Tennis great Andre / MON 5-2-2021 / Senator Mike of Idaho / God, in the Torah / Kind of reasoning

Monday, May 3, 2021

Constructor: Ross Trudeau

Relative difficulty: Easy 

THEME: FEE FI FO FUM — Theme answers smell the blood of an Englishman. Er, that is to say they end in FEE, FI, FO or FUM. 

Theme answers:
  • ICED COFFEE (17A: Joe cool?)
  • AIRPORT WIFI (30A: Amenity for jet setters?)
  • THE INSIDE INFO (37A: What investigators really want to know) 
  • EAU DE PARFUM (46A: Aromatic fragrance with a French name) 
  • FEE FI FO FUM (60A: Fairy tale chant from a giant...or the ends of the answers to the starred clues)

Word of the Day: IRENA (38D: "The Faerie Queene" woman) —

The Faerie Queene is an English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. Books I–III were first published in 1590, then republished in 1596 together with books IV–VI. The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it is one of the longest poems in the English language; it is also the work in which Spenser invented the verse form known as the Spenserian stanza.[1] On a literal level, the poem follows several knights as a means to examine different virtues, and though the text is primarily an allegorical work, it can be read on several levels of allegory, including as praise (or, later, criticism) of Queen Elizabeth I. In Spenser's "Letter of the Authors", he states that the entire epic poem is "cloudily enwrapped in Allegorical devices", and that the aim of publishing The Faerie Queene was to "fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline".[2]


• • •
It's the last August Monday of the semester! Which means that finals are kicking my butt. Don't worry though, I'll be okay. These finals don't have anything on me! I'm going to kick their butt right back. 

Honestly I breezed through this one so fast it's hard to have many thoughts on it. I was disappointed at the lack of new vocab, but I guess that's to be expected for a Monday. It's not that IM MAD or anything, it's nice to have a puzzle every once in a while that's as relaxing as a HOT BATH. Big fan of the lack of namedrops and sports trivia. Less of a big fan of POTFUL (uh, is that a word? It doesn't feel like a word). Also, not sure how to feel about ADONAI. Is it oversensitive to say I think it's just a tad too sacred to show up as crossword fill? Had USC for UNC which is a tragedy because my stepmom went there for grad school. Light blue is such a nice color. 

My only beef with the theme was that I forgot whether it was spelled FEE FI FO FUM or FI FYE FO FUM. The puzzle wasn't hard enough for that to be an issue, though. AIRPORT WIFI would be a good band name. As far as ICED COFFEE, I'm more of a hot cappuccino from Royal Farms kind of dude. CrossWorld, do you like your coffee hot or iced? 

  • SOY (29A: Word before sauce or milk) — Oh my God does anyone remember that pseudoscience going around about soy milk containing so much estrogen that it was physically feminizing men? Like, can you imagine? 
  • MAA (65D: Goat's bleat) — For some reason the only thing I could think of was that chaotic Honda Element commercial from a few years ago and now I have to show it to all of you. 

  • ORCA (41D: Apex predator of the ocean) — I just read the sweetest middle grade book about orcas. One of the perks of working in a bookstore. The orcas get separated from their family...can they ever get home again?!? I'm not gonna tell you! Spoilers! Just go buy A Whale of the Wild yourself! 
  • TUTTI (22D: ___-frutti) — Nostalgia hit me like a freight train when I saw this one so here, have this scene. 

Signed, August Thompson, tired graduate student. 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

[Follow August Thompson on Twitter]


Frantic Sloth 12:42 AM  

Liked the theme, but unlike August I didn't find this one particularly easy - especially for the Mondee.
Some of it was wavelength, some of it was WTF, but all if it took me longer than usual.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I pity the beginner trying to come up with a senator from Idaho, some Pacific Island nation, or ADONAI from the Torah.

Other than that, can't get worked up either way about it.


mathgent 12:43 AM  

I liked it. Theme executed well. Some sparkle.

9D reminds me of an exasperating two-headed man I know. When I tell him something it goes in one ear and out the other and in one ear and out the other.

chefwen 1:51 AM  

What the hell is a A PRIORI doing in a Monday puzzle? Other than that, very easy.

jae 2:30 AM  

Medium-tough. Like it and so did Jeff a Xwordinfo. He gave it POW.

Conrad 5:50 AM  

Challenging Monday for me. I'm not a Talmudic scholar and I didn't know ADONAI, although all but the first letter fell in from crosses. Then I thought the Faerie Queen woman was IRiNA. Interestingly, neither IRiNA nor IRENA is mentioned in Wikipedia's Faerie Queen article. Missing two letters made E_U Di PARFUM hard to see, especially since the clue made me think it was looking for a brand name like, I dunno, Eclat PARFUM. When eventually the bulb illuminated, I still didn't get the happy music because I had another typo in a different part of the puzzle. Closest I've come in years to a Monday DNF.

Anonymoose 6:17 AM  

ADONAI too sacred for crossword fill? What does that mean? But yes, you're being overly sensitive.

Lewis 6:35 AM  

Ross likes to make themed puzzles; this is his 40th for the NYT and not a themeless in the bunch. There are skads of end-of-the-answer themes out there, but this one goes one level farther: The FEE, FI, FO, and FUM all comprise exactly half of the word each is embedded in. (I didn’t catch this on my own; it’s in Ross’s puzzle notes.)

Two lovely clues worth repeating – [Whopper junior?] for FIB and [Joe Cool?] for ICED COFFEE, that last one being world-class IMO.

I learned after a bit of research that the FUM at the end of PARFUM actually is pronounced FUMM. I like the ring of CRAPO / PUEBLO / INFO, and I love the puzzle’s inclusion of the palindromes GARB and BRAG.

Given the theme, I pronounce this puzzle “Cool beans!”. Thank you, Ross!

Brit solves nyt 6:42 AM  

Liked the theme. Never heard of Adonai, and being British crapo was crosses only, and lucked out at the middle letter of Dana and unc being an n. Those school ones are always three random letters to me can never remember them no matter how many times they appear!

Anonymous 6:42 AM  

We do not share the same meaning for palindrome. I don't think either BRAG or GARB is a palindrome. They are reverse spellings of each other. That does not a palindrome make.

SouthsideJohnny 6:58 AM  

Maybe it was due to the theme and lack of better alternatives, but EAU DE PARFUM just looks weird and out of place, almost like it is some kind of a joke. That, along with the aforementioned ADONAI, A PRIORI, PALAU and perhaps even Mr. CRAPO are the Monday-busters that I needed to wind my way around today. Not as routine as some of the true “beginner-friendly” Mondays we’ve had in the past, but very acceptable in my opinion at least. Heck, I’m at the point where I actually enjoy a bit more of an early-week challenge now . . . Small wonders.

As usual, thanks to August for the one-day respite from Mr. Arty-Farty Grumpy-Pants.

Barbara S. 6:59 AM  

Well, this is sobering: I crashed and burned…on a MONDAY! I could not suss out the SW corner, primarily because I didn’t know ADONAI, which seems like a late-week answer if I ever saw one. I originally expected something like “Yahweh” and when that was clearly impossible, I was asea. Add to that my ignorance of CDS (in Canada they’re called GICs), my inability to remember IRENA in The Faerie Queene, and the fact that I was expecting something more specific for EAU DE PARFUM, and you have a recipe for disaster, which I baked, scorched and then set fire to the kitchen.

As for the theme, I thought the phrases ending in FEEFIFOFUM were mostly fine (and I particularly liked the clue “Joe cool?”), but I was disappointed that the revealer simply repeated FEEFIFOFUM and didn’t somehow work in the blood of an Englishman. I realize, though, that at 19 letters that’s pretty much a non-starter. Maybe a revealer in two parts? But that might be a construction impossibility. I was a bit disturbed by THE INSIDE INFO, both for THE and because I really wanted INSIDE “dope” (i know, I know, theme-wrecker).

But I liked CRAPO RERUN in the middle top and UNLIT LAMBS in the middle bottom. I liked references to BETRAYal two days in a row. I liked ONE EAR as clued, A PRIORI and learning ADONAI. And I’m hoping for a fully recovered brain by tomorrow to subdue the next puzzle more successfully.

Today – a poem by YEHUDA AMICHAI, born May 3, 1924.

The Amen Stone
Translated by Chana Bloch

On my desk there is a stone with the word “Amen” on it,
a triangular fragment of stone from a Jewish graveyard destroyed
many generations ago. The other fragments, hundreds upon hundreds,
were scattered helter-skelter, and a great yearning,
a longing without end, fills them all:
first name in search of family name, date of death seeks
dead man’s birthplace, son’s name wishes to locate
name of father, date of birth seeks reunion with soul
that wishes to rest in peace. And until they have found
one another, they will not find a perfect rest.
Only this stone lies calmly on my desk and says “Amen.”
But now the fragments are gathered up in lovingkindness
by a sad good man. He cleanses them of every blemish,
photographs them one by one, arranges them on the floor
in the great hall, makes each gravestone whole again,
one again: fragment to fragment,
like the resurrection of the dead, a mosaic,
a jigsaw puzzle. Child’s play.

Son Volt 7:09 AM  

This was an odd one - a simple Highlights level theme but some fill that is closer to late week that I could see being a little tricky for new solvers on a Monday. Never saw MYTHBUSTERS and not sure ORGANIC and natural are tied at the hip. Liked the lack of trivia here - most of the fill went right in - smooth and slick. Have studied the APRIORI algorithm - along with ADONAI, IRENA and CRAPO we have a few outliers for an early week offering.

Overall it was an enjoyable solve.

The Joker 7:16 AM  

There were many birds at my feeder this morning but NOTIT.

bocamp 7:16 AM  

Thx @Ross, for this crunchy Mon. puz to get the solving week going with GIANT boost! :)

Med solve. Avg time, but felt a tad more difficult. Maybe just bit off the constructor's wave-length.

Started well in the NW, moved east, then down, finishing at the YMCA.

Spent many hours in my younger years engaging in various activities at the "Y". Spent a week at the "Y" in Elizabeth, NJ, waiting for my passport to be approved, before heading off to Denmark. ('68)

The Whiffenpoof Song ~ The Yale Whiffenpoofs

"We're poor little lambs who have lost our way

Baa, baa, baa"


Peace 🕊 ~ Empathy ~ Innocence 🐑 ~ Kindness to all ❤️

kitshef 7:20 AM  

DANA-Farber on a Monday? Yeesh.

For your future use here is the complete list of five-letter Pacific Island Nations:

And to quote from Family Guy:

Giant: Fee-fi-fo-fum.
I smell the blood of an English man.

Jack: It's odd that you would speak gibberish of your own choosing and not make it rhyme.

pabloinnh 7:21 AM  

Yeah, tough for a Monday but otherwise good fun. Ran into the revealer sooner than I should have but that made it easier to see WIFI and PARFUM, so not as upsetting as it might have been. And a world of typed is not a world of written, but the printer is back today.

Knew ADONAI from church, but please don't ask me how, because I really have no idea.

Any puzzle that makes me think of Pat Boone's rendition of TUTTI FRUTTI is aces with me.

Nice Monday, RT. Not a terribly Rigorous Test but Really Tasty.

The Bard 7:25 AM  

The Tragedy of King Lear, Act III, Scene 4

Child Rowland to the dark tower came;
His word was still
Fie, foh, and fum!
I smell the blood of a British man.

Wundrin' 7:27 AM  

Why is it always an hour or two after @Lewis before additional posts appear?

Schuly 7:30 AM  

Had BANC crossing DISC and still think that's valid.

Seth 7:32 AM  

I don't like that the last themer is just fill in the blank with the endings of the themers that came before. I feel like the final one should be 'JACKS GIANT' or 'ENGLISHMAN' or just something different/related. Also straight up had to guess in SW corner on the DANA-Farber Cancer institute crossed with UNC and MAA. Felt like a clumsy way to finish the puzzle as it was the last thing I got.

GILL I. 8:00 AM  

I thought this easy parcheesi, Francis of Assisi.
On a sweet Monday, I use my dowsing hickory stick to look for something to cheer me up. Today, I give you the corniest joke I could find:
What did the giant say to his enemy when he served him Ramen at a Vietnamese restaurant?
FEEFIFOFUM, Faux pho for foe.
I made Thai rice soup last night.
I enjoyed seeing EAU DE PERFUME going in ONE EAR and out my TUTTI-frutti. Cool beans, indeed.
My MIFF runneth over.

jonhoffm 8:16 AM  

Not easy at all for a Monday. This was more like Tues maybe an easy Wed.

Joe R. 8:17 AM  

As an atheist Jew and someone who abhors deep religiosity in general, ADONAI didn’t bother me at all, but as soon as I saw it, I thought that there will probably be some people very upset about this casual inclusion in a crossword, I would not be surprised if there are some people who refuse to finish the puzzle rather than enter that answer.

Lewis 8:20 AM  

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

1. Sticky stuff that drips down the side of a cone? (4)(3)
2. Kitty litter? (8)
3. Certain ways to work (5)
4. Appropriate name for that woman's husband? (6)
5. Popular camp assemblies (6)


Anonymous 8:31 AM  

Actually not--Jewish tradition is to not write certain names of God in full without a good reason (I'm vastly oversimplifying here). I cringed hard to see this in a puzzle.

Anonymous 8:34 AM  

@Schuly. There are always "valid" alternatives for Xword clues. But there is only one correct answer for the clue as specified by the constructor/editor.

TTrimble 8:39 AM  

I agree that it wasn't really so easy for a Monday. A PRIORI crossing PALAU, IRENA crossing EAU DE PARFUM, CRAPO, ADONAI. Is DANA hyphen Ferber that well known? (I knew it, but that could be my luck.) And what's this THE of Convenience (THE INSIDE INFO). Sorry, but here the THE sounds goofy and awkward, and I think we might as well admit it: it's being used to fill out space. Not Ross Trudeau's finest, methinks.

(What also slowed me down, weirdly, is that I had just finished yesterday's vowelless variety puzzle when I opened up today's puzzle, and let me tell you, a vowelless can really scramble the crossword brain for a few minutes afterward.)

yd 0. I'd mentioned to @bocamp that while solving that SB, I read up a little on the (SB-unacceptable) PINOCCHIO, and let me tell you, the original ain't nothing like the sanitized and Americanized version created by Disney. Fascinating stuff. According to Wikipedia, "A universal icon and a metaphor of the human condition, the book is considered a canonical piece of children's literature and has had great impact on world culture. Philosopher Benedetto Croce reputed it as one of the greatest works of Italian literature." (Hm, the writing there could be improved a little.) My curiosity is aroused.

tea73 8:42 AM  

It felt harder than the usual Monday, though it didn't take much longer than my historical average, which is higher than my current average. I got stuck for a while because I misspelled PuLAU which gave me uPRIORI took me a while to see what the issue was. I thought I paid attention to politics but CRAPO did not ring any bells.

Z 8:55 AM  

Hand up for my time being challenging Tuesday or easy Wednesday. Seems like we had the same thing last week. Otherwise a perfectly cromulent puzzle. And challenging for the reasons previously mentioned, especially the not particularly typical Monday vocabulary. If we get a couple more non-Monday Mondays we may need to wonder if Shortz is abandoning tradition.

@Anon6:42 - Yep. @Lewis meant “emordnilap.”

Anonymous 9:00 AM  

Isn’t that an oxymoron?

Tim in NYC 9:02 AM  

Is parfum really pronounced parFUMM?? I've heard parFOOM maybe. But I think most people know enough about French pronunciation to say something like fang with the nasal at the end.

RooMonster 9:07 AM  

Hey All !
Now, This is a theme! I guess Ross has heard my pleas of the oft-unused F plight! Way to bring it, Ross! Like a light has been shone* on the F, illuminating it like a Fine Friend.**

Enjoyed the Long Downs, loved MYTHBUSTERS when it was on, Adam and Jamie were funny. And Kari Byron was sexy! Love me some cute red haired women! And they blew shit up. A lot. Anyone see the one where the elephant was actually afraid of the mouse? Or the bull in the china shop where all the bills didn't even break one dish? Good stuff.

Nice MonPuz, that was pushing the boundaries of a TuesPuz, but with the exalted F theme, it could do no wrong by me. 😁

Anyway, nice one, Ross, and since Jeff POWed it, the rest of the week is looking DOUR.

*Is "shone" a word? Sounds like it.
**My F obsession basically came from noticing that F's were often under-represented in puzs. As @M&A's U's not used as much as AEIO, I found F's seriously lacking for consonents, as compared to "common" letters, disregarding Q's, X's, Z's. (Although there has been a puz or two that has had more Z's than F's)

Ten F's (I smell the blood of an F FAN!)

JD 9:16 AM  

Trudeau gave us Unlit Palau
Jeff Chen then awarded him POW!
As for Notit, it's Not IT
(As you probably thought it)
And that's all we're saying for now

Michael Page 9:26 AM  

Um . . . A PUEBLO isn’t a house or “dwelling.” It’s a village.

Foldyfish 9:28 AM  

Definitely not easy. I've never heard of A priori reasoning. IMO, that is not a Monday-level answer. I had to run the alphabet to get to OED.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

I'm sorry - there is a senator whose last name is Crapo? His political opponents must have had a field day with that one!

Tim Carey 9:32 AM  

Well. I'll leave the appropriateness discussion to others. ADONAI translates to LORD (actually LORDS). It is used in Jewish prayers as the actual name is forbidden (Y----H).

Lewis 9:44 AM  

anon 6:42 -- As @Z noted, your are totally right. My error -- should be semordnilap!

Bill 9:49 AM  

Ever get tired of complaining that you're tired? It's kinda tired....

Anonymous 9:55 AM  

could someone please explain ONEA as being fit for military service? is this some archaic reference to the draft? this crossing with ADONAI really tripped me up

Birchbark 10:04 AM  

ADONAI and sensitivity -- Yesterday I finished rereading "The Source," by James A. Michener (1964), a saga spanning prehistoric to the beginnings of Israel, structured around an archaeological dig in Galilee. It follows the development of religions, cooperation, conflict and persecution, focused mainly on Judaism (also Islam, Catholic Crusaders, early Christianity, Romans, Baal-worship, etc.). The Talmud, Kabala, Ashkenazie and Sephardic, ghettos in Europe and the Inquisition. An alternately beautiful and grim read, but time very well spent.

ORCA as a foil for middle-school books: This morning I started on an old Scholastic Books paperback, "Two Against the North" by Farley Mowatt (1954). I was hiking along the river with a good friend, a wildlife artist who spent many years guiding fishermen in remote Alaska. Our quiet, meandering conversation landed for a while on the power of outdoor fiction in the formative years. We shared the names of books that mattered to us, and "Two Against the North" was his: "... Jamie learned to feel something of the forceful love of life that belongs particularly to those who dwell in the high arctic forests." These are simple and evocative words, unassuming and formulaic in the best sense. See also Werner Herzog's film, "Happy People: A Year in the Taiga."

Nancy 10:07 AM  

A lively Monday -- with some things that were quite un-Mondayish like A PRIORI and EAU DE PARFUM. I liked this one a lot. Didn't figure out the theme ahead of time, meaning either 1) it was nicely camouflaged or 2) I was unobservant once again. I actually like an untricky theme better when it doesn't stare you in the face and comes as a bit of an "Aha".

Some thoughts: Doesn't 5A have a wonderfully Dickensian name and doesn't he richly deserve it?

Toughest answer for me: I'm staring at AIRPORT W??? for the amenity and I don't have a clue. What would I want for my amenities if I were a jet-setter? How about a COMFY LOUNGE. Maybe my own BED. CAVIAR. An OPEN BAR. And you give me...WIFI?????????? I don't use gadgets and I certainly don't lug them around with me from here to who-knows-where. For me, it's no amenity at all.

Ah, but there is one possible amenity and it's right there in the puzzle itself! HOT BATH! Now that's what I really call an amenity!

Ida Pohegarm 10:19 AM  

Of course everyone has their own boundaries and sensitivities with these things, but it does feel a bit oversensitive when sacred words and terms from other religions are used regularly in grids (ALLAH comes to mind) with almost no pushback.

Anonymous 10:21 AM  

@Brit solves nyt:
being British crapo was crosses only

I'm American, granted Effete Eastern Intellectual, never heard of him either, but love, just love, that a Thoroughly Red State is represented by Crap.

Whatsername 10:36 AM  

A Monday crossword containing A PRIORI and ADONAI, with a children’s fairy tale as a theme. Interesting dichotomy. Very surprised to see it awarded Puzzle of the Week.

KnittyContessa 11:00 AM  

Tougher than the usual Monday. Didn't know CRAPO, ADONAI. Had Samoa before PALAU, angry before IMMAD. Still finished in faster than normal time so the rest of the puzzle was a breeze.

Copying the ends of clues for FEEFIFOFUM felt like cheating.


Have a great week everyone!

Michael G. Benoit 11:06 AM  

Expanding on what Tim said, the word ADONAI is used repeatedly in Hebrew religious texts as a replacement for the Tetragrammaton — the four-letter name of God. It would be insensitive to use the actual Tetragrammaton or equivalents that fill in missing vowels. Modern English-language Catholic bibles (aware of this sensitivity) use LORD in all caps to indicate where ADONAI was in the Hebrew original. There may be some English language bibles that use the word ADONAI itself.

Anonymous 11:12 AM  

So you just transcribe the final syllables of the first three answers...
And everyone's okay with this?

egsforbreakfast 11:35 AM  

We Idahoans were mighty proud when we were represented by both Crapo and by a guy who was busted in an airport bathroom stall for soliciting sex, Larry Craig. Crapo still serves, along with Jim (Strike It) Risch.

Liked that IMMAD crosses MOODY. Better be WARYOF that person.

Liked the puzzle, but agree with some that a tougher revealer would have been good. Thanks, Ross Trudeau.

Z 11:36 AM  

@Anon 9:55 - Who you calling archaic? - But yes, ONE-A is a Selective Service classification.

@Ida Pohegarm - As far as I know Islam has no special interdiction against using Allah, so it’s not the same. It would be insensitive to use it as a pejorative or to cuss with it, much as Christians have the “don’t take the Lord’s name in vain” rule.

@Foldyfish - Do you see the humor in running the alphabet to get OED?😉

@Michael Page - I think “dwelling” can be more than just a single family home. A village or community of any of the Pueblo peoples, traditionally consisting of multilevel adobe or stone apartment dwellings of terraced design clustered around a central plaza. -American Heritage (emphasis added)

@Bill - Or August isn’t really tired and just says he is as a schtick.

Michael Page 11:39 AM  

Z: your cited definition supports my point: a “dwelling” is a house. A collection of “dwellings,” plural, is a PUEBLO.

Carola 11:43 AM  

I really liked the goofy theme, and the fun of the reveal - although I wondered how I'd missed hearing the menacing thud of FEE, FI, FO, and FUM along the way. Otherwise easy, due to various answers having made their way into my wheelhouse from hither and yon - CRAPO: reading Gail Collins in the NY Times, who's regularly on his case; A PRIORI: a long-ago intro-to-philosophy course; DANA: being married to an oncologist; ADONAI: attending bar mitzvahs; PALAU: previous puzzles. I see the point, though, that these are not usual Monday fare. Wrong day or not, I thought this was one of Ross Trudeau's best.

Masked and Anonymous 11:48 AM  

Kick all them finals' butts, August. And primo blog bullets, btw.

Do only *little* dogs go "ARF"? Or is this just a CRAPO thing.

staff weeject pick: FAM. As in: The FEE, FI, FO, FUM FAM. Nice weeject stacks in the NW & SE, btw.
fave moo-cow eazy-E hot MonPuz clue: {Stream from a volcano} = LAVA.

fave fillins: CRAPO. HOTBATH [should probably have one, after any close contact with CRAPO]. APRIORI. PUEBLO.
best Ow de Speration: ONE+(A/EAR).

M&A is a little surprised that an end-of-themers puz mcguffin is gettin the POW award. A well-built puz, I'll grant. Sometimes the Chenmeister will dole out more than one POW in a week -- sooo no big cause for alarm, yet.

Thanx for the giant hunk-o F-chantin, Mr. Trudeau dude. (Y'all made @Roo's day.)

Masked & Anonymo6Us

arf! [little biter alert]:

Anonymous 11:50 AM  

ADONAI. ADONAI. ADONAI. There. I've written it.

Does anyone think I'm really going to hell? Hope not!

Anonymous 11:52 AM  

now, why would the genesis of the Judeo-Christian ethos choose the quasi-Narcissistic Adonis as the root name for God? enquiring minds need to know. and, while your at it, why are the holy days (nearly?) always co-incident with Pagan festivals? hmmm?

Joe Dipinto 12:03 PM  

Agree with Seth 7:32 and Anon 11:22: the "revealer" just repeats answers we already entered in the grid? What kind of CRAPO is that?

Z 12:04 PM  

@Michael Page - I think you’re right in as much a PUEBLO would be either “dwellings” or “a dwelling place,” never described as just a “dwelling.” But the clue is … or one of its dwellings. On rereading it is actually using “its” that I find problematic. I would have gone with “their” as the pronoun for a tribe. “Villages” would have been more precise, perhaps, and “adobe abodes” more fun to say, but otherwise I think the clue is fine.

Anonymous 12:06 PM  

Yes. One A is a designation of fitness.

Joshua K. 12:09 PM  

I know some people here do the Spelling Bee puzzle on Does anyone know how to find the answers to the previous day's Spelling Bee? I used to be able to see the answers to the previous day, but not any more.

Jesse 12:12 PM  

This was a challenging Monday for me. Typically, Mondays are in the 3-5 minute range for me to solve and this took a solid 7 minutes. Not a brain buster but definitely felt more like a Tuesday or easy Wednesday level of challenge.

Or maybe it was the allergy medicine...

JC66 12:37 PM  

@Joshua K

When you're on the SB page, you should see a row directly below "Edited by Sam Ezersky" that includes *HELP*, *SAVE & QUIT* on the left and, *YESTERDAY'S ANSWERS* on the right.

Jakowaco 12:38 PM  

There is no tribe with the name Pueblo. There are Pueblo people who live in various pueblos. ZUNI is a Pueblo. TAOS is a Pueblo (the oldest in the us). LAGUNA is a pueblo.

Uneducated at so many levels.

pabloinnh 12:41 PM  

@Joshua K-

Look up and to the right. A friend had to tell me this and boy did I feel dumb.

OffTheGrid 12:47 PM  

@Joshua K TRY THIS

SFR 12:51 PM  

BEANSTALKS would have fitted the theme and the letter count

SharonAk 1:00 PM  

I thought it was easy, so surprised at how many apparently did not. I agree that some of the names seemed obscure for a Monday, but the crosses filled them easily.After reading the comments about "adonai" it took me over a minute to find the word in the puzzle. It had been filled by the crosses without my even seeing the clue.

I thought it was fun. Several amusing clues. And I'm sort of a sucker for fairy tales so seeing the revealer early on helped with themes 2 -4.
22D was a fun answer topped by the delightful video August gave us.

burtonkd 1:08 PM  

@Anon 9:31 - I thought the same thing, but Mr. Crapo has been elected: a stand against junior high bullies!

@Z - I don't think "cromulent" should be used to describe a puzzle until at least Thursday:)

By the time I got to the revealer, the themers were already filled in, but agree that it was rather lame.

@Schuly: You sent me down an interesting path. Disc/disk does seem to be up for grabs, but BANC is not a term used to mean BANK, as in a financial institution. BANC shows up as a judicial bench. BANC turns out to be a term, along with BANQ that financial institutions have made up when internal divisions do not meet the legal definition to be registered as an official BANK.

I enjoyed the non-alligator MOAT clue.

Is it Tuttsi- Fruitsi if you're being Artsy-Fartsy?

Unknown 1:27 PM  

Good puzzle. Great Comments!!!

jberg 1:45 PM  

I always start with 1A, then work the crosses--that is, every time I get a new answer I try the first cross with it -- and on an easy puzzle like this I may well get all the way down before I get over to the NE corner. Thus I blithely put in AIRPORT club and didn't notice it until I got the revealer. It took a few moments, but given the FI ending it wasn't too hard to fix that one. As for HOT BATH as an amenity -- great idea, @Nancy! My wife and I once flew Boston-Johannesburg via London, with an overnight flight for the first leg, and paid $90 each for access to the arrivals lounge (free for first class passengers) just so we could take showers before going on. It was worth it.

I'm a lapsed protestant, but I've certainly heard ADONAI -- I think there's a movie where one character starts changing "Baruch Adonai..." at some point -- maybe The Pawnbroker? So I got it right off. I thought it was fine, but people are entitled to their sensibilities, so IMO the few comments making fun of them are out of place.

The theme helped with EAU DE PARFUM, too. I've hear of EAU DE toilette, but not that -- Z's sacred text* defines it as having less fragrant oil than perfume, but more than eau de toilette.

You could make IRENA into Irene crossing "HOT BeTH." I'll leave it to you to come up with a clue for the latter.

^Merriam-Webster. Just kidding, Z!

Jeff B. 1:48 PM  

Entertaining Monday puzzle that was a blend of Monday-easy and some slightly difficult clues that led to APRIORI, PALAU, ADONAI, and a few others. Also very entertaining blog posts throughout, particularly with @Southside Johnny reference to 'Mr. Arty-Farty Grumpy-Pants'.

Bill L. 1:50 PM  

@Joshua K – It sounds like you may be having the same issue with SB as me. The Times did some reformatting of the page a few weeks ago and in my case the *HELP*, *SAVE & QUIT* and, *YESTERDAY'S ANSWERS* that @JC66 mentioned sort of disappeared. They are still there but I can barely see the top of the letters when I have my zoom set to the normal 100%. I’ve found that zooming to 90% makes them visible again. Try zooming out or use the site that @OffTheGrid suggested.

emily 2:03 PM  

Had to look it up, & still don’t understand the meaning completely!?

Doc John 2:04 PM  

I knew ADONAI because I'm, like, Jewish and stuff?
But if Allah is fair game, then so is ADONAI. They both pretty much mean the same thing, after all.

Joshua K. 2:05 PM  

Thanks to @JC66, @pabloinnh, @OffTheGrid, and @Bill L. for their suggestions. I tried zooming out and still couldn't see anything relevant, but the site suggested by OffTheGrid is great.

misterarthur 2:31 PM  

Hot coffee for me, thanks. Having lived in Baltimore, I remember Royal Farm, but don't remember the coffee as being exceptional. Fun, easy puzzle to start of the week. Nice Monday.

Pdxrains 3:46 PM  

Agree. That single word sticks out like a sore thumb as far as difficulty amidst a normal Monday

mathgent 4:31 PM  

I posted at 12:43 and told my two-headed man joke. I heard it ages ago and have told it many times. I never gets a laugh. Is it not funny? Why do I like it so much?

JC66 4:37 PM  


It went in one ear...

JD 4:55 PM  

@mathgent, Keep telling it. People seem to be taking this puzzle very seriously for some reason. Discussions of religion and pueblos. I'm a little bitter over a badly chosen E in PAlau that kept me from finishing. Edonai looked fine to me.

Now of course, @Z did throw in the word Cromulent, a word once used on the Simpsons along side Embiggen. So there was that.

Joe Dipinto 4:56 PM  

Just noticed I misstated the time of the @Anon post I agree with: it was at 11:12, not 11:22.

Crimson Devil 5:22 PM  

They’re still there, but not where they were.

Anoa Bob 6:27 PM  

I remember A PRIORI from a long-ago class in Deductive Logic. Not your standard Monday fare but I think it bumps the puzzle's quality up a bit.

I agree with TTrimble @8:39 that THE INSIDE INFO uses a "THE of convenience" (TOC?) to up its letter-count to fill that slot. Kind of sticks out like a sore thumb to me. And since that's one of the themers, I think it bumps the puzzle's quality down considerably.

I join those who think the reveal was anticlimactic and just a verbatim repeat of the themer endings. Maybe a reveal that played on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale would have worked better.

G. Almighty 6:59 PM  

Is it oversensitive to say I think it's just a tad too sacred to show up as crossword fill? YES

Less of a big fan of POTFUL (uh, is that a word? It doesn't feel like a word). I GUESS YOU NEVER MADE SOUP OR STEW.

burtonkd 7:35 PM  

@Joe Dipinto - thank you for clarifying that!

Anonymous 8:42 PM  

A priori knowledge is neither a product of deductive reasoning nor inductive reasoning.
Not sure how deductive logic differs from logic, but you go Bob.

Barrowma 10:42 PM  

What happened to ChuckD? Miss his comments.

TTrimble 10:58 PM  

I don't think @Anoa Bob opined anything about "a priori knowledge" being a "product" of any form of reasoning. All he said is that he heard about it in a class in Logic a long time ago. Is that so incredibly hard to believe? Philosophy departments routinely offer courses in logic, and it may be that the instructor one day mentioned the philosophy of Kant, for example. It's not at all hard to imagine.

In mathematics, A PRIORI is a phrase often used informally to refer to something one knows automatically or tautologically from a given context, similar to how people often use the term prima facie.

Robin 11:12 PM  

"I pity the beginner trying to come up with a senator from Idaho"...

Even worse, the senator's niece was my classmate in high school, so I knew darn well who he is. And yet I entered the last name of the other senator from Idaho, which is also 5 letters long.

Joe Dipinto 11:34 PM  

@burtonkd – You're welcome! I strive to make this thread perfect in every way.

Anoa Bob 11:43 PM  

I think there is plenty of overlap between the Venn diagrams for A PRIORI and Deductive Logic, much in the same way as between A POSTERIORI and Inductive Logic.

Maybe . . . 9:42 AM  

A priori is a two-word term in Latin meaning "from", as in, based on, "prior knowledge", knowledge one already possessed or was sure one knew.
A priori knowledge is in contrast to knowledge based on actual personal experience or data collection.
Latin 101 is great for vocabulary tests and crossword puzzles!

SomeOneHasToBeMe 10:42 PM  

It's not. Adonai is hebrew for "my lord". The equivalent term in Greek is "κύριος".

Easter is tied to passover. It's only called Easter in english, in every other language, it's a variant on "Paschal." The reasons is the pre-Christian lunar calendar month that corresponds to Nisan, the Jewish passover month, was called "Estoremun" in Pagan England. It's like saying Thanksgiving celebrates Thor because it happens on Thursday.

December 25th as the Birth of Christ is one of several dates that go back to the earliest period of the church, and was eventually chosen based on early (1st-2nd century) manuscripts. Pope Julius reportedly based it on early census records.

There's also some evidence that Constantine supported that date because it overshadowed and weakened pagan celebrations. The popular mythology is essentially backwards.

spacecraft 9:49 AM  


thefogman 10:46 AM  

The crossing of 64D and 68A were a Natick and that kind of ruined it for me. I guessed UsC and DAsA, not knowing anything about either clue. This is supposed to be a Monday. How did that get by WS? Boo!

Diana, LIW 1:15 PM  

OK. I blame the pandemic. We have clearly lost the ability to know what day of the week it is.

Not that this was hard - but certainly not Monday easy. APRIORI???? Really? EAU - DE PARFUM doesn't smell right.

Hope this doesn't bode the week's puzzle store.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Tuesday to be Tuesday, ya know?

leftcoaster 1:50 PM  

About as neat and clean as a puzzle can be.

Best clue/answer: “Joe cool?” (aka Snoopy) for ICED COFFEE.

Predictable writeover: MAA over bAA.


Excessive exposure of a revealer (even for a Monday): “...or the ends of the answers...”

leftcoaster 2:30 PM  

Typo repair: APRIORI

Burma Shave 10:51 AM  


so you’re THE ONE to go to EMMY’S HOTBATH.


Anonymous 5:13 AM  

@Joshua K I've used every time I got stuck with the daily NYT Spelling Bee

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