____ and Crake (Margaret Atwood novel) / MON 10-4-2021 / Corner pieces in chess / Airport guesses, for short / ___ Gay (W.W.II bomber) / Bird on the Mexican flag

Monday, October 4, 2021

Constructor: Christina Iverson and Andrea Carla Michaels

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: HERE COMES MY BABY — Theme answers started with words related to delivering a baby.

Theme answers:
  • LABOR DAY WEEKEND (17A: Traditional end of summer)
  • PUSH THE ENVELOPE (27A: Dare to exceed normal limits)
  • HERE COMES MY BABY (56A: 1967 hit by the Tremeloes suggested by the starts of 17-, 27- and 46-Across)

Word of the Day: ARTIE (33A: Swing clarinetist Shaw) —

Artie Shaw (born Arthur Jacob Arshawsky; May 23, 1910 – December 30, 2004) was an American clarinetist, composer, bandleader, actor and author of both fiction and non-fiction.

Widely regarded as "one of jazz's finest clarinetists",[1] Shaw led one of the United States' most popular big bands in the late 1930s through the early 1940s. Though he had numerous hit records, he was perhaps best known for his 1938 recording of Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine." Before the release of "Beguine," Shaw and his fledgling band had languished in relative obscurity for over two years and, after its release, he became a major pop artist within short order. The record eventually became one of the era's defining recordings. Musically restless, Shaw was also an early proponent of what became known much later as Third Stream music, which blended elements of classical and jazz forms and traditions. His music influenced other musicians, such as Monty Norman in England, with the vamp of the James Bond Theme, possibly influenced by 1938's "Nightmare".[2]

• • •
It's another August Monday! This review is going up a little late (my deadline is 9AM, but I try to get 'em up by 12AM) because yesterday was my birthday! I mostly celebrated with online friends, because, y'know, COVID-19. But I'm playing a board game tonight which is really exciting! It's called Betrayal: Legacy. Anyway, enough about me, puzzle time! 

I thought this was a solid little Monday. Smooth fill, no tough crosses, a great intro to puzzling for any curious newcomers! I'm not sure I would have gotten the ORYX/GAS-X cross without being a bookseller, but one hard cross does not a bad Monday make. I was especially impressed by the cluing; it's really easy to do a blah Monday in terms of cluing, but the little cryptics were lovely and still perfectly acceptable for new solvers. And "to Miss Piggy" is such a welcome change from "in [insert random French city]" for MOI. Do people say BUB, though? I had BUD, which feels way more like something someone would actually say. Had SCAM for SPAM for awhile but SPAM's a better fit anyway and the cross made it an easy mistake to catch. Hanging out with an ABBOT in a SAUNA sounds like kind of an awkward experience, but you'd probably get some good insights about the nature of the universe. 

Theme was cute, no issues, not a whole lot to say honestly. So, how was everyone's September? Mine was pretty good, mostly class and work and reading. I'm in two book clubs now and it's hard to keep up with that and my pleasure reading and my homework reading and my "being a well-rounded bookseller" reading. It's a tough job devouring a bunch of awesome books, but someone has to do it!

  • WVA (45D: State with the words "Wild Wonderful" on its license plates: Abbr.) — I went to summer camp in WV, and let me tell you, they did not let us forget it. It's been probably about a decade and I still have all the words to "Take Me Home, Country Roads" memorized. One of our counselors once did a parody about her own hometown of Washington, DC; it was mostly about the traffic, which, fair enough. All I can remember of it is "the radio reminds me of the traffic back home." 
  • DALI (34A: Salvador who painted melting watches) — What's your favorite Dali painting? Mine has to be, pardon my language, "The Great Masturbator" (1929). Dunno why, but something about that weird melting fleshy thing just gets me. 

  • GLEE (54A: Extreme happiness) — Also a title of the wildest show of my adolescence. Who could forget Rachel showing up to school in a dress made of Beanie Babies (for Lady Gaga Day, of course)? Quinn giving birth to the tune of a teen a capella "Bohemian Rhapsody"? Santana wearing a t-shirt that said "Lebanese" because her sorta-best-friend-sorta-girlfriend was bad with words and thought it meant "lesbian"? A true classic. 
  • HERB (52D: Basil or dill) — Weirdly enough, this reminds me of a character from the hit mobile gacha game Cookie Run, and now I have another character's theme song stuck in my head. You wouldn't think a silly game about cookies would produce such a fandom or such good music. 

Signed, August Thompson, tired graduate student. 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

[Follow August Thompson on Twitter]


Frantic Sloth 8:57 AM  

If this isn't a fine example of a puzzle that's Mondee-perfect for beginner solvers, I don't know what is.
Cute theme with a punchline revealer - the kind of puzz I ate up with a spoon when I was starting out back in [19mumble mumble].

Could never muster the approved level of enthusiasm for CHILI hot dogs. I love a good CHILI and I love a good hot dog, but I've yet to have the combo that does justice to the individual components.
It's just a culinary example of another designer dog.

Anyway, no complaints for another PxP* - thanks to you both!

*Puzzle by Pro(s)


bocamp 9:03 AM  

Thx Christina & Andrea for your successful delivery! :)

Hi August; happy Birthday!


Dnfed at GASX / ORYX.

Most enjoyable trip, otherwise. :)

yd pg -1 / td timed out at pg -6

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

drp 9:06 AM  

Get the flock outa here. Since when do sheep travel in herds? Bah!

Nancy 9:07 AM  

Since this site wasn't up 10 minutes ago, I went to the Wordplay Blog and, after reading the Constructors' Note, wrote this plea to co-constructor Christina Iverson. I may as well reproduce it here:

"The idea I originally pitched was a lot more convoluted, with some wacky phrases relating to labor. [Andrea] suggested doing a simpler Monday puzzle, and we came up with this."

Gee, Christina -- I, for one, would have LOVED to see your wacky labor-related phrases puzzle! I imagine that, for one thing, it would have required me to think -- something this puzzle completely failed to do. And I imagine it would have been much more amusing as well. This affords a mild chuckle at the BABY play on words -- but by then the puzzle is nearly over and it hasn't exactly been a laugh-fest up till then.

Thought for the day: When someone tries to talk you into creating a Monday puzzle rather than a crunchier and more interesting late-week puzzle, I say "Resist with all your might!" Sometimes I'm tempted to CUT THE CORD to Monday puzzles entirely -- far too often they require absolutely no thinking at all to solve.

OffTheGrid 9:10 AM  

August and Frantic Sloth cover it pretty well. For some reason it amused me to have a cigarette brand in the puzzle. I suspect KOOL will generate some outrage. Side by side palindromes, BUB ONO. emordnilaps, NOW/won, ONE/ENO, ETAS/sate, SPAM/maps, ENOLA/alone.

JD 9:11 AM  

I wish the NYT puzzle would just stay out of obstetrics.

Zed 9:17 AM  

Not the greatest Cat Stevens song and, wow, The Tremelos? The puzzle is fine, the theme works just fine, but when the seed entry is too obscure for Sirius Radio's Deep Cut station my eyebrow twitches. It would be one thing if the NYTX ever balanced it's 1960's Top 100 based themes with themes from this century, but that never seems to happen.

@Frantic Sloth - Clearly you've never been to the Lafayette Coney Island.

SouthsideJohnny 9:20 AM  

Today's puzzle is a good example of what (in my opinion) is the type of puzzle that the NYT should aspire to publish every day. A good example of what can be accomplished without the usual cast of characters such as dead popes, random Roman Numerals yada yada yada. Yes it's got PPP such as Ms. Piggy, Salvador Dali and a Shakespeare character, etc. But the PPP is "normal" in the sense that it is stuff that people are actually aware of - instead of say Jacob or Esau's second cousin on his mother's side. Would love to see more like this.

mathgent 9:20 AM  

My father was brought up on a posada in Spain. His family raised food and livestock for themselves and their guests. In this country, when my mother would occasionally serve corn with dinner, my father would say, "We feed this to the pigs." I'm reminded of that statement when Jeff Chen and other commenters say a puzzle is suitable for new solvers.

rjkennedy98 9:22 AM  

Never had a baby. Didn't realize that PUSH is a technical term when DELIVERing a baby. I thought it was just something that people yelled at the poor woman in LABOR.

I'm surprised that people found this so easy. This was a slightly slower Monday for me with a number of erasures: SCAM vs SPAM, MOWERS vs EDGERS, BUD vs BUB. And of course it had a possible Natick for more novice solvers with ORYX vs GASX.

Additionally there were other tricky PPP like ENOLA Gay, ARTIE Shaw, KOOLS cigarettes. Not exactly in the wheelhouse of most millenials.

Zed 9:26 AM  

Another Cat Stevens Deep Cut
The first cut is the deepest

RooMonster 9:29 AM  

Hey All !
The tune running through my head, is the Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland "I'm Late". 🤣

I can see the GASX/ORYX cross causing consternation to some, especially newer solvers. Luckily, I knew GASX, and the other three crossers were easy to get. Being not well read, "ORYX and Crake" was a whozat?

Finished at the O of OWNIT/SOREEYES, which took my EYES a second to see from _WNIT/S_REEYES. Looked weird for a bit. Thought I had something wrong with the WN together. Trying to think of a single word before figuring out it was OWN IT. And SpREE YES? SoiREE YES? Har.

Fairly easy overall. Did take me a couple of minutes longer than a reg MonPuz, so for me, that's nice. I'm not one who likes to fly through puzs, I like to stop and smell the clues along the way. 😁

Nice to see ACME. It's been too long. Can I PUSH THE ENVELOPE and SIDLE over to ACME and say "It's a GLEE to my SORE EYES to see you." As I LEANS in and think 'HERE COMES MY BABY.'

Got a ROO today in ROOKS. That could be on my name tag if I worked as a cook. ROO KS (Kitchen Staff.) Har. Another one in BROOM. Dang, I'm popular today!

No F's (IRKS!)

albatross shell 9:30 AM  

ONO and ENO, AGO and I AGO, BAA and BAH, MAPS and SPAM,
WVA ASL PBS MBAS BLT ETAS and a couples ARK for them to multiply in and GAS X so it won't stink to bad too bad in Crosswordese heaven or hell.

Plus the sister plane, the ENOLA GLEE.

But it is a return to the EZ peaZy Monday we all are accustomed to, even more so.

The only unknown, as clued, was my fave the ORYX. Loved them since driving through White Sands and seeing Beware of ORYX or Do Not Feed the ORYX signs. So disappointed last time I drove through. The signs were gone because the ORYX were gone. Successfully removed. Signs and mammal. The greater good is not always the funnier good.

Despite the above and the double POCs, it was a remarkably solid puzzle. A respectable amount of good fill and a solid theme. Filled in so fast I barely noticed the accumulated list above. I was filling in the longer answers with only occasional need to look at the short stuff.
The good stuff stood out. I also did not read all the clues while solving but found a couple winners in the after-solve. Distracted by speed.

As Rex says, if you go silly, go big. ONO? Then ENO. SPAM? Then MAPS. BAH then BAA.

OldCarFudd 9:32 AM  

Mathgent - My maternal grandmother was a Flemish Belgian who said exactly the same thing about corn. By the way, I'm a retired actuary, so I was a sort of math gent, too.

kitshef 9:33 AM  

Got incredibly hung up on the hot dog topping. I was determined to get it without the crosses, as up to that point I’d gotten everything but ‘the envelope’ and OWN IT from just the clue with no crosses.

Relish? Catsup? Ketchup? Mayo? Mustard? None fit. Finally came up with ‘onion’, but that seemed unlikely. So I ‘cheated’ and looked at the down clue for VOICED. Still nothing. Looked at the clue for SIDLE. Now I’ve got ---LI and still no freakin’ idea. Needed the H from HERB to finally get it. Just weird to have such a complete blind spot.

Tom T 9:34 AM  

If only there were a day of the nyt xword week before Monday. This would have been perfect for that day.

Loren Muse Smith 9:46 AM  

Hah! I see Andrea’s name at the top of the puzzle, I’m, well, expecting Monday perfection. And you could argue that this is the “prequel” to Christina’s Sunday offering a while back with a toddlerspeak theme. I loved that puzzle.

@Roo – “I’m late” – good one!

It was fun mining this grid for periphery childbirth experience entries:

*hospital BEDS for the traditionalists who eschew squatting in a field or delivering in a bathtub
*fathers DASHed to the hospital. PACED around.
*epidural SHOTS that are truly a miracle. (My son’s birth went too fast for pharmaceutical help, and the pain was hideous. With my daughter, I had the SHOT, and the whole experience was a veritable tea party.)
*ETAS – aka “due dates”

Maybe I’ve watched too many sci-fi horror movies, but CURATE tickles my brain as a kind of sinister word.

SPAM, robo calls. Enough recipients must bite to make all these uninvited ads worth it? Sometimes as I’m dropping the unopened SPAM into the recycle box, I vaguely wonder if some hapless person has pinned their hopes and dreams on what at this point I’m imagining is their hail Mary to putting food on the table. But it’s just a fleeting thought. I think I’d still chase these guys down the street with a baseball bat if I could.

“Stray from a topic” – DIGRESS. Oh. My. God. Why do people have to stop their account of some event for like five minutes trying to remember someone’s name, the disclosure of which has absolutely zero bearing on the point of the story? I sit there patiently waiting for Mom to remember the name of the vice president of Alpha Gam back in 1956, Vulcan mind-melding her to get on with it so I can get in the shower. Outwardly I’m engaged and attentive. Patient. Inwardly I’m screaming WHO CARES WHAT HER NAME WAS JUST FINISH THIS STORY SO I CAN LEAVE YOU TO YOUR STUFF WHILE I GO ON WITH MY STUFF WHICH ACTUALLY REALLY ISN’T VERY URGENT AND I HATE MYSELF FOR WANTING YOU TO HURRY BECAUSE YOU ENJOY TALKING TO ME AND REMEMBERING THAT NAME IS IMPORTANT TO YOU AND I’M SUCH A BAD DAUGHTER. Whoa. I didn’t see that coming. I never know what crap these keyboard fingers are gonna curate from my subconscious disquietude.

Anyhoo. . . to end on a high note: That someone stumbled upon an oyster BED, considered the shells, cracked one open, and then decided its contents looked like good eatin’ . . . this is proof that marijuana has been around for millennia.

SiggipuZz 9:51 AM  


Pete 9:53 AM  

Off puzzle topic - Anyone here have access to the Pandora Papers?? I'd like to know if my father, Wellington Fitzgerald, DOB 5.23.1939, secreted anything away before he died. He was always broke, so I doubt it, but he was also an immoral crook, so anything's possible. DM me if there's a stash in the Caymans, Cyprus or Monaco.

@LMS - A very hungry person watching an otter happily chowing down.

Son Volt 10:01 AM  

Silky smooth early week puzzle. Cute theme and revealer. LABOR DAY WEEKEND is a fantastic spanner. Minor drawback here is that due to the theme density - the remaining fill gets a little clunky - ELEM, ETAS etc. I’m not familiar with the work of ARTIE DALI. Not an Atwood fan so ORYX was completely backed into.

Would have been nice to see 64a clued as the OMD song. NYTXW’s favorite hipster pop star Ira Kaplan did a cool version of the revealer.

Enjoyable Monday solve.

Peter P 10:22 AM  

I agree that this is just about the perfect Monday except for the GASX/ORYX cross. I didn't know the latter, but I did know the former (so it solved itself for me and caused no problems), but it feels like there likely would be a good number of solvers who did not know both, and the "x" is not quite an obviously inferable letter there. That answer combination felt conspicuously out-of-place for an otherwise absolutely perfect Monday.

Whatsername 10:24 AM  

Hi @August and belated happy birthday.

I’m usually the one complaining because Mondays are too difficult for beginners but that certainly is not the case today. Even a first timer ought to be able to do this one without breaking into a PANIC.

I really really really hate childbirth themes. Oh look! LABOR, PUSH, DELIVER. Hahaha. Let’s build a joke around that. Not. Where is @Sarcastic Mother this morning? But at least this is better than the last one.

Joseph Michael 10:38 AM  

@mathgent, great way to sum up this puzzle (and so many other things in life)

Liked the grid spammers, particularly HERE COMES MY BABY, but wasn’t quite ready during breakfast to deal with the birthing process. However, I would have liked at least a moment or two of LABOR in the solving this puzzle which even for a Monday seemed way too easy.

Dear Yoko, you’re a creative musician with a flair for publicity but could you please try to stay out of my crossword puzzle? Perhaps you and Mr. ENO could go get a BLT somewhere and then study for the LSAT. Or hook up with ARTIE Shaw and take a nice long trip on Noah’s ARK or maybe even the ENOLA Gay.

Frantic Sloth 10:43 AM  

Happy Birthday, August! 🎂

@LMS 946am So, is your avatar the "prequel" to this puzzle? 😉

Beezer 10:53 AM  

@Nancy you probably should just cut the cord on Monday puzzles because they are supposed to be easy, or so I’ve heard.

Yes, I flew through this but I also enjoyed it. I totally get why many people DNF’d on ORYX/GASX, but I read the Margaret Atwood dystopian trilogy so good for me. Btw, Atwood never fails to put out a good read and Oryx and Crake, etc. is a different type of dystopia than The Handmaid’s Tale.

Kudos to the constructors for a well-made puzzle! Also @LMS had me giggling at her RANT! I have to admit, I’ve broken into a DIGRESSION in a tale and said…”Doesn’t matter what their name is, I don’t know ‘em anyway.” But. Only with senior citizens of my own age who are good friends…I’m not THAT rude! 🤣🤣🤣🤣

jae 10:57 AM  

Easy. Solid beginner friendly Mon., liked it or what @August said.

@bocamp - I found Croce’s Freestyle #649 mostly easy for a Croce (or about the same as tough NYT Friday), except for the SE corner which was a bear! Good luck!

Elizabeth 10:59 AM  

No Enola Gay please. Whatever justifications have been and will be made, especially in terms of potentially saving American lives, the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima was a tragedy and in my view a monumental war crime. Not good puzzle fare.

Anonymous 11:05 AM  

(August: "mastubator" isn't a bad word...)

thfenn 11:07 AM  

Didn't know Beano, didn't know the Atwood book, and didn't know Gas X (smiles, please bail me out @Z, I have a PPP problem). Or I could just take the novice hit. Still, with ORY_ and GAS_, an X is at least guessable for ORYX, so all good. LoL, after yesterday, wish deacons ran monasteries. Thought SOREEYES as clued was indeed a sight, and a site, for SOREEYES, and loved DIGRESS and @LMS' disquietude, which resonated.

Anon 11:17 AM  

Go to the Varsity in Atlanta and you'll change your mind about Chili hot dogs forever!!

Anonymous 11:22 AM  

well... I guess it's better, all around, that the well known Dali painting is the melting clocks. never knew he was that kinky. what would the world be like if teenagers walked around in t-shirts with "The Great Masturbator"
in full colour on their torsos?

"Dalí kept the painting in his personal collection, displayed at the Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres, willing it to the national collection of Spain upon his death, when it was removed to the Madrid museum."
-- the wiki

and, perhaps of some significance, the masturbation picture pre-dates the clock picture by a couple of years. might tell you something about his priorities.

JC66 11:23 AM  


re: the BAA clue (2 D), as a veteran constructor, ACME probably knows that Shortz uses the expression "get the flock out of here" all the time.

Trey 11:25 AM  

ONE, ONO, ENO? (A mini word ladder?)
BAA, BAH says the crotchety old sheep

Liked the theme and long answers, and the fill was not too bad, but there were a lot of similar answers

pabloinnh 11:27 AM  

CHILI dogs in way Upstate NY (think almost Canada) are known as "michigans". This is the kind of meat sauce with no beans and you should have them with chopped onions and screaming yellow mustard. Whenever I'm back in that area, I always order three, and wished I had room for more.

Fun theme, I caught on after the LABOR and PUSH instructions and was delighted to see the finale, which of course had to have BABY, be a song I knew. Only slight slowdowns were ORYX, another great crossword word from the vault, but alas unremembered, and OWNUP, which dates me, before OWNIT, which is the new jazzy version.

And while I think of it, oye @GILL I-I was making words for the SB yesterday and came up with PIROPO, which is a great word with no good one-word translation, but it made me smile.

Very nice one indeed, CI and ACM. Clever, Interesting, and A Classic Monday. Thanks for all the fun.

PS-For those interested, the New Yorker Monday is a very nice Patrick Berry, which I realize is redundant.

egsforbreakfast 11:36 AM  

I’m definitely partial to a CHILI dog once in a while, especially if I can get it from a DELI VERY SERVICE-oriented.

Do you think Elon took GASX on his SPACEX voyage? I’m sure he took Kleenex and his Rolex.

I ripped through this one so fast, I think I was younger when I finished than when I started. Made me tempted to put in Dean for 1A (Head of a monastery), probably just a small side effect of time travel.

Good job for a Monday. Thanks, Christina Iverson and Acme.

Trey 11:44 AM  

@sun Volt 10:01

Agree on the OMD clue - my mind always goes back to college and that sone when I hear of the Enola Gay. Funny side story - I was talking to an older vet at work in the ‘90s (he was probably in his 70s then) and he told the story of his bomber squadron flying over the Pacific on a mission - at one point, all the planes turned around and the Enola Gay kept going. Apparently they were the decoys if they got attacked.

Sparky 11:46 AM  

@ Elizabeth —- The atom bomb probably saved more Japanese lives than American ones. The fanatic militarists running the show there were prepared (without objection from Hirohito) to require every citizen to fight to the death upon an invasion by the enemy.

Carola 11:55 AM  

A classic, polished, Monday-easy puzzle. I agree with all of the admiring comments about the construction, especially the four grid spanners, but also agree entirely with @whatsername's last paragraph about the theme (10:24). More agreeing on the cross of GAS-X and ORYX - I happened to know the X for both (read the book, remembered GAS-X from a previous puzzle), but think an animal-related clue for the ORYX would have been more considerate of Monday solvers.
Do-over: OWN up.

@kitshef 9:33 - Similar here on the hot dog topping. I'd had to "cheat" once before (looking at CURATE to give me the U for PUSH), but here I needed not only the C, which left me with a blank stare, but also the H. And I like CHILI dogs.

@August, I tend to lose track of time and so it's always a surprise for me when we're treated to an August Monday. I always enjoy your write-ups.

mathgent 12:02 PM  

My favorite post this morning.

Whatsername (10:26)

bocamp 12:12 PM  

@jae (10:57 AM)

Thx, on it! :)

@Beezer (10:53 AM)

Thx for the 'ORYX and Crake' heads-up! Just got the ebook from my library. I promise to get the ORYX / GASX cross right the next time; or at least put in a better effort by running the alphabet, or using some CS (common sense). @thfenn (11:07 AM) had the right approach. :). Being somewhat familiar with Atwood, I assumed an unusual name to go with Crake (which is somewhat unusual in and of itself). I didn't even give the animal a chance to cross my mind. :(

td pg -1 (after the lst overtime period) lol

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Tom R 12:18 PM  

Smooth Monday puzzle.51A - CHILI as a Hot dog topping - is a regionally inappropriate clue. In Detroit, when you add the sauce, the sandwich becomes a Coney - not a hot dog with a topping.

Bad Mouse 12:43 PM  

for those who care about actual facts, not just alternate ones:
"However, the overwhelming historical evidence from American and Japanese archives indicates that Japan would have surrendered that August, even if atomic bombs had not been used — and documents prove that President Truman and his closest advisors knew it."


"Seven of the United States’ eight five-star Army and Navy officers in 1945 agreed with the Navy’s vitriolic assessment. Generals Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur and Henry “Hap” Arnold and Admirals William Leahy, Chester Nimitz, Ernest King, and William Halsey are on record stating that the atomic bombs were either militarily unnecessary, morally reprehensible, or both."

-- https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/08/06/dropping-atomic-bombs-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-was-unnecessary

and read the whole piece.

Trey 12:43 PM  

@Tom R (12:18)

Per the "That's Pretty Good Sceince" website "The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, being the foremost authority on hot dogs and sausages, declared in 2015 that a hot dog is not a sandwich. A follow-up poll in 2016 found that the majority of Americans agree."

Masked and Anonymous 12:55 PM  

Four grid spanners, for the themers. Well done.

fave fillins included: DIGRESS. CURATE. GASX. SOREEYES.

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Salvador who painted melting watches} = DALI.

staff weeject picks: BAA & BAH.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Christina & ACME darlins. Delivery rooms should definitely consider playin that Tremeloes tune.

Masked & AnonymoUUs

p.s. Happy belated b-day to @August.


Unknown 1:00 PM  

Well done puzzle. A complete absence of Maleska-era crosswordese. Decent

Joe Dipinto 1:04 PM  

My dad smoked Kools when I was little. I always thought the interlocking O's on the packet looked, well, cool. One day he burned a small but very visible hole in the arm of the red vinyl recliner in the living room and thereafter the linked O's were never again allowed in our house. The chair remained there, hole intact, and took on the aspect of a sort of museum curiosity.

ChrisSaintH 1:08 PM  

Fun monday! Love that Tremeloes song too. Nice that they're getting some love from the NYTXW this morning!

(And now I'm listening to Silence is Golden, another great track I haven't heard in a while)

Douglas 1:12 PM  

@JD 9:11 - Do you have a problem with the miracle of life? Labor and delivery are probably one of those most amazing accomplishments and events ever undertaken. We should celebrate that even more!

Teedmn 1:13 PM  

I noticed early on that the Sunday write-up was still the most recent this morning and thought, "Oops, August must have overslept." Happy birthday (yesterday) August!

Yes, this was about as easy as they get but I thought it was cute (no birthing stories for me so I can consider such a theme with equanimity). I got CHILI off the L but was stuck on wanting 44A to be admIT instead of OWN IT due to those last two letters. I knew there were no words that started OPEm (30D) but couldn't admit it to myself. (Also, that would leave the "Wild Wonderful" state starting with a D. Delaware? I bet not!)

Thanks, Christina and Andrea. Nice clues on 1D and 63A.

The Modern Gal 1:37 PM  

Well, I'm 39, and I have my 71-year-old father to thank for including HERE COMES MY BABY on a few of the mixtapes he used to play on repeat when I was a kid in the 1980s. Otherwise, I'd have never come up with the revealer on my own (and probably would have come here to complain about the age of that one), particularly since instead of DELIVERY SERVICE I had shipping company on first pass, which felt more accurate to me.

Anonymous 1:56 PM  

protozoans do it too. doesn't even take rudimentary brains. you can finish that thought as you will.

jberg 2:12 PM  

Great theme -- maybe it was different for women solvers, but the revealer was a pleasant shock, taking me in a completely different direction from what I'd expected. Just what one wants on a Monday.

@RJKennedy9 -- I've never personally delivered a baby, but I've accompanied my (now ex-) wife for two of our three (the doctor wouldn't let me in for the first one, back in 1971), and believe me, you do not want to yell PUSH during labor. The pushing comes at the very end, and is pretty much a separate stage. But I'll leave further explanation to those who've actually experienced it.

My biggest problem was looking at 17A, seeing that it was far too long for LABOR DAY, and somewhat grudgingly putting in LAST DAY OF AUGUST, which fit perfectly even if it comes a little too soon in the calendar.

BUB fixed that, though. (For whoever it was that wanted BUD, the latter doesn't have the right connotation of putting the listener in his place, as conveyed by the exclamation mark.)

Given the theme, they might have clued COURBET rather than DALI, for his painting "L'Origine du Monde." And no, I'm not providing a link (extremely NSFW).

Having "We're number ONE" in the puzzle with AVIS, famously only number two, was a nice touch.

@Loren, you're a bit behind times with CURATE, curators are all over the place now - every online retailer has a 'curated,' or maybe 'carefully curated' collection. It's getting to be a little too much.

Happy Birthday, August!

Whatsername 2:15 PM  

@mathgent (12:02) Wowzers! I don’t even know the criteria for recognition, but I’m honored. ☺️

Zed 2:25 PM  

Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head.
-Carol Burnett

Is there any lower form of mansplaining than mansplaining child birth? I have opinions. I only offer them if I'm asked. You all know by now that this is pretty much a singular occurrence.

@Trey - To say their logic is suspect would be an understatement. Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ category is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy. Uh,... the Dalai Lama is a guy. He always has been.

Trey 2:32 PM  

@jberg (2:12)

For a "safe" version of "L'Origine du Monde" with Ernie from Sesame Street (quite hilarious I thought), https://www.scoopnest.com/fr/user/FrederiqueBel/690839275349413888-l39origine-du-monde-selon-ernest-muppets

Unknown 2:50 PM  

Oh BABY, this was just fine . . .
[PREGNANT pause . . . .]
I didn't really LABOR through it, but, heck, it's a Monday.
I had read Crake & ORYX; I'm not sure I finished it . . . .
With the exception of Brian ENO, I really enjoyed this Monday puzzle, and thought it DELIVERED.

Who here actually puts CHILI on their hot dogs? I know it's a regional thing, but I wouldn't consider CHILI to be a standard topping. Relish? Yes? Mustard? Of course. Onions? Not for me, but sure. But CHILI? ? ? ?

Zed 3:57 PM  

Was reading up on the Facebook outage on Twitter and saw It’s turtles all the way down used. Made me laugh. Out loud.

tea73 4:45 PM  

Posting very late, but wow was that easy. Fast time I've ever had despite having to think a little bit about GASX and ORYX, I knew them, just not instantly.

For some reason I had the revealer confused with "Bye bye love".

"There goes my baby, with someone new, she sure looks happy, I sure feel blue."

Wanderlust 6:52 PM  

Or Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC. Also their outlet at The Nats’ baseball stadium.

Legume 7:10 PM  


Being born and raised in the Bay State, we thank the Nats for their support. Such a wonderful collapse at just the right time. Now, if only we can beat the Damn Yankees tomorrow.

Dana 7:32 PM  

Easy Peasy. The last letter of GASX/ORYX cross was unknown to me but easily inferable. MAGA.

Anonymous 9:40 PM  

Had silence is golden first. Fit right in. Thought I was on my way, but noooo.

jayahre 5:33 AM  
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TJS 11:19 AM  

"not sure I would have gotten the ORYX/GAS-X cross without being a bookseller".

Huh ?

thefogman 9:12 AM  

Not bad. A little bit of junky three-letter fill, but overall a pretty decent Monday offering.

Burma Shave 10:51 AM  


ARTIE PANICS, "It's KOOL NOW, ya wanna?"


Geome 11:22 AM  

To all those who hate their own country: I've been in Saipan, one of the last Japanese-held Pacific Islands of WW2 and I've been to the cliffs where Japanese civilians - some with babies in their arms - launched themselves onto the rocks hundreds of feet below rather than submit to defeat.
Millions of lives - Japanese and American - would have been lost had the atomic bombs not been dropped. (More people died in the conventional bombing of Tokyo than in Hiroshima. Where's the outrage over that?)
Just imagine if the day following the Nazi invasion of Poland, a similar bomb had been dropped on Berlin. How many millions and millions and millions of lives would have been saved?
Virtue signalling. The plague of our time....

spacecraft 11:27 AM  

Hand up for wanting "Silence is Golden." Wow, the two biggest Tremeloes hits--and they're both 15 letters long! But of course it didn't take long to ferret out the other one, and what a perfect revealer!

Together with the three themers, that's four grid-wide entries. How they could be so cleanly connected is a jaw-dropping feat, to MOI. In fact, this may be the best Monday puzzle I've ever seen. Accordingly, I shall make ABBOT COB MONTE (top line!) and partner CHILI INLETS my co-DOD's.

And right here--as if I needed any prodding--is the EAGLE rating they deserve.

Anonymous 2:05 PM  

Ever since there have been shepherds!

leftcoaster 3:25 PM  

YES, definitely neat and cute, and a welcome sight for SORE EYES.

thomas 7:20 PM  
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