Chinese dissident artist / MON 6-14-21 / Breakup song by Fleetwood Mac / Queen pop nickname / Batch of beer / Freebies at a corporate event / 1960s dance craze

Monday, June 14, 2021

Constructor: Andrea Carla Michaels and Doug Peterson

Relative difficulty: Medium (3 flat, with a very strong julep in me)

THEME: give it away — ends of themers sound like "way"

Theme answers:
  • CURDS AND WHEY (20A: Food for Little Miss Muffet)
  • AI WEIWEI (31A: Chinese dissident artist)
  • "ANCHORS AWEIGH" (36A: U.S. Naval Academy anthem)
  • ZIMBABWE (43A: Neighbor of Botswana)
  • "GO YOUR OWN WAY" (54A: Break-up song by Fleetwood Mac)
Word of the Day: AI WEIWEI (31A: Chinese dissident artist) —

Ai Weiwei (Chinese艾未未pinyinÀi Wèiwèi, English pronunciation (help·info); born 28 August 1957) is a Chinese contemporary artist and activist. Ai grew up in the far north-west of China, where he lived under harsh conditions due to his father's exile.[1] As an activist, he has been openly critical of the Chinese Government's stance on democracy and human rights. He investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of "tofu-dreg schools" in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2011, Ai Weiwei was arrested at Beijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, for "economic crimes". He was detained for 81 days without charge. Ai Weiwei emerged as a vital instigator in Chinese cultural development, an architect of Chinese modernism, and one of the nation's most vocal political commentators.

Ai Weiwei encapsulates political conviction and his personal poetry in his many sculptures, photographs and public works. In doing this, he makes use of Chinese art forms to display the Chinese political and social issues.

After being allowed to leave China in 2015, he has lived in Berlin, Germany, in Cambridge, UK, with his family, and, since 2021 in Montemor-o-Novo, in Portugal. (wikipedia)

• • •

All the final sounds are the same. Yes, that is a theme type. I have seen that. A tried-and-true, apparently infinitely renewable theme type. This one is largely successful because several of the theme answers are genuinely interesting answers in their own right, particularly AI WEIWEI. Funny story—Will Shortz made me (and my co-constructor, Caleb Madison) take AI WEIWEI out of a Sunday grid we made in 2012 because "He's not so well-known yet, and his name is crazily spelled and not inferable" quote unquote. Two years later, he came around on AI WEIWEI. This same thing happened (to a different constructor ... hey, I think it was actually today's co-constructor, Andrea Carla Michaels) with HELLO KITTY, which is a thousand times more hilarious because HELLO KITTY is roughly a million times more famous that AI WEIWEI. Ah, editorial dictatorship. It's fun. Anyway, looks like they pretty much exhausted the "way" rhymes here, so that's cool. Although, I really do not think that WHEY sounds like all the others. I really do blow that "H" out, precisely to distinguish it from "way," though, let's be honest, when do I actually have occasion to say WHEY? When I'm in the protein shake AISLE, maybe. It's a good "way" set. The Fleetwood Mac gave me strong happy summery childhood vibes and reminded me of my dad, so that is also cool, happy father's day (is that today? hey, I'm a father ... dammit! All I got was a delicious mint julep from my beautiful life! Life is unfair!!!! ... oh, OK, no, Fathers Day is next weekend ... phew).
Two things I did not like about this puzzle were clue-related—the two clues that slowed me down and made this puzzle Medium instead of Easy or Easy-Medium. First, that clue on GREW (8D: Increased, as the pot). Wanted "upped" or "anted" or "raised" or "bet" or something, but none of them fit. Needed every single cross to get GREW, and yeah, I can see how it's defensible, but the reason it's icky is that the *only* reason it has this awkward clue instead of a more routine clue is so that the puzzle can get its dumb little "watch me double the clue" gimmick in: see 25A: Increases, as the pot (ADDS TO). That answer slowed me down too. Why, why? Neither of those words want to be related to poker, and yet you pokered them. Awkwardly. Boo. Also, the clue on BREW is similarly weird (34D: Batch of beer). It's a very normal verb, or a normalish noun for a variety of coffee or beer, but a "batch"? "Batch" is for iced tea or cookies. I was looking for, like, a keg, or a vat, or a growler, or a six-pack, or some amount. The nebulous correspondence between BREW and "batch" just didn't compute for me at all. Feels more like a Fri/Sat-type BREW clue. It's a normal verb. Verb it! Why do weird dumb stuff, come on. 
My other mistake was thinking it was Queen BAE at 46D: Queen ___ (pop nickname) (BEY). I was picturing BEYoncé, but my fingers went with the other slangy BAE. Oh, and I put REC'D where PAID was supposed to go (7D: Stamp on an invoice). The end.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Frantic Sloth 12:00 AM  

Me: No way!
Puzzle: Way!

Cute one with themers all over the place! AIWEIWEI might be just a skosh too difficult for the Mondee, but the crosses were fair so really no biggie.

Good, clean fun that was doable for the beginner while not being a pushover for old farts like me. Clearly the work of a couple of real pros. 👍


egsforbreakfast 1:33 AM  

I disagree with Rex about “WHEY” being pronounced differently than “WAY”. Way out here on the Olympic Peninsula, there’s no way to distinguish them.

33A (Like Shakespeare’s feet). Could have just as well been clued as “Me not Papermate”.

I’d put this in the Easy slot, but it was still beautifully clued and a cut above the normal Monday. Thanks Acme and Doug.

jae 1:41 AM  

Easy. Solid Mon. with some fun theme answers. Liked it a bunch!

@bocamp - I finished Croce’s Freestyle #620 in one sitting. I did make a dumb error which I wouldn’t have made had I read the clue more carefully. You should be fine, good luck!

jae 1:45 AM  

i a just checked. Jeff at Xwordinfo gave it POW.

Anon 1:52 AM  

Verbing weirds language.

chefwen 2:52 AM  

Nice easy Monday puzzle from two of my favorites, Andrea and Doug.
I’m pretty sure AI WEIWEI isn’t Monday friendly, I’ve never heard of the guy, guess I don’t get out much. Downs filled it in, thank you.
GO YOUR OWN WAY, one of my favorites.

Ann Howell 3:25 AM  

Didn't even notice the theme, but the puzzle bounced along well enough. I never think of "Go Your Own Way" as a breakup song, despite the title... but that's probably just me!

JOHN X 4:27 AM  

Okay now, 1A could easily have been ABES, which of course would have changed 2D into “BATUSI.” How do you pass up that opportunity? BATUSI, the legendary dance of the milk-swilling caped crusader Batman, shimmying suggestively in front of Best Bond Girl Ever Jill St. John, of the greater Saint clan. Jill St John, Susan Saint James, Moe St. Cool, Eva Marie Saint, etc etc. My birth name is actually ST. JOHN VON XXX but I trimmed it back for tax purposes.

Lewis 6:33 AM  

Having gone past the beginner stage of solving, I expect Monday to be easy. But I’ve done puzzles that have felt even too easy for a Monday, where I think even my dog could have solved this (okay, I exaggerate, but you get the point).

Today’s puzzle, IMO, hit a much better level of easiness, that of just-right easy, where there were bits of vagueness here and there, where I had to remember some things that weren’t instantly available. And this puzzle was so consistently at this level that soon in it felt like I was in a zone – like I was taking a very pleasant jog – a zone that never broke because something too hard or easy was dropped in, or that there was an ugly piece of crosswordese.

The zone was enhanced by some very pleasing answers (ABACUS, WATUSI, AIWEIWEI, ZIMBABWE), and when it was over, my feeling was “That was one sweet solve”. Thank you for that, you two pros you, Andrea and Doug. Sweetness at the start of the day is a gift. This is a terrific Monday puzzle.

amyyanni 6:33 AM  

Really fine Monday with a touch of spice to make it interesting. Watusi is a fun word. Saw "In the Heights" and can't stop thinking of how enjoyable an experience it is! Went to the movie theater.
And now back to the office this morning after 15 months working from home.

SouthsideJohnny 6:43 AM  

I confidently pretty much filled in entry after entry and then had to guess at the crossing “A” in ZIMBABWAY and AZORES (oZORES just didn’t sound right, lol). The completed grid looks pretty normal except for what appears to be a whole string of random letters AI WIE WIE - which I had to take on faith - maybe just a tad tough for a Monday there. The rest was very enjoyable.

Hungry Mother 6:57 AM  

A typo when I entered ZIMBAdWE caused me a bit of a problem. I saw Queen dEY and shrugged. I’ve played with Wii, but never heard of WIIMOTES. I didn’t notice the theme. All those names for a Monday caused some nausea. C’mon, do the work, use your words.

Barbara S. 7:03 AM  

I found this a breath of fresh air after yesterday. I didn’t notice the theme while solving because I decided very deliberately to try to set a new personal record for Monday – and I succeeded! Mind you, my time would make a snail blush, but it was an excellent number for me, so yay. Any puzzle that starts with AWE(S) is a winner in my book – what a nice tone to set right from square one. And I was charmed by WHEY, WEI WEI, WEIGH, WE and WAY.

Lots of watery imagery: ERIE, SEA, EL NIÑO, VERNE and NEMO, ASWIRL, maybe also ERODE, as that’s one of the things water does.

I remember The WATUSI dance from the last millennium, but did you know that WATUSI is the old name for the Tutsi of Rwanda, the people killed in huge numbers in the Rwandan genocide of the mid-1990s. I only know that because of a couple, good friends of mine, who work with an NGO that carries out various humanitarian projects in Rwanda. They’ve been going back and forth from here to there for the last 25 years and have fallen in love with the country. Such important and difficult work they do.

AI WEI WEI is a fascinating artist. He works in multiple media, has created some very imaginative stuff, and is one of the Chinese government’s most vocal critics. They mounted such a vicious campaign against him when he still lived in China that it was a miracle he got out. A lot of people thought he’d just vanish one day. But he left in about 2015 and has been living in various places in Europe ever since. Anyway, here’s a great documentary about him called ”AI WEI WEI: Never Sorry". I believe this is a link to the whole 90-minute film (if it works).

Quotation to follow.

Barbara S. 7:07 AM  

Unfinished business from yesterday: thanks to @Malsdemare, @Lewis, @JD, @fiddleneck and @kitshef for your comments.

Here’s an idea. I’ve decided to try publishing my crossword review and my daily quotation in two separate posts. That should help eliminate massively long comments from me and also make it easier to skip either half of what I’ve submitted. Wouldn’t you know – today’s is a particularly long excerpt but when you read it, I think you’ll agree that shortening it would have completely ruined the er, flavor. So, going way beyond the breakfast test, I give you a passage by PETER MAYLE, born June 14, 1939.

“It was a meal that we shall never forget; more accurately, it was several meals that we shall never forget, because it went beyond the gastronomic frontiers of anything we had ever experienced, both in quantity and length. It started with homemade pizza - not one, but three: anchovy, mushroom, and cheese, and it was obligatory to have a slice of each. Plates were then wiped with pieces torn from the two-foot loaves in the middle of the table, and the next course came out. There were pâtés of rabbit, boar, and thrush. There was a chunky, pork-based terrine laced with marc. There were saucissons spotted with peppercorns. There were tiny sweet onions marinated in a fresh tomato sauce. Plates were wiped once more and duck was brought in... We had entire breasts, entire legs, covered in a dark, savory gravy and surrounded by wild mushrooms.

We sat back, thankful that we had been able to finish, and watched with something close to panic as plates were wiped yet again and a huge, steaming casserole was placed on the table. This was the specialty of Madame our hostess - a rabbit civet of the richest, deepest brown - and our feeble requests for small portions were smilingly ignored. We ate it. We ate the green salad with knuckles of bread fried in garlic and olive oil, we ate the plump round crottins of goat's cheese, we ate the almond and cream gateau that the daughter of the house had prepared. That night, we ate for England.”
(From A Year in Provence)

Son Volt 7:23 AM  

Simple yet elegant homophone theme - well constructed and a smooth solve. ZIMBABWE as a themer is pretty impressive - revealer is nice. Liked IAMBIC x THE ALAMO and the BOGART - AZORES stack. There’s really no ugly stuff here.

Always think of Guadalcanal Diary when I see WATUSI.

Enjoyable Monday.

MarthaCatherine 7:48 AM  

@Barbara S: Thanks for the quote. You're right: the length is necessary. When my children were around 7 and 10, we were driving the full length of the West Virginia Turnpike--maybe the most scenic roadway east of the Mississippi--and listening to A Year In Provence, read by Mr. Mayle himself.

I had never thought one's setting while listening to an audio book could make such a difference, but it was a completely absorbing experience to be surrounded by countryside that in many ways matched the descriptions of the book--which, of course, was bucolic, rustic, and lush.

The kids were mesmerized. A little bit of serendipity in picking that book for that trip.

rushscott 7:55 AM  

As a poker player, grew and addsto are plenty legit. ALWEIWEI - needed every cross plus one lol

kitshef 7:59 AM  

Vanishingly rare to have two WoEs on a Monday; AIWEIWEI and WIIMOTES. WIIMOTES made sense once it was all filled in, but I had to think very, very carefully about every down crossing AIWEIWEI before moving on.

Lots to love in the puzzle: ZIMBABWE, BOGART, IAMBIC, WATUSI, VERNE.

I was never fond of LADY DI as a sobriquet. And when she had her sons, she was already a princess. Don't you stop being a Lady when you become a Princess? Answer: I have no idea but it seems likely.

pabloinnh 8:01 AM  

Today is the birthday of a former girlfriend who, when she was a young thing, decided that everyone was putting flags out for her. Maybe she still thinks so, haven't seen her in a long time.

Great Monday with some crunch, which I appreciate. Learned about AIWEIWEI and all thi iterations of "way" that I can think of were represented, and we don't often get that in a sounds-alike puzzle.

Our church has a sister church in ZIMBABWE, and I have met folks from there, so easy enough.

Swell start to the week. Thanks for all the fun, you two.

thfenn 8:07 AM  

@Hungry Mother, ZIMBAdWE is very funny, will have to remember that next time I'm in a conversation about what all went wrong there.

Thought is was a great Monday. Went straight with "raised" on the 2nd poker pot clue, and for some reason was stuck on wateR before SOLAR, but the themes were lots of fun. And I'll confess i never knew it wasn't ANCHORSAWAY. Had the meaning completely backwards as well, thinking it meant dropping anchor, like the anchor's going away from the boat. And I love boating! Stunningly ignorant, and glad this puzzle saved me from revealing such when it actually matters.

OffTheGrid 8:20 AM  

In the history of this Blog NOBODY has ever been forced to read a post. YOU are in control of what you choose to read. Don't expect commenters to tailor their posts to your liking.

Lewis 8:28 AM  

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

1. Start to squat? (6)
2. Overthrow, e.g. (3)
3. It covers the field (5)(3)
4. Be batty, in a way? (10)
5. Something that might lengthen a sentence? (5)


Nancy 8:33 AM  

Who knew there were so many homonyms for WAY? Even if you have to go all the WAY to Africa and China for some of them. But the puzzle is quite pleasant and completely junk-free-- and I enjoyed it more than most Mondays.

Only disappointment was the answer to "U.S. Naval Academy anthem". How pedestrian, when it could have been -- and should have been -- something as wonderful as THIS.

albatross shell 8:39 AM  

This puzzle was having to trip over the obvious in order to see it for me. Blame it on a busy post-covid social weekend?

First I had to get A_ACUS x _ANE in order to see the B. Despite knowing the phrase and having an ABACUS in sight from where I was solving.

Next was British royalty which bores me and I mostly avoid. Needed all of LADYD_ to see the I.

And then somehow blanked on BEY which I do know well most days so was thinking BEa or BEe. I also know most of Fleetwood Mac's songs but not their titles. Plus UNIX crossing the song title is a genuine natick even if it is a Monday variety of the ilk. And of course the U slipped my mind so I had to go from A to U and, not remembering the factoid in the clue had to pause at every possible letter thsat sounded at all likely.
And still finished in just a tad over my Monday average.

I finally answered Anonymous late last night. I hope he answered there so those who do not care won't be bothered. Some might be interested. So @Anonymous I have answer your questions and give you some in return.

Rube 8:52 AM  

I don't bother with Monday Tues or weds as they are more of a chore than a diversion for me but given how much ire arose yesterday I decided to take a look.

Good move by you to split the posts.

bocamp 9:00 AM  

Thx Andre & Doug for a fine Mon. puz to get the solving week off to a good start! :)

Med solve.

Good start in the NW, moving on to the NE, then down south to finish up at BEY (where I couldn't recall the 'y'). Had to spend some some on parsing GO YOUR OWN WAY, and Bob was my uncle. :)

Remember the Wah-WATUSI ~ The Orlons from the day.

Wah, wah-a Watusi
C'mon and take a chance and get-a with this dance
Wah, wah-a Watusi
Oh, baby, it's the dance made-a for romance
(Shoo-bop, shoo-bop, ahh)

Baby, baby, when you do the twist
Never, never do you get yourself kissed
'Cause you're always dancin' far apart
The Watusi, girl, is-a really smart

Wah, wah-a Watusi
C'mon and take a chance and get-a with this dance

Finally finished the cryptic; had a lucky guess as to the position of two letters at 14D. Haven't yet fully understood all the clues, so not 'full value for the win' at this point.

yd pg -1

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Nancy 9:18 AM  

@Barbara S -- I loved the book you've taken your quotation from today. Passages such as you cited -- and there were many, many, many of them! -- helped reinforce my conviction that France is the most civilized country in the world. When you cook and eat that well, how can you not be? :)

But when you're going to have all those wonderful-sounding wild game pates and that mouth-watering rabbit civet, why would you be required to fill yourself up with three slices of pizza first? The menu progression sounds a bit bass-ackwards to me. Save room for the incomparable French fare you won't get anywhere else -- that's what I say. Of course Peter Mayle (he of the truly prodigious appetite) didn't falter, but I surely would have.

Birchbark 9:23 AM  

@egsforbreakfast (1:33) -- You should edit crossword clues -- I like the heroic self-affirmation of it all. In quasi-Bard mode, "Call me not the sharpen'd quill."

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

Having spent four years across the street from the academy, ANCHORS AWEIGH would be my distant third choice for an "anthem" they use, after Navy Blue and Gold and Melita/Eternal Father Strong To Save.

RooMonster 9:29 AM  

Hey All !
WAY to go, you two! (Corny, yes...)

Nice puz. WAY five times! Couple of odd letter-combo words to work around, but they pulled it off nicely. 40 blocks, two more than max, but didn't feel overcrowded or result in lots of short fill. Neat. The extra two are on the sides of the middle 13 Themer. In case you were wondering. ☺️

AI WEIWEI new here. He's a Double-WEI. Couple unforced Z's and X's in bottom half. But WAY short of F's. 😋

Anyway, nice clues, nice theme, nice fill. The Nice Trifecta. Starts off a Monday with good vibes.

No F's

JD 9:41 AM  

Through my entire childhood I thought Miss Muffet was eating her curds away and the U.S. Navy's anchors were cast away. But Iambic now (it's the puzzles that got small) and this puzzle was a matter of filling in and moving on.

Except when I got to 28D, where I mindlessly tossed in Ore (because Ore is in every single Monday NYT puzzle). Didn't read the clues/answers around it because if I had, I'd have seen a Chinese name ending in R and Ace (another Monday expectation so…). I blame the first drink I ever had in a bar, a Mint Julep in the mid '70s in Atlanta, which started my mental decline. It was a very strong drink.

Z 9:47 AM  

Tired and just finished my drive back from our scrimmage by getting up really to miss morning commuters, and I still almost set a PR, so I don’t know what Rex and @Lewis are talking about. Is it possible for an easy Monday to be wheelhouse? If so, this was in it.

Did not expect the Cranberries cover. They nailed it. Dolores O'Riordan has that very distinctive hitch in her vocal.

@Barbara S - To quote the greatest poet of the 21st century, And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, baby (Haters gonna hate). Me, I just shake it off.

@Albie late yesterday - I ripped you off? Sorry about that, although I don’t actually remember doing it.

Tim Aurthur 10:05 AM  

Totally agree about batch/BREW. No one would ever say "a brew of beer" to mean quantity.

jberg 10:38 AM  

Beautiful puzzle, despite some personal difficulty -- I somehow had Little Miss Muffet on her tuffet confused with Little Jack Horner in his corner, with the result that I started to write in CUstard pie, (I had the CU from crosses); I needed quite a few crosses to remember the WHEY. And I think I agree with Rex about pronouncing the H in that word, but if @Loren were here she would tell us we just think we're pronouncing it.

When @ACME used to come here she once said that clues of the type "word that goes with X or Y" were her favorites. I particularly liked 53A, which for some reason took me some time to see.

@Barbara S., I'm not completely certain of this, and can't find anything about it on the web, but I think the WA- in WATUSI is a prefix. A lot of Bantu languages tack prefixes onto words for an ethnicity to indicate whether you mean the people, the language, or whatever. For example, my son spent 2 years living in the Ovambo area of northern Namibia, and studies the language, Oshiwambo. (the v/w thing is a transliteration choice, similar to the ts/s choice in Tutsi/Watusi). At least, that's what I've always believed.

Whatsername 10:44 AM  

A nice Monday offering which I enjoyed. While I felt there were a few entries that might be a bit too challenging for a new solver, those also made it significantly more interesting for me.

Did not like 10D much. LADY DI was the young woman who married Prince Charles, but Princess DI was the mother of Harry and William.

I miss SARAH JP in SATC. Sunday nights have never been the same since they went AWAY.

sixtyni yogini 10:47 AM  

How could YT. not love a puzz with one of my favorite artists?
AI WEI WEI ! 🤗🎯🤗
Only good words for this one (even without knowing the WEI.)

mathgent 10:51 AM  

Rex's complaint about BREW indicates that one of his many sins is violating the Joaquin Dictum.

Nice inoffensive puzzle.

Since I don't have much to say about the puzzle, let me share a great line I heard yesterday afternoon. I was channel surfing and came across the Ken Burns doc about Country Music. It had a brief segment about Roger Miller, the writer of King of the Road. He once said, "Where I was born was so small, we didn't have a town drunk. We had to take turns."

bocamp 11:03 AM  

Sorry ACME for naming you Andre on my first post; my bad. :(

Was a choir member at Navy bootcamp. The song I most recall (and love) is 'Eternal Father Strong to Save', which is more a hymn than an anthem. ANCHORS AWEIGH is the anthem of the US Naval Academy, and is also known as the Navy 'fight song.'

@jae (1:41 AM)

Got it downloaded and ready to go. Thx for sharing! :)

pg -10

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Health ~ Kindness to all 🕊

TJS 11:04 AM  

@JD, loved it, esp. "but iambic now"...

My Jill St. John story : In 1971 I was hired to manage a bar across from Wrigley Field in Chicago. Part of the job was crossing the street to the radio booth where the game was being broadcast by Vince Lloyd and Lou Boudreau, with a strong drink for each of them at the start of the 7th inning. The booth was very small, maybe 6ft by 4ft, with two chairs behind the announcers. When they went to a taped commercial, I introduced myself, and they said I could stay for the 7th inning.They went back to the game as I sat behind them. There was a soft knock on the door. I opened it and there was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, Miss St. John. She was the new Bond girl and doing a publicity tour and the announcers always interviewed a celebrity during the 7th inning stretch.
She sat down next to me and, assuming I was part of the production, began whispering that she was very nervous because she had never done a live radio bit like this. So there I was, assuring her that it was going to be fine, they were really good guys,etc. I walked back to the bar thinking this was going to be the best job I would ever have.

TJS 11:05 AM  

Later found out she had a 162 IQ.

Bruce R 11:14 AM  

Visited the comments to see if anyone could rationalize BREW as a batch of beer. Apparently not.

JD 11:30 AM  

@mathgent, Can't remember what the Joaquin Dictum actually was, but it's his blog so he violates nothing because his rules here are his own outside of libel.

However, if the dictum has anything to do with chilling discussion on the finer points of language on a crossword blog, then I place the Joaquin Dictum into the Equos Asinum file. Of course, I'm speaking here of the dictum and not you personally. As always, beg pardon if I'm wrong. Because you're a gent I'm almost certain that couldn't possibly be your aim.

Z 11:39 AM  

@Bruce R - Here’s as close as I can get - one of the definitions of “batch”, the quantity produced at one operation, could be substituted into the definition of BREW, a brewed beverage (such as beer) to come up with the quantity of a brewed beverage (such as beer). I’d love to hear the clue writer explain it on the off chance we’re all missing something clever.

KnittyContessa 11:52 AM  

What a delightful Monday. How could you not love a puzzle with WATUSI in it? A fun word by itself but @JOHN X really made me smile with the Batusi reference.

@Barbara S. love your quotes. Thanks for taking the time to post them.

Happy Monday everyone.

Bill 11:54 AM  

Mr Parker ‘s hate boner for Mr Shortz is enormous.

TJS 12:12 PM  

Oh great, the dreaded Monday POW.

Whatsername 12:51 PM  

@JD (1:26 Sunday) That conversation with your aunt about entitlement? I wish I had a Social Security check for every relative and FB friend I’ve tried to convince. 🙄

@Barbara (7:07) I like your idea of making the quote a separate post. I always look forward to it, and now it will be easier to find.

@Nancy (8:33) Thanks for the link. Very inspiring, as was the gentleman being honored.

@albatross (8:39) Count me among the sizable majority who don’t consider you an idiot. Excellent wee-hours post BTW.

@TJS (11:04) Terrific JSJ story and what a remarkable memory to treasure. I’ll bet she was dazzling.

egsforbreakfast 12:58 PM  

Re: BREW = batch. How about this?

Bud: How’s your new beer making hobby going?
Stella: I just finished a BREW. Wanna try some?

Not a super strong defense of BREW, but it seems somewhat legit.

Teedmn 1:03 PM  

Whether or not "batch" = BREW as clued, I will not try to WEIGH in on. But whether you can say "batch of beer", I do think that is legit. When I was in Chemical Engineering in college, we studied batch vs continuous processes. You can definitely brew beer using a batch method. Some of my fellow students were trying to take song names and make them Chem-E related. I only remember two:

"Mammas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Chem-E's"


"Batch" (from on the Stones' song "Bitch").

This puzzle made a fine, easy, smooth Monday solve, so thanks ACME and Doug Peterson!

old timer 1:25 PM  

Rare DNF because I did not know the song GO YOUR OWN WAY, did not know (and can't stand) Queen BEY and ended up with "Got YOUR OWN WAY".

But I do live in California's famous Beer Country, Sonoma (yeah, we have pretty good wine here too). BREW is very much in use by artisanal brewers and their pubs to refer to a particular batch of beer. When it comes to making it to a permanent BREW, many are called but few or chosen, but every brewer has one-off BREWS you will find at the better bars and restaurants.

As for the Navy, ANCHORS are WEIGHED, i.e., lifted from the sea floor. The term must date back centuries, and is still used. I do wish the constructors had tipped their hats to the immortal Firesign Theatre and made TOADAWAY an answer. TOAD AWAY, TOAD AWAY< TOAD AWAY, TOAD AWAY. Where do you go when you're TOAD AWAY? As close as the boys ever came to writing a theme song.

Thanks for the lyrics to The WATUSI. A dance craze that wasn't, but I remember its brief vogue.

Follow up to Gareth et al 1:25 PM  

Count me in the camp that (for whatever reason) had no problem with BREW for batch. I especially think of it with respect to small brewmeisters where each batch they make is a particular type of BREW. Contrast with a large brewery where each batch is Bud Light or whatnot.
@Gareth yesterday. I was finally able to access “all puzzles/games” on the NYT spelling bee link. On the upper there is a pull down menu where you can log-in. I use the NYT iPad app just to work the daily puzzle because I (unlike some) really like that platform for doing the puzzle. Anyway, I digress. Once you log in to the website you likely will never have to log in again. There are tons of puzzles/games plus access to the acrostic as well as cryptic.

burtonkd 1:37 PM  

@bocamp, Nancy et al:
"Eternal Father Strong to Save" is the link Nancy sent. It was a hymn tune "Solid Rock" with words added to make it a navy hymn. While this is lovely, Anchor's Aweigh was written by a Navy man and seems to capture a more gung ho spirit appropriate for a Navy (circa early 20th century) AND it fits the theme. There is much confusion with the title: Yes or no to the apostrophe? Frequently understood as "away". Aweigh is archaic. Now, they'd likely use heavy metal (no emo) or rap to propel into battle.

Rex and his aspirate h in whey reminded me of this running gag on Family Guy:

albatross shell 1:37 PM  

Wasabi won best in the dog show last night. WATUSI didn't make it.

Do thEY WATUSI in ZIMBABWE or only in ZIMBadWE on a bad dAY?

Isn't GOY OUR OWN WAY insulting and what's it got to do with Fleetwood Mac? And wasn't FLEET just in the puzzle? I hate the repetitive clue-answer combos that Will always overabuses.

And here's some real stuff. @Nancy, Hungry Mother: I prefer ANCHORS AWEIGH. That slow beautiful stuff. No fun at all. Not for sailors. Roo what do you think? And never knew it was about leaving port, but I might have guessed it. Getting out to sea. Yes that's the fun spirited part. Putting up the sails and moving.

Fleet ANCHORS AWAY and NEMO going down.

Mostly joking. Just zinging you a bit as mentioned in my post. If I find it I'll let you know (if I look). It was something I said. you said it later and the sloth mentioned it, after which someone complimented you and sloth for saying it. Happens all the time to someone on the list and I have certainly done it to others. How many times can you go back to find a comment?
I saw Edward's at the festival. Before your time of course. Won 3 (grand)master tourneys in a row. 91, 93, 95. The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Temple. Shouldn't they have statues of them outside some stadium?
He was on the Bucknell club team that was rated #1 in the East for the better part of 2 years and had a #2 and #3 finish at the Nationals. Back in olden times.

So I'm sticking to this story and my steal story til facts prove my memory wrong.

Anonymous 1:45 PM  

Re: A year in Provence. Just ghastly. The worst kind of drivel. But what is unassailably appalling is the casual butchering of songbirds. Did you catch it? The glutton so proud of his meals recounts eating thrushes. Thrushes!! Those are song birds. And they're not doing all that well. The French of course don't give a fig. Even though they've outlawed eating song birds, there's still plenty of it going on. You may have even seen the ludicrous custom where diners put a towel or large handkerchiefs over their heads as they dine on the birds, thereby by managing to be abhorrent and risible at the same time. Scare Bleu.

Is US 77 the same thing as the Wet Virginia Turnpike?
In no particular order my favorite roads in the East are:
The Park Loop road in Acadia National Park
Skyline Drive
PA. Rt. 120---the Bucktail ( perhaps the best motorcycle road in the East)
The Kanc
NY 97 out of Sparrow Bush

The overrrated:
The Kanc in NH. It's fine, but no better than many similar roads.
US 1 through the Keys. Again seven mile bridge is wonderful but there's a lot of meh (road-wise) between Key Largo and Key West.
The Dragon US 129. Yeah, it's twisty. Yeah it's can give you a workout. But waaaay to many choads with skills not nearly what they think they have. Amazing there aren't more fatalities.

bocamp 1:54 PM  

@old timer (1:25 PM) yw 😊

@burtonkd (1:37 PM)

Thx, good info! :)

Forgot to include this in my previous post: Navy hymn: Eternal Father Strong to Save

td 0 (extra time now to tackle those tough cryptic clues LOL)

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Health ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Lewis 2:29 PM  

@Z -- Of course it was easy, but it wasn't insulting, and to me, just had a very nice feel to it.

JD 2:51 PM  

Thanks @Whatsername, it helps to know I'm not the only one.

Unknown 3:03 PM  

That most of us had never before heard of Ai Wei Wei says something.

Nice puzzle - a perfectly themed Monday.
Loved how rex was able to interject a Will Shortz anecdote into the critique.

VancouverNana 3:41 PM  

Eternal Father Strong to Save = Navy Hymn
Anchors Aweigh = Naval Academy Fight Song
The Blue and Gold = Naval Academy Alma Mater

Anyone who lived through and remembers the Kennedy 3-day Funeral ceremonies has the hymn forever embedded in their memories.

Anonymous 3:50 PM  

First American Bond girl. Very cool indeed. But you were lucky. Sometimes when you're near something or someone and a celebrity thinks you're an integral part of the proceedings, you can become the target of their anger. When that happens, there's (sometimes) not a lot you can do. Yeah, you can tell the famous person to simmer down, but that might cause an even bigger problem, including getting you removed from the event or the person that you were there to see first.

Joe Dipinto 3:59 PM  

I hate it when people aspirate the h following a w. It's like aural dyslexia.

Pardon me, I'm motoring up the California coastline and want to sample some of the dairy byproducts available. I need some recommendations—Do you know the whey in San José?

Anonymoose 4:45 PM  

@Unknown 3:03. You said "That most of us had never before heard of Ai Wei Wei says something." Well, don't leave us hanging. What does it say?

OffTheGrid 4:53 PM  


Joe Dipinto 5:49 PM  

@OffTheGrid – Thank you. That made me laugh.

sasses 6:19 PM  

Current virtual and physical exhibit of Ai Weiwei now available at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles

MyName 6:28 PM  

Sorry for the huge off-topic but I'm desperate here and this is the place where many people can know the answer as I've found out over the several years of reading this blog on a daily basis.

I must identify the source of a John Steinbeck quotation that I only see in Russian and out of context. In reverse translation it says something along the following lines:

Some people like (prefer?) wearing black just because they are lazy, the others because they really like black clothes.

Does that ring any bells at all? I'd hugely appreciate your help.

Anoa Bob 6:31 PM  

If I say aloud "Don't through away the WHEY", there's a noticeable difference the sounds of "way" and WHEY.

When your anchor is AWEIGH it has broken loose from the seabed and you can now get underway. Have you ever eaten WHEY while underway?

Anonymous 7:01 PM  

Pronunciation of h's in certain positions seems to be one of the big differences among English-speaking people.

Whey, what, why, etc.
Hugh (may or may not be pronounced identical to "you")
Homage, etc.

But on the other hand I don't think there is any disagreement in how to pronounce honor (never heard an h there), hot and house (always hear the h), or many other words.


Nancy 7:56 PM  

I've only heard one person I can think of who noticeably pronounced the H in WH. When William F. Buckley Jr. said the word "whether", it always sounded to me as though he was trying to blow out a candle. Or, indeed, a group of candles. Can you remember that, all you people of a certain age?

Whenever he said "whether" (and also "when" or "why" or "where"), he always sounded supercilious to me. Of course he also sounded supercilious when he wasn't saying those words. But when he did say them, he sounded even worse.

I can't think of a single other person who does that. Not even the "Oxbridge" people.

Piano Phil 8:12 PM  

Usually I try to beat my fastest time on Mondays to make a challenge out of an easy puzzle, and today, like @Barbara S., I blew my fastest ever Monday time out of the water. Super easy today. Of course, I never even read many of the clues, or had time to notice the theme, so I did miss out on some of the fun. I had no idea about WEIWEI and some others, but the crosses bailed me out.

Saturday I came very close to my fastest Saturday time ever, but I never like my Saturday puzzle to be that easy. On Monday I don’t mind.

I was really into home brewing for a while and in my logbook I often referred to various batches as brews, such as, “This brew didn’t quite balance the malty sweetness with enough bitter hops.”

Unknown 8:56 PM  

This is the way a Monday should ne.

kitshef 10:11 PM  

Lew 7:01pm - think Cockney English for hot and house.

Anonymous 6:01 PM  

See comment thread for Joaquin's dictum:

""Clues" are just that - clues. They are not definitions, they are not synonyms. They are hints. And we are solving a crossword 'puzzle', not a cross-Thesaurus."

spacecraft 10:18 AM  

Ironic: GOYOUROWNWAY, that brought such fond memories to OFC, was actually Fleetwood Mac's breakup song. They literally did!

This was interesting, what with ZIMBABWE and all, but wow, that 31-across guy! On a Monday yet! Can't say THIS one didn't have some crunch.

Mashing together unlikely strings of letters: IDCARD, CDROM, TVPG--and all those vowels in you-know-who-but-I-sure-don't. Still, as a homonym for WAY, I guess you have to let him in. Speaking of "in," I thought we got rid of ADIN. No? Rats.

DOD is SARAH Jessica Parker, honorable mention to LADYDI. (Hi! You've been shouted out!) I'm disappointed there's no M-word in the grid, so I can't give a shout-out to AZORES CURDSANDWHEY...? Rats. EMO is the closest I can come. Birdie.

thefogman 10:51 AM  

Not bad. But lacking a catchy reveal to tie it all in. Something like: Incidentally, or a hint to 20, 31, 36, 43 and 54 across: By the way.

Burma Shave 11:12 AM  


AND LADY, HEAR what I say,


leftcoaster 1:52 PM  

Smooth and easy but with a couple of clean bites....which means a Monday treat from ACM and her associate.

Theme: Different ways of sounding “WAY” while waiting for AIWEIWEI to complete the ways....

Then ADIN BEY as a bonus.

rondo 4:47 PM  

I figured GOYOUROWNWAY was the clever revealer, since we already went all those other 'ways'.

SARAH, why the long face? I'd give our own @LADYDI the yeah baby.

Fun Monday.

Diana, LIW 4:54 PM  

Way to go, Monday!

I knew Mondays were for me.

Lady Di

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