What gives Scotch an earthy flavor / MON 2-12-24 / Undergarment for a dress / Menial workers, dismissively / Baked things that might get people baked / Long, cylindrical instrument

Monday, February 12, 2024

Constructor: Jess Shulman and Amie Walker

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium (solved Downs-only, untimed)

THEME: [Get my innuendo?] — this clue is used for four repeated-word phrases that you might use when you want to make sure your meaning is being understood 

Theme answers:
Word of the Day: Midori ITO (58A: Midori ___, first woman to land a triple axel in competition) —
Midori Ito (伊藤みどりItō Midori, born 13 August 1969) is a retired Japanese figure skater. She is the 1989 World champion and the 1992 Olympic silver medalist. She is the first woman to land a triple-triple jump combination and a triple Axel in competition. At the 1988 Calgary Olympics, she became the first woman to land seven triple jumps in an Olympic free skating competition. She is widely recognised as one of the best figure skaters of all time. (wikipedia) 
• • •

An excellent Monday theme, I think. It's a bit weird, and maybe even a little shaggy, in that the first two phrases are usually said rather than done (i.e. if you actually winked twice, people would wonder what you were doing ... awkwardly flirting, maybe?). So they are stated actions ... but then HINT HINT ... is not that. The word "HINT" isn't standing in for "hint," it's literally just saying "HINT." And then COUGH COUGH ... well, that's another category of answer entirely. Unlike NUDGE NUDGE and WINK WINK, COUGH COUGH is a phrase I've never actually heard anyone say. That's an action that's done rather than said. So this group of four really isn't that tight ... except that they are all repeated-word phrases and they all mean or represent basically the same thing. Somehow it works. You understand intuitively what links them all, and they're structurally linked by their double-wordness, so you're only gonna balk at this theme if you think about it too hard, which is pretty much what I do about every theme, but today ... I dunno. The grouping seemed clever. Simple. Imaginative. Good. And the grid didn't give me hives. No great shakes, but POT BROWNIES and BEAT THE HEAT are definitely above-average long Downs, and if the rest of the fill is average, that's fine. Good theme, good long Downs, OK fill ... that's a win.

If the green ink on my printed-out puzzle is any indication, it looks like there were three Downs that gave me trouble today during the Downs-only solve, and one Across that I had significant trouble parsing. As for the Downs, ORDOC was probably the hardest to get on its own terms. That is, I couldn't hope to understand it from the clue alone (46D: Surgeon, for short), so I had to wait on (inferred) crosses, but I couldn't infer any of those with certainty until I had COUGH COUGH in place. That gave me the terminal "C" which finally got me to ORDOC. I had a reasonable amount of trouble coming up with ENSHROUD as well (41D: Cover completely). Even with the -OUD in place, I had to sit and think for a bit. Didn't help that I had SWALE (!?!?!?!) instead of SWATH at 30D: Strip of mowed grass. What the hell is a SWALE? Marshland of some kind? Ah, a "sunken or marshy place," yes. Anyway, grass is involved, so I don't feel *so* bad, but neither do I feel great. Actually, knowing the theme really helped here, as I was able to infer HINT HINT from -IN--IN- (once I finally pulled out SWALE), and that got me the "H" I needed to get PATHS (ambiguous noun-or-verb clue on that one, 26D: Trails), and from there I could get other Acrosses in that area, which finally allowed me to bring down BEAT THE HEAT, the last of the three recalcitrant Downs in today's solve (24D: Keep cool in a pool, perhaps). "SO I HEAR" was the one Across answer that was (slight) murder to parse (55A: "That's what people tell me, anyway") (had the SOI- but at that point had no way to know there was a break between "SO" and "I"). Anyway, all of this amounted to a fairly standard Downs-only struggle. Never was I well and truly stuck.

The only Down I really balked at was the very first one I saw: 1D: Chicken leftover (BONE). I wrote in BONE, but I did so very, very tentatively, as "leftover" is (in one common meaning of the word) something you eat, whereas a BONE is something you deliberately do not eat; it's something you discard. So my brain wanted the edible rather than the inedible kind of "leftover," hence the balking. But there's nothing wrong with the clue. It just threw me a bit. Nearly everything else, and certainly everything else under eight letters (besides ORDOC and (for me) SWATH) was very easy to get. Simple, bouncy, good. A fine Monday.

I'm going out-of-state this week, so my wonderful substitute team will be on duty here until Saturday. Starting tomorrow, you get Clare (T), Mali (W), Eli (Th), Mali (F). And then I'm back. Have a great week. See you when I see you.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld 

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


egsforbreakfast 12:10 AM  

A relaxed coquette is ATEASE ATEASE (WINKWINK, NUDGENUDGE). I HATE, HATE the 44D clue with its two blanks for the single answer. Maybe this is a sly reference to the theme, but it just seems bad to me.

I couldn't remember whether it was Grumpy ORDOC who was the surgeon, for short.

Given the tendency for Mondays to be nothing burgers, I thought this was pretty good. At least it seemed original. Thanks, Jess Shulman and Amie Walker (one male and one female for those who are counting).

jae 12:12 AM  

Easy. Cute/clever theme, very smooth grid, fine long downs, not much PPP, liked it.

No erasures and no WOEs.

@Rex - some folks use chicken bones to make stock. Enjoy your trip!

Croce Solvers - Croce’s Freestyle #884 was easy-medium for a Croce. The center gave me the most resistance. Good luck!

GILL I. 12:50 AM  

GIGANTIC NOVAS ACED across a SWATH of IONIC PEAT in the town of CODA. The HEAT made you COUGH; it would ENSHROUD the PEONS with a HINT of EPI BIEL and YANK the WINK out of ANYBODY in its PATHS.

"UGG" uttered EDGAR to ANYBODY NEAR him. "I HATE this PEACE of NUDGE....it gives you the TROT and makes you PSST BROWNIES!" OUCH!

"PEACE!" yelled EPI who was the CACHE of the town. SHE would WINK at EDGAR and NUDGE his BACK BONE into A TEASE. SINCE THEY knew how to take a HINT, they TOILED at the PATCH of IONIC PEAT that they HATE and planted LOTS of OAKS and a VIOLA PAPER TREE.

The OAKS needed something to BEAT THE HEAT, so EDGAR and EPI took ICES from the LARD KEG to ENSHROUD TREE PATHS. With a NUDGE from the PEACE NOTI, they got NODS to TROT over to the ATRIA and COUGH up a bodacious LUAU for the PEONS of CODA. IKEA you not!

They TOILED! Their BACK BONE felt like a GIGANTIC OUCH. EDGAR, with a WINK and a NUDGE, asked EPI if she felt OLD. "I'll give you a HINT" SHE said....."HUG ME, and I'll SLIP you some POT I have in my OTHER CACHE under the LARD POT in the ATRIA!" EDGAR let out a COUGH and let SLIP that SHE was A TEASE and could YANK his heart. She did.

SO I HEAR the ATRIA held a bodacious LUAU and the PEONS were finally at PEACE. The MCS played an OBOE and OBOE was it good. There was a HINT of NOTI in the air and folks of CODA did the TROT SCENE. It got lots of NODS from the ORDOCS.

So with a NUDGE NUDGE, a WINK WINK, a HINT HINT and a little COUGH COUGH, the folks at CODA had their POT and danced A BUT TROT. An ENIGMA to be sure.....

And that's the truth!

okanaganer 1:03 AM  

Down clues only solve was pretty straightforward at 11 minutes. Some typeovers were easily fixed: ENORMOUS before GIGANTIC, and GEENA before VIOLA Davis come to mind. And HASH didn't fit for POT BROWNIES.

I too thought of the Monty Python skit as soon as I saw NUDGE NUDGE. (And I think WINK WINK was right after it?... well sort of.) Here is the skit.

[Spelling Bee: Sun 0; record QB streak at 18!]

Conrad 5:15 AM  

Only one overwrite, and that was before reading the clue: 41D ENSHRine before ENSHROUD

Bob Mills 6:19 AM  

Nice easy Monday where the theme was a giveaway fir the fill. One question...are POTBROWNIES real things?

Lewis 6:19 AM  

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

1. Able is he and he is Elba (5)
2. Now I remember who sang 'Take On Me'!" (3)
3. Wind up alone? (5)(4)
4. Pentagon figures (5)
5. You can trip on it in the desert (6)


Anonymous 6:26 AM  

I figured someone would recall this Monty python sketch called Nudge Nudge https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nudge_Nudge

JD 6:27 AM  

Monday, Monday, so good to me
Monday mornin', it was all I hoped it would be 🎵

SouthsideJohnny 6:38 AM  

I never feel safe when PPP is involved (usually for good reason) - I messed up the Jessica BIEL crossing with TOUSLE, lol. The rest of it was great - just what you want for a Monday.

Justin 6:46 AM  

Proud of myself for my first true downs-only solve. 7:18 for 5 seconds slower than my regular average Monday solve.

If it wasn't for the repeating themers, that probably would've been a lot worse.

gregmark 6:58 AM  

I was hoping that the final theme answer would be SAYNOMORE but alas. As Rex included an image from the famous wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say-no-more, say-no-more Monty Python sketch, I'm not sure I understand why he's bothered by the fact that some of the theme answers are unspoken. What makes the sketch work is that Eric Idle says the all of inside-banter indicators aloud.

Anonymous 6:59 AM  

This is such an adorable and innocent question. Oh yes they very much are real things.

Andy Freude 7:00 AM  

@Bob Mills: Definitely real, though their effect can be unreal, man.

Lewis 7:02 AM  

As your resident alphadoppeltotter, a role I’ve inexplicably taken on in the past seven years, it is my duty to inform you that this puzzle has an unusually low number of double letters, at four, where anything less than five is given that distinction. The last time a puzzle fell into this nether region was September of last year.

I remain your humble servant, ever on the alert.

T. Fünke 7:08 AM  

Discard the chicken bone?!?!?!?

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Now you take that home. Throw it in a pot. Add some broth. A potato. Baby, you got a stew goin.

RIP Carl Weathers

David Grenier 7:13 AM  

So glad I caught myself and didn’t automatically fill in Jessica ALBA or GEENA Davis. This is why I try to stick to my “there is one and only one possible answer” level of certainty on my first pass of the grid, but sometimes I get sloppy on Mondays. Those wrong answers probably would have completely flummoxed me on this puzzle.

Anonymous 7:25 AM  

I definitely say "cough cough" all the time. Like when I tell students "hey, I'd pay attention because this 'might' be on your next test, cough cough".

Eater of Sole 7:28 AM  

Fact check: OBOEs aren't cylindrical.

Son Volt 7:33 AM  

I love the Yoda quote - but I need something more than the repetitive themers. Agree with Rex that the longer fill is neat - POT BROWNIES, ENSHROUD etc. Short stuff not so much.


Some convenient plurals. Things like AND, PHDS, ETA, OR DOC are rough even early week. Took me a minute to realize there is an O is TOUSLE.

Pleasant enough Monday morning solve.

The Pixies

Dr.A 7:47 AM  

I liked it exact for ORDOC. That’s not a thing. People say ER doc but not OR doc.

DrBB 7:51 AM  

Fun fact, not particularly relevant to the puzzle: the sexy babe in the Power Station video was the transgender model Caroline Cossey, also known as Tula. Not a huge fan of Power Station, Robert Palmer or Duran Duran ("Hungry Like the Wolf" is in my top ten of whiniest, most irritating vocals in pop music history). But still, it lends a little edginess to what would otherwise be a pretty generic 80s video.

Peter P 8:09 AM  

@Bob Mills - Yes, pot brownies are absolutely a real thing. They are a tricky thing, at least for me, to dose properly if homemade, so I stay away from them. Though, these days, you can buy them at the dispensary where THC content is consistent and listed. We didn't have that back in my college days. :) Today, I'd rather just take a gummy or a hit on the vape, anyway. If you want to hear what happens if you eat a bit too much of your own homemade brownies, Youtube search: "cop eats pot brownies 911". I find it amusing, having been through a version of that experience.

I think ENSHRine and TusSLE were my only write-overs, but mine was not a downs-only solve. I can just never remember the proper spelling of "tousle". Pleasant, quick Monday, as they should be.

smalltowndoc 8:12 AM  

It was okay. Two nits to pick:
- I’ve only heard of "hash brownies". POT BROWNIES doesn’t sound quite right.
- ORDOC? Yeah, that’s not a thing. I’ve not seen or heard that term…ever. Well, at least in the 45+ years I’ve been roaming the halls of hospitals large and small. In my experience, they’re called surgeons.

Lewis 8:13 AM  

What a stellar language quirk find – repeated words that mean “Get it?”! These word pairs have been floating in the ether, clear as day, but it took Jess and Amie to pluck them out. Brava, you two!

Innuendo always grabs my interest, and here is a whole puzzle based on it. This is why I don’t skip Monday puzzles – I would hate to have missed this marvelous theme.

There were also some lovely answers: SO I HEAR, BEAT THE HEAT, CACHE, TOUSLE, ENSHROUD, and ENIGMA. Wow! It was also sweet to see a backward TUBA crossing the OBOE. Not to mention the BACK up and the side PATHS.

This was a day brightener – always a gift – for me. Thank you, Jess and Amie, for making this!

bocamp 8:20 AM  

Thx Jess & Amie; this one was ACEs! 😊

Easy downs-o.

Got the 'doubles' idea right off with NUDGE NUDGE, which helped hugely with the others.

ICEd it fittingly with ENIGMA.

Thx @jae; on it! :)

@Justin (6:46 AM) 👍
On to Croce's 884 🤞, with Natan Last's New Yorker Mon. to follow.
David Balton & Jane Stewart's NYT acrostic was med dif with a sage quote.

Finally finished Matthew Sewell's Sat. Stumper, but with a one-cell dnf at the cross of the 'Lady' / 'Sarong'. Not too disappointed tho, as this was, overall, a very tough one.
Peace 🕊 🇺🇦 ~ Compassion ~ Tolerance ~ Kindness ~ Freudenfreude & a dap to all 👊 🙏

Anonymous 8:28 AM  

Working downs only, the entry that gave me the most trouble was ENSHROUD, for which I had ENvelOpe, and that screwed everything up in the S/SW: vHs instead of SHE and blanks elsewhere. Eventually I was rescued by SO I HEAR.

Also, eR DOC and OR DOC are a kealoa.

Rorita 8:29 AM  

Nice for a Monday morning. A little quirky, a bit stubborn (I kept thinking “or” and not “O.R.”), a bit elegant, and really fun. The Monty Python homage tickled me, too. Pick no nits, Rex.

Nancy 8:36 AM  

As soon as I had NUDGE NUDGE and HINT HINT, I tried to guess the other two. I came up immediately with WINK WINK, but I couldn't come up with COUGH COUGH.

What an adorable theme. We do have an awful lot of ways to let people in on the joke, don't we? Just in case they missed it on the first hearing. We would never want that.

I thought this was a nicely conceived puzzle -- and admirably free of junk. Although I would never call my surgeon an OR DOC. It lacks dignity and I wouldn't want to make him mad and cause his hands to shake.

Anonymous 8:41 AM  

I could have used this advice! Wrote in BIEL initially, then thought, come on, in crosswords it’s always ALBA. Figured I was right the first time soon enough, but still.

Anonymous 8:44 AM  

Thanks for the laughs 😀!

RooMonster 8:54 AM  

Hey All !
A nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat. Har.

Thought we had a Monty Python tribute puz after the first two Themers. Alas, just an [Innuendo] Theme.

Pretty good MonPuz. Easy, simple, fun. The trifecta of MonPuzNess. Light dreck. Even a POT BEOWNIE.

Another Monday. Man, these things come quick.

No F's (UGG!)

pabloinnh 8:57 AM  

Agree with @gregmark that "Say no more " is missing. I kept looking for it too as this is one of my favorite Python skits. Otherwise no complaints, but I agree with others that ORDOC was about the toughest thing to parse.

Thought this was a Monday that checks all the Monday boxes. Well done, JS and AW. No Junky Stuff and A Well-thought out theme. Thanks for all the fun.

On to the Croce and the NYorker Monday for more of a workout.

EasyEd 9:10 AM  

Guessed at the theme right away and found myself looking forward to see what the next themer would be. Thought this to be a fun puzzle with upbeat feeling.

Lewis 9:15 AM  

Regarding POT BROWNIES, there was that time in college when I made a batch. I didn’t remember if pot when baked was more or less potent than when smoked, I knew it was one or the other. Naturally, I erred on the side of biggest bang for the buck, so I threw in a ton.

End result: There was that moment when I was lying in bed and somehow remembered that I left the kitchen light on. Turning it off involved what seemed like an overwhelming number of steps – walking through a hallway, flipping a switch, remembering how to get into the kitchen itself, for instance – and despite great efforts at figuring out how to complete this task, it was just too complicated to attempt. The light remained on.

I lucidly remember this moment from many years ago, my brain shining a bright light on that point in time when it was a dim bulb.

Liveprof 10:18 AM  

Since we're sharing today, the one time I had pot brownies I was at an Eagles game back in the 70's. I had too many (two) -- not to get high(er), but because they were delicious. At one point, we decided we had to go to the bathroom so we started climbing these incredibly steep steps that went on forever. I remember turning around at one point and remarking to my friend: "This is harder than sitting."

That was one wife, 2 kids, and 6 grandchildren ago. I don't touch the stuff (in any form) anymore. One beer in the evening meets all my needs. (Burp!)

B Miller (Insp, NYPD ret) 10:20 AM  

Speaking of 'pot' brownies. I remember the time when Wojo brought in some brownies that his girlfriend had secretly laced with hash. After the guys had a few of them Yamana got all 'mushy-mushy' and swore he could hear his eyes blink. He also swore he lost his legs but still invited us to go to the beach with him and shoot some clams. When I asked Harris to have them analyzed, he took a big bite out of another one. Just another day of chaos at the ole one-two

Georgia 10:29 AM  

My first guess also.

Carola 10:36 AM  

An echo effect here: Really cute theme + the treats of POT BROWNIES, BEAT THE HEAT, TOUSLE, ENSHROUD, ENIGMA. What a good Monday! After NUDGE NUDGE the next two came quickly, but what could the fourth be? I allowed myself the first letter, but the C provided no nudge at all, nor did the following O. It took the U to turn on the light. COUGH COUGH! It was nice to have that bit of resistance at the end, with a fine payoff.

gfrpeace 10:40 AM  

I'm on the team that says you don't discard the chicken BONEs until you've made soup out of them.

Gary Jugert 10:43 AM  

PssstPssst. Cute puzzle. Everything a good puzzle should aspire to be.

Tee-Hee: Food you'll eat no matter how long it's been sitting in the fridge. OLD POT BROWNIES


1 Treebeard of Fangorn Forest.
2 The 5th grade boy inside me every time I see a hint of a woman's undergarment.
3 Pool party refreshments at a fraternity.
4 Put a hat on.
5 🦖
6 Suspend surgeon after finding a junior mint inside the patient.


My Fascinating Crossword Uniclue Keepsake from Last Year: Why those with homes on the market keep a mop handy. OPEN HOUSE TOE ROSIN.


jberg 10:50 AM  

I have to join in the chorus denying that ORDOC is a thing. These days students submit their written work by posting it online; I tell them that the file should be in docx ORDOC format. Weird clue, but better than the one used.

I agree it was a fun theme, and really easy puzzle. The hardest part was deciding whether they would go all Latin on the NOVA plural. And I would have gone for Alba if I didn't have the IEL in place already. I have no idea who Ms. BIEL is, but that's me.

I think I've complained about ETCH not meaning 'engrave' before, so I'll let it go, I know it's a crossword, not a dictionary.

We may be snowbound tomorrow, but I guess I can solve online if the paper can't make it to our porch. Unless the power goes.

andrew 11:00 AM  

@TFunke 7:08

Nice tribute to Mr. Weathers, Tobias. You were the best Blue Man understudy EVAH (as Schwartznegaah apparently always says, based on the repeat Super Bowl ads.)

(POTCOOKIES were my downfall when my roomie brought a dozen of them to a Grateful Dead/New Riders of Purple Sage LA concert circa 1977. I hadn’t eaten all day and scarfed down 7-8 of them since they weren’t immediately having any effect.

Woke up to see the arena empty, house lights on, my roomie and the rest of the audience gone, just an usher shaking me. Mercifully, still had keys and wallet and can’t remember how but got home. Missed a 6 hour show but felt well-rested the next day, so there’s that.)

johnk 11:18 AM  

I easily ACED it all in my head without PAPER and without any sort of digital app. I always expect an easy puzzle on Mondays, but today was far more enjoyable than usual.
We used to attribute POT BROWNIES to Alice B. Toklas. But her Hashish Fudge wasn't even fudge as we think of it, i.e., a chocolate confection. Rather, it was a Moroccan-style sweetmeat made with dates, nuts, ground spices and powdered cannabis.

Masked and Anonymous 11:24 AM  

Nice MonPuz theme. Resonates.

some fave stuff: COUGHCOUGH [has yer UGHUGH, which dovetails nice with a crossin UGG]. ENIGMA. BEATTHEHEAT(PEAT). POTBROWNIES, ANYBODY?. GIGANTIC. SOIHEAR. NODS (dovetails nice with them WINKWINKs).
ORDOC. har har.

staff weeject pick: UGG. M&A's fave houseslipper brand.

fave moo-cow eazy-E MonPuz clue: {Be adjacent to} = ABUT. Also the Texas governor, if U double that T (wink,wink ugh,ugh).

@RP: Safe travels, dude. Send pictures.

Thanx for gangin up on us, Ms. Shulman & Ms. Walker darlins.

Masked & Anonym007Us

p.s. Congratz, to the Sheafs. [Wink, wink -- only a rare few puzsolvers will understand m&e, on this.]


jb129 11:28 AM  

@Lewis 9:15 Those were the days, Lewis! But it's even better now cause it's legal!

This was a fun puzzle & I liked it. What I didn't like was having to search for my typo longer than it took me to do it!

Anonymous 11:31 AM  

Both constructors are women 💪

egsforbreakfast 12:13 PM  

@Anonymous 11:31 says that both constructors are women. I very sincerely apologize for my mistake (horrifyingly made in the first comment of the day) wherein I assumed that Jess was a male. I offer no excuse, just an apology.

pabloinnh 4:32 PM  

Ah, POTBROWNIES and memories. Here's mine-

A friend and I have been going to the NCAA Hockey Regionals for some time. This one was in Worcester MA and I met him there. We went out to lunch and for dessert split a POTBROWNIE that was courtesy of an old friend from Colorado who did his own home-grown version of weed so we had no idea of its potency. That would have been very helpful, since halfway through the first game I was pretty sure I didn't want to move anything except my eyeballs, which is a very hard way to watch a hockey game. My friend was sweating buckets and we were both sure that everyone else in the arena was staring at us. Not our first time, and we both knew this was mostly harmless and temporary, but no fun while it lasted. He drove back to our motel, which amazed me, because he could a) still drive a stick and b) remembered the way. We fell into our beds and woke up the next day, wild weekend indeed. Good times.

dgd 5:14 PM  

Okanaganer above linked to the Monty Python skit. The sleazy character doesn’t say wink,wink after nudge, nudge but he does say wink once later on.
I also thought he might have said wink,wink!

Anonymous 5:17 PM  

I am old I reflexively wrote Lang. Biel came to me but Alba didn’t even occur to me

Anonymous 5:26 PM  

Not sure at all about current lingo to be honest, but hash brownies would have hash in them which isn’t quite the same as pot, or at least wasn’t when I was young. Hash was highly concentrated pot usually put in a pipe (hash pipe).
My guess is some people say pot brownies so the answer is fine

Peter P 6:40 PM  

@smalltowndoc -- Hash and pot are still different, but related, things. The pot brownies I mention were made with actual weed/bud/cannabis flower. Not resin. My teenaged, early 20s heyday was in the 90s, and I pretty much never saw hash around my high school or college in the US. It was all weed. In Europe, I saw a lot more hash, at least in that 90s-00s era, than here. In fact, that's the only place I've smoked hash. I've never really sought it out, but that's what was available.

andrew 6:42 PM  

@egsforbreakfast 12:13

How is assuming someone was male with the name Jess qualifies as a horrifying mistake, for which you could offer no excuse?

Here’s one: Jess is primarily a male name. Not an illogical assumption! (Where are the she/her pronouns when you NEED them?)

Let’s quit counting gender and get back to MLK’s dream: judging constructors based on the quality of their content!

Anonymous 6:57 PM  

Peter P—- taking pleasure in the pain of others. Nice. As for the distribution of hash in the world, got anything, I mean anything beside your personal experience to back up your claim?

Nancy 8:16 PM  

@Andrew's right, @egs. Hardly a "horrifying" mistake that calls for an abject apology. How were you to know? How was anyone?

I can guess how and why the accelerating trend of giving to girls names that were once exclusively reserved for boys began. Parents wanted their little girls to grow up feeling strong and powerful and capable of achieving anything in life. And to be a "Madison" or a "Ryan" or a "Shelby" somehow sounds more powerful than being a "Mary" or a "Rebecca" or a "Susan". But I really think parents should think twice before they do that. It can cause more damn trouble than it's worth for the hapless girl who will spend much of her life being mis-addressed and having to correct people. It won't be the parents' problem. It will be their daughter's.

Peter P 8:05 AM  

@Anonymous 6:57 - The comment was explicitly meant to be anecdotal, hence "in my experience," but, yes, it does appear that Western Europe is the biggest hash market. Here's an article about declined to almost extinct usage in America: https://merryjane.com/culture/is-old-school-hashish-going-extinct-in-america

In this PDF, from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, it states:


"While herbal cannabis is consumed throughout the world, the largest market for cannabis herb is in North America [...] Western Europe is the largest market for cannabis resin, responsible for more than
70 % of global seizures in 2005." Which makes sense, as Morocco and Spain are big producers.

This is from a 2008 report. So it agrees with my experience in the 90s/early 00s, but my statement was completely anecdotal, as stated. My last visit to Europe, weed seemed to be much more prevalent than it was in the 90s, but, once again, my experience.

kitshef 8:23 AM  

Downs only solve was a bit tougher than a normal Monday. My biggest struggle, oddly, was with SCENE. I thought of Set-to, and when that clearly was not right, I had no other ideas for a long time. And I wanted "meGA" something for 8D, so that top central section took a while to sort out.

Liked the puzzle a lot.

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