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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pro-Church of England position / FRI 7-1-11 / Winthrop's affliction Music Man / Title girl 1990s-2000s MTV cartoon / Cousins of blackbirds

Constructor: Chris A. McGlothlin

Relative difficulty: Challenging

THEME: ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM (38A: Pro-Church of England position)— word is broken up and rebused across the middle of the grid


Word of the Day: ANTIDISESTABLISHMENTARIANISM (38A: Pro-Church of England position) —

Antidisestablishmentarianism [...] is a political position that originated in 19th-century Britain in opposition to proposals for the disestablishment of the Church of England, that is, to remove the Anglican Church's status as the state church of England, Ireland, and Wales. // The establishment was maintained in England, but in Ireland the Church of Ireland (Anglican) was disestablished in 1871. In Wales, four Church of England dioceses were disestablished in 1920, subsequently becoming the Church in Wales. // The question of disestablishment of the Church of England is still current, often tied with the position of the English monarch as "Supreme Governor" of the Church (see Act of Settlement 1701). Those who wish to continue the establishment of the Church of England are referred to as Antidisestablishmentarians. (wikipedia)

• • •

Very hard for me. The times I'm seeing right now at the NYT site indicate that it was blisteringly hard for most folks. First off, you're not always looking for a rebus or trick or theme of any kind on a Friday. So there's that. Then there's the fact that it's just hard. I count at least nine answers that I flat-out didn't know (though a handful of those I'd vaguely heard of and could guess at with some crosses). I'm torn between admiring the puzzle (it's tough and memorable and there are some very cool entries and clues) and a general feeling of "I don't get it." Why that word? Why is it broken up? Is splitting or breaking somehow related to the word's meaning (seems a stretch)? Or is it just that this is a famous long word, so why not put it at the center and dice it and stuff it into little squares?

I had a sense early on that there was a rebus involved (at ARK(AN)SAS, actually / 28D: Home of the 42nd U.S. president), but I already had so much of the puzzle done, with no rebus squares in sight, that I figured Clinton must have some other "home" that ends in the same last two letters as his home state. Eventually, the general impenetrability of the center made it clear that something fishy was afoot (is that a mixed metaphor?), and the undeniability of JUST FOR MEN (I mean, once you get to JUST FOR [one blank square], your options are pretty limited) finally tipped me to the letter-cramming gimmick (8D: Popular hair care product).

Fill is pretty solid, except for that ALER / PLAN C (6D: Alternative fallback position) / HAHAHA patch in the NW. My main objection is to the ENTO- / TOE cross (9D: Prefix with -derm / 21A: It may be pinched). Never ever heard of ENTOderm (!?!?!) (is that when your skin is ... on the inside?), and I have never pinched my TOE (stubbed, sure, but not pinched), whereas I pinched my TIE just this morning before heading out to freshman orientation. It's how I get the knot to cinch up right. ENTO- is a terrible bit of fill anyway—don't call attention to it by getting cute with your crosses.


[Warning: some profanity]

Stuff I didn't know:
  • 17A: Florida's ___ Park Race Track (HIALEAH) — Who can forget the THRILLA in HIALEAH!? Classic. (15A: Start of a big 1975 sports event?)
  • 2D: An apostle (PHILIP) — of all the PHILIPs... come on. Boo. Boring.
  • 23A: Winthrop's affliction in "The Music Man" (LISP) — whose what?
  • 38D: Structural piece bent 90˚ along its long dimension (ANGLE IRON) — pfft. Next.
  • 50A: London borough with Wembley Stadium (BRENT) — again ... of all the BRENTs. Boring / obscure.
  • 65A: Chanel fragrance "pour homme" (EGOISTE) — sounds vaguely familiar, but I needed a lot of help from crosses.
  • 39D: Sheet music notations (TABLATURES) — I was trying to make this something like E NATURAL for a while...
  • 13D: Story from Joyce's "Dubliners" ("EVELINE") — never read Joyce. Not a word. Weird, right?
Not the most contemporary of puzzles, but that's OK. At least it has "DARIA," a great and highly underrated cartoon that was technically a spin-off of "Beavis & Butt-head" but is almost nothing like "Beavis & Butt-head" (27A: Title girl in a 1990s-2000s MTV cartoon). Smart, cynical girl trying to survive a modern Riverdale High School (her school's name = Lawndale). Recommended. Is the constructor an older man who really likes his hair, 'cause "A Little DAB'LL Do Ya" and JUST FOR MEN ... that's an odd coincidence.


Bullets:
  • 31A: Like many blog comments, informally (ANON.) — when I realized there might be a rebus in play, I briefly considered that the answer here might be A[NG]RY.
  • 36A: Cousins of blackbirds (GRACKLES) — black with a weird bluish sheen. We get them on our lawn quite a bit.
  • 40A: Creamlike paint shade (EGGSHELL) — big big help. Got this answer off just the final "L"
  • 1A: It often contains "lies" (EPITAPH) — absolutely fantastic clue. Just what a 1-Across clue should be. I also enjoyed 60A: Mama grizzly, south of the border (OSA). Are there grizzlies in Mexico?
  • 66A: Astronaut's favorite dessert? (MOON PIE) — piece of cake, just like the entire SE corner. Weird contrast to rest of the puzzle.
  • 26D: Class with Browning and Golding, say (ENGLISH LIT) — those of you horrified at my non-Joyce-reading will be happy to know that a. this clue was transparent, b. I've read both the authors mentioned, and c. I know enough about ENGLISH LIT to know that there is no one class that would feature both these writers (unless the topic of that class is "random books I pulled off my shelf"). Further, the first man who came to mind when I saw "Golding" was not the "Lord of the Flies" guy, but the Renaissance translator of Ovid. Arthur Golding. You heard me.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rocker Hitchcock / THU 6-30-11 / Snack cake since 1961 / Whitman's dooryard bloomer / Intermediate at law / 1966 gold album Herb Alpert

Constructor: David Poole

Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging

THEME: ACRONYM (50D: Basis of the answer to each starred clue, commonly) — answers are silly sentences that are also homophones of common acronyms (initialisms, actually, but why split hairs?)


Word of the Day: MESNE (10D: Intermediate, at law) —
a.

[Cf. Mean intermediate.]
(Law) Middle; intervening; as, a mesne lord, that is, a lord who holds land of a superior, but grants a part of it to another person, in which case he is a tenant to the superior, but lord or superior to the second grantee, and hence is called the mesne lord. // Mesne process, intermediate process; process intervening between the beginning and end of a suit, sometimes understood to be the whole process preceding the execution. Blackstone. Burrill. -- Mesne profits, profits of premises during the time the owner has been wrongfully kept out of the possession of his estate. Burrill. (Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/mesne#ixzz1QioqZXBn)

• • •

This puzzle is ingenious, even if the fill is a little rough around the edges in parts. ROBYN Hitchcock (57D: Rocker Hitchcock) crossing ALAN BALL!? (64A: "Six Feet Under" creator) Yikes. I knew both, but only because a. I was in college when ROBYN Hitchcock was a well known "college rock" (it was a thing) artist, and b. I do puzzles and have stumbled on ALAN BALL before. Lots of names, and with every theme answer relying on your knowing famous names, this seems like an easy puzzle to get stuck in (name-y puzzles tend to be landmines). But the theme is great, even if, as I say, ACRONYMs, technically, can be said as a word, e.g. NOW (the National Organization for Women) or OSHA (the Organization of Senior Hat Artists). These are all initialisms, but I think dictionaries have tired of people screwing up and decided that any initialism can be called an ACRONYM now, so ... here we are.


Theme answers:
  • 16A: *"Got it! You want me to play Dorothy's aunt!" ("I SEE! BE EM!")
  • 25A: *"Get in line, Ms. Gorme!" ("QUEUE, EYDIE!")
  • 40A: *"Ms. Myers, shall I pour?" ("DEE DEE ... TEA?") — this was the first theme answers I stumbled across and I somehow couldn't get the name DOROTHEA out of my head (I had the last two letters). Even later, when I'd filled in ACRONYM, I couldn't figure out what the deal was. Only when I got "QUEUE, EYDIE!" and went "huh?" did it dawn on me what was going on. After that, things were a little easier.
  • 56A: *"Supermodel Macpherson, I presume?" ("YOU ARE ELLE?")
  • 71A: *"Sly insect!" ("CAGEY BEE!")
Got Nothing in the NW and so ended up starting at BALD (33A: Unlocked?) and sliding right down into the SE corner, where I ended up piecing together ACRONYM pretty early, well before I had any theme answer in place. Man, there are Really a lot of names in this puzzle. But I've said that. I also said the fill was a little rough around the edges, but truthfully the only outright ugly thing in the grid is MESNE (which I have seen only once before: when it was running through a stack of four 15s back in March) (10D: Intermediate, at law). Otherwise the puzzle is hampered only by an excessive reliance on odd names. Weird to have FDA and SRO (60A: 1966 gold album by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass) and GMT and PSA in this puzzle, if only because I really want to turn them into theme answers. *"Gosh, it's all gone!" => "GEE, EMPTY!" *"Urinate, my fellow Mexican!" => "PEE, ESE!" I think I've got the hang of it.

Bullets:
  • 15A: Horse-drawn vehicle (LANDAU) — like ALAN BALL, I know LANDAU Only from crosswords.
  • 34A: Cub #21 of 1990s-2000s (SOSA) — "of the Steroid Era" is more like it.
  • 35A: "The Rules of the Game" filmmaker, 1939 (RENOIR) — Jean. Know the name, but have not (to my knowledge) seen any of his films.
  • 53A: Peeler's target, informally (SPUD) — a befuddling clue. "Target" makes potato-peeling sound awfully violent / personal.
  • 55A: Whitman's dooryard bloomer (LILAC) — just finished "To Kill a Mockingbird" today. I'd never read it before. Hey, guess what else I've never read. Go on.
  • 73A: Surfer's handle (USER NAME) — that use of "surf" shouldn't fool anyone at this point.
  • 2D: Newman of early "S.N.L." (LARAINE) — know her name by sound. Written out, it looks Nuts.
  • 6D: Snack cake since 1961 (SUZY Q) — ooh, rough. I haven't seen one of these ... well, since I don't when. Not sure I could pick one out of a snack cake line-up.

  • 58D: Horror movie locale, for short (ELM ST.) — again, pretty hard. I was thinking "locale" in the general sense (i.e. cabin in the woods).
  • 67D: Old NASA vehicle (LEM) — A common enough ACRONYM. I was reminded of it the other day when someone, somewhere mentioned a one-hit wonder band that I'd completely forgotten about. OK, so their name's LEN, not LEM. Just go with it:

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

P.S. Thanks to everyone who visited the new Facebook page for this website yesterday. I did not expect all the nice comments posted there. Much appreciated. I'll have a "Like" button up on the website soon (or, rather, PuzzleGirl will help me put one up ... she laughs at me when I try to do tech stuff on my own. Literally, laughs). Til then, you can check out the page here. It's a nice place to interact with readers and distribute information and generally goof around.

Shopstyle, Margaux et moi.

C'est l'histoire de deux amies qui ont été contactées par un site de ventes en ligne qu'elles apprécient.



Après quelques échanges de mails et un rendez-vous qui s'est avéré plus que sympa, elles décidèrent de s'associer avec le site, le temps d'une vidéo.


Margaux et moi avons donc imaginé ce petit film, tournée en intérieur, réalisé par Warren (le chéri de Margaux).
Comme on aime.
Sans prise de tête.




Ouvrez grands les yeux !






Comme vous avez pu le constater, nous portons trois tenues chacune.


A partir de la vidéo, pourriez-vous récréer nos looks à l'aide des articles sur Shopstyle.fr ?


Quand je dis nos looks, je veux dire soit l'un des looks de Margaux, ou l'un des miens.
Ou pour les plus motivées, le look de Margaux + le mien.
Ou même nos trois looks chacune... Bon je sais, je pousse !


Vous comprenez l'esprit. On ne demande pas de copier-coller mais quelque chose de plus ou moins similaire à ce que vous avez pu voir dans le mini-film.


Jouer ok. Mais pour remporter quoi ?
Pour gagner le short en jean de Margaux ou le top en dentelle que je porte !




Rendez-vous ensuite sur la page Facebook de ShopStyle Shopstyle, "likez" la page et postez vos looks sur le mur.
Quand vous passez sur l'article sur le site de Shopstyle, vous avez une fenêtre qui s'ouvre et vous pouvez directement partager l'article ou le look sur le mur Facebook.



Ensuite, vos looks seront soumis à notre petit jury (ShopStyle, Margaux et moi).
Les deux looks les plus proches de nos silhouettes seront les heureux élus, il y aura donc deux gagnantes !


Le concours se termine le 5 juillet à 8h...


C'est parti !


Ps : Pour le prochain billet, que préférez-vous ? Un post spécial décoration d'intérieur ou la tenue que je portais lors de ma soirée en Camargue ?


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pequod co-owner / WED 6-29-11 / Kapellmeister's charge / Bygone Las Vegas casino / Argentine soccer hero Maradona

Constructor: Tony Orbach

Relative difficulty: Medium

THEME: Short U => Long O — sound change in first (or last) word of familiar phrases, creating wacky phrases, clued "?"-style


Word of the Day: ALI Abdullah Saleh (20A: Yemeni leader ___ Abdullah Saleh) —

Ali Abdullah Saleh (Arabic: علي عبدالله صالح‎; born 21 March 1942) is the first President of the Republic of Yemen. Saleh previously served as President of the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) from 1978 until 1990, at which time he assumed the office of chairman of the Presidential Council of the Republic of Yemen (unified Yemen). He is the longest-serving president of Yemen, ruling since 1978. // On 2 February 2011, facing a major national uprising, Saleh announced that he would step down in 2013. On 23 April 2011, he announced that he would be willing to step down in return for immunity from criminal prosecution. On 18 May 2011, he agreed to sign a deal with opposition groups, stipulating that he would resign within a month; however, he later reneged on this commitment. // On June 3, Saleh was injured in an RPG attack on his presidential compound. The following day, he was taken to a military hospital in Saudi Arabia for treatment, and vice president Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi was appointed as acting President of Yemen.

• • •

I had a real wavelength problem with this one, as I often do with Tony's puzzles, for some inexplicable reason. Full disclosure: I know and like and have dined several times with Tony, who is the loveliest man you're likely to meet. He's a wonderful constructor, and yet for some reason, I often stumble through his puzzles—clues I can't quite make sense of, trivia I just don't know, etc., some combination of incidental stuff adds up to me flailing around and feeling lost much of the time. The theme concept here is simple, and yet I didn't pick it up until the Very end. So many -MB words involved in the theme answers that I thought there was some kind of letter switch—specfically, a B-for-E switch. Or a B-for-E switch up top and an E-for-B switch below ... I didn't really stop to think about it for long, since it's Wednesday and I'm busy tearing through the grid. But when I got to JAMAICAN ROAM my brain went from mildly confused to completely jammed. Finished that last bit in the NE and then looked over the theme answers to figure out what I'd missed. Grrr.

Theme answers:
  • 17A: Balding person's directive to a barber? (COMB ON OVER)
  • 27A: Meandering trip from Kingston to Montego Bay? (JAMAICAN ROAM)
  • 43A: Covered stadium that's off-limits to bands? (DON'T-PLAY DOME)
  • 57A: Protection for a fairy-tale dwarf's brain? (GNOME SKULL) — the only one of the theme answers I really like
There were some proper noun crossings in the NW and SE that were pretty rough, if not exactly lethal. I've seen ENOLA clued in this "Waterworld" fashion before (2D: "Waterworld" girl), I'm sure, but that doesn't mean I remembered this character from a 15-year-old *horrible* movie. And I knew Saleh, but I did not know ALI. DIEGO (65A: Argentine soccer hero Maradona) crossing PELEG (50D: Pequod co-owner) was a bit easier for me (heard of both), but that cross will probably prove tough for some. People under 30 probably don't know Boz SCAGGS, whom I first heard of when my mom told me that the crazy 5-ft-tall, 3-in. thin hi-tech speakers she bought for her stereo in 1982 were the same ones Boz SCAGGS had (some salesman was doing his job that day) (22A: "Lido Shuffle" singer Boz).


I knew the Kapellmeister had something to do with a singing group, but I thought maybe his "charge" was a TENOR at first (nope, CHOIR). Wife got confused and thought Cassini was an OLGA instead of an OLEG. I think in some publications a TWO-STAR rating is quite good, actually (5D: Somewhere between excellent and poor, as a restaurant). Finally, I like the clue 44D: "Tommy" rockers (THE WHO) because it sounds like "(The) Tommyknockers" (the Stephen King novel). That's as good a reason to like a clue as any, I say.


And in case you didn't get it, 6D: January 2nd? refers to the "2nd" letter in "January," i.e. a SHORT A.

This website now has a Facebook page. I wanted to install a "Like" button here on the site, but, well, I'm wrestling with installing the code properly, i.e. I'm a technologically incompetent old man. Ugh. I expect I'll get it done in the next few days somehow. In the meantime, the page is here. I'll figure out ways to use it to complement this site. I have a biggish project I'm embarking on, one that will require some, let's say, audience participation ... so I'll probably use the FB page to help me with that ... but more on that later. Right now, if you're on FB, just go Like the page, dammit. I mean, please.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Tumblr]

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kenza et Kenzo sont sur un bateau...


Pour célébrer le lancement de sa nouvelle fragrance FlowerTag (qui sent incroyablement bon d'ailleurs), KENZO organise une exposition / vente des photos de Patrick Guedj, le directeur artistique de KENZO Parfums, taguées par le street artist Kid Acné, dans le showroom KENZO

-du 28 Juin au 2 Juillet
-au 3 Place des Victoires 75001 Paris.

L’intégralité des bénéfices sera reversée à la Croix Rouge Japonaise.

Faites y un saut, j'y étais hier pour le lancement, l'univers est assez intéressant.

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Une chasse au trésor, ça vous chauffe ?

A cette occasion, KENZO lance donc une chasse au trésor virtuelle sur la blogosphère pour vous permettre de gagner des sacs KENZO «macaron» et des goodiebags de produits de beauté de la ligne KENZOKI.

Une photo de l'exposition a été découpée en 6, voici le morceau qui m’a été confié :

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Vous trouverez les autres morceaux sur les blogs de mes compères :






Alors !

A vous de recomposer l’image dans vos têtes et d’envoyer vos coordonnées à l’adresse indiquée sur l’image pour tenter de gagner les fameux lots KENZO.

L'opération prendra fin le dimanche 3 juillet à minuit et le tirage au sort aura lieu le soir lundi 4 juillet. J'annoncerai donc le nom des gagnantes le mardi 5 juillet !

Military aviators collectively / TUE 6-28-11 / Moonmate of Buzz / 6.022 x 10ˆ23 / Pollster's worry / Explorer of kiddie TV / Former NFL great Junior

Constructor: Tom Baring

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium

THEME: Famous Numbers — you heard me


Word of the Day: AIR ARM (31A: Military aviators, collectively) —
The aviation section of a national military force, including aircraft, base and support facilities, and personnel (dictionary.com) [hardly any sources online for this term–lots of sources for FLEET AIR ARM, though: "the aviation branch of the Royal Navy"]
• • •

I'm indifferent to the theme, which is just a set of famous numbers, literally clued. Actually, a set of famous numbers that are very familiar terms/phrases, and then whatever PI APPROXIMATION is. However literally correct it is, it's not a familiar or particularly in-the-language phrase. A bit weird to have your actual number take up two letters in your fifteen-letter answer (?). But I guess you had to get a symmetrical partner for (the stellar!) AVOGADRO'S NUMBER, so no harm, no foul. Filled in SPEED OF LIGHT without ever bothering to look at the clue. Only real hold-up was trying to figure out how to spell AVOGADRO'S. I let crosses do the heavy lifting. Aside from a sluggish start, this one played very easy, even with the mysterious AIR ARM in there (31A: Military aviators, collectively), and a more-than-understandable SOILS-for-ROILS mix-up (38A: Muddies).

Theme answers:
  • 17A: 3.14159 (PI APPROXIMATION)
  • 26A: -273.15˚C (ABSOLUTE ZERO)
  • 42A: 299,792,458 meters/second (SPEED OF LIGHT)
  • 55A: 6.022 x 10ˆ23 (AVOGADRO'S NUMBER)


Apparently PI APPROXIMATION does have a life in the phrase PI APPROXIMATION Day, "celebrated" every 22/7 (that's July 22 to you non-Brits). I know the word EXTANT (43D: Not extinct) from studying MSS in grad school. In Middle English studies, the number of EXTANT MSS for most surviving works is 1 or 2, Canterbury Tales and (esp.) Piers Plowman notwithstanding. You know what was popular back then (if EXTANT MSS are any indication)? Saints' lives. Exciting! I should probably note that there's a lot of less-than-gorgeous fill here: REORG, AIRARM, XXI, AGIN, LIAISE (a legit word, I just hate the sight of it), MNO, AIRE, MEDI. Strangely, I love SHORTU (6D: There's one in "puzzle"). It reminds me of a name that some rotund character from a Miyazaki film would have.



Bullets:
  • 5D: It's first on the leaderboard (TOP SCORE) — froze on this one for some reason. Could think only of "TOP SEED(S)"
  • 59A: Ararat lander (ARK) — Like a Mars Lander, only biblical. Ironically, the Mars Lander was named Phoenix—no phoenixes on the Ararat lander. Hard to enter two-by-two when there's just one of you. (If you know what a phoenix is only from "Harry Potter," then back to middle school with you!)
  • 3D: Pollster's worry (BIAS) — I wrote in SKEW.
  • 35D: Cool ___ cucumber (ASA) — who is this ASA Cucumber and what makes him so cool?
  • 53D: Moonmate of Buzz (NEIL) — "Moonmate?" Really? That is the non-wordiest non-word I've ever seen in the puzzle.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

1990s runnings of the Bulls / MON 6-27-11 / Homemade music compilation / Allan Robin Hood compadre / Excellent in dated slang

Constructor: Joseph Samulak

Relative difficulty: Challenging (*for a Monday*)

THEME: MIX TAPE (37A: Homemade music compilation) — four contiguous circles inside four theme answers feature rearrangements of the letters T-A-P-E


Word of the Day: SHERE Khan (13D: ___ Khan ("The Jungle Book" tiger))
Shere Khan is a fictional tiger of the Indian jungle, named after an Afghan Prince (Sher Shah Suri, The Lion King or The Tiger King) Kipling encountered on his trips to Afghanistan. The word Shere translates to "Tiger" in Urdu/Hindi/Punjabi, and "khan" translates as "sovereign," "king" or "military leader" and so forth in a number of languages influenced by the Mongols, including Pashto. Shere Khan is the chief antagonist in two of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book stories featuring Mowgli. (wikipedia)
• • •

This was pretty rough. Didn't like the theme—those are easy letters to mix up and find inside other words and phrases, and the resulting phrases aren't that interesting. Circled letter strings should break across different words, or at least different word parts, so THREEPEATS is an outlier here—also an outlier because, for non-sports people, that clue + that answer will equal ???. (THREEPEAT = string of three championships; a play on the word "REPEAT"). That's a fine clue-answer pairing, but not on a Monday. Also not Monday-like: that NE corner. Ugly partial foreign weirdness. SHERE crossing "A-DALE" is flat-out terrible. Something out of last century's crosswordese torture box. There's absolutely no reason for a corner that small, with anchor / theme letters that unchallenging, should have fill that unappealing. Should've been sent back to the drawing board there. A 78-worder on a Monday should be much, much smoother than this.



Theme answers:
  • 20A: 1990s runnings of the Bulls? (THREEPEATS)
  • 11D: Groups battling big government (TEA PARTIES)
  • 29D: Watch (KEEP TABS ON)
  • 53A: Some gymwear (SWEATPANTS)
People complain all the time about the NYT's liberal bias—not today. Sure, there's a Kennedy (ROSE) and a gay married couple (MUPPETs), as well as a Che/Gaga mash-up (ICON), but the memorable political answers here are TEA PARTIES (which I hate in the plural, but whatever) and "Sarah Palin's ALASKA" (46D: Sarah Palin's ___" of 2010-11 TV). Really like that last clue. Very fresh. Also, I did (really) appreciate the fact that the puzzle itself acknowledged that PHAT is "dated" (32A: Excellent, in dated slang). It really is, though so is most of the slang that finds its way into crosswords: NEATO, EGAD, uh ... NERTS, etc. On the whole, though, the puzzle is not polished enough. No reason for A LOON and A-DALE or weak partials in general when your grid is this undemanding. Just because you're done doesn't mean you're Done. Monday grids should be scrubbed within an inch of their lives, esp. when the theme isn't exactly sparkling.

Not sure how long I took to do this one (did it on paper, away from a clock), but it felt much, much longer than my avg. Monday. Same thing for wife, who is decidedly non-sports and so had trouble not only with THREEPEATS but with RGS as well :( And like me, she found that NE corner rough going. My wife would also like you to know that a TACOS are not "sandwiches" and PIES and cobblers are different from one another in many substantial ways.



Oddly enough, I've never (or barely) heard of the Kipling character SHERE. SHERE Hite, on the other hand, would've been a gimme. Wouldn't have minded this SHERE if he hadn't been cruelly caged in small, dirty confines with Alan and the ARTES liberales. Fittingly, I was slowed down in the SE corner by 61A: "Hold your horses!". Had the "W" and so my brain went easily, effortlessly from "horses" to WHOA, as in "Whoa, it's not WHOA?"

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter]

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Welcome to Hollywood, boy ya better live it up before it brings you down.


Mitchel Musso - Welcome to Hollywood.

 Quelques photos que je poste rapidement, parce que je suis toujours en période de révision, j'ai mon oral de Français le 1er Juillet ! Donc, voilà, des photos de l'anniversaire d'Emma qui était le 23 Juin ( ahah, le même jour que ma fête ! ) & qu'on a fêté sobrement, déjeuner en ville + après-midi dans les magasin & au parc n_n.

Some photos quickly posted because I'm always studying .. My last exam is the 1st July ! So, the photos are from the birthday of Emma, one of my closest friend. It was the 23rd of June & we celebrated it by eating downtown & spending a great day making shopping & relaxing at the parc n_n.


 Lorène.

 Cactus juice, really good !

 Emmas's birthday candle !

 Emma opening her presents.

 Lunch downtown.


 Myself.






 We did a fake fight with pebbles, I had so many on my shorts, my tee-shirt & my shoes but it was amazingly funny !


 Lorène making me a hug. 



 My girls.

Myself.

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