking about text-speak that we question is "still in use," I haven't heard anyone use "LOLS" since 2009 or so, and even then usually spelled "lolz" with a Z.)

Whatsername 10:06 AM  

I didn’t think this was so much misplaced as in run on the wrong day so much as it’s just a mixture of difficulty levels. Way too easy for a Tuesday and yet on the difficult side for a Monday. I’ve got no problem at all with a few challenges, but for a beginner I think this one might be a little discouraging. Most new solvers are not going to know NGO, MASADA, NAOH, or RASTA as clued. And I’ve been doing puzzles 20 years but EVEN I didn’t know the Olympics gal or the teen TV show.

A real shocker to me that Rex didn’t go off on a rampage about SHOTGUN and yet he doesn’t ever want to see NOOSE again. No rhyme or reason whatsoever there. And if we’re going to start banning words I nominate that four letter one that starts with an A and ends with L. Bleh!

Javert 10:11 AM  

@Anti 'Miz' faction:

For starters, the Imperial Theater, when staging Les Miserables on Broadway stylized it as LES MIZ as it suited them. If it's good enough for them, how is it not good enough for you?

Secondly, if you're going to use google counts in support of your contentions, please learn to do it appropriately. Searching for "Les Mis" will get you every site that contains "Les Miserables", so the counts will in no way resolve the Miz vs Mis question. A book about <a href="http://youreanidiot.com/>the health maladies of famous authors</a>, which contains the sentence "Victor Hugo suffered from ANAL leakage while writing Les Miserables." will show up in a search for "Les Mis", but do nothing to settle the Miz vs Mis question.

Anonymous 10:13 AM  

I found it mostly very easy, save for the ALIRAISMAN, of whom I’ve never heard. I feel like you have to still watch network tv (and specifically nbc/today show) to hear anything about the Olympics - it’s something I think only the plus 50 crowd probably follows these days. But maybe I’m wrong!

Even not knowing her name at all, I vaguely knew MASADA because my husband has been to Israel a few times for work - and took a stab at a couple of the letters, and guessed right.

But could not get YSER. Thought that was a cruel word to cross with a proper name. Whenever those European rivers show up, I always want to do YPRES - or some variation, because we learn all about the brutal ww1 battle of Ypres growing up in Canada. The cross between YSER and ALIRAISMAN could have been anything, so didn’t like that one and had to literally punch in letters until the app gave me the congrats.

That said, I don’t see anyone else complaining about YSER, so maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t know that one!

Nancy 10:22 AM  

I had already decided that I really liked this zippy Monday -- with its nice chewy fill of RODE SHOTGUN and SELL BY DATE (not to mention the always welcome BLOODY MARY, one of the great drinks in the annals of drinking) -- long before I got to the LOOPY theme. I don't think much of the theme -- in fact it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me (rode alleyway???), but who cares? There are no compromises in the fill and there are no mindless clues. I had to think almost as much as I would on a Wednesday -- always a good thing. I doubt that Anne Marie even planned this as a Monday puzzle, so maybe the thanks should go to WS for giving us a more interesting Monday puzzle than usual. Enjoyed it.

Carola 10:25 AM  

An interesting, engaging Monday, I thought; it kept me guessing to the last at where in the world we were headed. I found it tough for a Monday, too; even though I knew MASADA and ALY RAISMAN, there were others that I didn't (NAOH) or that just didn't come to me. The long Downs were a treat, and I loved RODE SHOTGUN, whose responsibilities include ensuring that the driver doesn't fall ASLEEP on marathon roadtrips. I also liked the Old West cross of SHOTGUN and SPUR.

@Anne Marie Crinnion, I look forward to more.

Stix 10:30 AM  

Yeah, that’s where’s I dnf. I speak French so les Mis is the natural way to see it. Les miz is awful to the eyes

Anonymous 10:37 AM  

You can write to (burn) a CD-ROM when creating it.

Crimson Devil 10:49 AM  

Hi in HI good stuff.
Good Monday.

JD 10:59 AM  

If ever there was a perfect example of a white people problem, it's the battle between Les Miz and Les Mis. But mea culpa so, ya know. It's Miz.

William of Ockham 11:00 AM  

I know this was a rare and desirable Female Constructor, but this was a very so-so puzzle at best, all over the place with lots of tedium.

Fergus 11:04 AM  

I thought this was really easy and typical Monday difficulty level. I’m surprised Rex had trouble with CD ROM (read only memory) Had a lot of fun and seriously good time, under ten, (for me that is)

Anonymous 11:05 AM  

No one would have the S for surge if they looked at 56 down and realized that the school with the bear was UCLA (Bruins).

CT2Napa 11:10 AM  

Fix for "noose"

43A Large animal in Maine

38D Tell Australian pop singer you're finished











MOOSE
I'M DONE SIA

Lewis 11:10 AM  

@mathgent -- Constructors "steal" clues all the time, either using them outright or slightly modifying them. [HI in HI] has actually been used verbatim before, so it won't show up on my list. I try to only use original clues for my list.

When I make a puzzle, if a clue has been used more than once, I may use it or something close to it, but if it's a very very terrific clue and hasn't been repeated, I honor it by not using it. I feel like that clue belongs to the one who made it up.

Swagomatic 11:12 AM  

I came in right at my Monday average (not fast, in other words). I knew MASADA and NAOH, so I hgad that going for me. I never did get the theme until I had it explained to me. Overall, it was a fine, fun puzzle.

Anonymous 11:14 AM  

Les Miserables shortened

Anonymous 11:15 AM  

Still struggling. It's RaismAn

egsforbreakfast 11:18 AM  

I liked this puzzle in several ways, but mostly because I so respect when a constructor notices that a word or phrase can be re-booted in an unexpected way, like CHANGES LANES. I agree on the crunchiness, but AMC certainly didn’t decide when to publish it.

I got to wondering if you ever could really DIAL IN to a conference call. When I Googled it, I found that that is still the phrase used by all of the vendors, tech ‘splainers and App pushers. So, “dial” actually means “call” today, which I guess is obvious, but somehow had not risen beyond a vague level of awareness in me until I thought about it just now. My real question, though, was whether there was ever a time when you could really DIAL IN to a conference call with a rotary-dial phone. I kind of think that conference calls in the analog era had to be initiated by an operator. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

Again, very nice debut Anne Marie Crinnion.

ooopsie 11:22 AM  

I love how RAGER and HEALER was bridged by ANAL.

(This won't get published)

Anonymous 11:24 AM  

I thought so too. but those are officially labelled CD-R and CD-RW

Scots-Irish 11:24 AM  

How does one pass without changing lanes?

I do have an answer, any guesses?

Birchbark 11:40 AM  

raY RAISMAN --> AmY RAISMAN --> ALY RAISMAN.

@Rex "It's weird how much solving route can affect your time." -- Yes. My Monday time is now up to about a typical Thursday for this very reason. And instead of wanting to skip Monday puzzles, I now look forward to them.

I've deliberately begun solving Mondays exactly as @Rex started today, centipede-style, "a very haphazard and thoughtless initial route, building off answers that I had." After a few twists and turns (maybe half-a-dozen-or-so answers), I introduce symmetry into the solve: I go to the opposite corner and reverse, making exactly the same centipede backwards.

It's not always easy. If I get stumped (or meet in the middle), I can can build a crosswise branch or two to help restart. But then I have to add its symmetrical partner until both sides match again. Things flow naturally back-and-forth, developing wherever I want or must, always constrained by the challenge of symmetry. Changing word-shapes emerge like clouds.

This slower "spirolog" solving method brings the brain back into Monday. And I can pause and visually enjoy the patterns all along the way.

Z 11:42 AM  

@Anon10:37 - Good luck with that. I think you’re thinking of a CD-R disc. As mentioned above, ROM is short for Read Only Memory. I suppose if you are a CD-ROM producer your observation is correct, but your PC or Mac has never been able to burn to a CD-ROM. I seem to be recall being able to burn a CD-R and then save it as Read Only, but somebody with more tech savvy than I will have to explain if the CD-R is then an actual CD-ROM

@Javert - Your joke would have been better if you hadn’t forgotten your close quote mark after the URL. Still, I did find an article saying that Hugo was a sex manic that mentioned Les MisΓ©rables so your larger google hits criticism is valid.

When y’all are done with LES MIZ can we discuss the pronunciation of gif and whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich. (Note the placement of a Pop Tart - which I believe can also be considered a ravioli)

Deb Sweeney 11:43 AM  

Nah Rex, a caretaker takes care of property, a careGIVER takes care of people. Though yeah I wouldn't use caretaker for a house. More like a manor or at least a vacation home.

I had to come here to have the theme explained to me, luckily I was done before I even realized there was one. But, easy puzzle that I enjoyed.

What? 12:02 PM  

Zipped through easy but don’t like the theme. ALY, alley is a road? A stretch. “Passing on an interstate” means driving. Who drives in an alley except in car chase movies? Waste of about 3 minutes.

Masked and Anonymous 12:22 PM  

Gotta agree with @RP -- both the theme and the fillins was WHEY harder than yer average MonPuz, at our house. OK by m&e, tho. MonPuz is usually too easy for most old wily crossword regulars.

Didn't have a clue, on that there ALYRAISMAN/MASADA crossin. Happened to guess right, tho, as a "U" intersection just didn't seem to be viable, there.
Not terribly familiar with WHEYPOWDER, either … tho, have heard of WHEY and POWDER, when they go their separate wheys.

Revealer didn't reveal much to m&e, at first gape. That "phonetic hint" rodeo part threw me plumb over the horse. "Sooo … change lanes is phonetic for somethin else… ?", M&A mused. "… Changelings?"
Anyhoo, had a good ahar moment and snortlaugh, after I finally caught on.

staff weeject pick: WTS. Plural abbreve meat. Primo weeject stacks, in the NW & SE, btw.

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: { "Heavens to ___!" } = BETSY. I think U might have the seed for another cute MonPuz theme, here, Ms. Crinnion. See below*
fave slaughterhouse harder-than-snot MonPuz clue: {Ancient fortification overlooking the Dead Sea} = MASADA. Had old M&A pullin his Herod out. Gotta be an easier clue option, there … ain't there such a thing as "Veal Masada", or somesuch?

Real good long balls: SELLBYDATE. BLOODYMARY. VEALMASADA.

Thanx for the feisty fun, Marie Crinnion, darlin. And mucho congratz on yer debut.
* Possible future theme Marie could maybe explore: DARNEDSOCKS. DAMMEDRIVER. BLASTEDRAGER. HAVENSTOBETSY. Gotta be a seed in there, somewheres. Needs some work, I'd grant.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


**gruntz**

Whatsername 12:34 PM  

@egsforbreakfast (11:18) I don’t remember that far back, but a brief google search indicates you are correct. Early conference calls were set up by telephone company operators and were quite costly. When I worked for the Feds, we had an 800 number to some mysterious office in DC that everyone DIALED IN to and an attendant connected you to the conference “bridge.” Then in true bureaucratic tradition, everyone dutifully recorded the discussion on an official Record of Conference Call form. I don’t remember the form number but I’m pretty sure it had a slash in it somewhere. LMAO.

Frantic Sloth 12:43 PM  

@Conrad 533am "🀣🀣🀣" - Snagglepuss

Kath320 12:49 PM  

Has Rex never heard of a "caretaker's cottage" on large estates in lots of LITERATURE????

Jonathan 12:52 PM  

Anyone else have ORDER for clue “choice words?” Thought I was clever lol.

jonkotaco 1:22 PM  

@ZenMonkey

You've missed the mark here. As a Jew, 'oven' and 'camp' have numerous closer associations than WWII atrocities. NOOSE is a first order association with lynching/race violence. Especially with the current reckoning happening here in the US. Perhaps you could do some reckoning of your own and think about why this triggered you.

old timer 1:22 PM  

Way tougher than your average Monday, but then I never get themes that require you to think of sounds. Plus never heard of Ms. RAISMAN. MASADA I knew, non-Jew though I am. I didn't know the full story as related earlier, and was delighted by the grandfather tale.

French, she am a funny language. LES MIS could be pronounced lay me, or lay meese. Bis (twice) is pronounced with an S at the end, but Lis (lily) sounds like Lee. Miz at least *looks* like the z should be pronounced (but then, it isn't in chez -- years ago a friend and I had a great meal at Chez Paul, shay pohl anglicized). In any case, the example of "lis" was probably the reason why theater companies the world around have called the play Les Miz" for short. Because the S elides into the next syllable, Les Miserables is pronounced "Lay Mee Zay Rahb-luh: the Z sound is there.

Mr. Alarm 1:27 PM  

Thanks for clarifying my frustration with this theme:
“So...RODE (road?)...ALY (alley?)...WHEY (way?) and these have exactly what to do with changing lanes? Or are these the "lanes" that are being changed...into..other types of routes?”

pabloinnh 1:31 PM  

Oye @GILL I-Well I don't eat WHEYPOWDER either, and I never will, unless someone invents CURDSPOWDER to go with it.

egsforbreakfast 1:50 PM  

@pabloinnh 1:31 pm. Is curds powder made from afghan opium poppies? Sorry, guess that would be Kurds powder?

Cincinnatus 1:53 PM  

Otherwise enjoyable Monday puzzle except for LES MIZ. Sorry, it’s MIS! Always has been always will be.

nyc_lo 2:05 PM  

Oddly, MASADA and NAOH were almost gimmes for me, one bubbling up from dim memories of HS chemistry class, the other from dim memories of a ‘big-event’ TV movie from around the same time in my life. Not an Olympics watcher so ALYRAISMAN just looks like random letters to me; and if I ‘ever’ saw EER In a poem, I’d assume it was a misprint. That was the tricky crossing for me.

Anonymous 2:08 PM  

I don't time, paper and pen so have to mentally fill at least one cross before writing, but sure seemed to go smoothest then any recent Monday.

Barbara S. 2:26 PM  

@Joe Dipinto (4:35 a.m.)

🎢 And I RODE SHOTGUN all that night
She drove, and never made a sound
I asked if there was anything wrong
She said, "Nothin' worth talkin' 'bout" 🎢

bocamp 2:29 PM  

Good, crunchy puz, Anne Marie; thx ��

Smack dab between Mon. and Tues. LOD

Agree with Rex re: "noose" – go with "moose" and ask Indonesia to change its name to "Imdonesia" – for "lasso" and "sliding loop" here

Had "Les Mis" but "Sack & Cody just didn't sit right. ��

Took fencing in college, so "lunge" got dropped in posthaste.

Couldn't squeeze "house sitter" in. Caretaker didn't sit right IMO, but I guess it's a matter of how long the owner is away, the duties involved and the remuneration, etc.. "House sitter" vs "care taker" here

I'm ok with 71A; to me, the words "and" and "or" stand together as one ("and/or") to clearly imply "a choice," e.g., "add a potato and/or an onion". here

@kitshef – God Bless that Judaean date palm seed and make it grow. ��

"Heavens to Betsy" and "Heavens to Murgatroyd" were essential components of my Mom's and Grandma's exclamatory repertoires. ��

@Javert 10:11 AM – Your second point re: consideration of all variables when making an argument is "so right on." One of my great hopes is that we all learn to not only dig deep for the facts, but also to take into account all possible variables and considerations when arriving at conclusions. We may even find ourselves to be wrong – on rare occasions, of course. LOL

Finally, thanks for your blog Michael; I can't imagine all the time and effort you've put in on this over the years. ��

Have a great day! ��

Cheers from partly cloudy (and mild) Vancouver, BC

Frantic Sloth 2:41 PM  

*sigh* It takes me so long to read all the comments, so apologies if there are redundancies ahead.

@kitshef 712am Since I tend to wear my ignorance on my sleeve, I don't mind asking.
What the gerschpritzen is gerschpritzen?
Also, @725am -- Utterly fascinating. Thank you for that!

@JD 744am πŸ‘ Thank you for your consideration. 😊

Re: sUrGE vs LUNGE To my mind, "thrust" implied fencing* which uses both of those terms. sUrGE never entered my alleged mind, but I guess I can understand why it would for others.

@Z 922am Fun article, but c'mon. You have to cop to some bias with "Z is the future and don’t anyone forget it." πŸ˜‰

@GILL I. 944am LMAO! Also, I totally agree with your driving methods and thought the same thing while reviewing the theme, etc.

@Javert 1011am Har! Sometimes it's the TMI comments that amuse me. Because, exactly why, Wikipedia, do we need to know that? πŸ˜‚ (sorry, @Whatsername!)

@Anon 1013am You are correct. YSER is long-standing crosswordese. Most obnoxious entries are, and I personally would know it for no other reason…as if that would make anyone feel better.

Question: Did anybody else (older than, say, 50) yell "SHOTGUN!" to grab dibs on the passenger seat when cruising around with friends in high school? Or is that just small-town-America cutesy?

@Scots-Irish 1124am Does it have anything to do with dying??

@Birchbark 1140am Brilliant description of how to enjoy an easy-day puzzle! I think I've done that on occasion without being conscious of it (surprise!), but now I can do it deliberately. Many thanks!

@Z 1142am Somebody needs to relieve you of that stick you keep poking the bear with. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ But, I love the chart!

@egsforbreakfast 150pm πŸ˜‚ Although, I unfortunately read "poppies" as "puppies", which was no pipnic. πŸ™„


*which I actually took in college. Yes, but why? An oversized stuffed panda to the winning guess. (Hint: there is no answer)

Anonymous 3:03 PM  

egs,
Um. I think you've misplaced where the Kurds are from. It's the Levant. Not especially close to the central Asian country of Afghanistan, home to all this poppy fields. oth

burtonkd 3:07 PM  

Jack Nicholson's character in the Shining was a CARETAKER, as was Filch's in Harry Potter. Definitely not your average suburban home that needs a kitty fed and newspaper's picked up.

pabloinnh 3:17 PM  

@egsforbreakfast-Glad you added your apology, and that will be quite enough of that sort of thing for today.

Actually that was snort-inducing and made me wish I could remember the old joke about someone not being able to do something because there were Kurds in the way, but it has receded into the past, alas (or possibly huzzah).

JD 3:57 PM  

@Scots, You can pass other cars that are separated from you by one or more lanes (but I know, who cares).

mathgent 4:04 PM  

“Easy for a Monday.” “Hard for a Monday.” Charlie Brown said, “We had spaghetti for dinner last night.”

CDilly52 4:58 PM  

@Lewis, I wish everyone (in a myriad of endeavors) had your sense of ethics and fair play.

Z 5:04 PM  

@Frantic Sloth - Just quoting. Zero Z Biaz here. And I always enjoy a good knock-down drag-out over the truly important issues. I just never realized the Mis v MIZ was one of them.

@bocamp - If you preview blogger converts your emojis to ��.

@JD - Parked cars.

@anon3:03 -Maybe egs is geographically impaired or maybe they were just going for the joke. Either way, they are not completely wrong.

Frantic Sloth 5:21 PM  

@Joe D If I had your brain, I Woodstock it with all things musical, too. πŸ˜‰

GILL I. 5:23 PM  

Boring SHOTGUN story alert (because I have nothing better to do):

My parents never allowed any of us to ever sit in the front seat. We learned that American children could and would shout out SHOTGUN in order to be so privileged. There were rules, as well. If you said it first, you got it. Well, as stories go, My mom, middle sister and I were on our way from Sarasota Fl. all the way to Riverside Ca. Just the three of us.... We were first headed north to Keene, New Hampshire to visit friends. My sister shouted SHOTGUN first and I knew the rules. I made a deal with her. I told her that if she let me sit in the front to Keene, she could get the front all the way to California. She thought she'd won the lottery. My sister hadn't yet figured out that the sun set in the west. Yup.....by the time we got to the Rockies, she begged me to change places with her. She'd put a pillow in the front window to block the sun, but a big, fat, patrolman pulled mom over and said it was agin the law..... She hated me....but only for a couple of years. We're best friends now.
Be careful for what you wish for.

CDilly52 5:26 PM  

But for the MASADA-NAOH crossing I would have shattered my Monday time. But that near-Natick took some serious guessing. Apologies to Dr. Ray McKinty, exceptional teacher of HS Chem who refused to let me do poorly and tutored my friend Jerry and me for the entire year until we each came through with a well-earned B and some actual understanding of chemistry! However, never having explored the composition of lye, I had to use my frame of reference regarding the Middle East to sis’s our MASADA. The crosses got me MASAD which of course reminded me of the Israeli equivalent to the US CIA (only much more “hard core” if one believes half the tales in modern spy novels), so, I guessed “A” (also thinking that the letter was the correct ending for gymnast Aly’s surname. And then the easy downs finished off the lye. WooHOO! Happy Music!

So my skittering around the MASADA-NAOH crossing took me into normal Monday mode. Overall I didn’t dislike it as much as some, despite the seeming loose connection of the “types” of “lanes.” Certainly some very good clues so a good Monday

Unknown 5:45 PM  

CD-ROM to me (4A: Something computers cannot write to or erase). I'm sure it's accurate,

No,it’s not accurate. Computers can definitely write to a blank CD. How else does the data get there? Once written, the disc (unless it is rewritable) is “Read Only”.

Unknown 6:11 PM  

Perhaps the easiest Monday puzzle I've ever done. By far. Fast & pretty boring.
Reminded me of why I typically don't do Mondays.
I'm not saying it was a bad puzzle - but just not for me. Wake me up when it's Wednesday.

CT2Napa 6:23 PM  

@Unknown 5:45

Pre-pressed CD-ROMs are mass-produced by a process of stamping where a glass master disc is created and used to make "stampers", which are in turn used to manufacture multiple copies of the final disc with the pits already present. Recordable (CD-R) and rewritable (CD-RW) discs are manufactured by a different method, whereby the data are recorded on them by a laser changing the properties of a dye or phase transition material in a process that is often referred to as "burning".



Frantic Sloth 6:40 PM  

@GILL I. 523pm Boring? Nope - priceless! 🀣 (always suspected you had the sneaky gene - congrats!)

Runs with Scissors 6:44 PM  

Well, this was harder than your average Monday. Not excessively so, but when you've got an unknown(to me) Olympian with a bad SELLBYDATE, and an ANAL USB, well, it's less than fragrant. After the crosses verified it i kept parsing the Olympian as KALRISSIAN, of the Lando persuasion. Either you know the referent, or you don't.

LES MIZ, les schmis. I've met very few plays that I've enjoyed, mainly because I have to sit with a bunch of slobs who don't know how to behave. I admit, this whole "Safer at Home" thingie is an introvert's heaven, BETSY and all.

Being a denizen (for now) of the southern portion of California, I will always look over my shoulder before I CHANGE LANES. Never signal; they take that as an invitation to speed up and block you.

Do people actually ingest WHEY POWDER????? Why????

I often RODE SHOTGUN as a pre-licensed teenager. I won't bore you with the details I can't remember.

I've never imbibed a BLOODY MARY. Hope I never do.

I knew NAOH. Does that make me a . . .

So, yes I enjoyed the puzzle. I always do, no matter what. The nits never become lice.

****SB ALERT******

I've been getting the QB a lot lately. Is it cheating, after one reaches Genius, to look at what combos are left and work from there???? Asking for a friend.

On to Tuesday!!!

DIS CDROM LOOPY

Mark
Somewhere northwest of Mickey's House

bocamp 6:44 PM  

@Z – thx. will try again w/o "preview" 😊

bocamp 7:05 PM  

Good, crunchy puz, Anne Marie; thx 😊

Smack dab between Mon. and Tues. LOD

Agree with Rex re: "noose" – go with "moose" and ask Indonesia to change its name to "Imdonesia" – for "lasso" and "sliding loop" here

Had "Les Mis" but "Sack & Cody just didn't sit right. πŸ€”

Took fencing in college, so "lunge" got dropped in posthaste.

Couldn't squeeze "house sitter" in. Caretaker didn't sit right IMO, but I guess it's a matter of how long the owner is away, the duties involved and the remuneration, etc.. "House sitter" vs "care taker" here

I'm ok with 71A; to me, the words "and" and "or" stand together as one ("and/or") to clearly imply "a choice," e.g., "add a potato and/or an onion". here

@kitshef – God Bless that Judaean date palm seed and make it grow. πŸ™

"Heavens to Betsy" and "Heavens to Murgatroyd" were essential components of my Mom's and Grandma's exclamatory repertoires. πŸ˜‡

@Javert 10:11 AM – Your second point re: consideration of all variables when making an argument is "so right on." One of my great hopes is that we all learn to not only dig deep for the facts, but also to take into account all possible variables and considerations when arriving at conclusions. We may even find ourselves to be wrong – on rare occasions, of course. LOL

Finally, thanks for your blog Michael; I can't imagine all the time and effort you've put in on this over the years. πŸ‘

Have a great day! 🌈

Cheers from partly cloudy (and mild) Vancouver, BC

JC66 7:19 PM  

****SB ALERT****

@Runs

I think it's personal preference. If I'm stuck with 2 or 3 words to go, I'll check to see the length of the words I'm missing. Other's practices may vary.

Anonymous 7:28 PM  

You don’t want the word noose in the puzzle ? Seriously ? I think the large majority of commenters here who know that this is idiotic yet remain reticent need to start speaking out.

Karl 7:40 PM  

I did not care for the cluing on 58 down. How is BAND an extracurricular activity for a musician? As a musician, i took "extracurricular" to mean outside of the routine. Being in a band is what musicians do. I guess in the narrow context of high school, the marching band is an extracurricular activity. But from my perspective as a professional musician, I was looking for SIDE GIG or FILL IN. Those are things I would do outside of performing with my regular band. Did anyone else overthink this like I did or?

GaryMac 7:58 PM  

*** SB Alert ***

@RUNS

Same as JC66. If I'm down to just a few words to go, I may check to see the length of the words I'm missing. It makes it a little less like looking for a needle in a haystack, especially if I find that I'm still missing some of the four letter words. I would never look at any of the grids showing what letter combinations the missing words might start with nor the hints on Wordplay.

CLB 8:10 PM  

If you use quotes so Google does an exact match, you get "Les Mis" 2.9 million to "Les Miz" 327000, a 9:1 ratio. Pretty sure this isn't going to change anyone's mind but thought I would provide the correct data.

JC66 8:38 PM  

@CLB

It was pointed out earlier in the day (I'm too lazy to re-read the comments to be more specific) that "Les Mis" includes any and all things Les Miserables, so it's not a fair comparison.

bocamp 9:02 PM  

Dear "SB"ers, how does one know the number of words (and/or their length) that are needed for "QB"? So far, I've got 30 words for a score 101. πŸ€“

JC66 9:17 PM  

****SB ALERT****

@bocamp

Most of us use hernybee.com.e.

You can check out as much info as you like.

bocamp 9:24 PM  

@JC66 – Many thanks 😊

JC66 9:35 PM  

****SB ALERT****

@bocamp

You're very welcome. ;-) Obvious, I meant to type nybee.com.

BTW, many regulars on this site have no interest in SB, so we like to alert them when we're posting about it so they can skip reading the comment.

bocamp 9:39 PM  

****SB ALERT****

@JC66 Excellent point! I'll bear that in mind πŸ‘

TAB2TAB 9:52 PM  

Do you remember a point in your life where YSER was not a word in your vocabulary? Well, imagine a young, budding crossword solver trying to decipher that alongside ALYRAISMAN. Don't forget us newer crossword solvers.

JC66 9:59 PM  

****SB ALERT****

I quit 3 short of QB, and I'm glad I did.

No way would I have gotten 2 and the 3rd might have come to me eventually.

Monty Boy 10:40 PM  

Did you know that paper has the same number of letters as CDROM?

bocamp 11:02 PM  

@TAB2TAB – Take heart, friend. This was a tough Monday for many. I'd say we've all been in your shoes at some point in our crossword experiences. I still come across many a Natick (or at least to me seems to be). Fortunately, I'm usually able to suss it out (using some of the tips I've found in this blog). Keep the faith! 😊

bocamp 11:07 PM  

****SB ALERT****

Needed 4 points and finally elicited a six letter word I'd learned from the NYT Crossword (and/or from Pinterest) LOL πŸ‘

OISK 12:36 AM  

Yep. And since I never heard of Zack and Tony, I DNF

OISK 12:37 AM  

As a result, I DNF

ZenMonkey 3:33 AM  

@jonkotaco

I think you could have been a little more condescending if you tried really hard.

I’ve never seen “triggered” misused so smugly by anyone but right-wingers with no social conscience or empathy. Perhaps you could devote a meditation session as to why you chose to diminish the experience of actual trauma sufferers just to score an Internet point.

StGulik 9:53 AM  

Cross. Word. Puzzle. The name of the game suggests we'll be puzzling out words that cross from given clues. So I shouldn't be trying to suss out cryptic initials from some texter's "message" or initials or abbreviations or place names or anything else I wouldn't find in, say, a dictionary.
NYTXW has become more of a tiresome endeavor than an amusing pastime. I'm giving this up for the Chicago Tribune. Give me a clue, not a sadistic riddle.
...and burning a CD is considered writing to it, via the computer.

thefogman 10:13 AM  

The theme was pretty thin gruel. Rex is being kind, which is nice. But the editor is ASLEEP at the switch. Time for a change.

spacecraft 11:31 AM  

Is this a debut? If so, it contains promise. Long entries--both theme and non-theme--ARE lively. The theme itself is so-so; the revealer may not hit a homer, but it reaches base safely.

There ARE a couple of issues in the shorter fill; MASADA is for sure not a Monday entry. EVENI know that. ALYRAISMAN, for all she did and all she endured, is DOD. And now, as the SELLBYDATE on my tomato juice is expiring, I shall make a BLOODYMARY and score this one 46-across, or birdie.

Burma Shave 11:44 AM  

INANE AND/OR LOOPY DATE

GOOD OLE BLOODYMARY was ASLEEP
when SHOTGUN she RODE,
no WHEY they'd CHANGELANES in that Jeep
if AUNTY BETSY had NODE.

--- ROD RAGER A.K.A. LANCE LAD

rondo 12:19 PM  

@StGulik - You can't burn a CD if it's ROM (Read Only Memory), only if it's RW (Read Write). And Laughing My Ass Off LMAO is very much in in the lexicon, almost passe, like burning a CD. And I'll bet I'm older than you.

I put a square around the clue for 43a NOOSE. Knew OFL (very square) would get triggered. And @ZenMonkey, each and every side and the middle have used "triggered", especially when talking about someone that doesn't agree with them. I need to remind myself to avoid his rants.

One thing I don't get: Yeah baby ALYRAISMAN is a poster girl for sex abuse yet poses nude at the same time. How do those things work together? Answers anyone?

I thought this puz was pretty GOOD.

Don 12:51 PM  

But remember, this puzzle is from a female contributor. He likes all puzzles by females.

leftcoaster 2:21 PM  

GOOD puzzle but a little on the clunky side.

Okay, a “road" is a LANE and so is a “way". But I don’t think of an “alley” as a LANE except, say, in a bowling alley, which has little or nothing to do with passing on an interstate. Maybe it’s just me.

Needed the crosses for RAGER, slang for a "wild party”. (Hope it’s not just me again.)

Diana, LIW 5:41 PM  

Where did my Monday go? I want my Monday back. Too many unknowns - c'mon!!!

Diana, LIW for the real Monday Crossword

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