Portrait painter Rembrandt / MON 10-19-20 / Catkin-producing tree / Percussion instrument made from gourd / White-plumed wader

Monday, October 19, 2020

Constructor: Fred Piscop

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (2:47)

THEME: "... in the comics" — clues refer to visual representations of (mostly) invisible phenomena "in the comics":

Theme answers:
  • STORM CLOUD (16A: Anger, in the comics)
  • WAVY LINES (15D: Odor, in the comics)
  • LIGHT BULB (26D: Idea, in the comics)
  • SWEAT DROPS (59A: Nervousness, in the comics)
Word of the Day: Rembrandt PEALE (48D: Portrait painter Rembrandt ___) —
Rembrandt Peale (February 22, 1778 – October 3, 1860) was an American artist and museum keeper. A prolific portrait painter, he was especially acclaimed for his likenesses of presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Peale's style was influenced by French Neoclassicism after a stay in Paris in his early thirties. (wikipedia)
• • •

I love comics. I teach comics. I'm teaching a course on comics now, and I will teach another one in the spring. Thematically, this should be right up my alley. And it was, in the sense that the answers were all pretty easy to get. But there's a listlessness to the execution here. You know what would've been super cool? Well, it's likely impossible for the NYT to do this easily, but this puzzle is just screaming for visual clues. Like, work with the Charles Schulz estate and just use a series of single panels for your theme clues ... somehow. 

That would be really innovative. As it is, "in the comics" just doesn't cut it. I mean, it's accurate enough, but all this puzzle does is make me wish I was reading comics. Also, it really feels like STORM CLOUDs are more commonly used to represent depression, sadness, or general sadsackery than anger. 

Did you know that the unpronounceable symbols used to represent swearing in comics are called GRAWLIX? Why hasn't *that* been in a crossword puzzle!? I mean, besides its relative obscurity. It's a truly great word. 

I mostly filled this one in as fast as I could read the clues / type. Hesitations for long-ass clues (e.g. 10D: In answer to request "Talk dirty to me," she sometimes says "The carpet needs vacuuming") (SIRI), slight forgetfulness (e.g. needing a bunch of crosses to remember MARACA (17D: Percussion instrument made from a gourd)), inexplicable blanking (e.g. couldn't remember EGRET??? Even after getting the "E"??? Actually considered EIDER for a half-second????) (65A: White-plumed wader), and, finally, in a single instance, absolutely positively not knowing something—namely, the portrait painter Rembrandt PEALE, who looks an awful lot like Hume Cronyn in "Shadow of a Doubt"

Anyway, Rembrandt PEALE seems pretty Saturdayish for a Monday (or any day, I guess). I know only one Rembrandt—the actually famous one. The actual Monday one. So I needed every cross there. But that's it for trouble. Hope it's a lovely autumn day where you are, and that you are able to enjoy it. Take care.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Frantic Sloth 12:03 AM  

Easy-peasy, make mine cheesy!

What a wonderful Mondee puzzle for the toe-dippers!

The tight theme was cute and fun, and the fill was a good combination of simple, typical crosswordeasiness and an occasional little gotcha - challenging if you're new to the biz, but not overly so you'd give up.

And, of course, cartoons! This one was a giddy-up slip 'n' slide from beginning to end.

BTW, gave 10D a whirl and whaddya know? The carpet does need vacuuming.


@bocamp from yesterday - sorry I missed your cry for help, but between you and @Nancy, it appears you got it all worked out! Hope it proves worthwhile for you. 👍

Joaquin 12:11 AM  

Rembrandt PEALE is definitely a Friday or Saturday name. Monday's PEALE is Norman Vincent. And Emma Peel is good on any day.

bocamp 12:21 AM  

Thx, @Fred for this Monday puz filled with diversity and emotion. I enjoyed every minute of it! :)

Ave. Monday time.

Started out well in the NW and didn't look back. No holdups, other than a quick stop at the "Earle" / "Peale" cross. "L" was the only letter that made sense, so a successful Monday to kick off the week.

"Steve Earle" - Guitar Town

Peace Salam ειρήνη Paix Frieden Pace friðr Paz Fred 平和 🕊

Pamela 12:39 AM  

OK, so I didn’t know Peale. But every other word was so straightforward as clued that it didn’t matter a bit. 2 2/3 Rexes.

jae 1:08 AM  

Very easy, even after I tracked down a typo I was still faster than my typical Mon. Smooth and solid. Liked it. Jeff thought it was on the tough side because of the OPEL/EARLE/PEALE area, and he may be right for a new solver.

chefwen 2:24 AM  

I also love comics, get a passel of them delivered to my email every day. Don’t get the newspaper anymore as they shrunk it in half and raised the price 40%. Go Comics here I come.

We have a lot of cattle EGRETs here, they swoop around and follow the grass cutting paths, looking for centipedes and the like. I keep hoping I won’t run over one. It’s fun to see them hitching rides on the backs of our cattle and keeping them clean of bugs.

Inspired by Thursday’s puzzle I made mini CUBAN sandwich sliders for game day. The sliders were a winner, unlike the sorry Packers. Sniff...

Good start to the week.

Adam12 3:03 AM  

Enjoyed this for a Monday. FYI Feb 9, 2020 was a visual emoji Sunday themer, Rex didn’t like that one either. Go figure.

Anonymous 5:08 AM  

A real Monday puz, easy as pie, over too soon. Thanks for starting my week so nicely, Fred!

Frantic Sloth 5:15 AM  

@Frantic They are comics, you idiot - not cartoons. Honestly, I can't take you anywhere. 🙄

Hungry Mother 6:02 AM  

Superfast, but no PR. PEALE was a wag. Accidentally found SB this morning.

ChuckD 6:14 AM  

I’ll put this in the workmanlike category - fine for a Monday. Nice, tight theme and decent fill. I would agree that the PEALE x EARLE cross might be much for new solvers not anticipating those two. Have never used SIRI so that was new but liked STOLID crossing SNIPE.

Years ago when I used to survey large properties in the forests and hills upstate - I had to become proficient in identifying trees in order to describe benchmarks, stations etc. It was nice seeing an old friend today - my particular favorite being the Speckled ALDER.

Lewis 6:22 AM  

This puzzle is so smooth it’s easy to glide over how good a Monday it is. Where all the answers, save maybe STOLID and PEALE, are deeply in the language, where the clues in general are easy but not kids’ stuff, where the theme is colorful and interesting, and where after getting one theme answer, the solver is motivated to figure out the others.

Here the new solver has a decent chance of success and feeling good about having to work some toward it – the same feeling a veteran solver gets at end-of-the-week puzzles. Here the new solver begins to develop skills that will hone over time.

Speaking of veterans, Fred has 152 NYT puzzles, and he lets his experience shine here, with this jewel for starting solvers. Bravo, sir!

Frantic Sloth 6:22 AM  

After reading Rex and going down the GRAWLIX rabbit hole, thought I'd pick up a little copy of Mort Walker's 108 page "The Lexicon of Comicana" or get a Kindle version, maybe. Alas, the cheapest one I found was $425. So...never mind.

OFL makes a dead-on point about STORMCLOUDs being "more commonly used to represent depression, sadness, or general sadsackery than anger" and it cheeses me to realize I should have noticed that and, of course, did not.

(Off-topic aside: I see a chunk o' mac & cheese in my future.)

Also that Rembrandt Cronyn/Hume PEALE thing was cool, if a skosh creepy.

@Pamela 1239am Dude. Why you gotta math? And with fractions no less! 🤕😉
Queen snakes, gully cats, and hedge toads - oh, my!

Lewis 6:26 AM  

Off topic – a recommendation. Last night I watched (on HBO) “American Utopia”, Spike Lee’s film of “American Utopia”, David Byrne’s (of Talking Heads) concert performance that had a limited run (four months) at the Hudson Theater, which ended shortly before covid. The film runs for an hour and 45 minutes.

OMG. Byrne is accompanied by 11 remarkable first-rate musicians from around the world, and the music is infectious and exhilarating. I, who had never heard most of the songs, was captivated, enchanted. Then there was the choreography, Byrnesian, which means a bit robotic, but still loosy-goosy and gorgeous to watch. The song, movement, lighting, and patter wove together in a don’t-want-to-miss-a-moment performance that was perfectly captured by Lee, who used 11 cameramen, none who are seen on screen.

This was, IMO, a gift and remedy for these stay-at-home times. If you can, watch it!

GILL I. 6:33 AM  

Well I was an art major and all I wanted to do after 8 hours of sleep was stuff RIJN down in the 48 slot. He didn't fit...damn. Oh...it's that PEALE guy.
What's the difference between comics and cartoons? I'm serious. I feel like LEE Harper and want to kill a mockingbird. When I'm bored, I'll draw some little cartoons that look nothing like I want...EEK. My son loved reading comic; he read all the DC ones and I didn't think they were as funny as Calvin and Hobbes. Will someone please tell Jim Davis that Garfield is dead...
We have WINE, we have ARTS, we have BAR, we have ALE and toss in the LEGUMES for some munchies. A Monday EPITOME. AND....@chefwen made mini Cuban sandwiches????? They can't be mini...they have to be a foot long.....Tiny ham and tiny pork and tiny Swiss? SWEAT DROPS poring down the jowls.

Z 6:42 AM  

I know Steve EARLE so I missed the natick at the PEALE crossing, but that is definitely going to sink some people. Steve EARLE is critically acclaimed and all, but his new haircut is never going to trend on Twitter (I learned this morning that Harry Styles got one, along with the Dodgers win and a whole lot of Bolivia giving Elon Musk the old 3rd). It could have been worse since at least it is a consonant, but names are notoriously random so people might still get reduced to a guess.

Interesting that anger and depression get represented by the same symbol in comics. Almost as if there’s a deep connection between those emotions or something. I agree with Rex that the theme cluing felt a little flat. I like his “use comics” idea even if it is technologically challenging for both the paper (probably have to take more than the usual ¼ page) and software (do any of the apps even have the ability to display an image?).

Favorite word in the puzzle is EPITOME just for its four syllableness. You have to respect a word that refuses to play by the rules (a final E is silent and makes the proceeding vowel long) and says “No! Say all my letters.” Way to be you.

@Anon late - Sorry, I turned on the baseball game at 8:00 (although I went to bed after the 7th - bad base-running always makes me tired), so missed Cane River (and your suggestion to watch it). I can stream TCM so will try to watch. Sounds interesting.

Z 7:06 AM  

@Gill I - Are you familiar with Garfield minus Garfield? As to your “what’s the difference” question (👋🏽@Frantic Sloth) I don’t think there is any real consensus. “Cartoon” comes from the art world where it once meant preliminary drawing, but a quick google search will turn up people adamantly declaring some distinction or other immediately followed by someone else adamantly asserting the opposite. If it’s ever important to really understand what someone means you just have to ask.

@Lewis - I’ve seen various videos on YouTube, but was torn last night between Byrne and baseball. Baseball won because I can catch Byrne today (although that base running gaffe is making me question my decision).

kitshef 7:06 AM  

What the grawlix is ths new trend of crossing obscure names on a &@%%! Monday?!?!? Today, it was PEALE/EARLE. PEALE rings a very tiny bit of a bell somewhere. EARLE I am absolutely certain I have never in my life heard. And of course PEALE also crossed OPEL which was iffy for me. Really, that one little section was more of a Friday than a Monday.

Eric NC 7:07 AM  

Black cloud before Storm cloud. Think I’m more correct. Crosses disillusioned me.

pabloinnh 7:35 AM  

@chefwen-I'm tempted to believe that we used to subscribe to the same paper, but I find that unlikely. Anyway, I'm doing the same thing. What's interesting is that I'm offered a long list of possibilities and wind up reading the same strips I used to, with a couple of different ones. Old habits and all that.

Thought this was a very nice Monday. An unknown or two should not baffle beginners--I'm still learning some new crosswordese after (coughs) years. Part of the fun.

Nice one, FP. The work of an old pro is obvious.

And now I await the daily Z vs. (some)Anon cage match.

Blackhat 7:41 AM  

14 names, ZERO foreign words. (One is a ridiculous amount, the other is how all english x-words should be...)

Karl Grouch 7:47 AM  

@Z 6:42
EPITOME is good but EPISCOPE is better

Z 7:56 AM  

@kitshef - Tiny Desk Steve EARLE - “We used to make records for girls. Now we make them for nerds. It’s complicated.” Anyway, @bocamp linked to what is probably EARLE’s most famous song while this link captures more of his essence, I think.

@pabloinnh - it’s always the same anon...

@Karl Grouch - That’s a new word for me. Merriam-Webster claims it is a rule follower.

kitshef 8:05 AM  

Thank you for the links @bocamp and @Z. Confirms I have never heard of this person, and now I sincerely hope I will never hear of him again.

Also, calliope.

Norma & Peter 8:13 AM  


ow a paper cut 8:13 AM  

I had to guess at the intersection of EARLE and PEALE.

Norma & Peter 8:13 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
pabloinnh 8:23 AM  

Also, synecdoche.

Anonymous 8:29 AM  

Those people look nothing alike other than they’re old white guys with similar glasses.

andrew 8:30 AM  

Why not at least clue the theme via famous characters? Pigpen for odor, etc.

Moxer 8:40 AM  

Easy even for a Monday. As we used to say in the 60’s, “made in the shade.” But fun to do.

OffTheGrid 8:40 AM  

I aver that EARLE/PEARLE is not a natick. First, the crosses to get all but "L" are fair. Second, it isn't necessary to know the individuals. We have all heard of EARLE and PEALE as names and no other letter but "L" is plausible for that square. Even if you have to run the alphabet in your head, the correct answer becomes obvious.

Karl Grouch 8:44 AM  

@Z 7:56,
Indeed it is.
My post was a pun vis-a-vis the constructor's name..

Nancy 8:58 AM  

Very easy, but I did have one big hiccup that cost me time.

Tell me, doesn't an ALDEN sound more like a tree than an ALDER? Doesn't ALDEN look more like a tree when you write it down? No? My bad, I suppose, but I really thought it did. Anyway, this gave me ON something for "arranged alphabetically, e.g." and that perplexed me for a bit until OnDERED came in completely. "Oh, now I see," I said to myself.

As for the comics shortcut representations: I don't read comics, but these are in the zeitgeist. I knew them all upfront except for STORM CLOUD. It's a cute theme, but do I wish the puzzle had been clued more obliquely. These on-the-nose clues didn't produce nearly enough SWEAT DROPS.

OffTheGrid 9:05 AM  


Sybil DiScourse 9:07 AM  

@frantic sloth 5:15...your remarks directed to that early AM fellow blogger are rather mean.....just sayin

Sixthstone 9:21 AM  

YES to this puzzle. Easy, fun theme, and ZERO crosswordese, bad fill.

YES to Steve Earle. He is the best of country, folk, americana.

YES to @Lewis's recommendation. David Byrne and company are amazing.

YES to a great Monday start.

(I accept a small Natick at Peale/Earle, but workable nonetheless.)

EdFromHackensack 9:24 AM  

OffTheGrid, I agree with you 100%. The cross or EARLE/PEALE is NOT a Natick. You are using the term incorrectly if you think so. People use the word “Natick” too liberally here.

Glenn Patton 9:35 AM  

@Frantic Sloth: do a Google search for "lexicon of comicana downloads" and you'll get several options to download a PDF version.

Lewis 9:41 AM  

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

1. Ones coming for a ride? (4)(3)
2. Whirled powers? (8)
3. Most valuable player awards? (5)
4. Paper alternative to plastic (4)
5. Overseer of millions at work, perhaps (3)


mathgent 10:01 AM  

Good week for clever cluing. Thanks, Lewis.

I agree with Nancy. The cluing needed to be smartened up.

Did Trimble walk off in a huff?

Nancy and I are city people. Alders? Catkins?

Whatsername 10:24 AM  

Interesting Monday and a real good one for the newbies. I especially like that that themers went both down and across, and most anyone who’s ever read a comic book or watched Saturday morning cartoons ought to be able to figure out the answers. I thought surely Rex would love this, a crossword featuring both comics and baseball, but no. Wrong again.

Speaking of the OVAL Office, SNL did a terrific job of skewing both candidates equally Saturday night. It’s a bit lengthy at 12 minutes but the funniest part is at the very end. Here’s their hilarious version of Dueling Town Halls

RooMonster 10:34 AM  

Hey All!
To me, comics are the drawn/non-moving kind, cartoons are the animated/on TV/movies kind. My take.

Liked this puz, found it super-easy, even the problem name trifecta spot. Took me 2.5 Rexes, which is fast for me. (I did the math on the calculator!) Fast even by MonPuz standards.

Plenty of EZ-E clues for @M&A to choose from. My choice is "___ and crafts". Curious to see if he agrees.

I've been wondering how one teaches Comics, as Rex. I know there are nuances and such, but to make a living out of it? Seems sketchy, but ultimately nice! Har. Is the teaching based on different time frames? Different genres? How they change over time? Or looking for the hidden items in a Bizzaro comic?

Clean fill, which is nice. IAM about the worst of it. I say all the time, every puz has dreck, but this one comes *this* close to being totally free. Tough to do.

One F

jberg 10:45 AM  

I do see the point about Rembrandt PEALE on a Monday. They should have clued his brother Rubens instead. But it was still the only interesting word in the puzzle.

@Pabloinnh, I don’t often say synecdoche out loud, but I think it does have a silent letter.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 10:47 AM  

I thought I knew Rembrandt Peale because the Boston Museum of Fine Arts had a gallery of Founding Fathers that you used to have to walk through to get to anything, and I thought he contributed to it -- but turns out it was his father, Charles Willson Peale, who in addition to young Rembrandt had sons named Raphaelle Peale, Rubens Peale and Titian Peale.

Z 10:47 AM  

@Karl Grouch - Whoosh right over my head. Good one.

@kitshef and @pabloinnh - Very respectable words. Seems like a potential theme to me. Maybe with an OPE rebus and an Opie revealer.

@offthegrid and @EdFromHackensack - PEAwE, PEArE, PEAtE, PEApE, PEAsE, PEAgE, PEAkE, PEAcE, PEAvE, PEAnE, PEAmE. EARwE, EARrE, EARtE, EARpE, EARsE, EARgE, EARkE, EARcE, EARvE, EARnE, EARmE, EARmE. Please explain how any of these are not plausible last names. Here’s what the coiner of “natick” writes; natick is shorthand for an unguessable cross, esp. where the cross involves two proper nouns, neither of which is exceedingly well known. Two proper nouns. Neither exceedingly well known. Crossing at a spot where 12 of 26 letters are at least a little plausible. Seems fairly textbook, especially on a Monday. I might agree with @Sixthstone about Steve EARLE, but even Steve EARLE himself is self-deprecating about his fame in that link I shared.

Sgreennyc 11:04 AM  

The idea of “teaching” comics is ridiculous and takes away the very thing that makes them indispensable to kids. Not surprised that Professor Rex would be involved in this as he can suck the fun out of just about anything.

tkincher 11:08 AM  

I know and love comics and have somehow never encountered the term GRAWLIX until today! Thanks for that one!

TTrimble 11:16 AM  


I'm breaking my self-imposed quarantine from the blog commentary just to respond to your query. No, certainly not in a huff. I just got a sense that the noise coming from me was getting to be disruptive for some (especially veterans), and so I thought that I'd better cool it for a while -- I was thinking a month. (Plus I shouldn't be here anyway because the work I have these days is massive.) I thought I'd just lurk for a while, and stick to enjoying reading the comments.

Thanks for asking.

Nancy 11:16 AM  

Very funny SNL skit, @Whatsername. I missed it first time around and I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks for the link.

Re the EARLE/PEALE cross. Though I didn't know either one of them, I didn't complain because, while there are many possible PEA?Es, there only seemed to be one possible EARLE.

Joe Dipinto 11:16 AM  

Searching in the sun for another overload

@Rex → this puzzle is just screaming for visual clues

*This* puzzle, specifically? So, you mean, like, show a comic strip panel with a light bulb above someone's head to clue the answer LIGHT BULB? Oh, yeah, that'd be so much better.

I think the Peale clue is fine for any day of the week with those crossings. This was a meatier-than-usual Monday puzzle, which I liked. Fred Piscop constructs the Split Decisions variety puzzles now, and I think they're better than they used to be.

How *did* @Rex make that connection to Hume Cronyn, I wonder – the resemblance is uncanny but that's not what he usually looked like. The movie must be one of @Rex's favorites.


Joe Dipinto 11:46 AM  

@Sybil DiScourse 9:07 – @FranticSloth has an evil twin who posted at 5:15 to call her sister an idiot. Don't get in the middle of it.

Frantic Sloth 11:52 AM  

@Sybil 907am Of course, you're right. But I've had it with her.
OTOH, I'm seeing others' point about the two terms being kinda interchangeable, so my bad. 😕
Then again, OTOOH, @Roo 1034am offers the differentiation I was probably thinking about when I attacked that jamoke FS.
Obviously, my opinions remain intractable. Not.

@Glenn Patton 935am Thank you! I'll give that a stab. Naturally(because I'm me), I didn't think to include "download" in my original searches. 🙄

@mathgent 1001am In case you're really asking...I wouldn't say it was a "huff" as much as a "hurt" or some similar form of disenchantment. That was my take anyway, and it saddens me. He did mention he'd still be lurking though, so there's that.

@jberg 1045am One should never say synecdoche out loud - at least in polite society - but, which silent letter do you mean? The "h"?

bocamp 11:52 AM  

@Frantic Sloth 12:03 AM - 👍

The "tenor" choir cycle: sang "tenor" in jr. hi, tenor/baritone in h.s., bass in community college and back to tenor (barbershop falsetto) in college. Now I sing whatever part moves me. LOL

@Lewis 9:41 AM - Once again, your top 5 is right on!

@OffTheGrid 8:40 AM - Agreed! Especially on a Monday; the only "guessable" "inferable" letter would be "L" (based on relatively "common" surnames). Any other letter for those two crossing names would be unacceptable on a Monday or Tuesday. All bets are off on late-week puzzles, and anything but an "L" would, IMO, be a true Natick.

Peace Salam ειρήνη Paix Frieden Pace friðr Paz Fred 平和 🕊

Frantic Sloth 11:52 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sir Hillary 12:11 PM  

Best part about this puzzle was Rex's write-up, particularly his on-point argument about cluing the themers with actual comic pictures. Then, out of nowhere, he notices the resemblance of Rembrandt PEALE to Hume Cronyn in and old film, which made me laugh out loud. Absolutely top-class work.

Agree the PEALE/EARLE cross is a bit much for a Monday. No issue here because I know of Steve EARLE. I'm actually a much bigger fan of his son, Justin Townes EARLE, who recently passed away at age 38 after seemingly getting to a place in his life where he had finally conquered his demons (many of which afflicted his dad). In 2011 he gave what I consider the best musical performance ever on David Letterman's show -- a terrific song with killer guitar work courtesy of Jason Isbell, a stand-up bass, gospel-y background vocals and even Paul Schaffer sitting in effectively. RIP, JTE.

Slow Motion 12:12 PM  

If you haven’t been introduced to Steve Earle, try Guitar Town and Copperhead Road. Very different, two sides of a genius.

Barbara 12:14 PM  

Ok all of you Crossword experts. Nice that you found it so easy. I did not understand soandos. The dictionary doesn't know it. Could you please explain it?


Z 12:16 PM  

@TTrimble - I must have missed whatever you wrote that could have been considered disruptive. Do whatever you need to do, but I enjoyed your comments. If it ever seemed otherwise I apologize.

@Frantic Sloth wrote @jberg 1045am One should never say synecdoche out loud - at least in polite society - but, which silent letter do you mean? The "h"? to which I point out that it is perfectly okay to say “synecdoche” out loud in both Schenectady and Rye, NY.

Z 12:19 PM  

@Barbara - I’d be a real SO AND SO if I didn’t.

Masked and Anonymous 12:28 PM  

Didn't know PEALE. Knew EARLE. Can adjust that area, if desired:
47-A: OREL
65-A: EGEST.
But now solver kinda needs to know OREL Hershiser, instead.

No JKQXorZ today. Scrabble-shirkin!
No ?-mark clues today. Maybe needed a dash more feistiness.

Luved the theme. Luv them old comic books. Fave comic symbol was a thought-balloon over Uncle $crooge, featurin a coin with wings on it. Suggestin a realized money loss.
Some brave themers: STORMCLOUD & LIGHTBULB. Each has four consonants in a row. Often makes fillin the crossers more challengin, for the constructioneer. But, thought the fillins were generally pretty smoooth, today.

staff weeject picks: IDO & IAM. As in: "I do, therefore I am."

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {President George or George W.} = BUSH, right outta the rodeo chute. Thought @Roo also had an excellent selection, tho.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Piscop. Nice, smoooth fill job, and cute theme. Pics woulda been nice, as @RP brought up. Shoot, even runtpuzs can do pics [thanx to @r.alph]. Maybe M&A'll do a comics-oriented demo, soon...

Masked & Anonymo4Us


MofromLI 12:32 PM  

Learned a new word today...#%*€?! (Grawlix)

mathgent 12:36 PM  

@TTrimble (11:16). Happy to hear that you’ll be back. I’m a veteran and I enjoy your posts. You write beautifully and you know a lot of mathematics.

Barbara 12:44 PM  

Z -- head slap! Why didn't I see that? Color my cheeks red.

Nancy 12:51 PM  

I regret to say that the entire "synecdoche" conversation -- polite society, silent letters, et al -- being carried out by certain posters today is sailing right over my head. In fact, language maven that I am, I actually had to look up the word just now. (Please, please, don't ever let on to Loren.) But at least I found out what it means. So now I'm staring at the puzzle and trying to find some antecedent -- clue? answer? -- to the word synecdoche. I even went back to [gasp] read Rex and I still don't see the precipitating cause. Is it in the puzzle or is it in one of the early comments? Please enlighten, anyone who can, though you needn't use a LIGHT BULB. Thank you.

bocamp 12:56 PM  

@Z 12:16 PM - Is Schenectady a synecdoche? or could it not be?

Peace Salam ειρήνη Paix Frieden Pace friðr Paz Fred 平和 🕊

old timer 1:00 PM  

Definitely Easy Peasy lemon squeezy for me. But I knew Steve Earle, the bad boy of roots and country music. Not only wrote Copperhead Road, he wrote the best Irish song ever written by an American, Galway Girl. If you Google it, you will find a video of the entire city singing along to that song, which of course has been adopted by many Irish musical groups. "I ask you please, what would you do, if her hair was black and her eyes were blue?"

bocamp 1:06 PM  

@TTrimble 11:16 AM - Here's wishing you all the best with your workload. Looking forward to your speedy return! 🤞

pangrammatic I am 😉

Peace Salam ειρήνη Paix Frieden Pace friðr Paz Fred 平和 🕊

sanfranman59 1:09 PM  

@Barbara ... see Merriam-Webster

Teedmn 1:10 PM  

Steve Earle first came to my attention when he wrote an anti-war album during the G.W. BUSH years. He also had a recurring part in "The Wire" and sang the fifth season's version of the theme song (written by Tom Waits). Thus, 62A was a gimme and saved me from trying to splatz Rembrandt PEAcE or somesuch in at 48D.

This was a nice theme. I won't get all PEEVISH but I agree with @Nancy and @math gent that the cluing lacked wordplay. Thanks, Joe Piscop, for an easy Monday.

Unknown 1:19 PM  

If folks limited themselves to three posts per day, the world would be a sweeter place. At least there aren't any SB posts to fill up the space.

I thought this was a super easy Monday, perfect for newbies, but the PEALE clue, I positively think, could be clued better.

JC66 1:24 PM  


Hurry back. You'll be missed.

Sharon Ak 1:27 PM  

I was surprised at the assertions that crossing Earle and Peale and Opel was more Friday than Monday. I don't even try Fridays but I found it easy. Wanted aa different Rembrandt at first read, but a cross or two brought Peal up from somewhere in my memory. and Earle who was never in my memory, came easily from crosses.
Thought it was easy for a Monday and a pleasant Monday puzzle.

Nancy 1:29 PM  

I adore Irish music, so I went to YouTube to find Steve EARLE's "Galway Girl". The problem is that Steve has a voice like sandpaper. He makes Dylan sound like Pavarotti. So back I went to find someone, anyone, else to sing it. I found someone named Mundy accompanied by someone named Shannon and it's a lovely rendition of a quite lively, melodic and infectious song. So props to you, Steve EARLE for writing it. The writer always being more important to me than the performer, I forgive you everything, Steve -- just as long as I never, ever have to listen to you sing again.*

*Hi, @kitshef.

sharon ak 1:37 PM  

@Frantic Your 5:15 post brought a big smile.

@blackhat 7:41 You seem to be seeing double. Even after I found Lola which I'd completely missed - filled in by crosses - I could only count 7 names

kitshef 1:42 PM  


Whatsername 1:55 PM  

@TTrimble (11:16) You’re not noisy, just chatty. As my grandad used to say, take your time but hurry back.

@Nancy (11:16) Glad you enjoyed that. The entire show was one of the funniest SNLs I’ve seen in a long time.

Vance1958 2:32 PM  

And aren’t sweat drops called Plewds in comic-ese?

Anonymous 2:37 PM  

So and so
Rather than use a "bad" word, you call a bad person a "so and so"

Joe Dipinto 2:40 PM  

@Nancy – Z said EPITOME (in the puzzle) has no silent E and pronounces all its letter then Kitshef said so does CALLIOPE (not in the puzzle) then Pablo said so does SYNECDOCHE (not in the puzzle) then jberg said SYNECDOCHE (not in the puzzle) does have a silent letter then Frantic Sloth said which letter do you mean? then Kitshef said so does ANTIGONE (not in the puzzle). TTrimble said nothing.

Try to keep up.

JC66 2:44 PM  

@Joe D

LOL...but no song?

Barbara S. 2:44 PM  


The subject of pronouncing or not pronouncing final letter Es takes me back to the 4th grade when I was asked to read aloud to the class a paragraph in our textbook concerning the country of Chile. Well, I knew the rules of pronunciation, yes I did, so I read out in ringing tones the first sentence about this interesting-sounding nation whose name rhymed (I thought) with "file." And couldn't for the life of me imagine why my classmates were all falling off their chairs. The teacher said to me very quietly "Chee-lay," and I swear my first inclination was to argue with her: THAT'S *NOT* how you pronounce words with final letter Es -- they're silent!! Ah well, live and learn.

RooMonster 2:49 PM  


RooMonster Always Wish Envelope Rhymed With That Name Guy

Barbara S. 2:57 PM  

Hey @Roo -- SNAP!

bocamp 2:57 PM  

@ Nancy 1:29 PM - Thank you for this heads-up. Just had a listen to "Galway Girl" by Sharon Shannon, Mundy & Galway City.

Talk about good "emotions"/vibes, what a whole lot of joy this is. Thx to Steve Earle for the tune. :)

Peace Salam ειρήνη Paix Frieden Pace friðr Paz Fred 平和 🕊

pabloinnh 2:58 PM  

@jberg is right, "synecdoche" of course has a silent letter. I'm pretty sure the H is there to make it a hard C, but it is silent, like the P in "swimming".

A Dead Horse 3:10 PM  

Are both Ls in Calliope also pronounced? Is it pronounced CAL Li Op E? Are we sick of this yet?

ghostoflectricity 3:10 PM  

Glad you name-checked "Shadow of a Doubt" (1943), one of my favorite films by one of my favorite directors. Terrific performances by Theresa Wright as niece "Charlie" and Joseph Cotten, in one of his few villainous roles, as Uncle Charlie. Great support from Patricia Collinge as Uncle Charlie's unsuspecting big sister, niece Charlie's mother; Henry Travers as the dad (Travers and Wright had both been in "Mrs. Miniver" the previous year, both victims of a Nazi air raid in that film); Cronyn as comic relief as the Travers character's good friend and fellow murder-mystery buff.

The film was made on location in Santa Rosa, CA. My wife took a job teaching at Mendocino College in Ukiah, one hour north (due to covid, we're both now at my main house in Chicago, where she is teaching remotely). We ventured down to Santa Rosa on weekends where I searched in vain for any commemoration of the making of Hitchcock's classic. The entire area has been susceptible to the devastating fires of the last four autumns, now on top of the pandemic. I'm glad we're both here in the Windy City.

JC66 3:10 PM  


Haha...my father always said "like the p in toilet."

Simpson 3:31 PM  

The L and P in PEALE are pretty natticky for a Monday. I got lucky and entered it in correctly on the first try.

Barbara S. 3:37 PM  

I'm glad you're coming back. Your departure seemed like breaking up the band.

Z 3:51 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Whatsername 3:52 PM  

Anemone and Abalone

Frantic Sloth 3:58 PM  

@pabloinnh 310am You really don't deserve this, but that provoked a literal LOL - nay, a cackle even - from me. Please let us not go further down that river on the obvious-next-step-in-the-joke canoe. 😉 No pun, but yes...pun.

Z 4:01 PM  

To E or not to E. That is the question
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous silence,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of bumbles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That ears are heir to?

Is the second letter in a diphthong silent? And what do you do if your diphthong is too tight?

@A Dead Horse - Not yet.

@bocamp - Schenectady should be the synecdoche for synecdoche.

Crossword News

Frantic Sloth 4:06 PM  

@Z 351pm "And what do you do if your diphthong is too tight?"

Leave it on the bedpost overnight?

@pabloinnh 310PM What the idiot, chronologically-challenged twin said.

An Exaggerator 4:16 PM  


Anonymous 4:26 PM  

You're not my anemone, you're my friend.

bertoray 4:26 PM  

Lightning bolts ⚡ represent anger better than STORMCLOUD. ⛈
@Lewis Thanks for David Byrne heads up.

bocamp 4:34 PM  

@Z 4:01 PM - Perfect, I thought so! 😂

@Frantic Sloth 4:06 PM - Lonnie Donegan - Does Your "Diphthong" Lose it's Flavour?.

Peace Salam ειρήνη Paix Frieden Pace friðr Paz Fred 平和 🕊

Nancy 5:48 PM  

@Joe D -- In addition to being extremely funny, your 2:40 post was actually quite enlightening. Thanks for doing all that blog comment research. Now I know why I had no idea what anyone was talking about. Your last sentence cracked me up.

bocamp 6:56 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
bocamp 7:50 PM  

Monty Python’s Eric "Idle" Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters

As for "emotions", ❤️ the first part of the clue.

Lots of "legumes" consumed here.

The "Oslo" Accords

"Re-upped" once for an extra three months. A Navy ploy used to get extra service out of sailors who were "short timers" (two or three months until discharge) by transferring them to a less desirable assignment unless they "re-upped". The extra three months was worth it to be able to stay on my beloved USS Bryce Canyon.

"Siri" is quite marvelous, except when I'm in bed wanting some sleepy time tunes. I use a bruxing guard, so sometimes my mumblings result in, "you want to phone "so-and-so"? "No, cancel"; "hey Siri, Bravo", "you want to phone "so-and-so"? "No, cancel"; "hey Siri, Charlie", "ok, done"! "Thank you!". As @Frantic might say to her evil twin, "did you ever consider taking the "sleep guard" out of your mouth when you talk to Siri?" Nope. btw, I use the NATO alphabet for Siri shortcuts, which works like a charm, except… LOL


Peace Salam Paix Frieden Pace friðr Paz Fred 🕊

Z 8:21 PM  

The full Vox lineup of constructors. Impressive group.

Smith 8:57 PM  

@TTrimble @Barbara

****SB alert****

Looking for pangrammatic genius company...two short of a queen...

Smith 8:58 PM  

@Joe 2:40

LOL here, too! Thx!

Smith 9:00 PM  


Barbara S. 9:10 PM  

*****SB ALERT*****
@Smith 8:57
I, too, was a PG, but packed it in at QB minus 3. Good luck!

egsforbreakfast 9:12 PM  

@ JoeDipinto I’ve been too busy to even read all comments. This situation is likely to prevail for a bit. Could you just summarize the major strands of commentary once an hour? Please?

bocamp 9:23 PM  

@Smith 8:57 PM / @Barbara S. 9:10 PM


Peace Salam ειρήνη Paix Frieden Pace friðr Paz Fred 平和 🕊

Smith 9:33 PM  


Joe Dipinto 9:53 PM  

@egsfor breakfast – well, that's a tall order. I can summarize the comments that were removed by the authors or the moderators:

Monty Boy 11:39 PM  

For you comic fans, I also recommend the GoComics site. Try some new stuff, for example "That is Priceless" gives humorous captions to old master art works.

Monty Boy 11:49 PM  

Oh, and you can also go back to archived strips. I'm "binge watching" Frazz, For Better or Worse, 9 Chickweed Lane back to 2000 or before (in some strips.

Blackhat 12:03 AM  

@ Sharon am 1:37
Bush, sam, lee, opel, cairo, oslo,alpo,ray,earle,allen,siri,odin,peale,lola...
However, upon review I realize Ray was not clued as a name so should be struck from the count. So 13, not 14.

thefogman 10:16 AM  

No SWEATDROPS were shed solving this one. PEALE was the only snag but the crosses made it getable. Very nice Monday puzzle. Nothing to WINE about.

Burma Shave 11:35 AM  


that STORMCLOUD SOANDSO could push,
with EMOTIONS he SAID, “From the VINE
where I SNIPE your ANTE in the BUSH.”


spacecraft 1:02 PM  

Quite a feat to pull off: easiest puzzle ever==but with a natick! Here comes painter Rembrandt--but Van Rijn will not fit! Instead it appears to be PEA_E. And the other way? When you say country music to me, my eyes grow heavy. Steve somebody, apparently EAR_E. Ne. Ver. Heard of either of these guys. The letter L seemed most likely, though, so no actual harm done. Weird, though...all those gimmes and then that. That's actually hard to do, wouldn't you think?

Only distaff appearance is by Siri, who's not real, so the DOD title is vacant today. Par.

Diana, LIW 2:21 PM  

Typical fun Monday, until I hit the obvious Natick. Which I got. But I call foul for a Monday for doing that! tsk tsk

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

leftcoaster 2:48 PM  

EMOTIONS could be a revealer suggesting each of the comic book themers today. That would work for me.

The grid got a bit pricklier moving from N to S, though the CACTUS is in the N.

A sticking point was >FORtune>>FORtell>>>FORESEE.

Fun puzzle.

rondo 3:44 PM  

Steve EARLE a gimme here. Never hear Copperhead Road?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvaEJzoaYZk

But agree that on Monday it should be Norman Vincent PEALE.

Pretty much what the doctor ORDERED.

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