Vowel sound heard twice in True Blue / MON 8-23-21 / Jackie Gleason Show catchphrase / Headdress for the archbishop of Canterbury / Self-referential in modern lingo / Classic British sports cars

Monday, August 23, 2021

Constructor: Bruce Haight

Relative difficulty: Normal (maybe slightly on the harder-than-usual side, depending on your old-time TV knowledge) 

THEME: TV "catchphrases — that is all that it is, and it isn't even that, frankly ...

Theme answers:
  • "TWO THUMBS UP!" (18A: "Siskel & Ebert & The Movies" catchphrase)
  • "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" (25A: "Seinfeld" catchphrase)
  • "JUST ONE MORE THING..." (39A: "Columbo" catchphrase)
  • "HOW SWEET IT IS!" (49A: "The Jackie Gleason Show" catchphrase)
  • "FINAL ANSWER" (61A: "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" catchphrase)
Word of the Day: "The Jackie Gleason Show" (49A) —
The Jackie Gleason Show
 is the name of a series of American network television shows that starred Jackie Gleason, which ran from 1952 to 1970, in various forms. [...] The show typically opened with a monologue from Gleason, followed by sketch comedy involving Gleason and a number of regular performers (including Art Carney) and a musical interlude featuring the June Taylor Dancers. (Taylor later became Gleason's sister-in-law; he married her sister Marilyn in 1975.) [...] The series was a big hit for CBS, finishing at #8 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1953–1954 season and #2 in 1954–1955. The Jackie Gleason Show also earned Emmy nominations for best variety series in 1953, 1954 and 1955, for Gleason as best star in 1954 and 1955, for Audrey Meadows as best supporting actress in 1954 and 1957, Art Carney for best supporting actor in 1957, June Taylor for best choreography in 1956, and best writing and best engineering effects in 1955. The series won Emmys for Meadows as best supporting actress in 1955, Carney as best supporting actor in 1954 and 1955, and Taylor for choreography in 1955. Gleason never received an Emmy. // By far the most memorable and popular of Gleason's characters was blowhard Brooklyn bus driver Ralph Kramden, featured originally in a series of Cavalcade skits known as "The Honeymooners", with Pert Kelton as his wife Alice, and Art Carney as his upstairs neighbor Ed Norton. These were so popular that in 1955 Gleason suspended the variety format and filmed The Honeymooners as a regular half-hour sitcom (television's first spin-off), co-starring Carney, Audrey Meadows (who had replaced the blacklisted Kelton after the earlier move to CBS), and Joyce Randolph. Finishing 19th in the ratings, these 39 episodes were subsequently rerun constantly in syndication, often five nights a week, with the cycle repeating every two months for decades. They are probably the most familiar body of work from 1950s television with the exception of I Love Lucy starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. (wikipedia)
• • •

Gonna make this short, as I have a thing to do in one hour and also I don't have anything to say about this puzzle besides "what the hell?" Catchphrases. That's it. Just TV catchphrases. That's almost thinner than yesterday's similarly "we are out of ideas" theme. What's worse, much worse, is that most of these aren't proper "catchphrases" at all. Only "JUST ONE MORE THING..." and "HOW SWEET IT IS!" really qualify. People know "NO SOUP FOR YOU" but that's a phrase that occurs on a single episode. If you are a non-recurring character, no, you don't have a catchphrase. You just have a thing you say a lot in that episode. "FINAL ANSWER" is not a catchphrase either. It's something any number of actual human beings (as opposed to characters) say at the end of each question. It's absolutely not a catchphrase, any more than "I'D LIKE TO BUY A VOWEL" or "SURVEY SAYS..." is a catchphrase. Siskel & Ebert might give a movie TWO THUMBS UP or TWO THUMBS DOWN or they might split, but once again, not a "catchphrase." Urkel's "DID I DO THAT?" Squiggy's "HELLO!" Mork's "NANU NANU," Bart's "EAT MY SHORTS," all plausible "catchphrases." But only two of these here answers qualify. And they come from the oldest shows. I adore "Columbo," but wow, when it's the more youthful of the two "catchphrases" you managed to work into your grid, you might have a slight demographic bias on your hands. (Note: the grid is oversized at 16x15, so if you felt a little slow, that might be part of the problem; but TV shows you've never heard of or seen might also be part of the problem) I didn't have any actual trouble with *any* of the themers. I just don't think most of them are what they say they are.

"I CAN'T" is more [Words from one who's defeatist] than [... one who's defeated]. I just keep imagining someone losing a tennis match, say, and then saying "I CAN'T." Yeah, you were defeated, we know you can't. Maybe "... one who feels defeated" would've seemed less awkward. Don't really like FIREPOWER clue here because I don't need more militarism in my puzzle or anywhere else (36D: Military muscle). GOOD GUESS is good, I guess, though I didn't guess it because the clue (again) seems off (3D: "You were close with that response"). Your guess might be "good" and yet actually not close at all. Well-reasoned does not necessarily mean "close." Also, what A.I. is writing these clues? What fake-ass near-human says "You were close with that response"? Hal had much more plausibly human syntax. Hell, E.T. had more plausibly human syntax. LSD TAB seems appropriate today, in that it is definitely edgy fill ... for the time period in which today's two catchphrases were popular. SERIF (23A: Typographical flourish) is FIRES backward. That's just some bonus word mojo for you, you're welcome. Sorry I couldn't pen AN ODE to this puzzle. Gotta call it like I see it. I'M OUT. See you Tuesday.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Joaquin 12:01 AM  

When I saw the constructor’s name, I knew @Rex would haight it. But I liked it a lot and found it more fun than the usual Monday fare.

And … JUST ONE MORE THING: Has there ever been a cooler dude on tv than Columbo? Didn’t think so.

jae 12:08 AM  

Medium. @Rex is right about the “catch phrases”. WARIO was a WOE and might be tough for novice solvers crossed with SERIF. Mostly solid, liked it a tad more than @Rex did.

@bocamp - Finished Croce’s Freestyle #637 in 2 + sessions. Pretty tough for a Croce. One of my last entries was 1a which I guessed right but had to look up to find out why. Good luck!

Frantic Sloth 12:13 AM  

Another theme based on PPP. I didn't mind because I knew them all. Someone else might not.

If you aren't familiar with these TV shows (or their catchphrases), you're probably gonna hate this one.

I liked this one a lot - and found it to be a nice Mondee puzz. Favorite part was the last themer being FINALANSWER. B ecause it was, dontcha know!


bocamp 12:16 AM  

Thx Bruce for this challenging Mon. puz to start the week off with! ;)

Med.+ solve.

Good start up north; slow and steady the rest of the way.

The only holdup was in Texas around the I CAN'T / CRONE area.

Another very enjoyable adventure. :)

dbyd pg -1 / yd 0

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

egsforbreakfast 1:28 AM  

Despite the Rexian bomb blast, I thought it was a decent enough puzzle. As with many of Rex’s criticisms, he is technically right, but he loses sight of the way it looks to the solver. All of the themers worked quite well for me. Thanks for a nice Monday, Bruce Haight.

chefwen 1:56 AM  

Well, that was a fun little down the TV memory lane. I can hear Ralph saying “Bang, zoom, to the moon Alice”. A couple of the answers made me groan, like 99 in $2.99, really?

All in all a fun, easy Monday.

albatross shell 2:00 AM  

Worducken Alert
@M&A & others
I sent a post late yesterday about the puzzle and worduckens. I am afraid it may not have arrived.

The first or innermost word must be a word. It gets swallowed by a second word. Then those get swallowed by another word. All 3 words together then form another word e.g., SOFTHEARTEDNESS. You have ART, swallowed HEED, swallowed by SOFTNESS to form SOFTHEARTEDNESS. Note that HEED swallowing ART forms HEARTED which also passes for a word. I think it should be a word.

FORTUNATELY ACQUAINTANCE do not. The second collection of letters is not a word, so it is not a word being swallowed.

ORTUNATE CQAINTAN are not words to my knowledge.

In case my post never appears I will not add the commentary but:
AIN is Scottish for own, within a half step of tun.

Joe Dipinto 2:35 AM  

Have to agree that something said by a single-episode character doesn't qualify as a catchphrase for a show, so...No soap for the Soup Nazi!

(The real Soup Nazi's establishment was around the block from my job in the early 1990's, on 57th St. near 8th Ave. My colleagues and I were going there for lunch well before the Seinfeld episode aired. Obviously the show's writers discovered it and saw its comic potential. Experiencing it IRL was funnier though.)

"Final Answer" and "Two Thumbs Up!" don't bother me as much, though they are a little iffy.

Otherwise: meh.

In case you're wondering about your accommodations for this evening...

okanaganer 3:08 AM  

Rex shoulda been a toadying (?) defense lawyer, quoting him: "NO SOUP FOR YOU-- that's a phrase that occurs on a single episode. If you are a non-recurring character, no, you don't have a catchphrase."

No! "catchphrase" per.. Wikipedia: "a phrase or expression recognized by its repeated utterance"; Merriam-Webster: "a word or phrase that is easy to remember and is commonly used to represent or describe a person, group, idea, etc." Rex's "definition" is specious. Soup Nazi is absolutely linked to repeated utterances in Seinfeld, and through it, in popular culture. QED.

Joe Dipinto 3:28 AM  

Oops, I meant 55th St. It was at 259 W. 55th St.

Loren Muse Smith 3:30 AM  

I had never sat and thought What makes something a catchphrase?. While I was solving, I was more interested in where the term catchphrase came from and vaguely thought it must be something someone famous said that Caught, as it were. I'm 100% with @okanaganer on this: All these absolutely work for me as catchphrases – stuff that was catchy enough to find life beyond where they originated. I’ve jokingly told someone NO SOUP FOR YOU, said FINAL ANSWER. (And Rex, I’ve joked about Coach K’s name that I’d like to buy a vowel.) Forced to give a name to these expressions, I’d totally call them catchphrases and never give it a second thought.

It’s a Monday. It’s a group of famous utterances on screen that live on in the language. Works for me.

While I’m disagreeing, I have to vehemently say that I CAN’T is definitely something I would say when feeling defeated. I’m trying and trying and trying to figure out how to video a lesson on Canvas. After an hour of crap, I throw the towel in and resign myself to the fact that I just CAN’T, the overwhelming feeling being defeat.

I liked that TWO THUMBS UP crosses GOOD (and BOMBS!) and Columbo’s JUST ONE MORE THING crosses TECS.

FAM – I was listening to a nurse jibber jabber about her “crazy” FAM and realized that there’s not one person on the planet who wouldn’t warn someone about to meet their family that they were a little crazy. Think about it. Wouldn’t you, too, be like Just a heads-up – we can be a little crazy. And smile wryly like this is specific only to your gang?

In 2nd or 3rd grade I was shown this nifty little factoid about the NINEs multiplication table and was stunned. It still stuns me.

SANFU is an acronym with a bad word, but I use it without feeling embarrassed. Same with FUBAR. But I can’t modify an adjective with af yet, as in, Man, that write-up was negative af. I’d feel cheap and common. It’s like a linguistic tramp stamp, at least for me right now. As it becomes more mainstream, maybe I’ll feel less prissy.

P.S. @M&A et al re the brilliant idea of worduckens. I was out of commission on Saturday and went back to read the thread. The ones people came up with were terrific! Man oh man is it hard to come up with an offering, but seeing that others were so successful leaves me, well, leaves me encouraged.

P.P.S. – I’ve always noticed that snow leopard has eaten an owl. Not a worducken, but still. Cool.

Del Taco 4:06 AM  

fun Monday
lots of nostalgia
good times

GILL I. 4:59 AM  

Ay, caramba, Rex....this was a fun Monday - as Mondays go. I swear, I'm pretty sure Bruce's little pup took a dump on your lawn at one time or another. Good thing he has a good sense of humor.
The only one I had a wee problem with was Jackie Gleason's "HOW SWEET IT IS." I don't remember watching that show because I probably wasn't around. I saw some re-runs when all you could watch were re-runs and I never really found him funny - even though I laugh at everything. My favorite most see was "All In the Family." Remember "Don't Draw Me No Diaphragms?"

Speaking of pups....@chewen from yesterday. I can't think of anything better that teaching Mango the Fandango Tango. Cuteness up the WOWZA wazoo.

@Bruce....If you even bother to read this....You have a TWO THUMBS UP from me

De Plane...De Plane

J. Prudence 5:22 AM  

Through the eyes of Rex Parker, Bruce Haight is already a condemned man from the outset.

All that is left are the reasons Rex finds to condemn him.

The Joker 6:16 AM  

Willie Mays had a catch phrase, "I've got it".

BarbieBarbie 6:27 AM  

The nine thing: when you count by nines, every time you add 9 you’re either just slapping a 9 down in the ones place or you’re boosting one or more of the other places by one, in which case you’re also ratcheting the place to its right down by one. So you’re always adding 9 to the digit total. It’s because we use base 10. The same would be true for the number 5 if we counted in base 6. Hey, all these years later it turns out SMSG Math was good for something!

I found this puzzle difficult for a Monday, kind of a weird mix of Monday clues and ones that I had to think a little bit about. I enjoyed it!

Lewis 6:34 AM  

Nice little echo to yesterday's anagram fest: Today's answers TERNS and STERN.

Lewis 6:35 AM  

Oh, this is one fine Monday puzzle, entertaining and engaging. A theme that kindled sweet memories, and an appropriately Monday-easy puzzle that didn’t feel mindless. HOW SWEET IT IS, indeed.

Yes, there are answers that seasoned solvers will pop right in, but may not come so easy to new solvers, such as EVAN, PARSE, ANODE, CRONE, GNU, TECS, MITRE, and MAGMA. But Bruce was careful to be sure that none of these crossed. There are easy clues spread all around, just as Monday calls for, but there are others that engage the brain a bit more – i.e., for HANGS, where on Monday, you might have an obvious clue like [Puts up, like a painting], today Bruce gives us [Is suspended].

The puzzle, then, respects the challenges of the new solver without disrespecting their intelligence.

So, a fun theme, skillfully and artfully presented. My love-Haight relationship continues. Bravo, sir!

seo 6:39 AM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chance2travel 7:00 AM  

My time on this one was about 50% longer than my usual Monday. Not a complaint, just more bite than I'm used to. I'm open to the expansive interpretation of catchphrase, I just would prefer more consistency.

Also now I'm back to thinking about the clip from the movie Free Guy, which has Ryan Reynolds's body CGI'd into a Lou Ferrigno body builder in a VR game. Except the game developer forgets to think up a catchphrase so he simply says "Catchphrase!" Taika Waititi's character says "I didn't have time to think one up yet, although 'Catchphrase' as a catchphrase is a pretty cool catchphrase." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRn48HxssPI

Time to go explore Padova

amyyanni 7:12 AM  

Sayhey, this puzzle was a really good show but now it's over, so good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

Z 7:22 AM  

@okanaganer & @LMS - Hmmm - I was right with Rex but you give me pause. I would not use “catchphrase” the way it is used in the puzzle, but I see it is defensible. I still want a “catchphrase” to be something uttered by a single person repeatedly to the point that it identifies that person. But FINAL ANSWER definitely makes one think of Millionaire and say TWO THUMBS UP and everyone of a certain age immediately knows the reference. But I think “reference” is a more accurate word for those things than “catchphrase.” Defensible? Yes. Proper catchphrases? I’m still going with “no.”

I am with @LMS that Rex missed the boat on I CAN’T. Adding “feels” to the clue would be more explicit, but isn’t necessary. This particular usage of “defeated” is used on sports television all the time, where a team looks defeated when they fall behind and you know they aren’t going to make a comeback.

This puzzle is a perfect example of why Shortz needs to retire. This puzzle skews dead with 80% of the theme entries referencing dead people (Gleeson, Siskel, Ebert, Philbin, Falk). The freshest answer (that is - not dead) references an episode from November 2, 1995 which is (checks watch) nearly 26 years ago. Even if symmetric catchphrases is enough of a theme for you can we have a few from this century? This falls squarely on Shortz, who should never have accepted this puzzle in 2021.

TTrimble 7:24 AM  

Rex had to do something in an hour (wait, what time of day/night did he write the review?), so maybe he was in too much of a hurry to use a dictionary or other reference. Happily, @okanaganer took the trouble to set matters straight on "catchphrase". I sometimes use "Survey says" as a catchphrase. Or, "I want to phone a friend".

Somebody remind Rex about @Joaquin's Dictum* (GOOD GUESS).

Somebody can be defeated in reality but they haven't said so out loud yet, until finally they do by saying I CAN'T** or "I resign". You're playing a strong chess player and your position is hopeless and everyone knows it, the opponent, the onlookers, you yourself -- you've been defeated, no question about it -- saying I CAN'T at that point would be a way of finally acknowledging that plainly evident fact. (Oh, and let's pretend you're a beginner, so maybe you don't know that I CAN'T is less customary in chess than "I resign".) @Joaquin's Dictum again.

I mean, as long as we're being nitpicky, I'll counter Rex by observing that FIREPOWER is logically independent of "militarism". I understand militarism to be a doctrine or ideology that tends to promote military solutions over other approaches. Perhaps you live in a country where the administration is not really like that, but you come under attack and have to use FIREPOWER to defend yourself. Anyway, I think it's silly to let one's self be upset by that word. Where would we be if the US hadn't deployed FIREPOWER in WWII? Try to see words more neutrally, Rex.

The puzzle was alright. It took me a little longer than usual. I put down sAGGY before BAGGY. WARIO is not a known character to me, although it seems deducible from the clue. I tend to say yOWZA more than WOWZA, but okay. In general, the puzzle looks low on junk. (Let's not hate on Haight.)

For various reasons, I find more useful the fact that the sum of the digits of any multiple of three is a multiple of three. Same proof works as for NINE. I'll spare you the elevens trick (@mathgent will know this).

Congrats to @Loren for "encouraged" -- that also fits the tighter strictures of @albatross shell (where do you guys come up with these names?). I didn't figure out what her avatar is doing.

*The short form is: "it's a clue, not a definition". The long form is: a clue can be considered fine or acceptable if there exists a set of circumstances where the answer fits. It doesn't have to be for all circumstances. It happens daily that a dozen people howl about a clue they consider inapt, all because they fail to take this (actually, obvious) precept into account.

**Which is actually a way of saying "I won't" [go on].

yd pg -2 (haven't given up yet)
td 0 (pretty easy IMO)

ws 7:42 AM  

Insane that Columbo and Jackie Gleason are in a puzzle in 2021. Both of those shows ended well before I was born and were old even then. A new coat of paint, please.

Son Volt 7:43 AM  

This is truly a TV Guide level puzzle. That said - I thought the non theme fill was pretty solid and it ended up being a wash for me. Not down with Rex’s take on catchphrases or I CAN’T - yet again his lack of nuance makes his critique sound like he’s just hating on the old, white guy constructor. Liked LSD TAB and PARRY - not so much on the multiple plurals used. The STERN x TERNS anagram cross should have played yesterday. My kids always got a kick out of WARIO and Waluigi.

Not my kind of Monday - but not worse than the 8” of rain or so we’ve had.

Anonymous 7:50 AM  

Overall fine. I was thinking of NO HUGGING NO LEARNING and AND AWAY WE GO, but neither fit. The only one I wrote in from nothing was Columbo's

David Grenier 8:04 AM  

My first Blue Star Monday in months (probably since the last semester when I stopped solving for weeks at a time).

Seinfeld is the only of the shows I've actually seen, but oddly one of the harder "catchprases" because, as Rex said, its not a catchphrase. I guessed TWO THUMBS UP almost immediately. With a few crosses I could guess JUST ONE MORE THING. I've never seen an episode of Columbo or Siskel and Ebert but I know those phrases are associated with the show. I couldn't think of a catchphrase Jerry had on Seinfeld aside from maybe WHATS THE DEAL. Which he may not even say that much, it may be something other people say when they are doing a Seinfeld impression. Sort of like how my generation grew up thinking George H.W. Bush said "Wouldn't be prudent, at this juncture" all the time because that's what Dana Carvey said in his Bush impression.

I got HOW SWEET IT IS 100% through crosses, and was able to guess FINAL ANSWER after I had several crosses.

But the I CANT/CAD/AIDA cross is what finally did me in. AIDA might be a gimme for experienced solvers who have a dictionary of crosswordese stored in their head, but for a relatively new solver "Verdi Opera" is some kind of obscure arcana - especially on a Monday. Like Rex, I couldn't see "I CANT" because that's not what someone says when they are defeated. I LOST maybe?

So by the time I filled in the last two blank spaces with OAF instead of CAD and got the "puzzle is full but something's not right" message I was too frustrated with guessing catchphrases from shows I've never seen to bother going back over the whole puzzle to find my mistake. I hit that "check puzzle" button to see that it was the last two letters I put in. D'oh.

Oh wait, D'oh. Now *that's* a catchphrase.

Frantic Sloth 8:05 AM  

WikiWhat? No Crazy Guggenheim??

Pardon me while I step over Rex's spleen and add my voice to those of @okanaganer and @Loren regarding the definition of "catchphrase".

Lost internet mid-submission of my "worducken" contribution yesterday and haven't been back to read all the comments, so please pardon me if these have already been offered.

After that, I CAN'T. From now on, @M&A will be known to me as @S&M&A.

Tim Aurthur 8:17 AM  

OMG, Joyce Randolph ("Trixie") is still alive. She's 96.

rjkennedy98 8:17 AM  

What decade is this puzzle from? Seriously? My parents weren't even born when The Jackie Gleason Show aired. Another (Columbo) stopped airing 10 years before I was born. Two of the shows stopped airing before I was 10. And I am (as a Millennial) supposedly the prime demographic they are trying to attract with a Monday puzzle! I just don't get it.

CDilly52 8:21 AM  

WOWZA! What a fun Monday . . . as long as you are familiar with the phrases, which I am (as yesterday’s cranky admission regarding my age confesses).

Despite the knowledge of the phrases, or lack thereof, I think this was a fine puzzle as the theme answers were doable from the crosses. ‘It’s a fact of puzzledom that those familiar with lots of current music, tv shows and slang/text iterations cometeky foreign to me may find easy some puzzles while I struggle. One uses the crosses and can infer, and when all else fails, there’s the WAG. In fact, OFL will often praise a puzzle as “fresh” that I find downright annoying for its reliance to things completely outside my frame of reference, or will find clever and snappy something that annoys the daylights out of me.

So, I say TWO THUMBS UP for the puzzle and our constructor, and for cranky Rex, NO SOUP FOR YOU!

Stephen Minehart 8:29 AM  

I liked this more than Rex - not sure there is an absolute concrete definition of catchphrase, but I think these are all relatively famous phrases that have bled out of their show''s viewing audience and into the wider cultural lexicon. I've never seen the Jacki Gleason Show, but I've heard of him, and certainly know the phrase "How sweet it is," although I associate the phrase with the great James Taylor. Probably a tougher puzzle for Milllenials, who may have never watched any of these, but squarely in this GenXer's wheelhouse

OffTheGrid 8:36 AM  

Solid Monday style puzzle. The catch phrases work but it's a GOOD GUESS that most solvers have a teeny nit with at least one. I never watched "Who Wants.........." but I would have to be comatose not to have been exposed to it. I thought the catch phrase was "Is that your FINAL ANSWER?" For Siskel/Ebert I wanted "So until then, the balcony is closed" Way too long of course so TWO THUMBS UP is fine. (BTW, just noticed, the clue should be Siskel and Ebert AT the movies, not & the movies).

jberg 8:38 AM  

I watched "The Honeymooners" and "Columbo" a lot, a few episodes of "Seinfeld," and none at all of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" or Siskel and Ebert; still, the last was what I knew right away, NO SOUP FOR YOU came quickly, and I eventually remembered JUST ONE MORE, but thought it might be 'question.' As for Gleason, "One of these days, Alice" and "To the Moon," neither of which would be allowed on TV today, seemed much better catchphrase candidaes.

The problem was the grid, consisting of three distinct sections connected ONLY by theme answers #2, 3, and 4. I kept having to start over, which probably added nearly a minute right there. Then there was idEAl before DREAM and I'M Off before OUT. So it played tough.

GAZA was easy enough, but I'm not sure about the clue. There should be a Palestinian state, but at the moment there is not -- and if there was, GAZA would not be in it, since it rebelled against the Palestinian Authority. But I guess that's all too complicated for the puzzle.

@Loren, like @TTrimble, I can't figure it out either.

pabloinnh 8:45 AM  

I have never seen an episode of Seinfeld, which is my fault, but NOSOUPFORYOU is something I've heard many times, ergo, a famous phrase, ergo, a catchphrase, at least for me. Funny how folks fond of quoting MW as an ultimate source are willing to ignore it when convenient.

Only a couple of glitches for me, LOOSE before BAGGY, the hesitation on ILOSE or ILOST before landing on ICANT, and that was about it. I wonder where we would be without APBIO or the OTOES, and I can never remember if it's ONEIL or ONEAL. Also nice to see old friend ANODE again, which made the puzzle feel more traditional.

I can see how younger folks would find some of these catchphrases unfamiliar but I think the crosses are fair and for me they evoked some nice memories, especially rumpled Peter Falk as Columbo. Good stuff.

In short, a Monday that knows how to Monday. Thanks for the fun, BH. I'd Been Hoping for a Monday like this, and here it is.

mmorgan 8:52 AM  

What @Del Taco said

@Joker: ha!

burtonkd 9:03 AM  

@amyyanni from yesterday: In the bike community, the formula for bikes you need is n+1. N is the number of bikes you currently own - so keep both:)

This was enjoyably tougher than the usual Monday fill-in-the-blanks. Even if you never saw any of these shows, the phrases are so common and in the language that it doesn't matter when they aired. Exception for the Seinfeld quote. I did manage to go to the shop on 55th St(Hi, Joe), by which time he had gone all in on the Seinfeld episode fame. The soup was terrific, if really expensive and I believe all this was responsible for a gaggle of soup purveying imitators in the area.

The Ringer network is doing a multiple part podcast on Siskel and Ebert - it has been a fun and informative trip down memory lane to an era where critics (at least these ones) could make or break movies. They started as 2 fierce rivals who hated each other before being paired by a PBS producer.

I never thought of GAZA as a city, just hearing about the "strip". Thanks, puzzle:)

S. N. 9:07 AM  


Anonymous 9:09 AM  

Rex has become little more than a crank. He's flat out wrong about catch phrases. And even his most devoted sycophant will have a hard time defending Rex's claim that Squiggy's single word "Hello" is a phrase.
Ladies and gentleman Rex lectures in a University's English department. He thinks one word can be a phrase. If that isn't proof that he's not just wrong, but sadly so, I don't know what is.

Lewis 9:18 AM  

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

1. Patronizing types (9)
2. A's, but not B's or C's (4)
3. Apt bingo call to lose on, by the sound of it (4)
4. Member of a noble family (5)
5. Five-letter word that replaces a four-letter word (5)


Anonymous 9:21 AM  

@Anon 9:09. Merriam-Webster definition of "phrase" number 2(b): WORD.

Anonymous 9:22 AM  

@Anon 9:09. Merriam-Webster definition of "phrase" number 2(b): WORD.

kitshef 9:24 AM  


Also, Columbo is probably one of my five favorite TV shows.

bocamp 9:34 AM  

Catch phrases or not, imo they're all catchy.

'Baby, you're the greatest'!


@jae (12:08 AM)

Looking forward to the challenge! :)

@Loren Muse Smith (3:30 AM)

Hands up for the NINES!

@TTrimble (7:24 AM) πŸ‘ for 0

Agreed re: 'easy'.


Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all πŸ•Š

Other David 9:37 AM  

I will point out, once again, for constructors and editors, the USA has not had GIs for nearly 50 years. Please understand the difference between people inducted into the armed forces and people who "volunteer" to be paid warriors.

Once you get that into your head, you may begin to understand why our "defense" budget is so huge, as we now pay independent contractors to do almost every single job which used to be done by GIs. You may also begin to understand how and why we can have constant foreverwars without the vast majority of citizens caring about them, or paying any attention to them, until somebody stops one.

We really should bring back the draft; for all this time. Not only would our defense budget be cut by 60% or more, but our citizens would once again be taught, first hand, that we really are a single country, dependent on all of us.

JD 9:52 AM  

Catch Phrase Identifier

It triggers an immediate tie to a specific person or thing.

It triggers a laugh track every time it's said on a TV show.

It shows up on a T-shirt you can buy at the boardwalk.

It starts to annoy you after a while.

It shows up in a 75% off bin in a shop on the boardwalk.

Your dad is still saying it 15 years after it went off the air and your kids keep asking you why he says that.

You hear it 20 years later and think, "Why did we think this was funny?"

You start wondering if a laugh track was really a brainwashing device.

Nancy 10:07 AM  

A pop-culture-based puzzle right in my wheelhouse and aimed right between my eyebrows. Who woulda thunk? I loved it!

First of all, I watched Seinfeld, Columbo and Siskel & Ebert religiously. And I'm familiar enough with Gleason and Millionaire -- even though I didn't watch them regularly.

Second: catchphrases are much more fun than the names of cast members and that sort of dreary thing. Take my word for it -- they just are. And interesting stuff is easier to remember than dreary stuff -- it just is.

And third, either Bruce Haight is more or less the same age I am or else he watched a lot of these programs in re-run.

Even though there's only one of me, I give this puzzle TWO THUMBS UP.

Anonymous 10:13 AM  

last time I heard/used it, GOOD GUESS meant that the GUESS was RIGHT not CLOSE!!!

Joseph Michael 10:18 AM  

TWO THUMBS UP for this fun simple Monday puzzle. Liked all of the themers and much of the fill. I think different puzzles can appeal to different demographics, so I don’t mind that this one skews older. And I don’t miss the absence of rappers, sports trivia, Harry Potter, or Game of Thrones.

One quibble, though maybe it’s regional. When I’m leaving, I might say I’M OFF. If I say I’M OUT, it means that I just lost the game or just ran out of poker chips or cash or something else that I wish I still had.

Still grossed out by yesterday’s TURDUCKEN, but am enjoying the Worduckens that you guys have been coming up with.

Etymology tidbit of the minute. In military lingo, SNAFU stands for “Status Normal: All F*#%ed Up.”

Legume 10:18 AM  

@Other David/9:37

from your mouth to God's ear.

RooMonster 10:21 AM  

Hey All !
Did Bruce sleep with Rex's wife? WOWZA, what happened there... I can imagine Rex seeing @Bruces name, and saying throughout the puz, "Well, that was a stupid answer... Stupid clue... Stupid answer..." etc.

Did no one else have CRaNE/NaN? One-letter DNF for me, on a Monday! Ouch. Ichabod CRaNE. How do I know if you deny something in Persian it's NON not NaN? Dang.

Missed the 16 wideness today. Gotta shake up the ole brain. Work, dammit!

@M&A gets a LONG U today. Does that get counted as more than one? πŸ€ͺ

WARIO, not having got that far into Mario Bros. games to know that. Thankfully, got that initial W locked in via the clue.

GNU is back! Missed you, you big furry friend. TERNS flew back in, too. (Wink, wink)

Did Verdi name his opera AIDA because he knew it'd be great for crosswords? HAH.

Four F's

CuppaJoe 10:23 AM  

These all resonate with me, phrases that “went viral.” When I do a crossword puzzle, I “buy vowels.”

Andrew Heinegg 10:23 AM  

While I don't disagree with your assessment of the forbidding of the Gleason show lines, I think it was a underrated, entertaining and surprisingly un-sexist show. While Ralph shouted many sexist remarks, the show made clear that it was Alice (the terrific Audrey Meadows) who was in charge. She let him blow off steam but, she always replied and inevitably called the shots.

Dr. Botkin 10:24 AM  

@Other David 9:34 Bullseye! That is precisely why the public support crumbled for Vietnam. Does anyone really think that we would have been in Afghanistan for 20 years if year after year a new cohort of high school seniors were being conscripted and forced to risk getting maimed or killed in an unwinnable war half a world away? No way, no how in my humble opinion.

Carola 10:29 AM  

I always read @Rex before the comments, but seeing Bruce Haight's name at the top before I started solving gave me pause: I wasn't sure I was up for the excoriation his puzzles usually get subjected to. But as I was solving, I found myself thinking, in an @Rex-like vein, "Why these phrases?" They seemed random to me, with nothing to tie them together, other than "Some people will know these immediately." I did appreciate that FINAL ANSWER was the last one, but why was "JUST ONE MORE THING" followed by two more (theme answers)? It didn't help that I hadn't ever seen four of the shows, so didn't have nostalgia going for me.

Help from previous puzzles: UPTON. Do-overs: EwAN, loose, I Cave. No idea: WARIO.

Nancy 10:32 AM  

As I said, catchphrases are fun. Can you identify the programs that these came from? Hint: You have to be pretty old to have seen them.

1. "There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man..."

2. "Say the secret word and divide $100 between you."

3. "Come on in, Mystery Guest, and sign in please."

4. "Sock it to me!"

Anonymous 10:44 AM  

To the extent there is a "palestinian state," it is called Jordan, and the largest city is Amman with more than 1,000,000 people. Gaza City, which is part of the Palestinian Authority's autonomous zone, has fewer than 600,000. The NYT lacks authority to declare statehood.

Anonymous 10:47 AM  


Twilight Zone
You Bet Your Life (the Groucho Show)
I've Got A Secret
Laugh In

mathgent 10:54 AM  

Bruce Haight is one of my favorites. As usual, good job today.

My wife and I solved together last night. We didn't know the difference between MAGMA and lava. I just learned that they are both molten rock. MAGMA when below the Earth surface, lava when it spills out.

Keeping Joaquin's Dictum in mind (and thanks to TTrimble (7:24) for elucidating), there's nothing wrong with the clue at 40D. But it's more than a curiosity. It's a fundamental of base-ten numeration.

Like the erudite Mr. Trimble, I use the parallel theorem about 3 often in regard to prime numbers. For example, 783 is not a prime because it is divisible by 3. Why? Because 7+8+3 is divisible by 3.

I don't like the answer to 52D, either. "No mas" would have been better.

I'm a little disappointed that the excellent Mr. Haight needed 22 Terrible Threes today.

Karin 10:57 AM  

Oddly enough, my hang-up was not shared by any of the commenters so far. It was at 4 Down: both MAGMA and META being unfamiliar to me. I am always fascinated by the "different strokes" aspect of these comments. I am 75 years old and often find myself at that intersection of what I once-knew-and-have-now-forgotten - and what I never knew in the first place (not that it makes much difference, frankly.)

Nancy 10:57 AM  

@Joe Dipinto (2:35 a..) -- Is this a GOOD GUESS? You just watched the hilarious "Murder by Death" on Netflix -- maybe even on the same day that I did this past week. And the funniest scene in that very funny movie must be the scene that has to be described as NO SOUP FOR YOU. Is that what made you think of it and put up the link, Joe?

@amyyanni (7:12) -- Nice! You beat me to it. But I only could get Ed Sullivan and Jimmy Durante. "Say Hey" to me is Willie Mays -- and he didn't have a TV show.

The Poor Soul 10:57 AM  

Since I am of the age that watched the Jackie Gleason show as a young child, (I was in college and/or partying and otherwise busy during the run of Colombo but have caught the Sunday night reruns), this was in my wheelhouse. HOWEVER, I can definitely understand the frustration that GenX and Milennials would feel with at least two of the catchphrases. It occurs to me that Boomers were not as offended by “oldness” with respect to popular culture when we were young because we had so few choices as to what to watch. As a child (who would watch anything remotely identified as comedy) I would actually watch the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Our Gang all the while thinking “I really don’t find this that funny.” ( I know, I know…they were classic and sometimes clever)
Many folks on the blog today are quoting catchphrases from The Honeymooners and NOT The Jackie Gleason Show. The other catchphrase I remember from THAT is “AND AWAY WE GO..” as Gleason did his goofy walk off to the side.

Nancy 11:02 AM  

Anon 10:47. Nice job -- only you whiffed on "I've Got a Secret." It's another, not altogether dissimilar show.

What? 11:09 AM  

To Bruce - thanks from the old geezers.

burtonkd 11:19 AM  

@Nancy - Password?
btw - I thought for sure you'd hate this. Like Rex, you can be full of surprises...

Whatsername 11:20 AM  

TWO THUMBS UP from me. Not a BOMB anywhere and five terrific themers. I CANT find a THING to complain about. This was the perfect level of Monday easy but still interesting and a lot of fun. Plus it brought back some SWEET memories of beloved TV shows and characters. Thanks a “million” Mr. Haight.

I disagree with Rex’s criteria of what qualifies as a catchphrase. Nobody says NO SOUP FOR YOU without everyone knowing it came from Seinfeld. “Spongeworthy” anyone? “Yada Yada?” And “I’d like to buy a vowel” is another good one even though it’s not crosswordable. I’m going to be thinking of these all day. But that’s my FINAL ANSWER for now.

Masked and Anonymous 11:24 AM  

15x16 puzgrid. More for yer moneybucks.
M&A knew all the "catchphrases", thereby qualifyin hisself as older than snot.

staff weeject pick: YEP. A most agreeable 3-letter selection. Excellent weeject stacks in far north and far south central zones.

fillins of note: GOODGUESS. WARIO[debut word]. WOWZA [debut word]. LONGU.

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Vowel sound heard twice in "true blue"} = LONGU.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Haight sir. ICANT believe U did that.

S & Masked & Anonym007Us

p.s Nice additional worducken finds, everyone. M&A, too, is encouraged.
@albatross shell: I definitely do admire the purity of HEARTED bein a bonus duck-level word. But a chicken within a duck ain't exactly a single bird, of course. U may have struck upon a great whole new sub-class of worduckens, tho: The Magicworducken. Sooo … Primo, on U.


Mary McCarty 11:28 AM  

For those stumped by @LMS avatar (how does she come up with these every day?) https://youtu.be/bHoqL7DFevc

Anonymous 11:36 AM  


Sad. What's My Line

OffTheGrid 11:42 AM  

**@Nancy quiz spoiler alert**

@Anon & @Nancy. I thought "I've got a secret" too, but now I'll GUESS "What's My Line?"

Nancy 11:52 AM  

Bingo, @Anon 10:47/11:36!!

Nancy 11:53 AM  

Bingo to you, too, @Off the Grid!

JC66 11:54 AM  


So, no two-handed backhand for you? πŸ‘πŸ‘

TTrimble 12:00 PM  

@Mary McCarthy 11:28 AM
Thank you! I'm impressed. But does that really rise to the level of a catchphrase? That it's recited often enough that just about everybody is assumed to know it well? (About the only thing I remembered from the scene was the "main course", or at least the gist of it, and not the side and wine pairing.)

Or am I still missing the point? Maybe it's not meant as a catchphrase, but an allusion to something else?

(All I saw were peas and a pod and yes, a bottle of Chianti. I never would have come up with that.)

Whatsername 12:02 PM  

@Nancy: Those are all great ones. But isn’t #3 What’s My Line?

TTrimble 12:02 PM  

Of course "sock it to me" is Laugh-In.

Nancy 12:11 PM  

Yes, @Whatsername. See my two posts above.

Whatsername 12:14 PM  

@JD (9:52) “ It triggers an immediate tie to a specific person or thing.” That alone qualifies it IMO. Even if it’s only spoken one time, if it takes root and becomes a part of our everyday speech, that’s enough for me. Just think of all the movie characters who have only spoken a line once but it is instantly recognizable:

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.
Life is like a box of chocolates.
Go ahead, make my day.
Make him an offer he can’t refuse.
Shaken not stirred.
I’ll be back.
Play it again Sam.
Here’s looking at you kid.
Of all the gin joints in all the world.
I see dead people.
I’ll have what she’s having.
Yippee Kiyay . . . .

And many more.

Joe Dipinto 12:14 PM  

@Nancy – actually it was just Vera Wang that made me think of Wang's Wing. But I see the "no soup" connection now.

Anonymous 12:16 PM  

I enjoyed figuring out the catchphrases without being familiar with most of them.
"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be", but this was fun.

Anonymous 12:21 PM  

Good theme! Kudos to Bruce Haight!
Enjoyable to figure out the catchphrases.
Very appropriate for a Monday.

OffTheGrid 12:23 PM  

37th President

mathgent 12:30 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

albatross.... (2:00)
Loren (3:30)
TTrimble (7:24)
Nancy (10:47)

albatross shell 12:37 PM  

Glad you had a real word in COURAGE.
Snowleopard isn't. But leopard is. OPAR is a city if you Tarzan novels. Maybe the leopard ate the owl anyway.


That's Salada Tea 12:47 PM  

Bogart never said "Play it again Sam" in the movie. Is it still a catchphrase? Hard to be a catchphrase if 90% of the people who say it misquote it.

Teedmn 12:53 PM  

I'm sure I share this thought process in the NE with a bunch of people.

1) Splatz in SEWS at 11A

2) Read clue for 13D and think mARIO

3) Consider changing 11A to hEmS

4) Reconsider clue for 13D: "It said W on the cap, right?"


5) Let SEWS stand and move on.

Thank you, crosswordese shorebirds, for stopping my "ole (or is it old?) King Cole in its tracks for 64D.

Thanks, Mr. Haight, this was a fine Monday puzzle.

Nancy 12:56 PM  

A little treat for those of you who knew "What's My Line" and also for those who didn't.

Anonymous 1:05 PM  


the line 'play it again Sam' doesn't exist in the movie. everybody thinks so, including humble self. that was used in a dozen or so movies.

albatross shell 1:07 PM  

If that is your standard why oh why would the the final engorgement need to be a word?

You see the problem, yes?

I thought you might really appreciate the wee (bare minimum) worduckens. They would be extra easy without the extra restriction. If you haven't read my post from late last night I also speak of a worducken+N with N=1. If that idea appeals to you, do you think only the first and last need to be real words?

And can phrases be used? Abbreviations? Acronyms? Non-English languages? Are you interested in one or two letter starters? And are you really interested in equal letter additions on each side of the swallowed word?

Apologies if I am being to much of an onus for you. I trust you do not want to change a letter there.

TJS 1:12 PM  

@joaquin. Yes, Paladin.

G. Weissman 1:30 PM  

I agree with Carola’s @10:29 AM that the lack of connection between the theme answers (aside from “all are old catchphrases”) makes this a less engaging puzzle. It’s not better or worse than most NYT puzzles, just equally “okay.” The number of truly clever NYT puzzles seems surprisingly small. As for catchphrases, I’d accept NO SOUP FOR YOU because of its association with a specific character, but not FINAL ANSWER. When your theme is a random selection of dated catchphrases, it pays to include actual catchphrases. It’s nice if knowing these (near or actual) catchphrases brought you pleasure, but the puzzle might have featured catchphrases that come together in some interesting way.

CreamyT 1:34 PM  

Solid Monday affair, although I largely agree with Rex that some of these aren't even really catch phrases, and it does feel a bit heavy on the dating. Then again, I don't think catch phrases have been a thing for quite some time. I was unaware of 2 of them, but the answers are simple enough that I don't think you really need to have any knowledge of the shows.

Smooth solve, stumbled a bit in the middle south because I put in FFC instead of FCC without paying attention. Not that it was a typo, it just sounded right for some reason.

Masked and Anonymous 1:46 PM  

@albatross shell: har. Well, fer one thing, the whole worducken wouldn't look too good as a xword themer entry, if it was just gibberish. Such a turdworducken puz-entree might well give @RP indigestion.

Other than that one extra restriction, M&A prefers not to have any others beyond "word within word within word". Go total raised-by-wolves on yer worducken's ass, if so inspired. Always appreciate an extra hoot of desperation -- as U probably know by now.
I figure Randolph Ross can have the ultimate say, on which "most elegant" worduckens oughta be splatzed into his puz, if and when he chooses to join into M&A's dream-fantasy TuesPuz constructioneerin project.

M&A Worducken Desk

Nancy 2:04 PM  

@Teedmn -- Our thought processes today were absolutely identical -- both on the SEWS,HEMS,SEWS progression and also on the OLE?OLD? no, neither, NAT progression. In my case, ALERT alerted me, and not the birds.

jb129 2:04 PM  

A bit harder than the usual Monday which I enjoyed a lot - but then again, I always enjoy Bruce's puzzles. A great Monday!

Rocinante 2:06 PM  

@The Poor Soul

Gen Xer here. These were all very familiar to me because when we were growing up, we all watched reruns. I saw so many hours of 40s, 50s, 60s TV. That's something that younger generations seem to miss out on in the current media environment - even though we are awash in more content than ever.

Then again, crosswords have always included old PPP. I'm doing 90s puzzles now and they are rife with silent movie stars/directors, 19th century librettists, obscure (to me) tenors, baseballers from the 50s, etc. Shortz seems to have cut back on that stuff in the last decade or so.

Z 2:12 PM  

@JD 9:52 - πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

@Anon9:21/9:22 - I was planning on seeing if Rex actually said what he’s alleged to have said (I elided past his examples other than to register “old”), but now I see it doesn’t matter. Nicely done. 🧐 (which raises the question: “are there any new catchphrases?”)

@Anon10:44 - How about the United Nations and 138 of its member nations?

@Other David - While I agree that drafting a bunch of 18 year-olds and sending them off to die would have mobilized anti-war sentiments much sooner you’ll pardon me if I find that solution heinous. Obama should have started getting us out of Afghanistan on May 3, 2011. I don’t know how the roughly $2.25 trillion we spent there breaks down, but imagine if we had spent a trillion dollars in the past decade on roads and education and reducing carbon emissions rather than spending it on someone else’s civil war?

albatross shell 2:31 PM  

Yes Rex doesn't like gibberdeedoo in his puzzles. He also despises inconsistency in the themers. So if he is the one you need to satisfy better make them all with a word in the second place or all without a word in the second place.
Good luck. And I'm glad to leave the last u alone.

Joe Bleaux 2:42 PM  

Jane, you ignorant slut! You can’t handle the truth. You’re gonna need a bigger boat. I’m shocked, shocked. I coulda been a contender …

The Poor Soul 2:49 PM  

@Rocinante, touchΓ©! I tend to forget that GenX goes all the back to 1964-5 as I seem to work with more middle to elder Millennials and the youngest GenXers. In the end, whatever generation, there will always be people who have no interest in what was popular in the past, and some of the Boomers have no interest in what is happening in today’s world.
@Nancy, thank you for the What’s My Line link! It reminds me of sitting on the floor in front of the tv as a child watching our black and white tv! That also reminds me back when color tv came out (and some of my friends’ parents had it) I begged my dad to get a color tv. I am sure we could NOT afford it and my Dad said, “Why? You see living color all day every day…black and white is unique”!

albatross shell 2:50 PM  

Absolutely Ipso Factoido Batman.
It only matters what people think you said. Especially when there is no competing phrase that was actually said. When you get a 100 million or so folks quoting something he said from the movie, we'll talk.

Anonymous 3:47 PM  

someone else’s civil war?

alas, that was never the point. Dubya expanded Iraq into Afghanistan on the assertion that the Taliban government had sponsored/protected Bin Laden, thus we had to depose the Taliban. as always, he got it wrong. Pakistan sponsored Bin Laden. to the extent there was/is a civil war in Afghanistan, our presence only provided an interregnum. should we make Afghanistan the 51st state so women and girls can go to school? that's the trigger. whether we should have imposed such cultural dissension on an independent country that wasn't 'Westernized'? we haven't done the same to Saudi and many others, now have we?

Joe Dipinto 3:54 PM  

I took @Whatsername's quotes and recombined them into new —and I think, snappier— bon mots. Feel free to use any of these as your own personal catchphrase:

"Life is like dead people."

"Go ahead, make a box of chocolates."

"Of all the gin joints in Yippee Kiyay..."

"I'll be back."
"I don't give a damn!"
(*see note below)

"Here’s looking at all the world!"

"Frankly, my dear, I'm shaken, not stirred."

"Make him an offer he can't refuse again, Sam."

"I see what she's having. I'll have you, kid."

*You'd need two people for the fourth one. It'd be best to stage it in front of startled friends, complete with dramatic flourishes. Then you have to do it again everytime you're out with the same people. You could switch up roles for variety.

Otherwise, I think you can easily slip the others into any conversation and they'll sound good.

Nancy 4:34 PM  

@mathgent -- I think you'll probably want to add @Joe Dipinto (3:54) to your earlier list of favorite posts.

Joe -- You really are too much! I mean that as a big compliment.

Whatsername 5:04 PM  

@Joe Bleaux (2:42) Good ones! 🀣🀣🀣

@Joe Dipinto (3:54) Brilliant!! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Re the famous misquote attributed to Casablanca, seems to me that lends credence to the theory that it doesn’t require repetition to be memorable. A line that was never even spoken but is still so closely associated with the film that most people would never question its authenticity.

Masked and Anonymous 6:22 PM  

Chicken within duck within turkey = TURDUCKEN.

Quacker within second note within took first = ?

Just sayin.


janet 6:50 PM  

I only do the crosswords for Lauren Muse Smith’s commentary in this blog. There. I said it. And I totally mean it

Breakfast Tester 6:59 PM  

JUST THE FACTS MA'AM ... oops, wrong TV detective.

Anoa Bob 7:19 PM  

"NORM!". And since the grid is 16 wide, it would fit in the center.

The grid has a bit of a walled-off feel to it, maybe due to the 40 black squares. That's a little high even for a 16X15 and results in quite a few three and four letter entries, never a good thing. There are several of the two for one POCs, where a Down and an Across both get a one letter count grid-filling boost from a single S, including where we are most likely to find one, the lower, rightmost square.

On the other hand, the grid is super theme heavy, what with five long theme phrases, one of them a grid spanner. So maybe all the black squares and POCs were needed to pull it off, to make it all work. I see from the comments that many enjoyed their solve and would say the black squares and POCs were warranted.

My favorite Jackie Gleason role was his portrayal of Minnesota Fats, the legendary pool player, in the 1961 movie "The Hustler". Gleason was already a good shooter so he played the part to absolute perfection. Also of note, the great 19-time World Straight Pool Championship winner Willie Mosconi had a cameo appearance racking the pool balls in between a game between Fats and Fast Eddie Felson, played by Paul Newman. Am I a pool fan? You bet, I have two books by Mosconi and an autographed picture of the real Fast Eddie.

Z 7:22 PM  

@Anon3:47 - Are we disagreeing? I think you got some of the specifics wrong but it reads as if on the big issues, were we ever going to “fix” Afghanistan and is it even our place to try to do so by force, we seem to agree. No and No.

Anonymous 8:52 PM  

"Don't really like FIREPOWER as a clue here because I don't need more militarism in my puzzle. . " Are you trying to say something stupid, or does it just come naturally??

kitshef 9:55 PM  

@Nancy - hand up for loving Murder by Death
@Anon 10:44 Who does have the authority to declare statehood?

stephanie 10:32 PM  

a monday. just over sixteen minutes as i thought i had finished but the puzzle said no. thought my AIDA guess might have been wrong but CAD was too fitting. turns out i typed ONEIL instead of ONEAL and thus had GIZA. i know it's GAZA but...somehow i thought there might also be a GIZA i guess? lol. fixed my mistake and finished on my own though.

i disagree with rex that GOOD GUESS isn't a good answer - sure you may make a "good guess" and not be close, but when someone replies to you person to person with "good guess" they mean you're on the right track. at least in my experience.

i do however agree that the "catch phrases" were kind of lacking. the only one i've ever paid any attention to was seinfeld, but the catalog of iconic references is so vast i had to let the crosses do the work for me for a bit. still, it is a line from the show that has stood the test of time so, i'll let it slide. the one that really stuck in my craw was FINAL ANSWER. no. the tagline or catchphrase would be IS THAT YOUR FINAL ANSWER? and even still that's a pretty boring one to choose with so many great catchphrases in the world of pop culture!

i took AP BIO in highschool even though i was going to art school for college - i loved the teacher and didn't do to well in chemistry so i wanted to avoid physics at all costs. very enjoyable class. not particularly tough, but that's of course subjective.

for once in my life i knew the name of a place with ANN arbor, as my mom would have to fly out there for work for a few days once a year. i remember one year she was out there, and i woke up and my eye was really bothering me. i was young, elementary school age anyhow. my dad told me to go back to sleep but i couldn't because every time i shut my eye it hurt like hell and watered like crazy. he ended up having to take me to the doctor, who discerned that an eyelash had gotten in and scratched my cornea. they put some medicine in my eye and then put a patch over it. no big deal really but it was so funny, my mom barely gone a weekend returns to find her only child now a pirate.

stephanie 10:39 PM  

@Loren Muse Smith 100% agree re: "I CANT." took me awhile to solve that one, but it is definitely apt.

had no idea SNAFU was an acronym - never really thought about it i guess. from wiki for anyone else in my boat:
"SNAFU is an acronym that is widely used to stand for the sarcastic expression Situation Normal: All Fucked Up. It is a well-known example of military acronym slang; however the original military acronym stood for "Status Nominal: All Fucked Up". It is sometimes bowdlerized to "all fouled up" or similar."

stephanie 10:42 PM  

@Frantic Sloth fwiw, i've never seen columbo, jackie gleason, or siskel and ebert (though i've heard of all of them) and didn't have trouble, because at least all the "catchphrases" are also just regular phrases. i suppose it was less exciting though, without the bonus of nostalgia.

Blog Goliard 10:52 PM  

I didn't hate the theme, but did have rather an "is that all there is?" reaction in the end.

But to be completely honest, it's gotten to the point with me where even if the theme had knocked my socks off and there were clues so witty I felt compelled to read them aloud to others, the fill included TECS and so I couldn't possibly give it an overall grade above B-, no way, no how.

I hate that one more than a dozen other bits of tired fill combined...and I feel that as pet peeves go, that is eminently justifiable.

stephanie 10:55 PM  

@JD this is a good roundup. my dad has quite a lot of ~catchphrases~ he repeats and one of them is SURVEY SAYS so i thought that was particularly funny that rex picked that as an example of "definitely not a catchphrase." we beg to differ!

stephanie 11:11 PM  

@That's Salada Tea the same is true for the (in)famously misquoted "luke, i am your father" of star wars - darth vader never says that line. and yet...

Will 6:10 AM  

“Yadda yadda yadda” would be an appropriate Seinfeld catchphrase. Or “Neuman!” This is just something that became well known about the show. Not a catchphrase as the word is implied.

Z2 2:29 PM  
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Z2 2:30 PM  
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Z2 2:35 PM  
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Conibral 3:49 PM  

“Don't really like FIREPOWER clue here because I don't need more militarism in my puzzle or anywhere else (36D: Military muscle).”
But I’ll happily sit and be a keyboard warrior as others risk their lives for me.

Burma Shave 11:14 AM  




thefogman 11:46 AM  

Rex is back to his ornery self today. I thought this one was fine for a Monday. True, NOSOUPFORYOU and FINALANSWER are not technically catchphrases, but they are memorable line, so good enough I say.

spacecraft 11:46 AM  

ICANT. This has become a catchphrase at the Space station whenever the cook (that'd be yours truly) tries to open a [package/bottle/box] of ANYTHING. Who the hell are these engineers anyway, clones of Arnold Schwarzenegger? Tear here. With what, the Jaws of Life? Certainly not just my puny hands. So, yeah, I'm defeated, and I say that. Seconds later my beloved spouse hands the neatly opened thing back to me with a smile. I tell you it's magic!

For me the outlier was NOSOUPFORYOU, as it referred to a single episode. Whether or not this qualifies as a catchphrase, the point is that it stands out in stark contrast to all the other themers, which are heard in virtually every episode. One nobody has mentioned yet was Red Skelton's character Clem Kadiddlehopper, who was always saying "I wasn't doin' nothin'. I was JUST WALKIN' DOWN THE STREET."

If you thought I made Kate UPTON my DOD, you made a very GOODGUESS. It was so good it was right.

Pet peeve: SOFT/HARD, SHORT/LONG, and SILENT letters are not, in my view, legitimate fill, and I assess a penalty stroke for them. That whole section, featuring LONGU and LSDTAB, needs to be redone. Aside from that, there's little else to grouse about in one of Haight's better efforts. Birdie--whoops! Make that par. With congrats to Captain Steve Stricker and Team USA!

rondo 1:15 PM  

catch-phrase (noun)
a well-known sentence or phrase, especially one that is associated with a particular famous person.

A catchphrase is a phrase or expression recognized by its repeated utterance. Such phrases often originate in popular culture and in the arts, and typically spread through word of mouth and a variety of mass media.

Close enough for me, even the Seinfeld one.

Kate UPTON, yeah baby.

When will OFL stop the Haight hate?

Anonymous 3:16 PM  

From Syndication Land:

This is about the comment by Omega at 7:22am even though they will never see it. I love these old catchphrases even if I didn't know them all. Calling for Shortz to retire is ridiculous. He knows his audience well and I can guess that most NYT puzzle solvers these days are over 50 years old. Why should everything in a puzzle have to be current? Remembering the past and learning from it are valuable lessons for all generations.

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