Actress Priyanka who was 2000's Miss World / MON 3-8-21 / Big name in transmission repair / Dragon in The Hobbit / Actor Philip with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Monday, March 8, 2021

Constructor: Eric Bornstein

Relative difficulty: Challenging (it's a Wednesday puzzle, just absurd that it's slotted on a Monday)

THEME: ECONOMICS (13D: Subject of this puzzle) — some stuff related to ECONOMICS is in here, including DEMAND and SUPPLY in circled squares in what is supposed to be some kind of graph, but PRICE (1D: Y-axis) and QUANTITY (62A: X-axis) are involved too ... apparently this is what is supposed to be illustrated:

ADAM SMITH is in here too for some reason (32D: "Father" of 13-Down)

Word of the Day: Priyanka CHOPRA (44D: Actress Priyanka who was 2000's Miss World) —
Priyanka Chopra Jonas (pronounced [prɪˈjəŋka ˈtʃoːpɽa]; born 18 July 1982) is an Indian actress, singer, and film producer. The winner of the Miss World 2000 pageant, Chopra is one of India's highest-paid and most popular entertainers. She has received numerous accolades, including a National Film Award and five Filmfare Awards. In 2016, the Government of India honoured her with the Padma Shri and Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and in the next two years Forbes listed her among the World's 100 Most Powerful Women. (wikipedia)
• • •

Haven't despised a Monday like this in a while. First, the subject: so dull, so fundamentally uninteresting to me, that even had this been slotted on the correct day for its difficulty (i.e. Wednesday) and even if the fill had been good (it's not, really), and even if the puzzle had been carefully, thoughtfully edited (it's really, really not), I still wouldn't have found it to my taste. But leaving mere taste aside, still, yuck. I'm not even going to waste more than a few sentences talking about this. I can't. Dwelling on this thing feels like self-harm. It's Monday, so when it took me a full minute just to get the little NW quadrant, I knew something was very, very wrong. Every single one of the Acrosses required multiple crosses to understand. Even YOU'D was a total mystery, given its clue (4D: "___ be surprised"). It's a Giant corner with non-obvious clues; not not not a Monday. 

But even if we leave difficulty to the side, we're still left with the unforgivably terrible cluing on PRICE. I needed, no joke, every single cross to get it, and even then, I just stared at it. There is no indication that it is theme material. None. Remember—it's Monday. If you want to get all wacky and tough much later in the week, that's your prerogative, but this is just stupid. Again, not stupid 'cause it's tough, but stupid because you absolutely *have* to give the solver *some* indication that PRICE is theme material. In the NW corner of a Monday, to just leave a solver staring at PRICE as the answer for *that* clue (1D: Y-axis)? Awful. Awful. I'm familiar with the concept of supply and demand, but I actually had to look up the full graph—never knew the PRICE / QUANTITY part of it (or, not having had Econ since 1988, I did know, once, but forgot). So that clue for PRICE literally never made sense, even when I was done, until I looked up the graph. It makes no sense (no. sense.) that the clues on PRICE and QUANTITY give you No indication of their themeness. And your revealer is just ECONOMICS!?!?!?! Is this ... ECONOMICS? Just the supply / demand graph? That's it? Again, looking things up, it appears that supply & demand is indeed the "theoretical basis of modern ECONOMICS" but somehow ECONOMICS seems like a much, much, much broader term than this alleged graph can possibly convey. And then the fill, just an avalanche of ERE ESAU ELIE ESO ESPY ENYA BAHAI etc. And TISKET!? Oof. Look, even if you desperately wanted to make an ECONOMICS puzzle, I cannot believe that this is what you go with. I double can't believe that this is how you edit it. Or not edit it, it seems. That PRICE / QUANTITY cluing decision ... on a Monday ... I just ... my kingdom, all of it, for a new editor. Someone who is careful and who cares. Please. Please. (Actually, you can't have my kingdom; just put somebody new and hungry in the editor's chair, it's time)

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Frantic Sloth 12:02 AM  

Live by the PPP, die by the PPP. For me, this was the PPP from hell:
BAHAI, CHOPRA (any relation?), AHN. The rest was either known to me or gettable, but I'd be interested to know the percentage because it felt like about half.

And still this is all outgagged by the theme. ECONOMICS? Hold me back because I want to par-TAY! Thhpppp!
Oh, and look how cute - grid art and circles in the form of an S & D graph! Doesn't it just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? That's what ECONOMICS can do!

SUPPLY and DEMAND? Here's an example: I DEMAND you* SUPPLY me with a theme that doesn't bore me to petrification.

*the royal you, meaning everyone but me

I kid ECONOMICS. No. I don't.

On top of everything else, I found this tough for the Mondee. Not the puzzle's crime, obviously, but something mugged me and stole my lunch.

This is a lot of complaining for a crossword puzzle that I didn't hate. But, I'm okay with that.


Anonymous 12:07 AM  

The print version has heavy lines on the bottom and left sides to approximate the appearance of a quadrant of a graph. Might have been a better idea to shift these lines up and over one so that PRICE and QUANTITY were not inside the quadrant iself...
Also: Why do you think ANY new editor is going to do ANYTHING radically different with the NYTXW?

Z 12:34 AM  

Any economists want to venture a guess on how the principles of SUPPLY and DEMAND explain the PRICE of a PLAYMATE.

My first thought on getting the theme was good old ceteris paribus, Latin for “our theories don’t actually apply to the real world.”

AHN crossing CHOPRA? That’s bad on a Saturday.


Colin 12:46 AM  

I'm an economics professor, so I LOVED this puzzle. I'm sorry that Rex is uninterested in possibly the most important influential social science. But yes, it should have been a Wednesday, with better theme indications.

chefwen 1:16 AM  

Despise is a rather harsh word for a crossword puzzle. This one didn’t really float my boat, but I found it easy. A tad bit on the boring side as ECONOMICS seem to be. I thought PRICE and QUANTITY matched the theme nicely. O.K. Monday.

egsforbreakfast 1:32 AM  

First off, I agree with Rex on the difficulty. This was not a Monday puzzle. Maybe not even a Wednesday. But ......

This was an excellently conceived and crafted test for anyone who pays even slight attention to economics and how the world works. To create a Cartesian coordinate system with PRICE perfectly placed on the Ordinate axis and QUANTITY perfectly placed on the Abscissa, then hosting increasing SUPPLY crossing decreasing DEMAND is conceptual genius in and of itself, but also expresses most of what is relevant in economics to the average Joe.

I hate t o rag too much on Rex, but today’s rant comes off as a “get off my lawn” tirade more than any I’ve ever seen from him.

Thanks for the great puzzle Eric Bernstein.

JMS 1:33 AM  

I found this easy... almost a PB. What the hell’s so wrong with this puzzle Rex? Pretty basic concepts.
Complain about the fill, sure. The theme a little off-Monday, maybe, but don’t you think your hatred may say more about you than the puzzle?
BTW, this is the first time I felt compelled to comment about the write up vs the puzzle. Usually the curmudgeonly write-ups are at least entertaining on some level, not today.

Allison 1:37 AM  

I personally thought BAHAI was an interesting and timely answer, since it's currently the last month of the Bahá'í calendar, during which Bahá'ís fast from sunrise to sunset. I wonder if this puzzle might have originally been slated for last week, since last Monday was the first day of the fast, but I have my doubts since it's such a small clue and nowhere near part of the theme.

G. Weissman 1:38 AM  

Agree with Rex that this puzzle is a stinker, but surprised the AHN/CHOPRA natick went unremarked. And who knew ARI Shapiro would be the new Brian ENO?

albatross shell 1:41 AM  

LAYITONME×TOLDTO. A POLE flag running up a UTOPIA tower. A MOPE heading toward a SNIT. INDUSTRY and ADAMSMITH THESES adding to the theme. A PLAYMATE RaN out on me while ESAU SMAUG and SAM ambled in to bar for a BLT... . We still have the LPGA LASS in a DRESS with much to ATTEST ATTEND JUKE and PREY ON. And everyone but @Lewis and me likely to be bored to tears.
Well it did not have the mixture of merritry and devilment of the @Lewis's Friday WP.

An expert and exacting theme. Yes a Wednesday if you care. One or two Natick struggles. And a big bite of cwdese. Enough pluses for me to enjoy in any case.

jae 2:40 AM  

What @Rex said or what @Frantic said, they both work for me. I wonder how many new solvers DNFed on this one?

chefwen 2:54 AM  

I should have qualified that, boring to me. I’d rather talk food and cooking.

Andy 2:57 AM  

I like economics and I liked the puzzle a lot. Yes, it was more Wednesday difficulty, but that’s welcome to me as I prefer Wednesday to Monday and Tuesday.

I liked the graph of supply and demand. I liked price and quantity. I had no issue with “YOU’D be surprised.”

I agree with Anon above that moving the axes one row/column would place P & Q in their more appropriate positions. That’s a good catch.

ZenMonkey 3:21 AM  

This puzzle reminds me of the time when as an ASL interpreter at a community college, I had to sub unexpectedly in an economics class.(Generally you get placed in classes that suit your strengths.) Didn’t have time to review any vocabulary, so the poor student had to feed me signs while I also tried to comprehend material I’d never studied so I could communicate it to them.

Which is to say, it was particularly tough, and I was kinda lost, but I learned something and was kinda satisfied with the outcome.

R.V. Winkle 6:04 AM  

Hmm Not quite a Wednesday. More like a late-day Tuesday - say, somewhere between 2:00 and 3:00 pm (EST).

Lewis 6:37 AM  

A tribute puzzle to ECONOMICS! Never saw that coming, or that the grid would be a graph … with entries … DANG! After doing puzzles for as long as I have, it is glorious when surprises come along.

And speaking of glorious, there’s my second and newest (five months) grandchild ARI smack in the center, crossing PORGY which tripped off a mental concert of some of my favorite music – UTOPIA for me. And it’s only Monday!

A piece of that music – “Summertime” – was echoed in the SE where the highs and lows of the beach were crossed in TAN and RIPTIDES. Right there also is QUANTITY, which I was amazed to find out hasn’t been in the NYT puzzle for 60 years!

Impressive gridwork (this had to be a bear to construct), a solve that wasn’t a Mindless Monday, plus all these extras. Your supply more than met my demand, Eric. Thank you!

SouthsideJohnny 6:48 AM  

While solving it, I thought to myself “This puzzle is really, really stupid”. Interesting that Rex chose the same word - definitely the worst Monday offering in a long, long time. It sure looks like the Times just phoned it in on this one - what a boring snooze fest. Capped off of course with the completely farcical combination of DIDO and AHN crossing CHOPRA - like, did you guys just run out of actual words and give up (or use a random letter generator ?). Even if that kind of crap were solvable, the point is who cares ? So you are up on some popular culture - big deal.

Big Yuk and a Bronx Cheer to this one, and good riddance. Hoping for something much better the rest of the week.

Hungry Mother 6:49 AM  

Three names crossing, so two squares a mystery. CHOPRA sounded OK, so I succeeded, but that was a suck zone.

j. 6:52 AM  

That whole ADIN AHN CHOPRA area was designed to stop a bull in its tracks or stun an ox like me. AD IN is making me very angry - so inside baseball (or tennis in this case.) Grr!

TokyoRacer 7:14 AM  

Will someone please explain the Demand and Supply to me? So the DEMAND is going down. Which means price will be lower - so that looks ok. But SUPPLY is going up - which also means the price will be lower...right? But on the Y axis it's higher. SUPPLY has gone up and price is higher. This is strange, correct?

Anonymous 7:14 AM  

I thought this was Monday difficulty, with a nice trick that we rarely see on a Monday. Overall, I liked it.

I'm a Puzzazz solver, so I got the same heavy lines and arrows as in the PDF. This might be why I thought the puzzle was easier than some others. I thought it was going to be math at first, but economics was not a big leap. Puzzazz highlighted the axes' titles in blue when I finished, but as others have commented, it would have been nicer if the titles were actually outside the axes, where they belong, instead of inside them. The NYT has had irregularly shaped grids a few times before, so there is a precedent for that.

kitshef 7:21 AM  

Well, I got a good laugh today at the idea that Philip Ahn is a Monday-level celebrity. Actually, a lot of the across entries seem very non-Monday: BAHAI, ARI, SMAUG. But the downs are for the most part “very easy Monday” level so it evened out.

Fingers crossed we’ll avoid another capitalism discussion today.

Anonymous 7:25 AM  

Would an economist explain the purple line in Rex’ graph. When quantity is high and price is low, is demand low? Does it make sense? Jim

Irene 7:27 AM  

How about AHN crossing CHOPRA?

pabloinnh 7:37 AM  

Didn't we just have the Shaw quote about economists? Yes, yes we did, and it reminded me of the Dorothy Parker quote, and that's still the nicest thing I can say about economics. No offense to those of you who find this fascinating. Hey, some of my best friends....

Anyway, not my cuppa, as we say, and I was happy enough to be done with this that I even forgot to go back and see what the circled letters might be doing.

Nice to see SMAUG, although that may be an outlier, no clue on AHN, but CHOPRA seems common enough, and makes me wish Oprah had married a CHOPRA. The BAHAI faith advertises their meetings in our local paper, even here in the wilds of NH, so I knew that one.

Impressive construction, EB, and not your fault that this is not my area of interest. Opening Day is on the horizon, so I'll just hang in and wait for the baseball puzzle.

CS 7:37 AM  

This was a fun puzzle - much more fun to have a theme than a boring no-themer. I think Rex is just angry that it isn't in his wheelhouse. But everyone should have a basic handle on what the subject is about. And really cleverly executed.

Nice start to the week, thank you @Eric Bornstein!

-- CS

Richard Stanford 7:38 AM  

I DNFd with AHN/CHOPRA. And had to guess with ESO/ELIE for that matter. Add BAHAI to that section, and DIDO to the first, and there’s a lot of Natick opportunities in this grid. Some probably hit ESAU/ENYA too especially on a Monday.

Unknown 7:42 AM  

First time to comment and doing so because as a relative newcomer to the world of crossword puzzles, I found this puzzle to be right for a Monday. I finished; I understood the theme; I did not need to rant afterwards. What's with you, Rex?

oceanjeremy 7:52 AM  

Did I find this absurdly tough for a Monday? Yes, but I finished it more quickly than my average Monday time (perhaps I’m becoming a faster solver?).

It’s the three narrow passageways angling from the northeast to the southwest that really could do in most solvers. The lower rungs of each of these diagonal ladders are just riddled with PPP mines, potentially deadly to solvers unfamiliar with them.

I’ve personally been acquainted with BAHA’I Faith for decades, and have a friend whose Baha’i family left Tehran for Texas in the ‘70s. Still I know of Baha’i as a Persian faith persecuted by the Iranian government. Not as a “Religion based in [...] Israel.” Cluing is obscure, and crossing it with BALI seems to me unfair (for a Monday).

On the next ladder to the east we have ARI over LPGA in the middle. At least the cluing on ESPY wasn’t the sports award, but it’s above a potential Natick territory with the triple-PPP crossing of EUGENE through ST JUDE and SMAUG. All familiar to me, but I have sympathy for solvers for whom that is not the case.

Then there’s the easternmost diagonal passage that gave me the most trouble. DIDO / CHOPRA / AHN is just brutal. It’s where I ended, and if I hadn’t at the last moment remembered “AD IN” as a tennis score I would have been screwed. AAMCO isn’t doing that region any favors, either. I am a car owner who regularly maintains my vehicle’s service, yet I’m so unfamiliar with this transmission repair chain that I was almost certain AAMCO was incorrect until I got the “Puzzle complete” happy music.

In the end I loved solving this puzzle — but only because I sailed through it. It’s not heavy on PPP (though I haven’t done the percentage math), it’s just that the PPP is concentrated poorly into tight spaces.

If even one or two answers had eluded me I would have hated it. Should probably have been printed on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

e-lena 7:53 AM  

Terrible puzzle. Who wants to think about economics on a Monday morning? And there were way too many names and sports terms, including crossing each other. Complete absence of joy.

Z 7:54 AM  

@Several People - Here’s Jeff Chen’s explanation of the graph: For non-economists, the SUPPLY line shows that at higher prices, producers want to produce more. The DEMAND line demonstrates that at higher prices, there's less purchasing interest (excepting luxury goods). The intersection of these two lines is the equilibrium point at which the market settles.

Mark 7:58 AM  

Wow, Rex. On Mondays I use only the down clues, and this wasn't that hard. My only problems: 1. I first had "DONT be surprised," but PLADM-TE and INDNS-RY showed me that was wrong. PLAYMATE and INDUSTRY weren't hard to figure out, and they gave me YOUD and ATTEST. 2. I didn't know SARA Bareilles, so I looked at the across clues for that one. Wednesdays and even Tuesdays aren't usually this easy with only the down clues. I wonder if maybe some puzzles are easier not looking at the across clues? But I know my economics, and I do the puzzle on paper, so that helped.

Tom T 8:17 AM  

Such a different approach for a Monday--with the visual gimmicks I associate with a Thursday (letters in circles, sophisticated construction in the form of the graph, etc.). But outside of the truly not-a-Monday natick of AHN crossing CHOPRA (which I guessed correctly to finish), this was not difficult for me. If it had been a Wednesday, my time would have easily been my fastest Wednesday ever.

orangeblossomspecial 8:19 AM  

Get a life dude! This puzzle executed the theme perfectly. Just because there was a dearth of rap artists and tech lingo is no reason to diss the puzzle. Everyone knows that Adam Smith is the father of economics. The only thing missing from the puzzle is 'equilibrium'.

Barbara S. 8:31 AM  

Such vehemence coming from various quarters when this puzzle left me quite serene. In the NYTXW APP, those heavy blue lines with arrows (on the left and along the bottom) indicated right off the bat that something was going on and strongly suggested an X and Y axis. When I saw that 1D was clued as Y-axis, it seemed obvious that it was part of the theme, whatever that would turn out to be. I’m admiring of the construction and, although I have no particular interest in economics, I was fine with the solve.

I did notice what seems like a lot of PPP; I was lucky enough to know most of it. The area I had trouble with was the connecting AAMCO, AD IN and AHN. I didn’t know AD IN at all (I’m a tennis ignoramus) and was lacking the A and N. I somehow managed to dredge up the first A in AAMCO (maybe from previous puzzles) and the N became obvious from the diagonal DEMAND. Priyanka CHOPRA starred in a much hyped but short lived ABC-TV series called “Quantico”, which I watched (it was meh), and I was lucky enough to have remembered her name from that.

Two interesting tidbits:

1)Philip AHN, who I remember from the TV series “Kung Fu” (yeah, I’m old and I watch too much television) was, according to Wikipedia, “a seminal figure in Asian-American and Korean-American representation in Hollywood.” His name is too difficult for a Monday, but he is a person of note.

2) Danny Thomas, yet another TV star, founded the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital after making a vow to St. Jude Thaddeus “that if the saint made him successful [sic], he would one day build him a shrine.” Wiki again.

Today a passage by KENNETH GRAHAME, born Mar. 8, 1859.

“When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice; talked of warm kitchens, of breakfasts on bright frosty mornings, of cosy parlour firesides on winter evenings, when one's ramble was over and slippered feet were propped on the fender, of the purring of contented cats, and the twitter of sleepy canaries.”
(From The Wind in the Willows)

Son Volt 8:31 AM  

Not a bad puzzle - agree with Rex on the splashy theme topic. Fill was smooth - had a quick solve. AHN was new to me but liked AMBLED over MARACA and crossed with MARBLE.

Nice but boring for a Monday.

Anonymous 8:32 AM  

CHOPRA/AHN/DIDO is unforgiveable especially on a Monday.I didnt enjoy this one at all and i have a graduate degree in the theme.

Mike G 8:34 AM  

OK, I'll grant that it's probably tough to put PRICE, QUANTITY, SUPPLY, and DEMAND in the grid (along with the symmetry of ADAM SMITH and ECONOMICS) which is why the creator may have struggled to find room in there for QUALITY.

ESO crossed with ELIE crossed with BAHAI? CHOPRA and AHN? One entire vertical row that consists of IMA ESPY and CIA? At least BLT, POLE, and OMG has one legitimate word out of 3. I could go on, but the fact is that this puzzle is so boring that I don't even want to dive back into the grid to find examples anymore.

I didn't hate it, and I didn't struggle with it either, it was just joyless for me. I'd rather have a less ambitious puzzle with good cluing than one that sacrifices playability for the sake of "conceptual genius".

Harryp 8:35 AM  

It came in under my average Monday time, so I agree with @chefwen, Et Al.

pmdm 8:36 AM  

I would rate this puzzle as much easier than a typical Wednesday puzzle but agree it's a bit tougher than a typical Monday puzzle. That doesn't bother me, even as I cower thinking about this week's puzzles to come.

The subject of economics is certainly worthy of the NYT crossword. And certainly the density of theme entries is greater than normal for a Monday. And yes, the density did result in a certain awkwardness inhabiting the fill. I guess that the comments here suggest that if the PPP stumps a solver, the solver will dislike the puzzle and (if need be) the solver will complain about the puzzle, the theme, the editor, whatever.

Birchbark 8:38 AM  

If there were fewer RIP TIDES, would we want more of them?

The invisible hand of memory: I shared a dorm suite with some Econ majors my senior year of college. We traded ideas. We also listened to the Sex Pistols, who had a song called "EMI," in which Mr. Rotten whines the record label EMI's initials over and over, presumably drawing attention to the ECONOMICS of the record INDUSTRY as it was then understood.

An econometrics firm from Boston called DRI, founded by alums, was recruiting on campus. This puzzle pulls up a nice memory of my friends one morning, DRESSed up in suits and ties, psyching themselves up for interviews, shout-whining "DRI" into the mirror. Now that it's in my head it's likely to stay there for a while, which is fine.

Joaquin 8:44 AM  

I don't understand why so many posters found this "boring". How can such a tough challenge on a Monday be boring? I get that economics is not a sexy theme, but really - how sexy are most other themes? I do get that it was too hard for a Monday (but that's the main reason it was NOT boring).

Tim Aurthur 8:46 AM  

That's more than a few sentences, Rex. :-)

There's a saying (attribution unsure): "You can teach a parrot to be an economist by training it to say 'supply' and 'demand'." So according to that, the revealer is apt.

But yes, way too much PPP and too hard for a Monday. I can't remember being naticked on a Monday, but today it happened twice.

Frantic Sloth 8:48 AM  

@oceanjeremy from yesterday. Two apartments and you were done? What are you, some kind of freak?? 😂 Fingers crossed for good news today. 😉

@Z 1234am Both of my parents are no longer available to ask what the PRICE of a PLAYMATE was. But I imagine money was no object if it got me out of the house.

@Barbara S 831am Great. Now I want toast. 😉 Nice to see that you also noticed the PPP. Are we the only two??

57stratocaster 8:49 AM  

If I gave this to my mate, who is a beginning solver who can finish an easy Monday, she wouldn't get 25% of it finished before she tossed it aside and went back to reading a book...and she'd be pissed at me about it.

SpyGuy 8:53 AM  

Had a complete Natick at AHN and CHOPRA. No clue. Didn't hate the puzzle as much as Rex, though. I knew where things were going with PRICE as that down (and, for my solving time, didn't really have a tough time in the NW), so that didn't really give me any issue.

Nancy 9:00 AM  

So I'm wondering what self-respecting dragon has a name like SMAAG?

Answer: He doesn't. Or maybe she doesn't. No, he/she has the equally ridiculous name of SMAUG.

This is all because I was so sure that "fakes out of position" was JAKES. Not JUKES. JUKES is when you equip your bar/restaurant with a dreadful machine that prevents pleasant conversation and drives some people crazy.

How ignominious to have a DNF on a Monday! Sigh.

But I didn't mind the relative difficulty of the puzzle on a Monday; I really like that, in fact. I did MOPE over the PPP I didn't know. But I guessed right on AHN/CHOPRA -- so there's that.

Now for the theme: I'm sure the circled letters add up to something, but I don't know what since I didn't add them up. As for PRICE/QUANTITY? I can only repeat what some wag or other once called ECONOMICS: "The Dismal Science".

bocamp 9:05 AM  

Thank you @Eric for people lesson. 😉

Medium solve.

Is a dnf on Monday worth it? I'd say so, provided I can commit to memory the three individuals I was unfamiliar with: DIDO, CHOPRA Priyanka and Philip AHN.

One of my fave sleepytime songs: MARBLE Halls ~ ENYA.

Playing MARACAs with John Santos

Hometown made the puz at 43D :)

yd 0

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Anonymous 9:10 AM  


Anonymous 9:13 AM  

Yup, time for a new editor. Today is International Women’s Day - an official UN observance on March 8 since 1975. Who is editing the editor?
The selection of this puzzle today + the clue editing is either completely oblivious or super shady: a puzzle created and edited by men, filled with clues about men, sports, cars and themed around the ‘father’. #IWD2021 #GenerationEquality

Lewis 9:14 AM  

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

1. Participated in a stock exchange? (5)
2. Trace element? (7)
3. Plant that may yield oil (8)
4. Busses near Paddington Station? (5)
5. One might be raised by a skeptic (4)


Blue Stater 9:17 AM  

I heartily endorse OFL's call for a new editor, and for precisely the reasons he specifies. Those who think It Can't Be Done should consult the current issue of The New Yorker, which contains a crossword puzzle labeled (I think) Challenging. It is, in all the right ways. It tests knowledge of the world and of the English language, not the ability to decipher and avoid tricks, ambiguities, puns, etc. It also contains, as far as I can tell, NO factual or linguistic errors. Like a breath of fresh air.

Anonymous 9:17 AM  

I'm a PhD candidate in economics and I wholeheartedly agree with Rex. While I love seeing econ referenced in a puzzle, and many elements of the grid are impressive, sizable chunks of the fill felt a bit like a slog. While I appreciate the constructor's effort, the puzzle as a whole didn't quite hit the mark.

(Although in all fairness/transparency, my primary field is decision theory, so I'd have far preferred including Marshall, Bernoulli, von Neumann/Morgenstern, Nash, etc. over Adam Smith as the primary individual focus of the puzzle.)

Texas Momma 9:20 AM  


Excellent maraca video!

Gretchen 9:21 AM  

I enjoyed this clever puzzle. Probably because I am tutoring a student taking economics.

Ulysses 9:25 AM  

Perhaps more than a new editor, there is a need for a new blogger...

Anonymous 9:26 AM  

@Z - 12:34
Ya. Good lookin ones cost more.

Wednesday??? This is about the easiest in a long time. Though I did earn an M.A. in econ. But except for 13D, 1D, and 62A, you really didn't need the degree to figure it out. Any social science major will likely have gone through Econ 101, so shouldn't be any surprise there. Just as any college grad, even HS grad, has heard of Newton, Da Vinci, Freud, and the like. It's called a 'Liberal Education' for a reason, which has nothing to do with politics, at least directly. Well rounded educated folks do tend not to be Right Wingnuts, who do tend to be morons.

BTW, when I was in it, the M.A. required a Thesis, while the Ph.D. had a Dissertation. May be only one term is used for both these days?

I'll let you'all in on an inside joke among the Econ Set: by the causality rule of Supply and Demand, the axes are reversed from what standard math does, i.e. X is cause and Y is effect. Econ does it the other way round. Drives newbies in 101 nuts. No, I've no recollection who or why, but it was centuries ago.

Anonymous 9:27 AM  



TJS 9:27 AM  

Hey Rex, maybe you just woke up stupid this morning. It can happen. Let's look at that "Giant corner with non-obvious clues". 2D. moon related. 3D.Agassi's first name. 5D. Greek Ms (so it starts with "m" and it's a plural. 6D.Swear to. 7D middle part of the body, 8D. one-named Irish singer. So 1 A you got _LA_MATE. 17A, _ND_STRY. 23A is a gimme. 20 A is a gimme.

Thank you, Professor.

Just Asking 9:30 AM  

I am a newbie and this was a really good Monday level puzzle. I have been reading this blog for a while and find it interesting how little things trigger the 'experts' and how upset they can get over 'editorial' issues. Perhaps understanding the various agendas may help, but it is just a puzzle. This was a smart one too!

oceanjeremy 9:35 AM  

Just two for that day! The fourth we saw overall.

We put in an application for another apartment a week earlier and didn’t get it — there were already three other applicants on that one.

We get an official confirmation today as to whether we get the apartment of our dreams, but there are no other applicants so it looks good so far. 🤞

Milton Friedman 9:35 AM  

Those that are complaining it is an "Economics puzzle" are showing their ignorance. Yes, it may be out of your wheelhouse but that doesn’t make it less fair game. Crossing of CHOPRA/AHN was tough, I guessed right. Thanks Eric, I enjoyed your puzzle . PS I do the hard copy and noticed that the squares were slightly smaller o account for the room the heavy lines take up.

Richard Stanford 9:42 AM  

FWIW I did find the theme enjoyable. It was only the clustered PPP that made this one a slog. DIDO was legitimately historical although probably not Monday worthy, similar to ELIE. ADIN/CHOPRA/AHN and ESO and you either knew or you didn’t.

Bubbabythebay 9:45 AM  

What's not to love about this puzzle? A perfect equilibrium between supply and demand for rappers, team mascots, obscure college towns and Harry Potter ( ie the lines intersect at zero) for this solver. It's said that an economist is someone who never met a human being but once had one explained to them.I wonder who's been explaining cruciverbalists to Rex?

Anonymous 9:46 AM  

I understand some peoples' aversion to a theme this wonky and dry, especially since it came a couple of days too early this week, but cmon--supply and demand is a pretty much universally understood concept! It's as fundamental to economics, and broadly applicable outside of the classroom, as, like, multiplication is to mathematics, or sentence structure is to writing. To complain about it because you "don't like it" is fine--de gustibus, whatever--but to complain because you think its arcane or irrelevant is nuts!

johnk 9:49 AM  

So easy that I simply filled it in - until I got to the AHN CHOPRA cross, which I guessed correctly. Overall, a good Monday puzzle.

oceanjeremy 9:50 AM  

In Tolkien’s Elvish language it’s pronounced with an “ow” sound, like “Cow.” Smowg. Tolkien was a linguist. In a 1938 letter to the editor of The Observer he said Smaug is “the past tense of the primitive German verb Smugan, to squeeze through a hole: a low philological jest.”

And a hilarious jest at that, am I right? 🤷🏻‍♂️

I haven’t watched the movies but obsessively read the books as a kid in the 80s/90s. Smaug was a fearsome beast in my mind.

Paul & Kathy 9:53 AM  

I didn't have any real trouble with the NW but this is the first time I've ever had to look something up for a Monday puzzle. Our esteemed host didn't even say anything about crossing Ahn, Dido, and Chopra. Seriously, WTH?

Not going to lie, usually I'm more even-tempered over the quality of the puzzle than this blog is, but today I'm just as annoyed as he is.

Paul & Kathy 9:56 AM  

@Anonymous Read diagonally. SUPPLY and DEMAND, as in this puzzle is a graph. When one goes up, the other goes down, and vice versa. Kind of like gas prices.

Just Asking 9:57 AM  

I am a newbie and found this to be a solid average Monday. I never cease to be amazed at the vitriol when a subject or clue falls outside the wheelhouse of those commenting. It is amusing how lack of knowledge on a Monday subject, is often deflected as sorrow for those poor beginners! Of course I am not privy to the insider politics of posters v editors, but I do enjoy many of the posts and appreciate your insights.

Todd 9:57 AM  

While I agree this wasn't a Monday puzzle I liked the theme. My biggest issues where with Tisket/Jukes and AHN. ? I really can't understand how Rex wants solvers to be open to more diverse and varied puzzles which are out of our personal wheelhouses but then whines on and on about puzzle topics which are alien or less interesting to him.

Doug Garr 10:02 AM  

Wow, Rex calls for Will Shortz to step down!!!! Andrew Cuomo scandal brewing in the crossword world. This is news.....

Jess 10:04 AM  

Did not finish. ADIN/AHN and AAMCO/GTOS did me in (two car things crossing, booooo).

I love graphs. I teach statistics. This was icky. I am (almost) the target market for this because I think graphs are so cool, and the imaginative space of turning a crossword into a graph is underexplored. But this was not great.

And can we talk about LAYITONME, HASATASTE, TOLDTO, SODOI. So many boring multiword miniphrases.

Anonymous 10:05 AM  

Please....what does “PPP” stand for? Please?

Anonymous 10:07 AM  

What the hell is a “PB”?

Ferguson 10:07 AM  

You’ve never heard the ads “AA toot toot MCO???

Barbara S. 10:08 AM  

@Frantic Sloth 8:48
I figured that not only would this quotation pass the Breakfast Test, it actually was breakfast! Fair warning, though: there's an upcoming passage that references food that I suspect will fail the BT with flying colors. We'll see.

mathgent 10:09 AM  

I agree with @egsforbreakfast (1:32). A very cool crossword grid mimicking a supply-demand graph. As one who has not studied economics, I'm happy to learn a little something about the graphs that economists use.

It makes sense. A puzzle about economics has no sparkle.

I'm a cranky old man who gets annoyed a thousand times a day, but never because a puzzle isn't right for the day of the week.

We saw Nomadland the other night. Beautiful film.

Tim Aurthur 10:14 AM  

@Nancy, I also had JaKES, thinking it must be a portmanteau for "jump" and "fake." And the double A of SMAaG looks convincingly Scandinavian.

wa 10:21 AM  

I must have missed the 2000 version of Ms. World. I swear I have seen all the rest. I am watching tapes of all 1990's Mr. Universe in preparation for tomorrow's puzzle.

RooMonster 10:24 AM  

Hey All !
Well, we found SatPuzs missing dreck. It all migrated to this MonPuz!

I did enjoy the concept. Yep, puz looks like Rex's graph. You get yer PRICE, QUANTITY, SUPPLY, DEMAND. Plus the "Revealer" of ECONOMICS and it's (apparently) "Father". So as a different, neat type puz, it works just fine. The NYT puz app has the Oversized arrow/line thingies. So not sure where Rex's tirade about no indicators of a theme is coming from. You knew something was up just from the arrows and the symmetric circles.

To have QUANTITY (an 8 letterer) go across the bottom, you have to have the opposite/symmetric corner also be an eight. Otherwise, you'd have to use left/right symmetry. So you run into a bit of a problem with having PRICE as a crucial themer, and having to have a big corner. But funny enough, that NW corner came out the cleanest! All the constraints of the theme is why all the dreck. I do get it, but still...

Always write in iRa for ARI Shapiro. Always. Only other writeover was AVoid-AVERT. So, it was a crunchy MonPuz, with some silly name-crossing, but I'd catagorize it as more a Tuesday than a Wednesday. IMO OMG. ☺️

17A coulda been a contender. Well, a themer, anyway. It's symmetric partner unfortunately isn't.

An overall cool idea, conceptually done, but MESSY fill.

Hey @M&A - How about a runt clue for MUS? Thinking "Cow udders??"

No F's (The SUPPLY is low)

Anonymous 10:27 AM  

Your commentary is so baffling sometimes. "ADAM SMITH is in here too for some reason." Any high school junior would immediately be able to associate Adam Smith with economics.

Anonymous 10:28 AM  

If you read them on the diagonal they spell supply ( going up from the s in tisket) and demand (going down from the s in industry).

GHarris 10:33 AM  

I finished on paper and that was a plus. Knew that I was supposed to do something with the circled letters but was not in the mood to scrabble f...k. So I did and didn’t finish the puzzle. Not being strong in graphics I didn’t see the arrow lines as axes, thought they were indicators of which way to read the circled letters. I, too, opined (to my spouse) that this was challenging for a Monday and had lots of unfair PPP[ crosses. Still, I believe Rex’s rant was over the top.

Joe Dipinto 10:35 AM  

Per Jeff Chen (via @Z 7:54):

The intersection of these two lines is the equilibrium point at which the market settles.

So why not have EQUILIBRIUM and POINT crossing dead center in the grid, with an appropriate across-and-down clue (or down-and-across if you place them that way). Seems like a missed opportunity.

As is, this is just a smattering of economic terms tossed into a puzzle. The graph may be elementary for economics-savvy folk, but its meaning isn't clarified in any fashion for those who aren't. Just witness the comments here. The constructor says:

"I wrote this puzzle while taking an economics course in college. The class was mostly partial derivatives, but I'd say this makes a better crossword theme."

This what? What is it that you're illustrating here? You don't explain.

Doodle 10:36 AM  

Jukes? Is that a joke for Monday? As a woman, and a septuagenarian, what I notice is that puzzles use sports trivia/lingo names all the time, but fashion trivia is relegated to a few (YSL so often your head spins) and almost never to the level of sports stuff that is common currently. Today we had: Jukes? Adin. LPGA. Andre. Mitt. The last four were easy, but still SPORTS in 5 clues. How about opening a regular dictionary once in a while, not just relying on SPORTS and names from Harry Potter?

Gown to Dress is okay for Monday, I but so easy I did not put it in when I first read the clue. And the NW corner? I too did not get it until most crosses were in. Disagree this is Wednesday worthy, but just plain weak and occasionally Wednesday AHN with CHOPRA. Even if there was a story about her in the Arts Section the other day.

sixtyni yogini 10:36 AM  

Economics.... boooooooring for some os us liberal arties. So thought it was going to be awful.
Really not a bad way to play around with an unexciting, unfun topic.
So kinda liked it!
A gentle cruise here, but surprised and somewhat pleased that Monday easy-gimmes were not there.

Whatsername 10:40 AM  

Finished without ever understanding the theme, and while I did eventually discern the graph imagery, the whole thing just kind of fizzled. Although it won’t make my favorites list, I can see that considerable effort went into it, and I do appreciate the effort of the construction.

Agree with Rex this one was completely out of place on a Monday. I have a nephew I’m trying to get started on NYT crosswords, and I felt badly for him today. The two “axis” clues were just absurd, and the section with ADIN AHN DIDO CHOPRA would be difficult on a Friday.

Just watched Zero Dark Thirty over the weekend. Intense but very well done film with Oscar winner Jessica Chastain.

Tom R 10:43 AM  

Hey, Rex, I'm a Baha'i. Nice to see it in a puzzle. Please don't dis it as bad crosswordese fill.

Anonymous 10:49 AM  

I too am an economist making this an easy Monday for me. I would have liked some recognition of the market equilibrium rather than the letter R.

Unknown 10:55 AM  

Actually found this puzzle pretty simple, given that I am in business. A puzzle with movie actors/actresses on the other hand, now that makes it hard for me. I think it just depends on what you know, right?

tea73 11:00 AM  

Oof. I never cheat on a Monday, but I could not remember Bareilles' first name - had Ariana Grande in my head and had stupidly written AmaCO. Thank heavens I knew CHOPRA (as a name not this one) because I sure didn't know AHN.

It's on me that I never took Economics - every year in college I thought I would take Ec 1 and every year there was either something I had to take for my major or something much more interesting in the same time slot. Every time someone talks numbers to me my eyes cross.

I usually run through the acrosses, the first one I got was 20 ESAU. Luckily the downs weren't quite so bad. But yeah. This was not a Monday puzzle.

Anonymous 11:00 AM  

LOL. On including Adam Smith, rex's comment is that he "is in here for some reason too." Hmm, I get that rex doesn't like the subject of the puzzle. I understand that he feels it was too hard for a Monday. But, please, one of his acolytes, explain to me how that comment is anywhere near reasonable?
The puzzle is about economics. Adam Smith is the father of economics. Why is Rex bewildered?
I think the answer is that he wasn't bewildered. the comment is one of the techniques he often employs to disparage. He tosses off an insult as if it were an innocent observation. It is nothing of the kind of course. It's meant to bolster his claim that the puzzle was wanting. And perhaps this puzzle is. But surely not for including Adam Smith.

bocamp 11:01 AM  

@Texas Momma 9:20 AM 👍

@Just Asking 9:30 AM

Welcome aboard! 😊

Ready for the SB

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Anonymous 11:03 AM  

@Ferguson, 10:07:

Not in a dog's age. Took a minute to remember which letter is doubled.

As to 'Fatherhood' - only because
1 - he's English speaker
2 - 'Wealth of Nations' was published 1776, a date that will live in famy
3 - he called the field Political Economics
4 - he began the tradition of Economists acting as defenders of capitalist exploitation

Economics, as a structured study, pre-dates by a long time. the wiki starts the clock with

"Two groups, who later were called "mercantilists" and "physiocrats", more directly influenced the subsequent development of the subject. Both groups were associated with the rise of economic nationalism and modern capitalism in Europe. Mercantilism was an economic doctrine that flourished from the 16th to 18th century in a prolific pamphlet literature, whether of merchants or statesmen. It held that a nation's wealth depended on its accumulation of gold and silver. Nations without access to mines could obtain gold and silver from trade only by selling goods abroad and restricting imports other than of gold and silver. The doctrine called for importing cheap raw materials to be used in manufacturing goods, which could be exported, and for state regulation to impose protective tariffs on foreign manufactured goods and prohibit manufacturing in the colonies.[35]

Physiocrats, a group of 18th-century French thinkers and writers, developed the idea of the economy as a circular flow of income and output. Physiocrats believed that only agricultural production generated a clear surplus over cost, so that agriculture was the basis of all wealth. Thus, they opposed the mercantilist policy of promoting manufacturing and trade at the expense of agriculture, including import tariffs. Physiocrats advocated replacing administratively costly tax collections with a single tax on income of land owners. In reaction against copious mercantilist trade regulations, the physiocrats advocated a policy of laissez-faire, which called for minimal government intervention in the economy.[36]
[my emphasis]

Adam Smith (1723–1790) was an early economic theorist.[37] Smith was harshly critical of the mercantilists but described the physiocratic system "with all its imperfections" as "perhaps the purest approximation to the truth that has yet been published" on the subject."

You may notice, or not, that mercantilism sounds a lot like MAGA, and you'd be right. One might also see that mercantilism is the basis of post WWII Bretton Woods motivated dominance of the world's economy by the USofA. Well, until OPEC figured out that some 'raw materials' supply can be used as a cudgel against First World economies. China is doing that with rare earths and lithium. How long before China, et al form the Organization of Lithium Exporting Countries? Want that Tesla?? Pay us.

albatross shell 11:04 AM  

DANG. I just noticed:
I'M A E-SPY in the CIA

Anonymous 11:06 AM  

@Joe Dipinto:
This what? What is it that you're illustrating here? You don't explain.

What he means: since Samuelson's first text, ~1947, economics has devolved from logical argument to math scribbling. It is no wiser for the change.

burtonkd 11:09 AM  

RITAORA was just mentioned on the Bodega Boys podcast! Sad that I knew her from xwords...

@Doodle - I think JUKES and its cousin DEKES are used in xwords far more frequently than in sportsworld. see also FEINT and FAKE, which you do actually hear regularly.

Definite Natick at AHN/CHOPRA. At least the name is familiar from DEEPAK.

@Roomonster - the NPR hosts xword murderers duo is ARI Shapiro and IRA Glass. Throw in ISSARAE to your R + 2 vowels bank. May RAO will appear as a pasta sauce tomorrow.

Hands up for definitely not a Monday puzzle, thankfully.

NW designed to be anti-Rex since he starts with a solid across and takes off from there. The downs, as another poster mentioned, were all easy.

Anonymous 11:11 AM  

Moderator, Thanks for removing the 7:57 post.

Amy 11:13 AM  

Print played like a slightly quirky Monday - heavy lines abs arrows indicating graph - and I was able to draw lines connecting supply side and demand - so a good Monday.

Uke Xensen 11:17 AM  

Apart from AHN/CHOPRA this seemed Monday easy though a bit dull. Ignored the circled letters. All in all kind of meh but nothing to get worked up about.

Stu 11:17 AM  

Ironically, found it fairly easy without any effort to understand the theme. If you ignore the theme, the circles, and the perimeter lines, and just resoond to the clues, it is pretty simple.

Anonymous 11:24 AM  

JUKES crossing SMAUG. WTF?

Carola 11:25 AM  

I liked this one: it was nice to have something different on a Monday - that is, nice for me, who's been solving forever; I can see it could be a tough row to hoe for a newcomer. "ECONOMICS? LAY IT ON ME!" is something I'd never say (I associate the field with "impenetrable" and "coma-inducing") but I enjoyed figuring out how SUPPLY, DEMAND, PRICE, and QUANTITY worked together in the grid. Nice job by the constructor! In the non-theme area, I liked the parallel, UTOPIA and MAPPED; would like to see it.

@oceanjeremy, I look forward to your update. Each Sunday I avidly read the NYT real estate section with a mix of envy (other people get to live in Manhattan!) and horrified fascination (the prices! the tiny spaces!). Mostly envy. Wishing you luck!

@Barbara S, that sounded like the Platonic ideal of toast! The slathered-with-butter part brought back a nice memory: years ago on a trip to Southern Germany a friend and I took a pleasure drive into the Black Forest and stopped at a farm that served snacks on a sun-flooded deck. The menu: thick slices of rye bread served with a thick layer of butter topped with a thick layer of their own honey. Sigh.

Canon Chasuble 11:30 AM  

No doubt about it, this is the BEST Monday puzzle that's been run in a long, long time.
Interesting intellectually, thoughtful, clever and everything else. Too bad this kind of ability at puzzle making isn't found on a Sunday, it would make the end of the week even better to look forward to. Just satisfying in every conceivable way.

OffTheGrid 11:33 AM  

@Roo & burtonkd. And there's Ira Flatow of PRI's "Science Friday". (Public Radio International)

Greg Miller 11:41 AM  

Everyone should know of Adam Smith as the father of economics, and accredited with the law of supply and demand, where as supply increases, prices go down, and as demand increases, prices go up. The extras such as INDUSTRY largely make up for any weal fill.

Not sure why nytcxwd needs to cater to what Rex finds interesting. Impersonally enjoy puzzles that stretch my knowledge.

Anonymous 11:42 AM  

Double A beep beep MCO

Frantic Sloth 11:44 AM  

@Barbara S 1008am Yum! Can't wait! 😁

@Lewis Isn't it nice to see your grandson where "the market settles"? This can only mean big things for the little dude. 😘

@Whatsername 1040am Not to be that person (though I get to be one so rarely), but Jessica Chastain has yet to win an Oscar. Nominated, yes - several times - but, alas, not a win...yet.

@Anonymous 1005am I'm surprised no one has answered you yet, but I'm sure there will be more to follow...

*PPP - Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns. Experience suggests that when answers are anything over a third some group of solvers will have problems.
(@Z is usually the default arbiter (in here) of its definition and the formula for determining what percentage of the grid can be labeled as PPP.)

albatross shell 11:51 AM  

@Anon 11am
Maybe he was joking. Maybe he did not read the clue which connects to the revealer which makes the joking more likely. Sort of like @frantic's late comment yesterday on a stupid clue. It was taken seriously despite the winking eye emoji.

Anonymous 11:52 AM  

I'm still new enough that some common crosswordese still sneaks up on me and messes up a puzzle. So are ADIN AAMCO or AHN common crosswordese? I can go look it up on the answers database, but I'm wondering if more experienced puzzlers would have instantly recognized any of those.

That combination left me with three blank squares when I'd finished everything else that I was completely clueless about because they were all PPPs I was either unfamiliar with or knew just enough to mess myself up. Since I'm familiar with GTAS but not GTOS I basically screwed myself on the AAMCO/GTOS cross. Then I'm staring at _DI_ crossing with _AMCA (which is already wrong) and AH_. What a joke!!

oceanjeremy 11:54 AM  

Before you get too enthralled in envy, please just know that the *process* of looking for apartments in NYC is grueling, disheartening, dehumanizing and exhausting. :)

oceanjeremy 11:55 AM  

Most likely a "Personal Best"

oceanjeremy 12:00 PM  

I had to google what you were talking about and, it turns out, YES. I have seen that commercial.

But I saw it many years ago before I was a car owner, so the info didn't stick. For the last five to seven years I've been living a life almost devoid of advertisement. I stream everything I watch with ad blockers. Makes for a much quieter brain (and happier brain!), but it means I miss out on crossword clues like this. Double edged sword! :)

Slugger O’Toole 12:03 PM  

Meh. I wasn’t crazy about this one but I disagree with Rex about the editor. I do several crosswords a day and the a Times is usually among the best if not the best IMHO. #Team Shortz

Marcus Chance 12:04 PM  

I've starting doing Mondays and Tuesdays by working through all the downs first. Usually that gets me 80% of the squares and I just have to consult a few across clues to finish. Today I only got 50% of the downs and had to run the *entire* list of acrosses to finish - that tells me this is firmly in Wednesday territory. Don't recall ever skipping 1D on a Monday.

That said, I was satisfied with the theme, though the circled letters are something you have to go back and reflect on after the solve.

Regarding a change of editors, not sure a new one would be "radically" different, but it sounds like the community is pretty hungry for "any kind of" different.

kitshef 12:09 PM  

Adam Smith had been dead for a century before the graphical representation of supply and demand was developed. Having him in the puzzle is a bit like having puzzle about cow breeds and throwing in "Mendel" as a themer because he is the father of genetics.

Whatsername 12:11 PM  

@Just Asking (9:57) “It is amusing how lack of knowledge on a Monday subject, is often deflected as sorrow for those poor beginners!” It happens I made exactly such a comment today (10:40), that this particular puzzle would have been discouraging for a young beginner I am mentoring. But truly, it had nothing whatsoever to do with my own level of knowledge or solving experience. I can’t speak for everyone obviously, but I think most people on this blog want to share their love of crosswording and tend to encourage novices where they see a spark of interest. So IMHO, when you see such statements here, in most cases it is a genuine expression of concern for those who are still low on the learning curve more than any implied snark about the difficultly level, but I can see how you might draw that conclusion. I’m glad you joined the conversation today and don’t intend this as a criticism toward your comment at all. I guess what I mean is . . . Just Saying. 😌

@Frantic (11:44) Dang! I could’ve sworn she won for ZD30. If you ask me, she deserved it and also for her performance as the blonde ditz in The Help. Sigh! Well if anyone had to be that person I’m glad it was you. 😉

Masked and Anonymous 12:12 PM  

har & yep. This puppy didn't really scream out "Perfect MonPuz", at our house. It was a pretty good candidate for a puz later in the week, tho. I thought maybe it was published today, becuz it was "National Economics Day", or somesuch. Closest the M&A Research Desk could come up with is that 21 March is World Home Economics Day, tho. … And, that today is International Women's Day, as someone already mentioned.

I know … It's gonna be "Ornery X-Words [OX-W] Week" at the NYTPuz. Bring it, Shortzmeister. [snort]

Unlike @RP, M&A tore thru that NW corner quicker than snot. Saw the y-axis clue, looked down at the bottom x-axis clue, checked out the little arrow lines on the west & south puzsides. Saw The Circles [and reckoned @RP would be thrilled]. Knew we'd be graphin somethin. Thought maybe PRICE vs. EARNINGS, initially. But M&A ain't no economist.

Bottom puzgrid half got tougher, at our house. Had all that AHN/CHOPRA/DIDO & ADAMSMITH/SMAUG stuff in it. Fillins probably eventually got corralled into desperation mode, tryin to squeeze all that diagonal SUPPLY/DEMAND theme stuff in there, with no flexibleness on where them circled letters were splatzed. That'll happen.

staff weeject pick: AHN. Thanx to CHOPRA, which I'd somehow heard of, I survived that crossin and was able to move ahn, with minimal (further) nanosecond damage.

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue -- Believe it or not, there were lotsa candidates to choose from. Even in @RP's "despised" NW corner... How'bout {Moon-related} = LUNAR? Or {Greek M's} = MUS? Or {Before, poetically} = ERE? The defense rests.

Thanx for the feisty start to a OX-W Week, Mr. Bornstein. And for the econ quickie-course.

Masked & Anonym007Us


Z 12:15 PM  

Wow, breaking 100 before noon. I guess the puzzle and the review pressed some buttons.

@Frantic Sloth 8:48 - That is a very G-rated reading.

@Anon9:26 - So you're saying it isn't just SUPPLY or DEMAND that determines PRICE? Who knew? Well, probably the person studying Decision Theory (which makes me wonder how much overlap there is with Political Science...)
X is cause and Y is effect. Huh? If I ever learned that I've forgotten. Probably because Stats class drove home that correlation does not mean causation. X might cause Y, Y might cause X, or some some other factor Z might cause both X and Y.

@Anon 11:03 - Thanks for the refresher. I've got a sneaking suspicion that other civilizations had theories on how economics worked, but that's a good recap of the basis for modern economic theory.

Lots of people chiding others for disliking this puzzle and asserting it is because of the Economics theme. No, that's not it (at least, not only it).
1. The clues for PRICE and QUANTITY are non-clues until you get the theme. This, specifically, is unusual for a Monday puzzle, puzzles geared towards new solvers.
2. As Rex ranted about at length, there's also no indication that these are part of the theme. So when people say it's not a Monday, this is a big part. No help for a new solver to realize that the weird non-clue is actually related to the theme.
3. PPP, Pop Culture, Product names, and other Proper nouns is always going to be there, but besides CHOPRA (Deepak seems more Mondayish to me) crossing AHN and DIDO, there's just a lot that seems esoteric or deep cut (AAMCO and SMAUG stand out - although maybe Benedict Cumberbatch voicing SMAUG got that name a little more notice). Some of this is fine for a Wednesday puzzle, but as I said earlier, the CHOPRA crosses seem downright Saturdayish to me.
4. The fill... well we can always wish for better short fill, but ENYA getting an ESPY hit the sub-optimal alarms here.

Personally, slotting this on a Wednesday and maybe reworking some of the fill would have had me liking this more.

Nancy 12:17 PM  

@oceanjeremy -- The three most wonderful words you can hear when applying for an apartment you really want is "No other applicants"!

Wishing you the best of luck and keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Since you commented on yesterday's blog even later than I did, I assume you saw my post on the subject.

CT2NAPA 12:31 PM  

As I see it there are 4 clues related to the theme. After the easy crosses I think I had

1D - P _ I C E
13D - E C _ N _ M I C S
32D - _ D A M _ _ I T H
62A - Q U _ N T _ T Y

Not too hard to finish, given the clue for 13D

That is the extent of thinking about ECONOMICS.

Anonymous 12:37 PM  

@Z 12:15 -

well, cause and effect in the math sense of function vs. relation: a function of X value maps to a single Y value, while a relation allows multiple X values to map to a Y value.

those seeking more detail (few to none I suspect):

the reference to Mankiw came up first; he's not my cup of economics tea.

pabloinnh 12:40 PM  


To your 11:54 post describing you search as "disheartening, dehumanizing, and exhausting", I would add "unbelievable, preposterous, and life-changing". We've been looking for a new place to live for the last three months after selling our house last fall (we're still in it), but the real estate market has gone totally haywire. We finally found a condo and will move in April, but all the work, both satisfying and unpleasant of home ownership will disappear. It has taken me three hours to mow our lawn on a riding mower with a four foot deck, for instance, and my wife's countless hours in her gardens are no more. Ay vida.

I congratulate you on your good fortune and hope it works out.

Anonymous 12:49 PM  

Anon 12:37,

Give up. Z will never admit error. He's cling to a reed he thinks makes him smart ( correlation is not the same as causation) while failing to understand that while that is very true it is also a non starter in the discussion at hand.

GILL I. 12:54 PM  

With apologies to all the economists of this world.....I dated one ONCE. His name was Howdy Doody ( was Howard). He was probably the most boring, self serving, bad dresser, I ever had the joy of wasting an evening with. Had he picked his nose throughout dinner, I might've enjoyed him a bit more.
So I looked at this and hoped Eric would at least LAY IT ON ME. Go ahead...make my day. Give e a Monday puzzle that won't make me TISKET my tasket. Well, my TISKET made me hungry so I did a @Barbara S...I went and toasted my home-made rye and slathered it with some Gambozola cheese and a spread of fig jam. I need to get a little CHOPRA AHN to taste like Monday goodies. It didn't. Hump day calling?
Oh... I also did the JUKES/JaKES dance like @Nancy. How could I forget SMAUG? Easy...He was butt ugly.
Still digesting last night's OPRAH interview with Meghan. And to think that at one time (the I was about 5) I wanted to be a princess...
@chefwen. I'm with you, amiga....Bring on the food and wine puzzle....Any takers? @Nancy? @Lewis? @Roo? @M&A?
La MARACA, La MARACA....ya no puede caminar......

Dave S 12:55 PM  

Just like 90% of the time, I had to read about the puzzle afterward to fully understand the theme, I'm always too focused on just filling in the blanks. When I did, I thought that was pretty clever, but, yeah, I guess it didn't add anything to my actual solving of the puzzle. I love tricky, punny clues (so I'm always on a different wavelength than Rex) and this didn't have any that I noticed. But I liked the bit of a challenge on a Monday, though I can see why other might not. It was a slow Monday even before I had to run the alphabet to get something that "sounded right" for that actor crossing. But overall a decent solve, for me. Don't recall having any particular difficulty with "price" and "quantity" even though I never made it past Economics 101 (ah, Samuelson, I remember thee not-too-well). don't really get the objection to economics as a theme. It's a nice break from the "sens" and "reps" that always pop up.

CDilly52 12:57 PM  

Another one of those themes that stumped me until the very end when I could spell it out literally. And starting out with the x-y axis did not help at all. And I don’t care.

Second Monday in a row with a puzzle that is entirely appropriate to the day and interesting at the same time. I treating dill, nothing so far out that it couldn’t be acquired through the intersecting answers, very light on the PPP, with truly almost no pure junk: ERE, IMA and ESO (which, like I’MA is at least part of a song title but without the punctuation makes me cringe), and a couple other three letter answers that are legit.

Got stalled a bit by putting “miss” for LASS, but once I got to the downs, the BAHAI cleared up that BALI was the correct down and problem solved.

Excellent Monday. Two excellent Mondays in succession. Hope to see two excellent weeks!

Joe Dipinto 1:06 PM  

@oceanjeremy – Check the bathroom mirror of any apartments you look at.

relicofthe60s 1:06 PM  

The concept for the puzzle is fine, and there’s nothing wrong with economics as a subject, but this was on the wrong day, so for once I agree with Rex. But he fails to mention the worst thing about it: the crossing of an obscure actor (AHN) with an obscure actress (CHOPRA). If that’s not a Natick, I don’t know what is. And it’s made worse by throwing in DIDO and ADIN, neither of which are Monday appropriate. On a Monday CHOPRA has to be Deepak.

Teedmn 1:10 PM  

I saw the arrows on the edges of the grid and leaped to the NE to get as far as possible from what was going on there, whatever it might be. Hence I had the ECONOMICS theme handed to me early on and it troubled me little after that.

I did do some head-scratching when I was all finished and was wondering what to do with the circles but I saw SUPPLY going up shortly after looking around and then drew my SUPPLY and DEMAND grid lines. Nice.

AAMCO/SARA and AHN/CHOPRA both held me up along with DIDO whom I know was in a grid not long ago. She gave me trouble back then but I recognized her, sort of, this time.

I threw down SMAUG but considered that footballers, like hockey players, might be deKING, but ST JUDE persuaded me that JUKES worked better.

So I didn't love this puzzle but I appreciate the gridwork. Thanks, Eric Bornstein.

SFR 1:14 PM  

Seen from here in EUGENE, when you get down to it, the conclusion of ECONOMICS is UTOPIA ADIEU.

Hartley70 1:17 PM  

I found this a wildly difficult Tuesday until it dawned on me after I finished meditating that it was a Monday. Be still my heart, a challenging Monday is even better. I know next to nothing about economics, the next being ADAMSMITH so I was doing fine there. PPP is my “thang” as they say, but Priyanka was too long. And I knew I’d need @Z to explain those axis thingies that I got from the crosses (Thanks to@Z for the ROOTS help yesterday).I finished thinking there wasn’t much to that ECONOMICS theme until I did a serious perusal of the grid. I just love that AHA moment every time!

Frantic Sloth 1:17 PM  

@Just Asking 957am What @Whatsername 1211pm said. Also, it might help to know that most commenters here are fully aware of the ridiculousness of criticizing something we obviously love doing. It's not to be taken so seriously - at least that's what works for me, and I suspect, many others. The exception is that any concern for new solvers is utterly sincere. We've all been there and can appreciate that just because something is old hat to some of us who have been doing these things for decades (and - have you noticed? - still don't get a lot of stuff!), it in no way precludes our ability to empathize with those who haven't. Encourage, not discourage is the nutshell version.

@Whatsername 1211pm You are too kind and I cannot agree more about her performance in The Help. Absolutely charmed the socks off me. If I were @Z, it would probably be some other article of clothing.

@Z 1215pm If you think what I said was G-rated, you clearly have no knowledge of the family business.😉 Seriously, dude. Can you get your mind out of the gutter just one time?? Echoes of the Ypsilanti water tower...yeeks!🤣

@GILL 1254pm What am I? Chopped liver? If so, call me pâté and take me along to the soirée. (Just joshing. Don't want to spark another "cool kids" controversy over a non-event. 🤪)

bigsteve46 1:18 PM  

Is there now a rule that there HAS to be a Harry Potter or a Star Wars clue in EVERY single puzzle? There are probably 10 Harry Potter clues to every Shakespeare clue. Culture/Education/Class elevator? Going down!!

DJG 1:21 PM  

I liked the puzzle very much, but agree with the consensus that it was misplaced on Monday.

I don't get the outrage over the AHN/CHOPRA crossing, however. I feel like there is "Natick Creep" on this blog, where people use the term for any crossing of proper nouns with which they are personally unfamiliar.

I this case the H at AHN/CHOPRA was gettable by:

1. Knowing Priyanka CHOPRA (an international superstar and one of the 100 most influential people in the world per Time) or knowing Philip AHN (reasonably big actor in his day, but never as famous as Ms. CHOPRA, certainly).

2. Recognizing Priyanka as an Indian name and knowing that CHOPRA is a common Indian surname.

3. Looking at the letter combination and inferring that H is by far the likeliest candidate.

Given those three different paths, I think the vast majority of solvers could fill it in correctly. If you're one of the few who couldn't -- that's okay; people get things wrong -- but it's not the puzzle's fault, in my opinion.

Hartley70 1:22 PM  

@pabloinnh, congrats on a satisfactory ending to your quest. My son has found out the hard way that it’s easy to sell for a nice profit outside NYC in these times, but much more difficult to buy.

JC66 1:25 PM  


Don't take it personally (like I almost did). @GILL I was only listing known crossword constructors.

Anonymous 1:25 PM  

@bigsteve46 ... neither one was in today's puzzle?

RooMonster 1:34 PM  

Yes, didn't you get the memo?

Forgot to mention before the cool DANG for me in this here puz. Dang. 😁 Makes up nicely for the F lack. F lack flack? Aflac! (Worried about my state of mind yet?)

RooMonster DANG Guy

Nancy 1:41 PM  

@Dave S (12:55) -- Was everyone in the entire country assigned the same damn textbook? If I hated my one college class in ECONOMICS -- and I did -- Samuelson is the main reason why. A "dismal" combination of dreary and abstruse.

@Teedmn -- Like you I really wanted DEKES for the sports fake, but ST JUDE ruled that out. That's how I ended up with JAKES. It sure seemed better than JUKES.

@Joe D -- If I watch your link, will I get nightmares? I clicked on, heard the word "creepy" and clicked off immediately. I'm such a scaredy-cat about horror imagery.

@GILL -- Maybe, but not from me.

Anoa Bob 1:43 PM  

I used to teach research statistics when I was still in the chalk-and-talk trade and graph construction and interpretation was a big part of the course. So I was perplexed when I tried to decipher this one.

My first reaction to the crossing circled letters was seeing DEMAND going down (from upper left to lower right) while SUPPLY was going up (from lower left to upper right). Isn't that bass-ackward? I thought a decrease in DEMAND would result in a decrease in SUPPLY and vice versa.

And since the convention in graph construction is to have increasing values going from bottom to top on the Y-axis and going from left to right on the X-axis, it appears the graph shows SUPPLY increasing while PRICE is also increasing. Again I thought the reverse was true, that when SUPPLY increases PRICE decreases.

Maybe I need another cup of coffee. Or maybe I just have this ECONOMICS stuff all wrong in my head. DANG!

In another respect though, this puzz was totally ON, what with RUN OUT ON, PREY ON and LAY IT ON ME.

Another clue for 42A IMA: "___ Hogg". She was known as "The First Lady of Texas" for much of the 20th century.

Does MUS (5D) mean to make MESSY (50D)?

faber 1:50 PM  

If Rex had been a math guy, he would have found this easy like I did. Also, when stuck in NW corner, move to a different one. Other corners were simple and once the theme was revealed and the y-axis appeared, the rest was obvious. After I finished, it took me a bit to see supply and demand and when i did, it made me laugh.

bigsteve46 1:52 PM  

Sorry - didn't include "Hobbit" crap in my list along with Harry Potter and Star Wars. I get all that fantasy/low-brow sci-fi stuff mixed up.

LorrieJJ 1:54 PM  

Rex didn't like this puzzle because it was... boring? Economics is the one thing that concerns every single person on the planet ... it's not (really boring!!!!) sports trivia or who won best actress in 1972. It is the Great Unifier! It unites or divides people unlike religion or politics or intellectual prowess.
I would have liked a bit more depth in the fill, but the theme was inventive for overall a good solving experience.

chasklu 2:01 PM  

Only thing non-monday about it is SMAUG crossing JUKES.

Frantic Sloth 2:06 PM  

@J-Dip 106pm That is hilarious. As if @oceanjeremy doesn't have enough to think about. 😂

@JC66 125pm Ha! Thank you. Speaking of hilarious...the good news is I didn't take it personally. The bad news is, as usual, I didn't notice the common denominator. Is that a mathy problem? 🤔

bocamp 2:27 PM  

@DJG 1:21 PM

Agree wholeheartedly with your thinking here. I was one of those who guessed wrong in that area. Wasn't the first time and won't be the last.

I really wanted CHOPRA, as it seemed familiar language-wise, but liked DIDI more than DIDO and thot CHIPRA could be an Indian name. No harm done; learned some things, and it was still a fine puzzle, hi @Eric.

I agree, to some extent, with maybe running it on a Tues. or Wednes. (with slightly tougher cluing). or leaving it as a Mon. and cluing CHOPRA as Deepak, hi @Z (12:15 PM) and @relicofthe60s (1:06 PM).

Bottom line: seems most got the puzzle right, so I don't really have any huge issues with it the way it was.

As a bonus, looks like a few new commenters today, so welcome aboard! Stick around and enjoy the camaraderie. 😊

td pg - 1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Joe Dipinto 2:35 PM  

@Nancy – no you won't get nightmares. It's just sort of amusing, and strange, in an "only in New York" kind of way.

sanfranman59 2:47 PM  

Very Challenging NYT Monday ... 44%(!) above my NYT Monday 6-month median solve time

This ends my run of 13 straight NYT solve times below my 6-month median and I was nowhere near that pace with this puzzle. In fact, this is my slowest Monday solve time since 9/10/2018. Ouch! 5:45 is more typical of a Wednesday solve time for me these days.

As a retired statistician, I was completely thrown by PRICE {1D: Y-axis}. I just kept staring at it (a major solve time killer on a Monday!), but it simply didn't make any sense at all until I got to QUANTITY {62A: X-axis} near the end of my solve. Such off-the-wall and obscure cluing just doesn't seem right for what is supposed to be a beginner's level puzzle.

Furthermore, a double-cross like AHN {47A: Actor Philip with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame}/CHOPRA {44D: Actress Priyanka who was 2000's Miss World}/DIDO {52A: Legendary queen and founder of Carthage} almost certainly would have been a double-Natick for me in my early solving days. As it was, it took almost all of the crosses for me to recognize CHOPRA. I know Deepak, but am lost when it comes to the names of beauty contest winners (on International Women's Day???). 'Red TIDES' before RIP TIDES {57A: Hazards for offshore swimmers} was a time sap and were I not a big Tolkien fan, SMAUG {51A: Dragon in "The Hobbit"} would surely have chewed up some time as well. I'm really surprised that Will ran this puzzle today.

Maybe it was a wavelength thing or it's just not my day for solving crosswords (which sure doesn't bode well for my prospects with tonight's Boswords puzzle). In spite of my natural inclination for all things math-related, I never did well with economic concepts back in school. This probably explains my general ambivalence toward (and occasional outright revulsion at) capitalism.

Now that I've read the reviews, I gather that the axes of the graph were much more apparent in the print version and the NYT app. Alas, I use Ralph Bunker's online app to solve puzzles and whatever help that might have offered didn't come through there.

Cardinal Crossies 3:05 PM  

full disclosure, i'm kinda at the point where i don't really ~do~ crossword puzzles, especially during weekdays (save thursday and friday, maybe), so with that said, i didn't really do this puzzle either. but cmon. the theme is real sharp. sorry people don't understand what you deride (?) as the foundation of economics, but maybe crossword puzzles are meant to be meaty. maybe you're meant to learn something? bold, i know. but this is a meaty puzzle. again, for someone who also derides "staleness" and "inaccessibility" in puzzles, i'm very much in your camp. but call me a bit of a reactionary, perhaps: i just am so so skeptical of the subdued anti-intellectual sentiment that consistently crops up in this blog. and i know, if i don't like the blog i can simply not read it, and i often don't for this very reason, but this particular puzzle and critique really irked me (and yeah, i'm a salty interdisciplinary economics adjacent guy, so that's probably why). but again, i like a lot of your other critiques and agree with a lot of what you say, so take all i say with a liberal dose of salt. i also have some thoughts on the consistent negativity on most of these posts, but maybe we'll get into that later. xoxo

Wordsmith 3:39 PM  

Challenging but interesting puzzle. troublesome is the repeated criticism of NYT and its puzzle editor.

EFB 3:42 PM  


Anonymous 3:47 PM  

I'm among those who do not find most works on economics appealing. But I think it is important to have some basic knowledge of general concepts, and I welcome descriptions such as Anon. (11:03) of mercantilism and the doctrines of the underrated physiocrats. These important for the development and early history of capitalism.

One minor quibble, or footnote, to the puzzle, re 21D UTOPIA being a "golden state." This a nice play on words and may sound logical, but "gold" and utopia at least for a time were odd companions. In the early Renaissance a number of painters viewed the heavy reliance on gold in paintings as too medieval or Byzantine (the exceptions to this are infinite, I know, but I am thinking of the use of pastels by Giotto (14th c.) and later painters who owed him much). Renaissance humanists such as Leonardo Bruni, Niccolo' Niccoli, and my Poggio (all 15th century) ridiculed knights who paraded about with their gold and jewelry, and humanist books tended to rely less on golden miniatures and bindings, so characteristic of medieval bibles, where the gold was a sort of way of honoring God, or presenting him with a valuable gift. The modern conception of Utopia derives I think from the English Christian humanist Thomas More (16th c.), in his work entitled *Utopia*, still often assigned in undergraduate survey courses. (The term derives from a passage in Plato's *Republic*, where he says the place [topos] he is describing is "no place" [ou topos].) In More's Utopia, a sort of antipodean counterpart of his England, gold is held in such low regard that it is used to make toilets, as a sort of technique of drumming out of the Utopians' heads any possible fascination with it.

Anon. i.e. Poggius

Z 3:56 PM  

@Frantic Sloth - But when your mind is in the gutter things are always looking up...

@bigsteve46 1:52 - I knew what you meant. GoT is also on the list I assume.

@DJG - 1. Priyanka CHOPRA is less widely known than N.C. Wyeth, despite what Time might say. Someone whose Wikipedia page says she is one of India's highest-paid and most popular entertainers doesn't scream "Monday" to me.
2. "Priyanka" might as well be the hot young west coast rapper for all I know. Nothing about it says "Indian" to me.
2a. I have a feeling that common Indian surnames is not a topic with wide cultural saturation in the U.S. Maybe we should be more knowledgeable, but I suspect it just isn't something even 25% of solvers would know.
3. A_N for a last name can literally be any letter because names do not hold to spelling conventions. AkN looks weird, but can you actually rule it out? C_OPRA is a little more helpful, but CrOPRA, ClOPRA, and even CsOPRA are plausible (not to mention that DIDO has at least five more plausible options - Priyanka CsyPRA hardly looks impossible for a Miss World).
In short, I think this is practically a poster child for a natick, even on a Saturday. For Monday it is a howler.

@Anon12:37 - 👍🏽 - Like I said, if I ever learned this I have forgotten, but your explanation has awakened a couple sleeping neurons.

DJG 4:42 PM  

@Z I think you are way off in your assessments, particularly your statement that "Priyanka CHOPRA is less widely known than N.C. Wyeth."

"Priyanka Chopra": 61 million Google hits
"NC Wyeth": 700K Google hits

Google might be an imperfect proxy of fame, but that difference speaks for itself.

Also, on her Wikipedia, which you quote, it mentions all the ways in which she has crossed over into mainstream American pop culture, including starring on a network TV show ("Quantico"), major studio movies ("Baywatch" and others), recording hit songs with artists like Pitbull, and being married to one of the biggest pop stars of the past decade (Nick Jonas).

As for your other comments, you are clearing just guessing and given what I wrote above, I put very little stock in your guesses.

A 4:59 PM  

Challenging for Rex? I thought it was just a better Monday than most. Granted, I’m not the new solver OFL says he is concerned about, but I don’t qualify as an expert, either. Yes, 1A was a mystery, but I’m used to that feeling, as I’m sure are most new solvers. They don’t get all upset they can’t fill it in with no crosses - they just grope for toeholds. If we don’t want to be puzzled, why do puzzles?

Supporting the theme we had INDUSTRY, PREY ON, UTOPIA, ADAGE (what goes up must come down), THESES, and how about that POLE banner flying off the center? Maybe ELIE and PORGY, and Uncle SAM, too.

Seeing ELIE Wiesel's name made me think of studying the Holocaust in college. We read Wiesel's "Night" and Rubenstein’s “The Cunning of History.” The latter dealt, in part, with the how an excess SUPPLY of human population played a role in the devaluation of human life. And Rex thinks ECONOMICS is dull!

I didn’t recognize Phillip AHN’s name, so I looked him up. OMG of course - over 180 film/tv credits. I used to love “Kung Fu” and he played the wise Master Kan. I also remembered his performance on a M*A*S*H episode, as a grandfather who throws himself in front of a truck to scare away demons.

I didn’t know that his father was a significant activist for Korean independence, who worked for educational, cultural and ECONOMIC changes. And one of his sisters was the first Asian-American woman to join the U.S. Navy, and its first female gunnery officer.

Phillip AHN on IMBD

So thanks for the education, Mr. Bornstein - I liked this one.

Nancy 5:07 PM  

Thanks for letting me know, Joe. No, there was nothing nightmarish about it and it was interesting.

It reminds me of the tale I heard maybe 5-6 years ago from one of our favorite Rexites. She met the man who would become her husband because they both shared something like a bathroom cabinet wall in the same apartment building. I don't really remember the details, but I'm off to phone her now so that maybe she can tell the story herself, ere the day is out.

oceanjeremy 5:29 PM  

Congratulations on the condo!

Yes, NYC apartment searching is horrible. It's part of the reason we've stayed in an unsatisfactory studio for two-plus years: to just not have to go through the apartment search process!

oceanjeremy 5:29 PM  

I did, thank you for the well-wishing!

We also heard three more astoundingly gorgeous words while looking at the apartment: "No broker fee."

Masked and Anonymous 5:32 PM  

@GILL I. 2;54pm - Best M&A could do, on real short notice:

"Wine And Dine - 7x7 themed:


M&A, of chopped liver fame.

oceanjeremy 5:35 PM  

I did check the bathroom mirror! But more because I was contemplating replacing the medicine cabinet after we moved in.

Which means I examined how it was attached to the wall. I can assure you there is no secret dungeon behind our new bathroom!

oceanjeremy 5:36 PM  

@Frantic Sloth, @Carola, @Nancy, @pabloinnh: The agent just emailed me the lease, and is asking us to sign it and pay the first month’s rent and security deposit.

I think that means we got the apartment. Right?

سيف بن همام 6:07 PM  

No. In economics, the convention is that the vertical axis is the independent variable, opposite to how it is typically done in math. When price is low, quantity demanded is high (farther out to the right). The line represents that negative relationship. When price is high (high up on the vertical axis) quantity demanded is low (left on the horizontal axis).

A 6:28 PM  

Congratulations, @Oceanjeremy! Hope it's everything you were looking for! Our House

JC66 6:31 PM  


Mazel Tov!

Carola 7:09 PM  

@oceanjeremy - Awesome! Thank you for letting us know.

Tale Told By An Idiot 7:09 PM  

@DJG 4:42

“Blogger DJG said...
“@Z I think you are way off in your assessments, particularly your statement that "Priyanka CHOPRA is less widely known than N.C. Wyeth."
"Priyanka Chopra": 61 million Google hits
"NC Wyeth": 700K Google hits”

Why can’t you infer from the numbers of google searches that NC Wyeth is far better known than Priyanka Chopra because 60 million fewer people had to look him up? ��

@Barbara S. Loved the quote fro Wind in the Willows. Maybe I’ll have toast for supper. Today is the anniversary of my father’s birth (1916) and I thought about putting up a quote from his thrilling book “Calculus and Linear Algebra” but I don’t have an appropriate keyboard.

Frantic Sloth 7:10 PM  

@oceanjeremy 536pm Damn straight! Yay!! Enjoy the up: the move. 😁

Z 7:30 PM  

@oceanjeremy - 💪🏽💪🏽

@DJG - Did you notice the recurring theme on her Wikipedia page when talking about her US work? “Quantico was cancelled,” “The feature received unfavorable reviews,” “was not a commercial success in North America but the film performed well in the overseas markets,” “The film did not do well at the box office.” Not exactly Emma Watson levels of Monday crossworthiness.
As for “guesses,” C’mon man. #2 is simply fact for me and seemingly I’m not alone if you go through the comments. #2a is a guess, but hardly a radical guess to make, and #3 is simply factual. Names, especially foreign names, do not adhere to American spelling conventions. We have an Indian last name crossing a Korean last name with a transliteration of Διδώ for a kicker.
Let me add, if this were an Inkubator puzzle I’d not have a complaint. Even an otherwise easy Inkubator is going to have PPP that is naticky just because it specifically caters to promoting people that the mainstream puzzles don’t. If you want to argue Priyanka CHOPRA should be better known I’d have no retort. But is she?
I’ll give you this, though, I buy the “lucky Nick Jonas” quip.

@Tale - I like your logic, but that isn’t the way Google works, that count is of the number of mentions of the person. But NC Wyeth died 50 years before the World Wide Web existed, so that a current movie start out googles him just means that current personalities get mentioned more on the web. And, of course, I picked Ñ.C. for a reason... and it wasn’t because I thought he was as famous as Priyanka.

Nancy 7:40 PM  

So happy for you, @oceanjeremy! And, yes, "No broker's Fee" are also three exceptionally wonderful words! You are really lucky!!!

At some point after you're settled in, maybe you can post pictures for us to look at? I feel guilty asking, since posting pictures online is not something I, myself, know how to do. But most normal people do know how, right?

Where is this Dream Apartment, btw? Did you say Brooklyn?

Bruce Fieggen 7:42 PM  

@Just Asking 9:57AM
Amen to that. I’m also new but found that my solving was typical for a Monday. One Natick at CHOPRA but what else could Priyanka’s last name be when you have C OPRA. Chalk it down to learning two names today.
And how much fun was it to get actual graphs and hard science with my Monday puzzle, at no cost to difficulty? I love it!
Shortz did fine making this a Monday. @Ulysses 9:25 is right that a new blogger is in order.

CreamyT 7:43 PM  

If you peruse the comments, it appears many people found it unusually difficult for a Monday. I didn't find it Wednesday hard, maybe Tuesday, but def hard for a Monday.

It's great that it worked for you, and dissenting opinions on difficulty are important to see. But it doesn't negate everyone else's experience. Just pulls it closer to average. However, considering how few people found it especially easy, this puzzle, overall, appears a good bit tougher than your average Monday for most.

Anonymous 7:43 PM  

I think the definition of a Natick is:

1. Many, many people don't know either answer.
2. If you have all the letters except the intersecting letter, you still can't plausibly guess what the letter is.

Under those circumstances, I guess AHN meeting CHOPRA isn't really a Natick, because C_OPRA really does call for an H. CHOPRA is a known name, but no other letter is. ClOPRA, CrOPRA, CoOPRA - nah, none of those is a plausible name.

HOWEVER, when ADIN (huh?) is added into the mix, that section becomes really hard, especially for a Monday. ADIp, ADIt, ADIs, ADIl, ADIc, ADIm also sound equally plausible. So I guessed AHo and and ADIo.

Unknown 7:48 PM  

Coming back to this blog after a week or so makes me realize how little I missed it.
Like many, I found the DIDO / CHOPRA / AHN crossing to be very difficult.
That said, in all other aspects this was an awesome puz.

Bard 8:05 PM  

Always wonder that too

Hartley70 8:43 PM  

@Nancy and @Joe Dipinto, Oh there was nothing as dramatic as that enormous hole behind the bathroom mirror in the first chapter of our New York Story. My PanAm stewardess roommate and I found an apartment in a brownstone on 33rd street between Second and Third. We moved into Apt 2R and it wasn’t long before we discovered that if we opened our medicine cabinet we could hear EVERYTHING going on in Apt 2F. There was a small hole inside that was duplicated in the medicine cabinet in 2F’s bathroom. We didn’t know our neighbor at that point, but it wasn’t long before I met my future husband at the vestibule mailboxes and so the next chapter began.

GILL I. 8:43 PM  

@M&A....Ay, Chihuahua...I can't open open your "wine and Dine..." Any suggestions? You can sed me an Email?
@oceanjeremy.....Another chihuahua to you....My first apartment in NYC was on 98th and Broadway and it was the dump of all dumps. It was cheap, though. M next door neighbor (about 2 feet away from the bedroom) played music all night long to try and stiffle his "amorous" noises. Didn't work.....I started to hate sex. My brother, on the other hand, landed the creme de la creme on Riverside Drive. 2 bedrooms, gorgeous kitchen and a view that would've made Trump honest. Hah! He managed to get it with rent control and boy did they want him out of there. Another Hah....Hoping you find something other than funny @Joe Dips video. Hey...maybe Cuomo will have a vacancy.......

Joe Dipinto 8:45 PM  

@Very cool news, oceanjeremy – welcome to Brooklyn!

Whatsername 9:06 PM  

@oceanjeremy: Mazel tov!! Sounds like it was one of those things that was just meant to be.

Masked and Anonymous 9:26 PM  

@GILL I. 8:43pm - Well ... @M&A ain't exactly allowed to do emails. Best advice I have is for U to do this:

1. Click on the *gruntz* link.
2. Click on the Down Home link.
3. Click on the Show Puzzle link.

Hope that helps.
No refunds.

M&A Help & Wine Desk.

Stan Combs 10:54 PM  

Made sense to me, but I'm an economist.

Okoume 6:59 AM  

Me too! I finally saw it defined in a recent blog: Pop Culture, Product Names, and other Proper Nouns. I don't really get why it's a ding. Seems like that's just crosswords!

RyanSem 9:30 AM  

Absolutely enjoyed this puzzle and its theme. Thought it was very clever, but way too difficult for a Monday. I'm new to crosswords and my Monday times are getting to be around 12-15 minutes, so finishing this around 24 minutes made me pretty bummed, but it's definitely been slotted too early in the week.

MaharajaMack 12:05 AM  

Me three. Blew through this one like a wet Kleenex.

Space Is Deep 8:48 PM  

I was an Econ major, so I breezed through this. Fun and easy. Econ is fun!

spacecraft 10:25 AM  

I don't know why most of you think this is non-Monday fare. I didn't have any trouble with it. Okay, I forgot WOD & DOD CHOPRA for a moment, but Philip AHN is an old "Kung Fu" buddy of mine. Timely, now that the new version is airing.

I liked it. Everything made sense, including ADAMSMITH; why WOULDN'T you include him in an ECONOMICS theme?? I tell ya, sometimes I just don't understand OFC. This is definitely one day when I'd urge visitors to this page: "Please DON'T read the lead blog!" Birdie!

thefogman 10:50 AM  

Adam Smith is a hero to the crowd that believes “Greed is good.” His theories are fataly flawed and unsustainable. He is a radical ideologue, not an economist,

Unknown 12:37 PM  

Sorry, Rex. The construction was ingenious and the fill—for anyone with a basic college education—was easy. One of the most enjoyable Monday puzzles in a long time. And yes, the arrows on the printed puzzle made it all the more intriguing.

leftcoaster 1:09 PM  

Monday morning wake-up call !

Wiped the sleep out of my eyes and saw SMAUG, AHN, CHOPRA. And, oh, is it IRA or ARI ? Today it’s ARI.

Also grokked the theme and graphic. Liked it.

rondo 1:09 PM  

Now we know OFL has no tangible connection to the real world. Basic ECONOMICS. Much better than YOUD expect on Monday.

Priyanka CHOPRA a gimme and yeah baby to boot.

DANG good puz IMHO.

Burma Shave 1:21 PM  


for the PRICE of one DANG DRESS?


Diana, LIW 3:52 PM  

I agree with OFL that this was tougher than the average Monday, but we parted ways there. I mean, it wasn't THAT much tougher. I do remember Adam Smith from my econ courses. Didn't really care about the arrows of misfortune running thru the puz. It wuz what it waz.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

Diana, LIW 3:55 PM  

PS - Do any of you get a hankerin' for a BLT every time one shows up in a puzzle? I sure do. If I only had a toaster...

Lady Di

leftcoaster 5:44 PM  

Sometimes, if it’s not in his wheelhouse, Rex can be a bit obtuse. This unfortunately is one of those times.

spacecraft 6:31 PM  

@lefty: Obtuse? Give him a month in solitary to think about it. Or am I being obtuse?

leftcoaster 8:38 PM  

@ spacecraft: No, a key word from the “Shawshank Redemption”, a terrific movie.

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