Beth Harmon's weakness in The Queen's Gambit / TUE 11-9-21 / Decepticon's enemy in the Transformers films / One-named singer born Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson / Extreme devotee informally

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Constructor: Jennifer Lee and Victor Galson

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: a handful of poetic ... punchlines? ... by OGDEN Nash (39A: Poet Nash, who wrote the lines in 17-, 24-, 47- and 58-Across) — that's it:

Theme answers:
  • "... TO TELL US WHY" (17A: "God in his wisdom made the fly / And then forgot ...")
  • "... OR IS THEY LEGS?" (24A: ""Tell me, O Octopus, I begs, / Is those things arms ...?")
  • "... THE OTHER MILK" (47A: "The cow is of the bovine ilk; / One end is moo, ...")
  • "... BECOMES A CAT" (58A: "The trouble with a kitten is that / Eventually it ...")
Word of the Day: ROTI (3D: Indian flatbread) —
Roti (also known as chapati) is a round flatbread native to the Indian subcontinent made from stoneground whole wheat flour, traditionally known as gehu ka atta, and water that is combined into a dough. Roti is consumed in many countries worldwide. Its defining characteristic is that it is unleavenedNaan from the Indian subcontinent, by contrast, is a yeast-leavened bread, as is kulcha. Like breads around the world, roti is a staple accompaniment to other foods. (wikipedia)
• • •

I don't really know what to do with this. I don't see how it qualifies as a theme. You just ... thumb through a book of OGDEN Nash poems and find some of his presumably infinite "joke" phrases that you can turn into a set of symmetrical answers and ... tada? I see that all the "jokes" are about animals. I don't know why. So can I put THEY FEELS in the grid because of
I don't mind eels
Except as meals.
And the way ___
How about BEEN PEPPERED? Is that ... good?
The panther is like a leopard
Except it hasn't ___
I'll admit OGDEN Nash is clever, but I'm just not sure punchline parts make the best fill. Also, I don't know why today is OGDEN Nash day. Is it his birthday? Did he redie? Nope, wikipedia tells me neither of those surmises is true. Wikipedia also tells me that he wrote "over 500" pieces of light verse, so you know, if this theme somehow tickled you, there's a *ton* more fodder there. Go to town, I guess. More things I don't get: why the revealer is a *first* name. That's not bad, but it is weird. It's not like he's known simply as OGDEN. He's not Oprah. Also, OGDEN (we're on a first-name basis now) is like AMAHL to me in that I know of him *exclusively* from crosswords (shout-out to all the enthusiastic AMAHL fans I heard from yesterday). I think I learned about OGDEN's existence from the whole ONE-L lama two-L llama three-L lllama (i.e. "three-alarmer," as in a type of fire) "joke" which used to feature frequently in clues for ONEL, along with the Scott Turow book of the same name, which I've also never seen in the wild (ONEL is hardcore crosswordese and doesn't come around so much these days). Anyway, the grid is filled with random phrases that mean nothing on their own. When I look at the grid, THE OTHER MILK is just sitting there staring at me as if daring me to guess what THE OTHER MILK is. It's like the back half of some industry slogan, Γ  la "Pork: The Other White Meat." E.g. "PILLS: THE OTHER MILK." Something like that. Anyway, if you like light verse, well, here you go, I guess. I don't think it's much of a basis for a theme, esp. since finding symmetrical phrases in a book doesn't seem particularly thoughtful or clever, but I guess if you think OGDEN is thoughtful or clever, then that's good enough. 

The longer fill is pretty lively, which I appreciate. I genuinely perked up at MOCKTAIL, and "STEP ON IT!," NEW RELEASE, and "NOW SEE HERE!" are all strong entries. "IT" gets repeated in FACE IT, but I only noticed that just now, so it (!) hardly matters. The only answers I'd send back to the crossword scrap heap are EWW DOO and EDUCE, who together make up the barbershop quartet that greets you in hell (in hell, quartets are trios, and no one bothers to explain). That's all, I think. If remembering OGDEN is your thing, you're in luck. Otherwise, less so. Good day.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

P.S. cats are better than kittens, so I don't know what OGDEN's problem is there

Edifying footnote:

lifted from this website

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Conrad 5:37 AM  

I'm a long-time Ogden Nash fan, so I found this puzzle delightful. No major replacements. I did have soul for FIRE at 46D and RHiNE at 49D, but those cleared up quickly.

Anonymous 5:41 AM  

Surprising that @Rex doesn't know Ogden Nash aside from Xwords. Not surprising that he therefore disses the puz.

I loved this Tuesday whimsy. A fun way to start the day. Thank you Jennifer and Victor.

kitshef 5:42 AM  

Love OGDEN Nash, and I feel Rex's life is poorer for only knowing him from crosswords.

However, did not love the puzzle (which should have run on Wednesday, I think). It made me imagine a more entertaining puzzle in which the description is the clue and the animal is the answer.

Brian 6:49 AM  

Felt more like a Friday puzzle than a Tuesday. I struggled with every sector. Not that familiar with Nash, so it was a painful slog. Ugh.

Lewis 6:49 AM  

Oh, brava and bravo. This is one entertaining and appealing puzzle. The sing-song rhythm of the theme answers, their humor, and each being a punch line, would seal the deal in itself, but then look at those colorful longer downs – MOCKTAIL, STEP ON IT, NOW SEE HERE, DRY EYED, NEW RELEASE. Our two constructors squeezed all this in a clean grid, while throwing in answers from the world of movies, sports, food, the Web, not to mention the mention of The Queen’s Gambit, a series that utterly charmed me.

Plus, the inclusion of an iamb train: AVOID / AMOK / AVER / AMISS / AGREE, to add some bounce to Nash's verse, you see. Not to mention the fact that 1D – PETS – is a STEP up.

This whole puzzle is a step up. You two delivered a bright, smile-inducing creation, Jennifer and Victor. Thank you so much!

Trey 6:53 AM  

OK - so I liked this. I have heard of OGDEN Nash outside of crosswords, but have never read anything he wrote. I really enjoyed these lines, and got some pleasure trying to get the longer answers with a few vertical crosses. They were all clever, although the MILK answer seemed the weakest of the group.

AUTOBOTS made a second appearance of late. I have never been a Transformers fan, but the name makes a ton of sense since these things alternate between a car appearance and a robot appearance, so it is relatively easy for me to figure out when I see the clue.

While there was some "meh" crossword fill (noted in the original post), there were so many things that were great that these small words are completely worth it. Loved MOCKTAIL. Learned about FAUN and Narnia (had read this decades ago) and PILLS and the Queen's Gambit (never saw the show).

Trey 6:55 AM  

Oh - and I am glad that the 3L post from Ogden Nash was included in the post. I had never heard more that the 1L and 2L lines of that poem, and thought that @Rex was making up the 3L part until I read the entire poem

Anonymous 7:06 AM  

Another Ogden Nash fan here; I used to recite his poems to my 3 children while we waited for the 19 to go downtown to the central branch of the Pratt library.

Son Volt 7:22 AM  

I’ve never been a Nash fan so the theme was blah but overall the puzzle was fine. Was able to PARSE all of the quips - FAUNS extends the whimsey.

Liked the long non-themers - NOW SEE HERE, MOCKTAIL and STEP ON IT are all really good. Nice seeing PIE as a harbinger of turkey day.

Enjoyable Tuesday solve.

amyyanni 7:23 AM  

Haven't read Ogden Nash in years. Liked him when I did, so this was a cheery reminder. Agree with Rex, no complaints about kittens becoming cats. Mine are patiently awaiting breakfast, so time to wish y'all Happy Tuesday.

Frantic Sloth 7:24 AM  

This is the second puzzle for these co-constructors and both have been given POW by Jeff Chen.

Can this continue? Let's watch!

The theme is/was the best part of both, but you're playing unfairly when you OGDEN Nash me.
It's a shiny distraction that blinds my eyes to any nits.
I live for nits. I'm a nit nut. You might call me a FIEND.

But I will never not love all things OGDEN, so you got me.

Congrats to Ms. Lee and Mr. Galson on their success thus far. Here's hoping for more!


pabloinnh 7:29 AM  

To apply the OFL criterion, I don't know anyone who only knows Ogden Nash from crossword puzzles so I'm not entirely sure they even exist. My grandmother had a paperback of ON's poem which I started reading as a kid, and I knew all the animal poems in the puzzle except the octopus, which was easy enough to complete. Good times.

Today I learned about HER as clued, PILLS as clued, FAUNS as clued (had forgotten that one), and was reminded of the AUTOBOT and that I still haven't seen a Transformer movie. A serious gap in my pop culture there.

Otherwise smooth sailing and a breezy Tuesday. Thanks for the fun, JL and VG. This was Just Like a Very Good puzzle, because that's what it was.

Anonymous 7:35 AM  

A lovely, fun Tuesday puzzle. Delightful. As a fan of both OGDEN and AMAHL, though, I feel like I have one foot in the dustbin of history.

Moxer 7:39 AM  

Rex and I completely disagree about this puzzle, which I found delightful and a challenge to solve. What could be better than a dash of whimsy and wit on a sunny morning here in the city of brotherly love.

TTrimble 7:43 AM  

Just a really quick note (I've been saving comments recently for the PM, for reasons known only to me): can it be that Rex misread THE OTHER MILK? I think there's supposed to be a comma in there: THE OTHER, MILK. At least that's the way I PARSE it.

Joe Welling 7:48 AM  

This puzzle was very like a whale.

(That's high praise to people like Rex who don't know Ogden Nash from the real world.)

Joaquin 7:49 AM  

This was the most fun I’ve had solving a crossword in many moons.

The first actual poem I remember learning was an OGDEN Nash:

Celery, raw
Develops the jaw,
But celery, stewed,
Is more quietly chewed.

mmorgan 7:49 AM  

Love Ogden Nash, but I successfully predicted Rex’s response, and I don’t completely disagree with him. The verses are wonderful, but just inserting some of them into a puzzle — while very pleasant to find — doesn’t fully work for me. But I did enjoy the puzzle as a whole, and it was a fun solve.

bocamp 7:55 AM  

Thx Jennifer & Victor, for this crunchy Tues. puz! :)


Another great start in the upper 1/3, but the rest was slow going.

The only thing unknown was HER, and the cluing didn't seem overly hard for a Tues., so don't know why this one seemed to take longer than usual.

Nevertheless, a most enjoyable and somewhat challenging solve. :)

yd pg -3

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

Anonymous 7:56 AM  

To paraphrase, a good crossword:
1) is timely (if it's a person, it should be the anniversary of their birth or death);
2) includes a revealer that is not too hot, not too cold, but is just should not be just the first name with the family name in the clue...or come right at the beginning...or vertically...or...;
3) will have interconnected theme fill ... ("cells, interlinked")...;
4) the longer fill can (and usually will) make up for weak(er) short fill...

Tom T 7:56 AM  

Two Hidden Diagonal Word clues from today's grid:

1. The land way down under?
2. Puffin kin

(Answers below)

The Nash rhymes helped make this an easy Tuesday for me. I could plop all four of those answers in with no crosses.

Loved the iambs turned into a couplet by the cleverness of @Lewis. The last couple of days have me thinking it might be time for Rex to schedule a vacation. :-) He was notably more relaxed after his travels earlier this year.

Answers to the HDW (with "O. Nash-ian" embellishments):

1. HELL (the E is in the 22A space)

A wonderful bird is the pelican.
His bill can hold more than his belican.
He can hold in his beak
Enough food for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican.

2. AUK (the U at 54D)

Consider the auk;
Becoming extinct because he forgot how to fly, and could only walk.

Dr. Ants 7:59 AM  

@Brian: Agreed - I guess not a *Friday* for me, but certainly played like at least a Wednesday, perhaps because I saw the themers were quotes, went "ugh", and decided to ignore them until I had many crosses as I usually struggle with quote-based themers. So that surely slowed me down.

I am however familiar with OGDEN Nash outside of crosswords, primarily due to awareness of his ant-based poem, "The Ant":

“The ant has made herself illustrious
By constant industry industrious
So what?
Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?”

Frantic Sloth 8:02 AM  

Even though I didn't agree with his take, I really enjoyed Rex's write up today. "PILLS: THE OTHER MILK" cracked me up. And his EWW DOO EDUCE barbershop quartet "that greets you in hell" smacks of our @JD's law firms. But, his parenthetical explanation "in hell, quartets are trios, and no one bothers to explain" made me chuckle.

I'm happy to see others defending OGDEN Nash's talents and knowing of him beyond crosswords. Sometimes, Rex is from Neptune. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

From yesterday, @TTrimble for you: Odd to Joy

Anonymous 8:07 AM  

Rex raised one of my peeves about crosswordese so I want to add my usual one sentence rant about it. I went to law school. I have never never never never ever heard the terms one l outside of crossword puzzles. i've never heard a classmate use the phrase. no one ever call me a one l. I never called myself a one l. I don't know where the phrase came from, except that it seems to have derived from some crappy screenwriter who didn't get in to law school, and it got picked up from there. When I don't see a one l in a puzzle, like today, its a good day. Sunday was a good day--I spent much of it in Natick.

GILL I. 8:09 AM  

Well...I tip-toed through the tulips with this little Tuesday punchline verse. I'm not sure this really belonged in a Tuesday. You see....not everybody is well versed in OGDEN. I wasn't quite around this here USofA when he became popular. I certainly heard of him because every once in a while, I'd come out of my cave. The one I recalled was "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker." Maybe that was Mae West? I can't remember.
I'm guessing you'd put this in the "cute" slot?
After I finished, I went and looked up all of his verses. Well...some of them. Yes, he was clever and I think I would've liked him as much as I did Dr. Seuss.
Should I go look up the reason that "The Queen's Gambit" weakness were a bunch of PILLS?
Should I try and figure out why OLINE protects the QB?
Did DOO walk into the bar all by himself?

Mr. Cheese 8:26 AM  

Love Nash. He’s credited with writing the shortest poem, ever!

Title: FLEAS
Had ‘em.

SouthsideJohnny 8:29 AM  

A little on the tough side for a Tuesday - especially if you're not familiar with the artist or his work. LOIS stacked next to FAUNS is a rough spot, and the clue for DRY EYED (Impassive) seems like quite a stretch to me, unless there is a less common usage of either term with which I am not familiar that brings them together.

Maybe border-line Wednesday for those who don't know Nash's work. I'm sure others will fly through it - we may even see some PR's today.

Too much whining from REX about every little thing, every single day. He could use a heavy-handed editor. Just say that the theme concept is a bit of a stretch, but viable, and leave it at that. We get it Rex.

Nancy 8:31 AM  

Well of course I loved it!

First one I got to was the fly (17A). I write light verse myself, so that when I had TOT---------- and I read the clue, I thought: Now how would I complete this? My answer was "TO TELL me WHY." (Close, but not quite. Works just as well, though.

I now decided to only look at the themers, so that I would have to figure them out them with no crosses at all.

For 24A, my answer was "OR are THEY LEGS?" Hadn't counted the number of letters and hadn't noticed the ungrammatical beginning to the quote. But, again, as verse, my answer works.

Disappointment reigned at the moo one (47A). Damn -- I already knew it.

And finally the kitten (59A). My answer was "BECOMES A CAT". Ahh -- perfect, I purred to myself.

Of course I'm sure I spent much more time with this than any of you did. So it's lucky that I never time myself and don't care what my times are. But by gifting myself with a "puzzle within a puzzle", I got to enjoy an extra helping of fun in what, after all, was a very easy puzzle.

Anonymous 8:35 AM  

I enjoyed Ogden Nash's playfulness with language as a youngster.Abd that light heartedness comes across in today's puzzle which I also enjoyed.
Kudos to the constructor.

Frantic Sloth 8:36 AM  

Go know of the day:
OGDEN Nash was born in Rye, NY

Was the Weimaraner
From the Rye Maraner

Apologies. Bye.

Anonymous 8:37 AM  

Love kittens. Cats not so much. #Team Ogden.

Birchbark 9:14 AM  

THE uddER MILK --> THE OTHER MILK. Proof that even the best poetry is improvable.

As for the fly -- I like TO TELL US WHY next to WII. The Creator answers "Just because."

Yet without the fly, the Old Lady would have nothing to swallow. And nothing to swallow to catch it ad infinitum. No real reason for anything to exist, really. It would be sort of sad.

I suppose I find the Creator's imponderable "WII" something of a comfort under the circumstances.

Buckaroo 9:14 AM  

The Brilliance of this that you don’t need to know any of the Ogden Nash poems to solve the puzzle. You just need to follow the structure of the first lines that you’re given, together with a few of the Crossing clues.

Z 9:16 AM  

Anyway, if you like light verse, well, here you go, I guess. I don't think it's much of a basis for a theme,
My grandmother had a paperback of ON's poem which I started reading as a kid
pretty much say everything I have to say about this "theme" (when we, who skew not young, are writing about things our grandparents owned we know how the puzzle skews).

Still, it is wordplay so imminently inferable and fun to suss out, so not a terrible six minutes. It is just flawed as a puzzle concept (and technically a second day in a row of PPP based themes since Ogden Nash quotes are Pop Culture).

In Other News: Congrats to the SUNY-Binghamton Women for beating Yale and qualifying for USAU College Nationals. (yes, I was surprised to see Rex tweeting Ultimate this morning)

In Yesterday's Crossword Answer Making Today's News News: This

Crunchy 9:16 AM  

Am I the only one who tried to rhyme 'moo' with, well, 'poo?'

Nash's works are amusing and I don't have them memorized but I got them pretty quickly - even if I tried breaking the rhyming scheme with the more amusing (to my adolescent mind, which still lurks in my brain) 'poo.'

JMo 9:23 AM  

Scott Turow wrote a book of that title about his first year at Harvard Law. Not as entertaining as The Paper Chase.

Nancy 9:26 AM  

Yes, @Birchbark (9:14) -- improvable, indeed! I think OGDEN would be the first to agree. "Udder" is just fabulous!

RooMonster 9:27 AM  

Hey All !
Rex is AMISS on his BALKing of this. It was fun! Sure, it's easy to find symmetrical entries from OGDEN snippets, but that doesn't make it less neat. It's a theme! It works together, is coherent, and might introduce Nash to people who haven't heard of him. Bring some joy into your life, man!

Good fill, light dreck, 36 Blockers, two short of max.

Wondering if the constructors had cANE/cOCKTAIL but decided to change it to M for funner stuff. (Funner should absolutely be a word.) Kind of odd clue on RED. Is that for an i-Phone? I have an Android, so my love battery icon is just regular. Or does it mean a general symbol? I'll do with the latter.

My crazy brain at first (for a nanosecond, at least) wondered how straw could be looked at as a TUBE. Har. I"straw just a stand without a hole in it?" Then face palm as I said, "Oooh, drinking straw!" Sometimes the ole brain is good for a laugh.

Gonna SKIP to the end.

Three F's

CarynL 9:28 AM  

My late father was a huge Ogden Nash fan and quoted his poetry regularly. Thank you Jennifer Lee and Victor Galson for starting my day off with a warm, wonderful hug of memories!

pmdm 9:37 AM  

Today's puzzle made me smile, for all the right reasons. I doubt I am in the great minority, so the puzzle must be quite good. For a Tuesday.

Roday's write-up made me smile, for all the wrong reasons. Perhaps thou doth protest a bit too much, possibly due to overthinking stuff.

Enough said. Others can squabble. I think I will just smile.

Kid Phoneme 9:39 AM  

It was a peach puzzle
nothing alarming
A stroll down the street
'Til I got caught in the fauning

Karl Grouch 9:53 AM  

As a self confessed pun-minded creature, I cannot but love Ogden.
Albeit for different reasons, I also love his two siblings,
Graham from England
and Steve from Canada.
All three make me feel happy and human when I read, watch or listen to them.

Lewis 9:55 AM  

Here’s a factoid tripped off by this puzzle.

When I saw the clue and answer – [Like a good biscuit] and FLAKY – a voice within me immediately piped out with “Like a good biscuit, FLAKY is there” to the tune of the State Farm jingle (“Like a good neighbor…}.

Which caused me to look up said jingle, and I learned that it was written by Barry Manilow (in 1971). Huh! And there’s your factoid for the day.

Trey 10:12 AM  

I went to medical school, and in my years of teaching students and residents at various schools and hospitals along the way, I have learned that nomenclature for all things medicine (including class years) can vary widely. I am fairly sure I have heard MS-1, MS-2 etc before, but also many variations. I am sure that 1 L exists somewhere even if it is not the dominant term. However, the book has made it fair for crosswords

Carola 10:18 AM  

Delightful. The two Nash beasts I already knew were the llama and the panther ("If called by a panther,/ Don't anther"), so I didn't immediately recognize his zany touch from the fly line. But with the octopus legs, the light began to dawn: "OGDEN Nash?" It was fun to be introduced to the two udder ones (thanks, @Birchbark). Looking over the grid, I wondered if he'd also written about a NEWT: as far as I can tell, no, but he did write: "I've never met an axolotl/ But Harvard has one in a bottle." And hiding in ANTI is

The Ant
The ant has made himself illustrious
Through constant industry industrious.
So what?
Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?

JD 10:20 AM  

Consider the Rexity in all his perplexity, says it's not Nash's birthday and that's a complexity.


Now See Here Codger my good man, why do we need to wait for Ogden Nash's BDay to enjoy him?

The rhymes were fun and not much of a problem to coax out from the crosses.

The four long downs had a liveliness that complemented the theme.

The theme held together with the animal thread.

Don't overthink it.

@Frantic, don't go! You're just getting started.🀣

Adam S 10:21 AM  

Liked this a lot. Here's my favorite Ogden for those who haven't come across it:

The pig, if I am not mistaken,
Supplies us sausage, ham and bacon,
Let others say his heart is big--
I call it stupid of the pig.

bocamp 10:27 AM  

Here's to a '3-l lllama' and a 'silk pajama'.

"Throughout his life, Nash loved to rhyme. "I think in terms of rhyme, and have since I was six years old," he stated in a 1958 news interview.[5] He had a fondness for crafting his own words whenever rhyming words did not exist but admitted that crafting rhymes was not always the easiest task." (Wikipedia)

td pg -6 (timed out) / [missed words from yd]

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

thfenn 10:37 AM  

Really enjoyed this Tuesday offering. Like @Buckaroo and others, I thought its beauty lay in the ability to complete the quote without knowing it, or OGDEN, for that matter. And fill like FACEIT and NOWSEEHERE fit my mood this AM. Plus I learned a new usage for FIEND, or at least dusted off one I'd forgotten about. Fun start to the day.

jae 10:43 AM  

Medium-tough. I gave my bride a book of OGDEN Nash poems for her 30th birthday a very long time ago because it had a poem about turning 30. So, yes I am fan and I liked this one bunch! Plus the long downs are delightful. Jeff gave it POW.

A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda's sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda is a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adored you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What's a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then--
How old is Spring, Miranda?

johnk 10:45 AM  

Now Rex so frowns on Ogden
It goes down in his blog then.

Beezer 10:46 AM  

@Pabloinh…had to skip down to comments to tell you that you haven’t been missing out on pop culture by not watching the Transformer movies! I know all-things Transformer because it started as a Saturday morning cartoon that my son watched and I confess, I got drawn into watching it with him. The movie…let’s just say that somethings should just remain cartoons.

Wm. C. 10:53 AM  

I've read all of Scott Turow's books; in fact, I just finished his most recent one, "Innocent." He's one of my favorite authors.

The story in 1L is patterned after his first year there, where he was striving at great pain to finish it first in his class, which was an enormous struggle.

After college, I rented a large house with four other guys, three at Law School and two of us at the B-School. While the Law School seemed to have a more difficult curriculum than the B-School (and is three years rather than two), it was not enormously so. In fact, for the Ls, the most difficult work was in the summer after graduating, while their employers were paying them while the partners acted as instructors for each of the subjects in the state bar exam that fall. The exam was FAR more difficult than any of their L-School exams, and if one did not pass, it put you in a difficult position with your employer: you could not bill clients at the rate of the members of the Bar, AND you would need to be taking time studying again during work hours for the next exam, AND if you failed that you might lose your job or be consigned there to a permanent paralegal position.

As to graduate school nomenclature at Harvard, students are classified by Year/School. For instance, 2B is a second-year student in the Business School, 2E in the Grad School of Education, etc.

Anonymous 11:11 AM  

wait you haven't listened to NPR in more than 20 years, but you read their stories and link to them. Ok. Sure.
I say, with renewed confidence, you know exactly who the lisping Rob Stein is, and every other NPR personality as well.

egsforbreakfast 11:11 AM  

It is interesting that the puzzle can rightly be criticized for the reasons Rex states. And yet, most commentators really enjoyed it, and I count myself among them. Sometimes it’s just spirit-elevating to watch The Griswolds Family Vacation rather than a documentary on global warming. Doesn’t mean that the Griiswolds is great art or important. Just fun, like this puzzle.

Thanks, Jennifer Lee and Victor Galson.

Joseph Michael 11:12 AM  

Uh oh. This puzzle is trying to make me laugh. What could be more meh than that? I come to the puzzle to get offended so that I have something to rant about.

Or not.

Don’t need no liquor, no candy, or no cash
When I starts my day with a little OGDEN Nash.

Beezer 11:12 AM  

I had pretty much the same take as @Buckeroo, that is, even though I’m 66, I am not that familiar with Nash verse but these were infinitely inferable if you just know his style. I thought the puzzle was fun, fun, fun because of this. Lol @Z for sneaking your time in on this one. And here I thought my 12 minutes was respectable!

@Nancy, since I work on NYT iPad app I cannot HELP but know my time. Good thing I don’t care about my “statistics” because I’ve been known to nod off at night working it, and sometimes get interrupted by the dog for a walk and don’t log off.

To the earlier Anonymous attorney…yeah, I’m an attorney also and back in the day we just said (imagine this) “first year law student,” etc. Man, we wasted so many words and time saying that,eh? Ah well, for whatever reason when you talk to students today it is definitely ONEL, etc. today. I feel pretty sure the term was taking hold before the Grisham book…I doubt he had a revolution in mind.

Whatsername 11:13 AM  

I expect any complaints AIRED about this little number will be few and far between. FACE IT, what’s not to love about OGDEN Nash?

@Lewis (9:55) Interesting bit of trivia. I actually like the State Farm commercials but a few years back, Peyton Manning and the Nationwide jingle nearly put me off insurance ads for good.

EricStratton 11:20 AM  

I may have missed it, but all these comments and nobody has used my favorite Nash line: "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker."

Anonymous 11:21 AM  

@The Cleaver
Going to say something that will probably make your head explode.
You know the Bible is a work of fiction, right?
Oh, and the Earth isn't flat.

KnittyContessa 11:24 AM  

@jae Thanks for sharing. Really enjoyed the poem.

mathgent 11:36 AM  

MOCKTAIL. I hadn't heard that term before. Delightful. When I was a kid around 1940 and went to dinner with my parents, they would get me a Shirley Temple. Ginger ale with a shot of Grenadine.

Wonderful collection of OGDEN Nash lines today, in the puzzle and in the posts, and also from the constructors in their comments on Jeff Chen.

Very nice puzzle.

Malsdemare 11:54 AM  

Anonymous 8:07 Perhaps others have pointed this out. Scott Turow, author of "One L", graduated from Harvard Law and practiced law as well as authoring several best selling books. He was an Asst. US Attorney in Chicago for eight years. He wrote One L during his second year of law school. He's a terrific writer and an accomplished lawyer. And One L is great. He's no shlock screenwriter.

I really enjoyed this puzzle. Like many here, I always smile at Ogden Nash's dopey limericks. There are days I just shake my head at Rex's myopia. And MOCKTAIL is worth the price of admission.

If you haven't watched The Queen's Gambit, you need to put it on your must-watch list.

Masked and Anonymous 12:15 PM  

Funny ode to Ogden Nash puz. Enjoyed these samples of his wit, and don't mind that the puz didn't cover very verse he ever writ.

The Odgenmeister did kinda roll over in his restin spot, when he heard tell that "Pro-fusser @RP" [har] basically had zippo knowledge of his work -- and offered up these here brief reply remarks:

"This dude Rex is a parallel Parker; / One side is well-read, the other just snarker."
[Sooo … not sure he was real happy about @RP's reaction to the puztheme.]

staff weeject pick: EWW. A two-W ewe. Luvly weeject stacks in the NE & SW, btw.

Solvequest was mostly smoooth-goin at our house, except for the FAUNS + LOIS names of mystery area. This nanosecond drainer was compounded by not recallin whether the 24-A OGDEN-verse sample was ORISTHEYLEGS or ORBETHEYLEGS.
Did the Narnians call this Mr. Tumnus dude "The Fauns", for short? Did he wear a leather jacket?

fave stuffs: MOCKTAIL. DRYEYED [cool YE-YE letter combos]. And U can either FACE IT or STEP ON IT.
Also partial to the symmetric(al) NEW & NOW starters on them longest 2 Down answers.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Jennifer darlin & Victor dude. Good build and neat taste-of-Nash-ville tour.

Masked & Anonymo4Us


CT2NAPA 12:19 PM  

I had a sort of "reverse Natick" with COCKTAIL and CANE. Filled in cocktail pretty early and then the downs filled 40A. When I didn't get the happy music I scanned the grid for my typo and didn't see any un-words. Finally noticed that the CANE in 40A was a repeat and for the first time looked at the clue. OH, MANE and MOCKTAIL!

Unknown 12:24 PM  

The term "one L" is quite common throughout law schools across the country.
The book/movie ("The Paper Chase")was also fairly popular, and used the term throughout.
To Anonymous 8:07 . . . . hard to fathom you never came across this term in the real world.

Cat Lady of the Universe 12:25 PM  

Neutral on Nash, but 58 across is definitely anti-cat. Cat ladies and Cat men take notice and object to this insensitivity.

mathgent 12:25 PM  

My favorite posts this morning.

Joaquin (7:49)
Dr. Ants (7:59)
Mr. Cheese (8:26)

GILL I. 12:29 PM  

Speaking of kittens and CATs and husband and I just watched "The Electrical Life of Louis Wain" on Amazon. It's endearing.
I don't know much about poetry because I've never quite understood it, but I do know art and crazy. If you have a place in your heart for watching someone fall in love, then watch this movie.

Masked and Anonymous 12:40 PM  

That shoulda been "…cover EVRY verse he ever writ", up in my first post. I blame Otto-Correct.
Betcha OGDEN woulda had somethin mighty neat to say, about Otto-Correct … anybody got ideas, on what that woulda been? ...


A 12:49 PM  

Cute Monday puzzle! - well, I solved it Monday night, anyway. Liked PARSE as an opener. Then we see FIE, ND. Hey if we can have Rye, NY, why not Fie, ND? Well, it appears there isn’t such a place, but I did find an art gallery in NE called Fiendish Plots. For future puzzles, there is a Jack, AL.

ETSY is fun to explore, but I’m always doubtful about the offerings. “Can I interest you in some NEWT AURAS? NAH, I AVOID the OLINE BLING at ETSY. EWW.”

Love a puzzle with a sense of humor. Even the terrible threes today seemed to encourage playfulness. Here’s PIE in yERR AYE, PAL!

Nice symmetry at 11D and 30D. NOW SEE HERE HER’s NEW RELEASE.

Are AUTOBOTs the reason so many popular cars were redesigned to look angular and aggressive? Seemed to start about 15 years ago? I remember having the impression it was associated with kids’ Transformer toys.

Here are three of Anthony Plog’s Animal Ditties, wRY-EYED pieces based on poems of OGDEN Nash. They’re quite short and the music is as delightful as the poetry. Plus, it’s almost Plog’s birthday (Nov. 13). :-)
The Porpoise The Camel The Turtle

Lest you think he’s just a cutup, here’s something completely different. OGDEN Nash was no DRY-EYED AUTOBOT.

Old Men
People expect old men to die,
They do not really mourn old men.
Old men are different. People look
At them with eyes that wonder when…
People watch with unshocked eyes;
But the old men know when an old man dies.

Lastly (I promise), there’s this excerpt from a PBS interview of Nash bigrapher Doug Parker on Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg:
MR. WATTENBERG: He pulled one trick, which I think is funny. I
gather he sent in a poem, I believe to the New Yorker, that was
designed to be a parody and a fake and they ran it thinking it was for
real and then he later in some of his many anthologies, he later ran

MR. PARKER: And it’s a somber poem and in places a touch macabre.
Here’s one little excerpt from it. 'The bubbles soar and die in the
sterile bottle hanging upside down on the bedside lamppost. Food and
drink seep quietly through the needle strapped to the hand. The arm
welcomes the sting of mosquito hypodermic, conveyor of morphia, the
comforter. Here’s drowsiness, here’s lassitude, here’s nothingness.
Sedation in excelsus.' And his editor at the New Yorker, Roger Angell,
said that, 'it was an interesting, frightening and the best thing of
its kind about hospitals I’ve ever read'. And as I mentioned, John
Updike said some very nice things about it and poet Josephine Jacobsen
wrote Nash that it was brilliant technically, psychologically and
poetically. And so it – among other things it gives a little hint of
the kind of thing that Nash might have done more of if his career had
taken him in that direction.

The full poem is “Notes For The Chart In 306.”

Anonymous 12:49 PM  

I don't get what you're complaining about. What is your problem with the theme?

"I'm not sure what to do with this". I don't know, solve the puzzle? "I don't see how it qualifies as a theme." Yes, you clearly see how it qualifies. What is the criticism exactly?

Anonymous 12:54 PM  

in his infinite largesse Rex admits Ogden Nash is clever. Wow. Just wow.
What nerve, what unmitigated gall of that comic book lecturer at a 3rd rate school in a fourth rate town to feign enough graciousness to concede Ogden Nash has skills.

Joe Dipinto 12:55 PM  

As Oristhe began to feel the effects of the poisoned eye-of-newt mocktail his cup-bearer had served him , all he could say was, "Totellus—why??" Totellus, dry-eyed, responded, "Face it, pal, you were getting too flaky to rule this kingdom." "Now see here—" Oristhe began, then fell over, dead. Totellus summoned his toadies Auras and Memes to dispose of Oristhe's body, but then had a thought. "Wait! Remove all that bling he's wearing and bring it here to me." Auras and Memes looked hesitant. "Step on it!"

Just then the doors burst open and in strode a tall hairy Type-A dude. "Well well, Theotherm," said Totellus with a fiendish grin. "Your ilk is not welcome in this court, as you know. But I will aver that your mane is looking exceptionally faunlike today."

"I have a message for you. It's from a Miss Lois," announced Theotherm the Hairy. Totellus's face suddenly went slack and pale. "Lois...?" he repeated weakly. His legs gave way and he proceeded to collapse. He was heard to murmur "Ouch" as his head hit the floor. be continued in next week's episode of "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake"...

old timer 1:00 PM  

Liked the puzzle, like Ogden Nash, and yet found it surprisingly hard, for a Tuesday.

I went to Stanford Law, where there was no ONE L, etc,. We just said First Year, Second Year, and Third Year. But they did use ONE L at Harvard Law and maybe Yale Law too. Turow's ONE L is a very good book about Harvard Law. I vaguely thoughe Turow had something to do with The Paper Chase, which was so memorably acted. But no, The Paper Chase is the product of one of Turow's classmates, a fellow named Osborn, who has not done all that much as an author ever since.

LorrieJJ 1:04 PM  

My favourite Ogden Nash:

Once a termite ate some wood
To his surprise he found it good
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlour floor today.

Golden prose!

Teedmn 1:09 PM  

This puzzle certainly put a smile on my face. Thanks, @M&A, for forwarding to us OGDEN's take on Rex's write-up.

With the A in place at 40A, I momentarily had the horse's tAil longer than the giraffe's. Post-solve Googling says the giraffe tail is 3.3 feet long. Guinness Book of World Records measured one horse's tail at 12.5 feet but on average, it's probably similar in length to the giraffe's. MANE, silly.

I'm still wondering if my parsing of the 6D clue is legit - I read it as Mr. Tumnus showing up in the Narnia books and also in other books. Shouldn't it read, "Mr. Tumnus and others in the "Narnia" books"? Anyway, I spent a few nanoseconds contemplating multiple Mr. Tumnus characters in different books, wondering if the name Tumnus was faun-specific. Too little sleep last night, I think.

JL and VG, nice job, thanks.

Anonymous 1:14 PM  

As others have indicated, the book, "One L," is a memoir of Scott Turow's time at Harvard Law. It's not a novel. So the term was used at Harvard at that point, although it may not have been used at other places at the time the book was published. Like any school, Harvard has a lot of unique terms. The Paper Chase also takes place at Harvard Law.

Z 1:17 PM  

@Anon11:11 - So if I tell you I'm not a brain surgeon are you going to insist that I operate on yours so you don't say such stupid things?
Now let us consider where a Non-NPR listener might run across an NPR article... Hm... It is a mystery... surely you can only hear a written article on the radio. NPR content cannot possibly be available anywhere else. Certainly NPR wouldn't have posted a seven tweet thread about their article that then got retweeted about 100 gazillion times into my timeline by reporters and friends and, yes, a certain crossword blogger who has been known to howl about the inclusion of a certain domestic terrorist organization in puzzles upon occasion. No, obviously, I could only know about the article if I heard it on the radio.
What a maroon.

@CT2NAPA - I like it, but the clue would have to be reworked a little to "long tool for a giraffe, short tool for a horse."

jberg 1:23 PM  

I'm with @Nancy and @Buckaroo, the fun of this puzzle was figuring out the theme answers. I inherited 5 volumes of Nash'a poems from my father, and read all of them (with delight); but I didn't remember any of these poems, or recognize them as his. The only thing about him you needed to know was his first name. But the punch lines were very gettable, and fun to get.

I don't know that there is anything particularly northeastern about ELM Street. In Sturgeon Bay (WI) where I grew up they had renamed all the streets to be alphabetical state names in one direction and numbered avenues in the other; but the old names were still there molded into the concrete blocks of the sidewalks on each corner -- so while I lived on Louisiana Street, the corner block read "Elm Street".

What IS true about the NE is that we know that the home of the Bruins is Boston Garden.

Despite having read all those Nash poems, I can't seem to rid my mind of the belief that that "Candy is dandy" poem was written by Dorothy Parker. It has that mordant edge to it, I think that's why. But I just checked, and she really DID write

I'd rather flunk my Wasserman test
Than read a poem by Edgar Guest

I just had to share that.

Lewis 1:34 PM  

@M&A -- Simply awesome Nashian RP couplet. You had me at "parallel Parker" and sealed the deal with the rest. Bravo-acious!

okanaganer 1:40 PM  

Fun to read people's favorite Nash poems!

[Spelling Bee: yd pg -3, missed words. @bocamp, almost the same as you!]

Noreen 2:03 PM  

I can't resist adding another Ogden Nash verse:
Shake and shake
The ketchup bottle;
First none'll come
And then a lot'll.

pabloinnh 2:30 PM  

@Beezer-My boys were the wrong ages to have watched the Transformer cartoons on tv, and I don't think we would have been able to anyway, as those were the years of one channel here in NH. I've seen enough snippets of the movies to know I wasn't missing much.

@Noreen-Isn't that a great poem? I taught that one to the kids a long time ago and was delighted to learn a few years ago that something like ketchup that behaves this way is "thixotropic", so you can use that after you say the poem to sound really smart.

tea73 2:54 PM  

If you are going to have a quote puzzle, which is usually not my favorite type, this is the way to do it. I was very fond of OGDEN as a child, so part of my game was to see how soon I could fill in the quotes without any crosses. The cow was the only one I could do without any hints.

Just think we could have gotten this one:

The pig, if I am not mistaken;
Supplies us sausage, ham, and bacon.
Let others say his heart is big—
I call it stupid of the pig.

Fun puzzle!

Maybe . . . 3:00 PM  

It's somewhat amazing to me that someone with a PhD in English, who teaches English in a university, including comics, no less, would confess that he only knows of Ogden Nash "exclusively" from crosswords.

rcj 3:57 PM  

That you only know of Ogden Nash from crosswords suggests a grave gap in your education, possibly even a serious moral fault.

Z 4:10 PM  

@TeedMN - I think Mr. Tumnus is the only named FAUN in the Narnia books, certainly the most prominent, so to make the POC “FAUNS” work the “and others” is added to indicate the clue wants more. There are ways to clarify the clue, but I think it is understandable enough for a clue as is. You may want to squinch a little the next time you try to parse it.

*Squinch - to squint while pinching closed your previous parsing so that you can grok the intended parsing.

Eniale 4:26 PM  

A nice Tuesday puzzle - some resistance on the PPP but they came through with the crosses.

yd pg -9 td pg -9 so far

Will post my Nash offering separately just in case

Eniale 4:27 PM  


How odd of God
To Choose the Jews;

Oh, that's not odd -
The Jews chose God

Beezer 4:32 PM  

Wow, @pabloinnh…one channel!? Now. This message is not to scoff or embarrass or anything else negative. I grew up in the (what some folks would call the Midwest…hell. I’m still here) and we had at least 4 channels before cable. Is this peculiar to NH (my son-in-law is from NH) or were you more rural than most. Live free or die?

Anonymous 4:47 PM  

no one ever call me a one l

guess you didn't go to Harvard:

I wouldn't call Nash a poet, though. just a versifier who used that structure to make jokes. not sure, but I think he only wrote couplets.

The Cleaver 4:49 PM  

You're making my case. I think. Let's go into the WayBack Machine... OK. Some people don't get snark.

Eniale 4:56 PM  

My final word today


Anonymous 5:15 PM  

Ogden Nash was first introduced to me 60 years ago by my older sister, who referred to his work (presumably not an original line of hers, but still a good one) as the Golden Trashery of Ogden Nashery.


Anonymous 5:25 PM  


I'm going to guess that you got your teeVee by the first generation of cable: to wit, the company (or Local Damn Gummint), put up a multi-hundred foot tower, attached a bunch of very high-gain, sensitive antennas thereto, ran the leads to a shack with some high power amps, and out into the homes on wires. most civilians think cable was the offspring of satellite teeVee. not a bit of it. although one does see the occasional abandoned C-band dish in the hollers. another little known fact: back in those days you would get the network feed, i.e. without ads and with all the off-air chatter. made foobahh a whole different experience. the networks noticed and encrypted the feed. damn.

as to NH: most of it is mountains in the middle of nowhere. so the mountains ruin signal. and so does middle of nowhere (no one puts a teeVee station in the middle of nowhere; last I knew the capitol of VT didn't even have a radio station, also in the middle of nowhere). unless you live, for tax purposes, within spittin distance of Taxachussets you didn't get much. nowadays, of course, even Yankee Rednecks can feast on OANN.

Anonymous 5:29 PM  

"Cable television began in the United States as a commercial business in 1950, although there were small-scale systems by hobbyists in the 1940s.

The early systems simply received weak (broadcast) channels, amplified them, and sent them over unshielded wires to the subscribers, limited to a community or to adjacent communities. The receiving antenna would be taller than any individual subscriber could afford, thus bringing in stronger signals; in hilly or mountainous terrain it would be placed at a high elevation.

At the outset, cable systems only served smaller communities without television stations of their own, and which could not easily receive signals from stations in cities because of distance or hilly terrain. In Canada, however, communities with their own signals were fertile cable markets, as viewers wanted to receive American signals. Rarely, as in the college town of Alfred, New York, U.S. cable systems retransmitted Canadian channels. "

the wiki. now you know all there is to know.

jae 5:51 PM  

@GILL L. - thanks for the movie recommendation, I just added to my watch list.

Joshua Levin 6:22 PM  

Here’s one I remember that Nash wrote that remember seeing in Life magazine in the late 1960s. One or two words may be off but it was roughly:

The gains now achieved by a Ms.
Make her world more equal to his
But parody dangles by questions of angles
A Ms. lacks the standing to Ps.

Joshua Levin 6:43 PM  

The word “parody” above should, of course, be “parity.”

Nancy 6:48 PM  

I'm with @Maldesmare. "One L" by Scott Turow is a superb, absolutely riveting piece of non-fiction that puts you right in that law school class with him. Much as I loved "Presumed Innocent," I think it's the best book Turow ever wrote.

Of course I don't now remember a single word, a single incident, a single scene from the book. I should probably read it again.

Beezer 6:49 PM  

@Anonymous 5:25…um, no. I didn’t have cable right away BUT was in the relatively flat Midwest when we had 3 or 4 traditional channels. Good point though on the mountains in NH! We DID have cable in the early 90s when my son watched Transformers…I THOUGHT it was on one of the “big three” channels, but I could be wrong.

GILL I. 7:46 PM  

@jae 5:51. Thanks to you, I've watched some pretty bodacious movies you've recommended. I hope you like Louis Wain and his (to put it mildly) quirky ways.

pabloinnh 8:34 PM  

@Beezer--I grew up in rural upstate NY and we got THREE channels, all from the Albany region, but the antenna only had to be pointed in one direction. In NH our VHF came from Burlington VT, there was a local UHF station (remember those?), very sketchy picture, and another VHF station from the top of MT. Washington, which was basically unwatchable. Reception was thixotropic.

Eventually my wife gave me a Dish Network setup for our anniversary and I spent the next two weeks glued to the tv.

Beezer 9:00 PM  

@Pabloinnh…oh yes, I remember UHF! Say no more on this…I had a “doh” moment on the mountains!

JC66 9:01 PM  

I grew up in a suburb close to NYC (Mt. Vernon) in the 50's and we got 3 channels "clearly" with rabbit ears:




and ! "with snow"

5 Metromedia

Cable TV became available to us in 1968/69 when lived in NYC (Stuyvesant Town) and Manhattan Cable made a deal with the owner of Stuy Town (New York Life) to replace access to each building's master antenna with their cable. Manhattan Cable had the same ownership as Madison Square Garden so we were among the few in the city not in a bar to be able to watch the Knicks on their '69 championship run.

JC66 9:07 PM  

We also got Channel J.

stephanie 11:06 PM  

i know the entire basis of the blog at hand is to find things to nitpick but, even still, today it just confused me. since when has a theme needed to be topical in any way? and then you can't understand how it's a theme at all, yet in the same breath identify all the ways in which it is very much a theme...i was just very ??? after reading all that.

ANYWAY, i enjoyed it. i couldn't tell you if i knew the name OGDEN nash from crosswords or something else, but it was stored in my brain. one thing i can tell you though, is that before today i really knew nothing about the man beyond his name. you could have told me he was an aerospace engineer and i would have said, oh sure! good ol' ogden. and so, i can tell you something else - one can enjoy the theme and figure out the answers without any knowledge of these poems whatsoever. and i like that very much. on the first themer though (before i caught onto the rhymes) i thought there should be enough room to write "NOT WHETHER HE COULD, BUT WHETHER HE SHOULD."

i had some trouble in the top middle, on account of not knowing ANWAR, and guessing lioNS based on my extremely limited knowledge of anything narnia related. additionally i had written "or is THEM legs" which i thought had a nicer ring to it. that left me with DRYEMED which was surely nonsense but what was DRYEYED anyway? oh, DRY EYED. got it.

solved this during the bruins game (during commercials and intermissions of course) so "home of the bruins" stymied me for a bit as well - surely it was TDBANK, GARDEN, or BOSTON but...four letters? huh? oh.

on the topic of cats vs. kittens, i have to confess i am not a cat person. don't get me wrong, i'll appreciate your cat pictures, and give your cat pets, i'll watch your cat while you are away...shit, i've even had godcats! but have one as a PET? on purpose? absolutely not. no thank you.

Anonymous 11:18 PM  

X-Word puzzles are supposed to be FUN ways to pass a few minutes in your day. . . MISSION ACCOMPLISHED TODAY!!! . . . Parker has gone beyond being a nit-picking "curmudgeon". . . He is, plain and simple, MEAN-Spirited. Good Day.

Teedmn 11:20 PM  

@Zÿgâte, you're too danged grid-generous. Let a girl nit-pick as she will! 😊

Besides, I don’t need any more squinching wrinkles.

stephanie 11:25 PM  

oh, and yes please do watch the queen's gambit. i was riveted watching it, very enjoyable. after the fact i did have several nits to pick, but i will not spoil it. don't read anything, just try it. you don't need to know anything about chess, either.

Richard Mikulka 12:23 AM  

I made up Ogden poems for my enjoyment/Hopefully this won't lead to my unemployment:

"You can't learn to s***/Until you learn how to sit"
"If a baseball is round and a football is pigskin/How do we know which road crossed said chicken?"
"A magician's trick is just slight of hand/A landlord's trick is renter of land."

To be honest my attempts are HORRIBLE. I spent about 4 minutes coming up with them. Not meant to offend any Ogden Nash fans at all.

Anonymous 4:34 PM  

I couldn't disagree more about the theme! I found this puzzle charming and delightful. I wasn't familiar with any of these lines going in and I thought each one was a winner--a nice little aha and moment of joy for every single one.

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