Organizing guru who asks Does it spark joy / MON 8-16-21 / Visually challenged Mr. of cartoons / Button at the start of a Zoom call / One who says that you're not on the ball

Monday, August 16, 2021

Constructor: Freddie Cheng

Relative difficulty: Easy (2:47, and that's with a cocktail in me)

THEME: ON THAT NOTE ... (63A: Speaking of which ... or where the starts of 16-, 30- and 45-Across can be found?) — first words of themers are types of musical "notes":

Theme answers:
  • NATURAL LAW (16A: Universal code of ethics)
  • SHARP COOKIE (30A: Quick-minded sort)
  • FLAT-EARTHER (45A: One who says that you're not on the ball?)
Word of the Day: MARIE KONDO (10D: Organizing guru who asks "Does it spark joy?") —

Marie Kondo (近藤 麻理恵Kondō Mariepronounced [maɾie], born 9 October 1984), also known as Konmari (こんまり), is a Japanese organizing consultant, author, and TV show host.

Kondo has written four books on organizing, which have collectively sold millions of copies around the world. Her books have been translated from Japanese into several languages including KoreanChineseSpanishIndonesianItalianFrenchGermanSwedishPortugueseCatalan, and English. In particular, her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (2011) has been published in more than 30 countries. It was a best-seller in Japan and in Europe, and was published in the United States in 2014.

In the United States and the United Kingdom, the profile of Kondo and her methods were greatly promoted by the success of the Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, released in 2019, which gained Kondo a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program.

She was listed as one of Time's "100 most influential people" in 2015. (wikipedia)

• • •

As revealers go, this one (ON THAT NOTE) is a little awkward. The "starts" of the themers aren't really "ON" anything, and the the "THAT" feels gratuitous. What note? You mean the theme answers start (not "can be found") on a note. Which, admittedly, does not really have revealer flair or panache, but if your revealer doesn't stick the landing, don't use it don't use it don't use it. I have looked the themers over a few times now to make sure that NATURAL, FLAT, and SHARP and not, in fact, "on" anything (well, they are "on" ASHIER, ROSE, and CHEZ, but I doubt that's meaningful). So, basically you have a very old old concept (first words are the three types of musical notes, undoubtedly used in many many puzzle themes over the years), and you've added this revealer twist. If the revealer were great, great. If not, not. Today, not so much. Also, the grid could be much cleaner and more thoughtfully filled. You (yes, you, probably) could get rid of the name part (GOGH) and the tired old mockery of the blind (MAGOO) and the equally tiresome leering (OGLE) and the geographical crosswordese (ETNA) and the crosswordese crosswordese (INRE) and the comically un-tilde'd crosswordese (AÑO) without the aid of software, without too much effort. Who knows what you could do with a lot of effort?  I did two different versions (a quick fix, and a more extensive Shoving a "J" and a "Q" and an "X" into the corners of your grid doesn't make it good—polishing every little part of it does. 

On the plus side, the long Downs are fantastic today. Really original. I'm surprised I haven't seen KONDO's name in puzzles more. Seems like a very useful 5. I'm not sure if I knew that a COMPACT SUV was a category (I've heard "small SUV," I think), but it looks like "compact" and "small" are fairly interchangeable. Anyway, I just like how COMPACTSUV looks in the grid. Had the COMPACT and thought "... car?" but no. Better. More surprising as a crossword answer. Weirder to parse. Good. The center of the grid is solid too. Great words, no filler, no junk, great movie ("PSYCHO!"), all bookended by the spiffy 7s BAZOOKA and (fittingly) "HOW NICE!"). 

Only a couple additional complaints, both of them particular to my specific tastes. 1. I am never going to accept that YENS is a verb no matter how many times crosswords (or dictionaries) tell me it is. You have a yen for something, you don't yen for it. You can just say "yearn" if you really like the "y" sound. "Yearn" is also just one syllable and has the virtue of being a real non-pretend verb people use. And 2. I hate when just one themer has a "?" clue. I'm never going to not see that as a flaw. If it's a "?"-type theme, then they all have "?" clues. But if it's not, making just one of them a "?" clue is aesthetically displeasing. Too bad, as FLAT-EARTHER is possibly the best answer in the grid. But the corny aint-I-clever outlier "?" clue (45A: One who says that you're not on the ball?) really deflated the FLAT-EARTHER experience for me. It also made that answer by far the hardest thing to get in the grid, and (consequently?) the last answer I got.  

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Nathan 12:01 AM  

This wasn’t easy at all. Some of the clues were really hard and tiring to figure out, not to mention that the themers themselves aren’t so great (I’ve never heard SHARP COOKIE before). OTOH, the theme made a lot of sense to me, so this is fine.

egsforbreakfast 12:31 AM  

Alternative clue for 41A: Way to take the familiar out of espanol. BANTU

Solved this quickly enough that I didn’t look at the theme until I was done. Pretty much a meh even then.

thfenn 12:31 AM  

Lol, I flew through this one (meaning everything fell into place in under 10 minutes and was so easy it had a kind of "fill in the blank" feel) and then didn't get that little chiming congrats. Why? Could not see that I had Vincent Van Vogh. To the extent that I was wondering why I'd never heard of some famous square dancing Val. Jeesh. SMARTCOOKIE here. Seems like we've had a lot of water brands lately, no? Fun way to wrap up the evening. 'Night all.

jae 1:59 AM  

Medium. COMPACT car before SUV kept this out of the “easy-medium” range. Solid with some NICE long downs. Liked it.

@Bocamp - Croce’s Freestyle #636 was pretty easy for a Croce...a one and done for me. However, I’m a fan of Kevin Smith movies so a grid spanning answer was a gimme. If you’re not familiar with his oeuvre I’d recommend “Clerks”, “Chasing Amy”, and “Mall Rats” as some of his best. The first two are streaming on HBOMax. Good luck!

chefwen 2:49 AM  

Pretty much agree with @efs Meh puzzle. @jae car before suv too.


chefwen 3:38 AM  

Oops, egs.

Loren Muse Smith 4:17 AM  

“If the revealer were great, great. If not, not.” Michael – I really, really like your writing style.

I prefer the meaning of the revealer that is more sarcastic – when you say ON THAT NOTE right after an awkward moment signifying that you’re ending the exchange and recognizing that it’s not a great way to end.

Chairman: Let’s just make an effort not to make any rash decisions.
Member: My boyfriend has developed a terrible rash, so bad he can’t even sit down.
**************** crickets*****************
Chairman: Well, ON THAT NOTE, we’ll adjourn.

@jae - me, too, for "car" before SUV.

My first entry was the partial FOR A. Wonder why Freddie didn’t opt for NORA Ephron? CORA Crawley is probably too obscure. (Mom and I just finished our Downton Abbey binge fest, and I tell ya – besides Maggie Smith, the best actor was Robert James-Collier imo. His deft portrayal of Thomas had me longing for his happiness even as I cringed at his nastiness.)

I got a kick out of EGG crossing GRIT. I eat GRITs three or four times a week with two EGGs over-easy mixed in. My daughter and I call it goulash.

I had no idea that “Does it spark joy?” was a famous line of MARIE KONDO’s. I’m assuming that if it in fact does Not spark joy, you’re supposed to get rid of it? Sheesh. I’m looking around my den, and the only things I see that spark joy are a statue of a welder that a student welded for me as a going-away gift and a box of Puffs Plus infused with Vicks. So I toss the tape dispenser, desk fan, coaster, lamp, stapler. . .? Those things don’t spark joy. I need to read her book I guess.

With the clue for BEREFT, I started chewing on the word “lack” – BEREFT definitely has a negative connotation, and I guess lack does, too. I never thought about it. If you lack something, it’s not good.

The man lacks compassion. This feels natural.
*The man lacks hatred. This feels weird.
The man has no hatred This feels natural.

Or am I overthinking this? I’ll chew on it today.

I’m learning the stuff that Mom REUSEs. Baggies, of course. Twist ties. And jars. There are empty jars on the freezer, under the sink, in a couple of cabinets. . . Sheesh. I REUSE my daily contacts because I’m BEREFT of a lot of money these days.

Patrick Berry – crossword GOAT.

With CNN in the background reporting on Afghanistan, I keep seeing ARMED, BAZOOKA, UZIS. What a mess. And ON THAT NOTE. . .

Happy Monday, everyone.

Conrad 5:22 AM  

Not only the "comically un-tilde'd crosswordese" AÑO but bonus un-tilde'd crosswordese at 1D. Two for the price of oñe!

Gio 6:08 AM  

@lms I agree with you that Robert James Collier is amazing in Downton Abbey.
I thought Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley was the worst actor on the show. Maybe it is her American accent, but I found most of her performance cringeworthy. I thought that she was terrible even before I saw Kim Cattrall play her in the spoof Upstairs Downstairs Abbey, which is possibly one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Please watch this, it will make your day:

Unknown 6:15 AM  

All 26 letters of the alphabet are used by the constructor. Rex nice write up today.

chance2travel 6:17 AM  

Mostly did the downs, so never saw a lot of the across clues.

"smart" before SHARP for COOKIE at 30A

Lewis 6:27 AM  

That HOW NICE in the grid is a perfect encapsulation of this high-quality Monday puzzle. Here, in a smooth and junk lite grid, are colorful answers, (NINJA, MARIE KONDO, FLAT EARTHER, the NYT debut SHARP COOKIE, and even the lovely BEREFT), spots of playfulness (the FLAT EARTHER clue, the wordplay of ON THAT NOTE, along with its bounciness), and appropriately easy but not intelligence-insulting cluing.

It also provides a great introduction to the concept of theme. As a teacher of a crossword solving course at a UNCA adjunct, I can tell you that many new solvers have no idea that puzzles have themes at all. The clue in the revealer today brings attention to the theme, and today’s theme shows how a theme can add to the solving experience.

Thus, today’s puzzle is not only a breezy fun solve, it is everything a Monday should be. Excellent one, Freddy, and thank you!

OffTheGrid 6:28 AM  

@LMS. Like most, I enjoy your posts. The avatars are fun. INRE today's avatar, prepare for another NBA GOAT "dialogue" in the blog today. (We all know you're right)

Chris Christie 6:46 AM  

>>I have looked the themers over a few times now to make sure that NATURAL, FLAT, and SHARP and not, in fact, "on" anything>>

But those words are literally "on" the note when used in music notation. They are symbols that appear on the staff next to the note they modify.

Anonymous 7:30 AM  

Ya gotta love MAGOO crossing OGLE and followed by GAZE (15A).

Barbara S. 7:31 AM  

I solved this as a themeless, barely noticing there were themers. I did the south-central and SE sections using Down clues only, so the revealer also passed me by (but I didn't have Rex's objections when I did finally see it). Musical notes designated as NATURAL, SHARP and FLAT make a brief but serviceable theme for a Monday. Reminds me of taking piano lessons with Mrs. Burgess many moons ago. Wow, NATURAL LAW as the opening themer starts things off with an intellectual bang. And SHARP COOKIE was a write-over, as I know the expression as SmARt COOKIE. Both versions come up on Google. Is this a British/Canadian vs. American difference, I wonder? I absolutely loved “One who says that you’re not on the ball?” for FLAT EARTHER. That’s got to be one of the great clues of the year.

Geez, another leak reference right off the bat at 1A. After my various troubles, I’m hoping there’ll be at least one puzzle this week that doesn’t feel compelled to mention a surfeit of water. There are a lot of soggy answers here, now that I think of it: PIPE, BAY, AFT (ship), EEL, MARSH, HARBOR, EVIAN, and MOOR. I’m hoping for a desert theme tomorrow. I liked MAGOO beside GAZE, and GRIT and ASHIER beside ETNA. CHEZ beside OVEN suggested a very basic name for a French-inspired restaurant. The ROPE, ROSE, ROSA progression was good. Speaking of ROPE, I almost always conceptualize those “need for” clues wrong. “Need for tug of war” had me wondering under what circumstances it would be necessary to have a tug of war. Sigh. Two artist names! Vincent van GOGH and BOSCH (if you dip down below the C and borrow the H from PSYCHO). Like @LMS, I noticed that this puzzle was definitely ARMED: BAZOOKA, UZIS, AXE, and PIPE and ROPE from Clue. Well OK then, ON THAT sinister NOTE…

SouthsideJohnny 7:47 AM  

I’m a touch surprised that OFL passed up an opportunity to whine about all of the violent undertones - UZIS, BAZOOKA, Packing heat —> ARMED, NINJA . . . (No Che though). Personally, I don’t think it is necessary to sanitize each puzzle in the woke sense - I would prefer a more surgical approach to sanitization - a great start would be less foreign words and phrases like ETRE and ANO, and of course I would be supportive of an outright ban on made-up and pretend words (as well as rap “artists”).

Anonymous 7:57 AM  

AÑO = YEAR; ANO = WILL SHORTZ (learn the language you a-hole)

bocamp 8:04 AM  

Thx Freddie for an excellent Mon. puz to start the solving week. :)

Med. solve

Got the top 1/3 quickly.

The rest was somewhat slower, but no serious hitches.



yd pg -1 (tabbed)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

GILL I. 8:04 AM  

Why in the world did I want a plumber to fix a leak in Gloca Morra? Or maybe fix a leak in his coveralls....Lordy, my mind runneth over:
A GOAT, AN EEL AND some APES walk into a bar...they join someone from IRAQ who is ARMED with a bunch UZIS...They all order EGG nog from Mr MAGOO who is the bartender with no GAZE. After a little BANTU here and there they all look over at the PSYCHO KAREN who is yelling that she ain't gonna wear no stinkin mask and not one can make her. And ON THAT NOTE, I'm going back to bed.

Zwhatever 8:06 AM  

@OffTheGrid - I’m biting my tongue so hard it is bleeding. In @LMS’s defense she’s a UNC grad so a little Jordan myopia (mjopia?) is understandable. The rest of you have no excuse.

@Chris Christie - …on the staff next to the note… - Exactly Rex’s point, the symbols are “on” the note, and in the grid they are not “on,” that is “above,” something else. I’m not sure parsing “on” this hard is required, but if you seen this type of theme a lot and this sort of word play with NATURAL, SHARP, and FLAT before (I have) I can see how the theme comes across as suboptimal.

Definitely not easy here. More like a Wednesday time for me. But I don’t know if that’s the puzzle or if I’m in post tournament brain fog (my fit bit says I put in just as many steps running a tournament as I do playing in a tournament - as if I needed more confirmation). I was breezing along, but stalled out in the south compounded by Stud before StAy before SNAP. Oof.

I loved FLAT EARTHER, but NATURAL LAW brings back undergrad political theory discussions and boring academic papers, and SMART COOKIE arched the eyebrow with a “does anyone say that anymore?” @Nathan suggests the answer might be “no.” The phrase evokes 1960’s sitcoms and it would be uttered by somebody’s grandmother, so my impression is that it was dated when I was young and is gone except for maybe on the tv networks that show sitcoms from that era.

I do not care about ANO/AÑO but was hoping for Portuguese ”days” so that we aren’t inundated with asshole comments. Oh, look, “días” is Portuguese so no asshole problem. Hemorrhoids averted.

mmorgan 8:06 AM  

I found this unusually (and pleasantly) crunchy for a Monday, and there were so many fun answers that I barely noticed the crosswordese. This also made me realize that I say “On that note…” quire often. Most of all, I’m thrilled that the link to the .puz file is STILL working, though I face each new day with trepidation that it will be gone….

Zwhatever 8:11 AM  

Exactly Rex’s point, the symbols are not “on” the note, and in the grid they are not “on,” that is “above,” something else.
Oof, messed up the html tag the first time and the “not” disappeared.

amyyanni 8:19 AM  

'What is a sharp cookie?', I am wondering for the first time ever.

Unknown 8:25 AM  

A perfect Monday puz - - - and the theme struck the right note.
I wonder if rex is as curmudgeonly in real life as he is on his blog?

TheMadDruid 8:25 AM  

I wanted I, Robot so bad I tried pretending “bont” was an alternate spelling for “burre “.

TheMadDruid 8:26 AM  

A very old expression: a smart person. Take it from a very old smart cookie.

D. Shostakovich 8:37 AM  

Wasted a lot of time looking for "that note" on which the three words are said to be. What a surprise to discover that they do not exist.

Not just a bad revealer, but a completely unapt one.

Son Volt 8:38 AM  

Normally I like the added pangram bonus - but this one did feel a little contrived. Cute early week theme - overall fill was flat. MARIE KONDO takes up a lot of real estate - I’ve never heard the name and assume solvers will have an issue with the BANTU cross. ASHIER is bad and agree completely with Rex on YENS. The ARMED > BAZOOKA > UZIS was a little much.

Did like IF I MAY, ETUDE and the great Mr. MAGOO and KAREN Carpenter.

Enjoyable enough for a Monday.

bocamp 8:46 AM  

@jae (1:59 AM)

Looking forward to it! :)

pg -14

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

pabloinnh 8:49 AM  

Speedy Monday with just a couple of slowdowns. One, I can never remember Marie's last name and always think it should be KWAN or something similar, but it never is. The other was having FLATE and the start of a themer and thinking that was the start of some word I'd never heard of. After finally getting SHARP (I'm in the SMART camp) and FLAT, NATURAL made it a music theme and I thought the revealer was fine. I've seen SHARPS and FLATS and NATURAL signs close enough to notes in a score to call them ONTHATNOTE. OK with me.

I've still never seen The Bachelor and wasn't sure of who was looking for whom so briefly considered WIFE for an answer which I eventually realized was totally backward. The price of watching sports almost exclusively.

Very nice Mondayish Monday, FC. A Fair Challenge. Thanks for the fun.

Mikey from El Prado 8:57 AM  

Ripped through for the most part…. Started with the top acrosses, then did most of the the downs from there. The one thing I couldn’t get right away was MARIEKONDO. Never heard of her. So, last square was the K. I have heard SMARTCOOKIE many times, but it just didn’t pop out right away. Still faster than average, but lost time on that K. YMMV.

kitshef 8:58 AM  

From theme to fill to cluing, everything says “Monday” about this puzzle except for MARIE KONDO. Is that Monday material? I know the name, but just barely and needed all the crosses as my last letter was the K, and I wasn’t sure if it might be a C.

I did throw in Xhosa before BANTU, that that’s an unforced error on my part. Failed to note the word ‘group’ in the clue.

There is no disputin’
There is no refutin’
We’re all indebted to Sir Isaac Newton
Because, because, because …
Sir Isaac discovered his genius uncovered the nature of NATURAL LAWs.

rjkennedy98 9:01 AM  

What a nice fun, easy Monday. Yes, there is some crosswordese (there almost always is), but half of them you miss anyways because the intersect the very excellent long answers.

What I most like about this puzzle is the total lack of obscurity. No random supporting actresses with weird names from TV shows I've never watched. No dead and unused phrases. Everything feels relevant and lively. Even the old stuff (Karen Carpenter, Error Flynn, and Mr Magoo) are all things you'd expect a young person to know.

P.S. Rex getting offended at silly Mr Magoo is the most Rex thing ever.

rjkennedy98 9:05 AM  

Also, since I didn't mention this in my first post. Flats, Sharps, and Naturals are not just "types of notes" as Rex says. They are actual symbols that go "On" notes in a musical score, as anyone who has played music is aware of.

Nancy 9:06 AM  

Boy, that FLAT EARTHER clue could be a Friday or Saturday clue, right?

Fortunately I already had NATURAL and SHARP -- so I was on the lookout for a FLAT, and that enabled me to get FLAT EARTHER right away. I did give the clue a bit of a side-eye, but, hey, I'm always looking for crunch on a Monday, and this certainly was that.

Also how can you not like a Monday featuring NATURAL LAW and SHARP COOKIE?

The "Does it spark joy?" lady's name was vaguely familiar to me once it came in, though she's never sparked any joy in my life. Organizing stuff is not at all what gives me joy -- quite the opposite -- but I think her point is: throw stuff away so there's less to organize? Throwing stuff away doesn't especially give me much in the way of joy either, so, MARIE, I guess you're not destined to be a major guru in my life. My philosophy: If you don't really need it, don't buy it in the first place. Or is that actually what you say, too, MARIE?

A very nice and intelligent Monday.

Wm. C. 9:08 AM  

@Son Volt --

I thought that I was going to be first to mention never having heard of MARIE KONDO, but you beat me to it, with the very last comment above me as I write this.

I'm willing to assume lots of people here know of her, but I'll bet there are also lots that haven't. Inappropriate for a Monday, IMO.

TTrimble 9:13 AM  

Ha, Rex is officially back, starting off with a to-the-second registering of his cocktail-influenced time. Classic!

(I don't know, maybe my knee-jerk reaction on seeing this is like his dislike of cluing just one of the themers with a "?". If you do this only once in a while, only when you want others to know ("ain't I clever?" "why yes, Michael, you must be one SHARP COOKIE!"), then it can deflate their experience, just when they are starting to feel good about their times. If you were to also unflinchingly record your not-so-great times, it would be different.)

The cluing for FLAT-EARTHER is brilliant, by the way.

Constructors: strike ETNA and IN RE from your word lists. Rex says they're not cool. If you ask me (not that you do), ASHIER seems more crosswordese than either of those. In agreement with Rex: YENS as a verb doesn't ring my bell either. Oh, and personally, I think EMUS should be put on hold until the ad agency for Liberty Mutual gives Limu EMU and Doug the AXE.

Out of curiosity: is there a good reason why we say van GOGH but not van Beethoven?

Hand up for putting "car" before SUV.

I knew the organizer guru's first name was MARIE, but couldn't quite remember the last. (Boy, the "gives you joy" criterion would be a laugh and a half in my case.) Speaking of first names: is it still okay to name your baby girl KAREN? That name has really taken a hit recently.

Okay, let me wrap it up: the puzzle was just fine for a Monday. Not too hard, not too soft. A decent introduction for newcomers. ON THAT NOTE: have a good day, everybody!

RooMonster 9:23 AM  

Hey All !
Wouldn't want to eat a SHARP COOKIE. Ouch! I'll stick to my Oreos!

How many FLAT EARTHERS have driven to the edge? Asking for a friend.

IF I MAY, we should've ARMED and EQUIPed IRAQis and Afghans with UZIS to shoot all those Taliban ANOs. How did they spend their entire lives underground waiting to strike? You know it's the next generation, being fed propaganda by their fathers, cowardly waiting for no resistance. We need to dump our Nuclear waste on them.

ON THAT NOTE, I'll stop spewing vileness and get back to the puz. (Sorry if that offended. Stuff like that gets my IRE.)

Simple MonPuz theme, sorta kinda segmented grid. But got a pangram, even though it didn't seem like one. All Rex's "scrabbly" letters are spread out, used naturally, so it seems not like the "gram" was forced. Apparently the NE/SW corners passed the Rex Fill test, as he didn't mention them being closed off.

Didn't fall into the Compact car trap, as already had the S of ROSA in. EMUS can run super fast. Mr. MAGOO doesn't bother me, as that was the whole schtick of that comic. Never liked it, anyway. KAREN Gillan is the cutie in the Jumanji movies. She was also in Avengers.

Neat puz link, @LMS. Poor PLUTO got kicked out of the Solar System. Geez, you have a weird orbit, and no one likes you anymore. ☺️

Three F's

Barbara S. 9:27 AM  

I've probably said this before, but I prefer William Morris's philosophy of the home to Marie Kondo's. He said: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." We can all keep our staplers.

Lewis 9:30 AM  

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

1. Utter hell, say? (5)
2. Help wanteds? (4)
3. Person who is willfully alone? (4)(4)
4. Game of checkers? (5)
5. Sound at the end of December, appropriately (3)


Jim in Canada 9:32 AM  

I cringed hard at the revealer.
"On THAT note" indicates a single note. You'd never have a sharp, flat, and natural all on that note. You'd need three notes.
Also, the symbol goes beside the note, not on it.

Aside from that, I thought there were some nice answers in here, especially some of the downs. I knew of Marie Kondo, but had no idea what her name was. Crossing it with BANTU seemed a bit cruel for a Monday.

Considering how Rex balks at old, stale cluing, I'm surprised he didn't gripe about going with KAREN Carpenter as opposed to the "I want to see the manager" KAREN that it could've been.

Anonymous 9:37 AM  

marie kondo crossing bantu stopped me dead in my track

albatross shell 9:38 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
jberg 10:02 AM  

@rjkennedy, yeah, and to take it a little further -- they are not 'types of notes,' they are accidentals that you place in front of a note (sort of like in the theme answers) to raise or lower the pitch. You only do it the first time a note appears in a given bar, so sometimes you miss the second one and someone says, 'no, there's a flat ON THAT NOTE.' The universal law of themes is that the words in the theme answers should be used with a meaning different from that in the revealer. That's what's going on here.

I started with 1A a little dismayed that the answer was so very obvious, but the puzzle turned out better than that, even though the only bubblegum brand I could remember was Topps. That's the only one I ever bought, strictly for the baseball cards -- I threw away the gum -- but I did like the little comics in BAZOOKA when someone else bought it.

Several years ago my wife and her cousin (visiting from Sarasota) went to a museum and came home with a present for me, "The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up," by MARIE KONDO. I have not yet done everything she advocates (she advises you to take pile up everything in your house on the floor, then go through the pile deciding what to keep -- but remember, she's Japanese, where houses are smaller and possessions much more sparse to begin with.) The joy-sparking bit does not mean to throw out things that you use, although one could argue that there is a joy in usefulness. It's pretty much like Oscar Wilde's dictum that you should have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. I've had to do it all on a smaller scale, like organizing the shoes on my closet floor, or my sock drawer. It does work, one doesn't go back after doing it.

Anyway, that was a gimme.

@amyyanni, I had the same question; it's an odd metaphor, isn't it? You could say that a ginger snap is a SHARP COOKIE, but how you get from there to the metaphorical meaning is a mystery to me.

The toughest part of the puzzle for me was that COMPACT SUV. First of all, the only car model name I know is the one my wife bought and we both drive; second, what's the point? People buy SUVs so that they can carry a lot of stuff while pouring pollutants into the atmosphere, so why shrink them? Even when I had the S from ROSA, I was puzzled until I got to the CRUX of the matter. Way harder than the rest of this puzzle.

@TTrimble, I think it's because Beethoven is German. Dutch people seem to regard van, vanden, vander, etc. as integral parts of their names, while for Germans it's an honorific prefix, not normally included. We say "Bismarck" too (well, really we says Bismark, but you know what I mean). I think the French do it that way, too -- we refer to Lafayette, not de Lafayette.

As I said, that's what I think, I've no expertise.

JD 10:03 AM  

Magoo and Van Gogh walk into an art museum. Magoo says to Van Gogh, "I like the one with the stars but it looks a little blurry." Do Brits call a clever person a sharp biscuit? Do Emus Gaze on Grit? No, of course not.

Agree with @LMS on the joy sparking thing. That's a high bar for decision making. I prefer, can you pound a nail with it AND use it to make mashed potatoes? But Marie Kondo has sold a lot of books in a lot of countries and had a Netflix series, so a lot of solvers will know who she is. A woman said to her retired husband, "Watching Fox on a 65-inch flat screen doesn't Spark Joy in me." He couldn't hear her, it was turned up so loud!

The puzzle was easy and pleasantly innocuous with a side of violence. Something for everyone.

mathgent 10:19 AM  

My only two red plus signs in the margins were for SHARPCOOKIE and the clue for ROMAN at 26D. Low, even for a Monday.

I often refer to a bright person as a SHARPCOOKIE. No idea why. Maybe because it's fun to say.

"Like I, for one?" for ROMAN. One of the all-time great clues. When I taught junior high school there was a unit on Roman Numerals. I doubt that there still is. Too bad. That was a good way to spend a day.

Good week for cluing. Thanks, Lewis.

Loren has a link to one of Patrick Berry's classic puzzles. It animates the completed grid to emphasize the theme. The solar system.

Stephen Minehart 10:22 AM  

A very fresh puzzle despite a meh theme. Would have been great as a themeless, but of course Mondays need a theme to qualify, so OK.

This puzzle offered no resistance, because once I plonked down those crossword gimmes (you know, your Errol Flynns, your Karen Carpenters, your Rosa Parks, your Emus and Uzis) and then added the cultural stuff I just knew on sight (Marie Kondo, Mr. Magoo, and the Compact SUV), well by then the grid was pretty much filled out already.

Does my toilet snake spark joy? Not so much, but it sure comes in handy every few years.

The Joker 10:25 AM  

MARIE KONDO's husband's name is Ty. (I know, lame)

TTrimble 10:26 AM  

Thanks -- that makes a lot of sense. Wish I'd thought of that myself.

@albatross shell
I am by far not the most qualified here, but basically a musician takes orders from the key signature unless told otherwise. The deviations are called accidentals, and notated with either a NATURAL, a SHARP, or a FLAT symbol beside the note. For example, in A major the usual scale would go up to G sharp before returning to A, but the composer might want to use G natural instead at some point. That would accordingly be notated with the natural symbol. The note is unadorned if it's to be a G sharp, since that is already implied by the key signature.

Whatsername 10:29 AM  

A pangram. HOW NICE! And an easy breezy one although I did feel the crossing of a not too familiar proper name with a foreign language term was a little much for a Monday.

67A was timely for me as I am about to JOIN my first Zoom meeting today. I certainly hope I can come across as a real SHARP COOKIE and not get caught squinting at the screen like Mr. MAGOO. Wish me luck.

I was curious as to the legitimacy of the FLAT EARTHER crowd so I looked it up and found this quote“Flat-Earthers seem to have a very low standard of evidence for what they want to believe but an impossibly high standard of evidence for what they don’t want to believe.”

Something tells me they can also be convinced elections are stolen.


Anonymous 10:33 AM  

@jberg. I don't want to blow your mind but there exists a sub-compact SUV in several makes. Buick Encore, Ford Ecosport, Honda HRV, etc. Sad, I know.

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

Natural law is a philosophical concept. In fact, the most important philosophical concept. It undergirds all Western thought. And while its most discerning advocate is Aquinas, its origin in Christian thought is Paulist.

Douglas 10:38 AM  

Marie Kondo tells us to throw away anything that doesn’t bring us joy, so I threw her book away.

Douglas 10:39 AM  

Marie Kondo tells us to throw away anything that doesn’t bring us joy, so I threw her book away.

albatross shell 10:40 AM  

Does @LMS's lack of commentary on YEN mean she is sympatico with Rex on the verbicizing of this wee noun? If that sentence is not awkward enough, I have been trying to create a fictional word that describes (and makes life easier for) constructors yenning for pangrams: quackjazfixity or some such.
Yes I know you all have better things to do.

Not the most exciting theme, but all the themers and the reveal are all good phrases for a puzzle. Rex's one or all question mark theme clue rule has some merit. Today it strikes me as a "so what" since it was only attempting to have more entertaining clue and I see no downside there.

SHARPCOOKIE, I have no problem with at all. One of several cookie adjectives that were used from the 1920s up to the 60s and beyond. Smart and tough among the earliest and longest lasting. SHARP being a bit later but still around. COOKIE was originally female (mostly young and cute too) but gradually spread to all ages and sexes. COOKIEs were rough and hardboiled too. Truman used that last one.

ON THAT NOTE: SHARPs and FLATs are on "some" notes. Are NATURALs? Or by absence? Rex is at times laughably literal and precise about themes. This time I see his point. I'll let the musicoligists decide.

ARMED BAZOOKA UZIS. Good day for guns.

Nice pair of visually impaired talents stacked in center north. MAGOO is not a no-no in my puzzle world. MAGOO'S inability to realize his limitations is the joke. At one time I did not realize my reading vision was "aging". I thought the damned phone books had smaller print every year.

MARIEKONDO was the only junk in the puzzle here. Sounds like a huckster to me. And yes my house is cluttered. Do not assume that would make me like her at all.

Joseph Michael 10:42 AM  

Mr. MAGOO is a tired old mockery of the blind? Rex, you’re really reaching far today for the opportunity to be offended.

ON THAT NOTE, I thought it was a good Monday puzzle with FLAT EARTHER my favorite themer. The flat earthers are also the ones who refuse to wear masks on airplanes during a pandemic and think that the government is using the Covid vaccine to inject tracking magnets into all of us.

Not familiar with Ms. KONDO. Might be a good name for a real estate agent.

SHARP COOKIE. Isn’t that a mixed metaphor?

Andrew H 10:45 AM  

As a new crossword solver, I love the write-ups from seasoned vets. It helps me appreciate the deeper aspects of a grid.

SteveHikes 11:30 AM  

Great comments

albatross shell 11:39 AM  

M-W Definition cookie:
2a: an attractive woman
a buxom French cookie who haunts the … colony's one night spot
— Newsweek
a tough cookie

In the 1920s both cookies usually female, young, and good-looking. Gradually expanding to all ages and men.

No mixed metaphors. Sweet soft and pleasant to the senses. Tough and smart refer to inner qualities. Don't judge a book... . Part of the allure of the slang.

SteveHikes 11:40 AM  

Lots of curmudgeonly nitpick criticisms today, fortunately balanced by appreciative praise from many others. How many definitions of the word “on” can you invent?

Masked and Anonymous 11:48 AM  

Luved the SHARPCOOKIE themer. Shout out to @RP, plus dessert.

I thought the ONTHATNOTE revealer was A-ok. Other possibilities do of course abound for a revealer to this stuff-that-starts-with theme:

* TAKINGNOTES. yeah ... didn't think so.
* DULYNOTED. [an M&A fave]
* NOTESFROMHELL. [Nikolay Yordanov book … mostly for folks who didn't like the theme]
* NOTEOFTHISEARTH. [punny approach]

staff weeject pick: ANO. Poor lil thing gets zero respect, due to no mark of Zorro-tilde. Only 11 weejects to choose from, btw.
fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Hitchcock film with a classic shower scene} = PSYCHO. Total gimme. Woulda been great, if Hitch had made his trademark cameo appearance inside that shower, somehow.

And, on another note, we was pang-rammed, in this rodeo. Nice thing about Scrabble-twerkin, sometimes: It can pave the way for some gridwords U don't otherwise see quite so much. Like EQUIP. And NINJA. And MARIEKONDO. And COMPACTSUV. And CRUX. And BEREFT (right, @Roo?).
And on that note … U's can also pep up a puz's vocab, since it's the vowel that doesn't get used a whole lot.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Cheng dude. Nice MonPuz.

Masked & Anonymo5Us


Carola 11:57 AM  

I'll hand a ROSE to this puzzle - I really enjoyed the more-than-usual Monday resistance, the three creative theme phrases, the longer Downs, and a theme that kept me guessing. Favorite fake-out moment: I'd been thinking "Lacking" would be "barren" (of), and when I had BERE..., I was sure I had a mistake because no words start like that. I love it when the language surprises me.

Anonymous 11:57 AM  

Input as a musician - though a sharp/flat/natural is printed beside a note in a score, you would never refer to them as being BESIDE the note in musical settings - it’s always ON a note. Same with other modifiers such as trills, staccatos, etc etc.. - it’s always referred to as being ON a note.

Joe Dipinto 12:07 PM  

"Hey Seth, what movie did you go see?"

"Oh hi Karen. I saw the Hitchcock Movie with a Classic Shower Scene."

"Oh, that was good, I saw it last week. But you should go see the Classic Hitchcock Movie with a Shower Scene. It's much better."

"Yeah I've heard, but that's one's so hard to get tickets for. Oh here's Marie Kondo, I wonder what she went to see".

"Hi guys! I just came from the Classic Hitchcock Movie with a Classic Shower Scene."

"Wait —there's a *third* movie?! I didn't know about this!"

"I feel like we're in the middle of one of those New York Times crossword clues that has pointless verbiage added to it."

"It does feel like that, doesn't it."

"Well, on that note..."

"What note? I don't see any notes."

"Oh you're right, there aren't any. Speaking of which..."

"You can't say 'speaking of which' now, you already ended the conversation when you said 'on that note'."

"Oh snap. Then why did you ask me what note?"

(interrupting)—"Excuse me, can we be in a different puzzle? I'd really rather be in a different puzzle."

"Maybe tomorrow. We can go see the Classic Hitchcock Movie with a Classic Rope Scene. It's being rereleased."

"Oh, how nice. Does it have ninjas?"

"No but it has dwarves with bazookas."

What? 12:26 PM  

Monday. Easy. Nuff said.

JC66 12:32 PM  


FYI, I just received the following response from The NY Times re: yesterday's Acrostic:

Hi there,

Thank you for writing in to us. I'm sorry for missing Variety puzzles! These puzzles were both uploaded but don't currently appear on the home page; you'll need to find them in the archives for now instead. I've included links for your convenience below:

A Little Variety:

We've also reported this over to the Games team. My apologies again for the trouble this week! Please let me know if you need any further assistance.
Ryan Branom
The New York Times Customer Care

Anonymous 12:41 PM  

So, I suppose, the anti-Woke complainers would prefer to have more references to evil vaccines, redneck politicians, Blue Lives Matter, and immigrant Covid-δ?

bocamp 12:47 PM  

@JC66 (12:32 PM)

Excellent! thx :)


Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

mathgent 12:59 PM  

My favorite posts before noon today.

Loren (4:17)
Lewis (9:30)
JBerg (10:02)
Douglas (10:38)

rjkennedy98 1:01 PM  

@Anonymous It always irks me that supposedly smart and even-minded people conflate being a flat earther (an absolutely absurd idea) with being a "Truther".

We have every right to be legitimately suspicious of the US government that has a well-documented pattern of planning and instigating false flag operations (Gulf of Tonkin, in Cuba), that obviously illegally lied to get us into war (WMDs anyone?), and has a massive self-interest in waging endless war for power, hegemony, and of course self-enrichment.

And as a reminder, the literal job of CIA and FBI is to infiltrate groups, instigate them, and disrupt them. In fact, "the majority of 'terror plots' the FBI claimed to detect and break up during the first War on Terror were, in fact, plots manufactured, funded and driven by the FBI itself."

And hundreds of professors, thousands of 9/11 victim's families, and 40% of Americans do not agree with the governments ubiquitous answer that 9/11 was a "failure of intelligence".

old timer 1:06 PM  

A record Monday time for me, 12 minutes, pen on paper.

Jeez Louise! Cheng (or certainly Shorz) could have avoided that awful YENS by simply cluing it as a noun. I have a YEN to do the crossword every day, but YENS to solve all the puzzles in the Sunday Magazine.

The van discussion led me to ask why Beethoven had a van before his name. He was, after all, German, and Germans use "von", and leave off the "von" when referring to someone by name. Turns out his family was originally Dutch, and the Dutch keep the "van" (or "vander") as part of their name, so no one ever refers, for instance, to a Vincent Gogh, the famous painter, or Bilt, the famous and wealthy family of New York. I guess the Germans, and ultimately others, just decided to leave the "van" off when referring to Beethoven. Probably thought it was a misprint or something.

Mr Magoo was not blind. He just needed glasses, as many of us do. Properly described as shortsighted, or "visually challenged".

Hands up for writing in "car" before SUV. As for Ms KONDO, I detest her, but got her immediately.

TTrimble 1:08 PM  


Was a comment of mine spiked? If so, could you explain, please?

Dr. Botkin 1:17 PM  

@Anon 12:41 PM

Sounds good.

wcutler 1:25 PM  

I'd like to thank @Z for his comments on the July 25 puzzle regarding references to other puzzles.
egsforbreakfast 12:00 PM wrote:
@pmdm and @Z. Im scratching my head about the spoiler alert discussion. Surely there can’t be people who decide to read a blog about a specific published puzzle and then find themselves disappointed that the blog discusses that puzzle. My gof, who are these people?

I'm one of these people. Yes, I want to read about the blog that discusses the puzzle of the day, not the puzzle of the previous day. As @Z wrote, for syndicated readers, the Sunday puzzle comes out five weeks before the Saturday. If you make a memorable comment about the answer to a puzzle earlier that week, it could easily be a spoiler for when that daily puzzle comes out for us.

I'm reading the blog late, and it's a while since that puzzle was the current one, so I've jumped onto today's blog to make this comment.

bocamp 1:29 PM  

@JC66 / @TTrimble

Enjoyed the Acrostic in spite of the 'glitches'. lol Learned a new concept. It was a gnarly puz, indeed! :)

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

albatross shell 1:39 PM  

Hey, if you were making a pun as in [cookie]-mix metaphor just pretend my comment was not about your comment at all.

albatross shell 1:50 PM  

Who or better what was that directed at?

Anonymous 1:50 PM  

Oof. Your 9-11 comments are exactly what a Flat-Earther would say. Kudos.

chasklu 1:51 PM  

originally had GOLDEN RULE in 16 across (universal code of ethics)

Anonymous 2:13 PM  


soon, we are supposed to get some of the intel connecting specific Saudis (not just the ones on the planes) to 9/11. not a failure of intelligence, but of Dubya's oil hungry buddies who didn't and don't care how many get killed by OPEC states. remember, 15 of 19 were Saudi and 2 were UAE. they're connected at the hip. so, yeah, it wasn't Iraq or Afghan.

rjkennedy98 2:21 PM  

@Anonymous Well, my friend's mom actually testified in the 9/11 commission. I can assure that the hijackers were not observant Muslims. This has been widely corroborated. She worked at a hotel bar and served them a week before 9/11 and they were going to strip clubs and drinking.

Obviously, I'm not going to open your mind. I just think that maybe you should for the 1,800 victims and families, who want more answers.

albatross shell 2:22 PM  

I don't have Kondo's book to throwaway. If I followed her or Morris's or Wilde's rules, I wouldn't be allowed in my own house. Maybe a tipi in the back yard?

Anonymous 2:31 PM  

No one believes those cowards who dealt death from the air were observant. There antics at strip clubs and bars are well known. Even to people who didn't testify to any commission.
But the idea that the US government was privy to the hijackers plans, or was in on it in any way, isn't just silly it's objectionable.
All 9-11 Truther nonsense was beautifully, and definitively debunked in an encyclopedic issue of Popular Mechanics back in August of 2006.

Kevin 2:34 PM  

Actual: “As revealers go, this one (ON THAT NOTE) is a little awkward.“

Missed chance: “As revealers go, this one (ON THAT NOTE) fell a little flat.”

JC66 2:58 PM  

@bocamp. 👍

TTrimble 3:25 PM  

Well, while I'm waiting to hear back from the @Mods, I'll reproduce part of my earlier message:

yd 0
td 0

albatross shell 4:09 PM  

Secret code. Good way to sneak one past them.

A Moderator 4:15 PM  


Sometimes Blogger swallows comments whole.

It's not always the Mods.

bocamp 4:17 PM  

@TTrimble (3:25 PM) 👍 for your 0's

I botched dbyd in two ways: I did a computer re-boot, forgetting that it would refresh the dbyd tab (resulting in today's SB), then I went to to check the answers and found that the 6er I had been looking for was a near gimme. :(

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Zwhatever 4:17 PM  

@Whatsername - Flat-Earthers seem to have a very low standard of evidence for what they want to believe but an impossibly high standard of evidence for what they don’t want to believe. - Hmmmmmm… I have several plausible replacements for “flat-earther” in that sentence. “People” works, doesn’t it?

@SteveHikes - Merriam-Webster has nearly 50 definitions of “ON.” I think 1D is the one the musicians here are using, used as a function word to indicate presence in the possession of, the note is in possession of the accidental. Maybe. I’m wondering why ON and not “with,” but clearly “ON” is used this way for notes with accidentals. And why “accidentals?”

@wcutler - 👍🏽

A Different Moderator 4:19 PM  

@TTrimble - I haven’t killed any comment other than spam in at least a week.

pabloinnh 4:21 PM  

@bocamp 1:29-- I got around to the Acrostic this morning. It showed up in the proper place on the puzzles page and I had no problem printing it out.

A fun solve, and indeed "gnarly" (I see what you did there, you rascal). Nice one.

TTrimble 4:36 PM  

Thanks a lot; that's all I need to know.

My earlier disappeared message referenced the fact that something seems to have gone wrong with earlier messages. For example, I had responded to a message from @albatross shell, now time-stamped 10:40, but mine appears at 10:26. I don't think I hallucinated the sequence! Anyway, wanted to make sure @albatross got the memo. It was about musical notation.

Also responded to @anon 11:57 AM. The gist can be boiled down to two words: "I know."

Saving in case the Blogger-Monster strikes again...

R. Brown 4:57 PM  

Whoa, I did the exact same thing. Then Maria Kondo instead of Marie and it was 15 minutes of miserableness.

Anoa Bob 5:11 PM  

I don't know anything about music theory so the theme and reveal worked fine for me. All of the themers and the reveal strike my ear as NATURAL, in the language words and phrases that are typically used in non-music related contexts. Seems pretty tight.

When I came upon ANO crossing INRE, I thought I was being trolled.

I've been doing an informal observation of how the number of black squares in a grid correlates with my overall, subjective appraisal of that puzzle and I think that 34-36 is the sweet spot for a weekday, themed puzzle. Today's offering has 38 and, as often is the case with 38 and higher black square grids, we get pinched-off, mini puzzle-ISH corners. The EMUS, UZIS and ISH made that upper right corner even more unpleasant. Not too much joy to be had there.

ON THAT NOTE, not only have I never heard of MARIE KONDO, I didn't even know there was or could be such a thing as an organizing guru. Maybe George Carlin was right when he said that "your house is somewhere you keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff".

TTrimble 5:25 PM  

@albatross shell
Yep, I used a secret decoder ring that I got from a specially marked box of Cap'n Crunch.

Oh, *now* I see what you did (thanks to @pabloinnh)!

Commiserating (tea and sympathy) over the lost tab. I hate when that happens!

J.D. Ripper 6:15 PM  

@rj kennedy

The deception goes even deeper than you've imagined or described.

You reminded us that "the literal job of CIA and FBI is to infiltrate groups, instigate them, and disrupt them."

But even this is a cynical deception perpetrated by these agencies. And on this, sadly, you, yourself, have been deceived and have unknowingly drunk the kool-aid.

The truth is that the literal job of CIA and FBI is to plant microchips in our bodies - microchips that are treated with fluoride; microchips that will drain us of our essence.

Anonymous 7:07 PM  

@J.D. Ripper:
microchips that will drain us of our essence

almost correct. it's 'precious bodily fluids' translate that how you wish

albatross shell 8:11 PM  

Buy Ovaltine.
Also your confusion was entirely my fault I believe. My poor proof reading on my first message ate at me so I re-posted at 1040 with some editing and minor additions and deleted the original post still in evidence at 9:38. I got the message and even looked up what the natural symbol is. My ignorance on such things is immense. There still seems to be some ambiguity about the accuracy of the revealer.

Joe Dipinto 10:12 PM  

"So Seth, do you think the Rexites will ever figure out this puzzle?"

"Doesn't look like it Karen, they're still arguing about it as if it makes some sense. You and I know it doesn't."

"Right? There are so many things screwed up about it—the revealer answer that doesn't even mean what its clue says it means; the "that note" that doesn't exist anywhere in the it starting to rain?"

"I just felt a drop, yeah."

"Oh great, first this puzzle, now it's gonna rain and I don't have my umbrella."

"You can share my umbrella, Karen."

"Why thank you Seth."

"No problem. I know how rainy days and Mondays always get you down. I have an idea: Tomorrow we can go to the immersive Van Gogh exhibit. What do you think?"

"Yes, let's! Speaking of which, the Classic Tarantino Movie with the Classic Ear Scene is playing at the Nitehawk Cinema—we can go see that afterward!"

Well I don't know about the rest you, but I'm having fun.

albatross shell 12:40 AM  

Your fun is our fun. I'm still counting the shower scenes in Hitchcock movies. Quite a few of them.

Burma Shave 10:42 AM  


IFIMAY say, KAREN knows
she'd HAVE ATIT to LOSE her ROSE


spacecraft 11:18 AM  

Any time a clue makes you think, I like it. So the one for FLATEARTHER gets a pass here. Trying to scope out the theme after two entries is always fun; I like it when I fail at that--which I did. Thought, hmm, cheese maybe.

Some of the fill was hacked in there; GOGH really paints you into a corner, cluewise, doesn't it? Other examples mentioned by OFC, though he didn't rail about the pangram per se.

Theme & revealer were OK by me. You know, it's Monday. The bar is low. DOD: the sweet-voiced KAREN Carpenter, gone way too soon. Honorable mention to Janet Leigh of that chocolaty shower scene.

Some difficulty points were added because I needed every single cross for MARIEKONDO...who? I looked her up after the solve and now I STILL have no idea why she's famous (to a great many folks, apparently, but not to me). Oh well. Par.

thefogman 1:29 PM  

Not thrilled with the revealer or the gimmick but it’s alright I guess for a Monday. Never heard of FLATEARTHER before. I’ve only known those people to be members of the Flat Earth Society. But the language evolves, with or without my knowledge and/or consent…All I know is that MARIEKONDO’s condo must be neat and tidy.

rondo 1:50 PM  

If I tossed everything that did not bring me joy my garage and house would be half empty and the lawn wouldn't get mowed nor the snow thrown nor the clothes washed and dried. There are far more examples. But MARIEKONDO made a fortune with that schtick.

Got the idea after NATURAL and SHARP, which made FLATEARTHER a gimme. ONTHATNOTE, this post has ENDED.

leftcoaster 2:19 PM  

HOW NICE of Rex to write “On the plus side...”.

MARIEKONDO has to be a pretty SHARPCOOKIE.

Just tough enough (on a Monday) to enjoy.

Diana, LIW 2:46 PM  

I didn't even notice the "theme." Usual Monday - points for finishing.

Lady Di

leftcoaster 5:50 PM  

@ Gio’s comment, way above, exposed the weakest spot in Downton Abbey’s cast.:

"Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley was the worst actor on the show. Maybe it is her American accent, but I found most of her performance cringeworthy.”

See Gio’s link to the clever satire, if you were into the series, as I was.

leftcoaster 6:05 PM  

@Lewis (again, way above, like today), often sounds like "Mister Carson", the Butler, on Downton Abbey. Quite an actor.

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