Employer of Norah O'Donnell / MON 7-5-21 / Ugandan tyrant ___ Amin / Yale collegian / Co-star of TV's "Maude" / The Bronx or Brooklyn, informally / Fictional detective Nero

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Constructor: Peter Gordon

Relative difficulty: HARD (for a Monday)

THEME: I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PUT THIS SUCCINCTLY — Theme answers start with the sound of the letter in the circled square - yes I know its confusing.

Theme answers: 
  • SEA CUCUMBER (17A: Marine inhabitant that's an animal, not a plant, despite what it's called)
  • WHY YOU LITTLE (27A: Angry shout to a miscreant)
  • EL LIBERTADOR (41A: Sobriquet for Simón Bolívar)
  • EYE IN THE SKY (54A: Observation satellite)
Word of the Day: RAREBIT (10D: Cheese-on-toast dish) —

Welsh rabbit or Welsh rarebit (/ˈræbɪt/ or /ˈrɛərbɪt/)[1] is a dish consisting of a hot cheese-based sauce served over slices of toasted bread.[2] The original 18th-century name of the dish was the jocular "Welsh rabbit", which was later reinterpreted as "rarebit", as the dish contains no rabbit. Variants include English rabbit, Scotch rabbit, buck rabbit, golden buck, and blushing bunny.

Though cheese on toast was popular in Wales, there is no strong evidence that the dish originated in Welsh cuisine.

• • •
It's another August Monday! Next month is actually August so people will probably make jokes. Let's get into the puzzle. Whoof! It was a rough Monday - crossing EL LIBERTADOR with IDI (42D: Ugandan tyrant ___ Amin) and CBS NEWS (39D: Employer of Norah O'Donnell) clued that way is criminal. Lots of names and places. Mondays are supposed to be for beginners! Also why was Yale randomly in there twice? Is REPACK even a word? What the heck is a RAREBIT? OWLET was a cute clue. I appreciate ATRIA being clued as something other than "Chambers of the heart" as it often is.

...What exactly was the theme? Like, what was that supposed to be? I only noticed the theme way after it would've been helpful. I guess I'm just used to Monday themes being cute and simple and this was neither. 

  • BORO (27D: The Bronx or Brooklyn, informally)— I'm sorry what? I googled "boro New York" and got nothing. Is this actual New York slang or what?
  • HOTEL SAFE (29D: Place to store valuables when traveling)— You can't just put "hotel" in front of "safe" and call it a phrare. #Crosswordese
  • JIB (8D: Triangular sail) — As you know I'm a big sports-head. I manned the jib for years back in my high school sports days. Heres a picture of me ready to set sail.

  • CABARET (26A: Nightclub)— I told you about my sports days but don't even get me started on my musical theater days. Heres an earworm for your Monday.

Signed, August Thompson, tired graduate student.
[Follow August Thompson on Twitter]


Robin 11:39 PM  

Re BORO, the 59th St Bridge is the Queensboro bridge. The green taxis that started roaming the streets 10 years are known as boro taxis or born cabs. Etc.

It's like saying nite when you mean night. It's an NYC thing.

Joaquin 12:15 AM  

Sorry, August, but I gotta disagree. BORO is definitely a thing (and I'm not a New Yorker); HOTEL SAFE is also a thing (everywhere I have traveled); and IDI Amin should be a gimme, even for beginning solvers. This theme may not qualify as "cute and simple", but it is different and easy to suss. I thought it was a fine Monday puzzle.

So there!

Patrick O'Connor 12:22 AM  

Welsh Rarebit is toasted cheese, although I think beer is also involved. I know about it because of the hysterically funny cartoon strips of the early 1900s by Winsor McCay, who also did the Little Nemo strips: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dream_of_the_Rarebit_Fiend

Joaquin 12:36 AM  

P.S. - I'm not a fan of Liza Minelli but watching the Cabaret video it's easy to see why she is such an icon. Thanks for posting it!

Frantic Sloth 1:05 AM  

I'm gonna give what feels like a dull-as-dishwater theme a pass because it's the Mondee and it's tight and professional.
They don't all have to sparkle and the more basic the theme, the more Mondee-friendly it is.
Plus, this grid was obviously constructed by a pro who knows what's what, who's who, where's where, when's when, and why's why.
To wit: A crossword, by Peter Gordon, in the NY TImes, today, and because it's fun!

Happy to see our little OWLET friend back with a different, clever clue.
Probably would not have known ELLIBERTADOR straight away, but never saw it because it was done in by downs.

So, the SEACUCUMBER is an animal?? Why name it after a vegetable (no "no, it's technically a fruit" pleas, please) I see that it resembles a CUCUMBER, but it isn't one. It's a faux CUCUMBER - a SEA faux CUCUMBER. While we're at it, just name it a SEA fauxm CUCUMBER and be done with it.

But I digress.

Good, enjoyable solve - not the typical Mondee pushover, but still easy enough for beginners. Win-win!


albatross shell 1:28 AM  

So for me RAREBIT BORO HOTEL SAFE are all things I've known and heard from when I was a tweener or before. Before tweener was a word too. Must be a generation gap here. Seems to be growing with August every month.

A delightfully difficult Monday. Filled with stuff that were not autofilled, that made my brain grope and fire up neurons. Very slow Monday

Then there is IDI ELI ESS EAU and a pile of threes but no complaints here.

I see Bugs Bunny forgot his dentures.

I wonder if Rex would have been a teeTotaler solving this one.

egsforbreakfast 1:42 AM  

Worst theme I can ever remember, and I’ve assuredly forgotten a lot. But, c’mon. Just matching up a word that is a homophone of a letter but starts with a different letter? I thought and thought about C Y L I. I tortured my way to believing that maybe I was supposed to assertain that CYCLIC was the theme. But I eventually realized that this was just a weak little nod at a theme, and was probably accepted because Peter Gordon has had 121 previous puzzles accepted, and Will Shortz likely assumed that there must be something going on here. As it turns out, there isn’t!

Maybe I’ve missed something that will be revealed by Rex or the commentariat. I hope so.

Ando 1:59 AM  

Oh I get it, when you put the four themed elements together it spells CYLI! All makes sense now.

chefwen 2:25 AM  

Saw the note, didn’t read the note, it’s Monday. Printed it out in Across Lite, solved as a themeless. Circled squares meant nothing to me so I went back and read “the note” still nothing. Hopped over to Crossword Fiend where it was ‘splained to me and thought, that was a theme?
Disappointing start to the week.

Ben 6:33 AM  

RAREBIT is actually a third (oblique) Yale reference -- Mory's is famous for their Welsh one. Even for the NYT, this seems very Connecticut-heavy -- I've got a sneaking suspicion that the constructor is an ELI

Raven Starkly 6:34 AM  

FYI this page should be dated as Monday, July 5th because it’s about Mondays puzzle. However, currently it’s dated Sunday July 4th for some reason…

Anonymous 6:39 AM  

Well, duh.

Lewis 6:41 AM  

Oh, man. So many nice touches to this Monday puzzle. I want to hang it on my wall as the Monday Paradigm.

A simple theme that is clever and from one with an eye that sees things that others miss – truly, how come in the history of crosswords, no one has ever done this before? Theme answers that are interesting and colorful, including the one I’m still smiling over, WHY YOU LITTLE…

Cluing with enough gimmes to make this solvable for newer puzzlers but enough grit to make it more of a puzzle than a fill-in-the-blanks. Even a Monday play-on-words clue – [Fed a line to]! Things to learn (for me, MOUSEY) and to pull out of the memory (for me, SEA CUCUMBER and OLIVA).

All this from a mind that produces some of the toughest puzzles you’ll ever encounter (this is a plug for Peter’s Fireball crossword site), showing incredible range. Peter, I’m so glad you found crosswords in your life’s journey, because you have left your mark here, and immensely enriched our beloved pastime. Thank you for that, and for this puzzle!

Barbara S. 6:58 AM  

This theme seems a little shy to me. It’s afraid to take up too much space or be too showy. So it’s confined itself to the extreme western ends of the four theme answers. It’s a wallflower. In a sense, it’s occupying only 15 squares: those that are shaded or circled. I guess you could argue that’s the wrong way to look at it, and you have to consider *all* of each theme answer. But I still get a diffident vibe.

That said, I absolutely loved WHY YOU LITTLE! It’s an expression I associate with some scene of madcap mayhem in the movies, although I don’t have any particular film in mind. The other themers I thought were fine but they didn’t have the raw energy of WHY YOU LITTLE.

Favorites: CABARET, Nero WOLFE, RAUNCHY, GO EASY ON, and the trio of long Bs in the NE: BEA ARTHUR, BARCELONA AND BUCK TEETH. And look! Another wee OWLET with a sweet clue (“What can barely give a hoot?”). MOUSEY with an E seemed a bit odd, but online sources tell me both spellings are acceptable. It strikes me we’ve seen a lot of AWRY and JIB recently. I had a girlfriend in about grade 5 who discovered the word AWRY and fell in love with it, only she pronounced it to rhyme with "lorry," and could never be convinced otherwise.

Barbara S. 7:00 AM  

Today’s passage is by JEAN COCTEAU, born July 5, 1889.

“My hair has always grown in all directions and my teeth too and my beard. My nerves and my soul must surely grow in the same way. That is what makes me incomprehensible to those who grow all in one direction and are incapable of imagining a hay-stack. It is this that baffles those who would rid me of this legendary leprosy. They do not know how to take me.
This organic disorder is a safeguard for me because it keeps the thoughtless at a distance. I also get certain advantages from it. It gives me diversity, contrast, a quickness in leaning to one side or the other as this or that object invites me, and in regaining my balance.”
(From The Difficulty of Being)

JNKMD 7:22 AM  

NYC is made up of five boroughs The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. Boro is an abbreviated and easier to spell version.

pabloinnh 7:39 AM  

After the SEA and WHY answers I could see something was up with letter sounds in this one and I kept going looking for the reveal. EL and EYE fit the pattern but there was no revealer so I looked again saw the SEA-C, WHY-y thing and had a big that's it? moment, which is not quite an aha! moment. I did not find the fill difficult but that may be the result of doing thousands of these things so played easy for me.

I await @Southside's rant because OLIVA EAU ARC TIA BASSO, possibly ALMA, and definitely ELELIBERATADOR, which for me was a gimme. Another OWLET in the nest and CBSNEWS as clued looked very familiar, but it may have come from a totally different source as I tend to do a couple of puzzles a day.

Nice little Mondecito, PG. I'd give it a Passing Grade but not an A+.

bocamp 7:40 AM  

Thx Peter for a nice, crunchy Mon. puz to start off the week! :)

Med solve.

Very much on Peter's wavelength for this one.

Most enjoyable! :)

@TTrimble / @pabloinnh / @Joe Dipinto

Very slow start on the acrostic, but the pace gradually picked up and resulted in a successful conclusion. Thx to you all for your support along the way with this new (to me) kind of puzzling! :)

yd 0

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Tolerance ~ Health ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Megafrim 7:51 AM  

@Patrick O’Connor, I first heard about Welsh “rabbit” on an episode of “Gomer Pyle USMC” which also dealt with the storied nightmares of rarebit fiends. After indulging in massive quantities, the usually meek Gomer would sleepwalk into Sgt Carter’s quarters and yell at him very aggressively. No one seems to love Gomer any more, but it still makes me laugh.

Unknown 7:57 AM  

I'm amused by your "New York" comment. One of the original subway lines was the IRT - the interBoro rapid transit.

And as some of my colleagues have written - hotel safes are ubiquitous!

But thanks for all your comments!

amyyanni 7:58 AM  

Felt regular Monday -ish. As for Boro, lots of MA towns end in it: Southboro, Westboro, Northboro ( but no Eastboro. Easthampton, but that's west of the boros).
Thanks for the spirited review and the theme explanation, August.

Chad Jeremy 8:07 AM  

The Better Business Bureau is not a consumer protection organization. It is a business protection organization. It is a business membership organization for setting standards of practice for the members, self-policing, and resolving disputes with customers. But it does this to ward off further government regulation and litigation, and to forestall law suits by customers - its primary interest ins not the customer. This is not a bad thing, but we should be clear that it's bottom-line interest is protecting its member businesses - not protecting consumers. So coalling it a consumer protection organization is a misnomer.

Zygotic 8:08 AM  

Is BORO a thing? Having only run across it in puzzles (and I suspect only in the NYTX) I really haven’t thought much about its “thingness” because it looks like the kind of shortening that happens. Of course, I’ve always puzzled because it looks misspelt, “burro” being a closer representation of what “borough” sounds like, but whatever, I just sort of assumed “burro” resulted in too many “what an ass” jokes. And as a straight abbreviation, dropping the “ugh” to get BORO. makes sense. But August is right, google BORO and what pops up are a finance app (pronounced “borrow” I assume), Japanese fabric, some anime wiki, a pizza place in Ann Arbor, a development in Virginia, a bar and grill in Harrisburg, something about Bora Bora, more textiles,… I’m on page three and not a single New York related webpage about BORO. BORO may be a thing to New Yorkers, but it’s crossworthiness as an actual thing to the rest of the world? Just a bunch of lard, it seems.

Anonymous 8:10 AM  


The comments about Nancy's Saturday movie recommendation prompted me to check it out yesterday. I was trapped at home by the heat and getting bored. I found "Elevator to the Gallows" on HBO MAX. The movie was visually entertaining and I liked the music(Miles Davis), but the plot had more holes than a Michigan road in the spring.

For example:
Why did Julien have a rope and grappling hook in his office?
How DID Julien get Carala's gun?
Why did no one see a man climbing a rope on a building on a busy street?
Why did he leave his car running while he went back up to the office to get the rope he left dangling from the railing?
What happened to the rope? Is that what incriminated him? What did the little girl pick up? the rope? If so how did it fall? If not, what was that scene for?
The whole Louis, Veronique, German tourist thing didn't make a lot of sense.
The police "solved" the tourist murder immediately with circumstantial evidence and shady witness reports.
Who took the photos of Julien with Florence during their top secret affair?
Why gallows in the title. Nobody was to be hanged.
Why would Julien serve only 5 years for murdering Carala?

Tom from Tuckahoe 8:19 AM  

When I saw co-star of Maude I figured the answer must be Barbeau or the guy with the mustache. Bea Arthur was the star. I guess co-star works too but the “co” seems unnecessary.

Anonymous 8:19 AM  

I'm a Midwesterner, never been to NYC. But if New Yorkers say BORO is real then it's real and a legit puzzle item. While I'm here, could I BORO twenty bucks?

Son Volt 8:34 AM  

Above average Monday. Theme was as a simple as that but dense and well thought out. The fill was solid - rarely do we see things like the two long down stacks in the NE and SW early week. SEA CUCUMBER is a super cool entry as is BEA ARTHUR. I can understand a side eye to the co-star clue but the show did have an ensemble cast. Some clunky trivia but didn’t bother me much.

Enjoyable solve on a beautiful - finally sunny morning.

JBH 8:35 AM  

Of course REPACK is a word. People do it all the time.

Liked the puzzle - a bit crunchier for a Monday but not much, really.

My only nit: the clue for 29D HOTEL SAFE -- if you're traveling, you wouldn't be staying at a hotel. Maybe instead: "Place to store valuables on vacation.'?

HRBock 8:44 AM  

In a Catholic household, our Friday fare was meatless. My mother always ran out of money on Thursdays, so Friday meals were sparse. Supper was usually Welsh Rabbit--melted Velveeta cheese over saltines. Now a great memory.

pmdm 8:46 AM  

Succinct statement of the theme: Multi word entries of which the first word sounds like the first letter of the second word. Inelegant perhaps but straightforward enough.

To those who are irritated at the BORO entry. most New Yorkers are familiar with the term IRT (which comprised the subway lines designated by numbers instead of letters. I recall seeing many signs spelling out the acronym. It might be somewhat of a regionalism (I wouldn't know about that) but if so one that I would consider apt for a puzzle printed in NYC. At least originating from. OK, so it is a bit unfair.

Anonymous 8:59 AM  

Why the heck would I google boro? Google the issue at hand— New York Boro— and you get ten trillion applicable hits from the jump.
(And if you don’t know the Bronx and Brooklyn are part of NYC there’s no reason to believe you’re anything but a troll, a bot, or a piece of lichen)

SouthsideJohnny 9:01 AM  

From what I've been able to discern from reading other comments, it appears as though we have an experienced constructor who probably had to "throttle-back" the difficulty level in order to make it early-week appropriate. If that is in fact the case, I would suggest that he throttled it back to more of a Tuesday level which turned out to be published as a difficult Monday (which is actually fine - I'm at the point where I enjoy a bit of a challenge instead of just a plug-and-chug Monday). So some of the clues seem a touch tougher than usual, and we have a pretty large foreign contingent, etc. I have no idea who CARY Elwes is - he's not even clued as being associated with a particular movie or TV show, etc. So I'm guessing that he's pretty famous (not even sure if it's a dude, lol - just guessing since clued as "actor").

Anonymous 9:08 AM  

Why did you spike my comment about August having been a pretty girl? August has written here about transitioning.
If he has transitioned and he’s now a man, he must necessarily have been a girl. Why spike the truth. Or is a compliment—calling someone pretty— out of bounds?

Carola 9:11 AM  

I thought it was an exceptionally fine Monday, with an out-of-the-usual theme and so many toothsome Downs - RAREBIT, BUCK TEETH, BARCELONA, GO EASY ON, RAUCHY OVERALLS..... I agree with @August, though, that it's tough for a Monday - I think the long Downs could look intimidating, and I'm not sure how many people could come up with EL LIBERTADOR - I only knew it because of remembering it as a street name from a very long ago trip to Lima. Speaking of travel, I understand @August's doubts about HOTEL SAFE, as once you're in your room it's just a SAFE. Re: REPACK: when they come up with a self-repacking suitcase, I'm first in line.

Anonymous 9:15 AM  

The Interboro Parkway goes from Kew Gardens, Queens to East New York, Brooklyn. It was renamed for Jackie Robinson about twenty years ago but it’ll always be the Interboro to me.

JD 9:16 AM  

Sea Cucumber and Cabernet and Why You Little Owlet with your Eye In The Sky. Really couldn't ask for more on a Monday.

A great little themeless puzzle built around the boundaries of a tight little trick.

Enjoyed it. It let my brain work the way it enjoys being worked and I can appreciate the kind of thoughtfulness that went into it. That's all I ask on any day.

Here I give you the cutest Owlet ever (if I haven't already offered it before). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71PD2f1ogyk

Regarding Boro, I always thought it was short for Borough, which is just a political subdivision.

@HRBock, I like your story.

From yesterday, @Frantic, I sent you a class hamster escape video, a real nail biter.

@pabloinnh, just the image of an escaping pig named Houdini is hilarious. Have you ever seen the movie Babe?

jberg 9:18 AM  

Shaded squares AND circles— required because one entry starts with ELL. Hmm. Also, why waste that lovely EAU sound? But I’m grouchy because I tried to stretch EL LIBERADOR.

August wasn’t saying hotels don’t have safes, but that they’re just safes, and so green paint. I don’t agree, but it’s a legitimate point.

Sitting on my hands to stop myself from saying WHY doesn’t sound like the letter. I know some of you say it that way so let’s avoid a lenthy argument.

jberg 9:19 AM  

I’m pretty sure the seat of government in Brooklyn is BORÓN Hall

albatross shell 9:24 AM  

BORO not a Scrabble word. Maybe not a word. But is a correct answer as clued. Often used not only in NYC but in two small town boroughs I have lived in. Definitely an informal "thing".

Anyone wonder why there is no blog for today. Its still Sunday July 4th apparently.

Sea Cucumbers have no brain, blood, ears or eyes. Some have light sensitive cells. All are threatened by world-wide fishing and expensive eating tastes. Farming is difficult. Another odd animal likes to live in its anus.

Anonymous 9:25 AM  

It’s the interboro for the 20 million people in the NY metro area

TTrimble 9:27 AM  

I was trying to hunt down, without success, a story which as best I can remember is a humor piece involving a SEA CUCUMBER and a toilet tank. David Sedaris? Ah, it's just as well -- would fail most people's breakfast test. But in the meantime I did learn more about the amazing SEA CUCUMBER and its role in revivifying reefs that are dying from anthropogenic acidification. Here's one link (@Nancy, this may not be for you).

Oh yes, the puzzle. I didn't realize the theme until I came here. I mean, sure, it's okay. WHY not? I agree it rates a little hard for a Monday (BASSO, OLIVA, EL LIBERTADOR, and I never heard of MOUSEY for dull brown), but I'm happy to play along and learn a few things in the process.

I never had a proper Welsh RAREBIT, but I'm sure they can make it quite tasty. "Welsh rabbit." Is it me, or do the English have a talent for slyly insulting ethnic groups besides their own? Welsh on a deal. The Welsh tart in Life of Brian. Dutch treat. Dutch courage. Dutch wife. (These last are said to have been invented during the Anglo-Dutch wars.)

I'm with @Barbara S. on WHY YOU LITTLE... Said while shaking a menacing fist. Although I think I'm thinking also of "WHY, I oughta...", spoken by someone like James Cagney. Or is it PopEYE? Or The Three Stooges? Or Donald Duck? Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden? All of the above? Someone, please help out!

Enough! Back to the SB.

Anonymous 9:31 AM  

I waas about to jump on Rex Parker for denigrating Welsh Rarebit.
And then I noticed the blogger was a grad student and therefore the age of my grandchildren, so I backed off. I grew up on Welsh Rarebit. And liked it. I guess the youngest generation has another interpretation of an "easy and quick" dinner.....

RooMonster 9:33 AM  

Hey All !
Ooooook, so this happened. Where's Rex when a puz needs a good thrashing? Now, I'm all for Peter Gordon puzs, but this one seemed like when he first started making them. C Y L I. Hmm. Can You Like It? Unfortunately, no.

Bright spots, long Downs - three stacks of 9's in NE/SW, light blocker count, only 30. A bit tougher entries than a usual MonPuz. WHY YOU LITTLE Themer.

Hate being a hater, as Peter has had 1593 puzs published, and I'm at a big whopping Zero, but this one just fell flat. Sorry, Peter! At least get the letters to spell something. CLUE, maybe. Any other suggestions?

Two F's

CDilly52 9:33 AM  

Thanks August for your usual cheery review! I am enjoying getting to k or more about you through the blog, and find it so fascinating that so many (I dare say a large majority) of crossword enthusiasts have many interests and “layers” to their lives.

Other than the odd (and to me disconnected to a “theme”) theme, I did not find this difficult. This puzzle skews old - like me. Well, I certainly do t feel that I e’s late 60s is in fact “old,” but I concede that I live in the upper age bracket especially of long-time solvers. What connects all the “words that sound like a single letter” answers though continues to elude me completely. Reminds me of the old (late ‘60s - song - maybe Georgia Brown recording?) “Is That All There Is.”. Well, thin as it seems even if that’s it, I’ll keep dancing to Mr. Gordon’s tune any day.

I found this a bit crunchier than the typical Monday, but with plenty of easy answers to make it fall within the novice scale of solveability (which may not be a word).

Liked seeing OWLET again. Reminds me of the tiny cardinal babies just outside my front window in the well-protected thicket of the yaupon tree. There are three who are so well guarded by both mother and father. They have a very angry catlike “hiss” that they use to keep other birds as well as squirrels and cats away. Our OWLET reminded me to check out the babies this morning and I am relieved to see that there are still three!

REPACK is a word in my world for sure. My cats hate seeing a suitcase! They both try to sit inside to make adding clothing impossible. My orange Tabby, “OC” even digs around causing me to “relocate” her so that I can in fact REPACK and quickly close up the case! There is a series of hilarious cat videos starring “Henri” the cat who “narrates” with a French accent. If you are a cat lover, you should check them out. “Henri With Ennui” is a classic! One of these talks about the “strange boxes” (suitcases) with Henri’s person’s ‘laundry’ that he enjoys sleeping in. My girls must have seen the videos!

But I digressed big time! Thanks to Peter Gordon for a super Monday solve and to August for her usual great critique!

Jax H 9:36 AM  

NYC boroughs or boros came about with the consolidation of NYC in 1898. There are 5: Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island. I am originally a New Yorker and never heard someone say they have never heard of them. Frank Sinatra even sang about how he would "take Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island too . . . ."

mathgent 9:39 AM  

For me, "difficult for a Monday" is a good thing.

@egsforbreakfast (1:42). My reaction to the puzzle was exactly the same as yours. But I still liked it.

Very pleasant solve. Smart cluing, no junk, some sparkle, eight long downs.

JD 9:39 AM  

BTW, Boroughs aren't just a NY thing. Pennsylvania is full of them, as well as townships and villages. I think the designation might be a vestige of colonial times.

Rob 9:44 AM  

Boro is short for Borough of which New York City has 5: Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

rjkennedy98 9:46 AM  

Really a fantastic puzzle. Great entries all around. There were a handful of answers I didn't know which is unusual for a Monday - never heard of RAREBIT or NERO WOLFE. Yet it still solved in about Monday time for me.

Also, I have to disagree about HOTEL SAFE. It is a real thing, and its an amenity you absolutely use when you are traveling in certain countries. I guess August is saying its just a safe in a hotel (the green paint argument), but hotel safes tend to look a lot different than a normal home safe. They are smaller, use a punch-in code, and of course don't have gun racks.

Hannah D. 9:49 AM  

I think the old people still say Interboro Parkway and Triborough bridge. Those names will die out with the boomers and gen-xers.

Joseph Michael 9:53 AM  

I was glad that this Monday puzzle had some TEETH, but the best part of the whole thing was the clip from CABARET. Thanks for posting it. I had forgotten how incredible Liza Minelli is in this film. Her performance is a RARE BIT of musical cinema history.

Death Star 2000 10:07 AM  

I believe we had a small but relatively vocal group of Rarebit fans here about a year or so ago (although, if I recall at least one of us - @Nancy? - was happy with the version she bought in the frozen food section haha). Basically if you can make a Bechamel, you can make Rarebit by simply adding cheese (called a Mornay Sauce) and serving over toasted bread. Gruyère and Cheddar would work well - in fact any decent melting cheese will shine brightly.

What? 10:09 AM  

Well constructed and fun to do but there’s no reveal - probably because it would be embarrassing.
Remove the shade from the shaded squares and the circles and what do you have? A Monday themeless for beginners. Why not?
It already has the requisite 30 black squares and 72 words.

Whatsername 10:10 AM  

Well this is something new, a themeless Monday. What you say? That was a theme? Alrighty then. I must’ve missed it but I’ll GO EASY ON everyone and not elaborate any further.

I was surprised to see BEA ARTHUR at 11D. She was indeed a costar of Golden Girls but not of Maude. That’s like saying Jerry Seinfeld was a costar of Seinfeld or Andy Griffith in The Andy Griffith Show or Mary Tyler Moore. Without the title character, there is no show.

A SEA CUCUMBER makes a very nice exfoliating sponge. I still have the one I bought in Tarpon Springs, Florida where they specialize in sponges but I always thought it was a plant. Now I feel I need to ATONE for the fact that an actual living creature gave its life so I could have smoother skin. Next time I’ll try a TASER.

Gary from Hazlet -First Time Long Time 10:36 AM  

I kept thinking that there had to be more to this theme than meets the eye so I tried to check Xword Info but got an error message on both of my devices. Anybody else have trouble logging on to Xword Info today ?

Nancy 10:37 AM  

Peter Gordon, you had me at "Insect that can carry up to 50 times its body weight." What a wonderful factoid! I think I can predict with confidence that ANT has never been and never will be clued in such an interesting way.

And now when I'm schlepping stuff that's too heavy for me (just about everything is too heavy for me, sigh), I'll know who to ask for help.

Anyone here remember that Goofy had BUCK TEETH? I can barely remember what Goofy looked like. Goofy, I suppose.

Hair coloring was invented for the poor soul with MOUSEY hair, wasn't it? Funny word. Wonder if it's the first time it's appeared in a puzzle.


While the theme itself didn't do much for me, I found the fill and cluing of this puzzle to be quite lively and enjoyable.

Moe 10:40 AM  

The Three Stooges

MarthaCatherine 10:43 AM  

HRBlock: I also grew up with meatless Fridays. For us it was that frozen block of nameless, colorless (I mean, it wasn't even really white), tasteless fish. Just defrosted and baked in the oven for 20 minutes. Utterly flavorless with a nasty texture. Sometimes jazzed up with a bit of thousand island dressing, basically mayo with relish stirred in. Took me a very many years understand that seafood could be really, really good.

We knew we were out of money when we were served graham crackers in any form. As our brown bag lunch dessert. As breakfast (Mom called it pap: a couple of graham crackers with milk poured over it).

I hate graham crackers to this day. When a pie recipe calls for graham cracker crust, I use vanilla wafers. I never once served them to my kids.

Well, pity itty bitty sh*tty me.

LOVED the puzzle!

Joe Dipinto 10:44 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frantic Sloth 10:45 AM  

@Joaquin 1215am Hear! Hear! (Sorry, August 😘)

@Barbara S 700am Quote. Feels eerily personal. At the risk of sounding Hallmarky, thank you for...well, being you.

@Tom from Tuckahoe 819am (I see what you did there) Had the same thought. I mean, the show is called "Maude", not "Maude and Co." or whatever.

@JD 916am OMG! That poor little baby! But so damn cute! ❤️
Since we're sharing,
here's my favorite owl (and voiceover).
I'll check my neglected email!

@TTrimble 927am I've been saying "why I oughta..." to myself ever since. I'd go with all of the above.

Lewis 10:45 AM  

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

1. It's a crime to lie under it (4)
2. A little snowy, perhaps? (5)
3. Shaded from the sun (3)
4. Listing near a club (3)
5. It's often seen besides art (4)


Nancy 10:48 AM  

Apologies if I already sent this. But at the moment it seems to be lost:

Peter Gordon, you had me at "Insect that can carry up to 50 times its body weight." What a wonderful factoid! I think I can predict with confidence that ANT has never been and never will be clued in such an interesting way.

And now when I'm schlepping stuff that's too heavy for me (just about everything is too heavy for me, sigh), I'll know who to ask for help.

Anyone here remember that Goofy had BUCK TEETH? I can barely remember what Goofy looked like. Goofy, I suppose.

Hair coloring was invented for the poor soul with MOUSEY hair, wasn't it? Funny word. Wonder if it's the first time it's appeared in a puzzle.


While the theme itself didn't do much for me, I found the fill and cluing of this puzzle to be quite lively and enjoyable.

Lewis 10:48 AM  

Heading into a big family event. I shall return in a week. Wishing all a lovely week ahead!

Another Anon 10:54 AM  

@Anonymous 9:08. I don't know exactly what you wrote but I think a compliment would be entirely appropriate. August posted that pic so he is obviously comfortable with who he was and proud of sailing.

Royals fan 10:55 AM  

@CDilly52: Dan Quisenberry was a very talented, very funny pitcher who threw nearly underhand. He called his fastball Peggy Lee because, he said, when hitters saw it, they said, "Is that all there is?"

Maybe that'll help you remember who sang it.

Canon Chasuble 10:57 AM  

In spite of what Mrs. Slocum said on "Are you Being Served" the correct phrase is
"Dull as DITCHwater." PS: Puzzle today very easy, with a theme very bizarre for a Monday.

bocamp 11:03 AM  

@Lewis (10:48 AM)

Thx, Lewis; you too. Have a fun event! :)

pg -13

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Tolerance ~ Health ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Reno retired 11:08 AM  

New York nostalgia- 6th Ave will never be The Avenue of the Americas, Houston St will never be pronounced like a Texan would and the Interboro will always curve around grave stones.

Anonymous 11:09 AM  

RAREBIT: Basically melted cheddar, a little beer and a dash of Coleman's (off the top of my head) served over toast. Tricky to make as it can get stringy quickly. So much for my culinary talents.

Pamela Kletke 11:35 AM  

Thank you! The “co” threw me off. A bit insulting, too, in my mind.

Gary from Hazlet 11:47 AM  

Never mind. Xword Info opens now and there is more to the puzzle than meets the eye (at least my eye).

Jon88 11:55 AM  

Co-star of "Maude"? I guess that explains all of the Best Supporting Actress Emmy nominations for the role. [/sarcasm]

Rita Flynn 12:06 PM  

I don’t have issues with the fill. The theme, if you can call it that, was absolutely terrible. If there’s something more to it, I’d like to know what it is.

TTrimble 12:08 PM  

SB-ers: today's is doable as well. (td, yd: 0.) One of today's I gave a side-eye to, because, well, I think it's derogatory.

@Barbara S.
Thanks for the Cocteau quote. An odd bird, he. Just the other day, somehow in connection with this blog but I forget how or why, I remembered his Journal d'une Désintoxication which is about his opium addiction and opium detox, recalling particularly those weird and haunting doodles of people with (opium) pipes sticking out every which way from their bodies, almost like what he says about his own hair and teeth. Like this one.

Mary McCarty 12:16 PM  

On C Y L I... what I noticed was that the words “starting with these sounds” do NOT start with these letters, unlike examples like *because, delight, even, genius...*.etc. EAU de cologne would have been nice, but we Anglophones probably don’t pronounce “O de cologne” correctly anyway. ) SEA and EYE are true outliers in that the C and I aren’t even part of the word; in the other 2 (whY, eL ) the Y and L do eventually show up, (and not just as the circled start of the next word) as they do in many such examples: as *caKe, and words starting with any letter preceded by a vowel sound (eLephant, eMinent, eNter, aRtistic, eSpecially, eXactly) but that’s not many, and this is just a Monday puzzle. The only other example I can think of is CAY for “K”. Any other examples where “letter for the sound of the first word” starts the second word? But that’s asking a lot of a (simple) Monday puzzle.

MofromLI 12:19 PM  


johnk 12:26 PM  

I solved it completely in my head. Easy! But what a dumbass theme. Now if CYLI was something...

old timer 12:30 PM  

My immediate thought, filling in "WHY YOU LITTLE..." was W.C. Fields saying that.

Now WELSH RAREBIT was a Friday tradition when I grew up a Catholic. No meat on Fridays! I can't imagine why the Pope (John XXIII?) abandoned that cultural marker. It was important to fishermen, too, as if you didn't have a cheese dish, you likely had fish.

I was interested in the Mory's tradition of serving Welsh rabbit. Can't believe they serve it on toast, though. Always served on warmed split English muffins in my experience. I am certain I went to Mory's the one time I visited Yale, though I can't remember at all who took me there. You had to be connected with Yale to go there. But I've known the Whiffenpoof Song since I was a child.

I am mystified by August's comment on HOTEL SAFEs, though. In-room SAFEs are a common feature in all but the cheapest lodgings, though the really deluxe hotels still will allow you to stash your diamonds and emeralds and, once, stash of cash or gold coins, in a more secure location at the front desk.

The theme was kinda silly, I thought. But I would be happy if there were no themes except on Sundays and Thursdays.

Zygotic 12:40 PM  

Nobody asked if “borough” was a thing or if NYC is made up of five of them. The question August raised was, I'm sorry what? I googled "boro New York" and got nothing. Is this actual New York slang or what? As far as I can tell BORO instead of “borough” is purely a NYC thing. Sure, there are towns with BORO as the suffix, say Springboro, OH, where it was originally Springborough. But BORO as a stand alone word just doesn’t seem to be a thing anywhere else. Unless you count Naruto or Japanese textiles. So to answer August’s question, this is regional slang. I’d suggest it is also probably too parochial for a Monday puzzle.

Regarding the date, it looks like August messed something up. I’m sure Rex has a hundred emails about it already and will fix it at some point.

Anonymoose 12:51 PM  

I like your last statement.

Doc John 12:56 PM  

If he did nothing other than The Princess Bride, that would be enough!

TTrimble 1:00 PM  

@JD said that BORO can be also a name for some locales of Pennsylvania. Indeed, on a quick search I got this which mentions the alternate spelling. I also saw "Washington Boro" (PA).

jae 1:02 PM  

Medium-tough. I spent way too much time after the solve trying to figure out what to do with CYLI (I may be doing too many metas) only to finally realize - nothing. This did not endear me to this puzzle. Enough said.

@bocamp - I finished Croce’s Freestyle #624 in one and a half sittings. No real problems. Good luck!

Michael G. Benoit 1:03 PM  

Because she posted it Sunday evening?

Anonymous 1:14 PM  


Bad Mouse 1:15 PM  


A Mod isn't a standard thing. I posted a reposte to a nasty 'woke holiday' comment yesterday and fully expected to it never being seen except by me and the Mod who spiked it. Much to my surprise, it lasted until I left the comment page later in the evening. Roll of the dice.

JD 1:20 PM  

@Z, I wasn't responding to August. I was responding to people who think Boro is just New York thing. It's not. Where you have a borough, people will abbreviate it to Boro. The Boro of Nedreck, PA, pop. 72. The boundaries are to the right of where the crick runs and then down along Herk's fence. Herk's a neb, he knows everyone's business.

Anonymous 1:36 PM  

Of course boro isn’t confined to NYC. Thee are plenty of municipalities which use boro instead of borough.
But who in the world hasn’t heard of the five burps of New York?
And why would anyone google boro. Ew York? Who puts the part before the whole? If you google using normal English syntax— New York boro— you get hits galore.
Someone is deeply confused about how things work.

oldactor 1:49 PM  

For those who don't know Cary Elwes, he starred in "The Princess Bride", truly an American Classic. If you haven't seen it I can't even....

I have often made Rarebit. I like it with bacon and sometimes sliced tomatoes and always Lea & Perrin.
Stauffer's has a pretty good frozen one.

Once I ordered Sea Cucumber at a Chinese restaurant in SF out of curiosity and the fact I love cucumbers.
Please, don't ever make that mistake. I can't even......

Loved everything about the puzzle, especially on a Monday. Hi Nancy!

Jeff B. 1:51 PM  

Enjoyed this puzzle, although it would have worked better for mid-week. If I'd noticed the circles, it might have been clearer to me while solving. As a Brooklyn native (though I haven't lived there in decades) BORO definitely is a thing in NYC.

With ELLIBERTADOR, nice to see a Spanish word that's central to the theme.

bocamp 2:13 PM  

@August, thx for the writeup. Always look forward to your comments! And thx for the CABARET vid; an earworm, indeed. 🎶

@jae (1:02 PM)

Thx, jae. Congrats on your success! I'll get on it after the SB. 🤞

pg -1 (I thot the same re: the word you mentioned, @TTrimble)

Peace ~ Empathy ~ Tolerance ~ Health ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Anonymous 2:21 PM  

The North Boros are well know to anyone anywhere near Pittsburgh. Bellevue, Avalon, Ben Avon, and Emsworth.
Each fantastic in its own right.

oldactor 2:34 PM  

Speaking of Lea & Perrin's (I can't spelll Wooster) I did an Off-Broadway musical called "Smile,Smile,Smile" It was produced by a man whose family owned the North American rights to L&P. He grew up with Jackie Bouvier in the Hamptons. He told us that when his family dined out they always ordered L&P and after dinner they had coffee. They'ed drink the coffee then fill their cups with L&P so the establishment would have to order more. Can you imagine? He thought it was hilarious.

I'm happy to add show didn't have a happy ending. Luckily, I broke my foot tap dancing in a late rehearsal and was replaced. When the show opened the NYT wrote: Last night a musical opened called "Smile,Smile,Smile". I didn't, I didn't, I didn't.

So much for Mr. L&P.

Joe Dipinto 2:41 PM  

Completely agree that cluing BEA ARTHUR as "co-star" is idiotic. Also that the theme today is pretty bizarre.

Re: "Elevator To The Gallows" SPOILERS
(If you plan on watching the movie, don't read this.)

@Anon 8:10 – my two main plot issues:

1) The grappling hook. It would have been virtually impossible to disengage it to clear the guard rail once Julien climbed back down the rope; at best it would have taken numerous attempts, during which time plenty of passersby could have seen him. Not ideal planning for a crime.

Later the little girl picked up the rope and hook from the sidewalk and ran off with them – the rainstorm blew them down to the ground, apparently, in another implausibility. I took that to be an "ironic twist": Julien needn't have gone back into the building, since the potentially incriminating evidence disappeared on its own. The vagaries of fate...

2) The pictures on the camera roll, as you pointed out. Who took them, some random person they encountered in the park and asked to photograph them? Would a couple having a clandestine affair do that? It wasn't just one or two photos, there was a bunch.

I don't remember the details of the gun now, but if it was clearly established that it was Carala's own gun, then how Julien got it would also be a question. Maybe Florence stole it and got it to him?

But I still like the movie regardless.

Unknown 2:47 PM  

Perhaps this has been said already, but technically there are five BOROUGHs of New York. I think BORO is sort of the LITE version of the term. I would say that BORO would be very fair for anyone who lives in the Metro NYC area.

Anonymous 3:27 PM  

There are on the order of a dozen cities/towns around Bean Town with either borough or BORO as suffix. IOW, a BORO isn't necessarily not a municipality, and thus beholden to the City administration. According to numerous L&O episodes, each NYC one has a BORO President and factotums. If there are any NYC folks in the audience, we might get a short list of their authorities, if any.

bocamp 3:39 PM  

Learned BORO from NYT xwords; makes sense and has stuck by me in times of need 😉. Btw, SB doesn't like it either (hi albatross shell (9:24 AM)).

@Anonymous (8:10 AM) / Joe Dipinto (2:41 PM)

You both make good points. I just chalked it up to deus ex machina and enjoyed the movie. 🎥


Peace ~ Empathy ~ Tolerance ~ Health ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Geoff H 3:45 PM  

I “get” the theme it just… felt like there should be more to it? I kept looking around the grid for there to be a revealer I missed or for the “doubled” letters to spell something out.

Julius Boros 3:45 PM  

A BORO without its ugh is like Donald T without his rump.

August Thompson 4:10 PM  

I usually don't reply to comments but I imagine it got spiked because I was 16 in that picture.

Jess 4:39 PM  

I really, really wanted the letters to spell something. Anything. At all. I kept being like "CYLI"....WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Given that ARE/R, TEE/TEA/T, EN/N (if we're doing Spanish anyway...), BE/B, GEE/G, JAY/J, OH/H, PEA/PEE/P, CUE/Q, and YOU/U were all fair game for this theme, it just seems like there should have been some other layer.

Anonymous 4:41 PM  

The failing US Postal Service is succeeding making "6th Avenue" into the "Avenue of the Americas" where no one else was able to do so until now.

I work on 6th Avenue and I don;t dare list my address as anything other than "Avenue of the Americas" because I don't trust the USPS to deliver mail to "6th Avenue" any more.


JD 4:44 PM  


These are the states that still have boroughs, but the designation is legally defined differently amongst all of them. Alaska's boroughs are what 48 other states refer to as counties. With the exception of Alaska these states are contiguous and were colonies, so as @Z correctly concluded, it's regional.

New Jersey
New York

Nancy 4:54 PM  

Thanks for remembering that Welsh Rarebit is one of my favorite dishes and that I actually used to make it -- using the non-cook's shortcut:

To Stouffer's frozen Welsh Rarebit -- nice and cheesy, but pretty bland flavor-wise -- I would add:

*Some flat beer, opened the day before. (It's no good with fresh beer)

*L&P Worcestershire Sauce (hi, @old actor)

*Freshly made Coleman's English Mustard

By the time I finished with it, it was sharp and tangy. I served it over toasted white bread. Someone here specified English muffins and I suppose you could, but I always served it over toast.

I haven't made it for years and years. Two reasons. 1) I can't find Stouffer's frozen Welsh Rarebit anywhere anymore and 2) I developed high cholesterol and it's the absolute last thing I should eat as an entree. Sadly, that and Swiss Fondue are two of my favorite dishes.

(Not for nothing do I have high cholesterol.)

Isn't it nice to have @old actor posting again? I've missed him. All his anecdotes are so colorful. I just love his Lea & Perrins story today.

Which reminds me of the way I most often use L&P now: I'm craving a Bloody Mary, but I don't have any tomato juice in the house. It doesn't matter, though. I mix a generous amount of vodka with:

*A generous amount of Worcestershire Sauce

*White horseradish

*A squeeze of lemon

*Three drops of Tabasco Sauce (optional)

You won't miss the tomato juice at all.

Tom T 5:16 PM  

I am surprised by the number of people, including August, who rated this one hard or crunchy. Talk about having one in your wheelhouse, I suppose, because I am not a speedy solver and this one came very close to being my fastest Monday ever. Go figure.

Anonymous 5:23 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lucinda Carmichael 5:26 PM  

Also agree!

Whatsername 6:06 PM  

@old actor (2:34) What a great story! I’ll never look at Worcestershire sauce in a restaurant again without being tempted to fill my coffee cup with it.

@Nancy (4:54) 100% with you on the additives to my favorite cocktail but I’m afraid I would miss the tomato taste. A restaurant I used to go to in Madison Wisconsin also added beef bullion which gave it a nice twist. Sometimes I use V-8 juice, makes me feel downright healthy.

Anoa Bob 6:09 PM  

When I opened this one I was thinking I'd never seen a Monday puzzle with so much white space/open squares in the grid before. Wow! 30 black squares/blocks and 72 words (hi What? @10;09 AM). That's end-of-the-week themeless territory. And this is with the constraints of four theme entries already in the grid.

So I think this puzzles divides solvers into two camps. For one faction, the theme is paramount and as for the fill, who cares, it's just glue to hold the theme together anyway. For the other, the theme is rarely worth the space it takes up in the grid and the true joy of solving comes from the quality of the fill. If you're in the theme group, this puzzle probably isn't for you. For the fill group, though, it was a real gem.

I thought the theme was decent and elicited a few chuckles (especially at WHY YOU LITTLE...) but I'm in the fill group and I'm still marveling at all the long non-theme words and phrases that were in a Monday grid. And with only 30 blocks. I can attest that is not easy. The lowest I've been able to do is 34.

One way this was accomplished was by having only one row of horizontal blocks, three just before 27 Across and three symmetrically after 41 Across. A themed grid typically gets two rows on each side of the grid. Having only one row on each side opened up space for those triple stacked nines. And each nine letter Down crossed one of the theme entries.

So yeah, I'm impressed with this one but I'm also always on the lookout for POCs (plural of convenience) and the grid did get some help in this department. Two of the long downs were short of the mark and needed a boost to do their job. REAL NAME (31D) got a one letter boost while ABILITY (31D) got the rare two letter boost, where a -Y is dropped and an -IES inserted. And there's a two-POCs-with-one-S at the ends of ATONE (43d) and SNIT (61a). Some modest POC assistance but not enough to put me in a SNIT. Still think it's a topnotch puzzle.

Barbara S. 6:17 PM  

@Frantic Sloth (10:45)
Aww. What a lovely thing to say. And I thank you for the same thing.

@TTrimble (12:08 PM)
Thanks for linking to that drawing. Here's an interesting article on the subject.

Anonymous 6:46 PM  

In NJ, there are even roads signs saying "Entering* Boro of such-and-such."

* I might be wrong about the word "entering" being on the signs.


Anoa Bob 7:10 PM  

Oh, and I thought the theme was straight forward and conceptually tight: The initial letter of the second word of each theme phrase sounds like the first word of that phrase.

EL LIBERTADOR reminded of a book I just finished, The Invention of Nature, Alexander Von Humboldt's New World, by Andrea Wulf. She devotes a considerable amount of the book to Von Humboldt's personal interactions and correspondences with Simón Bolívar. Great read.

A 7:27 PM  

@August, I thought your theme ID was as succinct as it could be.

What can barely give a hint? A themelet.

Even with its teeny tiny themelet, this was a decent Monday-plus. Loved seeing RAREBIT, which is annual Christmas brunch at the A house. A sauce of sharp cheddar, stout, mustard powder, butter and worcestershire over lightly toasted French bread.

None of the themers were actual names. I tried to come up with different letters that could make themers and didn’t find many that had any substance: bee bearding, pea protein, tee totaller, or is that one word? I did find a few more C’s - sea creature being the best.

You know how you glance at a clue and it says one thing and your brain sees something else? Or is that just my brain? Anyway, I looked at the clue for EL LIBERTADOR and my brain saw “Sobriquet for Simone de Beauvoir.” Just before the light bulb came on, I was allowing myself to imagine “what an interesting nickname for Simone de Beauvoir, but Spanish, masculine? - wait….” Glad my mother taught me to laugh at myself. Here’s something else to laugh at: 3 Stooges Why, you…

Happy Birthday to English composer Gordon Jacob. Enjoy this unique piece: Five Pieces for harmonica and string orchestra.

JD 7:29 PM  

Oh Anon@5:23, First, it's not my graduate thesis. You're not getting footnotes on a blog post. Second, you seem to be suggesting that I used the information to impress people with the fact that I've memorize the states that have boroughs. Anyone with common sense would know that I found the info somewhere and was sharing it. I whittled it down for convenience. Third, you obviously have no what constitutes plagiarism and info stealing.

And finally, I could give a rip about your opinion of my opinion of @Z's conclusion. That's as far down the rabbit hole as I'm going with your silliness today.

JC66 7:37 PM  


Don't feed the trolls.

Joe Dipinto 8:10 PM  

We are all here on boro-ed time. So make every minute county.

albatross shell 8:17 PM  

C'mon get this borough thing right.

Borough is a word originally meaning walled or fortified town. It now just means town except in some states where it is a legally defined entity with a specific set of rules defining their political organization. In NYC they are rather large in population and in Alaska I imagine they are large in size. Strange and stray fact: Town has a specific definition in Pennsylvania Law and there is only one town in Pennsylvania and it is Bloomsburg no matter how many places have town in their name.

BORO is a shortening of Borough that sounds identical to borough that is often used in newspapers especially in headlines and occasionally in official names of roads and other borough related stuff. BORO is not a scrabble word and most dictionaries do not recognize it as a word but it does have usage as an informal shortening of the word borough especially in NYC and in newspapers of towns that are boroughs.

The theme: phrases that start with a word that sounds like a letter followed by a word that starts with the letter that the first word sounds like. A kind of double letter beginning, so to speak.
If you think that is trivial,OK. If you think it is easy, find some more with different letters or better ones the same length same length.

Anonymous 8:49 PM  

There is, at least one, BORO in the USofA, Attleboro, MA. And it is an independent municipality, not a subservient place within some municipality. The latter distinction is exemplified by NYC. Does that mean BORO, as an independent word, passes muster? Only The Shadow knows. Does a suffix pass muster as an answer in the NYTXW? Memory says yes.

TTrimble 8:57 PM  

@Barbara S. 6:17PM
Thanks very much -- I had seen and glanced at that article while I was on the hunt for pipes drawings, but now you've given me a chance to take a closer look. Quite the gallery of artistic luminaries at those opium-smoking sessions! I took the opportunity to read up more about Modigliani in particular -- my mom had a book or two about him and he may have been an influence on her sculpture. From what I read now, he seems to have been a troubled and tragic personality, in ways partly reminiscent of van Gogh. Who's to say whether opium released the genius in him (he certainly thought so), or whether he could have risen to greater heights still without all that drug-taking.

Anyway, thanks again for the quote which led to exploring some interesting rabbit holes today! Your daily comments and quotations really enrich this commentary.

Zygotic 9:00 PM  

@JD - Now I’m wondering why it’s not somebody’s graduate thesis.🧐

@albatross shell - nice synopsis. I will add that Merriam-Webster has definitions for lots of simplified spellings, e.g. lite, nite, and thru, but nothing for BORO. I also verified that “borough” and “burro” are homonyms, although M-W has a woman’s voice say “borough” and a man’s voice say “burro.”

@Anon/Villager - Why are you blaming the USPS? Street names are decided by governments. If Wikipedia and NBC News are to be believed the City Council changed the official name in 1945. I did notice that Apple’s Map app uses “Sixth Avenue,” official name be damned.

Anonymous 9:31 PM  


Did that basso performance also feature a vital R-roll too?

JC66 9:34 PM  


The clue says "The Bronx or Brooklyn, informally.

As a native New Yorker, BORO was a gimme.

Also, as saiid above, it'll aways be 6th Avenue and HOWston (Houston) St.

Anonymous 9:50 PM  

Terrible commentary today, bring back Rex and his hate-reviews. At least he makes sense (most if the time)

Barbara S. 10:41 PM  

TThanks, @TTrimble! Right back at ya!

This artistic drug discussion is somewhat reminiscent of last week's conversation about Jennifer Lopez and, more broadly, about whether performers with less happy personal lives do better work than their contented colleagues. Or do fundamentally happy people perform better when going through some sort of emotional bad patch. And how does drug-taking fit in? Does some form of living on the edge through natural or artificial means get those creative juices flowing? It's far too late at night to have answers but the questions are intriguing.

kitshef 11:12 PM  

Agree that this was hard for a Monday, but my sticking point was OLIVA, which seems about as un-Monday as you can get. The theme was invaluable for me today for getting WHY YOU LITTLE.

Never imagined BORO would take over the comments board ...

Mr. Alarm 12:20 AM  

Would you please dumb it down and explain it for me? CYLI: all I get is cylinder. Acronym for something? Too many new and arcane acronyms to keep up with.

Burma Shave 9:59 AM  


use REALAMES while IN El Paso.
At THE HOTEL they're THE RAUNCHY ones,


BS2 10:12 AM  


spacecraft 10:50 AM  

Aw c'mon, guys: how long IS this vacation? STILL stuck on Friday the 25th?? And when I scroll through July trying to find Monday the 5th, it goes from Tuesday to...SUNDAY??? Please please please... HAVE A HEART!!!

By far the hardest part of doing this puzzle was trying to find the place to comment on it! What's the big deal about BORO(ugh)? Everything else is shorthand these days...I refuse to give LINDSAY (which I misspelled with an E, causing my lone inkblot) Lohan the DOD; I'd rather dip into the clue list and give it to Meghan Markle. I'm glad OFC didn't get a hold of this one, or we doubtless would've been subjected to a rant about BUCKTEETH. Can you get TOYOTAS at a TOYSHOP? Or is that where you take them for repairs? How many GOLDS can there be? [Answer: one more than China, NYAAH!] Birdie.

BS2 1:10 PM  

must proofread, this was the final version


At THE HOTEL they're THE RAUNCHY ones,


rondo 3:20 PM  

I didn't think that much of it. @spacey is onto something with royal MM instead of royal pain LL. Monday OK I spose.

leftcoaster 3:23 PM  

Neat and clean, no muss no fuss, and nicely done.

Best of themers, IMO, is “WHY YOU LITTLE___” (Fill in the blank.)

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP