Seoul automaker / MON 8-10-20 / Launch vehicle for many NASA missions / Bright sunny area of a house / Destination of rover Perseverance

Monday, August 10, 2020

Constructor: Lynn Lempel

Relative difficulty: Medium (3-ish)

THEME: KEYS (56D: Typically lost items that are "found" in the starts of 16-, 24-, 45- and 57-Across — first words of themers all have, or are associated with, KEYS:

Theme answers:
  • ORGAN DONOR (16A: Designation on many a driver's license)
  • FLORIDA ROOM (24A: Bright, sunny area of a house)
  • ATLAS ROCKET (45A: Launch vehicle for many NASA missions)
  • LOCK OF HAIR (57A: Ringlet on a salon floor)
Word of the Day: FLORIDA ROOM (24A) —
(US, Canada, especially East Coast US and Florida) A room within or adjoining a residence which is designed to admit considerable sunlight and fresh air, especially one which is not heated and is used only in the warmer seasons; a sunroom. (wikitionary)
• • •

Found this one actually slightly harder than your typical Monday puzzle, largely because none of the themers were obvious to me. Needed many crosses for all of them, even the hair, one (had OF HAIR, still wasn't sure what came first). Nothing in the ORGAN DONOR clue is very specific (lots of data on a driver's license). I think this may be the first time I've heard the term FLORIDA ROOM (though I did guess FLORIDA off just the -DA, so maybe it was in my brain somewhere). Don't pay very close attention to NASA missions so ___ ROCKET wasn't getting me anywhere either. I think the main problem was I backed into so many of these themers. Some kind of ROOM, some kind of ROCKET, something OF HAIR—that's what I encountered the first time I laid eyes on each of the last three themers. Just made things slower going than usual. Also found TROIKAS slightly hard to come up with (after TRIADS my brain blanked on other [Groups of three]). Same with PRAY DO (wow, "quaintly" is right, yikes) (35D: "Yes, proceed!," quaintly), and even BABY BONNET just wasn't coming quickly for me—even after I got the BABY part. What year is it that we're putting "wee ones" in "bonnets"? I think babies just wear sun hats now. Or ... we're just not putting babies in the sun, I don't know. I don't think Ella ever wore a bonnet. So ... Add in the inevitable hesitaiton created by 10D: Oodles (today, A LOT, some other day, A TON) and the fact that I had RAVING before RAHRAH (32A: Uncritically enthusiastic, colloquially), and you (I) have a solving time slightly north of average. That said, it's Monday, and it was easy. 

As for quality, I'm not too RAHRAH about the reveals, which is just KEYS and thus kind of a pfft. I see how they try to get cute with the whole lose your keys / "find" your keys conceit in the clue, but the lack of a good revealer makes plain old KEYS kind of sad. These are the days I wish the NYTXW had *titles* like the WSJ and Newsweek and most indies. A good title obviates the need for a revealer (if there's not hot revealer to be had). But sure, those first themer words are all things associated with KEYS. It's a good set, but FLORIDA ROOM clunks a bit, mostly because it's the only themer where that first word isn't completely reimagined by KEYS—that is, KEYS takes the organ from body organ to musical instrument organ, and takes Atlas from god ATLAS (I assume that's the basis of the rocket's name) to map atlas, and takes LOCK from hair unit to security item. But FLORIDA ROOM ... I assume tthe room is named after the state, and the KEYS are in the state, so there's no real redirection. FLORIDA is FLORIDA is FLORIDA. Plus I just don't know the term, so I'm already not inclined to *love* it. But mostly my problem is with the "Meaning Not Reimagined" part. The grid seems average. Old-fashioned, but clean enough, fine enough. Enough. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:02 AM  

I’ve been doing the NYTXW for decades and I must say this: Today’s puzzle was as good a Monday puzzle as they have ever published. Yes, it was easy; yes the theme was nothing new; and, yes, despite that it did hold my interest all the way through the solve. And, I suspect, it provided just enough resistance for new solvers.

Anonymous 1:15 AM  

I found this one of the easiest ever because I didn't bother even thinking about the theme. On Mondays I never bother with quadrants as I do with harder puzzles. This was powering through all of the Across without pausing to think. With Down I did briefly pause to check with
Across answers and therefore completed it in two fell swoops.

Baby bonnets are still "a thing", Rex. I always enjoy your commentary!

jae 1:26 AM  

Medium. Just about right for a Mon. Liked it.

Frantic Sloth 1:32 AM  

"There was a revealer??!!" I said to myself. Flew through the across clues so never saw 56D.

Oh, well. It was easy, clean, not a lot of dreck. Nothing stood out for me, so I'll leave my grade and be off!

Good day.


DavidP 2:47 AM  

Except that “map Atlas” also comes from the god Atlas.

chefwen 2:49 AM  

I love Lynn Lempel’s Monday puzzles, but this one was beyond EASY, even for a Monday. Great puzzle for a newbie.

Had a dear friend who had a FLORIDA ROOM and loved to spend most of her time in her FLORIDA ROOM, funny thing was that she lived in FLORIDA.

Karl 2:52 AM  

Am I the only one who never worries about and often doesn't get the themed answers/revealer? I sometimes don't even realize a puzzle is themed until I read RP's review. I still solve the puzzles correctly. Am I an outlier?

Ann Howell 4:18 AM  

I grew up in Mass where FLORIDA ROOMs are a thing, so didn't mind that one. But agree with Rex about the rest of it. Not that I do it for time, but lost a couple of minutes at the end after I'd filled in the whole puzzle and still wasn't getting the music... finally saw that I had spelled ARK with a C (so, I didn't even look at the revealer, obviously!). Monday morning brain... anyway, a bit more challenging than usual for the beginning of the week, but not in an overly interesting way.

ChuckD 6:14 AM  

Nice start to the week - solved as a themeless and it fell quickly. Fill was clean - but did have a reactionary feel to it (BABY BONNET, PRAY DO, FLORIDA ROOM) etc. Liked the CICADAS/CCNY cross and always liked BORG more than Conners and McEnroe.

I’ll take a Monday like this anytime.

Lewis 6:16 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lewis 6:27 AM  

I had a nice aha when I uncovered the reveal because I was trying to figure out the theme from the theme answers with no success. Much of the puzzle was EASY, as it should be for veteran solvers on Monday, but then there was TROIKA, PRAY DO, and GARRETS, which wasn't easy for me.

My brain kept finding connections -- CARS to go with KEYS, TITAN rocket to complement the ATLAS, and it smiled as it pictured the MADRE adorning her child with a BABY BONNET, but then it veered into the weird, insisting on seeing GEEK / NERD at the GREEK / NERF cross, insisting on an echo with Play DOH and PRAY DO.

All in all, an Interesting Monday -- and using "interesting" in its best sense. Thank you LL!

James Rise 6:32 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hungry Mother 6:33 AM  

TSuper-fast, but not a PR due to thinking that it was GARRoTS. DOH! (Not Play)

Hungry Mother 6:37 AM  

Our FLORIDAROOM in Florida is a lanai.

kitshef 7:17 AM  

I know very little about music notation and theory, so when I see a clue like that for 7D, "In slow tempo", I know I am going to need just about every cross to fill that in.

I see that as a choice I have made. There are a lot of people who know this stuff, but I have not chosen to do so. I could opt to study music theory and learn these things, but I don't. There is only so much time in a life, and we make decisions on how to use that time. That is not a weakness in the puzzle, or bad form by the constructor. That's on me.

Same with cars. You put "Classic Oldsmobile" in for a clue, and all I can do is wait on crosses. Of the things I have an inclination to learn, cars are probably last on the list.

For some of you, the equivalent to these might be baseball, or Harry Potter, or hip-hip artists. That's OK. No one demands that you know everything about everything.

But do recognize that these are popular things in this country; things that a lot of people know about, talk about, or even cherish. Don't hold it against the constructor if you are not one of those people. If the crosses are unfair, then by all means scream bloody murder. But only if the crosses are unfair.

OffTheGrid 7:18 AM  

I found this easy at 11 minutes. (I know). But I did not finish theme-wise. I looked at the long acrosses and did not see what it was. The KEY would have been to look for a revealer clue. 56D was filled by crosses and I did not see it while solving. Loved it, though. Good Monday.

kitshef 7:21 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
JD 7:25 AM  

@Frantic's brain rating is right on the money. Filled in the A's and was almost done, a few D's and it all was over. Not even a typo to hunt down.

SE corner should be the revealer ... Clue(s) Easy.

"Actor who's the opposite of subtle" is a 28-letter clue for a 3-letter answer.

"Giant ... with four of the five letters of "giant" ... 36 letters for a 5-letter answer and it gave you four of the letters. Etc.

It's a beautiful, clean grid filled with fun words but it was over too fast because it just begged you to fill it in.

It was on your side like a Password partner, with that encouraging look that says "you know this, just say it."

But Baby Bonnet, Lock of Hair ... sweetness. After last week, 'bout time.

GILL I. 7:26 AM's easy Monday but why do I feel this was sitting in the attic waiting to be dusted off. I love a Lempel puzzle but this felt like the CORN on the cob needed better shucking. I get the KEYS stuff, but ay, caramba, why you throw ATLAS at me?
Add me to the Neanderthal that's never hear of a FLORIDA ROOM...and I lived in Florida!. Conservatory, maybe...even a garden or sun room. What do you Floridians do with that room when there's a hurricane?
BABY BONNET says no one today. I suppose if you can afford a nanny and she's strolling with the wee one in the park, she'd make sure little snookums was covered in a hat the size of a football stadium.
I like ORGAN DONOR - and I am one. I'm not sure anyone could use any of my parts. I've abused them all. My liver has seen too much vino, I no longer have a gall bladder and I lost my appendix while playing in Spain. My adenoids were removed so that I didn't sound like Nicki Minaj and my eyeballs have been lasered to death. I still have most of my teeth but they've been drilled to death. At least my heart still has a beat (so far).
I liked you starting me with CUBA. Whenever I see Bay of Pigs, I think Che and Fidel. Yes....they were pigs.
Don't sneeze.

TTrimble 7:41 AM  

(Moderators: the post by James Rise isn't spam? Just checking.)

No, you're not alone. Like @Frantic Sloth, I flew through the puzzle so that 56D didn't even register, and had to read Rex before understanding there was a theme.

I don't think I have much more to add to what's already been said. The only slight groaner to me was PRAY DO -- I don't think I've ever heard that uttered or seen it written in my life. But on reflection, acceptable if one routinely translates "Pray" as "Please". The rest of the puzzle seems pleasing enough.

---[SB Alert]---

-->> spoilers from yesterday <<--

I had all but three out of yesterday's 52, despite what seemed at first unprepossessing letters. And looking at those three now: just one regret, which was my missing PAEAN. The other two: I don't even know what they are supposed to be. Pray: what is "NAMETAPE"? And "PATENTEE": I've never heard it, and I can only guess it's one who is not yet a patenter, but who has applied for a patent -- and yet, this wouldn't match the usual grammatical pattern of -er vs. -ee, where the former is a subject that applies a verb action, and the latter is an object that receives the action. So I don't know.

Pray, Sam Ezersky: tell me how "nametape" is less obscure than "nappe" (to name one).

Today: QB in record time! Go for it, fellow SB-ers!

rjkennedy98 7:54 AM  

This puzzle was nothing spectacular, but it was really an enjoyable solve. All through the puzzle there was interesting fill starting at BABY BONNET down to CICADAS and ATLAS ROCKET. It had almost no ick factor anywhere.

I thought the theme was nicely done. I got a small aha moment when I realized all the different types of keys associated with Florida, Organ, ect.

Overall, a very well-executed Monday puzzle.

Joe Welling 7:58 AM  

Shouldn't the clue for LUSHLY have been "Profusely" rather than "In profusion"? The latter sounds like an adjective rather than an adverb.

Frantic Sloth 8:12 AM  

@kitshef 717am Exactly. Well done! 👍👏

Nancy 8:52 AM  

Although I didn't notice the theme while solving, I think it's quite a nice one. I liked the distinction of items that are found in rather than just found somewhere -- which works so well for each one of the theme answers. The fill is remarkably junk-free too.

But, oh, the clues, the clues, the clues:

Autos = CARS
"Honest" president = ABE
Justice's garb = ROBE
"Moby Dick" captain = AHAB

There were some good clues, too: ORGAN DONOR (16A); TITAN (23A) and PRAY DO (35D), which completely stumped me when I read it. But there were many too many slam-dunk and completely mindless clues. It would have been so easy to make this puzzle a lot more interesting.

Lewis 8:52 AM  

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

1. Air apparent? (4)
2. DC reporter (4)(4)
3. Run for it! (4)
4. Lines of credit? (3)
5. Ban ... or bandit (6)


Jan C 9:03 AM  

I grew up in Florida (Orlando when it was a small town) and we had a Florida room. But I didn't put "keys" with that answer. Duh on me.

Nancy 9:14 AM  

Best thing about today's puzzle? @GILL's 7:26 a.m.'s post. You outdid yourself today, @GILL. The ORGAN DONOR observations alone are worth the price of admission. But you poor, poor thing! Is there anything at all left of you?

And the last sentence of your BABY BONNET observation is pretty damn funny too!

RooMonster 9:15 AM  

Hey All !
@Karl 2:52
Yes. 😁
In the NYT, Sunday thru Thursday puzs are themed. Friday and Saturday are themeless.

Liked this for the fact that you actually needed the Revealer to figure out the theme. The themers by themselves as a group (if that makes sense) don't seemingly connect. Then you get KEYS, and 'Aha!" Notches the puz up a bit.

Clean fill, trademark of a LL puz. Toughest spot of puz was the ATLAS section. The crossing Downs were unusual. As in, not often seen. PRAYDO, STRAFED, LUSHLY. Wanted bUSHLY for a bit. And got down to S_RAFED and was looking for a vowel. So that added at least a minute to my solve. Usually 7ish times, today was 9:05. Which is still good. ☺️

Sitting in my NEVADA ROOM. 😋
My sister lives in Tampa, if I visit her, am I a FLORIDA ROO?

Four F's

Frantic Sloth 9:16 AM  

@GILL 726am Interesting donor list. I'm sure your appendix saved somebody's life. God bless.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

I always start with the Down clues and keep going until I hit a snag.
No snags today. Finished the whole grid with a sweep through the downs. The only time I looked at the Across clues was when a down had two or more possibilities (ALOT? ATON?) and I'd do a quick glance at the across to see which one was correct.
So today's was WAY easier for me than it was for Rex, apparently, since none of those theme answers tripped me up. I literally didn't see the clues for them at all.

Whatsername 9:19 AM  

Buenos DIAS everyone. I found this to be a nice, well-balanced Monday, perfect for newbies. Very easy but somehow a little more sparkly than the average Monday. I have never given any thought to the different ways the word KEYS can be used, but this was a most clever use of wordplay to illustrate them. So RAHRAH for Monday and thank you, Lynn.

Frantic Sloth 9:21 AM  

@JD nÊe Lorelei Lee I'd bet that PRAYDO is is one of your standard sayings.

Anonymous 9:21 AM  

It seems crazy that Rex has never heard the term Florida Keys.

Nancy 9:22 AM  

Though I had never before heard of a FLORIDA ROOM, I do have a thought about it:

It must be a wonderful amenity if you live in Canada or Minnesota. It must be hell on earth if you live in FLORIDA.

mathgent 9:27 AM  

@Lewis (8:52). Sorry to learn that you liked “Run for it!” Please don’t put inside-out-clues like that in your puzzles.

Being good at crosswords is a skill that goes beyond being smart and well-informed. It involves having a brain that likes to store stray words and facts. Also understanding the structure of words. My wife likes to do crosswords but can’t do those late in the week. She usually likes Mondays but today’s bored her. Some of the clues were at the fourth-grade level. 14 D, “__ on the cob.”

kitshef 9:39 AM  

@Nancy - today's car clue was so simple even I could get it.

@Gill I - just think, if you had not had those adenoids removed then you, too, could have a net worth of $100 million.

@Lewis - I guess I knew there had to be someone out there who liked the "!" clues, but I never figured you for one of them.

Another Anon 9:47 AM  

@Anon 9:21. You misunderstood @Rex. Please read again if you care to.

Z 10:02 AM  

This played hard for a Monday, here. That is, I had to wait on multiple crosses several times.

I used to use my KEYS as a starting point for a brainstorming activity, so this theme started with a personal resonance that made me likely to like it. I get Rex’s point about FLORIDA, but what I like was that they are different KEYS, a KEY on an instrument, an island, a map legend, and a door KEY. American Heritage gives nearly 40 definitions, so this isn’t a complete set, but it is a rock solid group of various KEYS. The short fill seems pretty clean and fresh, well, as much as it can be when there is so much of it. I did spend a couple of nanoseconds pondering the MOHS/ohms/mohs TROIKA. I think there was a minor recurring character on Star Trek:TNG named Mr. Hom who would fit right in (dang, it was Homn).

@Joe Welling - I think the “in” part of “in profusion” signals an adverb.

@kitshef - Well said. Now just make a daily variation.

Anyone else disappointed that 1A wasn’t clued as “Caribbean country with a marina?”

Anonymous 10:03 AM  

@Another Anon 9:47. Rex says: "But FLORIDA ROOM ... I assume the room is named after the state, and the KEYS are in the state, so there's no real redirection. FLORIDA is FLORIDA is FLORIDA."

so it seems like he's never actually said the term "Florida Keys." Like he knows there's a Florida and that Florida has Keys, but the term seems to escape him. Just the way I read it.

JD 10:04 AM  

@Frantic, Uncanny. First, I got that name from the Anita Loos book that the movie was based on (and Marilyn nailed it). Second, I had a moment of geek confusion when Rex dissed it. More frequently, I use it as "... and pray tell me" when winding up a screed against a firmly stated absurdity that began with "wait, let me get my soap box."

KnittyContessa 10:27 AM  

As I was solving I thought it was a bit of a challenge for a Monday. I don't know why because I finished it quickly without any mistakes. I, too, never saw 56D so had no idea there was a theme until now. Does anyone use the term FLORIDA ROOM? I'm writing this from my New York room. Small, dark, with a view of other houses.

jberg 10:32 AM  

@Nancy said it all, just add that I loved TROIKA.

I guess you could use “postulate about the economic value of the creative class” to clue FLORIDA theory, but that’s too long to fit. Plus it’s not really called that.

Heat advisory today, have to make my dogwalk short.

TJS 10:35 AM  

I've heard the term "Florida room" used for years in real estate descriptions in Chicago. It's basically where you store all the patio furniture from October to April.

Thought this was a typical LL Monday, as well. Seemed to me that there was just a hint of increased difficulty as the puzzle worked from top to bottom,which I think of as an asset.

On to the archive.

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

since it was virtually at the end, the revealer was of no consequence. nevertheless (yes, one word), I don't remember an easier puzzle.

as to ATLAS ROCKET, that thing, per se, was used to lift the Mercury astronauts, and nucular missiles before that. the name has been used as a sorta prefix to later ones, but they have nothing to do with the ATLAS rocket, per se. for some decades, those faux ATLAS ROCKETs have actually been RUSSIAN devices. Da. buy American, hire American.

Nancy 10:41 AM  

If you’re an outlier than you have company! I rarely think of theme I just fill the grid. I loved this puzzle. Thought clues were clean & crisp.

David 10:58 AM  

Quick and easy with some smiles. Good Monday.

My only negative comment is for Will. Please Will, please, append your clues for the ubiquitous "GI"s with, "once upon a time," or "in the 40s" or something. Thanks.

Carola 10:58 AM  

Superb. I loved the creative array of KEYS, such a satisfying reveal after a truly puzzling quartet of theme answers. Plus a BABY BONNET and GREEK SALAD! I liked the nod to NASA, the ATLAS ROCKET having been the launch vehicle vehicle for the latest MARS mission and having been preceded in mission history, as @Lewis noted, by the TITAN. (@Lewis, I know you always like to look at the placement of entries: in mythological terms, I liked the fact that the Olympian MARS was over the conquered TITAN, with ATLAS, one of those conquered, beneath.)

egsforbreakfast 11:05 AM  

If you read Lynn Lempel’s notes, it almost seems as if she didn’t notice a theme until part way through constructing the 🧩. No wonder, then, that many solvers didn’t notice it either.

The fill was fine for a Monday, but the cluing was probably a bit easyish. The answer CORN has appeared 27 times in the Shortz era, but cob hasn’t been used in a clue for it since 1993. The last two times it has appeared on a Monday, the clues have been Hiker’s Woe and Syrup Source. Both require a slight pause as there are multiple possible answers. ________ on the cob doesn’t impose any such pause. There was a bit too much of this sort of cluing, even for a Monday.

Still, if the object is to instill confidence among beginners, this is a well-constructed piece.

It is said that Leibniz was the last man to know everything that humans knew. For him, perhaps all the clues would have seemed like ____on the cob!!!

maureenb 11:09 AM  


GaryMac 11:09 AM  

*** SB Alert ***
After eight days of frustration we finally get an easy one. QB in one sitting of about 30 minutes. Maybe I won't give up after all.

Yesterday SPOILERS below

@TTrimble - I missed both PATENTEE and NAMETAPE also, along with PECCANT. I've got to remember to try a EE add-on to just about anything where it might work. There have been other odd ones before.

Masked and Anonymous 11:09 AM  

Cute MonPuz. Ms. Lempel always makes a good one. Would really be neat to somehow hear about one of her rejected puzs, one time -- just to reassure us that nobody is perfecto.

A festive occasion, btw. Anniversary of the 500th NYTPuz with a "what the first words of the themers have in common" theme mcguffin. har

staff weeject pick: ARF, abuttin HOUNDS. Weeject placement. Very important.

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Farm building with a loft} = BARN. I kinda had it at "farm building", but I guess U sorta hafta rule out them SHEDs and SILOs and COOPs, moo-be?

Other clues that caught old M&A's eye:
* TITAN. Nice, puzzly clue about four letters from "giant".
* RAHRAH. The rare double-ally clue for a double-rah answer. Like.
* No ?-mark clues. No, no. U gotta have one example … so that U can train new solvers on how to think like a wily constructioneer/puzeditor. Distant learnin. Very important.


Thanx for the fun, Lynn Lempel darlin. U left yer car KEYS in the SE CLUE room, btw. Just in case U were wonderin.

Masked & Anonymo6Us


Anonymous 11:14 AM  

@Anon 10:36 - The ATLAS is a family of rockets, currently manufactured by Lockheed Martin in Decatur Ill, with the ATLAS V currently in service. The Atlas V is simply the latest in the long evolution of the ATLAS rocket.

Z 11:50 AM  

@Anon11:14 - @Anon10:36 isn’t completely off base. The first stage is a Russian rocket.

@anon10:03 - What? Your “explanation” pretty much proves @another anon’s point.

Speaking of anons - I’m still wondering if they misspoke yesterday or there’s a usage I’m unfamiliar with. It’s a word I’ve seen maybe 5 times ever, including yesterday’s use, so I’m curious.

Anonymous 11:51 AM  

He's heard of Florida Keys. What he said was that he's never heard of a Florida room.

TTrimble 11:58 AM  

I'd not heard that said about Leibniz. Any information on who says that? (Not that I would ever believe it.)

rosebud 12:04 PM  

Amusing puzzle, with reminders of things that make me happy; Florida keys, Adagio, Greek Salad, Barns, Figs & Odes...BUT fine gloves are NOT made from SUEDE! Fine gloves are made from deerskin. Suede gloves are just ordinary.

oldactor 12:15 PM  

Greek salad reminds me of when I was sitting at a small table outside of a small restaurant in Athens looking out at the Agora. I ordered a salad and asked that it be small (I hate to waste food).

When it came, it was a large plate with a couple of sliced cucumbers, two tomatoes, a dozen or so olives and a chunk of feta the size of two decks of cards.

I told the waiter,"This is much too big, I asked for a small".
He replied,"The problem is not with the salad, the problem is you are alone."

Ah, the Greeks!

Anonymous 12:20 PM  

you can look it up: any animal skin can be processed as SUEDE. my mink SUEDE shoes are perfect.

Jeff B. 12:30 PM  

Never heard a sun room referred to as a FLORIDAROOM. Must be done only in the northeast and midwest. As Nancy suggested, you wouldn't want one in Florida or other warm weather places.

bauskern 12:37 PM  

"But if there's one product of the Sunshine State that doesn't get the cred it deserves, it's this: The Florida Room. Popularized in the '50s and '60s, these sunny sanctuaries were born from the midcentury homeowners' desire for a place they could escape outdoors without actually being outdoors."

So we had a female constructor today, yet w/ BORG & ELWAY, and ATLAS ROCKETs & AHAB chasing the *gasp* great white whale. So I'm not sure why rex typically goes after WS for having too many male constructors. Did this puz skew "female" to anyone?

And what does 3-ish really mean? If rex is truly timing himself, will he *ever* fess up to a time that is slower than he thinks he should get? C'mon rex, we're all human, and we'll still love you just the same.

egsforbreakfast 12:47 PM  

TTrimble 11:58. Google “ The last man who knew everything”. Let me know what you think.

Swagomatic 12:49 PM  

Good, fun puzzle. We call in an ARIZONAROOM here.

Ernonymous 12:58 PM  

When I was a kid in the 60s, my grandmother, from New York, moved to Florida, and she had a Florida Room. It was a screened in porch. I loved her Florida Room. It was definitely a "thing" in those days.

Teedmn 1:10 PM  

Besides the A tOn before A LOT and seeing a hanK of hair on the salon floor, I didn't have any write-overs today so it was a typical Monday solve.

I just made Greek salad this past weekend - I am being overrun by ripe tomatoes in the garden. Bruschetta is next. I'm of the "no such thing as too much garlic" school of cooking so watch out!

I'm glad the 23D answer wasn't TRuples. I left that one alone for a while to see how it would fill in.

Thanks, Lynn Lempel, for the nice Monday theme!

Michael Page 1:12 PM  

Add me to the horde that never heard of a Florida Room. And I’m old. I didn’t realize there even was a theme until literally the last square, when I clicked on KEYS and went “why did those other answers turn yellow?” But thought it was a well-north-of-average themeless, very enjoyable

Havana Man 1:24 PM  

wait, _____ on the cob? have we come to that? People magazine puzzle stuff, no?

Barbara S. 1:53 PM  

The one NASA mission I had any association with (very tenuously) was launched with a Delta ROCKET, which unfortunately has the same number of letters as ATLAS. PRAY DO immediately brought to mind PRAY Tell, the character played by the ever-flamboyant Billy Porter on the TV series “Pose.” He won an Emmy for Best Actor last year. Love that show! I’ve never heard of FLORIDA ROOM north of the border. Sunroom, yes. And we probably do have a particular need for them up here. (Rats, I don’t have one.) I liked the notion that a HORDE is a large group *on the move*. I’m not sure it has to be on the move, but I like the picture. Certainly the Mongols were quite mobile, but I think a HORDE could gather somewhere and then stay there temporarily, such as at an outdoor venue (in pre- or post-COVID times).

Among the downs, I liked BORG beside ORG, HOUNDS beside ARF, and DRAMAS beside CORN. I liked that things are EASY as pie, but that we can’t have our CAKE and eat it, too.

BABY BONNET made me think of the adorable pair of pink knitted BABY booties I recently found in an ancient hoard of my mother’s stuff. They are so achingly sweet with their little satin ribbons, and they look like they’ve never been worn. And there’s no one to ask for the story.

@Gill I. (7:26)
How on earth did your tonsils survive the cull?

I hope everyone’s aware of the tragic shortage of DONOR ORGANs and how many lives are lost needlessly because of it. Become an ORGAN DONOR today!

***SB ALERT***
Yay! QB! And before 9 a.m.! Congrats to all my fellow-Buzzers today. My husband's theory is that whoever monitors SB stats was getting concerned that too many people were acing it, so they threw a bunch of killers at us last week. They've now softened us up with an easier one today, and the axe is going to truly fall tomorrow. (Thanks, Mr. S.)

Mansplainer 2:07 PM  

A PRAY DO is what Tammy Faye Bakker had.

Eniale 2:20 PM  

*SB* I'll gratefully take whatever they'll throw my way; it's only the second time I've reached QB! In about a month!

Anonymous 2:49 PM  

Atlas Rocket? Pfft. I don't care if it is in the puzzle. The only rocket worth discussing is the Saturn V. Its first stage alone makes it the greatest rocket ever. 7.9 Million lbf of thrust. And yeah there were still two more stages. It's the only rocket to ever carry man out of a low Earth orbit.

Everybody knows that. Even the rubes from the hustings right z?

tea73 3:18 PM  

TROIKA was a great answer and one of the reasons, my time set no records though I didn't find it hard.

I am old enough to remember FLORIDA ROOM as a fairly common phrase, but now almost everyone (including the building code) calls them sun rooms or occasionally three season porches - especially if you switch out screens for some kind of window when the seasons change.

I always here "PRAY DO" said with sort of an ironic tone of voice - I think it's still very much in the language. "Is it okay if I cut in front of you?" Sigh, eye roll. "Pray do."

Pamela 3:23 PM  

@Frantic- You nailed it- that’s how much of my brain power this puzzle took. There was stuff I didn’t know, but the crosses made everything so obvious it didn’t matter. When I got to the revealer, I thought, Oh, right, LOCK, KEY, but didn’t stop solving long enough to look for the other themers. I knew Rex would take care of it, and he did,

@Lewis. I always like seeing your lists, today no exception.

FLORIDA ROOM: i remember this fad well. I grew up in Massachusetts, in a small town a few miles not far from Boston. Every house has a screened-in porch. When the craze hit, people would use all sorts of things to enclose their porches- from sheets of heavy plastic to actual windows, lots of them. Some even added a little heat (if they could afford it), either via ductwork if it was practical, or a stand-alone. Then they would install wicker furniture with brightly patterned cushions and a bunch of tropical or semitropical plants and call it the Florida Room. They were usually chilly and drafty, really miserable affairs. Our next door neighbors had a Sun Room, which was different. That was a former porch that had been properly enclosed with windows, yes, but also with narrow walls and insulation all around them, so that it was a real year-round room.


QB today, in record time, as @TTrimble promised.

Yesterday I had PAEAN fairly early on, which I was quite happy about, but I was still 5 from QB when I left off. Glad I did. NAMETAPE seems like Green Paint. PATENTEE never occurred to me. Hmmm, something to remember, those E’s. The others words I missed are already forgotten again.

JC66 3:41 PM  

****SB ALERT****

When I wa a kid (65-70 years ago) and went away to summer camps, my mom sewed NAME TAPES into all my clothes (I still missed it).

Today, I'm a little confused. NYBee says there are 2 7's and 3 6's. I only have one each and I'm only 2 short of QB.I recounted numerous times. Anybody help?

JC66 3:45 PM  

****SB ALERT****

I just went back and, voila, got the second 6, so am I missing a 6 or a 7?

BZZZ 4:06 PM  

@JC66. There are indeed 2 7's and 3 6's. I don't know what else to say without spoiling.

JC66 4:15 PM  

****SB ALERT****

Thanks, @BZZZ

Well, I got QB with the second 7 and I now see the 6 I wasn't counting because the letters are so close together.

Triggered Hillbilly 4:52 PM  

CCNY was a giant middle finger to those of us in flyover country.

TTrimble 4:53 PM  

Hi @egs,

I googled for "the last man who knew everything", and the top hits point to Amazon as a vendor of a biography of Thomas Young (not Leibniz). A little further down, another candidate is given as an obscure clergyman named Sabine Baring-Gould. Maybe I was looking in the wrong place?

Anyway, it's evident that any such claim must be taken with a large grain of indulgence. I had pooh-poohed Leibniz because, despite his greatness and sweep and scope, he still strikes me as dilettantish when placed next to his contemporary Newton. In other words, in my last comment, I hadn't swallowed that grain as perhaps I should have.

If pressed, I'd put up Borges's fictional character Funes (a haunting story that is).

Xcentric 5:26 PM  

Nice Monday puzzle. Fun theme. Very little dreck in the fill.
Clue for revealer was pretty obvious, so I don’t know how you miss it.
Florida room is definitely a thing, but probably not where Rex lives.
Ms. Lempel, pray do make us another.

Joaquin 6:51 PM  

Someone here needs to start a Spelling Bee blog. These "SB Alerts" are a PIA.

JC66 8:07 PM  

****SB ALERT****


1. You forgot the "T"

2. The reason they say SB Alert is to make them easy to skip, if you choose to do so.

3. Agree, it would be nice to have an SB blog, but based on the percentage of commenters here who are into SB, I doubt it's going to happen any time soon.

egsforbreakfast 8:10 PM  


Here is excerpt from a review of The Last Man Who Knew Everything by Mike Hockney:

Three hundred years ago, it was still possible for an intelligent person to have read all of the books that constituted the whole knowledge base of the world.

Three hundred years ago, most intelligent people in the world believed that the world was a holistic, living organism of some kind, imbued with mind and divinity: matter was alive (hylozoism), or mind was everywhere (panpsychism), or God was involved in everything, everywhere (theism), or God and Nature were one (pantheism). A hundred years later, the world had become immensely specialized and complex, and the world was increasingly viewed by intelligent people as a vast, purposeless, clockwork mechanism. Either there was no God (atheism), or he was an extremely remote God of Rational Laws (deism) and not of revelation and personal salvation.

Leibniz was the last genius to truly know everything and to accept that the universe was an organism rather than a machine. It was a very special type of organism - a mathematical organism.

Leibniz had another secret claim to fame – he was the author of the Illuminati’s Grand Unified Theory of Everything based on pure “nothing”. He created an entire universe out of a “Big Bang” singularity comprising infinite “monads” (zeros), each with infinite energy capacity.

This is the story of the first mathematical Theory of Everything, which remains valid to this day as the true explanation of reality.

Leibniz’s monads have one last, incredible secret to reveal: they are actually souls!

TTrimble 11:18 PM  


Thanks very much! Pretty wild stuff!

I didn't know about Mike Hockney (a pseudonym) and his (let's say his) extensive fringe-philosophy writings. Those are rabbit holes I'm not really inclined to tunnel through, nor do I feel up to mounting a considered response to something I just learned about 15 minutes ago, but my main gut reaction is wonderment at someone, or perhaps a few people, creating such a vast corpus of thought that is simultaneously so creative and so touchingly naive ("the true explanation of reality").

At least what is meant by the phrase "the last man who knew everything" has been clarified, although, FWIW, I don't find it satisfactory to say that "knowledge" is constituted on the basis of certain texts, necessarily contingent and incomplete. Again, take that as a gut reaction from an "amateur epistemologist" (for lack of a better phrase at this late-ish hour).

thefogman 9:17 AM  

No erasures. Decent Monday puzzle. PS - 35D PRAYDO was one letter away from being: Religious toy clay - Pray Doh

rondo 10:06 AM  

Well, the first time I heard of FLORIDAROOM was c.1990 when I was visiting my aunt and uncle in FLORIDA. In their retirement park it seemed the FLORIDAROOM was the one stick-built on a concrete slab and attached to the mobile home. Don’t recall if it was any more sunny than the rest of the place, just extra ROOM, like a sunken living room, as more living space. 99% of the lots there had one. So that’s FLORIDAROOM to me, wouldn’t want one in MN.

The image of that wrecking ball won’t go away. No longer a wild-“child” Miley CYRUS gets a yeah baby.

Monday EASY CLUEs and puz.

Burma Shave 11:07 AM  


OOH, I have a HUNCH she didn’t LOCK it:
The CLUE was RAHRAH CLAPs RANG out when ‘Zoom’,


spacecraft 11:30 AM  

Education Never Stops dep't.: FLORIDAROOM?? ATLAS KEYS???? Until today, I had never heard of these. This was another one of those theme puzzles where I didn't have a clue what the theme was until the very end. And even then: what in blazes are ATLAS KEYS? Is it a brand name? Yikes!

So it was at least informative. Always something to like about a Lempel puzzle. Not much else to say; bummed out by the Eagles loss after being up 17-0. Par.

Diana, LIW 2:41 PM  

@Spacey - I think you're overthinking. According to Mr. Google, who confirmed my own thoughts:
"The index, which is in alphabetical order, helps you find the page for specific information. The most important part of an atlas is the map key. The map key, which is also called the map legend, is a little box on each map that explains different symbols or colors so you can understand the map."

Florida Rooms are common in warmer climes - SoCal, Florida, etc. Think lanai.

I do love Mondays - and especially when LL shows up!

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for fun with Crosswords

leftoaster 3:36 PM  

Be warned, "Leaving KEYS in parked CARS, including KIAs, makes them EASY targets for felonious THEFT.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP