Tie in tic-tac-toe / MON 5-31-21 / German industrial valley / Quaint shoppe descriptor / Bicolor cookies also called half-moons

Monday, May 31, 2021

Constructor: Michael Lieberman

Relative difficulty: Medium (i.e. Easy + 4D and to a lesser extent 38D = Medium) (3:00)

THEME: COCO CHANEL (57A: Fashion designer associated with the item spelled out by the starts of 17-, 26- and 42-Across) —she's associated with the LITTLE, BLACK, DRESS:

Theme answers:
  • LITTLE ROCK (17A: Arkansas's capital)
  • BLACK-AND-WHITES (26A: Bicolor cookies also called half-moons)
  • DRESS REHEARSAL (42A: Final practice before the big show)
Word of the Day: CAT'S GAME (4D: Tie in tic-tac-toe) —

[Can anyone explain why a tie game of Tic-Tac-Toe called "Cat's game"?]

There seems to be no one theory so take your pick from the ones listed below.
Since I need to get back to work now I have not cleaned up the spelling and usage mistakes--good luck.

Why is a tie in Tic-Tac-Toe called a Cat's Game?:

I think a tie in Tic Tac Toe is a Cat's Game because Tac spelled backwards is Cat.

Olive, Alfie, cat games
I believe this comes from a tie being considered a "scratch game". Call
it a "Cat's Game" if you will.
Cats scratch.

Tic Tac Toe ties are called cats game because no matter how hard a cat tries
to win against its tale it never wins and yet has fun

I believe that it is a cat-mouse game.if not one of the two players gets
the point making it a tie game. Therefore, cat gets mouse(point).

It's a game of skills the cat goes one way and the mouse goes another. So
when it's a tie that's what it means cat's game. A cat and mouse
chase. When mouse gets away the cat looses. And the mouse gets away. A game
that goes in any direction just like a cat and mouse.

There was a tic on a tac on a cats toe.

Because cats scratch (https://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/44/messages/373.html)

• • •

The theme is a bit of a zero. I'd like LITTLE BLACK DRESS as fill (even if it would require an oversized grid), but just having themers that start with each of those words?? That is no kind of accomplishment. At all. Plain White T, Big Yellow Taxi, Other 3-word Thing, where does it end? Just no zing to the execution here. And the fill is deeply ordinary, i.e. kind of boring ... *except* for CAT'S GAME, what in the world is that? I want to say it's old-fashioned, but I'm old-fashioned, so ... it's OLDE-fashioned, I guess. Why would you give a name to a tie tic-tac-toe game? Also, why are you playing tic-tac-toe, what are you, in a 19th-century prison or something? I played tic-tac-toe with my daughter when she was little, mostly on the backs of paper menus while we waited for food to arrive. Tie games were abundant. Neither of us ever thought to call them CAT'S GAMEs. As you can see from the "definition" posted above ... it's not even clear why CAT'S GAMEs are called that (if, in fact, they are called that, which ... again, never in real life heard the term used). It's a tie. Baffled by the idea that a term needed to be invented to describe a tie in This Particular Game. Anyway, that is off-the-charts the most obscure thing in the grid, and single-handedly took this puzzle from very easy to a little easy. The inscrutable-to-me clue on ABSTRACT took it the rest of the way to straight-up Medium ordinary Monday (38D: Existing in the mind only). I just don't think of ABSTRACT as the opposite of "actual." I mean, imaginary friends exist "in the mind only," but you wouldn't call them ABSTRACT. I had A-, and then AB-, and I kept trying to think of Latin phrases that fit, like, uh, A PRIORI or AB OVO or something actually makes sense in this context. So those two (symmetrical) answers alone were responsible for literally all of the difficulty in the puzzle. Unless you hadn't heard of JORTS (36A: Portmanteau for denim cutoffs), which ... honestly, you were better off, weren't you? Go back to not knowing, it's nicer.

"regional thing" would explain my ignorance of CAT'S GAME, assuming that "region" 
is not "California" (where I grew up)

If you go to a crossword tournament, a general rule of thumb is that roughly half of the people there have been on "Jeopardy!" and maybe a third of those (law of averages!) have been Champions. Rachel Fabi, my constructing / blogging / Central NY friend who solves on Zoom with me once a month, she's a former champion. I know at least a dozen more, personally. This is not an accomplishment. Just go to a crossword tournament and there they are, common as pigeons. Anyway, I don't like "Jeopardy!" I don't dislike it, either. I just don't watch it. Haven't watched it since high school, when I'd sometimes watch it with my mom (with whom I also remember watching "Murder, She Wrote," I think ... definitely "At the Movies" w/ Siskel & Ebert ... she was a big Robert Urich fan, so there was probably some "Spenser: For Hire" in there too, for sure). So though I am dimly aware of some of the "famous" "Jeopardy!" winners, this BRAD guy was not on my radar, and will likely, after today, remain not there (32D: ___ Rutter, "Jeopardy!" contestant with the all-time highest winnings ($4.9+ million)). But the crosses just filled him in, so that's fine. 

Today I turn my Spring 2021 grades in and ... sleep, I think. Then maybe drink. Then definitely sleep again. Thrilled to be done done done w/ Zoom teaching, forever (seriously, I will quit before I do that again). Happy June Eve, i.e. Memorial Day, everyone!

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Frantic Sloth 12:00 AM  

C'mon! I know it's not official or anything, but don't we generally spell the former Russian royal as TSAR and reserve the CZAR spelling for members of the Cabinet and such?? Don't we??
And on the Mondee?? C'mon!

I was enjoying this puzzle (in the Mondee way) up until that turd in the punch bowl.

The LBD or LITTLE BLACK DRESS theme was cute, but since yesterday, I'm wondering if now we have to call it the LITTLE BLACK DRIP DRESS....πŸ€”

***Generally Idiotic Ponderments Alert***

Could one ask SIRI for a FANCY PBJ recipe?
Anyone else GAIN some TUSH this past year?
If you're wondering why your feet still stink, BLAME ODOR ITO, and get your money back.

Hey...aren't the sleeves a little long on this jacket?


Joaquin 12:02 AM  

I blew through this puzzle and now I feel so very DRIP.

Frantic Sloth 12:12 AM  


Oh my Sweet Baby Jesus, Rex - those cats are too adorbs for words! ❤️❤️
Also never heard of CATSGAME, but I rode western saddle.

JORTS can wander off to die in the graveyard of stupid words any time now...one hopes.

Anonymous 12:46 AM  

As a millennial socal native, cats game was a gimme. The confusion continues. This was a PR at 3:26 which I just wanted to brag about somewhere. Woo

David Eisner 1:31 AM  

That's the paperback edition of Cat's Cradle I read in high school -- it was my dad's copy. I still have it, mouldering away on a shelf in our living room. The acid-rich paper is almost orange, it smells like a used book store, and I think it might crumble into dust if I clap my hands nearby. And so it goes.

jae 1:48 AM  

Easy. Delightful, liked it a bunch. LITTLE BLACK DRESS evokes Audrey Hepburn as the gamine in Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

I’m old enough so that CATS GAME was a no crosses gimme.

Anonymous 1:51 AM  

CATS GAME was foreign to me, yes, but no more so than DRIP on Sunday. Yet Rex raves on one and pans the other. Go figure.

Ben 1:53 AM  

"Old man yells at cloud"

chefwen 2:55 AM  

A puzzle that starts out with FANCY-SCHMANCY I know will be a winner.
Never heard of BLACK and WHITE cookies, so I looked it up. Guess it’s a New York thing. They sound kinda good, might have to whip up a batch.
Fun Monday puzzle, cute theme.

Love your kitty pics, Rex. Can never have too many of those.

Joel PB 3:49 AM  

I'm a millennial, born and raised in Alberta, Canada (and happy to see my province as a clue in a recent puzzle!)

Growing up, my mother taught me that whenever a game ended in a tie, you draw a big C over the grid and say "Cat". Several of my friends knew to do the same. I have no idea why, but evidently the practice has spread to Western Canada at least.

Stickler 4:18 AM  

Quite liked this. Coco, Bozo and Rolo plus Stilts gave it a fun circus vibe, but I cannot unsee jorts. For 38d (abstract) I'd have preferred "non-representational art".

Coniuratos 5:22 AM  

Mid-range millenial from northeast Ohio (on the lovely shores of Lake ERIE), we usually called it a "Cat Game" or just a "Cat", but throwing on the possessive was an easy enough guess. And as a whole, easy enough that I ended up five seconds shy of a personal best.

But I do second Frantic Sloth on the Tsar/CZAR distinction.

Lewis 6:20 AM  

This flew so quickly, I almost finished before I started. This is a good thing. Just as I want my end of the week puzzles to be tough-to-inscrutable, I believe the starting puzzle of the week should be an easy confidence-builder for new-to-newer solvers. And this is that.

Still, I learned BLACK AND WHITES as well as LITTLE BLACK DRESS, which I learned was a BRIGHT IDEA, and I enjoyed the irony of that.

Like the edelweiss, the grid was clean and bright as well. Thank you, Michael, for this!

Lewis 6:21 AM  

@David Eisner 1:31 -- Hah! Great post!

Abby Friedman 6:26 AM  

can we stop putting Nazis in the crossword please?

ShΓ© di Felina 6:33 AM  

I had the sense that this was an easier puzzle than I found it, in that had I been from North America I would probably have instantly known the answers to the clues that had me stumped on a first whizz through (BLACKANDWHITES, ERIE, CATSGAME (we call tic tac toe noughts and crosses over here - I've heard of TTT obvs but for some reason thought it was draughts... which I now realise is aka checkers), TUSH, NCAA, PBJS). Faster than my Monday average but a couple of minutes off my fastest, mostly through having to navigate through the grid a lot.

pabloinnh 6:55 AM  

@David Eisner-I've got the same one on a bookshelf in my (relocated) man cave, along with several other Vonneguts and The Catcher in the Rye and some others I can't throw out and reread once in a while. "No damn cat, and no damn cradle." Har.

I'm in the knew-it-instantly for CATSGAME as a tie. Tic-tac-toe is what we played before everyone had a video game on their phones.

Did this one in a hurry and saw that the revealer was going to be COCOCHANEL but failed to go back and check the theme, so finding it here was nice. A nice entry-level Mondecito,

Anonymous 7:07 AM  

Rex Parker said: “ Happy June Eve, i.e. Memorial Day, everyone! “ This perfectly encapsulates the bubble he lives in.

Anonymoose 7:08 AM  

Learning that JORTS is a "word" makes me ashamed to be a human being.

Barbara S. 7:11 AM  

I’m of two minds about this puzzle. My first reaction was yes, LITTLE BLACK DRESS, very classy. And then my second thought was oh, but COCO CHANEL – hasn’t she been unmasked as a Nazi collaborator during WWII? I think documents that have been declassified in recent years make it pretty evident that she was. Now, I don’t think that problematic people, events and things should be banned from puzzles or make puzzles unpublishable. But it’s a matter of personal judgement – I think if I were a puzzle constructor, I would not choose to create a theme around COCO CHANEL.

In the upper center section I had a near DNF, which would have killed me on a Monday. For SIRI I put SuRI and for REDO I had REnO, resulting in uPOn for IPOD as the answer to “Cher holder?” (a clue I really liked once I grasped it). So I finished the puzzle and got the dreaded incomplete message and it took me forever to suss out these mistakes because “upon” is a perfectly good word, just not in answer to 7D. Sigh. No speed records today.

I thought there was an interesting sub-theme based on various types of performances, and film. There was LIVE, which is related to performance. Then:
1) Fashion shows: CHANEL and YSL
3) Circus: STILT, BOZO, maybe “Hold ONTO your hat!”
4) Opera: ARIA
5) Film: SALOON (clued in relation to westerns), Seth ROGEN, ALEC (of the Baldwins) and ESCORT (clued in relation to the red carpet)

• Tricky/amusing clue (assuming I understood it): “There’s only one spot for this”: ACE
• Hey-you-broke-the-normal-convention clue/answer: CZAR instead of tsAR for “Prerevolution Russian leader.” In the NYTXW, aren’t CZARs usually modern-day wielders of power? (Hi, @Frantic)
• Head-scratchy clue/answer: “Existing only in the mind” ABSTRACT. Tell that to MOMA in front of their extensive collection of ABSTRACT paintings.


The passage today is by JOHN CONNOLLY, born May 31, 1968.

“It is a curious fact that small boys are more terrified of their babysitters than small girls are. In part, this is because small girls and babysitters, who are usually slightly larger girls, belong to the same species, and therefore understand each other. Small boys, on the other hand, do not understand girls, and therefore being looked after by one is a little like a hamster being looked after by a shark. If you are a small boy, it may be some consolation to you to know that even large boys do not understand girls, and girls, by and large, do not understand boys. This makes adult life very interesting.”
(From The Gates)

SouthsideJohnny 7:11 AM  

Nice, I tried solving it by doing the acrosses only - I did get one wrong, and then had to fill in the downs. Hadn’t heard of JORTS (or even STAN as clued, for that matter), so obviously current slang has passed me by.

I’ve heard the name COCO CHANEL before but didn’t know anything about her until today (I had no clue that she goes back to W.W.I - I thought she was still current, lol). I was thinking perfume, but apparently she was quite the trendsetter in fashion/design/perfume and probably a few other sub-genres. Did she really give us Audrey’s dress as well - maybe she just ushered in that era of casual-chic (I’m thinking of Jackie Kennedy as well) - wow, that was over a half-century ago. Pretty cool.

Hungry Mother 7:12 AM  

A little slower than usual this morning, but still quite easy. Funny how ABSTRACT seemed tough as it was revealed by crosses. I’ve got to work on my perception.

Phaedrus 7:17 AM  

Those of you who never heard of black and white cookies clearly were not regular watcher’s of Seinfeld

Anonymous 7:20 AM  

After all this time, after all these columns, Rex still obsesses over a clue HE's never heard of, which means some stupid-head is being a stupid-head. Just say "Hmm!" and move on, Rex. You look so childish going on and on about it. "If I've never heard of it, it's not worth knowing."

Plus, Brad Rutter was the guest host on Jeopardy for the last two weeks. Which means a lot of crossworders would know this clue. Even on a Monday.

Son Volt 7:25 AM  

Trivia laden Monday puzzle - not a lot of hiccups. Sounds like BLACK AND WHITES are a regional thing. Not a fan - mainly because of the half chocolate. Side eye to PBJS. Liked SERENA, ERIE and FANCY. You can keep ALEC, JORTS and PELOSI.

I can recall my sisters playing tic-tac-toe years ago and after a tie they would draw a big C thru the grid - the cats game. I always thought it meant the cat got the points for the win - not either of them. I haven’t thought it about it since.

Simple Monday. Just too much trivia for me to really enjoy it.

Anonymous 7:27 AM  

@Abby Friedman- That’s not a nice thing to say about Speaker Pelosi. I can’t stand her either but she’s not a Nazi. They used to say the same thing about Trump and I felt the same way. He’s not a good person but he’s not a Nazi either.

Unknown 7:37 AM  

Cat's Game is "a thing" though it might be regional. I grew up in Southern California (more precisely the very farthest south of the Central Coast) and we called ties "cat's games". I use plenty of words or phrases that I have no clue about their origin. Same with this term.

I thought the puzzle was easy and boring. I had no idea there was even a theme because I just plowed through everything.

Anonymous 7:49 AM  

the baseball team is the METS, not the NETS!

Lewis 7:49 AM  

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

1. Apt letters missing from "_tea_th_" (3)
2. Is for more? (3)
3. Cat's 'sup? (4)
4. Bunch of hipsters? (3)(3)
5. Fruit rich in antioxidants and vowels (4)


Waiting to hear from Jeopardy 7:54 AM  

Yep. That was my experience as a kid growing up in Ohio: draw a C, say “cat,” play another game of tic tac toe. And I’m an older Gen X’er.

bocamp 8:12 AM  

Thx Michael, great Mon. puz to start the week off with!

Easy+ solve.

Excellent start in the NW & G.L.s, down and around, ending up with PBJS.

Using SIRI more on my MacBook Air lately. Liking it! :)

Worked at a street fair in Eugene (early '70s) requiring use of STILTs; distributed handouts for various booth operators.

Maries´s ARIA from Prima Donna ~ Beate Mordal - soprano


Wouldn't you know it … as soon as I start in on the pity party re: the bottom half of 615, it all comes together. The keys were: 1) a closer read of the 'TLC show' clue, and 2) a vague recollection of the 'fictional land', which turned the tide in that area and allowed me to successfully finish. Thx, again! :)

yd 0

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Sgreennyc 8:14 AM  

Who gives a fuck if Rex watches or doesn’t watch Jeopardy?

Big Papa 8:20 AM  

A bit of regional pedantry on 26A: half-moons and black-and-whites are not the same thing. The former (Upstate NY, specifically Utica) has a cakey base with whipped cream frosting while the latter (NYC) has a dry base with hard icing. They look similar, but the former is (per my very biased homer opinion) is wildly superior cookie.

GILL I. 8:21 AM  

JORTS walks into a SALOON with ORZO, BOZO and ROLO. RICO, the bartender, is busy looking at FANCY SIRI and her OLDE TUSH. COCO is sitting with her and says: "Do you serve ladies in the bar?"....No, ma'am, you have to supply your own."
Feel free to get up and groan.
I'm pretty sure I come here every Monday so that I can chortle at anything @Frantic might say. EXCEPT....I think it's a turd on a birthday cake....not in the punchbowl.
I shall no longer STOKE the fires.
My JIVE runneth over.

Nancy 8:37 AM  

Why is it called Cat's game?
(tic-tac-toe) A tie game. Comes from the concept that a cat cannot catch its own tail just like a player in tic-tac-toe cannot win a game that is already tied.


Did play tic-tac-toe as a child, and heaven knows, I'm old enough, but never heard of this term for a tie game. But it's there on the Internet, for whatever that's worth. Moving right along...

Yes -- it is TSAR for the one-time Russian leader and CZAR for a US Govt head of something important and the two should not be conflated.

Now why of all people did I bring up COCO CHANEL only yesterday in order to spoof the completely unknown slang word DRIP? Beats me. But it does make me think that there may be such a thing as the Universal Mind.

A nothing burger of a theme, but one that led to a pleasant junk-free puzzle nonetheless.

Joaquin 8:38 AM  

@Anon (7:20) - Nope.

Joaquin 8:43 AM  

As a veteran who served in Vietnam I ask Rex why he trivializes Memorial Day with his signoff of, "Happy June Eve, i.e. Memorial Day, everyone!"

CaptDaveTulsa 8:52 AM  

Why CATSGAME: Tradition

pmdm 8:53 AM  

This must be an "I don't care" day. I didn't care one way about the puzzle, I didn't car about tic-tac-toe, I didn't (and don't) care about who watches jeopardy! (and don't care whether The Chaser, a pandemic quiz show with Brad, Ken, and James being the chasers comes back or not) and so forth.

While this puzzle seems to have avoided some of the things that annoy me about the puzzles coming from new constructors, it did seem to me to have an overabundance of PPP (don't ask) reflecting something about the constructor.

Sixthstone 8:59 AM  

Super easy, almost my fastest Monday. Interestingly, I knew CAT'S GAME and ABSTRACT immediately. Just goes to show people have different bits of knowledge. Who knew? While I enjoy many of Rex's rants, today was a bit overboard. Happy Memorial Day all and, Vets, thanks for your service!

JD 9:07 AM  

Now I know my wheelhouse. It's hanging in the closet gathering dust. Pearls stashed in a box. @Nancy, this is what the gym was all about, doing justice to the Little Black Dress. Job interviews were just Dress Rehearsal for getting hired.

Netflix has a series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel about a female comedian in the 1950s (Balenciaga wardrobe and little black dress, young Joan Rivers vibe). Come for comedy, stay for the clothes. Rewatched an episode of season one yesterday where she gives Black and Whites to the doorman and elevator operator. Threw that one right in.

So much I loved this puzzle that by the time I got to Coco Chanel I almost sobbed with joy.

Z 9:09 AM  

Yep, it’s one thing to have a Nazi in a puzzle because we don’t know she’s a Nazi, quite another after it has become documented. Hard pass on COCO CHANEL, especially on Memorial Day.

Strong side eye on the CZAR clue for exactly the reason @Frantic Sloth mentioned.

What’s with the JORTS hate? You prefer “Daisy Dukes?” I think “Cut-offs” is my preferred term.

CATS GAME sounds vaguely familiar as does the whole C thing, but don’t most people “solve” tic-tac-toe pretty early and stop playing? Seems like we replaced it with the the dots game pretty quickly.

✋🏽 for liking @David Eisner’s post. ✋🏽for reading that edition of Cat’s Cradle. The boys read a different edition because the pages were falling out of the copy I read. This is the one on the bookshelf now.

Nancy 9:10 AM  

@Southside Johnny (7:11) -- You were right to ask. No, Chanel did not "dress" either Jackie or Audrey -- at least not for the most part. Jackie's usual clothes designer was (famously) Oleg Cassini and the LITTLE BLACK DRESS worn so gorgeously by Audrey Hepburn onscreen was designed by Givenchy -- who supplied most of her wardrobe. I was pretty sure I knew this for a fact, but I checked it online to make sure.)

So CHANEL was a Nazi collaborator? That's truly awful, but also very interesting. Her story would make a very colorful movie. Has there ever been one? If not -- any screenwriters out there?

Unknown 9:15 AM  

Really Rex? Now you are attacking Memorial Day? Even if you do not believe in war, please respect the fallen.

RooMonster 9:24 AM  

Hey All !
Agree with the CZAR being the wrong one. NYTXW broke it's own rule by reserving TSAR for the old Russian leader/despot/politician, and CZAR as the Cabinet leader/despot/politician. πŸ€ͺ What's next, having SCARF as eating? My word...

That silliness aside, thought this a nice little MonPuz. LITTLE BLACK DRESS, simple theme, simple dress. The dress you see out here worn by early 20-somethings coming out of the clubs at 4AM that barely (and I mean barely) cover their ass. So high, cheeks hanging out everywhere. Not a bad thing, just sayin'. 😁

Picturing CATS playing Tic-Tac-Toe. Would that be Tic-Tac-Paw?

Nice fill, even though a puz is easy to solve, in no way makes it easier to construct. Thought for the day.

Remember all the fallen military today, that gave you the freedom to throw a party, hoot and holler, and drink until you pass out. Have a Great and Safe Memorial Day.

One F (right out of the gate! Alas, no others.) (More J's and Z's)

RyanSem 9:35 AM  

I've never heard of Cat's Game either. Rest of the puzzle was a breeze. I was surprised BLACKANDWHITES was correct. I've always called them that because I had no other good name for it, but I guess I've been right all along.

Anonymous 9:36 AM  

@Anon (7:20) Buzzy Cohen has been the host of Jeopardy for the past two weeks - not Brad Rutter!

JD 9:44 AM  

Reading the comments. Another of my idols down the drain. This feels like learning that Thomas Jefferson enslaved his own children. And @Roo says the little black dress got even littler? Next.

@Z, Jorts. It's not the clothes. It's just an ugly word, visually and aurally. Like spork, or fspoon.

@Cats Game controversy people. It's just something we said for play by play commentary, "I win, you win, cat's game. This boring, let's play outside."

Private Balunas 9:46 AM  

Memorial Day is to honor those who died in war. It is not a day to honor Veterans, they have their own day. Of course you can honor them on Memorial Day too, as you can and should every day of the year. But they seem to get
preference today, instead of thanking those that laid down their lives. They should be your main message and the focus, not anyone who was in the service. The Dead not the living.
My grandfather was killed at age of 31 at the Battle in Monte Casino on May 13 1944.
It's his day, he died fighting the Fascists. It's not a day to tell veterans how great they are. Think about those who DIED fighting tyranny.

Jean 9:47 AM  

Enlighten me please. Whose a Nazi here?

Joe Dipinto 9:48 AM  

@Nancy – there was a Broadway musical called "Coco" in 1969, starring Katharine Hepburn. Music by Andre Previn, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner. It has no famous songs, so when they revive it now they license out "Springtime For Hitler" from "The Producers" to use as the first act finale.

(Not really. They've never revived it.)

eddy 9:57 AM  

We're all smart people here, aren't we? Let's admit it. We take our crosswords seriously because we believe that solving them makes us smart. For some reason, it is very important to us that others can see that we are smart. This also is a contributing reason for posting here, so that other crossworders will think we are smart. Probably we want to think that trivial knowledge matters because it sets us apart and above others who don't know and who we can sneer at and call dumb. There, did I spoil your day?

JD 10:02 AM  

Not really @eddy, we just wonder wtf you're doing here.

Bad Mouse 10:02 AM  

In the mind only: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstract_algebra

Anonymous 10:08 AM  


Ah the perpetual question, 'what is smart?' About all we can test for is fact knowledge, and a bit of logic solving. Doing crosswords is 99.44% the former and a smidge of the latter. Just like MENSA and IQ tests. Doing crosswords fast isn't a measure of smart. But then, you already said that. Hang my head in shame.

Anonymous 10:13 AM  

Got the first 'O' of 57A, and was sorely tempted to put in dOnnakAran.

"Karan became well known for her 'Essentials' line, initially offering seven easy pieces centered around the bodysuit which could all be mixed and matched, and created a fully integrated wardrobe with her First Collection in 1985. Karan always insisted that she would design only clothes like jersey dresses and opaque Lycra tights that she would wear herself."
the wiki

Yeah, a Little Black Dress might well be a part of that.

rosebud 10:18 AM  

I only know Black and White cookies from Seinfeld, but CATS is definitely what we call a tied tic tac toe game, just CATS so i needed the crosses for GAME. Fun little puzzle for a Monday holiday, eating Pizza in my Chanel little black dress, watching Bozo’s Circus with PBJ at lunchtime…

Nancy 10:32 AM  

I should have known that, @Joe D (9:48)!! (Actually, I did know that, only I didn't think of it.) Very, very funny "Springtime for Hitler" comment, Joe. But do you know if the musical covered her Nazism? I'm going to go to Wiki and take a look.

Despite being an inveterate musical theater buff, I never saw COCO. And yet I venerate Alan Jay Lerner. So I'm thinking there must have been a reason. Like maybe it got roasted by the critics?

Chris 10:33 AM  

I thought this was way above average for a Monday, theme-wise.
Hand up for knowing CATSGAME and not knowing DRIP, and not complaining about either one.

Carola 10:36 AM  

I thought FANCY gave the puzzle a great start - is that what a LITTLE BLACK DRESS is? In its understated way? On the opposite side to such elegance we have the LARGE PIZZA x BLAME, for those of us still in our pandemic elastic-waist leisure wear. Anyway, I really liked the puzzle....until reading here about CHANEL's Nazi connections.

CAT'S GAME was entirely new to me - very fun to read the comments of those who grew up with it. Help from previous puzzles: STAN. No idea: BRAD. What?: JORTS.

@Nancy 9:10 - Here ya go: "Five Unmissable Films about Coco Chanel".

Missy 10:36 AM  

Buzzy Cohen was the guest host on Jeopardy this past week! Have you ever thought, hmm!that's just Rex and move on?

Frantic Sloth 10:38 AM  

Well, since dredging this up, I find some other (mostly Northerners, though!) might share culpritdom, but what the hey:
@Joel PB 349am So, in other words... πŸ˜‰

@GILL 821am 🀣🀣🀣 Once again, it was an LOL, not a groan. I've led a sheltered life. Re: turd - wanna step outside? 😘

@JD 907am Another (surprise!) Mrs. M fan here - and you're dead-on about that wardrobe! Echoes of the "big break" dress in the S1 finale. FWIW, I never cared for black and white "cookies". They seem more (very flat) cakey than cookie...y and the taste disappoints. But, I'm an outlier. How odd.

@Z 909am Also prefer just plain "cutoffs", but "what's with the JORTS hate?"?? Have you met the word??

@Nancy 910am I second your interest in a movie about CC, and I have always suspected @JOHN X to be a screenwriter.

And not for nuthin, but cats can and often do catch their own tails. And then chew on them. Because they're idiots. ❤️

Nancy 10:41 AM  

Not a hint of her Nazi activities in the musical, Joe. Was it a deliberate cover-up or did no one even know back then that she had been a Nazi sympathizer?

At any rate, there's still a movie to be made on her controversial life, I would think.

A2JD 10:43 AM  

Cats Game was a gimmie over here but knowing the origin of why it's said and who taught me that phrase when I was a kid is a mystery.

crayonbeam 10:55 AM  

Hard not to love a puzzle where I get a new PR - and beat my old PR by over a minute. But even better is when Rex doesn't call the puzzle easy peasy. I grew up in Ohio and knew Cat's Game. Never knew there was someone who didn't know it as that!

Frantic Sloth 10:55 AM  

@J-Dip 948am Wins the comments today! 🀣🀣🀣

@JD 1002am πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ€£ BTW, if anyone here thinks I'm smart, seek medical help STAT!

@Carola 1036am I doubt any of those films includes the Nazi angle, though. Time for an update! πŸ˜‰

egsforbreakfast 10:58 AM  

Somewhere around eighth grade, our science class got to put together a primitive computer (vacuum tubes and wires mostly) from a kit. The end result, after some sort of excruciatingly slow programming (can’t remember just how this was done), was that the computer could play tic-tac-toe. If you played rationally, the game always ended in a tie, although you could occasionally win or lose by playing randomly. Anyway, we christened it Cat, and loved it until we lost interest.

What I don’t like about JORTS is that it labors to follow on the portmanteau precedent of skort, which effortlessly evokes what it is. JORTS, OTOH, could just as well be Jesus Shorts, or Jogging Shorts or Jefe Shorts (the portmanteau is pronounced “horts “).

Anyway, it was a nice easy Monday and I enjoyed it. Thanks Michael Lieberman.

Anonymous 10:59 AM  

@Frantic Sloth:
Because they're idiots.

Well, Ghost can open a door. Not one of the many dogs that have been through here could figure that out. And I don't mean just pushing a door open by bashing the head against it, but grabbing the door (it does have to be a tad ajar) and pulling it inward. Those sharp claws do help to get a hold, of course.

Still finding myself 11:05 AM  

@eddy Do you offer teletherapy?

Joe Dipinto 11:05 AM  

@Nancy – From what I'm seeing, Chanel's Nazi ties only came to light recently. (I didn't know about it till now.) She apparently did a good job of burying it after the fact.

Michelle Turner 11:10 AM  

Yes there is a movie about Coco Chanel and it’s called “Coco Before Chanel”.

GILL I. 11:31 AM  

I found this in Wiki:

In 1946 Chanel was quoted by her friend and confidant, Paul Morand:

"Homosexuals?...I have seen young women ruined by these awful queers: drugs, divorce, scandal! They will use any means to destroy a competitor and to wreak vengeance on a woman. The queers want to be women...but they are lousy women. They are charming!"

And to think I've spent good money on a homophobic anti-semite Nazi sympathizer....
My Chanel No. 5 runneth under the bus.

The things we learn!

Doc John 11:31 AM  

There was also a TV movie called Coco which featured Shirley MacLaine as the older Coco.

Add me to the “I’ve heard of CAT’S GAME” list.

mathgent 11:31 AM  

What a selfish bastard I am. Unlike Lewis, I couldn't care less that this puzzle might bolster the confidence of an inexperienced solver. Where's my fun?

In our house, we tired of Tic-Tac-Toe early, went to Hangman, and settled on Jotto. That's the word game similar to Mastermind, the logic game with colored pegs.

TUSH. What a colorful language Is Yiddish. It's my favorite term for that part of the body.

Aelurus 11:36 AM  

Ah! The LITTLE BLACK DRESS. A stylish puz. @Nancy – I’m smiling thinking of your clever riposte yesterday. :) Your comment 9:10 am – yes, the movie I saw is Coco Before Chanel with Audrey Tautou as the lead, which concentrates on her early years.

Cute and fun and love to see those BLACK AND WHITE cookies anywhere. LARGE PIZZA (27D), too.

Had “brilliance” before BRIGHT IDEA for “flash of genius,” because, well, right?

Unknowns: CAT’S GAME (4D) and JORTS (36A).

Hand up agreeing with @Frantic for TSAR vs CZAR (12:00 am) and especially for the comment on JORTS (12:12 am)!

@Barbara S (7:11 am) – Didn’t know that about COCO CHANEL. Does give me pause and makes me sad. And ohmygosh one of my two cats is named SURI, after Suricata suricatta (how did that combo happen?). As a youngster she had a habit of standing on the bed and s_t_r_e_t_c_h_i_n_g herself as high as she could with her front legs upraised and bent and paws hanging down, head turning slowly back and forth to consider the environs outside the window, looking quite the meerkat. She’s almost seven now and still loves to chase her tail, so I think I’ll go with that for the explanation of 4D (thanks for the option, @Rex). Love the quote today.

Whatsername 11:44 AM  

I love a LITTLE BLACK DRESS. Used to have a killer one great for dancing to JIVE Talkin’ and such. I’m talking pure drip, but that was definitely in the OLDE days. If I tried to go out the door wearing something like that now, SIRI would ACT all “ICK woman! TROT your TUSH back in here you BOZO and execute an immediate REDO.” Too much LEEK and potato soup will do that. Sigh.

CATS GAME was an absolute WOE is that? While JORTS was easy enough to figure out, I’d never heard of it and hope to never hear it again. Like @Frantic, I’d be delighted if it went off to the final resting place of stupid words. And while we’re at it I’d also send those teensy shorty short cutoffs that leave half of one’s SEAT uncovered to FALL out the bottom. COCO CHANEL would be horrified at some of the sights I’ve SEEN in Walmart.

Enjoyed this easy breezy Monday puzzle. Thanks Michael.

misterarthur 11:55 AM  

I was on Jeopardy, but wasn't a champion.

old timer 12:06 PM  

The reason CZAR is spelled that way is because it is a Russianized version of Caesar. The reason it is also spelled Tsar is that it is pronounced that way.

COCO CHANEL fell in love with a German general, who, like her, was residing at the Ritz during the War. She also was a friend of Churchill's, and joined a plot to have the Nazis surrender on conditions that would have limited postwar recriminations against the Nazis, especially those who had occupied France. This was contrary to the Allied insistence on unconditional surrender -- though the Nazis would still be out of power, and the Allies would still have won. Could have saved a lot of lives, when you think about it.

CHANEL was quite willing to use the Nazis' antisemitism to gain control over her company, in place of her Jewish partner, Wertheimer. As a result, she was personally given the profits Chanel made during the war from perfume, which could not, under German rules, be paid to any Jew. OTOH, in the early 50's, when Wertheimer's properties had been restored to him, this same Wertheimer funded the re-starting of CHANEL's fashion business. Funny how these things work out. I think CHANEL was a lot like Lefty, in that Pancho and Lefty song: (S)he just did what (s)he had to do, and now (s)he's growing old.

JORTS was a Woe for me. In fact, a technical DNF there, but je ne regrette rien. JORTS is a disgusting word and has no right to exist.

Anoa Bob 12:12 PM  

Count me among those never having heard of CATS GAME. I quit playing tic-tac-toe when I learned of a foolproof method to either win or tie every game. If both players know the strategy then every game will end in a tie. Boring. Pointless.

Another clue for ABSTRACT (38D), maybe for a later in the week puzzle, would be along the lines of "summary of a scientific study". There is also a Dissertation Abstracts publication with summaries of Ph.D. dissertations going back to the 1930s.

One of the themers was a letter shy of being able to fill its slot. Solving that by simply tacking on an S and making a plural of convenience (POC) is too easy in my book and significantly lowers the degree of difficulty in coming up with a list of potential theme entries. Just as with competitive diving, for instance, a lower degree of difficulty means a lower overall final score.

I'm definitely unDRIP. I would have guessed that COCO CHANEL was a character actor in some Mel Brooks movies.

Joe Dipinto 12:12 PM  

@Nancy – I didn't see "Coco" the musical either. I think critics carped about K. Hepburn's singing (but really, who would expect her to have a good voice?) It ran about 10 months, which I guess is respectable, and got nominated for seven Tonys.

Anonymous 12:33 PM  

Veterans deserve our thanks every day, but the purpose of Memorial Day is to honor those who have died in service of their country. And definitely not to wish anyone a happy "June Eve."

Z 12:41 PM  

An interesting interview with the guy who wrote the book that brought COCO CHANEL’s Nazi past to prominence.

@JD - I love fspoon even more than I love JORTS.
@Frantic Sloth - I met JORTS for the first time today and I just adore the concept of wearing Booty JORTS {Warning: You can’t unsee this} at a Memorial Day cookout. I’m thinking Booty JORTS should be part of the dress code at Z’s Placebo and Tentacle. Ooh Ooh, I know, From now on I’m going to imagine anonytrolls wearing Booty JORTS.

jberg 12:42 PM  

Apparently COCO CHANEL first thought up the LBD; but since it has become universal probably every other designer is now associated with it as well. But my problem was that I'd heard of her perfume lines for decades before I learned that she designed clothes, so I stupidly thought she'd made it big in the scent business and then branched out. But it had to be her.

I don't know about her sympathies, but apparently she had a long-time affair with a Nazi officer. The French were going to try her as a collaborator, but Churchill intervened on her behalf and got her off. She did have quite a life, but all the 4 movies about her were made before the espionage was confirmed from recently released documents. Maybe there'll be another one.

But I am pretty sure she'd never have called anything JORTS.

Sorry to go on so long, I just got kinda fascinated by Chanel's career.

Franz K. 12:53 PM  

So LENI has been an answer in the NYT crossword 17 times in the Shortz era. Sixteen times LENI was clued for the Nazi director Leni Riefenstahl. I suppose those who object to the inclusion of Coco Chanel want Leni Riefenstahl blackballed too. Seems kind of childish. We should be able to understand that inclusion is not to be seen as an endorsement. In fact, choosing to exclude certain people can
be seen as a tacit endorsement of everyone who is included.

Whatsername 12:57 PM  

@Rex: Love the kitty pics. Wish mine got along that well.

@Barbara (7:11) Love the quote today.

@eddy (9:57) Is that your IDEA of ABSTRACT thinking? Sweet!

@Z (12:41) So the official name for what I termed “teensy shorty short cutoffs that leave half of one’s SEAT uncovered” is Booty JORTS? Okay I guess butt bottom line, I don’t care what you call it or who’s wearing it - I don’t wanna see that mess.

Nancy 1:00 PM  

Right. None of (all those) those films cover the Nazi angle. Nor did the musical. It's definitely time for an update.

Alas, @Frantic. Perhaps @JOHN X should be a screenwriter, but from what he's told me about himself, he's not. His work is very creative, but not that kind of creative.

Now I think @Quasimojo mentioned that he had written screenplay(s). Since we don't have each other's email addresses, he must have said it on the blog. I don't know if he sold any, mind you, -- only that at one time he's written it/them.

Where is @Quasi, btw? We truly miss you, Quasi!

Could you do it, @Joe Dipinto? I'm thinking of "The Green Paint Mystery" and your incredible contributions.

If we can't find a Rexite to do it, though, I have the perfect writer in mind. It's the person who wrote "Orange Is The New Black":)

Erica B. 1:07 PM  

Coco Chanel

JD 1:17 PM  

@Franz K, Bug off. Kidding, couldn't resist. I've looked at scanned NYT puzzles from late 1945 and several years after. Chock-full of Nazis.

@Frantic, Rumors of Maisel season 4 release for December are out there.

@Z, Well then, I'm changing it to Fspoon©

Jeff B. 1:32 PM  

COCOCHANEL was just a name to me until reading this blog. May need to read "Sleeping with the Enemy". What a story!

Mostly easy puzzle, but JORTS stopped me in my tracks at the end. Ugly word. No need to call them anything ore than cut-offs.

Frantic Sloth 1:36 PM  

@Z 1241pm I think you should be banned for life for that Booty JORTS link. And since you've conjoined JORTS with anonytrolls, you can hardly make it the dress code for Z's Placebo and Tentacle Pub. Now the wooden roller coaster on the other hand....

@Nancy 100pm Yes. I realized after posting that @JOHN X's talent probably far exceeds that of many, many screenwriters these days. If only...

@Erica B 107pm Your comment intrigues me. Please don't respond with "made you look!"

@JD 117pm Thanks! I've been wondering. Fspoon me!

Bonnie Buratti 1:40 PM  

To use a Nazi collaborator and spy as the theme on Memorial Day - it's beyond hurtful. It's outrageous, and offensive to all who fought and died in WWII (my uncle died in a UBoat attack at the age of 19) and who were the victims of Nazi genocide. Really unbelievable.

Franz K. 1:43 PM  

@JD-LOL. I just chose that moniker because the other LENI was clued as “ Seducer of Josef in Kafka’s ‘The Trial’ “ from 2017. I guess that constructor got the no Nazi memo early.

Grouch 1:58 PM  

I now know that I should be upset by COCO, CZAR, and Rex's sign off. Hope I didn't miss anything.

CDilly52 2:29 PM  

@Frantic. A big LOL on the Tsar vs today’s CZAR! My Gran used to comment on this very issue over 60 years ago when I began solving with her (well, “solving” is a stretch, but I sat next to her every day and learned how to solve). She often commented that she could make a bundle of money by publishing the “Variant Crossword Puzzle Spelling Dictionary.”I do not disagree.

CDilly52 2:41 PM  

I still consider myself a Buckeye. Grew up in Columbus and played way too much tic tac toe while I should have been paying attention in school. We always called the “non-win” a CATS GAME, and even drew a big “C” over the grid for the Cat, just as we would draw the initial of the winner on those completed grids (with the appropriate line through the three xs or os of the winner) and we would put her initial on those games. I was always P since a C would have confused mine with the cat’s. Anyway, apparently the CATS GAME may be regional?

However, those actual cats, Olive and Allie are universally super adorable! And my two girls, Pip and OC play that same game in the same place - my pillow - often unbeknownst to me until I lie down and get a face full of cat fur. Cats do what they please. Thanks for sharing @Rex!

I really enjoyed this easy little Monday gift. Tight theme, easy, some interesting fill and even some better than average clues for some of the “usual” fill. Made it feel less like annoying crosswordese. Good job Mr. Lieberman. I really enjoyed it.

Anonymous 3:11 PM  

Those heroes we honor today who actually fought Nazis would be turning over in their graves if they knew that their descendants are having fainting spells because they saw the name of a Nazi in a crossword puzzle.

Frantic Sloth 3:12 PM  

@CDilly52 241pm I would have bought that book back in the day! What @oldtimer 1206pm says about the variant spellings is, of course, correct. But we all know the Crossworld is "special". πŸ˜‰

jae 3:24 PM  

Yesterday I asked my 18 yr. old grandson if he knew a four letter word for good fashion sense staring with D. He immediately said DRIP. He thinks it came from the hip hop culture and stems from the jewelry worn by rappers. I didn’t google it and probably won’t.

GILL I. 3:41 PM  

Good gravy, @Z. Thanks for making me look to make sure my razor is still sharp.
That's quite a fondillo...

Barbara S. 4:12 PM  

@Aelurus (11:36)
I love the sound of Suri, your cat-meerkat cross. I'd love to see a picture of her doing her cat scan at the window. I used to associate feline tail-chasing exclusively with kittens, but I then I got a small female named Lex who chased her tail assiduously until the end of her life at age 14. Whenever she caught it, she'd roll around giving it such a fierce licking that it was a wonder there was any fur left. Cats are the best.

Gio 5:22 PM  

Was anyone here brought up to believe that Memorial Day was a national day of mourning and that doing anything enjoyable on that day was disrespectful? That one needs to remain in quiet thought all day in memory of the dead? That it was blasphemous to even suggest going to a party or on a trip?

We went to the parade then went to a cookout with friends or the beach.
It's important to remember what the long weekend is for but we're allowed to have fun and wish each other a happy weekend.
The party who's divine leader called those who serve losers and suckers, and the ones who died weak, really seem to be offended that the VP tweeted to have a nice Memorial Day. Something else for the party of grievance to be aggrieved about.

JOHN X 6:02 PM  

I’m working on a screenplay about Coco Chanel where she travels to Hitler’s mountaintop retreat at Berchtesgaden in 1940 and meets with Der FΓΌhrer and all the Generals of the OKW high command. Using her feminine wiles, she convinces them to invade the Soviet Union because it would be “a very very good idea” and “cannot possibly fail.” Coco later persuades the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor. With Jennifer Lawrence as Coco, Bradley Cooper as Hitler, Joaquin Phoenix as Heinrich Himmler, and Special Guest Star Brad Pitt as General Eisenhower.

kitshef 7:23 PM  

Don't really think this theme was worth doing at all, as it's pretty dull. But to run it on Memorial Day is ughsome.

We used CAT'S GAME to indicate a draw in any contest, not just tic-tac-toe. If we were playing Monopoly and no one had enough monopolies to bankrupt everyone and no one was willing to trade, we'd call "cat's game" and start anew.

Joe Dipinto 9:51 PM  

@Nancy – no I'm not interested in screenwriting, but thank you for thinking of me. It looks like @John X has the task in hand after all.

Poor Michael Lieberman had no idea of the sh!tstorm of bad vibes his puzzle would unleash. One final outrage: the dress isn't even black! It's white with gold trim! Unless you think it's blue with black trim.

Whatsername 10:20 PM  

@JOHN X (6:02) I love your cast lineup, especially Brad Pitt as a baldie. I see Oscars. They’re everywhere.

Nancy 10:52 PM  

From Act One of "Collaborator!" -- the new Coco Chanel musical (work in progress)

"Little Black Dress"

When I go out tonight, I'll wear a wire.
I'll hide it at my hip or maybe higher.
Exactly where? You'll have to guess.
But somewhere in my little black dress!!
My little black dress is perfect for a spyer!

(to be continued)

Stickler 3:09 AM  

@Nancy: I'd go to that musical!

SpyGuy 10:17 AM  

One comment, one complaint/push-back (and, I know I'm a day late)

1. I'm from Missouri, but my mom grew up in the Great Plains. She ALWAYS called tie tic-tac-toe games "cat's games". Instead of a line through the winning line, we'd draw a "C" over the grid signifying that. That answer was a gimme, for me, and did give a second thought until reading this.

2. NCAA has NOTHING to do with football bowl games. Those are completely extra-sanctioning events, separate from the NCAA. Maybe splitting hairs, but they are the ones that go to lengths to make that clear. Football (Div I-A, or whatever they call it now) is the only sport the NCAA does not name a champion.

thefogman 10:43 AM  

I don’t get all the rage against CATSGAME. I didn’t know this word but it was easy to get via the crosses and what’s wrong with learning new words? It came up on Google so it isn’t totally obscure as Rex suggests. I was surprised to learn someone won $4.9 million on Jeoparday. Pretty good puzzle for a Monday.

spacecraft 11:49 AM  

BRAD Rutter has come full circle, as he now appears on the primetime version of "The Chase," a trivia game show. Dude knows A LOT of stuff.

As to CATSGAME, I never heard of it either, so it's nice to learn something on a Monday. Also, if the clue for BLACKANDWHITES had been "Police cars, in slang" I'd have gotten it right away, but as "Bicolor cookies" I was "Huh?" Forget the cookies and send me a LARGEPIZZA. There ya go.

Another nice point for an easy Monday is that I absolutely needed the revealer to tie those themers together. Another plus: the delightful clue for ACE. It was a pleasure sussing that out without resorting to crosses. It shows that clues like that are not relegated to the end of the week.

DOD is SERENA Williams, with a most honorable mention and wishes for a speedy recovery for sister Venus, who heartbreakingly had to pull out of Wimbledon yesterday with a leg injury. A birdie for this BRIGHTIDEA.

Diana, LIW 1:03 PM  

Due to the "heat dome" (wait for that to show up soon in a crossword), all fireworks were cancelled yesterday. Except in Idaho. But that's Idaho...

Hope this puzzle bodes well for the rest of the week. Yesterday's (Sunday) offering was a total bomb for me. This? Cookies and Pizza? Who could lose?

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for Crosswords

thefogman 1:29 PM  

Still a little confused about 32D. I thought Ken Jennings was the top earner on Jeopardy. Wiki lists BRAD Rutter as the 2nd highest behind Jennings in regular games. They also say he won more than $5 million - not $4.9 million.

Bradford Gates Rutter (born January 31, 1978) is an American game show contestant, TV host, producer, and actor. With over $5.1 million in winnings, he is currently the 2nd highest-earning American game show contestant of all time, behind Ken Jennings, and still the highest-earning contestant (primarily from special tournament events) on the U.S. syndicated game show Jeopardy! (with over $5 million).

thefogman 1:49 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
leftcoaster 4:29 PM  

How nice, a cute LITTLE BLACK DRESS from COCO. A true, go-to style for almost any dress-up occasion.

bORTS instead of JORTS? The J must be for Jeans. And oops again in the same place, bARS instead of JARS as “Places for tips”.

Just as a bonus, a make-shift word progression: ORE, ORO, ORZO, BOZO, and ...OOZE.

Burma Shave 7:59 PM  


TO some an ABSTRACT IDEA not so EPIC as hell,
what ONCE might PASS as RARE and FANCY


rondo 8:07 PM  

I've bought many a LITTLE BLACK DRESS for LASSes over the years.
What did I GAIN?

FESS up in the corners.

LARGEPIZZA verges on green paint, but gets a PASS.

Tough solve on the shore of Lake Michigan, wind was a bitch.

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