Actor Nielsen of "Airplane!" / MON 11-2-2020 / Coins in India / Marijuana cigarette, in old slang / Version that's just for show

Monday, November 2, 2020

Constructor: Luke Vaughn

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: Sketchy — Theme answers are related to drawing. 

Theme answers:
  • GOLDENDOODLE (20A: Popular dog crossbreed)
  • LEAVE NO TRACE (27A: Have an invisible footprint)
  • FIVE CARD DRAW (46A: One version of poker)
  • COMEDY SKETCH (55A: "SNL" offering)

Word of the Day: Taro (63A: Root used in making poi) —

Colocasia esculenta is a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corms, a root vegetable most commonly known as taro (/ˈtɑːr, ˈtær/), or kalo (see §Names and etymology for an extensive list). It is the most widely cultivated species of several plants in the family Araceae that are used as vegetables for their corms, leaves, and petioles. Taro corms are a food staple in AfricanOceanic, and South Asian cultures (similar to yams), and taro is believed to have been one of the earliest cultivated plants.


• • •
It's August Monday once again! In November this time. (Am I going to make that joke every month? Probably.) Honestly I wasn't blown away by this one, as you can probably see by the fact that I wasn't really able to find a good word of the day. It was definitely a solid introduction-to-crosswords kind of Monday, no Naticks or tough crosses, but on the other hand the clues and fill were just kinda...blah. It's kind of cool that the constructor had dogs on the brain though. We had SPEAK, STAY, GOLDENDOODLE...and goldendoodles are so cute! I thought for sure it would be LABRADOODLE but that didn't quite fit.   

The theme was cool, a typical Monday theme. I like that it evokes the sketchy early stages of art specifically. I took two art classes in college, but I still can't draw very well. Here's my final project for my figure drawing class! 


  • RAP (60D: Genre for Megan Thee Stallion) — Change that R to a W and you could still have a Megan Thee Stallion related clue, but I don't think Will Shortz would be okay with printing it. WAP is a great song though. 
  • IAMB (18A: Poetic foot with a short and a long syllable) — Do we have any sonnet writers or other kinds of poets in CrossWorld? I used to write a ton of sonnets in iambic pentameter. I've moved on to free verse, but I did some pretty good sonnetteering back in the day. Not to toot my own iamb or anything. 
  • ESSAY (36A: Part of a test that may produce a hand cramp) — I don't want to jinx anything but so far my essay assignments for library school have all been really cool! Our most recent one was to research different libraries/archival institutions and look into how they're handling the pandemic. I also wrote a paper where I got to interview an archivist friend of mine and ask her about her career. Who knew learning about libraries could be so interesting? ....I knew, that's why I went into this field. :P 
  • WAYNE (64A: "Party on, ___!" "Party on, Garth.") — A little WW scene to start your Monday. 

Signed, August Thompson, tired graduate student. 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

[Follow August Thompson on Twitter]


Elizabeth Sandifer 12:17 AM  

Can’t help but think this would have been improved with a theme revealer. Move COMEDYSKETCH up one slot and scrap FIVECARDDRAW in favor of DRAWTOACLOSE and a clue like “Bring things to an end, or a clue to...”

bocamp 12:59 AM  

Thank you @Luke, a good puzzle to start the week off with. :) And, thank you @August, for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your puzzle thoughts with us.

-Ave. time

New to me: "Kendall Jenner"; "goldendoodle"; "Megan Thee Stallion".

Only hitch was the NW where I had trouble recalling "hacky sac_"; I was thinking "saky", but left it blank. The other blunder was "asiz" in lieu of "asin". So, blazed through the rest of the puz, and came back to sort out the NW. Didn't know "Kendall", so it took me a minute to see the "k" and replace the "z" with an "n".

Had friends over for poker parties in h.s.; Dad would sometimes join us. Lot's of "five card draw", lots of wild cards; lot's of fun. :)

Didn't have a "goldendoodle", but did have a French poodle, name of Jacques.

Enjoyed watching Ewan McGregor motorcycle through "Chile" and Argentina on "Long Way Up".

Sweet "Rosie" O' Grady - The Shannon Quartet

@Giovanni 8:57 AM yesterday

You may enjoy the Thurs., Nov. 1, 2012 by George Barany and Victor Barocas

It was very difficult for me, but a clever theme and most enjoyable solve. George was a contributor to this blog for many years, as I recall. :)

These are from the "Wordplay" documentary dvd extras:

5/27/2004; 3/11/2005; 3/13/2005; 2/9/2003; 4/29/2001

Peace शांति Paz ειρήνη Maluhia Woof 🕊

okanaganer 1:47 AM  

I didn't get the theme until I came here. In my defense, TRACE is not a verb of art, unlike DOODLE, DRAW, or SKETCH. There is little art, or even craft, to TRACing. It's mechanically following the lines laid by others.

(In fact a hundred plus years ago, that was what draftsmen did. It was an unskilled profession... they traced drawings made by others. Because there were no blueprint machines / printers. They were the blueprinters! Fun fact!)

I have always been a huge fan of drawing. My hero is Canaletto, who did paintings as well, but his drawings are just to die for. A draftsman inspired by God.

jae 1:48 AM  

Easy-medium. Smooth, plus I needed to stare a bit to catch the theme. Some nice long downs, liked it.

chefwen 2:39 AM  

Super easy, peasy Monday. Nary a hiccup.

Wanted FIVE CARD stud, the theme won with DRAW.

Let’s hope for a little more resistance tomorrow.

Max 2:40 AM  

Tornadoes are not cyclones.

Giovanni 3:06 AM  

@bocamp Thank you!

Anonymous 4:42 AM  

Not as slick and easy as most Mondays, but a nice Monday challenge. Didn't get the theme till seeing it here, but that didn't make a lot of difference. Nice to see GOLDENDOODLE, though my own dear love was a miniature poodle, who traveled with me from Africa to the US and finally to Greece, where he still liked to have commands in French from his boyhood. Nice memories.

OffTheGrid 5:43 AM  

I thought to myself, "Wow, a Monday themeless. Cool." I knew there had to be something, though. Thank goodness there was no lame revealer. It didn't bother me at all that I didn't see it. As already suggested, it could have been a dog theme. And where does the middle D in GOLDENDOODLE come from? Golden retriever/poodle. Just asking.

Lewis 6:00 AM  

Smack dab where a Monday puzzle should be, difficulty wise, IMO. Neither embarrassingly easy, nor frustratingly combative for a new solver, achieved through a blend of vague and direct clues. If this is done by a brand-new solver, unaware of the concept of theme, they will still stand a good chance of completing the puzzle and being motivated to try more; if the solver has enough experience to expect a theme, that will add a dimension to the solve.

I enjoyed the answers we don’t often see in puzzles – CODDLED, SHAGS, MUFF, RESCIND, SCULPTED – and taking a moment to figure the theme out, since there was no revealer. I tried to think of another theme answer, and what I came up with – THE NFL DRAFT – was not near as satisfying to me as Luke's.

I left the puzzle thinking, “Ah! Intelligently done!”, and thinking that while the solve was quick, it was time well spent. Thank you so much for this, Luke!

Michiganman 6:24 AM  

@Anonymous 4:42. I have a 10 year old miniature poodle that I adopted 2 years ago from the animal shelter where I volunteer. His owner died. He brings so much joy to my life.

Anonymous 6:32 AM  

First column-SHAGS MUFF.
Theme related-EASEL

ChuckD 6:54 AM  

Enjoyed this one - on the easy side but perfect for a Monday. I like the lack of a revealer for a puzzle of this difficulty. My aha here came with FIVE CARD DRAW - I had stud first but when DRAW came out - the trick was noticed. A few oddballs - tornadoes are definitely not CYCLONES - I guess the funnel has been commonly tagged that from appearance? Also - I’ve been smoking pot for a long time - a joint or as we’ve seen here recently a spliff is what you smoke. Pot, weed, reefer etc is what makes up the joint. Again I’m sure it can be corroborated somewhere - but no one smokes a reefer.

Was doing this with my dog in my face - so the GOLDENDOODLE is my favorite entry - also like the follow up with STAY and SPEAK to create a dog friendly grid.

Nice way to start the week. Hopefully tomorrow brings another good puzzle and needed change.

Hungry Mother 7:04 AM  

Super fast, but no PR. My daughter-in-law has two GOLDENDOODLEs. I’m no a dog guy, but they are very special. They stare at you like stuffed animals and look so sincere.

kitshef 7:09 AM  

On a Monday, I feel like I should at least have heard of all the themers. Not so today with GOLDENDOODLE (hi, @bocamp). And then to cross it with an unknown KENDALL? [Note: there may not be a puzzleworthy KENDALL. Best I could come up with was KENDALL Gill, and that’s pretty obscure.]

Also, it’s weird and disturbing that the clue for CHILE includes the word “entire”, making it incorrect. Bolivia is on part of Argentina’s western border. Does no one fact-check the clues anymore?

Ronald 7:11 AM  

Just read this past weekend that McRibs are coming back. Praise the Lord.

ow a paper cut 7:12 AM  

Nice puzzle for Monday. The theme went over my head

pabloinnh 7:23 AM  

Found the theme after I finished and thought, yep. I've been doing some USA Today puzzles and this one is a classic example of those, except they have titles. Don't know what today's might have in that regard--"Pencil it in" or something. Nah.

IAMB and August's discussion of sonnets reminds me that the last sonnet I wrote was a celebration of our foursome's tennis adventures (hi Nancy). My friend the English professor described it as "fine", so there.

Solid Monday stuff and beginners can learn the ever useful TARO and the nearly equally handy OGLE. Liked seeing MEWL and loved seeing EMMA, the granddaughter who just turned 3.

Nice work, LV. You can take your place on the ATeam of Monday constructors, and thanks for the fun.

Joe Welling 7:38 AM  

Off the Grid said: "And where does the middle D in GOLDENDOODLE come from? Golden retriever/poodle. Just asking."

I was thinking the same. I can only guess it's properly a Golden 'Doodle--short for Golden Labradoodle. (The portmonteau is from LABRADor-pOODLE, I believe.)

Rug Crazy 7:50 AM  

Missed the theme.....don't care

Anonymous 7:58 AM  

Knock, knock. Hello? Anybody home?

GILL I. 8:00 AM  

Nice little Monday romp. I haven't romped in quite sometime. I must decide whether
I want to take a sleeping pill for the next four years or dance the samba. I'm hoping for the samba.
May I suggest that you don't use the word SHAGS if you happen to be retrieving balls in England. Well, maybe you can - depending on how you use balls.
We have two little cutie patootie doxipoos. Some people call them doxiedoodles.
You give me a puzzle with some drawings and some pups, and I'm happy.

G. Weissman 8:23 AM  

A theme so thin as to be nearly nonexistent. Okanaganer is right: trace does not fit as a drawing-related activity. This puzzle is mediocre. Read this morning about brownshirts on highways trying to stop people from voting, and the tweeter-in-chief supporting these efforts. With this going on what does a blah Monday xword matter?

Unknown 8:24 AM  

@ OFFTHEGRID 5:33 The D is there because the earlier cross of labs and poodles became LABRA*D*OODLE

I don't normally do Mondays, but this had a clever theme which raises it a notch or two above the standard. I hope rex reads August's review, so he can see that it's entirely possible to discuss a puz without resorting to "boring," "dull," "trite," etc.

Joe Dipinto 8:28 AM  

So Elmo ended demo and Ben eyed shoes. Big whoop. Why do they name dog breeds anything-doodle? It's humiliating. I mean, "poodle" by itself is bad enough.

Yeah, so – Monday puzzle.

If you've never heard The Shaggs, you're in for a real treat. Think of this as a sort of aural pre-enactment of what the rest of election week will feel like.

Anonymous 8:34 AM  

@ OffTheGrid, I think Labradoodles came first and that D is just tagging along to make the word easier to say.

RooMonster 8:41 AM  

Hey All !
Thought I'd get through puz with no writeovers, but alas, as is my one-letter DNF wont, I had a one-letter writeover. Had FiAT for FEAT first, highly defensible IMO. :-) Otherwise, breezed through puz just fine, thank you.

40 black squares, but while solving, it didn't seem like a ton of short words. Nothing too -esey clogging things up, either. Nice.

Took me a couple of reads to grok (! @Nancy) the theme. Ah, artist type stuff. Looking for a revealer, but found none. The nerve of these constructors to leave it up to ourselves to find the theme! :-)

Got DOODLE, followed by CODDLED, and was thinking the theme had something to do with O's and D's. Har.

SHAGS and MUFF, TEHEE! Speaking of risque stuff, YesterBee was steamy! Anyone else agree?

Three F's

Petri 8:53 AM  

This was my fastest Monday ever, at a rip-roaring 2:46. I'm not a speed solver by any means, but it was pretty darn cool to be in the neighborhood of OFL's usual Monday times.

I also agree this very much needed a revealer. I had no sense of a theme at all till I read this post. It was fine, I enjoyed the long answers and the crosswardese was pretty minimal, but that's about it

Twangster 9:05 AM  

I'm surprised no one mentioned that this theme was done last January, as the Times' crossword blog points out:

rosebud 9:06 AM  

The Wayne’s World clip made my day! Thanks for the smiles, August🍁

Z 9:15 AM  

Fairly challenging for a Monday. I think @Lewis’ first paragraph pretty much nails my reaction so I won’t repeat what he already said so well.

Re: Why the D? - Because GOLDENOODLE sounds like ramen?

@kitshef - I think you may have misread the clue - the entire western border of Argentina is composed of CHILE. Part of CHILE’s eastern border includes Bolivia.

@Chuck D - Maybe there’s some sort of technical definition, but in fairly common usage CYCLONES is another word for tornadoes.

My “designer dog” is a lab/shepherd/chow mix. No cute portmanteau breed name for Zeke, but he’s a great, smart, and friendly dog nonetheless. His partner is a chihuahua mix whose first owner died. They are a great pair.

Giovanni 9:15 AM  

Everyone mixes their breed with poodles. Just get a poodle! I had a dog sitting business for a few years and I did learn to admire the COCKAPOO (half cocker spaniel half poodle). I watched 3 cockapoos from 3 separate families and they were all sweet and easy. I understand they mix many breeds with poodles to cut down on shedding. There is a big anti "designer dog" sentiment among purebred groups and breeders. I think they are annoyed about it for a few reasons, one being that a goldendoodle puppy sells for more money than either breed. I think 2k to 3k! None of these mixed are allowed into the AKC.
There are also Aussiedoodles which are quite popular, an Australian shepherd mix. Honestly, dogs have always been bred by humans for specific traits so this is the same. A purebred is just as arbitrary, but to quote Best in Show (funniest movie ever) "we need to have standards".
My avatar pic is of my 2 miniature poodles that have since passed on. I have a toy poodle now who was listed as a Doxipoo on petfinder (half dachshund, half poodle). She has no dachshund in her, she is just a bad specimen with a very long back and short legs. She was a breeder in a puppy farm. She has a lot of health problems. One day at the dog park a child yelled Hey it's a HOT DOG POODLE!

Lewis 9:17 AM  

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

1. Safe space? (4)
2. Fine example? (4)(3)
3. Y Y Y Y, on a form (5)
4. Wow, just wow (4)
5. Upfront? (5)(1)


Lewis 9:20 AM  

I will be away for just under two weeks, taking a trip to meet my new grandchild Ari, born 10/6. I think I'll be able to post the Favorite Clues a week from today, but if not, I'll post a double edition the following Monday. Wishing everyone well, and, dear God, an election that makes them happy!

Flotsa 9:21 AM  

Do ballpoints really have nibs?

EdFromHackensack 9:33 AM  

Lewis, good luck open your trip visiting your grandchild. I always look forward to your list of favorite clues, so please keep them coming!

burtonkd 9:40 AM  

Is there any Labrador in a GOLDENDOODLE?

If people had stuck to pure breeding, all the dog breeds would still be wolves.

Lewis, your list of favorite words seem to be pulled from a paragraph about hooking up: CODDLED, SHAGS, MUFF, RESCIND, SCULPTED

Nancy 9:49 AM  

So wow, just wow! Who says a Monday puzzle has to be dull? The clues in this are so lively and provocative that it's an absolute treat. Look what Luke has come up with:

*Part of a test that may produce a hand cramp

*Vehicle that travels in only one direction

*Made a bust?

*Version that's just for show

What do these clues have in common? Why, they make you think, that's what. My only disappointment was having lots of crosses for most if not all of them; I would have loved to figure them out completely on my own.

More Mondays like this, please, Will. I do so hate feeling CODDLED.

P.S. For those who missed it, my 4:33 p.m. comment yesterday (Sunday) gives strong, convincing evidence of why the Shortz-bashing and longing for the "good old days" Maleska era is so misguided. The evidence? A bunch of clues from a Maleska puzzle I found online. You are so guaranteed not to love them!

Frank Lynch 10:07 AM  

When I think of iambs I think of Yeats's "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death," which is in iambic tetrameter.

mathgent 10:15 AM  

I envy Nancy. She’s an extremely sophisticated solver and yet she found pleasure in doing today’s puzzle.

Whatsername 10:22 AM  

Dog devotee that I am, this played right into my wheelhouse. Took me a minute to figure out the theme but when I did, had a nice little aha moment which is rare on a Monday. I also loved that we had a bonus art form in SCULPTED, and what a brilliant clue that was! Easy one for a beginner but a few places where I had to think a bit too. Thanks Luke, very nice Monday.

I was surprised to learn that TARO roots are similar to YAMS, but I don’t think I’ll put them on my Thanksgiving menu. I’ve watched so many SNL COMEDY SKETCHes that when I picture the presidential candidates in my mind, I see the Alec Baldwin and Jim Carrey versions of them.

Happy election eve. I would say this might be our last day of normalcy for a while but well, you know. It’s been so long since much of anything was normal.

Anoa Bob 10:36 AM  

@Nancy, I think in fairness we should remember that constructors and editors these days have access to computers and software while in the Maleska era they were pretty much limited to the reference section of a library. So, yes, contemporary puzzles are better in many ways, but with all the technology available, they should be, right?

Also, I recall that when one of the types of words in your list did pop up, it was crossed with easy ones to give the solver a chance to get the obscure one.

Other than noting that it was part of a two-for-one POC, I didn't blink an eye when CYCLONES was clued as "Tornadoes". Like tropical storms, hurricanes and typhoons in the northern hemisphere, tornadoes have a counter-clockwise rotation call CYCLONic rotation, so I think all those qualify as CYCLONES.

Hack mechanic 10:41 AM  

No, an eponymous ball

Giovanni 10:47 AM  

@burtonkd a LABRADOODLE is a mix of labrador and poodle. Goldendoodles and labradoodles are very rambunctious as puppies. A lot of people have no idea how hard they can be to train from puppyhood.

Joe Dipinto 11:03 AM  

Speaking of "the Maleska Era"...not-so-fun fact: I went to the same high school as Eugene T. Maleska.

Funner fact: So did Dr. Anthony Fauci.

jberg 11:06 AM  

I agree with those who wanted a revealer. As is, it's just two insubstantial. But in its defense, the theme is not forms of art (in which case SCULPTED would be out of place), but "things you can do on paper with a pencil."

@kitshef, @z, I think it's a matter of interpretation, i.e., what do you mean by western? If you are in Argentina and want to enter Bolivia, you generally go north; however, there is one little bit, near the Argentina-Bolivia-Chile node, where you would go northwest. It's up to you whether to consider that a kind of west or not.

I've never heard of KENDALL Jenner either, until this morning when I wanted to check the weather forecast on my phone but touched the 'news' icon (which I never use) by mistake, and found myself looking at a headline about said Kendall. That's all I know, as I didn't read the story.

I just checked the ballpoint NIB thing; apparently nib just means point (originally beak, as of a bird -- isn't there a song about that?). So a ballpoint could also be called a ballnib. Probably not, though.

Frantic Sloth 11:06 AM  

@J-Dip 828am I wasn't going to comment, but I had to thank you for the video. And the YouTube comments! 🤣🤣🤣

Z 11:16 AM  


egsforbreakfast 11:20 AM  

Today’s to-do list:

6. Try not to think about the nastiness that will be unleashed upon our once-proud country in the next 48 hours.

Ellen 11:22 AM  

A new PR for me, 4:10!

Barbara S. 11:37 AM  

I liked this, even though the theme was a bit of a repeat from last Jan. We've had the green-EYED monster two days in a row, although yesterday it was green-ey'd. I thought that was a tough clue for EAR ("locale of the anvil and the stirrup"). One could be forgiven for thinking "blacksmith's shop", although it's a mite too long. Loved SCULPTED for "made a bust?" (appealing to my artistic side). And SEAMS for "pants might burst at them" (appealing to my slapstick side).

Although that happened to me once in real life. I was at a conference in Kansas City, so living out of a suitcase with limited sartorial options. I was at one of the sessions and thought I felt a strange sensation down the center back SEAM of my trousers but ignored it and carried on. I was out and about with some folks at the lunch break and one very jolly woman from the deep south caught sight of my rear view and said in a loud voice, "Barb, you've gone and busted a gusset!" Good grief, I guess my unmentionables were on full view. Through tears of laughter and embarrassment I thanked her for mentioning it, and wore a borrowed sweater tied around my waist for the rest of the day. That evening I used one of those teeny-tiny travel sewing kits to effect repairs. But the moment of being told that I'd "busted a gusset" will forever live on.

Anonymous 11:41 AM  

tornados are not cyclones in the sense of weathercritter identification, but they are both tornadic and cyclonic, i.e. they're spinning at a higher speed than a garden variety low pressure system.

there is only one form of draw poker, modulo any game you want to make up, and it's five cards.

fountain pens have nibs. ballpoints have, wait for it... balls. if your old enough to have been taught (cursive) writing as a young-un, then you were taught with a dip pen on a desk with an inkwell. those kind of dip pens don't have steel/iridium/gold balls on the end, just the flat metal pen point. if your really, really geezerhood, then you learned with a quill.

Ethan Taliesin 11:45 AM  

KENDALL might just as well been Saturday fill for all I'm concerned. Read recently that their show was ending and I was all like, I thought that ended a decade ago (?!?)

Masked and Anonymous 11:48 AM  

@egsforbreakfast: har. Cool to-do list … and IAMB mightily relieved U didn't include OGLE UMA.
Kinda looks like yer list could run outta verbs, way ahead of runnin outta names. An ASK AESOP would be A-ok, tho.

Easy solvequest, even for a MonPuz. The moo-cow clues abounded. fave: {Add sugar to} = SWEETEN.
staff weeject pick: VID. Had more "differentness" than almost everything else in the puz. Sweet weeject stacks in the NE & SW, btw.

Must stand (symbolically) to recognize the token ?-marked clue at 9-D, {Made a bust?} = SCULPTED. SCULPTED was also a fave frisky fill feat, along with: VID. RESCIND. CYCLONES. Maybe even REEFER. Oh yeah and JEER/JOIN was pretty good. Plus everything that had a U in it. Etc.

HEHE? har

Thanx for the smoother than snot art show, Mr. Vaughn.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


bocamp 12:17 PM  

Totally missed the theme until coming here. Gotta pay attention at the end of the solve, especially to the long acrosses. No problem with "trace". They all involve pencil work. (thinking outside the "art pencil" box) 😉

@Giovanni 3:06 AM 👍

@OffTheGrid 5:43 AM, and a tip o' the hat (or a shake paw) to @Joe Welling 7:38 AM, @Unknown 8:24 AM, @Anonymous 8:34 AM & @Giovanni 10:47 AM

Just a recap of the "doodle" derivation:

"A Goldendoodle is a dog crossbreed bred from a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, [its] name is a portmanteau of Golden Retriever and Labradoodle." (Wikipedia)

"The term "Labradoodle" was first used by Donald Campbell in his 1955 book, Into the Water Barrier, to describe his Labrador/Poodle cross." (Wikipedia)

Relaxing with the dog

@Petri 8:53 AM

You're a speed-solver in my books! I think I got into the 4's once or twice. 🤓

@Z 9:15 AM / @kitshef 7:09 AM / @jberg 11:06 AM - re: Argentina's "western" border:

@jberg 11:06 AM has a good point. IMO, it all depends on how one defines "Argentina's 'western' border". Where does its western border meet it's northern border. Would that be a question of perspective? I think this argument could go either way; therefore, the benefit of the doubt goes to the constructor and editor. 🤔

@Lewis 9:20 AM

Another "5 favs" jewel; ty for these, and enjoy your visit with Ari & family. :)

@Z 11:16 AM

Excellent "cyclone" reference!

@Ellen 11:22 AM 👍

@Barbara S. 11:37 AM

Loved the anecdote! also, the word "sartorial". And, bless "those teeny-tiny travel sewing kits". They've come in handy for me too. LOL

@Anonymous 11:41 AM wrote:

"…then you were taught with a dip pen on a desk with an inkwell."

Hands up for that! LOL

Peace शांति Paz ειρήνη Maluhia Woof 🕊

Frantic Sloth 12:23 PM  

@Lewis Safe travels and enjoy your family time! You will be missed, dear sir!

Whatsername 12:24 PM  

@GWeissman (8:23) What horrified me was the Trump TRAIN idiots who terrorized the Biden bus while moving down an interstate highway on their way to Austin. Followed by the full support and enthusiastic applause of their dear leader: “I LOVE TEXAS”. Positively deplorable.

@Giovanni (9:15) Like your little one, my Yorkie was a breeder in a puppy mill and such a sweet gentle soul. My other one is a Toy Poodle rescued from a hoarder. Both of them are seniors who have more than earned the CODDLED life they now enjoy.

@Lewis (9:20) Safe journey and enjoy soaking up the rays of sunshine from that grandbaby.

ChuckD 12:37 PM  

@Z - nice link. Upon a little research - your take that they are one in the same in the vernacular holds true. Scientists and meteorologists make the distinction based on various criteria but who cares about that when a dark funnel is bearing down on you. Thankfully they are a rare occurrence along the coast here.

kitshef 1:01 PM  

@Z - I think you may have misread the map. Get out your atlas and find Lago de Vilama, or Santa Catalina, and head west. Basically, anything from the Chile/Argentina/Bolivia tri-border up to the northernmost point of Argentina, the western border is with Bolivia.

Teedmn 1:14 PM  

I solved this too fast to notice how fun some of the clues were, so thanks, @Nancy, for pointing them out.

My one stumble was starting out with FIVE CARD stud because 1) I hadn't grokked the theme yet and 2) it's been so long since I've played poker that I couldn't bring to mind the other kind of game until crosses pointed the way.

After solving, I cast my eye over the clues looking to see if I had missed a revealer somewhere but I eventually found the theme on my own.

LEAVE NO TRACE is the catch phrase for going into the BWCAW in northern Minnesota. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the mandatory viewing of the wilderness dos and don'ts video when picking up one's permit has been rescinded; there are reports of people leaving trash and wrecking campsites. I just don't get it.

Thanks, Luke Vaughn, for a nice Monday.

JC66 1:16 PM  


Mazel Tov! Enjoy.


When I was a lad, RYE Playland had two roller coasters, but neither could compete with Coney Island's CYCLONE.

Z 1:24 PM  

Western Stars, er, borders can be open to interpretation. My old place in Detroit was a mile north of Canada (”South Detroit” is Windsor) so I have a small degree of sympathy to the Bolivia contention. But it is very small. West is west and northwest is northwest and North by Northwest is a great movie, and it is possible in a few spots to walk west from Argentina to Bolivia but saying “the western border” of Argentina includes Bolivia is akin to saying that our southern border includes Canada.

@bocamp - re: the CYCLONE link; Far more interesting than a dictionary entry and 120 years old so it can’t be said to be a modern misuse. I also was struck by how gray the description is, matching the B&W opening of the movie. Local legend in my hometown has it that Castle Park and possibly some locals served as inspiration. Some great beaches secluded enough to sun bathe au naturale are also nearby (well, at least they used to be secluded - undeveloped beachfront land is much desired).

Anonymous 1:28 PM  

Thankfully they are a rare occurrence along the coast here.

but, to quote someone 'never say never again', if you lived in the Great Barrington area (and some years later in the downtown of Springfield, my home town) you might say not rare enough. luckily, I was long gone before both, but there was footage from an office building in downtown Springfield recording its passage. yikes. nothing like Toto and Dorothy, of course.

Z 1:31 PM  

@kitshef - Yah - I misunderstood your conjecture and thought you had flipped clue and answer. My bad. I still disagree with the fractalization of the notion of “western border,” though.

Nancy 2:50 PM  

An explanation for @Off the Grid (5:23 a.m.):

The LabraDor Retriever was
The first to SHAG the poodle.
And thus the pup that they produced
Was dubbed a LABRADOODLE.

The breeders found that silly name
So lovable and clever,
They put a "D" in D-less breeds
And ditched the "P" forever.

And so we have the GOLDENDOODLE,
Sheepadoodle, too.
The Aussiedoodle; Saint Berdoodle --
What a "P"-less crew.

But if you bend your ear, you'll hear
The whining of the poodle:
"How dare you use my DNA
And call my pup a DOODLE?!"

Howard 3:19 PM  

Did three puzzles today. There was a Leslie Nielsen, a Leslie Jamison, and a Lesley Visser.

Barbara S. 3:24 PM  

@Nancy 2:50 p.m.

GILL I. 3:42 PM  

Oh...@Nancy, Nancy....I'm so glad the weather in New York is awful and that you're not wiping off benches with your brings out the best in you. Mommy needs vodka.

JC66 4:37 PM  


Good one!

Lewis 4:37 PM  

@Nancy -- You are the ditty-meistress. You have such a talent for this!

Whatsername 5:32 PM  

@Nancy: Priceless! You are a poetic genius.

chefwen 6:20 PM  

@Nancy, that was fun!

Sixthstone 6:26 PM  

late to the party today but had to comments. This was the perfect Monday for me. Almost my fastest ever with a ton of fun things right in my wheelhouse--GOLDENDOODLES (and my own dog ROSY), SHAGging baseballs, GIN and tonic, FIVE CARD DRAW poker, COMEDY SKETCHes with LESLIE Nielson and WAYNE's World, and (w)RAP it up with a REEFER and a MCRIB!

JC66 6:30 PM  

It's after 6, and still no mention of Shirley.

RooMonster 6:33 PM  

Shirley you can't be serious?

RooMonster Airplane! Line Stealer Guy

bocamp 7:03 PM  


Peace शांति Paz ειρήνη Maluhia Woof 🕊

JC66 7:31 PM  



egsforbreakfast 8:12 PM  

Just returned after being out all day and saw @Nancy’s ditty. I love it oodles!!! Thanks Nancy. I’m going to read it to Millie, my golden doodle, and Baffi, my labradoodle.

Nancy 9:35 PM  

You're all really, really nice!!! Too many to thank each of you individually, but I will say to @GILL that she's right about today's weather in NYC being lousy (50 m.p.h. winds; a "wind advisory" issued -- so I didn't go out and ended up breaking my PT appointment in order not to blow away like Judy Garland). And you're right, GILL, that I am much more likely to be creative in bad weather than in good.

To @egs I'll say that I really, really hope Millie and Baffi enjoy the verse! They're my two favorite breeds by the way. By a wide margin. It's their respective heart-melting smiles. Whether in dogs or in people, I'm a sucker for a smile.

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