Nickname for subzero 1967 NFL Championship Game / 10-14-21 / National Medal of Arts recipient whose novel Juneteenth was published posthumously / Puzzle whose name comes from the Japanese for cleverness squared / Mitch's husband on Modern Family / Fountain near Spanish Steps

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Constructor: Matt Fuchs

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: FUCKING 'UP'! ["The opening of this animated film featuring the voice of Ed Asner is making me cry in public!"] — or, you know, "Curses!" would maybe be a good description. Anyway, ordinary two-word phrases are clued as if they are curses:

Theme answers:
  • BLOODY NOSE (16A: "My allergies are really acting up!")
  • FREAKING OUT (23A: "That third strike cost us the game!")
  • DARN SOCKS (36A: "I keep losing things in the dryer!")
  • ROTTEN APPLE (52A: "My iPhone never works!")
  • BLASTED OFF (61A: "This bug spray is useless!")
Word of the Day: ICE BOWL (44D: Nickname for the subzero 1967 N.F.L. Championship Game) —

The 1967 National Football League Championship Game was the 35th NFL championship, played on December 31 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

It determined the NFL's champion, which met the AFL's champion in Super Bowl II, then formally referred to as the second AFL–NFL World Championship Game. The Dallas Cowboys (9–5), champions of the Eastern Conference, traveled north to meet the Western champion Green Bay Packers (9–4–1), the two-time defending league champions. It was a rematch of the previous year's title game, and pitted two future Hall of Fame head coaches against each other, Tom Landry for the Cowboys and Vince Lombardi for the Packers. The two head coaches had a long history together, as both had coached together on the staff of the late 1950s New York Giants, with Lombardi serving as offensive coordinator and Landry as defensive coordinator. 

Because of the adverse conditions in which the game was played, the rivalry between the two teams, and the game's dramatic climax, it has been immortalized as the Ice Bowl and is considered one of the greatest games in NFL history. NFL 100 Greatest Games ranked this game as the 3rd greatest game of all time. [The Packers won, 21-17] (wikipedia)

• • •

My main reaction here is "How is this a Thursday?" The trickery is really not that substantial, and I haven't solved a Thursday puzzle this easy overall in I don't know how many moons (many, probably). As for the concept ... I don't know. It didn't do anything for me, and it seems pretty wobbly in the execution. The NOSE and the SOCKS don't change meaning in their clues, but OUT, APPLE, and OFF sure do. Also, I assume the curse word "rotten" actually derives from the actual concept of rotten, and the locus classicus of rottenness (along with the rotten egg) really is the ROTTEN APPLE, so that clue doesn't really move the meaning of "rotten" all that much (compared to how much the other "curse" words are moved). DARK SOCKS is a rotten stand-alone answers (unlike the others, which stand alone just fine). Also, something about FREAKING doesn't seem like a plausible curse. You'd at least drop the "g." More likely you'd use "friggin'" if you really needed a euphemism for the "F" word. The whole thing felt kind of corny. No real laughs, no surprising cleverness. Like a MIDWEEK (i.e. T or W) puzzle from 20+ years ago. The fill also felt that old—at least that old. I would list all of the relevant fill, but I'm tired, and presumably you can see it right in front of you (or in the grid I posted above). ISI? RES? DYER? An OMIT NEMO ETNA stack? The return of COED?  NRA again, on back-to-back days!? ERE NOLA LOO? LITE EKE? It's all pretty grueling. My favorite part of the grid, as I look it over, is the spooky short story I've imagined using the words in the 14th row: gather round the campfire, everyone, it's time to hear the tale of "SADE and the EERIE EWER." In my imagined story, SADE is the one-named singer, and she has some kind of adventure in a haunted house ... or a museum with a lot of still-lifes, I guess. Yes, I am a WEIRDO, but when the puzzle lets you down, you gotta entertain yourself somehow.

I blasted (!) through this grid with almost no resistance. I wrote in LAB RATS instead of LAB MICE, an inevitable and easily fixable mistake (1D: Maze runners). But after that, I didn't hesitate much at all until 45D: Balls in a pocket (FALAFEL). That's a decent Saturday-level clue that forced me to put on the brakes and work a lot of crosses. I also weirdly couldn't get WEIRDO at first pass, even with -DO in place (57A: Wackadoodle), probably because WEIRDO is a noun and (as I know it) "Wackadoodle" is an adjective. But maybe it can be a noun. Or WEIRDO can be an adjective?? I don't know. Don't much care, either. I am terrible, truly terrible at [Word with ___ or ___] clues. Even if you give me a more specific hint, like [Word that can follow ___ or ___] or [Word before ___ or ___], my brain frequently just seizes up. So STREET didn't come quickly either (48D: Word with fair or fight). But with everything else, it was just "fill in squares as fast as you can." The fill didn't thrill me, but the SE corner is decent (and tasty), and something about IMNOUSE is making me laugh, both because of the Charlie Brown-level patheticness, and because I imagine it's being said over and over again by a guy named NOUSE who can't get people to understand his name, or who keeps getting mistaken for someone else. "Dr. House?" "No, I'M NOUSE." "Well what good are you, then?" [walks away]. 

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

P.S. Happy birthday, Penelope :)

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 6:10 AM  

Easiest Thursday ever

sidesspot 6:10 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
TokyoRacer 6:14 AM  

Am I allowed to make a comment about one of yesterday's comments? I really want to say, thank you Oceanjeremy for your rant against names/proper nouns/trivia in crosswords!! Every instance of this is terrible, but yesterday's puzzle took it way too far. I almost cancelled my NYT subscription yesterday, and if this happens again, I will.

Anonymous 6:30 AM  

@Rex. Another amusing write up. Thank you. I enjoyed the puzzle. It seeemed like a downsized Sunday.

Trey 6:33 AM  

Had cURT before KURT and SkAT before SCAT. Obviously have a C-K problem here. Love KEN KEN puzzles! Interesting to learn the root of the name. Enjoyed the puzzle but agree it was easy for a Thursday, spelling issues aside

Conrad 6:37 AM  

I agree that it's super-easy for a Thursday and much less tricksome than usual, but I enjoyed it more than @Rex did. My only two hangups were on threezies: the National Restaurant Association just didn't want to emerge, and it took a while for the DUD-ness of "Lemon or turkey" to dawn on me.

Lewis 6:49 AM  

Bravo to Matt for coming up with a theme never done before, considering how many crosswords have been made. And bravo for sparking this puzzle with so many wordplay-based clues – eight that struck my fancy. I particularly liked [Wearer of a “Y” sweatshirt] for ELI and [Frost bit?] for VERSE.

Boo to me for once again being fooled by a TYPO clue – [Run for fun, perhaps] had me thinking “trot”. Aargh! I will not be fooled next time! (As I said last time.)

Little cute backward things in the grid:
• [Upped the ante] as a clue, and there is a backward ANTE up.
• Backward Italian island ELBA to complement another Italian island’s ETNA.
• Backward MAC near ROTTEN APPLE.

Not to mention many palindromes (5) for the second day in a row. This puzzle was a pleasure, Matt, a lovely springboard to the day. Thank you!

bocamp 7:05 AM  

Thx Matt, fun puz! :)


Top to bottom solve.

No holdups or unknowns.

Didn't know CAM or MATILDA, but the 'M' seemed right.

Enjoyed this relatively easy Thurs. offering.

yd pg -13

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

Aelurus 7:14 AM  

So surprised this was my fastest Thursday because puzzles with wacky phrases clued wackily aren’t my favorites. Was hoping for a rebus. Started at the top, got KURT and OMIT and when 13A looked like a dad joke (that is a dad joke, right?), switched to the bottom and solved up. When I got 61, BLASTEDOFF, I knew what to look for, so when PLE showed up as the last 3 squares of 52A, APPLE was apparent. Looking for a negative go-with, ROTTEN quickly filled in, and ditto for the ease of the rest of the themes. Like Rex, my only real slowdown was 45D, "balls in a pocket," FALAFEL (hi, @Roo).

Had NR_ at 28A and laughed out loud at the clue, “Food industry lobby, for short,” wondering if it was yet another alternative for NRA, as just the day before, Wednesday’s NRA answer was clued “New Deal agcy,” for the National Recovery Administration, which I looked up after finishing. NRA two days in a row? Are we sure NRA is not at least in the top 10 NYT answers? I stared at NR_ in today’s puzz for 10 seconds, the only unfilled square, not knowing the word KAYO, and gingerly inserted the A. Celebratory music played, puzzle finished. This time NRA is National Restaurant Association, and KAYO turned out to be the phonetic spelling of KO, boxing’s “knockout.”

There are apparently at least 63 definitionsfor NRA, according to the Free Dictionary. But I agree with what Rex said recently – however they clue it, it still looks like the loathsome NRA to me.

This link, from Noah Veltman for years 1996-2012 as linked to from the 27 January 2013 Diary of a Crossword Fiend, says it is the #98 NYT puzzle answer. Thanks, @Lewis, for mentioning Steve L’s list of top 100 answers in the WordPlay comments for the Tuesday puzzle; it’s close to the end of the comments, which I couldn’t find at first; Steve’s list, which looks current, doesn’t mention NRA so I guess NRA, though seemingly ubiquitous, might be less common these days.

Well, that’s it for the NRA research rabbit hole I fell into!

@ Barbara S 8:37 am yesterday: What a feat and a fete, a treat, and a whole lot of fun in, wow, your 51 rhyming bios for the 15th anniversary of Rex’s blog (and the number-play bonus: 15 to 51). Brava! Glad you included yourself and the mods and the anonymice. Plus a lovely epilogue. Inspired by comments on Tuesday from @Joaquin 11:20 am and @Lewis 12:58 pm (with a riff on Lewis’s use of the very apt class), I submit another limerick:

Barbara S is a lass with such class
And humor to boot, what a gas
We read all her posts
And the poems that she hosts
What luck there’ll be more to amass

oceanjeremy 7:20 AM  

I groaned a lot while solving this puzzle, because many of the clues are extraordinarily corny puns. Thing is… I actually like extraordinarily corny puns. So I enjoyed it while groaning.

I actually really enjoyed this puzzle altogether — I just didn’t find it appropriate for a Thursday. There was no trickstery element (which is what I most look forward to on Thursdays). I’ve heard it said that Mr Shortz claims the only requirement for a Thursday puzzle is that it’s more difficult than a Wednesday, and this puzzle again fails to meet another Thursday litmus test. It would’ve been appropriate (difficulty-wise) for a Monday or Tuesday.

@TokyoRacer: Glad you found solidarity in my kvetching yesterday! It’s the one sure way to ruin a puzzle for me. Even if I happen to know every single trivia answer, I still get angry when it makes up the bulk of the puzzle. It feels cheaty.

As for responding to the previous day’s comments: yes you are allowed! It’s something we do often here. The only rule I’ve found is that you should not include any spoilers (i.e., do not give away any answers for any puzzles other than the one in today’s write up) in case someone is doing puzzles out of order.

kitshef 7:21 AM  

Fun theme. Not really a Thursday puzzle. Easyish Wednesday I’d say. Hardest things for me were ioS before PCS and wondering how AMOEBA would be pluralized.

ARTS HOP sounds like a fun museum fundraiser.

Son Volt 7:23 AM  

I had fun with this one. Agree that the gimmick and difficulty level were not Thursday-like but it appears as if the editors are modifying the classic weekly paradigm so who knows. ELLISON, ICE BOWL and FALAFEL are really nice entries. Only pushback for me was IEOH - never encountered his full first name.

Enjoyable Thursday solve.

Aelurus 7:24 AM  

@Lewis 6:49 am - didn't notice those cute "backword" things in the grid, thanks! Like the puzzle more now.

Anonymous 7:28 AM  

The best part of sailing through this easy puzzle was then reading Rex’s distillation of the theme. Great to start the day with a coffee-out-the-nose laugh. Thanks, Rex,

amyyanni 7:28 AM  

Love falafel, and good seeing Ralph Ellison and Sade, more favorites. Easy Thursday, a good thing as am just over a nasty allergy attack. Yes, can identify with the BLOODY NOSE answer! Thinking it's just adjusting to life 600 miles north of the old homeplace. Today is play-off eve so need to set in snacks and get ready. 🤩

Anonymous 7:44 AM  

It ISI (22A) is proper grammar. If I use proper grammar, does that make me pompous?

Sol Omon 7:47 AM  

This is definitely easier than the Thursday puzzles that it is not harder than, and about the same level as the rest.

SouthsideJohnny 8:33 AM  

Does anyone really parse the theme entries ala Rex - the first word doesn't really modify the second word the same way as the other one, this one changes the meaning slightly and the other one doesn't, . . . yada yada yada ? Does anyone really care - probably not Shortz since he publishes them, is Rex making any type of a valid point, or maybe just throwing darts (once again that latent Shortz-envy keeps rearing its head).

IEOH looks absolutely bizarre - but with all of those vowels, I'm a bit surprised he isn't invited to the party more frequently (but please don't go all OREO on us).

It may be time to try my hand at KEN KEN - I don't believe the Times publishes any though. Is that the case even though WS is a big fan? It would seem to be a ripe opportunity for a bit of horizontal diversification from the big fella.

Hartley70 8:37 AM  

Rex’s TYPO of DARk for DARN made me laugh, considering their placement in the puzzle. I enjoyed this racy little bit of fluff.

Lori 8:39 AM  

Could someone explain the typo clue to me? Thanks!

Zwhatever 8:42 AM  

Self-imposed difficulty as I saw with a couple of crosses that TOASTER would fit but had no idea what my small kitchen appliance designed to heat and brown bread had to do with Phillip Glass going between floors, or why my water carrying vessel was going up and down. As a result it took every cross to convince me that it was what the puzzle wanted but with no idea why. It was many many precious nanoseconds after I finished and with some brow knit blank staring at the grid that the penny dropped. D’Oh, at a wedding reception, not at home chilling with Koyannisqatchi playing. (Seems like people into pangrams should be using Koyannisqatchi (14))

IEOH Ming Pei! How did I not know what the I in I.M. Pei stood before before now? IEOH looks like a name only a constructor could love and I am amazed that he is not the Yma Ono (or is that Yoko Sumac?) of crossword puzzles.

I think Rex’s SADE EERIE EWER story should be set in a WEIRDO TIKI BAR, perhaps in Rye, NY.

If I were the National Restaurant Association I’d change my name to International House of Restaurants or something.

Hand up for thinking this was a decent Tuesday puzzle. That’s not the constructor’s fault.

Anonymous 8:49 AM  

Of course someone with the last name FUCHS would make a puzzle, playing on swear words.

Zwhatever 8:56 AM  

@Hartley70 - In the post Rex usually uses all caps and blue text to signify a puzzle entry. DARk SOCKS is in all caps and black text, which makes me think it was an intentional TYPO. Why he did that still hasn’t occurred to, much like the mystery of the cat is still a mystery to me,

@Lori - If you are trying to type “fun” but accidentally type “run” instead you have made a TYPO.

@Southside Johnny- Yes. Lots of people. Rex may be an outlier in his thematic fastidiousness, but he has lots and lots of company out there.

@Anon7:44 - There is nothing particularly correct about saying It IS I, and wrongly asserting that it is “proper” grammar is going to sound pompous. So yes, if you use it most people will think that you are pompous. Several of us will also think you were poorly educated. My advice is that you use “It’s me” 99.9% of the time, reserving the 0.1% for when you are with whatever group has been misled into believing It IS I sounds educated.

Frantic Sloth 8:58 AM  

Just another misplaced theme puzzle that would have been just dandy earlier in the week. If that's still the plan.
Can't help wondering if the traditional practice has moved and not told anyone.

Rex's hapless doctor (I'M) NOUSE was worth the price of oh well you know what.


Whatsername 8:58 AM  

Well look at that! A Thursday that was tricky and fun! What will they think of next? When I first looked at the italicized themers, I thought big trouble but amazed myself by flying thru it. Liked the corny clues for A LOT and TOASTER, but IM NO USE kinda set my teeth ON EDGE. Can’t think of a single instance of that particular phrasing in place of ITS NO USE, the more common expression. But bottom line, I enjoyed this from start to finish. Thanks Matt, good one!

The infamous ICE BOWL is one of my earliest NFL milestones. MY sister and brother-in-law were home on leave from the Air Force with their brand new baby girl. Although he was due back at his base in Texas the next day, BIL badly wanted to stay and watch that game. Still, the military doesn’t take kindly to whining so he had to come up with a good reason for not being back on duty Monday morning. Gambling that it was New Year’s Eve and everyone in TX would be focused on the Dallas Cowboys in the big game, he figured there was a good chance no one would ask many questions. He rolled the dice and called his base with reports of a blizzard and impassable roads, even though there wasn’t a snowflake in sight. As he hoped, the officer on duty either didn’t care or didn’t notice and automatically assumed it was as miserable in Kansas City as it was in Green Bay, and BIL’s request for another day of leave was promptly approved.

I was young and still learning the intricacies of football, but I’ve always remembered how proud I felt to be there in front of the TV watching with him and my dad. Despite the frigid image imprinted on the history of that date, it has remained to this day one of my warmest memories of those two good men.

Frantic Sloth 9:01 AM  

@Z 856am Cat=Socks, Chelsea Clinton's pet.

Frantic Sloth 9:03 AM  

I always imagine IT IS I should be said with arms akimbo and puffed chest when one enters the room. In tights and a cape.

TheMadDruid 9:09 AM  

The r and the f are up/down from each other on a keyboard. Easy to hit one for the other.

Frantic Sloth 9:09 AM  

@Whatsername 858am A lovely, cozy memory almost better than that game. 😘
Absolutely agree on It's NO USE.

Gone for the day. Place nice, everyone.

TheMadDruid 9:12 AM  

Can someone explain the “Y”-“Eli “ connection? Thanks.

Nancy 9:16 AM  

@#$%$# ENDING! This puzzle was over much too soon and I wanted it to go on forever. Because it was so breezy, so irreverent, so imaginative, so lively, and so much fun.

Of course it's not a Thursday level of difficulty and was quite misplaced here. But that's not Matt's fault. He held up his end of the bargain -- creating a junk-free puzzle brimming with wit --and perfect for an easy Wednesday or tough Tuesday.

And there's some great non-theme cluing, too: TYPO at 33A (a version of which gets me very time); FALAFEL (45D) and especially TOASTER (12D).

If you're as breezy, irreverent and brimming with wit as your puzzle, Matt, you sound like someone I'd like to have lunch with. Meanwhile, note to Will S: more challenge tomorrow, please.

EdFromHackensack 9:18 AM  

Easy. only problem was I put in Trot for the fun/run clue and to unwind. also, I put in TOASTER and didnt really get it. then in dawned on me. I’d rather a Thursday be too easy than too hard.

satellite73 9:23 AM  


mathgent 9:26 AM  

An OK puzzle. Pretty easy but a little fun along the way.

Didn't like IMNOUSE at 11D. ITSNOUSE doesn't fit but ...

I used to do a KENKEN (8x8) every day. NYT stopped offering it a while back and I would print it up from another site. But now I'm addicted to Two Not Touch. NYT runs two every day on the print crossword page.

Lori 9:27 AM  

Ah, thk you

William F. Buckley 9:28 AM  

The probably go to, or went to Yale.

Wm. C. 9:32 AM  

@TheMadDruid9:12 --

ELI is a nickname for a YALE student.

Unknown 9:34 AM  

FALAFEL and TOASTER were worth the price of admission.

NRA twice in a row? The constructors are deliberately pushing Rex's buttons.

I would think an allergy would cause a RUNNY nose as opposed to a BLOODY one, but that didn't detract from the pleasure of today's admittedly easy puzzle.

JD 9:37 AM  

Spent too much time on Imnouse. Everything around it was working but what WAS that. Eventually accepted that it was I'm (OF) No Use. That's just the way I've always heard it and the missing OF was the pea under the mattress. It attacked my delicate sensibilities. A lot of people don't know this, but Imnouse Paderewski was actually a talented Polish cellist who was overshadowed by his pianist brother. Note to Matt Fuchs, you could've used that. It's true.

Other hang ups, Ice Bowl, which I remembered it as the Ice Game (why?), and then Sam for Cam.

Serifs again. @Frantic, I think I've found the scheduling system (if it's not a hat). Have a random word, look for it in another submission and then run one soon after the other, "Look! Here are two with Serif!" So it's nouse qualifying a puzzle's quality with it's misplacement anymore. The water bowl moves around every day, stop licking the floor. This was a fun and clever puzzle.

Nancy 9:42 AM  

@Whatsername -- Absolutely love your BIL ICE BOWL story. What's the penalty for being AWOL even for a day? It sounds to me as though, even if your BIL served in combat zones, this may have been the riskiest action he ever took! Amazing he got away with it!

JD 9:44 AM  

Phrases to Cherish awards for today go to @Zuzzerzeedo for Self-Imposed Difficulty and @Southside for "Shortz Envy."

Unknown 9:46 AM  

Great puzzle! Enjoyed the puns and finished without cheating! Thanks for a fun, if somewhat easy, Thursday puzzle!

RooMonster 9:53 AM  

Hey All !
I cry Shenanigans! at the ERE/IEOH cross. Okay, okay, maybe should've been able to get ERE, but dang, I want to slap IM Pei's parents for naming him IEOH. What WEIRDOs.

Fun theme. Rated G curses. BLASTED was neat, but always liked it better as DAD-BLASTED. Enjoyed that the Themers were actual things clued as a group (instead of made up phrases). I'd like to add another:
"That travel guide gave us bad advice!"
Har. Sports people have used that often.

Neat clue for CARWASH. KAYO is iffy. IMNOUSE is kinda strange. The clue wording seems off to me for that answer. Maybe "Don't even bother to ask me", or somesuch.

Wanted Kaikuro for KENKEN first. Probably spelling it wrong, but that's another neat numbers game.

When I see FALAFEL, my crazy brain wants to add awful. The Awful FALAFEL. Or maybe, Aweful FALAFEL.

jazz-SCAT, couple other writeovers I can't remember now. Crazy brain.

Puz does have nice open corners. Two cheater squares, that actually could've been filled by @Anoa's S's. The bottom one is fine, making LIENS/LITES (well, LITES a stretch), the top one would've needed a little tweak to the answers to get SKIRT/SLYER, LEPER/IPO. Ok, maybe LEPER isn't breakfast testable.

Five F's

WestofNatick 9:54 AM  

@SouthsideJohnny 8:33 The Times took its KenKen out of daily print edition maybe a couple years ago but still has it in Sunday Magazine. NEXTOY, which has a great app, very prominently lists one Will Shortz on its special thanks list.

Joe Dipinto 9:55 AM  

@Southside Johnny – the Times runs two 5x5 KenKens every day Mon-Sat, and two 7x7 KenKens every Sunday. In the print editions anyway. Don't know about online.

Well now what can a poor boy do
'cept to sing for a wok 'n' roll band
'cause in sleepy London town
There's just no place for a stir frying man

Unknown 9:56 AM  

Rex Parker pretends to be cool
Calling out William Shortz as a fool.
Though he is sometimes snappy
His mood's often crappy;
Like his cat he does little but mewl.

I know that this sounds mean and cold
But his shtick starts to get pretty old.
He's such a curmudgeon;
his words are a bludgeon. . .
It's a bore if the truth must be told.

Carola 10:02 AM  

Cute idea, but I'm not sure the theme phrases even rise to the level of Dad jokes, and something about them induced in me some @Rex-like impulses to kvetch: do we really curse the SOCKS? Not that I found the puzzle a DUD, though, with those fine 7-letter Downs, most of which I thought really were GOODIES.

Re: BLASTED OFF: I can identify. If you get the non-aerosol spray bottle, it sprays only if the bottle is absolutely upright; tip it to get your ankles and game over.

Speaking of games, I wondered how many of us would remember watching the ICE BOWL. @Whatsername, I loved your reminiscence. When my brother and I were growing up, family values included going to church, doing well in school, reviling Richard Nixon, and revering Vince Lombardi. So we were "there" for Starr's quarterback sneak. Quite a moment for those who lived and died by the Pack.

Anonymous 10:14 AM  

In the print edition Ken Ken is on the same page as the crossword.

Happy to respond 10:21 AM  

@ Anon 7:44: Why, yes. Thanks for asking.

Anonymous 10:23 AM  

Ken Ken in daily print edition on same page as crossword. I'm looking at it!

Anonymous 10:25 AM  

One 4x4 and one 5x5 daily M-S.
The Sundays are 5x5 and 7x7.

Anonymous 10:26 AM  


Joe Dipinto 10:28 AM  

@WestOfNatick – the KenKen is still in my daily print edition. I'm doing it right now.

jae 10:35 AM  

Yup, way too easy for a Thursday. No WOEs and rats before MICE and mInI before TIKI were it for erasures. Fun theme, liked it, but....

@bocamp & Z - Yes, I believe it was Stella’s seed entry that did me in. As to Croce’s Freestyle #602 I also found it on the easy side for a Croce.

alexapharm 10:36 AM  

Can confirm, he loves TERRIBLE puns. It’s brutal.

Anonymous 10:49 AM  

It ISI (22A) is proper grammar. If I use proper grammar, does that make me pompous?

because only pompous folks feel the pleasure of proper grammar. in that use, anyway. second only to answering your phone with, 'Yes, this is s/he'

It may be time to try my hand at KEN KEN - I don't believe the Times publishes any though.

try the dead trees version. kenken is right next door, on the opposite page.

Y ≡ ELI well, here in shithole county CT, lots of GED dropouts walk around in Yale sweatshirts, which are vewy, vewy dark blue with a yuge Y on the chest.

puzzlehoarder 10:51 AM  

I did this in average Thursday time. After finishing I realized it was actually an easy puzzle. Most of the comments found it that way and it doesn't surprise me. The time was still two minutes less than yesterday's . Wednesday still has a chance to be the hardest puzzle of the week, at least for me.

yd pg-2

Joseph Michael 10:58 AM  

Fun Wednesday puzzle.

Because it’s Thursday and I was looking for tricks, I thought 16A would become BLOW MY NOSE by dipping down diagonally to pick up the W from MIDWEEK. Well. that IDEA didn’t last long and I was a bit disappointed to discover that it was a puzzle complaining about everything. (I would think Rex would love that).

Once I made it through the Dad joke at 13A (groan), I loved A LOT of the clues, especially those for CARWASH, TOASTER, FALAFEL, and TIKI BAR. Also liked the fact that after complaining about noses, baseball losses, socks, laptops, and insect repellent. the puzzle could complain about itself: “I’M NO USE.” Cheer up, puzzle, it’s not your fault you were run in the wrong day.

@whatshername (8:58am), something about that ICE BOWL memory really touched me. Thanks for sharing it.

Joe Dipinto 11:03 AM  

@Anon 10:25 – Oh right. Duh.

CDilly52 11:04 AM  

Clue that made me laugh: Glass elevator =TOASTER! The “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” picture that immediately came to mind and would not leave slowed me a bit in the NE. I got TOASTER from the crosses easily, and then still had some sluggishness in moving from Charlie and his Uncle in their glass elevator because the mental image morphed into a flying TOASTER with Charlie and Uncle Joe peeking out from the toast slots. Yep, I’m a WEIRDO!

This one certainly did have lots of crosswordese but I forgive it because it didn’t bore me. The theme was legit-very NYTXW albeit different from the usual Thursday fare. Lack of rebus aside, I think this was Thursday appropriate and enjoyed it.

Heading to the kitchen to see what my TOASTER can do!

Other David 11:10 AM  

Easy peasy lemon squeezy for a Thursday.

My only stoppage was on "kayo." I have never in my life seen KO spelled out as Kayo, which I pronounce "Kai-oh" and is a Brazilian boy's name, the name of one of my oldest friend's, meaning keyholder.

Even though it's all over Google, and constructors play so fast and loose with abbreviations that they're rendered meaningless in puzzles, I still won't accept "Kayo" as "KO."

thfenn 11:19 AM  

Ooh ooh I'm so close to complaining about an easy Thursday and being critical of a wobbly theme, but just not there yet. A Thursday complete in about 20 minutes with no googling, no do-overs, and some fun answers and entertaining clues still gets celebration.

Think BLASTEDOFF was the best, followed by FREAKINGOUT and 3 also rans, but all have some element of fun to them. Loved TOASTER and VERSE, and having them cross was nice, being prone to enjoying good toasts myself, when, of course, I'm trying to establish that I'm not of no use, so the NE was lovely.

@whatsername, loved the Ice Bowl memories. That game, at age 9, is what I remember as the beginning of my NFL fandom, though in my case was more about differentiating myself from my father and relatives, all of whom were by and large uninterested. The Pack went on to beat the Raiders, in SB II, in the NFL's (now NFC) last year of supremacy over the AFL, in a game that for one reason or another turned me into a fan of the underdog, the AFL, and the then Boston Patriots, who would remain irrelevant for years...

Zwhatever 11:36 AM  

For those looking for a less flippant discussion of the “It IS I” construction click here. Just be warned that you should read the whole article. And this ain’t the Supreme Court.

@Anon 10:49 - “This is she” doesn’t have the same level of pompousity to my ear. I think it is better to say “This is Z” (well, for me, you probably shouldn’t say that), but “this is she” is not going to cause my eyes to roll. It IS I will always get me girding my loins.

@jae - “easy for a Croce” - Yep, probably. I solve on paper without a timer and often not in one sitting, so I don’t actually have an accurate basis of comparison. But once I got a section started that Croce went fairly smoothly. Part of it with his puzzles (and Stella) I think is adjusting to their cluing voices. It’s like a batter facing a crafty lefty for the first three at bats and then having to face a 100 mph flame thrower in the ninth.

@Roo - Awful FALAFEL - Truly wonderful when done right but so often done poorly. Living for a couple of decades in the US center of Arab-Americans means there was a couple of decades worth of always having good to great FALAFEL. Out here in the hinterlands I’ve made the wistful mistake of expecting good FALAFEL. Blrrrrgh.

@Frantic 9:01 Ah. Hence the lectern and White House logo. Presidential Pets are not my fortay.
@Frantic 9:03 - Does that cape have a Z emblazoned on it?

What? 11:36 AM  

Are you Shortz?

Anonymous 11:40 AM  

the then Boston Patriots, who would remain irrelevant for years...

how could they not be?? they played in the Back Bay Fens, same as the perpetually irrelevant Red Sucks. yes, I grew up in Western MA, so had little use for the Big City sillies. there were/are as many Yankee/Met fans out this way. ditto Giants/Jets. even a few Bills fans.

Masked and Anonymous 11:41 AM  

Ok, sooo … They did *try* to make this a sorta challengin, ThursPuz-level puz:

1. 7-stacks in all four corners, almost like a themeless. (Had 74 words tho, so fell just short of the 72-word themeless-qualifyin count.)
2. At least 5 ?-marker clues.
3. Zany themers that took some crosses to suss out. F'rinstance: BLOODYNOSE didn't just give it up without a brief fight, at our house. Lost a few of my fave nanoseconds.

But, still, the M&A solvequest did play out pretty easy, over-all, like for many other commenters here.
What happened?
My theory: They made the furshlugginer fillins too day-um smoooth! Only slightly WEIRDO stuff at our house was IMNOUSE (debut word meat) and IEOH (but shoot, he's got I.M. PEI immunity, after all).

staff weeject pick: ISI. Also slightly weird, but a nice ode to a recent puz's theme. honrable mention to UFO, for its nifty ?-mark clue.

Thanx for the fun, Mr. Fuchs dude. Wow … 7 years between puz #1 and puz #2?! [M&A would do somethin uncouth involvin the constructor's name at this point, as an ode to the puztheme, but … nope, IMNOGONNA.] Just congratz on a good puz, and welcome back.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


Charles Young 11:53 AM  

Great clue for toaster. Or coaster!

TJS 11:59 AM  

Re 45 down, my first thought (with apologies to @Joe D )

Walkin down Main Street,
Like Lucky LaRue.
Got my hands in my pocket,honey,
Thinkin of you.

John Prine, "I Ain't Hurtin Nobody".

TJS 12:04 PM  

Oh, and our English professor who gets all worked up about "nip" doesn't have any problem inserting "fuck" into his comments. What a maroon.

Maybe . . . 12:19 PM  

College named after Eli Yale. So Yalies are nicknamed Elis.

thfenn 12:32 PM  

@Anonymous 11:40
Umm, OK. Not sure how Yankee/Met and Giants/Jets fans escape being Big City sillies, but certainly understand why Western MA would have some residents that follow them. As for the Red Sox, I think the teams still playing baseball can settle the relevancy question. Enjoy the game tomorrow.

kitshef 12:40 PM  

"It is I" and "It's me" are both terrible when used in person. If they know who you are, both are unnecessary. If they don't, both are useless.

old timer 12:54 PM  

The theme of course is euphemisms for words your mother knew, but taught you not to use in polite company. BLASTED and DARN for damned, FREAKING for f**king or frigging, BLOODY for -- well, for itself: a very strong curse word in England, though not in America, but an alternative to "goddamn" too. And then the outlier, ROTTEN, which is not a euphemism at all, though it can be hyperbole (therefore, an outlier here).

Needless to say, "Now where's that BLASTED plain?" from My Fair Lady was running through my head (in Spain, in Spain!}

Fairly amusing, though I cringed at IM NOUSE. I did like TIKI BAR, CAR WASH (as clued) and TOASTER, which I only understood after coming here, was brilliant. I forgot MATILDA as a Dahl heroine, but remember her well as the subject of a Belafonte song.

Just wanted to add that KAYO used to be very much in the language. Also the nickname for Terence "KAYO" Hallinan, radical lawyer and "progressive" DA in San Francisco. Mind you, if you actually wanted to be acquitted, you should have hired KAYO's brother Patrick -- or me, if I do say so myself.

H. Mann 12:56 PM  

@Maybe 12:19

By that logic, should not the students at the other Ivies be known as the

Willies of Orange, and
Liams, the Earl?

A 1:02 PM  

Solid Tuesday - except I wandered astray trying to make Bad fit as the first word of 18A. Finally saw BLOODY.

Don’t think I’ve ever seen KAYO spelled out. Just WEIRDO.

@kitshef, your ARTS HOP does sound like fun, just not for someone with FREAKIN’ GOUT.

UFO and GOO DIES brings back bad memories of The War of the Worlds - DEF watched that movie at too tender an age.

VERSE crossing TOASTER gave me the incentive to look for an ode. Here is a GOODIE, with Plato as the TOASTER in his "TO ASTER":
"Thou at the stars dost gaze, who art my star
-O would that I were
Heaven, to gaze on thee, ever with thousands of eyes."

Alexander Zemlinsky (10/14/1871) was a very influential composer and conductor before being forced to flee Europe, having Jewish heritage on his mother’s side. So many good choices, but I’ll offer a piece for two horns and piano, a 20th century version of a horn “chasse” -

Nigel Pottle 1:22 PM  

There’s smething seriously wrong about a Thursday puzzle that I finished almost 11 minutes faster than my average. That is crazy. Just went ahead and filled in everything wth hardly a hesitation. Yes I started off with labrats but as with Rex figured I was wrong very quickly. And the swear words were boring. Thanks Rex for the Theme FUCKING UP.

Missy 1:30 PM  

You'll be missed😞

jae 2:00 PM  

@Z - I too print out Croce’s puzzles. I solve them on my morning walks of 2+ miles with some interval training thrown in on alternate days. My difficulty metric is based on my solve times for Friday NYT puzzles from the archive which I also do on my walks. If I have a blank Friday going out the door I usually take an extra puzzle because the probability of finishing it before the walk ends is pretty high. With the #602 Croce I had finished about 60% by the time I finished. For a tough Croce that percentage drops below 50%.

oldactor 2:33 PM  

I go to the laundromat to do a wash. Included in the wash are 8 pairs of socks. Out of the wash come 6 pairs of socks plus 1 gray sock and 1 blue sock. A week later I go to the laundromat to do a wash. Included in the wash are 6 pairs of socks. Out of the wash comes 4 pairs of socks plus 1 black sock and 1 green sock. A week later I go to the laundromat to do a wash. Included in the wash are 4 pairs of socks. Out of the wash come 2 pairs of socks. The other socks never show up. The next day I go to the laundromat. As an experiment I put in nothing but my last 2 pairs of socks. Out of the wash comes a body stocking. In the body stocking I find a note. The note says: "Quit trifling with the laws of nature and bring the machine more socks."

From "Hold Me" by Jules Feiffer

Crackblind 3:01 PM  

I zoomed through the grid faster that normal on a Thursday but got totally jammed up right smack in the center. While it fit and sort of made sense, I have never used, or even heard, the term ARTSHOP. It's always been an art store, never a shop. And the T from art just felt wrong because I couldn't work out T-PO by the clue (which I finally got just this second), especially because what in the world is a KAYO? Has anyone ever seen that instead of KO in the real world? So while FREAKING made sense and fit, the crosses just wouldn't come to me. When I finally just said the hell with it and went with TYPO because i couldn't come up with anything else, I still finished in a record time for a Thursday.

mathgent 3:04 PM  

My favorite posts today.

SouthsideJohnny (8:33)
Nancy (9:16)
Carola (10:02)
old timer (12:54)
oldactor (2:33)

rjkennedy98 3:09 PM  

This was very very easy for a Thursday. I did it in normal Tuesday time. I felt like the puzzle itself was fine, just put on the wrong day.

Loved ICE BOWL in the fill. I almost went to the coldest MNF game ever at Soldier Field a few years ago. On a related note, sad to hear the Bears are actually moving away from that stadium out to the suburbs. The almighty dollar rules over all.

egsforbreakfast 3:16 PM  

Old MacDonald had a favorite architect

He was a fellow in his work

With a pyramid here, and a curtain wall there……

I liked this easy Thursday. Thanks, Matt Fuchs.

Pete 3:19 PM  

I avoid the it ISI vs it is me or it's me conundrum by saying "It's someone else".

GILL I. 3:25 PM  

I wish my anticipatory Thursday puzzle romp hadn't been over in a jiffy. It was.
I started this after our walk in the woods with the pups and was looking forward to sitting down to at least half an hour of fun while waiting for our shrimp ceviche lunch to marinade. The marinade is still marinating and this fun puzzle is over. Maybe we'll watch Bobby Flay.
I'd rather eat grits with okra than ever say IT IS I. I do, however say "This is she" because "This is her" sounds like someone who has balls in his pocket. Don't even ask me what I thought when I got to that clue.
Anyway....I laughed at @Rex today and I really liked this misplaced puzzle and we have a delicious lunch waiting for us.
My maze runner LEGS runneth over......So does my LITE diet-friendly mouth.

johnk 3:36 PM  

"This editor needs some medication" (7)

Zwhatever 3:43 PM  

@jae - Walking and solving is a skill that has eluded me. Besides which, if I were to try a certain Lab and Chihuahua would be giving me a severe case of the evil eye upon my return. I feel like if I started at the beginning and did a couple Croce puzzles a day I’d start finding Croce’s easier. Right now, though, they are puzzles that go on my clipboard for when I’m feeling the need for a mental challenge.

@TJS raises an interesting contention; fuck is as bad as nip. To me this is a morally suspect contention. Of the various curse words fuck is the most profane. But stubbing my toe and saying “fuck” is not the same, not anywhere near as bad, as saying “fuck you” to a teammate who does the exact thing we said not to do in the huddle. That directed profanity to me is worse than cursing at the void. Neither is as bad as the scene Rex described yesterday, the coy use of “it’s getting nippy in here” to express racism while hiding behind deniability. And today “fuck” is an apt description of the theme, and funny to apply to a puzzle published in the prudish NYT. Rex using “fuck” to describe the theme reminded me of one of the best uses of it for comedic effect ever. So my moral hierarchy from not so bad to may you rot in hell are: comedic fuck, saying fuck to the void, cursing at a person, several things probably worse than that which just haven’t occurred to me, racism.

okanaganer 3:47 PM  

Nice to learn something every day... I'd only heard of Juneteenth as the date / holiday; didn't know it was a novel! It was almost 50 years ago I read The Invisible Man.

[SB: yd 0; QB 2 days in a row... start of another streak?]

johnk 3:49 PM  

25D clue should have been Short prizefight ending. 54D clue should have been Slim diet friendly.

Legume 4:05 PM  

As to curses: IIRC, the word refers to blaspheming the Deity. Thus Jesus H. Christ and use of Allah in normal speech are the height of transgression.

JD 4:13 PM  

@ZZuzzerzeedo, Interesting commentary on TJS's comment. So there are personal attacks and attacks on one's sensibilities, which he finds equal and you do not. I do have female who are still slightly shocked at hearing at the big F and would rather not hear it. You also made wonder if attacks on one's sensibilities justifiably merit personal attacks, and what form they could take.

Whatsername 4:26 PM  

To those who responded on my ICE BOWL meanderings … thank you for sharing. It’s funny the things in the puzzle that occasionally evoke such strong memories and/or trigger the most interesting discussions. And always a privilege to compare notes with this eclectic group.

On language, proper or not:

I read a book where a British gentleman used the expression “feck” and fecking in place of that other four-letter F word. For some reason that seems ever so much more refined.

There are times when statements like “this is she” are called for. Any time I answer an unknown or unidentified caller who asks “Is this Ms. So and So?”, my response will be either “speaking” or “this is she.” I was advised by a telephone company representative to never say the word “yes“ to anyone on calls that might potentially be some sort of scam. Apparently the lowest of the low actually take that utterance and claim it as a verbal acceptance of whatever garbage it is they’re selling.

bocamp 4:34 PM  

Participated in many a fund-raising CAR WASH.

Got Ralph ELLISON'S 'Juneteenth' audiobook on hold.

@puzzlehoarder (10:51 AM ) / @okanaganer (3:47 PM)

Thx for sharing your SB results. All the best! :)

done @ pg -13

Peace ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness to all 🕊

jberg 4:35 PM  

I can't believe there isn't more anger over IEOH. Rex doesn't even mention it. I mean, he was a great architect, but there's a reason he went by his initials. To be fair, the crosses were OK (or is it OKAY?), but I needed all of them.

To avoid seeming pompous, say "'Tis," as in "'Tis I, dear lady..."

Everythin else has been said; I'm outta here.

Smith 5:05 PM  

My Dad's first language was German, and in English he would never say "It's me" and would chide us if ever he heard it. ISI FREAKINGOUT? No, I go on to teach that a language is for communication...

At the kids' event at church on Wednesday afternoon they sometimes show MIDWEEK VIDEOS.

I'm a little worried about COED NRA VERSE.

To test the new hire's (multilingual) editing skills you must ENSURE TYPO SER.

Do you have the recipe for TOASTER STIRFRY?

Anyway, fun, easy, not typical Thursday. Please may we have a rebus next week?

Anoa Bob 5:43 PM  

Things started out promisingly. I was encouraged by the 34 count black square grid which I think is the optimum number for a themed puzzle. There typically is sufficient space left after themers go in to provide some interesting, quality fill. Solve buzz was revving up.

BLOODY NOSE made me think "Briticisms" was going to be the theme but FREAKING OUT disabused me of that notion. When "euphemistic curse words" was the only remaining possibility for the theme, I said to myself "Golly gee whiz, is that all there is?" Solve buzz bummer. Pretty milqueTOAST for this former sailor who has a Ph.D. in cursing. (None of today's are on my wordlist.)

Those stacked longs in the corners help turn things around a bit. TOASTER, ICE BOWL, FALAFEL and STIRFRY make a nice group but the others less so.
INVOKE (21D) is a word nerd's delight and seeing it RAISED my overall solve buzz back to a respectable Thursday NYTXW level.

Joe Dipinto 5:56 PM  

Everything sounds better in French, n'est-ce pas?

Also: I got a new toâster-oveñ today. How weïrdo is that?

Barbara S. 5:57 PM  

Well, my goodness, I’m glad everyone had such a delightful time with this *easy* puzzle. I, on the other hand, struck FREAKING OUT! A BLASTED dnF! The problem was the tight interlace of KAYO/PCS/NRA/TYPO in the upper center. In retrospect, it really was all so easy, but I just couldn’t see it. The K and O of KAYO were set in stone because they were in themers, but I couldn’t for the life of me come up with what might be in the middle. I know KO, TKO, but K__O?? I thought surely NR_ wasn’t going to be NRA again, because I already knew of two other uses for those letters and there couldn’t be a third. Thanks to @Aelurus for informing us there are 63. Microsoft Surfaces meant absolutely nothing to me, and I fell headfirst into the “Run for fun” trap, although I had seen through a clue very like it in a recent puzzle. Complacency must have set in. Well, the whole thing was rather ignominious, but some puzzle days just aren’t your day.

And furthermore:
SB pg-18 so far (and I’m peeved about a certain word they won’t accept)

@Aelurus (7:14) Hah! Thanks very much for the limerick!

@Smith (last night) I’m sure your avatar caught my eye because I, too, have those books in the same editions. They’re sitting in a jolly group on my bookshelf looking just like yours.

@Nancy (last night) I feel I really must train you up to become more visually oriented. I think it may be a herculean task.


Pretty easy. Not a fan of IEOH as an Xword answer. But otherwise I liked it. Let’s go Brandon.

JC66 7:16 PM  


FYI, SB won't accept you today.

Smith 7:18 PM  

@ Barbara S. 5:57

Amazing that you have them, too! When we downsized 3+ years ago I managed to lose a first edition of Randall Jarrell's Animal Family and all of our youngest's childhood treasures [sigh], but somehow managed to hang onto Chris & friends. I don't think I'd inflict them on grandkids, not sure why I kept them...but now, thanks to your awesome poem, they're part of my identity!

Smith 7:42 PM  

@ Barbara S. 5:57

Posted awhile ago but don't see it, so I'll just recap that I think it's fairly amazing that you also have those A.A. Milne books!

okanaganer 7:55 PM  

@JC66, just for fun here is a Google Ngram history of three words, only one of which is accepted today by SB.

[SB: td pg -2...]

TTrimble 8:33 PM  

Thanks to @mathgent, @Z, @bocamp, @Frantic, @albatross for calling out recently. I'm still here, doing puzzles and reading comments. I very much enjoyed @Barbara S.'s verse: so much wit and affection and understanding. "Babs" -- you're a treasure. :-)

Easy puzzle today by my lights. There are plenty of people who will use FREAKING as an intensifier in polite company, so no complaint there. There's a spectrum going roughly from "fucking" to "fuggin" to "frigging" or "friggin" or "fricking" or "frickin" to "freaking". Note that "frigging" actually means "copulating". So it makes sense that some prefer to adopt a softer register than that in some situations (I would never say "fucking" or for that matter "frigging" in a professional situation). Long story short: contra Rex, FREAKING is completely fine, is commonly heard, and moreover fits the theme.

I didn't know the NYT dropped KenKen in the dailies. If you like that sort of exercise, I recommend Calcudoku, which has a much wider variety of puzzles.

Still doing SB. I'm beginning to compile a study aid that might complement the @jae/@bocamp wordlist. For now I'm calling them "wordclouds". Two words are in the same wordcloud if they use the same set of distinct letters. For example, to use an SB from a few days ago, CITED DECEIT DIETETIC EDICT EIDETIC belong to the same wordcloud because this is the list of SB-accepted words that use C, D, E, I, T. Modulo the stability of the official Ezersky wordlist, wordclouds are portable across puzzles, and my hope is that memorizing wordclouds could significantly increase one's speed (for people who are busy).

td 0 (on a streak recently, like e.g. @okanaganer)

JC66 8:52 PM  




Welcome back, you were missed.

albatross shell 10:06 PM  

'Tis I. Less pretentious or just more archaic?

Easy has little to do with dnf. One's own private natick or blind spot does not change a rating.

I swear KAYO(ED) has been here before in some form. Flashbacks or fact?

Short in time but miles of smiles. Pun themes, clue humor.
MyK was solving with me at the end. We saw TOASTER was the answer but she got the joke first. I was slow on LOO too. But for the most part this is my wavelength. What ever that may say.

MyK asked me what are they going to say about this one. I said too easy for the day, fun and funny, quibbles about the theme esp. DARN SOCKS, too much short stuff, NRA will be a target, pretty good fill, don't see much to inspire great comment.

TOASTER to coaster to To Aster. Balls in pockets to Prine. Rex's ewer sewer House IMNOUSE stuff. Feiffer on laundromat socks, limericks and on and on. Jeezus H. Schist indeed.

House's presumed co-worker is actually is actually Dr. I.M. NOUSE. He piped up pompously with: I am I.M., I be he. He is I.

NIP in the NYTCW is different than fuck in a blog. As I said before: I like NIP in its non-racist context but putting it directly below a Japanese name raises the context to a rude level.

And while I hate disagreeing with @old timer using Rex's anti-racism overreaches to accuse him of being a racist is a cheap shot and doesn't add up. Racism and homophobia dynamics are not identical. You could call him a gun enthusiast, a proud boy and a trumpist with the same seasoning. Not a typo.

albatross shell 10:16 PM  

Welcome back @TT(frigg)imble.
No offense. Just trying to guess what @JC66's typo was suggesting.

Nancy 10:17 PM  

@Barbara (5:57) -- Even Hercules would blanch.

BTW, @Barbara and @Smith, I cut my teeth on A.A Milne's verses too -- but I'm amazed that people still own those books from when they were six or maybe even younger. I don't remember any of Winnie the Pooh -- which didn't do much for me -- but I can still recite from memory "James, James Morrison, Morrison..."; "The King asked the Queen and the Queen asked the dairymaid..."; "Oh, what is the matter with Mary Jane...?"; "They're changing guards at Buckingham Palace...".

Hammerstein and Hart and Berlin and W.S. Gilbert were early influences on me. Tennyson and Kipling were also early influences. But long before any of them, there was A.A. Milne -- and because he was the first, he may have been the biggest influence of all.

I wish I still owned those two books of verses.

JC66 10:41 PM  



stephanie 12:24 AM  

i waited too long into the night to start this for a thursday, and thought it might have been a bad idea but i wanted to keep my streak going. but thursday weirdness and, what's this? i'm...i'm solving it! i was filling in so many answers without crosses i thought at least half of them must be wrong. but then...they weren't. definitely a record for me, but tbh i wasn't in the mood for a regular thursday so it was serendipity for me.

i thought the revealers were fun/funny - blasted off really got me! 😂 what can i say, i enjoy a corny joke. i also enjoyed uncovering LAB MICE, TOASTER, and FALAFEL. the only thing i didn't like was KAY O. that's a bit of a stretch. i'm not one for critiquing others spelling & grammar, but "DARK SOCKS is a rotten stand-alone answers" in a writeup critiquing the word usage of others is a needs an edit.

anyhow, back in my younger days, i went to this one particular bar every friday night where my friend was a dj. it got to be where all the staff knew me, including the bartenders. one of them was a woman named sadie, and she had what you might call a heavy hand for us regulars. and free drinks. and pouring drinks after close. and then the tab would be way under what it should have been. and the next morning would be god awful. my friend who went with me all the time got to calling it, "the marquis de sadie."

TheMadDruid 9:41 AM  

Of course, d’oh! Thanks both.

Brine's Brains 7:17 AM  

I had TYRO rather than TYPO which actually made sense -- Run for Fun, rather than Run To Win.

Amy 10:33 AM  

I disagree with Rex’s objection to “freaking”. Maybe my friends and I aren’t informal enough, but we use the word (with a g at the end) all the time. And I would never use friggin. Just doesn’t occur to me. Maybe this is regional/cultural somehow. I suspect linguists might know the story. The point is that FREAKING OUT is a great answer for me.

Lebron John 11:10 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP