Sunday, March 9, 2008

Monday, March 10 - Ken Bessette

For a Monday puzzle with an easy-to-get theme, I sure did struggle with one of the theme answers.

The theme was revealed at 64A: Command center?...or where you might hear the starts of 17-, 28- and 49-Across (obedience school). The three theme answers are:

17A: "Here he is now!" (speak of the devil).

28A: Be undecided (sit on the fence).

49A: Persist to completion (stay the course).

I didn't have trouble with the second and third answers, and 64A was a gimme. But I couldn't for the life of me think what a third command would be. Our dogs only learned to sit and stay. Was it roll over? Lie down? I was lost.

Friday and Saturday were both no-drive days...Friday only because I was still sick. I made up for it today, though. I managed to get all my errands run, get groceries and put them away, do some laundry...and now I'm beat. The time change doesn't help. So it's 7:30, and I'm nearly ready to call it a night. I'm just thankful the Monday puzzle comes out so early.

I liked the two long vertical answers. 11D: Billet-doux (love letter)...although I've never seen the clue word before...and 30D: Message on a shipping crate (this side up).

Other favorites:

5A: Places where lines meet (foci) that a cool word?

9A: French greeting (salut). [Not salud...thanks, Wendy.]

38A: Talking maybe a little too fast (glib).

43A: Sgt. Snorkel's dog (Otto). I especially love that it crosses 36D: Big elevator manufacturer (Otis).

44A: Fable writer (Aesop). My favorite is about a thirsty crow whose only water source is a tiny bit in a pitcher. The crow drops pebbles into the pitcher until the water level rises and she can drink. Don't ask me why I still remember that, but it obviously made an impression on me. I just looked it up...according to this article, the motto is Necessity is the mother of invention.

60A: Long Island airfield town (Islip). Other New York clues are 27A: Big Apple ave. (Lex)...but I don't get why ave. isn't capitalized...and 7D: The "C" in N.Y.C. (City).

2D: Reindeer herder (Lapp). This is not a job I would want. It looks far too cold out there.

9D: Dirge (sad song).

13D: Old message system (Telex).

18D: Wails (keens)...learned that from yesterday's puzzle, where it was in the clue for banshees.

31D: Geologic time unit (epoch).

51D: A score (twenty).

53D: French place of learning (├ęcole). One of only a few French words I remember on a regular basis.

54D: Mail receiver, in brief (PO Box).

In about a half hour, I can legitimately go to bed. I wonder how long it will take to adjust to the time change this time around.

That's it for this one. Here's the grid...

...and I'll see you tomorrow.

Linda G


wendy said...

Now this is a Monday puzzle that can be loved. Great cluing; very different, not same-old, same-old stuff, both clues and answers. Loved SPEAK OF THE DEVIL, which popped out right away. Loved OTTO and OTIS too.

It must be KEEN(s) week at the NYT. Pretty odd word to be so plentiful.

Thought ISLIP was pretty novel, but I just checked Jim's site and it's appeared 10 other times over the past 10 years, including last year.

Anonymous said...


Webster's has "Ave., also ave."

Shortz probably taking a little poetic license.


QP said...

why TWENTY is a SCORE ?

Anonymous said...

Beata - In classical English the word "SCORE" means twenty (see the Gettysburg Address)

Linda - would you type "An avenue in NY" or "An Avenue in NY" - the reference is not to the proper name but to the noun. Lex. Ave. is a very nice ave. in NY :) (I know a number of people who lived along it.)

Easy puzzle except for that northeast corner...


QP said...

thanks dan

Linda G said...

Dan, of course...they were simply indicating that Lexington would be abbreviated. Not sure I can blame that one on having been sick...but I'll try ; )

Wendy, I would have bet that ISLIP was a new one, but it's possible that I've seen it only last year's puzzle. Maybe I'll remember it now.

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